Monday, 19 January 2015

Looking back to the future

Brave New World (The Star)
7 January 2015


I AM watching Back to the Future II at the moment, gently chortling to myself. Not that it is so funny (the first one was much better), but because it is set in 2015; this year. And man do they get their predictions wrong. Where are the fusion-powered flying cars, the hover boards and self-lacing shoes?
But just as I was enjoying watching how far off Zemeckis and co were, a sudden sobering thought hit me. If Back to the Future were to be remade (or rebooted) today, then when Marty McFly goes back in time, it will be back to 1985. That’s when I was in secondary school. In other words I have become Marty’s parents.
It feels like it was yesterday that I was sitting in the Rex theatre in Georgetown (having played truant) watching Doc Brown and his flux capacitor making time travel possible. How I laughed at the quaintness of 1955 America. And now, teenagers probably laugh at the quaintness of the Eighties.
There is much to laugh at, actually. Carrot cut trousers, stonewash denim, Kajagoogoo. Man, when on earth did my generation become quaint? How apt it is that as we enter a new year, I am reminded about just how many years have passed me by.
Anyway, enough moaning; it is time to look back to the future.
I wonder what 2015 is going to be like. If I had my own DeLorean with the flux capacitor, I would hit 88mph and take a peek. I am especially curious to see if the genuine hope of 2008 will still be around.
2014 saw cracks appearing in the Pakatan. Will those cracks develop into full blown fissures?
PAS is chomping at the bit to get their Hudud plans underway. Ironically it is only an act of God that got them to slow down for a bit. However, once the flood waters recede properly and life resumes a semblance of normality, I am sure they will clamber back onto their favourite hobby horse.
And when they do, could the Pakatan stick together? DAP is dropping hints of a break up. PKR has said nothing, still trying to play the bridge-builder but will that be possible when there is such a massive split in ideology? And if DAP does leave, will the other two stay together or will PKR leave with them?
Furthermore, if left alone will PAS strike out as a lone wolf or will they be tempted by the siren call of Umno? Incidentally, if Umno and PAS do join, I wonder what they will be called? The Pan United Malay Muslim National Organisation (Pummno)?
Whatever happens, one thing is clear, if the PR does break up in 2015 then it will feel like we have not moved forward to the future but back to the past; with no clear two-party system and a divided opposition taking votes from one another.
The only ones who will be jigging with glee in such a scenario would of course be the BN and their supporters.
It is still early days of course, and I am loathe to make predictions, but I think this year is going to be a very crucial one politically. The BN is way past their prime, there is infighting in Umno and this should be fertile ground for the opposition. Yet the opposition too can’t get their act together and there is a heavy smell of divorce in the air. What will happen is anyone’s guess.

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