The Aftermath.
May 6, 2013

There has been an influx of black on my facebook wall. And to those who know the significance of May 5th 2013, they will know that it began as a day of hope for many in Malaysia and the updates of blackness was a (not so) silent poetic mourning of the outcome of the 13th General Elections.

Many wouldn’t like to hear what I have to say. As a matter of fact, a friend of mine whom I thought had more sense told me that I was going to hell because of them. She felt that my brand of logic and rationale was too submissive. Not radical enough. Too cynical.

What she calls cynicism, I call being a realist.

In all honesty, did we expect any differently? Did we really think that the opposition would sweep the elections? Obviously, I think a lot of us thought that it would’ve been a closer contest. A tighter race. A bigger change. But take a moment and think about how small our social circles are. We do not represent the majority. We probably do not even interact with them enough to be able to predict what drives their actions and thoughts, let alone their votes.

And so when it was over, and the outcome had not been what we would have liked, we became the children that we have proven to be on so many occasions, and began throwing tantrums. Descending to borderline barbarism, whining about a democracy that is dead, signing petitions for foreign heavyweights to come and fix our problems, “blacking out” our facebook, and actively participating in rumour mongering in social media.

I disagree with these actions not only because we are supposed to be mature adults and evolved human beings but because it’s nihilistic behaviour. It’s pandering and it’s undignified. We all love Malaysia. It has its faults, but it’s OUR country. We’ve worked hard to fight for change. But all that hard work means nothing when you give up the moment you lose. It was a lost. The world did not end. Malaysia did not end. Democracy is not dead.

Yes, we hear tales of ballot boxes appearing from thin air, and phantom voters being brought in by the busloads, and how the election commission is still under the Prime Minister’s Office, and the fact that there is no distinction between the judiciary, executive and the parliament. Yes. These are problems with no clear cut answers and fixes. But 80% of the registered voters turned up to vote. That’s a record high since 1964. That’s over 10 million people who decided they wanted to stand for something instead of letting it all pass idly by.

In 2003, BN won 198 seats.

In 2008, BN won 140 seats.

In 2013, BN won 133 seats.

The gap is closing. Perhaps not as fast as many of us would have hoped or liked, but these are small victories. We take them and we work harder.

Gandhi took 32 years to fight for independence in India and Mandela was imprisoned for 27 years in his fight against the Apartheid. The sting we’re feeling is merely a fraction of theirs. Yes, the barely closing of a gap loss hits below the belt. We’re hurt. We’re winded. We’re reeling. But I was still hoping to return to Malaysia proud to call myself a Malaysian, a citizen of a nation that was ready for change and fought hard for it, accepting the outcome (disappointing or otherwise) with grace and decorum. Instead we reverted into children once more. Petulant, whining children.

And it needs to stop.

“You drown not by falling into a river, but by staying submerged in it.”
Paulo Coelho 

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Trapped.
May 31, 2012

There are good days and there are bad days.

Some days, it’s easier to laugh it off.

Other days, not so much.

And those are the days that are spent being so incoherently sad that there are no other words more suitable or appropriate to describe it. You’re just. Sad.

“People fall so in love with their pain, they can’t leave it behind. The same as the stories they tell. We trap ourselves.
Chuck Palahniuk.

Sense.
May 30, 2012

I jerked awake, my phone buzzing beneath my pillow, anchoring me to reality. I hit the stop button, the first time in weeks, instead of the snooze button and instinctively reach up to touch my face. Dampness. From sweat? Tears? A combination of both?

It was a dream, I told myself. And it’s weird and I can’t begin to literate it, even in my mind while it’s so fresh, but I remember you. Your face. An image I desperately cling to as if I knew I was never going to see you again. As if you were secretly saying your final goodbye with the painted smile on your face, young and fresh but so full of pain. And there was a voice in the back of my head, yelling for me to do something, anything, to stop you. As is a part of me  deep down, knew what you were about to do.

Awake and free from the fog and the blurriness of dream, I think it must have been what it was like for you in your last moments, your mind made up and unchangeable.

