Like many, I do not particularly like Anwar Ibrahim. If I were presented with a choice, I would choose the name “Anuar” over “Anwar”. To me, he has a nationalist past. It’s not a very good association. Now, many would have loved to believe that he has learnt his lessons. This thinking is rather harsh because any human being should not go through what he had been through from 1998 to 2004. When Anwar Ibrahim was arrested again in the mid of 2008, it was a sleepless night for me. Like many, I worry. I worry about the “what if”. It’s more than a déjà vu.
I do not know Anwar Ibrahim personally. I guess not many of us do. Nonetheless, if I was sleepless that night, one can only image the family members.
I remember in 2001, the Tenaga National Berhad Independence Day television and print advertisements continuously reminded Malaysians to think about “Where Would We Be Without Visionaries”? Hysterically, even a blind or a deaf could have told you that the plural noun, “visionaries”, should have actually been a singular – a visionary. The plural noun is for politeness-sake. For that, I get it. Yet, the ad somehow got it right; visionary should have not been a singular term. It is many, a plural.
I know tonight will be another sleepless night when I read that a recent famous ISA detainee in Malaysia is currently undergoing religious rehab – an activity formerly only associated with the rich, the famous, the glamorous, the sinful, and the spoiled in the United States and any where in the West to get them out of any future troubles.
Since the night he was arrested, my nights have been constantly visited by ghost stories. The scene is not grossly painted. I was not afraid but there is definitely fear in the air. I am no Harry Potter but I can feel the fearful commotion in the air. A friend has kindly reminded me that “ethically” such ghost stories should have nothing to do with me, an outsider. But who could explained to me the reoccurring stories every night?
No, I do not know him personally. I wish I do but I don’t. Well, maybe not yet. Nor do most of the people who read about him and read about what he wrote. Should we remember one visionary when they are actually many? When troubles come, we are nicely and conveniently trained to glare at the only direction where the sun is setting every night – the West. Yet, we have forgotten that every night the sun first set on our side of the West before it rises on the East side of the West. Hello, the globe is not a cube. Nor does it laid on top of a giant turtle.
Assuming, God willing, we can see the same side of moon anywhere we are when the sun is set. Can you sleep well when injustice is running like a mad cow among us? Or just because we no longer need power milk, we can ignore those who are being killed by the fake milk power? At night like this If I cannot sleep, what could have possibly running through the mind of his family members? If I can feel the fear in the ghost stories that haunt me every night ever since, how can I imagine the fear on the other side of freedom?
Yes, freedom does not come easily. It also does not come cheap. But, allow me to remind you, it also does not come from one visionary.
No, if it has made you to wonder… I am not in Seattle. Yet, I am sleepless and I can see the same moon after every sunset.