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 m 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.

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.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Nice..past the 2000 mark

Good to see that this blog has past 2000 hits!

Special thanks to Lissiegal for contributing to the 1899 hits hahahah :P

Trust me, her blog is far more interesting!

Thanks again all the other anonymous people out there! your presence counts!
Evidenced at the Counter below :) nyehehe

Monday, June 20, 2011

2000 hits

Waiting to hit the personal milestone of 2000 hits on my blog.

Never thought this would ever happen. I'm quite satisfied, and hopefully the blog was entertaining as well as informative.

It's 1996 now. :)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Our father, who art in Ipoh

It was never a tradition of our family to celebrate Father's Day. Or Mother's day for that matter. It's usually the birthdays which holds more importance in the family calendar.

However, sometimes, it's always good to remember the people we do truly care for and love, especially family. As people say, you can choose friends, but not family.

One way or another, I'm sure somewhere along the lives of ours, we were asked this question once, "who in your opinion is the greatest person you know that ever lived?"
Well, I would say Christ would be the greatest man that ever lived. But also I suppose closer to home, I would definitely say that my father, was the greatest person I know who ever lived.

Many of life's lessons were not taught verbally, but through his actions, I have learned much.
He has always been the pillar of the family. Cliche as it may sound, it rings true for me.

And in this post, I shall take a walk down memory lane, of growing up under my father's tutelage.
When my sister and I was much younger, my dad was pretty strict with a lot of things. I remember him giving us real time punishments when we did mistakes. When I mean real time, I mean, the cane was a real option. Hahaha. Yes. We as kids, fear the cane! And of course in that process, we feared our father every time we did wrong! Back then, counseling was never an option. We as kids, never got to talk things out. Perhaps we didn't understand back then. We were quite a mischievous and terrible bunch, but I suppose back when we were kids, punishment itself was always evil. But with each punishment we also learn that as kids, there were things that we were not meant to do.

But as we grew older, his methods changed. The cane was no longer an option for punishment. And in my teenage years, I suppose my dad started using ways to reach out to us. Discussions. Opinions. And perhaps the one thing that mattered a lot, was that he was wiling to listen. I suppose there came a time, when he knew it was difficult to get his message across (we were teenagers back then, and teenagers are really from hell) and he slowly began to let go of things.
He allowed us to choose the paths we took, but yet always there to bring us back, if ever our choices deviated too much from what is good for us in the process of growing up.
In that manner, he allowed us to learn from our own mistakes when we made them, but prior to that, we were always told of possible consequences. It was a situation of whether we wanted to listen or not.

However, no matter, our dad has always been the safety net when we fall and fail. And until now, I know that he still looks forward for the best for us. He has been planning for us, since the beginning, and though I do not see it in my childhood days, as I grew older, it became so much more apparent. My dad and my mom, they have made a real impact on my life, and it is something i will never be able to repay in kind. But I hope I may repay this boundless debt the best I can.

So, the best moments that I have with my father are:-
1. He taught me how to hold my racket and play badminton

2. He taught me how to play basketball (though I really sucked at it and was only playing it due to the existing hype at the material time).

3. The football chats we have when we watch football. I grew up reading the World Cup magazines that he collected and this is a tradition I intend to keep as I start my own collection.

4. When I was 11, we had our annual holiday trip in KL and back then, going to Toys R Us was a super huge event. I wanted to splurge my AngPow money on a Transformer toy which I knew I wanted to get (can't remember which one though). My dad advised me to get Ninja Turtles figurines and said that I could have gotten 2 for the price of one Transformer robot. I duly followed his advised and picked Michangelo and Donatello. My dad however, said to buy one first and get the second one on our next trip. Years down the line, i suppose I realized that my dad tricked me, cause I was still stuck with only Michangelo. Haahha...Oh well......

5. Watching badminton with my dad. We are also big badminton fans

6. There was a time when my mom was in Singapore working and my sis was in College. That was when we had dinners together everyday (we hardly cooked, since there is only the both of us) and I suppose we got a lot closer during those times.

And as those events become good memories, I look forward to create new memories with my dad. If I were to be a father one day, I don't have to look any further for a role model. I already have one in my father.

I suppose I may have never said it enough to you Dad, for being the macho person that I am, but yes dad, Gay Sze and I love you a lot and thanks for always given your best for us. Thanks for everything and we hope that you will not be disappointed with our shortcomings and failures.

Happy Father's Day, DAD!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

A week of solidarity

The week before last was pretty taxing. I thought it would have been a break away from work, but it was even tiring than expected. Even so, good times were spent and relationships were built. It was a good time but a tragic time as well.

Well, we had church camp last week. The Annual CLGC (Christian Life Gospel Centre) family camp.I took a day off work on Friday. It wasn't such packed week and no Court dates, so I felt less guilty taking the day off.

Church Camp was held in the Grand Kampar Hotel. We had camp at the same venue last year. Between ping pong games, really emotional sermons (they played Misty Edwards in the midst of reflection and prayer)and a wonderful costumed night as the finale, I thought the next camp would be equally good as well. Well, it was. But in a different and equally wonderful way as well.