If my face had not been damp from tears then, the realization that it wasn’t something that I was afraid you’d do, but something that you’d done, brought upon a wave of tears from within that I couldn’t stop. The kind that rouses something primal from within that you cannot contain and spills over without any vestige of control.

I lay there. Completely immobilized. A pathetic lump of tears and fears and shadows of the past creeping into the present.

And that was when it hit me. Or grazed against me, more like. The lightest breeze that carried you, your smell. And I had to double, treble check that you weren’t actually there next to me. And as swiftly as it came, it left, like dust in the morning light as your eyes adjusted to the rays of the newborn sun.

I barely had the time. Barely any time at all to seek it’s touch. Inhale it fully. Revel in the precious wave of something that was so profoundly you. I ‘m not making sense. But I sense you around me today.

“By now, you should know enough about loss to realize that you never really stop missing someone – you just learn to live around the huge gaping hole of their absence ”
Alyson Noel, Evermore.

No. Just no.
April 28, 2012

Today has not been a day for you to channel your anger towards the law enforcement or how inept you think they are.

Today has not been the day for you to fight back because you feel you’ve been on the losing end of justice for too long.

Today has not been a day for you to channel your contempt towards the government.

No. Just no.

Bersih 3.0 was not an anti government protest. It is not a call for unity to bring down the regime of a certain party that has been in power too long.

No.

Bersih is and always have been a call for a cleaner election. A call for electoral reforms. A call for Malaysians to stand up for civil liberties.

Over 80 cities and 30 countries took part in Global Bersih and all eyes were on Malaysia today, us, this small cilli padi of a nation as I prefer to call us. And we descended into anarchy and chaos.

The rally had already archived a remarkable feat of more than 100, 000 people. There was no need for the violence on both sides. There was no reason for breaking through barricades and provoking violence in the attendee’s, sparking knee jerk reactions from the law enforcement.

Just. No.

As I read on about the news of casualties and how angry the people are, and how we’ve made it onto the world news again  and again for unsavoury reasons, there is just a sinking sensation I feel at the pit of my stomach.

I guess I’m just disappointed. Because really? Is this really who we are? Is this really all that we’re capable of? Is this all that there is to us deep down? All instinct and chaos and a hunger to watch things burn?

“Because some men aren’t looking for anything logical, like money. They can’t be bought, bullied, reasoned or negotiated with. Some men just want to watch the world burn.”
The Dark Knight (2008)

Counting Hours.
January 12, 2012

I find myself avoiding the radio like the plague when I’m driving. Mostly because the more tolerable songs on the airwaves today are predominantly written about love and love mostly reminds me about you.

I’ve always felt like such an idiot when it came to love. Or you know, affection, adoration, matters of the heart, whatever the romantics call it. And it’s all so much harder now because I don’t think I know who I am anymore. I don’t think I’ve ever had a clear handle of who I am truth be told. Not the way I did when I was with you anyway.

And now I’m left with nothing but what I remember of those late nights and stolen moments that I took care to ensure I have etched into the corners of my mind.

I know nothing now but the way you whispered my name, the way the words of gilded hopes and desires rolled off your tongue, the way the morning light danced upon your face, the way your crooked smile could have my breath caught somewhere between my lungs and my throat as I rush to memorize the moment and have them seared into the back of my eyelids.

A tilt of the head, a flick of the wrist, a furrow of the eyebrow, all burned into my mind, never to leave.

And it was a slow burn too. It wasn’t a wild fireball set ablaze by involuntary combustion, it didn’t burn bright and high until it faded into the stillness that swallows it but a kind of fiery, a kind of effervescent in all its breathlessness and I hated that I had to clear my throat to speak when you so much raised a glass to your lips.

It was slow and it was cautious and it was deliberate.

But then you were gone. Like smoke and ghost. Leaving me with images of crinkled sheets and half smoked cigarettes; winded and confused, trying to convalesce my heart from the jetlag  and untangle myself from lying awake in the mid of night mentally calculating the time differences.

No, love songs about distanced lovers definitely could not have hit a more inopportune spot under the belt.

“What time is it where you are?
I miss you more than anything.”