Saturday, December 31, 2011

A review of 2011 - Part 2 - Happiness, Sadness, Death, Life, Lessons

So what makes a good year?
Where the good experiences outweigh the bad?
Or that we have learned to be better through the mistakes, hurts and regrets? Good or bad, there will always be both and somehow, both good and bad eventually balances itself.
For every bad experience, there will be a good lesson. For every good experience, there will be an end to it eventually. Like they say, every cloud has a silver lining.

The second part of my review talks of both.

I have experienced the departures of dear family members of my friends.

One, a close friend, Daren, whose friendship has transcended time...a friendship over 25 years is certainly no easy feat. It was indeed painful to see him going through what he did. And even in the funeral, we could see the love of a son towards his father, the hopes he has and the regrets of not being able to fulfill the hopes for his father. But at the end of the day, life is as such and these are things that life throws at us. And I hope time will not make his memories towards his father any less, but perhaps will lessen the hurt of losing someone so dear.

And the other, the father of my junior Boss at work, Peter.
We have seen time and time how he had tried to juggle work while attending to his father's ill health. It was indeed tiring, even watching vicariously from where we are. But at the end of the day, perhaps death was a more comforting outcome than fighting cancer. It is painful yes, to have him see the loss of his dear father.
At the funeral service, this was were I have had a chance to listen to one of the more heartfelt and beautiful of eulogies. Peter, being a litigator, definitely knows how to speak in Court. But an eulogy is different from a court submission. And here is where I heard, perhaps something beautiful about commitments of a father, sacrifices for his children, life and eventually death in a single speech.

And then, as the end of 2010 showed me a revelation, that I am diagnosed as diabetic. It wasn't an easy taking it. It was a huge blow to my face. I couldn't for the love of God, tell anyone about it. Only those who are closest to me, family and my closest friends would eventually know. That called for a drastic change in lifestyle. I have given up many things but this was something new altogether. But heck, a year has passed and I'm still alive. So I thank God for that :) I now love my drinks sugar free. And I'm also much healthier than I was before my diagnosis. It's a challenge i have to take and something I will have to live with. :)

I would also learn that I have much to buck up in my work. As my boss had said, my assessment is very much different now and I should be able to take charge of more things and learn to assess things independently. Somehow, I am still afraid of doing that, but it isn't an option that I can pick. It's something that I need to do. Its a challenge to myself, and a challenge that I know, have the ability to see through. I just need His guidance and His help to give me the strength to discern and to see things through.

Of course, what is life without good memories? Much has been achieved too this year. I got a new car, a new watch, an Iphone 4S (Now, I'm always connected and I wont have to sms for updates and information; especially during rallies aha), but this are all superficial and material.

The bigger achievements this year, how we stood up against fear infliction and tyranny of rule during Bersih 2.0, something monumental for the us, the church, my friends and the people of Malaysia. And perhaps that was the last great rally after the passing of the Peaceful Assembly Bill. We fought against the Bill - Kill the Bill as they say, but failed. But it only spurred us for a hunger for change and come 2012, elections, the tides will turn. In any event, we will continue to fight for a better Malaysia.
(If you think that these events do not concern you at all, then I feel gravely sorry for you and I hope that you will understand that these fights, are for, if not this generation, then for the generation that is to come; i.e your children. And I hope in time, you will join this wave of change.)

On the world stage, we have seen waves of protests, bringing change, particularly the Egypt uprising, the toppling of Gaddafi's Libya and more uprisings within the Arab Spring. We have seen the death of a dictator in Kim Jung Il. Change is happening all around. For the better or for worst? We may not know for sure, but we do know that changes are overdue.

Closer to home, also I have grown closer to my colleagues of whom are all different in their ways but yet, shown much humility and kindness and also sharing the same sense of humour. I have seen them over the years, but only as colleagues and as I get to know them better, they are true and genuine friends. I'm blessed to have meet people like them over the years. And over the years, I am also blessed to have met good friends and people I still stay in touch with. I hope this trend of blessings continue on.

So, I also feel that in some ways, 2012 may be an extension of 2011, all that is left unsettled and not left behind. Things that I still need to deal with. Ghosts of which have yet been fully exorcised. I hope I may see an end to some things and start afresh with new things. It will take time but with His grace and strength, I know i will pull through.

May we all have a better year ahead and may 2012 be a year of overcoming challenges and greater revelations.

Happy New Year All! Let's make 2012 a blast!

I leave you with something I picked up along the way. Two of the quirkiest stars in Hollywood :)



Monday, December 12, 2011

A review of 2011 - Part 1

AS 2011 closes in, in retrospect, so much has been done, and yet sometimes, it feels as if it's so little.

And yes, I have a December curse, I seem to be getting it a lot during the month of December. Well, to sum it up, I tore my Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) and my medial collateral ligament. The good news is, the Doc informed me based on the X Ray reports that there was no fracture. But the MRI shows something grimmer and with stories of friends who came through hell and back from an ACL reconstruction, I was praying that it wasn't an ACL tear. But as earlier mentioned, it proved to be. Arrr..darn...

Well, it happened during the Firm futsal tournament. 1 win 1 lost and one more to play for. Being Captain for a team is nice. Tried to be as competitive but also reminded my team to have fun while playing. And the third game, up against my Bosses team and folks I know who were seasoned players, I relished the challenge. But as circumstances were anything to go by, I had an unusual tumble and my foot caught the turf while my body twisted along with my knee and then I realized, this is it. My first knee injury.
Ok, really its nothing to be proud of, but these are things that happened when you least expect them to. Well, you live by the sword, you die by the sword? ahaha

Anyway, December hasn't truly ended yet, so there may be a different twist to the ending of my 2011 story.

Ah...the story of my life.

Alright, once again in retrospect, 2011 was a year of revelations. The people I meet, the people I've become closer to. The people whom you think you know, but not always who they are. Revelations of who you trust and who you should be more cautious with. It's interesting really.

At work, what was once a tranquil department, although ripples appeared now and then, things are finally revealed. Perhaps it came at a cost, but it was something that needed to happened as the dirt under the carpet long swept became visible and apparent. It's cleansing time. It has to happened and it's a positive thing that it happened.

Yeah. I speak in summaries. Well, as a friend of mine said, "there's trouble in paradise". How apt.

So, I leave you here with pictures of my lovely knee brace.
I was branded Robocop by the Despatch boys in my firm and Forrest Gump by my cell group members. This became Robogump.
All hail Robogump!!

I may do a bucket list in 2012. That would include doing stand up comedy. Hey, Never try never know right?

OK. Till my next post before 2012 scratches my door!





Saturday, November 26, 2011

The Peaceful Assembly Bill - A curtailment of rights

On 16 September 2011 after promises of reform i.e. the repeal of the ISA amongst others, was announced by our PM, we had for a moment a glimmer of hope. We were however also told that there will be two new pieces of legislation to replace the ISA, the Banishment Act and the OSA.
We waited with bated breathe.

Just last week, a new bill was tabled. One that the PM claims to be revolutionary and to improve the rights of individual freedom. Once again, talk is cheap. It's easier to make blanket statements and pray that people buy these statements as truth.

Unfortunately, upon a review of the Peaceful Assembly Bill, we know now that the contents of the bill are far from progressive, but in fact even more repressive and draconian and is a worst off than the Police Act. Already, the need to obtain a permit to assemble peacefully under the Police Act is unconstitutional as it curtails the fundamental liberties set out under our Federal Constitution i.e. Article 10 which gives us the right to assemble peacefully.
If there is a need for a permit, and one which can only be issued by the Police, then it makes the Police higher than the law of the land, the Federal Constitution.

Anyway, below are the FAQ's compiled and published by the Bar Council's Constitutional Law Committee. And perhaps, whoever you are, wherever you are, if you are Malaysian, or sympathetic to the Malaysian cause for freedom and transparency, then this is reproduced in this blog for your benefit:-

The Government is currently trying to pass the Peaceful Assembly Bill 2011 (PA2011) in Parliament. PA2011 seeks to restrict and regulate the freedom of assembly guaranteed under Article 10(1)(b) of the Federal Constitution. Once the Bill is passed by the Dewan Rakyat and the Senate, and it receives the assent of the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong, it will become law and can be enforced against all Malaysians and non-citizens. Below is an explanation of some of the key provisions in PA2011.

