Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Three incidents, one sad conclusion

In an attempt to break a record, 1,500 bowls of Sarawak laksa had to be thrown away, sparking fury of everyone.

By Mariam Mokhtar

Last week, Khairy Jamaluddin, the Youth and Sports Minister, told the police to block of all roads leading to Dataran Merdeka, to stop Bersih 5 protestors from assembling for the final push towards Dataran Merdeka. He said that the way to stop the Red Shirts protest was to stop Bersih 5 from happening.

Isn't he shortsighted and his reasoning flawed?

Bersih was formed because the government is not transparent and its ministers are neither accountable nor responsible.

The Red Shirts leader, Datuk Jamal Yunos, has declared all-out-war on Bersih and he has threatened bloodshed, so the onus should be on the IGP to arrest the person who has incited violence. Instead the IGP claims that Jamal is merely using a war of words. The rakyat is not dense nor easily fooled.

If it is just a war of words, there is no need to prevent Bersih 5 from reaching Dataran Merdeka.

Why is Khairy, who is part of the government machinery, afraid of the rakyat exercising its democratic rights? Why is he unable to see that Bersih is all about clean, fair and free elections, and the restoration of true governance.

In the second incident last week, a young father, Mohd Sukri Saad, threw himself off the second Penang bridge, to end his suffering, the nation was shocked to read his poignant and brutally truthful confession. He acknowledged that he had done something wrong and asked for forgiveness from his family.

In trying to make ends meet, Sukri was caught selling RM360 worth of contraband cigarettes. On the day he committed suicide, he was due to be charged in court. He knew he would be imprisoned and fined.

He decided against going to jail, because of the shame it would bring his children, whom he feared would be branded the children of a convict.

Knowing that he had been unfairly treated, he cited the "director who stole millions, but was freed on bail." He felt oppressed by a cruel government and said that he chose suicide, because he had no money and was unwilling to borrow money from others, getting into debt and burdening others with his problems.

In a message, which touched many Malays and Muslims, whom he believed to be in a similar predicament, he implored PAS president, Hadi Awang, not to be tricked by Umno-Baru into tabling the Hudud Bill. He pleaded with Hadi to return to the Opposition fold, to make it a credible force again, and to serve the rakyat better.

Sukri is a victim, like so many others in Malaysia. Will PAS at least, consider his final thoughts? What happened to the support system, to help similar Malays/Muslims, who have fallen on hard times, and reached the end of their tether?

The final report about the wastage of 1500 servings of Sarawak laksa, is a direct reflection of the sort of society we have become.

We have descended to become a people which can be characterised as self-serving, glory seeking,  materialistic, uncompassionate, insensitive and false.

Celebrity chef Wan was involved in a publicity stunt at a local shopping mall, in an attempt to break the record of  the largest bowl of Sarawak laksa.

In the supersized dish, 100kg of Sarawak laksa paste, 225kg rice noodles, 90kg prawns, 1,008 eggs, 90kg of bean sprout and 80kg of chicken were used.

After the record had been achieved, it was reported that the food had to be ditched because it was unfit for human consumption.

Why? This is not good publicity for Sarawak laksa.

The organisers were more interested in chasing records. They could have donated the uncooked food, to the poor and improved their reputations. Instead, the organisers' have come across as being disconnected from the real world of soaring prices, increased taxes and waste.

These three cases, show that all that matters, is the breaking of a record, and the presence of a celebrity. They show a complete disregard for people's sensitivities, the breakdown of a nation and the robbing of the rakyat of its democratic freedom.

Is this what we have become, as Malaysians?  

~ The Heat

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