Monday, September 25, 2006

Missing the woods for the trees...

I read with interest what the PM had to say the other day about the comment Lee Kuan Yew made about the Chinese being marginalised in Malaysia. I was indeed surprised the PM made any comment at all. You know, it was not in line with his "HUH?Who/What/Where that" stance since he took over the PM post from Tun M.

Anyways, while I had a hard time reading the comments he made (due to the tears from the incessant laughing, blurring my vision) I managed to glean the essential words of his comments. The important words worth noting would be "racial tension". That what Lee Kuan Yew had said would cause the Malaysian Chinese to go "Oh, dear. That indeed IS true. We are marginalised. Let us stand up and rebel!" Thereafter we hold demonstrations with full headgear and posters and ask for fair treatment in this country we call "Malaysiaku, Negaraku."

So, was it right for the PM to ask Lee Kuan Yew to apologise for his comment?

If I remember correctly, his very own beloved son in law had made a similar, if not the same, comment a few months back-delete and replace "Chinese" to "Malays"-and instead of being asked to apologise for playing racial politics, the Chief Minister was asked to defend himself in light of the accusations that were hurled at him. I watched the poor man defending himself with all his might. While many stood behind Koh and supported him, just as many rallied behind Khairy and his racial politics. And where was the PM in this fiasco? Sticking to his "he said that? Its up to him to explain to the people the reason for his comments."


So, whats up with asking Lee Kuan Yew to apologise for his comments when Khairy was given free hand to make all sorts of accusations(perhaps even with a pat on his back for a job well done) which if were to be investigated further would reveal nothing but lies and malicious intentions.

It is indeed rib tickling to hear that the Malays are being marginalised in Penang. The truth is that the non Malays are being marginalised everywhere else in Malaysia. Yet, the non Malay politicians do not stand up and make comments on that. And they sure as hell do not hide behind their father in law's cloak and whisper malicious words. However, when one man is indeed brave enough to well, stand up and state the obvious, he is met with an iron fist. A demand for apology as this will cause racial tensions.

I wonder whether the PM is aware of the racial tensions that are boiling underneath the questionable 9MP and the new Budget, and all the clampdown on discussions of religion, the racial fights in the universities, the scholarships awarded which are unfair and the quota system in the public universities, which are right beneath his nose. He is indeed making it his business to send troops to Lebanon, having discussions with Clinton about how harmonious and peaceful Malaysia as an Islamic country is and asking for apologies from Lee Kuan Yew, yet he does not make it his business to control his own family member and diffusing tensions in his own country by providing solutions.

Mr. PM, we have problems in our own country. Listen to the problems. Solve them. Not shelve them and ask everyone not to talk about it. It will come to a point where there can be no more tolerance, and there will be rebellion. There will come a time where there will be a DEMAND for what is due and owing and as promised when the Country achieved independence.

What indeed is 31st August to many non Malays but an empty independence?

Sadly, to me, August 31 just means I dont have to wake up at 6am to go to work.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Eh, Hello, I have a degree ok?

The call for higher pay for the policemen in the country have hogged the limelight for two days. They featured two policemen who hold degrees being paid only a measly RM650 (more or less) and the big brouhaha that they were so underpaid. One has a law degree and the other, erm, I forget. But anyway, I wondered to myself. If in fact you are being underpaid and you hold a degree, then why dont you just switch jobs? But more importantly, I thought to myself, NO WONDER they feel compelled to take bribes. Those poor sods are so severely underpaid its not even funny!(but then again, they get free housing rite?Still, RM650 is just sad)

Of course I also know that any ah chi and ah kau can apply to be a policeman. Just as long as you are not overweight when you apply to join the force(being overweight after you have joined is not only optional, but quite a requirement) There is no requirement that you genuinely want to uphold the law and protect citizens or that you want to fight crime. Nothing of that sort, just you know, dont be overweight and hopefully, not stupid as well. (though that is highly questionable also)

The question is does a degree guarantee you a higher position in the force? Should it? Just because you got a degree, does that make you a better policeman than the kampung boy who grew up wanting to fight crime but did not have the money to pursue a degree? I am sure it does not. A degree should not be an indicative of how good a policeman you are. It should be based on your experience and of course your work. I believe everyone should work their way up when it comes to the police force. I mean, if its an IT company, a degree holder and a non degree holder will be quite different because one would have the training in university and the other possibly not. But how can a law degree holder be a better police man than say a young constable who has worked in the force for 5 years and with experience of daily interactions with offenders?

