As the year 2007 rolls to a bumpy conclusion I can't help but reflect on the events that have impacted on my attention over the preceding 13 moons. Since news first broke of the macabre murder of the pretty Mongolian woman, Altantuya Shaariibuu, the national karma appears to have taken a dramatic dip into a deeper darkness, precipitating a groundswell of discontent and dissatisfaction with the BN government - which has been responsible for governing this country since 1957.
When times were good many turned a blind eye to the clear signs of misgovernance witnessed during Mahathir's 22-year reign as prime minister and president of Umno. While those who ought to know better commended him for his Vision 2020, I found myself diametrically opposed to Dr M's worldview and values. I saw my fellow Malaysians systematically seduced by the promise of western-style industrialization and consumerism ("Look East," Dr M exhorted us, conveniently forgetting that if you look far enough east you'll eventually find yourself looking up your own rear end).
I was totally opposed to his policy of "development" at the expense of our natural heritage and humanitarian qualities. Even as Malaysians became more engrossed with the trappings of material "success" they began to lose sight of humbler virtues. In a community of crooks, liars and hypocrites, an honest soul quickly gets left behind as one unfit to survive - such was the Zeitgeist of Dr M's Neo-Darwinian Malaysia.
We get the leaders we deserve, they say, and the truth of that seems to have been borne out by the disappointing results of the 1999 general election when BN managed to retain its two-thirds majority - despite its brutal, malicious and vindictive handling of Anwar Ibrahim's sacking and the massive Reformasi Movement that it triggered. The shameful manner in which the Anwar Ibrahim trial was misconducted made it crystal clear that the Malaysian Judiciary was abjectly beholden to the Executive - and that this had been so since the inauspicious and unceremonious sacking of Lord President Salleh Abas in 1988.
And yet the people voted BN back into power in 1999. In fact, it's common knowledge that Anwar Ibrahim wasn't very popular with the Chinese business community - and the Indian voter is easily swayed by anyone who appears to be a strongman - in this instance, Samy Vellu had proven his mettle as a vicious streetfighter over a very long career in the politics of pragmatism. Well, in retrospect, Malaysia would have done well to enter the new millennium on a clean political slate. Instead, the unresolved issues of the previous century continue to plague our overfed bureaucracy.
However, it's never too late for change. And going by the renewed resolve of many young Malaysians to continue pressing for a clean-up of the electoral and judicial machinery - without which no other reforms can be successfully implemented - I'm optimistic that a New Dawn is in the offing. Meanwhile, it's extremely depleting and depressing to keep harping on the obscene excesses and the insufferable arrogance of BN politicians. Besides, a few of my fellow Malaysian bloggers have already cornered the market on political scandal. And so I shall change subject completely and share with you a few images that bring genuine joy and a sense of celebration to my heart.
FOLKS, MEET EMMA & SUNSHINE!
|Emma (14) and Sunshine (13) have been friends since kindergarten days.|
|My favorite bathing beauties in all the world!|
|The wetter the better!|
|Emma and her Daddy, my ancient classmate John Puracal.|
|My golden boy, Mr Wong Beng Oi, loves Emma and Sunshine too.|