Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Suppresion of truth

It does not bode well for the country when international newspapers start reporting on Malaysia's suppression of the press. Especially papers like the New York Times, The Times UK and International Herald, which has a really wide readership base.
I promised myself I would stay away from political blogging for the reason that any negativity would tend to generate more nausea within myself.
However, this remains one of my main contention points for the situation in this country. That people are being discouraged to voice out their opinion. The really public ones get to go to jail. Or get slapped with punishments or harassment.
When people speak out, they may be speaking the truth or they could telling an outright lie.
I believe today's society is matured enough to sieve the facts from the pile of information thrown at them.
Forget the mainstream media in Malaysia. The papers are only good for their story articles, and any reports on political activities or happenings are only to show the good side of the current ruling government.
What kind of example is being set by today's leaders when they lie through their teeth?
Like I posted earlier this month, even telling a white lie is only a stay of execution.
How long do you think you have before the truth comes out?
I suppose only people who do NOT fear God do not bother about what retribution will come their way on Judgement Day.
With that, I'll leave you with my quote.

The reason men are silenced is not because they speak falsely, but because they speak the truth. This is because if men speak falsehoods, their own words can be used against them; while if they speak truly, there is nothing which can be used against them -- except force.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Passing the buck

Look at that word BLAME.
It's just a coincidence that the last two letters spell the word me.
But that coincidence is worth thinking about.
Other people or unfortunate circumstances may have caused you to feel pain, but only you control whether you allow that pain to go on.
If you want those feelings to go away, you have to say: "It's up to me."
- Floyd Maxwell

I got to thinking about this when I read about how some Ministries say,"no, this isn't under my jurisdiction".
What kind of horsecrap is this?
Is this how people are supposed to work?
I often get calls coming to my direct line in office due to the hunting line. If it rings for 2 times, I take it. More often than not, it's for my staff.
I take it anyway. I see how I, yes, MYSELF, can help the customer.
I feel the world has been "infested" with the blame gene. Everyone thinks that when something happpens, it's not their fault.
But when it's something good, you'll see them killing each other to get the credit.
I hope the quality of "I"ll do it" and "it's up to me" will be the new mantra for the next generation.
The least I can do is to at least inculcate this in my children.
Stop blaming others for something YOU can do.
If you're not part of the SOLUTION, you're part of the PROBLEM.
Any one can tell you what's the issue, but it takes a special person to take the initiative to RESOLVE it.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Plain speaking

By now, it's probably clear that I'm a big fan of Socrates.
I like his work for 2 reasons, his dedication to the advancement of Ethics. And the other, Epistemology.
In case you didn't know what that means, in simple terms, it's working towards gaining knowledge and wisdom. More or less. You can look it up.
I was thinking about Socrates when I heard the morning show on Mix FM, where various celebrities are being tested on whether they're telling the truth.
Then I remembered this quote.
My plainness of speech makes them hate me, and what is their hatred but a proof that I am speaking the truth? - Socrates (469-399 BC)
I can't exactly remember the occasion he said this, but I think it would be the time that he was on trial for being the "wisest" person in town.
In the end, he died for something he believed in. By drinking poison. If I'm not mistaken, the other philosopher Seneca died the same way.
Anyway, I'm happy that this morning, one of my favourite Malaysian "philosophers", Datin Paduka Marina Mahathir, "passed" the test on Mix FM. She was telling the truth.
She was being asked questions on sexuality, parenting and her work as a feminist.
I suppose if there's anything, we should always tell the truth.
Some of the truths may hurt, but it's temporary.
Telling white lies may not hurt the person at the moment, but when they discover the truth, it'll hurt even more, and it could be permanent.
I have refused to buy and read newspapers anymore.
In fact, the only papers that dare to tell the truth is The Malay Mail, and The Sun.
Truth is becoming a rare commodity in this country, and I hope that this situation will change.
We must teach our children to be truthful, and the best way to show them is by being a role model.
Ethan, I know you've been asking your Mommy not to lie when she promises to fetch you from school.
You will eventually realise that your Mommy could not lie even if someone pointed a gun at her.
That's why she always gives in to your demands, because she rather give in than tell a white lie to escape your requests.
I hope one day you'll realise what a gem your Mom is.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Qualifying as a Parent

I was the last person I'd expect to be a father.
And yet it happened.
I fell in love.
We got married.
And the baby came.
2 of them, in fact.
And another on the way.
The joke among the gang of Tigers is that, I'm the most "productive" compared to the other 17 fellows.
The crux of the matter is this. Having a child doesn't really make you a parent.
Some people confuse that by fathering a baby (biologically), you automatically become a parent.
NO. Doesn't work that way.
The first thing is to take care of baby's needs.
Food, milk, diapers.
Not to mention if they fall sick. (Ethan / Ewan, I would suggest one of you being a paeditrician in the future, they're really raking in the bucks).
The second thing is education.
There's the "formal" education like kindergarten, pre-school and then the schooling.
The "informal" part is tough. This is where parenting skills come in.
No one knows how you get these skills. But somehow, you have to rely on your own good sense to teach them what's right and what's wrong.
What if you have a stubborn kid? Like my 2 boys.
Then you learn the art of Patience. If not, you'd probably killed yourself by now.
I don't even want to enter the domain of "joint parenting" where you and your spouse hold the status of "co-parent". Let's just stick to one-to-one parenting first.
I was wondering how did my parents deal with me. Then I realised that my boys are exactly the way I was when I was their age.
Yes, Daddy, I made you a grandparent and the best reward for you now is to watch me mess it up as a parent.
Hopefuly I won't mess up too much.
In any case, I realised that being a parent means spending time with your kids. In today's society, I see that as a luxury among too many people.
Which is a very sad situation, actually.
I tell some of my ex-accounting colleagues that we left the Firm so that we could have MORE time.
My point here is that I see the boys still wanting to spend time with me until they're probably 7 when they enter Primary school. Then they'll have a new world of their own and will probably start ignoring their old man.
That's why every second I spend with them is worth an ounce of gold.
As usual, a quote to end (what changes in 2000 years of civilisation, I mean, really?)