Q: What does PA2011 say?
A: Amongst other things, PA2011 says:
- 'Street protests' are banned.
- Notice of an assembly must be given to the police within 30 days before the assembly date.
- The police can impose restrictions and conditions on the conduct of the assembly.
- If organizers or participants do not comply with the restrictions and conditions, the police can arrest them and disperse the assembly.
- Not complying with the restrictions and conditions is an offence. On conviction, a person can be fined up to RM10,000.00
- The police have wide powers to disperse the assembly.
- A person who fails to disperse when ordered by the police commits an offence. On conviction, the person can be fined not more than RM20,000.00

Q: what is an "assembly" under PA2011?
A: Under PA2011, gatherings of the public or if it is a private venue, so long as it is for the time being open to or be used by the public. For example, a public forum held at a private venue could, for the time of the forum, be considered to be an assembly under PA2011.

Q: Are there exceptions in PA2011 to the requirement to notify the police of an assembly?
A: At the moment, the only gatherings that do not have to be notified to the police are religious assemblies, funeral processions, wedding receptions, open houses during festivities, family gatherings, family days held by employees for the benefit of employees and their families and general meetings of societies or associations.

Q: What restrictions and conditions can be imposed by the police on an assembly?
A: The police can change the date, time, duration and the place of the assembly. The police can limit what the participants can or cannot say or do. The police can impose conditions regarding payment of clean-up costs and any inherent environmental factor, cultural or religious sensitivity and historical significance of the place of assembly. Importantly, the police can impose any other restrictions which they deem necessary or expedient.

Q: Does PA2011 say that certain people cannot join an assembly?
A: Yes. Children below 15 years of age and non-citizens cannot participate in an assembly. Also people under 21 years cannot organise assemblies.

Q: Under PA2011. are there specific places where assemblies cannot be held?
A: Yes, assemblies cannot be held at or within 50 metres of dams, reservoirs. water catchment areas, water treatment plants, electricity generating stations, petrol stations, hospitals, fire stations, airports, railways, public transport terminals, ports, canals, docks, wharves, piers, bridges marinas, places of worship, kindergartens and schools. This means for example, that you do not need to notify the police of a religious assembly (see the earlier questions) but you cannot hold an assembly at a place of worship. Also, if you live within 50 metres of a kindergarten or school, you cannot hold an open house for a festival, a funeral procession or a wedding reception in your house.

Q: Does PA2011 ban street protest?
A: Under PA2011, "street protests" are banned and this has been confirmed by the Government in the media. However under PA2011. processions (i.e. group gathering in one place and moving towards another) still seems to be permitted under the meaning of "assemblies". Therefore PA2011 appears to allow the police to decide what is a "Street Protest" and what is a "procession". If the police say that an assembly being organized by Group A to gather at one place and move to another is a "street protest", it will be banned . If the police say that an assembly being organized by Group B to gather at one place and move to another is a "procession", it will not be banned and the police will allow Group B to proceed.

Q: Does PA2011 allow the police to use tear gas, water cannons and batons on participants at an assembly?
A: PA2011 does not prevent the police from using tear gas, water cannons and batons on participants at an assembly. Under PA2011, the police can use "all reasonable force" to disperse an assembly in certain circumstances but PA2011 does not say what " all reasonable force" means.

Q: Under PA2011, do the police have to give warning before using "all reasonable force" to disperse an assembly?
A: PA2011 does not say that the police must give warning to the organisers or participants to disperse before they can use all reasonable force to disperse an assembly.

Q: When does PA2011 become law?
A: PA 2011 is currently (25.11.11) a proposed law before the Dewan Rakyat. Once passed by the Dewan Rakyat, it will go before the Dewan Negara. Once it is passed in the Dewan Negara and the Royal Assent is obtained, the Minister of Home Affairs will fix date for PA2011 to take effect.



Understand the above. We all need to oppose legislation such as these. This in it's simplest meaning or reading, shows no signs of progression of fundamental liberties and rights. You can read this in the BC Constitutional Law Comm website as well here.

What can you do?
Support the Bar Council's initiatives to have the PA2011 amended -
http://www.malaysianbar.org.my/notices_for_members/walk_for_freedom_2011_peaceful_assembly_bill_cannot_and_must_not_become_law.html
IT MUST NOT BECOME LAW!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A Night to Remember - KL Bar Charity Night 2011

The Annual KL Bar Charity Night came and went. 30 September 2011 to be exact.
After weeks of practice, The Skelchys finally got their 10 minute opportunity to act like superstars.
:) Was the performance good? Judging from the crowd, I hope so. But the energy from the crowd was there, and I suppose The Skelchys fed on that energy. If The Skelchys managed to entertain, then it was all that mattered. Whether they were good, bad, terrible, that wouldn't have mattered anymore :)

So who are the Skelchys? Ah Bob, Schnausser, Kitty Kat, Sunny Moon, Musico and Captain Cheese McSkelch thats who.

Actually the Skelchys are:-

Ahmad Fadzly :- Vocals, guitar
Sasha :- Vocals, looking pretty
Abdullah Khubayb:- Bass
Joshua Tong:- Lead guitar
Jacklyn See:- Keyboards
Yours Truly:- Drums


Anyway, The Skelchys managed to belt out 3 songs within the 10 mins time frame. No, actually they exceeded it, but then again at that point, whose counting?

3 Songs - U2's Beautiful Day, Katy Perry's Teenage Dream and one of my personal favourite headbangers, Blur's Song 2.

Below are the videos:-

Beautiful Day




Song 2


Hey, at least we tried :) hahaha. Oh yeah, I think Guy Fawkes was also spotted somewhere behind the drum set.
Then again, it was a good run :)

Anyway, the Charity Night was quite a good one. Many good performances especially the dance number from Lee Hishamuddin, when Raph and co did the Gee dance. It had me in stitches and we accompanied that dance at the encore!
Black Asphalt was good too. I liked their number cause it has a climatic end and well, quite thematic to say the least.
Aga was excellent in his acoustic set. Too bad it the crowd was kinda loud, so I suppose a jazz setting would have perhaps suited his performance. But beyond the crowd noise, his rendition of Tracy Chapman's Cars was good.
The dance number by OIT was also good, very well done and I suppose it captured the essence of Lady Gaga. Too bad I dont fancy her :)
Barcode was terrific too and See Xian brought the house down with the Consti Comm theme song.
Unfortunately we missed some performances like Iylia's and also Fourplay's. Would have wanted to be there much earlier, had we not been stuck in the Friday Night KL jam. Still horrible.

Well, there were many good looking people. Girls aplenty :) Hahaha. And ok, guys too I must say. IT was good catching up too with many people I know. After all the legal profession is a small one and one of solidarity. So, we know people who know people who know other people.

SO it was a memorable night, and I'm putting this down in writing so I could one day look at this post and reminiscent :) Until the next event, The Skelchys will be back :)

Also, thanks to the Members of the Skelchys, i.e. Fadzly, Sasha, Abdullah, Josh and Jacklyn. The people behind The Skelchys.

The pictures are as below. Well, its an older camera. So bear with it :)




Monday, October 3, 2011

The way of a Warrior


I took a day off just to take a break from work.
Nope. I hardly take day offs for traveling. No travel itenary beyond the horizons. Just a day of rest.
But also managed to perhaps catch a really awesome movie. A sleeper of a good movie, something that has perhaps gone beneath the radar of blockbuster movies.

Well, actually, my life group members watched it on Wednesday. I was told by Colin and Joo Na that the movie was awesome. I was perhaps more convinced when even Joo Na said that she loved it. Haha...hey, it sounded like another Kung Fu movie (those were my first thoughts) and when Colin told me it was a movie about the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship), 2 brothers and an estranged father and it's a drama, I thought of the other fighting movie with 2 brothers. Yes, you guessed it, Mark Warlberg and Christian Bale's The Fighter. Also another one of the movies up there on my list of greats.

