Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Belog Kesepuluh: Amboi!!!!,awak Yahudi rupanya

Contrary to the title above, I'm not going to blog in our national language.I hate to admit IT but that is the fact;that Bahasa Malaysia is our national language. The older I grow, the more disillusioned I am by that fact. That is another story altogether and I will not dwell upon that matter for today. Even though I've ditched the whole idea of the national language, but the gist of that title is not questionable nonetheless.

NO, I'm don't recall having any face-to-face encounter with a Jew and I don't even have any of their MSN contacts (although I did chat with a Jew before during those crazy random chats on ICQ during the old days). Jew is like one of the striking words in many people's mind. This fact is especially true in the Middle East and the Western region where Jewish people have paved their way through perilous circumstances and persecution and eventually played a significant role in many areas of mankind. It is even more enthralling to read about the exodus and the ups and downs of the nation of Israel and the forefathers of its occupants. Bear in mind that more than 90% of the Jews in Israel nowadays are those who were shipped back to the "promised land" by the Allied forces who had the "white man's burden" to do so back then. Not to mention that, religion and the relativity behind it is a strong motivating factor as well. Even though the Jews were the target of massacre during the World War 2 holocaust, it wouldn't come as a surprise that there were those who didn't return to the "promised land" all these while. This logic is backed by the the infamous research that verified that Jews are one of the most travelled and scathered "nation" alongside the chinese. An article from "The Star" newspaper dating a few years back even revealed remnants of Jewish graveyards in some secluded area of Penang. Ya Allah, if the Jews managed to land themselves all the way to the "dirtiest state in the whole of Malaysia (This assertion didn't come from me. It came from the yearly survey that has consistently proven so) , there is no limitation for their mobility. I will be the first to admit that through Christianity and the history of "The Holy Bible", I've found a nearly unparalleled admiration and soft spot for the Jews and this sentiment is further reinforced by their remarkable achievements and history in the 20th century. Am I exaggerating? I don't think so and I've even come to realisation that the complexity of my sentiments towards them might even be lauded by plenty of people around the world. Among the bible reading people, Jews are sometimes known as "The chosen people of God", with regards to the stories of the Old Testament in the Bible. In fact, a lot of people around the world regardless of race and religion, would have no problem in admitting that the Jews are generally a gifted group of people albeit their relatively small population.

It is a known fact that some of the prominent Jews nowadays are some of the leading figures that most of us have came to know through the relentless media coverage around the world. Lest any of you frame me for plainly giving sweeping statements and assertion without substance, I shall substantiate the things that I've said with examples and eloborations as always.

Therefore we've arrived to a session today that I would like to name:
DID YOU KNOW????:
The statement and question of the day is as stated below;
Did you know that ________ is a Jew. The nostalgic fill in the blanks here will be answered with multiple prominent names. The honour and recognition for that blank space must be shared by multiple figures I'm afraid. However, i shall try to do all those named ones justice.

Things to take note: Just because I'm only naming a handful of Jews for my choice of selection doesn't relegate the other past and existing prominant jews to the depths oblivion in terms of recognition. I'm simply naming people that strikes a chord in my limited memory and knowledge. Those people named below without further elaborations in brackets are born to Jewish parents i.e both the father and mother are of Jewish descent

ANSWER NO:

1.




Albert Einstein


Being numbered 1, doesn't mean that he surpasses all the other prominant Jews that I'm going to name. However, he'll definitely receive one of the highest accolade if not the highest. Albert Einstein is arguably the greatest scientist of the 20th century and he is also the Novel Prize winner of 1921 for his massive contribution in theoretical physics. Few would refute that without this great man's work of research, there would be a massive void in the studies of engineering and its application which plays an array of roles in our day to day lives.

2. Karl Marx


Karl Marx is famously known as the father of communism. His erratic theory about the bourgeois and proletariat is embraced by many nation including the former Soviet Union and also China up till this day. His theory states that the organization of private bodies are meant to exploit the common people and this vicious cycle will never end. He further states that the rich will get richer and the poor will get poorer if nothing is done and he subscribe to the idea of government involvement in every facet of the country and also the government's involvement in the redistribution of wealth. Agree of disagree with this great albeit erratic man, I think he will be a little dishearted to see the idealogy of communism twisted to suit Leninism in Russia's olden days coupled with the capitalist and globalization influences practiced by China.

3.

Roman Abramovic

Malcolm Glazier

Mark Cuban

I categorize these 3 men as vastly successful business people who owns an enourmous sport or league team. First on the list is none other than Roman Abramovich. Roman Abramovich is the majority owner of Sibneft, currently the biggest oil company in the whole of Russia's minerals and resources rich land. In March 2006 he was listed by Forbes Magazine as the richest Russian, 2nd richest person in Britain and the 11th richest person in the world with an estimated fortune of $18.2 billion. The striking thing is that,everyone above him in the list is at least ten years older. He is also the owner of Chelsea Football Club who transformed the fortunes of the club. Since his move to take over Chelsea coupled with his endless investments, Chelsea have gone to become one of the elite teams in Europe and their are the English Premier League champions for 2 seasons running.

Second on the list is the current owner of Manchester United Football Club, Malcolm Glazier. It must be noted that Malcolm Glazier also owns the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Malcolm Glazier have a penchant for owning clubs that are largely successful. Tampa Bay Buccaneers were NFL Super Bowl champions under his ownership and he managed to literally broke the banks in whatever ways possible and also braved through the prospect heavy debts (he is still heavily in debat though) to obtain his coveted Manchester United Football Club; which is a global and iconic football club around the world. Manchester United is arguably the most supported club in the whole world. This man is also the president and chief executive officer of First Allied Corporation, a holding company for his varied business interests.

