The Great Malaysian Train Robbery | Sheila Santharamohana | Aliran

Posted: March 9, 2013 in Politics
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☞ Malaysia, like all countries, is constructed (or re-constructed) through narratives. Not all these narrative, of course, are positive. Even some of the positive ones have a negative undertow. In spite of the tightly controlled official media, other narratives about the main players of Malaysian society and politics have emerged from alternative sources. The following acerbic article, from the reform movement Aliran, gives examples of the counter-narratives that have emerged, often with discernible tones of sarcasm, in spite of the official versions promulgated by the government.

Malaysia is the most exciting country to live within the South-East Asian Region.

Murder, betrayal and greed are some of the key
ingredients in the script of our national reality show
Graphic: freemalaysiatoday

We have the greatest beaches, the tallest flagpole, the best food, and the longest yee sang (or Prosperity Toss practised by the Chinese). We also have the best education system in the world and the best and most vibrant democracy. And most of all, Malaysia has the most vibrant, Oscar-standard, and colourful political dramas.

Our national news is the stuff of legends. Most Malaysians stay riveted for hours to online news portals reading about real-life scandals, sexual indiscretions, murder, betrayal, greed, conspiracies. Of course, we also cringe at the utter shamelessness and embarrassment of it all. Seriously, when they say real life is better than fiction, it cannot be truer in this country.

Fortunately, what stops us, the hapless addicts from descending into hopelessness is Malaysia’s cast of heroes. They come in the unlikeliest forms such as those of Irene Fernandez, Tijah, A Samad Said, Peter John Jaban, Rafizi Ramli, Wong Tack and a score of other ordinary people made extraordinary by their selfless work for all and especially the voiceless and downtrodden. They battle the Goliaths of Malaysian villainy, notwithstanding the injustice of Malaysian laws. Amazingly, just like in the movies, they still remain strong enough to fight the good fight, even after several rounds.

While we have these remarkable heroes, we also have an epic line-up of powerful villains, liars and cowards and their equally repulsive minions. Self-serving, greedy and conniving, they fester and permeate every level, feeding off and into a system that enriches them and impoverishes everyone else.”

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