Tantrums, Tempests, Tirades; The Twit And There's Tun - Goodbye 2018

OPINION

Tantrums, Tempests, Tirades; The Twit And There's Tun - Goodbye 2018

Armed with the journalistic license to fall back on hindsight, Razak Chik takes a nostalgic trip to reminisce the highs and lows of the year that was.

Look no further than Donald Trump and Tun Mahathir as the two towering figures who defined what happened in 2018. And yes; you cannot ignore Tengku Mahkota Johor (TMJ) too, all the way down south from the Royal Kingdom offfff….oh, allright, let’s get past first gear before we decide to go off-roading.

Indeed, seldom has the past year sailed on with less calm and even lesser equanimity than 2018; and trust me, I have seen quite a few annual transitions in my life.

Doubtless, the epochal events of May 9 will remain forever etched in the memory. Let me share a secret – many naysayers out there simply did not countenance the remotest possibility that the Barisan Nasional (BN) behemoth could ever be dislodged; and I was one of them.

Granted, I don’t have the prescient powers of Baba Vanga but I doubt even the Balkan Nostradamus would have predicted a nonagenarian pitched in battle to slay a seemingly indomitable Goliath.

I said it before and I will say it again – only two people in this whole wide world stuck their necks out and really believed in the veracity of their own intelligence calculations.They posited that the BN gravy train had run out of steam and GE14 was their final halt when the music stops and where the party – yes, this pun was wholly intended; pooped.

One was Rafizi Ramli while the other was Datuk A Kadir Jasin who lent gravitas to the rally call of; “…ini kalilah” (the time is nigh). Both confidently predicted ahead of the elections that this was the last BN train and that the loco was kaput.

But really, how could it ever be possible? Not when an incumbent is armed with all the machinery of state, corruptly co-opted to do its bidding. Surely someone, somewhere would have been sufficiently clued-in to detect the damning evidence that the BN dam was slowly but surely being breached?

Thankfully, the days of; “Saya yang menurut perintah’ (Your Servile Servant) has been banished; although remnants are still visible and their rants sometimes muffled yet audible

Alas, the education system being in the parlous state that it is; not a single UMNO-ite had ever been read a passage from Hans Christian Andersen fable `The Emperor Has No Clothes’. Or if they did, then none are so blind than those with eyes but refuse to see!

More charitably, kids in classrooms – pre-Maszlee Malik – were too busy regurgitating dud deeds and glorifying inane facts foisted by a neutered education curriculum. What's more, this was all part of an (un)civil service, headed by compliant appointees only too ready to dance to the tune set by pied-piping political puppet masters.

Thankfully, the days of; “Saya yang menurut perintah’ (Your Servile Servant) has been banished; although remnants are still visible and their rants sometimes muffled yet audible.

When the axe did fall, the Commander-in-Chief was totally flummoxed – seemingly, genuinely uncomprehending of the disaster leading to the demise  of the once-venerable coalition. Come again? Ever heard of the truism –  `The Buck Stops…. somewhere?’

There appeared to be no Plan B – of if there was, someone must have got cold feet or that some key combinations were lost in transmission. In the end, there was the ignominious exit, exacerbated by the total lack of grace in the face of humiliating defeat.

I am still waiting for the likes of young Turks comprising the ex-Oxbridge brigade from amongst the UMNO ranks to squeal. Show some remorse and at least come up with a `no-holds barred’ expose of this – what I would call malfeasance of the highest order. Surely; if I were a card-carrying component party member, I would expect some form of mea culpa – not exactly harakiri but  self-purgatory would do!

From the travails of one (former chieftain) to an incumbent President – that of Donald `delusional’ Trump.

Algorithms and analytics don’t lie, do they? Just you key the three words I DO IT and see what google spits out.

The Donald? Fibber-in-Chief; BIGLY! The world has had two years of a man who perhaps would have been mirror image of an administration not too far removed from a land that used to be called Prang Besar.

Why do I rate him as worthy of mention in this very Malaysian year-end roundup? Just imagine – if the good doctor did not administer the knockout ether; Malaysia would now be almost a year into helping `Make America Great Again!” Thank you Almight God. Where would Malaysia Airlines be flying to with all those new-fangled Boeings?

Having power, and choosing not to wield it, is the same curse borne by the lady I call Nun (None) of the Above – Aung San Suu Kyii. Like some unfortunate gentlemen who I shall not name, she is a blot on her father’s – Independence hero General Aung San’s good name.

While all around her is up in flames, and unspeakable crimes committed by her ultra-nationalist populace and equally complicit army on a hapless minority, she chooses to fiddle while Rakhine roils.

Unless she has a solid plan somehow, and that there is method behind this criminal callousness, then this – The Lady, is no different from Adolf.

The fact that she has displayed a total lack of compassion for the subjugated Rohingyas makes Suu Kyi so deserving of global opprobrium.

Enough gallivanting, let’s get back on home soil. I would think TMJ would be keeping his tranny tuned in to the BBC daily updates (Singapore broadcasts the station on FM – unexpurgated, round the clock). Why? No other station is as on point in keep up with the travails of Theresa May as she steers once Great Britain to leave the EU come March 29. Joh-xit to follow?

Put it to the test I say. If Johoreans want out, then there would be legitimate push from vox populi.

Personally, I was of the feeling that the race to secession would have been won by – Sarawak! I would have even considered migrating there should Jho Low be appointed senator and made finance minister – had the other side won!There’s a malay saying for that – tikus baiki labu; meaning a rat set the task of repairing a melon!

Disasters – at home and abroad gives us food for thought. How lucky we are that we do not sit on the Pacific rim of fire. But surely, with each passing temblor, we get drawn ever closer, and closer until WE are RIGHT on TOP of IT?

For now, we can only take pity on the Indonesians from the comfort of distance as earthquakes and tsunamis exact its inevitable human toll on our hapless brethren.

2018 also had its one moment where the entire world stopped to contribute their collective concern on human drama half a world away.

The cave rescue of the Wild Boars football team in northern Thailand showed how the indomitable spirit of derring do were vital ingredients in saving the lives of the young footballers and their coach trapped within the bowels of the earth.

With earth not such a happy place now, I am pinning my hopes on the success of the current mission to Mars. Elon Musk – with all his triumphs and travails in 2018 not slowing him down one bit – spent Christmas sharing updates of the Space X rockets he is hoping will send humans to colonise the red planet.

So, the moment when I have to produce my passport when I drive past Pagoh on my way to Temasek, maybe I should then consider securing a seat on the next blast off into space.

Let’s meet up again this time next year – hey, that’s tomorrow!