Friday, September 28, 2007

Monks on the March

Dear Friends,

If you don't know what the title of this post is referring to, it means you have not been reading the news or have not even looked at a newspaper in the past 2 days. It's time you did!

In solidarity with our Burmese brothers and sisters who are protesting the military junta in Burma, please wear RED today.

Red for the colour of the blood in the streets, in the temples, trickling down the shaved heads of the monks on the march.
Red for the passion of their struggle, for the fire in their souls and the courage they display on the streets they want to reclaim from the soldiers who have shot at and even killed some of them.

Read about the stand off between army/govt and these saints in saffron here and here and here. Even in KL, we had our own demonstration outside the Burmese embassy this morning, here.

For me, it is impossible to see and read about these valiant monks who are willing to die for their struggle, and not be ashamed about our apathy here in Malaysia. We have much to fight for and our foes are not even that formidable or violent and yet, we are content to be complacent.

I hope the monks will inspire all of us to do what is right at all costs.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

selamat berpuasa, polis...but why are you still 'eating' up my $$$?? cut the story short - my sister got into anaccident just last week...a huge truck/lorry rammed into her Atos and dragged it for a few metres (the driver didn't even realised that until all the cars honked him to stop)...needless to say, our fragile little Atos was damaged...not that it's beyond repair lah..but still, it's damaged pretty badly....a police report was made and yesterday, a police officer called up my sister and said, " come to my office la...i got something to discuss with you..."

so today, she went to see the police officer at the police station and guess what, he said my sister kena saman for RM300 for the accident...he insisted that it was my sister's fault that the lorry langgar her wor...and that it's a terribly 'difficult' case to handle and will need to settle in court wor...unless of course, he 'help' us out by you know what lah...duit kopi.

the best part's expected bah. i mean, these policemen are so bloody predictable. can't they come up with something new so we won't be able to guess their intentions??

2 years ago (when i was still in UTAR), a motorbike came out of nowhere (Section 17 junction outside uni) and banged the front of my car. he broke his leg (from the fall) and i sent him to the hospital. and made a police report. i had a friend with me as a witness that i DID NOT ran into the bike but for some reasons, the police decided to saman me. they said, "you kereta besar...dia motosikal...patutlah you salah...besar langgar kecil...besar salah lah...tak boleh argue punya..."

ok, besar langgar kecil = besar salah. fair. i'd buy that. but now lorry langgar atos. which is bigger?? how is it that my sister's at the wrong then? *scratch head*

and guess what, that was also during the puasa month leh. and the police officer also called me up on my mobile to 'invite me to meet him so we could discuss'...he also tried very hard to scare me with the so called 'court case if i don't pay my saman or settle with duit kopi'...even when i told him to just send the saman over to my pg house address, he refused saying that i need to pay my saman at his police station since the accident happened in his area...which is ridiculous! want coffee money say lah......sial. what i did was, i played dumb when he asked for duit kopi. that worked well.

so yeah...i don't know if this is good for discussion. corruption in this country is an open secret anyway. and hell i don't know why our dear beloved PM refuses to acknowledge it and DO something about it like he said he will. am just pissed right now. hence, this post.


Of Flag Burning And Trampled Constitutions

this is a good article that i think everybody should read. i dont agree to everything that this article says and i find it hard to accept some of the concepts pointed out. There are two quotes from 2 famous persons that i have difficulty embracing 100%. i can accept them in some ways but not entirely. it shows that not every concept/theory can be applied across the board haphazardly.

Bertrand Russell said, "“only kind of freedom which is undesirable is that which diminished the freedom of others”.
On the flag burning issue, the writer Malik Imtiaz implied that flag burning is the freedom of expression of a person. Examples were give to justify his statement according to Russell's quote. But i have a problem with this because i think this is not the way to justify Russell's quote. Why? Let's see: It is the freedom of sumone to burn a flag, and it is also a freedom of mine to protect it at all cost. Dont ask the reason why first. Most important thing is, it is my freedom, my choice. So if flag burning is allowed, it already impedes the freedom of ppl like me who wants to protect the fact.

Voltaire said, "‘I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.’

In most cases, i would say i agree to this but in some rare cases i cannot. Example, when some one insults you or someone you loved, will you still defend the right of that person to say it? To the religious ppl, i take Christians as EXAMPLE, you disapprove of what the Bible says you cannot do, but will you defend the right of ppl who wants to do what the Bible says to not?
many more examples can be used here but i think two is enough.

