The Dandelions

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Archive for November, 2008

My perfect Utopia…

Posted by Madame on November 30, 2008

I have spent the last few days with my eyes literally glued to the TV watching the horrific events unfold in Mumbai and it has left me totally dispirited and emotionally drained. It has also left me with more questions than answers…

Is Islam really an evil religion? Where does fanaticism stem from? Why is it that any atrocities carried out by Mulims are labelled as terrorism whilst those carried out by the Western world are deemed acceptable? Can we label George W Bush as a Christian jihadist? Geroge W, did after all call the war in Afghanistan, “a crusade” ūüėČ Isn’t religion really the root cause of all evil?

I know that I have written quite a few articles which are against Organised Religion and such and the terrorist attack in Mumbai, validates my stance on this even further. Religion is open to a person’s/religious teacher’s interpretation and herein, lies the danger. If you have an fanatical teacher, he/she will impart their fanatical views to their followers.

All Holy Books are written by man, I have yet to find proof that God himself wrote these books ūüėČ All these Holy Books were written by mere mortals who supposedly were inspired by and were messangers from God. Question…Who made them God’s messangers? Answer….They were all self-appointed! ūüėÄ This is fact NOT fiction!

Religion has been used for centuries as a form of subjugation and mind control. Religion preys on the weak and feeble-minded by feeding into their insecurities. Religion is NOT a unifier but rather a divider…for whether we are honest enough to admit it or not…it does breed discrimination and intolerance. The terms gentile, kafir, heathen are all proof of this discrimination! Why is it that it is politically incorrect to use the word ‘Nigger’ or ‘Chink’ but it is socially acceptable to use terms such as ‘kafir’? Isn’t it exactly the same? Also a form of discrimination? One is racially related whilst the other has a religious connotation…the end result is EXACTLY the same!!! Discrimination and intolerance…

Religion is like an exclusive club…either you belong and are fully accepted OR you don’t belong and thus scorned and made to feel less worthy than the ‘exclusive set’. Some misguided Christians actually believe that irrespective of whether you are a ‘good person’ or not, you don’t stand a chance of entering heaven unless you belong to their ‘exclusive club’. Hmmm….mind boggling stupidity, perhaps?! ūüėČ

The more I think about….Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have a world where religion becomes totally superfluous? A world where a person is measured by their moral conscience rather than their religious affiliation? A world that is mature enough to say ‘NO’ to the divisiveness of religion?

Welcome to my perfect Utopia….a world without religion ūüôā

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Posted in Current Affairs, madame, mumbai, Observation, Opinions, religion, terrorism | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 20 Comments »

The Yoga Fatwa: MIC joins the fray?

Posted by Oscar the Grouch on November 30, 2008

I have been in self-restrain for the past many weeks from commenting on the yoga fatwa. Being a religious-traditionalist that I am, though very much in idealistic denial, I choose to regard religion as a personal matter at-heart. Or for that matter: – that religion and politics make a bad mix.

When the chairman of the National Fatwa Council, Datuk Dr Abdul Shukor Husin declared the practice of yoga as haram, he explained that the ruling was only meant for Muslims to follow; the non-Muslims are free to do as they wish. To me, this is an issue of faith for the Muslims; it is not for the non-Muslims, like me, to offer critical analysis. I do not read the Quran or any of the Shariah literatures to be someone of sufficient wisdom to give my two-cents worth on Islam.

Yes, I do have my own personal reservations over the fatwa issue. However, whatever misgivings I may have, it is not for me to pass disparaging comments. With so many other religions in this world, I am sure I will find other rules of faith inexplicably alien as well; given my own distinctive grounded background. If I can accept the Muslims praying, fasting, not eating pork, not drinking liquor and not gambling; who am I not to accept them not practising yoga.

Perhaps, that is why I took it upon myself to overturn my self-imposed abstention upon reading The Star’s article (Friday, 28th November, 2008), entitled “MIC welcome PM’s clarification on fatwa”, where it was reported that the MIC has appreciated Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s explanation that had cleared all misunderstandings or misconceptions among Malaysians.

I find it a tad bit hard to understand: – what is it about the fatwa that concerns the MIC? This yoga issue, in its essential core, concerns only the Muslims. The Indians, Chinese and the other non-Muslims are still free to practice yoga. Yoga has not been banned, that is a misconception. The fitness and yoga clubs can carry on business as usual. Technically, even the Muslims are free to practice yoga, if it is in defiance of the edict and in risk of ramifications.

