Thursday, August 02, 2007

Catatan Ku: Approaching 50 ... It's Raining

Listen to the pouring rain
Listen to it pour,
And with every drop of rain
You know I love you more

Let it rain all night long,
Let my love for you go strong,
As long as we're together
Who cares about the weather?

Listen to the falling rain,
Listen to it fall,
And with every drop of rain,
I can hear you call,
Call my name right out loud,
I can here above the clouds
And I'm here among the puddles,
You and I together huddle.

Listen to the falling rain,
Listen to it fall.

It's raining,
It's pouring,
The old man is snoring,
Went to bad
And bumped his head,
He couldn't get up in the morning,

Listen to the falling rain,
listen to the rain

-- Jose Feliciano

As I listen to this song repeatedly on the WinAmp, the currrent state of the nation flashes me by.

Come August 31st, it is Independence Day again. As we come close to 50, I'm listening to the rain dropping and pouring.

At 50, we are beginning to regress, while others progress. Much that was built dismantled. Mosaic that binds society is cracking. Inadequates imposing their wills. Intolerance and obdurate permeating in society. National pride wavering.

Sound of rain dropping on the ground and water flowing from gutters of ivory towers and glistening corporate towers could not be ignored.

It's raining,
It's pouring,
The old man is snoring.

Its wet. Drenched.

But I say, let it rain.

And every drop of rain,
You know I love you more


Let this rain fall till this state of stupor is overcome ...

After the rain, fresh air will pervade. Water for our sustainance. Moist soil for plants to grow. Rainbow in the sky to add colour. A joyous new beginning, perhaps?

Determination and hope.


konek said...

Malaysia under Umno was, is and will forever be a basket case. What we see now as development and progress are merely internal consumption.

Unless the government commits to real change and wiping out of the current rot in Umno, Malaysia is slowly but surely spiraling downwards towards being a pariah country.

ruyom said...

It is true NEP has its good and its bad points depending on whose view you are looking at it.

The non-malays have been straddled with this law for a long time and I can see lots of dissatisfaction emerging from their rank. This can be seen by the ever-increasing number of emigration taking place as well as non-returning students from abroad.

I cannot start to call them traitors, as some of the malays here seem to imply on them. Put yourself in their shoe first and feel the full effect of the discrimination for over 30 years……….Do you think you will be happy? Anybody?

Want to know why the non-malays are all running away from Malaysia for greener pasture as malays call traitors and rats? Know that even rats must be wise to jump ship when the ship is sinking.

The government has been pushing the unity theme for Malaysia for a long time - the so called Bangsa Malaysia. How do you unite people? How are you going to unite people of different races where one race enjoys more rights than other races? Unity can never happen if there is inequality.

So, if you don't want people to comment on your special rights, then don't talk about unity in front of the non-malays.

The next reason why the non-malays keep on condemning the special rights is because of the implementation of it. Does every malay has the chance to enjoy their special rights? From what non-malays have been seeing since the past till now, only the rich and powerful are enjoying it. The poor malays are still poor. How many poor malays were transformed from poverty to middle class?

Sure, what you talk about your experience might be true if you put it in a nutshell. You cite examples of success stories and cases which is what it should be. But don't use special rights to deny a fellow deserving Malaysian of that chance too.

If you don't trust your fellow countrymen, whom in the world are you going to put your faith into?

The reasons have been given, countless in fact. And I believe you can also see it for yourself what kind of state Malaysia is in now. No unity, no improvement in the competitiveness in Malaysia.

I believe no community will get stronger if it depends on protection all the time. In face of globalization, each one must pull its own weight but work as a team. Otherwise we go down together.

aston said...

Racism in Malaysia is apparent to anyone who has eyes! Malays are just a bunch of cripples who will collapse to the ground if their tongkat is taken away.

Remove their constitutional rights, their 7% discount on houses, their 30% equity in companies, their quota system in public universities etc……….what is left?

Only a bunch of malays begging in gutters or worse, they may have to eat pork to survive!

yuking said...

The reason for Umno's existence and success is all about racial politics: Ketuanan Melayu.

They have nothing to fight for except to get more and more for their race and religion; they are obsessed with dividing the cake in their favour (ten for me, one for you) instead of making the cake bigger.

They do not fight for the nation but their race and religion. All this has been cultivated and imbued into their culture since 1969.

