Posted by Hedonistics Anonymous :: 12:23 am ::
I've got a headache - the dull, intermittent kind you get due to lack of sleep. A glass of iced coffee during lunch helped to relieve the headache a little, but I'm still so sleepy... *yawn*
I shall be petty today, because I feel like it.
1. It's only been four days after the elections and Penangites are getting pretty nice perks from the new state government. Tolls abolished and summonses waived. I'm going green with envy.
2. The couple who lives in the house behind mine is outstation again and their dog has been chained up for two or three consecutive days. The last time they went outstation, the dog was chained up for more than a week. My mother has been championing the dog's rights recently. She even confronted the couple's friend who was in charge of feeding the dog and gave her a lecture on canine cruelty.
3. We named the dog Bobby. Or rather, I named the dog Bobby because that's how we call dogs. My mother went one step further to ahbeng
-ize the dog's name. Now she calls him Ah Bob. Do note that we have no idea what his real name is.
4. Ah Bob is not our dog but he's got a treat box in our refrigerator filled with meaty bones. Oh, and any bread you find in the house is definitely not for human consumption. That's Ah Bob's bread.
5. My driveway and garage is covered with muddy tyre tracks because the Dept of Works is changing the big underground pipes, so they have to rip up the driveway concrete. After replacing the pipes, they just cover the trench with gravel. Such a shitty temporary (I hope!) solution. I've got four different cars driving in and out of the driveway everyday, and now the gravel is sinking in some parts. Oi, Mr Yong
! You win election already, now you don't want to resurface my driveway issit?
6. I had no freaking idea how a parliamentary debate is conducted until yesterday. Bloody hell, it's like a mass riot - all the MPs are worse than hooligans! My favourite video (here
) is the ex-Jerai MP Badruddin Amiruldin's
racist statement "Malaysia ini negara Islam, you tak suka, you keluar dari Malaysia!" ("Malaysia is an Islamic state, you don't like it, you get out of Malaysia!")
Immediately after, you can clearly hear another speaker saying "Ehh samseng, duduk!" ("Hey hooligan, sit down!)
7. I also like the video (here
) of Nazri Abdul Aziz calling the opposition "Racist! Bloody Racist!". It's hilarious because it proves that some of the MPs are just so inarticulate that they just parrot themselves over and over again.
8. I'm out of books to read at home, dammit. :(
9. Sometimes I think I understand precisely why Hitler wanted to get rid of the Jews. Like in Malaysia, races were segregated last time. The Malays were the farmers/fisherman, the Indians were rubber tappers, and the Chinese were businesspeople. Now you've got Ali the farmer and Ahmad the Cabinet Minister. Ah Chong the kolo mee
seller and Ah Lim the Chief Minister. Muthu the mamak stall owner and Samy the ousted Works Minister.
And then you wonder, how some individuals from each race can breach the stereotype and achieve so much. I mean, the gap between a farmer and a Cabinet Minister is miles apart. Is it a genetic thing or what? Is it possible to breed only top performing humans to create a race of superhumans?
10. B, WHY YOU COMMENT IN THONG'S BLOG BUT NEVER COMMENT IN MY BLOG? YOU WANT ME TO BLOG ABOUT T.H.I.N.K ISSIT?
Monday, March 10, 2008
I'm proud to be a Malaysian
There are a few very important milestones in a person's life.
When I was a kid, I couldn't wait to be 12 so that I could apply for an identity card (IC). I used to envy my classmates whose birthdays were earlier than mine because they were to first to be able to flash their blue laminated cards in class, complete with dorky black-and-white photos.
Then I couldn't wait to be 17 to get my driver's license. I got my license slightly later than a few of my classmates, but it wasn't such a bad thing because those classmates of mine who could drive usually drove nice cars like Jaguar, Camry, and Vitara (in 1997 this was considered a really cool car). And those who could drive had to chauffeur the rest of the class out for lunch. No self-respecting Form 5 student during my year ate canteen food.
