We are bound not by the shackles of any colonial master, but of our own making; our prejudices; a moral compass gone astray; and the misguided belief that the responsibility to act lies not within ourselves, but in the actions of others.
A nation is defined by the principles held dear by its people; and its fate is determined by nothing more than the will of the people. And if, at any point in time, the freedom to think and act is taken away from us, it would be through nothing less than our own inaction.
Yes, yes… let’s bring him back;
And let him roam free among us,
And among our children.
Yes, let’s bring him back;
And let him pursue his education,
For he is a genius!
For surely intellect pardons all crime?
For surely you would agree, a crime is only heinous
When committed by a vagrant?
Or a tramp, or a derelict,
Or horror of all horrors,
By a migrant worker?
So yes, let’s bring him back,
And let us hush now,
And end all discussion,
For discourse – that is simply not our way.
There is the carpet,
And here, the broom.
For that is our way.
I make my coffee
and I carry it into my study
With my breakfast.
I sit in my study
I have my breakfast
and I sip on my coffee
While I read the news.
And every morning
As I read the news,
As I sip my coffee,
As I have my breakfast,
I cry a little inside.
Surely we are better than this?
Roughly a year ago, I remember feeling a bit upset and angry. I was filing my taxes, and looking at the amount I had to pay, I wished that there was more granularity in the income tax bracketing system. But even so, I didn’t feel upset.
What made my anger start to simmer was when I learnt that, as a tax paying citizen, I wasn’t allowed to vote (at the time). Postal voting was only allowed for Malaysians studying overseas and civil servants posted abroad.
Rumours of election day had already been flying about then. Many were predicting it to be in September or in the fourth quarter of the year. Unofficial campaigning had begun in some parts of the country. After the surprise outcome of the previous General Election, the upcoming election was something everyone, regardless of their political alliances, was eyeing nervously. Many new voters had registered over the past couple of years, including myself.
So you can imagine my disappointment and frustration when I learnt that I wouldn’t be able to vote. I was appalled because I was doing my duty in paying taxes, but could not exercise the right to choose my representative in government. I was baffled because the policy, for whatever reason, seemed too simplistic and not well thought out.
For months I sulked at the injustice of it all.