So, after all the initial ramblings, this is what I have boiled it down to.
1) The police DO indeed need a raise though it is no excuse to say "we took bribes because we are underpaid." One should join the force for the love of the job, not the money. (The yuppies can say that. Not police officers.)
2) A degree should not matter in the police force. Experience should.
3) Policeman should remain fit no matter how long they have been in the force. Like how do they expect to run after offenders if they cant even bend and touch their toes as their expanding waistline is in the way?
4) The police should be given more credit eventhough at times they might look incompetent but I have indeed met some police officers who are really in the force and truly want to do good. One bad apple shouldnt spoil the whole lot of them.

We have a new IGP now. And after the emotional farewell that he gave the outgoing IGP, we hope he has the same level of emotion and dedication to lead the police force into being better and more efficient. And hopefully all the promises of "I shall fight crime!" is not more than a I-just-got-appointed-I-must-give-canggih-promises gimmick.

We'll just have to see what he is capable of.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Understanding the true Malaysia Boleh spirit

What are slogans but meaningless words strung together to sound good and hopefully rhyme and sound poetic? I often wonder what is in the slogan "MALAYSIA BOLEH!" which can be heard in/from all corners of the globe. Such as when we made the biggest yau char kuay-Malaysia Boleh! Scaled Everest- Malaysia Boleh! Siti Nurhaliza held a concert in Albert Hall-MALAYSIA BOLEH SIUT!

We concentrate so hard and intense on making an impression to the world that we forget the troubles we have brewing within the nation. We are SO proud of our national car because we are the only south east asian nation to have a national car, but we forget the cars that are churned out in bulk lacks quality(the "power" window loses whatever "power" it has within a few months-like NOW we know why taxi drivers always open their doors to pay toll), and are much too pricey for the materials with which it is made with. We are SO proud of our MAS which wins the Best Cabin Crew every year( I still wonder why), but we forget that it is one of the most expensive airline to fly(even compared to SIA) and it is spiralling into further debt due to bad management. And as cheap as Air Asia's flight tickets are, the sheer bad service and frequent if not unavoidable delays in their flights just screams "Lets make it LOOK cheap and tempting but once they buy the tickets, lets screw them over!" (Air Asia and MAS bad experience(S) to be explained another day).

So, what is in Malaysia Boleh that makes us beam with pride? Search as hard as I may, I cannot find anything to be proud about. Our own politicians have since descended into the arena of racial politics- pointing fingers at certain races and accusing them of keeping another race backward in order for themselves to succeed. We have electoral promises not kept after 3 years but are being promised it will be done and it will be done "my way"(hopefully if and when it is done, I am still alive to see it). MPs in the Parliament indulging in name calling and speed reading of speeches to avoid any questions he is reluctant to answer and we have Ministers being ticked off for commenting on another Department indicating there might be corruption involved. Also, students attacking another group in a University being reprimanded and let off because "they were only exchanging harsh words and rehabilitation is better than punishment" when it is obvious through the clip that they shoved, screamed and abused them- the race of the group being so obvious, only the blind can deny. And brainwashing being done in Public Universities so that the students are aware of who rules the country and who should sit back and take whatever is being fed to them.

Because that is just not the way we Malaysians(Boleh) do it. MPs of the majority party cannot support a backbencher, Ministers from one Department cannot comment on another department, members of the Coalition party cannot question anything for fear of causing unnecessary tensions. And if u screw the rakyat over, its ok. Chances are the PM does not mind because he if he doesnt even know whats going on within his own family, chances are he has no idea whats going on outside. And if u are of a particular race and you do something to another, there is always a good reason or an alternative view to what you are doing which can be justified.

While I have been part of the booing and jeering party of those who disagree with graduates who decide to not to come back and serve the country, I cannot help but also agree(enforced even more as time progresses) with the reasons why they do not return to their homeland. It hurts to know that we will remain an outsider in the land which we call our Home. It pains me to learn that when they say "Malaysia is a multi cultural country living harmoniously", it is nothing but a tourist gimmick and actually means the minorities have been told to shut up and sit back while the majority rule as they like and "tolerate" the minorites. It sickens me to hear Ministers telling minorities who are unhappy with the Country to pack up and leave because nothing is stopping them.

So, really, what is Malaysia Boleh all about?

I can do without the national car, Siti Nurhaliza's concert, longest whatever and scaling wherever. I would rather just be appreciated and integrated into a community who truly accepts and understands instead of being discriminated and dominated. Until that happens, I cannot call myself a Malaysian. I am merely born and bred here. But the Malaysian spirit has long evaporated and disappeared in the haze of racial discrimination.

Monday, September 18, 2006

We forget, therefore we have to pay

Whenever you have an argument, and you tell someone off about something and that person says " Oh, its not like YOU havent done it before!"
Have you ever then find yourself thinking," SO? Just because I was stupid enough to do it before does not make what you are doing right or fair!"

