Atchafalaya Swamp

Saturday, April 21, 2007


Never Been Tagged


Had a pleasant surprise tonite when I fired up my son's (who's thirteen goin' on 4-teen) computer to get on the internet to check on blogs - mine in particular.

I was too lazy to open my notebook - no time to dick around with power cords, cables, usb ports and such.

The surprise was havin' been tagged by none other than that glamorous thinkin' man's chick (ala Susan Sarandon laa gua kire) - the vivacious, bubblicious Ena or Nuraina Samad of 3540 Jalan Sudin, and among other nice and nicer things - author of the wildly popular Tuesdays With Bapak.

Huh? Me? What did I do to deserve being tagged by the lady whose writings I am so enamored with?. Careful, careful . . . it's her prose I am so in love with - not the lady.

Just like the time back in the Eighties. In my junior year in a redneck Texas college, I had decided to "broaden my mind" by way of a two-year subscription to Playboy magazine . It was for "the articles", you see.

Yeah, right.

[I remember I used to "cringe" everytime I went to collect my "sub" at the Student Center where our letterboxes are located. Since that classy Hefner publication didn't quite fit my pigeonhole, I was forced to ask for it from the elderly lady in the mailroom. Even with my baseball cap pulled real low, out of the corner of me eye I saw that she never failed to give me, Mat Salo (the gook-lookin' furr'nerr), her most condescendingly Dirty Look. Really, PB introduced me to one of my all-time favorites - Tom Wolfe]

So now it's my turn to choose my FIVE victims. They are chosen, not at random, mind you, like some serial killer who senselessly chose their victims - but after five whole seconds of deliberations, heh.

Above all, these bloggeratis made me think, which is easy to do (making me think that is). Because in my real job as a glorified roughneck, I get paid to do - never to think.

No need to tell you that their writin's way up there, folks.

So it'll be wise to pay these hallowed individuals a visit. Actually I've got more than five fine folks in mind, but what's a man to do?

1. Galadriel @
Euphoria In Misery.

2. Captain Pandi @
Tampin Linggi.

3. Captain Yusof @
The Ancient Mariner.

4. elviza @
Write Away. (Right away, ma'am!)

5. Clark Gable @
Pulau Duyung's Plastic & Reconstructive.

This award was started here:

And now my dear recipients, your award comes with a price. You have to award five others whose blog you think deserve this award.

Should you choose to participate, please make sure you pass this list of rules to the blogs you are tagging. The participation rules are simple:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think

2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme

3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.Please, remember to tag blogs with real merits, i.e. relative content, and above all - blogs that really get you thinking!


jodie said...

I am a young Malaysian woman currently studying for my undergraduate degree in the US. Oh, I have missed the delicious kuih-muih and various delights that make this country a culinary paradise! And the food has not disappointed. But the politics of this country has.

It was not two years since I left. Pak Lah was still a fresh PM and many of us believed that he would take the country forward and put into practice his repeated assurances of a transparent, liberal, and fair-minded government and public sector.

Pak Lah, what has happened? Not just does it seem that all your promises were for nothing, but also coming back, I find that my country - in some very important ways - has regressed.

2020 comes up in 13 years; we are not moving in the right direction towards achieving a developed nation status.

Being developed is not just about efficient public transportation and sophisticated infrastructure. It is not about health and education. These are basic rights that should already be in place.

If our women and non-Muslim citizens continue to be treated like pariahs, then we may as well give up.

Developed nation status is not for us. Let's get the United Nations to administer us; we are obviously a nation in turmoil. Even our courts turn a blind eye to the sufferings of its citizens!

Malaysia is a country of many strengths and much beauty. We are quite unique in our pluralism. We are blessed in natural and human resources. Yet our politicians are ruining our country and we are sitting back and letting them do so. We can continue to listen to our politicians empty promises. We can continue to be grateful for what small mercies and respites they allow us.

But unless we say 'Enough!' and unless we demand more and refuse to take less, then Malaysia will lose all that is best about it. Those citizens it treats as pariahs will leave, finally too frustrated to do much more.

See, the kuih-muih only goes so far. I would rather miss my hawker and mamak food than my human rights. Let it be known, however that should I and others leave this country, we do so even reluctantly.

