Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Say it, sayitsayit SAY IT

Okay, enough is enough.

This blog is meant to be my scrawlyscribbly sketch pad, where I slap around information, scrape together my thoughts, slice and splice my life with words, and of course post photos of people and places that matter to me, and as is evident to those of you who put yourselves through the nightmare of picking your way through my jumbly sentences (a task that I truly, humbly appreciate!), they are mostly happy, positive thoughts. But today.. or tonight rather, this post will be different. A little darker, I guess. Neither planned nor premeditated. I just know it, like how I knew that the rain would last throughout the night whenever the bullfrogs sang past a certain time in the evening, where we stayed, way back in time, on the Kampung Gajah mines. As I sit here a little past midnight on the eve of the Nuzul Quran holiday, my stomach still digesting Old Town curry mee and warm tea, I just just know it. The signs are there (ditto the bullfrogs) -- the bile rising (nope, certainly not caused by the friendly, fragrant curry mee), the chlorinated taste of sinister intentions, the stench of greed in the Malaysian air... oh no oh no... too late, the lyrics of Michael Jackson's Thriller have begun to run through my head, "It's Close To Midnight And Something Evil's Lurking In The Dark... Under The Moonlight You See A Sight That Almost Stops Your Heart... " ... "Under The Moonlight You See A Sight That Almost Stops Your Heart" ..

Bleddy hell, my dad would say. OK, brain back on track. I tell you what's eating me -- the recent incidents hogging Malaysian news, that's what. The Malaysian government fighting to keep its members from defecting. The deep skepticism and criticism of the Opposition coalition's promises. The extensive efforts taken to sabotage the returning Opposition leader's path back into power. And now, the last straw. Well, at least before I open my brain and spill out its contents into my blog. The Last Straw to me, is what looks like very desperate attempts to withhold information from people.

If the Malaysian government were a horse with a broken leg in an old western, it would be shot and killed. Nothing personal, its the most humane thing to do, John Wayne would reason. I suggest that some parties take heed of such logic. Now I have a habit of going on and on for miles before I am understood, so to keep my train of thought simple, I am going to write out a list of FACTS, proven or provable. Tell me if you spot any statement that can be untrue:

) Thanks to the relatively recent blogging culture, information on the Internet is published directly Brain to Browser, without pre-processing by an intermediate filtration system.
[filtration system = editor, spell-checker, political-correctness-checker, etc.]

) All mass media other than the Internet, can be filtered by the government. Okay, maybe its a bit hard to snuff out pesky pavement-pounders who hand out leaflets at the foot of the Central Market LRT station... but still... if really want, that also can control one, isn't it...

) Malaysian mass media is filtered by the government.

) Filtering removes substance from the end result.

) A huge chunk of Malaysian society access the Internet; a chunk far bigger than a day's worth of crowd passing through the Central Market LRT station escalators.

) The historical loss of majority by the ruling government in the recent Malaysian elections, can be (and has been) attributed to people having access to unfiltered information, used to form their decisions on who to vote for.

) Based on the above premises, it was unfiltered information that caused people to decide differently from earlier voting years.

Therefore, filtering information from the people kept the government in power.

Oh man, and all this time we thought it was because the government was actually satisfying the needs of the people. Then again, that is what we were told by the mass media...

Let's get to another sector in my brain that has something to spit out. Same format, just a list of factual statements:

) In a democratic system of government, when you are voted out in favour of someone else, it means that the majority of people think that Someone Else can run the country better than you.

) Definition of BETTER – adjective, compar. of good with best as superl. - of superior suitability, advisability, desirability, acceptableness definition of Better

) In a democratic system of government, if you want to run the country, you need to win the vote of the majority of people.

) A good way to win votes is to do something (or some thingS) that make people go "Yes, I will vote for you". Why would people say that? Well, Because...... and there can be quite a few reasons, right? Because you will solve my problems. Because you will be more honest than the other fella. Because you will put my tax money to better use than the other fella. Because my children and I will be treated fairly, compared to my peers around me.

) Everything is relative. You just need to do better than The Other Fella, and you will be favoured. So if the other fella is delivers a handful of peanuts, you must deliver a large festive pack of Menglembu groundnuts. If the other fella delivers the world, you have to deliver the universe.

) Now... doing things to annoy people, will most certainly not win Malaysians' confidence in you. It puts you in a WORSE situation. WORSE light.

) Definition of WORSE –adjective, compar. of bad and ill. 1. bad or ill in a greater or higher degree; inferior in excellence, quality, or character. definition of Worse

) Here is a list of obviously annoying things that you can do, that will not gain support from people:
- Locking up a reporter for um... apparently, for reporting.
- Locking up a blogger for ummm.. blogging.
- Locking up an MP for um.. unclear reasons.

