It feels like dejavu. Like it’s KL in 1998 again. I think I’m not alone when I say that I dread the weeks to come.
Will there be another reformasi? I think this is the question that is on everyone’s mind. I certainly hope not.
It may be a distant memory to some people but 1998 is still fresh in my mind. Every time I think of 1998, I think of my sister’s story.
When reformasi 1998 happened, my sister and her husband were in the federal reserve unit. They had just been married for about five or six years and had two daughters below 5 years. As both of them were working, they placed their two daughters in the care of babysitters during the day.
But the riots that were happening on the streets of KL meant they had to work overtime. Most days, they didn’t reach home until 1am.
It wasn’t enough that they had to work long hours everyday. They also had to listen passively to the verbal abuse hurled by the rioters every single day.
I think they had contemplated leaving the force because it was too taxing. What happened next made their minds up for them.
One day, the babysitter told my brother-in-law that he needn’t drop the two kids off anymore because she couldn’t continue caring for them from 6am to 2am. My brother-in-law’s heart just sank when he heard that. He and his wife had to work the next morning. So what were they to do with their daughters?
Take leave? Impossible because all leaves were frozen. Sure, there was the option of sending their children to my parents home in Perak. But for how long? The riots didn’t seem like they was going to end anytime soon.
I can’t remember when my sister and her husband tendered in their request for transfer to gd but they left KL for Perak by the end of the year.
My heart goes out to the parents in the federal reserve unit at difficult times like these. I really hope that no one has to go through what my sister and brother-in-law had to. No one.