Children today are tyrants. They contradict their parent, gobble their food, and tyrannize their teachers.
- Socrates (469-399 BC)

Friday, March 06, 2009

Worth While

It is easy enough to be pleasant,
When life flows by like a song,
But the man worth while is one who will smile,
When everything goes dead wrong;
For the test of the heart is trouble,
And it always comes with the years,
And the smile that is worth the praises of earth

Is the one that shines through tears.

It is easy enough to be prudent
When nothing tempts you to stray,
When without or within no voice of sin
Is luring your soul away;
But it's only a negative virtue
Until it is tried by fire,
And the life that is worth the honor of earth

Is the one that resists desire.

- Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Thursday, March 05, 2009

Looking at the big picture

I thought of the political situation in this country.
Then I realise that they can rant and rave all they want, but they themselves are going hungry at the end of the day.
I have a family to feed, with another child on the way.
I have a house to pay for.
I have a car to pay for.
So, I look at all these SoPo bloggers' posts.
My first thought is, if you're financed by someone, it's alright, I suppose.
If you don't have any outstanding debts / loans / hire-purchases, then you have nothing to worry about.
I liked Anas Zubedy's full page ad, although it also acts as a very good PR tool for his company.
I'm back to my "Buddha" zone. That's what someone called me when I said, why worry, conflicts have a way of burning themselves out.
I really don't care anymore. Yes, it's my home state, Perak.
But frankly, I don't give a DAMN.
I always believed in something called Justice, and always will.
The Chinese believe in something called "Po Yeng", and it means retribution. By God.
The Man Upstairs is always watching, and whatever name you choose to call him, be it Allah, Buddha, Jesus, Lord Muruga or any thing else, will give you your dues on Judgement Day.
Someone in that pro-UMNO blog called me pretending to be "holier than thou".
Very well, let's see who lives a happier life then.
When I posted a comment there that we should be working on improving the country and the economy instead of getting racist and seditious, the blog owner (name not worth mentioning) asked who am I to be saying that.
Very good, Mr. Know it All. Just continue spewing garbage out of your mouth and see how much good it does you and everyone else.
I'm working on a project to bring exports out of this country. If it works, it's additional RM6 million revenue for this country.
I'm putting all my efforts into it and other avenues that will benefit my company and country.
I know that if it helps my company, it is helping to pay my salary and my colleagues'.
So, we should all start looking at the big picture.
I read a report that USD 40 billion revenue will be lost in the shipping industry this year. I cannot imagine if that same amount were to happen to our country.
Leave the politicking to the politicians.
Let's carry on doing good, honest work.
If Justice prevails, and It will, the situation will be back to normal.
I have a theory, and I think there's a scientific name for it somewhere but I don't know. I call it the Equillibrium theory.
That when any situation is altered, the elements in the situation will react to make the situation back to it's normal state.
I suppose the short summary for it will be,"And this too........will pass".
As usual, I will leave a quote from one of my favourite persons.

The truth is incontrovertible.
Malice may attack it, and ignorance may deride it,
but in the end, there IT is.

- Sir Winston Churchill

Monday, March 02, 2009

Lessons for life

This was written by Regina Brett of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland, Ohio.

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most- requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolls over to 70 in August, so here goes:
(with a few modifications by Bobby K.H. Ong)

1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good.
2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.
3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone.
4. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does.
5. Pay off your credit cards every month.
6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.
7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone.
8. It's okay to get angry with God. If there's anyone who can take it, He can.
9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck.
10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.
11 . Make peace with your past, so it won't screw up the present.
12. It's okay to let your children see you cry.
13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.
14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it.
15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks.
16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind.
17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful or brings joy any more.
18. Whatever doesn't kill you, really does make you stronger.
19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and up to no one else.
20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer.
21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special.
22. Over prepare, then go with the flow.
23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple.
24. The most important sex organ is the brain.
25. No one is in charge of your happiness except you.
26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words: 'In five years, will this matter?'
27. Always choose life.
28. Forgive everyone everything.
29 What other people think of you is none of your business.
30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.
31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.
32. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and relatives will. Stay in touch.
33. Believe in miracles.
34. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do.
35. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.
36. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young.
37. Your children get only one childhood. Make it memorable.
38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.
39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.
40. If we all threw our problems in a pile, we'd grab ours back.
41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.
42. The best is yet to come.
43. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.
44. Yield, unless it's for the wrong reason.
45. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.

There. I hope everyone can follow at least a few of these lessons. It would make the world a much better place.