You are currently browsing the tag archive for the ‘Malaysia’ tag.

What sets a nation apart from other nation is the ability to have its people to live freely as individual. That is why advanced democracies are able to nurture great people while also attract best talents from outside. Its people are able to enjoy equality and rights as a person, freedom to be who they aspire to be, without fear from state.

State in its nature is dictatorial, it aims to organise society into compartments that is easily managed, to dictate what right or wrong through legislation, law and enforcement. But how far is the power of the state acceptable? As we look back from civilisations in the past, it is the effective power of state that a city or empire is able to manage resources effectively and ensure its people are able to live a peaceful life within its territory.

Yet, when state becomes too powerful and desperately wanting to clutch its power to the last breath, it is willing to do anything, even controlling every step and thought of its people, paradoxically, which in fact leads towards the state own natural death. Humans in nature crave freedom.

The case with the Peaceful Assembly Bill, it is by nature a bill that shows the desperation of its leaders. They ought to realise that a bill like this will meant the end of the state as it is denying the very freedom of its people in expressing their thoughts. The people can either choose to flee to other advanced democracies, or to fight and preserve the only place that they know home.

Our nation are starting to become a backward country, with such leadership and political party that uses favouritism, corruption money, religion and race, and most importantly hijacking democracy with rhetoric, the people ought to think for the future what do they really want for their kids and the next generation to be, a hostage in this country? Or a proud and free person?

On the other hand, society itself is at fault for being resistant to change for the betterment of humanity. As Malaysians, we ought to start living for the future and fate of our country, the reality is, the societal conversation of this nation is and has been always very dogmatic, especially in the area of religion and race. Hence, the universal idea of freedom and progress is diluted to almost nothing. I noticed society get so excited with the area of accusing individuals of murtad, LGBT (Do you know there’s a different interpretation of the story of Lut which has nothing to do with LGBT hatred), and every forms and structures pertaining to religion and race, yet nothing is being said when our very freedom as individual is undermine, or our economy is rocking downwards or if the repression on the rights of the vulnerable such as the extreme poor, the orang asli and the immigrants.

Exception for the brave few individuals and civil society groups.

We choose to withdraw into our own little materialistic cocoon, withdraw into our supreme racial comfort, withdraw into our religious narcissism of being holier than thou, and refused to know what’s out there or mingle with people of different point of views.

As a victim of religious bigotry, it is saddening that this is what our nation has succumbed to. Religion become a playground for people to spread hatred and fitnah, to invade the privacy of others, and to show how religious he/ she is, when realizing that they are the ones who are making our nation a backward flop.

I leave this article with a research about the Islamicity of a country, believe it or not, New Zealand is the most ‘Islamic nation’ in terms of the Islamicity index (and the least corrupted nation too!), and Malaysia is only at 38, a far cry. In fact those “atheist” nations top the list of Islamicity. Again, at another study on the economic islamicity index, Malaysia is merely at 33, while most “atheist” nations which practice the separation of church and state tops the list, and the “catholic” Ireland ranked at No. 1. This shows that Islam is more than mere hijab or prayer or adopting an Arabised-culture,  it is about values and ethics, about progress and equality, intellectualism and innovations, about a nation and society that is free from corruption, barbaric culture,hatred, fitnah-culture, and indoctrination of dogmatism…

Instead, we are reversing back in time, falling arrogantly in ignorance.

This shows a lot about who we are, ain’t it?

Advertisements

Last 2 weeks ago was a tough week for me as it really taught me the values of patience and forgiveness. Despite all these, I felt sad that in this Holy month of Ramadan, there are still people out there that do not understand the importance of respecting truth and upholding the good values taught in Islam.

This article is written in response to the event unfolded last 2 weeks, when a bunch of school-kids self-proclaimed to exposing the identity behind Sitt Wuzara. These kids called themselves as Gaysec and they had unfortunately caused a huge damage and hurt to my personal life as they falsely accused me of being Sitt Wuzara, exposed my identity and personal information in the internet, and worse they created disinformation by accusing me of murtad/ insulting Islam.

I am saddened that people believed in such misleading allegation and in fact even spread the false news to others. It became like wild fire that I was feared for my life as never in my life that I had been fitnah by people who have no regards on other people’s lives.

