The World, we are

Just you and me, we can make a better world, believe not?

I received an email from my friend Weng San just now. I opened it, and found this. It tells me that I alone is the world, and I can make a change. And you too. You are the world, you can do something to make it better.

Yeah, this words sound idealistic. However we were all idealistic before, weren't we? Have you lost your ability to be idealistic?

Most of the times, it is the most simple belief that makes things happen. I am glad I still believe. As I believe, I celebrated Yellow Saturday again by giving out free bananas at Taman Bahagia yesterday. I couldn't reach many people by doing this. But at least I reached some.

This song is dedicated to the Africans by American singers. They are linked up, although there is a big ocean between them. There is no ocean between us, shall we lend our hands to our 31 Indian friends who are now in lockups because of joining peaceful assembly? Shall we come together and say NO to ISA detention of 5 HINDRAF leaders?

Gerakan Mansuhkan ISA will organise a peaceful assembly at SUHAKAM office tomorrow (17 DEC)10.30am to send SUHAKAM a memorandum on ISA detention. SUARAM will also organise another peaceful assembly to uphold right to peaceful assembly at the same venue Wednesday 11am. Give your support if you can.


Ops Lalang Reborn

2007.12.11. Sitting in front of my computer, kept receiving sms and calls updating news at Parliment. Tian Chua arrested, Khalid Ibrahim arrested, a 13 year-old boy arrested, and finally my friends Chin Huat, Swee Seng, Gayatry arrested. My feeling is that, Operasi Lalang reborn today, after buried for 20 years. After 20 years, our history repeats, dictatorship is still dictatorship, it is only the face of the dictator changed.


Banana's Day

I have a yellow singlet with some powerpuff girls flying on it. So I put it on on a hot Saturday. I unparked my car, grasped a yellow birthday girl, and rushed to Chin Huat at OUG shopping mall. Bananas were there, awaiting us.

"Free banana, free banana", if you happened to pass by, you got a free banana and a free smile. People looked at me with "???" on their faces. Some people took a banana from me, and walked away from me. Some asked me a question before plucking a banana, "are you going to sell something after this?" One specified the question, "are you asking people to sign for Digi after this?"

"No no no, I am not selling anything, I am celebrating yellow Saturday."

"What is that, yellow Saturday?""Oh you remember there was a demonstration in town calling for electoral reform? After that people wear something yellow on every Saturday to keep the momentum." ...... (some more some more explanation)

Most of the people knocked their head after listening to my lecture. One audience asked for another banana after listening. An aunty happened to thank me, after knowing I am not from the opposition and I bought the bananas by my own money. She is one of many Malaysians that believe there are a lot of lopholes in our electoral system and there is a need to reform. She took a banana from me, and took another one for her husband.

Beside me, there were some guys promoting credit cards. No kidding, our business was far better than them. 150 bananas were given away in just an hour, according to Chin Huat. :-) There were only 5 of us.


Me, standing among Indian Malaysians

I am proud of you, many many Indians in the country. You have finally stood up to reclaim your rights.

I reached KLCC 7 something in the morning. I reached, without expecting such a big crowd. Thousands of your faces passed me by, every face seems to have something to tell. Life has never been easy for you, I know. And so you came, bringing pictures of Gandhi and banners claiming your own rights, as a Malaysian, and as a humanbeing with dignity.

You stood peacefully under some billboards of Petronas. Children from different races playing happily together in the advertisements. "One legacy, one destiny", one of the billboards said. A peaceful multiracial country, this is the image they always try to portrait. There was happiness projected in the images. However it seems to me boring, and surreal. There you stood peacefully below those images. Your dark skin, your smiles, your courage and even your fear deep inside your heart making you so real, and so energetic.

To tell the truth, I was in fear standing among you, thousands of you. But after a while I knew that that feeling had no justification. Each and everyone of you I met was so nice to me, you talked to me in such a way that you never ever worried I was not a real journalist but someone from special branch. You were just simple and nice. And yet, people call you thugs.

