Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Oh To be a Citizen of the World!

I was reflecting how much I am enjoying my life here in Singapore and how that is thanks to its (in my opinion enlightened) policy of welcoming foreigners to their shores to work and live.

Although I did enjoy my time in Malaysia, I was fed up with it after awhile and wanted to see someplace different and I just went south to Singapore. But what if I want to move elsewhere in future? With so many countries tightening their borders it will be difficult to move. I then thought, “wouldn’t it be great if we could move from country to country just like we moved from job to job and company to company”? If everyone was free to move to wherever they liked, unpopular regimes and policies would drive people away just like a poorly run company would lose its customers and staff. Market forces would be brought to bear on political systems and we will have a “democratic” earth where people vote with the feet…

Of course, this would mean an end to patriotism. But what does it really mean to be patriotic? After all, allegiance to a country is really allegiance to a way of life. When one fights for one’s country, one is fighting for a particular way of life. If it so happens that I do not like that way of life, then there really is no reason to be patriotic is there? Off I go to another land that can better provide for my needs. Perhaps there will not need to be wars anymore if we are free to come and go as we please… on the other hand that would be wishful thinking. One should not doubt man’s ability to fight and wage war and annihilate itself for even the smallest of things as that is his nature… alas!

14 Comments:

At 10:11 am, Blogger boo_licious said...

Happy Birthday and Halloween! My blog even has a kid who dressed up like Mr. Bean!

 
At 11:57 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This notion of "citizen of the world"... You're not the first, (and I'm sure) nor will you be the last to yearn for it, after all I once did too. It's not unlike hankering a utopian ideal or paradiseland.

If you think about it deeply enpough, IT'S A COP-OUT. To be a citizen of the world is to be without commitments, you know, the basic concepts like... doing the spade work, staying the course - for better for worse, in sickness and in health etc... ??

 
At 11:09 am, Anonymous tim 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.

 
At 11:13 am, Anonymous aston said...

The very foundation of Umno are lies - lies about May 13 riot, lies about secularity of constitution, lies about special rights, lies about supremacy of court, and of course lies about the NEP.

How can our accountability and transparency not be limited by the very lies of the foundation of our governance?

 
At 11:17 am, Anonymous vesewe said...

Why are we Malaysia not equal to Singapore, some hurtful truths:

When we have to pay RM100 million for an abandoned bridge project.

When thousand of Malaysian motorists have to brace the jam, the fume, the carbon monoxide, and at the expense of the quality family time, to crawl through the causeway everyday to "cari makan".

When thousand of kids from Johor wake up in the wee hours of the morning to catch their school bus to Singapore for their quality education.

When they have one of the highest property ownership in the world.

When they are so many abandoned shopping complexes in Johor, e.g. Sun City, Pacific Mall, Lot 1, Kemayan City, etc.

When there is a railway line from Tg Pelepas to Senai in Johor, built at a cost of many millions but has never been used for at least the last four years.

When their politicians are ex-Malaysians, e.g. Irene Ng (ex-journalist), Khaw Boon Wan (minister of health) and Lee Bee Wah (ex-rubber taper daughter from Rumbai, Melaka).

When their per capita spending power is 5X per capita of an average Malaysian.

When their crime rates are negligible when compared to Johor Baru.

When the biggest shopping complex in Johor, City Square is majority owned by Temasek, an investment arm of Singapore.

When Singapore says cheap, cheap, cheap (like a bird) shopping in Johor.

When Singapore has the most efficient and world class airport, MRT and port system.

When Singapore is ranked so highly in the transparency index as compared to Malaysia.

When Singapore is ranked as the most business friendly place.

When SGD1= RM2.28.

When our public transportation is a real poor cousin of SBS and MRT.

When our professionals are attracted to Singapore in droves.

When our minister sits comfortably and not bringing in the much needed foreign investment to spur growth.

When our best brains in Malaysia are offered scholarship and subsequent citizenship to be Singaporeans.

When Malaysia stop the crux mentality and be more transparent with the award of the bridge, CIQ, other projects etc, without the due process of tender.

When as a wee nation, they are expanding their external economy at breakneck speed by strategic acquisitions.

When as a tiny nation, their foreign reserve is manifold of Malaysia.

When as a backward backyard with no natural resources, Singapore has made it to be one of the most developed nations in one generation.

The list goes on and I weep for Malaysia, not meant as a sarcasm but really as a matter of reality.

 
At 11:20 am, Anonymous ruyom 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.

 
At 11:23 am, Anonymous jodie said...

I am a Chinese lady, who has been living in Australia since 1990 - more than half my life. I am grateful that my family had the opportunity to come here. If we were still in Malaysia, I do not know what kinds of opportunities I would have been offered in terms of my future.

In Malaysia, you have to have loads of money in order to provide your kids with a decent education. Fortunately, my cousins were lucky to have had the opportunities of overseas education. If I were still in Malaysia, my parents would not have been able to afford it.

