Light at the End of the Tunnel

I guess many of us are probably still in shock of the GE13 results. It’s like watching victory only remained in our hands for mere seconds before dirty tactics were pulled, blackouts, extra ballot boxes, police totally not independent, alien voters.. to wrestle the rakyat’s voices and rights from our grasps. Again, we were cheated from what we strongly believe in.

I cried myself to sleep last night. I gave up watching tv as well as looking at the internet after the evil managed to form a government with simple majority (with magic tricks David Copperfield wouldn’t even be able to pull!). This is the new low in the history of our general election. I wonder how much lower one can get to do everything they could to hold onto power.

I questioned God – WHY? Why did You even let this happen? Isn’t the truth and justice should prevail? I heard nothing but only the beating of my heart and my breathlessness as I choked myself in tears to sleep. Then I realized that, it was the Devil’s doing to tear me away from the only God, so I revoked the Devil and proclaim Jesus’ blood. We may not understand what God’s plans are. But all we could do now, is to stay vigilant and be ready when He unleashes His wrath to the evil to make things right.

I woke up this morning, drag myself to wash my face and brush my teeth. It’s going to be another day for the next five years. I was touched when I read messages from friends around the globe, words of encouragement and feeling of togetherness. They are right. We have not lost yet. The battle has just begun. The people has managed to wrestle 7 more parliamentary seats compared to the previous election. This alone, is an achievement. I bet, without gerrymandering done despicably by the ruling party, the results would be reversed! 80% turn out is not a small matter. It took each and every rakyat to come out to stand for what is right.

When I was at the polling station yesterday, I spoke to some of the people there and everyone chatted like old friends eventhough we have never met. We are all for a cleaner and fairer government, to put an end to corruption once and for all, to vote for the future of our children. One lady even ask me to touch her head where she was knocked by a helmet in a robbery incident and I just met her like 5 minutes? We all talk like old friends. I bumped into some ex neighbours. Eventhough they have moved out more than 15 years ago, they came back to this old hometown to cast their votes! I saw old friends who had moved to neighbouring countries, and they all came back to vote!

I even saw all races sitting together at the entrance of the school to watch out for alien voters. It was raining in the afternoon and yet, the people didn’t budge. They stood under the trees and bus stop shelters while keeping their eyes peeled open, watching entrance like a hawk!

It matters because of this working together, we managed to wrestle the state seat and maintain the parliamentary seat! Kudos to the people of Selayang!

I would like to end this post with a status from a friend, Edmund JP in his facebook. It comforted me dearly and I hope it does the same for you. Let’s not lose hope. In darkness, we use faith to see with our hearts, not our eyes. We will continue this fight till our last breaths! Be forewarn!

Written by Edmund JP

I woke up with a heavy head this morning, still suffering from the Malaysia’s 13th election hangover. The election result really didn’t help to boost my energy level despite having a comfortable bed at home.

I bet many urban tech-savvy Malaysians had the same feeling too this morning. We didn’t get the change we wanted. Instead, we were raped and robbed by a bullish government with no respect to the Rakyat’s fundamental constitutional rights i.e. to make our voice heard with our votes.

But my fellow Malaysians, today let’s bury this 505 dark day behind us. When you walk out from your house, let’s hold your head up high. For the fact the you felt lousy when you woke up this morning, it shows that you are a REAL PATRIOT who love your country, Malaysia, a land we called home.

We might have lost a battle. But despite all the cheatings before and during the 13th election (Bangla import, sudden blackouts, gangsterism, money politics, last min dubious ballot boxes rushed into polling station etc) and billions of Ringgit spent by BN, I don’t think we lost, In fact we gained further traction as the Rakyat managed to reduce BN’s seats from 145 seats to 133 seats.

So did we lose? NO! THE RAKYAT DIDN’T LOSE! WE MADE SMALL LITTLE STEPS FORWARD. Great people like Mahatma Gandhi and Aung San Suu Kyi fought their respective war for years before they achieved what they wanted for the people.

