...ass shaken.


Written on 12/27/2004 02:47:00 am by sikapitan

Thank goodness I decided to check out thestar.com.my or I would have missed what potentially could be THE story for Malaysia this year, but knowing our public, nothing could displace the more serious matter of Sharifah Aini’s case. We have just experienced “the worst natural disaster” in our history, though some might say the appearance of Tomok on our airwaves a few years back qualifies as a natural disaster in its own right. I’m referring to the aftershock felt in certain parts of Malaysia as a result of the biggest earthquake recorded in 40 years.

According to the report, the focal point of the earthquake originated some 100 miles off the shores of Sumatra. The initial earthquake was felt in almost every state in Malaysia in the morning. Recorded at 8.9 earthquake scale, it caused multiple natural reactions including tsunamis and aftershocks. Sri Lanka and India, with its strong coastal population was badly hit, with thousands reported dead. In South-east Asia, Thailand and Indonesia reported hundreds as confirmed dead while thousands missing. In Malaysia itself, our northern coastal states were badly hit, especially Penang and Langkawi, with the death toll expected to rise significantly as authorities attempt to find those missing. I would like to extend the deepest condolences to those who lost their love ones.

I didn’t feel anything. I was sound asleep on my bed, hopefully deep in some fantasy involving Jessica Alba and Elisha Cuthbert (circa The Girl Next Door, not 24). I don’t know. I can’t remember. But I went on the entire day oblivious to the tragedy occurring right on our shores. Almost nothing happens in Malaysia. Our newspapers are either filled with government propaganda or some new rape cases. We might not be a big country, but somehow we are fortunate enough to escape any significant nature’s weapons. All around us there’s volcanoes, earthquakes and tidal waves. The worse potential natural disaster that I could think of is some thunderstorm knocking out our power lines. We are blessed with this greatest of gifts, and yet our countrymen remain blissfully unaware of our potential. We could be the centre of South-east Asia, the focal point of trade and culture. And yet, Thailand controls the majority of automobile productions in our region, with more plants on the way; Singapore is the trading mecca of ASEAN and is considered one of the most educated countries in the world; Indonesia, because of its sheer size and population, remains central and pertinent to the rest of the world. Is it too much for me to claim that, despite propagandas to the contrary, we are insignificant in the grand scheme of things?

I’m going off track, but I just want Malaysians to realize that we have the resources and we are blessed enough to be living in such area as to facilitate tremendous growth in every part of society but yet we are complacent and docile, seemingly content at being where we are. But hey, maybe being insignificant has its advantages. For one, no terrorist has any reason to attack us, nor are we the target of the United States either. That must count for something right?

So what’s the biggest story this year? Kak Pah v. Siti Nurhaliza, of course.

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