Badawi's Soliloquy

January 16th, 2000

"KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 -- Deputy Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi lashed out at criticism of the arrest of leading opposition figures, which have drawn widespread overseas condemnation Abdullah, who is also Home Minister and heir apparent to Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, said the public should not get "excited" over the arrests as police would investigate the complaints with caution. Asked if more arrests were planned, he told reporters: "We won't say how many people are going to be arrested. If there are reports and evidence that a person can be charged, action will be taken." (AFP)

Badawi's Soliloquy

(With apologies to 'Hamlet's Soliloquy' from the play 'Hamlet' by William Shakespeare)

        To arrest, or not to arrest: that is the question:
        Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
        The slings and arrows of freedom of expression
        Or take up arms against a sea of dissent,
        And by opposing end them. To arrest: to detain:
        Ever more: and by detention to say we end
        The heartache, and the thousand natural shocks
        That oppressive power is heir to. ' Tis a consummation
        Devoutly to be wished. To arrest: to detain;
        To detain? perchance to silence! Aye, there's the rub!
        For in that sleep of jail what nightmares may come,
        When we have rid off these annoying opponents,
        Must give us pause: there's the respect
        That makes calamity of so long a tyranny;
        For those who would bear the whips and scorns of our government,
        The oppressor's wrong, the dissident's contumely,
        The pangs of despised judges, the law's delay,
        The insolence of office, and the spurns,
        That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
        When he himself might his quietus make
        With another Election? Who would fardels bear,
        To grunt and sweat under an oppressive life,
        But that the dread of life after Mahathir,
        The undiscovered country from whose bourn
        No traveller's returned, puzzles the will,
        And makes us rather bear those ills we have
        Than fly to others that we know not of?
        Thus conscience does make cowards of us all,
        And thus the native hue of freedom
        Is sicklied o'er with the pale cast of fear,
        And Reform of great pitch and moment
        With this regard their currents turn awry
        And lose the name of action.

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