Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Racing Our Religion: Our Recipe to Doom?

In many Hollywood sci-fi movies, we have been served with great storylines on creation of new technologies. From damnest warfare to grandest ship.From crippling biological weapons to bizzare superheroes. All in the name of ultimate power. No matter what devices men took to stay and getting powerful, these movies normally leave us weepy that evil can do so much destructions yet it is the basic humanity will prevail and bring this world back to where nature intended it to be.

Egypt's promising and inspiring Uprising not only defies Samuel Huntington's 'scary theory' "Clash of Civilisation" because in Tahrir Square, both Muslims and Coptic Christians stayed united for 18 straight days before their dictator - the powerbroker to the western world - succumbed to the biggest humiliation, accompanied with cheery sighs, roars and tears from people around the world.

Weeks before Tunisia and Egypt's Uprising, there were various documents leaked to western media (I read UK's The Guardian and The Independent), in particularly those of Palestinian Paper. From those documents, the world was shocked to know that Israel-Palestine peace talks were merely talks between benefited parties to the continuous rifts between these two countries. It is not surprising at all if you have read Naomi Klein's "Shock Doctrine".

Interestingly, by using Palestinian's Hamas association to the most 'hated' terrorist by the big powers, the world deems we could all leave Palestinians on their own because a extreme-right Zionist ruled Israel, like any other democratic counties, is entitled to protect their beloved homeland, even if the Zionist army continue to cause immense sufferings to the Palestinians. All supports towards the Palestinians would be labelled islamist, when all we want to do is to restore humanity. Any actions by the Palestinians against the Zionist army is merely another evidence to prove Huntington's sacry theory that Arab people would do anything for the sake of fighting. Well Mr. Huntington, you are dead wrong. They too have dignity and they are humane enough to appreciate democracy.

By simply associating islamist group like Hamas and Muslim Brotherhood with Osama Ben Laden, the western world has once again unleashed its 'ancient tools' to regain their faltering support (thus, power), namely race and religion, to bring down their opposition. Scientifically, it is proved that our views on others' race and religion are all hard-wired to certain parts of our brain.

David Cameron's speech at security conference in Munich recently has offended muslims while giving support to English Defence League ("EDL"), a group akin to PERKASA in Malaysia. In his speech, he attacked state multiculturalism, which he thinks has eroded UK's sense of security as his government continues to provide public funds to Muslim groups in UK yet these groups do little to tackle Islamist extremism. On the very same day, EDL supporters marched in Luton, shouting villicious remarks on Islam. Again, Islam has been used to boost up another politician's downfall.

Early this year, 6 people were killed during an attempted assassination of Republican Congresswoman Gabrielle Gibson by an army reject, Jared Lee Loughner. One of those killed was a beautiful and wonderful Christina Green. She was there with her neighbour, who thought the Congresswoman would be a great role model for the young Christina. At the time of her untimely death, Christina was recently elected to her Student Council. While it is still unknown whether the killing was triggered by excessive propaganda by Sarah Palin and her Tea Party Movement (many accused her responsibility in this rampage because she had Crosshair ads, with Giffords' Arizona District on it) - all in the name of running for Presidency in 2013. Somehow, I cannot help but finding myself looking at her and her supporters under the shadow of fascist Klu Klux Klan though Jared Lee Loughner that he is not one of extreme right Palin's supporters. In this world, full of madmen, but Again, I see PERKASA standing hand in hand with US' Tea Party Movement.

Since the induction of new premiership in 2009, Malaysia has seen enough humiliating events that makes our ancestors turning in their graves. We have become more divided by race and religion. We have turned our judiciary and religious bodies into divisive power houses. Such continuous attacks on our vague morality have degraded our humanity to a point that the death of Adik Teoh Beng Hock and Adik Kugan has no importance and, thus, we carry no responsibility to make things right (in Egypt, the brutal murder of Khaled Said moved the nation to topple the dictator). We have shed our Mr/Mrs/Ms Nice guy mask and show our true racism, thinking it's alright to see someone being killed in questionable ways or being subjected to injustice as along as he does not belong to our race or family. It is acceptable to accuse someone a religion extremist just because they observe their faith, different from ours.

