Thursday, March 20, 2008

A Thief of Right

'When you kill a man, you steal a life; you steal his wife's right to a husband, rob a children of his father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone's right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness'. 'Every other sin is a variation of theft'

It is a rather interesting philosophy espaused by Baba to Amir Jan in the Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

When I think about it, it is almost plausible. I never thought how lie can be so closely related to stealing. But then again I remembered this one Malay proverb 'Siakap Senohong Gelama Ikan Duri, Bercakap bohong lama-lama jadi pencuri' (Carp, fishes with thorn, tell lie often, then becomes a thief)

Indeed, by lying or not telling the truth a person does not only hoard information which can probably be had once the hoard is removed or by making it more transparent but more importantly, the person is stealing someone's right to the truth which is possibly almost similar to stealing the right to life.

I believe this pilosophy is a rather powerful element in creating a civilized society. It requires one to be honest, trustworty and truthful not to steal that right to the truth. It also encompasses all aspects of lying. The bottom line is, a person's right has been denied and those who denied it has to be none other than a thief or a group of thieves. So, in the current climate of missing files, documents and so on, it seems there are many thieves among us! Hopefully they are not the majority lest we become part of a Society of Thieves. Perhaps a Society ofMonkeys (as some people who thought they are clever by half used to think about bloggers) is always better than a Society of Thieves!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The Aftermath & The Days Ahead

A week has now passed since the New Dawn. Lots have been talked about the Tsunami; the shockings, the unbelievable, the gracious gentleman, the sore losers, the analysis, the expert opinions, the new kids on the block, the new partnerships, the unreal expectations...

Of all these, one pertinent point I thought has been missing. While people talked about the roles of the new governments, the new excos, the new cabinets, the new oppositions and even the new main stream media, nobody really taked about the role of the people or rather voters who made their choices loud and clear.

It is fine to agree with the notions or ideas during the campiagn but to really roll up the sleeves and get the hands dirty to ensure those notions and ideas become reality is another ball game all together. From now on, this country needs a new culture to push reform agenda throughout the country. Now it seems the majority wanted change and reform to the way this country is governed. Will the people ever ready to change and reform themselves? People talk about justice and rule of law all the time but is this being practiced in the daily life? I am afraid to say that it is far from this duplicity (for a better word than hypocrite)! Look at the way we conduct ourselves as far as obeying traffic rules is concerned. We double parked, obstructed others, beat the red lights, parked illegally, exceed speed limits, driving recklessly.... we can go on. The point is we do not see this as part of small steps in reform agenda.

Similarly, while we expect to be treated fairly and justly, do we practice this? Did we ever refuse any form of discrimination or happily go along? Or do we talk about justice only when we are the receiving end?

In the light of all these, we should all take stock and consider the following:

1. The Push Factors (created by BN unless stated otherwise)
1. Broken promises on corruption, integrity, transparency
2. Neglect and taking the masses for granted
3. Narrow eye views on the dire state of the people
4. Too much spin doctor manipulating the main stream media
5. Greedy, arrogant, exclusive, irrelevant

2. The Pull Factors (by BR)
1. Promises of a New Dawn - no corruption, more transparent and accountability
2. Better quality of life - lower cost of living
3. Inclusive, consultative
4. Fairer environment for all

3. Things to look at, among others:
1. Set up an effective mechanism for the state and local authorities administration
2. Work towards a better safety and security by enhancing the presence of police force in
the states
3. A better business climate
4. Not to repeat BN's mistakes
5. The YBs to be more accessible and interactive
6. Improve infrastructure system - reduce floods, traffic congestion, enhance communication
(no spin doctors, please)
7. Walk the Talk!

Finally, we the people should pull out all stops to contribute to the new age, new dawn, new culture and new Malaysia!

With that we should move forward and better days are awaiting ahead!

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Facts, The Myths & The Truths

This would probably my last piece on this New Dawn. I will try to be brief but hopefully do not miss any point.

