21 February 2008
LOL. So yes, after the whole excitement over Edison Chen's photos and in between the endless editing and rewriting at the office, I come home in a listless mood and decided to follow Meesh's link to Malaysiavotes to read me some political news. Close friends would know me as a kind of politically vague person. I read the papers only every other week. I roll my eyes at any new controversy and I'm always the last one to know about what my NGO friends get up to. They know I'm indifferent. Ditto with the elections.

When I was growing up in Sabah, it was a great time for state politics. I remember a bit about the 1988(?) elections. There were public demonstrations which I saw on TV the day we were sent back from school as it was closed down because of the public scare. I remember my mum picking me and my brother up. And the state of emergency. I remember how quiet the street in my already quiet neighbourhood was. And even though I was only so young, I remember feeling that shit Malaysia is fucked up. In Sabah, things were different. If only for a moment.

Which was why it was so heartbreaking to see the denouement of that spark over the next couple of years. People still say that PBS shouldn't have left BN. But that's the Kadazan-Dusun's lot. Only in recent time have I understood that true democracy does not exist in any real form, not in this country, not anywhere. Malaysia is by and large a lumbering relic of feudalism. And globally we're all still territorial self-serving dimwits.

Yes, I'm cynical about the political process. Especially the Marxist view. Because it's so depressing. There is no win situation. I understand that the whole political discourse is a constant negotiation between the state of how things are and how they should ideally be. There's not meant to be an endpoint, which is something I'm optimistic about. But at the same time, when that discourse is steered back perennially to the same old tired issues of race, religion, morality, bla bla bla... it's like listening to Mawi sing day in, day out.

And to watch the country's democratic foundations being dismantled one by one... our civil liberties being denied us one by one... our rights... and the rise of a populace frantically swayed by petty politics... not to mention the paranoia-inducing endless state of emergency we are living through. As a Sabahan, I really do feel sad when I see what's happening in this part of the country. I've seen policemen physically attacking innocent people in broad daylight. I've seen traffic cops happily taking bribes. Films and plays banned. Friends whisked off to jail. As though living in such an oppressive money-driven society isn't hard enough.


As I get older, the elections seem less joyful. No, joyful's not the right word. I think excitable is more accurate. It's hard to get excited by a race in which you already know the tortoise is going to win. But, for the sake of the elusive democracy we keep alive in our heads, we must put on a brave face and think positive thoughts. What is life without hope, right?

So, yep, though I won't be voting in this election, I hope you would. (Actually I'm confused as to where I should register - here or back in Sabah? LOL.)

But please check out the link to the Malaysiavotes site. It's insightful, harrowing reading but it pays to enrich the political division in the brain once in a while.


In other news, I secured a date and venue for the REAL LAUNCH of the album. It's going to happen on 12 April at the Central Market Annexe Gallery. Already I've booked Bulimia as one of the opening acts. Am also planning to have an indie CD fair :-)

Now I've got to get the damn CD printed...

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