The year was 1988, and in that year, a rather 'out of the box' teacher and our class crossed paths. Every week, during one of our lessons - I can't remember which, she'd introduce us to something interesting, from a discussion on old wives tales (which we had to dig up from our parents to be presented in class) to old folk stories - one of them being the story of the misadventures of Pak Pandir during his attempts to help his wife give their baby a bath while she was away. Back then, we all laughed at how silly Pak Pandir could be, putting his baby into a tub of boiling hot water (and killing it in the process) Looking back, I can't imagine how on earth childhood innocence could make something so morbid seem funny.
Earlier this week, while reading a local online paper, I saw the following headline:
"Perkasa burns copies of Star, rubber snakes in protest" Full article here
Ok. (The) Star, I understand - something the newspaper wrote pissed them off big time, but rubber snakes? Seriously. I knew I had to read it, and I burst out laughing, because as disturbing as it was (due to the underlying racism), I thought it was funny as hell. Mainly because by burning the rubber snakes, the leader of Perkasa inadvertently acknowledged himself as a frog, which coincidentally is what most moderate Malaysians liken him to. Honestly though, I prefer frogs any given time.
This isn't the first article about this man and his group and the mischief they are up to. He has been loud and rude and somewhat gangster-ish, and if his arguments weren't so outrageous that they are borderline comical, and if the country actually had more physically outspoken people, I'd say someone would have already thrown an old slipper or two at him. However, for the moment, his head is still pretty safe due to various reasons.
On the other hand, I think that stories about him and his group should be compiled and put together as reading material for the future generation, where future 'out of the box' type of teachers could use the stories to entertain their students, like how ours did with her Pak Pandir stories - once you get past the part that infuriates you, that is. The Frog is Malaysia's new age Pak Pandir.