Friday, August 31, 2007

Being grateful

It's midnight. The national anthem is playing. Fireworks are going off. As usual, I opt for the TV instead of braving the jams to be in the thick of things. In the crowd, more like it, and this recluse hates crowds. But deep inside I am deeply grateful. Not switching off the PM's address shows respect too, I think. We can't just watch fireworks to celebrate Merdeka.. It has to go a little deeper than that, right? Where would we be had we not won our independence from the colonialists? Even now, there are numerous obstacles in the way of true freedom.

What is it that makes our country so special? It's kind of hard to put our finger on, isn't it? Personally, I put it down to our openness and adventurousness in accepting new things while keeping in touch with our roots.

We can go out and do all kinds of things and eat all kinds of food, but back home, we still eat sambal belacan with our hands. We employ all kinds of "international" behaviours and manners of dressing, but at home, the men still reach for their kain pelikats and children still kiss the hand of their elders.

We are a mosaic of races, like a tom yam, not a melting pot where everything is liquidized out of shape. The mix is not homogenized, but it works. We know each other's 'taboos' and respect each other's religions. It's confusing to visitors, but Malaysians have 'antennae' that helps keep us on an even keel. We even learn bits of each other's languages. It's fantastic!

People have called me "westernized", even though I've never set foot in Jolly 'Ol England. I obviously love travelling. But am I proud to be a Malaysian? You bet!! I remember having dinner with a Brit and Singaporean. The Brit lamented how he felt safer and more at home in Malaysia than in his own birthplace; and the Singaporean said she didn't feel anything about going home, while I, am always happy and proud to be home after a sojourn to foreign lands. The semak-samun along the Johor highways are a pleasure to behold after the sanitary neatness of our neighbouring island. And a poster of Mt Kinabalu could move me to tears. And I absolutely love showing off Malaysian flora & fauna to outsiders. I should be a tour guide. The finer points of culture and tradition are mersmerising, even if I am, admittedly, a little (a little??) unconventional (don't you mean weird?).

Anyway, right now, I'm still striving to give back something meaningful to the nation. I do some volunteer work, but I'm hardly a super effective organised leader. Most of the time I'm just crawling along trying to get a few basic things done. I'll try harder. I promise.

So, will I always celebrate Merdeka in front of the telly? Maybe. The only kind of Merdeka 'do' I really enjoyed was our TKC tradition. Ingat tak Ija? I wonder if the girls still do the same...

Our traditional way of celebrating Merdeka was a performance by the 5th formers. They will all line up at the netball court while the others watch from the balconies. At the stroke of midnight, the bass drummer would sound the drums. The anthem would be played, a poem will be read, other things are done according to the creativity of the batch. After the central show, they will go for a procession around the college, carrying candles and singing patriotic songs... It was lovely. To this day, I still love that celebration best.

Truly, I am grateful for this freedom that has allowed me a good education and various employment opportunities. I love this freedom to be what I want to be, and the opportunity to sit as equals to people who were previously our exalted "Masters". Good or bad, whatever our weaknesses are, Malaysia is still home, and I am a Malaysian. Thank you, Malaysia.


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Shooting Yourself in the Foot

I was surprised when someone complained about our national airline the other day. As far as I know, the airline has always been reliable. Recently mentioned the incidences to my sis-in-law and she told me that the workers were on an internal strike over the payment of bonuses at that time. Apparently, only the top scorers were given bonuses and many thought it was not fair, so they deliberately slowed things down and caused delays.

The way I see it, it was shooting themselves in the foot. The airline was only just recovering from major losses. I know a lot of people worked damn hard to get things into the blue again. Selective bonuses is a way to reward only the best. In short, meritocracy. However, quite often, there is a perception of unfairness. So it is between paying a lot to a select few, or paying a little to everyone. If you pay everyone, the non-performers get lucky. If you choose a few, the good but not great ones lose out. It's not an easy decision to make.

In general, their staff are already well paid. It's not as if they're dying for the extra cash. And the problems they caused could have caused horrible accidents. As you know, safety is key when you're flying miles above the ground. And the result? They got their bonuses reshuffled, but they lost frequent flying customers. Are they aware of this? What happens if the company goes into the red because of their actions? I doubt they'll take responsibility for it. It's just another headache for the boss and his team to sort out. Go figure.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Remember those silly squabbles we had when we were children? Those that culminated in "Taknak kawan dengan awak."? Days later, we'd be playing together again, all disagreements forgotten. Funny to think such nonsense could still occur when you were full grown adults. Maybe adult betrayals of trust was harder to forgive. Maybe you still wanted a real apology. Maybe you were being childish... Kind of weird to see someone online and not being able to start the usual nonsensical banter which was once the norm.

