by Azly Rahman
BUKIT BINTANG BOMBING ...
Here is the bane of an open society and one that is moving down the ladder of a failing state, FAILING STATE, in which the road to lawlessness is already paved.
No - I am not a pessimist and a ‘worst-case-scenario’ analyst. Futuristics may be the lens I am using now to look at trends, the movement of the ‘futures-wheels of society’, karma of postmodernity, the impact of the evolution of complex systems, the view of Chaos Theory, the transcultural flow of ideas be they violent or peaceful as they travel instantaneously across time and space, and most importantly as Malaysians, what we reap from what we sowed and what we are experiencing as a karma of a global city.
“We are living in interesting times...”, chairperson Mao Zedong once would have said, citing a famous Chinese saying - indeed the time is now with almost 30 million people living in a highly complex society that is still trying to mediate the contradictions of a capitalist system and a government that, not only tries to manage chaos out of order, meet the needs of the microbial-multitude of demands made by groups, but also this - a government that is becoming so corrupt and corrupting and crowned itself as the Untouchable and prone to its own implosion and controlled internal demolition yet able to sustain itself by building rationale and structures of a defence system of a survival mode that imprisons its governors inter-generationally.
And we now have a classic problem of a hypermodern society, an open society threatened by its enemies, as Karl Popper would, say. The enemies are home-grown, borne out a strange brew of an Oktoberfest of the excesses and the sane-ness of religious and cultural philosophies.
BUKIT BINTANG - the Times Square of Cyber-Hyper-Malaya. Her Trafalgar Square. Her Hatyai Square. Her Jalan Wong Ah Fook Square in ‘Sin City Johor Baru’ (from a poem I once wrote that got the Johor government excited).
That glitzy, red-lightsy,
excitement inducing street of a global city,
and a clone of a clone of a Times Square of New York City -
that Bintang Walk of a semiotics of a city
of all kinds of future possibility
culture of red lights gone crazy,
people worshipping neon gods unrepentantly,
Of gangs from many nations and principalities
Of many businesses done openly and by secret societies
By people rejected by their societies - from Yemen to Yugoslavia and the Filipino district of Makati
By those from North America to Nigeria to the Bangladeshi and the Pakistanis
scene of urban decay and homelessness of a consequence of a system of international slavery
and of human trafficking framed as ‘progress’ needed for Malaysia to be defined as a ‘high-income society’
Aha - these rhyme and I am happy.
BOMBS in BUKIT BINTANG. Bombs over Baghdad.
If it is gang-triad related, in Bukit Bintang we have got to do what Lee Kuan Yew did in the 1960s to round up all the triads and send them to jail mercilessly.
If it is al-Qaeda and Islamic State-related, we have got a bigger problem that will have no end to the story of Malaysia - of a 1,001-Nights of a Rubaiyat of Wall-Street type of forthcoming city violence, urban terrorism, and religious-flavoured chaos of a magnitude a ‘foreign intervention’ would be necessary when it comes to maintaining regional/South-East Asian security in this Age of Neo-Pax-Americana of and ‘Asia-as-Pivot’ ideology.
I don’t know... do you?
This is my morning-after complaint. I hope you respected readers share my concern of a beautiful country going crazy.
I leave you with these verse of my beloved city...
‘Sin City, Jay Bee’
Where have all those memories gone
Of the city that never sleeps
Sin-filled you are
... Offering life’s panorama
A Pandora’s box of a lushness of emotions
You may be called a city of filth
Of gang wars and transvestites galore
Of rock kapak geniuses conceived immaculately
From the womb of Papa Rock
Ahhh New Johor... New York you may want to be
Thou shall never attain that notoriety
Sweet city sin city
Celebrating the velocity of money
It is there I knew love’s inner beauty
As we walked up and down the Lido Beach
whose middle name is ‘filthy’
Ohh Jay Bee... you are a soul that is one with me
where politics stink
where corruption gets a nice daily wink
where the power elites are the underground kings
where the poor are hoodwinked
where the children of the working class roam the streets in motorcycles with bling bling
where the smell of ganja filled the air like a pissed-on fermented drink
Ahh Jay Bee
City of Sins
Your hunchback of Tanjung Puteri is dead and gone
Committed seppuku at the sight of what has become
Of you sin city Jay Bee
Si Bongkok died of a death he long-willed for
As the sight of the crooked bridge broke his heart that exploded with a roar
Ahhh... thanks to the Johor Corridor
And the Disney of Nusajaya Johoreans adore
Your economy, like a Segget River , stinks till eternity
Love is gone
Of the one my heart held on
As I walked countless miles
Along the Lido beach
Time has not been kind
To this city that never sleeps
To this sin city
The yesteryears of the loss of pride that run deep
Love is gone
The deal is sealed
Sin city you are now sold
To the forked tongued nationalists grown old like ageing Disneys
You were once mine
You will no longer be