Things That We Have Forgotten


How do you guys been doing lately?

The last post I did was way back in early July and I considered that is a very long gap when it comes to blogging. My sincere apologies for missing from the blogsphere. It is not that I had stopped blogging but rather I have been busy – very, very busy indeed on something else. For last 3 months and hopefully continuing into the coming months, I have spending my weekends rather religiously on activities that makes me achieve my daily target of 10,000 steps on my pedometer, cause me to sweat like hell and drink more than 8 cups of water (well it is more than 4 litres per day). And things have started to show some results – my once tight pants are loose on the waistline and I no longer have the urge to wallop junk food like I used to do. I guess I am calmer these days as well (except of course when I am on the road)

Reading on the state of the nation on the other hand has been very stressful – who wouldn’t? There is a strong impression that one gets these days is that we are governed by corrupt, oh wait, say what just scrap that statement. There are too many clowns running the show these days, it is hard to pinpoint when one get serious with the business of running the country to greatness.

And I think the blame on the sorry state of the nation should not start with the very top man in the country (mostly it is) but rather, I have a feeling that the country is going (if not gone) to the dogs because the silent majority is well, keeping silent on it. Well we are not expecting everyone to have the ideal sense of responsibility, personal conviction and strong principles but they must have some conviction not to do the wrong things.

And on a personal note, there are people who don’t hesitate to use the notion of race and religion for personal gains. We see this all the time from the local politicians and some twisted individuals. That is just sick especially when you get the same people going overseas and praise the diversity of race and religion and sell that as a plus point that makes this country great.

Never mind, let’s look from a simpler point of view – just take a ride from your home to your workplace – just observe other drivers act on the road. How many of them follow the traffic rules? How many put on the indicators when changing lanes? Change your view now and place yourself in another place – let’s say in a restaurant. How many restaurant owners’ ensure that the cooking is done as healthy as possible and as clean as possible. How many of them recycle yesterday’s meal for today’s meal?

Still remember our oath to this country and the people? Come on, we all had this printed at the back of our exercise books when we were in school!

BAHAWASANYA NEGARA KITA MALAYSIA mendukung cita-cita hendak:

• mencapai perpaduan yang lebih erat di kalangan seluruh masyarakatnya;
• memelihara satu cara hidup demokratik;
• mencipta satu masyarakat adil di mana kemakmuran Negara akan dapat dinikmati bersama secara adil dan saksama;
• menjamin satu cara liberal terhadap tradisi-tradisi kebudayaannya yang kaya dan berbagai corak; dan
• membina satu masyarakat progresif yang akan menggunakan sains dan teknologi moden.

MAKA KAMI, rakyat Malaysia, berikrar akan menumpukan seluruh tenaga dan usaha kami untuk mencapai cita-cita tersebut berdasarkan atas prinsip-prinsip yang berikut :

• KEPERCAYAAN KEPADA TUHAN;
• KESETIAAN KEPADA RAJA DAN NEGARA;
• KELUHURAN PERLEMBAGAAN;
• KEDAULATAN UNDANG-UNDANG;
• KESOPANAN DAN KESUSILAAN

(Translated as)

OUR NATION, MALAYSIA, being dedicated:
• to achieving a greater unity of all her peoples;
• to maintaining a democratic way of life;
• to creating a just society in which the wealth of the nation shall be equitably shared;
• to ensuring a liberal approach to her rich and diverse cultural traditions;
• to building a progressive society which shall be oriented to modern science and technology;

WE, HER PEOPLES, pledge our united efforts to attain these ends guided by these principles:

• BELIEF IN GOD
• LOYALTY TO KING AND COUNTRY
• UPHOLDING THE CONSTITUTION
• RULE OF LAW
• GOOD BEHAVIOUR AND MORALITY

Along the way, we have forgotten the oath that is so dear to this nation. We have forgotten what our fore-fathers had intended this country to move when they drafted out the Rukunegara after the nation saw one of the bloodiest racial clashes. These days, we have yet to curtail the voices of extremists when it comes to race and religion and there is so much crap & disbelief spins when it comes to national scandals like 1MDB (it is a mystery while it is deemed a scandal around the world except in this country) and the Sabah Water Department MACC busts. The cost of living is spiralling out and not all can be pointed to the economics – the mismanagement is high on all levels.

