Last week, two very large sinkholes opened up along a very busy stretch of road in the centre of Kuala Lumpur. Construction work for a road tunnel had accidentally caused a burst water pipe and the escaping water led to the formation of the sinkholes.
Sadly, there’s been a lot of that sinking feeling here in Malaysia this year as we seem to be reeling from tragedy; political, racial and religious extremism; and many cases of “foot in mouth disease” by our leaders. In fact, if possible, we seem to be having a lot of “shooting oneself in the foot that also happens to be in the mouth” disease.
Here in no particular order is the TOP 10 Recent Reasons for Malaysians to have a Sinking Feeling.
- MH 370 – the missing Malaysian Airlines plane had the world’s attention on Malaysia for much of the beginning of the year and it is considered one of the greatest aviation mysteries. Where is the plane and what happened? Apart from the tragedy of lives lost, Malaysian officials came across as arrogant, insensitive, incompetent and contradictory. The handling of the matter and the treatment of the relatives of the victims has been terrible.
- Grabbing kids – in the last year, Islamic authorities have been involved in cases in which children, brides and even bodies have been snatched. In a number of cases, Muslim converts who had lost child custody cases in court went on to abduct their children from their Hindu mothers and despite the court ruling have been able to keep the children up to now.
- Grabbing brides – A Hindu wedding was raided by religious authorities and the bride was taken away in front of the groom and the 400 guests. Although born and raised as a Hindu, the authorities consider her a Muslim because her father, who had abandoned the family in 1990, had become a convert.
- Grabbing bodies- Last month, a family was grieving and holding a traditional Chinese funeral for their loved one. About twenty minutes into the ceremony, religious authorities interrupted the proceedings and took away the body claiming that the deceased had converted to Islam some 17 years earlier. As you can imagine, this came as a terrible surprise to all her family members.
- Groping bodies – A Malaysian diplomat and military officer, Muhammad Rizalman Ismail, claimed diplomatic immunity when charged in New Zealand for burglary and sexual assault with intent to commit rape. He had followed a 21 year old woman to her home from her bus stop, broken in, undressed and tried to assault her. She fought back and with the help of neighbors alerted by her screams, forced him to flee. Once again, the manner in which the authorities have handled the matter has been disgraceful. They flew him back to Malaysia and denied that they were protecting him until certain communications with the New Zealand government were leaked to the press. They also said that he would not be extradited but would be tried in Malaysia. Then, under pressure, they agreed to return him to New Zealand to face the charges. But now, the authorities claim that he is unwell and medically unfit for travel. Although, so far the only thing that has been said about his medical condition is that he “was not looking good”, withdrawn and depressed.
- “Break bone Fever” – The mosquito borne viral disease, dengue fever, is characterised by severe joint pains (hence “break bone”) and in severe cases, internal hemorrhaging. The number of cases and deaths have increased by about 250% from the previous year with about 40,000 cases and at least 80 deaths this year till now. I personally, know of 5 people who have been ill and a friend has attended two funerals. So apart, from dust from extensive construction going on in Kuala Lumpur and the suffocating haze from forest fires, I now am also unable to open my windwows for fear of the mosquitoes coming in.
- Dry taps – This year also saw the largest urban area in the country, with 2.5 million people, facing water rationing for over three months. Dry taps in a country with some of the highest rainfall in the world. Something is wrong with this picture.
- “The K9 problem” – The chairman of the commission on public transport had said in an interview that there would be no problem for guide dogs assisting the blind to be allowed on public transport. Apparently, he was wrong. The Deputy Minister for Transport said that city by-laws insist that dogs should be under the control of a capable owner (thereby implying that the blind are not capable) and went on to say that dogs would only be an inconvenience to the blind. Religious authorities than chipped in to say that guide dogs were inappropriate for a Muslim majority country as dogs are considered unclean in the religion. This seems like a strange statement considering that no such issue has been raised about the use of police dogs or security dogs.
