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.)

Friday, June 26, 2015

Dina Zaman: Unappreciated in my own country

'I never thought I would say this but when I arrived home from Singapore, and had a long drawn out battle with baggage delays at KLIA, and then touts at KL Sentral, I looked up to the dark evening sky and thought how Malaysia had become a third world country.

As I stood there with my bags, observing fellow Malaysians shouting at the touts, while the security guards looked away, and then seeing a poor, hapless foreign porter being heckled by a lazy plonker of a Malaysian, I said to myself, there has to be a better way of living and to live.

While I wrestled with anger and contempt at the touts, the Malay in me, the Muslim in me felt dismayed to see much older Malay men wearing the kopiahs (skullcaps) touting cab rides and swearing at those who declined their offers.
Apa dah jadi dengan orang Melayu kita ni (What's happening to the Malays), I said to myself.'

'An old friend’s ever oft repeated phrase came to mind: it’s so hard (here).

Two reasons as to why I have been quiet – not writing columns – are because I, with my friends, have been busy marketing our research start-up (more on that in another column) and I have been searching for funding for a postgraduate programme. I already have a conditional offer abroad.

I had been told to try for funding from local universities; upon finishing my PhD, I would be bonded to the university. No problem, I said.

Rejection from University A:

“Your niche area might be useful for the English Language section or the Literature section. The thing that might work against you is your age (no offence, this is simply stating the reality that heads of departments prefer younger staff so as to ensure continuity.”

I wrote back, my intended study is in the field of sociology or anthropology, not literature.

Unless you count my study on the class divide among Muslims as FICTION. And my age has nothing to do with it.

Rejection from University B, because even though I have a Masters in Literature, it’s not in Sociology.

I am willing to take up another Masters, I said.

“I am sorry but we are unable to offer you a position.”

I also was rebuffed by a private organisation which funds postgraduate studies, solely because I am in my mid-40s.

"You need to be below the age of 40 as you will be bonded to us."

"Just because I'll be 50 by then it doesn't mean I can't serve the organisation or country. Why are you so ageist."

"Er, er, er... I am just following orders."

What a marked difference when it comes to responses from foreign universities: when I apply to foreign universities, I am always floored to know that the supervisors I approached have read my book and works published in news websites.

When I visited the National University of Singapore, I was shocked to find that my work had been studied and written about in a journal they published!

What am I doing here, when my country does not even appreciate me?'


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