Wednesday, 11 March 2009

This love-hate tree

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Wednesday, 11 March 2009 00:02
By Frankie D’Cruz, The Malay Mail

ONCE, it was just another tree at a junction of a road with no name leading to the Perak State Secretariat in Ipoh.
Today, the road is still nameless, while the tree has quickly been named “Tree of Democracy” by Pakatan Rakyat.On the other hand, the State government considers it a symbol of treason and contempt for royalty.Poor raintree. But what do you expect, given that Perak is now trapped in a cesspit of anger and political fury The most famous tree in the nation that stood quietly for years has suddenly sprouted “branches” of love and hate.

Love comes in the form of curious locals posing for photographs beneath the tree. Hate evolves from disloyalty and disdain for the monarchy.It is not alone. Five other raintree saplings which were planted around it yesterday share the same fate. The five, named “Justice”, “Integrity ” , “Welfare” , “ Transparency ” and “Trustworthiness ” wereplanted to commemorate the emergency sitting under the “Tree House” on March 3 and the first anniversary of Pakatan’s rule in the State.

However, the five may not last long as they were planted on road reserve. Meanwhile, the mother tree has become a tourist attraction, not so much for its aesthetic worth, but for the stories ringing around it. Yesterday, curious crowds were seen gathering and taking photographs under the tree, where a plaque has also been erected. Given this love for a history marker, it would be landmark imbecility to even think of harming the six trees.

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