Below is an excerpt from the highly esteemed BBC talking-type wireless show (or so they claimed for themselves), The Goon Show. Written by the rascally Spike Milligan, the episode entitled “The Affair of the Lone Banana” has our intrepid but dumb hero, Seagoon, going to South America in search of a missing British citizen. But when he arrives, he finds himself in the midst of much social unrest…………
Seagoon: Now, now what’s all this about?
Moriarty: It is the revolution señor – everywhere there is an armed rising.
Seagoon: Are you in it?
Moriarty: Right in it – you see, you see señor, the united anti-socialist neo-democratic pro-fascist communist party is fighting to overthrow the unilateral democratic united partisan bellicose pacifist cobelligerant tory labour liberal party!
Seagoon: Whose side are you on?
Moriarty: There are no sides – we are all in this together.
I used to think this was so funny even though I knew that sometimes reality actually sails very close to this. Unfortunately, it has now even come closer to home, to Malaysia.
On the 19th of November, thousands of Malaysians put on yellow shirts and attended the Bersih 5 rally on the streets of the capitol, Kuala Lumpur.
But they were not alone. Just like the Affair of the Lone Banana, there were other parties present too and they were all in it. I hope to try to give some clarity to the situation.
Yellow Shirts – these are the peaceful, pro-democracy, pro-transparency, pro-electoral reform, anti-corruption, pro-justice, pro-change, anti- current Prime Minister Najib, supported by past Prime Minister Mahathir, non-sectarian, civil society groups and opposition parties.
Red Shirts- these are the thuggish, bullying, sectarian, anti-yellow shirts, anti-free press, pro-government, pro-status quo, pro-establishment, pro-Malay, pro-Prime Minister Najib, ruling party.
Black Shirts – anti-rallies, anti yellow shirts, defenders of the law against protests, newly set up party with ties to establishment.
Orange Shirts – anti-yellow shirts, pro-Prime Minister Najib, pro-Indian, pro-government party launched by the Prime Minister.
Purple Shirts – pro-yellow shirts, pro-protection of yellow shirts from red shirts.
In the end, the yellow shirts far outnumbered the rest. There were probably more than 50,000 yellow shirts and about 2,500 red shirts. The red shirts dispersed before long.
The police arrested many yellow shirt leaders and a few red shirt leaders briefly. However, Maria Chin Abdullah, the leader of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections was jailed and placed in solitary confinement under an Act designed for action against terrorists. Malaysians of all kinds of color shirts held nightly vigils for her release and she was finally freed after 10 days although the police say they are continuing their investigation of her.
If all this was rather confusing, let me just a summarise it for you. In a nutshell, we are in a lot of trouble in Malaysia and no matter what color shirt, we are all in it. If we are not careful, we will all sink in it. What is needed is for us to drape ourselves in the multi colors of our national flag, put down our own selfish interests and fight for a country with justice, equality and opportunity for all Malaysians.