Friday, May 3, 2013

A Tale of 2 Citizens

"A citizen accepts personal responsibility for the safety of the body politic, of which he is a member, defending it, if need be, with his life.."

As May 5th draws near, you can feel the "heat" everywhere you go. A sea of blue, white and red flags have blanketed my beautiful island. Supporters from each side have upped the ante and comments, criticism and facebook posts have been flying about like a high school food fight.

Normally, I would stay out of this by giving my two cents worth only to those who are close. It's not that I'm afraid. I would refrain from making any comments publicly for fear of it being viewed or thought of as insulting because I have friends and acquaintances from various backgrounds and ethnicity which I value very much. But a certain FB status from a friend recently stuck out like a sore thumb. It was, in a way, insulting. But the thing that struck me behind that post was how ignorant she was & how the situation has been manipulated to incite fear and hatred.

Why am I speaking out now? 

Simple: I love my country. I love everything about it. It's food. It's ethnic diversity. It's culture. I like having friends from different backgrounds and visiting them during festivals. I like hanging out at my favorite mamak stall. I like the fact that we can sit and chat despite our differences in color and religion. That's what we need to defend.

So I'll tell it as I see it, and this may not go down well with everyone.. for that I apologize.

In recent weeks, since the announcement, we have seen so many "ceramah" from all parties. I've been to a few, I've heard from both sides. The current coalition promotes stability and track record at the forefront of its’ campaign. Nobody can deny that in the 55 years since we've achieved independence, our country has developed under their leadership. But it amazes me then when their candidates and coalition leaders are resorting to race-based scare tactics to win over voters. One says that a vote for DAP is a vote for PAS. Another says that if PR wins, the rights of my Muslim brothers and sisters will not be protected. Is that really necessary? Is it even true? Especially more so in a multi-cultural country like ours where a Chinese man is happy to eat at a Malay stall with his Indian counterpart – just like me! They speak of protecting rights. But what are they really protecting? - Our rights or their privileges?

The last year or so have seen massive changes and developments in the country. Then why are the rakyat, or a part of it, is insisting for a change? Is it because too many "coincidences" have happened? Is it because some want a fair and equal opportunity to success? Is it because the rakyat are fed up of the cronyism? Whatever the reasons, the wave of change or “UBAH” is picking up speed very fast. Take Penang for instance. Beautiful island, great food, historically rich as it is diversified. But why offer us a Free Port status now? It’s great news for Penang with all the benefits it will bring. Better late than never, some might say. However, will the Federal Government, if it happens to be BN, continue to grant us this privilege even if the state government happens to be from the Opposition? True development starts with equal treatment and the sincerity to serve.

This election is not a battle of races. It's not about the winning party infringing on your rights as a citizen. It shouldn’t be so. For me, if your constituency's rep is not effective, then vote him/her out. Give another candidate a chance. It's not about which party he or she is from. Malaysia was born from the blood, sweat, tears and sacrifice of all our forefathers who marched hand-in-hand, from the poor Malay farmer to the struggling Chinese trader to the Indian labourer that came here to seek better opportunities. They laid down their lives to protect this country and made it great because they wanted a land they can call their home, and that still continues to this day. But many have forgotten this. I hope you have not.

So this coming GE, cast aside your prejudices, and vote from the heart. And whatever results it may bring, let us embrace it & work together towards a better future not just for ourselves, but for future generations to come, just like what our forefathers did for us.

Figuring things out for yourself is the only freedom anyone really has. Use that freedom. Make your own choice.

Monday, November 19, 2012


I've said many things before. I've shared my hopes, my dreams, my aspirations, where I want to be, and I've come to the conclusion that if having things turn out the way you want them to is a measure of a successful life, then some would say I'm a failure.

Life is funny sometimes. It can push pretty hard, kicks you down & beats you up. Especially when we let it. And you can always think of reasons to give up. But those are choices we have to deal with everyday. 

It gets pretty intricate when the choices you make affect others too.

People are going to disappoint you; I get that. But what if you wake up one day & realize that you're the disappointment?

Things aren't always going to be fair in the real world, that's just the way it is, but for the most part you get what you give. What's worse: not getting everything you wished for or getting it but finding out it's not enough?

I can think of so many moments that will forever be a part of me. Even bad ones. You can't really choose what is going to change you, and shape you, and stun you.. but you can change who you are after. I think the hardest thing to do is to not be jaded by the bad times and still believe.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

The things I want to say but never could

I think I'm pretty good at it now. Saying it over and over again. It's the only thing I've done well for the past 10 months. In fact, it's the only thing I know how to do in the past 10 months!

This year has been a year of challenges, a real test of resolve. A year that's proven to be a humbling, yet rewarding experience. However, I constantly find myself caught in 2 minds: To go on & tread a path to endless possibilities, of which, one could be failure. Or... to say "enough!" & go back to the mundane securities of employment. The motivation for both ideals vary from what I want & what I need.

I want a life, a future, that's not bound by financial restrictions. But at an "old" age of 31, I need a life that's stable.. now. There are things & a very important person I want in my life at this moment. My heart aches for both ideals and yet, only one can be attained in the short-term. I know rushing things won't do any good.. to me or the people around me. As the situation stands, it's been stressful beyond imagine. With no outlet I can afford to release my tensions to. No holiday to ease the mind. No one to work with, to call a colleague. No one to share the workload. There's just work and worry in a 200 sq. ft. enclosed office with no window. I enjoy the process, the experience, the opportunity to build something for myself & for the future. But it's so darn difficult. I know that without this "difficulty" there wouldn't be any value in success.. whenever it may be.

