The Animal & Insect Act
Finally, in order to ensure absolute national securitythey passed the Animal & Insect
Emergency Control & Discipline Act. Under this new Act, buffaloes cows and goats were
prohibited from grazing in herds of more than three. Neither could birds flock,
nor bees swarm …..
This constituted unlawful assembly.
As they had not obtained prior planning permission, mud-wasps and swallows were issued
with summary Notices to Quit. Their homes were declared subversive extensions to private property.
Monkeys and mynahs were warned to stop relaying their noisy morning orisons until an official
Broadcasting Licence was issued by the appropriate Ministry. Unmonitored publications &
broadcasts posed the gravest threats in times of a National Emergency.
Similarly, woodpeckers had to stop tapping their morse-code messages from coconut
tree-top to chempaka tree. All messages were subject to a thorough pre-scrutiny
by the relevant authorities.
Java sparrows were arrested in droves for rumour-mongering.
Cats (suspected of conspiracy) had to be indoors by 9 o’clock.
Cicadas and crickets received notification to turn their amplifiers down.
Ducks could not quack nor turkeys gobble during restricted hours.
Need I say, all dogs — alsatians, dachshunds, terriers, pointers and even little chihuahuas — were muzzled.
In the interests of security penguins and zebras were ordered to discard their
The deer had to surrender their dangerous antlers.
Tigers and all carnivores with retracted claws were sent directly to prison for concealing lethal weapons.
And by virtue of Article Four, paragraph 2(b) sub-Subsection sixteen, under no
circumstances were elephants allowed to break wind between the hours of six and six.
Their farts could easily be interpreted as gunshot.
Might spark off a riot …..
A month after the Act was properly gazetted the birds and insects started migrating south,
the animals went north and an eerie silence handcuffed the forests.
There was now Total Security.
— Cecil Rajendra, Refugees & Other Despairs, 1980
Cecil Rajendra is a Past President of HAKAM, and is currently an Exco Member of HAKAM.
Raffel (1989), in his essay Malaysian Plainspeak says, “Rajendra is without question, the best English language poet in Malaysia”. Nazareth (1989), in his article World Literature Today speaks of Rajendra as “fearless in his writing … not having any ideological biases: he exposes and attacks all those who are anti-people. Quoting the ‘Far Eastern Economic Review’, Nazareth says that Rajendra is a “one-man pressure group, committed to awakening people to the social evils that beset his country and the world in general”. In 2006, he was also nominated for the Nobel Literature Prize. Although he did not win, he deems the nomination itself a great thrill and honor (The SUN newspaper). “Dynamic” was how a reviewer of Britain’s Times Literary Supplement judged Rajendra’s work. Addison (1982) admired Rajendra’s work by saying that “The whole experience was a complete, if unconscious, refutation of the academic and disengaged approach”.