One thing for sure, everytime when I see the government trying to oppress the Rakyat, we grow stronger and more united. I saw this beautiful phenomena in the Bersih rallies, Himpunan Kebangkitan Rakyat rally, GE12 and even GE13. We helped each other as MALAYSIANS without looking at our skin colours and religions. I saw the same beautiful scenes yesterday at the polling stations where Malaysians worked together to attempt to defend our rights. This is something that we should be proud of, and I definitely am proud of being a Malaysian.

So, to all the:
1. PACABA volunteers at the polling stations – Malaysia thank you and we are proud of you.
2. “Ghostbusters” citizen – Malaysia thank you and we are proud of you.
3. citizen who used their flesh to block suspicious cars carrying dubious ballot boxes into the polling stations – Malaysia thank you and we are proud of you.
4. citizen who tried to protect other citizen from gansterism and intimidation – Malaysia thank you and we are proud of you.
5. citizen who guarded the gate at the polling station so that no one was allowed to go in after polling hours- Malaysia thank you and we are proud of you.
6. 80% eligible voters on the electoral roll who voted – Malaysians thank you and we are proud of you.
7. Malaysians who returned hom from oversea to vote AND Malaysians who voted oversea – Malaysia thank you and we are proud of you.
8. Orang Kurang Upaya (OKU) and the elderly who braved the rain and physical challenges but still voted – Malaysia thank you and we are proud of you.
9. bullies who used all sorts of dirty tricks to cheat and gangster to intimidate the Rakyat – Malaysians thank you because you made us stronger and more united between different races.
10. the 20% of eligible voters who didn’t vote and the rest of the Malaysians who didn’t even bother to register to vote – You are welcome.

So, my fellow Malaysians who still feel sad, the little small steps we made yesterday show that if we work together, we can move forward and make changes (small or big). Always remember, loyalty to the country always. Loyalty to the government when it deserves it. People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people. In anything, once we give up on hopes, we have nothing. So, LET’S KEEP OUR CHIN UP AND NEVER GIVE UP!

To My Dearest BN Supporting Friends..

One couldn’t have written this any better! Exactly shared my sentiment!

Got this from Facebook, which has gone viral since 1st May 2013.

To my dearest BN supporting friends…
by Amelia Tan (Notes) on Wednesday, May 1, 2013 at 10:13pm

In the wake of the coming 13th General Elections, we have witness the onslaught of opinions and views. Many articles, posters, cartoons and videos have been flooding our Facebook news feed, each reiterating points on why we should vote for change or not.

To be honest, much of the stuff on my news feed are pro-change, which basically means a majority of my friends will be voting for an alternative government this coming elections.

But I have noticed a couple of my friends, whom I hold dear and very much respect, to be supporters of BN.

First and foremost, I believe that it is everyone’s right to vote for whom they think is worthy and I do not think those who support BN as evil or corrupt. Not at all. I know all of you well enough to know you are decent human beings and this is why we are friends. I have also heard your justifications on why we should give BN a chance and I completely understand where you are coming from.

If I may, I would like to state a few points in hope that I could offer an alternative view. Read with an open mind, my dear friends. I do not need you to agree with me and I will not judge if you don’t. We are all entitled to our own views. However, I believe there will be certain things that we will agree on.

ON BEING GRATEFUL

Many whom support BN continuously do so because they feel that we should be grateful for what our government has given us. We are given access to education, an economy and a space to thrive, our country is relatively safe compared to that of Cambodia or the Philippines, we have EPF, we are being given BR1M and BR1M2 and we have been a relatively peaceful country for 56 years.

Before I go on to say why I think this is a moot point, let us first understand the role of government. The role of government is to basically do just that, govern. It is to provide us with education, health care, a healthy economy, infrastructure, public safety and to ensure balance and harmony in the nation in which it governs. Obviously, to govern and to ensure all these things are in place, a government would need money. Where does this money come from? Well, yes, us, the people, the Rakyat.

