I was carpooling with my friend. We were stuck in the traffic jam at the Penang bridge at 11.30am on Friday, a most unusual phenomenon. Left and right, there were cars, mostly driven by solo drivers. Little did I think that some of them were on their way to be supporting actors at Komtar 4 hours later. Bored, we started to chat.
" You know, my family and I were at KL on Chinese New Year eve," said *Kelly, beginning her story. "We went out for dinner. Guess what happened?"
"What did happen?" I was curious, sensing a interesting tale about to be told.
"Well, we were having dinner at a shop. It was packed with Chinese customers, so the taukeh (owner of the shop) arranged some extra tables and chairs near the road. They were making a brisk business when suddenly several local council lorries arrived. Big burly men started to grab the furniture and put them in the lorries."
"Oh my! On Chinese New Year eve?!"
"Yeah, imagine that. Of course, the taukeh has been given warning through the phones that the lorries are on the way, so they have actually shifted the tables and chairs back into the shops. But those local council men pushed their way into the shops and ransacked the shops, taking out the chairs and tables which have been kept inside. They're bullies; imagine they did the same thing to all the shops in the area. All the Chinese shops and Mamak's were not spared."
"So what did you all do?"
"The taukeh begged us to sit at our tables, so we cooperated and watched the whole event. If we were to get up, those men would have taken away our table and chairs into the lorries too! It seems that that was the third time in a month those shops have been 'attacked' by the local council'. When the taukehs go to claim their furniture at the council, they'd be forced to pay a fine of RM300. I guess that's how the council make money, by bullying the sellers."
"We were not the only ones angry. There's a Indian driver passing by in a kancil car. He too became furious at the unfair treatment. You know what he did? He stopped his car in the middle of the road and disappeared, blocking the lorries' way. The lorries' drivers who wanted to leave with their loot pressed the horns loudly but that Indian man didn't turn up till an hour later. By then the whole area of people knew what was happening."
"Hahahaa... how smart of that Indian man."
"Yes, even my eleven year old son was angry. He witnessed the whole thing and then he asked me,"Mummy, why are they treating the taukeh like that? Can't they just issue a saman (fine)? Pity the poor taukeh uncle, now he got no tables and chairs to do his business. He will have no money to give angpau to his children."Imagine my primary- schooling son saying that! Now I know why the people voted the way the did in the last election."
It's been a week, yet the show has just begun. States like Perlis, Trengganu and Perak have managed to provide interesting 'sandiwara' or political showcases of personal ambitions and greed. I pray for the nation's economic and political stability. Let the united voice of the people be heard. We want to move forward, although we may have to tread carefully as we charter onto new grounds. May all the common goodness that exists in all of us help to dispute the differences and unite us all to be a stronger nation.
This general election have resulted in certain individuals who are kiasu (scared to lose) and kiasi(scared to die) from facing the truth, and have become vengeful instead. May the Almighty guide these lost souls and prevent them from creating more havoc in this country.