Before I rewind back on what actually happened to me last week, I want to be clear about who I am what I did or didn’t do. Due to Gaysec’s misleading information, many assumed that I am a member or knew about the Facebook group Apostate of Malaysia and Singapore (AMS). The truth is, I have NEVER been a member of AMS and in fact I never even heard of AMS until last week when I was falsely accused by Gaysec. For your information, I am all for free speech and freedom of expression but I am definitely against any sorts of hate speech or mockery of any religion.

On the other hand, I was active in the debate and discussion in the facebook group Malaysian Atheist, Agnostics, Freethinkers and Friends (MAFA), as well as Unscientific Malaysia (UM) because these groups promoted healthy discussion on various issues, ranging from science, philosophy, religion & faith (any religion, even scientology), supernatural, controversial issues, etc. What was interesting about this group, it encouraged people from all spectrum of believe-system, from religious, to conservative, to liberal, to secular, gave their two-cents worth of views.

The so-called “evidence” that Gaysec proudly cropped and display came from a long thread of MAFA facebook group discussion entitled “Malay Atheist?” back to more than 1 year ago. I think as Muslim, it is important never to judge others and understand the plight of others.

As an avid traveller, what inspires me are the knowledge, cultures and people that I met along  the way. I noticed Islam prosper tremendously and Muslim display the values of Islam within themselves much better in places where people are free to choose their religion, especially secular nations where religion is free from political manipulation and state hijack. That is why in most of my writings I advocate the importance of upholding faith as a personal relationship with God, rather than wearing religion as if it is mere marketing brand to show off others. I care a lot of Islam hence I feel it is a duty for me as a Muslim to uphold these values.

Coming back to the night of Gaysec’s false accusation and harming my personal privacy and information. I received random calls from people I do not know and SMS of death threats and people kept on sending me hate messages in my phone and facebook with really horrible messages.  Some wanted to rape me, some wanted to kill me slowly until I die a horrible death, some called me a whore and animal names, some even said I was born because my mom had sex with a dog…. what was my crime to receive these hate messages? Is it wrong to comment about the authorities and looking for a clean religion that lives in the hearts of believers? Asking the authorities not to downgrade the value of religion? Have anybody who sent me these dirty words think why they are doing that? I felt the world has became dark as I was drowning in sadness. These people were just following a very clear mistake without questioning, this time I was the victim, but it was possible that this could happen to anyone, what if their own family or themselves had been threatened like that? Would they forgive? Could they stand? The eager and hatred of us to find the identity of Sitt Wuzara is understandable but abusing religion and people’s emotion to seek for attention and make noises for nothing will never help it. All I can say is Istighfar to God and seek for His guidance. I got even more horrid when I saw blogs dedicated on how I should be killed, some became stalker and dig deeper information about me, but none of them care to check their facts correctly or even thought about the grave sin of fitnah in spreading the lies.

I was under so much stress and sadness from Gaysec’s despicable act, is this how easy for them to accuse another Muslim of Murtad just because of differences in opinion? Islam is forced to become mere playing field for these Gaysec hooligans in order for them to satisfy their sadistic need to their so-called Jihad. The night when Gaysec exposed my information to the internet, I received so many calls that I got a really bad feeling that something wrong is happening. I was so sleepy and tired but a good friend brought me to the Police Station in the wee hour to make the police report. I was forced to skip work a few days as I feared my life was threatened. After the police report I consulted a lawyer and lodge a report to SKMM as well. I went to SKMM to cooperate with the officers on their investigation. I also wrote a public statement that I was wrongly accused but instead I received so many hate and vulgar comments in my blog. These has made me feel very sad.

To add salt to injury, Gaysec only state a public apology when the damage had been done. In fact, they treated the whole episode as a small mistake and again falsely accused me as “keliru dalam agama”, when they did not see that they had in fact committed a serious crime of false accusation and a serious sin of fitnah which is despised by Allah. Again, religion has become  mere tool for these people to simply brand someone that do not share their views as “confused”.

This is how blind faith works where people are subjected to conform without question (especially when it comes to the superiority of religious authorities), the essence of Islam is buried within the books untouched and collecting dust (while pretenders scream loudly as the “defenders of Islam”), Islam is being played according to the politics of the day, while constructive criticism and expression of free thoughts are refrained.