Yes, I readily agree, most of us non-Muslims have our own opinionated reservations on the yoga edict, including me; but whatever misgiving qualms that we may have, it is not in our place to make our say in the very public domain. Perhaps, indulging in small coffee shop talk or chit-chatters during social pub-drinking sessions is mildly acceptable; but definitely not via an unintelligent press statement by a political party.

What exactly does the MIC mean when it says the Prime Minister has cleared all misunderstanding and misconception among Malaysians? To me, the Prime Minister is not explaining anything. His “reassuring explanation” is that: – Muslims can perform yoga without chanting any mantra. This is merely a reiteration of what the National Fatwa Council has said earlier: – that yoga practices that does not include the elements of chanting and worshipping, is not wrong in the eyes of Islam (although not encouraged). It is only that when the practice covers all 3 aspects, then it becomes prohibited.

Both the National Fatwa Council and Prime Minister Badawi are essentially saying the same things. Why should the MIC, on the one hand, views the fatwa as causing misunderstanding and misconception among Malaysians; whilst on the other hand; it accepts the Prime Minister’s statement as a comforting clarification that reassures all Malaysians.

If this is not bodek, I don’t know what is.

Posted in MIC, Opinions, religion | 5 Comments »

We’re All Victims……….

Posted by ErnieJean on November 28, 2008

What a week!!!! This week is probably the “blackest” ever this month……the frenzy and chaos happening all over, condensed into one single week…….it does get one pretty depressed, y’know?
First, there is the political situation in Bangkok………although¬†this is what some people would say it’s their internal problem, but it’s affected everyone¬†else, so I guess it¬†does make it everyone else’s problem, doesn’ it?

BANGKOK, Thailand¬†‚ÄĒ¬† Thailand’s main international airport canceled all flights Wednesday as protesters thronged the complex and stormed the control tower in efforts to bring down the government, stranding thousands of tourists and buffeting the country’s already fragile tourism industry.

Protestors from Thai's People's Alliance For Democracy
Protestors from Thailand’s People’s Alliance For Democracy

The demonstrators are now in the control tower, and say airlines must seek their permission to land. The protest group said it would remain at the airport despite a plea from the country’s army commander to leave.

Gen. Anupong Paochinda on Wednesday afternoon suggested the protesters of the People’s Alliance for Democracy withdraw and that the government call new elections to end the country’s bitter political crisis.

Protest leader Suriyasai Katasila said the group would maintain its occupation until it could discuss the matter.

Meanwhile, Thai media says the prime minister has landed at a military airport in northern Thailand. He was out of the country, attending a summit in Peru.

The airport takeover was one of the boldest gambles yet by the People’s Alliance for Democracy in its four-month campaign to topple Prime Minister Somchai Wongsawat, whom it accuses of being the puppet of a disgraced fugitive predecessor, billionaire Thaksin Shinawatra. – FoxNews.com

Then the senseless carnage at Mumbai……..

Several sites in Mumbai, India’s financial capital, were hit Wednesday night by a wave of terror attacks, reportedly aimed at Americans and Britons, that left dozens dead and potentially hundreds injured as Indian forces battled with terrorist gunmen to free hostages from two luxury hotels.

Several staff members were killed at the Taj Mahal hotel, and India’s NDTV reported Thursday morning that gunfire still was erupting as part of an ongoing “desperate hostage situation” there, with three or four terrorists inside. Earlier, some of the hostages were rescued when a fire broke out.

Gunmen reportedly had taken hostages elsewhere in the city, including the Oberoi hotel and a hospital. – FoxNews.com

Now it seems¬†New Yorkers have to be on the look out¬†too…….

Federal authorities are warning of a possible Al Qaeda-orchestrated terror plot against New York City subway and other transit systems during the holidays, FOX News has confirmed.

The potential threat ‚ÄĒ described in an internal FBI memo as “plausible but unsubstantiated” ‚ÄĒ does not extend beyond the New York City area, sources told FOX News. But commuters could see security tighten across the country.

A person briefed on the matter, speaking on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the intelligence-gathering work, said the threat may also be directed at the passenger rail lines running through New York, such as Amtrak and the Long Island Rail Road. The threat surfaced on one of the busiest travel days of the year and when tens of thousands of tourists are in New York City for the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

The FBI and the Department of Homeland Security issued a joint bulletin late Tuesday night to local and state law enforcement authorities about the possible plot, a Homeland Security official told FOX News.

