The SRC International court verdict for Najib Razak to finally begin his jail sentence brought a breath of fresh air to my ageing, jaded citizen’s morale.
It was especially meaningful to me, in the wake of the 65th year of independence for the peninsula. What good news it was! It finally seemed like all was right with the world.
For me, the last few months, more so in the last few weeks, keeping up with the local news required a great deal of courage and a heart of steel. Not a day went by when there wasn’t a news item that did not get me riled up to the ceiling.
So, it took a lot of self-talk and self-persuasion, short of self-hypnosis, for me to take them all in like any average Cool Malaysian would do. I told myself that after six decades of independence, nothing much could surprise me in Bolehland. I was determined to remain as sane and as sprightly as Tinkerbell.
And so I shook it all off and let the rot slide down to the floor. But, as you all know, rot cannot just disappear. Instead, little pieces of it will creep slowly beneath the carpet and collect into a big lump.
After all, when we consider our thin Malaysian sensitivity, ignoring lumps under the carpet has been the national norm.
The six missing battleships, the irregularities in government procurement procedures, the mismanagement of our government-linked companies and our disappearing forests are all huge lumps indeed.
Looking at lumps squarely in the eye is just not done, not in the Malaysia I know.
However, the thing about lumps is that everyone knows they are there – hidden or not, acknowledged or not. Sooner or later, as any proud house owner will know, we will have to deal with them. We need to lift the carpet and sweep them all out.
And so, at some point in the last few days, the lumps just got too many for me to ignore and I finally succumbed and exploded like a C4 explosive (the reference well intended) at the cumulative effect of the ‘dramas’ acted out by Najib and his teams of lawyers, both in and out of the courts.
His ‘sad pathetic’ face in front of the media and outside the courts, his ‘begging’ for sympathy and his veiled ‘accusations’ against the highest court of the land, of bias and injustice, would have put any K-drama actor to shame. Believe me, I know K-dramas. I have watched a fair lot of them.
The drama didn’t end there. Najib took it another notch higher and declared his innocence through the sacred mechanisations of the sumpah laknat (oath on pain of divine retribution) at the mosque.
Who was he trying to convince? God? I believe God, more than anyone else, already knew the truth.
As for the person in the street who knew how to put two and two to get four, it wasn’t really difficult to look at the evidence that had poured in from across the globe. His guilt was staring at us in the face.
Desperate and at the end of his rope, he was probably hoping to fool his harem of lady supporters, whom it was alleged, he had secretly bussed in from Pekan.
Or perhaps, he was trying to fool the poor and the ignorant who had never set eyes on any of the convincing mountain of evidence that the court had privy to.
So now, let me count the ways how, over the years, Najib has had me imploding and exploding at the same time.
In the last four years, we have been following Najib and his slow, long waltz with the courts. Besides the SRC International case or the IMDB saga, there were other dots littering the long history of this man’s life in office. They are all waiting to be connected.
First, there was Altantuya Shaariibuu. Then, there were Azilah Hadri’s and Sirul Azhar’s statements, which have provided more than a hint for some speculation, rightly or not. I am not saying that these individuals should be connected to Najib, but that Altantuya’s death and the Azilah’s and Sirul’s statements should not be forgotten because these people are all somehow linked to him.
Then there was the mysterious premature demise of Kevin Morais who, at the time of his death, was allegedly a threat to this same man. Again, I am not saying that they are connected but that they look like hidden lumps in the carpet.
And amid the recent court drama, we cannot ignore the irresponsible threat on the life of the austere Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat by a Najib supporter. It is easy to see that the accused and would-be assassin was sufficiently incited by the perceived injustices of the court, played out by Najib himself.
And so, by now, I felt there were just too many lumps under the carpet to ignore!
Anyway, like a hot-blooded Latino, lost and mindless in an intriguing and seemingly never-ending drama series, I finally jumped out of my seat in great irrepressible mirth and shouted with such joy with my phone waving in my hand, to the bewilderment of my clueless husband sitting next to me.
There on the screen of my phone was the news that Najib was set to begin his jail sentence.
As for being a cool, average Malaysian, I now know I can never be one.