Saturday, November 10, 2007

Running of the Fools

In Pamplona and across other towns in Spain, they have the annual running of the bulls with the ever present danger of being gored or stampeded and trampled. Oh what fun!

In Malaysia, however, we have the the annual running of the fools, ie. the annual United Malays National Organisation (Baru) where one is in danger of being bored to death as their members stampede for favours and positions, trampling most Malaysian rights and possibly the constitution in the process.

This year was no different except the tail-end on November 9 had the excitement of a warning against a planned march on November 10 by a group called Bersih to the National Palace in Kuala Lumpur calling for free and fair legislative elections.

Well, let's first dissect the UMNO (Baru) general assembly and its salient points of preparing for the general elections widely expected to be called within the next six months despite the current parliament ending May 2009.

Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's son-in-law, deputy UMNO (Baru) Youth Chief and everyone's favourite spleen-venting personality Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar called for the ending of fuel subsidies that cost the nation coffers up to 80 billion ringgit annually.

Great. Except now they want to propose a two-tier fuel price system for the poor and rich. Err... despite the fact that there is a seven percent discount for Bumiputeras buying houses, aren't we all supposed to be equal before the law, constitution etc?

Won't a two-tier fuel price system lead to abuse with the poor buying more for the rich to use? Shouldn't we all just pay the market price and learn to adjust to the reality of the rising prices of commodities and other products?

What the hell are these guys in government thinking about?

Then we have some UMNO (Baru) Wanita delegate pontificating about the Air Asia stewardess' uniforms being too revealing. Here's a tip, use another airline if you don't want to see the flesh.

You actually have a choice, you do know that, don't you? Unless you think the real world does not have choices like yourself in deciding which airline or television station to choose from?

Which brings us to the greatest editor of all time, Zainuddin Maidin, castigating Parliamentary Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang on the contents of his blog. Edit and censor comments in a blog?

Isn't that old media? Or does Zainuddin actually think Kit Siang is like the apparently influential blogger Jeff Ooi with his --deleted-- comments system?

But then, Kit Siang and his ilk in Bersih are no better, appealing to the monarchy - not quite the paragons of democracy themselves - to ensure there is free and fair elections.

Come on! Nine men, whose only exposure to elections is to choose among themselves to be the Supreme Head of the Federation for five years, are hardly the ones who can guarantee our democracy.

And for that matter, to wear yellow and march to the palace. What gives?

Aren't these people plagiarising the colour from the Thais? Or is maroon already taken by the Myanmarese, blue by Barisan Nasional?

Still, we believe its everyone's right to march and demand for their rights. And the police have no right to stop them but to facilitate such a procession. Of course, they didn't and we had another running of the fools in the city centre today.

Where is the love?

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