How Do I Teach My Children In The Future?

The recent “Soup Kitchens Ban” news spread like wildfire.

I am aware that there are a lot volunteers out there feeding the homeless, my colleague is one of them. When I heard “some” minister cleverly suggested to ban soup kitchens just because he thinks it’s not good for the city image, I was shock.

Our city image, not just tarnished by the homeless and beggars, but also by a bunch of people who do not know how to manage the city!

If stop feeding the homeless can really get rid of the homeless problem, I think we should stop paying salaries to the government servants and make them all volunteers to curb corruptions. Isn’t that the same theory?

Also, the homeless now at least get one proper meal (and it’s not a luxury 3-course meal) in a day, if no helps come their way in the future, who knows they may get desperate and start robbing or stealing just to get a meal to live on. The government is already not helping these people, and now they want to ban volunteers from lending a helping hand? Worse, punish the person who helps.

Andrew has always been a kind soul to people who need helps. He would always give a dollar or two to those who asked, but he doesn’t just give to anyone that comes. He’s very good in observing. We used to bump into a man with his wife in a restaurant asking for donation, Andrew has given him money a few times. One day I asked him, “the man is clearly capable of working, why do you still give him money?” “Did you see the wife? She doesn’t look mentally healthy, and you look at the man’s shirt and hands, the fingers and nails are all dirty and black, obviously he has a job, some hard labor maybe. I think he needs extra money for the wife’s medical expenses.” I was so touched and surprised that he could see so much that I didn’t. From that moment onwards, I’ve told myself to see beyond. I would also love to teach my children (not just my own, my friends’, my nephews and nieces, any child) to always be kind like Andrew but see beyond and know when to help.

If at all we were banned (and fined) from helping the needy, how on earth am I supposed to teach my children in the future?

NO! You can’t help them, you’ll get fined!

NO! You shouldn’t give them food or money, the police will fine you!

“But mom, the books and teachers told us we have to be kind and help those in need.”

What will the world become without empathy and kindness? Everyone will be so selfish.

I seriously don’t want my children to live in that kind of world.

I Need Hope

It’s beyond words…… I can’t believe that I’m reliving the pain and heartache…… For people that I don’t personally know.

In the past, I only felt a brief moment of sadness when I heard a plane crashed. This time, it is my country’s airline…… It is so close to home and heart. 239 lives…… I feel more than just pain……

We all went from hopeful, to now hopeless. That is the hardest part, to accept the fact that all hopes are gone now. Miracles will not happen.

For a stranger like me to feel so much, it must be overwhelming and so hard for the family members……

Anger will come…… It is part of the process of grieving…… Our government better be prepared to provide answers. People, will not take ambiguity and avoidance anymore.

If the debris confirmed to be of the MH370, I will feel angry too……

Why did it turn back? Why did it end up in the Indian Ocean? Why didn’t someone pick up anything on the radar? Why was the communication system deliberately turned off? Why would someone do such thing? Why didn’t the government tell us earlier? Why waited for so long?

I need to feel hopeful again.

What’s Next?

Majority of us wanted a change. A change in government, a change in direction, and a change in our life.

We made the history again. 80% of the eligible voters voted. First in history. Most of us did the best we could to exercise our rights. Every vote counts and we make sure our votes count.

I voted. I waited.

When I saw the results the next morning, I got restless.

Shocked, surprised, confused, sad, angry…… How could one be overwhelmed with all these feelings at the same time?

I was shocked to see that the results took a sudden turn when I slept.

I was surprised to see that the opposition won so many seats.

I was confused to see what was supposed to be right became wrong.

I was sad to see the racism from our leader.

I was angry that our leader clearly does not understand what his people want.

My heart ached, for the future of the country.

I know that you can’t change the course of a nation over one night. Rome wasn’t built in a day. However, the behavior of our leader makes me sick.

Why can’t he see?

It is never about our races.

It is never about our religions.

It is never about our beliefs.

It is always about, Malaysian.

Please, all we ever ask for is, lead us to the right path, bring us to a better place.

It is always, US. All of US.

Don’t try to divide us. We will never fall for such childish trick.

Don’t try to “color” us. We are “color blind”.

Don’t try to fool us. We are “color blind”, but not blind.

If you still want to remain in power, please be a leader!

Get rid of your muppets that aren’t contributing. They’re making you look like a fool.

Malaysian-Flag

Our Jalur Gemilang (Stripes of glory). Do you see the many colors that represent all of us??? We are ONE. We are MALAYSIAN.

