Saturday, June 8, 2013

A Better Person?

It's very easy to be different, but very difficult to be better. ~ Jonathan Ive.

So, here we are again. Me blogging about stuff that matters to me after a long hiatus. I was wondering, how come that we as humans are so mean and nasty to one another? Always to the point with the intention to hurt. To let that someone know, in fact to go all out to make him or her know that we truly dislike them?

Where do we draw the boundaries? When do we know that the line that should not be crossed is here and not there? How can we be so vicious to one another? I am no saint, in fact I might have done all these before during my younger days, when I was more petty and immature. Inexperience and naivety that everyone faces when young, is to some extent forgivable.

However, does it make it right to continue behaving in such a way even after maturity and with age or life experience? People that you meet everyday, interact with on a daily basis and who can actually influence matters pertaining your life, why would you treat them nastily just to make a point? Why the butt of all jokes? Why create such a hostile and uncomfortable environment?

Even if that person does in a way make life a tad bit more miserable for you, why repeatedly target the person even when he or she is not doing anything to you? Does singling out a person makes life more bearable for one? Does it give some sort of personal gratification to be mean to him or her even at the slightest movement made or word uttered?

It is understandable to dislike someone and mutter about him or her under the breath occasionally, but once a point is made about the dislike, must we go on and on about it? Is that not victimising of some sort even if he or she has such influence over you? Harassment of some sort? Is that not discouraged actively in so many places?

I must admit that there are times that I am mean to people in my life. No doubt about it. But I do not get people who does it on purpose to hurt even when the other person is doing nothing to him or her. Humans are not perfect. Everyone has flaws. But sometimes, our actions and words can also hurt a person even if he or she does not show it. A line must always be established to avoid any untoward incidents. Who knows? Today he or she might be calm waters, tomorrow those exact waters can drown you.

Let us try to be the better person. Let us try to be more patient and understanding. Words are cheap, yes. But even then, it still has the power to make or break you.

With lots of thoughts,

Monday, May 6, 2013

Malaysia's 13th General Elections

Where do I begin? To tell a story of how rigged an election would be?

The 5th of May in the year 2013 would be a day to remember for many of us young Malaysians. First and foremost, it would be the first time that many of us youngsters would be voting. The sense of excitement and pride was so evident and palpable that it truly felt like we Malaysians were united regardless of beliefs and race. That of course goes without saying that 'Barisan National' (BN) or the National Coalition has always banked on and played race politics for as long as we know.

Race politicking might work on the older generation or back in the 50s, but it is slowly becoming irrelevant in today's setting. But of course it is not going to stop BN from using race politics to scare voters. Nonsense about a chinese Prime Minister (PM) and the Chinese ruling the country hence affecting the way of lives of the Muslim, blah blah blah, is thrown around. To those who believe it, you must be really dense. How can you call yourselves Malaysians? Are you even aware of your own country's constitution? Do you even know how secure your religion and special rights are? Tsk tsk.

And the second reason why the 5th of May will always be remembered is that we, the young ones, truly felt that change is on the way. It was our chance to vote out a corrupted and rotting ruling party. We all felt it to the core. However, looking back at it, we were probably too idealistic. We were all trapped in this bubble of wanting change so much that we could not or refused to see what was in front of us. The urban voters might be in favour of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) or the People's Alliance, but the majority of rural folks were for BN.

We were too idealistic. And we were severely disappointed with the results. The first time I have truly felt the disappointment of so many Malaysians. Me included. What went wrong? Where did it go wrong? Why it went wrong? How did it go wrong? When did it happen? When the results were slowly published on the Election Commission's (EC) website, the feeling of anger and disappointment was evident. I could still feel the crushing feeling I experienced, there are just no words to describe it.

To be honest, if BN had not resorted to employing underhanded ways of trying to garner a few more extra votes by bringing busloads of foreigners holding Malaysian IC's or having sudden blackouts and with it the magical appearance of new ballot boxes containing unaccounted for ballots, we probably would have been more accepting of the results of this general elections. I mean gerrymandering is already bad enough, we all know that the EC is in BN's pockets, but we did not want to witness anymore suspicious activities surrounding the elections.

Thirdly, we showed these politicians the power of the people. Just because they are in power, they have strutted their arrogant butts and thrown words around without care. May the 5th showed them who was boss indeed. Although PR failed to gain enough seats to form the federal government and actually performed quite badly in certain states that were tipped to be theirs, it has the vote of nearly 51% of Malaysians who voted yesterday. Pakatan Rakyat also managed to obtain more Parliamentary and State seats this time round as compared to the 2008 elections.

