Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009: Off Our Back, Finally

If one word could be used to summarise 2009 as far as Malaysia’s socio-political issues are concerned, it would be a very qualified, “shit”. On the upside, I got married, so it sort of balanced things out. Here’s my skewered take on the happenings in 2009. Some incidents are left out basically because of either space constraint or just that I have a memory of a bar stool.

In January Malaysians suffered from splurge of bad economic diarrhoea after the massive breaking of global financial wind with unemployment reaching epic proportions when Malaysian human resources minister S. Subramaniam noting that 45,000 electronic sector workers were laid off temporarily that month alone, and that they can take on training provided by the ministry on how to spend time worrying about the next job.

Anyway, on religious note, the Home Minister allowed Bahasa Malaysia in the Roman Catholic Church’s publication, The Herald. In fact, they are allowed to use any language, except that they do not allow use the word “joH'a”, which is Klingon for God.

February saw an interesting development when the entire Perak state was taken over by a swarm of bees when three state assemblymen from Pakatan Rakyat (PR) coalition quit the party to become independent to support Barisan National (BN). Dejected, in March, the Perak PR folks held their meeting under the very tree the bees used to reside, where they were immediately shat upon by territorial crows.

On a brighter note, the government pledged a RM60 billion economic stimulus, which were condemned by critics as merely “bail-out” exercise and should be instead used to make trees more comfortable for political meetings.

In the meantime, Samy Velu won Malaysian Indian Congress’ presidency for the record 377th term in party polls making him not only the longest, but only cadaver to hold such position in the history of the universe. He announced that this will be last term for him, and will be stepping down to make way for younger blood, leading others to speculate, and this is perhaps the surprise of the year, his son Vel Pari to take over.

April saw the country welcoming Najib as our new Prime Minister, and immediately, he launched the 1Malaysia initiative with tagline: People First, Opposition Parties Later. Immediately Najib freed 13 Internal Security Act (ISA) prisoners, including two from the outlawed HINDRAF, and others who were never tear gassed or water cannoned.

Speaking of which the federal court again said a big “NO!” to godless communist Chin Peng when he appealed on wanting to enter Malaysia on the account that he left his wallet here. Same month saw three by-elections following either death, resignation or plead of insanity by each candidates due to excessive politicking in three constituencies, each won by BN, PR candidates and a racoon named JoJo respectively.

The month May will always be despised by Malaysians no thank to 13th May incident and that bad 80s Rock Band, but now will possibly be overshadowed by the nasty proceedings during the Perak State Assembly, which included shouting, scuffling, collaring, spitting and very bad rendition of Sinatra’s “My Way” by the new state Menteri Besar. Also, Hindraf’s M. Manoharan, K. Vasantha Kumar and P. Uthayakumar were released with the later wowing to continue to fight for Malaysian Indian’s rights, and said the prison didn’t break his spirit, and instead projected a keen sense of observation when he said that he had not shaven or combed his hair and “has been wearing the same pants since entering the prison”. Add resilience to laundry to that.

Also, the month saw outbreak of swine flue increasing so much so that it met with protest from pigs all over the world whence it was decided that it should be referred to as AH1X4N%#$!!! Virus instead. Most people world over decided to cover their inability to mouth the word with masks.

Nothing much happened in June except the usually boring unemployment thingy and bitching from the opposition party opposing anything the government proposes and whining from the ruling party opposing anytime the opposition parties opposes something. Perhaps that explained why Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium’s roof decided to collapse. It was only after that incident that the RM300 mil stadium billed as pride of the Terenganu state was declared unsafe. Wow.

July should be declared as historic month when the Malaysian government took a great step backwards when it decided that the medium of instruction for Maths and Science would revert to Bahasa Malaysia from 2012 onwards. It should be noted that 2012 is known worldwide as the year the world would end.

The following month, August (as if you didn’t know) saw a collected relief of sigh from opposition party and Malaysians in general when a special task force was set up to investigate the legal and financial aspects of Port Klang Free Zone (PKFZ) project, where it discovered about RM1 billion of the charges and claims by Kuala Dimensi Sdn Bhd, the main developer of PKFZ were found to be “overcharged, unsubstantiated or smells fishy, particularly the Salmon variety”.

Speaking of bad smell, Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) party sacked its deputy president Dr. Chua Soi Lek with immediate effect after the party’s presidential council decided that he had tarnished image of the party when his sex DVD failed to win any Adult Video News awards. More nasty news surfaced when about 50 people marched from a Mosque to a 150 year old Hindu temple in Shah Alam herding a cow head, realising that they forgot the poor animal’s body. Only six were charged for indecent exposure.

September is a great month for Indonesian maids as the Home Minister announced that they should be given one day off in a week, where instead of being abused by the employer for six days, they can be abused on the street for that one day by unemployed Malaysians. The country also made another mark in the history when it secured a place in next year’s Formula One, called Lotus F1 Team, backed by 1Malaysia F1 team, led by budget airlines AirAsia’s flamboyant founder Tony Fernandes who immediately declared, “now, everyone can race”, which led to mass arrest of illegal racers.

Speaking of competition, October saw an unprecedented performance from University Malaya when it climbed 50 places from last year according to Times Higher Education – QS, World University Rankings 2009. Never mind the fact that it still has 179 other universities to beat to make it to the top. Also making the news was launch of Malaysia Makkal Sakti Party, formed by a former HINDRAF big wig, joining the ranks of, Uthayakumar’s PAHAM (Parti Hak Asasi Manusia), PPP and Gerakan in BN, BN friendly IPF, MUIP, and other parties with Malaysian Indian members like PKR and DAP in Pakatan Rakyat. As you can see Malaysian Indians are as united as usual.

The month November will be known for crisis in MCA, especially when Registrar of Societies declared Chua is the rightful deputy president, despite his setbacks as screen actor leading to bad feuds involving use of Kleenex on national TV. Speaking of setbacks, Malaysian Prime Minister wannabe and PKR advisor, Anwar Ibrahim (read my 2008 review to know more about him), was appointed as economic advisor by Selangor state government with a monthly token allowance of RM 1, though they are still disputing whether it should be paid in cheque or banked in Anwar’s overseas account.

The highlight during the month of December surprisingly has to do with the aviation industry. One, Langkawi International Maritime & Aviation show took off so well that out of the excitement came the news that two fighter jet engines worth more than RM 100 million was stolen and was traced in South America where it was used for beachside barbecue. When asked if the higher officers were involved, the police brushed it aside saying that it involved lower ranking workers including the janitors and the Mak Cik supplying the Nasi Lemak.

Eventful or not, 2009 is worse than 2008, leading us to wonder if the decade itself was horrible. I shall leave that to you to decide. In the meantime, have a Happy New year. Take it easy with the booze and remember, keep an eye on the janitors and the Nasi Lemak lady.

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