Mark Cuban is the man shown in the 3rd picture. He may be a relative unknown among most people but he is a widely iconic figure in the USA. He ownership of the Dallas Mavericks, the Western Conference Champions for the 2005-2006 season is as widespread as his knack for being outspoken in various avenues. Above all, he is widely admired for his huge investments through the years on his beloved Dallas Mavericks and he attends almost each and every match in the 82 games NBA season of the Dallas Mavericks and that is not taking into account the playoff matches as well. Mark Cuban made his fortune generally from selling his ownership of Broadcast.com to Yahoo and also acquiring a significant amount of influence in Yahoo. Cuban founded a new company during his early days, MicroSolutions, and was able to convince some of his previous customers to come along. The Microsolutions became a system integrator and reseller for companies such as Novell, 3Com, IBM, Banyan, Apple Computer and Sun Microsystems and an early adopter of technologies such as Carbon Copy, Lotus Notes, and CompuServe.

Other relatively unknown figures who are owners of a sport or league club are as listed below along with their nationality:

  1. Abe Pollin, U.S, owner of the Washington Wizards (NBA)
  2. Lawrence Tanenbaum, Canada, owner of the Toronto Maple Leafs (NFL), owner of the Toronto Raptors (NBA)
  3. Howard Schultz, U.S. owner of Seattle Supersonics (NBA). THIS MAN IS ALSO THE FOUNDER OF THE STARBUCKS FRANCHISE!!!!!
  4. Abe Saperstein, U.S. founder and owner of Harlem Globetrotters (global basketball team)
  5. Jerry Reinsdorf, U.S., owner of the Chicago Bulls (NBA), owner of the Chicago White Sox (MBL)
  6. Brian Cashman, U.S., General Manager of the New York Yankees (MBL)
  7. Alexandre Gaydamak,Russia, co-owner and chairman of Portsmouth F.C
  8. Bernie Ecclestone, British owner of F1 racing and one-time racer

4.


Harry Houdini (Jewish father)




David Copperfield


David Blaine (single parent Jewish mother)

Yet again, coincidence struck us right in the face when arguably 3 of the best magicians or illusionist are Jews. Harry Houdini was among the pioneers in being an escape artist and his success would pave the way for many other genre of "magic" or illusionist. Not to mention, Houdini's father is actually a Rabbi. David Copperfield on the other hand cemented his status as one of the greatest illusionist with many unexplainable acts. And last but not least, David Blaine is still an active performer of street magic and also various illogical stunts and conquest.

5.

Knowing that the interest amongst the youth of the nation might be subjective for most of the people;due to the reason that many of them are disinterested with those areas or field associated with regards those prominant Jews listed above;I've saved the best for last. The last part of this identification process is a genre with a strong majority of indifference. It is the entertainment industry's key figures that have hogged and are continue hogging a huge amount of appearances in our very own TV programs.


Alex Band from the group "The Calling": ALmost no one will have the instance that while they were singing to "Wherever You will go"and to his collaborative hit with Santana's "Why don't you and I", that the thought of Alex Band being a Jew actually crossed their minds . Not only is he a Jew, he is brought up to follow Judaism and the Jewish culture as well


Vanessa Carlton (Jewish father) : Until this very day, I couldn't find anyone that could play "A thousand miles" on the piano as smooth as Vanessa Carlton



Josh Groban (Jewish father although his father is a converted christian and he is raised as an episcopalian)



Bob Dylan: The vocalist of the legendary group namely "The Rolling Stones"



Paula Abdul (his father was born to parents of Sephardic Jewish descent and the name Abdul is given by his father due to his Syrian roots) : This is the ever-famous 80's pop artist and 1/3 of the American Idol globally reknown judging panel.



Elliot Yamin: The second part of his name kinda betrayed his identity and background for me. However this amicable top 3 finalist of American Idol Season 5 is a great talent himself.



Lenny Kravitz (Jewish father): Lenny Kravitz is just one of those figures that have been in the music industry for a longgggg longggg time.


Billy Joel : He is one of those great singer adn songwriter in the past. Guess appeared on American Idol before. His father is a Jewish survivor of the Holocaust from the Nazis and his mother is an agnostic Jew.

Barry Manilow: He is another great singer and songwriter from the 80s. Guess appeared on American Idol before.


Nick Carter (Jewish father): 1/5 of the Backstreet boys and i refuse to elaborate further because I'm not really fond of boy bands.


Aaron Carter (Jewish father) : He is one of those crappy solo artist out there. The size of the picture reflects how small I actually think of him....hahahahahaha

If all these fail to impress you, there are also the significant other artists who have Jewish background on the maternal side:

  • Mandy Moore, actress & singer (Jewish maternal grandfather)
  • Elvis Presley, singer (Jewish maternal great-grandparent)
  • Pink, singer (Jewish maternal grandparent; mother raised Jewish)

The scary part is that, there are lots of prominent Jews that I've failed to name due to laziness,lack of resources or lack of interest. I bet even these names revealed here are shocking enough...HEHEHEHEHE

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Fragments and pieces of things up in the air

During this school holiday period, many working people or students on internship like me are still doing through the highs and lows of life. I'm feeling that I haven't been getting enough of holiday for a stretch of years already and I couldn't help but be rather envious of schooling people who get generous amount of holidays. This loopsided predicament that I'm feeling is heavily due to my the outline and the requirement of my degree course coupled with my self indulged activities.

In the midst of all those grumpiness and dissatisfaction,things can be rather downcast, I've learned to discover certain things that could lift up my spirits once in a while. Hopefully after I finished my degree course, I can still bear some semblance of the person that everyone around me came to know and not some battered man with various pressures. As for the meantime, I'm stuffing myself with session after session of basketball in an effort to make myself sweat profusely and just take my mind off certain issues as well. During this internship period, I've continuously read blogs after blogs and also tuned to to radio channels whenever I'm on the wheel. The former is a result of me having extra time on my hands whenever I've completed a given assignment given by my supervisor. As for the latter, I find it very very interesting nowadays to tune in to radio channels. I don't know about the masses of the people out there, but I'm beginning to feel that English radio station programs are degenarating till such a point that it constantly leaves me with a sinking and dissapointing feeling. Very rarely would it turn out to be otherwise. The only English program that is rated worthwhile for me might only be RickDees and the rest just pales in comparison to it. A large factor contributing to this feeling of mine is also the recent dry spell in terms of good solid music and the frequent airings of overplayed music.

