craps of Temasek Review

Whoever wrote the article for the The Temasek Review is not of importance. He could be a mercenary writer or someone who have been deceived into believing that ‘the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence’.


By Lading Batagar

Before proceeding, I would like to correct the writer’s oversight, “Lee’s ruling PAP has won 10 consecutive elections from 1959 till 2006, a feat not seen or achieved in any other democracies in the world”.


Is he implying that Malaysia is not a democratic country or he simply lost his memory? How many elections UMNO and associates have won?


“For all his diatribes against Dr Mahathir, Badawi and Najib, Lim should consider himself fortunate that he is still able to speak his mind relatively freely in Malaysia. Lee would never tolerate such public show of dissent against him”.


Does he not know that Malaysian leaders after Hussein Onn have had so many skeletons to hide? Taking the opposition to court may open up a can full of worms and like it or not, keeping ‘mum’ is the better part of valour. After all, Malaysians are a forgetful lot. Come election time, my poor relative in the village will again vote for the ruling party even though the PPRT home promised by the UMNO politicians during the last election campaign will remain just that. 


As an ordinary Malaysian who have no education or background in politics, and who still believe that ‘politics is the root of all evil’, I would like to share my experience of seeing life on both sides of the Causeway.


From 1965 until 1978, I was with the Royal Malaysian Navy based in Singapore. Being an impatient young man that I was, I could not avoid committing minor traffic offences. One particular case was overtaking a slow moving tractor on a stretch of double line on the way to Sembawang. In my haste to reach the destination, I did not realize there was a police car waiting in ambush. As I was flagged down a couple of kilometers away, I was ready for the worst. Two policemen, one Malay and the other a Chinese came out of their car ready to issue traffic summons. After listening to my reason, and to my relief, they let me go with an advice “Don’t do it again”.  


After I left RMN, and representing my employer during an expo at Changkat Pavilion in August 1978, I went inside to inspect the booth, leaving my car properly parked outside a locked gate. When I returned a few minutes later, a Malay policeman waited beside my car with his book and pen. With the same politeness that I used when I was in Singapore, I showed him my ‘pass’ bearing my name, designation and company hoping that he could understand the reason why I was there.  His reply is all too familiar now “Kalau saya saman, encik boleh kena denda…” Although the incident happened during the holy month of Ramadan, it did not stop the policeman from instantly reducing the cash in my wallet.


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