How should we judge a government?

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Open letter: an insight into a 'Chinese tsunami' mind

An Open Letter

To The PM,
To Pakatan Rakyat and
To Fellow Malaysians

Dear all,

The all ugly headlines.

It's been 2 weeks since the Malaysian GE13 and while it seems like the iron is starting to warm down, the dust looks far from being settled.

I was one of those who flew home to vote for change - and came out seriously disappointed with the results. When I woke up to catch the red-eye back to Yangon and saw the news, my first thought was "Shit, it's still them." Then, millions of messages flew my way, some flew past me - asking us to stay strong and that a revolution takes years and as such, we've taken our first steps, yada-yada-yada.

Well, that revolution thing may be true. In fact, I was even thinking perhaps a change might still take place, considering how much the rakyat had shown its powers on rallying for change. I was naive enough to think that perhaps, this would be BN's wake-up call. Nobody can ever be that, that, that stupid not to wake up to the roar of the rakyat. Ever the idealist.......

And what was one of the first thing the shit-head PM said? "Chinese Tsunami". That was stepping on my tail - the 2nd time. Then the UMNO running-dog paper called Utusan comes up with a headline that asks "What More Do The Chinese Want?" The Star echoed with "The Chinese Would Be Sidelined". That's stepping on my tail the 3rd time. And then the idiot PM comes out to defend Utusan. That's stepping on my tail the 4th time.

With that, I left Malaysia angry, frustrated and no, I alone (as I cannot speak for others) do not accept the incumbent government as the party that I had voted for. I flew home all the way to vote for change, to vote for justice. But judging on the fiery racist remarks, it just tells me - BN will never, ever change.
I've been tossing and turning for the last couple of weeks over my own feelings and thoughts on all the above. And so, I decided to write this 'open letter'. I clarify - I'm no political analysts and I'm not here to talk about smokescreens and conspiracy theories. These are but my own point of view. A lot of talk, and I know talk is free, talk is easy. Some may agree, some may not. It's a free world (if not country :P)

Dear Mr. Najib,
("Mr." is used intentionally as I have every intention to greet you as an equal)

You asked what more do the Chinese want, well, can I ask what have you given me before? Can't answer me, eh? And then you ask why did the Chinese like me betray you and your goons, and went on to vote for the opposite team instead. Ok, since you asked me as a Chinese, I'll give you a Chinese answer. Although, I believe it is the wrong stereotype.

Firstly, please look at it from a business point-of-view. I see Malaysia as a "BERHAD" company. The day I was born, I was given a birth certificate as required by law (and please don't think this certificate is your "favour" to me. It ISN'T). This certificate is my shareholding certificate to a company called Malaysia. So, one of the T&C of this share certificate is that I get to vote for the Director and his team that would be running the company.

Now, if you only used your pea-brain for just a second - you would know that any businessman/woman worth their salt would obviously look at putting in place a team that would make profit for the company. I'm not sure a Director and his team who makes over-priced purchases on machines and submarines that wouldn't work is considered as someone with great business skills. I mean - *slap forehead ten times* right? Under your steerage, the company seems to have made considerable losses - a drop in the quality of living, escalating crime rates, increasing gap between the rich and the poor, serious drop in quality education, no further achievement in sports, no real development in the country, and you know what? I could go on and on. In summary - you and your team had failed to give me any ROIs (and that's called Return On Investment just in case you don't know) at all. And I personally think, your time is up. I mean, your nemesis Pakatan Rakyat had won the pitch with me simply because in the smaller companies (which I am also a share certificate holder of, by the way) where they had been given a chance to steer, had shown at least some form of ROIs. As such, I voted for them. I mean, you and your team had been given how many mandates thus far? And yet, nothing to show. I'm ready to invest on another team, you see.