18 was a good age because I could get into clubs legally, drink legally, and buy cigarettes legally. 18 was a bad age because it was the start of a grueling 4-year college education. Partying went up, discipline went down. Chatting on mIRC was so freaking cool back then. Everyone had a cyber-something: boyfriend, girlfriend, brother, sister. Oh, and almost everyone had cybersex. Don't lie. I KNOW you did.
I got myself registered to become a voter on my 21st birthday. Ever since I was a kid, I've watched my parents going to vote and I could sense it was a very important event because my father wouldn't let me accompany him into the polling booth. Always I had to wait outside, or in the car. It was like some huge mystery, what people did in polling stations, and I couldn't wait to find out.
I know that most of my friends are not interested in politics, and don't bother to get themselves registered. It perplexes me, their "what for vote? if vote also like that, what" attitude. My father has always, always stressed on our duty to exercise our voting rights as citizens of the country. Winning or losing is another matter. If you don't vote, then you don't have any right to complain about the government because you didn't even bother to make an effort to change. Don't complain about corruption. Don't complain about the sorry state of your roads. Don't complain about how inefficient employees in government departments are. They are that way because of your complacency.
My mother's friend who's Chinese happens to be voting in some predominantly Malay constituency. She knows very well that her area is a stronghold for the ruling party, but when asked why she still bothers to vote, she whispered, "Lose also never mind, must still vote. The ruling party will win, but we do what we can to lower the majority."
When the results of the parliamentary elections for Sarawak came out, I was thrilled that Bandar Kuching incumbent, Chong Chien Jen of the Chinese-based Democratic Action Party (DAP) managed to retain his seat, polling 22,901 votes to beat Barisan Nasional-Sarawak United Peoples' Party (BN-SUPP) newcomer Alan Sim Yaw Yen by a majority of 9,952 votes. Alan Sim only managed to garner 12,949 votes. Unfortunately, this is the only feather in the opposition's cap for Sarawak, because out of the 31 seats contested, the ruling party, BN, managed to sweep 30 seats.
In West Malaysia, things were shockingly different. The BN managed to form the new government but was denied two-thirds majority for the first time in history. To add insult to the injury, they lost four key states (Penang, Kedah, Perak and Selangor) to the loose opposition alliance between DAP, People's Justice Party (PKR) and Pan Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) in a tsunami-like wave. BN also failed to wrest back Kelantan from PAS.
I'm grateful that all this happened in my lifetime - proof that democracy is still alive and people are not afraid to make themselves heard. It's during times like these that I'm most proud to be a Malaysian. We should learn from those lucky 5 states, that people of all races - Malaysians - can work together hand in hand to achieve what BN thought was impossible. Yes, David can beat Goliath. And he can do it over and over again.
Posted by Hedonistics Anonymous :: 12:26 am ::
Thursday, March 06, 2008
Vote BN? 別開玩笑
Parliamentary elections are tomorrow.
Thanks to my church's youth group, I managed to wrangle an invite for my sister and I to a dialogue with Alan Sim Yaw Yen, the BN-SUPP candidate for Bandar Kuching (P.195), about two weeks ago.
I've never supported the ruling party, but since Mr Sim is a first-timer and head of the SUPP Youth, I thought, well, maybe this round this might be different. Like people always say, the future lies in the hands of the youths, right? I was looking for fresh, new ideas and not those stale "only BN can bring development to the country" views.Firstly, I brought up the land lease issue. The last time I brought up this issue was before the State Elections 2006 (here) and it is a matter that is very close to my heart. SUPP has always been rather vague about the issue. Yes, they did help some people renew their land leases but that's not the point. The point is WHY ARE WE STILL SUBJECTED TO LAND LEASE?According to the National House Buyers Association:
The land laws of Malaysia are governed by the National Land Code, 1965 (Act 56 of 1965). Section 40 of the National Land Code, 1965 states that all state land belongs to the state authority.
When state land is disposed off by the state authority to an individual in perpetuity for an indefinite period, this land is now granted as freehold title.