Therefore I've been listening to a lot of chinese radio station programs which gives me much more satisfaction and I"ll be the first to admit that their programs are pretty much up uplifting and they maintain a healthy mix of humour and seriousness especially for the case of their talk cum music session programs. Granted that chinese music isn't facing a glorious pinnacle of marvellous music releases, but they still outweighs their english counterpart by a significant measure. Something that marvels me is the deep database of evergreen chinese songs which are at the radio station's disposal. Let me just clarify that I am not those bubble gum pop and "jiwang" fan of Lee Hom and JJ Lin. It would be foolish to say that they have not produced a single good song thus far in their career. Those artist are getting frequent air time as well but personally for me, a bulk of their songs are too shallow.



*Lee Hom pondering in the picture on the reasons Tiew Yiwen continuously fall for him despite his recent production of junk music*

** JJ Lin trying to act cute in an attempt to attract Tiew Yiwen; thinking that it worked with Lee Hom, and the theory should stand the second time around*


On a lighter note, there are plenty of interesting facts and stories that I've garnered from my faithful listening moments. Sad to say, almost all of those rather enlightening ones come from chinese radio channels again. Below are some of those that are still fresh in my memories:

  1. The Australian government was trying to take a hardline stance in erradicating tabacco and cigarettes from its country altogether. Much to everyone's surprise, one of the most vocal groups of people who rallied against this government's stance are people coming from brothels. The prostitutes claimed that they are a significant contributer to the tourism industry in Australia and their appeal amongst tourist is something to be reckoned. They added that the rule imposed will only serve to discourage tourist from patronizing the "good brothels" that Australia stand to offer and this would in return diminish Australia from being a strong target of tourism in the potential tourist's choice of selection. They also further threatened that not only will smokers cease to support the government anymore in future elections, but the government are causing the brothels' vicinity to be filled by "unhealthy views" of prostitutes coming out of their brothel to take a puff or two of smoke; which results in the neighbourhood being potrayed as uncivilized and disorganized by locals and foreigners alike (bearing in my mind that lots of prostitute are addicted to smoking).
  2. Since it is the World Cup season (hooray), various themes have been composed to further promote and boost the event. As far as I can remember, World Cup official theme songs have always been rather pacy and uplifting because it is the preferred genre to depict the frenzy and enthusiasm associated with the game. Therefore, artist who are fits into delivering that genre reasonably well would be chosen to promote the song months before the event is underway. Ricky Martin sung "The cup of live" for France 98 World Cup.

* Ricky Martin don't mind an extra fan in Tiew Yiwen as well. Therefore he follow suit*

  • Anastacia continued that legacy and genre with her rendition of "Boom" for the 2002 World Cup in South Korea&Japan.
  • Not to mention that Nelly Furtado reigned in her roots by delivering the Portugueese mix English song of "Forca" to launch the Euro 2004 in Portugal.

  • In my humble opinion, the legacy and proud tradition have taken a step backward this time around. I was rather shocked when I discovered that the theme for the blockbuster event is going to be performed by Il Divo and Toni Braxton. It was even more unbearable when I actually hear the song for the very first time. Don't get me wrong, Il Divo and Toni Braxton are a group of people whom I've reserved the utmost respect for. But it just feels terribly wrong when I hear their soulful and tortoise pace delivery of the song entitled "Time of our lives". It leaves me with a corny feeling and I'm somewhat lost for words to associated a lightning paced game with the soulful singing of Il Divo and Toni Braxton albeit a good one. In fact i earnestly think that the theme for "Dirty Dancing" the movie (NO, it is not dirty or pornographic at all for anyone's information) that also happens to be "Time of our lives" breathes more live and is therefore much more deserving as a World Cup theme.


Last but not least, one of the radio DJ of MY FM revealed in his research that, the word Hijack which origins are rather unknown was created not that long ago due to strange circumstances. Whenever the word hijack come across our minds, we tend to develop many different thoughts up our head; ranging from terrorist and 9/11 bombings or the movie Air Force One. In order to prove its rather unknown origin, I have even attached the result of the word "hijack" from the Online Meriam-Webster Dictionary:

hijackOne entry found for hijack.
Main Entry: hi·jack Pronunciation: 'hI-"jakFunction: transitive verb

Etymology: origin unknown

a : to steal by stopping a vehicle on the highway b : to commandeer (a flying airplane) especially by coercing the pilot at gunpoint c : to stop and steal from (a vehicle in transit) d : KIDNAP2 a : to steal or rob as if by hijacking b : to subject to extortion or swindling- hijack noun- hi·jack·er noun

According to this DJ's findings, he claim that the word hijack was created during the cowboy era in the United States where train robberies are something of a real threat. *think the Jesse James kinda era and scenario*. He further explained that those robbers/bad cowboys would barge and ambush into the driver's cabin at the head of the train and promptly greet the driver "Hi... Jack" before they point the gun at the driver's face and proceed to cease control of the train. As they would not know the name of the train coordination person and it is common for them to just call them Jack and sarcastically shock the coordinator. Because of the frequency of those robberies which is accompanied by that same phrase "Hi...Jack" whenever they seize control in the coordinator's cabin, that phrase have been combined to the word "Hijack' to depict the scenario coercing a pilot or driver at gunpoint.

Peace Out

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Things to look back

Everyone of us has a past that will remain with us for the rest of our lives. Things ranging from our childhood days; the games we played, the television programmes we watched, the people we mingled with, the snacked we ate and many others. In my point of view, I believe that at least half our childhood and past is defined and interlinked with the schools we attend directly or indirectly.

