Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Those were the days, my friends ...

Looking nowadays at younger activists like Pei Nei and Ginie using the Internet, mini mobile handphone and SMS to conduct their political operations, I cannot but feel time flies.

When (Lim) Kit Siang, Dr.Kua (Kia Soong), Brother Anthony (Roger), (Lim) Chin Chin, Cecelia Ng, Mat Sabu and other 100 Malaysians were detained without trial under the despicable and notorious Internal Security Act (ISA) in the Operation Lallang in October 1987, there were no such gadgets for us to communicate so instantly to the outside world. As a coordinating operative at the DAP Headquarters in Petaling Jaya, I could only use long-distance telephone calls to communicate with, for example, the London-based Amnesty International.

There was not even a fax machine in the office because it was still very expensive. Of course, there was no online computers or SMS at that time.

However, when the goings got tough, the tough got going.

I bought my first "very, very canggih" handphone only in 1991, a year after I was elected as the Member of Parliament of Kampar. It was popularly called Tai-ko-tai (Big Brother) in Cantonese. This Tai-ko-tai was, of course, still more advanced and powerful technologically than the British Army MK111 receiver/transmitter used by John Davis and Chin Peng at Bukit Bidor in 1944-1945.

But, one thing does not seems to have changed amid all these revolutions in human affairs is the behaviourial pattern and mentality of Umno's ruling elites and their pathetic scribes, hitmen and hangers-on. Forming and paying interternational panel of MSC advisers also do not seem to have produced any transformative effects in their hearts and minds.

They are still, as Kim Quek has insightfully observed, "plundering and blundering". Bah.