The Merdeka Minds

Our forefathers fought and died in the war so we can live as a proud and free nation today. Every time I tried to put myself in their shoes, I will get goose-bumps, a chill in my bones. But that was the reality of life back then. They could have to let it go and enjoyed the “cooperation” with the foreign bastards; some did and some did not. I will celebrate the day for those who did not; like Tok Janggut. He was labeled terrorist by the Bastards, hunted down and hung upside down in Kota Bharu for everyone to see. No record of protest was ever mentioned by anyone during that time; thus he was truly believed by all as a terrorist and deserved to die. Maybe people were too weak to show any protest. We believed the Bastards and our coward leaders trusted the Bastards as they drove the brutal Japanese out of Malaya. And that was how we gained the freedom by sucking up to the Bastards. Freedom washed up to our shore so cheaply. The blood of our forefathers was tolerated in a negotiation in London. Are we truly free from the Bastards? We never wanted to ask that question because we are afraid of the answer. Our mind, our action even our life in one way or another are chained to the Bastards. If I were to live back then I would hopefully be one of the fighters, running around with parang or golok to chase the Bastards away from my kampong. But I was born after the war and all I could ask is why didn’t we fuck the war with the Bastards? WHY? History is there for us to learn and take lesson; not to suck on it for reasons to be contented. For some war is a crime; but if you look at it again, war is the implementation of your struggle (pengisian satu perjuangan). So if you never struggle for anything then war seems to be so far off; just like a man born on a silver plate will never understand a struggle to fight hunger or poverty. My father told me that when the Japs landed at Pantai Sabak and traveled the dusty road by their bicycles through the kampong ; he and his friends would cheered them like we cheered the LTDLangkawi race teams coming through our towns. The difference is that the same Japs would comeback and brutalized his kampong later on. All the horror stories during the war that we heard came to reality. He was in tears when recalling all those times to show his deep sense of fear and agony. The struggle of Tok Janggut was genuine but the Bastards painted it otherwise. When I passed the place where Tok Janggut was hung upside down near Masjid Muhammadi, my mind would stop thinking to let my body feel the whole scenario. The ignorance. The fear. The showcase of death. The Bastards. And the Suckers who fed the Bastards.

It was the time our people searched for their dignity, pride and values. I am not sure whether we really have got it or not but we are consistently being labeled as a lazy race who prefers to “negotiate” our ways instead of fighting for what is right to us. The minds are still “chained up” with bitter memories of the past and has slowed down our pace. Freedom is to let go the chains and be the one race that defines itself. For better or worst.

Happy Merdeka Day folks!

Remembering May The 13

When they went riot in KL, I was just a little boy; trying to find out what the old people were talking about. As I remember it, we never went into hiding or ran into the jungle or anything like that. The kampong was safe and sound; and I went about as usual to buy my favorite ice cream from kedai ah seng, as I recall it vividly. I grew up without any bad connotation of the May 13, as perceived by some of my uncles and aunties. I never knew the differences among us only people with different names and attitudes. I had a Chinese headmaster with his fat daughter, Chinese and Indian English teachers that got drunk every other day and an awesome Sikh friend named Balbir Singh. They were all people around me during my primary school(SIS(2), Pasir Mas, Kelantan,1972) which was not that far from May 13 1969. I guess in Kelantan race has never been an issue just because we are simple folks living a simple life.

But now I know life is not that simple anymore. Differences do divide us apart; among kampong folks, local community, larger society and even a nation. In America, the society has been deeply segregated for decades and the struggle towards equality between races had exclaimed with assassinations and intimidations. “I’ve got a dream, I’ve got a dream ……” shouted Martin L King to kick off civil right movement that gave birth to new America. I think it is the best manifestation of “dream” to represent constant struggle that draws a path for the future generations. Can we dream for a peaceful Malaysia? Can we dream as well to see the Malays united under one flag? Can we dream of UMNO and PAS to unite for the survival of the Malays? … or is it too far from reality ? I guess they are trying but it’s like a sand castle that is washed away every time the wave comes to shore. Well maybe the sand castle has not been built yet and both parties have already talked about the windows and the kitchen cabinet . From my less than 2sen thought, both sides are lacking honesty. You can’t pretend to be honest and ask the other party to come and join your dinner. The history has been so bitter that any move, from both sides, deems to have hidden agenda. But politics make life even more complicated; that’s why I keep myself away from politics. Politics is about doing things your way; not the right way. You defend your principles and want things to run your agenda but that’s not necessarily the right way.

I dream for a society that values tolerance and understanding. I don’t want to give up my lifestyle for the sake of harmony; neither do you or anybody else. You keep your things and I keep mine. But we need to understand each other and when things crossed, we tolerate. That’s not hard , isn’t it?

