Whatever the justification for sending Anwar to prison, surely there is no need to waste anymore time trying to either explain why or, worse, run the man down, says Zaharom Nain.
It would seem that we will never get used to the many harebrained, cockamamie schemes dreamt up by parties ranging from our pathetic, sex-obsessed moral guardians to our equally pathetic, sex-obsessed politicians.
Indeed, hard on the heels of the oft-criticised Anwar Ibrahim conviction comes the almost unreal, but certainly cheap, spectacle of a roadshow, apparently organised by Umno Youth.
A roadshow helmed by the lead prosecutor in the Anwar trial, someone who really shouldn’t need to stoop this low.
Equally, the ringmaster of this circus, the Umno Youth chief and federal minister surely couldn’t have learned all this in his much-publicised alma mater, Oxford.
- Sign up for Aliran's free daily email updates or weekly newsletters or both
- Make a one-off donation to Persatuan Aliran Kesedaran Negara, CIMB a/c 8004240948
- Make a pledge or schedule an auto donation to Aliran every month or every quarter
- Become an Aliran member
It is allegedly a roadshow designed to ‘explain’ to the people – by invitation only, of course – the reasons for the recent Federal Court sentencing of Anwar Ibrahim.
It is really as if an old tired script is being regurgitated. A script of `Drama-Minggu-Ini’ magnitude, with its fair share of cardboard characters, unconvincing storylines and, perhaps, even an awful wardrobe.
Everything seems absolutely wrong with this show.
In the first place, judgment has already been passed, a verdict arrived at. The accused is now in prison, locked away for five years, with time off for good behaviour.
And the government had already released a statement, by courtesy of the PM’s Department, minutes after the Federal Court verdict, that stressed the fairness of the trial and that the case was brought about by an innocent individual/victim and NOT the government of the day.
That is why, for many, this latest need for a ‘roadshow’ not only smacks of overkill, but clearly illustrates there is something absolutely wrong with this script somehow.
And that it is time to get rid of the scriptwriter(s).
Let’s be candid about this.
You hound a man for 17 years, initially imprisoning him for a couple of years despite the alleged miscarriage of justice, only to release him when it’s clear that his incarceration was frowned upon by the rakyat.
Then, when it is clear that his release and freedom could lead to your downfall, that a popular, peaceful and democratic uprising is on the cards, you come up with another oh-so-similar charge, and imprison him yet again.
Sure, there is a need to be consistent. But, come on, there is also a need to be a bit more creative in this age of digitisation.
Or else, instead of looking consistent, you’ll end looking consistently dumb.
Indeed, now that the man has gone to jail, surely it is time to give it a rest?
What, really, is the point of this ‘roadshow’… beyond regaling the (selected) masses with sordid tales that may or may not be true?
We all know that the film 50 Shades of Grey has been banned in Malaysia. Going on a roadshow with untrained actors and storytellers to tell a similar story is equally tacky, don’t you think?
The last time this happened – in the late 1990s – we saw the birth of Reformasi, largely because the Malays especially were sickened by this public shaming of a leader without sufficient – if any – proof of his guilt.
Same old, same old
Almost two decades later, some – perhaps many even – believe that it is the same old, same old.
But many of us are also tired, especially given the fact that the country now faces even more immediate unresolved problems.
Indeed, the immediate future seems bleak.
There is the problem of resettling and rehoming the thousands made homeless by the recent floods, for one.
Then there are the more expensive imports we have to pay for because of a weak currency, the goods and services tax (GST), the 1Malaysia Development Berhad (1MDB) debacle, and, of course, the seemingly unrelenting and untrammelled religious and racial extremism.
All fuelled by a regime that doesn’t seem to be doing anything beyond sidestepping these issues.
These are the issues – bread and butter indeed – that confront and worry most of us.
Whatever the justification (or otherwise) for sending the man to prison, surely there is no need to waste your time – and ours – anymore trying to either explain yourselves or, worse, run the man down?
Indeed, just as decent Malaysians (and there are quite a number of us) don’t believe in needlessly shaming a person in public; neither do we believe in kicking a man in the groin when he’s already down.
Not only are such actions tacky and the work of douchebags, they are also downright cowardly.
So, yes, perhaps it is time to grow up – especially when we have more or less reached the age that disqualifies us from being called youth – and stop all this nonsense.
Before, that is, such a roadshow begins to stink of rotting road kill.