And yet, whenever a crisis or controversy emerges, the same melodrama is played out on the front pages of our Malaysia newspapers with the same characters acting as if they have just awakened from a deep coma to decry the incompetence and unfairness of the process, for which they are ultimately responsible!

However, since he has time and again failed to live up to his promises to eradicate corruption, revamp the police force etc, I cannot even pretend to be impressed.

So ultimately, it seems the only hope for change lies in ourselves. There are just no shortcuts. Muslim or non-Muslim, men or women, we just have to take our responsibilities as citizens seriously and hold our elected officials accountable. And it starts by writing in, speaking up, and casting our ballot in the general elections.

reek said...

Believe me if the culprit is from Umno, nothing would happen to him. If the minister asked the custom department to close one eye, Umno will close both eyes.

Every thinking Malaysian will know that nothing will happen to any Umno-man for crimes committed. They have special protection. Lodge all the complaints you want and ACA will close both eyes.

Will there be an investigation into this apparent abuse of power, i.e. corruption? Of course not, since he is malay!

All this is just a joke! Double standards, hypocrisies, prejudices, religious propagandas (Islam), has always been the malay interpretation of the 'democratic process' in Malaysia.

This idiot of a minister should have been sacked on the spot and subjected to an investigation by the ACA.

Where is this lame and useless prime minister? Why has he not spoken a word? That is because he is probably eaten a slice of the pie himself! Bloody nonsense!

tim said...

Hisham said the people should not gamble away the future of the country by championing race politics. The irony is he does not have to look too far for such people.

What Khairy and some of the UmnoYouth leaders did was to champion race politics. It is obvious that Hisham did not point his finger at his own colleagues for wrecking the future of the country.

He is wrong because he did nothing when his fellow colleagues in Umno Youth were making all sorts of racist statements. He is wrong when he is equally guilty of doing the same - championing his own race.

It is better for the Umno Youth leadership to realise now that the original spirit of the New Economic Policy (NEP) was meant to help the poor and truly marginalised malay community to catch up with development. The policy was meant to assist them to reach a level playing ground with other communities.

Based on the first objective of NEP, there is no connection between the malay agenda and the policy. On the contrary, when the policy was introduced, the language used to frame the policy framework was non-racial, e.g. eradication of absolute poverty regardless of race.

Unfortunately, over the years the NEP was manipulated as a tool to breed patronage politics. Patronage politics is the chief cause of corruption. It is the kind of political system which is used by the 'Little Napoleons' to perpetuate their corrupt practice and their hold on power.

As a result, we enriched the privileged few and well connected but neglected the poorest 40 percent of society.

It is the distortion of the NEP policy implementation that we criticise. We support special privileges to given to the poor regardless of race so that those at that socio-economic level can use the extra assistance to make a better a living. Privileges should not given to those who are already living comfortably. The NEP is not a privilege to be given to people of a certain skin color.

A methodology used since 1971 should merit a comprehensive review so that we do not leave out some important but marginalised segments of the society. We need to find out why after 34 years of the NEP, the poorest 40 percent of the society are becoming even poorer.

The government should focus on closing the income gap between the poorest and the richest regardless of race. One effective way is to focus on capacity-building and enhancing access to economic means and opportunities.

vesewe said...

Nope. You got the equation wrong.

BN won was because there is no equal playing field. In a free democratic country, all parties are given adequate airtime on national television, newspaper, Late Show with David Letterman, etc.

Here, coverage is only for BN. Each time you switch on the TV, you will see our Bapa Slogan sleepy face. You don't have a chance to catch a glimpse of any of our oppositions figure. Tell me when was the last time you watch Anwar on national TV?

All the draconian laws in Malaysia prohibit free speech, and our local mainstream media will have to abide by it. Try to switch on to any of our TV news at 8 o'clock later and the answer is very clear there.

In conclusion, our oppositions are not weak. It is the unfair level of playing field. Period.

San said...

Living in the northern state ever since primary school, I told myself that Malaysia is not the country I want my family to lives, just in case. Seeking better education and employment opportunities elsewhere, my siblings left our hometown one by one, so did our neighbours.

None of my sibling resides in Malaysia and I am now a PR in another country but I came back. First, seeking business opportunity and second, I come back because this is my country.

