Thursday, July 17, 2008

Too Expensive To Blog From A Cybercafe (But How To Stop?)

I've been at this dimly lit cybercafe for the last two hours, catching up on the local news through Malaysiakini and Malaysia Today. Never a dull moment. Anwar released after being subject to major harassment, indignity and extreme discomfort. RPK roped in, only to be released on bail within a couple of hours. Now I can leave the cybercafe with a much lighter heart. For the last 48 hours I have endured genuine anxiety on behalf of Anwar and RPK. I care deeply about the well-being and freedom of these two national heroes who are doing what I myself would gladly do if I had chosen the political path. The bullshit they go through for our sake and that of our posterity may seem mild compared with what others have been subjected to in countries like Cambodia, Burma, Zimbabwe, Palestine, Chile, Afghanistan and Iraq.

Nonetheless, I thank such public figures every single day for their heroic acts, because they keep the idea of freedom, justice and truth alive even through the darkest night of authoritarian misrule. I know we must be thankful that Malaysia is relatively less violent than some countries where political dissidents face arrest, torture and summary execution by hooded death squads. But why can't we compare ourselves with countries like New Zealand, Australia and Norway instead?

Anyway, July 16 will remain embedded in my memory as among the darkest days in recent memory. The totally unwarranted and unjustifiable arrest of Anwar Ibrahim came close to shattering all my hopes of a peaceful transition for Malaysia from the stinky and stupid BN era to a new political dawn with Pakatan Rakyat administering the country. The sheer insanity of a country that sends a UTK (Special Action Unit) team out in terrorist-style balaclavas and a convoy of police vehicles to nab a guy whose only crime is that he has set his sights on the nation's top post! Come on, let's grow up, people.

Only a not-happening no-hoper like Mukhriz Mahathir would stand up in Parliament and foam at the mouth like Shabery Cheek about "unnatural sex acts" - as though there are no worse crimes that occur at any given moment. In the first place, whoever labeled anal and oral sex as "punishable crimes" requires immediate psychological counseling and deep emotional therapy. Rape is a no-no, that's for sure - but that Saiful fella certainly didn't look like somebody who had just been repeatedly raped when he smiled for the press photographers soon after lodging a police report against Anwar. Indeed, he looked like some dimwit kid who can't get over the fact that he has become an overnight sensation across the nation and that thousands were Googling his name and even visiting his girlfriend's inane blog.

The prime cause of BN's inevitable downfall may well prove to be a 28-year-old Mongolian beauty who found herself in extremely bad company and got blown up trying to collect her rightful share of ill-gotten gains. No matter how many formal denials issue from the pink lips of Najib Razak or his reprehensible spouse Rosmah Mansor, ugly rumors will persist until the murder case is finally resolved to the public's satisfaction. And the only way that can happen is for the DPM to take temporary leave and allow himself and his wife to be summoned to court as key witnesses.