Whilst your racist war-cry is in real bad taste, as a "Chinese" businesswoman, I can understand where you are coming from. In fact, I think your team is pretty brilliant in defining your target market segment. The Chinese are a minority group in Malaysia. In actual fact, with or without us, makes no difference to your brand/product. Since your product and brand is made for mass usage, why waste time targeting the minorities, right? You obviously need to keep your 70+% of your major market segment happy. Thus, a strategy you thought would echo your market sentiments.

But Mr. Najip, marketing case studies and history have shown that products or brands who do not keep up with market trends will find their market share graph going down. Case-in-point - Nokia. I'm using Nokia as an example because Nokia used to be one of the top mobile phone brands. But because they aren't exactly changing with times, they now have mobile phones that would be more suited for the masses (read SEC C and below), not the executives or upper-level white collars or the yuppies. Hell, even school kids would rather be caught dead than with a Nokia. My point is - your strategy is no longer cool. But then again, your Mamakootie Agent Mr. M pointed out that Pakatan Rakyat's target market is the urban, educated people. So, it can only mean that your target is the.. err... rural, uneducated. Well, my friend (no, I take that back. You're not my friend) - newsflash. People progress. One day, rural will become urban and uneducated will become educated. UNLESS, of course, your aim is to keep them where they are so that you can forever pull the wool over their eyes. Hang on a second, that is already what you're doing, aren't you??? *horrified discovery on my part*. Just to stay in power, you will hold back other people's progress?

As a shareholder, my biggest concern is to not see the company going bankrupt. I mean, all those "Free Gifts" promotions you are running so rampantly is surely going to hurt the bottomline. Then all the investments I had been making (read TAXES and yes, I do pay them) will come to naught. I shudder to think of the day when the people of Malaysia is sent to Myanmar to work as maids or construction workers. In fact, right now, I'm thinking of how stupid can I be, investing in a company that is headed that way?? I mean, really now, do I even want to invest in a company that is the laughingstock of the region, if not the world? I have businesses in Cambodia. I've got my local team asking me about that damn indelible ink (because it seems that the ones used in Cambodia really lasts a long time). And then I've got them asking me also - "how come Malaysia is inviting Cambodia to observe your elections? We are third world country, you know." I don't know. They can ask the stupid pea-brain Prime Minister, I guess. That means YOU, Mr. Najib.

In conclusion - from a time where I thought I should be fair and cross one vote for your team and cross one vote for the opposite team, I think right now, I've had enough of you and your team's nonsense. As a tax-paying shareholder, I'm fed-up with the racism, the INEQUALITY, the corruption (how can you steal my investment and put them into your own pocket??? - under corporate laws, that's called CBT!!), the crime rate, the everything under your regime. So NO - you do not get my vote, you didn't and you do not have my acceptance.

Dear Pakatan Rakyat,

And so right, I voted for you. Not really because I truly, truly believe in you guys, but because I just wanted a change and no other team's pitching. So you lost. So what? Maybe it's a good thing. You now have a bigger team in the parliament and you have another five years to learn. Whilst I am myself bitterly disappointed with your loss and I do not accept Mr. Najib's mandate, I've gotten over it. And I think you should too. It's time to start working!

Popular votes and all that jazz aside, you still lost. Yes, yes, I know - gerrymandering, fraud, phantoms and so on - what are you going to do about it? Cry like a little boy? If you're going to do that, just join the now-defunct MCA team and close shop. Time to grow up and be a man. I didn't vote for you guys to conduct one rally after another. Stop wasting resources and get to work. Your campaigning should start now and not 2 weeks before GE14. Don't you agree?

Why did you fail to win over the hearts of the rural population? Are you making your presence felt enough with them? Or are you doing a UMNO-BN/MCA? "Because you didn't vote for me, I don't represent you"? I think you could take a page from Obama's speech here - "Even though you didn't vote for me, I hear your voices, and I'm going to work as hard as I can to be your president." A dear friend of mine posted on his FB status - "praying for rapid urbanization and internet penetration into the rural areas within the next 5 years." Damn right, Pakatan team. You heard that?