When I was abroad during my study, people were very skeptical about me as I come from Malaysia. They heard stories about the Chinese being deprived of their rights and the Malays getting all the bounties. So it was hard as these people were our own lecturers and international students’ officers. But we managed and survived with the help of our own Malay brothers and sisters to attend our needs. When we experience such difficulties due to our nature of being a Malay; then the hostility began to emerge and gave birth to a deep sense of hatred. I pray to Allah for such senses to go away and out of my life.

A Young Breed vs an Old Stallion

I am not much of a political analyst but the by-election in HS is something different. A unique fight for democracy ( read dirty-slimey-smug-of-political-ass-kicking-back-stabbing) led by two interesting faces from a diverse spectrum of Malaysian people as in Kamalanathan and Zaid Ibrahim. One is a fresh face with an awesome character and honesty in every word he uttered and another is a charismatic lawman that seems to have the world at his feet. Honestly I like them both because they represent the new Malaysia that my children will grow and raise their family in the future. Their faces , ideas and thoughts spell a big word of tolerance, honesty and liberty. The parties they represent however, are still struggling to make themselves relevant to the people. In a lot of ways, these two political hopefuls are also daunting the task to cleanse and rebrand the old and dirty look of their respective party. But that’s another story altogether.

Now the character shooting is taking place; and it seems that Zaid is ducking a lot of bullets that are coming his way. He seems cool and collected in not denying any of them. It is good to know though that he is one rich fella with a taste of high life. And for Kamalanthan…well someone is digging into his past I am sure and they should do it fast as time to the poll is getting closer. Come this Sunday the people of HS will decide which one of the two will suit them well. For I me I would like to have someone who is fluent in law of the land to represent me in Parliament. I don’t know nothing regarding the law, the constitution, the policy that govern this country ;so I want a good hand to represent me in the Dewan—and that’s really the purpose of having an elected rep in the Dewan. And clearly we can see right a way which one is a good choice—and hopefully the people of HS will know and pick the right one. That’s really all…the other surrounding issues are irrelevant and only serve to spice up the election. And we all like that very much; listening to fiery speech talking nonsense about what the others are doing badly.

I would like to see our fellow Malaysians assess the thing rationally rather than emotionally. See the hard facts rather than rhetoric inuendos….it’s no longer a game but our future. Best of luck to both candidates!

A game called “democracy”

In this modern day and age no one dares to neglect the so-called “democracy”. A game that we all play so that in the end some one will win and the losers will go home thinking that the game was fair and square. But in reality we are all scared to death when we play the game. Both sides have every bit of a chance to win and for whatever it takes we can not afford to lose. The subject at stake could be anything from small to enormously huge; and we are mean sometime….the future of a nation could be put at stake. But in the name of the game called “democracy” that is very civilized. So we play along with millions of our money spent(some goonies even spent rm77 millions of poor people money to see one black man in a white house and prove he can play the game very well!) and sometime the lives of our countrymen lost to protect the stupid game. We endured the challenges so the world will see us as one of them not some barbaric bunch of people doing their own little things. I call this democracy thing a game because of its very nature where people can be very good at it, manipulate everything to win his cause and get away with clean hands—-fair and square? For the uninitiated that’s the way how democracy goes but for a seasoned player it’s the game people play—so win the game to champion democracy. Ironically, democracy is so generic that you can put any mask on it and people still can identify it as the true nature of a modern and civilized world.

I had a brief experience leading a small association and wanted so badly to play this game called “democracy” right to the letters. I did not “play-play” or get into the hanky-pangky of things just played it bare and plain. I even put up a blank face so everyone can relate and let the democracy things play the role in every aspect of our decision making process. It was naively stupid thing to do and ended up a sore loser, isolated to lick the bleeding wounds. People don’t play the game that way as I later found out; for people to play their hearts out the game must be fun and interesting. Just like any other game it would be dull and boring if everyone play by the rules, right? People look for a good fight, a back-stabbing drama, some good ‘ol ass-kicking, name-callings, fcukers and suckers…..or something along that nature. And if you are not that kind of person better stay out of this game. Last weekend I had an opportunity to attend meeting to select a surau committee at my housing area. It’s a small surau but even here the game of democracy is played so well I thought it’s a joke. It was well planned with call for meeting well in advance and preparation to register voters being done so well. I thought we have all matured over the years and this gonna be a really “fair and square” game. How naïve I could ever be? Over the years people do not grow up in this but have got better and better manipulating it. I laughed myself although I did not find it funny at all. We were “told” to wait for the signal then cast the vote accordingly. Never go against the majority or refute the chairman. Apparently the chairman had understood the situation on how the meeting would end. And so the meeting went without any “glitches and bumps”. Everyone was happy. And that includes those who were not there but got nominated and won! As if no one among all 200 who attended the meeting is no better than those people. What a joke!
A clear indication that there is an invisible hand trying to squabble with the running of our surau. Maybe I sound a bit disappointed for not being nominated myself but honestly that is not it. Time and time again we are talking about the liberty of our own thoughts and actions without any influence from outside people; this is it . If those nominations have been premeditated, supported and won; we can never be free. The real democracy is to free our minds and actions from any foreign influence where we decide what we want and who we want to do it. We set our own agenda and execute it to the best of our ability for our own good. If in this small isolated exercise we still depend on others to make decisions then by God in Heavens when are we going to learn. We can never be free.