While we are busy trying to stay firm that we are first and foremost humans, like everyone else, the premiership and his 'kakis' will continue to 'divide and rule' us, instilling unfounded fears on humanity, making us deaf and blind to our own yearning to be a better person as they peg our survival and dignity to a price of making a living.

We fear that if we resolute to seek for higher purpose in life by simply being a good human, we will be less successful and thus, being labelled a failure.

I wonder if we know what real success is. It is like marrying someone who you thought marrying you because of you and not because of what you have. Indeed, you are succesffuly married to someone but marrying for material gain defeats the purpose of marrying in the first place.

To bake a perfect brownie, I need to have a perfect recipe. But even if I have the perfect recipe, I need to find the perfect ingredients. Even if I managed to get all those ingredients, I must know what to look for in my brownie mixture - a sign of perfect brownie thereafter - because different environment gives different effect. After much trials (and extra pounds on me), I find that substituting half of the room temperature butter with a melted one would give a moist to-die-for brownie.

There are reasons why the Almighty created us differently. Instead of looking at the differences that tear us apart, shouldn't we forge a symbiotic relationship amongst us for the benefit of all? Like jigsaw puzzles, we won't see the big picture, the greater goodness, until we get those little pieces together.

Would we be using our race and religion to our advantage or would we go against each other to show powerful our ego is, while this nation is being run down a band of crooks?

The choice is always ours.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Horrific Justice!

I read Captain Iskandar Dzulkarnain "The horror if Pakatan wins..." on MI with a smirk sans goose bumps or hairs standing on my neck (just like when I watched (hardly justified as one when I sat in front of the telly with both eyes closed but screamed listening to the as-always-overdramatic music) a horror TV series on Ananda Krishna's ASTRO channel last night).

For my dear readers' information (:D is there anyone out there reading this anyway but I shall remain eternally optimistic), I completed reading Marshall Goldsmith's "What Got You Here Won't Get You There" (Thanks Pak Busu for hinting that I am after all a successful individual by lending me his book, though I don't think I am one by any chance) months ago and one of the bad habits I need to shed away is to stop being sarcastic! Shish! So, do you think I should read Captain Iskandar Dzulkarnain's article with a glassful of sarcasm? If I could, I think his article is one brilliant case of Reverse Psychology (Oh, I once dreamt to be a psychologist but was thought to be too cute (yes, you know cute is equivalent to ugly but adorable) to serve the madmen in Tanjung Rambutan)!

Capt. Iskandar Dzulkarnain has the following 'horrific' list for us Malaysians out there to ponder: -

• Meritocracy would be fully restored, heightening intense competition for places in public educational institutions, government institutions, the public and private sectors and the civil service;

• A free market economy, that will be disadvantageous to certain segments of society dependent on the NEM;

• Equality among the races, that will ridicule our supremacy and superiority;

• Financial institutions will tighten loan requirements to only people who are able to repay;

• Unbridled freedom of expression that may embarrass the country’s plurality;

• A repressed “Ketuanan Melayu” and Malay domination;

• Widespread religious freedom that may affect the sanctity of Islam as the Religion of the Federation;

• A spendthrift government that will retard economic stimulus, leading to a bankrupt nation;

• Open tender exercises that will affect a large segment of contractors that cannot compete equally on a level playing field;

• Curbing the mass issuance of citizenships to foreigners, thus affecting our target population of 70 million by 2020 (Vision 2020);

• Discontinuation of billion-ringgit mega projects which could stimulate our bearish economy;

• Abolishment of the ISA and the Sedition Act, that may encourage terrorism, freedom of expression, illegal congregation, extremism and sedition;

• Checks and balances will be introduced in all government departments that will tax the patience of the Civil Service;

• Politeness and dedication to service will be introduced in all Civil and Public Departments;
• Cronyism will become a dirty word;

• MACC will go under the purview of Parliament, thereby restricting its independence to select and prosecute without fear or favour;

• The separation of powers of the Executive, Judiciary and Legislature will lead to a true democracy so unlike our current administration;

• There will be no more such thing as easy money. Everyone will have to slog for their bread and butter.