The report states that in late September, Al Qaeda may have talked about attacking transit systems in and around New York City during the holiday season.

“These discussions reportedly involved the use of suicide bombers or explosives placed on subway/passenger rail systems,” the bulletin says.

The FBI said it had no indication that any such plot was beyond the very earliest stages of planning.

“We have no specific details to confirm that this plot has developed beyond aspirational planning, but we are issuing this warning out of concern that such an attack could possibly be conducted during the forthcoming holiday season,” states the warning, which is dated Tuesday.

While federal agencies regularly issue all sorts of advisory warnings, the language of this one is particularly blunt.

And what do we have, right here at home, in the Land Of Coconut-Shell-Politicians?

Posted in Current Affairs, Observation | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

So, It Is Permit Or Obedience?

Posted by ErnieJean on November 26, 2008

Check this out folks………right brain cell doesn’t what the left brain cell is doing……….trademark of our BN govn, actually……..

The official statement from our KL and Selangor police….

Selangor police chief DCP Datuk Khalid Abu Bakar refuted the Bar Council’s claim on Monday that they practised double standards as seen in the way they handled two different illegal gatherings on Sunday.

“I will keep it simple. When our orders to disperse fall on deaf ears and are not adhered to, we will move in and act. That is when we may carry out arrests. What then are we expected to do? Stand and watch? We are law enforcers and when we act, it is within the parameters of the law. We will appear silly to the rest of society if we do not act.

Asked if police had given more leeway to Barisan Nasional parties in allowing them to hold gatherings and were more picky with Pakatan Rakyat component parties, Khalid objected strongly to such a notion, saying police are apolitical.

“It may appear so because we seem to be detaining Pakatan Rakyat members. But why is that happening? Simply because they defy orders and they do not disperse even when repeatedly told to do so. When BN parties such as Umno carry out these protests, we act too but when they are told to disperse, they listen.

“Have the police not given such warnings to Pakatan gatherings? We do all the time but it is ignored. We are able to manage such protests done by BN members without having to resort to detaining anyone but when Pakatan Rakyat does it, it gets out of hand simply because they do not show respect for the law.”

Kuala Lumpur police chief DCP Datuk Mohd Sabtu Osman also said that when members of such protests disperse when ordered to do so, there is no reason for police to detain them as there will no grounds to charge them in court for illegal assembly.
He said this was the case when a pro-ISA group called Pewaris staged a protest along Jalan Ampang

Note that both of them say the same thing…..that Non-Umno linked rallies were harrassed because they were basically being “Stubborn mules” and¬†refused to listen to police instructions to disperse, but instead sang Negaraku acapella style………..unlike the UMNO-linked rallies who were absolutely well-behaved and definitely did not attack a female observer, denting her car in the process………Nope, they were very good boys indeed.

Any mention of permits granted? How can right? Grant pernit to one group and not to the other group would make the police seem very very biased, right?

And then we have the “hero”¬†from our Home Ministry who released this statement………..

PUTRAJAYA: The police did not practise double standards when they arrested several people, including PAS leaders during an anti-ISA gathering on Sunday night, but did so because it was held without a police permit, Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar said.

He said the individuals, including PAS vice-president Mohamad Sabu and its Youth chief Salahudin Ayub were detained because they took part in an illegal gathering.

“As far as the police are concerned, any gatherings or rallies can only be organised if a police permit has been obtained.

‚ÄúIn this case, there was none, hence action was taken. There was no double standard,‚ÄĚ he told reporters Wednesday after opening the ministry‚Äôs Quality Day.

Syed Hamid was commenting on claims that police practised double standards when they arrested several Opposition members who took part in an illegal anti-Internal Security Act gathering, but did not take similar action against members of Malay Cultural Organi­sations and Related Bodies Cooperation Net­work (Pewaris) who gathered to urge the Government to act against those who called for the ISA to be abolished.

Police had earlier confirmed that Pewaris had obtained a police permit to gather and walk to the Jalan Tun Razak police station to lodge a police report against such groups. (So, why didn’t the police said so earlier in their press conference? Why is the Home Ministry giving another statement on their behalf? Someone forgot to coordinate….AGAIN!!??)

Confused? Well, I am.

