Home > observations and ramblings > a delayed observation

a delayed observation

When I was in Kuala Terengganu (or “Trengganu,” as Awang Goneng would have it) over the Eid Mubarak holidays, I passed in front of the High Court building/complex a few times, and every time I passed it I couldn’t help but feel—for some odd reason—disturbed.


On the fence (for lack of a better term . . . I’m sure most readers will be able to “get” what I mean) surrounding the building, near to the main entrance, were two banners, looking very much like your everday banner put up by the government or a political party: blue background, photos of a few buildings somewhere in the corner, text in bold, red, large letters. Nothing unusual about that. What disturbed me, though, was not how the banners looked, but what the text said.

What did it say, you ask?

Two words: “BUAT KERJA.” (“Do your work.”)

Amusing, yes, but also oddly disturbing on many, many levels. Every time I saw the banners I couldn’t help but feel as if I was stuck in Orwell’s London—chief city of Airstrip One—and fully expected to see Big Brother’s visage somewhere on any of the many walls present, either of said High Court building or the other buildings nearby.

I don’t know, something strikes me as being totally wrong about such a sentence being on a banner displayed in public. Granted, parents most probably use that sentence quite often when talking to their children, as do teachers when talking to their pupils, but, in those situations, the sentence doesn’t seem that wrong (of course, I can’t say I feel that it’s really right either, but I digress). When on a banner in public, however, it just seems—and I know I’m repeating myself here—wrong. It feels almost totalitarian, almost dictatorial, almost “Nazi death camp slogan-meets-‘traditional’ Asian values of slaving your fucking ass off” (which really doesn’t make much sense, but whatever).

And I don’t know about you wonderful people, but I sure wouldn’t like to have to look at such a banner day in, day out. Oh no, definitely not.

  1. Ayu
    Oct 23, 2008 at 21:16

    yea…they have the same banner in putrajaya’s court of justice too…its sounds wrong i know, i really dont get why they have to say that…hmmmm…you got me thinking…!!damn…

  2. Oct 23, 2008 at 22:04

    really, eh? so it’s not just them terengganu folk, then. i was about to chalk it up to that, but i guess that wouldn’t work now.

    two days later, i still can’t put my finger on exactly why it just seems so wrong.

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