So what do you people think of this. I would really love some well thought-of inputs on this.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Who were the leaders of the 1970s student movement in Msia?

Here is one of them, Hishamuddin Rais, who has been called the Che Guevara of the student movement in Malaysia. He now writes for miscellaneous newspapers, has a column in Off the Edge magazine and Malaysiakini news portal, and also speaks at certain public forums. He even dabbles in art and film.

And of course, most famously, he has been detained under ISA. Read about it here.

You can read about his personal life in The Star and you will find out that even though he is a Muslim, he has a dog and leads a very simple life, still holding fast to his ideals. You will also find some of his thoughts about the student movement here.

You can read his many essays/articles in this website, Rice Cooker.

And thanks to Jeannie's research online, you can also hear him pontificate about Negarakuku on YouTube here. This is classic Hisham in action--passionate, fiery, provocative. You begin to understand how he could have been such a potent force in the 1970s.

You must be wondering why I am posting all of this... well, all will be revealed soon :-)

Meanwhile, enjoy the read and you have to wonder, as I did, why there is really so little on the web about student movements in Malaysia. It is as if there has been a systematic effort to erase this history from our past.

Judiciary Crisis Links

Kah Joon's link does not seem to work so I am posting another that does:

And a few more of my own:

Aliran 2004

Aliran 2005


But seriously though, go check out Kah Joon's blog, it is amazing! Thanks for the very simple to understand history and snippets.

Monday, September 24, 2007

What really happened in the 1988 judicial crisis.

6 Supreme Court judges were suspended during that time which means theoretically, the Supreme Court itself had been suspended. How can one of the pillars of the Separation of Powers Concept be suspended? For those of you who dont know much about law and courts, there are 10 Judges in the Supreme Court at that time including the Lord President/CJ.

to know more on what really happened back then, read this. it is an account by Datuk George Seah, one of the judges suspended. you will be shocked to no end.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

so much of Visit Malaysia

i have a question - why is it more expensive for us (locals) to travel to places within Malaysia than travelling overseas ah??

i went to the Underwater World here in Sentosa Island, S'pore and guess what, the ticket for an adult is less than S$15! i don't remember how much exactly 'cos my uncle paid for my ticket but i think it's still bloody cheap. provided you don't convert lah of course.

if you were to compare to places like the aquaria in klcc, and the underwater world in p. langkawi, i'd think the ticket here in s'pore is much cheaper. and remember, there are definitely more things to see here than those back in m'sia.

i was welcomed by many many sea turtles at the entrance and boy, they're huge! they look healthy and very much 'alive' as compared to the ones i saw back in p. redang. my boyfriend paid for a trip to p. redang early last month and the two or three baby sea turtles we saw in a tub was so damn pathetic. is this how they attract tourists and promote the importance of conservation? by showing them sad looking sea turtles and also, some dead & preserved ones??

here in sentosa, i can't help but feel hopeful. as in, yes, these creatures are near extinct but hey, there's still hope. and even the unborn baby sharks in uterus are displayed. they don't just use dead specimens mind you, but alive ones instead. you can very well see the unborn baby shark breathe and swim in the extracted 'womb'...that is what i call - hope. not pathetic, dying or dead creatures. we also get to touch and 'pat' the stingrays, sharks and puffer fish. lotsa activities. and it's a good way to get children and people to learn to love and care about these creatures. by touching, we become 'attached'. we tend to fall in love more easily. hence, we see it as our responsibility to be involved in conservation.

i don't know about you but after touching stingrays, i'd swear not to eat them anymore. even though they're not endangered. so i guess it's a good way to create awareness through this kinda human-animal interaction.

again, my less than S$15 is well spent. i enjoyed my visit tremendously. couldn't help but smsed my bf, "can't believe i see more sea turtles here in s'pore by just paying much lesser than what you paid for in redang really!"

of course, this is just an example. another would be places like phuket, koh samui etc. it's cheaper to fly to thailand and laze in their beautiful beaches than to swim to our own dying corals in tioman or redang. you'd probably fall out of holiday mood too when you see floating plastic bags in our seas...i don't want to be reminded how i end up doing the 'cleaning' by picking up floating plastic bags in redang, really. that was supposed to be my holiday!!!

