"What is patrioism? When you consider all things and look beyond the symbols, the concept of a nation-state is not bound by geography but more by man-made lines of power, and sadly, propaganda. Is patrioism in the flag? In loving your country? In living and dying mostly in your country? In singing the anthem proudly?"And we could not answer him. I suppose we were challenged to think about what exactly we were sworing our allegiance to. If not all twenty-plus of us, than perhaps just me. I remember spending the fifteen minute walk home preoccupied with answering his question and I remember distinctly feeling very upset over the conclusion. Although I was fully aware of all the good things, all that Malaysia had to go through to get to where it was, I was disheartened and upset at the way things are today. One of the main problems plaguing this country is that we have this attitude of looking and lingering in the past without ever considering the future. We constantly compare things superficially, inaccurately...and we manipulate these conclusions to fit our illusion of grandeur and realism. The worst is yet to come. When we do realize our mistakes, we grow apathatic and worse, we close both our eyes to our faults. I spent that night crying my eyes out for a country which I had grown to love and adore blindly...and it was through those tears that my vision was cleared up completely. Lets face the facts: As we chant "Malaysia Boleh" at almost every event, we are not it. As a fellow Malaysian, it hurts to say that after nearly fifty years, we are still not where we ought to be. Sure, we have progressed in leaps and bounds but at the heart of where it really counts, we have gone backwards. Beneath the skyline and the Twin Towers that aim for the sky, the one things that count the most in a nation-state are the people...and our society isn't anything to scream for. We are a lazy, inconsiderate, ignorant, arrogant society. We see it all the time - in the burly man who spits, in the rude driver, in the obnoxious woman who jumps queues, in the rude child, in the throngs and throngs of people who ignore the pregnant, the disabled and the old just to have a comfy seat on the LRT/bus/etc, in the people who run our transportation system (drivers and all) to the people who run our country (politicians and representatives)... At first, I grew more and more disgusted at everything that reminded me remotely of this insufferable country. I called this my version of hell - THE hellhole of hellholes. A few months later, I decided that perhaps it was best if I learnt to make the best of the situation. I spoke to Stephen, the same guy (or rather professor) who challenged us to reconsider what we defined patriotism as.
"You are one of the lucky few to have come this far. There are millions out there who can't read let alone think the way you do or have the opportunity to be exposed to the world as you have been. Instead of looking at it negatively, why not change your perception and learn to see the world in a different light?"That was when I changed my mind about staying immediately. That was when I decided to go into teaching and while I was back at home gathering a few years working experience for future emigration, I'd be imparting knowledge to people who need it most. My own fellow Malaysians. I foresaw then that it would be a grim and hard task ahead but I wanted to take things in a different light. Nevertheless, it did not stop me from feeling all down and out as the day of reckoning (me leaving for home) drew nearer. In an attempt to garner SOME support from the people that I was coming home to help, I wrote about my misgivings and my depression. Needlessly to say, the remarks were not very pleasant. Some were polite, others were snide but most were caustic.
"You are a traitor." "The illegal Indons are better off with your passport. Why don't you give it to them instead of hogging it, you ungrateful bitch?" "You ooze with hypocrisy." "If you want to stay in Australia so much, why the fucking hell are you coming back? I'll tell you why. Because they don't want you and frankly WE DON'T WANT YOU EITHER, hypocrite."It wasn't easy reading words like this. It wasn't easy looking for support in words like this. And it wasn't easy trying to convince a disillusioned one like myself that Malaysians were worth the effort. That night, I cried more than I ever had before. I asked why I was born into a world that I could not fit in. I asked why I was given this choice to make when I don't even want to make it. And the next morning, I made a pledge and a wish for myself and for this country. I swore to make a change. I swore to use the knowledge, exposure and skills that I have to better this country. And for what it was worth, I wished for the best for this nation-state of mind. I promised myself that when every Merdeka day comes, I will spend it not celebrating its past achievements but analysing what needs to be changed and how to go about it. I will spend it not celebrating its independence...because for me, independence - true independence - comes from the character of its people and not its crowning achievements. It has been a good ten months since then. And in two days, I'll probably start the first of many SWOT analysis on Malaysia. So should I wish Malaysia Happy Birthday? I leave that up to you to decide. Further reading: Happy Birthday, Malaysia? - Part II |W|P|109375395716459191|W|P|Happy Birthday, Malaysia? - Part I|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org
Sophie Kinsella's Can You Keep A Secret? RM34.90 at Kinokuniya (KLCC) It all started with the meeting of a lifetime in Glasgow with some very big BIGwips of this corporation. Emma Corrigan was sent with the responsibility of impressing these bigwips and hopefully sealing the fate of The Panther Corporation (her sports-drink-manufacturing company) in a positive manner, that is. She never counted on spraying the bigwip with the cranberry flavoured sports drink (thus sealing the fate of the meeting and ultimately her doom - later on in London). Neither did she counted on getting herself so tipsy that she didn't notice the three undone buttons of her blouse and her "Pink-Blobby-Bra" open in full view to the general public of the Glasgow Airport. She never expected to be upgraded from economy class to buiness class (thankgawd for the kind-hearted souls who work as air stewardesses) . Neither did she expected on blabbing out a lifetime of secrets to a total stranger - as a result of flying nerves. Fast forward to some hours later and she gets the total shock of her life. The total complete stranger on board the flight was known other than the founder of The Panther Corporation, who was down from the US for a visit. As Jack Harper weaves his way into Emma's life at the office and personal life, he shatters her composure, causing her embarassment in some circumstances. All hell breaks loose as Emma recalls of certain lies...such as...
