Appalled by Teoh’s death in the Klang Valley

Today I was going to write about religion. Yes, I was going to play with fire, I hoped in the form of a modest candle of illumination rather than of high explosive and white phosphorus.

My practice is to conceive a topic, then muse on it until I am ready for the arduous work of sitting in one place and arranging what my mind has discovered in prose that can be sent out into the world. For me, the unconscious mind does most of the work of thinking.

On the computer this morning the first I see is Yao Yan Poh’s moving and thoughtful poem/essay. He had covered much of the ground I had surveyed to build upon. I sighed, metaphorically tore up my blueprints, and set my imagination to work on another structure.

Teoh’s death

Then I visited Malaysiakini, my first stop for news, and read the news of poor Mr. Teo’s death. My heart quailed, my blood froze. Whatever my interpretations of the few facts in front of me, whatever my suspicions concerning this most lamentable, unexpected, and unnatural crushing out of a life of promise, I shall keep to myself, confident you will know that I feel no differently than any other feeling and thinking person in Malaysia. The shock of this atrocity—shall I call it that?—whether it be the work of a bizarre fate or too-understandable human agency, has brought me to a clear and appalling vision of this country as it actually is, and where it is headed.