Friday, November 20, 2009


Words can be compelling and sometimes lead to dreadful sets of what-is-he-talking-about scenario. To portray courtesy in every day's relationship, we utilize the very best of our communication ability - saying "Hi" and questions like "How do you do?" or at least a smile to people around us. In short, living in a society pre-described above promised great deal for resuscitation after long day stretch.

However, does the end justifies the means? What is the real purpose of asking for somebody's well-being at the first place knowing that you cannot do anything about it? Ya, I know, most of us named it courtesy but what's the big deal of being courteous if one is lacking of sincerity? Is that how our real society work? So, what's the purpose of learning civic lessons in school remembering all the 80+ moral values (I don't know the exact amount because I don't wish to remember them for the sake of passing the paper - that's why I only managed to get an A2 for Moral subject during SPM, I guess)

Anyway, back to business, for instance, people used to ask, "Hi Tom, how do you do today? Or the least "What's up Clark?" To you whom the question is directed, of course, it sounds comforting but to the people who are asking for the sake of courtesy, that question just now is yet another rotten smirk conjured just for you to see.

Believe it or not, almost every time, the answer to such questions will be either "Fine, thank you" or "I'm great!" If you are skeptical, make it a try. You'll be surprised with random people giving almost the same answers! And how is that possible? Again, it's because of courtesy!

No matter what's your ordeal is at that moment - whether you are at the brink of an abyss facing the greatest emotional breakdown situation of your life or stranded in an agony of sorrow, still your answer is going to be "I'm okay!" Why? Again, courtesy!

So, the question is, since it is public courtesy and you realize no matter what the situation is, you always know the answer it is going to be, why ask? That's the different between being courteous and showing sincerity.

Phrases like "How do you do?" and "Are you okay?" can be good and bad at the same time. Good in a way that people is being comforted in a short period of time of course, but at the same time it is also a bad thing to ask depending on your state of sincerity. Will you ever help to the extend of beyond your horizon?

In any given evening, have you ever stumbled upon a scene whereby you are to ask an old folk about what he is doing, knowing that he is indeed virtually doing the gardening in front of you! What if he/she answered "Can't you tell, I'm doing the gardening of course, so, will you lend me a hand?" How will you answer to that?

Or, say one of your friend suddenly answered "I'm not okay right now, I'm fall short of pennies, will you borrow me some?" How much is "some"? or will you help if that someone is a complete stranger?

I agree some may argued that, at least somebody is caring enough to ask compared to someone who keeps his/her mouth shut at all denoting his/her lack of interest. Some may say, it all depends on the other parties trustworthiness. Of course you'll never lend money to strangers.

Absurd as it maybe, I still hold on to the notion that keeping our mouths shut somehow is favorable rather than playing with people's sentiment depending on to the situations as the saying goes silence is golden rather than busy but clumsy!

Watch out your courtesy folks. Till the next posting.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


I am amused with this news reported by The Star today. Click. The news covered on the story of our very own child prodigy, Adi Putra Abdul Ghani, 10 years old who are now making his way to become a millionaire. By the age of 10, he is already a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of 2 companies and earning RM6,000 per hour of lecture.

Stories of child prodigies are no shocking incidents at all. Even before this, Malaysia (partly because her mum is a Malaysian) was blessed to have a brilliant child named Sufiah Yusof who once entered St. Hilda's College, Oxford Univ. at the age of 13 due to her deep fascination in Mathematics.

"What did you do when you are 10?"

Apart from that, there are also stories of other genius kids all around the world such as:

1. Arkit Jaswal, who read Shakespeare at the age of 5 while performing a surgery at the age of 7 and became India's youngest undergrad student to attend Punjab Univ. by 11 years old.

2. Song yoo-Geun, who performed Schrodinger equation and enrolled at Inha Univ. Korea by the age of 8!

3. Mohammad Hossein Tabatabai, who is able to recite and interpret the entire Koran at the age of 7!

4. Or consider Tiger Woods who began to play golf at the age of 2!

5. And of course, the now higly-praised teen star Miley Cyrus who in 2008, was listed in Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in The World. Forbes magazine ranked her 35 on the "Celebrity 100" list with earnings of $25 million.