So, with the premise, it seemed like it was too good not to be missed. So, on my day off, I watched it with Desmond and Wyzek.

It was awesome. It had drama. It had action. It had the makings of an Academy Award winner. Although the premise is almost similar to The Fighter (which had a Rotten Tomatoes "fresh rating" of 91%), Warrior did not fare far, with a healthy rating of 84%.

The movie brings sibling rivalry to new heights. Where the pain is not just physical, but emotional as well. It's a tale about two brothers who joined the Sparta tournament, kinda like a Super Bowl for UFC. at least thats what the commentators mentioned in the movie itself. The brothers are played by Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton. Both played their characters well. Tom Hardy plays the younger brother who is an ex-marine but with a vengeance and turmoil. Joel Edgerton plays the older brother who has his own problems of facing foreclosure on his home. And then you have Nick Nolte who plays the estranged father who is also a recovering alcoholic who tries to reconcile with his sons but to no avail. The premise already sounds like a modern day drama on dysfunctional families. As intense as the drama was, the action scenes were intense and brutal as well.

There is no good or bad in this movie. Just a matter of sides. But even, then by the end of the movie, you just couldn't take sides because you would root for them both. It's a feel good movie that has it's sad and depressing moments. And even the ending, I swore I would have shed a tear, if i did see someone else doing it.

I suppose, the bottomline is, its one of the movies to watch this year. Better than a lot of fluff in the summer. This ain't a summer movie, but it is an intelligent one no less. Like the Fighter, only more intense and brutal.

So, I leave you here with the trailer. If you think it's interesting, have a go :) I know I loved it :)



Thursday, September 15, 2011

A Malaysia Day like no other


There was never Malaysia Day. Only until recently, Malaysia Day would seen to be more important than 31 August 1957, the independence day of Malaysia.

Malaysia Day however marks an even more important event. That the two Borneo states, Sabah and Sarawak are now a part of Peninsular Malaysia. On 16 September 1963, Malaysia was truly formed.

But a day before this historical day, there was even more news to rejoice in. The PM of Malaysia, perhaps under extreme pressure, has finally repealed the the Internal Security Act, the Emergency Declarations, the Banishment Act and perhaps more freedom under the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 without the annual review of the licences for printing presses. Good news. But long overdue.

After past events of Ops Lalang back in 1987 when press licences of mainstream newspapers were revoked and these presses returned without independence anymore, the extensive use of ISA during these times, during the events of Hindraf in 2008, the use of the Emergency Ordinance not too long back in the events pre Bersih 2.0, and many more which I may not be privy of, It's time these draconian laws were to be abolished.

At least for now, the repeal of ISA seems imminent. Long overdue indeed. Not only has the opposition been fighting for its repeal, NGO's alike and even the Malaysian Bar saw the need to reform arbitrary laws such as these.

Of course, the question would begging to be answered would be, why now? Because the PM fears that he will lose the next and upcoming elections and these laws would then be detrimental to him? Or does he finally see the need for reform (seriously....you don't just open your eyes all of a sudden when things were always blatantly in your face). We won't know the reasons in truth, but at least for now the move is a welcomed one.

Of course, laws on internal security would be enacted. Two new laws in fact as pronounced by our de facto law minister, Nazri Aziz will be tabled, drawing ideas from laws enacted in UK and the US, eg, the Patriot Act post Sept 11. Lets just hope these laws will no longer be used according to the whims and fancies of the government. We place that hope for better and fair legislation. But we, as the Rakyat should always be on guard and to voice our grievances whenever injustice is seen to happen. It will happen at some point, but I take comfort in the fact that the Rakyat is more vocal about social justice in an exciting era such as this.

All in all, as was earlier said, the move is a good one and perhaps makes this Malaysia Day even more significant than the rest as the fight to abolish ISA has finally crystallize. Indeed the word 'repeal' is so much better sounding than 'review' under these circumstances.

So, its a good day for changes, when changes are long overdue.

Happy Malaysia Day people. Let the good times roll and keep up the good fight!

my only other beef is...what of the Emergency Ordinance?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Love

Love is something I seldom blog about. Not because I think love is for sissies or that I do not respect the idea of love, but often times love involves emotions. :)

But to say that, would be selfish of me, cause that is my perception of love. But love in all it's forms transcends everything else. :)
It transcends prejudice, it transcends hate, it transcends pride. And how beautiful then Love is.
From the love of two young lovers, two elderly couples, the love of a father and a mother towards their children, and the innocent love of children towards all things pure, to the love of a brother to another brother and a sister to another sister or vice versa, uncorrupted feelings towards one another and the love of friends towards one another.
How wonderful love is.
And here is where I quote 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 from NKJV (New King James Version, my personal favourite), love is all these :-

"Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself and is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil, does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth, bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails..."(there is more actually, but I shall stop at this point)

and yet it is said in 1 Corinthians 13:13 :- "And now abide faith, hope, love, these three, but the greatest of these is love."

:) Sounds easy? No. Love is never easy. But if you take away its biblical context and see the verses as they are, as though they were some circular message, then you will see that this is the love that is perfect :). As men we are fallen, but it does not, in any way, deny us the fact that we should aim towards perfect love. Be it friends, family, special ones, animals. :)

The greatest of these is Love :)



Saturday, September 3, 2011

A Birthday Wish to Mom

Wow, first and foremost, I must say I'm not impressed with the new Blogger interface. Maybe I'm just nostalgic or just to lazy to adapt to something new. Maybe I should adapt. Oh well, Doesn't really matter which interface I use. If change is imminent, then change it will be. But not today.

Today, my mom celebrates her 63rd birthday. This is one way of wishing her I suppose. An elaborate post. Well, we only have one mothers in our lifetimes and that's why we treasure them most. My mom, has been a constant reminder of what patience, sacrifice and grace is to me. To me and my sis. And above all, love, which probably embodies the above traits that I just mentioned.

If I were to be given a chance to choose any mother in the world, I wouldn't want that because I'm blessed enough to have a mom such as mine.
She has been, and I'm being literal here, been by my side a lot, especially so much so when I was younger. You see I was quite a sickly kid and asthma attacks were very much part of my annual calendar. And this asthma attacks often lead me to the hospital for daily occupancy. That bad huh. But, you see, even in her busy working schedule, my mom would be there to look after me. Day and night. At least when she does not have to work, she will be there to look after me, and these are the memories that I'm most fond of. I mean not the fact that I'm in the hospital, but that my mom was always there for me. And every time I was discharged from the hospital, toys I did not get, but my mom would get me those picture cards I'm so fond of. (You see, I was quite and imaginative an artsy freak when i was a kid).

And as we were growing up, I remembered my mom trying to give us tuition. Yeah. She actually read the Alam dan Manusia textbooks and tried to teach us. I mean it worked. So i was proud to say that in my primary education, I wasn't as privileged as those who attended tuition, simply because I didn't need to. My mom taught us and it saved us a hell lot of money. HAHaahaha! And plus, I was quite a bright kid then. Back then at least.


Anyway, as we were growing up, Mom say the need for finances for education of both my sis and I. I suppose it was a difficult decision for both my parents but she decided to ply her trade in Singapore because of the superior currency exchange compared to our RM. That is perhaps one of the biggest sacrifices any parent can do for their kids. Of course, it also gave us a chance to go to Singapore to visit her and well, do some shopping on the sidelines, ahaha. But that's a different tale altogether. She was a nurse in Gleneagles Hospital, Singapore and that's also where we hear stories of how Singaporeans are not too fond of Malaysians. Well, not all I suppose but in the working world, perhaps its always harder. But even so, my Mom went against the odds and came out strong :)


Well, the bottomline is if I can sum up what my mom is, i would say that she is a
superwoman. It's not easy juggling work and having to take care of her children but she did just that.
There are no perfect mothers in this world. But a mother's love is no less perfect :)

"Mother is the name for God in the lips and hearts of little children" ~William Makepeace Thackeray. This was quoted in the Crow. And what a message it brought. :)

I wanted to wait for Mother's Day to write this post. But alas, mother's day is a tad too far and it's my mom's special day. So, special blogpost for her in that regard :)

So, to my mom on her special day. Happy birthday mom! We love you a lot, back then, now and for the days to come :)




Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Happy Merdeka Raya

Perhaps for the first time in say, my 10 years in KL, I'm spending Hari Raya (or in this case Merdeka Raya in conjunction with 2 festive events, i.e. Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Eid ul-Fitr in Arabic and our own Independence Day aka Hari Merdeka) in KL.