Hi guys, I did not enjoy much peaceful moments with you, for the water cannon and tear gase came fiercefully after a while. Doses of tear gase fired directly toward your bodies. My tears dropped seeing you been dispersed in such a manner, it must be a result of the mixture of tear gase, anger and feeling of simpathy.

In a few occasions, I caught too much tear gase and could not stand properly. You offered help without hesitation. You could spare water in your bottle for yourself but you chose to pass it to me without asking who I am, where I come from. I must thank you. Thank you for treating me nice, without looking at the colour of my skin. Certainly, I felt more secure among you, than among the police.

The police fired tear gases again. Again, and again. Are those doses of tear gase going to expired? I heard someone wondered. I rather believe that it was, because I see no reason the police had to use such heavy force to disperse you, and me.

It was a sad day for me. And after reading newspapers the next day, I know there are many sad things to come. Are you going to run away from this? No, I think you are going to prove me that you are going to face this with courage and wisdom, together with other ethnic groups in the country.

P/S: I understand that some people are uneasy with the rally for it only focuses on Indian rights in the country. I do not see problem minority groups stand up for their own rights. Just as I do not think there is any problem the indigenius come out and fight for their land. If there are problems of discrimination in the country and there are certain groups being marginalised in this country, let us admit it. Let us be realistic also, if this is another rally calling for equality of all Malaysians, Indians' problems can never be highlighted.

However I do agree that HINDRAF the organiser of the rally should engage other civil society groups and other races to join and support the appeals of the Indians. If the appeals are rational and put properly, it can surely gain supports from other ethnic groups. My point is that, if there is a way to stop politicians from labelling you as a racist, why not? Nevertheless leadership of HINDRAF seems does not really care about choosing a better strategy. The Sunday rally also seems to me less organised.

Question now: how is HINDRAF going to lead such a big crowd? I hope HINDRAF can guide its followers to the root of the problems and find out facts about other ethnic groups in the country. While a big number of Indians living in poor conditions, a number of Malays and Chinese also not living easily. Besides discriminative policies of the government, problems lie on selfish government politicians who utilise such policies for their own purposes (money, power, women etc).

The leadership of the country is the problem creator, not the Malay people, HINDRAF, please make this very clear to those nice people I met in the rally.


Again, the ministry bans reports on BERSIH

Here I quote Merdeka Review's exclusive report published at 5:58pm today:

"After Ministry of Internal security had verbally instructed mainstream media not to give any media coverage to BERSIH at the beginning of this month, the ministry called up a meeting with the editor of various news agency again today to deliver another instruction: do not publish too much news about BERSIH."

Che Din bin Yusoh, Secretary of Bahagian Kawalan Penerbitan Dan Teks Al-Quran told Merdeka Review today, the ministry gathered editor in-chief from various newspaper to "exchange views" on how should the media play their role objectively and be responsible.

He further mentioned, the instruction given by the ministry was to give less coverage to BERSIH, and papers should seek comments on this issue from "reliable bodies", such as Majlis Keselamatan Negara.

He then told the online Chinese media there were 20 representatives from newspapers turned up. Another source revealed, the meeting was headed by Abdul Aziz Mohd Yusof, chief secretary of the ministry.


Long to

I cannot see star here. And the night is long. I had a long day in a stupid meeting. And yet you leave me such a long night. I am living a long life. There will be another long day. Another long night.


It might not be love

It is pretty quiet here. And the sheep is here.
All alone, it sits beside a seed of rose, waiting for it to grow.
The seed remains silent. And sometimes, silence hurts.
The grass carpet is green and looks talkative
but the tiny little sheep has got no one to talk to.

It is waiting for the rose.
It knows one day some greeny little things will pop up from the seed
And with the mixture of tear drops and sunshine, the plant can produce a rose.
Yes a rose, a rose that has an impatient face.

It doesn't matter, as long as it is a rose that comes from the arrogant seed,
the sheep speaks to itself.

It might not be a rose that finally blooms from the plant, who knows?
The careless little sheep might have mistaken a durian seed for a seed of rose,
the grass speaks to itself.

No one can tell the next.
You have to just sit down, and wait and see.