So, very simply, we pay the government money, in the form of taxes every month, to provide us with these things we should be grateful for. Well, I don’t know about you, but for me, that’s like saying my boss should be grateful to me for coming to work every morning when I’m being paid to do it.

Let’s understand one thing. What we currently have; education, health care, EPF and etc, aren’t special things that BN has brilliantly thought of for us. EVERY country with a sound and solid government would have all these things in place, otherwise they would be considered failures. The point isn’t to be grateful that we have these things, the point is to judge whether our government has done its duty and done all it can to provide us with what we deserve. The answer is no.

Our education system has been failing to produce quality students. Crime rates has escalated so badly that no one dares walk out on the streets alone, even in broad daylight. Our infrastructure is inefficient and badly maintained. Our rural folks have no access to proper health care and basic amenities. The value of our currency has taken a huge plunge in the past 30 years. We are no longer as economically competitive as we were before, with the Philippines and Indonesia fast taking over our position and we are way behind Singapore in, well, everything. In the past 5 years, racial tension has been at an all time high and completely out of control with politicians (i.e Ibrahim Ali and his ilks) spewing racial hatred and offensive statements without getting reprimanded. And lastly, early this year, the Lahad Datu invasion and the unveiling of 800,000 illegal citizenships given to Filipinos and Indonesians in Sabah some 20 years ago.

All our lives, we have been told to be better. We go to school to be better, we study religion to be better versions of ourselves, we work hard to get to a better position in life. It is in our innate nature to want to be better. Therefore, when comparing ourselves to other countries, we can’t possibly compare ourselves to countries that are worse off and be grateful that we are not them. It is not about being greedy either. It is about wanting to be better and knowing that there is plenty of room for improvement and insisting upon it. Remember, we pay the government taxes to run the country. We have a right to want it to be better. It is also our duty to ensure that they be better. We owe it to our country. We owe it to our children. We owe it to ourselves.

ON CHAOS AND INSTABILITY

Many have cited this as the reason for sticking with BN. We fear that there will be riots on the streets and our economy will collapse should the opposition win. But that’s not very logical is it? If PR does indeed win the GE13, why on earth would they cause a riot? They have won! So think now, when you think of riots, who then do you think will be causing them? The losing party? BN? If that is so, if you think the party you are supporting would be sore losers and cause a riot thus disrespecting our democratic process, would you still endorse them as fair capable leaders? Is this how we were brought up? Kick up a fuss when we lose? Is this how we would bring our children up? To lose with no integrity?

And as for the collapse in the economy, for many years, our economy has been running on auto-pilot. I for one, do not believe our economy will collapse because I believe in our people. Our economy isn’t run by the government. They have a part to play, yes, but WE the people, play a bigger part. We are the building blocks and we are the ones that move the economy. Do you really think banks and MNCs will fail to function once the government changes? No, it won’t. Because come 6th May, should there be a change of government, we still have to go back to work! It is still business as usual and everything will function the way it always has. The many great businesses in Malaysia did not happen because of the government. It happened because our people are innovative and hard-working. We made this economy, not our government. We just need a stable space to go about our daily routine. So if BN doesn’t kick up a fuss if they lose, deals will still be made, transactions will still happen and trades will still be very much alive. But only if BN doesn’t kick up a fuss.

ON CORRUPTION

As urban folks, it is very easy to forget that in Malaysia, there still exists a huge portion of Malaysians that live in poverty. These folks are so poor that they cannot even afford food. Do we know what it is like to not be able to afford food? I am eternally grateful that I don’t. But does this mean that we forget about these people in the kampungs and rural areas and pretend that they do not exist? We are all Malaysians. Why are they still so poor? Why hasn’t anything been done to improve their lives? You’d think after being in power for 56 years, BN would have AT LEAST help these people afford food right?

But no, the poor are still marginalised while corruption is rampant within the government. The one thing I fail to understand, my dear friends, is how can you stand by a government so corrupt?