Without the contributions of non-malays there will be no Malaysia, so why must I runaway and let the Umno malays took over all the Chinese property we have earned through hard work.

The racist policies that Umno pursues, is putting this country in a brink of collapse. On the surface; it seems like nothing is worth fighting, millions of non-malays have left; perhaps million more will go; then how?

I encourage my brothers and sisters not to come back to Malaysia, now I believe strongly I have done the right thing.

Some nights, when the air is cool, when you are sitting out in the garden thinking about your loves ones, and wondering if you have given them the right suggestions about not returning to Malaysia, especially when your parents are old, very much pressurising but..........

Everyday when we read the papers, we begun to realised the stupidity of our advice, the fact is like in the film Jurassic Park:

Nature will finds its way (to survive), we don't need to give advices like these, they are afraid for us and they are learned, like my brother now oversea, says to me that "he has made the right choice not to return back", my bro-in-law intends to migrate next year, we are not on the talking terms and therefore I have nowhere to persuade him, he is a professional, he is made up his mind.

In short, exodus has already happened, no need for us to encourage this phenomenon, just let nature and the Umno malays run its course. Let us pray that we have an exit ticket.

Emigrating from a developing country to a developed country is one of the most important decision of one's life - career, family and financially.

With globalisation and the world becoming borderless, mobility of business and employment is important to ensure your security and success.

At this moment, India, with its English education, is the biggest exporter of professional human resources. Soon you will see them in all parts of the world. China is its industrial power. Imagine, with 45% of world population, you combine the two.

There are increasingly strong competition for a better life and place out there.

ruyom said...

It is such a pity for this country. I don't know why politicians have to extend their hands to influence the appeal/acceptance of university admission. That means if you find the right politicians, you will have a better chance of getting accepted.

I strongly believed that politicians should let the education ministry do its own job. The politicians should go ahead to set the criteria in accepting students so that there will be no more complaints.

How can improvements be made if the main ideas were to imitate without substance and to deceive with pride, prejudice and without merits!

We go through the same cycle every year. Ours is the only country in the world where taxes paid by the minorities are used almost exclusively to financially support the majority.

It is shameful and criminal. Undeserving people are given priority over more deserving ones. Even people under communist governments are treated better.

How long are we going to tolerate this situation? Until there is nothing left in the kitty? It is so despairing and we cannot even see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel yet. I cry for our country.

wihong said...

Despite the being off topic, it is all somehow connected with what Hisham/Khairy is doing and Umno being the "Utter nonsense" party (not to mention its coalition parties as well), all their recent actions or rather inaction brings a lot of similar feelings to the fore.

It is interesting to see how far they are willing to test the patience of the people before allowing it closer to a civil war. Cheers.

The writer, thanks for fine effort to give the reader an insight on the "open secret". Discrimination is inevitable under the current ruling parties.

We just have to be extra conscious during the next election, if current prime minister is keeping an eye closed on these issues, we have to make sure both of our eyes are open wide when we cast our votes during next election.

kok said...

I think it is very unfair, shallow, selfish and naive to call people who have emigrated as quitters. I won't do that. If you respect democracy you must respect their views and decisions as they are entitled to as part of human rights and freedom.

People who emigrate should not be called quitters. They are just exercising their basic human rights and the world is now a more open place where talents can go where it is most appreciated.

I graduated in 1971 and about 25% of my schoolmates have emigrated mostly to Australia.

As a minority among the minority, my wife and I managed to get our 4 children into university, and all 4 children will be qualified to work anywhere they choose.

1 in UK, 1 in Singapore, 1 in Canada and the youngest is studying in the UK. Our policy is that all our children will be global citizens free to work where they wish.

The worst thing about the race-based parties is that it perpetuates leaders that can only garner support using racist tactics to stay in power.

The real natives of Malaysia have been exploited by newer arrivals who now claim all kinds of rights.

Malaysia does not treat its own citizens fairly and many an illegal immigrants offspring can become a first class citizen within two generations while people born here over many generations can be officially discriminated.

That is a sure way to a nation decline. We must really have policies based on principles and not race.

I don't think we should stand in the way of those who wish to buy insurance policies against unbearable government discrimination. By all means get your PR in the US, UK, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia if you can afford it.