Let’s go back to the roots – back to the oath that we made when we were still in school.

Ponder these words again and again

• BELIEF IN GOD
• LOYALTY TO KING AND COUNTRY
• UPHOLDING THE CONSTITUTION
• RULE OF LAW
• GOOD BEHAVIOUR AND MORALITY

Embrace them

Build on them

Remind others on it

We have no other choice – there is still time for redemption and getting the country back on its feet. If we don’t, the country is lost forever,

Upholding Dharma


It is a short one for this week but it has something that our country (and its good citizen) have been lacking in some areas and should be revisited. It is also something that I have been pondering on a personal basis.

Let me start with a simple case study:-

There is a junction near the housing area where a quiet number of the residents would take to make a u-turn to go to the housing area. Well, that fine as it is quite convenient for the residents. The only problem is there is a clear sign that says no u-turn is allowed. Despite this sign board and sometimes the inconvenient (and danger) posed to other road users, the residents continue to make u-turns instead of driving a bit more further and make u-turn. It may sound trivial but perhaps the residents may not be aware, they are breaking traffic law on daily basis.

The notion of dharma comes to my mind. The concept of dharma may mean many things to different people and religion. It may even have different name in different part of the world and culture. In Hinduism, dharma signifies behaviors that are considered to be in accord with rta, the order that makes life and universe possible, and includes duties, rights, laws, conduct, virtues and ‘‘right way of living’’ (Wikipedia)

Before anyone accuse me of being holier than holy (ha ha), let me assure you that it has nothing to do with religion but rather a way of life, doing the right things (as oppose to doing the things right) and ensuring that we do not hurt others out of greed, anger and of course, stupidity. You can find a variant of this in every modern society, culture and religion. Morality is one aspect of it but then the question may arise – what is right for me may not be right for you. That I agree with you. But there simpler acid test for this – be guided by the existing laws and society norms.

It can simple as following the traffic rules – don’t make illegal u-turns is one example, not driving on the wrong side of the road, put on the indicators when changing lane, wear a helmet when riding a motorbike and so on. And to something more complex like managing the country in the best interest of it’s citizen. There is no law written down to managing the country in the best interest of the citizen, of course.

This is where the society norms comes in place. No society wants to be governed by greedy, dumb, wasteful, dictator alike government – unless we are in a failing states like Zimbabwe or North Korea (but not Iran as the US wants us to believe). But we are not, we are far from countries like that. We will come across many instances of doing the right things in a day if you keep an eye and ears on it.

Asking people to do the right thing is nothing new concept. It is an age old concept.

I first came across the word “dharma” when I went to India for the first time and bought the Mahabharata from a local book store there. It was on sale (most things were) and the language used in the book was not so complicated to follow (I had to do something to kill time when the ladies were out for their shopping).

The dharma is mentioned a few times in Mahabharata which itself been called the story of dharma:-

Mahabharata is one of the oldest epics of our country, nay the world. It shows how dharma and karma govern our lives. Dharma is what is the right thing to do at a given time or situation. Dharma is based on wisdom, insight and human values. Dharma has many meanings and many dimensions as well – duty, truth, non-violence (ahimsa paramo dharma) and others. It is well said that “dharmo rakshita rakshata” – dharma protects he who follows dharma. However, if you do not follow dharma, you have to reap the consequences. That is karma – you reap what you sow, sooner or later.

(Source)

Failure to uphold the dharma will eventually attract bad karma. That’s universal – if you don’t do the right things, the consequences will not be good as well. If you don’t follow the traffic rules, you may get into an accident (or cause others to get into an accident).

