The day Kit Siang said ‘Get out’
“You’re not welcome here,” Lim Kit Siang said. “Get out.” The city was tense, had been for months in a cascade of tumultuous political events. In the small room for Kit Siang’s press conference the other reporters sat still, waiting with grim foreboding.
“Get out,” he barked again, the tone flat, harsh and implacable.
It was not a journalist that he saw before him, but an institution, a steely grey monolithic slab ready to flatten him. If he noticed at all the flushed eagerness of the young reporter meeting the man of the moment, he gave no sign except for a flicker of amusement, perhaps of contempt, at the capitulation of the monolith. Perhaps he didn’t see that it was only the reporter and photographer quietly leaving, gathering their dignity and masking the crushing disappointment as they did.
The phrase rings out through forty years: now it’s a refrain from young acolytes fired up with missionary zeal and the unflinching arrogance of righteousness. “Get out,” they say. Get out, you prostitutes, pimps and pariahs.
Before them they see only the grey steely monolith of The Enemy, on their side sweetness and light, goodness and grace. There is no human life before them, only True Believers or The Enemy.
One among them, possibly, saw as a sign of The Enemy the lack of a listing for Lim Kit Siang on my lower right sidebar, in the list of blogs by journalists and editors.
There is no hope for such as these. They’ll never make the human race.