Every year, our Auditor General Report states ridiculous over-spending and yet nothing gets done. RM15,000 for a laptop. RM700 for a calculator. We all know this happens and we all know it is true. It’s been so ingrained into our system and yet, we close one’s eyes and let it be. We admit that corruption is a real problem in our government but which government isn’t corrupt you say?

Well, my dear friends, this is where WE have to change. I believe all of us are upstanding truthful people. This is why we are friends. Now, because we believe in the truth and we believe in what is right, we must reject corruption. We can’t allow it to happen nor give any excuse for it to happen. Some of us have children and some of us will have children. Will these be the values and lessons we teach our young?

I know for one that I will instill in my child, lessons of honesty, integrity, fairness and equality. To treat each person with respect and to help those who aren’t capable. To always be kind and to be a good person.

If I allow myself to turn a blind eye to corruption and not denounce it, I will be going against everything I believe in. If I support a government that has been so corrupt for 56 years, I am subscribing to those values. How else then would I be able to teach my child the lessons I want him/her to learn? How do I look my child in the eye and teach them the very thing I’m going against by endorsing BN?

Some of us are religious and some of us are not. However, I believe that all of us have common values and beliefs. How do we uphold these values and stay true to our paths while supporting a government that has been desecrating these values for years?

ON RACISM AND EQUALITY

I am a 3rd generation Malaysian. I’ve sung Negaraku every Monday for 12 years in school and I know the Rukunegara by heart. All my family is in Malaysia and I do not have any affliations to China. I don’t even know how to read and write in Chinese and my Cantonese is atrocious. I only love one country. This country. And if it comes down to it, will only shed blood for one country. This country.

My dear friends, we are the same. It doesn’t matter what our ethnicity is. We are Malaysians. We went to the same school. We played the same games. We enjoy the same amount of public holidays. We have the same memories. Most importantly, we share the same home. Neither of us are more Malaysian than the other. Neither of us should be made to feel that way.

Our parents, our grandparents, perhaps their views were marred by differences as they did not grow up together. Perhaps they felt distrust because they were not privileged like us to live in times of better integration. Perhaps they’ve told us things, from their point of view. But it doesn’t make them right. We should know better. We’ve lived it and we are still living it. We know we can trust each other. We are friends.

My dear friends, if you see me fall, would you pick me up? I am sure you would. How about if you see someone telling me I don’t belong here? Would you stand up for me? As friends, we must stand up for each other. If I see someone mistreating you or stripping you of your rights, I would stand by you. This is because we are equals. We do not need BN to tell us we are 1Malaysia. We have been like that for a long long time.

ON AN ALTERNATIVE GOVERNMENT

Many fear that PR would be no better. To be completely honest, I do not have an answer for this. I do not know if PR will be the solution to a better government. I do not know if they would indeed bring change upon Malaysia. What I do know is that we desperately need check and balance in this country. To have the same government rule for 56 years is not healthy. Let us use logic to analyse this. If you are the government and you have been in power for 56 years, wouldn’t you become complacent? If you know you’ll win every single time, would you try as hard? It is human nature to take things for granted and BN has taken things for granted. It has forgotten the role it is supposed to play.

We need this change because we need to restore the democratic process in our country. We need the power to shift back to the people. We need the government to fear the people and not otherwise. This is because only through fear would any government be kept on its toes and do its job well. We know what it is like to have a really scary boss. We naturally do a better job because we’d otherwise be fired. It is the same logic.

Power needs to be shifted back to the people. If we manage to change the government, we would have won half the battle. We would then know that we can pick whoever that is best to run the country. If this does happen, we can easily boot PR out after 5 years if they do a bad job and elect BN again if they prove to be better.

Think of this as helping BN to change. BN will not change if we still give it power to rule after being so inefficient for so long. They can promise us a lot of things and that they will change but we have given them 12 chances to change already. If we boot them out this time, they would have to restructure themselves and compete really hard to win the hearts of the people. Perhaps then, we would see better policies and better governance. Perhaps then, we would have two strong parties for us to pick. And perhaps then, we could have intellectual debates about policies and plans instead of the fear mongering and racial scare tactics we see in our election campaigns today. If we manage to change our political landscape to one which is that, then we, the Rakyat, would have won. Malaysia would be restored.

