Wednesday, September 17, 2008,1:57 PM
What in the name??
Aussies have a strange tendency to invent strange and unusual names, even when it's an honest attempt to make themselves different and distinguishable from the rest. Some, however, will make you wonder how the hell they got their names in the first place...

posted by azreey
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,12:03 AM
Something for Merdeka
This is two weeks late, but this is something that I should post here.


Pretty symbolic of Merdeka, don't you reckon? Snapped this photo by chance after leaving the so-called Merdeka Festival at Federation Square in Melbourne. The fantastic thing about the festival is that there was no Malaysian food!!! Not even packed kuih and some packed Yeo's drink!

Apparently, according to a friend of mine, the organisers couldn't obtain a permit to sell food and drinks at the plaza area of Fed Sq, so it was a Merdeka celebration with all the cultural performance, music and clothes but no food. So much for leaving my stomach empty earlier in the day...
posted by azreey
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Tuesday, September 16, 2008,11:00 PM
The significance and ramifications of Sept 16
Today, people all over Malaysia waited to edge of their seats to see what will unravel, hoping that something will happen, anything. The country is in disarray because of this ominous date. Rumours widespread, speculation rife, everyone's guessing. But up to now, nothing much has happened and BN is still in power.

It's amazing how a single man can put the whole nation on the edge. Anwar Ibrahim set the dateline himself, no one forced him to form a new government and there was no immediate cause for him to choose this date. Symbolically, Sept 16 is Malaysia Day, the day when Malaya became Malaysia with the inclusion of Sabah, Sarawak and Singapore in 1963. It is in reality the day Malaysia was born.

Anwar's choice for this date is pretty obvious actually. For years, East Malaysia has been quite neglected by the federal government and I guess Anwar wanted to use this date as a way of telling Sarawkians and Sabahans that they're important and deserve the kind of respect they should get. In my opinion, his move has more to do with Sabah, with so many problems afflicting it and the political nature of the state is different from the other states (the fact that UMNO was transplanted there and that there were a seccesionist movement a while back). And also, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) was daring enough to criticise Pak Lah's lacklustre leadership.

Politics aside, what will happen after Sept 16 is anyone's guess. Now that the day has passed and Anwar held a press conference to announce that they have enough MPs (more than 31, sufficient enough for them to form a government with a simple majority) and that he will only reveal the name list to Pak Lah so that it will assured that no one will becoming a victim of ISA or the declaration of a state of emergency. The thing is, Anwar likes to keep us wondering and this is frustrating. And if nothing happens in the near future, it seems very likely that Anwar will be on the same boat as Pak Lah because to me, all the anticipation and hope had been placed on this single date, too much of it actually. People will soon realise that it's all a political ploy to make BN jittery and if Anwar fails to fulfill his promise for a new Malaysia, everyone will lose faith in him, sending him and Pak Lah to political oblivion.

I don't have any faith in politics in Malaysia anymore because of all this rhetorics and racism that is evident, both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat. The bottomline is this, something or someone has to give in within the next few weeks, things will get worse before it gets better. And in relation to the present situation, I would like to quote The Joker in The Dark Knight "This is what happens when an unstoppable force meets an immovable object." A bit too soon to say that I guess, but we won't have to wait long to see that happen I hope.
posted by azreey
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Wednesday, July 16, 2008,9:54 PM
A slap in the face for Malaysia
It goes to show, Malaysia is heading nowhere but into political oblivion. And with the economic situation we're in now, it looks like the dark clouds of 1997-98 are back, to say the least. Its just ridiculous that a politician like Anwar Ibrahim will sodomise his aide, especially when he's making a political comeback after being silenced for 10 years. If he really did it, what is there for him to gain? Maybe to garner some public sympathy or even to indirectly discredit Barisan, I don't know. Even so, I wouldn't want our country to be led by some anal-fetish politician. I'm sure most Malaysians wouldn't like that.

But don't be mistaken, I do believe that Anwar is innocent and if you ask me, it is more than just a political tactic to stop his sprint to becoming PM and from what it is now, it looks like there are some unseen forces manipulating our country internally. Since March 8, not a day has passed by without having us encountering scandalicious news and revelations. Even those who were once mighty and powerful are not spared. Anwar, Najib, Dr.M, all now have red marks in their report books (they all been having it all the while, its just that the colour red is now more vivid and too obvious to ignore) and everyone seems to be in a complete state of denial, brushing them off like dust on their sleeves. It makes me wonder, where did all these allegations come from? Surely there's someone or a group of people or an organisation that's orchestrating all this (maybe we need our version of 'Deep Throat' aka Mark Felt). Its either that or everyone is opportunistically vying for a spot for power, as Pak Lah is now at his lowest point in his political career. Sometimes I think of him as an 'accidental prime minister'. Maybe after realising that there are no credible candidates, Dr. M had no choice but to appoint him as his successor (not even Najib). Or all of this could be his doing, but to say such things without evidence would be seditious, according to our country's laws.

