On the Beat | By Wong Chun Wai

Best to get it over with fast

Everything seems to have just zapped past our eyes and it’s frightening because I can still remember vividly the parties I attended during the festive seasons.

The only thing that has not happened is the general election. For many, lives seemed to have been put on hold because of it.

There have been so many wrong predictions, postponed vacations, cancelled meetings and false starts. Our plans have been disrupted in many ways.

The next popular date now is some time in March, which is based on the assumption that the Prime Minister would seek the dissolution of Parliament after the Chinese New Year celebration, which begins on Feb 10.

There isn’t much time left because the Barisan Nasional term ends on April 28, which means that by the next two months, the momentum for the elections should be peaking.

No one should complain about the campaigning period being limited because the reality is that since the 2008 general election, where Barisan lost its two-thirds majority in the Dewan Rakyat, both Barisan and Pakatan Rakyat have been busy campaigning.

Everything has been seen to be political since then and no one has been spared. Even badminton hero Datuk Lee Chong Wei found himself the target of a Tweeter attack from a mindless DAP politician who was apparently cheering for his Chinese opponent Lin Dan.

Lee also found himself being belittled by supporters of Pakatan Rakyat on Facebook because of his wedding plans. As it was his wedding, he had the right to decide who he wanted to invite and who he wanted to sit with. Even his big day was the target of incredulous political connotations.

Then there is the Automated Enforcement System (AES) speed trap plan. That has become a political bombshell too. Strangely, no one from either side of the political divide has demanded that the police stop putting up roadblocks along the highways.

These roadblocks are irritating and give rise to suspicions of corruption. Most of us, especially those who claim to despise corruption, would want to end any perception that conversations in the middle of the road revolve around the “macam mana selesai” (how to resolve this) question. So, if you are not speeding or breaking any speed limit, why would you complain about the AES?

Going to church or the mosque can turn political too in this over-extended silly political season. If Barisan supporters find it painful listening to imam or pastors who seem to be inclined towards Pakatan Rakyat, the same must surely be felt by supporters of the latter who have to listen to a pro-Barisan preacher.

I believe those who advocate loudly about purported political consciousness in places of worship wouldn’t be so enthusiastic if their preachers were inclined to Barisan in their sermons. But there shouldn’t be different sets of rules.

Going for a haircut in a unisex salon can become political too if you are in Kelantan because the PAS-controlled state wants to impose its brand of religious fervour on the people.

Going gay has taken a different meaning now. Older Malaysians like me were taught that “going gay” means “being happy” but now it means adopting a certain sexual preference. For PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan, it can mean that you become “hedonistic and gay” after attending an Elton John concert.

And simply by questioning every concert coming to town with his political-­religious stance, Nasrudin has made it into the world news. Now, he is demanding that the Information, Communications and Culture Ministry consult him on any concert to be staged in Malaysia. Good luck to PAS supporters; he deserves your vote.

I wonder how he missed protesting against Jennifer Lopez who will be performing at Stadium Merdeka tonight. Maybe he does not find the Latino singer hot since he has already found the pencil-thin Avril Lavigne to be hot.

I really can’t wait for 2013 to start. Hold the general election, accept the results and we can all get back to some sanity, focus on keeping businesses healthy in a softening economy and not waste time on silly political antics.

As an aside, I wonder why my wife questioned me suspiciously when I came back to my Petaling Jaya home before midnight after the concert. It was too early for me to be home, it seemed. And I looked and felt happy after a great concert.

I must not use the word gay, though. But I must remember to show her the clipping of the front page of The Singapore Free Press dated Aug 31, 1957. “A So Gay Merdeka Day” was its headline, and the subheading read, “Not even a heavy downpour could dampen their enthusiasm.”