From what I have heard (since I have not lived Malaysia there for so long - but have holiday there since), it is the malays that tend to get free opportunities, ahead of any other races in Malaysia. It is like any other countries (e.g. aborigines in Australia, native American Indians in USA) that always tend to get greater opportunities ahead of other races.

For this reason, I believe that the great amount of opportunities offered have made many of them who accept them lazy and expecting of it. I believe that this causes the country to increase in population of more lazy people who expect more opportunities.

Soon, these people are the ones who are the majority who vote for politicians, who are using this to get themselves into parliament and therefore offer even more freebies.

So, what happens then……….you have the greater population of dole budgets, pensioners or those who live off those opportunities, whilst the rest of the population who are hard working citizens who actually pay taxes to support the country, have to pay more to support these people.

One thing I am glad is that Malaysia do not have dole payments. However, the malays still have more opportunities ahead of everyone else. I believe that it would not be the case if the parliament were made up of people from all three races, instead of malays. Since, all the Chinese, Indians and Malays live together, they should also decide together to give equal opportunity for all.

Malaysians are mostly hard working people. They have to, especially if they are Chinese and Indians - as they would otherwise starve since they don't get money or accommodation from the government. This I admire.

We should all live together as one, despite of race, religion, or color. Even though some would think it as a dream world, it is not impossible to achieve if the children of tomorrow were not taught our discriminating ways.

I am certainly not racist. Indeed, I have had malay friends, and certainly Indian ones. I have no problem associating with people from any racial background. My problem is with those who expect depend on government handouts and then do not work.

Everyone has to work in Malaysia, whatever theirs color or background. But why is it that only malays are entitled to special privileges? Isn't that unfair?

I believe that those who help themselves should be able to have those privileges and it should not be dependant on racial background. If you don't work, you don't get paid - it is that simple.

And if you happen to be working hard, then good for you! You should be one of them privileged to get assistance but it should not be because you are malay, but a Malaysian.

You have also called me a racist - but think about how most of people have looked down at us Chinese and Indians, just because people were there long before the Chinese and Indians. Most of the time, discrimination is hidden and hushed because there is no choice.

Unfortunately, it has come to the ''put up or shut up". But what happened to fairness for all? Most of the time it is the government's fault, because it should be more grown up to lead its country in all fairness.

And when I talk about this, I believe that this should also be applied to country other than Malaysia because I recognise that this happens in many other countries. Everyone should live together in peace, sharing with one another. It shouldn't be about religion or color.

To those who want to shut me up - is it because you are afraid, are you open minded enough to listen or are you afraid? I think you should be strong and stand up for.

For those who are lazy and are receiving assistance, don't even bother writing, you make me and all those who work hard sick.

 
At 11:28 am, Anonymous kentanjim said...

If ever I would want to produce a movie of the old China dynasty era, Koh Tsu Koon and Ong Ka Ting would make perfect casting as the eunuchs of the emperor.

Just look at their faces and mannerisms in real life and you'd know they are perfect for these roles in reel life.

This is not a false perception as many posters here have similar perception of these people.

Other than carrying the balls of the power bearers and keeping mum on issues affecting the Chinese community, these seemingly emasculated people are always seen having a gayest time showing their faces in the papers.

The voters just have to waken up for the next elections. Enough of Eunuchs!

 
At 11:31 am, Anonymous fargoman said...

In very recent times, the starting date for the study of Malaysia history in the schools has been conveniently fixed around 1400 CE. It probably coincides with the founding of the Sultanate of Malacca by Parameswara.

Today, Malaysia school children only learn a little bit about the early Proto malays and then are conveniently taken on a historical quantum leap to the founding of Malacca.

Early Indian works speak of a fantastically wealthy place called Savarnadvipa, which meant "land of gold". This mystical place was said to lie far away, and legend holds that this was probably the most valid reason why the first Indians ventured across the Bay of Bengal and arrived in Kedah around 100 BC.

Apart from trade, the early Indians brought a pervasive culture, with Hinduism and Buddhism sweeping through the Indo-Chinese and malay archipelago lands bringing temples and Indian cultural traditions. The local chiefs began to refer to themselves as "rajahs" and also integrated what they considered the best of Indian governmental traditions with the existing structure.

I learnt Malaysia history in the 1950s and taught it in the 1960s and 1970s in secondary schools. All the history textbooks at the time had the early Indian connection specifically mentioned in them. Teachers of that period taught about the early Indianised kingdoms of Langkasuka, Srivijaya and Majapahit that existed from as early as 100 CE.

Anyone can see that Parameswara, the founder of Malacca, has a clearly give away name that points to the Indian/Hindu influence. No one can deny this, and all our children need to know about this. They have the fundamental right to learn about this aspect of our history too.