Send your children overseas in the hope that they can get jobs overseas, without having to fight the ensuing lack of meritocracy in so many facets of life, and the affirmative action policies of Malaysia.

However, spare a thought for those who cannot afford such insurance policies, and continue to help fight the injustice in our own country - remember to return when there is a election and vote for regime change, or contribute financially to the opposition cause.

Many people do not realise that the next 5 years will truly define the future of the non-malays in Malaysia.

It is now when we contribute the most to taxes, to private sector investment, and to EPF that we can demand our grievances that be heard.

Forget about the Mute Indian Congress and the Mute Chinese Association - they have already sold their souls for short-term gain, so we will need to give the opposition (whether it is PAS, Keadilan or DAP) the chance to wave the flag of justice.

aston said...

The postings content is very passionate, sincere and emotional.

A plea to the Malaysia government to stop its racist discrimination against its own citizens who love their country and wanted to contribute to its growth and development, if given a fair chance.

I feel that these deserved a wider exposure and for the international community to read and know what is actually happening in Malaysia today, a neo apartheid in violation of human right and human decency.

This is a passionate plea from some very well educated Malaysians. You can feel the sadness and hopeless in their posts. And they really wanted to return to Malaysia, their birthplace and contribute but knowing that it will all be in vain.

I can only sympathise with all of them. For more and greater visible exposure, I am hoping more visitors to comment. It will give these postings and plea a wider and better audience.

My heart goes to all of you.

kentanjim said...

The writer shows a serious lack of knowledge and understanding of the role of MCA in the pre-independence era. Not only was MCA was a political tool of the British colonial power, other Alliance parties like MIC and Umno were also political tools of the British.

The British made use of MCA, MIC and Umno to fight the Malay Left and the Malayan Communist Party (MCP) in order to protect its economic interests in the then Malaya.

The Chinese were confined to various Chinese new villages under the Briggs' plan to curb the influence of the communist party. MCA was then granted a licence to run the Million Dollar lottery scheme by the British authority to make easy money from the Chinese community. In return, the MCA had to use part of the profit to win the hearts of the Chinese in the new villages. This strategy worked well to serve the interests of the British master during the pre-independence days.

When the time has come to give independence to Malaya, the British kept its promise by working only with Umno, MCA and MIC. On the other hand, the real independence fighters, including some prominent Malay Left leaders, were arrested and locked up in prisons. And the war against the MCP continued with greater intensity.

But true leader like Tan Cheng Lock were sidelined by other MCA and Umno leaders in the run up to the independence negotiations. Cheng Lock had promised the Chinese community to present the general demands of the Chinese community to the British. But he was barred from attending the final round of talks in London. The MCA was represented by HS Lee and Tan Tong Hai.

According to the late Tunku Abdul Rahman (in one of his writings), Tan Tong Hai threw the entire general demands document into a wastepaper basket in a London hotel room instead of bringing it up at the negotiation table. That is the reason why I often tell the young people that the betrayal of MCA could be traced back to its inception. As a result of this unforgivable sell-out, Chinese Malaysians were treated like second-class citizens in our land. The Chinese were stuck with the 'non-bumis' label thanks to MCA.

It is people like Leong Yew Koh who instigated Tunku to strip the citizenship and teaching licence of foremost Chinese education pioneer Lim Lian Geok. Check with Loot Ting Yee. He is one of the mother tongue education pioneers who can verify my story.

The entire history of MCA is filled with betrayals, crimes and sins. They have failed to preserve and protect the interest and rights of the Chinese community which they have claimed to represent.

Take a closer look at these scandals - the deposit-taking-cooperative scandal, the Aik Hua Holdings scandal, the Chang Min Thien Fund scandal, the MCA JE Fund scandal, it is a never-ending list. And guess what? Most of the victims of these scandals were MCA members and supporters.

Mind you, it was MCA leaders that instigated the closure of the original Bai Xiao (SJKC Damansara) in Petaling Jaya. It was also the efforts of SOS Damansara Action Committee and the pressure mounted by DAP, DongJiaoZong and the entire Chinese community that brought about the unprecedented speedy construction of the new SJKC Damansara in Tropicana.