) If the earlier statement and supporting premises aren't clear, here they are again:
- A reporter reports. Detaining her for doing her job is confusing. And, not having a clear reason makes it annoying. Oh, the reason was clear? I see, yes. I suppose it does make a lot of sense to arrest and detain someone for reporting a racist remark, because their life would be in danger. And yes of course, the REASON for detention and arrest must not be divulged for the first 24 hours. I wonder who or what the threat is. Here is a revelation - maybe... just MAYBE, they are the SAME people who hid those weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. Camonnn, think about it.. they did a GREAT job hiding those weapons, cos we can't find them till today. They must be doing an equally great job of hiding themselves now, because in my naive mind, the best way to defuse a life-threatening situation is to immobilise the threat, not the target. Ah but thennnn.... since cannot find (maybe still in Iraq), then, catch and detain the target lah. Right? Aiyahh so sensible lah. I aso never tink of this earlier.
- A blogger blogs. Blogs contain Brain to Browser (to paraphrase an earlier term) unfiltered ravings and rantings, just like the stuff you're reading right now. Controlling what comes out of someone's brain, is like reading his personal diary and telling him, "hey you can't write that!! It makes me look fat! Delete it.. NOW!!" So arresting, detaining, charging with defamation, all these things tells onlookers that his paragraphs of prose are digging deep into the government's ribs, and when the government spends a lot of effort silencing him, instead of proving them untrue, it makes people wonder if those claims have some truth. And after some time, the saga becomes annoying. Because it is hard to tell what is true and what is not.
- The third one is tricky. Without a clear reason to detain someone, it literally means that ANYONE can be locked up. One fine morning you're pulling weeds growing through the culvert in front of your house gate, because you noticed them sprouting as you spoke to a group of neighbours petitioning against the construction of yet another mosque in the area... and the next moment, you're in DETENTION. One afternoon, the day after participating in a Hindraf march, you're serving your special secret-formula kopi-kau to a conference roomful of corporate executives, and the next moment you're being DETAINED. What for? Oh, we don't need a reason if you're being detained in this way. SCARY. And annoying!

If I didn't know better, I might have the ODDAUDacity to say that... the government tries very hard to control what gets reported in the mass media. Because when they lose that control, people get to know things that will make them go, "Icchh this is not the government I want to vote for". But now, I have already said it, so I guess I do not know any better after all.

I now leave you all to ponder my SERIOUS DARK post with this visual aid. It is the video Thriller, before government mass media filtration policies were applied:

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Photos as promised

But first, I have to take back something I said in the previous post. With great and MUCH regret. With awful gut-wrenching disappointment. With cringing, teeth-gritting consternation... I present to you...

Awful shot of me panting and wheezing through the Lake Gardens at 7am

Okay well ACTUALLY (brain tapping into skill possibly bestowed by Chinese ancestral lineage - think think fast fast!!) ... the shot is not of me wheezing and panting; its the START of the race and I was late to the starting line, so I'm actually pinning on my front number, wrapping my mandatory-ripped-towel around my wrist (for habitual brow-mopping) and starting my stopwatch. All at the same time. I am amongst the back-end stragglers who were there for a casual jog through the Lake Gardens aiming only for the post-run goodie bag (can you spot a person in *slippers*??). Hmph.. next race, I'll be ready! Paula Radcliffe crouch, laces tied and first-mile pace all worked out in my head...!! Nyahahaaa.

OK that's enough. Of me at least. Here are the REAL good shots:

WELCOME to the Land of Foamheads... ruled by the Pink Fairy Goblin Princess... that's me!!

I am the Conqueror of the Land of Foamheads, or soon WILL be.... help me get this disguise on, you useless serfs...!!

Urrrggh geramnye, I can't make a dent in the Fairy Princess's smile..!! This land conquering business is harder than I thought...

I say once, like saying a HUNDRED times okeii...

The historic formation of OPEC - Only Pudgy & Extremely Cute

OPEC treaty sealed with a plastic pineapple, and A CUTE CHUBBY WUBBY HANDSHAKE

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

WHY has this spot been idle??

Well, hmmm... because I had been busy with:

1) Moving daily chores, tasks, meals, kids, bills, etc. along the weeks... although some weeks weren't so mundane, for example the one leading up to the Sunday morning spent running 10K through the KL Lake Gardens, fast enough to break my sub-60-min target, and two toenails on my right foot. Tony followed too, though he didn't try anything fancy like, say, keeping up with me. He ran his own race, at his own good pace, completing in a little over an hour. Running non-stop for that long is commendable, though I did get to down 4 cups of Milo -- still amazing-tasting and impossible to reproduce, and collect the 1901 hotdogs before he finished. Spent post-run draped across a Lake Gardens buggy, ogling at silly-brities... I mean celeb-brities who grazed... I mean graced the event. The best eye-candy was Amber Chia, shuffling... almost-waddling, Ah-Lian-style past us while yapping into her mobile phone, bouncing her layered coiffure (and a$$) along deliberately with each step. No sign of the feline grace and style of a Guess Look Of The Year winner, but maybe 8.30am was a little early for a model, some of whom apparently do not roll out of bed for less than USD10K. Says a lot about me, dragging myself out at 5am for 10K...ilometres of Running.

2) Using up spare hours in each day to prepare for the abovementioned 10K. Running a sub-60-min 10K after a two-year layoff that includes being cut open to squeeze out a tubby child with the cutest grin in the world, sure requires some work. Fuyohh. Next target - sub-50-min 10K!

3) Reading "Evening Is The Whole Day". I just finished it, and what a totally terrific tome it is! I have other half-read books lying around, but this one only survived unread through days where I was tranquilized by fatigue, or if I had to choose between reading it or squeezing some mileage into my day. If the latter won, the whirr of the treadmill would sound like this after 40 minutes - "Malhotra...Dwivedi...Malhotra...Dwivedi..."

Watch the space for more updates. I want to post more photos of the kids, because those are cuter than any shot of me panting and wheezing at the Lake Gardens at 7am (so far, no such awful shots anywhere around... thank goodness!!).

Got one of these last week... not as 'great' as ones I collected some 20 years ago (has it been that long???), but o well... good to still be able to earn them... 20 years later :-)