A Simple Update

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Spring: A season of changes and farewells

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Since I became a heavy user of Facebook (will be light one once my work starts to pile up), updating my blog seems to have become like a burden since I will be repeating all the stuff that I update in the status in Facebook but I guess it is good to keep this page alive for other readers who aren’t in Facebook. To keep this post simple, since I have other tasks in mind to do, I will just sum up the core events that has been happening in my life lately. Till my next post, stay tune.

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  • First: I’ve graduated on the 25th March 2009 and I am officially a master degree holder in Engineering.

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Graduation ceremony Pic 1

Me at the graduation ceremony with Teruko and Jose

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The certificate I worked for 2 years

The certificate that I earned after 2 years of hard work

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  • Second: I’ve bid my two Malaysian friends farewell who were going back to homeland for good.

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Farewell gathering for Ching Foa and Darren

Farewell gathering for Ching Foa and Darren

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  • Third: My work life with GE began officially on the 1st April 2009.

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My fellow colleagues

Me and my fellow super-talented colleagues

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My name plate

Am officially with GE, the company that values “imagination at work”

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Dear Woman

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Dear Woman

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A sudden urge builds up in me
To simply scribble out these words
Words … yes, words prancing around in my mind
All about you, all the illustrative details about you

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The moment my eyes laid on you
Your existence played that song
The song I’ve been looking for, high and low
The song that satisfies everything … simply everything

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Every moment spent together was of distinctive meaning
You gleam before me, even from a distance away
The idea of being acquainted to you is enough to give me a sense of pride
A reminder of how much I’m fond of you

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What I was and what I am to your eyes
That is what I wonder
No, that is what I fear … out of choking
Each moment my mind enters the labyrinth that says your name

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“Time passes when you are not looking”
Those aren’t my words
But they hit the right notes
When my ears picked them up from a moving picture

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Have I scared you with the scale of my unfulfilled dreams?
Do I not portray what you have in mind as a partner in life?
Questions are all I have on where I stand
Answers, what I don’t possess, lies there in you

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Courage was what I had in the past
Courage is what I don’t in the present
Now, to even face you, I shiver shamefully
Timidness … nothing else compares to this invicible barrier I face

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To utter those pure, honest words … how much courage must I gather?
You moved on and on, my heart hurts as you do
I’m stuck, stalled as how you last seen me
Foolish, one may say … yes, I am a fool in love with you.

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The movie, “The Kite Runner”

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Watch it, watch it and watch it !

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The Kite Runner

A real moving story that just needed to be shared

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Watching this movie simply reminds me how I should be appreciating my happy enough life more. It also gave me a big tight slap in the face for being so ignorant all these times regarding the Taliban issues in Afghanistan. The way they illustrated Kabul, I’d definitely wished that someday I have a chance to visit it although I know that it wouldn’t be the same as it was a couple of decades ago. The story simply portrays all the good values Muslims practice and I’m glad I could understand from the background of where I was brought up in, Malaysia. There are more to this movie that I wish to share but I guess the best is to watch it. It will definitely clear away all those misunderstandings that people have towards Afghanistan. There must be more to the issue raised in this movie definitely I believe and I plan to learn more about it in the near future for the message was definitely a clear one to me. The culture of flying a kite is very beautifully captured in this movie. The fact that children around the world still suffers as we speak hurts me but I promise to do my part one day. Thumbs up to the wonderful team who created this great movie.

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It’s been a year …

Ah Ma, everyone’s fine

In remembrance of Tan Gey, 1st November 2007

Red Packet: The final gift from Ah Ma

Today, my sister reminded me through her e-mail (an e-mail to ask for my help to check her Japanese essay for the coming final term exams this week) that it has been a year since my grandma from Dad’s side had passed away. I recall vividly of the whole dramatic year I had in 2007 for certain parts of it still lingers around up to now. It started off with me not doing well with my final year project back in degree but I eventually got through it, somehow graduated and continued on with my masters. Before beginning my masters, I was having a tough time securing a scholarship to support my 2 years tuition fees and daily life expenses since my contract with the government scholarship had ended in March, 2007.

