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Thursday, August 31, 2006

thanks for all the fish

It is 10.50pm on the 31st of August.

I have a confession to make - I am just about to write my story.

I spent the day working. The joke at the office today was that we were celebrating Merdeka
by contributing towards the development of the country. At the work site were workers of all races and nationalities. The majority of the work force were Ibans, the first time I had the opportunity of working with them, in addition to the other races of this land we call our home.

When I got home from work, I spent most of my time reading the lovely stories that everybody wrote. Most people acknowledged the fact that there were a lot of things wrong with the country. If you have been reading my blog long enough, you would know that my main peeve with this country is the messed up education system - everything is wrong with it.

That point was reaffirmed just now, on Merdeka Day, no less. I was watching the Miss Malaysia 2006 pageant on Astro Prima. I am not a big fan of beauty pageants. Still, I watched it just for the heck of it. The contestants weren't drop dead gorgeous or anything, but a lot of them had pretty good academic credentials. I watched in horror as MOST of the Top 10 finalists struggled with the Q&A part. Most of them were timid. Most of them talked before they put thought into their words and ended up mid-sentence with no means of stringing a logical sentence. One girl didn't even understand her question. Degree holders who can't string together a proper sentence? Sounds very familiar to me.

Still, as most of you said - despite all these stupid flaws, most of us still love our country very much. I hope you did not say it just for the heck of it, like a drunk who says to his wife, "I love you and I am sorry I beat you up last night". I hope, and I trust that you remember all your pledges in a couple of weeks' time when all the Merdeka hype has blown by.

This is my story...



My story comes a few years ago when I was studying in the UK. It was my first year there and a bunch of us were celebrating Chinese New Years. I didn't really have my clique yet, and there we were, a bunch of stranger-ish people with one thing in common - the colour of our skin. I used to be a person I now despise - I critisised the other races freely and I hated this country with their whacked up policies.

And so, a bunch of us had Chinese New Year dinner together. It was the first day of Chinese New Year, and it was the first time I had ever seen snowfall in my life. It was beautiful - that's what it was. It was mesmerising to have something fall from the heavens and cover all the dirt on the ground.

After dinner, we headed back to someone's room to do what us Chinese never fail to do every Chinese New Year - drink and gamble. There were 5 of us that night. There was George (who since then became one of my closest friends) who was from Kota Bahru. Chinese from Kota Bahru and most other town where they are a tiny minority, I noticed tend to be more tolerant of the other races - they HAVE to.

Leo is a Chinese from Kota Kinabalu. East Malaysians, again, I notice tend to be more tolerant because they tend to be more exposed to other minority races - something West Malaysians severely lack. There was also a guy called Ronald - him a Singaporean who is desperate to live up to his stereotype of being sheltered and ignorant. The other guy, a Bruneien, didn't talk much and hence will play no further part in this story.

Alcohol does cause you to open up, and pretty soon we were chatting like best friends. We talked about everything. One thing led to another and Ronald started to bring up the topic of being Chinese in Malaysia. Something like, "I pity you guys la...being mistreated in your own country."

I remind you once again that back then I was not the person you now know from this blog. And so, I did not feel the need to challenge his statement. Much to my surprise, Leo pounced on Ronald's statement. Leo rambled on and on about how Ronald, as a foreigner, didn't know anything about our country to warrant him critisizing it. Pretty soon, George joined in the debate the both of them were furiously defending our national policies - our NEP, our university quota systems, just to name a few.

I sat down and soaked up most of the arguments, things which I would not reproduce in this post but I have blogged about numerously in the past. Suddenly, everything seemed to make sense. The more cynical of you can call this a political issue - and maybe it is. To me, and to George and Leo, these were social issues. What made this story even more amazing was the fact that Leo isn't exactly a 'patriot' neither is he as muhibbah as I once thought he was. Over the time I was there, I got to know him better, and he had on numerous occasions critisized many things - some of them warranted, some of them not so.

The point, and I wish to make this very clear - we can say that we need to raise issues of concern so that we can improve. We ALL know what the problem is with our country. We all know that we need to fix it, but that does not mean that we should go around complaining about everything under the sun to anybody or anything that would hear you out. I hate it when Malaysians go around bitching to foreigners about how everything about this country sucks. That I cannot accept.