I couldn't say for certain whether if this is just a problem with me, or whether the masses of people out there would laud my outcry. I have a very skeptical view on the general schooling life in Malaysia. Perhaps I'm bringing exaggerating this problem of mine and it would be rather unfair to categorize it as "general". Reason being, I couldn't represent a significant number of people who've finished schooling. However I can safely say that I am not alone when I holler about this and I've came to know acquaintances that share my dilemma as well.

Since school plays such a major role in our respective lifes; it would be rather sad or a waste if we couldn't make the most out of it. I wouldn't say that my schooling life was downright horrible, but it wasn't really that memorable in the first place. Granted that I've got to know several good friends along the way, but is that sufficient to justify your stay at a certain compound and confine yourself within several blocks of building for 5 or 6 years?

However, I would also be the first to confess that it is easier said than done because a lot of us settle for convinience and not many families would be able to weigh various considerations regarding a complete schooling life even if those issues are of their concern in the first place. Furthermore, schools in KL are pride themselves in the sense that they do not lack in a certain area rather than how they ought to improve on what they have to maximize their potentials. One bleak area that I can remember vividly and point a finger at, is the tendency for most schools in malaysia to frown upon a positive development in extra curricular activity and branding anything out of the norm as unncessary and a waste of time. Somehow from various school systems that I've heard of along with the ministry of education; they exudes this aura of contented-ness and complacency regarding the activites outside of the academic region. It would be rather hard to change this school of thought because Malaysia is developing country at most, and the constant emphasize on "do or die" academic achievements may have well relegated other involvements and activities to a distant secondary. Don't get me wrong, I place a very high emphasize in the rigorous effort of acquiring knowledge and more often than never, it is the knowledge acquired during our schooling days that we will bring with along with us for the rest of our lives. Most schools' physical education sessions are synonymous to a football scramble with the whole population of 2 classes pitted against each other in the full lengths football field. If you are unlucky, sometimes only half a field is at your disposal. Sometimes they would do something out of the ordinary but it is done half-heartedly and there is no continuation. Perhaps I am blinded by western values and development potrayed in television programmes, where there is a systematic and a conscious effort to unearth talents or at the very least, to conduct sessions in an encouraging and healthy way. For my part, it was the unplanned introduction and nurturing of my basketballing passion that enriched my sporting life and I'm thankful and still at shock that something that means so much to me only came along my life's path by accident.I would hate to envision how would my life have been without the drive and zeal it brings. Mind you, I've never said that I'm not the most talented or physically built person for that sport, but I definitely have a passion for it.

It is no secret as well that many parents in Malaysia would frown upon excessive involvement in extra curricular activities especially in sports as they deem it as something that doesn't help you towards the development of a brighter future. Bear in mind that Malaysia is a third world country which is building itself to embrace the waves of the fervent pursuit of a knowledge based economy; a path Malaysia set for itself in belief that it will serve to narrow the gap between themself and the 1st world nation in the fastest way possible. It is also apparent that healthy activities such as debates, computer lessons, hands on experience in scientific tools and healthy reading materials are also lacking. The sick part is that I was rather fortunate to be schooled in one of the better schools in my area at the very least, and I would fret the thought of the situations in schools that are worse off as compared to mine.

I decided to blog about this post after seeing several encouraging scenes from footages of well known artist paying a visit to their old school. Perhaps those artists prolonged stay in the entertainment industry have directly enchance their acting skills, because I could really feel the sincerity and their pride coupled with a heart filled with gratitude when they graced the compound of their respective schools and interacted with the teachers in the school . Sad to say that, cases such as these are nearly non-present in Malaysia schools once again. One of those artist those artist that that I've referring to is none other than Taiwanese based Hong Kong artist Chau Wa Kin (his actual name in reference to Hong Kong's predominant Guangdong background) or he is better known as Zhou Hua Jian in the music industry. Any person familiar with the chinese music scene would tell you that Emil Chau (Chau Wa Kin or Zhou Hua Jian) is an extremely jovial person. He will break out in laughter in nearly every minute interval when he is interactiving with any given person.



Details and entertainment aside, these people are proud of their schools. Similarly,our tertiary education scene is not faring really well as compared its neighbouring counterparts. The last time I checked on the list of top universities in Asia, UM (widely regarded as Malaysia's best public university and Malaysia's top local based university) is lying in the 70-80th position and it is even behind University of Colombo from Sri Lanka. Sometimes statistics speak volumes isn't it?

The sitaution degenerated to such a point that 98.8 and 101.8 (chinese radio stations) aired community progressive messages that pleaded with its listeners to pay a visit to their old schools and even reminded them to bring along with them a kindred heart which is filled with love and appreciation. Chao turtle, Malaysia is naturally not loving and appreciative enough mehhh? har har. I could even quote you the message from my memory:

"记得回去母校走走.....记得带回一分热情的心,一分感恩的心"
"Ji de hui qu mu xiao zou zou....ji de dai hui yi fen re qing de xin, yi fen gan en de xin"
Translation is in the paragraph above.

To top it all, we even have a number of schools who took the trouble to errect a large board which reads "Syabas kerana anda hadir ke sekolah". It is in light of those dissatisfactions above, that it leaves a bitter taste in my mouth and subsequently left me wishing for a somewhat different education background; perhaps something more western-like.

I know that issues such as school is a distant past to me but I don't really see much changes through the years, since I've left the school scene. I envy those people who can stand upright and claim that they are proud of their schooling past. For those who can do that sincerely while staying true to their hearts in the first place, I would like to congratulate them and tell them how fortunate they are. It is in situations like these that the grass always seems greener on the other side.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

I DON'T LIKE IT...SO SUE ME

Recently, blogsphere have been locked into some heated battles and arguments with regards to one religion eliminating another. Even though I don't patronize minishort's blog that very often, I was bitterly dissapointed that when I finally logged on to her blog, the main thing I've discovered was that there are those religious bigots trying to stamp their authority on another person's blog and they are totally bullish and direct about it. I've kept this article for a long time and I believe that I've every right to at least just post this article. I wonder am I the sole person who constantly chuckle at the government's "attempts" "to bridge the differences between races" or when they constantly laud their vision about democracy and equality. I can't help but look at it in a negative light simply because I know that a large part of those false hope and promises are coming from the mouths of direct or indirect hypocrites out there. So here is the article. (It is obvious that I am not the author of the article below)

**********************************************************************************

WITHOUT PREJUDICE
Interesting article .......