Posted in government, Malaysia, Observation, Opinions, Politicians | Tagged: , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Macam Mana Lu Mau I Tolong…..?

Posted by ErnieJean on November 25, 2008

Being a total bimbo sometimes, there was a time when I was happily driving around, totally clueless that my road tax had already expired. As fate would have it, a police patrol car that happened to be driving behind me decided to check on the status of my car, found out about the expired road tax and proceeded to hail me down.

Stopping at the side of the road, me at the front with the patrol car parked right behind, one of the two policemen, got down and swaggered towards my direction (I remain seated inside the locked car of course) and informed me of my offence. And as expected, after informing me of the “value” of my offence, Mr. Policeman #1 proceeded with the standard¬†question designed for some kind of plea for leniency from the offender…….

“Macam mana?¬†Mau kena saman ke?” (“How? Do you want to be summoned?“)

And of course, at this time,¬†Mr. Policeman #2¬†would have gotten down from the car too and start walking around the two of us (like a vulture, circling its prey), to add to the “nerve-wrecking” situation…..with such precise timing, if I may so say myself.

Imagine their dissapointment when I replied…..

“Encik, kalau saya salah, memang saya patut di saman….Saman saja lah” (“Sir, if I have committed the offence, then I deserve to be summoned….Go ahead -lah”)

And as expected, I got off the hook with a reminder to get my road tax renewed. ūüėÄ

It also helped that this happened at the end of the month, where the police would have filled their quota of summons to be issued and hence any additional summons would mean more paperwork…….although I can’t verify whether this holds any truth, but that is what most of us Malaysians assume as the “unspoken truth”.

I’m very sure we’ve all encountered this same senario…..being caught for committing a traffic offence (also sometimes debatable y’know?) and we have our beloved “mata” offerring to “help” us avoid the hassles of paying summons….it’s almost become like a national institution, in a way……everyone knows the standard procedures……

  • the “hiding behind some bushes” speed trap or whatever trap,
  • the pull-over,
  • the swagger,
  • the threat…oops, I mean the informing of the amount to be paid via summon,
  • the begging aka negotiation,¬†and finally
  • the exchange.
  • You know, with all the overseas trips by our BN government,¬†disguised as “study trips”, these yoyos should just visit our neighbour, the “little-red-dot”¬†down south, especially in improving the integrity of our police force and security.

    Sergeant Pah Wenxiang was patrolling along Woodlands Road at about 5.30pm on 31Oct last year when he spotted a driver of a white car making an illegal U-turn and driving against traffic flow for 500m.

    In doing so, the driver narrowly missed a collision with a motorcyclist before entering a petrol station.

    The cop then tailed the driver and confronted him when the latter stopped at the petrol station.
    The driver, Lim Teck Choon, a 56-year-old Malaysian businessman, told Sgt Pah he did not want to be caught in the traffic jam and wanted to return to Malaysia as soon as possible.

    He even went on to suggest that it was common for vehicles to reverse and drive against the flow of traffic when there was a traffic jam.

    His excuse cut no ice and Sgt Pah proceeded to inform Lim that he would be charged in court for dangerous driving and that he would be placed under arrest. (Perhaps, he should have done a “MM2” by declaring that he “no spicking & leading¬†Inglish”)

    Tried to bargain

    Lim tried to bargain with Sgt Pah by asking whether it was possible not to ‘summon’ him so ‘heavily’.

    Sgt Pah replied that he had no choice as Lim had committed a serious traffic offence. Lim acknowledged that he was at fault and that he could not deny this.

    While waiting for the police car to arrive, Sgt Pah started a conversation with Lim, who said that he was a businessman with businesses in Singapore and Malaysia.

    He added that he also owned plantations in Johor which were popular grounds for fishing and hunting.

    Lim then told Sgt Pah: ‘Why want to do this, be enemy. You should let me go. We can be friends. Next time you come to Malaysia, Iwill take care of you, still got benefits.’ (…………Trademark of UMNO? MCA? MIC?……”we friend friend….I take care of you, you take care of me”……)

    On hearing that, Sgt Pah felt that the accused was offering a bribe, and he accordingly told the accused that it was an offence to do so. (Wah! Wah! If in Malaysia, Mr. Mata would have been pretty pissed off if there was no offer)

    The accused replied ‘okay’ and did not say anything else after that. Still, the offer to bribe the cop landed Lim in hot water.