Why can't they form the federal government then? Gerrymandering. Some constituencies especially the urban ones have more than 100 000 voters registered to vote whereas certain areas have only a mere 1 000. In any other democratic country, a vote of 51% for the party or coalitions would mean forming the state government. In Malaysia, not so. In essence, a lot of urban voters have chosen PR. Rural voters for BN.

There were quite a few surprise winnings and also surprise losses. There are more reports and incidents being circulated over the net and also social media right now that there are more fraudulent activities that happened after the closing of polls. I will not go into that as I feel that the official results are out and there is not much that can be done now. What is done is done and to dwell on these matters further will only be a waste of time. Let us just keep in mind all these and be on a better watch out next time round.

The fourth and final reason that I will touch on the general elections yesterday is that the overall attitude of Malaysians regarding the results. Yes, there were sore winners (we all know these types) and sore losers (and even more familiar with these group) from both sides. With that also came the gracious winners and gracious losers - very commendable these groups. But I will not touch on these. What I will touch on is the attitude of the voters who were pro PR.

At first, there were of course cries of bitter outrage and anger. There was also disbelief and sadness and crushing disappointment for many. So much so that many citizens changed their Facebook display photo to the colour black to mark a black day in Malaysian history. Some even go as far as to declare that democracy is dead or to call on the interference of Barack Obama and Queen Elizabeth. Not a very smart move but emotions were running high as most results were only released around or after midnight.

But a miracle happened. Slowly but surely more and more Malaysians started accepting the results (despite how fraudulent we thought it was). What touched me the most was that more jokes were made in regards to all these obvious fraudulent activities like the use of foreign workers to vote and magical blackouts. Lo and behold! We were making light of the situation that we were so angry about earlier in the day. It was good because there were no trace of resentment in it. It was all done to diffuse tension and to work as an emotional panacea.

Malaysians truly needed a good laugh and a lighthearted moment. At least happy Malaysians will not be used easily by any of the running parties for election on these emotional highs to create trouble. When ballots were being calculated, there were fears that riots would start and a state of emergency would be declared. And wonder of wonders, Malaysians were in  pretty good emotional state last night as to not behave recklessly. The feared riots did not happen. Nobody took to the streets. It was only all taken out on social media platforms. Quite safe I assure you.

These says a lot as it shows that Malaysians have grown and matured more than the BN government has given us credit for. Pakatan Rakyat might have lost this round and many sees it as a burial of the change that they would like to see happen. But take heart for we have only just begun. Just like in the Art of War, "Lose the battle, win the war."

The 13th General Elections might have been lost, but there is plenty of time to win the next one. I believe the next general elections will be more monumental than this time round. Let us start laying the groundwork to pave our way into Putrajaya the next time around!

Moving onward,

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

What Makes Us Human? - The Algerian Hostage Crisis

I happened to chance on the Algerian hostage crisis article today while reading the papers. Yes, my dislike for mainstream media controlled by the Malaysian government made me into some kind of backwater idiot who usually relies on Twitter or Facebook to be updated on world affairs. Due to the fact that the 13th Malaysian General Election is looming nearer, I have been "uncaring" of any other news not related to Malaysia.

But today, I will touch on the news in regards to the Islamic militants hostage taking and killing of those around the gas field of Amenas in Algeria. As the story goes, Islamic militants from the neighbouring country of Mali had planned this attack in advance. It goes without saying that it was a well planned attack judging from how these militants knew their way around the gas field production area and also other information that would have only be known to insiders. Many died in the ensuing fight.

The horror stories that has surfaced from this incident left me sad. What is happening to the world today? What is with people these days that make them do the things they do? What makes these crazy Islamic extremists think that they will be welcomed into God's bossom with virgins waiting for them if they go on these crazy so-called "jihad" endeavours? Why do people love doing and saying stupid things all in the name of God or religion?

I grew up in a nation that is predominantly Muslim. Although I do not know in depth of the religion of Islam, I do know enough of the religion. I know it is also a religion of love and peace just like Christianity (albeit not as loving to the extent of getting slapped on one cheek and offering the other). Islam still stresses on "an eye for an eye" which can be really dumb at times but hey, Christianity is no better in certain aspects too. There are a lot to be discussed in religion and we all can agree to disagree but I am not going to delve further into this matter today.

Are we even humans? What is it that makes it okay to take hostage, detain or even take the life of a person in exchange for another? Why is it that the targets are ordinary people trying to make a living to provide a better future for their family who has nothing to do with how their government behaves? Why foreigners? Why lives of non-Muslims? Why your neighbour? Is life that cheap? And the biggest irony of all - you were bartering lives of mostly non-Americans with the USA in exchange for the release of 2 detained men not even on Algerian soil.

If that 2 men is so important to you and your organisation, what makes you think that the lives of the people that you took hostage of and killed are less important than them? How many families rendered helpless with the sole breadwinner of the family killed? How many parents lost their only child? How many spouses lost their only support? How many children lost their parent who could have played a bigger role in their life as they are growing up?

