LETTER

Yes, I made a difference today

Kow Sai

Published
Modified 29 Jan 2008, 10:21 am

As we walked down the boulevard heading towards the PM's office, gaiety was feasted and consumed. Chanting of "We want justice! We want justice!" followed by and chorus of "Korrack, Korrack" punctuated the festive air.

Then, I received a text message that the Burmese junta has started cracking down on the monks and students. A chill flushed down my spine. The September 1998 crackdown at and around Dataran Merdeka and the sinister photo shoots by Special Branch officers at the entrance of Parliament and the subsequent arrest of a troop of lawyers in the early 80s all came flashing back.

"Will I be a target of Special Branch operatives?" I wondered. Then I saw a phalanx of gun-totting Kevlar-vested FRU officers guarding the entrance to the PM's office. "Will they lob tear gas and volley their shots over our heads?" I struggled to remain calm. But there is strength and courage in numbers. Seems a bit ridiculous - here we are armed only with our camera phones confronting FRU officers in full armour. We stood our grounds and buried all our trepidations.

The ominous dark cloud loomed overhead as if warning us what is worse to come. But then, I pinched myself and realised, with the state of the judiciary, it can't get any worse. Suddenly, the heavens opened and rain lashed down on us. " Woweven the gods are with us, or maybe the gods are crying". Drenched from head to toe and clothes sticking to our skin; instead of a chill, my throat went lumpy; a certain glow in my glistened eyes; an amber of pride; a glow of honour.

Back home, my woman chided me that I could have been arrested or caught a cold. The unrelenting chatter from my woman about the futility and foolhardiness of the walk continued through my meal and shower, but I had already switched off. I glanced over my seven-year-old girl, already in deep slumber; took a soft gasp and relish a glow, "Yes, I made a difference today."

Share