Misguided? No, Just Plain Evil.


Some nut-job declared outright that he is justified in condemning the country to the world at large – at every opportunity, in every forum. His twisted analogy is that if a father is raping his daughter, then the daughter has every right to stand in the middle of the street and shout it out to all and sundry.


Do you really think passers-by are interested in your predicament beyond their morbid taste for the sensational? Do you really think casual passers-by will be motivated to make things right for you beyond uttering a self-righteous “You poor thing!”

The father raping the daughter indeed! This is the same country that provides him with the opportunities so that he gets to enjoy an Audi, a luxury condo, private tertiary education for his children and host of other advantages that more than half of the world out there can only dream about.

If your father is raping you on a daily basis – and there are no proper channels for you to get redress – then life must be hell for you here. If that is really the case, grow a backbone and leave home!

No, I will not agree to disagree. This is my country he is dragging through the mud. And the last time I looked it is also still his.

Is he naïve? Is he misguided? My money says he is just plain evil – and arrogant enough not to recognise his blessings.

Malaysians and Shortcuts


In the days when things were less complicated, people were simply defined by the jobs that they did. You know, “Din’s a colonel in the army”, “Bakar’s a chef at a 5-star hotel”, “Bidin is senior manager at a bank” kind of stuff. However, attitudes have changed. Nowadays, things are no longer as black and white as they used to be.

As disposable incomes get bigger – and as the pressure to stay in the game mounts – Malaysians are re-discovering an almost forgotten means of dealing with the daily grind. They are re-discovering the pleasures of having a hobby. Only these days it’s no longer called a hobby. It’s called a lifestyle. Continue reading

The Ugly Newbie Trap

Sometimes the motivational books get it all wrong. Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for enthusiasm, total immersion and all that stuff. But occasionally, these things can get pretty ugly – especially in the hands of a newbie.

Some three decades ago I was a gung-ho first-year law student convinced that he was destined to become the next big thing after Perry Mason. Of course, all the other 379,461 first-year law students at the time felt exactly the same way, too. But this didn’t really matter much to any of us. As far as we were concerned, we (and we alone) were the real deal; the others were just there make the numbers. Continue reading

Never On A Sunday

During the Christmas holidays – or any other public holiday for that matter – the world and his brother-in-law will descend on Umbai for the ikan bakar. Sleepy back roads, normally the domain of a few cows and goats, take on the appearance of Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman at rush hour. Compounds of nearby houses, usually vacant except for the odd underbone motorcycle or two, are miraculously transformed into temporary car parks – often without the consent of the houseowner. And the normally peaceful night is shot to pieces by the constant ringing of the ikan bakar operators’ cash registers.

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An Inadvertent Time Traveler

The training gig was scheduled to take place at the client’s training academy located in the quaint little town of Batu Gajah. Thinking about it, I realised that this was perhaps a peculiar (if not unfortunate) name for a town. Brushing aside the recurring vision of pachyderm testicles being displayed proudly by the townsfolk in the town square, I started my long lonely drive.

I thought the drive would take me to yet another faceless town like the many faceless towns we were likely to find off the beaten track. Instead, I found myself in a place where I had never been before but felt as if it was one where I had been all my life. Instead of arriving at yet another non-descript business destination, it felt as if I had found myself in a place I would have called home had I been around in the late 40s or early 50s.

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Is ‘Permasalahan’ Even A Word?


OK, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that I’m no expert in Bahasa Melayu (Malaysia?). But I think I have sense enough to know that the word “PERMASALAHAN” should not even exist. It does, though – as can be seen by the number of people using the word nowadays. It is increasing at a rate that is almost as fast as the the increase in the population of illegal Indonesian immigrants in Malaysia.

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