And so, thinking back, I find it extremely heart-warming that a person like Leo who I know to be a supporter of the opposition, could find it in him to differentiate between government and country. You may disagree with your government, that is your right. But when the time comes, know when to stand up and defend your country and certainly, understand that you do NOT air your dirty laundry in public.

The argument between Leo and Ronald went on for quite a while with a lot of (nasty) things said. Being Chinese in Malaysia is no different from being Malay in Singapore, you know. As I listened to Leo and George make sense of many of our countries policies that seemed incredulous to me at that time, my mind started to wander....

I looked out the window and it had just stopped snowing. The white snow covered everything in sight. The grassy field, the ashpalt lane, the marble courtyard - all covered in a clean white blanket. The hourhand on the clock just touched 12. If that doesn't symbolise a fresh start to a new day, I don't know what does....

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smile

I have been reading through some of the Happy Malaysia posts that some of you submitted and those that pinged PPS.

You know, no matter what some people may say, I think I fulfilled my objective. The comments to the said articles were filled with happy words, not words of despair.

My story will come later in the day. I am working on Merdeka Day (kononnya, contributing to the development of the country, haha!) and I will compile the list of stories later on.

I would appreciate it if you could make my life easier and leave a comment here with a link to your story.

Have a nice Merdeka Day, people!

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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

malaysia hari ini

Take the title literally as it is. Malaysia today. TODAY.

I was watching the Discovery Channel just now and the Extreme Engineering segment featured our very own SMART Tunnel which is being built as you read this. That's something to be proud off.

I am sitting typing this in my house which is in the middle of nowhere. In the background, drowning out the music from my speakers are crickets in the kebun in front of my house. I swear it is mating season and they are getting cranky. Still, in the middle of a jungle, I am typing this with a broadband connection.

Today's papers carried a story about some politicians wanting to legalise mat motors as we know it. This was surprising because I didn't think that our leaders would ever subscribe to such an 'unconventional' method. Despite the initial protests and WTFs, I honestly hope that it does work out. I always think the best way to combat vice is to legalise it so you have a better control of it.

Maybe then, it would give rise to other forms of legal vice. Legalise prostitution to weed out sex slaves and combat STD. Hand out free needles to druggies would help prevent AIDS. Give condoms to teenages to prevent unwanted teenage pregnancies. I could go on further and explain what the benefits of legalising vice are, but I trust that you are all smart enough to figure it out.

My point is that it takes a mature society to look at the bigger picture of things. The journey is long and tedious, but I think we are getting there. Slowly and in time, though.



That was a short post because I have been damn busy. I will be working on Merdeka day even, all the way till the end of September. I would still like to think I am having fun though.

If you haven't signed up for Project Happy Malaysia, what are you waiting for??

Let me know if your name is not on the list, or if you know someone who is doing it but isn't listed yet.




Edit:

It has been brought to my attention that some people find it hard to understand such a simple concept. Do you really need me to spell out everything??! This has NOTHING to do with who ever I support in the government, you retards. It is a social issue, not a political one.

Maybe I was kidding myself after all...

You legalise prostitution not because you encourage it. You do it to protect women. Most of the time, the prostitutes get abused by pimps - that is nothing new. Can they report it? No, because they are sex workers and hey, they have an illegal profession. What right do they have to tell the client that they want to use a condom? When you legalise prostitution, you effectively weed out the evil pimps because the prostitutes can work for themselves.

Prostitutes in Amsterdam pay taxes, just like everybody else, and they have to go for a mandatory STD check up every few months or so. With that you can reduce the number of HIV/AIDS cases going around since a prostitute with the disease cannot get her license, and hence from the customer's point of view - no one would take up the services of a prostitute who doesn't have a license. Why would they, since there are loads of legal prostitutes out there??

You give out free needles to druggies not because you want to encourage them to inject more rubbish in their veins. You do that because you want to stop them from re-using their old needles and sharing those needles with other druggies.

You give teenagers free condoms not because you think it is an awesome idea to let kids screw around at an early age. You do it because you understand that they do it anyway - so better to let them have it and you can prevent unwanted teen pregnancies.

Lastly, you legalise Mat Rempits so that you can control them. If you give them a place to race, they wouldn't need to do it on the streets at 2 am and disturb your sleep. They wouldn't need to do it on a main road and endanger innocent passerbys (and themselves). Do you not think it amazing that they can somehow modify their kap chais to reach speeds of up to 200km/h??

