I read an interest piece of crap on an online news website several days ago. First, however, I want to qualify myself as I do not mean that the website or its news item was crap. What was crap was the subject of its news coverage.
There was this incredible news item, see, on the freemalaysiatoday website which reported how Najib decided to cancel his family holiday because he wanted to spend more time with Malaysians. Okay, we know that this is crap anyway. He is under real pressure politically from "friends" and foes alike following the fiasco of the Bersih 2.0 clampdown and the revelation of his wife buying a cheap ring. There's some under-current political manouevring going on, I tell you. Anyway, he doesn't want to be seen sleeping on the job overseas; he would prefer now to be seen sleeping on the job while at home.
But this is not what I want to write about. Buried deep in this incredible news item was the mention that a banner unfurled at the airport by the Malaysian Indian Muslim Congress (Kimma) bore the signatures of "1.2 million Malaysians" backing Najib's leadership. This is where incredibility becomes incredulity.
Sometimes, my friends accuse me of being pedantic, that I can become overly concerned with minute details of little consequence. Maybe this is one of those moments. You see, I was so intrigued with the "1.2 million" signatures. Never mind how they were collected, never mind too the size of a banner, but is it really possible a banner could hold that many number of signatures?
How big is a signature, anyway? My own signature easily occupies a space of about 12 square centimetres. Yours may occupy more space or less space. I know of a Commissioner of Oaths in Seberang Jaya whose signature takes up the whole width of an A4 size paper. Serious! I went there once to get something done and came away feeling awed.
Let me just assume that on this banner, the signatures are all of equal size, say, about three square centimetres so that you can pack the most number of signatures into the smallest of spaces. Three square centimetres to a signature. For 1.2 million signatures, Kimma will need a banner space of 3.6 million square centimetres or 360 square metres. I can't fathom how big or small is 360 square metres, but I know that if the height of a banner is one metre, the length must be 360 metres. If the banner's height is two metres, the length is 180 metres. Make the height three metres and the length shortens to 120 metres.And so on and so on.
I don't know about you but a banner which stretches 120 metres or 180 metres or 360 metres must have made an impressive sight indeed. And anyone who has been paid to hold the banner would most probably want to be seen holding it too, for his own personal or political benefit. So a one-metre high banner stretching for 360 metres would seem most logical. But it would have been very difficult to unfurl or even to tie up inside the airport. Immediately, I became suspicious of this claim. Who is Kimma trying to fool?
freemalaysiatoday website again a few days later, I spied another news item with this interesting picture. Say, the signatures are not that small after all. At the most conservative estimate, each signature is the size of two clenched fists, or about 200 square centimetre space.
Therefore, with 1.2 million signatures, etc, etc, etc, the banner now covers 24,000 square metres of space. I'm not even going to speculate on the length of this banner now but it suffices me to mention that 24,000 square metres is the equivalent of the land area of 162 terrace houses in my neighbourhood.
Just make your own pedantic conclusions, won't you?