News is getting exciting; don’t Birkin bags show it?

One of the immediate changes that occurred after Pakatan Harapan formed the new government is that news has become interesting! It really is a pleasure to read the printed news now! I don’t know if broadcast news has changed as I don’t listen as much as I read the news.

Prior to May 9, news was boring. Online news portals provided the alternative to government-controlled formulaic, government-speak. I would read the first paragraph and wouldn’t continue as I would know exactly what would follow! It got so bad that I decided I was going to stop the newspapers and rely on the online news portals.

Then general elections were announced and I decided I’ll stop the papers after elections. But, from the day after May 9, news suddenly came alive! There was so much current content that I would read through the story! Before, I would skim through the papers in 20 minutes or so. Now, I take a good one hour of reading and feel very satisfied after!

News is no longer what this minister or Barisan Nasional (BN) leader said or did. Now, the reports give context and background and you get a fairly clear picture of what’s going on.

You see the full work of what the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) is doing with regard to 1MDB. You get to see all the accumulated cash in the former prime minister’s homes — people keep RM114 million in cash and RM200 million (unofficial figure) worth of jewellery in their homes? The bank’s deposit boxes, perhaps, are too small to hold all that!

You get to see what the ministers and politicians and even the Sultans are up to!

And, the former prime minister’s wife’s many Birkin bags! Seriously! Why would a woman want that many Birkin bags? One Birkin bag to match every outfit she wears? A Birkin bag’s price ranges from an average of about RM3,000 to as high as over a RM1,000,000 and the second-hand value is even higher. The annual return on a Birkin bag is more than 14%, according to some reports. So, it may be a form of investment.

But, to carry it as a style and luxury item? It may be well crafted but I find the style squarish, stiff and grandmotherly despite the encrusted diamonds! A piece you might see hanging on Queen Elizabeth’s arm! Some of the bags use crocodile skin and I can’t help but feel sorry for crocodiles, although these reptiles don’t make it on my list of favourite creatures in the animal kingdom!

If you can afford a Birkin, I ask, why bother about investments? You are already rolling in a lot of money. Just keep on buying and you still have much to spare! I suppose if you have so much of money you like the challenge of an investment to make more? Well, doesn’t that smack of greed?

Give me a Prada or Gucci bag, anytime. Less expensive and more stylish! Of course, I won’t be buying any of these branded bags ‘cos I’m not in that league of women. More importantly, I’m not one who is defined by the bag or luxury label I carry. But, should my circumstances change (very unlikely!), you definitely won’t catch me with a Birkin!

I digress! But the point is that news opens up all these unseen worlds that we suspect exist but can’t verify. But, when these worlds are spread out before our eyes on the screen and paper, we see a bigger world and it makes us think about right and wrong.

Conversations become interesting. We talk about what is going on and it broadens our worldview. That is what honest journalism does. I’m looking forward to more of it!

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