Why don't our children learn about these early Indian connections today? It needs mention here that this early Indian connection has nothing to do with the much later cheap Indian "coolie" labour influx that the British brought over to man the railways and plantations of Malaysia from the late 19th century onwards.

The malay language as we know it today is already fully impregnated and enriched with many foreign words. This is good. Malay therefore has been a bahasa rojak from early times itself.

Rojak itself (and also cendul) is a Malaysia food developed by an Indian Malayalee Muslim community known as the Malabaris who hailed from Kerala. They were also referred to as kakas. We now wrongly credit the Penang mamaks for this great food.

The very word "Melayu" itself is most probably of Indian origin from the words "Malai Ur", which means land of mountains in Tamil. Singapur, Nagapur and Indrapur are very common Indian names that have similar backgrounds.

The early Indians were probably inspired by the main mountain range that looks like a backbone for the malay peninsula and thus named it Malaiur. The word "Malai" is undoubtedly Indian in origin as is the case with the word Himalayas and we all know where it is situated.

Many malay words, from describing malay royalty (Seri, Raja, Maha, etc) and common everyday terms (suami, kerana, dunia, cuma, bakti), all have Indian connections. The undeniable Indian connection in the word Indonesia is also reflected in the name itself.

The Indian factor that influences even the prevailing malay culture in terms of music, food, dress and certain other everyday practices like betel chewing and bersanding is another thing over which a loud hush prevails. Why?

Such knowledge of the roots of this great country, be they Indian, Chinese, Arab or whatever, can indeed very strongly facilitate the ongoing efforts of the government to make our children think of themselves as Bangsa Malaysia more readily and more easily.

 
At 11:36 am, Anonymous vovo said...

Malaysia being in such a sad state, I can only see decline for decades to come.

May be even for centuries.

May be the rise of China can give the bright sparks of Malaysia some leverage to change society, but I doubt whether the ingrained culture of failure can be reversed.

Not the UK, not the US, not in most parts of the world, the culture of failure always reproduced itself generation after generation.

Change has to come from external influence and not from the inside.

 
At 11:39 am, Anonymous honyang said...

My parents moved us to Australia because of the reasons discussed in your post. They knew that if they had the resources to provide us with a fairer and better education - in a society that respects equality - they should do it for our future.

But you are right, everywhere in the world there is a minority of a population that receives rights and benefits, that may seem unfair or someone skewed on the equality parts of things, and unfortunately it is a matter of 'shut up or put up'.

When I asking my parents about Malaysia and hearing the sad betrayal they felt as a Chinese Malaysian, it saddened my heart. However, my parents still return to Malaysia to get more work and money because it is not easy for my parents to support 4 children studying in Australia, all reaching the higher end of the education.

My mother told me once when I asked why do we put up with this shit, and she said to me - 'You should never compare your woes and problems with luxury and benefit that are empty dreams, but be grateful that you are able to contribute something to society no matter how big or small.'

The minority of a certain population who receives benefits are sometimes 'beggars' and do not appreciate what they have. However, life in this world is all about making what you will be proud of. That is why parents work hard, never complaining to provide for their children. Because they believe that it is serving a greater good. Lazy people have no sense of purpose in their lives - thus their lives are wasted.

We should not hope for the same treatment. Because working hard and cherishing your hard earned success achievements and what you have is much better than having everything handed to you on a silver platter, and never acquiring knowledge, experience and wisdom that will enrich your life much more than government tax luxuries.

 
At 11:43 am, Anonymous samp 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.

 
At 1:34 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

NerdRoom@WAKEUP.com

Many Nerds won't be returning. Some old timers I remember from last year, people like Trenchcoat Mafia, Silk Dragon Shirt, probably won't be coming back next year.
Spamming blogs I put their names up, immortalizing them, if only until the blog owner erases everything::::
1. Trenchcoat Mafia
2. Silk Dragon Shirt
3. The Distinguished English Gentleman
4. Beta Nerd, and of course
5. Rosie The Transsexual
Rosie's original name was just Rosie, due to his rosie cheeks. They shared he has a high level of knowledge, a tactic the gods employ to create a false sense of security. This of course is the segment which they dump so many transsexuals into.
I too enjoy irony, and therefore Rosie has now become Rosie The Transsexual.
Who else has a nickname in the NerdRoom?

I'd like to remind you many of the people in the NerdRoom are good men. I hope this is reflected in what they are allowed to learn and the progress they're allowed to make.
I'd also like to remind you their predecessors, REAL nerds from a generation ago who fill the computer swap meet, are WONDERFUL men, and since I likely won't be going again I want to remember them as well.

Actually the comparison of the two is a testiment to the devolution of society which will be used as justification for the Apocalypse:::
Today's nerds are NOT wonderful men. They grew up with the internet and many consider pornography as an acceptable vice. They gamble freely, enjoy evil imagry in video games, engage in sexual pursuits their predicessors never did.
This issue is a microcosim of our deterioration.

 
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