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Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Step on it if you dare!

Unsuspecting tourists in Malaysia these past few weeks should not be blamed if they thought that Malaysians are culturally predisposed to the act of stomping on flags, pictures, dolls and the likes  as a general display or demonstration  of displeasure, hatred, objection or anything hateful against the person(s) who are represented by the object(s) being stomped on.

This, of course, is in addition to the acts of severing the head of a certain animal and carrying the same after Friday prayer on a public road while screaming some mantra of sorts.

When I read about the burning of Lim Guan Eng's posters - and the subsequent obligatory stomping on the same - by some neo-extreme-right-wingers-BTN Nazis, I initially thought that it was some kind of a street performance by the Actor's Studio of their new play, "The Nasi Beratur Blues". But I realised I was wrong when I did not see Jit Murad, Joe Kukathas or Patrick Teoh in the pictures.

Then the same act was repeated in Perak. Some neo-extreme-left-wingers-BTN haters started stomping on the pictures of the now famous "frogs", whose act of jumping from one pond to another, is now the stuffs of legend. And I thought, wow, it is contagious, this stomping business.

Richard Branson, who had recently unveiled the world's first commercial passenger space shuttle, might just soon unveil the world's first speciality shoes or boots with the tag line, "these boots are made for stomping".

Just as I was busy preparing my short speech to whack the Chief Justice and his Usain Bolt-inspired-but-half-baked potato of a plan to dispose of as many cases as possible in the shortest time possible during the Bar EGM this weekend, I was struck by yet another stomping orgy.

This time it was nearer to Kuala Lumpur. And it was such a flawless act of bigotry worthy of some kind of a national award, like the now famous (infamous?) "Penyapu Award", invented and refined to perfection by the neo-BaliJavanese-tempe-eating-mansionist. And so, it was the picture of some DAP fellows which were stomped on. The event was further enhanced by the shouts of "non-Malays are second class citizens".

And as if to lend some kind of a contemporary-ness to their act, they proclaimed that they accept the concept of 1Malaysia. Well, I drowned in the loco-ness of it all, I must confess.

Over the night I was thinking whether Malaysians have watched too much news. I mean those news showing various demonstrations of hatred, displeasure and what ever by the acts of burning an object and/or stomping on an object as popularised by the Pakistanis, Indonesians, Indians, Shiites, Palestinians, heck, the damn whole world, really.

If so, then I must say I am beginning to warm up to the  theory which postulates  that we are, not only what we eat but also what we watch. I mean just look at all of us nowadays. The clothes, shoes, hair cuts, cars, iPhone, iPod, Blackberry right down to the wife and girl friends (and husband and boy friends too, I must hasten to add, lest I would be accused of being a chauvinistic pig). The power of visual projection. Oh wow...

Then I thought, woohoo, hold on a minute. This act of stomping on objects representing something which, or someone whom, we dislike is nothing new to our culture.

When I was in primary school those days - and I really mean THOSE days - I had witnessed many duels between two kids.  The reason for such duels ranged from Ahmad calling Ah Boy "you are a fat pig" to Ah Boy loosening the cover of the botol kicap before Ahmad used the same at the canteen. Any of those "rascalities" would constitute enough reason for the aggrieved party to challenge the perpetrator of the injustice to a duel, OK Coral style, after school.

At the appointed time after school, the two protagonists would be waiting for each other at the appointed place, accompanied by the normal hanger-ons, which almost invariably, would include yours truly.

Ahmad and Ah Boy would be standing face to face, about 2 feet apart. No one moved. Ahmad was waiting for Ah Boy to make the first move and vice versa. The crowd, which of course would include me, would wait and wait. When are you two brave guys gonna go at each other la dey...I want to go home and have my lunch la. I would say to myself.

But hell, no one moved. Shit!