Stir-fry elbows (pasta) with meat drenched in sweet red wine and Mozarella cheese 2 handfuls of pasta (cooked in boiling water with a pinch of salt and a dash of oil) A slab of meat of your choice (pork/chicken/lamb/mutton) A generous sprinkle of Mozarella cheese (low-fat is better!) Half a cup of sweet red wine A pinch of fresh garlic Some oil for stir-frying The sauce: A tablespoon of soy sauce A heavy sprinkle of pepper A dash of oyster sauce A dash of Lee & Perrins sauce A pinch of fresh garlic Instructions:
"You should only take what comes from my mouth."I can understand that you have immediate worries on your hand. Perhaps your wife and children are giving you issues and you don't want the public to know. Maybe you have a mistress hidden somewhere and you don't want to risk mixing your personal life with work. But don't you think that the millions of motorists who commute to and fro using that stretch of word deserve some honest-to-God truth (well, I doubt you believe in God since you used to constantly blame Him for every single problem your Ministry faced in the past...)? Also, don't you think it is strange that one paper reported on your gag order thing and another didn't? I mean I am no editor or journalist, just a regular taxpayer trying to make a living understanding why is it you do the things you do and how that affects the media and people around me...but don't you think it is weird at all? I mean since when was it deemed appropriate for a Minister to assume that his word is the law, that the media is and should only listen to him? What if such a Minister was withholding information? Or even lying? Not that I am accusing you or anything but you know things are these days. We should be careful and thus question everything we read about in the papers. This is why journalists go around getting reliable and varied sources for a report. By the way, where are your public relations officers? Are they properly trained? Because I did remember reading somewhere about how a gag order like this can be very damaging to a company's image and even counter-productive when it comes to damage control. Now that you've reminded me, people are beginning to wonder if you issued the gag order to control the spread of grapevine OR cover up your shitty mistakes. Which is it, aye? Okay, lets not waste any more of my precious taxpayers' time (which goes into you reading this) and get a move on with other things on my mind. How about I make a list? It'll be easier for you to read since you're getting really old and the mind has been known to play a few tricks at your age. As a good Malaysian taxpayer, I would like to know the following:
How inspiring...and true. And know something? I think I'm going to go back to doing some short fiction writing and perhaps submit them to mags under a pseudonym for publishing. In the mean time, I'm going to save up for a manual typewriter. ^_^ Wish me luck! ps: Anyone want soft toys? Please leave a comment if you like one OR have a suggestion for me on what to do with them. I have one forever friends (holding a rose), a cocker spaniel RUSS toy, a white mashimaro holding a heart (I think) and a three footer teddy... |W|P|109271627462190039|W|P|Inspiration.|W|Pemail@example.comDwell not in the past.Use it to illustrate a point,then leave it behind.nothingreallymattersexcept what you do nowin this instant of time.From this moment onwardyou can be an entirely different person,filled with love and understanding,ready with an outstretched hand,uplifted and positivein every thought and deed.- by Eileen Caddy
The recipe is as follows: Thin slices of pork/beef/chicken (up to you really) Two eggs Two soup spoonfuls of wheat flour Salt and pepper to taste Oil for frying 1. Mix flour and eggs into a batter. Try as much as possible to get rid of lumps. Batter has to be smooth and consistent. 2. Add salt and pepper to taste. Finally throw in the meat and mix everything well. 3. Heat up some oil in the frying pan/wok and scoop a spoonful of the mix into the wok/frying pan. Fry as if making pancakes. To ensure that pancakes are really cooked, fry till dark golden brown on both sides and thinly sliced meat before cooking. 4. Remove from oil and dry using papertowels - to soak up excess oil. 5. Serve hot with chilli/ketchup and fresh salad/fruits. |W|P|109257065332121366|W|P|Savoury Meat Pancakes|W|Pfirstname.lastname@example.org