The facst are:
1. BR won in 5 states (6 including the Territory) against BN's 8
2. DAP won outright control in One state and a major control in another, PAS in two; PKR has a major control in one.
3. BR won over 50% popular votes in peninsular and about 47% overall
4. Two states have a requirement for a Malay Muslim to be the Chief Excutive Officer of the state

The myths are:
1. People voted for a particular party in BR instead of the whole pack BR
2. The number of seats won by BR reflect the wishes of people which can be translated into the control of the state
3. People voted for BR parties because they love the each of the parties
4. The mandate given to BR is a licence to exercise their newly found authority - BR member parties to implement its own policy per se.
5. The newly elected government will revamp the whole system overnight.
6. The win was due to BR's own effort.
7. People booted BN because they did not like development.
8. People will support you all the time.

The truths are:
1. People voted for BR as a pack of three parties not on one party alone.
2. The number of seats won simply means the number of seats BN lost
3. People voted for BR parties because they hated BN - even members of BN's own component parties voted against their own candidates.
4. Each BR member party has to modify the approach in implementing party policies to benefit all people, not only their own members and groups. They ought to remember that they have been promoting fairness and just cause for the rakyat not section of the rakyat. If they choose to implement selectively then they will be no different than BN. In fact they will be even worse because they did not walk the talk.
5. The administrative and delivery system needs to be properly reviewed by independent groups comprising professionals and experts who are impartial to political parties but with the benefits for the people utmost in their mind. This is where the new government ought to be extremely careful so that those who are romped into improvement teams are genuine and not fence sitters who are only eager to ride on the bandwagon and grab all they can. I have seen this kind of people who can readily change their uniforms overnight. Those who served in the tink tank of the previous administration should never be given any chance to do the same at least in the early stage. Their claim of expertise should be treated with extreme care. Otherwise they could just be 'gunting dalam lipatan'.
By the same token, there are genuine people who had no choice but had to follow/do certain things previously to ensure their survival. For instance they were asked to be a member of a BN component party before they can even have a chance. This group of people should not be victimised the second time. In fact don't be surprise that membership forms of BR member parties will become like hot fried banana in weeks and months to come. In the excitement to increase membership, there could be many black ships in the group. In fact if those involved in recruiting are naive, there could be many 'musang berbulu ayam' in the herd! In short the process in forming representative groups has to be monitored carefully.
6. The win was not due solely to BR member parties own effort. For instance DAP has been trying to capture penang for almost 30 years but to no avail. Similarly PAS had only succeeded in the east cost before. Of course PKR is new and was almost wiped out four years ago. So, on their own each party would not have the chance to win many let alone winning the right to govern the states. In short the win was due to all these parties working tohether in a united front regardless of policy differences and most importantly fully supported by the people who mattered - the voters be it in the form of Reformasi or Makhal was simply People's Power! Please do not make a fool of yourself claiming or attributing your win without sensitive consideration for the people. So, DAP, the wishes of the people is for BN to get lost and BR to get a chance to govern! BR means DAP-PAS-PKR not DAP alone! And in this bond we have all Malaysians. You were given a chance together so WORK TOGETHER! Any differences should be resolved behind closed doors not infront of the press. Remember it takes time getting used by this press corp to treat you decently after years of looking at you guys with a slanted one eye. They are eager to capitalise on your mistakes especially when you pott your sour foot in the mouth, let alone shooting on your foot or worse still your head. Use your rational hat all the time. I suggest throw away or donate to the museums the emotional hats.
7. Rakyat still need the development but in a way not to burden them. The development should improve the quality of their life and their families too nowand also the future. The spiritual development should also not be neglected. The cycle of poverty has to be discontinued and dismantled. Do good things and remove bad things. Then we are ready to move on the right track!
8. People will be watching and give their support if you deserve them. They will be more crtical knowing that you know better than imitate those BN guys.

In summary, it will be lessons well learned if the newly elected BR representatives start looking at the Truths (the list was not exhaustive) rather than being buoyed by the Myths. Otherwise BR would be = BN and come the 13th GE, you know where you will be as part of history!

Best of Luck guys!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Practice

Since I had the chance to watch The Firm, a movie based on Grisham's title, anything on legal drama excites me. So, when The Practice made to this shore's airwaves, it was very refreshing indeed. So hooked I was, my Wednesday night was never the same again. Its The Practice night. I tried to avoid anything on the night so that I could settle in front of the small screen watching Bobby O'Donnel, Lindsay, Eleanor, Eugene, Jimmy locked horns with the prosecutors in the court rooms and some times in other rooms.

