He who laughs last… | Selangor Times
Issue 118


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He who laughs last…
Writer: Patrick Teoh
Published: Fri, 08 Apr 2011

As I sit down to write this a lot of funny things are happening in my country. Sex scandals. Snap elections threats.

Detailed explanations of when a Bribe is not a Bribe but a Gift.

The list goes on, so much so that it is almost impossible to have a day pass without something to laugh about. But sometimes, after the laughter ceases, the same events bring tears to our eyes.

Here’s something funny to start with. Some days ago I commented on my Facebook page about the deputy prime minister proudly announcing that he feels that there is “growing public support” for Barisan Nasional, which, to him, has boosted the coalition’s confidence in “wresting” back Selangor from Pakatan Rakyat.

I commented that being the ruling federal government, there are allegedly quite a number of ways of cultivating “growing public support”.

Like postal votes which ap-pear magically from … somewhere la, because nobody really knows or says where they are from. (As far as I know, only very few Malaysians are allowed to send in postal votes. Well, maybe not that few, actually. No, ah? Anyway.)

Like illegal voter transfers. You know what that is, don’t you? It’s like you’re so very sure that you’re going to be voting in Section This One. “Ya la. Sure one! I do that before ma.”

On polling day you go to Section This One and are told: “Maaf ya. Now you need to go to Section That One to vote because you have been transferred.”

Do they need your permission? No. Do they inform you or need to? No.

Like handing out “goodies” during or immediately prior to important elections. Which one minister has already proudly announced that it is not to be considered bribery. It is merely the government’s way of fulfilling its elections promises made during the last elections.

Said minister’s explanation is far funnier. Read this quote attributed to the Yang Berhormat: “For example, the handing out of sewing machines, if it is not given during election, it would still be given out at a later date. What is the difference? Is this an offence?”

Ha ha ha ha! Of course it is not an offence la. It is merely the government’s method of public support cultivation ma. Right?

And as I am writing this I am also reading about the deputy prime minister fertilising the crops in the state of Sarawak. And boy, is he doing a great job. It’s promising to be a bumper crop I think.

RM73million is going to be distributed to schools in Sarawak.

Wah! Good innit?

And most of the recipient schools just happen to be missionary schools. A big portion of the funds will also go to Chinese schools. With that kind of manure sure will get bumper crop, right?

But in the same cerita, the best line came from the chief minister of Sarawak when he said: “… A lot of assistance is needed, so the deputy prime minister is giving a little at a time to solve the problem.”

Giving a little at a time to solve the problem? Something has to have been lost in translation!

An online friend of mine lost his mother to cancer some years ago.

And although it has been a number of years since his mother’s passing, this friend still misses her very much. And so as a loving, filial son he looks forward to each general election.

Why? That’s when his mother returns to vote. At least, that’s what the election rolls tell him.

Good innit?

If you have lost a loved one, don’t despair. The next GE is around the corner, and I am quite sure that at least some of you will be able to see returning parents, brothers, sisters, relatives and friends very soon.

So, don’t forget to go and register to vote at the next GE and also go and check if your friends and loved ones are going to make the trip back from the other side, okay?

Also don’t forget to ask for your gift from your YB. Don’t need to be shy or feel guilty for being part of this questionable practice.

After all, it’s only a gift ma. And what they will give you is rightfully yours anyway. So it’s just taking back what they took from you. No?


 Selangor Times



Also by Patrick Teoh:

Quit the wishy-washy themes

few weeks ago my daughter who lives in Singapore sent me the link to a Singapore National Day promo video. 

It has to be bleep, bleep and bleep!

When I first coined the word “Niamah!” a lot of people asked me what it meant. Well, for those of you who don’t speak Cantonese, when spoken aloud the word means your mom.

Malaysia a safe country: The spinning goes on

The morning newspaper had on the front page a story about security in housing estates. How foreign guards are better than local ones. How illegal foreigners are getting jobs as security guards. How if we pay peanuts we get monkeys as security for our family and property.

Those damn illegal parkers

By the time you sit down to read this, the memories of Bersih 3.0 would be more than two weeks old. But I’ll bet that people will still be talking about the rally. Exchanging experiences. Telling some tall tales.

Transforming to what?

Just a few days ago I was driving past the Umno building in Kuala Lumpur. It was raining and the infamous bottle-neck traffic jam in that area of the city was worse than normal. I was stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic right beside the Umno building.

Absurd cost of … everything

Well, Valentine’s Day has come and gone. Along with the perennial, prerequisite hoo-hah that accompanies it.

End of the world?

In just a couple more weeks the Year of the Dragon is going to roll in. For the Chinese flers it is always an extra-auspicious period of the Chinese Lunar calendar. So what we can expect this Chinese New Year is an even more garish display of the colours gold and red in the shopping malls. Actually, the incessant Chinese New Year musak is already playing endlessly. Petaling Street vendors are going to drag on their sales of made-in-China new year “must-haves” until the last minute of the 15th day of the Lunar New Year of the Dragon.

Your right, my right, and all the ‘goreng’

In just a couple of weeks it will be the new year. Yes, 2012. Another year. But as with every new year for the past decade, I would say we Malaysians step rather tentatively into the next 365-day period.

Time to take the wheel

For a very long time now there has been almost complete anarchy on Malaysian roads. There appear to be no laws governing traffic, nor does there appear to be anyone bothered to obey them if there were. I am sure you see, as I do, on a daily basis motorcycles and motorcars ignoring red lights, double lines and stop signs.

Come on, get happy!

The past couple of weeks has been sort of tough. On the old brain I mean. Mine. Having to remember lines from a script that is not exactly Shakespearean quality and having to say them while moving around without knocking into the furniture on stage. Things were so stressful that I missed the big event of the month: the announcement of the Budget by the prime minister!

Manifestoes un-manifest

Last month I attended a fundraising dinner for a political party. For an opposition party la. When have we ever heard of the ruling coalition ever needing to organise a FUND-raising party? No, right? No need what. Fund-giving got la. Especially near elections time. But I digress.

Conditional love…?

JUST a few days ago a friend of mine sent me a Tweet message in which she referred to Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as our Conditional Prime Minister. I laughed out loud when I received that. What a wonderfully apt description of the man, I thought.

The Great Clean-Up

For the past week or more the whole of the Klang Valley has been quavering with excitement, fear, anger, frustration and maybe a little despair.People have been arrested. Threats have been issued by both government and normally level-headed Malaysians. Balai Polis stores are bulging at the seams from overstocking of bright yellow t-shirts which everybody wants but cannot have. After all they’re perfectly good shirts. 100% cotton some more.

Harsh realities of this flawed paradise

As we turn the corner and head for the second half of 2011, things sure ain’t looking that hunky-dory. My family and I enjoyed a few days in the remote beaches of Cherating, Pahang. Those four carefree days of rushing waves and gentle breezes and oh-so-calming peace and quiet were elixirs for the much-stressed average Malaysian soul.

Who copied who?

By the time you read this the good folks in the little red dot, Singapore, would have been to the polls and either a) elected the almost all-powerful PAP again as their government of choice, or b) elected a much younger, more change-oriented government from one of the opposition parties like The Workers Party or the Singapore Democratic Party.











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