A Day before CNY 2009

Spacer

The new “old” message on this festive season

By Petronas, Directed by Yasmin Ahmad

Spacer

Watch it and feel the sentiment.

Spacer

Advertisements

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.

Happy Deepavali !

Festival of lights

Endoru wishes everyone a Happy Deepavali !

For those who are not familiar with Deepavali …

Deepavali, or Diwali is a major Indian holiday, and a significant festival in
Hinduism, Sikhism, Buddhism, and Jainism. Many legends are associated
with Diwali. Today it is celebrated by Hindus, Jains and Sikhs across the
globe as the “Festival of Lights,” where the lights or lamps signify victory
of good over the evil within every human being. Diwali is celebrated on the
first day of the lunar Kartika month, which comes in the month of
October or November.

I still remember those days I had back in Shah Alam (a rather famous town in Selangor, Malaysia) when my family used to visit my good friend’s house every Deepavali. My friend, Guna, would invite us over and his mom would cook us great Indian meal and I really enjoyed those simple time we had in those days. We definitely share a good spirit back at home and we should continue this good traditional culture we have. Happy Deepavali to all my dear friends who are celebrating it this very moment ! Have a great one and may light shine in your life always !

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 !

Happy birthday again, Malaysia !

Happy 916 to every single Malaysian !

Today is a day which is as important as the independence day for us, Malaysians. It is the day when Malaya, North Borneo, Sarawak and Singapore joined together to form a new nation to which I call my motherland. Anyway, it is also said that today, we will have some significant changes back in Malaysia but will that actually happen. Well, at the moment, I don’t hear anything with any big impact. Let’s just observe and hope for the very best. By the way, please watch the next video made by my junior, Calvin, entitled “Jiwa Malaysia” which he had won first prize for the Peraduan Video Merdeka 2008 organized by Malaysian Students Association in Japan (MSAJ). Calvin, you don’t mind right ? *hehe* Anyway, very good video and love those kids. They do represent us Malaysia very much indeed for who they are.

***

Jiwa Malaysia

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

***

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.

First, “pendatang”and next, “partner”, why not “one” ?

Najib: Chinese are always regarded
as partners, not pendatang

From The Star

I like this flag because this is the flag I am born with and
this is the only flag I can relate with for the rest of life

PEKAN: Non-Malays in this country are Umno’s partners whose rights and interests will be safeguarded, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

He said Umno has never regarded the Chinese in this country as “pendatang” (immigrants), and as the main pillar in Barisan Nasional, Umno’s policy is clear that the party accepts non-Malays as partners in nation-building .

Najib said it is also clear that the Barisan policy would focus on nation-building and any views given by other leaders at division level are their personal views.

He was asked to comment on the refusal of Bukit Bendera Umno division chief Datuk Ahmad Ismail to apologise over his recent remark that the Chinese were “immigrants who do not deserve equal rights”.

Najib, who had earlier presented land titles to Felda settlers in Felda Cini 5 here, said Ahmad’s statement does not reflect or represent the policies of Umno and Barisan.

On Gerakan’s view that it will have another look at its position in Barisan if Umno fails to gain the people’s confidence, Najib said its acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon had told him Gerakan would always be in Barisan .

“The most important thing to do is to have frequent discussions, meetings and consultations within the component parties.

“Those are the reasons that we always have Barisan meetings, Supreme Council and Barisan management meetings to enable us to discuss and consult in a more general way,” Najib said.

To a question whether Umno was pressured by other component parties in Barisan , Najib said: “We did not receive any pressure because we stick to the spirit of friendship in Barisan, but we accept that they want the meetings and consultations to be held frequently.”

On rumours spread by SMSes and false reports in Opposition publications, Najib said the Government will study whether action can be taken against those involved.

“We regret the lies and false statements made to confuse the people. We regret that there are certain quarters who are doing this.

“If we take action, they will say that the action is politically motivated,” he said.

Umno Youth chief Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein said: “Ahmad’s statement was blown out of context. Racial and religious polarisation is getting worse and this is very unhealthy.”

He said the people were getting fed up with so much politicking and polemics, adding that the Government was expected to get on with the work at hand – building the economy, improving education and reforming Barisan.

“We are falling into the opposition trap of demonisation, cynicism and perception. It leaves a bad aftertaste. Everyone should stop before we get divided even more,” he said.

***

I will give my full support for the first politician that who would affirm that all of us, every single one of us as “one” instead of blurring things with the term “partner”. The term “partner” is defined as one that is united or associated with another or others in an activity or a sphere of common interest, especially:

  1. A member of a business partnership.
  2. A spouse.
  3. A domestic partner.
  4. Either of two persons dancing together.
  5. One of a pair or team in a sport or game, such as tennis or bridge.

Common interest, yes, we all wish for the best of our nation. United? I believe not yet for we only associate when we need each other as “partners”, and hurt as “pendatang” when we are not needed. Perhaps it is too idealistic and too much of utopianism in what I am saying here but that should be our common goal. The day when we can accept one another as a being who is a citizen of a same nation who thinks for the best of our nation. Lately, a lot has been said, no matter it is from the people of the government or the opposition parties, to disturb the harmony we have in our country.  Today, I am not pin-pointing at any certain individuals, but it is for us all Malaysians, every single one of us to think of who we are, no matter what ethnicity we hold. Anyway, look at our Jalur Gemilang and remind yourself of what the blue color stands for.