a friend from the States actually laughed the idea of paying (close to RM500) to hike up mt kinabalu. he said, "it's absurd to pay to climb a mountain!"...and yeah, i think so too. it's not as if we needed special equipments like those people use to climb everest etc. and we end up paying a few thousand (including air tickets) to east malaysia as well, which is more than what we pay to places like bali...

visit malaysia sucks. and no, i don't regret saying that.

psst, not trying to say the redang trip wasn't fun. i had fun of course, else he'd kill me ;-)

Issues of Judiciary

For those of you who are more interested in the current judiciary crisis going on in our country right now instead of the Nurin case, you are welcome to my blog to read up comprehensive information on that issue.

i also have a detailed transcript of the phone call recording by the lawyer VK Lingam. even did some research to give readers understanding about the whose who in Lingam's conversation. when i first heard it, i couldn't really understand also coz no context ma. the deixis also not clear.

already explained things in my blog. so happy reading and you can ask me questions if you are not clear about it.

disclaimer: i want to clear things here first. its not that i'm not interested with the Nurin case but the problem is, this kind of murders do happen from time to time, i am looking at it without emotions so that i can analyse it better and find solutions to improve the situation in our country concerning crime. what is the priority now? the nation as a whole or individual cases?

i din want to post the judiciary issue here because there are too many things being discussed here already. peace out..


just a quick intro, so you all won't wonder "who the hell is this?" I'm yixing, carmen's friend--who attended your class the day that anthony and yeevon did their presentations. also ran into a couple of you again at FFF recently.


Saturday, September 22, 2007

CCTV: Are they working?

Today on the news, a new topic was introduced. Are the CCTV in some shops really working? Maybe some really do but the ones which are working properly are the ones in famous buildings. According to Datuk Christopher, the shops now have fixed CCTV just to fill in the requirments of the insurance company. Even if the CCTV is working, the recording is not clear because no proper mantainence for the CCTV. How can the authority seek for clue to solve a case. Sometimes in crime investigation the CCTV recording can be the most important evidence. In Altantulya's case the CCTV recording was a total disaster and the recording was so bad that they had to move it out from the evidence list. But why are there some businessmen/women dont care about this things and why?
In Malaysia the reason to fix a CCTV is to make criminals scared. Hello! Criminals are way cleaver than some others. Lets say someone creates a super dupper alarm for a car but a criminal will find a way to break the alarm and it will be a sucess. There owner of the CCTV should take some things into consideration and not just think of themselves. Finally there are some specific rules for the CCTV fixing and I hope that this will not be another "Malaysia Boleh" faliure thing.

Friday, September 21, 2007

BBC hard talk

If anyone missed the show about the issue on the ethnic minority, Malay special rights, Lina Joy's case and many other issues , all answered by Dato Seri Syed Hamid Albar the Malaysian foreign minister.

It was on BBC HARDTALK. Watch and listen to the 'great' answers he gives..

Thank you and have a nice day..

Thursday, September 20, 2007

on brinjal and cucumber.

i'm sure most of you are aware of this.

yesterday, my friend who's just had a newborn early this month told me:

"i'm thinking about moving out of the papers! what has become of our society?? i fear for my little kyllie..."

"eh...don't be so kiasu you sound like a bloody sporean...remember the hongkees?? they were afraid of returning to china too in 1997...but look, it worked out just as fine! remember, it if can't kill you, it'll only make you stronger..."

honestly, i think he over reacted. yes, the crime rates are increasing in malaysia. yes, the streets are no longer safe, not even our own homes. yes, the NEP is still going strong. and yes, i don't have a child, so i won't know how it's like to worry 24/7 about children and whether or not they can realise their full potential in this country where double standards are practised.

one thing i'd like to say is, crime (or social disparity) happens everywhere. and i honestly don't think running away (to another country) will help. it's just the degree of it that sets us different from other countries. of course, there are also many other reasons to this hasty decision. some people are running away because of inflation, less employment opportunities, poverty, social disparity, political issues etc. etc. the list goes on and on. people tend to have so many things to complain about their country all the time they forget where they came from in the first place! and the citizenship or passport they're holding for that matter.

i've been equally guilty of that. but these days, i try to make myself see a list of things i (or we) can improve about the country and its system instead of just its faults. in other words, i'd think running away isn't the best solution.


is our country really that bad a place to live in?? what say you?...