I'm not even sure this could be possible, but if I am looking at this from a business / marketing point-of-view again, since the company called Selangor and Penang is making profits, perhaps, some of those profits could be re-invested into 'opening of new markets' - like Sabah / Sarawak? Again - that's just me, ya. You need to check with your other shareholders too. We don't want a case of 'misuse of funds'.  Whenever a new product or brand is launched into the market, a long-term education and awareness programme is required. Not just a 2-week campaign! And definitely not on-going long-term 'sales promotion' programmes.

Look at your statistics. How many new voters by the next GE14? Who are you targeting? Are you speaking to them? Are you in tune with their demo and psycho profiles?  Are you speaking in their lingo? I really do like your UBAH posters - specifically the DAP ones. It showed me 'young, dynamic, modern, heart-warming.' But I'm from the urban area. Are those in the rural areas grasping the communication concept behind your strategies?

Dear Pakatan Rakyat team, I could really go on and on with my thoughts about what you should do but I'll be seen as an annoying armchair-critic. But I think it is very possible that you already have the best people in place to do what you need to do. Like what a certain Shenren said in his letter to FMT - "Learn some science and assess the impact of climate change. Learn some engineering and go invent something that will lift up the lives of rural Malaysians...." Get going. Do your job. Stop the in-fighting and what-not. Don't pull wool over your supporters' eyes cause they will soon as see through all that smoke-and-mirrors. Whilst the rakyat had lived through the smokescreens for over 50 years, they will be less forgiving now because they had awaken from their stupor.

With that, go forth and multiply.

Dear Fellow Malaysians,

My above rants to the idiot PM and the PR team are just that - my rants. In all honesty, I'm a wandering soul, in search of where I belong. I'm a Malaysian by default because I was born here. But does that necessarily mean a sense of belonging? In fact, I was born on Merdeka Day. But does that necessarily translate into a sense of patriotism for me?

The fact that I had for the first time only felt truly Malaysian during the Kelana Jaya ceramah 2 weeks ago must surely say something, yes? And I had only been living away from the country for the last 5+ years. That plus 4 years earlier on. So, what it was two weeks ago was just what they called "hangat-hangat tahi ayam" - if my Bahasa still serves me well. I was swept away in the heat of the moment.

I had been indifferent for so long that the ounce of "infatuation" I felt at the stadium that night was kind of cherished. For that, fellow Malaysians, I thank you. Sure, I bitch about the government (don't tell me you don't :P), I know "Negaraku, tanah tumpahnya darahku..." and my Rukun Negara by heart for I had been forced to recite them every Monday mornings for 11 years. But it doesn't necessarily means I feel it.

Last week, I had a discussion with a very close friend - if Malaysia was under attack by say, North Korea, would you stand in the front lines to protect your country? Without hesitating, my answer was a "NO". While she said "For Sure!" And my friend started going on a lecture about "ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country." I had the same discussion with MOH (My Other Half). It was the first time we asked each other this question, actually. I gave him the same answer. He looked at me funny. I looked at him funny too because his answer was an "Of course!" So hang on, it seems I'm the only one then who wouldn't shed blood for my country? But how can I fight for something or someone when I don't feel passionately for it? When I don't feel I belong? I mean, I'd just as quickly bite the bullet for my family, my husband, even for the kids I support...... simply because I feel I belong. But with my country.... I'm not so sure, really.

I guess, one has to understand how far deteriorated my relationship is with my country. I blame it on the government and definitely on my own indifference as well. At a young age, I was already exposed to how I am never really "Malaysian" as far as the ruling government was concerned. Let me tell you what was the stepping on my tail the first time about.

