Monday, May 25, 2009

Save A Bird

A little bird fell from a tree in my house garden today. My dog gave it a good shake before I managed to separate them. Brought it into my house, can't even save it - died after a few hours.

How fragile life is. RIP Asian Koel.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Sounds of Silence

This is a song by Simon and Garfunkel, played in the movie Watchmen during Comedian's funeral. A 5-star recommendation to those who have not listened to it.

The Sounds of Silence

Hello darkness, my old friend

I’ve come to talk with you again
because a vision softly creeping
left its seeds while I was sleeping
and the vision
that was planted in my brain
still remains
within the sound of silence

In restless dreams I walked alone
narrow streets of cobbled stone
‘neath the halo of a street lamp
I turned my collar to the cold and damp
when my eyes were stabbed by the flash of
a neon light
that split the night
and touched the sound of silence

And in the naked light I saw
ten thousand people, maybe more
people talking without speaking
people hearing without listening
people writing songs that voices never share
and no one dared
disturb the sound of silence

“Fool,” said I, “you do not know
silence like a cancer grows
hear my words that I might teach you
take my arms that I might reach you"
but my words
like silent rain drops fell
and echoed
in the wells of silence

And the people bowed and prayed
to the neon god they made
and the sign flashed out its warning
in the words that it was forming
and the signs said the words of the prophet
are written on the subway walls
tenement halls
and whispered in the sound of silence.

Tribute To Life

To the loved ones in my life

My parents

Dearest Ee Harn


and my furry friends.

Thanks for being around me and sorry for all the bad things I've done. Recent turn of events have really made me realize and appreciate the ones around me... when the whole world crumbles, you're always there. So to everyone out there please do take a look at what's around and take a step back to contemplate!

Thursday, December 04, 2008

A Malaysian Diaspora Speaks Up

Sourced from Abinesh

This is something I have read recently and it's one of those articles which I think is so truthfully written, that I feel must be shared. Everyone should be able to relate to this, especially if you are a tertiary student in Malaysia.

"I am a female Chinese Malaysian, living in the Washington DC area in the United States . I have read many of the letters that often talk about foreign countries when the writers have no real knowledge of actually living in those countries.

Many draw conclusions about what those countries are like after hearing it from someone else or by reading and hearing about them in the media or after four years in a college town in those countries.

I finished STPM with outstanding results from the prestigious St George’s Girls School in Penang . Did I get a university place from the Malaysian government? Nothing. With near perfect scores, I had nothing, while my Malay friends were getting offers to go overseas.

Even those with 2As got into university. I was so depressed. I was my parents last hope for getting the family out of poverty and at 18, I thought I had failed my parents. Today, I understand it was the Malaysian Government that had failed me and my family because of its discriminatory policies.

Fortunately, I did not give up and immediately did research at the Malaysian American Commission on Education Exchange (MACEE) to find a university in the US that would accept me and provide all the finances. My family and friends thought I was crazy, being the youngest of nine children of a very poor carpenter. Anything that required a fee was out of our reach.

Based on merit and my extracurricular activities of community service in secondary school, I received full tuition scholarship, work study, and grants to cover the four years at a highly competitive US university.

Often, I took 21 credits each semester, 15 credits each term while working 20 hours each week and maintaining a 3.5 CGPA. A couple of semesters, I also received division scholarships and worked as a TA (teaching assistant) on top of everything else.

For the work study, I worked as a custodian (yes, cleaning toilets), carpet layer, computer lab assistant, grounds keeping, librarian, painter, tour guide, etc. If you understand the US credit system, you will understand this is a heavy load.

Why did I do it? This is because I learnt as a young child from my parents that hard work is an opportunity, to give my best in everything, and to take pride in the work I do. I walked away with a double major and a minor with honours but most of all a great lesson in humility and a great respect for those who are forced to labour in so-called `blue collar’ positions.

Those of you who think you know all about Australia , US, or the West, think again. Unless you have really lived in these countries, i.e. paid a mortgage, paid taxes, taken part in elections, you do not understand the level of commitment and hard work it takes to be successful in these countries, not just for immigrants but for people who have lived here for generations.

These people are where they are today because of hard work. (Of course, I am not saying everyone in the US is hardworking. There is always the lazy lot which lives off of someone else’s hard work. Fortunately, they are the minority.)

Every single person, anywhere, should have the opportunity to succeed if they want to put in the effort and be accountable for their own actions. In the end, they should be able to reap what they sow.