Jalur Gemilang
Berkibar-kibar di hatiku
Jangan sekali sekala
Memijak impianku

Jalur Gemilang
Berkobar-kobar di hatiku
Jangan sedaya upaya
Memadam semangatku

Jalur Gemilang
Selalu di hatiku
Kita anak Malaysia
Kita bersatu padu

P.S.: I am not Chinese, I am MALAYSIAN. My dear PM, if my foreign friends can see me as a Malaysian, why can’t you?

I Am Malaysian

I am Malaysian
I can speak Chinese
Because my ancestors were Chinese
But, I am Malaysian

I am Malaysian
I call Malaysia home
Because it is where I was born
So, I am Malaysian

I am Malaysian
I choose to exercise my rights
Because I have to do what is right
Therefore, I fight as a Malaysian

I am Malaysian
I vote for a better future
Because I want a better future

A future where we are all Malaysians
A future where I do not have to fill in my “race”
A future where we stand united as one race
A future where I do not fear my government
A future where the government serves its people
A future where I can proudly tell the world that,
“I am Malaysian
I love my country
And I love my leader”

~ Ashley

P.S.: Right now, I am not entirely proud of being a Malaysian. I am not entirely happy to be a Malaysian. I love my country, and it saddens me so much to see a bunch of monkeys running this country to the ground. It has become worse in the past 10 years. I am not sure of what the future will bring, but I am all hopeful. I am not a supporter of the opposition, but I am a supporter of change. 56 years…… It is long enough. Chance should be given to others, just like when the Americans given Obama a chance. For better or worse, we will be the ones who make the history. The vote, is in our hands. Why are we so afraid of change? I have heard people saying, “no one is capable enough to rule this country”. My dear, we are not sure, we are not sure. Don’t judge too quickly. At least, a change is better than nothing. Change, is what we need now.

change-will-not-come-if-we-wait-for-some-other-person-or-some-other-time

He gave his people hope, but many are now disappointed. At least, the people of USA held their heads high and said, “I made that change”. I wish I would be able to say that, on 5th May 2013.

It Isn’t The End, Not Yet

Almost everyone is discussing about the prophecy of 2012, that according to the Mayan calendar, the world is going to end on 21 December 2012.

With all due respect, I am always amazed by the Mayan culture, but I don’t think the world is going to end.

On the other hand, I do believe that something is going to happen.

It would not be the end of the world, but something, some changes are going to happen. I don’t know what it might be and how it is going to be like, I’m no rocket scientist.

Ironically, if nothing happens, the Mayan calendar and prophecy would be the biggest joke on earth, ever.

To me, the end of something is always a new beginning of something else. We human adapt to changes very quick. Come what may, I believe we will be able to get through it.

I am more concerned and worried about us human sabotaging and exploiting the mother earth. As I’ve always said, the end of the world, would be us human who bring it upon ourselves.

Before we go on and chanting “Mayan prophecy is coming true”, take a second and think – WE, are actually building our own end-of-the-world. That, is even scarier and more truth than the Mayan prophecy.

Perhaps, the Mayan was merely trying to tell us not to exploit our earth.

BERSIH For What?

I’ve been wanting to write about this yesterday. However, knowing myself, I know I shouldn’t put anything in writing when I am upset, disturbed, confused and feeling unwell.

If you have no idea or not sure what BERSIH is all about, it is time for you to understand it better. You don’t support something blindly without understanding the meaning behind it. You can read the full description of Bersih on Wikipedia:

The Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (MalayGabungan Pilihanraya Bersih dan Adil) or Bersih (meaning clean in Malay) is a coalition of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) which seeks to reform the current electoral system in Malaysia to ensure free, clean and fair elections.

BERSIH 3.0, was not just about go there, show up then go home. It was about sending the message to everyone, that we want at least a fair election.

Why the clean and fair election, you asked.

The current ruling party has been governing the country for nearly 55 years, of course we can’t deny the good times and good things that the previous leaders had brought us. We are not some ungrateful people who do not appreciate what they have done for us. Indeed, as many others said, we have benefited from the existing government and system too. So, why suddenly do we want the change so much now?