The same with running this country. If you don’t govern the country well, it will not prosper and developed. And so. You may have heard variations of it – Murphy’s law, Newton’s 3rd law of motion, blah, blah

Knowing what is the right to do is one thing, doing it without fail is another:-

Doing right always is a very difficult task. Many a times we do not know what is dharma, what is not. Even though we know, unless it is a very usual habit of following it, at times of great stress it is impossible to follow the path of Dharma.

(Source)

In order to do thing on a constant basis, it takes high discipline and of course practice but more importantly there must be an acceptance that doing the right things should precede doing things right. It has to be habitual as well.

Direction of a Nation


(Sorry for missing out on blog posts for couple of weeks now. I have been tied to work rather overwhelmingly and I still have a long way to go)

Sometimes when you see what happens around the world and see how much mankind have moved forward since, since I don’t know – perhaps since he climbed down from the trees and learned to walk on his own 2 feet hundred thousands of years ago, you get this amazing, proud happy feeling.

One recent example is this:-

Many congratulations to the Rosetta team at ESA for successfully landing the lander module on a comet. It was not an easy thing to do, after all, the comet is flying past in space at more than 130,000 km/h. It will be interesting to wait and see what discoveries that we will find from this mission on a comet. Perhaps confirming or disapproving the theory that all water on this earth was brought down by a string of comets striking the earth millions years ago.

And last month, it was the India’s Mars Orbiter which made serious news and it was for a good reason too:-

The Mars Orbiter Mission cost Rs. 450 crore (£46 million) in comparison to NASA’s Maven orbiter costing £413 million, which also successfully inserted itself into the Martian orbit on Monday 22nd September 2014.

The Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, even stated: “Our program stands out as the most cost-effective. “There is this story of our Mars mission costing less than the Hollywood movie Gravity. Our scientists have shown the world a new paradigm of engineering and the power of imagination.”

(Source)

Whether you like it or not, the world have become very technologically advance. It has become small too – it is possible to go to any country in the world within a day (compared to months or years 200 – 300 years ago). Information these days is at one’s finger tips literally and connected to the world wide web 24 hours, 7 days a week.

Sir Ken Robinson in his talk in TED once said that as early as the 17th century, the industrial revolution drove the education blueprints of many nations towards science, engineering and mathematics. And that had given birth to some of the greatest minds that the world have seen. That industrial revolution plus two world wars that came later however had not stopped the advancement of mankind towards science and technology and whoever who do not embrace it at this age would be left out high and dry. Same thing happened to many companies in the 1990s who failed to embrace the digital age. Still remember Polaroid? And even Nokia, once a world leader in the telecommunication sector is no longer is in existence (after it was taken over by Microsoft).

That is why, the country as whole should emphasize more on science and technology instead of religion. Religion which have always been the scourge of science (or the other way around) should be left to individuals and should not form the backbone of a country. Think about it and take a good look of events around the world. There have been more people died and suffered in history due to religion indifference compared to people who died from say science experiments. There have been more dark ages brought by religion than by science. Some of the biggest tragedies in the recent times were done by twisted culprits claiming supremacy of religion and they continued to make an ass of themselves and the better aspect of a religion – such as Boko Haram in Nigeria and ISIS in Syria & Iraq.

And back home in Malaysia, we too been taking all the wrong steps. First we decided to teach Science and Mathematics in Bahasa instead of the accepted language of science and mathematics which is English. The lame excuse that was given was that the country needed to promote the national language and there was not enough teachers who can speak proper English. Unfortunately, despite the obvious reasons and calls from many quarters including the former Prime Minister, this decision have not been reversed to this day and the damage to the nation continues to this day.

But instead, we are entrenching ourselves with trivial issues like this:-

Non-Muslims in Kedah need not be worried or confused over the recent amendment to an 1988 enactment that bars non-Muslims from using Islamic religious words and terminology. State exco member Mohd Rawi Abd Hamid said no non-Muslim had been arrested in the state under the enactment for using terms that are exclusive to Islam and Muslims.

