The Grip Of Infamy. Episode 22. By R. Sittamparam

Episode 22 (Scroll down the Literature section to read earlier episodes of this serialised Malaysian novel)

The Alliance was once a political grouping that had the people’s interest at the core of its struggles, the various race based parties effectively safeguarding the interests of the communities they represented.

But in the last decade this fine balance has been disrupted by overzealous politicians playing the race card to secure their seats which led to distrust between the different races.

I admit I was also guilty of attempting social engineering to change the economic standing of the majority and somewhat stifling the growth of minority races.

Again and again I apologise for my mistakes especially now I see how some of the people who benefited from my policies have ended up as greedy and uncaring corporate leaders.

And how the laws I got amended to protect the ruling party, has allowed the present corrupt leadership to hold on to power.

Jaliluddin removed his spectacles and wiped away the tears flooding his eyes before continuing his speech. I sincerely beg your forgiveness for all my mistakes.

Just give this old man a chance to redeem himself and help undo the damage done by this present day The Alliance gone awry and kleptocratic Parti Ketuanan leadership.

The time has finally come to turn around the country’s political system inherited from our colonial masters as it is no longer relevant.

Race based politics and divide and rule strategies have no place in this age of cyber driven globalisation and an informed cosmopolitan population.

Give me and my team at Angkatan Penyelamat this golden chance to steer our country to developed nation status and lift our international standing, to be among the most progressive newly developed countries of the world.

As Jaliluddin ended his speech the spectators clapped jubilantly with shouts of `Long live Tun Besar J!’ and `Save Merekasia’ reverberating throughout the dim lit space between the tens of surrounding residential blocks.

Over to The Alliance gathering in the Federal government clerical and technical staff quarters about three kilometres to the left of the main Chowlay road, into which the visiting Angkatan Penyelamat leaders exited after their gathering.

Malaysian Changgong Party president, Tan Sri Low Fook Seong was addressing the crowd of about 1,000 comprising mostly of senior government staff staying in the quarters.

Where in the world have we got a country so peaceful, free of internal strife and surrounded by friendly neighbours like Merekasia.

What has brought about this status to our nation if not for The Alliance.

Low, the Minister of Motorised Vehicles, Trains and Airlines, a tall and thin man in his late 50s, glanced nervously around the crowd that had only half filled the multipurpose hall.

Being well aware of the smaller and smaller crowds of supporters gathering at various social and political meets organised by The Alliance in recent times, Low sighed inwardly.

The crowd at this meeting was a passive lot who appeared to be just waiting for the function to be over. So they could go back to doing whatever they so wish, at their homes.

The staid expression of the aged audience would be a major  show stopper for any entertainer much more a politician soliciting votes.

But Low was a seasoned politician and would not lose his focus on the very first day of The Alliance’s campaigning rounds in the capital city for the GE.

Don’t listen to the criticisms of the Opposition as they are just sore losers. They are so desperate to topple our government which has brought peace, racial harmony and prosperity for all of you for half a century.

Our record speaks for itself. Merekasia is the pride of Asia and I am sure all of you will want to maintain this high status for our country.

That is why you must vote for The Alliance. There is simply no other alternative. There can be no other alternative better that what The Alliance has offered you so far.

Low made way for the Merekasian Prime Minister Tan Sri Bakar Adam, a tall fair skinned, balding 65-year-old wearing a thin white moustache above his thin-lipped smiling mouth.

Bakar looked around at the crowd and shot a frowning gaze at Low and Sanggaran Velu who were seated in the VIP seats in the front row before starting his speech with a low pitched voice.

It gives me great pleasure to see all of you this evening on the first leg of The Alliance’s campaign for the coming GE.

First, I would like to acknowledge and thank all of you for doing such a good job to keep the Government machinery moving smoothly.

The Opposition parties are threatening to trim the civil service to make greater savings for the Government if they win this election.

My contention is the civil servants of this country are our very backbone who are solely responsible for Merekasia’s peace, socio-economic wellbeing and international reputation as a favoured destination for investors and tourists alike.

So why should we punish them. See this is what you get from a coalition that has never once held the reign of power. What would they know about the worth of our civil service.

My predecessor is out there out with them but he has been out of office for so long, he also seems to be out of touch with reality.

The good Tun Besar is an old man who should remain in retirement. Why are the Opposition parties dragging him out to lend them support?

The answer is obvious, isn’t it. The Opposition parties are simply a weak lot who cannot stand on their own feet. So how can they convince the people they can run the Government?  

On the conclusion of Adam’s speech the crowd gave him a rousing applause and the caretaker Prime Minister walked to his seat with a contented smile.

Checking his smartphone to see the personal messages from the Police Cyber Intelligence Unit, his smile waned.

He realised just how far back The Alliance had fallen in this GE seeing the Angkatan Penyelamat’s debut campaign meet attracting close to 8,000 compared to the paltry 1,000 here in front of him.

All the events and characters portrayed in this serialised novel are fictional and any parallel with real life events or persons is purely coincidental.

Sittam Param

Writer, poet, dramatist and former journalist. I have passion for art in all its forms hence my involvement in this portal.

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