So my dear friends, please know that I am not voting for a change for the sake of it. I am doing this for you and me and our future. I envisage a Malaysia that is much better than the current Malaysia. I know our country has so much potential and I want it to be so much better. This is because I know it can be better.

I hope you have read this with an open mind and I hope you will give it some thought. If you know me, you know that I am not an extremist or a radicalist. I am just your ordinary Malaysian person who wants this country to be better.

Just like you.

Original note can be found here.

What Seoul Taught Me

To be honest, I was rather reluctant to go to Seoul. After so many stories about North Korea threat and also, the country where K pop comes from – I think I only know PSY so far.. and Rain, I was not very interested. We have booked the tickets since last year and I was on the fence on whether to go or not since, we weren’t sure if election day is going to clash with the trip. I decided to cancel my trip if election were to fall on 27th April. Fortunately, God answered my prayer and got it fixed on 5th May. So, off I go.

Seoul and Jeju simply amazed me. From the sight seeing, their natural wonders, how they managed to upkeep the place – keeping it spick and span, the efficiency of how they manage so many tourists or travelers both local and foreign, timeliness and efficiencies of their transportation system – you don’t have to go around the bush just to get to a place! Their quest for perfections – in terms of their appearance and projecting positive image, their people’s friendliness despite being unable to speak a word of English, everywhere we go, there’s a tourist booth providing information with officers who could speak Japanese, English or Chinese to assist you, their architecture, cleanliness of the area.. even the recycling area didn’t smell bad!

A friend even showed me an app on her phone which could track how long more we would be waiting for the next bus, as all buses are equipped with GPS on them and their frequency is every 2-6 minutes each, right on the dot. She even paid for her bus fare or train fare using her iphone – T money, they called it. And she said, you can just leave your handphone or ipad on the table and go to the toilet or even order your food at the counter without even worrying of your things getting stolen etc which is very rare in South Korea.

Everywhere I see pretty girls and boys walking with their eyes transfixed onto their gadgets on their hands with headphones plastered permanently into their ears. They walked without even holding tight to their bags and be alert at all times people might jump them. Some even let their handbags zip open with the least care in the world, even in a crowded MRT train, chatting away.

Old folks get priority in seats on buses and trains and, they are healthy folks who are independent, going about their passion for hiking with friends on weekends, in their chic jackets and pants in bright neon colors! A group of ajumas and ajusis can even walk faster than us when we were attempting to scale the steps in Mount Seorak!

Any beeline do not deter people from lining up to get their things done. They are fast workers and were very efficient. When we were at the airport, the staff even asked us if we need help with our tax refunds and patiently explained to us 2-3x till we understand.

Most shopping complexes charge you if you ask for plastic bags. They encourage you for bringing your own shopping bags, not only on weekends. Or they have many discarded boxes at the checking out counter for you to pack your own things to bring back home. They even separate their rubbish. Right from the guest house – they have separate dustbins for food waste, plastic, paper, glass and other waste. Cleanliness is so important, you don’t even believe how clean their public toilets are! They even shut down the escalators after 9 pm much to my chagrin to conserve energy!

I am no history buff or what but I remember reading a little about the Korean war 1950 – between South and North Korea in wikipedia as I was still contemplating on whether or not to go to Korea.. the war ended in 1953, which was just 4 years earlier than the independence of our country, Malaysia. And as they pick up pieces to mend their war torn country, we managed to obtain independence from the British with not much blood shed (saved for the communists and security forces, may their souls rest in peace), we didn’t develop to this level as yet. It does make you wonder, isn’t it? Seoul is already almost at par with the Japanese and yet, we are still comparing ourselves with countries like Ghana (My God!). Even Cambodia which I visited in 2006, it only took them 7 years to develop their Phnom Penh city from “Ipoh in the 1970s” to the “current Ipoh”! Yangon is also already catching up.. and I read somewhere that, Vietnam is soon going to lead the world in coffee exports!