There. I've explained it.

Did you learn something new today?

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Monday, August 28, 2006

oh, marvin!

Someone remarked the other day that my Project Happy Malaysia was very 'Vincent'. That is true, I reckon in a certain sense. For some reason I take it upon myself to make people happy. That is what I do. I exist to provide joy, to spread laughter all around - sometimes at my expense. A close friend asked me the other day why I make myself sound like a court jester.

I don't know. "Who shall humour the jester?" she asked.

There isn't any need to. I am happy person if you didn't already notice. It is hard to piss me off, although, like every human being I tend to lose it once a while. That said, my anger doesn't really last.

This project of mine has been called many things - from great to self-delusional. Truth is, I don't really care. This is my way of hoping to change things. I do it because I believe that if I can spread the joy more often, somethings will change for the better. I of course do not believe that I can wipe out corruption with a bunch of stories or foster unbreakable bonds between the races with a bunch of stories. But I do believe that inspirational stories can sometimes change a person. And even if they don't a little Chicken Soup for the Soul can't exactly do anybody any harm, can it?

The problem with a lot of us out there is that we tend to emulate Marvin the Paranoid Android. Despite what some people want to believe, feeling happy has nothing to do with deluding yourself. I would be the first to acknowledge our problems. I have said this a million times before - we HAVE serious problems. Never mind our country, since when has complaining solved any of our personal problems?

Has it rained gold if we complained that we don't have enough money to buy an iPod?

Yesterday, as I was reading a particular blog post written by one such Marvin, I felt pity. Marvin was slagging off the project as a self-delusional tool by people (me, I presume) who only serve to line the fat pockets of politicians.

At that moment, that particular moment, I had a selfless thought. There is no cynicism or sarcasm in this, no metaphors even. If a genie had come up to me and offered me one wish - it would be with a hope that people like that would have the privillege of waking up one day, stepping out of their houses, taking a deep breathe of air and fill their lungs with the scent of sweet smelling roses. What they chose to do from then on would be totally up to them, of course.

That was my Merdeka wish at that very moment.


(of course that moment is now over and should a genie appear I would ask for a 100 billion dollars)

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Sunday, August 27, 2006

good point

If it were up to my politicians, I would not be called a patriotic person.

I don't own a flag that proudly display on my work station. I don't have a flag which I pin to my car, quite simply because I think it causes a lot of drag which would then lead to higher fuel consumption, and if you believe the socialists out there, that would lead me to becoming a pauper since I have to pay through my nose for all that extra petrol.

I was looking for a Malaysian flag a few months ago, but that was because I wanted to go watch Malaysia play MyTeam and I figured it would be useful for when some kinda sporting event comes along and I could bring it with me. But it never did cross my mind to fly the flag during Merdeka season. In fact, I was no different from the rest of you.

"I don't need to fly a flag just to show my patriotism!"

True, that. Why the need for a hypocratic show of patriotism when all we need is to feel it in our hearts?

But then, I read something today that really made sense. Ironically, it was in the 'Letters to the Editor' section of the newspapers - something that I constantly mock for being the stupidest section in the entire newspaper.

The writer noted that we all decorate our homes during Chinese New Year, Hari Raya, Deepavali and Christmas - whatever festival it is that we celebrate. So why is it that we get angry when someone asks us to fly a flag?

Decorating my house with red angpow envelopes and hanging up new year cards certainly does not make me any more Chinese than I already am, but I still do it anyway. Similarly, if we keep talking about Bangsa Malaysia and we are really interested in it, then why is it that we do not 'decorate' our houses for the one celebration that we all have in common?

I guess a good question then erupts from that good point - are we, as citizens truly interested in giving birth to a new Bangsa Malaysia or do we want to remain segregated by our races forever?

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Friday, August 25, 2006

takers

So far, I have a (small) list of takers for Project Happy Malaysia. Last year's kempen was nothing short of amazing. I still wonder how we managed to get 73 people to tag along. Still, I do not expect the same number of takers this year, as was evident by a lot of the comments here and on other blogs, we Malaysians are a pessimistic lot.