With the hope of clear roads, as it has been on Monday and I must say it was a joy to go to work on clear roads, I was quite wrong when it came to shopping malls. Yes, the crowd in shopping malls, especially Mid Valley and Sunway Pyramid, both of which I went on the first day of Hari Raya, was simply, crowded. But in a good way. You see people simply hanging out or getting bargains out of the Hari Raya sale period and I suppose I got myself some work clothes too. Much needed I must say ever since I lost that much weight.

Well, anyway, it has been a almost 2 months since BERSIH 2.0.
And for once, my Merdeka celebrations didn't seem hollow. In fact, I had tea with a friend of mine, Aaron and today, we reminiscent once more 7th September 2011, when the physical show of unity was resounding. And through that, I have met many new faces as well, and people who share the same vision for Malaysia and for the future of it.
It's a beautiful vision, where race and religious barriers are broken. I have learnt as much as well. And it was a beautiful lesson. And today, hearing more stories on the accounts of BERSIH 2.0, on how the Malays have sacrificed their safety by letting us Chinese, walk through the back alleys of Tung Shin Hospital first before the Police came arresting. I didn't see it happening, but those stories encouraged me a great deal.

For all the talk about how the Malay race would 'lose' their privileges by joining hands in unison for a walk that impacted the nation, they had so much to lose and yet, they gave an example of how much change they desired a change for a better Malaysia, one that is free from corrupt practices and for good governance. For that, we, as the other races joined in the march as well knowing well that our vision was a shared one. But that was in September.

Well, we shared some views on movies and comedy skits as well. It's always nice too, to know that your friends are going to be proud parents as well and I would like to congratulate Aaron and Shin Yee for that. :)

And also after dinner, the discussions with a good friend of mine, Daren on what 1Malaysia is about. I disagree with his views and vice versa, but the discussions were good and opened up our views towards things.

Today, as I update Facebook statuses and observe others, people are more vocal about change. This is good. Whether they agree or not, at least discussions are more proactive. Thanks to platforms like Facebook and Twitter, information and views are easily shared. Yes, we all have different views on things, but it doesn't mean that we don't respect the views of others. :)
And looking at this, it encourages me even further, and hence this year round, my Merdeka celebrations seemed more meaningful.

Perhaps the adverts that have been shown on TV (minus of course the NTV 7 Ad, which perhaps we took it all too seriously) the most meaningful one, without so much as a show of 'unity' of races so often portrayed in our tv adverts during these times, would be the DIGI advert.
It doesn't speak of unity, but it speaks of us as individuals and also Malaysian. And it speaks on forgiveness, which is always thematic with Hari Raya Aidil Fitri.

And so it is here that I also seek forgiveness for all the things that I have done, the wrongs and the hurts I have caused people.
You may have been offended by my views and actions and I'm truly sorry.

So to you, whovever you may be, or if you know that it is you:-

I'm sorry for being a loser.
I'm sorry for being an arrogant SOB.
I'm sorry for being impatient
I'm sorry for not being a better boyfriend
I'm sorry for not being a better son
I'm sorry for not being a better employee at work
I'm sorry for being arrogant on my views
I'm sorry for not being a better friend.....

Forgiveness is indeed something given through grace. I don't suppose you can earn it. I know I can't. Be it on religious grounds or forgiveness from other people.
But to forgive is often more rewarding than to be forgiven.



As the ending quotes in the advert states "forgiveness does not change the past, but it brightens the future". That, like it or not, rings true in life.

To all my muslim friends, be it Malay, Chinese, Indian, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Maaf Zahir dan Batin. And Happy Merdeka 2011!

May the best years of our country be ahead of us and for days to come :)




Sunday, August 21, 2011

3000

3006 hits. :)
Nice.
Thanks for reading all the nonsense that I have posted up thus far.

Remember now, you made it a point to read and waste your time doing so.

No one forced you into this.

But yes. :) Thanks all for reading.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Homegrown Talent. Past / Present / Future - Part 2

Juliet the Orange





I would have loved to linked the original MTV. Cause I thought it was brilliantly made. There is some gothic semblance to it. I think they were originally called something else, called Broodwyn when I first heard of them in this no defunct programme called Alternatif. Their music was initially goth-pop. I suppose Juliet the Orange sounded better. Their music is pretty haunting but good nevertheless.
Good music from these two lasses , Pin Lean And Mei Mei. If only they continued :)

Naked Breed





Pretty good stuff. Good riffs, nice vocals. They were the band to watch and listen back in early 2000. But then they went on a hiatus. Don't really know where they went. And then they appeared with this new single entitled Cruise Control. Really awesome stuff. Typical straight up rock stuff. I suspect there is a line up change though. Oh well, Enjoy people. :)

Love Me Butch





This band needs no introduction in the Malaysian music scene really. Hardcore rockers. Music akin to the likes of Alexis on Fire, Norma Jean and others. Screamcore, Emocore. I suppose those labels are interchangeable. But make no mistake, they made quite an impression opening for the likes of Deftones and also Incubus if i can recall. Full of energy therefore me likey.
And they have a new album coming out soon :) Can't wait!



Jason Lo





Ok. Known just as Lo previously, but now Jason Lo, CEO for Tune Talk and also occasional Radio Deejay. To be fair, his music was pretty tame. Not exactly metal or hardcore. But rock. Melodic to say the least. But I do enjoy his music and some of his songwritting is really good. :) The videos are quite class too. Never thought he was Malaysian when i first chanced his first video, Evening News. Sad that he is a Chelsea fan though.

Zee Avi





Seriously, she is a megastar now. Picked up by jack Johnson and now her music is produced under his label. Walmart commercials use her song. It was featured in Parenthood. Makes me really proud to be a Malaysian. Knowing that we can not just scratch the surface, but break barriers internationally.
So i leave you here with two of her songs which I favour :)
The second one entitled 'Kantoi' is pretty tongue in cheek. Heck you can even sing to it! Gotta love it. :)

Rosevelt



Relatively new to the scene I suppose, but already making waves. Heard from Joshua, who is the guitarist for the band and also a friend and ex church mate, that they were going to opened for Incubus' 3rd gig in Malaysia. And No doubt I'm sure they made quite an impact. Still waiting for their album though. But the future for Malaysian music is bright with these chaps.
Keep Rockin' Fellas! :)

Yuna





Yuna. Like Zee Avi, her music is pretty folksy. But her voice is edgier and honestly, I would say she edges Zee Avi slightly. I prefer her music too. Nice simple, but the lyrics are pretty profound. :)
And the videos shown above remain my favourite. Heck, she is my current favourite Malaysian singer at the moment and I have blogged about her once.
Decorate still remains as a favourite of mine. Simple, but nicely layered.

SevenCollar T- Shirt





I first heard their music when I bought their debut, Freeway...something something it was pretty much experimental. I didn't really enjoy their music then. Until I was in a colleagues car and i heard their latest album, The Great Battle. I was instantly hooked to their melodic brand of experimental rock this time round. Perhaps they were edgier and more distortions.
In any way, they converted a non fan into a fan in an instant.
NOt surprisingly, I later went to the nearest 7-11 to pick up their latest album.
No regrets ever since :) None

Goodnite ppl. Do contribute if you think u have local talent that you wanna share with the people in the blogging community.


