Brave New World (The Star)
17 April 2013
REGULAR readers of this column (hi, Mum) would know that I am an ardent
supporter of Tottenham Hotspur.
As I write this, my stomach is in knots because we have a game against FC
Basel and I am very anxious.
The game starts at 3.05am tomorrow and if my past experience is anything to
go by, I won’t be able to sleep a wink and will be tossing and turning until
And then after the final whistle, I’ll most likely go back to bed sobbing
softly at another lost chance for glory. But who knows? We might achieve
something this season, be it advancing in the Europa Cup (hey, I know it’s not
your glamorous Champions League but it is still a cup, all right?) or even
finishing in the top four.
The thing is, nowadays as Spurs supporters, we actually have that glimmer of
hope – the thought that maybe, just maybe, something more than mid-table
mediocrity awaits us. In a way, it is similar to elections in Malaysia.
There used to be a time when the result of a general election in this country
was a foregone conclusion.
Barisan Nasional will win; it’s just a matter of by how much.
There was no real tension in all the elections where I have been old enough
You go to your polling station, you do your thing and then you kind of forget
about the whole affair.
There was a definite lack of stress and excitement.
Just like old Spurs. You might win the odd big game, but you knew that at the
end of the season the team will neither be in the top of the league or in the
This is not the case any more for both my football team and for this
Nowadays there is a chance that something big might happen, both at White
Hart Lane and on Jalan Parlimen. It is unlikely, but there is a chance.
To irritate you further with the football analogy, for a competition to be
really exciting, there has to be an absolute belief that the rules are not only
fair but also fairly administered.
Losing hurts, but losing because one team cheated or because the referee was
blind (I am looking at you Mr Clattenburg: if the ball goes a metre over the
goal line, then it is a blinking goal); that leaves a real sour taste in the
The big teams will always have an advantage over the smaller teams. Money
breeds success and this leads to attracting superstar players, and the wheels
keep on turning.
However, on a level playing field, anything can happen.
Not only does this give us a thrill, but it also appeals to our deep-rooted
psychological human need for fairness. The fact of the matter is that the
Barisan is a big boy; it has a giant high-rise headquarters, loads of money, and
a well-oiled electoral machinery.
The battle is going to be a tough one for Pakatan Rakyat. But, assuming that
there is fair play, anything can happen.