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Tuesday, April 06, 2004 

false dawn

a poem i read on a forum i frequent:

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"False Dawn"

`merdeka’, they said, pointed the way for all

to a new dawn of a better life and a rosy future.

on this all the party manifestoes concurred,

only on the road to be taken they differed --

for the anglicised-democrats, consult and negotiate;

the socialists planned mass grievances to agitate.

their mandate the people eventually gave

the party that promised their cause to fight,

and jobs, food and shelter all to provide.

the ‘Always for the People Party’ pledged

a more just and equal society to build,

regardless of race, language or religion.

so over three decades and more,

the people stuck true to their bargain,

voting in their Party to power.

they ne’er thought the ‘people’s champion’

would renege on the promises to them

whose backs he had used to climb to power.

then the people lost the rights they had

when they weren’t yet a people free - -

the right to speak up and be heard,

the right to gather and to ‘agitate’,

the right to vote as the conscience dictate - -

the rights and dignity of ‘a people free’.

they soon realized they’d been sold

on promises never meant to be - -

a greater sharing of the common wealth,

the fruit of the people’s sweat and tears - -

they’d never to meritocracy subscribed,

meritocracy fronting paradise for an elite-few.

deprived the freedom to think,

they think no longer and so lose,

the spirit of spontaneity and enterprise.

as globalization begins its toll to take,

the people slogged more for less, then told

citizenship assures them not a livelihood.

one people, one nation forevermore,

only in fulness of time to know nationhood

confers not on nation-building pioneers,

any greater claims to privileges or rights

than those freely gifted away to quitters

who’ve come from some foreign shores.

which mother knows not

the children of her loins?

what shepherd heeds not

the bleating of his flock?

what nation worth the name

cares not for her very own?

and what great champion of the people

their needs and dignity he trivializes?

the people no longer need to wait,

the time is now their lot to remake.

just make certain at the end of the day,

the people’s dream has come to stay.

tragic would it be for the people to find,

at the end of the re-making nation process,

many roads they could choose to travel on,

only that none of these could they choose

would lead them to a destination

they could truly call home.

Ho CS 02/04/2004

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