Mohd Rawi said non-Muslims could still use the words in their daily conversations, but not in their own prayers, public speeches or in religious publications.

“If you say you want to go to a masjid (mosque), why not? If you ask me where that masjid is, there’s no problem with the usage of that term,” he said yesterday

(Source)

Earlier, the whole nation seemed to be busied itself with someone who had organized a “want to touch a dog” event and after that, of an image on a water bottle.

Obviously we are getting our priorities all wrong and that is why for reasons like this, we will not going to be a developed country in 6 years time. Forget achieving vision 2020. We are too worried on what we can say and do in the name of religion. We are not worried about building more schools, getting our children to embrace science and mathematics in the most convenient way (by learning in English) and push for greater space and opportunities for citizens to speak aloud and to agree or disagree with the establish norms. One wrong say or act in this country can make one run foul of the dreaded Sedition Act and the authorities. We cannot advance if we confine ourselves to very few options and old rules. We even banned Darwin from this country.

And that is why, the country as whole need to wake up to reality of things and what is important for the society survival? And if one still have doubts as to where the nation should be moving, perhaps this will give a food for thought:-

Science is the engine of prosperity. Economists have said that a third to a half of U.S. economic growth has resulted from basic research since World War II. The cars and trains that got us here today, our smart phones, the energy that lights this chamber, the clothes we wear, the food we eat: All of these were developed and improved through research.

And so it is. Science is a system for exploring, and for innovation. It can fuel our nation’s economic growth. It can form a path for our young people in a competitive global marketplace. And it can fire our imagination.

(Source)

And mankind seems to be heading that direction too and probably in a greater pace due to the wealth of information available on the internet:-

Religion will become extinct by 2041 as the world becomes more developed and wealthier,, proclaims a new study by a noted author and biopsychologist Nigel Barber.

Barber makes the claim in his upcoming e-book, Why Atheism Will Replace Religion, which will be available next month. The Irish author says Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism and all other types of religious beliefs will be wiped out by atheism.

Barber notes there is a direct correlation between religious or atheist beliefs with economic development and level of education. The more educated and wealthier a society is, the less religious they are and vice versa. Barber adds that religion is most popular in underdeveloped countries.

(Source)

Religion is important but it should be something personal and it should never mix with the state of a nation. Science on the other hand is going to be the stepping stone for many things to come to make a country strong, capable and flexible. Something for us all to ponder especially for the next generation of Malaysians. Good governance helps too but let’s start with something simple – give more focus on science and mathematics and put this country on the path of it’s own industrial revolution if you may. There must be a new paradigm of vision and a greater power of imagination. As I have said, religion is important and let’s not discard it from our life but not to a point that it drive the state backwards and into the dark ages. We just need to look into history and move forward.

Have a good weekend ahead…

MH17 – The Final Goodbye


I drafted something else on MH17 and I worked on it for the past few days but in the end, after witnessing what the Dutch have done, I simply scraped it outright.

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Netherlands-MH17

(There is a serene peace and quietness when you see these images. Image source: Google)

These images of the Dutch giving the high respect to the bodies of the MH17 somehow shook me and left me in tears. As the hearse passes the overhead bridge, you can hear the claps from the people who have been waiting long for the hearse to pass by. Despite being thousands miles away, I too share the pain and sadness and simply remained in silence and prayed that the victims (a number of them, children) will rest in peace and the monsters who shot down the plane would be found and prosecuted.

Yes, it is a war zone and yes, mistakes may have happened but why the long delays in retrieving the bodies and the black box. Perhaps we can ponder on the another day. In the meantime, one need to salute the Dutch for what they have done, not knowing for sure the nationality of the victims that they are honoring. It did not matter – all in MH17 shared the same fate.

It was heartening when I read this:-

“This is how you honour the dead,” Dutch daily NRC headlined Thursday, contrasting the solemn return to the Netherlands of the first MH17 bodies with the traumatic chaos of the plane’s crash site in rebel-held Ukraine.