Whatever they want to argue about, its always the rakyat who will eventually suffer the brunt of all these nonsense. Too preoccupied with themselves, the politicians of our time are no better than they were 10 years ago. It's more than just a deja vu, its becoming more of a curse. It's as if for our country to move forward it is necessary for everyone, from the streetside pisang goreng seller to the remisier at the stock market, to go through all this. Everyone is affected in some ways. In a way, it's good for the country, making the usually docile Malaysians so fed up that they have to be more outspoken just to be heard (even the slightest hint of a protest would send the polis into full alert and instead of maintaining order, created chaos). And gladly, it looks like there are more and more of us who wants to see a united Malaysia, regardless of race, religion and background. This is probably an uninteded consequence of the recent events and in certain aspects, we're maturing; as Malaysians have proved in the recent elections.

The next decade in Malaysia will be interesting for all of us to see. We have gone so far for the past 50 years, let's not ruin this place we call Malaysia, our home and pride. There's too much at stake here, for you and me. Seriously.
posted by azreey
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Thursday, August 30, 2007,2:34 PM
Merdeka oh Merdeka
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I have a confession to make, I do have a soft spot for my country, so you can say that i'm a patriotic person (but I wouldn't go as far as saying that, I'm just glad that I was born in this curious nation of sorts, beats being an Aussie). As I write this on a wonderful sunny and windy Merdeka eve afternoon, listening to Sudirman's "31 Ogos 1957" song, I can't help but to reminisce on the good times that I had back in Malaysia. In my opinion, if you don't like the government, it doesn't hurt to at least love our country based on the fact that we're lucy that our country had come a long way since Tunku shouted Merdeka seven times at Stadium Merdeka fifty years ago (For non-Malaysians who have stumbled upon my blog, Merdeka is independence or freedom in Malay).

All things considered, where else in the world can anyone enjoy a good hot cup of Teh Tarik at 3am after clubbing? Where else can anyone watch a new movie even before it was launched? Where else in the world can anyone be silenced for speaking up? I believe that the tension between the people and the powers that run Malaysia is what keeps us together, even when we're not exactly happy about it. But deep down in our hearts, we know that this is where we came from, this is where we relate ourselves to, this is where we developed our characteristic Manglish and all the -lahs, gostan.. (you know all of them). It is our tanah air (homeland).

So, on this fateful day, let us rejoice, think about who we are and all the things that make us Malaysians. For those who think that Malaysia is a shitty place, you're partly right and mostly wrong. After fifty years, its time for us to move on and pray for a brighter future ahead of us and our country..
posted by azreey
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Thursday, August 23, 2007,7:53 PM
Enough is enough: Malaysians need to wake up
Why are we so complacent? Why do we let bus drivers speed and treat our lives like it has no value at all? Why only when a major accident happens then only we start to complain and speak out even when we know all along that something bad is going to happen? And above all, why do we let profit and speed jeopardise the lives of travellers?

Its interesting to note that Malaysians, the public and the government, always find themselves no reason to act when everything's going smoothly. Accidents happen because drivers disregard the importance of valuing one's life and the safety of other road users. The recent accident at Bukit Gantang is by far the most horrific accident involving an express bus for as long as any Malaysian can remember. And yet, we let this happen. The JPJ and Polis do their part by enforcing the law, but still, not much has been done (and often too late) or maybe much has been done TO them by irresponsible and corrupt people.

Why didn't they pursue this bus-driving demons? The countless summons and arrest warrants issued to the driver who killed 22 people were obviously not deterring him from driving and the fact that he was still driving buses proves to us that bus drivers are becoming bolder. In the end, normal law-abiding citizens become the victims. Since that accident, at least 2 more buses had crashed, with one driver fleeing the scene of the accident.

The thing is, the good-hearted people of Malaysia didn't even move a finger eventhough they're the very people that these bus companies depend on. What's wrong with us? Don't we value our own lives? Malaysians are too complacent, that's the bottomline. I've sat in buses driven by drivers from hell, and its probably one of the scariest thing one can do in Malaysia (put that on Fear Factor's list of challenges). When the driver speeds, some of us would think "Oh good, he's driving faster, we can reach there earlier.". And maybe during Christmas, Chinese New Year, Deepavali or Raya, most of us couldn't wait to meet our loved ones back in our kampung (I'm sure the bus drivers feel the same), but there's no reason for us to rush. As the saying goes "Biar lambat asalkan selamat". Have we forgotten this Malay proverb that we always hear and read during our BM classes in school? Apparently, we have.

