Thursday, October 11, 2007

Of Maverick Minds and Musings

I am writing this post after finally finding the time to read one of my favourite blogs... virtually visiting the mind of another maverick... specifically, the Melting Pot Bubbling Over post.

It’s been a while since I’ve visited Kak Diha virtually so this is going to be lengthy :-)

The tree of racism and societal divide is slow to come out of the ground but once allowed to devours everything in its path.

To understand this growing trend i think we must go back a little into history.

Pre Merdeka our country was pretty much segregated thanks to the orang puteh. The Malays were mostly agriculturally inclined but a few elite groups were absorbed into the running of the government (the British recognising that they needed inside men within the majority racial group to quell any potential unrest). The Chinese were businessmen, having come from (at that time) economically booming and British Empire trading, China. The Indians were mostly labourers brought from India (the other colonial seat of power in Asia) to help work the mines, the railways or the plantations... some (like my grandfather) escaped the forced labour of the British but came to Malaysia voluntarily to seek out an independent and more lucrative future for his family.

Years go by; the divide solidifies and becomes even more pronounced...

Enter the people who had the vision of an independent nation. Couple that with the British Empire's gradual withdrawal from its outlying colonies due to both losses sustained during wars and the rising cost of quelling revolt from the conquered. With those two factors working in our favour, Malaysia was birthed.

For a long while our grandparents and parents lived in a world that the different races were solidified by nationalism and the lessons of colonialism. We forgot for a time that we were different races because we shared a common goal and a common enemy (the Empire) The Bumiputera policy at that time sounded feasible and even fair to the Founding Fathers of Malaysia due to the socioeconomic background of each race. I can only lament that the Indians were not more strongly supported. but i guess that we had little or no political capital at that time. But i digress...

Basically, we blended together under these circumstances because we were innocent, trusting, and sad to say a little naive. We had little or no idea what would happen 50 years down the line.

Currently... the average Malaysian has no idea what the colonial times was about.. we are reaping the seeds that we have sown. Things like racially segregative school systems... The Chung Hwas, The San Yuks, The Tamil Schools, The Sekolah Berasrama Penuh, The Sekolah Menengah Agama...Things like the NEP and the Bumiputera policy only reaching the rich and politically connected individuals... Events like May 13th and Kampung Medan events that happened but were not openly discussed only leading to more speculation and unfounded rumours.

People fear and shun what they don't understand...and understanding comes from exposure and education and honest discussion. Truth and Reconciliation Commissions helped South Africa maintain a certain level of societal sanity post apartheid, but in Malaysia we hide from the truth and from open and honest discussion.

Contributing factors like these slowly but surely eroded our nationalistic spirit. Parents of non Malays slowly became more and more disenfranchised and disillusioned by the Malay ruling elite and the parents of the Malays, secure in their created bubble of political advantage became more and more closed off from the other races.

All of us have become xenophobic gradually because of a combination of all these factors

Therefore, if a little girl turns up her nose at her pork eating schoolmate, she is only mimicking what she has seen other people around her do…maybe not her parents or siblings…but her friends and teachers and neighbours.

Xenophobia is not’s a virus that is contracted.

I think our country has to seriously ask itself some very hard questions before we can become truly Malaysian. Don't get me wrong... I am a supporter of the Bumiputera policy, even if I do not receive its benefits... but i think that proper implementation, transparency, and accountability of how the policy has been administered is paramount to combat the mounting distrust and disillusionment the non Bumiputeras' feel. I have all confidence that the non Bumiputeras' will be able to understand the simple logic of providing special consideration for the largely economically inferior majority in the country. One only has to look to countries where a minority group became too economically advantaged over another to see how dangerous this trend can be (read civil war and riots).

Affirmative action makes sense...but only if implemented in a transparent and fair manner. Otherwise it breeds too much resentment. Malaysia makes sense...but only when these issues and societal divides are tackled in a long term and positive manner.

Malaysia Boleh? Only if ALL of us Boleh together...

Thursday, October 04, 2007


Ever feel angry?

I don't mean the normal anger or irritation one feels at, lets say for instance someone kicking your pet cat... i mean the consuming murderous rage that makes you want to draw a knife with a jagged edge and plunge it deep into someone, rejoicing in the tearing of the skin, the thick wetness of blood, taking pleasure in every inch of your weapon as it slides, oh so easily into a person... only to twist it and tear it out again, spilling blood and internal organs all over your hands so that you can feel the warmth of his blood washing over you?