If these are 'horrific' to us, I wonder if we were born in Mars!

Thank you Capt. Iskandar Dzulkarnain (I really like his name) for your piece of 'horrific' list. For once, I enjoy such horror :)

p.s. OK, I failed sarcasm-no-more-meter as I still think being sarcastic during this 'horrific' time in our history fuels my desire for a better Malaysia.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Laskar Pelangi

mimpi adalah kunci

untuk kita menakhlukkan dunia

berlarilah tanpa lelah

sampai engkau meraihnya

laskar pelangi

tak kan terikat waktu

bebaskan mimpimu di angkasa

warnai bintang di jiwa

menarilah dan terus tertawa

walau dunia tak seindah surga

bersyukurlah pada Yang Kuasa

cinta kita di dunia selamanya…

cinta kepada hidup

memberikan senyuman abadi

walau hidup kadang tak adil

tapi cinta lengkapi kita

laskar pelangi

tak kan terikat waktu

jangan berhenti mewarnai

jutaan mimpi di bumi

menarilah dan terus tertawa

walau dunia tak seindah surga

bersyukurlah pada Yang Kuasa

cinta kita di dunia

menarilah dan terus tertawa

walau dunia tak seindah surga

bersyukurlah pada Yang Kuasa

cinta kita di dunia



Monday, February 7, 2011

Hold My Hands and Let's Rise Up

Astro First costs a mere RM15 for 3-day potato-couching, popcorn-crunching hours watching 4 local movies - I was told. That's a great bargain for a young family of 6 which movie tixs along could fetch more than RM50 for a show (sans petrol/toll/parking/pop corns and pop sodas/customary meal thereafter). Not to mention, they could get Opah/Atok/Bibik etc to watch them too on their fave couch!(today's quality time it seems). But such freedom has invited a good cry from some industry players - if lesser people go to cinemas to watch their movie, how can they survive?

Anyway, I ain't promoting Astro First but I have been glued to Al-Jazeera for Egypt's Uprising with a box of tissues (did i hear JT's "Cry me a river"?) and a pillow (a physical emotional shield when i watch the tellies with my parents - heck, I cry too much these days - nasib baik ada Ayman Mohyeldin).

But suddenly, I thought of something absurd, likening the two into a great realisation.

We marvel at the sheer courage, bravery and steadfastness of our brothers and sisters in Egypt - the land where once a great civilisation started along the bountiful Nile River. For once, they enliven the soul of their great ancestors for a civilised society would not have striking poverty and blatant corruption as a way of life.

We shed tears of joy and sadness at the same time when we saw people from all walks of life congregated at Tahrir Square calling for the dictator and his regime to step down so their beloved Egypt and its people could move forward in better light, holistically.

We cry when we saw how the protesters were attacked by the dictator's blind supporters while the army stood still as if watching a silent movie.

We realise how powerful army could be in times like this and this alone could explain why some defence contracts hardly cost million, but billions because satisfying your army (for whatever reasons) is just another act of 'buying their support' on the pretext of natinal defence.

Thanks to readily available information online (sadly most of us Malaysians despise reading which render us indifferent), we are inspired to see that a change can only happen when we, normal Rakyat, start to play an active role to ensure that we have true representative government, instead of mere 'musang berbulu ayam' MPs and YBs so that whatever is being planned at federal level would trickle down to us, the normal rakyat. Once we obtain the benefits of such fairness and goodness from a sound, empathic and democratic group of people we spent millions to get them elected every now and them (well, we have so far 14 buy-bye-by elections since GE12 2008), imagine the wonders we could bring about to our people and Ibu Pertiwi!