This trip truly opened my eyes to the reality of the choices we could make. So, my fellow Malaysians, I urge you to please vote with your conscience. We all should vote to get rid of corruption, we vote for equal opportunities to education, we vote for basic security, peace of mind, safety of our loved ones, we vote for keeping brains and skills in our country, we vote for harmony that has been all along fostered over the years, we vote for rationalism, we vote for fairness and justice, we vote for a competent government who doesn’t take us as idiots, we vote for freedom of speech, we vote for freedom of religion, we vote for our fundamental rights as a human being, and most of all, we vote for a prosperous and peaceful future Malaysia. Together, we will bring the evil and corrupted to their knees in the presence of truth and integrity! Together, we shall fight for the future of Malaysia!

Tumpang

My colleague reminisced the past few elections, during polling day, there would be plenty of cars driven by volunteers to polling stations. The cars would be donning either parties’ flags. Generally, everybody would just car pool if they don’t have their own transport. So far, she has voted probably 4x and she and her mom would hitch a ride from these volunteers because they do not drive or own a car.

With the current escalating crimes spiraling out of control the past five years, she’s too wary to hitch a ride from strangers anymore! It’s too risky! Even if the cars do have stickers or flags on them, she wouldn’t want to hitch a ride anymore. I guess I will offer her and her mom a ride to the polling station – even if it meant, not the same as mine on 5/5/2013!

So you have it… the perception of crimes in our country. It’s indeed dark and too scary.

Vote wisely, fellow Malaysians. Vote for safety and security. Vote for peace of mind. Vote for justice.

Champion of Loose Morals

On Saturday afternoon I was having a nap when I was awaken rudely by shouting and unruliness, followed by sounds of a group of motorcycles.

I went to my porch to check out who was that, and was shocked to see a group of rempits, donning identical black shirts, carrying the blue flags – shouting and screaming, honking all the way. I am not sure what their special PR people going to say about this? Since they have paid millions to hire some angmoh company to handle their “image”. *Shake head*

How can a ruling party condone such act? Probably want to give them something to do, since most likely, these rempits are unemployed! So, are we supposed to thank the ruling party for reducing unemployment rate? These people have the same opportunity to pursue their studies, the same opportunity to get a decent job but they chose not to. Probably work only once every 5 years as flag bearers and riding dangerously on the road putting unnecessary risks on other road users.

I guess this rot of the society started in school. I saw a group of school children, hanging around the backyard of my office during schooling hours, sniffing glue and smoking. Some students were seen lighting up cigarettes the moment they got out from school. They think it’s really cool to smoke. If you earn your own money to buy your cigarettes, then congratulations lah. But you are still in school and live on your parents’ hard earned money and you feel so proud? Shame on you.

You may say, we must blame the parents for not keeping an eye on their children. It’s quite true also.. in a way. Most parents now are too busy at work. Both moms and dads have to pull their socks to bring food to the table and sometimes, even with both sides working, they could hardly make ends meet. They just live from one pay check to another, if they are lucky.. but what more if they are also being heavily in debt. With the rising in food costs, utilities, petrol, housing prices etc – who are we to blame when we elected the wrong representative to spend our hard earned money in form of tax – which supposedly help the people, instead they put the country into deeper debts?

So, what is the root of all the rot in our society? A corrupted government. A corrupted government which spent unnecessarily – to spoon feed their mindless minions once every five years, implementing infeasible programs which do not benefit the society in general but lining pockets of their cronies, turning a blind eye on escalating crimes by labeling them as “perception”. etc.

My fellow Malaysians, we must stem the rot from its roots. So I urge you to please vote wisely.

PS. If you ask, why didn’t I call the police whenever these kids are hanging about at my office backyard? Believe me. We did.. many times. But they keep coming back.