And so, finally, some smart spark would take two small stones. One would be placed at Ah Boy's feet and one at Ahmad's feet. The smart spark would then say, "Ah Boy, this is Ahmad's father", while pointing to the stone at his feet. Then he would say to Ahmad, "Mat, this is Ah Boy's father," while pointing to the stone at Ahmad's feet.

"Now, if you dare, step on it......."

Soon one of them would. And the duel began. Until Cikgu Kassim passed by and hauled everyone to the head master's room for a nice whacking.

It is in our culture, folks. This stomping act.

Imagine how fast and swift justice could be dispensed if we all follow our culture. I am now imagining Minister Nazri squaring it of with Dr Mahathir over the BTN issue at Dataran Merdeka. "Step la, step la, kalau berani...," Minister Nazri would say.

Then Ong Tee Kiat would do the same with Chua Soi Lek. Or Murugaiah against Kayveas. Anwar Ibrahim against Saiful. PI Bala against Datuk Nazim. Zul Noordin against Sivarasa ( apparently their hugging each other was not real, as there was no tongue, as pointed out by a dear friend of mine). Karpal Singh against, erm..everybody.

We could even spice things up by innovating a bit. Like bringing the picture of the missus. "Ha...if you dare, point your dick at her picture...point la...point la...kalau berani...."

I tell you, the Chief Justice would not have to worry about disposing cases anymore.


Raison D'etre said...

Usually it would be "Kepala Bapak Nkau" and not the mother. Somehow moms remain sacred even in such desperate stand offs which I myself have been privy too (and involved in!) long, long ago.

Witness the same in Nasib Si Labu Labi. Talk about culture, eh?

One which is truly Malaysian as it crosses the racial boundaries.

Wali Kota said...

hahaha... nazri challenging mahathir.... step, la step la kalau berani!

art harun said...

Dear Raison,

Correction noted. Many thanks. Will amend. :)

Monty said...

Has everyone forgotten? Sadam Hussein made a picture of senior Bush's face out of mosaic on a floor for Iraqis to stomp on. This must have incenced the junior Bush so much that he when he got the reins of power, he bent the facts on WMD to push for a war to punish Sadam and family. That is how dangerous stomping on faces can get. A whole nation up in smoke. Is Malaysia to follow suit?

Kris said...

Yes stomping is in our culture. The Government has been stomping on our rights and civil liberties for the last 3 decades, Our leaders in breeding racism between Malaysians in any way possible (the BTN being just one) in their pursuit of wealth and power have stomped on our sense of love, courtesy care and concern for each… Yes stomping is in our culture for that is the only avenue of the moron. Any moron who cannot carry a discussion or a debate, or is prepared to listen to informed intellectual discourses…

Yes stomping is in our culture. Horses, elephants and pigs do it too interestingly enough…animals all…

Anonymous said...

Even when u are trying to negotiate a fair price for a certain item, there is the element of dare!" berapa lu berani?" thats the usual line i hear when i try so buy collectibles at lorong kulit,penang.Sheesh.

Safaju said...

Haha, you never fail to bring the appetizer, the main course & the dessert to the table. Full already :)

Anonymous said...


I realized stomping is bad for my 50+ years old knees and it lacks a certain degree of class. Instead I paste the pictures of BN people I loathe on the outsoles (bottom) of my shoes because it is far more effective. With every step I take, I am in fact stepping (not stomping) on these "loathe-some" people. Sometimes I accidentally step on some dog poo and well, too bad for these "loathe-some" people.

Let us just say that I have a big collection of shoes but still not enough for all the pictures of the BN people. My wife is already complaining that my shoe collection rivals that of Imelda Marcos.


Jason Kay said...

Dear Art,

Thank you for this post, which goes WAY BEYOND funny :-) ... I laughed out loud. Truly therapeutic.


Anonymous said...

You have me in stitches, sir. Esp your reminiscence of your school days...

good one. If only the politicians can see how ridiculous they look. Malu saja.

Tiger said...

Art, you made my WEEKEND!