Of half-baked things, clown cars and VIP discounts

MAY 6  — As I write this, my house smells of burnt biscuits.

My first batch of Southern, American-style biscuits turned out fine but the second batch is useless and unsalvageable due to some changes I probably shouldn’t have made to the recipe.

A rather apt parallel to our current political situation. Unnecessary changes, with unsatisfactory results.

The good batch of biscuits were a comfort as I read what a certain single mother had to say about recent events: “Am I a second class citizen to this nation?”

She was the one jailed for eight days and fined RM1,000 for stopping to chat with a friend as she came back from the store.

How must she have felt to see a politician’s daughter get away with what was basically a slap on the wrist in comparison — RM800 when the standard fine is RM1,000.

Didn’t another politician say that there was no separate law for privileged individuals?

We have a finance minister who asks the public for suggestions on how to do his job and a health minister with questionable opinions about the healing properties of warm water.

The more I ponder the current Cabinet, the more it seems more akin to a clown car than anything.

I struggle to find humour these days. Most days I am just irritable, tired (thanks, chronic fatigue) and angry.

At least when I am too tired to sleep, which is actually a thing, I can temporarily distract myself with messy baking escapades.

My kitchen after a baking session is messy chaos; flour everywhere, ants plotting to raid the trail of spilt sugar and suspicious bits of what is probably dough spattered on various surfaces.

Yet all that mess and cleanup after is worth it as at least I have baked goods that will sweeten my temper for a few days.

I cannot say that about the chaos that is the messiness of the conditional movement control order (CMCO) and the fact that many people are struggling when they shouldn’t be.

Already people are unhappy that the promised EPF Lestari withdrawal scheme’s disbursement is delayed. Many have received notifications that they will only receive their RM500 after the 18th of May.

Friends who have lost jobs or are facing changed circumstances are upset they do not qualify for BPN as their past tax returns disqualify them.

In the meantime, political appointments to cushy GLC posts continue to be announced.

There is a certain tone deafness in the approach the current government has to everything, whether it is handling journalists, providing financial aid to the most vulnerable or handling VIP court cases.

We have a long two years to see how this new government will fare until the next election.

I will just feed my sourdough starter in the meantime. Sourdough starters are exercises in patience, with the best needing time and consistent care to develop to their full potential.

My current one is bubbling happily and in three weeks or so will be mature enough to make good bread. Past failed starters ended up being pancakes or in my aforementioned biscuits.

I wonder if Malaysia’s people will be as patient, waiting for this government to learn to function. We will just have to see whether our politicians will finally rise to the occasion or end up being thrown out like burnt baked goods.

My only hope is that my fellow citizens will not be too jaded to exercise that one precious right, which is to vote for the least incompetent candidate.

Whatever happens, may it not leave a bad taste in our collective mouths.

* This is the personal opinion of the columnist.

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