I scored 8As out of 9 subjects in my SPM and had an aggregate of 6. My parents, both government teachers had already forewarned me that they cannot afford to send me for private education. This the same parents who saved up on their income to let my brother and I enjoy a MacD's burger while they ate their dinner at the five-foot stall. Anyway, I applied for the government JPK scholarship. I needed it. I wanted it so badly because I did not want to spend another 2 years doing my Form 6 under government education (and I already knew then that our education system did not really cultivate thinkers) and I did not want to get into local uni and be given some crap history course or English Lit course. At a time where I wanted the scholarship so badly, I failed to get one. And here's the crusher - a Malay girl who only scored 5As received a full scholarship instead. I went on a battle and finally got private scholarships for my diploma - in fact, I even got a personal scholarship for an additional diploma (they know who they are) and then further on to my degree in Australia - also on a private scholarship. I had to work my ass off, but I wasn't going to let the government stop me. Thank God for the fighter in me.

The rest, as they say, is history. I am where I am today, not from the governments' so-called "hands of friendship". My relationship with my country from that point on was all downhill. I had lived in Australia - my first forays with a "free" world (also helped that I was far and away from my parents! LOL!), I've lived in Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia and now Myanmar. In all the times that I had lived away from home, I had never missed Malaysia. When I am homesick, it's because I miss my family - all of whom are living in Malaysia. I don't even miss the food. Not that I don't enjoy Assam Laksa or Nasi Lemak or Char Kway Teow or whatever. In fact, I think Malaysia's Lor Mai Kai is the best and you can't get that anywhere else (at least not in countries where I had lived). But when I am away, I just don't miss them at all. Yes, when I am encountering a third-world problem like - internet, I would naturally think - Malaysia's better. But does that make me wanna move back home? No.

This whole Chinese thing - whatever political mind-games the arse-holes are playing, I took it personally. It is for this crap that they had shoved down my throat for years that I am until today, more Chinese than I am Malaysian. Of course, again, I know this is just me. Some people may react very differently. To each its own. And don't get me wrong, I have many Malay friends and Indian friends and a select few who are truly people I would bite the bullet for. I was raised well by parents who simply taught me that we are all equals. You know, the efforts by this group called 'Kita Kawan Mah' are truly heart-warming. However, just to be a bit of a spoilt-sport here - if Malaysia, in this day and age, needs an anti-racism campaign...... how far behind are we? I mentioned before in one of my blog - racial differences will always be there. We don't need a government that will play up on it and use it against us instead.

I think it's not enough to just love Malaysian food or have the "-lah" at the end of every sentence. As I already said, I don't feel I belong. In fact, they keep telling me to balik tongsan. Do they even know what "tongsan" means? If my Chinese does not fail me right now, I think tongsan means the place where one was born. So where do they want me to go???

To be honest, right here in Myanmar, I feel more of a sense of belonging than I feel for Malaysia. Of course, who is to say I won't overstay my welcome one day? Because I had moved and adapted in so many countries, the good is I am a citizen of the world. Well, maybe not the world, just all the third-worlds :P The bad is I am forever wandering in no-man's land, wondering where the hell my tongsan is.

I don't live in Malaysia and as such, some might say it looks like I've already jumped-ship and as such, who am I to make rants. But back to my point with the idiot PM - would I invest in a company that is headed towards bankruptcy? Of course, things aren't or may not be that bad. I'm just saying. Call me a typical, selfish Chinese then. But I'm not about to put all my eggs in one basket. I salute the Yeo Bee Yins and the Supermans who left everything they had and went home to fight a good fight. Just like motherhood - it's not a sacrifice I can make. I voted for change - also in hope that it will help me on my wandering journey to discover my sense of belonging. Again, idealistic.

But here's the thing, my dear fellow Malaysians, while I am still searching for the place where I belong, "tanah tumpahnya darahku", my tongsan - whatever you call it, it does not mean I do not support your fight for justice or for change - the same as I would stand by the Myanmar people's fight - IF their cause is something I support or believe in. Or Cambodians, for that matter.

I still say Thank You - to those 50,000 (or was it 60,000?) Malaysians at Stadium Kelana Jaya on the night of 4th May 2013 for letting me feel, even just for a couple of hours, a modicum of Malaysian in me. I caught myself by surprise for still remembering my Negaraku and I was even more surprised that everyone stood still and respected the song (warning bells : why should I be surprised at that??)


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