When the government embarked on the move to introduce a common language for all, in this case our own National Language (in the beginning called Bahasa Kebangsaan), it was done with the noble intention of uniting all Malaysians.I remember, in the 1960s, when I was insecondary school, I had to take three languages; English Language, Bahasa Kebangsaan and Bahasa Melayu. Bahasa Kebangsaan was simpler than Bahasa Melayu but, surprisingly, I scored better in my Bahasa Melayu paper than I did the Bahasa Kebangsaan paper. Until today I still do not know how this could happen.Along the way, I am not sure when exactly, Bahasa Kebangsaan and Bahasa Melayu disappeared and it was replaced with Bahasa Malaysia, I suppose a merger of sorts of the two.But the new National Language did not seem to unite Malaysians as our founding fathers thought it would. In fact, Malaysians became even more divided than ever. And it was not due to being unable to communicate as Chinese, Indians and the other minority ethnicities sometimes spoke better Bahasa Malaysia than even Malays themselves. I would be a case in point. My Bahasa Malaysia is so bad that I find it very difficult to express myself properly unless I do so in English.The issue that divides us is not language but religion, as well as the Bumiputera issue; in particular the special rights or privileges accorded the Malays.Okay, let us forget about language for the meantime. Let us assume this is not really that great a problem, though it may be an irritation for some. Let us just focus on the two core issues, race and religion. In most civil wars and domestic strife the world over, it has always been race and religion that divide nations whether it is Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Ireland, Bosnia, the United States, or wherever. In fact, if not because of these two issues; race and religion; the United States may not even exist today -- for the United States was where those persecuted over race or religion sought refuge over the last 200 years or so.Therefore, to be realistic, disagreements over race and religion is not a Malaysian problem. It is an international problem and, until today, this issue cannot be resolved amicably. And millions have died over the last 100 years alone because no common ground can be found in resolving these two issues. And the conflicts will continue until the end of time. And getting everyone to speak one common language is not going to resolve it. It will only end when no one race feels his/her religion or his/her race is superior to another and he/she is able to accept those of other races or subscribing to other religions as equals.And, this, Malaysia can never see as long as one race feels his/her race or religion is superior to another.Now, let us talk about one issue that has been the bone of contention for both Ma lays and non-Malays alike for more than 35 years, the New Economic Policy (NEP). The NEP, which was launched in 1970 soon after the infamous May 13, 1969, race riots, was supposed to give Malays a 30% share of the economic pie by 1990. But the Malays are not happy with the NEP because, by 1990, the Malays only managed 3% instead of 30%. The government at first tried to pass it off as 20%. But this 20% included the 17% owned by trust agencies, which belongs to the nation and not to the Malays.The non-Malays, on the other hand, view the NEP as discriminatory and similar to South Africas Apartheid policy. And I do not blame the non-Malays for perceiving it such.





Okay, let us (and I mean Malays when I say us) look at the NEP from the Islamic perspective. Islam says, in any commercial transaction, there must be a willing-buyer-willing-seller situation. Then, the transaction must be verbally declared (lafaz) in that the buyer and the seller both endorse the transaction and engage in the transaction in good faith. The NEP, however, makes it mandatory for non-Malays or foreign investors to offer 30% of their company to Malay shareholders. In certain industries it must be 51% or more, while in others only 100% Malay-owned companies will be allowed.Since the non-Malay or foreign investors are forced, against their will, to offer a portion of their property to a Malay shareholder (in this case he would most likely be Muslim as well), how would this be a willing-buyer-willing-seller situation? The buyer may be willing, but the seller is certainly not. The seller is reluctantly selling a portion of his company to the Malay shareholder because he/she has no choice in the matter. And most times the seller has to sell the asset at a discount or below market price.According to Islam, in the absence of a willing-buyer-willing-seller situation, the transaction would become tak sah (invalid). And invalid is invalid. No renaming it as NEP would make invalid become valid.The same goes for Bumiputera quotas. The foundation of Islam is justice. Denying anyone his/her right is unjust and Islam frowns upon this. If a non-Malay (meaning non-Muslim) is eligible for something, yet he/she does not get it (like a place in a university), and instead that place goes to someone less deserving, then Islam would view this as unjust.Let me give you some examples of my personal experiences. Once I used to own a travel and ticketing company called TATA Sdn Bhd. I spent a lot of money setting up this company and my renovation and furnishing cost for my Kuala Lumpur and Kuantan offices alone ran into six figures.Understandably, as in most new businesses, for the first few years I ran at a loss. Then I stole a marketing manager from one of Kuala Lumpurs leading five-star hotels and this Chinese lady managed to turn my company around and save it from bankruptcy. By then more than RM500,000 had gone down the drain but we were beginning to break even with this very aggressive lady managing the business.One day, some Ministry of Finance officials paid my Kuala Lumpur office a surprise visit, saw this Chinese lady, and immediately confiscated all my licenses and deregistered my company. After that it was downhill all the way until I had to wind up the operation because I could no longer, legally, do any ticketing business.I had committed a cardinal sin. I had employed a Chinese lady as a manager. And for that I deserve to be closed down. Is this Islamic justice?Okay, you may say this Chinese lady is not a Muslim, so you do not feel any harm has been done. Fine, my wife is also Chinese, but she is Muslim, and she was a director in some of my other companies. The Ministry of Trade, however, was not happy that her name was listed as a director in my company.They called my wife for an interview and they were surprised that she was more Malay than even the interviewers. She spoke superb Malay and dressed in Baju Kurong, the dressing she wore every day even at home. But they were still not satisfied and I was asked to remove her name and use the name of some other Malay nominees instead.Who? I asked. Anyone, as long as it is not my wifes name. A private limited company needs two directors so my name alone is not enough. I removed my wifes name and replaced it with that of my Malay secretary.



