Malaysiakini Opinion

The outsourcing of outrage

R Nadeswaran  |  Published:  |  Modified:

COMMENT | It is Friday morning. The unemployed youth gets up and stretches his arms. His mind wanders, and he summons his mates in the neighbourhood .

“What should we protest today?” he asks his friends. One friend browses the newspaper and comes up with something.

“Who is preparing my speech?” the youth thunders. His friend meekly puts up his hand. “Make sure the contents are provocative enough to draw attention.”

The guy preparing the posters and placards asks: “Boss, in how many languages you want them?” The youth digs into his pocket and takes out a few crisp RM100 notes and quips: “Leave it you, lah…”

The discussion moves onto the attendance. “So-and-so cannot be relied on to get the numbers. We’ll need reinforcements from the neighbouring taman… RM50 a head should be enough.”

Someone poses: “What should we call ourselves this time?”

“Leave it to the boss,” another in the group says. “He studied up to Form Three. He is the brainiest of us lot.”

At 1.30pm, the crowd descends on a government department, carrying placards and shouting slogans. The 'boss', clad in Arabesque robes, gives a fiery speech and the cameras start rolling.

Today he is the leader of the ‘Protect Our Race’ protest, after heading the ‘Save Our Religion’ protest the previous week.

Look closely enough at footage of the protests, and no doubt you’ll see the same faces week in, week out, shouting slogans and making speeches.

Dear readers, welcome to the new world of ‘instant’ NGOs and the rent-a-mob whose presence has been causing uneasiness among the public. They are willing to do anything and everything for a price because no one questions their legitimacy...

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