One thing that amazed me was to see how passionate the actors were in delivering their lines. Of course the scripts and storylines were consistently excellent. At times Bobby tried too hard it became less real. Lindsay was the emotional one though she was very good as a lawyer. Jimmy was always the quiet one. It was a sad case for Jimmy who seemed to be not up to the mark as compared to the others being the partners.

The chemistry between the characters was well planned especially with Bobby, being the main character. Indeed it was another successful drama portraying part of American way of life. A few judges were simply outstanding. I learned a lot from these people.

It was sad that the series had to end.....though another excellent series took over... Boston Legal!

Monday, March 10, 2008

The Kite Runner - Epilogue

Khaled Hosseini was really magnificient in authoring the book. It may be his first published but the balance between fiction and reality was so even they could have been separated by a strand of hair split into seven parts. If ever that was, I did not realise.

For me it was a good learn on Afghanistan. The sdie which I did not know before. It is hard to phatom why but it was definitely not impossible to undertstand. Taliban was perhaps undone by overzealousness in moving from one end to another side it ended being too extreme. It was when man behaves worst than animals. In the end justice prevail, never mind how. One thing is clear, the afghans had a jolly good time like many other places in the world before they were befallen by their onw-made calamities. Not only once or twice but .... many times over. Perhaps the root is clear - they strayed from the Right Path.

Thank you Khaled Hosseini! I shall be looking for your next one...A Thousand Splendid Suns.

The Kite Runner (Part 5)

Baba did his last task for Amir. Their life changed with Soraya's presence. It was the most beautiful period for Amir in spite of the grief.

He soon faced another challenge. But non-too serious until the call from Rahim Khan. The second phase of the journey towards discovery and redemption began. It was a process that Amir had to go through. He soon learned what I have thought all along. All the reasons between him and Baba. The missing links and the dotted lines with Ali and Hassan. There was Farid and his family. The true value of honoring a guest. The revisit, the despicable finding and the deadliest encounter. Sohrab the saviour. The trust and betrayal one after another. The determination, the ultimate price to pay.

The return journey, hope, acceptance and more pain. The patience and the unfailing effort to make it happen. The search for happiness from an empty space. The unspoken love. Finally the rise of a new hope for being a Kite Runner!

Sunday, March 09, 2008

A New Dawn

What a momentous day it was, yesterday- 090308- It was energy sapped day and evening. It was like once in fifty years occasion. But it was worth the wait.

I could see it coming but not to this extent. It is indeed a very heavy price to pay for selfish, self centred, ignorance and arrogance. It was bitter to those who had to swallow the pills. Gone were the pride, image, self value. It would be even worst. It is not the end to some but it should be a new start to the othere. A new start for humility, humbleness, genuine, sincerity and all the good values one could think of. The people spoke and it was in no uncertain term. The message was clear - dont take us for granted; dont think we are stupid; dont think we are blind; and dont dare us too often.

So with the new beginning it should be for the better of the nation and the people. Then only the word could ring true - by the pople for the people!

Lets Do it Even Better!

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Its Not Politics!

With cricket not being a popular sport in Malaysia, nobody would know much about its not cricket! So, what is it, when its not politics? With a day or so before the campaign blackout many people are showing their true colours. Those who openly declared being politicians of course have no problem dealing with anything politics. But what about others like lecturers, ceos, ngos, artists? This is like an open season for them. To me these people are opportunits who just want to 'bodek'. Poor souls! They thought other people are so naive like them. Of course politicians being the mother of opportunists will not hesitate to grab the fruits of other people's labour. But do not put too much hope that they will reciprocate in deeds.

At the start of the campaign everybody wanted to be a gentleman - some even said not to get emotional and don't attack personal. How noble! Of course its the principles and policy that should get the attention. Unfortunately most politicians and political parties in this country are never professional persons and groups. So, the home stretch is full of one sided personal attacks. Pots calling kettles black! How pathetic. A few of these people were really failed politicians. They were so nice or naive to become a politician withouit knowing really what was waiting for them. They could not face and handle the situations and tried to find scapegoats. They never see that they were also different when they were in politics. As if it is a big sin if a politician change his/her views on the world as he/she matures and as the world getting older!