Monday, August 15, 2011

Homegrown Talent. Past / Present / Future - Part 1

Ok. I know there is still the part 3 of the Christian Bands in the 1990's which I have yet to complete. The Procrastination has kinda left me lazy blogging about it. But eventually I will.
Anyway today's post pertains to our local homegrown Talent. Too often we say that Malaysian artistes are not good enough. That we are copycats of a genre set up far ahead by the bands in the US of A, the UK and even....well, Europe.

Well, fact is, back in the 90's and early 2000, I have made many purchases of really cool homegrown music and until now, I'm left as a fan. They have certainly left me dry and wanting. Of course their music style may change over time. Some retain their genre, whilst others cross over.
Anyway, Malaysia has talent and perhaps this blog may be a testimony of it.
Please, do understand that I won't blog about pop music. These are stuff that I like. And they are definitely of the edgy kind.
OK I may throw in some pop tunes or R N B tunes here and there. But remember, these are the music that I was and is still fond of. So Please contribute any ideas or suggestions if you have em, and I will try to include them in future posts.
For now, this space is mine to manipulate !! ahhaha..Here goes:-

Pop Shuvit -Skater's Anthem


Very fondly, I remember listening to this in college. Almost everyday. I'm not a skater. But it became my anthem nevertheless. And watching them play this song at Rock the World (can't remember which edition though) and getting the same crowd address like in Korn concert, got me wanting more! Of course their style is much more mainstream and have diverted from their rap rock roots, but this still remains a gem.

Tempered Mental


Please check out Melina's bass scaling at 0.30 secs onwards....top that if any of you can. Except Les Claypool ahhaha




This band is a personal favourite of mine. Until now, I still think they are my favourite band amongst many. I got their EP and subsequently their full album and they did not disappoint. One of the more technical bands in Malaysia, playing a mix of hard rock and progressive rock.
The bassist, Melina is simply awesome, and one of the few kick ass ladies who can scale, slap the bass and yet sing. The guitarist is also gifted, complementing the bassist and the drummer, Jimmy is one of the best in Malaysia. So naturally, this band has the potential to go places. They just need to churn more awesome stuff. Watched them play at Rock the World and they were great
My favourite song which I can't find anywhere in youtube - Simple. That song kicks ass!


OAG


They call themselves Old Automatic Garbage. GOd only knows what they were thinking when they coined the name up. But apparently its to pay homage to 60's music. And hence that was their genre. 60's pop but with 90's flavour. 60's tv was the anthem of the Malaysian scene in the 90's. Even Coca-cola got them to endorse their product, playing this song in the rooftops. It was the epitome of cool. Indie music never looked cooler. And I remember this was one of the few songs I learnt to play with my Kapok guitar. Of course, years eventually, they started singing more Malay songs and Radhi also took to the movie scene and played less music. But we will be hoping for them to play 60's music once more :)



Butterfingers


Malaysia's truest grunge band. In the messy vein of Kurt Kobain but with Malaysian flavour, half the time the lyrics are poetic but make no sense. Like the grunge of Nirvana and not so much Pearl Jam or Alice In chains. But they were massive. They music was hard and killer. I wouldn't have wanted them to change. After getting 3 albums which were grunge music, they finally gotten experimental in Malayneum and Selamat Tinggal Dunia. I guess I couldn't take their experimental music. They were no Radiohead. They were grunge. They should have sticked to it and rocked on :)



Ok . Time to sleep. It's late in the day. And early in the morning. I better rest.

Part 2 beckons soon. :) More good local homegrown stuff to come from me

Peace out.


Sunday, August 7, 2011

Homeward Bound

Twas a good weekend.
Went back to Ipoh with sister and some friends.
My relatives from Singapore were also up north for the weekend, hence we decided to go back to Ipoh to meet up.
Of course the agenda would be to eat eat eat and eat somemore. Well, I spend more time with my family back in Ipoh. I think as I grew older, the importance of family is more apparent, cause I dont see them as often anymore. Which is always good.
So we had meals at Tai Kar Rock, one of the best places for 'liew' and the noodles there are nice.
And also at Wooley Food Centre. The food there is getting better and better. Not to say the best around, but for Ipoh standards, quite decent.
We had main meals at this place called Soon Fatt which is in the same row as Overseas. Good food, good price. Too bad this is not a food blog. Otherwise I would have blogged more about it. No photos though

Well, Colin, Joo Na and I also managed to catch Captain America: The First Avenger.
Captain America in costume

It was a very good movie I would say. Certainly better than the Green Lantern and even to some extent Thor. The movie had me rooting for Captain America (as Simon told us that we would, and we did) cause it was quite believable. Chris Evans gave a fantastic performance as man of pure heart and courage. And also the character development was good and did not fall short. One of the few movies that Marvel actually took time to build on character (the other movies being Spiderman and X men). So it was good. The pre-ending was also very emotional and Colin mentioned that there were a few ladies crying. Heck, I would have cried too if I was a lady :)
Even the fight scenes were still believable and not too extravagant. I especially like the fact that he was accompanied by a ragtag team of soldiers which was a nice touch.
The downside of it is that Hugo Weaving's Red Skull was a tad too one dimensional. As compared to Loki in Thor.
Well, the ending credits are definitely worth the wait and seeing the Avengers assemble will be something awesome. Loki is the main villain, so the awesomeness is amplified!

Ok. Plan for next Sat then: Rise of the Planet of the Apes! The trailer looks intense! and with James Franco, it shouldn't be anything less than good. :)


And yeah, I also bought a Ukulele.
Brand is called Mahalo - which means "Thank You".
So, I'm thanked for buying a China Made, Hawaiian sounding Ukulele?
I guess so. I mean the facts show it. "Mahalo" :)
Well, was it an impulsive buy? Nah not entirely. this was my second time asking for it at the Music Store in Ipoh. Well, maybe it was an impulsive buy cause it only costs...............................RM65 haha...cheaper than my second Kapok guitar even. Ukuleles in KL costs around RM200-Rm500 so this definitely sounds like a steal. Then again, the differences in quality would be apparent too :) Now time to download the chords and save myself from buying a Ukulele chord book. Hey Soul Sista! :) ahhaa

Maholo Ukulele - Made in China. RM65.00. Purchased at the Music Store. Noticed that they even throw in a Ukulele bag.

And United won the Charity Shield! Yes!!! wait...should I be happy? Cause the charity shield is always deemed as a curse to Champions! The only time United won the Charity Shield and continued to win the EPL Was back in ...wait they won it twice and won the EPL thereafter 2007-2008 and 2008 -2009. So the curse should not be feared..haha oh me of lil faith.
But it was good to see De Gea making some good saves and also Welback playng clever one twos and passes.
Looks like Nani is dying to shine and I do hope he will. At least try. But more in store...and normal EPL service resumes next week. Nice.:)
One up for the red half of Manchester. Too bad to the noisy neighbours. But they will be a force to reckoned in the days to come :)

Not too impressed with the Jersey though, doesnt look nice. But nevertheless I know I will buy it at some point in time. The bloody United fanboy that I am :) hahah

Charity Shield winners 2011 - Manchester United

Saturday, July 23, 2011

The Amazing Spider-Man / The Dark Knight Rises

Ok. I'm sure by now, many of you would have watched the trailers for these two movies.
For a fanboy like me, I'm super excited!
And with my two most favourite super heroes ever in the same year? What more can I ask?

Of course, I do feel sad that Spider man had to be rebooted. After all, Tobey's Spiderman was pretty good. Emo and stuff, very much like the comic version of late. And not so funny.
Let's hope Andrew Garfield does a better job injecting humour. Somehow, the costume seems lacking and I kinda preferred the previous one. But, hey, its a reboot. It may be better or not. But either way, I'm hoping its gonna kick some ass! And ironically, the movie is suppose to be taken from the Ultimate Spider Man comic concept, but named Amazing Spider Man, which is what the original comic was named after (Amazing Fantasy #15 would however present Spidey's first appearance though)
With a stellar cast of Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Rhys Irfans, Martin Sheen and Sally Field, it should work out well. And, No...there isn't any Mary Jane Watson in the fold, not yet. Cause the love interest is Gwen Stacy, Peter's first love who will die at the hands of the Green Goblin eventually.
So, watch out for this one in 2012. Let's hope its a sizzler!