They do not want to talk about corruption as they know many of their kind are corrupt to the core.

reek said...

Sometimes, we malays deserve to be labeled. We need to be criticised and provoked, and be put into a corner before we come out fighting. Otherwise we tend to be easy going, preferring the softer options even when we know that there are no free lunches at the end of the day.

When we cannot deal or cope with reality, what do we do? We become envious of others and legislate to take away their rights, not matter how well we rationalise our actions. At worst we run amuck, and that is infantile behaviour.

The NEP cannot be in perpetuity. After 38 years of affirmative action, we have not much to show for it. Our destiny is in our own hands. The golf handicap concept is not a prop. It has to be assessed on performance. Don't you think it is time we, as individual malays, make the paradigm shift in our thinking towards being self-reliant? We need new modalities and a renewed "can do" spirit.

No leader, intellectual or otherwise, can help us if we do not want to change. I am not here to lead you and others, as I do not believe in being led. Lead yourself. You have to learn to accept criticisms, and be confident and strong to deal with them.

You have to take to the well and drink its water yourself. But before that, you have to identify where the well is, learn to dig it, assess the drink-ability of the water, and find the best way to tap it. It will be better if you can purify and package the water, brand it and sell the surplus for profit. To do that would require knowledge which must be acquired as it is not given to you or me on a silver platter.

I believe in self-motivation, serious self-criticism, and sober reflection, together with the guts and will to make appropriate adjustments. That is hard work, but it is most satisfying in my view.

The choice is ours to make: keep our feudal ways, or abandon it in favour of a more liberating and open system. For me the answer is obvious. However, I do not expect this to happen overnight. We have to make a start. A journey of a thousand years begins with the first steps, the outcome of which is full of challenges and uncertainties.

I do not give up because I believe in fighting back, and speaking my mind. This streak remains with me to this day. Thanks.

tim said...

Never in the entire history of Malaysia that its citizens feel so hopeless for having such a hypocrite sleepy prime minister! Time to vote Umno out in the coming election!

San said...

I think it is very unfair, shallow, selfish and naive to call people who have emigrated as quitters. I won't do that. If you respect democracy you must respect their views and decisions as they are entitled to as part of human rights and freedom.

People who emigrate should not be called quitters. They are just exercising their basic human rights and the world is now a more open place where talents can go where it is most appreciated.

I graduated in 1971 and about 25% of my schoolmates have emigrated mostly to Australia.

As a minority among the minority, my wife and I managed to get our 4 children into university, and all 4 children will be qualified to work anywhere they choose.

1 in UK, 1 in Singapore, 1 in Canada and the youngest is studying in the UK. Our policy is that all our children will be global citizens free to work where they wish.

The worst thing about the race-based parties is that it perpetuates leaders that can only garner support using racist tactics to stay in power.

The real natives of Malaysia have been exploited by newer arrivals who now claim all kinds of rights.

Malaysia does not treat its own citizens fairly and many an illegal immigrants offspring can become a first class citizen within two generations while people born here over many generations can be officially discriminated.

That is a sure way to a nation decline. We must really have policies based on principles and not race.

I don't think we should stand in the way of those who wish to buy insurance policies against unbearable government discrimination. By all means get your PR in the US, UK, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia if you can afford it.

Send your children overseas in the hope that they can get jobs overseas, without having to fight the ensuing lack of meritocracy in so many facets of life, and the affirmative action policies of Malaysia.

However, spare a thought for those who cannot afford such insurance policies, and continue to help fight the injustice in our own country - remember to return when there is a election and vote for regime change, or contribute financially to the opposition cause.

Many people do not realise that the next 5 years will truly define the future of the non-malays in Malaysia.

It is now when we contribute the most to taxes, to private sector investment, and to EPF that we can demand our grievances that be heard.

Forget about the Mute Indian Congress and the Mute Chinese Association - they have already sold their souls for short-term gain, so we will need to give the opposition (whether it is PAS, Keadilan or DAP) the chance to wave the flag of justice.

yoy said...

Government controlled newspapers are good for wrapping nasi lemak. Read Malaysia Today for real news……….Bravo Raja Petra!

romsam said...

I can understand displeasure with the many opinions, discussions and criticism on Islam by non-Muslims.