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

mind our maps. and language.

see anything wrong yet?

well, if you zoom in to this, then yes.
check out the size of borneo and the size of peninsula...
some people would argue it's because of size constraints, the advertisors tend to squeeze it in. maybe... btw, this is a takaful ad outside 1-utama. i think it's still there.

i put this up 'cos i know no one's gonna argue it's cos of ad constraints anymore. this is a map found outside terengganu airport by the tourism ministry as well as its state government.
no wonder our tourists are a confused lot when it comes to facts about malaysia. even the locals are equally guilty of that.
so, please, borneo or east malaysia is a lot bigger than this.
and for those who think east malaysia means kelantan and terengganu, *slap*! wake up!
kelantan and terengganu are east coast lah...remember the difference!

the beauty of bahasa translation!
workshop = woksyop
psst, anyone wants a wok?

here's another one...reserved = rezab.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

i'm homesick.

sorry if this post is a bit out of place. but am feeling really homesick right now.

been here in s'pore for almost a week. went room hunting today and i felt so depressed lah. a common room at HDB flat can easily cost an arm and a leg. nope, don't think i wanna pay $500/rm1000+ for such a small corner really. back in malaysia, that amount of money can easily settle a house or car loan! *gasp* i miss malaysia. sigh. where everything's cheap. or at least, cheaper :-p

well, my experience in dubai couple of weeks ago sorta made me appreciate my own country more these days. when i came back, i told myself that i shan't complain about the haze here in malaysia since i get sandstorm every day in uae. and i shan't complain about the rats and cockroaches that terrorize our terrace houses since there wasn't any when i desperately wanted one (or two) to keep me company in dubai. yep, it was that boring. and dead. their world is colorless bah.

and if you think the punishment for rape in malaysia is ridiculously lame, try emirates. it's only max 3 years. and that is IF you can prosecute the culprit(s). mind you, under the syariah law, the victim must produce 3(correct me if i'm wrong) male witnesses. that's one of the reasons i came back -- i freaked out. haha.

i love malaysia. can't wait to be home. feel like crying whenever i see SingTel displayed on my mobile. i really do prefer seeing the word - Maxis.


Saturday, September 15, 2007

mods to blog

hey i know how to insert "recent comments" into blogspot d..kinda simple..go to my personal blog and looks for the recent comments box, notice right at the bottom there's a link "add this widget to my blog" click dat..then just follow instructions..senang je..

Of Influence Power & Picking Fights

Carmen, u once mentioned to me that a person with influence power have a heavy responsibility. yes i agree with that. So here is my issue of picking fights as in argumentative fights. I'll use myself as guinea pig here. I have a tendency to choose fights that i can win. Wait ! b4 u think of anything let me finish. There is a reason why i do that. See, if i choose fights that i can win, i know i will come up with good arguments/comments bcoz i know my stuff.

Meanwhile for a fight that i know i can't win, should i push myself into it? I say no. B4 any hasty judgements are made, hear me out first. No, i'm not being a coward backing out of unwinnable fights. No, i'm not a sour grape that cant take losses. The reason i think i shouldn't enter into the fight is because i want to be fair to the others. If i dont know my stuff, why should i even say anything. I'll just come up with half-baked arguments/comments. These half-baked comments might be accepted by some ppl because i wield the power of influence. Like what anthony and I used to mention in class, some ppl just take what the lecturer or opinion leadears say because most of the time the things they say are correct. But how would these ppl know when i come up with half-baked comments. They might just think, oh its because he/she said that then it is right. I give all of u an example: Say a prime minister who specializes in law. Should he make decisions regarding economics without consulting economic experts first?

So what now? Is picking correct fights good or what? I would love to hear comments from everyone and especially you Carmen..haha

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thanks for inviting

Hi everyone in here,
I think most people do not know who am I. Well, I am Jeannie's friend, and thanks to her, I am now able to join in with the 'critical thinkers'! (and hope to be one too :). Well, I just feel that I need to introduce myself before I start commenting, in case all of you start thinking 'which alien is this, and how did it enter into our territory?' Anyway, just a brief introduction - I am Esther (Jeannie's ex-classmate, neighbour, friends since kindergarten...haha), currently studying in Nanyang Polytechnic, Singapore, for Diploma in Physiotherapy. After Jeannie told me about this blog, I was very interested in joining. After reading some of the post and comments, I was happy that there are lots of interesting topics and comments as well, and what's most important is that criticism is allowed and people are open to different opinions. Anyway, I don't want to turn this blog into a 'get-to-know-me' session. I hope to learn more things in here and hope you all don't mind me being in here (as far as I know, all of you all are classmates). Happy blogging!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