It was then when I got to know about Ah Ma’s situation. (That is how I call my grandma from Dad’s side) Pancreas cancer, final stage and the doctor confirmed that she would only last for about half a year for the cancerous cells are spreading rapidly to her other internal organs. I was shattered to know the fact that she’d be leaving us soon and since life wasn’t at the right beat that time, feeling helpless for I was miles away from Ah Ma here in Japan and filled with anxiety after being rejected by a few scholarship foundations, simply put I was not enjoying life at all. Again, somehow I persisted and the current scholarship foundation supporting me found me to be suitable to be one of their 26 scholars of the year which I am real thankful for without it, I guess I would’ve decided to quit masters and return home for good.

Well, soon after that, I decided to make a trip back home to visit Ah Ma, after a few times that I thought I could not see her anymore before she leaves us. She was being hospitalized when I was back home. The last thing she gave me was a red packet with a RM50 note in it. I understood and felt the love so much and I still keep the red packet in my wallet even right to now. While I was back home, many incidents happened which includes a serious brother fight between my youngest uncle and my Dad. I can’t help myself being all softy at that time, tears were running out of control and that is when my heart ached the most that despite being the eldest grandson of Ah Ma’s, I couldn’t do anything to make things better. I still feel the same up till now.

Anyway, I was reluctant to return to Japan but my stay back then was only for 10 days. I had to come back to Japan because I had another challenge that I had in my mind that needed to be solved as well because it was regarding my future; yes, the dreadful job hunting. Actually, at the same time, my grandparents from Mom’s side weren’t doing well too. Grandma with a bad heart and had a small heart-attack then, but she’s fine now. Grandpa had a mini stroke that had made him bed-ridden and he too left us last June this year. So, the trip home was to see my dear grandparents from both sides. On my flight back to Japan, I was devastated.

Well, to continue on with the story, Ah Ma left us for good on November 1st, 2007. No one can tell how hurt it felt to be here all alone, it did felt like the end of the world. The very next day, I went to a seminar of company with heavy legs and continued to put on a smile throughout the whole thing. I did informed the fact to the HR representative who was touched that I came after all. Anyway, this was one of the 3 job offers I got. On that weekend, I was scheduled for a Tohoku Trip and I was going to cancel it and find ways to go back home for Ah Ma’s funeral but everyone at home said it was okay. My good friends were kind enough to cheer me up and of course, we had a good time but my heart was thinking about home all the time.

After coming back from the trip, I stayed over at my good friends’ place for I really needed company and that is when I called home to ask about the funeral and to talk to everyone back home. After the call, I was so depressed that I had to just take it out. The two good friends were kind enough to comfort me and you know who you are and thanks. Overall, it was good friendship that has taken me through all the hardships. Friendship can sometimes provide more than what family can. Life’s always been challenging for myself as much as it has been a great one for me. It just makes feel that I should appreciate more of the people who are acquainted to me through blood or even through any type of relationship.

A message for Ah Ma

Ah Ma, it’s been a year already.
Life’s going on fine for me right now and
I must say for the rest of our Soh family as well.
it must be for all the prayers and blessings you’ve showered us with.

Visited Gong-gong this year, he’s healthy but of course, he misses you dearly.
Tina just got married and the rest of the cousins seem to be doing real good.
I’ve secured a job for myself already and trying to enjoy what’s left of my student life.

I still have your red packet and it always reminds me of you.
Love you and missing you, home in Muar was different without you
but I can hear you say, “Life must go on”.
Ah Ma, please continue to shower us with your love and blessings.

Your eldest grandson,
Ren-ren

P.S. That is how my family calls me by my Chinese name taken from the last character “仁” repeated.

