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Saturday, October 23, 2010

Hanging On For Nothing

As I write this, I'm listening to Brian McKnight's One Last Cry for the thirteenth time. It's one of my favourite R&B ballads, released in the singer's 1992 debut album. It's a good song, really good song. Perfect to nurse a broken heart and shattered dreams.

I just discovered that a beautiful dream or wishful thinking which I've been hanging on to for the past 5 years was actually for nothing. A waste of time, energy and emotion. I could have done better things, like improve my writing. Or hitting the gym more often. Or simply be closer to God.

Anyway, God works in mysterious ways to liberate you from something which could've destroyed you in the long run. And I thank God for that. Who would have figured that it would be two dear friends, or brothers in crime for that matter, that would actually break the news to me. F & M - thanks so much for finally knocking some sense into my head. Now I realise that you are truly are my blood brothers despite us only recently being ace boon coons.

Yes, it was hard to swallow at first. It was a blow straight to the pit of my stomach. But I am rebounding well. I'll be fine. But give me some time, for drowning of sorrows cannot be done overnight. This will be long, that much I'm sure.

I am liberated from this dream permanently now. My mind is freer now. Free to do better things that should make me a better person.

As for the wasted dream, my only regret is for the people of whom this dream has hurt. So many people have made sacrificies for this dream, all of them unconditional I'm sure. But in return, the dream has committed an unspeakable act, probably more than once, that betrayed the love and trust given. For that, I feel so sorry. Not for you, dream. But for the people whom you have hurt and lied. Worse, they don't even know. I pray they will have the strength to endure it if they ever found out because it will be ugly. Even I was adversely affected and the bitter irony of it, I'm not even relevant.

Lesson learnt - next time you see shiny and juicy apples at the supermarket, check again. It may be rotten inside....

Thursday, October 7, 2010


...will it really meet its noble objective of luring back the best brains of Malaysia to their home country? I still have reservations about this.

Yes, our PM's intention is good but for as long as I can remember, I never thought highly of Malaysians who choose to work and reside abroad. Because majority of these people, while having succeeded in making a living in Sydney, London or New York, usually also ridicule their home country - my country mind you, as being the reason why they left in the first place for the so-called greener pastures.

Okay fair enough. You claim that Malaysia is not able to offer you employment or the salary band you so desire. But for the sake of argument, why can your other fellow Malaysians still make a decent living here in good old Jalur Gemilang land? This issue is so subjective, no party - whether the Malaysians abroad or the Malaysians here, would want to take a step back and re-evaluate their stand. But I for one, as someone who is a product of the national education system - from primary to tertiary and now working for a respectable Malaysian company, would insist that serving your nation is allegiance of the highest order. Period.

The worst kind of Malaysians are the ones who studied abroad on Malaysian government scholarship, be it JPA, MARA or PETRONAS, to name a few. Once they graduated, they secure employment in the country where they studied and cancel out the scholarship bond by repaying their sponsors. There is even a greater number of Malaysian students who simply dissapear and that's when you see the long list of defaulters advertised by their sponsors on the back pages of Sunday papers. The ones biting the dust would of course be their guarantors who were suckered to sign on the dotted lines prior to these ungrateful lots' departure overseas several years back.

And then of course there's the other kind who slog it out from scratch, saving every penny or dime to achieve their dreams of the promised land. The kind depicted in immigration-theme movies like Crossing Over and Bordertown. As a result of this, Malaysians travelling to Britain in the future, for example, may be slapped with a visa ruling, something which we have enjoyed being exempted from by our colonial masters, due to Malaysians of these kinds overstaying on social visit pass in various parts of the kingdom.

What else? Aah, yes. Malaysians with dual citizenship when our laws clearly prohibits that. Malaysians who give birth to their child abroad but still come back to KL to register their birth certificate and then return back to Toronto where their child's Canadian birth certificate also awaits. Malaysians who prolong their stay in, oh I don't know, Philadelphia, years after they graduated until they are forced to come home when their mom is dying in Temerloh and on and on and on.

My point is - kalau dah memang tak nak balik tu, tak de nya dia orang nak balik. Sebab hati dah terpaut pada flat di Notting Hill, London atau townhouse di San Francisco atau apartment di Lower East Side Manhattan, New York.

I wish the Malaysian Government all the best with this newly-established Talent Corporation.
But again, with all due respect, lebih baik lah naik kan gaji kami yang memang setia berkhidmat di tanahair ni...

Monday, October 4, 2010


There were two really good write-ups in Mingguan Malaysia last Sunday on Rumah Terbuka Hari Raya or Raya Open Houses, one by Awang Selamat and the other by Noraini Abdul Razak. Both articles were eye openers actually (for those who concur with the writers' views) on a trend which I also feel is becoming unhealthier year in year out, at least for the past 5 or 6 years in the running.

The thing with Raya open houses nowadays is that it has become a status symbol for urbanites, especially in major cities, led of course by KL and its surrounding suburbia within the Klang Valley. Everyone is racing to do theirs, to a point that they have to cross check and even negotiate with friends to ensure their "event" do not clash on the same day of the weekend. To that extent.

And don't even get me started on the amount of excess food prepared for these open houses, especially the ones on a larger scale, which usually involves full-fledged catering. A friend actually shared her experience attending an open house of her hubby's pal which ended up with her hubby only managing a "hi, how are you?" and that was that. Her hubby's friend - the host, was so busy entertaining the sea of guests, that he couldn't even spend 5 minutes to have a decent and quality conversation for my friend's hubby who endured two hours of hell stuck on the Middle Ring Road 2 (MRR 2) to get to the open house.

It was so different about a decade or two ago when we could still go to any of our friends or relatives home during the month of Syawal without too much of a hassle. No need to lock dates in your Outlook Calendar or handheld devices. And the host themselves merely served whatever was available in the kitchen. It didn't matter how many people came in a succession of how many days. Whoever came, whether in small or large numbers, were entertained with much affection which is the core culture of any Malay family. Even if it was just kuih raya or simple nasi himpit with kuah kacang, what mattered most was the quality time spent together, talking and laughing till our hearts content.

But the reality today is looking at the MRR 2 near my house for two weekends back to back filled with thousands of vehicles stuck in a massive jam. Why? Because of all them were racing to attend their fourth or fifth or sixth open house, zig zagging across the city from Gombak to Puchong, or from Kota Damansara to Bukit Antarabangsa, or from Cheras to Rawang. Last Saturday was the worst I think. It was a standstill on MRR 2 from 11 am till 11pm. That is pure madness.

I guess I am also guilty for joining the bandwagon of open house hosts when I did mine last Saturday. But mind you, mine can't really be defined as open house as I only invited certain people. Because I believe smaller scale get togethers ensures quality time spent among friends, relatives and colleagues.

You may have your own views on this. And I have shared mine.

Till next Syawal...