On Namewee & Negarakuku.

how do we define "patriotism", really? the love for one's country is pretty much subjective to begin with, isn't it?

for me, patriotism is simply about accepting its flaws and beauty...seeing our country...our people...and our history as it is...without veils...without hypocrisy...without fear...and most importantly, without denial... that is the true spirit of patriotism.

surely, there's more to patriotism than just the usual know-how of singing our national anthem...more so, the manner of our singing...

we have walked half a century together, believing that we're a united and progressive nation... if that's true, then a rap song such as this certainly would not stand a chance at "threatening" national security now, would it?...unless of course, we are standing on egg shells and that everything's been a delusion all this while, i doubt our 'egg' will break to rap songs...

Happy Belated Merdeka, folks.

happy belated merdeka.

found this entry written by Akshay Menon on Zero Degrees really inspiring. and, thought provoking. (at least to me)

"On August 31, while the Peninsula goes gaga, for more than half the country, it is just another day. Well, historically speaking that is. Across the South China Sea, East Malaysians must be feeling a bit bamboozled, especially on the 50th anniversary of our parting-of-ways with the British Empire. After all, on August 31, 1957, the people of Sabah and Sarawak were, well, I am not entirely sure what they were doing but they certainly were not celebrating the end of British rule..."

well, in case you don't know...Sabah & Sarawak did not join the Federation of Malaya until 16 Sept, if you know what i mean...about the dates and the term "malaysia's independence day" here if abit distorted all thanks to our own ignorance really...

on msn, a friend of mine - kenny argued that East Germany did not change their date/day of independence after the reunion...and he asked, "when you work for a company, do you celebrate the day it was formed or the date that it expanded with merging with 2 other companies?"

he's got a point of course...but thing is, malaysia wasn't formed on 31st august 1957 to begin with! malaysia was formed only when sabah, sarawak and singapore merged with how is it fair to say that 31st august is our (sabahans and sarawakians included) independence day??... besides, one date cannot apply to all that happened...we cannot generalize for the sake of convenience...that's just so not history!...

as Akshay Menon puts it, "...we are not a huge nation like the US nor do we have a painfully convoluted history like India. We really ought to be able to know small facts, such as the ever so miniscule fact that it is NOT 50 years of Malaysia."

conclusion is, know your history. and know what you're celebrating.

and before i forget, cheerios to another friend of mine - maggie for writing this, "When Tunku Abdul Rahman bellowed "Merdeka" 50 years back, that meant independence.That meant freedom. But what freedom do I see here now? What freedom can i speak of, if not freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of press?"

ironic, isn't it? to have such a big contradiction to what we're celebrating - independence. freedom.

colonial rule. and lack of freedom of speech. which is worse? are they any different?

by the way, why do people find it hard to accept that we're a plural society?...heck...either they are naive or just being idealistic lah...i don't know...but one thing for sure is...we ARE a plural society...and it's time to admit that! afterall, it is what makes us - malaysians unique!

also, it is time to admit to yourself that what's written in the constitution is not about to change unless we do something about it...remember the chinese saying of how "gentlemen always use logic...not fists..." the least you can do to get things started or innitiate change is by registering and casting your can't celebrate freedom without practising it now, can you?

all in the name of love for this country babeh. happy merdeka, folks!

p/s: didn't know what to post but hope this old entry from my own blog helps in a way or two.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Why do we Fear?

Below is an excerpt of an article written by Eric Loo, who used to be the external moderator for UTAR's Journalism programme. He is no longer in that position now because Janet Steele has taken over.

Even though he lives in Australia, he still writes for Malaysiakini from time to time, which is where the excerpt below is taken. I also had the opportunity to meet him more than a year ago when he visited UTAR and I found him friendly, intelligent and his teaching philosophy closely mirrors my own.

What we fear but know not why
Eric Loo

“Shhh, don’t talk to strangers, they could be Special Branch.” Many say that’s wise. You never know who you’re talking to. Or, is it irrational fear that tells us, “Don’t get involved"? We did live in muted fear of ‘getting involved’ after May 1969.