    When his case came up before District Judge Jasvender Kaur, the judge noted that attempting to bribe a police officer is a serious offence. But she took into account Lim’s plea for leniency in this case.

    First, after Lim’s request of not being summoned so heavily was turned down, Lim did not persist.

    Lim admitted he was wrong and that the traffic police officer was only doing his duty.
    Judge Kaur said: ‘I think it is reasonable to say that the accused would, in all probability, not have said what he said had Sgt Pah not started the casual conversation.’

    Lim also pleaded with the judge, saying that he was a deputy chairman of Malaysian Chinese Association for the town of Kampong Jawa in Johor, and he has helped students and orphans in his constituency. (MALU-NYA!!!!! That moron just informed the whole world that a politician, Deputy Chairman some more, from the ruling party tried to bribe his way out!!!)

    As Lim had no previous records, he was spared the jail sentence and was fined $15,000 for the bribery offence. He was fined $2,500 earlier and disqualified from driving for six months.

    For all the kiasu-jokes and love-hate relationship we have with our Singaporean cousins, I can’t help but envy them in that aspect………INTEGRITY, JUSTICE¬†AND PRIDE……something our law-enforcers and politicians from the ruling coalition sorely lacks…….and will probably continue to lack as long as the current ruling coalition¬†remains in power…..

    Posted in government, Malaysia, Observation, Opinions, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , | 17 Comments »

    Mahathir, Bapa segala-galanya….

    Posted by barbie on November 24, 2008

    Mahathir,

    Bapa Pembangunan,

    Bapa Politik Wang,

    Bapa Kuota Pemilihan Umno,

    Bapa Kuota Sistem Pendidikan,

    Bapa Kuota 30% Ekuiti Bumiputera,

    Bapa Akta Universiti dan Kolej Universiti,

    Bapa Proton,

    Bapa Perosak Sistem Kehakiman,

    Bapa Politik Perkauman,

    Bapa Bail-Out,

    Bapa Operasi Lalang,

    Bapa Lingam Kes Lingam,

    Bapa Ketuanan Melayu,

    Bapa Perogol Perlembagaan Negara,

    Bapa Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Menengah (KBSM),

    Bapa Bahasa Inggeris untuk Sains and Matematik,

    Bapa ‘The Loaf’,

    Bapa “Un-jing?”,

    Bapa Mukhriz,

    Bapa apa lagi lah?

    A Somali’s perception of Mahathir
    Friday, October 31, 2008

    Din,
    I’m a Somali living in Malaysia who follows the local scene here very much. I would have to admit that Tun Dr M’s greatest disadvantage is his pure, unadulterated hatred for anyone who disagrees with him. Never have I seen a human being whose sole motivation, drive and engine is pure hatred. Just visit his blog which is read by friends and foes, locals and foreigners and I must tell you it epitomizes him in every way.

    Since he started it after complaining of UMNO media strangulation, did you see an article that he has written concerning the poor, the needy, the widows, the orphans, the handicapped, the downtrodden, the wayfarers, compassion, empathy, sharing, sacrifice, charity, morality, accountability, God’s fear and Judgement, forgiveness, patience (etc)? No.

    Always it is about some people, blaming others, calling them names, dishing out unvanished, pure hatred. Blaming others for this and that and exonerating himself from all blame? Surely, at this age? You can’t build a society and a nation through hate, vengeance, intense anger and mean spirit. You would have to remind the people the higher purpose of life for them to get motivated and work harder for the less fortunate and for themselves. Finger pointing, blaming others, planting defeatist culture in the Malays, reducing them to mad people (we are sensitive, we will run amok society that makes even foreigners despise the Malays) will not help this society and nation.

    My people (the Somalis) suffered from cruel leadership and when the hatred became too much, we turned to each other and till today, we the only nation with no Central govt. The Malays share with us almost every trait, very feudal, manipulated easily, territorial, misuse of Islam for expediency, rigid explanation of Islam and too much interest in outward Islam than inward Islam that strengthens the hearts, our only difference is that the Malays have the Chinese and the Indians around that make them watch out for the “enemies.”

    For us, we didn’t have that and that’s why we turned to each other. If God has loved the Malays and Malaysia, it is because He brought other people here. If some Malays regret the presence of the Chinese and Indians, ask us the Somalis and you will know what it means to be an incestous (homogenous) society and you will praise the Almighty day in day out. If it was possible, I would have shipped the Chinese and Indians to Somalia to create diversity in my nation but it is wishful thinking.

