I wrote this over the weekend but it’s a topic that I’ve had in my mind for a while now. It was not meant to be published here but with the turn of events yesterday and today, it is highly pertinent to have it featured here. Hope it’ll implore our minds to think rationally and fairly because some occurrences in this world have not.
This could be the year where discrimination is brought to the forefront.
So 2020 did not quite get off to a good start. With earlier promises of a world fanfare such as the Tokyo Olympics and World Expo in Dubai, they now have been postponed due to Covid-19. What really has come to 2020 is a mystery but we have just witnessed the passing of the 400,000 deaths from this virus and close to 7 million infected people worldwide.
That’s close to 0.1% of the world’s population which stands at 7.8 billion people in June 2020 according to data from United Nations published on Worldometer.
News from America has also gripped the world with the death of George Floyd. Not only were the Americans behind in dealing with the spread of Covid-19, they now have to deal with an age old dilemma of racism and discrimination. The heat of this protest against George’s death has also spread to overseas with peaceful rallies held in places like Auckland and Sydney.
Incidentally, Australia has its own set of skeletons since 1991. Why because out of the 432 aboriginals who died in custody, no one was imprisoned at all.
Discrimination also flared out in Brazil in a different kind of twist. This time, instead of the obvious platforms like legal tussles or racism, this South American country will no longer report the actual number of infected Covid-19 cases including its death toll. Without the statistics, her citizens will never know where the country stands in their fight against the virus of the century. Is this fair for the Brazilians?
Update 10 June 2020:
Coronavirus: Brazil resumes publishing Covid-19 data after court ruling
“Brazil has restored a website that lists the full data on Covid-19 in the country, just hours after it was ordered to do so by the Supreme Court.
“On Tuesday a Supreme Court judge ordered the government to release the figures amid accusations of censorship.”https://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-52980642
Over in Asia, protests against the Chinese government have started to reappear in Hong Kong. Clashes between people and the police have been recorded for the world to see. This once British colonised land which was returned to China in 1997 was promised with a “1 country 2 systems” format but clearly the transition has had its pressures to cope with on the ground. All hell as they say has broken loose ever since the Umbrella Movement began in the autumn of 2014.
As if the under currents were not enough to cause jitters, the nightmare for retailers as well as the tourism economy continue to this day in what was thought to have dissipated and disappeared in 2020 due to Covid-19.
Be they locals or foreigners who have found this Pearl of the Orient a place they call home, the protests have incrementally disrupted businesses in Hong Kong. With tourism numbers down and the legendary Ocean Park on the brink of collapse, one wonders how far the friction will continue. We can only pray for its recovery.
Not far away in Southeast Asia, there have been mixed news that grabbed the headlines but good news first.
In Vietnam, it remains one of the miracles in the fight against Covid-19 with 329 reported cases, 307 recovery and 0 death. That’s right, zero casualty from the global onslaught of the virus.
In Thailand, tourism is about to open its doors too with Trust as its emblem of confidence. With its new king reigning in this era, all eyes are on Thailand as to how they will rise from the tourism ashes, buried momentarily by Covid-19. But if we inspect the numbers, they too were not as badly affected with only 58 deaths out of 3,112 reported infected cases or only 1.86%.
Neighbouring Asean countries like Singapore and Malaysia have begun loosening their respective lock down orders. But if Singapore were running with the same People’s Action Party as the ruling government, Malaysia was not so stable as a political coup was staged at the end of February to rob her citizens of what could be the first taste of true liberty from the victory in the 14th General Election on in May 2018. This is truly her first ever since freed to be independent some six decades ago in 1957.
The bad news of the coup was not the end of it as the new ruling government, as flimsy as they were with their questionable majority in Parliament, had not been able to win the hearts of all Malaysians as well as the world dignitaries. The only congratulatory messages came from Singapore and Indonesia, countries which have some kind of political history together and through to this day, an unwritten rule of love-hate relationship with each other although every country seems to think they are superior against the other in the strange triangular symbiotic relations.
The worst of the discriminatory news that are coming out of this part of the world?
Well, aside from Singapore’s bad press on how they have handled the foreign labours’ accommodation, Malaysia is on a roll to receive the rotten tomatoes if this was turned into a movie. In the most unscrupulous moves, the biggest kleptocracy criminal case the world has ever seen is about to find the courts favouring its version of defence against the factual files from the prosecuting bench. This final curtain, as inevitable and hated as any Malaysian can come to confess, will be drawn very soon, on 28 July 2020 to be exact.
As a man born in the 1970’s and now well into my 40’s, I can’t help but to think if this was the best heist ever staged. It could be something the Hollywood and South Korean movie studios might want to think about. This is far more complex and rich compared to the casual looting from the government coffers every corrupt nation has seen.
The making of this story would entail real life stories such as a well-funded movie studio securing leading actors to grace its screens, sailing across the oceans with the most exquisite yacht the world will never ride on except for the elite party animals bordering on insanity and insatiable appetite for blings, and perpetrators blessed into their thrones knowing full well the facts were open for all to see ever since the hideous case of plundering the till was blown open.
But in the end, and we are nearing the culmination of this high stakes drama, we are to see that far far away from the calm and soothing sounds of the inspirational prayers lays a country that feared nothing but being discriminated if they couldn’t wear the next Bijan or Birkin. But will they actually be discriminated for something as shallow as this? Only the disillusioned will believe so…and the equally disillusioned and disenchanted shall abide and obey to these looters without questions, or worse, remorse. Did someone mention dignity?
This is discrimination at its finest because even their condemned treacherous acts have been blessed by the seemingly learned individuals who were bestowed with knowledge and discernment to rule with god as their guarding light.
The discriminatory human heart has been flung wide open and exposed in 2020. A discriminatory royal flush, check and mate!
Godspeed ladies and gentlemen!