But my wife still co-signed the cheques and since only two of us signed then it would be considered 50:50 -- still cannot. So I added a third signatory and now any two of the three could sign the cheques. No, not good enough. Not any two of three. It must be ALL three. Then it would be 66.6% Malay against 33.3% Chinese. I had no choice but to comply. And my wife thereafter decided it was no use trying to be Malay any longer. She might as well revert to being Chinese again, and she might as well discard her Baju Kurong for jeans and T-shirt. Can I blame her? In fact, I support her wholeheartedly. Is this what the NEP is all about? And is this what Islam asks from Muslims; to discriminate others just because he or she is not Malay, even though he/she may be Muslim? Further to that, do you know my wife will not be able to get my house when I die if it is built on Malay Reservation land? I thought, according to Islamic teachings, when the husband dies the widow is entitled to a share of the property. Does the Koran say this law only applies if the house is not built on Malay Reservation land? I think the word Malay is not even mentioned in the Koran. I challenge all those learned Muslims out there to offer just ONE hadith or verse from the Koran that says this is how Islam is supposed to conduct itself. Malays should unemotionally re-look at the issue of the NEP and Bumiputera quotas, not from the race perspective but from the Islamic perspective. Malays must be Muslims first and Malays second. Malays will one day have to stand before God not on the basis of whether they have been good Malays or bad Malays but on the basis of whether they have been good Muslims or bad Muslims. Better we be bad Malays but good Muslims, because this is what counts later. Maybe what I am saying would mean Malays may be left behind, at least initially. But if we are prepared to suffer for the sake of upholding the tenets of Islam, then that is indeed an extremely small price to pay. That is real jihad, the struggle against temptation, the temptation of getting rich the easy and shortcut way. Of course, as what Deng Xiao Peng said, Being rich is glorious. But if becoming rich is all that matters, then there are many other unIslamic ways of getting rich. Getting rich is not what matters. It is how we get rich that is the issue. If going against Islamic teachings to get rich can be considered alright, then I can suggest many other more lucrative and easier ways of getting even richer. Anyway, the issue of whether Malays are going to be left behind is another matter altogether. Again, let us look at this issue not as Malays but as Muslims. Islam says that nothing will happen to us that we do not do to ourselves. Islam also says that nine-tenths of pintu rezeki (the door to good fortune) lies in business. The majority of Chinese do business while the majority of Malays seek employment, mainly in government service. Any wonder that the Chinese would be far ahead of the Malays, economically speaking? Islam has already told the Malays that businessmen will be ten times richer than wage-earners. So there is no shortcut to getting rich and as long as the 80,000 unemployed graduates go crying to the government for jobs instead of setting up a small business the Malays will continue to be left behind. It is not easy being a good Muslim is it? Not only must we steer clear of discos, sausages, gambling, adultery, liquor, plus we have to pray five times a day, fast during the month of Ramadhan, perform our Haj, and pay zakat/fitrah (tithe), now we also have to get rich the Islamic way and not rob non-Muslims of their rights. Sigh! Why did Parameswara get us into all this? I am sure we Malays were much happier before we became Muslims.

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I don't care if government, muslims or ISA read about this because I didn't ask for anything to be done. All those repercussions are subjective in everyone's heart and most importantly, I am only speaking about the truth. In fact, I am only posting an article by a "radical bumiputra" and I didn't even edit a single word from his piece of enlightenment.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

California here we come?....NO NEED LAHHH, we got Taman Melawati in Malaysia

About a month or so ago, Yuweno Inferno introduced me to the blockbuster ongoing series of The O.C . Even though the show has this "larger than life" tag attached to its very namesake, I had difficulties in geering myself to watch it because generally, I'm rather unmotivated to watch movies outside of cinema; with the exception for random television programmes which are at my disposal. Sometimes it is just harder to come to terms and prepare yourself to watch something new as opposed to randoms programs encountered from the carefree browsing of television channels, which could discard such nuisance in our minds and just force us to accept things as they are. At times, things just look awfully bleak and discouraging the more we think about it and before we know it, our morale are greatly diminished and we would eventually procastinate on what we had set ourselves to do in the first place. Knowing that I've delayed for way too long, I finally took the leap of faith and subsequently tried viewing those 4 episodes which were entrusted to me.

I have to admit that television series are really very well fabricated nowadays to grab your attention and leave you somewhat hooked to it. It is not hard to see that The O.C is a legitimate series which exudes its own brilliance and style in a special way. On the other hand, I also know that I don't have the luxury neither to be an ardent nor a hardcore follower because I don't exactly have all the time in the world. However, the knowledge of knowing that I've opened up a whole new avenue of entertainment would only stand benefit me whenever I wish to take up that option in the near future; granted that I have that time for it. Thus, the introduction to The O.C series is greatly appreciated.

From my very humble upbringing and experience, I believe the father of all trendy youth dramas is none other than Beverly Hills 90210. I was 8 years old when images of the show is aired in Malaysia's national television and the idea and concept of the show was selling like hot cakes. Not only was everyone fascinated about the concept of the American dream at that time, the show's very own cast comprised of actors and actresses alike whose physical appeal were so captivating and enchating that the near-perfect combination of good looking and spicy lifestyles ;propelled the show to a level of cult status. The appeal and the idea of the show was so strong that even a largely blur and forlorn toddler like me back then was drawn to the show even though I was absolutely lost in terms of comprehending the details of any given episode. Somehow I could only connect to the coolness associated with it and not the logic behind what was actually being presented because the content and conversation that was was aired in every single episode was nearly impossible for me to grasp at that age. Mind you I was 8 at that time and I don't exactly watch anything outside of cartoons small time dramas.