While there maybe child prodigies around, let us also be reminded of those children who are less fortunate, underfed, massacred and side-lined in some other places due to terrorism, war disputes, famine and other disasters alike.

Most of us may be dragged into a conclusion that, we are less fortunate, less smart and exceptionally ordinary compared to these prodigies but remember, there's bottom millions worse.

You see, there are people who enslaved themselves dedicating ripe old 30 years of age working as a bread-winner for the family, yet in the end, dying in debts on hands while others (celebrity such as Miley Cyrus) simply hit their millions before the age of 20! Come to think of it, life seems to be unfair, don't you agree?

This brings us into seductive deductions of:

Premise 1: Miley Cyrus is rich.
Premise 2: To be rich is successful.
Conclusion: Should we become like Miley Cyrus?

Premise 3: Adi Putra is a genius.
Premise 4: Being genius is successful.
Conclusion: Should we become like Adi Putra?

I may not know what you folks there are thinking but to me, no matter what is the definition of success is, I'm still me! I guess, you should be YOU too. As for me, when I was 10, the only thing I can recall is the part when I was gallantly enjoying my vanilla ice-cream watching the then infamous cartoon Scooby-Doo.

Master Oogway in Kung Fu Panda summarized it all when he said "Yesterday was history, tomorrow's a mystery but today's a GIFT! That's why it's called the PRESENT!"

Since we cannot change nor reverse the past and that somehow we can influence the future, the greater question that needs crucial attention is "what will you become 10 years from now?" And that starts with YOU, NOW!

Till the next posting.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009


Quite a number of events (good, bad, new, old etc.) occurred these few days leaving this once hype, exuberant still in exam-mode silhouette young gun to be cornered. Thanks to the internet, though life seems pretty in hiatus (you bet, it's exam week peps!) still, each passing days continue to surprise us with shall I say, yet another mumbo-jumbo?

1. Enough said with the rankling THES-QS rankings, the recent view pose by USM's VC, Prof. Dzulkifli explains it all. I certainly amused with his argument stating that - ranking is nothing but a herd mentality takeover! Constituted of course, by geezers who had not come to their senses (at least, not for now) to figure out that old ways of ranking universities are obsolete and do not mean much for the readily extreme complicated world now we are living in. But, guess who's the one creating those mess if it's not per say, old-timer geeks from "world class" universities? If you catch my drift.

People pridely wishing to be champions of the world. Gearing up tiredlessly to meet standards in order to be ranked "world class" becomes their outermost priority. But look, few ever stumbled upon themselves asking this very important question, "whose world" or 'which world" are we talking about?

While there maybe hundreds of Nobel Laureates produced every year by this so-called celebrated "world class" universities, how much did it means to the bottom billions of the WORLD? I shall say that if you happened to be on the bustling street of New York with a penny under your sleeve, consider yourself lucky because on the other side of the real WORLD, someone might be starving to death in Kibera Slum of Kenya in Nairobi! Or, while Shah Rukh Khan may even 'own' lands on The Moon (report), thousands of people fall short of enough ration and homeless in India! This is the type of the real WORLD we are in. Unless this prevailing truth being comprehended dearly, I must say our understanding of the WORLD is seemingly limited. When I was a kid, I used to sing a song entitled "It's a small world" in Sunday School. Come to think of it, our world is the same the way it should be, the only thing which is shrinking and getting smaller is I doubt, our understanding on it!

2. Also, there was this story of an unfortunate 18 years old girl of Iban and Chinese parentage named Marina Undau from Sri Aman Division, Sarawak. Her story gained national attention when her application and appeal to enroll into one of the Malaysian matriculation colleges was apparently rejected by the Ministry of Education due to her being in non-Bumiputera (non-native) status. Click here for the news. Sincerely, in an any given day basis, termination of any application is normal - it's part and parcel of life - however, the reason given by the ministry has invoked a state of chaos on the land. The reason of the dismissal was that “the candidate is categorize as non-Bumiputera (father is Iban and mother is Chinese)” based on a definition used by the Student Intake Management Division, Higher Learning Department and Higher Education Ministry.