And then the other movie, which I'm sure many are anticipating. After a massive run with the Dark Knight, the Dark Knight returns in what seems to be sadly, the final movie in this Batman franchise. Seriously, Dark Knight blew away the expectations of making a comic book movie. It combined the fantasy elements of super hero comic book stories and blended it with thrilling noir / crime elements. No longer gothic but dark in its story telling. I still look for loopholes in the Dark Knight for all its complexity in it's story telling, but yet, was unable to do so. Christopher Nolan truly created a masterpiece. Initially I thought the trailer looked like a fan made trailer, you know, the fake ones where idiots compile scenes and montage from the previous films and make a 'trailer' or it leads to Rick Astley's "Never gonna give you up" MTV....yes that sucks. But this one is the real deal, cause you get to see ol' Bats being weary from his fight with Bane!
And yes in the comics, Bane broke Batman's back! Thats really dark indeed.
Well, anyway, I'm still not sure how Anne Hathaway is gonna fit into the dark mould with her squeaky clean image, but I'm sure she will rise to the occasion as Selina Kyle / Catwoman.

Its been 3 years since The Dark Knight and on 2012, THE DARK KNIGHT RISES!



And also, later....watch out for the Avengers! Though I think I would hold these two movies in anticipation more! :)

Hohoho... and check this out!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

9 July 2011 - The Voice of the People - And a Beautiful Rally


Press conference by Datuk Ambiga the morning before Bersih 2.0

After a week of sleepless nights, for the fear and excitement which was to come the day finally came and I'm glad to be a part of it once more and lived to tell the tale.
Perhaps if I didn't put my thoughts in writing tonight, I will not be able to get sleep :)
I have been sleeping on an average of 4 1/2 to 5 hours a day, something which I'm not supposed to be doing nor proud of. But since we live in exciting times, I just can't help but to wake up and not be able to sleep again.

Today, 9 July 2011, once again history was made. Once again, we have shown the government that we are capable of calling their bluff on their fear threats.
KL city, as of Friday evening was at a locked down. We made mental and spiritual preparations (prayer service and also yum char / discussion sessions on tactics and routes) as we hear news of the government warning us not to participate in these 'haram' rallies. Undoubtedly we were fearful, but at that point in time, perhaps we have crossed the line of being fearful. Rather we felt that we could no longer tolerate the hypocritical stance made by the government. We have always been fed blatant lies and even up to the point of our beloved PM seemingly granting a truce for Bersih 2.0 to be held in a stadium after meetings with the Agong, only to find out that he has retracted his stance. So much for being our esteemed leader when we can't even trust his word anymore. Was it there to begin with?
We planned carefully of what to bring and how our bags could fit anything yellow. We heard that there will be roadblocks (and yes, true enough streets with 5 lanes were forced to become 1) and that there will be bag checks in the LRT. Nevertheless we decided to leave earlier and God-willing to have breakfast in the heart of KL (Petaling Street Area). We planned to move from KL Sentral as we heard that Pasar Seni was already locked down by the Police.

I couldn't sleep much. The anticipation and excitement was there. And for once, I felt the fear of arrest, which in these times proved so much more real than the other rallies that I went to including the First Bersih. We know that the PM will do everything to hinder Bersih 2.0.
Come morning, I met up with Kah Weng and Wil Liam. We were on the way when we got the call from Colin stating that Pasar Seni is opened and that we could move in there immediately. We duely did that. And then we caught up with Yuk Meng in Bangsar LRT station. Surprised to see him there cause we thought he would leave with Sze Hoo. But nevertheless, we were on this together and it was good we caught up with him.

We were able to catch up with the group at Lai Foong Coffee Shop. It's been a while since I've eaten the beef noodles there. They say that its real good. After all these years, I still think it's mediocore. Hahah. Sorry. Not doing a food posting here. But, as said, we met with the larger group consisting of Colin, Simon, Desmond, Huey, Jude, KayX, Ashley, Eddy, SzeHoo and Mee Chuen. And then Alvin came not long after. Colin had another group following him, the peeps from FES. We were introduced to each other. In the coffee shop we saw the usual suspects for the rallies, familiar faces but people who would go out to fight for justice and have a hunger for a better Malaysia.



I called my colleagues, who were starting their journey from Sentral and told them to try to meet us up here safely. They said they would. The streets around Petaling Street were however eerily quiet.



Close to 12.30 pm, we watched a large group coming from Dayabumi, but blocked by the police barricade. However, we also saw more and more people rallying and gathering at Petaling Street and from our sources, we heard that the march to Stadium Merdeka had already begun. Awesome.

We went to Petaling Street and waited. The crowd grew. And then suddenly we heard cheers aloud. The group which had a stand off with the police at the Bar Council had now journeyed it's way to meet up with the Petaling Street group. And then with perhaps close to 5000 people by now, we marched to the Stadium shouting chants of "Hidup Bersih!" and "Hidup Rakyat" which translates to "Life to the People". And this is the point where we changed to our Yellow apparel or wear anything significantly Yellow in support of the wave. It was massive! Seeing people gather for a cause is such a beautiful thing.


Upon finding that the roads to the Stadium were barricaded, we walked back towards Kota Raya with the crowd. News, was that the crowd was meeting at Menara Maybank. We walked nevertheless. I caught up with my colleague at some point and I was quite surprised to see my boss, Mr Siva in the walk. At the moment, I felt deeply encouraged knowing that the people in my firm supported this cause with all their hearts and was more than willing to come to the city on 9 July 2011 in support of people power. Oh yeah, we picked up Eugene at this juncture as well. We were glad to have found him here!

Anyway, when we reached Menara Maybank, the group had easily swelled to about 30,000 people, so some say. Of course the mainstream media will spin its lies stating only 3000 instead.
Not everyone wore yellow but the fact of being there already speaks magnanimous volumes for fighting for their cause!


Here are a few pics of us, enjoying the Rally and were in party mood. :) The guilty parties.






The atmosphere was electrifying to say the least. The crowd this time round was definitely bigger than Bersih 1.














That's Colin by the way. Our group's organizer and leader. Some say he is Taliban. I refuse to believe those dodgy comments. :) nyahahaha









And here you can see happy smiling faces.
Was there any malice or violent intent? Surely not :)
But no, the police would never stand down. And soon they deployed teargas and watercannons onto the peaceful protestors. We were made to understand that the chemicals laced in the water cannons were by far worst than ever and more potent. But in the spirit of true Malaysians, those who were in trouble, from the effects of the teargas were quickly offered aid by those around them. When one falls, there will be at least 10 to pick him/her up. :) Incredible spirit by the people.


And so, the large entourage now at Menara Maybank had no choice but to rally at Puduraya station. And here once again, the people have proved that they were discipline enough and marched for peace and solidarity.


And one point the rallyers were sitting on the road, peacefully and tried to negotiate with the men in blue. However, teargas was once again fired and there is evidence that the people were even manhandled and beaten by the police and even so, they refused to retaliate. Truly their spirit, determination and discipline is greatly admired.
Below is a video of proof that they were manhandled, beaten and arrested from Malaysiakini and Al-Jazeerah





And this is where we felt the full effects of the teargas. It had been a cat and mouse game. Each time they fired, the people backed, but return with more conviction than ever. And once again the police were relentless in firing the teargas canisters. We were tearing and some us felt like we needed to vomit to lessen the effects of it. It was bad but we survived it. Later did we only found out that the gas was quite lethal and there was a fatal casualty in connection with the suffocation effects that the teargas brings.