The Egyptians pay a huge price for their real freedom. We, Malaysian, may not have to go down the same history lane if we could exercise our rights, electing the right people to helm our government, at ballot boxes, NOW. I'm sure that's the easiest form of valour we could all do for the love of our country, no matter who we are, how indifferent you feel about others (at least think about your children and their children), how inclined you are to retain your 'ketuanan' (well, you could only be one when you are morally and socio-economically strong).

All uprisings bring people together in the most emotionally stable touch - as simple as holding each others' hands. In almost all religions, we see congregations are being held every now and them.

So, why not you hold my hands now and let's rise up to the occasion we have been presented with?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Xīn Nián Kuài Le

May this Metal Rabbit Year brings us
much-needed peace
diplomacy and
cautious tact

one and all
a meaningful
and fruitful New Year

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Satire of Malaysian's Public Transportation

"Where do you work", asks a man, who seems to grin bigger by each passing day when he passes my seat.

"Somewhere near here", I replied in haste (I wish I could sing Wizard of Oz's "Somewhere over the rainbow"), as we climb up the stairs to the LRT station.

"With whom do you stay with? Husband?"


"How come your husband does not send you to office?"

"Oh, he's in Russia, training to be the next Angkasawan", with a big smile.

"Oh!", as he hurried up the stairs leaving me grinning like Alice in Wonderland's Cheshire Cat.

And I never saw him again. Mission accomplished.

So, since when one has to stop taking public transport once she is married? And who says that we can ask personal questions just because we have something in common and that is the bus we are taking every single morning?

Hm, I thought my plugged earphones would deter unwanted attention and question. So, I was wrong. Curiosity could kill a cat but never a man on a bus/lrt/commuter! Sigh!

Well, taking about men on a bus/lrt/commuter, I read with much shocks last week that men have been complaining about implementation of women's only buses/coaches. While some are just plain ignorant (for not knowing about this), these men have the cheeks to get jealous over women, who too have to sardine in their women's only coaches! I have never seen our coaches being comfy, let alone empty that those men have to sardine themselves with those of same species.

But then, I agree with them when they complained that couples would board those non women's coaches when the XX chromosome bearing species should respect the silent arrangement that women should board the all women's coaches, while their male partners get pushed into the other coaches.

But if you look closely on those coaches where men reside, you could see them distancing themselves with some not making any move further into the coaches, hence, perfectly explains why men would have to wait longer to get on the commuter while we women crushed our bodies so we could get home, cook, do some laundry and have a quiet time reading before calling it a day. Perhaps, it's been doctrined in men that resourcesfullness and multitasking are women's forte and these men have to be told to do so. So, stop complaining.

Once, I took alll women's bus back home. Five minutes later, the bell rings and the ladies point their dainty fingers to a man, secretly getting on the bus through the back door. The mysterious man walks towards the conductor, trying to share his 2 cents, hoping he could get a ride. But, we all could smell his alcoholic breaths when he zig zagging his way to the conductor. He is plain drunk! And tell me, gentlemen, if you would allow a drunk/a molester/etc to share a bus/lrt/commuters with you ladies? While I am not saying that all men could be a drunkard/ a molester, but having these services simply provide the best security you all could offer to your beloved women in your life, like your mom, wife, sister and daughter. We would not be exposed to unnecesary, unwanted hassles from men.

Not surprising to see more women are embracing the power of public transport in Malaysia while most men remain adamant to the comfort of their car seat.

Yet, when it comes to voting the right people to run our government, I wonder if we women have done our part to ensure our public transportation system is safe, realible and affordable. Maybe we have done so and it is high time to get our men to do the same too.

Or perhaps, it is high time to have a lady PM? After all, most people's power revolutions in Asia were led by women, namely Tita Cory and Daw Aung San Suu Kyii!