Being 25 + 1

Am officially 26 today !

Today will just be like any other day. Nothing will change abruptly, obviously, except for the fact that I’ve survived 26 years on this face of the Earth and still am determined to continue to live on, as the clock ticks on till the day my age increases another unit on the very same date next year to have this same exact sentimental ride I am going through now. Please bear with me if you’ve heard the story all before already but I just always want to keep myself reminded on my birthdays about the fact that I was given a chance to live this life that I’ve led all along till now. Here how my story goes. Exactly 26 years ago, my father had a dilemma. It was his birthday on this date (yes, both of us share the same birthday) as well and it was on this day in year 1982, the doctor told him that it would be the choice between the life of his wife (my mom) or the life of his son (me).

My mom got a serious typhoid when she had me in her womb, a month before she was due to show me the world and she was of no sign getting better back then. My mom refuses to care about herself and selflessly, she had only one thing in her mind: to deliver his first son, no matter what. Well, since you all see me here in this world, to cut the story short, my determined mom managed to give birth to me and yes, we were both fine after all. I was born in Assunta Hospital in Petaling Jaya, Selangor, which is an industrial area in Malaysia, and was then pretty famous for I was nicknamed the “Typhoid Baby”. Not a cool name to have but was indeed a miracle baby to the doctors and nurses, so to say from all the stories I hear from my parents and relatives.

It actually crosses my mind right now, at this age, if both my mom and I did not make it or even if one of us didn’t make it, how terrible the existence of birthday would be from then for my dad for it would have turned into a death day as well.  I was brought into this world, into his arms and usually I would joke by teasing him, “Hey Dad, was I your burden on your 1982 birthday or was I a real gift ?” and he still hasn’t given me a concrete answer to that very question. I think I will try asking him again today when I call home for his birthday wish. The whole dilemma situation could have turned into a nightmare and I guess it was major relief for my dad that both of us, my mom and I, were fine 26 years ago. Well, no matter whether I am a gift or a burden, I am thankful for the life I have and also the lives of my family, for nothing compares to all the worldly gifts in the world than to have all of them to paint my life with their own unique colors. On this day, I simply want to say “thank you” for every single one who has made my life up till now possible. Happy Birthday, Endoru !

Commenting on Tun M’s blog

His latest post, “THE SOCIAL CONTRACT 3”

To read it, visit CheDet.com

Placing his views in his very own blog since May 2008

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Good evening, Tun M.

In times like these, where everything is pretty stirred up and murky, that is when rationality is needed and our nation needs it, simply put, every single citizen of our motherland needs to be rational. I don’t recall that I learned about the Social Contract during my History classes back in school bench. Did my textbooks state much about it or was the fact packed up together in just a few simple sentences? Either that or perhaps I was more attentive to my science subjects, which was implanted in my mind that it will be able to ‘secure a better future’, especially in Malaysia for me, when everyone stresses that going to science stream is a better choice (that I came to grow up knowing that this is not always true). Or just maybe my History teachers, the government servants, were not doing their job well enough? (I will read Part 1 and 2 to teach myself what the Social Contract is all about through your writings)

I do agree with a commentator that Tun M should rewrite this article in Malay since all of us did learn and are still learning about the Malaysian history in Malay, in a form which we all find much more familiar and easier to understand. After all, it is our national language, Bumis or non-Bumis and Malaysian kids nowadays have access to read your blog, Tun M.

Please do enlighten us, the young Malaysians, on how and what our ancestors had agreed and was it that all of us must keep abide to it even after half a century or in the long run as well? We know that Malay has the special rights. We see that in the different quotas we have in the many different systems. We know Chinese and Indians didn’t mind the conditions laid to them as long as they got their citizenship back then. We all lived freely without much problem and fuss up to now (except for what had happened during May 13, 1963). We didn’t mind that it had always been expressed in the fashion of “Malay, Chinese and Indian”, accordingly to the population pie, and not “Indian, Malay, Chinese” or the other 5 combinations that can be made with these 3 syllables. But, isn’t it time to consider that all of us who are being born in Malaysia, raised with the Malaysian culture, to be as one, in a single identity as a unified nation? Perhaps, what young Malays are telling is that the non-Malays are also Malaysia “Malaysians” and soon, we need to change the situation.