    The other person who makes me cringe in shame is one Curry[Khairy] Jamaluddin. Never have I seen a more uncouth, uncultured, degenerate, pugancious, ill, nefarious and utterly infantile being than this young man. I have a big heart who tries to understand everyone and put itself in their place, but I don’t think my heart can accommodate one Curry Jamaluddin. He is a primate and deserves the worst treatment (though I hate it because we are Muslims and human beings) but honestly he is too much. Abubakar

    (Source: Seventh Rangers (Mechanized))

    Posted in barbie, Malaysia, Politicians | Tagged: , , | 12 Comments »

    Melaka, oh Melaka…

    Posted by Oscar the Grouch on November 23, 2008

    I am currently reading Shirley Lim’s “Among the White Moonfaces: Memoirs of an Asian American Woman“. This biography by the Malaysian-born, California-based award winning feminist-author and poet, traces the writer’s painfully honest narration of her early days of growing up in Malacca. Reading her journal has, in many ways, helped bridge my own difficult affinity with Malacca.

    My parents are from Malacca; it is their kampong. My father, from Kampong Tujuh in Gajah Berang; and my mother, in the heart of Malacca town, a row of flats with no name, known commonly only as the 9-storey flat, along Jalan Bendahara. Malacca is home as well to my grandparents; and scores of uncles, aunts, cousins and relatives.

    Many of my earliest recollections of early childhood revolve memories of Malacca. My father’s home in Kampong Tujuh is a dilapidated wooden-house, with zinc roof that flaps noisily at the sudden gust of fierce winds; surrounded amply by a garden, wide enough to rear chickens, ducks and turkeys; and a space for planting local fruit trees. At the edge of the garden grounds, a moat-like ditch, filled with smelly drain water, marks the boundary of the property.

    The villagers of Kampong Tujuh are a potpourri of Chinese and Indian, both living side by side to each other. It is not as we find these days, where races huddled in particular vicinity: be it in a village, settlement, neighbourhood or township. For example, next to my father’s ancestral home lives this Indian family, who I come to understand, are relatives. The Indian man married a Chinese lady, my father’s cousin. Their children are relatively of the same age as I am, and whom I have come to regard as distant cousins.

    I remember many a time, during the long school holidays; I roamed freely across the wide open paddy-fields, alongside my Indian cousins. We explored the nooks of the Indian temple, located in the middle of the kampong; played soldiers beneath the tall lalang grass and jumping into the drains to catch tadpoles.

    Other times, I was at the 9-storey flat, where a predominantly Chinese community resides. There, I joined my Chinese cousins, who spoke no English, but converse only Hokkien and Mandarin. Life in the flats was different, there were limited space to run, jump and play. But instead, the industrious children found out that wide spaces were provided vertically. And so it was, we played the mother of all hide-and-seek, hiding from anywhere within the corners of the 9 floors of the building.

    But in many ways, I find it hard to regard Malacca as my hometown. It is not. I was not born there. Neither did I grow up there. I was a city boy, making those occasional visits only during the school holidays and the Chinese New Year breaks. I find no real kin-association to the kampong. Unlike the author Shirley Lim, my generation bears a distinct identity concern: – that of a non-belonging to the ancestral village.

    Perhaps, Shirley Lim’s generation, together with that of my parents, had to grapple with identity issues with the ancestral motherland (China); whom they as the 2nd generation of migrants, have to find their heart-absent causal link to the country that they have no real bond to, except that of the forefathers.

    Similarly, my early bond with Malacca, and that of my uncles, aunts and cousins, has been half-heartedly wanting. I was unable to converse in Mandarin; I never went to Chinese school as my cousins. I was not hardy as my Indian cousins; I was always the last in a race, the first to be found in the game of hide-and-seek. I was, I felt, looked upon in disdain, as a sort of a squashy city-boy. In many ways, when I am in KL, I feel a sense of belonging to Malacca; but in Malacca, I am amply reminded that I am not.

    Perhaps that is why, in later years, I took it upon myself to leave behind this legacy. Malacca is a small kampong to me, I tell myself; I am slated for bigger things in life. Slowly, but surely, the town fades like an outgoing tide, tucked away from me, existing only in prints of black & white family photos.

    But it is not to be.