Look at the recent years! A local artist, Auguste Kwan, wrote this on his Facebook:

50年前,大家說,馬來西亞真好,好過香港日本。 30年前,大家說,馬來西亞還不錯,比得上韓國台灣(不提香港和日本了)。 20年前,大家說,馬來西亞還可以,至少超越中國泰國(不能和台韓比了)。 10年前,大家說,馬來西亞再差,還不至於像越南印尼。 今日,越南印尼經濟成長率領先大馬,該醒一醒了。

Translated to:

50 years ago, everybody said, Malaysia is great, better than Hong Kong and Japan. 30 years ago, everybody said, Malaysia isn’t bad, comparing to Korea and Taiwan (didn’t mention about Hong Kong and Japan anymore). 20 years ago, everybody said, Malaysia is OK, at least better than China and Thailand (couldn’t even compare with Korea and Taiwan anymore). 10 years ago, everybody said, no matter how bad Malaysia is, still ahead of Vietnam and Indonesia. TODAY, economical growth in Vietnam and Indonesia is now ahead of Malaysia, it is time to wake up now.

We are a developing country, we have enjoyed the many good developments in the past 50 years. However, recently, things are starting to get very “dirty”. Even the election has become so dirty! The last time around, we didn’t even get to elect our own PM. That aside, there isn’t much developments and improvements for the past few years, except more and more controversies and dirty politics.

I am so frustrated with our public transportation after seeing other countries could do it so well. I am so frustrated with the price of the vehicles here after knowing other countries could buy our home brand cars at a lower price. I refuse to take public transport now because I am so pissed with it. Everyone is getting a car now, traffic jam is getting worse, all due to the lousy public transportation system. For the past few years, the price of everything is on the rise and yet our income remains stagnant. It is getting more and more difficult to even feed ourselves. The government gave us RM1000 more tax relieve, but they’re getting the same amount back from our daily lives. We are on a train backward, not forward. When we start calling for change, all the dirty tricks start rolling into play. Sigh……

With the internet is easily available now, thanks to the technology too, information is readily available to anyone who wants to know more. In the past, all we had was newspapers and local news on TV, the mainstream medias. Now, we have so many alternatives. We read, we be our own judge. No one can tell us who’s lying except our own selves. Whether we are right or wrong, no one can tell us anymore. I think, all of us are capable of judging what is right and good for ourselves. People are waking up……

Someone said by voting is not enough, we have to let the people around us aware of what is going on. I have tried, and I have failed too. There are still many among us who do not see what we see, who do not feel how we feel. Why? I do not know, I do not want to make any comment about them anymore, they get very defensive whenever I said they can’t SEE clearly. I respect their choices, after all, they are the ones who’s living their own choices. I can’t force them to see/do what I see/do. It’s all about free will.

Yesterday, this question suddenly rang in my head, what will happen if the ruling government falls? Chaos? Riots? Fights? 513 again? Andrew said, chaos maybe, but this will not be another 513 incident, as it will only involve the parties, not races. Chaos…… I hope after the chaos, if any, the good days will come.

Seriously and honestly, I love my country, I love Malaysia. I used to love my government too, but not anymore. I used to be contented with everything I was having or seeing, but not anymore. I used to be grateful of what the government did, but now I am only grateful that I live in a country with no natural disasters. I am no longer proud of my government. Why? I was brought up in a family believing the government has the best interest of people in its heart…… Since when I stopped believing it?! A country so beautiful without natural disasters, is being wasted.

It is a sad thing, to have to tell my friends and relatives, to go somewhere else where they can best use their talents and do not come back. It will be even worse, if I have to send my children to somewhere else and knowing that I can’t ask them to come back. Really, I am already feeling extremely sad whenever I think of that. One of the many reasons why I am not in a hurry to have a child, I know I can’t promise him/her a better future, YET.

After seeing so many photos and videos on Facebook and YouTube, I am feeling happy and sad, certain and confused at the same time.

Happy that it was indeed a peaceful rally, sad that there were minority who created chaos.

Happy that the authorities were less violent, sad that there were still some who showed the cruelty.

Certain that the change we want is realising soon, confused that if the opposition has some other agenda.

Certain that we made our stand very clear, confused that if the change would be good or bad.

If things turned out to be worse, there will be someone who would say “you have brought this upon yourselves”. How are we going to face and correct it then?

If things turned out to be better, will those who objected the change have a change of heart and mind?

The future is so uncertain. We can only hope for the best and do our best.

BERSIH for what, you asked me. BERSIH is our hope. Our hope for a better future for us and our children. Either they are going to blame us for not doing enough for them, or that we have done our best and made a mistake, or thank us.

It’s all your choice.

To those who went for the BERSIH 3.0 with good cause, my salute to you all.

Photo source from Curi-curi Wang Malaysia Facebook.

Fight For Survival

When it comes to survival, everyone will do their best to fight for it.

Malaysia is a beautiful country. We are blessed with incredible natural resources, great weather with the sun all year round and we do not have natural disasters like earthquakes and volcanoes (although we are very near to Indonesia).