Until today, my 78-year-old mother is fearful of ‘the government’, ‘the Malays’ and ‘the police’. She's also a product of WW2 when she saw Japanese soldiers hauled off my grandpa for questioning. He didn’t return for weeks. Like most of her generation, her internalized fear is understandable.

Anecdotes I hear and observations of Malaysian civic life tells me the fear of ‘getting involved’ is as real today among baby boomers as it was with my mother’s generation. There’s hope though. Ever since we strolled the multimedia corridor, an empowered younger generation of socially-conscious netizens are learning more about our race-tainted history. And, they’re not happy. Lately, vigilant bloggers have been trawling the contents of Malaysiakini and other alternative media sites.

Early this week, I received a compilation of political thuggery, social injustices and racist statements spewed in public with impunity by our politicians. Common knowledge they are. But, when compiled as a package, the imageries are quite unsettling. My mother would shudder at those imageries, her deep-seated fears replayed. To the younger generation sheltered from the history of 1969, I suspect, the imageries and rhetoric would evoke mixed reactions of ridicule and rage against the political degenerates. ...........

Stoking fear is the strongest terror tactic used by governments to silent the voice of conscience and dissent. Nothing new in that. (See Amnesty International 2007 Report). What’s worrying is when we become part of fear itself, not knowing exactly what and why we fear. Anxious moments of uncertainties. Which often leads to irrational reactions – followed by resigned acceptance of the status quo - each time we’re confronted with an over-the-top rhetoric of re-constructed realities. Politicians have long used this tactic to manipulate their constituents, garner support, and discredit their opponents. ...........

What now? To combat fear in a plural society, one must first recognise the basic principles of freedom, equity and transparent governance. “No one wins unless everyone wins.” Indeed, an appropriate Springsteen creed. Our homegrown civil society groups have advocated these principles at length since the 1998 reformasi days.

What we need now is less pointless fiery diatribe but more robust reasoned dialogue in the public space. Pockets of apathy among Malaysians, I’d like to think, do not reflect our internal weaknesses nor lack of intellectual resources or character flaws - but rather it mirrors a waning faith in the viability of speaking up for what’s right.

The mainstream media, the editors, in publishing their sycophantic editorials and generating politically correct contents, are, in this sense, accomplices in the perpetuation of a political system that thrives on fomenting fear. Editors continue to fail in their leadership in representing the people’s interests.


The excerpt is rather long so, I may remove much of it later--don't want to be accused of copyright violation! But enjoy it while you can :-)

Friday, September 7, 2007

Check out this free movie!

This link was sent to me by my artist pal, Nazim Esa.

But be warned... Christians may be disturbed. The movie deconstructs a lot of the "truths" of religion, particularly Christianity. Definitely makes us question and think. Also makes me realize that in a free country, people can create and not be damned.

It's getting a lot of buzz on the internet and is worth watching and discussing. I am watching it now. After you watch it, go do your own research to fact check.


Wednesday, September 5, 2007

10 Tahun Sebelum Merdeka

Last night, a very good pal of mine invited me to see his new movie-documentary. The title of that movie is as above. I saw it at the Central Market Annexe... a really cool place... and the movie will be screened again during the Freedom Film Festival also at CM next weekend, 14-16 Sept.

We MUST go see this movie. Or alternatively, we must bring this movie to UTAR. In fact, we should do both, in my opinion.

I LOVED the movie. I loved it because it was excavating a part of Malaysian history--the Malay left progressive movement led by PKMM and PUTERA-AMCJA--that few of us know. I have to admit, I was woefully ignorant until I saw this movie by Fahmi Reza.

The movie made me think. Made me question. Moved me. Made me laugh. Made me sad. For a first-time filmmaker, Fahmi did a simply astounding job bringing to the screen something so important.

Did you know that on 20 October 1947, there was a nationwide strike to protest the British-proposed and elite-Sultanate-UMNO-led Federal Constitution?

Did you know there was actually a People's Constitution that was drafted by the people--not the rich, the elite, the sultans, UMNO--but by ordinary Malaysians of all creeds and colours?

Did you know the British declared darurat because that was the only way they could capture and suppress the people's movement? The Communists were used as the eternal bogeyman for the colonial powers.