I call all moderate Muslims who uphold peace and truth to speak out against such hooligans who only care to hijack Islam and its good values. For those who are still hunting Sitt Wuzara to please go to the police and SKMM and provide your evidence, instead of harming the life of another innocent girl by exposing all her personal information in the internet, hence creating even more sins of fitnah among the Muslim community in our country.

For Gaysec, let me be very clear: If forgiveness is what you seek, please

You all must do Taubat to Allah

come forward to me personally and apologise,

Gaysec must also retract all their postings about me in the internet,

 must give a disclaimer message to all the blogs, facebook  group/ page and personal comments that they had fitnah me and caused grave harm and distress to my life

and must demand all these sites to delete the misinformation and stop the spreading,

Gaysec must also do community service at places and with people of other religion/ race, preferably in places of worship of other religion or poverty stricken areas inhabited by non-malays;

and not to forget,  it will be great for Gaysec to blog about their interfaith experience (in their community service)

Do comparative religious understanding between Islam, Christian, Buddhism, Hinduism, Zoroastrian, Atheism, Agnosticism, Jainism and Taoism by talking to people of these faiths or do research of your own (the internet for a start?).

Do read books by Islamic philosophers/ thinkers such as Ali Shariati, Rumi, Avicenna and Fatema Mernissi and blog about your thoughts on the writings of these scholars.

Gaysec must also do charity work by volunteering in NGO that promotes welfare to the poor, sick and unfortunate.

Just to let Gaysec know, the sin of fitnah (if not being forgiven) is hell.

For those who helped to spread the fitnah about me, if forgiveness is in your mind too, please

do Taubat to Allah and do as much as you can in promoting good values of Islam. And please stop the fitnah by deleting your blog that falsely accuse me and enlighten your readers to refrain from fitnah/ hate speech.

My sincere hope is for Malaysia to be a nation that uphold true peace and harmony, regardless of race, religion and creed. From now on, we all ought to go against the evil veins of ignorance, hatred/ hate speech, and blind faith. Only through upholding good values in religion (in all religions in that matter), that we can mature and prosper as a nation.

Nevertheless, I want to thank all the people that had stood by me and who did not believe Gaysec accusation. I also would like to thank family and friends that tried their best to counter the disinformation spread by Gaysec. There are good people that went to these blogs and facebook to request people not to quickly point fingers, instead asked them to verify the validity of the accusation. I would like to thank Azwan Ismail for coming forth to clarify the truth regarding on the discussion threat in MAFA. Finally, I would like to thank all the blogs that promote their readers to think wisely not to spread fitnah and respect truth, especially Unscientific Malaysia for quick to respond to Gaysec’s false accusation by debunking their half-baked “evidence” with factual analysis.

Thank you and Salam.

Don’t be fooled, it is NOT a Malaysian made movie. Yes, the characters spoke language that sounded like Malay accent and the setting is exactly like the P. Ramlee era movies. Believe it or not, it is 100% Indonesian made movie. And the accent is not fake, it is the accent of the people in Sumatera.

I accidently stumble upon the movie when I was checking on the song “Laskar Pelangi” by Nidji, I love the song very much, very inspirational. The movie was adapted from the 2005 novel Laskar Pelangi by Andrea Hirata. Made in 2008, it was the most successful movie ever made in Indonesia, both local and international.

Here’s the movie synopsis in Wikipedia:

“The movie, set in the 1970s, opens on the first day of the year at a Muhammadiyah elementary school on Belitung. The school needs 10 students but is one short until near the end of the day, when a straggler fills out the ranks for their teachers, Muslimah and Harfan. Muslimah dubs the children “The Rainbow Troops” (sometimes translated as “The Rainbow Warriors”) and the movie traces their development and relationships with the teachers.”

What I love about the movie is the rawness and natural talent of these kids. Mind you, the kids were casted from villages in Belitung, just like Slumdog millionaire, they never acted before. I’d say the  movie is the best Malay-speaking movie I ever seen. It has a very meaningful yet simple message that even our Yasmin Ahmad’s Sepet could not compete.

The thing about Sepet is, it did not dig deeper enough in exploring the issues and development of the character. It is just an inter-racial love story but in the context of our Malaysian society, it failed at addressing real issues and plight, the characters also did not go through in depth transformation. In fact, I’d say my parents and grandparents inter-racial love stories would make a better one if it is produced as a movie.