Nonetheless, here is the initial list of people who have pledged to follow through with this on Merdeka Day (although some of them said they MIGHT do it):

  1. Bawang Merah (Darker Side of Saturn)

  2. Chris (Blog Bodoh)

  3. Chucky Wolfe (Eat me)

  4. Cynical Idealist (Cynical Idealistic Eyes)

  5. David Lai (MYeee BLOG)

  6. Din (Dinzlink)

  7. Eyeris (Eye on Everything)

  8. Fireangle (Fireangel)

  9. Galnexdor (Poetically Me)

  10. Hyelbaine (Baine's World)

  11. Jayelle (Little Girl in a Reverie)

  12. Jed (Rants Never Sound Better)

  13. Jen (Dare You Read On?)

  14. June (June x 2)

  15. Kervin (Thousand Words : Snapshots of Life)

  16. Lishun (Lishun's Musings)

  17. Maggie (What The F*CK?)

  18. Matthew (The Room of Thoughts)

  19. Melvyn (Are You In, Or Out?)

  20. Michelle (Miss Michy)

  21. Minishorts (minishorts.net)

  22. Monk (Monkticon's Probe)

  23. Philters (Whereinsoever)

  24. Revel in Me (Revel In Me...)

  25. Scorkes (Scorkes)

  26. Simon (Simon Talks)

  27. S-Kay (Going [Wild] & Glowing [Charm])

  28. Stev (Stev Blogs)

  29. Suanie (As Suanie Sees It)

  30. Tan Yee Hou (10^3=1000)

  31. Visithra (There Is No Blog)

  32. Yapthomas (It Is Just Not About Me)

  33. Yasmin (A Reason For Everything)

  34. Yunik (Ayunik::Bebel)

  35. Zyrin (Amende?)

And myself of course.........

It's not exactly a huge list, but it's a nice list to have nonetheless. Do leave a comment if you are going to do it, and if you could spread the word through your blogs, I would appreciate it very much. You could even use the thumbnail and the poster if you want to.


On a final note, Philters has already written her story (first of many, it seems). Personally, I don't know whether it is because of the project (and hence I might be biased), but I can honestly say that it is by far the best written blog post I have read in a long, long time.

Do check it out folks and keep them coming!

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Wednesday, August 23, 2006

project happy malaysia



If we talk about racial integration in this country, we can pinpoint many root causes of the problems - from the schooling system, to the language we speak, and even the food we eat. What a lot of people do not realise is the fact that we tend to segregate ourselves when choosing housing areas.

Most residential areas are very racially biased for one reason or another. My house is PJ is a predominately Chinese area with some Indian houses dotting the area. You can find Malay houses, but only in one particular section of the housing area. Things are not much different in Hicksville where I am now. The main city is densely populated with Chinese houses but the smaller towns surrounding the city are probably 95% Malay houses. I am the only Chinese that I have seen in my whole neighbourhood, and I have yet to spot an Indian face.

About a month before I moved to Hicksville to take up this new job offer, I came up here with my family to survey the area and to check out possible accomodation options. While looking around the smaller satelite towns surrounding my workplace, and giving opinions on where to look, my dad kind of surprised me by saying that I should find a place where there were at least SOME Chinese in the neighbourhood and not one that was entirely populated by Malays alone.

What seemed like a random statement actually rung an uneasy tone in my ears. We can progress light years ahead our time in terms of technological development, but if we, as Malaysians lack the simplest understanding of each other's race, then we would be a developed country by an economic measure, but retarded by a social measure.

Still, that statement was in a way justifiable coming from a man who had a near brush with Death in 1969. Wounds can heal, but scars never fade I guess. I understand a so-called 'racist' opinion in a person like that, but what I cannot understand is why people of my generation - who have not experienced the war, who were not around in 1969, who did not fight the communist - grow up to be racist when the only so-called 'injustice' they can speak off are the university places they did not get.

The other day when people around were talking about Article 11 (the Muslim and non-Muslim fanatics alike), and things were supposedly getting a little tensioned, my dad, knowing that the area I live in is populated entirely by Malays told me to listen closely to the radio and monitor the Internet (he meant blogs - although I didn't really know whether he was refering to Papa Smurf) closely. "First sign of a racial riot," he said, "take your car and get out of there!" I would like to think it as a preposterous warning, but again, this was a man who narrowly avoided a Molotov cocktail the last time Malaysians took to the streets to butcher each other.

