Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The Unheard Voices

Michael Moore’s documentary, Bowling For Columbine.

Heavy metal musician Marilyn Manson, who called himself Antichrist Superstar, was cited as a major influence on the teenagers who murdered their classmates in Columbine.
Michael Moore: If you were to talk directly to the kids at Columbine or the people in that community, what would you say to them if they were here right now?
Marilyn Manson: I wouldn't say a single word to them, I would listen to what they have to say and that’s what no one did.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

givers and takers

This an excerpt from an interesting but long article written by malaysian-accomplished director Yasmin Ahmad, during her journey to the subcontinent India. Insya Allah, lets gain something out of it for the betterment of ourselves.
"At a recent gathering of these account holders, Chetna found a lady feeding the hundred village women in attendance with food she had prepared the night before. When asked why she was doing such a generous thing when she herself was a wage labourer of meagre income who wasn't even certain where her next day's meal would come from, the cheerful little woman replied, 'On God's earth, there are two types of people. Givers and Takers. Givers will give even when they're poor, and the good Lord will often mysteriously place things into their hands, that they may continue giving. Takers, on the other hand, will keep taking, no matter how much wealth they've amassed. You just have to decide which one you want to be. In today's world, many wealthy people have a bad habit of taking, taking, taking, and from people who are poorer than them.'"India has its fair share of Takers, of course. But unlike most greedy societies like yours and mine, India has Givers too. Mrs Chetna is just one of many."And that, my friends, is why India is number one to me."
Access to full article:

Sunday, April 16, 2006

fiction vs reality

During my post adolescent years, I used to read quite a few Malay novels, that was when my English wasn't as good and finishing first 10 pages of King's horror fictions was a cause for prickling sweat on my forehead. I actually never finish a Stephen King even until these days. And also thanks to my weekly allowance of meagre 10 ringgit, purchasing imported paperbacks was not a luxury I could afford, among many others.

pardon me please if I opine that Malay novels so totally do not paint the right image of our social and economy realization nowadays. well, maybe a few aristocrats, but not malay community in general. The scenario is not better for our film scene either.

I myself found it totally weird, stupid and mysterious all at one time just thinking about how filthy rich a protagonist can be in a film or novel. And so does the heroine. even weirder, most of the scenes take place in fancy restaurants (we so dont have other location to express feelings of love whatsoever) , usually with prolonged lunch hour (not to mention dinner) which raises another question, really what are these people jobs?

I guess even the most prominent young executives in Malaysia work their ass hard with cut lunch break and endless meetings whatsoever. Saiful Apek sure is not your traditionally handsome type of guy, but it unthinkable for someone as feeble and not-so-funny wretched as him can be a boss at a thriving business. C'mon. casting elok2 la sikit.

And then comes the dialogue. So totally fake sometimes I wanna puke. I never find anyone around me yet who speak the way they speak. Even the rojak also pure rubbish, and when they speak purrfect malay, it was weirdly correct with every grammar in place. which is very rare except when you hear bapak2 menteri and academic figure speak during interviews on TV. And in novels, usually the writer tries so hard to sound elite by using as much English as possible, only that their English are not so English after all with countless errors and I see this as something detrimental. No wonder you can find a lot of Malay youngsters these days so proudly using their Malay-novel-acquired English in their writing and end up looking rather kesian. 'Thats mean' and 'that means' make alot of difference, o you people.

The audience in contrast are majorly from different background. Government officers, office workers, despatch boys, factory workers, students with rm10 as weekly allowance like I used to be, among many others. why oh why cant they write about a kilang boy falling in love with another kilang girl, if love is so universal after all? Oh wait a minute, heroes need sidekicks and usually thats where kilang people belong(if they are fortunate enough to be included).As if an unwritten rule, pretty people can only fall in love with pretty people, or at least someone so damn funny like Saiful Apek.

For the record though,I dont have anything against Saiful Apek. Used to like him when I was little.

And pirated VCD seller as a hero? That is why Sepet is one of my fav movie of all time.

Monday, April 10, 2006

Zilch for Attitude

A senior of mine sent me a link via Yahoo messenger, which further led me to this article. I always wanted to express my opinion on this, only that I could not find the best words to describe how I find we Malays love to judge and verdict, as opposed to helping the ignorants. (helping, as in helping one to really see the truth, not just plainly judging to present ourselves as being better and superior).

However, the story that led the aouthor to the conclusion was slightly different from what I had intended, so I copied the excerpt that only conveys what I had in mind. The entire story about his sick mom and the predicament she faced dealing with medical personnels in Malaysia nonetheless made an interesting read.