I am new to the surau and its surrounding community; but now I have a clear picture on how things are run and executed. The true picture is as ugly as I never thought it would be. How the minds are manipulated and the actions are fabricated. How some people have gone all the way to protect everything they believe have their names on it; for them to make sure things are as they should be. Forgetting that the surau is a public place (a house of God) for everybody to come and worship the God they believe in. So that it will not fall into some false hands that will lock it down for some strange reasons. Maybe there is a hidden agenda to foresee a bigger cause that will happen in a distant future. I don’t know but I am still soaking up the meaning of it all and the reasons behind the results after that fateful meeting.

Not far from here in Hulu Selangor, people are facing a bigger and more serious picture of the same game called “democracy”. But the clash between two or more ideologies would make the game over there more interesting and relevant to reality. A lot of seasoned players will converge to put up shadow plays and pick up some credits for their own self along the way. In the end the quiet town of KKB will remain quiet and people will be left to pick up the garbage left by the town folks as they leave for their luxury homes in the city. Just like after any other game, the players as well as the spectators will leave the field with their winning smiles or wounded hearts. No one remains except the local people wondering what do they get from all of this mess?

The day we celebrated Merdeka

The merdeka celebration seems old and outdated. No one seems to be as cheerful for the celebration as we used to. Everything from the road decorations to the TV events and the parade live telecast have been very NOT exciting—-or nowadays the young kids would use the term “juak” Have we lost the patriotism? Have we forgotten the last hero that fell in the battlefield? Have we becoming so bored with the same old stories? …the same old cliché? So many questions that we all have so many answers. It has been a long 52-year-old history of nation building. Has it seem to crumble down like the sand castles ? vanished into the thin air without any trace. Why is it happening to my home land ? to my heroes? To my history and culture ? can’t you feel the hostility wrapped up at the same time with despair and hopelessness. After a long decades we’re still struggling to understand why our neighbors discretely burn some papers or smashed some coconut shells. We have lived with that for some good years and still somewhere within we struggle to accept or not to accept the scenes and the smells as part of life.

Merdeka means different things to different people. I would take it as the time to reflect from my own experience for the good of future generations. We have friends at school, at the office or maybe just or next door neighbor that come from different race and religion. We value our origin and our faith for the strength that comes with it to endure this difficult life. The fact that no one can deny; even if they do it is out of a total ignorance. In Malaysia we still appreciate the differences that we have without intimidating each other. And that’s good, so far. But today it seems we are at lost for not getting anywhere with it. The wealth has not get us any richer; the power has not get us any mightier and the struggle has not get us any better…hhmmm maybe we should stop using that “perjuangan belum selesai” slogan…it’s so demoralizing. The sky seems to be as high as before; the sun seems hotter everyday and the wind has not blow the pain away. What we are talking about….are we fooling ourselves with new slogan and motto every time the Merdeka is insight.

The word is not “perpaduan” but understanding; because perpaduan will make someone loses something to get into the pact. Are we ready to lose our faith and heritage for the good of nothing? I don’t think so. You keep your chopstick and let me eat with my hands so we can both enjoy the meal. It sounds that simple but for the good 52 years we have failed time and again to accomplish that. The gap seems to drift further apart as we strive for the well being of our own self. I guess we will mature over time; the United States of America got their first black President over 200 years after independence. The history tells us it is a difficult path.

Our forefathers fought for us to give the land that we called ours. We must cherish that and realize how difficult it was to tell people that this is our land. We are still afraid to shout the name of Tok Janggut as our hero, or Mat Kilau and many more because of our own ignorance. Everytime I passed by Masjid Muhammadi in Kota Bharu, I would imagine how Tok Janggut was hanged upside down at the Padang nearby. There are even pictures of him from those times. He was defiant of the white men and fought to protect a few yards of his kampung land and his people. He was a true fighter and should be our true hero today. But we muddled up with the West and remain without freedom for as long as we can remember. No matter how loud you shout the so-called Melayu slogan if the hearts and souls are still chained up; it’s nothing. I guess people have started to understand the true meaning of Merdeka. The picture that is totally different from what we used to see for the last 52 years.. Like MJ used to say, look into the mirror and ask the man in the mirror……have you changed ??

