Tonight I don’t intend to write about myself. ‘Myself”? Have I truly ever? Being his daughter, somehow I have always felt obligated to write about highbrow stuff like women’s rights, the state of AIDs and the endless fight against ignorant prejudice about a disease that could have been inflicted through innocent blood transfusion. How I wish I could just pen my thoughts on dresses, shoes, that cute handbag I saw at the mall, or ….. but what’s the use.
It’s about Dad. People are so against him that we, his children, aren’t exempt from their hatred and vitriol. The ‘sins’ of a dad have been visited on his children. If I write about cosmetics or jewellery, people would comment that it’s typical of his daughter to be just a callous air head, but if I go for issues like AIDS and women's rights, they would claim I am acting above my intellectual level or getting too big for my boots.
My brother is a graduate of Wharton, but being his son, as far as some are concerned, he ought to be just a goreng pisang seller. Even if he is, people would accuse him of using rancid oil and lousy rotten pisang.
But that comes with the territory. Dad has been a one-man bulldozer in his drive to raise the standards and more importantly, the self esteem of the Malays. Many criticised his support for the award of a Datukship to an English Channel swimmer while he didn’t for the Chinese Malaysian who did better. But many don’t realise it’s not the feat itself but the urgent Malay need for self esteem that saw the young boy knighted. The Chinese teenager doesn't need to have his self esteem nurtured.
Oh, Dad might have gotten it wrong but that was what he lamented about at home.
Recently he feels depressed when he saw the treachery of those he had supported, sponsored and uplifted. He admitted to be a poor judge of men. Those whom he had supported and pushed upstairs would eventually turn against him.
Today his arch foe is a man whom he once loved like a son, and nurtured to be his political successor. When that fell through, the next successor on succession has rubbished his record, accusing Dad of squandering everything, while he himself has lined up a few choice mega-projects of his own. But the unkindest cut of all has been the lack of support, or even at the very least, silence of support from Uncle Zig Zag.
Dad has gone into reactive overdrive by nature of his combative self. When he feels people are ganging up on him, his adrenalin flows, and he would react in an uncompromising straight line.
He’s a bit of a Jebat, the fearless rebellious one yet the loyal friend. That’s his second weakness, his enduring loyalty to his people, most of whom didn’t or don’t deserve his total support. In the end, his Tuah will entice Taming Sari away from him to use it against him.
Now, why am I talking Malay legends in reference to his present dilemma? It’s just a Malay Dilemma.
Goodnight, dearest diary.