Eventually we managed to get to safer and higher ground and we rallied to a friend's office to rest and recharge. By this time, some of us have split up. Simon, Jude and Huey would eventually follow the large crowd to KLCC for another showdown. And this is the place where a supporter died from the suffocation effects of the tear gas. His name was Baharuddin Ahmad, and his death will not be in vain. :)

After resting at our friend's office near Bursa Malaysia, we eventually decided that we have done our part and now plan to go back to where we came from. However at that point in time, LRT's were still closed and we hear of arrests now made in KLCC, perhaps the final showdown.
Previously there was another showdown at Merdeka Stadium where we were told that the police, initially agreed to give safe passage to the protestors but eventually launched an attack on the protestors after giving false leeway. And this group was forced to move to Pasar Seni, where they were once again surrounded by tear gas.
In the end, we received news that Datuk A Samad Said, our national laureate, had successfully handed the memorandum at the Istana Negara. During this time, we perhaps knew that the group in Pudu was the decoy group perhaps leading much of the police away from the other group. Bravo! Mission accomplished thought casualties were in place.

To sum it all up, it was an awesome Saturday, this 9 July 2011 was.
I'm truly encouraged by the turn out though it could have been more people if not for the police and the FRU. But I do believe the numbers have surpassed the first Bersih and this time, although i see the familiar faces, new friends and comrades join in the fight against injustice and this is truly encouraging.

Few points to be taken from the rally:-

1. The People rallied not just for cleaner elections, but to make a stand against the fear put unto them.

2. The People are tired of the government's double standards of treatment

3. The People are more aware than ever of half baked truths spun by the mainstream media

4. The Police do not act fair (The police aimed their tear-gas guns directly at the civilians, they have no sense of fair rules of engagement even when the protestors sat down to show that they are there in peace and the attacks on the protestors in Tung Shin Hospital are just distasteful and disrespectful - the videos shown below are proof of that)

5. The government shows it's fear towards the people and it's beautiful idea of democracy (suggesting perhaps that they have much to hide)

6. Once again, the protestors showed great discipline and brotherly love towards one another and even against the FRU's and the police without retaliating amidst the violent treatment towards them. An eye for an eye? Unlikely. But as a friend of mine , Wil Liam was saying, the treatment meted out by the police is as such - "you don't kill a mosquito with a gun" - More pics and videos on this below.

7. Two weeks of Bersih propaganda has united Malaysians more than 2 years of 1Malaysia ever did and this was quoted by Sze Hoo, another fellow marcher.

8. We are and can always be a united nation when we recognize that we can no longer be merely tolerant with each other but truely embrace the difference and the diversity that each of us has to offer. And in this diversity, Unity is achieved when we fight for a common and higher purpose.

And I also want to take this time to send my sincere condelences to the family of Mr Baharuddin Ahmad, who had died due to breathing difficulties from the effects of the tear gas. It truly saddens me and his death was an unnecessary one if we had a truly competent government. Though I do not know him, I do hope that his passing would not be in vain and people, please do not let his efforts be in vain as well. Please be reminded and honour him, when you cast your vote in the coming elections. Cast it well.







And further pictures that speak more than words itself. Beautiful pictures from Al-Jazeerah

This is a picture of someone known as "auntie Anne" - her courage and resilience is truly inspiring.


THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKEN!! POWER TO THE PEOPLE!!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Come 9th July 2011 - Yellow Fever


To be honest, I haven't been sleeping well. Perhaps, i may have been thinking of someone. Or perhaps it's the stress. I haven't even been concentrating much on my work, and thankfully, the week did not need me for any affidavit replies, submission preparations, documentation, preparation for hearings or trials. And because of that my Twitter, Facebook and Malaysian Insider has been constantly refreshed.

The real reason, folks is the build up for BERSIH 2.0
This Saturday 9th July 2011.
We have seen government threats, arrests taking place, LRT commuter service providers being given directives on not to operate or to operate sparringly and not to stop at the usual hotspots in KL especially Merdeka, court orders ordering some 91 Malaysians to stay away from KL. Whatever their reasons for the granting of the order we know are not water tight. But we also know that the magistrate is more often than not cornered into making such orders.
We were also informed at the last 2 hours, that a permit has been given by the Dang Wangi police for the rally to be held in Stadium Merdeka. Of course, things are always too good to be true and we find out minutes later, that what the Police meant was to collect the letter denying them permission. A crude and ironic joke perhaps. Hardly surprising though. I would be even more surprise if the permit was given.

In any event, the Agong has urged that the Bersih Committee talk it out with the Executive branch to come to an understanding or resolve and Bersih has accepted the PM's offer to hold it in a stadium. I posted this in my last post.
Of course the next day we find out that our PM has passed the buck to the police on whether it is still illegal or not, while playing good cop and trying to tai-chi the issues to someone else and the police..well playing their usual roles, bad cop.
So there, once again, it's back to square one. And mind you the King has already spoken and ascented and yet, the government refuses and plays the denial game once more. But one thing is clear and Bersih itself has succeeded in proving, is that the Government is fearful. It fears it's people. It fears the power it's people possess. And hopefully, tomorrow, the people of Malaysia can truly show the government that they are there in the first place, because of the people.

I have spoken to my parents. They know the risks are there. I'm sure they are afraid as am I.
Things may get messy. Actually the likelihood is so high that it will get messy, though i hope not. But in any event, if it does, please know that it will not be from Bersih as i have absolute faith that the people will march peacefully despite the disruptions from the powers that be. That will be the truth. :)
So then, I have people telling me before, that I can't even look after myself, why bother with what's happening? To reply that, I will say that since I can't look after myself, at least I can try doing it for my country. :) You can call it Kepoh if you want to, I'm sure many will say that about me. But perhaps as a concerned citizen, I could no longer stand sitting in the coffeeshops complaining about how bad the government of the day is, and when the opportunity to be heard comes, i just sit there and do nothing. :) I can't do that anymore. And perhaps as a Christian, I cannot stand to see this injustice being metted out. I was also told by Christian people that this are not our fight. If this is not our fight, as Malaysians and Christians (and whatever religion you beleive in), then when is this fight ever going to come? There will never be a perfect fight if you are looking for one. But opportunity knocks and you have a chance to answer it. But of course as a friend of mine also say, don't do it because you think it's hype. Do it because you believe in the fight. Do it because you believe that the voice of the people should be heard. And do it because you truly believe that your small part can bring a change.

So, I will be going out this Saturday, with fear and also hope and I hope i will be encouraged with the turn out and what's to be :)
And I hope that I can attend the Urgent Arrest Team and further contribute as a lawyer where for once, lawyers are not condemned to the evil deeds that they do :)
And of course,I'm hoping to watch Transformers 3 on Sunday and hopefully give a good review on it but i doubt so (whether the review is good i mean). ahahaha :)

So come tomorrow, we walk for justice, for our rights under our Constitution, we walk because of our freedom from fear, we walk because we can no longer just sit when injustice takes its place blatantly and we walk once again because of solidarity as Malaysians.
See you guys there. Stay safe :)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

It's still going to be a yellow Saturday

As the momentum for 9th July 2011 builds up, more and more arrests were made. In fact the 6 PSM members were re-arrested under the Emergency Ordinance. Detention without trial. It's hard to imagine such draconian laws exists. Existing side by side with another needless horror. The ISA.

However, in an unprecedented move, we witness yet another twist to the tale.
The King has spoken on Sunday, 3rd July 2011, that Bersih 2.0 hold talks with the government for an 'amicable settlement'.
The term is 'amicable' is loosely used for we know, that higher powers are at play here , for the benefit of one party mostly. And I don't mean divine hands at work. I mean the powers that be, seeking for royal intervention.

To be honest, I was quite peeved when I first read the news on the Malaysian Insider. The King has stated that the Malaysia should not be emulating other countries in these regards. Indirectly, we are told that the protests, walk, march whatever you may call it, is not a good idea. So, if the walk continues on, it would be a direct affront to the King and it would further give the requisite ammo for Ibrahim Ali and Umno Youth (or even UMNO) for that matter to demonize Bersih 2.0 and it's marchers would be held for treason.
On the other hand, calling off the march would mean that Bersih has lost. Civil liberties for peaceful assemblies is lost. The chance to show that people are no longer afraid and would rather stand up against a corrupt government is lost. And for that, I was quite peeved.