Therefore I can draw lots of comparisons between The O.C and Beverly Hills 90210. At the surface of all the hype between both movies in different eras, the whole backbone of both series revolves around the idea of a group of cool people who are residing in a really cool and classy place,and that their lives are plagued by a host of modern day issues. Under normal circumstances, people love to watch movies about about greener pastures and a cooler life. You don't even see producers wanting to promote shows about the gangs in the streets of Harlem, internal struggles in the slumps or the predicament of broken and underpaid families. Those sort of shows can only potentially succeed in one off programs and it is not long lasting in terms of appeal. Therefore the producers, would rather feed the audience with what things that have a lasting appeal rather than a brief one. Longevity and success is of paramount importance in the industry.

Shows like The O.C and Beverly Hills 90210 inadvertantly promotes the american culture or the american dream to aspiring teenagers and young people who wish to emulate the hype that is displayed before their very eyes. As a result, some might fall prey to thoughts and ideas of greener pastures elsewhere, especially in the west and also somewhat assimilate pick-up lines, phrases and the approach that was enticing to them.

Since negativity is the demeanor that is frequently overused as compared to its direct counterpart, I shall take the road less travelled and take all those negativity heads on for once. Of course, arguments itself seems futile without a direction. Therefore, I devised this small thought up my head to draw parallels between my very own home area as compared to those paradise depicted by the media of the west. Take note that I've been brought up in Taman Melawati my whole life and it is the only area that I can modestly boast of sufficient understanding. Therefore anyone who is as enthusiastic about their very own housing area can draw similar parallelism as well and it is not mutual exclusive as opposed to any other areas out there.



Therefore the stage is set, and the battle is imminent.
Battle of the day:
Overpriced and overhyped California vs Modest and unheard of Taman Melawati


NOTE: THE DESCRIPTION BELOW ARE MEANT TO BE SUBJECTIVE AND DOESN'T NECESSARY REFLECT THE TRUTH. THEY ARE ALL FABRICATION AND IDEAS ALTOGETHER AND IT WILL NOT BE HELD RESPONSIBLE TOWARDS ANY SENSITIVE OR INSENSITIVE THOUGHTS OF OFFENDED PARTIES ALTOGETHER.

They say that California's very own sight is breathtaking and envigorating






They love the wholesome package that California brings. They think it is so trendy to have basketball courts by the beach. Who are we kidding....GOSHHHH!!!!. Not enough land is it?






WE say that things doesn't always have to be classy, when mother nature can actually do wonders at times without human intervention.




Even our roads have a classic look attached to it and it is the target of countless local film production. Unlike western series which played to the hearts of the viewers who demand changes as we can see for ourselves from Beverly Hills to Orange County, our local directors never grow sick of melawati and they kept coming back for more in terms of footage from numerous picturesque location. So shy of it that they have to disguise the location under names of other areas sometimes. It is ok, their intentions are understood.




Look!!! we even have a multipurpose court with ample of land by it's sides. Melawatians are spoilt for choices till the point that nobody even want to patronize this well planned and constructed court.



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Snobbish people would point that The O.C and California boast of great friendships and red hot companions which are unparallel as of yet.

Things to note: Expensive furnitures and background settings to further boost the image


WE beg to differ. It is obvious that they haven't visit the "padang" at phase 4 in Taman Melawati. As an attempt to challenge the O.C in terms of frequent airings per weeks, real-life activity as depicted below are carried out on a weekly basis; if the weather permits.We are clear advocaters that class and style is not mutually exclusive on the other side of the world.

Things to note: No expensive things are needed and nature loving melawatians only need mother nature in their midst for "happening" activities.


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Wise man says that California is full of love and intimacy, coupled with their wondrous open minded approach towards relationship (in short, it means that they are open towards pre-marital sex and ceaseless switching of partners). A shoulder for those who needs it just goes on further to prove their depth in love and affection. "Armour infinito?". OWHHHHH HOW SWEETTTTTT.


WE say, those self-proclaim wise man aka morons only need to visit Wangsa Maju's branch of McDonalds to dispel such nonsense. Who is more open now?. This guy is literally hugging his girlfriend in such close proximities. They bodies can literally merge and several strategic angles might even betray our eyesight into believing that they are somewhat superimposed into each other. Such act of boldness and liberalism could even mislead many naive childrens to conclude for their own that those two persons are actually Siamese twins and their very naive brains simply repels any other reasoning that could be conjured or offered. Shoulders or anything that is that conservative wouldn't suffice even in Jaya Jusco's McDonalds, what more the rest of Melawati. FEEL THE LOVE, CALIFORNIANS?????


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Californians claim that they can strike up a pose better than any homo sapiens from any other part of the world. They claim that the mixture of style and arrogance clearly shows everyone that they centerfold material.


WE say.... "My boy, I'm sure the term {posing maut} is foreign to you. It is ok, as there is always a first time for everything". I'm lost for words to describe this pose below. It is that good and the innocent guy in the picture below is only a youthful 15 when the photo was taken.On the contrary,the guy from the photo above might have enter Zouk a gazillion times already and corrupted his personality many times over. We Melawatians give you the wholesome package in this aspect; naivity and vanity.

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Californian: But but but.....our seaside and beaches are still unparallel. Surely you can't top that? We even have a majestic bridge/structure to accompany it!!!!

Californian: Marvel at your beaches you third world country!!!!.

Melawatian: Beaches are meant for swimming what.....We also got wonderful scenaries all around us. A swimming pool can also serve that very purpose already.Not to mention, we love the smell of clorine in our swimming pool water. Noobs don't know how to enjoy luxuries like these. NOW BEGONE!!!!

Melawatians: But before you go, it is ok take a glimpse and drool with incomprehensible yearning for things that we Melawatians take for granted.

Melawatian: Again



Melawatian: And again

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Ancient myths have it that Californians or westerners are equipped with cutting edge technology and they absolutely love their music. Wireless and portability is the new name of the game and they are the self-professed master of them all.



WE say that although we can't necessary match that feat, Malaysia in general is not lagging too far behind. We love music too and our affliation with wireless and portability started even years back which is unfathomable. Sometimes pictures speak a thousand words doesn't it?