Indeed, I am here to offer fellow Muslims a practical suggestion on how they can reduce such belligerence on the part of non-Muslim Malaysians. Simply, start a grassroots movement to pressure your religious, political and community leaders to stop politicising Islam.

The reason you see an increase in non-Muslim comments about Islam is primarily due to the use of Islam in politics, no thanks to the contest between Umno and PAS in seeing who is the more holier and of course, that great declaration by our former prime minister that Malaysia is an Islamic state.

Islam in politics corresponds to placing Islam in the public domain. As such, the public will have opinions and discussions about Islam, as with any other issue in the public domain.

Stop politicising Islam, and you will find that non-Muslims will not have much to voice their opinions about, or to criticise. So, the ball is really in your court.

And might I suggest that if he cannot stomach the opinions expressed by readers, he should not be wasting his time reading any other independent media. There are various other state-controlled news sources, that will adequately fit his need for not being exposed to irritating opinions from others.

wihong said...

I totally agree with the above. The future of this Malaysia country is rather bleak if not doomed. Politicians here are living in their own twilight zone, harping on the success of this country, which I think very soon the northern neighbour Thailand will eventually overtake this country.

For long years ago, the Malaysia prime minister was asked by Lee Kuan Yew, "Are you concern that there is a massive brain drain happening in the country, and most of them are Chinese?"

Surprise surprise, the Malaysian counterpart told Lee Kuan Yew, "Let them go if they want to………." That is the attitude of this country.

They don't realised that for a country to be prosper and advance, they need brains. That is why Singapore is doing all it could to attract brains all over the world. However it is different over here.

Singapore does not have a national car and the world tallest building. For a small country, much smaller like Singapore, they still shine brighter.

I think many fatal and non-fatal accidents are cause by Proton vulnerable car. Why do we have Proton? If not, we would be driving a brand new car at the price of a low. True!

Well, Mahathir wanted it just like he wanted the Twin Towers - to let the world know we are here. It is like when people ask where is the Malaysia? We would use Singapore and Thailand to point out where we are - in the middle of it.

Would you like to know the true fact about the malay language? There isn't any in the first place. All the vocals are translated from all sorts of other languages like Tamil, English, Indonesian, Mandarin, Portuguese……….etc.

Once upon a time, I have an Indonesian maid. When she started to work, she has only a working visa. Later she informed us that she got a "red IC" (citizens of Malaysia have blue IC) meaning she is a permanent resident. The last general election she was standing inline with me to cast votes and I did ask her, rather surprisingly elections are for citizens and why are you here. She just showed me her blue IC. Meaning to say she is a citizen.

The other part of a story, a local woman married a professional from Australia. Due to our funny system, her husband cannot work in Malaysia because he could not obtain a permanent resident. They were happy to stay in this country of the environment and weather but because of the visa thingy, they went back to Australia.

Now the story is, the bureaucrats would happily grant citizenship to those that are of the same religion (not Buddhist, Christian or Hindu) or the same race. I am not sure what is the policy of the country. Maybe the policy is to maintain labour intensive industry but not people with brains.

I totally agree with emigrate. If given the chance to flee out of this country, I would do.

vesewe said...

We all now know that Umno is a racist party in the mold of the apartheid regime of South Africa in the last century, and also practices a big part of Hitler politics (master race).

These are the salient aspects of Umno politics.

Without these racist politics, where else is the strength of Umno! How can they win elections if they don't show and shout racist and discriminatory remarks to their voters and audiences?

A Voice said...

Whoever you are, I appreciate this list of responses. However, I believe it is the same person and there is no need to create a sense of number here.

The biggest fallacy of this argument (not arguemnts) is "blame".

It does not attempt to view teh situation fairly and comprehensively but resort to a stereotype generalisation to conveniently blame UMNO, DEB, misclaims of racism, misinterpreted Ketuanan Melayu speech by Dolah Kok Lanas, and Islam.

If the alternative and request of the comentator is adhered to, I can ask this: Will Malaysia be a better, just and fair to all Malaysian?

I can bet that only a segment of Malaysian will benefit.

As one who almost considered migrating in early 80s, my migration was to seek for greener pasture. It got nothing to do with anything abt Malaysia. Go if you need to do so. Just like I almost did.

Malaysia cannot meet the needs of the few but the need of the many for an equitble, just and fair society and not the needs of the few.

Such line and attitude of discussion will not serve towards creatign such a society. Its just a political argument.

My Say