Saturday, June 27, 2009


MICHAEL JACKSON (1958 - 2009)

Friday 26 June 2009: a day of grief for the legions of Michael Jackson fans around the world, and here in Malaysia. I had heard the shocking news early this morning on radio. After lunch I was in the Plenary Hall at the KL Convention Centre, together with 1000+ participants from 42 countries. We were awaiting the last presentation of the 14th International Conference on Thinking.

When Edward de Bono came on stage, the first thing he did was to call for a 1-minute silence as a mark of respect for MJ. A small gesture, but it showed that even in death, MJ affected people everywhere. He was someone we either loved, hated, ridiculed, vilified or worshipped. Now he's gone. Forever.

The two MJ CDs I own do not qualify me as an MJ fan. But MJ had always fascinated me. Media stories about him enthralled me. His music videos and movie "Moonwalker" mesmerized me. How could it be possible for any human being to move the way he did? Or do all those bizarre things that he did?

I remember queuing up for more than two hours in the hot sun and then in the drizzle to get tickets for his concert in Kuala Lumpur. That was in October 1996. I paid RM200+ for two tickets - a princely sum in those days. Malaysians had never seen anything quite like that MJ concert at Stadium Merdeka. It was spectacular - the theatrics, the pyrotechnics and the music. We were the privileged guests at this magnificent feast for the senses. What a night to remember for the rest of our lives!

I actually had goose pimples when MJ came on stage. The crowd went into a frenzy. There was MJ in his silver space suit looking like a demi-god from some friendly planet, dropping by to bestow his blessings on the earthlings. "Hello, Malaysia! I love you!" he shouted, waving his gloved hand. For more than two spell-binding hours Stadium Merdeka became the centre of the universe for the thousands of Malaysians there.

I am glad I got to see you in person, MJ. I am glad I had the chance to see you do your moonwalk and hear you sing "We are the World" with all those children. Thank you for all the songs and the memories. May you rest in peace.

Michael Jackson at 12 (Photo: The Rolling Stone)


Starmandala said...

Awwww.... this is so sweet. MJ would be totally touched. Beautifully written too. Pretty much how I feel about Wacko Jacko, the ultimate American showbiz phenomenon!

The Runner, Dreamer, Observer, Seeker said...

I was there at his concert too and I felt the same way. He is indeed the King of Pops!