The Grip of Infamy. Episode 27. By R. Sittamparam

Episode 27
(Scroll down the Literature Section to read earlier episodes of this serialised novel)

Thana continued his chat with Mohd Danial. He was told of Zainal’s meeting the previous night with The Alliance’s business cronies.

You know `bang’ our business people who control some of the biggest corporations in Merekasia are also fed up with the new government and want immediate change.

Having to enter bids in open tenders for government projects, reserved for them the past few decades, they are now saddled with anxiety.

They are great party supporters and we must always be thankful for this. How to keep a big party like ours in operation without them.

Their well-being decides the fate of our nation. If you don’t let them grow, our economy will suffer.
The new hands are digging their own graves angering these people.

The corporate bosses want us to kick out the pretenders and have even agreed to abide by our Boss’ ‘pau’ collection strategy.

Hearing all this boosted Thana’s resolution and his face broke out into a smile, a wicked looking smile that caused the right side of his lips to curl upwards.

He knew the time was right for him to make his move to helm MVP and position himself to clinch a place in the Merekasia Cabinet of Federal Government Ministers.

Besides this information from Mohd Danial, he had been tipped off by a police informer that Sangaran Velu’s son, Vel Pandian was to be arrested soon by the Anti Corruption Body.

The body now headed by a vengeful social activist known for his hawklike focus and ferocious determination to expose and prosecute long serving leaders of The Alliance

Thana was well aware of Angkatan Penyelamat’s rapid-fire targeting of ousted Alliance government leaders they deemed corrupt.

He also realised his name would be high on the list.

The alternative media, now the celebrated heroes in the field had zealously revived and played up the video of the Sental shooting incident in particular the bodyguard kicking part since the announcement of his candidature, right up to the moment of his election win.

He was just awaiting Sangaran Velu’s call as he knew very well his boss would refer to him in cases involving the enforcement authorities.

The MVP president post would give Thana absolute power over the Malaysian Indian community.

And of course his gang will be enriched lending its expertise to Zainal’s government as a legitimate ‘pau’ collection agency.

With the regular fixed income for the gang it could subsequently close down its illegal drug trade which he always regarded as a sunset industry. And way too risky and unpredictable, besides the demand also seemed to be dwindling of late.

Recently, he had begun contemplating entering the pharmaceutical drugs supply business which appeared a much more profitable venture.

Thana had heard of global pharmaceutical products smuggling and imitation products supply rings.

Spurred on by the exorbitant prices of these products he had set his sights on tapping into this ‘trade’.

In Merekasia too under The Alliance rule a Parti Ketuanan crony had enjoyed a monopoly in the import of medicines for local supply and raking in hefty profits. The new government had however put a stop to this.

In childhood days he had seen the deliveries of pills, creams and liquid medicines both for oral and external application at the hospital store opposite the workers’ quarters.

Long container trailer trucks arrived regularly at the store to unload large cardboard boxes and massive plastic bottles filled with cherry red, chocolate brown and even green coloured viscous liquid.

He was always fascinated to see the massive loads and was particularly thrilled seeing boxes and plastic bottles marked RACUN and POISON in red letters together with the bone crossed skull drawings.

Even at that young age there was a ring of wonder and mischievous tingle in his heart and mind seeing the screaming red warnings.

His immediate instinct was for him to handle those prohibited items.

An excitement was sparked deep within, challenging the mind of the little Thana to go break into the store and explore what other prohibited items were contained within, every time he passed the area at night.

Once Thana had ventured into the store climbing over the two-metre high fence surrounding the compound.

But seeing the huge padlock on the heavy metal door of the medical store cut short his adventure.

Venturing into the pharmaceutical trade Thana realised, would be literally living out his childhood fantasy.

There was an excitement about it all, magical even, the chance to finally handle potent pills and potions that held sway over the human race.

It was total faith in these hypnotic elixir prescriptions, heavily relied on by physicians, that gripped life as we know it today.

He was fully aware of how people drag through life hinged on antibiotic and painkiller pills-popping, downing of cough syrups and supplements; and rubbing or sniffing of a host of noxious ointments.

Especially most elderly persons for whom medicines had become sort of condiments to their empty lives.

Thana realised the pharmaceutical industry was the place to be in,for him.

All the events and characters portrayed in this serialised novel are fictional and any parallel with real life 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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