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Sunday, October 14, 2007

Eid Mubarak

A belated Eid Mubarak to all of you. And my thanks to all of you who made the effort to send me Hari Raya greetings.

I spent the first day of Eid with my family in Penang. At dinner last night, I watched 2 nephews, a niece and a cousin horse around on a sofa (and no, there was no partridge in a pear tree). What struck me was between the 4 of them, there was a blend of chinese, malay (and I am not even beginning to attempt to work out the ancestry of the Malay side of the family), punjabi and tamil blood-lines.

All Malaysians, all Muslims.

As with every Eid, the forced time-out is a period for some reflection. And there was a lot to think about this year.

I was in Singapore last week-end with about 200 highly intelligent, articulate, empowered individuals, all under the age of 40. We were there for the Asia21 Summit, an annual event organised by the Asia Society for young leaders from Asia and the US to share experience, develop ideas and gain strength from each other. The range was very diverse, with journalists, investment bankers, civil society activists, entrepreneurs, each one doing something significant with their lives and touching the lives of others. The most striking feature of the individuals there, I think, was their eager anticipation of the future and their belief that they could do something important to effect a change, big or small. They all looked like (and as I got to know them, I also got to know that) there was so much promise in all that lay ahead for them. As uncertain as it was.

I had trouble trying to understand how this made me feel, mainly because I was not sure what I was feeling. As the event unfolded, I began to realise that I was feeling a mix of distress and envy. You see, I realised that if things went the way they did in this country, it was no point hoping for anything. Because, whatever we did or said or hoped for, things were not going to change unless ...


Some say, that things are fine the way they are? Are they? The well to do: they do not send their kids to public shools if they can help it. Let's not pretend. The parents who can afford it send their children to private schools. We pay tolls for the highways we use. And if we can afford it, we go to private hospitals simply because we do not feel confident about the standard of medical care available. And judging by the stories we read in the papers, can anyone blame us?

So, what do we pay taxes for? Roads, we pay. School, we pay. Health care, we pay. Privatisation seems to be the most important word of the times, Islamization aside.

So, what do we pay for? I am not too sure. But I know what it is we are we are not supposed to be paying for. Corruption, endemic, core rotting corruption.

Yeah, right.

We pay for corruption. Through our noses. Inflated costs, transfer pricing. We pay for the robbery that happens around us.

Are we sure where our dollar goes? Are we sure that we aren't paying for something that we should not be paying for? Are we sure that the State is paying for what it should be for something it really needs? I am not sure anymore. Look at the Auditor General's Report. Listen to our Ministers; the self-jusitfying, self-perpetuating rubbish that they seem to believe that we believe.

Who needs the cartoons, the funny comics. The Malaysian cabinet is as much a joke as Malaysians need.

Accountability is a swear word in this country.

And does anyone in charge care? I mean, really care? I challenge: name me one person in the cabinet who is a statesman. Someone who is actually looking at the long term rather than the short term. Someone who is larger than the politics that keeps him/her afloat? Name just one, for I am at a loss.

Eid? Hari Raya? It's not there to thank the fact that we survived Ramadhan. It's there to remind us of who we are, who we should be, and who we shouldn't.

I sing Negaraku. I am a Malaysian. This country is mine as much as it is anyone else's. Were it otherwise, I would be singing Negaramu.

Eid Mubarak all, but only if you think that something needs to be done about where we are headed. And if you are, then start doing something about it.



Anonymous said...

Most probably one should ask what life/lives is meant for
From one individual, a family, a race , a society, a country, the globe and the universe to the furtherest.

The deviation can be racial, religious and so the mind. But, in common and basic is all need food to survive but depending much on the well being of a society to provide the harmonic environment for each others. Job sharing kind of society that we are in depending much on the genuine contribution of every walk of life with thankfulness to other counter parties should they be big or small. The latter parts are because of what had been inherited from their ancestors and the society and not to be too much of self-contented. Thereby selfishness or over-pride can be avoided for better harmony.

If everyone understand their role in the society is to play a part to help the harmony instead of taking chance to take advantage of others, all will enjoy the harmony.

Think of going to the wild (in the sense of undisturbed nature) where they are the net result of harmony of all species with the fragrance of trees or grass and the humming of birds and many others, we should be flattered when we have problems with a few races and religions.

Nature should have provide respective environment for all species to live in harmony so that since many many thousand or million of years, many many species had continued to stay. But, when we see how many species had gone in the past 50 years because of the ignorance of human being, we should be ashamed of. The reasons is we do not take the concerns of others, we have ignored to observe the necessary harmony with others. Same in our society. And sooner or later, we become endanger species because of minority.

Only facing the TRUTH of what are need for lives for a harmony life, and be Honest and CARE in our share of the social responsibility, then, there will be chance for the BEAUTY of tomorrow to come!



Nature takes no short-cut and so is for the harmony of society!!

amreeth said...

you're on this:

Anonymous said...

Grandpa & Grandkids
Some 20 years ago the first GC project was launched with fascination of "condominium" facilities extending also to Townhouse (in their advertisement).

"Thanks" to the "skill" of the lawyer, this was not mentioned in the S&P, resulting the Townhouse were forced to pay maintenance fee even without the facilities and paying assessment without the care from MPPJ/MPSJ and a great number were sued by the Developer. With further "skill" of some lawyers and also the Judge, they were under further obligation to pay after a 6-7 years of merry-go-round with no evidence from both sides.

I went into one of those lawyers some days ago who is still a resident of that damp place. To my surprise, he gladly said that he is happy to have the Townhouse without facilities and he didn't bother that they are still missing the normal 10% of an open space as recreational area for the Townhouse and they are still under pressure to pay maintenance fee. He further declared that WHAT WAS NOT IN THE S&P, they cannot chase after even they are aware that the 10% is normal and something was mentioned in the Development Order that they are missing!

From a family photo, I understand he was a Grandpa with several Grand kids.

A QUESTION FROM THE BOTTOM OF MY HEART is "Does he know what he had done that will affect his Grand children?"

He had left injustice to continue to his grand grand grand generations!!!

I believe this is only an small example of why the society had been and will be worsening when those in the professional didn't and doesn't care about what their prejudice or ignorance had and will rotten the society where their grand or grandgrand kid will have to face.


So far, I had not met one in the past 3-4 years to say something fair about even this incident from the legal point of view!!!

Chicken Feet aka KaKiaYam said...

MIS, many share your feelings. Helpless yet hopeful,
Hopeful yet helpless.
You are not alone, and this should be comforting to you and me, and most of us.

The happenings around us challenges what we believe in. On a personal level, my faith in God was shaken when more of these incidence of injustice happening. I start to question the existence of God, His will and His purpose.

But my faith is still in Him, believing that things will turn out to be good, well and perfect, in His time.

Anonymous said...

sad isnt it. country is run by a suppossedly religious and clean person but his actions and inactions are full of the big "C". yes, corruption is cancerous and spells death for the country.
yet, he thru his CJ and AG talk about replacing the secular common laws with islamic laws. trying to portray his religious intensity? such hypocrisy.

Anonymous said...

I consider "reincarnated dead" an inslut

Samuel Goh Kim Eng said...

People on earth who do really care
Belong to a breed that's truly rare
With truth in hand how many still dare
To court the whole world naked and bare

(C) Samuel Goh Kim Eng
Fri. 26th Oct. 2007.