It is a great shame that MCA leaders do not even bother to get accreditation for the certificates, diplomas and degree courses offered by TAR College (TARC). Recently, a young Malaysian Chinese boy's application was rejected by the Royal Malaysian Police simply because the academic qualifications he obtained from the MCA sponsored TARC were not recognised by both National Accreditation Board and Public Service Department.

Under the current MCA leadership, the Chinese community can only request for a new Chinese primary school when one is 'dead'. And all these years, the allocation of funds for Chinese primary schools remains unfair and unjust; only about 2.4% of the total budget is given to the Chinese stream and about 1% given to the Tamil stream. The rest was all given to the malay (national type) primary schools. None of the MCA 'tai kohs' (mainly Chinese educated) dare to make noise on this subject.

Yes, Lee Kuan Yew was not totally wrong. The Umno-led BN government has been systematically marginalising the Chinese and other non-malay communities. And what did MCA leaders like Chan Kong Choy and Ong Ka Ting do about it? And why were they keeping so timidly quiet when Umno ultras like Hisham and Khairy make all sorts of racist remarks and even waved a keris time and again shamelessly?

MCA is indefensible. That is why none of the MCA leaders dare to show up for the debate in Machap. And for the same reason, none of them have the courage to rebut me on all the historical facts I raised in the book entitled 'Accomplice? Coward? Culprit? The role of MCA in the Chinese community'.


Mat Salo,

You are such a good sport.

And just look at the comments in this post!

What a debate!

And for just that alone, we're okay., man....

Ibu said...

Halo Mat Salo ( it ryhmes !! )

I so the very like the photo ---->
An angle within another angle. Creative!


The Ancient Mariner said...

Mat, I'm afraid you have been a victim of mindless cut n paste spamming. The same verbose prose comment purportedly from "Tim" also appear in Big Dog's blog “Anwar - Gore: Dances with the wolves” supposedly from "Reek".

I suspect all the 'comments' are from the same twit and posted within a few minutes of each other.

Mat Salo said...

Yelaa Kak Ena..perhaps I'm TOO GOOD a sport. I think I'll have to moderate the damn thingy. If not ntah happa-happa jadi. Thanks for the tip Capn'n. Will miss our mee rebus sessions for the next 7 weeks...aargh!


Mat Salo,

Alaaa.....dah ke Borneo? Take care!

We were talking about you at mee rebus today!

See u in 7 weeks time!

Clark Gable of Pulau Duyong said...

Helo Mat Salo ,
Apa khabo En Mat Salo,
Pagi dah makan telo
Or bersarapan minum Milo
Baru kenal tapi dah Callo
Tak sempat cakap slow slow
Cuma sempat berkenalan dan berhelo
Blogger sudah jumpa kalo
Borak macam kenal lame exchanging blows
Something about us ,that I find it hard to follow
We met and everything after that just flows
Dont Understand One!!

Take Care Brother!

Apandi said...

Mekyam kata:

Finally, nak tumpang tinggal pesan kat Mat Salo...

I jenguk laman Mat Salo tapi takleh nak kata helo. Mat Salo's blog dah jadi gated. Nak tinggal mesej, but was told by bot at the gate "Only team members allowed to post, ok! Who you?". Maybe not that unfriendly lah, but sure felt like that.

Mat Salo said...

First off, APOLOGIES are in order, Mek Yam. It sure sounds unfriendly. The thing is, it was unintentional. I was only trying to "moderate" the blog (re: comments "spam" yang berjeler-jeler -see above) but when I went to settings tersalah tertekan butang agaknya. Plus I was travelling to my rig in the swamps of Mahakam Delta, so cut-off laa kejap. Now my net access has been restored, so I was finally able to correct it. I'm not that net-savvy anyway.

Ma'af sema'af-ma'af nya. So now I'm at least able to cut the spam.

I hate moderating by the way, because I believe in TOTAL freedom of speech in the blogosphere. But spams really tires you as commenters - esp. post yang irrelevant. I have no idea why I'm targeted. Ancient Mariner (see above again) thinks it's from the same person.

Betul takder kerja whoever they are...

mekyam said...

Thank you so much Capt Pandi for kindly passing my msg to Mat Salo.

Dear MS,

It is me who should apologise for whinging too soon. I realized what happened after I read your comment towards the end of Never Been Tagged.

Memang tak guna those blighted blog-spammers.

Oh cograts on being tagged as TB!