To be honest, I am not a huge fan of Indonesian movies, except for Ada Apa Dengan Cinta (which I watched when I was 17). I view most of the movies as shallow-popcorn-junk-love story, the same goes to Malaysian-made movies too. Nevertheless, Laskar Pelangi made me cry. I never seen such a simple yet beautiful story that used kampong kids as the main actors.

The movie main message is about the importance of education. In a small village in Belitung (an island on the east coast of Sumatra), the kids and their teachers gone through so many obstacles in order for them to be successful in their education. The unique thing about this movie is, it deeply explore the character development and the society/environment surrounding their lives. Issues such as inter-racial love between a Chinese girl and the ‘Malay’ (sorry, in Malaysia everything has to be put into race boxes) boy, diversity of race and religion of the village dwellers, Islam religion, the extreme level of poverty of the village, true friendship between the kids, female empowerment as depicted by the female teacher, Malay culture and music such as “Bunga Seroja” and the power of dreams and ambition.

Most of the plots are very memorable, but there are a few plots that touches my heart. The first is the inter-racial love story between the Chinese girl and the Malay boy. On the surface it is just an innocent childhood love story, but the deeper meaning is more important. Many would be surprised that there are a large number of Chinese ethnicity living in Sumatera, Kalimantan and other parts of Indonesia. Although in some areas, the Chinese might be threaten (such as the Jakarta Riot 1998), but in most parts of Indonesia, they live peacefully together. It does reminded me of the ‘ancient’ past we had during P. Ramlee’s time.

The fact that both the kids in love were oblivious of their ethnicity and religious background, showed how beautiful love is when people are blinded by colours and beliefs. One of the main reason both characters in love are unaware of their differences is the Indonesian national philosophy of Panca Sila, which promotes freedom of religion, democracy and equality. Besides, Panca sila also placed high importance on the Indonesian national identity, where the biggest impact I think is having a common spoken national language of Indonesia. When people are able to communicate freely in a language that all understands, it is easier to nurture the spirit of unity and solidarity.

Another of my favourite scene is when the kids sang the song “Bunga Seroja”. Funny was I heard this music before, somewhere, somehow. It is a 60s song by S. Affendi, the original Indonesian singer. It was just beautiful. To be honest, I got a bit delusional watching this movie, because I’ve to remind myself constantly this is NOT a Malaysian movie. The accent is just too real. The word ‘kite’, ‘saje’, ape’, mane’, ‘iye ke’, ‘bodoh’, ‘cite-cite’ etc… are just very Malay, which I used daily in my Malay conversation.

The contrast struggle of the kids for their education and dreams in a poverty-stricken village really strikes deep in me. I cried many times seeing the kids made the best out of their limited lives. The final scene of the kid called Lintang, who is a math prodigy but was forced to stop school when his dad died while fishing in the sea. Watching the movie itself made me realized how lucky I am to receive good education, while these Laskar Pelangi kids have to struggle in their daily lives just to receive a humble education. Some of them do not even have shoes to wear. It does reminded me of my mom, who was raised in a very poor family, everyday she had to wear the same school uniform and shoes to school until it became very worn-out and torn. She would stitch them again and again until it became worst than a used table-cloth.

Kudos to the producers, director and the book author for creating such a simple movie yet with such meaningful impact to the reality of our everyday lives, especially the lives of the people in Indonesia.

I was in Indonesia for quite a while and I do realize poverty is a big issue there. This kind of movie is really important to the spirit of the Indonesian young people because only though education and self-determination where a society can develop and prosper. Taking the example of South Koreans and Japanese, where the self-determination of the people themselves made their nation economically and technologically on par with other developed western nations.

Another thing I’d like to share about this movie is the subtle Islamic values that it portrayed. In Malaysia, to be Islamic is very surface, you either have to cover up your head or to show that you pray and wear Islamic clothes. But in this movie, which I totally love, it portray Islam in a very spiritual way.