The NRC and several other papers printed front page photographs of flowers being dropped from a motorway bridge as the cortege of 40 hearses drove from Eindhoven airport.

Many contrasted the traumatic images of pro-Russian separatists handling bodies and personal belongings following the July 17 crash with the solemnity of the first plane’s arrival and welcome by Dutch armed forces.

“Soldiers wore hats instead of balaclavas,” wrote Thomas de Veen in the NRC daily after Dutch troops unloaded the 40 coffins from two planes.

“At last, a respectful homage,” headlined the AD, with 193 of the 298 people killed aboard the Malaysia Airways flight Dutch.

(Source)

There is a lesson to be learned from Dutch and I hope that the idiots at this part of the world will drop their short minded thinking and learn something about humanity

For a week, the usual bashing of the Church and the Opposition coalition was suspended, as the whole world mourned the victims of MH17. Now that the remains of the MH17 victims are in the process of being repatriated, troublemakers have resumed the fomenting of dissent and racial strife in Malaysia.

The situation in Malaysia has returned to “normal”. Scare tactics, involving race and religion, are used to distract the rakyat from important matters like rising poverty, increased crime and the economic and financial health of Malaysia. The first shot, to endanger national security was fired by the former Chief Justice (CJ) Abdul Hamid Mohamad.

At a buka puasa event last Monday, Hamid warned that Islam was under threat in DAP led Penang. He warned that the threat to Islam would spread throughout Malaysia.

The timing for Hamid’s announcement is critical. He waited until the world’s interest in MH17 had died down, so he could achieve maximum impact among the rakyat, especially the Malay Muslims.

(Source)

When we will ever grow up?

When we will ever accept that Malaysians of a different skin color, religion and culture at the end of the day are Malaysians too?

When we will ever accept the differences that we have and move on?

When we will ever grow a back bone and show the middle finger to these idiots who are bent on ruining the country out the door?

We had 2 tragedies months apart this year and we had lost 93 Malaysians and they say that when tragedy strikes the nation, everyone gets united and speak with one voice. It is a shame that despite these tragedies, we still act like we are living in a cave, with our brains firmly stuck to our backside, talking about fellow Malaysians on petty matters.

P.s. Selamat Hari Raya and have a good holidays next week

Don’t You Feel Like…


Sometimes when you read the headlines and on the state of the nation, don’t you feel like looking down in sheer frustration and then look up and say a silent prayer?

Yes, no doubt there other positive things to look out for – a roof over your head, good health, lovable family and friends, good job with enough pay to take care of your family and live rather comfortably. But once you take a look at the larger picture and knowing the small things that is happening far from your comfort zone is going to come back you hard, it becomes simply frustrating. From the rising crime (and the insane shooting and assassinations), the speechless outcry when the police kills a bunch of criminals (does that is exactly was expected to be done to end the criminals senseless killings? It should not be the end of the mop up exercise and it should continue until public perception of security improves), the release of the policemen who been charged with the killing of the Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu (gosh, so does this means she killed herself with C4?), the recycling and appointment of the same old tainted & corrupted politicians into the key positions of the Government again and again and again (“tak kan lah tak ada orang lain” in the whole of Malaysia who can the job?), the continued abuse of taxpayers money (the Government obsession with consultants seems to be running high and dry) and the manipulation the notion of race and religion for dubious reasons.

But that is not this post is about – let’s talk about something else and it came to me last night.

I was watching TV last night and out of the many channels in my room, nothing seems to catch my attention. The Fox channel was showing Will Smith’s I, Robot again for like 500th time. As I was scrolling up and down through the channels (stopping momentarily at the local channels), one looked interesting – it was about a group of rockers auditioning in front of the judges over some Korean Pop Channel. The rockers were quite crude and through their song (self composed one) style (they had long hair and leather jackets), their performance was rather so-so (in my opinion) and the judges were laughing all the way. One judge failed them but the rockers managed to scrap through as the other judges thought that the rockers had hope and passed them. Even the rockers were surprised and could not believe that they made it – they were quite hilarious.