Today, Bersih 2.0's chair, Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, after talks with the Government, accepted their "offer" to have it in the stadium. To be fair, we knew that this decision would be made. Between a rock and a hard place, but yet decision must be made. And we all knew that this is the only outcome. But mind you, Datuk Ambiga still has my utmost respect for going against the tides after being subjected to much criticism including having her pictures burned by Mat Cemerlangs, and even a proposed revocation of her citizenship by Ali Rustam (his reasons making no sense at all). She will be remembered and honoured for her contributions to the Malaysian Bar as chairman (the Walk of Justice) and for her contributions for Malaysian society (Bersih 2.0). And therefore let none of these decisions made ever take that away from her.

Finally Bersih 2.0 was to be held in the stadium. The venue at this point, possibly Stadium Shah Alam.
Upset I was, over all this. The fact that civil liberties has perhaps suffered a miserable death at the statements of the monarch. Does this mean that there will never be peaceful assemblies in the future, for a common cause? I don't know. But I thought it meant so.
Nevertheless, we still made it for the Urgent Arrest training at the KLBar to learn more on handling these situations in case things get rowdy on Saturday (the possibilities are still there).

However, in spite of everything, this may even be a blessing in disguise. Now with Bersih recognized by the Monarch, it would mean that people could gather together for a common cause, although not on the streets like I hoped for it (from my experience in Bersih 2007 it was indeed a beautiful sight of solidarity). No arrests should be made by the cops unless they want to further taint their already frail and fragile image of trust amongst public. And perhaps the biggest test for the PM, to know release those who were unreasonable and WRONGFULLY detained under the guise of national threat in the form of Bersih 2.0. The spotlight is now on him to play his cards right.

Anyway, not wanting to digress, these were the articles I read, which brings hope and a smile. :)

http://malaysia-today.net/mtcolumns/no-holds-barred/41703-yeh-yeh-kita-menanghmmor-did-we
- Raja Petra's well written article, may have just convinced me, that there are silver linings to dark clouds.

And this one :- http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/malaysia/article/bersih-2.0-winners-and-losers

Therefore, we hope to see Yellow support still on Saturday. And as for me, I will be with the rally and if I'm not hauled in the Black Maria, I will be there for the urgent arrests as well :) Let's hope all goes well :) And that the people continue to show their voices in support and solidarity in yellow.

Anyway, for comic relief on the attempts to 'communize', 'demonize', 'nonsensilize' Bersih read the link here and of course Hishamuddin's statements and views on the ok's of communism but not Bersih. Clearly funny and double standard stuff :)

This has absolutely nothing to do with Bersih. But my sis gave me a link and I thought it was pretty funny but awesome. So please enjoy Enter Sandman - jazz style. :)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

BERSIH 2.0 - Ready to roll?

If anything, Bersih 2.0 is now the headlines of almost every independent newspaper, including the ones that so often demonize these events, The Star and Utusan Malaysia.

The people are angry and willing to march. The Government is scared and is trying everything to further instill that fear amongst the people.

These are the scare tactics employed by the Government


25 June 2011
- Members of Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) were arrested on the pretext of reviving 'communism. Just read today, reports of the ill treatment of the detainees in custody by the police. And yet, as I blog about this, more and more reports emerge.

27 June 2011
- Read from the news that a bunch of Motor cycle riding Umno Youth members had made threats at the PKR office at Merchant Square at night, after their leader Khairy Jamaluddin had received death threats for intending to march on 9 July 2011 as well. Also read that these motor cycle riding dudes, were mostly rempits. Now, I wouldn't wannna judge them for who they are, but if they can attempt to do wheelies in front of the PKR offices, perhaps they were just born entertainers. Of course, how they connected the dots and started blaming PKR for the death threats is another marvel whatsoever. Well, Umno Youth undoubtedly defended the actions of these jokers and yet, no arrests were made. Marvelous.

28 June 2011
- Perkasa's chief, the loudest of the lot, Ibrahim Ali called the Bar Council a bastard council. Being a part of the Malaysian Bar technically makes me a bastard as well. Oh well, if being called an Inglorious Basterd it is, I guess it ain't so much a bad thing :)


29 June 2011
- It looks like things are heating up towards 9 July 2011. More arrests were made. The BERSIH secretariat was targeted by the police and arrests were made.

- Silat circus sideshows vowing to defend the country from the Bersih onslaught. Now tell me, isn't this a vow of an act of violence? So, now we allow vigilante justice? Is that it? And, irresponsible statements like these go unpunished. It's simply awesome, in a mhttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifost ridiculous way. But my in my humble opinion, these sideshows will not be able to deploy even 100 people i reckon, let alone appear on 9 July 2011. For the English version of the report, click here

- After confiscating the yellow Bersih T-shirts from the Bersih secretariat's office, the IGP vows to arrests those with seditious articles / items which may in any way be connected to Bersih. This would probably include my friend's yellow Hyundai Getz, bananas, nangkas, The Malaysian Football Jersey, the Perak FA jersey, the fat ass Digi Man, Digi promoters, Digi Billboards, the Yellow Ribbon round the Old oak tree, Coldplay Cd's (first one cause of the hit single Yellow), Yellow Flavine and the Zon Bersih sign.
Yes, it would not be wise to wear yellow underwear too at this point of time. DAMN, they might as well confiscate and arrest the sun for being yellow!!

- Fake Bersih flyers were distributed in Wangsa Maju, hoping to create / incite the agenda of toppling the government. Well, alternative measures are now used to counter the Bersih March and these is very much a wicked thing and sly thing to do.

Judging from today's incidents more things will happen until 9 July 2011. And after that, the heat will continue.

However, the march should still go on, and for me, it's a satisfaction everytime I log into Facebook and Twitter to find many of my friends supporting the cause (by adopting the Bersih insignia onto their profile pictures). This is an act of support but we also hope that these numbers will actually turn up on the streets on that very day. So, why do we march? It may be political for some, it may be personal. But for many and myself, it's for these few but yet potent reasons:-

1. We want clean elections. Bersih in Malay means Clean. And we want an election which is free from boundary gerrymandering, further transparency in the voting system, including indellible ink and an SPR (Suruhanjaya Pilihanraya - Election Commission) which is free from bias (though this is by far the most impossible thing.

2. We are unsatisfied with how the country is run. Taxpayers money are spent without any proper accounting for.

3. We are sick of the double standards which are practiced everyday. It's not a racial issue but rather it's a political and party / position based issue. A good example is how arrests have been made against people who have uttered none a seditious remark but yet, those barking statements of blood spilling and 'be careful' are not given the proper arrest treatment.http://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gif

4. We want better administration, even if it means better checks and balances. Where the government is no longer arrogant towards its people. It does not matter if the leader is Malay, Chinese, Indian, Muslim, Christian, Hindu. We just want people who are accountable and responsible and who loves the country and not just pay lip service.

5. We want better enforcement. Not police whom arrests are made without warrants and protocols are broken for the sake of serving executive directives. In this regard, the ISA (Internal Security Act) should be abolished once and for all.

6. And most importantly, for solidarity amongst the people in Malaysia. I have personally seen solidarity amongst the people in Malaysia in the first BERSIH. What a beautiful sight it was. And I hope the people of Malaysia will stand united for this on 9 July 2011. It can be achievable.

Anyway, for some light moments, here's a video for noobs who will be attempting their first rally. I know it's not my first, nor second, nor third and hopefully not my last :)

Truly funny. And Joe Han told me he knew one the actors in it.

So what now? I think for me it's pretty much obvious. March, Rally and hope/pray for change :) I know I will, for my hope for a better Malaysia is still very much alive.

And I leave you with a quote from V for Vendetta

Beneath this mask there is more than flesh... Beneath this mask there is an idea, Mr. Creedy, and ideas are bulletproof."


Oh yes, And congratulations to the Malaysian Football Team for whooping Taiwanese Arses 2-1 at Bukit Jalil Stadium today. good news indeed.