The female teacher wore a long skirt which show more than her ankle, she wore the tudung like it is just an on-off scarf thingy. In reality, her appearance was an exact resemblance of Malaysia back in the 50s-60s. People do not judge you by your appearance, and clothing do not represent your morality nor your faith with god. The female teacher taught everything to the kids, including Islamic studies. One of it is the 5 pillars of Islam. In the current context in Malaysia, it would be a shocker if a religious teacher to be without wearing head scarf and teaching Islam. Other Islamic values is they incorporated a lot of Arabic words in their daily conversation, such as ’Assalamualaikum’, ‘Alhamdullilah’, ‘Alaikumsaalam’, etc. All of them carry the meaning of peace. Islam is also obvious in their day-to-day lives, such as honesty, humbleness, dedication and hard work, spirituality, love and friendship, being grateful, etc.

The fact that the school is a Muhamadiyah school made the story even more interesting. In Malaysia, there’s two school of thoughts, yes, the UMNO and PAS school of thought. But the uniqueness about Indonesia is the diversity in Islam itself. Muhamadiyah is the second largest muslim organization in Indonesia, but Indonesians are free to choose their religion and the Islamic faith. In the movie, although majority of the students are of Muhamadiyah denomination, they were never taught to segregate themselves or look down on those of other faith/denomination. In fact, one of the student in the Muhammadiyah school (Akiong) is a non-muslim chinese. Being an advocate of secularism, I believe religion can truly prosper and maintain a moderate, peaceful influence to an individual’s life when it is practiced voluntarily as personal values, faith and guidance; rather than forced by state punishment or fear tactic by state-appointed religious zealots. Oh, do you know that there’s no Syariah Law in Indonesia (except in Aceh).

There’s another reason why I love this movie – the female teacher herself. She is a true feminist. She turned down the hand of marriage from a rich businessman because she was ambitious in her effort to raise these kids into smart learners. She is also independent and out-spoken, her silent confidence to me is really attractive and admirable.

In a nutshell, I recommend Malaysians to watch this movie and be inspired. I really hope one day a Malaysian author or film producer can write or produce such good quality art work that hopefully can inspire a whole nation of ours. My wet dream.

P/S: For those of you who grew up in the 80s and 90s, probably you would be familiar with the ‘minyak rambut Tancho’ (Tancho hair wax) used in the ‘Bunga Sejora’ scene. My family was big on that during the 90s 😉

Reading the article Are You Mixed Up? really made a lot of sense to my reality of life. Being mixed in Malaysia is really a challenge, having others staring at you, figuring what race box you should be placed. I often have this question posed to me “What race are u?”, “Are you Malaysian?”… It is pretty amazing being mixed race means you must be from another country. Since young, I have always been confused with my identity being born into a mixed-race parentage. The problem in Malaysia is, you have to choose, either you are a Chinese, Indian, Malay or Dan Lain-Lain (which mostly refer to the orang asli).

Usually, my darn character would be answering ” I am Malaysian”, and if they asked what race I am, I’ll say, “I don’t believe in the concept of race, I am a Malaysian”. When they get frustrated, then they would ask, “What is your religion?”. D’oh! Do I really need to tell you my personal beliefs?? Whether I am an atheist or muslim or hindu or christian or animist, only God knows. Funny is, the reason they ask such question is not about wanting to KNOW my cultural background, but merely to put me into the race box, so that they can have racist stereotype to act against me. That’s the typical ugly Malaysian mentality. They would never in a billion year tell others of their racist mindset, but once they know you are in their “in-group”, then all the bullshit racial gossiping of the “out-group” races will come forth.

For example, once a Malay is happy to hear that I am “Malay”, he will start bullshitting about Chinese dominance on the economy, on how much a threat they are to Malays; While a Chinese will gossip about the Malays being racist and act like gangster kampung to non-Malays; while the Indians would say that they are always being forgotten and left out in everything, by both the Malays and Chinese. And for Sabahan and Sarawakian? They are already been forgotten long ago. In the end, everybody is gossiping about everybody. If Wikileaks can document this, it would be as entertaining as those US diplomats small talks on Prime Ministers/Presidents of other countries.

One funny incident about my naïve younger brother back when he was in high school, being in a Chinese education school, he automatically was uncomfortable with his racial background, especially applying for tertiary education. Filling the matriculation form, he listed his race as “Dan lain-lain”, since he innocently assumed that he’s not entirely Malay, not entirely Chinese and not entirely Indian. Guess what? he didn’t get a place at all. And the fact that he got quite good marks in his SPM, makes me wonder the institutionalized racism in Malaysia is really killing the talents and good brains of young Malaysians. For me, I didn’t even bother to apply, I do not want to be part of such racist institution.