I love my country. I called myself lucky to be born here where people of different races live peacefully despite the occasional racisms raised by the politicians. There are lots of delicious food here that you can’t get them anywhere else in the world. Being a Malaysian, it means that you are a food lover. I have yet to find a Malaysian who does not love our local cuisines.

Sad to say, our country which has been ruled by the ruling party for over 50 years, is heading no where.

The famous slogan of “Malaysia BOLEH”, meaning “Malaysia Can”, has become a sarcastic remarks towards all the problems here. You can’t find it anywhere else in the world, ONLY in Malaysia. Why? Because Malaysia BOLEH. My friend, Melissa wrote a very interesting post on various Malaysia BOLEH issues, “I Live in “Boleh” Land Ma“, is both amusing and sad. Those are cold hard facts.

The recent Lynas rare-earth refinery issue in Kuantan, is getting so heated that everyone is talking about the same thing. The ambiguity of the waste management is the key point here, but NO one seems to be able to clear the “air” and assure the people with facts. “Someone” just failed to understand what the people want is just as simple as “transparency”. The way “they” handled it, they think the people are all 3 year-old.

Our public transport system is such a pain. I used to be taking LRT (light railway transit) to work, but I hate it now. It is so poorly maintained that it often breaks down. It was so crowded during peak hours that at times I had to wait 20 minutes in order to get on the train. Now there is some longer coach/train, the crowd issue is sort of resolved but the maintenance is still pretty poor. Don’t get me started on the bus system/routes and the KTM (train).

Everything is on the rise, except our salaries. The inflation rate keeps on rising and we are struggling to make ends meet. If you’re earning RM5000 a month, with a RM1400 housing loan and a RM1000 car loan, you can’t consider yourself rich. Average, yes.

How do we survive in this country for so long? Well, we just, survive. The generations before us did not have the advantage of internet and technology, but we do now. People begin to see what’s behind the closed curtains and many don’t like it. They can’t fool us with foolish stories any more.

Are you doing your part as a registered voter? Seriously, in my opinion, those who do not vote, do not have the rights to complain. You are the one who gave up your rights as a voter, and you want someone to listen to you now?

For better or worse, change is needed.

Apple Will Never Be The Same

The world lost another great inventor and visionary, Steven Paul Jobs.

I am sure there is a lot of blog posts about the passing of Steve Jobs. I am not going to blog about his life as you can easily read it up in Wikipedia. Here, it is only how I feel about him and his Apple’s products that I owned or own or will own.

I have always felt amazed with Apple’s products. 12 years ago, when I saw an iMac, I thought the design was amazing and pretty, a breakthrough from all the common computers. However, I also thought that it was a luxury item to have, seeing that it cost so much more than a desktop of other brands. To own an iMac, has become my dream. Over the years, the iMac evolved, the desire of wanting it got stronger and stronger. I know I just gotta have it, someday, later. It is no longer a luxury item that I desire, it has become a need for better quality.

When I saw an iPod 10 years ago, I thought that was cool! The smallest MP3 player I’ve ever seen back then! Again, it was something that I could not afford. Even when I could at the later days, I no longer needed an MP3 Player. But it must have felt nice to have one.

There came the MacBook. OMG! A white laptop! WHITE! I was gasping when I saw the white MacBook. Again, the price was a big hinder and I stopped fantasizing of owning one. Then the MacBook Air!!! I started to salute Steve Jobs for his never-ending creativity and ideas.

The iPhone! It is pure God’s gift to human. A touch screen handphone, from Steve Jobs. When I touched it, I knew I was doomed. I knew I was going to have one or I’d never change my handphone. I was a proud and happy owner of an iPhone 3G, for 1 and a half years, until my carelessness do us part. The pain of losing it, still hit me every now and then, and I still miss it. I have a great Android phone now, but I still miss my iPhone. It’s weird, that when you have something greater and nicer but you still miss the old one.

If it isn’t because of the weight of the iPhone 4, I would have owned one too today. iPhone 4 is just too heavy to me and I do not feel the comfortability that I used to feel with iPhone 3G when I held it in my hand. I was no longer an iDevice user, for 6 months.

I was so tempted to get an iPad but I waited. When iPad 2 launched, on its very first day I went all the way to Klang to queue. With the iPad 2 in my hand, I felt a sense of relieve and ecstatic. Relieved as I am once again owning an iDevice, ecstatic because I was thrilled with the white iPad. Yes, call me silly, that’s how I felt to have an Apple.

