You have to give that RPK some 'respek', man. Never mind that he was willing to languish in Kamunting - and that he knew it was coming and kept on rollin'. Never mind that he hitched his luck to someone who wasn't exactly a sure bet.
You have to salute him, and those like him, who were willing to be martyrs for a cause. Just because the cause was worthy, and not necessarily because the people whom the cause battles were really as worthy as the battle.
We've not entirely worthless as patriotism goes, but we're - how shall I put it - rabbit hopping on a high jump event. The bar is always high (and for that matter, the Malaysian Bar was a test of strength as well) and it's supposed to be. If it weren't, the value of the win wouldn't be as worthy either. We'll have the heat-of-the-moment rallies when a new political party is born, or when elections come along. Heck, we might even deny a two-thirds victory and send some states over the other side and call it a 'tsunami'. But chances are that when it's just about civil liberties and human rights, and not about the price of wan tan mee doubling, Mahathir had the right idea. Malaysia mudah lupa.
How so, you say? Well, Umno has decided to put into the line of succession one whom RPK's wife said would "throw away the key" and leave her husband in detention the rest of his life. So much for the voice of dissent, the cries for reform from within. Anwar, on whom RPK publicly placed his own fate, has waffled on his takeover plans, and with it, RPK's freedom. And as time passes by, even the man himself has worried that Malaysians would forget about him.
Abdullah Badawi insulted the public recently saying that the real way to combat high prices would be to not buy at high prices. Never mind that it's his fault we have those prices to begin with. Ironically enough, the only people who unwillingly fit his plan are those who are fed on less than five ringgit a month. Those under the ISA.
I was never that crazy about Malaysia Today, to be honest. But I recognize that it was for all of us, even if in a slightly caffeinated state. And for that, I say to all who read these letters, jangan mudah lupa.
Here's to you, RPK.