Did you know...
Did you know... This was what I felt when I watched this documentary. And to think that Prof Khoo Khay Kim said in theSun that there is a possibility the MOE is thinking of not offering history as a compulsory subject for primary and secondary schools.

NO wonder... look what history they are teaching us!

We have to watch this movie. We owe it to ourselves.

Check out the film's website at and click on all the links for this post for more information.


This number has got me thinking for so long, ever since the talk on Negarakuku at KL-Selangor Malaysian Chinese Assembly Hall.

"Persekutuan Tanah Melayu" obtained independence in the year 1957 and our "Bapa Merdeka" was Allahyarham Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-haj, triumphantly shouting out "Merdeka" for 7 times at Merdeka Square. Now, why is that 7 times, not more or lesser? I searched high and low for the reason and I found from this address and I'll just quote it:

Why did Tunku shout “Merdeka!” seven times and not six? Seven was regarded by many Malays of the time and even now by some Hindus as a significant number. Was “merdeka” a common Malay word for independence or freedom? I have seen this so described. Of course, today it is a common enough word to mean independence or freedom but it is a Sanskrit word chosen and made popular by Tunku as a more exact word for independence than the traditional Malay word, “bebas”.
What is playing on my mind is, at that point of time it was still Malaya, which means Malaysia is yet to be formed (both Sabah and Sarawak became states of Malaysia on 16th September 1963). So, point is, we, from the Peninsula, greatly celebrate 50 years of independence with a big hoo-haa, explosions (fireworks), this and that.

But, how about those from the East Malaysia? Many blogs, I've read, saying that Malaysians over the South China Sea are discontent and often argue about celebrating Independence Day on 31 August 1957, instead of 16 September 1963, which is the Malaysia Day. How unfair that is!

What do you think about this? Comments, comments ;)

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Merdeka Events at Central Market

Hey Critters,

I know it is exam time but if you are interested, there are some really GREAT FREE events at Central Market to commemorate our 50th independence. So, it is not about just fireworks for one night but more ongoing activities to invite us to really think about what is means to be independent.

If any of you are interested to go, please let me know. We may be able to go together lah. But thsi time, we can take the LRT rather than car pool. VERY JAM this area! :-)

Here is the itinerary at the new wing of Central Market, 3rd floor.

50:44 Malaysia Merdeka
Remembering the people that built this nation
Venue: The Annexe, Central Market
Thu 6 – Sun 16, Sep 2007
For more information:

Sep 6 (Thu)
Citizenship & Democracy
9am-5pm Demokrasi Setelah 50 Tahun Merdeka: Cabaran dan Hala Tuju (Gallery A)
· Adakah sistem demokrasi di Malaysia semakin kuat atau semakin merosot? Apa ertinya Merdeka kepada rakyat jikalau rakyat masih tidak bebas and terkongkong? Bagaimana demokrasi dapat dimartabatkan untuk mempertahankan hak rakyat? Untuk maklumat lanjut seminar ini, sila hubungi Suaram, tel: 03-77843525 atau emel:
8pm-10pm Opening Ceremony of 50:44 Malaysia Merdeka - remembering the people that built this nation (Gallery A)
· Screening of “Malaysia ‘Other’ History” film followed by a dialogue with experts on histories and people who have lived through it. (Contact Yap at for info.)

Sep 7 (Fri)
Gender & Sexuality
10am-10pm Merdeka and Sex (Studio B)
· Walk through the journey of visual art installations of how sexuality have been possessed, abused and defended throughout our history. Sexless or too sensual? You decide. (Contact for info)
10am-12pm Apa itu Feminisma! (Gallery A)
· A short and sweet introduction to what is feminism, women’s rights and the women’s movement. It’s participatory and fun. (Contact Mary Sinappan 03-77701475 for your invite)

8pm-9pm Perempuan…dulu, kini dan selamanya? (Gallery B)
· A griping multi-dialogue performance on the many facades of being a woman in today’s world, you might just see yourself in it! (Free entry and seating!)
8pm-10pm You Are What You Are! (Studio A)
· Whether you are lelaki lembut or wanita keras, straight-acting or pecah-lubang, trapped in the wrong sex or pressured into social norms, you are not alone. In this session, the community shares the joys and heartbreaks of living an alternative lifestyle in Malaysia. (By invite only. Contact for an invitation before Sep 6.)

And for the rest.... please check out the website above... I decided to delete the longer posting on this event because it took up too much space!