Then, the other day, my parents visited me for the first time since I moved into this new house. They approved of my (clean) house but I know Dad had some reservations about the area. On the morning of their second day, as I was getting ready to go to work, Dad came home from his morning walk around the area and he was beaming all around.

"What's up Dad?"

"Your neighbours......they are all very nice! I walked around the whole neighbourhood, and everybody I saw while walking past their houses.........they all waved at me and wished me Selamat Pagi! ALL OF THEM!"

"Well, yeah. Kampung folks are like that la. Very friendly one."

Since that day, he never mentioned the supposed racial issues in my housing area again. For my father, that is as good as an A-class approval.

Call me a sucker for sappy stories, because I think this is one.
Call me simplistic, but I think something small and minute can actually make a huge impact on a man.
Call me a Malaysian, for that story brought a smile to my face while writing about it - and you know, I hope it did the same for you.



I know everybody had fun with last year's project because that is what it was - FUN. I toyed with the idea of something as fun as that this year, but then I noticed that in the past one year, many many new bloggers have emerged - most of them the so-called 'social-political' bloggers. On any given day, scanning through PPS and reading posts by these people would give you the impression that we are living in Sudan or Lebanon.

You can accuse me of being idealistic, but I've said it a million times - anybody who doesn't know the problems we face in this country isn't a Malaysian. People accuse me of being a government crony or a simplistic kid just because I hate listening to crap about my country. Don't get me wrong - I KNOW there is a lot of crap going on, but what good is it talking about an issue when we have no solid solution to suggest?

Those stories depress me deeply, and I don't like being depressed, since it doesn't quite fit into my character as a happy-chappy. And so, I decided, for this year, my project would be to make Malaysia, happy. You see, above all the complaints of racism, there are simple stories like this that warms your heart. Above all the complaints of corruption, there are powerful stories like this that bring a smile to your face.

We all have a story to tell - else we would not be Malaysians. I do not for one second believe that in all our time in this country we do not have a heart warming story about Malaysia from our own personal experience. It can be anything that contradicts the general (bad) stereotype - stuffs like a clean cop, an efficient government servant, and a considerate Penang-driver.

Whatever it is, tell us the story! I want to compile a list like I did last year, so do leave a comment if you intend on doing it on Merdeka Day (or heck, any other day). I will check your blog on Merdeka Day and publish the complete list here. Spread the word, folks!

In fact, as long as it brought a smile to your face as you were writing it, I would like to think this project a success.


Edit: 40 people took part in this year's project. For the story compilation, click here.

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Sunday, August 20, 2006

tough shit

My one week holiday seemed longer than that and I actually managed to get some productive 'work' done while bumming around. I also managed to find time to pay the little Scouts a visit, as I usually do on a Saturday morning when I should be in bed.

Somehow, after not attending those Saturday morning meetings in a while, I had for only the second time in the 13 years of being a scout went for a meeting without my complete uniform. Turns out I forgot the damn belt.

Usually, when the kids forget their uniform (any part of it), I get very irritated. Anybody who has been in a uniformed body will tell you that the punishment for an incomplete uniform are push-ups. Well, sod that shit called leadership by example - I was not going to award myself some 10 push-ups or whatever the hell is going rate is these days.

As I walked to the meeting area, I pulled out my shirt a little while it still remained tucked-in and hoped that none of them would notice anything, and even if they did - hope that they did not have the balls to say anything. Kids these days have serious issues. In my day, if my scoutmaster ever wore yellow socks with a crumpled shirt, we would just keep quiet and bitch about it amongst ourselves later. These days, they have the audacity to challenge (or God forbid, SCOLD) you. I still can't decide if it is a good thing or not.

True to my predictions, none of them raised an issue even though I was pretty damn sure they all saw (or rather, didn't see) my absent belt. Until my troopleader, a pudgy little Form 4 kid whose squeaky voice I swear sounds the same as it was when I first met him. This kid irritates me for a good reason - and I've told him this a million times. In Form 1, I earmarked him as a kid with potential because unlike the other kids, he wasn't shy to talk. He talked a lot of rubbish, as would be expected from a 13 year old kid, but at least he did talk. 3 years on, and he still talks the same rubbish without a hint of change.

He approached me and went, "Where's your belt?"

No "Sir", no salute. Nada.

Fine. My bad. My mistake. Bite your tongue and drag yourself out of this shit, Vincent.