But then again, before all that, you are right, Tun M. Are we ALL ready to switch everything to the “equal rights” that everyone (both the minority young Malays you’ve stated and non-Malays) is hailing about? Some of us are ready but when turned effective, how many will drown in it? I still remember how you commented on globalism, Tun M. Are you worried that the considered more able non-Malays will overtake everything that the Malay owns, if equality begins to be enforced? If the stage is unleveled, Malaysia might be at the risk of being not balanced although how it appears to be in balance. I understand and I never argued much about the quota when another Chinese (or other international friends) comes to me to complain about it. I always tell them, our ancestors said yes to special rights to the Bumiputras and we are living on this fate. We can do nothing unless a change happens. Till then, we still have to live on. That is what I tell those who approaches me with their sighs.

On the other side, perhaps young Malays are tired of being undermined and regarded lowly. They perhaps are hating the idea being looked at in a way as if they have a cushion to fall onto anytime although they are working strong and hard to prove that they have grown to not need such insurances anymore.

We need wisdom on this matter. We need great people to put the rails so that everything would go strong and steady for our nation. I believe that is the job of a politician which should be regarded the highest in rank when it comes to selflessness. Anyway, everything is happening for a reason. We are reminded again that a nation is a biological entity and that we evolve from time to time. Tun M, people are hearing rumors that you are coming back. I am just hoping that you are packed with powerful and effective solutions when you officially decide that you are going to have power in the government, once again.

All these by Andrew Soh, the boy with a vibrant orange tie, who asked you what was your ideal vision for year 2020 at the Embassy of Malaysia, here in Japan when you came over for your honorable degree from the Meiji University in year 2001 and still recalls you, at the podium in front of a crowd of students, answering “little young children (you did stress all races) with smiles on their faces, playing peacefully in a developed nation in various aspect of areas.” I am the one who also said that you can sign on my 1000 yen note during dinner the night of the event and am still hoping hard in my heart that what you’ve envisioned for our country will happen. Thank you for your valuable signature and my parents are still keeping it proudly with my two shot picture with you, Sir, placed in a special album in our humble home in Kuala Lumpur.

The movie, “Into The Wild”

My salute goes out to you, Mr. Supertramp !

Into The Wild” is both a non-fiction novel by Jon Krakauer (which I am going to get real soon) and a movie by Sean Penn. This movie got my standing ovation though I was alone in my room (consider it crazy but it was that amazing). I am not going to talk much about the movie because it is going to be a spoiler for those who are going watch it from now. Anyway, it was a great movie indeed, which means that the original novel must be a greater version of the greatest journey that “Mr. Supertramp” had in his life. Why am I labeling it a good movie? Simple reasons, there are many things in this movie that I can relate to myself but at the same time, many of the things inside are simply things I wouldn’t do normally and of which I could only dream of for I really wish to know what’s the taste of living those lives. Perhaps someday I would unleash myself ‘into the wild’ like Alex and the other distinct characters in his adventure but the ending tells you that you don’t have to rush into it. I am recommending this movie to you my junior (you know who you are) so that you can illustrate your future undertakings in a more focused and vivid way, but still have the wild style to it. Thumbs up for this movie and I recommend this movie to anyone who’s looking for a good one to watch. Pretty long but every minute invested counts.

P.S. The actress, Kristen Stewart, that appeared in this movie caught my eyes once again after my eyes first laid on her in the movie “In the Land of Women“, which is another good movie. She’s the “next door girl” type of chick that you wished you had in your teens.