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.