Sunday, September 3, 2017

Mum

when i was down
you picked me up
when i was up
you celebrated with me
when i was mad
you tried to understand why
when i was weak
you comforted me
when i suffered
you protected me
i love you Mum
i miss you Mum
nothing compares to you Mum
please forgive me for taking you for granted
i could cry me a river but you will never come back to me now
only my empty hands when it's too late
to realise that
i could never love you as much as you have loved me

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Pride and Prejudice

It is difficult to overcome ancient prejudices in matters of race and culture but if one makes a conscious effort to disassociate one's mind from overly simplistic generalizations and avoid giving in to that temptation (because thinking is hard), it is rather doable. As philosophers ponder on whether laziness or fear is the biggest obstacle to human progress, in this alley at least, i believe intellectual laziness is the cause and effect of our innate prejudices. But wait, how about one's past bad experiences that reinforce one's prejudices against a certain race/culture? If say, a Chinese Landlord had a tough time with his defaulting Malay tenant or a Malay customer gets cheated by a Chinese towkay selling counterfeit goods/gets overcharged or an Indian man drunk on alcohol physically abuses his spouse/partner, do any of these experiences justify and should they reinforce our ever lurking prejudices and preconceptions? The answer is NO. 
One must always remain vigilant and alert but especially with focus on the INDIVIDUAL and not to give in to easily stereotype an individual belonging to a certain race to a group of misbehaving miscreants based on the color of their skin or their cultural association. 
In Malaysia we still have some ways to go before we graduate from merely tolerating each other into open arm acceptance and embrace of our racial and cultural differences. Some of us are already there but the rest of us still have some catching up to do. But if the truth matters to you, that little effort in objective thinking is well worth the sacrifice.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Politicus Minimis

When No Politics is Good Politics

I've always believed that in life politics is inevitable. Like Bernie Sanders, one needs to get into politics so as to steer life clear of its ugliest excesses. However, i also believe that too much politics is bad in any given situation. Our country has been embroiled in endless politics for what seems like forever. From the Perak state government ouster to the stripping of titles of the incumbent Terengganu Menteri Besar, the casual observer can be forgiven to feel an overwhelming sense of nausea at the direction that this country is spinning towards. Instead of a sleeves-up and let's-get-down-to-work attitude, our people seem to favour indulging more and more in political play mostly of the petty and egregious type. I admit, politics cannot be avoided. But surely it can be moved away from always hogging the limelight? We have more important work to be done. Our educational system is still stuck in limbo, our system of checks and balances have mostly given way to a system of governance under the thumb of the executive branch of government, our judiciary appear trepidatious and afraid to stand its ground on matters of Principal. Granted that this country is still peaceful at least, we can count our lucky stars for that. But as Shakespeare's Julius Caesar co-conspirator Cassius said, "The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars But in ourselves, that we are underlings".   

Friday, February 5, 2016

Book Review: "The Chinese Dilemma" by Ye Lin-Sheng

I'm about 12 years late to review this book which was first printed in Feb 2004. I had seen its title and my initial reaction was: "Oh no, not another Dilemma book." And so i didn't give it a second glance back then. But having just finished all 197 pages of it, I can say that Malaysian Chinese businessman Ye Lin-Sheng has done an admirable job of summarising the concerns and common grouses of the Malaysian Chinese and non-Malays especially in regards to the New Economic Policy (NEP) and its 1990 successor the National Development Policy (NDP) or the Affirmative Action program of the Malaysian Government. From its inception to implementation and the public reception and the mainly (according to Ye) positive results through all these years. Ye who grew up in a rural environment with Malay neighbours and friends and has worked in the civil service during the colonial era, struck a conciliatory tone with the merits of such government policies. He lays out the pros and cons of affirmative action policies in Malaysia, compares it with American experiences, lists the Malaysian Chinese' largely lukewarm reception to it, its social and economic impact, the nett effect on outwards migration of the Malaysian Chinese and whether it truly is as bad as it is made out to seem. 
He ends the book on a positive note with this piece of advice: "Make it work or lose it all here". 

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

No Glue for Unity and yet...

I went for Tun Dr M's speech during the recent world international peace day open forum organized by the Malacca Bar. He said something interesting. Speaking on the topic of unity, Tun said that there is no "glue" holding Malaysians of different races and religion together and yet somehow we have managed to get along peacefully without any major incidents for the past 58 years except for the May 13 tragedy which happened 46 years ago. How was this possible? That we are thrown into this land whether or not we like each other but for the sake of making a good life we sacrifice certain wishes so that we can get along with each other? Tun remarked that in Malaysia, perhaps it was not such a bad thing that everyone is dissatisfied for not being able to get their way 100% of the time but if this was the price to pay for peace and relative harmony, then it is a sacrifice well worth the price. Let's hope that the next 58 years will draw us closer and not further apart. 

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Seasons

"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose..."


I'm not a theist so i have left out the last part "...under heaven" because i don't believe in a theist heaven anymore. But what i do believe is there is a time and a place for everything. A time to live, a time to rejoice, a time to love, a time to weep, and a time even for death. The time for our incumbent Prime Minister now isn't death literally, but time overdue for him to resign. Please please please, letak jawatan before the office of prime minister becomes a hollow shell echoing only the eerie sounds of your hired sycophants. You do not want to be remembered as a tyrant, you do not want to besmirch the memory of your father our second prime minister. If you truly love Malaysia, quit now.   

Friday, July 24, 2015

Oh Najib, remorse repent resign retire reflect

Events of the last year or so have culminated in the suspension of TheEdge Daily and The Edge weekly papers today, arguably the last bastion of what's left of Malaysia's formerly free press. There are of course opposition-based publications and perhaps The Sun newspaper, but the night is now darkest before the breaking dawn, as the saying goes. 

I'll not mince words. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has lost the confidence of the majority of Malaysians and he must resign immediately. 

He is unable to answer the various allegations leveled against him, he is evasive, he has kept silent in the face of serious questions posed on the moral and legal legitimacy of his premiership and he has shown time and time again that he is morally intellectually politically and legally unfit to be our prime minister. 

Whatever coercive actions being taken by his morally-challenged administration to perpetuate its grip on power cannot whitewash his shortcomings, indeed they amplify it all the more. If Parliament is unable to move a motion of no confidence because of the party whip that is in force, then it is incumbent on us the rakyat to keep pushing until he does sign his letter of resignation. The judiciary, the press, the legislative branch, the police, the PAC, the MACC, all the organs of government are under the powerful sway of the executive office and they are unable to discharge their duties effectively nor do as  they are mandated to do by law. Rule of law has degenerated into rule by law. All our institutions have become emasculated and they are scarce able to safeguard the constitution, let alone the rights of the rakyat. Whistle blowers are being persecuted while the well-connected elites continue with their abusive rule unscathed, unafraid, disrespectful of the true objects of the law.  

But i am optimistic even in these dark times. I believe in the light at the end of the tunnel. And i believe with a passion that we are witnessing the dying throes of a hopelessly corrupt regime ensnared in its own trap. We will prevail and we will have a brighter future.

Long Live Malaysia. Long Live Freedom. Power to the People. Hidup Rakyat Malaysia!