Sunday 25 October, 2020

‘Seriously’ Speaking: Rohan Chung may be wiser than you think

Rohan Chung... putting his money where his mouth is.

Rohan Chung... putting his money where his mouth is.

Today we introduce readers to a new, lighthearted feature to be carried on Sundays going forward.

Do enjoy, one way or the other.

Some call him delusional. Others think he is a deep-pocketed blowhard with a huge ego, a plant sent by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) or the People’s National Party (PNP) to discredit either former Manchester Central Member of Parliament (MP), Peter Bunting, or eventual winner, Rhoda Crawford.

Others think he is just a poster boy for futility.

But au contraire, my friends and neighbours, independent candidate Rohan Chung is so much more than that.

He is a modern-day Don Quixote jousting at windmills. Whatever you want to say about this young upstart of a challenger, he is a bona fide idealist who believes so much in democracy that he just spent possibly close to $15 million to prove that it works.

Why else would he spend that kind of money in an election bid that from the outset, was doomed to fail?

He certainly piqued the interest of many Jamaicans on social media following his bizarre prime time advertisements on television advocating for jobs and water.

Peter Bunting... no 'stunting' since September 3. 

But I guessed the stunt worked, or why else would we be devoting an entire article to him right now?

I mean, there are dozens of other uses Chung could have put the millions he is estimated to have spent on prime time ads and a big lawyer bill for a magisterial recount during which he lost one ballot from his original 49.

Look at it. He paid millions to lose one vote. Not the smartest investment, but he made his point. The system exists for everyone. 

Still, so many millions seem like a lot of money to waste in these challenging economic times. For the estimated spend of $15 million he could have bought a two-bedroom, one-bathroom apartment in Kingston.

He could also have reinvested that money into his company and use it to create jobs in his beloved constituency.

Rhoda Crawford... she came, she conquered. 

He could also have bought a BMW 5 Series 2020, or he could have even just used the money to blatantly seek to buy votes and likely end up with far more than the paltry 48 he came away with.

Chung, however, claimed that he will be seeking a judicial review following this week's outcome of the magisterial recount.

Someone needs to pull him aside now and tell him to opt out of this limelight-hugging buffoonery. In local parlance, 'him ah overdo it now'.

Where is he getting all this money from? The common belief is that he seems to have more money to 'blow' than Joe from Downsound.

Like Don Quixote, Chung wants to save the world, and he vowed to provide 100,000 jobs and water for the residents of Manchester.

But it seems only 48 persons struggled to invest in that promise with even a crumb of faith. Some people were even overhead making unfriendly observations of the Chinese race in relation to Chung. Others even speculated about his mental state and his gender-bender look.

It is not clear why Chung was treated in such a shabby manner, but it is clear that small and unappreciative minds were mainly behind it, for here is a man who was willing to put his money where his mouth was. Here was a bright spark in a gathering a constituency of despair, and he was all but ignored and vilified by the public.

Chung made some valid points. How do we engage our young people? Can we harness the idealism of young Jamaicans who have been left to twiddle their thumbs, smoke weed and namecheck firearms for a generation or three?                                       

The character Don Quixote starts out as an absurd and isolated figure and ends up as a pitiable and lovable old man whose strength and wisdom have failed him. Chung is still a young man, and while his methods are questionable, I know for a fact that Jamaica is an impossible country to govern, and I am just happy at least someone is prepared to keep trying.

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