    I will come to learn, in later years, that Kampong Tujuh is no longer known as that; it has been christened to a more distinguished label of the Chitty Settlement; that my Indian cousins are not just Indians, they are Chitty, a distinctive group of Indian Peranakans; that the temple which I have played at so often, and where I had once had my head dotted during a religious ceremony, was the famous 186-year-old Sri Maha Mariamman Temple; that some of the odd uncles and aunts that spoke no Chinese are actually babas & nyonyas; that the 9-storey flat is actually famous, worth a write-up once in a newspaper article of a local daily: – a hilarious write-up about how the depressed have committed suicide by jumping off the building, creating a sort of “record” in the country; that the ugly post office building we have to drive across to reach the Coronation Park is actually the Stadthuys; that the unassuming Jalan Hang Jebat is now the famous Jonker Street; and that the reeking pong of the belacan has got a mention in Wikipedia.

    I also learned that it is hard to turn your back on your past. A legacy is hard to ignore, it follows you through, like a friendly shadow, not visible within the evening sky; and when you think it is no longer there, it springs out on you in the noon reflection, reminding you of its unwavering existence.

    And it is this leaping shadow that I have come to expect now and then; yesterday, in the form of the celebrations for the handing over of the letter of recognition of Malacca as a World Heritage Site. It is hard not to acknowledge the festivities of a nature, so close to heart.

    Just a month or so ago, I had to attend the wedding of one of the Chitty cousins I had raced with along the paddy-fields of Kampong Tujuh some three decades ago. Nadarajan, or Rajan as we still call him, is now the secretary for the Malacca Chitty Cultural Association; married the traditional Chitty way with a three-week elaborate and colourful ceremony carried out in Kampong Chitty, Gajah Berang.

    It was a wedding festivity like no other: – the Chitty couple; more than half of the relatives are Chinese; serenaded by a band headed by an Indian crooner ala Tom Jones, with matching wigs and platform shoes; held in a hall of a Buddhist Association; with the guests partying to Malay Joget towards the end of the ceremony.

    Yes, it is easy to dismiss one’s heritage; and it is easy to laugh at the news of Shahrukh Khan’s Datukship debacle. But it is not easy to turn my back on Malacca, the place that I knew then; and the place that it is now: – a UNESCO World Heritage Site; and a place that I am proud of.

    Posted in Conversation, Malaysia, Oscar the Grouch | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

    Songs for today are…..

    Posted by jingoisticbuthornydesperado on November 21, 2008

    I don’t know what is wrong with me today. I keep listening to love songs from different eras. Anyway, here is what I like to share

    Haddaway: What is love?

    Jennifer Paige: Crush

    Michael Learns To Rock: That’s why you go away

    Richard Marx: Hazard

    One Republic: Apologise/Apologize

    I find that I like this original version without Timberland much better.

    My previous post on music includes

    Alternative music (the old, the undergound and the cool)

    My favourite music (part 2), dedicated to….

    Music of my heart (Part 1)

    A little nostalgia and some nice songs

    Posted in jingoisticbuthornydesperado, Music | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments »

    Ooohh…To Be Stood Up…TWICE!!!

    Posted by ErnieJean on November 20, 2008

    What would ordinary folks (of the mortal kind)¬†like ourselves do, when, say, we’ve been stood up, “fong fei kei”-ed, ¬†TWICE (!!), despite¬†us trying our darnest best to make everything as easy as possible for that particular meeting/event to take place? And all that person could¬†come up with¬†is because he/she was busy.
     
    Don’t know about you guys, but unless it’s¬†someone who really matters, like a close friend or family, I’d¬†forget about¬†“begging” for¬†another meet, especially if that person has, sort of, made it quite obvious that he/she thinks very little of whatever I have to offer……….
     
    And I bet that’s what most of us would do, if there were¬†any dignity and pride in us.
     
    But what would our great knowledgable macho leaders (who wouldn’t think twice about shedding blood of the “others” if their¬†rights¬†were threatened)¬†do if they were in this same situation?
    Malacca's Most Beloved Bollywood Hero

    Malacca's Most Beloved Bollywood Hero

    MALACCA : Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan will not be able to receive his Datukship on Nov 29 due to his busy schedule.

    It is learnt that state officials here are now trying to arrange for an alternative date. (Must give credit…..very persistant…..)

    Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam said he had got wind of it but refused to comment further on the matter. (Tai Chi master in action………..)