Ever feel that way?

Or do you turn around mentally and shrug away the mental massacre? Have you ever felt angry enough to be able to maim and murder and do it with a smile on your face? Laughter perhaps?

I feel that way now... I want to kill. In order for me to do that i have to hate...not simple hate, but passionate hate, hate that takes the sweetness of revenge to new heights. I hate. I hate and i want to torture and slowly destroy every shred and semblance of humanity that exists in the sick bastards that took little girls like Nurin and used them for their own perverted pleasures. I want to shred their sick tainted little fingers and roast them over a fire in front of their eyes, i want to tape their eyes open and scrape off the skin from their legs and then dip it in salt. I will not let them die...death may be too good for them...

Little girls like Nurin should be playing with dolls not be made into some macabre receptacle to some perverts' sexual urges... Every time i see things like this happen i see my niece and my nephews... and i lose it. I want to kill.

They caught some people recently... i want to volunteer. I know i can make them talk...

Am i losing my humanity? Am i so gone that i can actually imagine doing such atrocities to another person? What would separate me from them then? I don't know.

Innocent till proven guilty? Empty indeed seem my ideals when i stare into the face of a little dead girl. I pray that she is in a better place now.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Got All Your Eggs In One Basket?

Have you ever wondered what exactly racism is? Is it the act of discriminating an individual because of his race...or is it the deeper underlying belief that the race that you belong to is superior to all others?
Would it still be racist if you believed that another race (not your own) was superior to the rest? Lets say you were Malay but you believed that Europeans/Caucasians was the superior race?

Rather apt picture isn't it...white eggs discriminating against a brown egg...not realising that they are all eggs anyway and once broken their yolks are still yellow. Sadly, even after years of so called "civilization" and "progress". Racism is still very much a problem for the human race...

And if broken and sliced open, we are all the same colour... Blood red and stone cold dead.

Lets not lie to ourselves...all of us are racist to a certain extent. Colour and culture still provoke responses in us that could only be termed as xenophobic at best and downright racist at worst. But what makes a person go the distance in racism? Openly putting down another because of his upbringing? Is it ignorance? Or is it the ingrained upbringing that your parents have gifted you with? I've seen racism deny someone a good future, stop people in love from getting married, and deny a person from getting a job that he deserves. What makes us go this extra step?

My friends and i openly call each other keling, apek, mamat and many other derogatory terms, but always with affection and a touch of humour...but we are brothers one and all...and we would stand by each other without a second thought.

Its the fools that use those terms and actually believe that they are superior than the rest that worry me.

If the hate is targeted at a race its called racism...but what if you hate Arabs from Saudi? Is that nationalism? What i find even more strange is that racism even exists between Muslims across the world...Something that our Prophet worked so hard to eradicate during his lifetime...I believe it was called Asabiyat ... Tribalism yes... but isn't that just a smaller form of racism?

And some of us are pathetic enough to think ourselves as good Muslims when we can't even "love our brothers in Islam as much as we love ourselves" (adaptation of a Hadith)

No judgement calls here...just generally wondering "what happened to the Ummah once known so well...greatness was known now can you tell?" (Outlandish featuring Sami Yusuf 'Closer than veins')

Monday, April 16, 2007

In Defence Of Defence

Before reading this post, one must start with the fundamental belief that every person, regardless of guilt or innocence has a right to be defended in a fair and just court system...

If you do not believe in this fundamental principle of natural justice, I respect your views...and you may forthwith cease to read this post because it has nothing that it can offer you...and you may slither back to whatever hell hole you call civilization and pretend to be a intellectually astute whilst anyone with half a brain laughs at your ultimate stupidity. As I said...I respect your views...i think you are an idiot, but even idiots have opinions and rights.

I'm writing this post because I am saddened by the lack of respect and acknowledgement that criminal defence lawyers receive. Most of us (unless you are extremely rich and popular; read 'Karpal Singh') are labelled as accomplices to the actual criminal...and much much worse. These guys are just doing their job...give them a break.

Oh yeah...its all nice to point fingers and call lawyers names but consider the possibility that YOU might just be the person charged with an offence you didn't commit, put behind bars for someone else's crime, publicly humiliated for something that you had nothing to do with......then you come running to the most cunning defence lawyer you can find, suddenly these chaps are your saviours, and all lawyer jokes are forgotten huh...

