Alas! Pretty soon my dream would be awoken by the sound of the van honking, ready to porter us to the airport, destination, home. I have been to many places before in my life, but I have always felt homesick after some time. This time around, I still am home sick, only almost sick of home. It dawned to me now, how some Malaysians had become willing prisoners to Bali. For whatever reasons they offer, at the end of the day, Bali got them too.
What I love about Bali the most is that I can let my guard down and not worry about getting snatch thieved, robbed, cheated senselessly, or worst, raped. I did not get it during my early days here, why everywhere we go, there is no safety box, or even a decent cupboard with a lock at least functioning. It became clear to me later on, when I found the notebook I hid under the bed, being put nicely on the bedside shelf by the housekeeping boy. Frankly, I did not know whether to feel irritated or embarrassed by the fact that I was caught in an act of showing distrust to my hosts. Then again, we come from Malaysia. Our paranoia should be internationally well established by now. It makes me feel sad, at how I’ve witnessed my home, Malaysia, evolved from something of a Bali, into something of a New York city, just minus all the efficient public transportation. During my childhood, I do not recall any incidences of snatch thief, let alone people dying from it. Life was good back then. People can still leave their kids to play outside the house without having so much as to worry about them being kidnapped and sold to human trafficking, or being hit and run by a car.
How did we get here? We cannot forever blame the immigrant workers who come from Indonesia, Bangladesh, India et al. If anything, through my observation, the Malaysians, instead of telling these workers off when they commit silly things like driving their vehicle against the traffic, or cutting queue, practiced “If you cannot beat them, join them”. We have forgotten the spirit of reminding each other of our mistakes because we suddenly develop this “you mind your own business and I will mind mine”. This attitude of minding one’s own business, I believe, should only be applied to the faith one professes, the prerogative lifestyle one chooses that will in no way harm society and perhaps Ibrahim Ali.. that man should be left alone and not be given so much media coverage for his idiosyncrasy, but I digress.
Here in Malaysia, we do the opposite. We mind other people’s faith, proclaiming power to judge on who is going to hell and heaven, we are more interested in who’s effing who and what people do with their assholes, yet have no qualms in closing one eye to kids who no longer give up their seats to the blind, the pregnant etc, to the perennial disgusting public toilet habits, (or should I say “peri-anal” instead?) or to god forbid, corruption. We have become a society who enjoy punishing without solving the problem at its roots. Power is after all, sweet.
When society do not see that passing judgment and punishment that is harsher than the deed of the “offender” itself, is just so wrong, no matter what excuse given, then we become a society devoid of humanity. What is the point of being called “human” without “being human”?
A Muslim lady who was caught and sentence to flogging, some time back drinking alcohol in public for instance, is not even committing an offence in accordance to the Quran, yet flogging her, which is the punishment in the state of Pahang, which is NOT even the slightest mention of it in the Quran, is seen as “justified”. How did we manage to allow retarded people run our lives for us? Are we expected to keep reticent to imbecilic acts by the self-proclaimed authority that uses power of religion to hide behind?
Here’s a simple question I would like to ask my fellow Malaysians. If we avow that we are so righteous and religious, tell me, how come we can no longer leave our hand-phones in the public toilet accidentally and have almost null chances of recovering it? Why do women need to cover their heads up in men in this society is so righteous, enough to gain trust that they will not harm their women who go around not covering their head. (Not that it’s even slightly mentioned in the Quran if I may add). If a society is SO righteous as it claims to be, a woman should be safe walking around without having to cover her head no? In fact, why not solve the mental problem of the men, for not being able to contain their stupid hormones when looking a woman’s hair. Something MUST be medically wrong with their head (probably both heads) if men get turned on just looking at women’s hair. In Bali, women use to walk around topless and it’s nothing to them.
Okay… I think I’d better stop writing now, before I upset my……….whatever time left in Bali. Excuse me while I resume dreaming away…until that darn vehicle honks anyway….