Losers in Manek Urai

Another PRK another celebration in Kelantan; does not matter who wins a celebration is like a wake up call in the sleepy little town of Manek Urai. We passed MU the other day a few days before the campaign started and all we saw was empty tents and deserted kedai kopi…well of course then because we reached there at about 2 am in the morning. But the point is without big event such as PRK nothing really moves in MU. A place spelt unreachable with modern transport a few years ago. This sleepy town sleeps a little bit over 10,000 dwellers that mostly do some farming for a living. They are somehow isolated and passed-by by the road users traveling along GM-KK highway on the busy hari raya trips. It is interesting to see that these people have spoken to the world through their votes…courtesy of modern democracy. Local MU saw people come and go with their slogans and noisy ceramahs. Choked their dusty roads and filled the deserted kedai kopi. They came and then went home with stories for more kedai kopi sessions. Kelantan people like that kind of festival; maybe some looking for some fun and make up some reasons for it. The people of Manek Urai will stay for another work day in the field with what ever promises that may never be realized. You see people in Kelantan have experienced the election promises one too many…….but those fools from the big city still came with the same old stories. They might be Kelantanese but they aint no fools.
But the interesting part is that the election results have shown that both candidates have failed to deliver ( I agree with Dr Abu on this analysis). The small majority speaks for itself. How come PAS struggled so badly on home ground !?…..not a good sign I supposed. I smell an internal fight is brewing. The heat of the last Muktamar has not yet settled. Although some PAS leaders are playing the wayang kulit; we know for a fact that things are not normal. The Nasha case is still in the air and so does the Unity nightmare. And what about that “UMNO is ajaran sesat” statement by TGNA. Abe Uji failed to maintain the big majority left by the legacy Pak Su Weil and Tuan Aziz failed to push for a clear victory as done by some of UMNO candidates before.
Nevertheless, a win is still a win and Abe Uji will head for KB soon to take oath as the new ADUN. Can he stand and argue for MU people in the state assembly is a completely another story. But he certainly is the man they trust. We pray that he can deliver.

The game of politics

It has rules that nobody knows what they are exactly. The aim is of course to win no matter what the outcome is. A truly notion of a win-win situation paradigm. The players are those with high ambitions and deep pockets. They have little interest in championing the true cause of the house but they fight furiously for the title and reputation that come with it. The game is played almost everywhere ; in the election, in the office, persatuan, schools, faculties, masjid and suraus, persatuan penduduk and the like. The format is exactly the same; the degree of consequences might differ but it bares the same footprint.

Maybe we all are aware of the politics of the day : the Barisan and the Pakatan games of politics. It’s mindboggling and could turn an average Malaysian into modern Frankerstein that master the art of mad science as well as the science of anal intercourse. When your child ask about what is anal intercourse (AI) then the best possible answer to that is …”wait until you get into politics son, then you will know”.

But the game has powerful impact. It could ruin the whole country when it is not played well. The mere act of switching sides could turn the game around and thus gives a grave impact on the state and the people in it. Is it fair to let these people play around with the life of the masses? The answer is not about game they play but who is playing and how it is played. Politics are part of our life; we just could not get away from it whether we like or not. People have opinions about things. We want to run our life according to these opinions that we understand are the right ones. At the same time there are other opinions from other people that run against ours. They want their set of opinions for their own bloody life. Both sides argue theirs are the right one for the land. So the game of politics begin. We play on the big field called election and sometime on the small field called by-election; with rules referred to as democracy. Everything seems okay until the time the game starts. When the sweat starts to drip off the chin; the real spirit strikes out with greed and self-centeredness. Everything goes as long as the game is won. Money and extortion are the weapons for the 11th hour. If that do not work than wet pussy will be on the menu. Nothing can beat that, can’t it?

We like this game because everybody can play. You won ,you’d get the land. What a handsome prize! Dirty tricks are common order of the game so the soft-hearted ones can just never dream to get into the game. Good players are those with faces thick like the Berlin wall, see nothing but opportunities, feel nothing but the spirit to win and fear no one until everyone is at his feet. Politicians are like that; but great politicians have something else—the charm and the energy to drive the inner self of everyone else to believe in him….as in Barack Obama .

The four shitheads in Perak (more here) have brought the game of politics to the lowest , dirtiest level imaginable. A sad story for Malaysian politics. They betrayed the people and breached all moral values for some worldly gains. The thing is that this is real , in your face and mine so whether we like or not, we have to face it. But if the people put them into that seat than through God’s grace the power of the people will someday kick their ass out of that same seat. let’s wait who will get the last laugh!