Welcome onboard, Mr Teoh :-)

What is this about? Koolgeek asked. Thank you for the question. This is all about Merdeka Review's 2nd anniversary. We had our time at Bukit Jalil Golf and Country Resort last night. Around 150 readers turned up. I was busy, collecting smiles from every face came across me. They would say "oh you are the one......" when I passed them my name card or told them my name. They know me not because I wrote excellent pieces, it is just because there are only 5 writers in Merdeka Review, including our editor. Our team is growing, however. It has added up to six now, since Mr Teoh Kian Hoon (behind, number 2 from left) is now with us. As a sincere, responsible and gifted writer, Mr Teoh is well known and highly respected in Chinese community. I am proud to stay in a team with him. My beloved colleagues surely feel the same.


Rationalism & Freedom

Reasons, like science, grow by way of mutual criticism; the only possible way of ‘planning’ its growth is to develop those institutions that safeguard the freedom of this criticism, that is to say, the freedom of thought. (Popper 1950: 412)

…rationalism is linked up with the recognition of the necessity of social institutions to protect freedom of criticism, freedom of thought, and thus the freedom of men. (Popper 1950: 423)

By appealing to above sentences, Popper asserts that, growth in reason and rationalism can only be pursued in an open and liberal atmosphere. Popper believes that reason is a product of social life. We learn to argue rationally from our communication with other members of the society (Popper 1950: 411). This belief gives rise to the notion that scientific attitude is born from the society, or more precisely, from the intercourse with other human beings.

In general, open society generated by elements of individualism, equalitarianism, faith in reason, liberalism etc. encourages rational criticism. Without critical rationalism, falsification of hypotheses both in science and other human knowledge can never take place.

--- I admire Sir Karl Popper, for his wisdom, diligence and creativity. Sentences above are taken from one of my assignments in school.


Sad laughing stuff

“Stop Meng Chee’s scholarship!” Federation of Peninsular Malay Students cried. And the Minister of Higher Education warned the students who study with government scholarship to behave themselves or else their scholarship will be terminated. These statements make me laugh. Those who came out with these statements seem to be naïve about other ethnic groups’ struggles in the country. We have been living 50 years together, and yet, we are so divided.

After 50 years living together, yet the Chinese come to realize that their Malay friends do not know that Chinese who study in Taiwan are not quite possible to be supported by our government. And equally sad, our dearest Malay friends are yet to find out that their Chinese and Indian friends are not as lucky as they are.

I share the same anxiety with a reader who wrote to Merdeka Review, “Do they know we have private secondary school?” Yes, do you know we have private secondary school which is not so “high class” in terms of its hardware facilities as private schools used to be? Do you ever know that local Chinese community pours in millions of ringgit to support Chinese education just because our government does not recognize mother tongue education?

“Chinese are rich”, you believe so, because you have not come across Chinese private secondary school students in their school uniform asking for donation from one table to another in restaurants and supper spots just to help their school to build a hall or a small stadium.

“Chinese who study abroad are using government money”, you believe so, just because you do not know there are plenty of rubber tapper families sell their land and properties to support their child who is holding a high school certificate which is not recognized by local universities.

“Chinese community is affordable, since the community itself is rich” yes, Chinese community possesses the economic strength to support Chinese education, so Chinese schools are still working, they are just a bit old and only killed a teacher up to the day. However, if you argue it this way, what about our Indian friends who are left behind economically?

Put aside your mainstream media, and start looking around, capturing some actual facts about your friends of different races who have been living together with you for 50 years. If you do, you must be able to understand why Meng Chee, the creator of “Negarakuku” who studied in private Chinese secondary and high school put the song that way.

A bit English, starts from today.

From now on, I'm going to write in English whenever I feel like to. The reason of doing so --- I need to practise my English since I’m writing a serious matter in English, if not communicate with my friends who don’t understand Chinese. I know I shall be more confident after 5 to 6 years of utilising the language in my studies. It’s a great pressure though, for I know many of you have a good command in English. Imagine how embarrassing it is if one of you jumps out and says:“Stop…! I can’t tahan your English.”. Whatever whatever. I’m writing in English.