31 August 2008

Happy Birthday, Malaysia

"You're not young anymore, act like an adult." - Mum, on my birthdays when I was young.

50+1. Quite an age to be. Past the half century mark. In human terms, this would be really a momentous occasion.

This year, I feel non of the good feelings I do whenever 31st August comes about. I don't know how to explain it, but the truth is, my pride of being a Malaysian is no more. It's sad for me to say this, but everything I love about Malaysia is weighed down and overshadowed by all the things I don't like about Malaysia.

I'm a squatter in my own land. I pay taxes, I abide by the laws. Yet, I'm not getting full respect as a fellow Malaysian from many of my other fellow countrymen. In their eyes, I'm a pendatang, an immigrant. Sometimes, naturalised Indonesians get accorded better things that I do.

I got the grades, but didn't get the university place.
I pay the taxes, but I get non of the assistance.
I contribute to the nation, but I don't see the nation extending a welcoming hand back to me when I need it.
When I'm rich, I must be a cheat - I can't be getting rich without cheating.
When I'm poor, I'm the wrong ethnic group - I don't deserve help.
When I work hard, I am a threat.
When I do well, I am a threat.
I get turned away from meetings because of my skin color.

Hasn't it occured to you all, that I'm not your problem?
You are your own problem.
If you are such a superior ethnic group, why is it that you need the most help?

I just want to have my place under the Malaysian sun.
I want to work hard, play hard, and enjoy the fruits of my labor.
I want to be treated fairly, to be recognized as a Malaysian.
But I know.
I know it is one request too much.

I have a hard enough time making ends meet, I don't need more obstacles and barriers put in place to hold me back.

I have decided today, on my 32nd birthday, that there is no place for me under the Malaysian sun.

The world is flat, my home is where my heart is, where open arms welcome me.
My heart is not here. I'll be somewhere else, in a place I can really call home.

Happy Birthday to me.
Happy Birthday, Malaysia.

16 August 2008

To be or not to be ...

To be or not to be ...

Darned if I do ... Darned if I don't.

Sometimes, questions with just two answer choices are the hardest to choose. Because you have to choose one or the other. It's so black and white. No middle ground. No shades of grey.

Wouldn't want anyone else to be in my shoes now ...

13 August 2008

Moz does Jakarta

I don't know why, but after all these while, I felt like doing a travel entry, so here I am ...

I'm currently in Jakarta, putting up at the very nice JW Marriot. Here are pictures of my most visited hotel for the year :P

The room at JW Marriot. Quite nice, and well appointed.

I had my check-in done in my room now, thanks to my new Marriot Silver status ;)

I had a visitor from India with me, so tonight, I decided to go out for some different food, rather than stay around the same area I always eat out at.

So, with Hunady, my local colleague, we went out venturing to Sate Khas Senayan. I'll let the photos do the talking ! Don't blame me if you get hungry looking at the photos, ok ?!

So, we went out to Sate Khas Senayan !! Yeah, it's a chain, but the food is still good. This one is at Menteng, a central Jakarta district, home to the famous and rich people.

My colleagues trying to figure out what to order ...

Someone looks very happy that the food has arrived !

The flying fish, gureme goreng, is a signature dish here ... looks like the ones they make at the Sundanese Restaurant at KLCC, but tastes much better =)

While this dish (I forgot the name), is made of egg tofu, omelette, and bean sprouts. Nice alternative to gado-gado !

But really, this is why we came ! The chicken sate, served over a bowl with charcoal under it ! Simply delicious. It's not the same as kajang sate in Malaysia, so it's not really possible to compare.

05 August 2008

Shaken, but not stirred.

Some of you who know me, and read my constantly update status on Facebook could be forgiven for thinking that I've suddenly turned into a women's right activist today. Rest assured I have not.

Originally, I had planned to post about my travels to Hong Kong, and some photos from other trips, but I think this is more important to blog.

I was shaken today, witnessing an assault in front of my very eyes. I don't want to give out any details, except that it was in the public, and that it was a case of a husband assaulting his wife, with hundreds, if not thousands of witnesses.

I was shocked, and I had no idea what to do. I shouted to ask for someone to make a police report. Many other bystanders intervened and stopped any further assault. Now I know what it means when people say that things happen so quickly they didn't have the time to think and react properly. I had brain freeze for a while, and I had no idea what to do, and how to act.

The rest of my day was badly affected - I couldn't really work after that. I didn't realize something like this would affect me that badly, but somehow it did.

I can't fathom why a man would beat his wife, so it's even harder for me to understand how they not only can beat their wife, but they can beat them in the public, with all those people watching.

If the man thinks he's going to solve whatever problems he's trying to solve, he can't be more wrong. He's just making it worse, and he's making more problems. It becomes a downward spiral, if it isn't one already. If he hasn't already driven a final wedge in the relationship, I guess he just did.

A real man handles problems like a man - he thinks, acts and solves it like an adult. He will be realistic, rational, and objective. Violence doesn't solve problems - it is a problem itself, and only adds to whatever other problem already bogging one down.

We all have our down moments, and we all have rage within us. Sometimes, we do feel like taking things into our own hands. But if everyone does that, there would be anarchy in society. It'll be law of the jungle when that happens. We're adults. We shouldn't act like little children throwing tantrums when we don't get what we want !

A real man doesn't resolve family issues by beating his wife. That's what a weak man does - resort to violence. A weak man is one who can't use his charm and wits, or logic and reasoning to reach a positive, mutually acceptable conclusion.

I don't want to act like I'm an angel, but now that I've witness domestic violence / assault, you'll bet I'll step up to help people whom I know are in situations which could deteriorate into violence. I think I should stop being indifferent, and start being a friend.

I am shaken, but I thank many of my colleagues, and my beloved girlfriend for their support - at least they listened to me, and let me vent out my stress. And for that, I'm thankful.