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Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. [Volume 39, Issue 8. April 1976]

Poet Pui Puts Pen to Paper

Poet Pui Puts Pen to Paper

Dear John,

Let me assure 'Concerned' that I have always known that the 'seat of our struggles is in Malaysia and that I have every intention of going home. He should perhaps talk to me and find out what my plans are in this respect, before he writes another poem.

There is a rumour being circulated by some 'concerned' Malaysians in their idle talks, that I have planned my last ditch stand here. This nonsense is being used by subversive elements to create disillusionment and disunity among those who support what we are attempting to do here.

It goes as follows: 'Robert Pui has no intention of going home and therefore he can afford to shoot off his mouth here' etc, etc. A different version tells of my parents fleeing to the USA (of all places) and that I would be joining them! That was one time when humans could travel as fast as rumours! They informed me that they are still in Malaysia, when I asked when they had moved to the US.

However, the purpose of such stories is clearly intended to weaken the resolve of many of us to fight against government oppression. We should ignore these and carry on with the important objective of deepening political consciousness among Malaysians.

The other argument raised by 'Concerned' is that when we are overseas we should shut up and not articulate about what is happening in Malaysia. I interprete his poem as such. Jack da Silva said the same thing in 1973 when he criticised us for exposing the corruption in our society and how the people suffer under the present system.

If 'Concerned' is so concerned he should also do something about the situation. The main struggle is at home, but is also important to carry on the struggle on an international level.

I compose a rough poem here for the Malaysian who should be questioning themselves rather than bitching about the motives of others:

Where were you
when our generals rallied us in the waves of struggles
at home and abroad?
The generals who thought not of themselves but their troops,
Hisham, Kassim, Hussein Ali and his brother who is carving tombstones
Was not Juliet Chin Phe valiant woman fighter whom Lee deported
and Razak locked up for showing slides of Tasek Utara?
One by one they have been locked up.
Said Zahari has been there for over 13 years
Many have been put in cold storage
Have you rallied to their liberation?
We are concerned
for what?
A degree, dollars signs in our eyes and a name for ourselves.
Maybe one day 'I will be rich and a Dato'
If not I will buy one'?
Is this not the reason for shutting up and shutting others up?
'Shut up!Shut up!
You are jeopardising my future, my brother's my sister's......'
ad nauseam
But in their millions they will drown your selfishness
They will unite against you all
exploiters of the poor, ignorant and helpless
They will have their freedom to decide for themselves
Not you experts deciding for them
That's why you want them to shut up.
And where were you when we laid seige to those at the Bay
and at the Cook?
Were you cowering behind some paper
saying 'I have nothing to do with them shut them up!:
Cowering behind the skirts of.....?
So you are concerned
for yourselves........

R. Pui