I don't care what man-mangement school teaches leadership and other ridiculous stuffs, but in my book, leadership qualities cannot be taught to any idiot on the street. Some things are pure instinctive, like my answer:

"At home."

No hessitation. No blinking. No apologies. I caught the prick off guard.

"Huh? At home?"

"Yes, at home."

"Eeyer, so unfair. How come you don't get punishment one?"

"Well, tough shit Justin. Who the hell told you life was fair? One day when you start working you'll find that you will get fucked in the ass if you walk into the office 5 minutes late but it is okay if your boss walks in 1 hour late. And guess what? He gets paid 5 times more than you."

"But...."

"No buts. Tough shit. Deal with it. I shit on your head, you pass the shit down to the patrol leaders, they pass the shit down to the members."

"And the members?"

Well, they'll just have to hold that shit till next year when some more members come in and then they can pass the shit on."

"So you mean when you are not here and I forget to bring my uniform, I don't have to do push-ups?"

"No, dumbass. I mean, when you are at the top, you get to decide what you want to do with the shit that is in your hands."


I think I've already decided. Allowing them to speak out isn't such a bad thing after all.



On a sidenote, I'll be launching this year's Merdeka Day project in the next couple of days. We had a shit load of fun last year with the Belog BM thingy (on the sidebar if you missed it). This year, I am going for more of a feel-good project.

Stay tuned.

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Saturday, August 12, 2006

off

Short/shitty post because I am freaking exhausted. Driving back from hicksville isn't a pleasant experience because roads in hicksville are SHITE.

As of today, I had been working 26 straight days.

Someone give me a freaking medal already!

I am off the whole of next week, so if you want an audience with His Majesty, you are welcome to comment below.

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Wednesday, August 09, 2006

please plagiarise me!

Sometime ago, I wrote this because someone plagiarised one of my jokes. Thinking back, I was really pissed because, hey, this was something I thought off myself. After that, I added another two lines to my disclaimer at the bottom of the page.
Everything that you read on this site is original and was written by myself, unless otherwise stated. So, ask before you copy something or at least reference it back to me.
I have now changed my mind.

I think some of my theories in here are so awesome that more people should read it. Screw it. If you read something here and you want to plagiarise it, please do. I would appreciate if you reference it back to me, but frankly, I don't give a shit if you don't. As far as I am concerned, my objective of writing all those theories and philosophies was to get more people to understand that the world would be a happier place to live in if we lived by my mantra (because I am always right, see).

And then I thought.......

Should I limit it to just my serious posts? How about my jokes? Would I feel good if someone blatantly plagiarised my great tampon review?

After much deliberation.....

Fuck it.

I tell jokes to cheer people up. I like making people laugh. If someone is feeling sad or low, and one of my jokes help pick the person up, then by all means - plagiarism is an awesome concept. If someone plagiarises those jokes, it is probably because they thought it was bloody funny and it tickled a bone. And if they think plagiarising it would make other people happy, then screw it...I am happy to spread the joy.

And so, I think this is an awesome thing we should spread among the (not so anal) bloggers. If you agree with this, then link this article with this icon:



Alternatively, you could just copy and paste the whole thing on your blog. Either way, I don't really care.

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Sunday, August 06, 2006

everybody knows best

It is no secret that I am not a religious person. Therefore, anybody who thought the last article on God's paradox was something preachy, you are sorely mistaken. The story, while I would like to believe makes sense for preachers who wish to spread the word of their God, translates for me in another way.

This is where you go back and read it again, only this time, you replace the word God with 'government' or 'leader'. Of course I am not suggesting that the government or any particular leader is God-like, but the same anology applies. I do not for one instant believe that any government or leader out there sets out with a deliberate objective of screwing people over. They do what they can, and while that may not be enough sometimes, I don't think anybody can blame them for the effort put in.

I say that because if there wasn't any effort in trying to better this country, then they surely would not change any policies which would then anger people so much. You see, the problem with implementing policies is that everybody thinks they know best. Like the story of the man, his son, and the donkey, everybody looking at a particular situation think they have the best solution. While I am sure they mean well, everybody has a different opinion on how best to tackle a problem. And because of that, when the enablers do not follow their suggestions, these people seem to get angry.