Am I an Apple fan? Yes, I definitely am. Am I a Steve Jobs fan? Yes, no question about it. However, now that Steve Jobs is gone, I am not so sure if I would still be fascinated and excited with Apple’s new products. I stand firm on getting an iMac when I am able to in the future, but any new products from now on without Steve Jobs in the picture, I am not so sure. I believe the engineers and Tim Cook will do their best to continue Jobs’ legacy, but it is just NOT him anymore. Apple without Steve Jobs (although he stepped down from CEO quite some time ago, now he is gone forever), is different.

Steve Jobs is gone, and he took a part of the passion I have for Apple with him.

Farewell, Steve Jobs. May you rest in peace. We love(d) you, and thanks for all the wonderful things you’ve created. You will never be forgotten.

Photo courtesy of Apple

Can You Handle the Truth?

All the photos and videos published on the internet and Facebook, has shown me nothing but the brutal and ugly truth.

I’ve felt disappointment, sad, angry, shock, confused…… I have tried to justify the things that they have done to the unarmed civilians. I have told myself to look at things differently. I have also told myself things may not be as bad as it seemed.

When I saw this new video of truth, I couldn’t hold it anymore. I was weeping… in the office. I had my hand on my mouth, trying very hard not to make a sound. However, I just couldn’t hide what I felt anymore.

For the first time, I felt sad watching my fellow countrymen brutally treated by the law enforcer. Those people who are supposed to protect us civilians have become the street bullies.

For the first time, I cried, for the behavior of the police. My heart ached so much to see them acting in such gangster-ism.

I’m not sure if it was me being plain emotional…… Every time I read the news about the rally, I feel sad.

We only want a fair system, is that too much to ask for?

I don’t vote to change the leader, I don’t vote him out, I don’t ask for him to resign. I vote for a balance of voices in the room so that no one is dominating the rest. I vote so that he could see the big picture.

I vote for a change, a better tomorrow…… We just have to prepare ourselves for the worst. When the going gets tough, the tough gets going. So, be the tough ones.

If we can’t be the tough ones, no one can help us to fight our own battle.

May the truth and wise ones prevail.

The Yellow Wave

I didn’t expect it to be this “big” until few days before 9th of July. People were (and still are) constantly talking about it. When the  day came, it was all over the news and Facebook.

A day that I saw truly, 1Malaysia. Should “he” or should “he” not be proud of this?

I was following the updates on a news website, every now and then was shocked by the actions and photos. I was so shocked to read the police fired tear gas into a hospital! I was even more shocked to see police went all violent and kicking an unarmed man who didn’t do nothing but merely sat on the floor.

Some may argue, the police has warned the people and they still did not dispersed so they had to use force. But kicking people who weren’t doing anything? Firing tear gas into a hospital? Violently arresting the people? Being rude to the women? Well, perhaps you may want to argue again it IS the people who gave the police the reason to behave that way. What crime did they commit then?

A lot of us waiting to see some changes, yet we are not doing anything than complain, complain and complain. Some even told me that they refused to vote since there wasn’t any capable/right candidate that is fit to be a leader. Well, they forgot, it is our duty to vote, for a change. I am not seeking an extremely capable leader, no one is a perfect or the best leader in this world. Everyone has got their mind or way to rule the country, remember, one man’s food could be another man’s poison. What’s good for you may not be good for others. I only want a change. A change in how they do things and how they treat us “rakyat”.

It is sad and scary, to see how our mind got manipulated to the current state. We even think that everything against the current state is something we should avoid. So, we continue to let them rule the country and manipulate us further. When is this going to stop?

If they couldn’t hear our “voices”, we have to make ourselves heard by exercising our rights. Could the other party hear better? Perhaps. Could the change be worse? Maybe. Should we be afraid of the change? Yes, because no one can guarantee a better tomorrow but ourselves.

Do you know, sometimes, ANY change is better than no change, at all? Any change…… Better or worse. If it is better, be grateful. If it is worse, we just have to prepare ourselves and face it bravely.

Every life decision you make, there is always the risk. Do you take the risk, or just merely sit there and watch the sun goes down? I, do NOT want to be questioned, “where were you when the change happened?”, and all I could say is, “I just stood by and watch”. Better or worse, I want to be the one who makes it. At least, I know I have tried.

P.S.: There’s this lady, 50-60 years of age. She was in the rally. Where was I? Hiding in my cozy home fearing that I would get caught if I go out. If I couldn’t or wouldn’t even want to exercise my voting rights, I wouldn’t even be able to face myself!