Mar 14, 2013

Malaysian Neighbours

I came back from sending Belle to school today and found this in my mailbox, with only my house number on it and I thought it was a memo from the Management office or something, instead it was a wedding invitation from a neighbour I haven’t spoken to nor do I know which face to place with the address and name in the card, but yes its an invitation to those living in 210 - My family!

This brought back memories of life outside the CITY. Back when I lived in Klang, I remember the number of invitations my parents would receive from neighbours left and right, back and front of our house and although many of them we did not know personally, the invitation to a happy occasion such as a wedding never stopped coming by our home. Of course one of us would make the effort to go as a sign of neighbourly respect, and when sadness befall a neighbour, such as death, we would go and pay our respects as well, even though we never knew them personally. All that kept us together was the fact that WE STAYED IN THE SAME NEIGHBOURHOOD, and I believe that is the beauty of being a Malaysian. We put aside our differences and respect each other because we are neighbours. 

We put up with the sounds and colours of our celebrations and have our homes open to our neighbours to come in for a drink or a meal. We watch children grow from learning to cycle into being adults who drive a motorcar. We see parents becoming grandparents, we watched neighbours move out or migrate. We have school mates and bus mates living among us. We have friends who share a park with our pets, fields where our kids kick the ball with other kids. We have neighbours we could depend on when we need a helping hand. 

I remember when we first moved to Chi Liung Pandamaran in Klang back in the 90s, and my sister in law’s water bag broke and went into labor, there was no car in the house as my dad had gone to work and my mum ran to the corner house and asked the neighbour for help. He agreed and took both my mum and sister in law to the clinic and then a week later he changed his car because his back seat was, how shall I say it? GONE! hahaha.. Well it’s hilarious. 

Back in Berkeley Garden, also in Klang, I used to see a friend in the park, Maria, and our fathers became friends before we did, and now we are still friends, even after 30 years though in 2 different continents. 

I think its beautiful how neighbours teach us tolerance and how even though we run our lives separately, we still remember them throughout because we lived in the same neighbourhood. Some drove us up the wall as they hoarded away, some with their insensitive insolent behaviours, but that’s what makes it interesting, that we live to tolerate the bad and value the good. Something I believe Malaysians should not take for granted. Our unique ability to live in harmony despite our differences. 
We have come a long way to give it up or see the ruins of it no thanks to the political tensions we face today.

Anyway, this invitation card, along with the smiles of the people who pass by my house for their evening walks and some with their dogs, or riding their bicycles without paddling down the slope, raising their hands and saying HELLO at us while my kids play outside, is simply heart warming. It’s nice to finally feel it again after 10 years of living in the city where everyone is too busy to live!

Mar 13, 2013

Jasper’s on mig33.com


I received a wonderful news this morning, Jasper from my book AN ODDLY HELPER is now available on mig33.com’s social network site as a Virtual Gift for love and friendship. This is sure one lucky star, to me especially. For those of you who do not know Jasper, do buy my book on amazon.com and discover Jasper’s amazing story. My little Jasper is surely going places! Well done and Congratulations JASPER, and a big THANK YOU to mig33


Mar 12, 2013

War On Kids

Last night my kids and I watched WAR ON KIDS, the Independent Documentary on Sundance Channel and at the end when the scene changed to an African American student aged around 7 being handcuffed by 2 police in the school office, CJ started crying.

He became so upset that he said - WHY DONT AMERICANS LET KIDS BE KIDS? THEY ARE JUST CHILDREN! NOT BAD GUYS!!!

Then I told him, yeah we are blessed to be living here, imagine if you were there and you tried to be ULTRAMAN with your friends in school? What on earth would they do then?
He argued saying, WHY NOT? ISNT SPIDERMAN, SUPERMAN and IRONMAN from there?

Then Belle said YEAH EVEN HULK! WHY THEY MAKE MOVIES LIKE THAT BUT WHEN A KID PUTS HIS HAND LIKE A GUN THEY GET ARRESTED??? SO DUMB!!

Thats the logic you get from a 6 and 9 year old.

Kids do what they see on TV, but they also get punished in school so drastically? Why isn’t correcting a child with some logic added to it beneficial enough? Must they at such a tender age, and at an age where they are easily influenced and excited and searching for their identity be punished as if they were CRIMINALS?

I honestly don't agree with the system being so. If we had such a policy here, I think police stations would be more crowded than public schools! And teachers would have a field time not being educators of MORAL VALUES that try to change the perspective of a child to be and do good rather than the opposite.

On another note, I don’t believe HOMEWORK does NO GOOD to any kid below the age of elementary school. Homework to me is a way to revise and to keep track with what you have studied. In fact not only should homework be about what they have studied for that day, it should be about what they’ve already studied in their previous lessons. It can also be about what they need to research for for their following lessons. It not only reinstates the subject learnt, its a form of self discipline where time management and memory is practised well. So that bit I don’t agree with the parents over there.

School should be cool. Learning should be fun.
It is not meant to be a military regime, but a place where children grow learning about themselves and those around them as well as to have logic and civic lessons thought upon them about what’s right and wrong.