Well, we started the trip on Friday. We decided to embark on a 'makan trip' or eating trip in Ipoh before heading back south towards Kampar, which is about 45 minutes from Ipoh. Well, I thought I would be able to drop by home to just peek on my mom and dad, but as time was limited, I decided not to tell them that I was in Ipoh anyway, without looking them up. Haha. Oh dear. The ungrateful son yes.
But anyway, Colin and I took the gang (the ones who were gung ho for the makan trip idea) to the famous 'Tai Shui Keok' for some 'liu' or assorted fried finger food. And noodles. And then it was off to Funny Mountain for some Tau Fu Fah, Greentown for some Indian rojak, Ipoh Garden East for some kickass roast pork and chilly, and finally for some Ipoh White Coffee. Crap. I feel hungry writing this post. Well, proud to be an Ipoh native anyhow!

So we left Ipoh at about 3 and reached Kampar at about 4++. I thought i would take a nap. Or maybe play some ping pong like last year. But as I got outta the shower, I was told by Colin that our Speaker, Pastor Steve Hyde's van broke down in Behrang. Well, initially Des was driving and Colin was pillion, but then Des had not set up the AV systems for camp, so I volunteered myself to be pillion.

Back on the road again! Now, mind you Kampar to Behrang takes about 1.2 hours. With much optimism I thought we would reach there in 1 hour. Oh, naive me.
Anyway, though it was a long drive, I had quite a good chat with Colin about life, the vision of the church and where it was heading and perhaps, answers to difficult questions about Christianity. It was good to have talks like these where questions asked, may not sometimes be answered, but yet, we were assured that we will know the answers one day. Anyway, we managed to pick up Steve Hyde and wife and Aunty Lei Wah but See Lian (who was hosting the Speaker and Wife) had to stay back until his mechanic from KL came for the van, well, to bring it back to have it fixed. The van was losing water and heated up a lot along the way, so it was only a matter of time before it stalled.

Anyway, we reached just in time for the first session to begin. At 8pm. I had my dinner which was thankfully reserved, but Colin was facilitating the first session, so he didn't have the luxury of eating dinner like me at that point. Well, back to the session, I think i was pretty much tired and dozing off a bit. Ok. A lot. But I figured that I caught the essence of Pastor Steve's sermon. We had some really good food after that at the hotel room, the lot of us. Siew Yuk, siew yuk and lots of siew yuk (roast pork). Prior to that we were told that we were not allowed to bring Non-Halal food into the rooms during service. The guilty suspects gave glancing looks and snickers at that point in time. But anyway, amidst supper, we jammed and also played Monopoly Deal and Cluedo (first time playing Cluedo and we got hooked to it immediately).

And then Colin and I got the sms-es at around 2-3 am. From Fai, asking us if we were asleep. I didn't pick it up at first because I couldn't. I only picked up the phone when i received the 2nd sms by Colin, informing me that the father our a good friend of ours, Daren, had passed away that evening. It was tragic news. And I called Fai for further details. He told me that he would fill me in the details of what's to happen in the morning. I got Daren's sms in the morning informing me of the same. And I called for further details...

The funeral was to be held on Saturday itself, as it was a Punjabi custom. The funeral was to start at 11.00 am for prayers and by 3.00 pm, the cremation.
Colin and I made plans to attend the funeral and we left after breakfast. And there we were on the road again, Colin, Joo Na and I.

This was surely something that I knew, I needed to attend, that we knew, we needed to attend. I knew Daren's father, as our parents were acquaintances. We were friends since primary school, which looking down memory lane, is a really long one. You can say that I know him my whole life. And I knew his dad. To hear of this really saddens me. It saddens us.

We reached KL once again at around 12.20pm. A little longer than we expected. Most of the gang was already there paying their last respects. The mood was solemn.
The priest came and started the prayers not long after. We bowed our heads in silence and in solidarity. That is perhaps the least we can do for Daren. Solidarity.

Then we headed off to the Nirwarna Memorial Centre in Shah Alam for the rites and the cremation. The whole event didn't take too long. I knew Daren tried to hold back the tears, but in the end, it was better to let his emotions get the better. After all, the loss of someone close, a member of the family, a father, is always heavy. He was a good son. Ever filial and we know he loved his father dearly, though he sometimes tries to act the tough guy. We hoped that we could do more for him at that moment. Once again, we hoped that solidarity, even in silence would help.

We went back to camp after the cremation and short lunch. We were just in time for dinner and for the final session. A fun session where we had games, and charades. Hilarious really and whatever I write here, will never do justice to that night of fun. I guess, it really bonded the church members as well that night. Though camp crowd wasn't as big, it was really more personal and I think many of us, became more comfortable and trusting with each other. Bonds built through solidarity once more.

The next day and last session, we were once again taught of the values of relationships with one another. And somehow, the imbalance of the values taught in the first night, about foundations and systems, were balanced with the need to build relationships with one another. And once again, perhaps the key was solidarity.

We left camp after lunch and we were headed back to KL once more. Though the traffic jam killed most of us, haha, we got back KL safe and sound. And some of us, though we may have missed dinner, managed to catch X Men First Class, which was , top class indeed.

Upon a post mortem of the week, I suppose Colin and I realized we spent most of the weekend, on the highway instead.

But all in all if i were to sum it up I would say that it has been a week of cheer and sadness, and a week of friendship, togetherness and ultimately, Solidarity.