Elites in Malaysia becoming more repressive?

November 20, 2016

This afternoon I had a meeting with a few planters – some of them voiced out concerns that the elites in power seem to be very repressive after the Bersih 5 street demonstrations. They asked me for my opinion concerning the tense situation….I simply replied, we are living in interesting times.

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‘This morning during breakfast one of my harvesters asked sheepishly – is there oil palm in the Ukraine? I told him. No. It’s too cold for the palm to grow there. What about goreng pisang…is it sold in streets in the Ukraine. Again I told him. No. Banana’s can’t grow in the cold. They are very expensive in Russia. Then he asked, what about Nasi lemak? Surely it’s sold there. Again I told him No. They only eat potatoes. He kept quiet for a while. Then he asked, is there a mosque there to which I replied. Yes, there are Muslims there, so there has to be a masjid. Thereafter Jun confided to me – I want to follow you.

I asked him why – he said. He only mentioned he was not happy in Malaysia any longer as the government seems to be arresting so many good people. He went on to add, he is very angry and confused. After a long pause he looked up and asked me – why do you keep quiet when everyone expects you to say something…you are the most educated man in this kampung…why do you remain silent?

I could only look down and remain silent.’

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