Written on July 17, 2009 in Chinese and published in Sin Chew today (July 20, 2009). This is the English translation.
I dreamt of Teoh Beng Hock. He was looking at me, silently.
I whispered: “was it an accident, suicide, manslaughter or murder?”
There was no response.
I asked: “some say that you were free by half past three, but you chose to stay behind in order to rest. Is this true? Is it because your bed at home is not comfortable?”
Beng Hock said nothing.
I asked again: “It appears that you did not even notify anyone that you were free to go but opted to stay behind instead. Did you not know that all your loved ones and your friends were worried about you?”
Half turning, Beng Hock appeared to be moving away. “Please don’t go!” I pleaded. He stayed.
“Are the things I hear true? Should I believe them?”
He remained silent.
“Say something, please?”
After a pause, Beng Hock finally spoke. Out of the blue he asked me: “the presents your kids got last Christmas, I am told that they were brought by Santa Claus who came down your chimney. Is that true?”
Before I could answer, Beng Hock spoke again: “you know, I had made arrangements to register my marriage the next day. I was looking forward to a good family life.”
I stubbornly persisted: “I heard that you had your car with you that night. Why did you not drive home immediately? Isn’t home the best place to rest?”
Beng Hock ignored me again.
“Do tell me! I am a lawyer. I will disclose the whole truth on your behalf!”
As soon as I said it, I realized how silly I sounded. Surely I cannot possibly tell the world: that the truth is such and such, and I know it because the deceased came to me in my dream and told me so!
In embarrassment I quickly added: “please give me a hint, let me know where to start looking. I promise that I will do what I can to uncover the whole truth.”
Instead of responding, Beng Hock suddenly asked me: “Is every single life precious? Why is it precious?”
“Of course every life is precious! To live is obviously about preserving life, treasuring life.”
Beng Hock did not bother about my reply, and carried on: “every life is precious because each of us has our own missions during our brief stay. Mine has just ended. Yours and those of millions of other Malaysians are continuing. One of your missions is to unearth the truth about my death, and then to act upon the uncovered truth.”
Rather hastily I replied: “but what is the point when whatever we do can never bring you back?”
He looked at me for some time, before slowly speaking: “do you not think there will be many others who would suffer the same fate in the future if nothing is done? Whom can they turn to for help? Whom will you turn to if you become the target? Remember this, he who bothers only about his own turf will be buried alone in it when the grass catches fire.”
I had no reply to offer. I was overcome with shame.
Beng Hock turned and, with the blood on his finger, wrote a few lines on the white wall, before gradually disappearing:
I raised my glass of blood and asked Him above
If the world has not abandoned justice and love
Let women and men rise where I have fallen
And act to halt the spread of these corrupt pollens
Then my death will not be in vain!
At that moment I awoke, soaked in cold sweat, outraged and ashamed.
8 Responses to I Dreamt of Beng Hock