It is bearable that opportunities are limited depending on how well-off financially one’s family is but when higher education opportunities are race-based, like it is in Malaysia ; it is downright cruel for those who see education as the only way out of poverty.

If you want to say discrimination is here in the US , yes, of course it is. Can you name a country where it doesn’t happen? But let me tell you one thing - if you go looking for it, you will find it. But in Malaysia , you don’t have to go look for it because it seeks you out, slaps you in your face every which way you turn, and is sanctioned by law!

Here in the US , my children have the same opportunity to go to school and learn just like their black, white, and immigrant friends. At school, they eat the same food, play the same games, are taught the same classes and when they are 18, they will still have the same opportunities.

Why would I want to bring my children back to Malaysia ? So they can suffer the state-sanctioned discrimination as the non-malays have for over 30 years?

As for being a slave in the foreign country, I am a happy ’slave’ earning a good income as an IT project manager. I work five days a week; can talk bad about the president when I want to; argue about politics, race and religion openly; gather with more than 50 friends and family when I want (no permit needed) and I don’t worry about the police pulling me over because they say I ran the light when I didn’t."

Thursday, November 06, 2008

The Pondering

As I am about to wrap up my college days in the next couple of weeks, I began wondering, much like a dying man would of his life, about my own journey through schools, what it has made me today, and the effectiveness of our country's education system in general.

Just like many other kids being raised in a typical chinese family, I was trained to think that scoring high grades and attaining good results in examinations is the [only] key to a bright and secure future. However, as I grew and inched my way through school, I began to feel wronged by this misconstrued 'fact of life'. With our local schools and unis spewing out bucketloads of A-grade scorers year after year, I ask myself why, if A's were everything, are there no Nobel Laureattes in our country? Why do we still have rampant corruption in our country? Why, if we have so many "bright brains", does our country not come up with such globally recognized brands as Google, Facebook etc? The list goes on.

First, we have to take a look at the education system. Yes, it is derived from the British style of teaching about half a century back, and is a rigorous system for even the smartest of minds. But because of our society's over-emphasis on examinations, the education system has become so exam-oriented that students go to school not to acquire education, but to acquire ways to ace exams. In the process, the entire system has also become extremely rigid, leaving no room for critical thinking, both on the students' and teachers' part. In many subjects, recalling facts takes precedence over actual problem-solving, which is fine, until we have a perfectly logical answer given the axe because "it is not in the marking scheme". Such flaws in the education are detrimental as it will lead younger students to adopt a similar one-way thinking approach later in life.

How to create high-moral students, according to the Ministry of Education of Malaysia.

Society's fetish on scoring marks spills into other non-academic areas as well, with marks being used as a performance-indicator in just about anything, including participation in co-curricular activities, reading habits (nilam). Now, instead on focusing on character building and training leadership qualities, our dear students are racing each other to get more marks in their "co-curricular report book" by signing up for as many clubs and societies as they can. The effectiveness of this scoring system is further reduced by the lack of a standardized grading system, leaving a huge disparity between marks given for different activities.

In Malaysian schools, students are not taught to explore their interests, but are instead pushed to take on challenging science subjects regardless of aptitude. Further down the road, students are then streamed according to examination performance, with those excelling in the sciences being placed in the Science stream, and those who do not, in the Arts stream. These Arts students, who has had no chance to prove themselves in other areas, fall under the discriminative eyes of the Malaysian society and are often perceived as underachievers. The lopsided public perception and discrimination against the Arts stream is arguably the single greatest educational problem in the country, as this may later contribute to greater social imperfections, such as the stagnating local entertainment industry, a general lack of artistic presence in the country, and to some extent, a widening income gap.

Will I be in ISA for drawing this?

Without the freedom to explore their innate interests and passions, most students here are blindly making misguided and uninformed career decisions. With the typical one-upmanship mentality of people here, many have chosen their paths based on the job's status in society's eyes, or the prospect of being in high-paying jobs, only to discover later that their talents lie elsewhere. When switching paths is no longer an option, they end up being stuck in a long, painfully frustrating working life. In any education, it is always more important to bring out what is best in a person, than to try and make the person best in something.

With all these flaws in place, it is no wonder that those who can afford it do not think twice about sending their children for overseas education. However, for some of us here who are less able, always keep in mind that when more people realise the truth, the easier it is to bring about Change! Spread the word! In time, we hope that our society can purge itself of its useless mindsets. Until then, we should dream less about being a First World Nation. Lol.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008


When the economy is bad,
The Ringgit is weak.


When the economy is good,

The Ringgit is STRONG.