When the state land is disposed of by the state authority to an individual for a term of years, by virtual of law, not exceeding 99 years, this land is now granted as leasehold title.
Upon expiry of the period of the lease, the land should be reverted to the state authority. The owner will then have to either apply for a renewal of the lease before its expiry or apply for a fresh alienation if the lease has expired. These will involve the payment of a hefty premium which would be close to buying the land all over again with perhaps some discount
Note the words "hefty premium". Sounds rather painful, aye?
The land lease issue goes way back to the colonial days, when our country was ruled by the British. At that time, all land belonged to Crown and if you needed land, you had to lease it from the Brits. Now that we have achieved Independence, the country belongs to us Malaysians. So why the heck are we still "leasing" land from the government? Shouldn't we be able to fully own what we pay for?
Anyway, Mr Sim told me that he's looking into extending the normal leasehold period of 60 years to 99 years. Like wtf?! I'm telling you the abolish the whole leasehold nonsense, not asking you to extend it.
Then he told me that this whole land lease issue is a communal issue that has been going on for a very long time and WE SHOULDN'T WASTE MORE TIME AND ENERGY ON IT. And in a very lawyer/SUPP fashion, he said, "You know what, I think Kuching needs to concentrate on tourism to attract more visitors to the state!"
And then he went on and on naming the various foods that we have in Kuching: Laksa, kolo mee, kueh chap, belacan beehoon...
Then when I asked Mr Sim whether he is concerned about the declining standard of English among local graduates, he said that he was worried, but not too worried because the standard of Chinese education in Malaysia is one of the best in Southeast Asia.
Then he started going on and on about how he was elected to be the Malaysian representative in some Chinese-speaking conference somewhere is Southeast Asia, and how people from China are impressed with the fluency of which we speak Mandarin.
Tell me, how is his answer related to my original question?
Then I asked Mr Sim about the government's hopeless efforts to promote reading among the youth. I said, "Mr Sim, books are so expensive. People in the US pay US$7.99 for one book. People in the UK pay £3.95 for one book. But once the book hit Malaysian shelves, we have to pay more than RM30 for it. Dollar to dollar conversion, it's not fair to us. Books are so expensive. How to encourage Malaysians to read? Shouldn't the government consider some form of subsidy for imported books?"
Nodding, Mr Sim replied, "Yes, you have a point. That's why I'm think that mobile libraries is... you know, a good idea..."
Tell me, how to vote for this guy?
Posted by Hedonistics Anonymous :: 10:18 pm ::
Tuesday, March 04, 2008
You MUST read this book
I read ALOT.
I must admit that I've spent a small fortune in books, but I've never regretted my decision because reading makes me happy. Sometimes I think I'm addicted to the printed word. Like I need a book fix whenever I'm feeling down.
So when MPH had their latest sale, I was one happy bunny. I was on the lookout for Philip Pullman's Dark Materials trilogy. I already have The Golden Compass, and I was dying to get my hands on The Subtle Knife and The Amber Spyglass.
And then I spotted this book.
I've heard all the hype surrounding The Spiderwick Chronicles. Heck, they've even got a movie out already.
The cover and artwork bears some resemblance to Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. Very nice. I like.
And so I bought the entire box set which wasn't cheap, but my love for books goes far and beyond the value of money. I started reading Spiderwick that very night.
I can safely say that The Spiderwick Chronicles is one of the best fantasy novels I've ever read. The story line is fantastic and the book is very easy to read. No huge words and, oooh.. the accompanying artwork! What a lovely touch. It's so easy to fall in love with Spiderwick because of its honest yet whimsical nature.
I seriously recommend this book to everyone. Yes, it is THAT good. Or, at least get Book 1 of the set: The Field Guide. It's not easy to find a book that captures your heart and mind and makes you remember why reading is so much fun in the first place, but here it is: The Spiderwick Chronicles.
Posted by Hedonistics Anonymous :: 7:16 pm ::