If its not the roads and vehicles that cause an accident, its the driver. It's our lives people! Protect it, take control, fight for it! We've all seen too much and many had suffered because of this. If we can't depend on Big Brother, we can depend on ourselves. Through unity, we can act as a single force, even greater than the government and law-enforcers. Philippines had proven it not once but twice when they ousted Ferdinand Marcos and Joseph Estrada. Its called people power.

I'm not implying that we should start a revolution, for what right? I'm just saying that Malaysians need to show to these people that we are a force to be reckon with when it comes to this kind of issues, because it concerns our lives. We should look at ourselves and the role that we play in the country before we start pointing fingers and start pointless, never-ending arguments. Malaysians need to wake up and stand up for themselves now, or continue living blindfolded, led by unscrupulous people, bent on benefiting themselves.
posted by azreey
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Wednesday, August 01, 2007,9:04 PM
Penang goes funky
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket Our dear Pak Lah has announced the launch of Koridor Utara megaproject that will spur development in the northern regions of Peninsular Malaysia and Penang will become the 'gateway to the northern corridor'. It has now become the tradition for Malaysian PMs to launch such super large scale projects to drive the economy, it all sounds good and fantastic, but will it be sustainable? We've got two major areas in Malaysia which are receiving a lot of attention, first the Iskandar Development Region for Johor and now this, I just hope that supply doesn't exceed the demand. Nevertheless, it all boils down to the concept of economies of scale, just like what Dr.M did in his time.

But anyways... I'm going to go politiking here, I'm more interested on what's in store for our 'rice bowl' region of our country. Apparently, the Malaysian authorities have hired the expertise of a New York-based architectural firm called Asymptote Architecture to design a new development on what what used to be the Penang Turf Club, much like KLCC which was developed on the site of the former Kuala Lumpur Turf Club. Here's a rendering of it.

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Pretty funky looking stuff for a laid back town huh? The megaproject includes a performing arts center, a convention center, retail outlets, a 5-star hotel as well as apartment blocks. Its good for Penang, considering that most developments in the past few decades have been concentrated in Klang Valley, especially KL. From the rendering, it doesn't look like anything we have in Malaysia, but why hire a foreign architectural firm to do this kind of job? Don't we have enough graduates in architecture to perform up to this standard? We do have them, but they're just not there as the conditions in Malaysia are not conducive enough and the mentality of the people still remain in the Third World mindset even when we're slowly approaching Wawasan 2020. Everytime I think of this vision, the further it gets from our grasp. Anyhow, in the meantime, check out the other renderings done by them...

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Funky stuff huh?
Click here for additional info on this firm on Wikipedia.
posted by azreey
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Monday, July 02, 2007,9:01 PM
Cigarette-smoking Imams
Heheh.. I find this article from The Star a bit amusing. Cigarette-smoking Imams, what a way to put it... Those mysterious imams that stand in the shadow of a mosque at night while smoking a cigarette. Something like X-Files' Cigarette-smoking man.

Way to go Nik Aziz! But lets concentrate on other pressing issues, like the upcoming election.

Imams, reps who smoke rapped

KOTA BARU: Mentri Besar Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat lashed out against cigarette-smoking imams and elected representatives.

“I have advised some of them to stop smoking, especially when they are in public view, but they still continue (to do it). And they are setting a bad example for the younger generation,” he said.
He said PAS’ agenda to curtail smoking could not be realised fully as some elected representatives and imams refused to lead by example.

“They should at least try to quit smoking as everybody knows that cigarette smoke is unhealthy and can cause various chronic ailments, but they lack the will power,” Nik Abdul Aziz said at the state-level Youth Day celebrations.

One of the social behaviours which irks the 76-year-old PAS spiritual adviser the most is smoking in public and he has even reprimanded journalists who lighted up.

The state has done its part by outlawing local tobacco smokehouses and factories producing materials for cigarettes since 1990 but the rate of smoking is still high.

Nik Abdul Aziz also advised party members to exercise and carry out religious activities.
Earlier in his speech, he said youths should be wary of social ills like drug abuse and forms of entertainment that could cripple Islam.

Four youths won the 2007 state Youth Awards. They are Mohamad Rosli Abdullah, 36, (entrepreneur category); Mohd Nazri Ariffin, 37, (social); Mohd Fadli Shaari, 27, (ulama) category; and Baharuddin Ahmad, 31, a non-governmental organisation activist.

Each of them received a plaque, certificate and RM3,000 cash from the Mentri Besar.

*Disclaimer: The blogger is not associated with any of the political parties or beliefs.*
posted by azreey
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