- “Hell’s Kitchen” – This last couple of weeks has seen the authorities declare war on soup kitchens and the homeless. Apparently, they are the great evil that is damaging our society. The
Women, Family and Community Development Minister
Women, Family and Community Development Minister had implied that people are choosing to be homeless because they can get free food. She also said that tourists are also taking advantage of the soup kitchens and therefore not spending tourist dollar on meals. The Minister of the Federal Territories then proved that he was a man of action by banning all soup kitchens within 2 km of the city centre. He suggested that the homeless were lazy and giving “his” city a bad image. He also implied that building shelters for the homeless would make them complacent. He also said that if they were hungry, they could always travel out of the city centre to soup kitchens further out. Some soup kitchens plan to defy the ban and will face stiff fines for their defiance.
- The sky is falling! The ground is sinking! – the latest round of construction activity all around Kuala Lumpur for the Mass Rapid Transport or MRT train line has been causing all manners of problems but of greatest concern is the safety of the public. Large concrete and metal beams have now fallen on passing cars on at least two occasions. The cars were wrecked but miraculously, the occupants although requiring hospitalisation, escaped with their lives.
And of course, there was the big sinkholes that I mentioned at the beginning of this post.
So how do Malaysians deal with all this gloom? ……..with a sense of humor. LGS proudly presents for your viewing pleasure a few examples of Malaysian netizen’s take on the sinkholes and WHAT REALLY HAPPENED?
14 thoughts on “Top 10 Reasons for a Sinking Feeling”
funny pics. 🙂
Yes, when you don’t know whether to laugh or to cry, sometimes laughing is the better option.
funny is all we got left to make us forget the sick sinking feeling in the gut.
Actually I am crying for my country but I didn’t want you guys to come by and leave on a downer. I wish our problems would be as simple to solve as Godzilla!
This is Shrimp’s human (she’s asleep)! I’m SO SORRY to hear about the troubles your country is having and how they are treating their own people. It’s sounds as if they are silently at war with their own population. My heart goes out to every one of you.
I was also so incredibly shocked and grieved to hear about the missing plane and how your government is “handling” it. I can’t help but cry just thinking about it. And I have been wondering why we haven’t heard anything more about it here in America- (or maybe I’m just not watching the news at the right time). But I haven’t forgotten the mourning faces I saw on our news broadcasts.
I have been praying for the families and friends of those lost in that plane – and praying for some answers for the survivors. I will keep praying. Please know that you and your people have many friends here in America who CARE!
I only hope all regarding religion does not get hot and boil over.
China will find that plane, no matter how long it takes. But whether we will ever know what happened is another question.
I think the holes were caused by rocketworms *.
( * There was a silly fillum in 1990, Tremors, about subterranean wormlike creatures – nom-nom-nom – and the German idiotic title was “Im Land der Raketenwürmer” – so the rocketworm was born. I have no clue how these creatures were called in the original.)
Take care please. One can only hope that intolerance does not take over.
Now is the time that tries men’s souls. That line seems to fit. One day at a time, I just keep praying.
Over here, the press is not very free. Their license to print is easily revoked and editors are often sacked or arrested in the past. As a result, the authorities have gotten used to a brow-beaten local media that usually stick to asking pre-approved questions. In a way, the MH 370 press conferences helped exposed the serious lack of transparency and competency as well as arrogance that is unfortunately too prevalent amongst many in authority today.
Thanks for your prayers.
The lack of a strong and principled leadership often means that extremists of all stripes gain an ascendency. We should always be vigilant. The Malaysia of today and that of my childhood are worlds apart.
I happen to like the silly film, “Tremors”. The rocketworms were called “Grab-boys” because they grabbed people.
Thanks for your prayers……we are in need of God’s grace and mercy.
But look on the bright side. I bet you could come up with more than 10 reasons why things are good in Malaysia. No?
Well, we used to be a model for racial harmony – no more. Used to be leading centre for education and medical research in South East Asia – no more. Used to respect freedom of religion – no more. Used to have some of the world’s most pristine forests and beaches – fast disappearing. Used to be the centre of movie making in South East Asia – no more. Used to excel in hockey, soccer and badminton – not doing so well nowadays except maybe badminton. However, variety of food is still good though! Thankful for small mercies!
Wow. I’m glad you can find humor in this…I like your version the best. I can’t believe the body snatchers. That’s just creepy.
Finding it increasingly hard to even muster a smile. The amazing thing is that they don’t realise their own callousness and insensitivity when they interrupt weddings and funerals.