I hate when some people in Malaysia keep on rambling about their superior cultural identity, sometimes they have this NEED to emphasis that they are “Chinese-Malaysian”, “Indian-Malaysian”, or “Malay/bumiputra-Malaysian”, it sick! I feel pity the moment I see this kind of people, coz they don’t know that they are the problem of the fucked up Malaysia that we have now. They don’t realize that the reason our politics are so racist and communal, is because they indirectly support the action of the politicians on a skin-colour basis. I call this cultural-narcissist malaysians as “pure bloods”.

Personally, I think pure bloods are the problem of racism in Malaysia, pure blood tend to emphasis too much on their own ‘race’ that they look down on other races. I think this pure bloods are the same as PERKASA or UMNO or MCA or MIC, always keep on and on rambling abt how good their race is, when the truth is, it has nothing to do with race but the individual themselves. If there’s poor indians, orang asli and malays, there’s poor chinese too.

Another funny thing is some non-malays have this phobia tendency to Malays that they must constantly tell the world they are (race insert) malaysian, and NOT just Malaysian. To them Malaysian means MALAYsian. What a weird analogy! The truth is, the word Malay is never a race, it is to refer the geography of the archipelago Malay, which now we call – South East Asia. Being a Malaysian has nothing to do with being a Malay, it has everything to do with living and born in a geographical area that is called Malaysia.

You do not shed your cultural identity if you merely refer yourself as Malaysian, that is a terrible assumption. Malaysia is a national identity, u could be a mat salleh or orang hitam or a mixed race like me, but if you are born and breed here, you are a Malaysian, regardless u eat pork or mutton or beef. If being a Malaysian means being Malay, then Sabah and Sarawak would have long gone, coz Malays and UMNO are virtually non-existence there (except as minority ethnicity).

I wish everyone in Malaysia is mixed race, so that we do not think too highly of our ‘race’ and only focus on our national identity, besides being mixed is better, physically and mentally.

If you learn social science, there’s such thing as out-group and in-group. Once ppl start to segregate their identity as Malaysian-chinese, Malaysian-Indian, Malaysian-Malay, Malaysian-Iban, Malaysian-muslim, Malaysian-Christian, Malaysian-Mat Salleh, etc…. Then people will start to create an in-group among their circle, and out-group for ppl who don’t conform to their segregated identity. That’s the reason why our politics is communal and racist, have u ever thought of that?? Do u know, because of the racist in-group perception on a person’s cultural identity, he/she has indirectly contributed to the breeding of racist politics in Malaysia.

For example, when a person believe being (race insert) is so important, naturally he/she has a stereotype on the out-group, (other races insert). And he/she political belief will be influenced by (race insert) political party, coz he/she do not care abt the lives of (other races insert) Malaysians. To the person, their sufferings mean nothing. That is why having a segregated national identity is dangerous, because politics is a game of power, where the leader will only be powerful if the rakyat wants the politics to be played like that. Have u wonder why during election the BN will pour huge money into chinese vernacular schools or pour money to Islamic schools or pour money to Tamil schools? That is how indirectly when pure bloods are supporting the racist political parties, by being racist themselves.

Be honest, as Malaysians, do u care about the plight of the people who do not belong to your “race”? I don’t think so. Because if u care, then BN would probably pour money to improve the national education, and make it into a progressive, secular and high quality education system.

Seriously, for the pure bloods, You prefer to blame the current racist politics, but in the end u are racist yourself by emphasizing too much on your cultural identity (which created this whole bubble of communal politics), instead of being simply proud of your national identity – MALAYSIAN. just MALAYSIAN.

Here I conclude a vid about mixed race identity. I wish we have such community support group in Malaysia where all mixed race Malaysians can unite and drown out the racist voices of the Aryan-Hitler type pure bloods and their indirect/direct stupid agenda to destroy Malaysia (esp economically) with communal politics.

gorgeous love lavender

Timely Rain Drops

September 2017
M T W T F S S
« Dec    
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
252627282930  

bitter butter beer ginger~

dusty attic

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 15 other followers