I was hoping I could sail into the new year with a huge load of indifference but local politics has swayed me to at least giving a little comment. Not that I think anyone out there would care about what I would have to say, but this is the Internet after all, and what would the Internet be if there was no noisy chatter? (Don't answer that.)
While I'm not exactly tearful about Chua Soi Lek's recent resignation, I do feel a little sad. I can understand the Malaysian furore over his scandal, but I think overall they're missing the point. Two points actually.
One: The smaller issue is the utter failure of the Malaysian public's inability to see what a watershed event Chua Soi Lek's public apology is. When was the last time you saw a Malaysian politician face the growling masses and say "sorry"? Can you even imagine any of those morons in UMNO doing the same? Would Khairy say sorry for his infamous Deepavali remark? Hishamuddin for his keris-waving? Everyone knows apologising isn't exactly the easiest thing to do, and the issue of sincerity aside, I think Chua Soi Lek is to be commended for being able to do so. While I know others may have problems accepting a leader with issues of morality, I think that's a little unfair. Even politicians are human, and are prone to a lapse of judgement now and then. For me, his ability to say sorry is good enough.
Two: The bigger issue here is one of privacy. The sex dvds contained videos captured on CCTVs in a room in a hotel. The question here is why was there a CCTV in a hotel room? Why aren't Malaysians entitled to privacy? I was just reading the 2007 International Privacy Ranking report the day before the news broke out about Chua Soi Lek. I was shocked (SHOCKED!) to discover that Malaysia lacks a comprehensive privacy law and our constitution doesn't give us the right to privacy. I suppose this is where we all open our copies of Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four and quote our favourite Orwellian quotes.
So! What a way to start the new year eh? Next thing we know, oil prices will hit $100 a barrel!
What? That's happened already? Dammit.
p/s I'm not a fan of Billy Joel.