I am perhaps a little shy to say that I might agree with some of the words of Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak as reported in the 'mainstream' media (The Star, Wed May 8, front page and pg.2) - quoting that the Chinese have been taken for a "good ride".
Indeed. But why only say 'the Chinese'? All right-thinking, patriotic and moderate citizens who were impressed and went along with the opposition's fresh and clean vision of a better government in our country, for all - have recently been taken on a very good ride - while it lasted.
The "good ride" offered us a glimpse of how things could be, and also hope - the vision now put back into the cupboard of unfulfilled dreams - despite the opposition securing a reported 52.62 percent of the actual vote - a simple majority - for Parliament.
It bears noting that if Malaysia were a truly democratic country, Pakatan Rakyat might be implementing its shared dreams for us, today - instead of remaining suppressed in the shadows as the "opposition".
"Hope...", according to Lu Xun in his story 'Home-town' - "...isn't the kind of thing that you can say either exists or doesn't exist. It's like a path across the land - it's not there to begin with, but when lots of people go the same way, it comes into being."
So, Malaysians must all continue walking along the same path, so that hope may become a way of life for all of us.
Now we have instead to face the reality of Malaysia being taken for another 'good ride', but of a different kind, again by a BN government - even though it appears to be gradually stripping itself of the vestiges of its vaunted multi-racial credentials.
This seemingly strange and potentially anomalous situation reminds me of the telling outcome of the well-known children's story ‘The Emperor's New Clothes' by Hans Christian Andersen - which was the natural result and price of greed and vanity in the face of simple honesty.
Malaysians have perhaps long lost our native innocence, but we should not give up on forging a clean and corruption-free future for all, as we are all, riding together (albeit some currently perhaps 'more equally than others').
'Democratic' and 'national interest' are words whose lofty intents have also been corrupted everywhere and made grubby and subjective, instead of objective, though their liberal abuse in (official) propaganda.
"It is not difficult to deprive the great majority of independent thought. But the minority who will retain an inclination to criticise must also be silenced." [Friedrich Hayek, 'The Road To Serfdom'] - something now being made a little more difficult with the growth and alternative of social media which is proving its worth as a tool for education beyond its capacity for mere frivolity and fun.
So, if we have indeed been taken on a "good ride" and if Malaysia were an amusement park, i might suggest that we (right-thinking, patriotic and moderate citizens) are now coming off a promising and optimistic ride, perhaps to the tune of 'It's A Small World (After All)', and are being led back for another few rounds on the monster roller coaster - with no soothing music, only alternating silences and screaming, noisy rumblings and gut wrenching turns offering the repeated thrill or 'threat' of some familiar breath-taking terror or 'violence', real or imagined - to remind all of us, subjectively, that we are mortal and living in exciting or 'dangerous' times.
Finally, I am not shy to say that I for one was actually surprised (really) that the so-called "indelible ink" could be washed off my finger so easily, shortly after I got home from the polling station. I was only trying to make the ink's ugliness a little less obvious.
As a right-thinking, patriotic and moderate citizen I would have liked to believe that the Election Commission would at least get that simple security measure right!
Alas, their failure and inept (frankly shameless) 'explanations' reminded me of what I learned many years ago, that the Prophet is reported to have said: "Verily in the body, there is a morsel of flesh that if it is correct then the whole of the body is set aright, and if it is corrupt, the whole of the body is corrupt. It is the heart."
As a Christian Malaysian, i am also of course reminded of what Jesus said in the Bible: "Unless you are faithful in small matters, you won't be faithful in large ones. If you cheat even a little, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities." [Gospel of Luke, Chapter 16, verse 10].