    ‚ÄúI understand it has been postponed. For any details, you will have to ask the State Secretary,‚ÄĚ he told reporters after chairing the state executive council meeting yesterday.

    TOO BUSY?
     
    Quite frankly, I’ve sort of expected this sort of¬†nonchalant-ness from the Bollywood Superstar…….after all, it is pretty obvious that this award of “datukship” is basically a shameless publicity stunt by the racist and sexist bigot to try and milk off some celebrity stardust off SRK…….
     
    Ali Rustam, not everyone is as simple minded as your bodek-kakis, you know? Not everybody will kiss your ass for one of¬†your¬†“money-talks-Datukships”, you know?
     
    Says a lot about the value of our Malaysian “datukship”, doesn’t it?
     
    Now, I wonder¬†if¬†this¬†superstar¬†who spurned Ali Rustam’s affection,¬†be just as busy if it was a “Knighthood” from Queen E ? Hmmmmm…….
     
     

    Posted in Malaysia, Observation, Opinions, Politicians, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 8 Comments »

    Wong Chun Wai faces off Lim Kit Siang? Mahathir faces off Najib?

    Posted by jingoisticbuthornydesperado on November 20, 2008

    I was wondering what the brouhaha was all about between Wong Chun Wai and Lim Kit Siang when I was skimming through The Star online. I would rather not dwell on the constitutional jargon to rebut Wong Chun Wai like Lim Kit Siang did, as jurisprudence is not my forte. I have to scorn (the idea not the person) this particularly crass and self-centred statement from Wong Chun Wai was stating that non-Muslim NGOs should stay away from the fatwas on yoga and tomboyism, as these religious rulings did not affect non-Muslims”.

    Quoting from Haris Ibrahim,

    “Is this not advocating the UMNO / MCA / MIC ‚ÄėMelayu jaga Melayu, Cina jaga Cina, India jaga India’ mentality?

    Stand up for the marginalised? Why? We’re from the privileged class.

    We should not concern ourselves with the Revathis and the Lina Joys and the Subashini’s because, hey, whatever that’s being done to them does not infringe our rights, no?

    So what if families are torn apart? Ours is intact!

    What temple demolitions? We did not notice any. Sorry,we were too busy praying in our churches and mosques, all intact, to notice.

    Why candlelight vigil for the release of ISA detainees when we’re on the outside? After all, we’re at large. Our rights are unaffected.”

    I think Haris Ibrahim has pretty much summed up my thought about the whole issue. For years we tend to complain how our fellow citizens lack civic-mindedness. If we mind our business, who are we to say “accuse road bullies for being inconsiderate”? Also, I disagree with Wong Chun Wai accusing Lim Kit Siang for resorting to name-calling and bullying to put down Wong Chun Wai. Upon inspecting the Lim Kit Siang’s blog, I don’t find any particular persona non grata statements. The most negative from Lim Kit Siang is most probably this segment of his statement,

    “But what is most mischievous, unprofessional and unacceptable is the insinuation that the DAP…”

    Is this name-calling or bullying? I have seen worse, yet this statement is what I believe is to be called CONSTRUCTIVE CRITCISM. I mean, Lim Kit Siang did suggest a solution/solutions to his criticism. How can a constructive criticism be a bad thing? Or is it possible for any of us to be so insulated from the years of being a political sycophant that anything that is does not resemble a reward seems like an atomic bomb? I do like A FEW of Wong Chun Wai’s article but this latest blog post of his is objectionable.

    On a totally different note, is Mahathir turning into Najib’s adversary? Well Najib is not doing things the way Mahathir wants it to be and because of this, Mahathir is threatening to release the name of UMNO members involved in money politics. I doubt his threat was intended for Badawi otherwise Mahathir would have done that long time ago. When Badawi took over from Mahathir, Badawi was relatively ‚Äėclean’ and was also relatively a ‚Äėpolitical nobody’, hence Mahathir has no funny leverage against Badawi to blackmail Badawi himself. Najib is a different story altogether. Though Mahathir did not explicitly mention who he intends to ‚Äėdeleverage’ against but my bet will be on Najib. Will Mahathir get his way? Between Mahathir and Najib, we have seen relationship vacillating between friends, then enemies, then friends again and now it seems like it is teetering towards enmity again.

    Sigh! So many social and political conundrums!

     

    Posted in Current Affairs, government, Malaysia, Observation, Opinions, Politicians | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »