Happy 2014 to all my kind, appreciative readers, the very best is wished for you as always. Whilst, we feel good and hope is high, at the moment, many people probably view the coming year with apprehension. Last year was a real ‘party’ that left some of us devastated with the sheer exhaustion of trying to cope with the situation. In Malaysia, we faced ‘tsunami’ after ‘tsunami’ until hope of change was nearly washed away. After the fiasco of GE13, the plain deterioration of personal security with the frequency of crime around the country, the floods in the east coast states and east Malaysia, the exposé of huge financial leaks out of the country, and inter-governmental spying, not to forget citizen-watch by government cyber-troopers, the admirable efforts of ordinary folk to help ravaged communities within and outside the country, politicizing the Almighty’s name, advancing hikes in cost of living and the threat of GST, and many other discouragements; a cynical hope still hovers in the new year. It was time to start picking up the pieces towards year’s end.
Yet some bright sparks still decided to turn the doom and gloom into a good dose of hope and hit on a New Year’s celebration, not by capitulating to police threats to squelch potential public protests, but by ushering 2014 in with a loud “NO!” to the planned clamps on freedom of expression and opinion. 2013 was ushered out with a BANG on 31st December and 2014 hurried in with determination to change. The blackout by the mainstream media of this rumble, was too commonplace to surprise anyone or take serious note of. Most televisions remained off, whiles a bank director tried to fulfill his fantasies of being a pop-star. Mainstream television humored him as the off key-notes of an 80’s popular Malay hit grated on the ears of the curious actual and virtual audience, of this charade.
Entertainment value of these ‘live’ shows was more in their idiocy than in any professional or talented performance. How entertaining was a ‘roti channai’ dough throwing contest on television? Some participants obviously hadn’t practiced the technique before attempting to show off their ‘skills’. Its idiocy roused laughter, not because it was fun. It was impressive, in its own way. Yet, this was not even up to the standard of a “teh tarik” pulling competition, it was sadly lacking in “oomph”.
So, what are we in for in 2014? In the past week the mediocre mainstream broadcasters have perhaps tried a shot at realism, giving some air-time to public complaints of rising living costs, especially food and basic amenities, albeit briefly. It is impossible to escape reality, unless you live on planet ‘Kerajaan Bolehland’ (Government of Bolehland). It’s hard to predict the end to rising living costs, as much has already been squandered on luxuries like private jets for the highest ranking government official and his FLOM in the country and funding of private film-making enterprises with no track record or even decent reputation for film production in Hollywood. They only seem to pick up other people’s rejects from the film garbage bins to recycle.
Otherwise, we ‘re paying to piggy-back other people’s’ space and other hi-tech projects. Even these ‘ambitions’ seem like ‘Disneyland’ dreams, that happen overnight, frog-leaping the need for any intellectual input or expert skills obtained the normal way. The impression given is that window-dressing is the order of the day, lack of substance is not an issue. Bolehland has taken on the character of Wonderland; the ‘sandiwara’ goes on, while the Rakyat is audience to the ‘wonders’ of elitist entertainment. The feeling of deja vu is inevitable. We await the coming of GST. As someone else said, “Unhappy New Year” is here.