Thursday, February 28, 2008

The change I wish to see...

... in Malaysian politics, or at least the electoral process.

I don't ask for much, just:

1. All campaigning candidates from all parties have equal opportunities to campaign using all media, mainstream or not.

2. Our votes are truly personal and secret.

3. No labeling of the Opposition and their supporters as 'non-patriotic' or 'anti-government'.

4. Mainstream media should be truly objective and not obviously or apparently supporting one side or one party or one candidate.

5. Campaigning funds not drawn from taxpayers' money, not even one sen. All campaigning funds must be either drawn from the parties' funds or raised independently.

6. No good-guys bad-guys in candidacy or even membership of the houses and parliament. Everyone is just there to do their job. And everyone actually doing their job.

7. Elections being what it is supposed to be: power to the people to choose their leaders and representatives. Not just a proxy or proof to the world that we are a democratic country whereas the nation's line of leadership remains dynasty-like.

8. People get equal access to information from all parties and candidates.

There'd be more to list here, but then people would say I'd be asking too much.

Note: Some of the mentioned above might already be in place; the list is just for expressing my wants and does not necessarily reflect what an ideal democracy or electoral process would be.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My precioussss

Apart from faith, family and friends, here are some things that currently are very important to me:

1. Grad school

2. Martial arts practice

3. Financial obligations

4. Private tutoring

... and others, but these will do for now.

You may ask anything of me, but please, do not ask me to compromise my commitments on some or any of the above.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Birthday cupcakes

Look at what the delivery guy brought on my birthday:


My sister Milah who's studying in England had a local bakery make these cupcakes and had them sent to our house on my birthday.

It was the sweetest thing. The cupcakes are for both me and my baby brother Abu. I turned 25 and he 5.

Man I just have to post this picture again.


Look at the lower right corner cupcake, it says "From Milah". Oh how I miss her right now.

Thank you Milah. Please please come home for this year's summer break.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Victoria's Ash Wednesday of 1983

My parents are light-skinned and I was born dark skinned. For the longest time I was puzzled by this sheer difference in skin color, since almost all of my siblings were also born light-skinned. When asked for explanation (this was quite a while ago, when I was a kid), my parents couldn't have given me a more serious, straight-to-the-point answer.

Mom: "You were adopted. You are actually an Aborigine child we found during the bushfire" (or something like that, I know she's kidding but at the time I half-believed her)

Dad: "Yeah, you were born on Ash Wednesday, there was a big bushfire in Victoria that day, and you're dark-skinned because of all the smoke and ash" (and I half-believed this as well)

Not until recently was I able to verify this, thanks to the most common source of quick, free background info on the planet, Wikipedia.

Here are some excerpts of the article I found concerning the natural disaster that happened as I was born:


The Ash Wednesday Bushfires were a series of forest fires which occurred on February 16, 1983 in south-east Australia, resulting in a natural disaster. The fires occurred across Victoria, including the Dandenong Ranges and Macedon Ranges, as well as the Otway Ranges in the south west. They also occurred in South Australia, primarily in the Adelaide Hills, but also the Clare Valley and the pine forests of the state's south east. The Ash Wednesday fires remain the worst bushfire disaster in Australian history, claiming 75 lives and more than two thousand homes.

Wednesday 16 February dawned as another unrelentingly hot, dry day in the southeast and temperatures in the areas around Melbourne and Adelaide quickly rose toward 40 degrees Celsius. Coupled with hot, gusty northerly winds, the situation finally reached a tipping point. The first reports of smoke, in South Australia's Clare Valley, came just after 1pm. Multiple reports of breaking fires quickly began to deluge Victoria's and South Australia's emergency services. Outer metropolitan areas of both Melbourne and Adelaide were threatened, particularly those suburbs located towards the Dandenongs east of Melbourne. Much of Mount Macedon to the north west of Melbourne was devastated, as were the townships of Cockatoo and Upper Beaconsfield in the Dandenongs, and many beachside towns along the Great Ocean Road. The Otway Ranges fire, driven by the extreme weather and heavy ground fuel loads, was so intense that firefighters were forced to abandon control efforts and the fire only came to an end when it ran out of fuel having reached the ocean on Victoria's south coast, melting metal street signs in the beachside town of Aireys Inlet. At one stage the entire Melbourne metropolitan area was encircled by fires, and the city remained covered in smoke for weeks, requiring drivers to use their headlights in the city during the day time. The smoke later drifted as far north as Batemans Bay, New South Wales.

Forty-seven people died in Victoria, and 28 in South Australia. A fierce southerly wind change that swept across Victoria in the early evening abruptly changed the direction of many of the fires and the bulk of the deaths and destruction the outbreak caused in Victoria came after the front arrived. Upper Beaconsfield was a scene of particular tragedy, 17 firefighters losing their lives after being caught exposed to a wall of flames as the wind change struck. The freakish conditions spawned unique effects: one survivor reported seeing a burning mattress hurtling through the air. 2,545 individuals and families lost their homes. At the height of the blaze there were reports that fire fronts moved faster than 100 km/h.

The total land area burnt was approximately 2,100 km² (518,921 acres) in Victoria and 2,080 km² (513,979 acres) in South Australia. The summer bushfires of 1982/1983 razed approximately 5,200 km² (1,284,000 acres).

from the article Ash Wednesday Fires on Wikipedia.


Amongst all that smoke, fire, ash, and people's life being destroyed, my life on this world began. Hurray me.

p/s: Actually the best explanation of my dark complexion would be because my grandfather on my dad's side is dark-skinned. I got it from him.

Saturday, February 16, 2008


... is the last day of my doubledozen. Tomorrow is the first day of my quartercentury.

But I'm still a kid at heart. Those who know me well... you know it'll probably take me a couple more years before I ever grow up in that department.


I'm gonna get myself more Disney DVDs.


I want my PS2.


I miss free Bubble Tea with Cassie, Kristen and Ivan.



I miss the morning basketball games with Belinda and Jim and Ivan and Cassie.


I miss working out with Matt in CCRB (back then I was in a much better physical condition).


I want someone who can cook me miso soup everyday LOL.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Feb 14

What I'll miss about this date in the States is the candy gifts from dear friends and pink ninjas.

And Mr. Mouse of the Shapiro Undergraduate Library looking for love.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Decision: Resolution to fruition

I know earlier this year I joined another half dozen billion people in the world who made a resolution to lose some weight. And I have yet to take any measures to ensure this resolution's fulfillment. Therefore I have made a decision.

I am going to start doing evening jogs everyday, or almost everyday, or as often as I can, or as often as I think I can.

Woohoo look at that chain of compromise.

Once I see the pounds drop off and the fitness level increase I should be more motivated to keep this up.


Lately I have been able to retain in my memory much of what I have been dreaming in my sleep.

This hasn't happened before, at least in the same degree of frequency and amount of retention after waking up.

These dreams have been affecting me more than ever, causing me to sometimes stop and think about a multitude of things that in the past never really seriously crossed my mind.

I guess this is telling me that my subconscious mind is trying to wake up and make itself more prevalent in influencing my decisions. Most of the time lately my dreams have been telling me what I really feel about certain things (I choose not to yet divulge what those things are) and bring me out of my usual emotional confusion that has plagued me for the past eight years.

I have been unsure about my own personal feelings and have been suppressing thoughts and emotions for so long that these thoughts and emotions tried so hard to find their way out and make themselves heard. And they found the gateway that leads them straight to me: my dreams.

Nowadays I find myself asking myself questions right before I go to sleep. And sometimes in that deep slumber, I find my questions answered.

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