In my meagre time in the firm, i've seen cases where people were imprisoned for just being in the wrong place at the wrong time and the steamroller of the justice system of Malaysia just keeps rolling over them time and again. I've seen futures and families demolished for nothing. Who you going to call to sort out your mess? The Defence Lawyer.

Remember this...and be kind to the next defence lawyer you meet...he might just save your future for you some day.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

My Best Friend's Wedding

(This is NOT a movie review...although Julia Roberts pulled off another masterful performance in that movie)

My best friend just got herself hitched. What does this mean? I don't know what it means...but i do know what it meant though...

It meant a few days in Alor Setar (her hometown) preparing for the nikah and wedding dinner, it meant spending three wonderful days with a family that can be best described by the word...beautiful. It meant meeting some of the most humble and generous people in the world, it meant feeling more at home 495 miles away from my real home, it meant that i was truly blessed.

I've been waiting for this moment for see my friend in the mosque, looking absolutely stunning in her white wedding dress, finally getting married to a man that i know will provide and care for her for as long as they both will live (He'd better...or else it might get bloody) We've been through a lot together, my friend and I, but it was only during her wedding that i realised how much she means to me...(For those of you who have watched the movie, this is NOT where i try to break up the wedding and profess my undying love to the bride, so you can all breathe a sigh of relief)

This is where i realise that she has played an integral part in my life. This is where i realise that i can't thank her enough for all that she has done for me and the confidence, trust and support she has given to me throughout...this is where i realise that I am going to miss her like crazy when she leaves.

Yes...she will be migrating to Australia later this year and i am still trying to come to terms with that fact... it seems weird somehow that i wont be able to just drive down to her mahallah and pick her up for lunch anymore... funny isn't it? How the simplest things that you take for granted will be the things which you actually cherish the most.

We will have to move on i guess...i'm comforted and sure that even if distance separates us, we will continue to be there for each other as we always have. I have already placed a demand that the both of them start procreating prolifically on the double so that i'll have my hands full of little half Egyptian, half Malay, half Orang Putih nephews and nieces...but i guess that i'll have to wait a while for that...the groom, that charming Orang Putih, still thinks i'm joking when i told him to get cracking already...sigh...when will these Orang Putih ever take Asians seriously?

You know...its heartwarming to see two people brave the odds together and fight for their relationship when so many others are breaking up and getting divorced. It really restores your faith in humanity and the resilience of the human capacity to love despite the darkening world around us.
All of us could learn a lot from their story...

All the best my dear...May Allah grant you happiness and joy for as long as the both of you shall live, and may He grant me many many beautiful nephews and nieces so that i can spoil them rotten. Let me tell you, that man is one hell of a lucky guy to have you as a wife, and the best part is... he actually deserves a great woman like you. Match made in heaven indeed.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

What Will We Say?

Getting older has a few unsettling drawbacks...
besides getting a tad slower in the 100 metre dash and getting sleepy by 12 of them is that you start to think about what your legacy to the world is going to be. The more i think about my contribution to mankind...the more i realise that i have contributed a lot of nothing much...which means that i am worried.
I am worried about what i will be able to say to the young kids that come along, i am worried about what their lives will be like and what contributions to their collective security and well being have i made...but most of all i worry about what i would say to them, these children of the information revolution...the children of tomorrow.

Will what i have to say still be relevant?

If all of us had one message to tell them, just one message to carry them through the progress of a generation, what would it be?

I would tell them to stop. I would tell them to take time off from life and just look around you and realise that they need to look beyond all conflicts and beyond all the lies that you have been fed, through all the racism and intolerance, through the prejudice and the hate that is so prevalent in this world. I would tell them to look beyond themselves...and think.

What would you say?

Friday, September 22, 2006


Why is it that more often than not we are hurt most by people that we love or care for? Why is it that just when things seem to be going right and you are happy...things start to go wrong? Why is it that just when you think that your search is over...the treasure eludes you?
Is it because we love too much? That we are willing to place soo much care and love into one person that the person can't help but disappoint or hurt us eventually? Or is it because Allah has a different plan for us? Or are you yourself, in some sick and twisted way denying yourself the goals or happiness that you want? I have no answer...yet i also have no choice.

(Picture taken from Maryann Farly's online gallery...go visit