For instance, the latest hoo-hah about the government controlling the Internet seemed to rile up a lot of bloggers who are upset that their so-called freedom of speech is suddenly taken away from them. I digress, though. I think ALL BLOGS should be monitored by the government. I believe that a lot of people out there do not know how to spread information responsibly. Funnily enough, the people who seem to be making all the noise are the people who do not hessitate to delete your comments if you disagree with them, or heck, call them names.

Hey, so what if I called you a socialist? I thought you were interested in an unmoderated Internet?

Or how about the genius out there who suggested that we could improve the state of Malaysian football by disbanding the league and holding many competitions similar to MyTeam to pick our national squad? That idiot probably thought it was a brilliant idea - brilliant enough to write in to a national newspaper. Personally, I would throw a fit if they ever followed through in such a stupid idea, but hey, that's because we all have our own ideas on how to fix things.

Key point here is there are always people who would agree with a certain policy, and there will always be people who disagree. I know I keep saying that some ideas are too stupid to contemplate....but we all forget that somewhere down the road, there is a guy sitting there who thinks it is a bloody awesome idea and thinks that we are the idiots because we disagree with him.

Like God's dilemma of whether to rid the world of disease, sometimes decisions are made by leaders for what they perceive to be the greater good. Maybe God believes that without diseases and natural disasters, the world would be over populated and we would die of starvation. He probably believes that he is making the best decision he can, but a 15 year old kid with terminal cancer would call him an unmerciful God.

The point is, most of the time, difficult decisions have to be made. These decisions may not be popular, yet they might be the most neccesary course of action. It is easy for everyone of us to sit back on our highback leather chairs, read the Internet, and then critisize every Tom, Dick and Harry for supposedly messing up our lives.

But ask yourself this.

Who the hell are you? A student? A journalist-wannabe? A clerk?

What the fuck do you know about being a leader and making difficult decisions?

Never mind 24 million people...when was the last time you made a decision that would affect the lives of 24 people?

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Friday, August 04, 2006

God's paradox

There was once this little boy with the curiosity of a hundred cats and the inquisitiveness of a thousand monkeys. And for such a character, we shall bestow upon him the honourable name of Vincent.

Now, Vincent was a kid who would pick up the newspapers and read of all sorts of problems in the world. Wars. Epidemics. Fighting. Protests. Even more wars. Not content with not being able to do anything to solve all these problems, Vincent became very easily distressed. See, Vincent used to make fun of beauty queens who all seemed to want 'world peace'. But in this present day, suddenly 'world peace' doesn't seem like quite a stupid thing to wish for. Along with 'world peace' maybe God will throw in 'no more suffering' to complete the Christmas package.

And so, greatly distressed over what he read in the papers and watched on TV, Vincent decided to go and see God - despite being a staunch disbeliever. When God finally granted him an audience, Vincent was eager to start berating Him over his inadequecies.

"Oh God, don't you see what is going on in the world - in your world?!" Vincent asked.

"Ah yes my child," He answered. "Of course I see it. And I share your pain"

"Then why aren't you doing anything about it? You are after all, omnipotent!" demanded Vincent.

"I certainly wish I was omnipotent, my child," God replied quietly. "Then I could fix everything. I once thought I was all powerful and everything, but it took a midget, no less, to show me that there was a certain paradox behind power"

"What could a midget - a freak of nature, do to show You, the All Mighty God that you are not as powerful as we believe?"

God then proceeded to tell the story of how a midget once challenged His omnipotence by asking Him to create a rock so large that even He could not lift. This was of course a paradox and God could perform no such feat without contradicting the other. The midget then told God that she realised His inadequecies by looking at herself in the mirror. You see, no all powerful God would create such an imperfect creation.

With that, Vincent realised that God was just doing the best he could. Vincent understood that no God would want to see suffering or diseases. Wars are men's battles - not God's. How could he possibly interfere without taking sides? Without causing suffering to both parties? Diseases are God's creation to control the human population. Without diseases, everybody would live to a 100 and the world would be overpopulated and then people would eventually die of starvation. Thus, the paradox. The dilemma. One way or another, humans would suffer.

And before waking from his dream where he was talking to God, Vincent asked one final question, "And what became of the midget?"

"She said she still loved me. That she understood that I tried to do my best - it clearly wasn't good enough but it was the best I could do"




Next post : What I am actually babbling about.

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