Not the next group that came for audition – it brought tears to my eyes.

Five of them and all of them were close friends and fathers with small kids. All were professional background musicians playing for lead bands and singers on contract basis. They do not seem to be highly paid musicians. They dress casually and could just be the guy next door. They are quite close to their kids who in turn hold their fathers as heroes and better than anyone. But they have aged (in their early forties) and they no longer find enough work to support themselves and their families even though they all were extremely talented. One of them, the pianist who was playing for a young singer said that he was fired from his work without any notice as the singer only wanted younger musicians (perhaps to better portray the singer’s youthful image). Out of work and with a family to feed, he was at his lowest point of life and wanted to kill himself so that his family could gain from the insurance money. Somehow he changed his mind. And he heard about the talent show on TV, he and his musician buddies then decided go for the talent show and hope to win – a chance to change their life for better.

They walked in and as they take their place with their music instruments, one of the judges recognize them and asked why they are here. After all, they were all professional musicians. The pianist explains that this is the way they hope to put food on the table for their family. They then start to perform and the title of the song was rightfully called “Papa, Don’t Cry” and the performance was really excellent (ya, much better than the earlier rockers). I don’t understand Korean but due to the lyrics which had something very meaningful or perhaps due to very emotional performance by the struggling fathers, at least 2 judges in their tears. One immediately said yes whilst another abstained. The last judge said something was not right with their performance but before he delivers his verdict, the camera shot changed and was on the families of the band who have been waiting anxiously outside the audition room, some of their kids were even praying for the best. We are not shown on the final outcome of the judge’s verdict. The judge who said the negative comments suddenly walks out and looked “surprised” at the sight of the families outside. When they surrounded him and asked him on what had happened to the band, the judge keeps his silent and then out comes the men shouting, they have been picked to go on to the next level. The family members were in tears too. And that was inspiring and very moving.

Isn’t it just amazing, when things are looking bleak and hopeless, some inspiring story would come along and will inspire you not to lose hope and keep at it and things will change? Similarly there is hope for the country yet. Remember of all the nonsense that the politicians doing now and remember it well and when the next general elections comes, you will know what to do. In the meantime, keep your heads high and look out for the big break that surely will come.

Have a good week ahead…

An Inspiring Devoted Husband Blog


(Their story is not a common one but one that makes us to wake up and take note. They may not be the Romeo and Juliet that we have read of but their love story does not go far from the great love stories that we have heard of. Image source: Abil’s Facebook )

Truly inspiring! The kind of story that I want to see on Monday morning and it humbles me a great lot:-

A husband who quit his job to take care of his coma-stricken wife has started a blog to express his thoughts and experiences.

Abil Fikri Ahmad said that he created the blog in the hope that his wife Fauziah Muhamad would one day recover. A sudden asthma attack more than a year ago has left Fauziah in a vegetative state.

Doctors have told Abil that Fauziah, 38, would most likely remain in a vegetative state for the rest of her life, but he still wakes up every morning hoping to hear her call out his name. Abil’s life now revolves around looking after Fauziah who requires round-the-clock care.
His daily routine includes feeding her liquid food through a tube, bathing her, changing her diapers and giving her medication, while reading and talking to her. “She is my wife and it is my responsibility as her husband to care for her no matter what,” Abil said in a telephone interview.

Abil quit his job, mortgaged their house in Kuala Lumpur and moved back to Seremban to take care of Fauziah. He is on a strict budget and is surviving on his savings. Readers of his blog and followers of his Facebook page called “Dana Sinar Fauziah” have offered financial support, which Abil said is “just enough to get by”.

Asked what his plans are, he said: “There’s no telling what the future holds. But as long as she lives, I will be by her side,” he said.

(Source)

We share the pain and the hope that the devoted, loving husband, Abil has on his wife, Fauziah who is in coma after an asthma attack. Head over to his blog here and the Facebook page here for support and prayers. We hope to see Fauziah back on her feet soon and brother Abil, hang on there. We share your hope too.