Yet many of these extremists would believe that what they did that day justifies a place in heaven. What heaven? If your religion practices the concept of "an eye for an eye", what makes you think that killing that white man working in that gas field who probably is the world's most loving father would grant you a place in heaven with 77 virgins serving you? In Islam, if a man is caught stealing, the punishment according to Hudud laws would be to chop of that arm(s) that was caught stealing. And this is only on Earth, so what do you think happens in the after-life when you are facing judgment before God?

If you believe that your God is a just God, surely that deed of killing even a kafir will not go unpunished even if you are already dead? I am not writing these just because I am not a Muslim and I am against all Muslims. Far from it. I am writing these because I do not see the justification in killing others to demand money or the release of certain people or to make a point. 

That is why we label ourselves far more superior to animals. That is the ability to think and rationalise the situation. We, have something called a mind of our own. But when we go and do stupid things like waging a war under the pretenses of eradicating an evil regime or kidnapping and killing hostages in order to get demands fulfilled, how are we superior to the animals? 

The last I checked, animals have not wage wars nor have they kidnapped and killed other animals when their demands were not met. Are we animals? No. Even animals would not behave in such a way. Humans are not animals for animals would not have even thought of such atrocities. So, I will end this post with a question.



Humaning (?) Out,

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Of Education and the Educated

So, there has been hoo-ha (or is it spelled brouhaha?) amongst the internet community in Malaysia these few days. It is about this one "smart" fella talking down to an undergrad in a local university. You see, the scenario was actually like this:

University holds a forum and invited a few panelists to speak about the role of undergrads in Malaysia in regards to politics (or somewhere along these lines). In the midst of the forum, students were invited for a Q&A session with the panelists as it is quite a normal practice in any forums of academic purposes. So, a brave undergrad brought up the issue of free education in Malaysia and compared this country to other countries (but of course, what else can you compare it to?).

In the midst of the undergrad questioning the panelists about what is so wrong about "Bersih" (the Coalition of Free and Fair Elections Committee or Bersih which also means Clean) and why can't this oil rich country provide free education, this undergrad was interrupted. On top of that, she was reading out statistics and findings which leaves no doubt to everyone listening was researched extensively. And then this lady panelist decides to walk towards the undergrad and tells her to "Listen!" for God knows how many times and grabs the microphone away after failing to shut the undergrad up.

Lo and behold! This crazy lady demanded for respect. And continued so on and so forth about animals have problems without really addressing the issues or questions asked. At one point, another panelist tried to calm things down or explain the undergrad's stand and was brushed off rudely by this lady.

Okay, so that is about the summary I can give. The video is up on Youtube and Facebook. Haha. Go browse and watch. But only if you understand the Malay language.

Just watching it made me feel disgusted with the way this lady panelist behaved. So uncouth, so demeaning. Demands to be listened to but will not listen. Demands respect but puts up a mask of so-called respect by sneering and ridiculing the undergrad at the same time. Says to not compare to other countries in terms of education especially Cuba but is okay with world ranking and shit like that I presume.

The thing is, this forum was supposed to be an intelligent discourse of current issues with the undergrads. By shushing the undergrads because what he or she says do not fit into the panelists' ideology or thoughts are just plain un-intelligent. And then goes on to compare the thoughts of one with an 'O' level certificate and Degree level. First of all, Cik Sharifah, in Malaysia, we don't use 'O' levels okay? It is called SPM, but if you come from wherever it is that you came from except Malaysia, then it is a forgivable mistake.

Next, you said that Malaysians like to complain, complain, complain and you don't see animals complaining because cats got problems, dogs got problems, fish got problems, cow and goats got problems and sharks have the biggest problem of all! *cricket sounds* Uhm...were you guys having a discourse in an agricultural forum? I fail to see how Malaysians complain has anything to do with the problems of animals. Unless of course you were actually labeling all Malaysians, by association you are one too. Again, unless of course you are not Malaysian so you are perfectly human, not animal at all.

However, judging by the way you speak the Malay language like a "pro", I assume you are quite Malaysian. And then of course you go on and blab about why there exists a hierarchy. Go on yada-yada-ing that the undergrad must learn respect and how to speak to an elder. O...kay. But, Cik Sharifah, in what way was she rude to you or to the panel of panelists during the forum? Was she considered rude because she questioned your logic and your way of thinking? So, I dunno what you are trying to speaking-speaking here Cik Sharifah.

And you oh-so not-very-subtly end this discussion by asking the hall who wants a free Samsung smartphone. Hahahaha. Wow. Bravo! You just behaved exactly like how the ruling coalition government has been behaving these past few years. How so?

