RAMADAN is coming to an end, the month of May is here (Happy Workers' Day!) and I've done exactly three postings this year, probably the lowest output by this blog since 2006! Many of you, Dear Readers, were wondering if I was OK. Thank you for always enquiring about my well being and the state of this blog. Rest assured, I wasn't resting on my laurels. On the contrary, I've been busy working hard - on dreams and other stuff. Said stuff includes work, ie The Mole (which enters its 11th year soon), The Vibes and Getaran (where I'm advising), and the National Press Club (as President). Last Friday, Zainul (Petra News CEO), Terence (Vibes and Getaran's editorial head honcho) and I recorded our first socio-political podcast which we're calling The Good, The Bad and The Ugly (probably available on Spotify this coming Monday (check us out h e r e).
Just before the start of the Holy month, I climbed Mount Kinabalu after months of training and has since been back on my bicycle for short night rides around Kuala Lumpur. Am planning to scale the Mulu Pinnacles in Sarawak in June, peer into the Gunung Rinjani volcano in Java after that, and rent a motorbike to ride around Italy with friends before winter. I've resumed running and although I've struck out marathon from my to-do list, we've registered for a trail run in Janda Baik. Anapurna base camp by January 2023?
At times I feel like I'm rushed to tick the boxes on my bucket list. Age is catching up and friends around you are dying one by one. But I hope it's just another round of mid-life crisis. How long does mid-life last, anyway?
A question I often hear lately is, "Will the general elections be held this year?"
My response has always been, "No, it won't happen this year".
Haha. Of course I don't have the answer to that question. Prime Minister Ismail Sabri may call for the general elections anytime before May next year but whether he does it soon or later won't make much difference to me or to the average Malaysian if things remain status quo. This is not to say that Ma'il can' t make a difference. He can if has the will to. For a start, do a Cabinet reshuffle now. Get rid of ministers who haven't been performing and those who scandals await them. He is in a position to bring back GST and undo the damages that the witch-hunting PH government did between May 2018, when they won the GE14, and the Sheraton Move, when their in-fighting let the BN back into the nation's driving seat. Abolish the mandatory death penalty, adopt a minimum wage policy, launch an all-out war against corruption starting with the top (politicians), the relevant authorities (the AG's Chamber, the MACC, the police, judiciary), clean up and strengthen the Bumi insitutions, and give back whatever is owing to Sabah and Sarawak. Not too much to ask, right?
This blog I started in 2006 has seen the GEs of 2008, 2013 and 2018 and I can't say we look forward to the next one. Fatigue has set in quite a while ago. We saw the fall of Barisan Nasional after a 60-year rule only to witness its foes squander a chance to take this country to the next level. The momentum for change, I dare say, is gone. At least where my generation is concerned.
If there's anything to hope for in the 15th general election, it's the difference that the 18-year olds, voting for the first time, will be making. Or want to make.
If these young ones are no better than us, it will be SSDD all over again: Same Shit, Different Day. The ringgit's sick, the economy languishing, employment sucks and our future remains uncertain. Don't blame Covid19. Even without the pandemic, we were already sliding down a slippery slope. We have ourselves to blame. We allowed the same people (politicians) whom we had accused of screwing us up to do the same things for this nation hoping that they will give us different - and better - results.
The same with this blog. Here I am resolved (again) to return to blogging regularly, to do my bit in exposing the bad and the ugly in our society with the hope that I could contribute to improving our collective lot. So, yes, in a way I am about to go back doing the same thing and hoping for different results. But I shall have faith and not give up.
Selamat Hari Raya, Maaf Zahir Batin.