And so it has been decided that the path Malaysia will take in its transition to become a better nation is a long-winded, scenic one. The circus surrounding Anwar Ibrahim's sodomy charge only goes to prove that Malaysia is destined to go the long, painful route to change and reforms.
As I was stuck in the massive traffic jams on the streets of KL brought about by the needless roadblocks (yet again) this morning, I thought about how patient we Malaysians are when faced with this drama that is so out of this world it is almost an insult to our intelligence. Yet there we were, stuck in a traffic jam, cursing in our hearts but patiently taking it all in. Not many nations in this world would be so obliging in its suffering in the face of difficult times.
There are big issues at stake. Real problems that affect real people. And yet the Barisan Nasional does not care. The Prime Minister is more concerned about attempting to degrade the honour of one man by using the word 'rogol' (rape) where it was uncalled for - rather than helping people deal with the economic hardships brought about by years of failed BN policies.
All the people want is a sign, some signs from the government that they understand our real concerns. That someone up there care about the difficulties we are facing. Our well-being is being threatened - by flawed policies, by inflation, by corruption. We are on the verge of a real crisis. The people are suffering. We do not want to be spectators of yet another politically-charged drama designed to degrade and dishonor a man, who seems to actually care about our problems. This man speaks our language. This man is articulating what we are not able to say. This is the man we want to lead our nation because he seems to be focused on the real issues - when all the government wants to do is to focus on him.
The events of this past few weeks - this orchestrated attacks on Anwar on all fronts - only does more to convince us that the powers-that-be are threatened by him and have to prevent him from taking over the nation come what may. It does nothing to convince us that the government are capable of leading us out of this storm that we are going to face with the impending economic crisis. It does little to reassure us that the government is really in control of the issues that really matter to us, the people. Indeed, it does give us a sense that no one is really in control here - that our leadership needs to get a grip of reality. They need to realise that change is in the air - it will happen. It can happen the easy way or the hard way but it will happen. They can choose to be a part of this change or they can resist it - but change will happen because the will of the people cannot be denied.
As it is, Anwar is the only man who is coming out of this entire episode with his moral integrity, leadership skills, courage and intelligence intact. This despite all the bruising attacks that has been thrown at him. Anwar's strength - if he stays strong and keeps his focus on the real issues - will change the destiny of this nation. And we look forward to that day.