First: You will not accept any kind of dissent even though it is civilised and logical.
Second: You change the topic of discussion into some kind of non-existent problem such as those in the animal kingdom like dogs barking and shit like that.
Third: You show how shallow and uncouth your behaviour and thinking is.
Fourth: You try to cover it all up at the end of it by handing out "goodies" to those present there.

A true blue Malaysian government tactic! Especially during the election period. Way to go on causing the ire of the Malaysian public. Especially those who has received education, be it UPSR, PMR or SPM level up till the Degree, Masters and Doctorate level. For a supposedly educated person, you sure talk as if you received no education Cik Sharifah.

Educated with love,

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Smell of it All, Yucks!

Oh, I have so much to write about. Ideas and thoughts are bursting through my brains screeching to be let out. Hold on, hold on. One at a time. Ugh...wait a minute. What is that stench I detect?

Oh me, oh my. The smell is no less emanating from the government's leading figures. The stench of corruption. It smells all the way from London. I mean, come on. While the normal person in this country struggles to make a decent living, and those 'stinkies' keep insisting that we are performing very well economically - you definitely do a double take when news report surfaces that they own multiple high end London properties.

WOOOOOOOOOOW! The number of "O"'s is an indicator of my amazement. Such blatant flaunt of wealth! Such blatant use of the public's money! Such hypocrites! So amazing. Logically thinking, what public servant could actually accumulate such wealth while serving the office in let's say 20 years? I mean, I personally know of a few public servants who has been in service for 25-30 years barely affording a second, ok la, let us be fair and say, third home in Malaysia.

Politicians do earn more, I am aware of that. But to the extent of being able to afford a number of high end London properties? Even if those people started saving money from the young, tender age of 1 month, I doubt they can raise that much money. Especially if they are kampong folks, you know, children of farmers, fishermen, rubber tappers and whatsoever.

Oh, wait! Am I missing something? Maybe quite a few of them were born with tonnes of golden spoons attached to their mouth...hmm...that is plausible of course. Can someone please inform Guinness of this so that they are able to give them a world record or something?

Oh, the stink! Can someone please spray some country air freshener here?

Stinking out(?),

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Korean Wave - K-Pop

Oh hello. I have been neglecting my blog for nearly 2 years. Or has it touched the 2 years mark already?
Well, whatever it is, I am back! And hoping to stay consistent with posting on here.

Topic of today is the Korean Wave - K-Pop. Yeah, you got me right. I am one of those many crazies who made this wave a wave. I loooooove Korean dramas especially. But, we'll save it for another time because today we will focus on K-Pop. No, I am not going to dissect K-Pop. I like listening to K-Pop, but I am not a fan.

So, a few days back a friend of mine posted on Facebook in regards to K-Pop. I was so annoyed about his post that I decided to blog on this topic. According to this friend of mine, all K-Pop groups were fakes with no originality whatsoever like Super Junior, SNSD, etc EXCEPT Wonder Girls. WHOAAAAA...wait a minute there! Hold yer' horses. I will again reiterate that I am not a fan of K-Pop per se, I just like listening to them.

Now, that statement was not made by him originally. It was brought up by a radio listener on this popular local radio station. And my friend totally agreed with that baseless statement. I, on the other hand, have a few points to make or ask or state.

Firstly, have you non-Koreans ever had the chance to watch ALL K-Pop acts to label all of them fakes? 2NE1 looks original to me for the most part.
Secondly, just because Wonder Girls managed to make it to the top of the American Billboard 100, it does not automatically make them an original act.
Thirdly, Wonder Girls can be also classified in all those fake K-Pop acts you labelled like Super Junior and SNSD - just watch their videos and listen to their songs. They are NOT all original. In fact, they like copying as well without a sense of originality but don't make me say it out loud what they are.

And, how in the world can one compare K-Pop to English music billboard charts? It is like saying the English songs that did not make it to MNET's list are un-original. You get my gist? These billboard charts are not a measuring standard for songs internationally. The fact is that they are a popularity chart. Songs will gain popularity according to exposure to the targeted listeners.

America's Top Billboard 100? You guessed it right, they are songs that are popular with the American public. But then again, how many of them actually listens to the songs listed on the list? If one is to make a comparison between how good an apple tastes', one does not take other fruits like oranges, pears or grapes to compare because the objective is to test the taste of the apples.

K-Pop-ing out,

Friday, November 12, 2010

Long Time No Write

The title of this post is grammatically incorrect. But who cares really? I don't.
Anyway, I have been neglecting my blog...well, I was busy. Sorta.

Guess what? I have a new follower. Hello there! If I knew you were following me earlier I would have deigned myself to write this awful piece of blog-piece. But what can ya do?
I love punchlines better now. Haha.

Anyway, will update again once I've confirmed something. See ya'll!

Till then,