My mind often wanders in between what might have been and what will be. I'm confused. I constantly find myself breaking down in silence and waking up at night literally sweating in fear of tomorrow. I anger easily. I lose control. I cry. I become paranoid almost automatically. I hurt inside & plaster the cracks with a smile. I keep all this feelings & frustrations under lock and key despite them screaming to come out. I bury my sorrow deep within my soul, thinking that this is the noblest thing to do. And so, I've lost myself. Life can come out at us from the darkness. And at times we struggle to find the courage to face it.

What could be worse? - I've pushed the one person I've truly ever loved further & further away by taking out my frustrations and my selfish, twisted jealousies on her. Just because I'm unable to enjoy what life has to offer now, doesn't mean you should not as well. There can never be a greater injustice to one individual. And I'm guilty of it.

I know that you're reading this & I don't know if what I'm doing now is the right thing to do. I'm prepared for the consequences, whatever they may be. But I need to get this off my chest & writing is what I've always done best. All I know is I owe you a sincere apology because I do not want to lose what we use to have. You have been supportive, understanding and tolerant throughout all this. You have loved unconditionally and it has been my bedrock, my strength.. I fear nothing. You are a shining example of an A-class partner. These have been your greatest trademarks. Values which I fell for & appreciate very much.

Therefore, I hold both my hands up and say "I'm sorry dear". I know it doesn't make up for the many things you had to go through, but I hope it will go some way in making a fresh start. The look in your eyes not only reflects hurt but disappointment as well. I want you to know that it causes me so much pain to look into those same hazel brown eyes which had enthralled me these 3 years. So just 3 simple words won't do. An apology is nothing without remorse. I will change. I need to. Being your (super)man, I must! I live my life not only for myself. You know, I used to believe in that, and now, I have to believe in it again. Life is tough at the moment. It's pushing pretty hard. But it's time I take a step outside of the person I've been these past few months & remember the person I was meant to be. The person I wanted to be. The person I am.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Just 1

So she's off to Korea on a company trip.. and I'm stuck here in Penang.

For the most part, I'm happy coz it's gonna be an opportunity for her to see new places, experience new tastes, and just break free from everything here for the moment. Besides, she deserves it after what she's been through in the past 10 months! And that's what I constantly tell myself too in between my incessant worrying & sleepless nights.

But in reality, this is the loneliest I've been for a long, long time. 

If you think this entry is meant to reflect my clingy-ness & pathetic wallowing in self-despair at being left at home, then it is far from it. Instead it is an appreciation for someone whose presence makes my world meaningful.

We often take the people around us for granted & only realize how important they are until we find ourselves without them. Not me. I know how important she is. And I miss it. I miss everything about her... her laugh, her smile, her innocence,the warm feeling of her palm on my cheek, her fingers running through whatever hair I have left on my head, even her bite on my shoulders, everything. When she's around, everything just falls into place; chaos becomes control, and life has meaning beyond your own. I see things differently. I think differently. And I act with regards for others. I become more than just a man, I become a person of value.

We underestimate the influence of 1 person. But it usually only takes 1 person to affect the course of a life or a lifetime. Even the history books will tell you that's true - Helen of Troy, Joan of Arc, Nefertiti of Egypt, just to name a few. 

There are close to 7 billion people in the world at the moment. But right now, all I need is 1.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A series of unfortunate events

Here I am, writing an entry, hoping that everything will go smoothly from here on.

Where do I even begin?

For starters, I woke up to the nice smell of sausages with freshly cooked scrambled eggs & melted cheese only to find out that we had no bread to eat it with. And so I waited for the delivery guy (my younger brother) to buy a loaf from the 7-11 store only to finally have my breakfast which by now was cold & icky.

This was then followed by my routine 30-minute exercise and fitness session which I've neglected for a week. Healthy right? Only problem was I sprained my back slightly as I was just into the first 10 minutes. Damn!

Next up was work. A scheduled meeting couldn't be that bad... except that the event I am currently working on is not getting the response I had hoped for & could possibly end up being scraped!!! A change of plans perhaps? *Sigh*

After that, I made my way down to the MPPP to pay my parking fine despite many telling me not to. Afterall, the officer who issued the ticket said I would just have to pay RM7.50 if I settled the fine within 7 days. Why not eh? When I got to the counters, I had 20 people before me waiting.. at 10.30am!!! Doesn't anyone work? Luckily the counters were efficient & within 30 minutes (or less) it came to my turn. The young lady at the counter then told me the fine was RM10. Ohhhhkayyy... I told her the officer said it was only RM7.50 if I paid within a week. She said that's true, but the date I was supposed to pay on was yesterday. Fine! RM10 it was then.. no big deal.

At this point, I was still being optimistic about how the day would pan out.

I arrived safely at the office and went about doing my work, thankfully without any further fuss. Lunch time proved another matter altogether. As I packed up for lunch, I was also bursting to go to the toilet. And when I got in to do my business, the zipper wouldn't budge! The darn thing was stuck. By now I was consumed by hunger & the need to pee.. badly! Anyway, I tugged and pulled and finally it budged! The excitement was short-lived as it only came down a quarter of the way, leaving me to wriggle out of my pants to heed nature's call. It was not a pretty sight but I'll leave that to your vivid imaginations.

A quick lunch was followed by more work at the office. Usually I'd take a walk out for a good few minutes at least every hour to stretch. During one of these walks I suddenly realized the other guy that I was sharing the office unit with had locked me in! And he had applied the combination lock on the front door. Arrrggghhhh!!!! Thank goodness I have a beautiful saviour to come rescue me.

Now I'm just waiting for my saviour and praying nothing else happens.