Those who have had this experience would know what I am saying. I thought of this when I read an article in the Sun today whereby the Pope was reminded that the Christians were also guilty of violence in the past. They have also run people out of their own countries and killed those whom they termed "unbelievers". Does it then make it right for the Muslim world to follow suit? Is it only fair for them to have their time to retaliate or to commit similar atrocities just because the Christians have done it before? Does it make it right? Does it mean all Christians should not speak out against the violence? So, theorethically speaking, the Buddhists and Hindus should have free reign in speaking out against the violence right? Cos they didnt commit any atrocities or indulge in violence in the name of their faith.(As far as I know)

I admire Zaid Ibrahim and Malik Imtiaz's courage to speak out and say that Islam is not under attack and that we should always remember that every religion advocates that there is only ONE God. Therefore if you insult another religion, you're indirectly insulting your own. If one were to understand that, I believe there will be less violence and more understanding.

Sometimes I sit around and wonder, with all the violence that the Muslims are practising now, its hard for Non-Muslims (those who did not experience the Christians equally violent practice) to understand and see how the religion advocates peace. Our minds are unfortunately clouded by the numerous bombings and deaths that have happened everywhere. How does the recent bombings in Haatyai be termed something that is done in the name of Islam. How does it further the cause of Islam? How does driving a plane into the towers causing numerous deaths be termed furthering the cause of Islam?

What religion advocates the death of innocent people something that is right? No religion does that as far as I know.

Men have forgotten that religion is something which is between him and God. Noone can make you any less a Christian or Muslim if they insult your religion. No one can make your religion something to be scorned at if he or she does not believe in your God. If indeed you believe in God, you will remember that you are answerable only to God. If you believe in the religion and all that it advocates, why do you find a need to force everyone to see it the way you see it? Or practice it the way you practice it?

Does killing another person who is an unbeliever make us anymore religious? Will God say to us " Well done!You have eliminated an unbeliever and you are therefore a more faithful follower that the other man who has not killed anyone but merely prayed to me!"

We humans have corrupted religion and the beauty of it. We have misinterpreted religion in order to pursue our selfish desires and needs. We have twisted the words and phrases to suit our World today. And it sickens me to think that one can declare him or herself a messenger of God while having a mind filled with intentions of taking another's life.

Isnt God the ONLY one who can determine life and death?

We forget. That is why the World is how it is today.

Friday, September 01, 2006

I didn't remember it like that...

Back when I was still in school, donkey years ago, my friend Yoke(my staple table mate throughout secondary school except for that one year when we were 15) and I were always sitting in front of or behind girls who were not the same "bangsa" as us. We made fun of each other constantly. She will say "Amacam Macbeth awak?" (in reference to our English Literature subject) and we in turn will ask them "eh, pokok kelapa you masih sana ke?"( in reference to their Kesusasteraan dalam BM subject). And eventhough after PJ (Pendidikan Jasmani for those who are not in the know) she and her table mate will not openly change their T-shirts in the classroom like us, that did not stop us from "pakating" with each other to run out of the class before it was time for recess, or to have a prefect line up to buy laksa for us so that we dont have to jostle with the masses.

Back then I do not remember thinking to myself that she was not the same race as me and therefore she was very different and should be treated differently. We spoke the same language, we laughed at the same silly jokes, we were all bad in either chemistry or physics, we compared our add maths scores and hope it would add up and make two digits and we all made fun of the teachers. And eventhough she wore a tudung, I never once thought of making a snide remark or stereotyping her. She was just my classmate whom I had lots of fun and enjoyed being able to spend my secondary school days with.

Today, the disparity between the races are being emphasised and taught in schools and Universities. The fact that UPM has not taken action against the students who harassed fellow students (it was quite obvious they were of different races) smacks of biasness. And that they actually produced a book which emphasis on the wrongs the Chinese have done to cause racial riots amazes me. And that our very own PM's son in law made racists comments and was not disciplined shocks me to the very core. (How can the PM not know what his son in law said in the media?) The fact that Hang Tuah is no longer in our history books because they realised that he may have been Chinese (in line with HANG Li Po) and therefore not the national warrior that he was is quite alarming.

Why is it that the country has taken such a sharp turn in the wrong direction? While many people recognise the need to avoid the racial riots of 1969, nothing much has been done to make the country more muhibbah and to encourage better understanding,acceptance and recognisition of each other. We are suppose to recognise and accept each other, not tolerate. I hate that word in this context. To tolerate is to say "Oh, I dont like you very much but to avoid unnecessary conflicts, I shall "tolerate" you."


We all have a right to be in this country. No one race is more superior or inferior to another. We all fought for the independence of Malaysia. We all worked hard to make the country what it is today.

How I wish life were just like how it was when I was in school. Those carefree, happy days where we were all happy and we enjoyed each other's company. We were too busy having fun to sit down and think about "tolerating" each other.