Another often used line for most politicians especially the incumbents is that they still have works to do after may be the last two or even three terms! What a lot of bull! They now have more plans than the previous term. Why didn't they do it then? Its always like things will be better, greater and whatever comes the next chance. In fact these people should be given the boot, first!

Indeed, its not politics. Rather it is full of hate, hatred, jelousy, revenge et al. It is no longer a fair game when the rules are changed when the game is in progress. The goal post moves sideways or even upwards. The penalty box becomes smaller and you can't score from outside the box. I really do hope something better will come out of this GE. 9th March 2008 should bring along a new dawn, however one wants to interprate it. Otherwise there will never be another good opportunity forMalaysia to be a great nation once again!

We need the Change & Lets Do It!

Its Not Cricket!

I remember when I was studying in the land down under, cricket was almost a religion to Aussies. Summer is not complete without cricket, so much so, an international cricket game could become a carnival. Because of this, a smart alex (by the name of Kerry Packer) came up with an idea of a limited over game whereby each side has 50 overs to bowl and the same to score provided the team can last that long. The game is palyed and completed within a day i.e. 8 hours!. With it came the so called - colourful uniforms. These two elements put One Day cricket in stark contrast to Test Cricket whereby a team has two innings to score as many runs and bowled as many overs within five days. The purists called this One Dayer game as a pyjama game. Later one the One Dayers were also played as a Day and night game - one side bats after lunch to dinner then the other bats after dinner til supper. The Aussies were supposed to be good at the game introduced by the British that they could not face defeat gentlemanly. Their main rivals in those days were England (The Poms) and New Zealand (Kiwis).

So, in one of those critical game when Australia had to win facing the Kiwis the match came to the last ball of the inning. Australia needed to take one wicket to win and New Zealand needed to score, if I am not mistaken, six runs to win. Of course under normal circumstances a batsman could smash the ball bowled to him over the fence without hitting the ground to score six runs. Once the ball touches the ground, even if it passed the fence, only four runs can be recorded. The Australian Captain at the time was Greg Chappell while the bowler was Trevor Chappell, the youngest of the Chappell brothers representing Australia in cricket. At that time, everybody was anxious because waiting at the other end to face the ball was Kiwi's allrounder and distinguished bowler, Sir Richard Hadlee. A perfect gentleman til the end. Anything was possible with Hadlee although the chances was at best 50-50.

There was a mini conference in the middle of the field between Greg, Trevor and Kim Hughes, the deputy to Greg. Fielders positions were adjusted. Everybody was expecting Trevor to bowl the best ball that would not allow Richrad to score six. Perhaps a yorker! But, to everyone's surprise, he moved slowly towards the bowling line and bowl the ball underarm - just like playing a lawn bowl and the ten pin bowl. Of course nobody would have a chance to hit the ball for a four, let alone a sixer! As I said, being a gentleman he was, Sir Richard blocked the ball with his bat in disgust! Everybody was like speechless. So the next morning the headlines were obvious - Its not cricket! Just like that, another phrase was created. In short when you dont play according to the rules and norms, its just not cricket! By the way, it was later clarified that Trevor did not break any rule of the game i.e. the bowl was legitimate!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Kite Runner (Part 4)

Amir in the new world of America. Indeed the unseen bond of love between Amir and his Baba was never more evident although not said in as many words, while they started their lives in the new world. Being together through ups and downs, suddenly Amir has grown up.

Then the hardship became more apparent. Amir suddenly realised his dependent on Baba was not going forever. It will come to an end soonest. But still he was fortunate to at least get the message early. It gave him opportunity to do what he ought to do.

He was at the cross road. The infatuation with Soraya. Love at the first sight! But then again people never learned. Even under those trying circumstances Nang and Namoos never fade. Honor and Pride where class matters. It is another journey for Amir. A journey full ofchalleneges which he should be determined to survive.

The Kite Runner (Part 3)

What a turning point for Amir! Poor chap! However this was a journey full of discovery. Shocking may not be the right word. It was unimaginable. It was pathetic. But perhaps that was also the truth.

The journey which many would have taken for granted in peace time became a journey of pain, sadness, and disappointment. But that was the mould that Amir had to be in so that, hopefully he would come out tougher than ever - meeting Baba's expectation.

He would come to a new World!