By Hang Kasturi
Firstly, let me take care of the elephant in the room. Happy New Year to all my readers, the subscribers and followers of the New Malaysia Herald. Whilst maybe some say that 2020 went away in a blink of an eye, I would beg to differ. 2020 was one slo-mo of a horror series that never seemed to have an ending. We are stuck in its terrible vortex trying to figure out how to escape its gravity.
And here we are at the beginning of 2021 with high hopes and expectations. I hate to put a damper on your new year celebrations: 2021 is going to be another unwanted coitus interruptus of a year.
It’s Payback Time By Mother Nature
She is like this beautiful masseuse who keeps teasing you with verbal innuendoes and asking if you want that special happy ending service at the end of your session, and when you say yes, the vice squad rushes into the parlour that you are at. Coitus Interruptus indeed.
Just like what is happening today. At first, the numbers went way down and we were feeling good. We wanted to party, to celebrate our victory against COVID-19, and then it returned with a vengeance. We are back at square one on a snake and ladders’ board game where the snakes always outnumber the ladders. And now the snakes have babies too. All those mutations which we are not sure who brought them in.
Why Am I So Pessimistic?
I prefer to live by the credo of being pessimistic first and when things don’t happen, it would be okay because I wasn’t looking forward to anything. If anything good happens, it’s a bonus.
I’m the type who would bet against my football team to win. If it wins, I am a happy camper, but if it loses, at least I won some money.
But 2021 has all the signs of being another bummer of a year.
How did it start? With an extension of the MCO until the end of March. And to make things worse, the monsoon or whatever you call the weather these days, hit Malaysia with a vengeance. The new year ushered in floods in Pahang, Kelantan and Johor and in parts of Sabah and Sarawak. Millions of ringgits worth of property gone. Many lives lost too.
Those waiting for the KWSP are still waiting and waiting in hope that their funds will be made available for withdrawal. My advice to them? Don’t hold your breath.
Those who are hoping for extensions for moratoriums of bank loans and debts will also be disappointed. The number of phone calls you will receive from debt collectors and lawyers will be doubly increasing.
And in the political front – PN and BN seemed to be getting closer to fisticuffs. Nothing seems to be working for these two parties with PBBM seem to be enjoying every time it takes a piss on UMNO face.
And as of this second as I write this post, I received news that UMNO just sacked its Secretary General Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
And last night, Liverpool lost to the Saints. And if Manchester United win at Burnley this week, United will go top of the table.
So, tell me, what’s so good with 2021 so far?
As for the economy, we have people who are so good in creating projects that are worthy of helping the rakyat face uncertain times. The PM just said that the High Speed Rail project is now off to be replaced by another version of HSR that only operates within Malaysian borders. Interesting. NOT!!
And the states too are getting into the act of proudly announcing memorable projects to boost their states economy. Melaka has just announced a RM400 million seaplane project that would do wonders to Melaka’s tourism activities. And only last week, another fantastic project was approved – a RM21 million ghost house in Dataran Pahlawan. Yeay…now Melaka will have two Ghost House attractions. Sometimes we wonder where we find these politicians.
What about vaccines? If you trust the Pfizer and Oxford vaccines, you would be feeling relieved but please don’t check the various conspiracy theories on the internet about the vaccines.
The logic behind most of the conspiracy theories is that mankind has been trying to find a vaccine for the common cold and flu for decades if not centuries and failing miserably. And yet within months, these pharmaceutical companies suddenly produce a vaccine for Covid-19. A bit too convenient don’t you think so?
Meanwhile, everyone’s personal savings is drying out. Small companies are closing down and releasing employees. Jobs are getting scarce.
Of course we have to compliment on the ways the incumbent government is trying to cope with all these problems by coming up with a lot of incentives, grants and assistance in many forms.
Yet, when I ask my friends in various industries, the grants seem to be some kind of UFO (unidentified funding opportunities). Cronyism and favouritism seem to be the order of the day for such grants I guess. For example, the grants for film in the entertainment industry were awarded to 40 plus companies and when I asked my friends if the companies are well known companies with good track record all he can say is that he has not heard of or know of these companies on the list. Wahhh…that’s nice to know that unknown and new companies got assistance. Screw the more well known and established companies lah. You can also tell all the veteran filmmakers to go farm cows and goats and forget about making movies anymore. Old movie-making folks ( it seems) are not capable of being creative anymore and have nothing relevant to say anymore. Wokay. We 60 plussers should instead have taken a career change and become politicians who seem to be thriving well into their 70s 80s and 90s. But filmmakers? Nooo….you need to be under 40 to be able to do good work.
So what is there to look forward to in 2021?
CNY will be under the shadow of the CMCO and hopefully will end just before the start of Ramadhan. However, if the numbers keep rising about 4 digits, who knows, a second round of EMCO or CMCO or Choose your own alphabet MCO will be implemented and once again Raya is screwed.
I also heard that there is a big possibility of the 15th GE being held in April just before the fasting month begins. Yup, right in the middle of the Covid-19 epidemic we will follow the USA and hold our General Elections.
Yeah sure we are all matured enough to follow election’s SOPs just like what they did in Sabah during the state elections last year.
Well, we already know what happened after that right?
So guys, tread 2021 with caution. If good things happen, well and good. But when it doesn’t happen? Pray.
Take care and be safe.