I find that as much as I enjoy being with certain friends, sometimes it lacks the sense of familiarity, the knowing that he would understand where you came from, what you had gone through. After all, no one tells all to others. We are selective in the information that we disclose. Despite the fun impromptu shabu-shabu dinner and midnight birthday bash with a variety of cakes and culminating roti tisu supper, there is a feeling of the superficial, that all was just temporary. Soon, he would return to his world, and again, I would be left to fend on my own. Not many understand the need to belong, because they are often already there. It's a heavy price you pay for ineptitude. Sometimes you wish it isn't so.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Welcome to The World

Baby Yasmin, born 17th August 2007. Wishing you a wonderful life ahead.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Of Illusions, Delusions and Omissions

It isn't often that I call someone an ass and mean it. I did today.

I have been dealing with so much crap lately, and being lied to is absolutely the last straw.

It's pretty obvious that I was sweet on someone, yet I accepted the fact that he loved someone else. I always treated him as a friend, yet he obviously thinks I did not deserve equal consideration, because he did not think I deserved to know that he already married.

Obviously I was not a friend, I was just one of the fawning idiots who worshipped the ground he tread on. Any time we talked, he never admitted that he was already engaged or married. He would never have told me he was with the girl if I hadn't pushed.

Of all the insults in my life, this takes the cake. Have a nice life, mate. This so called friendship is over.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Screwed Geniuses

I have always said, people who created viruses and spyware, malware, spam and whatever horrible stuff on the internet should be drawn and quartered, maybe kerat 14 and fed to the dogs. Not your dogs, Loret. I kinda like them.

I read somewhere that new malware actually have their own AV scanner, which makes them undetectible and hence, unfixable. And giving up on them doesn't really work because they will only get worse! I changed my Zone Suite to PC-Cillin the other day and enjoyed about one day of happy computing. By the next morning, I couldn't even open my files, the system was that screwed. I reluctantly changed back to Zone, but now it's not installed properly and behaving peculiarly. Sigh. This "thing" is so strong it will actually hijack Spyware Doctor and Norton which I consider to be pretty good stuff, and soon, it will tamely exclaim "Congratulations! There are no spyware detected in your computer." Yeah right!

Once in a while I use the office PC and oh! what a pleasure it is working on something that doesn't jam, flicker or blip. Fed up with my comp's numerous problems, I asked my boss to buy me a new lappie and he actually promised to get me one. Ha ha.

I WAS tempted to throw this thing into the lake actually. I have reformatted, changed AV systems and done scans so many times, wasting days on end that I feel like just throwing in the towel and getting a new laptop that's smaller, lighter and problem free. Am I biased? Was it hate at first sight? I loathed this black thing that replaced my stolen silver Atec, and it has never quite worked properly since I got it 2 years ago.

Pakcik suggested that I move out all my files and do a deep system reformat. It IS a good idea, but..... Yeah, sure, I'd love to move a few Gigs of stuff out when I don't have an external HDD and spend the whole weekend babysitting the machine. I have been reformatting one section only, leaving my data untouched. So logically, the malware could be located there... Then, since any one of my files could be the culprit, what happens when I refer to one of the old files? Maybe I should learn to let go and just delete the old stuff. Ugh. I hate the idea, but it's the only thing I haven't done so far... Sigh. I HATE malware creators. Don't you people have better things to do with your God given intelligence??

Friday, August 03, 2007

Sweet, Warm, Fuzzy Wuzzy

Heh heh. No I haven't got a new 'sayang'. Still miss my P, tapi apa nak buat, boyfriend orang... Have been hanging out with Pakcik the past few weeks. We've got our 'usual' meeting place, and the 'usual' meeting time. Eventually insisted I paid my share of food. Kalau tak jadi sugar daddy la pulak. But the heart is a treacherous thing indeed. No matter how much time i spend with someone, it still misses the one it can't have. I forgot how nice it was to hear the warmth in someone's voice until I called G last night. Well, Pakcik is warm, but it's never the same, is it? It was a work thing, I didn't expect much. He never called me since our trip in June, but we talked about catching up over coffee sometime. That would be nice. Life's kind of dull these days. Just work and look for work and suffer housework and deal with problems and then fall asleep. I need so much more than this...