Picture courtesy of Kennysia.com's old post.

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ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.........

END OF COMPARISON......

I don't want to compare anymore......I don't need no justification. It is official, but I stand corrected in the future. I love Taman Melawati as it is. I've met great personalities all along that have blessed me immensely throughout my 22 years of life. No matter what happens in the future and where I may go, Taman Melawati and its people will always be a great part of me. I dare say that there is nowhere else I rather be; for most if not all the time (hoping that I don't eat my own words).



P.S: The person on the bottom left of the picture is me. The rest of the people in the picture are just great blessings altogether directly and indirectly to me. Thanks everyone!!!!

SO I GUESS WHAT SHOULD I SAY THEN AFTER THIS LONG RANT???...ermmmmmm....Melawati ROCKS?....

Peace OUT

Monday, May 08, 2006

My Malaysian Idol.....NOT

(Shorter post as compared to the past....heheheheheheh)

Last Sunday,I was going through a nerve wrecking time to save my laptop from oblivion. I know that it is not a good enough excuse to skip church but me and my brother just didn't manage to wake up in time. During the constant probing and brainstorming to rectify the problem, my brother who was an accomplished Intel worker claimed to have found the potential defective factor and he surprised me even further that he was willing to drive all the way downtown to rectify the problem straight away without any further delay. Spearheaded by his enthusiasm, we departed for the center of computer technologies, accessories and not to forget piracy of the highest degree; Low Yat Plaza. I've got myself a brand new memory chip and the results so far have been encouraging. The negative ill-effects of my old problems are gone for now but there is no guarantee that it will not occur again in the future. I just gotta keep my fingers crossed.

Being opportunists and people that treasure our free time dearly, my brother and I decided to cross the border to the almost-as-famous and hugely notorious neighbour of Low Yat; which is none other than Sungai Wang; to grab a few DVD of our choice. It was a plot up my brother's head all the time as he attempted to kill two birds with one stone by maximizing out efforts in going all the way downtown. We would leave that place as soon as possible due the the huge Sunday crowd which is not a pleasant environment to say the least. Something that never cease to amaze me is pool of people that I've encountered through the years surveying Sungai Wang. Somehow Sungai Wang Plaza managed to capture the hearts of an array of people. So much so that people from all walks of life are just breathing neck to neck in most parts of the building (due to the close proximity of those people who seems to crowd the place and have nothing else better to do). Nevertheless, these are all old news and nobody was caught by surprise. Somehow that fateful day was meant to be different from the past. Something was coming my way and it was bound to set the visit apart from those that ones that I've experienced but I was resistant towards it at first being a skeptical person.

While me and my brother were painstaking trying to reach the upper few floors where the DVD shops resides, I heard this famous tune that has been blaring through the stereos of various sources ever since Malaysian Idol Season 2 ended. It was not difficult to identify that it was the wretched song of Daniel Lee, which was none other than "Fei" or the translated version of "Mimpi"; the official theme of Malaysian Idol Season 2 finals. Since the song has been played for countless times ever since the finals ended, it came as no surprise to me that the song is blaring through Sungai Wang's very own speakers. The only part that I could fault them is their DJ's poor selection of song choices. In fact, come to think of it, poor is starting to become an understatement for that act.

However I realised that there was a twist to the whole plaza when there were shouts of joys and excitement coming from the basement where the permanent stage for occasional performance is located. The suspicion was further confirmed when people from floor to floor were encircling the open air view to catch a glimpse of what was happening. It was then that my heart,eyes,brains and instinct verified my greatest fear of what could be worse than the song that was being played. This was because simple logic tells me that no matter how ridiculous and absurb those general girl fans are, they don't shout over ordinary music being played. Therefore there could only be one possibility....and of course, it was the very own person is present there on the stage. YESSSSSS, our very own Malaysian Idol dishing out his rendition of "Fei" or "Mimpi".
The highlight of the day for me was when he was waving his hand towards the crowd of girl fans and hitting his very modest high note which send a group of girl fans into raptures. Ya Allah....what have these people degenerated into that they could possibly get excited over this Daniel Lee.

As you all can see, Daniel have achieved such a level of recognition that I feel obligated to search out his images to haunt myself all over again. So here are a few of them:




This picture is the best of the lot where it tells a thousand words which depicts what kind of artist or product he has become as a result of Malaysian Idol




On a lighter note, he is an ordinary person after all


If this figure were to appear in my uni before the malaysian idol craze, some people might have mistaken him for a girl and subsequently hit on him. Forgive my uni. It is densely populated by males which in turn promote desperateness and longing for any form of feminism (though I am perfectly clean....heeheheheh)


Can anyone honestly tell me that they are proud of this person representing Malaysia for in the World Idol contest. I am the first person to tell you that I am not a patriotic person at all. I even hoped for Malaysia to lose in the Thomas Cup and various other sporting events. But I just want to limit the shame and hummilation that he will potentially carry to Malaysia's already ugly reputation.

A big part of the blame goes out to his supporters as well I guess. He is just a person reaping from the concept of supply and demand. There were genuine voters who voted for him for whatsoever reasons. I've even come across people who supported him just because of his skin colour as opposed to the person that was competing alongside him in the finals. This craze and absurd ideas have been in malaysia dating back to those backstreet boys and boyband era period. Don't be fooled by the thought that Malaysia only go for western products and boybands. My misconception was quickly corrected by my malay friends in the past who quickly enlightened me of a malay boyband as well which was present at that time. They were called "The Boys" or something along that line. Apparently, malay girls go crazy over that particular boyband. There were always a handful of malay girls that were shouting in ecstacy over their performance and there were even some who fainted in the midst when it seems like their ecstacy climaxed to the point that their body gave way. Those fanatics even took a step further where they actually hurled objects at the band's van to break their windscreen and side mirrors so that they could actually extend their outreaching arms; in an effort to touch those beloved figures that they deeply adore. I marvel at the ideas and acts of those fanatics and it never fails to astonish me up to this day.