End of the world? | Selangor Times
Issue 118


End of the world?
Writer: Patrick Teoh
Published: Fri, 13 Jan 2012

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.

And I am sure that thousands of Malaysians, regardless of ethinicity, have long begun making their own little Dragon ‘souvenirs’. Dragon babies will start making the headlines come January 23, 2012.

And all of a sudden the ordinary piece of fish that you buy from the wet market will miraculously assume a level of deified grandeur with names like Dragon Fish and Dragon something or other.

And of course multiply in price at the same time. And restaurant managers will once again begin to use their limited imagination to come up with menu names like Dragon Fortune Set Lunch or Dragon jumps over the Phoenix Nest or something equally stupid and ridiculously priced.  

But then, if you believe in predictions, especially Mayan ones, you probably would go all the way to splurge and celebrate like there is no tomorrow. Because there actually might not be.  

It’s all going to end pretty soon according to the ancient Mayans. Okay, for those of you who may not have read of those 2012 predictions by those extinct South American chaps. The Mayans predicted that the world as we know it will end December 21, 2012.  Alright, I am sure that most of you have heard the joke that if the Mayan baargers really knew what they were talking about they’d still be around instead of being in the same list as the Dodo bird and the honest politician. Extinct.

Which brings me to my point this month. The Mayan-predicted end of the world may still be a few months off but the end of the world for many things Malaysian has happened already. Don’t you think? Over the course of the past few months we, as citizens of a once idyllic corner of the globe, have seemingly said permanent goodbyes to quite a few things too.

On the positive side, I think Malaysians have finally dealt a fatal blow to apathy. For so long a slight on our approach to the way things are done with our money, our country and our future. I think we all are now so much more willing to participate in how our country and our resources are being managed. We now care enough to stand up and say, no shout, “Oi! Enough!”.

The 2008 general elections proved it. Bersih 2.0 reinforced it. Hey! The power is in our hands. No more standing by an watching our future go down the toilet. Or at least we no longer help pull the flush la.

On the not-so-positive side we seem to have also said a final goodbye to something rare and precious in our nation. Common sense.

Teach  Math and Science in Malay or English?

Should cattle live in luxury condominiums?

And after more than 50 years of independence why are our political leaders still advocating crutches to keep certain communities dependent? Mostly on hand-outs?

Ya. Common sense. Why are we, government and opposition alike, behaving like passengers busy re-arranging deck-chairs on the Titanic?! The ship is in danger of sinking, balls! We need to pull together.

As a team. To survive. It doesn’t really matter who’s sitting at the bow or the stern when the entire ship goes under.

Actually, with all that’s been going on, it is no wonder that our ship had sprung a big leak. Nobody seems to be at the helm. And nobody saw the iceberg coming. Right or not?

For much of last year all our politicians from both sides of the divide have been involved in everything except managing the country. Stage demonstrations. Quell demonstrations. Ceramah here. Counter ceramah there. Road shows. Just who is minding the shop with regard to our economy? The state of our education system? Healthcare?

Of course now there is the rumour about the General Elections being held soon. And we all know how much time and effort goes into planning and organizing a General Election. So I will bet that for the next couple of months the government  staff will all be busy helping the bosses campaign and doing anything but what they should be doing. Not that they have a choice la.

As I was getting this column done I read the news that the High Court had acquitted Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of the charge of Sodomy. So I guess the end of the world, as THEY know it, might come soon than the Mayan prediction. For some people. Maybe.


 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.

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.

He who laughs last…

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.











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