Their definition is as follows:

Sarawak – “Jika bapa dan ibu adalah seorang Peribumi Sarawak seperti mana yang ditakrifkan dalam Perkara 161A(6)(b) Perlembagaan persekutuan; maka anaknya adalah dianggap seorang Bumiputera.” (If the father and mother is a native of Sarawak as defined under Article 161A(6)(b) of the Federal Constitution, the child is considered a Bumiputera).

So, that is her case. She's being turned down because she is not a Bumiputera. To be frank, in the first place, the idea of being Bumis or vice versa should not arise. There's not need to be a Bumi when you are already a Malaysian. 1Malaysia concept, remember? Worse still, how can one ever permit a promised future of a girl scoring 9As in her SPM slipped away just because of silly wordings on a piece of paper? Enough already with the whole confusions, isn't it time to move forward?

Looking into this issue, I will not take it personally (though I'm an Iban myself) like others who blurted out passing judgments blinkered by emotions. Of course people can burst out and press on their feelings and complaining but don't we aware that, our whining actually complicates things more? In a democratic country, The Constitution is the supreme law and once a law is constituted, it shall be abided unless a motion is tabled in the parliment to amend the law with 2/3 majority support from all the parliment members. That's the truth. Can it be changed? Certainly!

The way I see it, in order to avoid such disgrace again in future, someone should stand up and this started with our YBs (representatives in the parliment) involvement to table up a motion to amend the law, but in time like this, when the plight of the people is at stake, where did our so-called YBs go? Sadly, most of them are cowering under the table, snuggling in comfort. Not only that, from my observations, many of our YB's married to non-Bumis, but still, the sons and daughters getting scholarships and were even sent to study overseas. How do you explain that? What a waste of my grandma's vote! If this is the case, then, I shall not voting. But, one thing for sure, given the opportunity, I'm still in favor of mix-parentage family come what may. So, bye Bumi status. I'm a Malaysian anyway.

I believed one's eligibility is not measured by one's status but his/her capability - regardless whether you are the son of a king or a farmer's daughter, should you excel in studies, scholarships and rewards are yours! No such things as double standards and as* licking here man, if you want it, prove it!

3. Recently, a video of some incorrigible young brats is circulating in the Youtube! What's the odd of a bunch of kids making video anyway? (news) Surely, it's nothing. Simple move here and there with a little bit of shuffle dance. That's all. But what triggers strain was their behavior of insolently mimicking 'solat' ritual in a church! That is completely wrong though you are a kid! Being pranksters do not mean that one can scrutinize others' beliefs. There's always a limit to anything let alone serious matter as far as religion. To my Muslim friends, I am deeply sorry for this irresponsible deed. Sometimes, some people just hate to look before leap.

This becomes my concern since that particular church of which this disgusting video was taken is my hometown church back in Betong, Sarawak - the one that used to be my sitting pew every Sunday without missed for more than 12 years because after that, I continued my study in other places. At first, I was struck to hear such news (bad news) about something that holds back countless sweet memories - of course not with the beautiful choir girls on the music chamber nor being an altar boy on the tabernacle - but of a place which you spent almost every bits of your childhood.

It still fresh in my mind, the day I was gonna recite my first prayer in front of other kids at the age of 5, the merry-making scenario during Sunday School. Not to mention Ms. Helena with her ever tender voice asking us to stay put (You know kids...) and my parents parenting on the pew style of bringing - whenever in church, you should sit in front!

I remember when there was a time when my friends Ching Ching (Buddhist), Zul (Muslim) and I were playing hide and seek just in the vicinity of the church area, yet nothing ridiculous happened, though all of us were grounded the next day as a result of Ching Ching accidentally broke some tombstone by the edge but that's all. No big deal because everyone knows their limits and holding on to respect each other. That's how it was back then. The issue of mocking each others belief and way of life is out of question! Guess nowadays kids are getting twisted by too much exposure to mass media etc.

Above all, I believed not a single religion in this world teaches their practitioners to be disrespectful towards others. It's the same goes to either Jesus or Mohammad nor Buddha and Krishna. All religions are good as they always are. The only thing less good is us, human. That's why things like these occurred. And you blame it on to religion, law and the world? Common peps, wake up!

Till the next posting.
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