Watching this documentary, I really felt sorry for those kids.
Is that still they way it is in the US? I know this documentary was made in 2009, but has any transformation taken place over there in regards to how their children are treated and thought in school?

They are just KIDS as my kids too say.
Discipline and awareness can be thought to them by simple dialogue on ethics and principals of good and bad. You don’t need handcuffs and prison cells to deal with a child who acts like he’s shooting a gun using his finger, or for bringing a nail clipper, or a stake knife to eat her stake, you just need to sit them down and explain! Or is that too much for their teachers and senior staff to do?

If they only accept PERFECT kids at school then they obviously don’t know the very definition of SCHOOL and that’s a pretty SAD state indeed!



Mar 8, 2013

International Women’s Day 2013

I honestly have mixed feelings about celebrating International Women’s Day.
Besides celebrating the success of women in various different fields, have we women truly succeeded in our evolution through time?
May be we have come a long way from how our kind has been treated in the past, and certainly such a day is wonderful to celebrate the many women who have fought for women’s rights especially for violence against women, but has violence against women actually stopped or reduced for that matter?
We still see so much in the news about women being raped, abused, murdered, trafficked, cheated, victims of child marriages and women who are condemned for standing up for their own rights and these are just what's reported. 3/4 go unnoticed by anyone other than the victim itself.

I think the question I would like to ask on this day is how we as women ourselves respect other women?

We are so quick to throw sly remarks at women who make us feel jealous and threatened.

We are so quick to call a lady a SLUT or a FLIRT because she’s had 1 too many boyfriends not considering, she might just be looking for the right one, or non of the men are committing to those relationships or worthy of her?

We are so quick to blame and condemn the women who deals with domestic violence, condemn the woman who’s husband is cheating on her,  condemn the woman who has to go to work leaving her children at home and condemn the one who says NO to being taken for granted and chooses to divorce rather than be abused and be used.

Quick to blame the dressing of a women who got raped.
Quick to blame the women who’s child got molested.
Quick to accuse a woman of sleeping around when they are at a higher positions.
Quick to destroy the reputation of another woman who doesn’t think the way they do.
Quick to put them down because they are better at some things than ourselves.
Quick to treat others like they are not worthy of life.

I admit that I am at times guilty of saying a couple of these myself and felt like a rotting apple after doing it because I know its wrong, and that I had allowed my anger to get the better of me. In fact I have also been on the receiving end of some of this claims and accusations. It can never be right to condemn someone else, more so someone you don’t know. Just because one is insecure and unhappy, doesn’t give them the right to trash another around even if its behind their backs. Then again, for the women who has it all, you have to count your blessings because you could loose it all in the blink of an eye as well. Watch what your tongue can’t see. Say not what your ears won’t like to hear if it’s directed to you.

So if you think you are worthy of being a woman, how about trying to treat other women with some worthy respect as well? You don’t need 24 hours of 8th March to remind you of it, you are exactly the same gender as these other ladies and that’s great enough a reminder of how to treat another of your kind.

Like the famous quote which many of us already know IF YOU HAVE NOTHING NICE TO SAY, DONT SAY ANYTHING AT ALL!

Let’s award ourselves by watching our tongues and our thoughts, as we show our hands and our hearts to all the women on earth.. HAPPY WOMEN’S DAY!

Oz! The Great And Powerful

Zim Zala Bim!
Oz! How I'm glad I got to watch this movie with my kiddos. My kiddos love the story of Wizard of Oz, and this movie was a wonderful preview to what comes next, Dorothy’s adventure into Emerald City.

If you’ve watched the movie, you would realise how Oz represents many of us in real life. A person who wants to reach great heights but had no means or clue of how to use his capabilities to getting there till encouraged by the simplest gift a person could ever have - friendship.

It also carries a good lesson for women not to be fooled by the charms of a man, as most of them have hidden agendas. Theodora, had to learn it the hard way, although I must say for being witch, she hardly had intuition in her. She couldn’t foresee her own destiny. Or is that a trait of a fairy? Ah well, anyway, you’d clearly though not explicitly see how Oz get a second chance at life, and what he couldn’t do right in his first, he tries to fool through in the 2nd as well, but circumstances has its way to changing a person, either in a good way or bad, and you’d have to watch the movie to know that yourself.

You must know I don’t review movies, I lick the icing of the cake and tell you if I like it. I wouldn’t want to spoil the fun for you, cause I don’t like it when others do it for me.

Go watch it and enjoy it! James Franco is so cute with his smile and goofy expressions, the perfect cast for the character of OZ if you asked me. Thank God they didn’t give the role to Johnny Depp. As much as I like him, its nice to see a new face in such an act. Mila Kunis’s act caught me by surprise. Expected to see the girl who acted in That 70s show to be in this but nope, thank God she left that dumb slutty act in that show and came to this presenting herself as a perfect woman who later turns into a beast all because of her own assumptions over a jackass. Ooops, did I reveal too much?

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