Mengapakah masyarakat Barat yang rata-rata tidak bertuhan, mempunyai etika kerja
yang baik? Mereka berhemah dengan pesakit, mereka bersikap profesional di dalam
kerjaya. Sedangkan kita di Malaysia tidak begitu. Walhal kita beragama Islam.
Maka jika begitu keadaannya, mengapa perlu untuk kita kembali kepada Islam untuk
meningkatkan prestasi kerja?

Soalan ini penting untuk dijawab
secara jujur oleh kita semua. Untuk cemerlang di dalam pekerjaan, sesiapa sahaja
yang mengkaji akan bersetuju bahawa kuncinya ialah pada SIKAP. Kita mesti
membina PR, skill interpersonal, kemahiran berkomunikasi dan lain-lain etika
kerja yang positif. Masyarakat Barat telah menyedari akan hal ini lantas mereka
memupuknya secara terpeinci. Jika di Amerika Syarikat, pendekatan 7 Habits oleh
Covey, diajar di peringkat sekolah. Mereka diajar supaya profesional dalam
pekerjaan. Akhirnya mereka boleh menjadi seorang doktor yang cemerlang di
hospital, tetapi bukanlah suami atau isteri yang baik di rumah. Dia boleh
mengendalikan sebuah syarikat yang mempunyai 500 pekerja tetapi gagal
menguruskan seorang isteri dan dua anak di rumah. Seorang pramugari boleh
memberikan senyuman yang paling manis kepada penumpang sebuah kapal terbang,
tetapi mungkin masam mencuka setiap kali pulang kepada keluarga. Maka akhirnya,
jika dinilai pada kualiti kerja, mereka berjaya walaupun tanpa AGAMA.

Akan tetapi bagaimana dengan kita umat Islam? Kita mengambil
agama hanya sebagai ritual dan bersangkutan dengan hukum hakam semata-mata. Kita
tidak lihat agama sebagai pembentuk sikap. Seumpama seorang yang belajar hadith,
sibuk menghabiskan masa menentukan kesahihan hadith tetapi tidak memikirkan
bagaimana caranya isi hadith tersebut patut diamalkan. Kita belajar tentang
Solat dari segi syarat sah, wajib dan sunatnya, tetapi kita tidak peduli tentang
bagaimana Solat boleh membentuk sikap positif dalam kehidupan. Apabila bercakap
tentang akhlak, kita fokus kepada faedah ikhlas, sabar dan tawakal tetapi kita
tidak perhaluskan teknik menanam keikhlasan, kesabaran dan tawakal itu. Agama
kita menjadi pengetahuan semata-mata, pengetahuan yang memberiTAHU. Bagaimana
dengan soal MAHU? Apatah lagi MAMPU? Maka akhirnya, kita mahir tentang hukum
hakam tetapi akhlak kita buruk. Apabila saya sebut akhlak buruk, saya tidak
merujuk kepada perbuatan mengumpat, mengkhianati majikan, curi tulang atau
gangguan seksual di tempat kerja semata-mata. Malah akhlak yang buruk itu ialah
pada kegagalan interpersonal skill kita, kecelaan budi bahasa, perbuatan
memandang rendah orang lain, buat kerja sambil lewa dan sebagainya.

Akhirnya kita celik HUKUM tetapi buta SIKAP.

To access the full article, click the link below:

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Laptops For The Underprivileged

The One Laptop Per Child association hopes to distribute 5 million to 10 million of the systems to children in India, China, Brazil, Argentina, Thailand, Egypt and Nigeria in the first quarter of 2007. Negroponte hopes the project will help supply the world's billion children with an education that undertrained teachers often can't supply.

The system will run on a 500 Mhz processor, while operating on Linux OS.

It's good to know that despite competitions among multinational companies throwing in all the funds for R&D to fulfill the dreams of hungry users, some still have time to take a break and pay their due to the less fortunate.

It could be beneficial to us as well, given the wide gap in accessiblity to information technology between different groups with varying household incomes.

And to TMnet, c'mon, cut the ridiculous price down. You guys and the government are totally incoherent, and that totally surprises me. (hmm, maybe not so surprising after all, according to my sixth sense)

The Losing Battle Of Healthy Keropok.

Scientific evidence has shown that potato chips could cause more than just pimples. The California-based Environmental Law Foundation has filed notices with the state's attorney general against potato chip manufacturers that would require them to place labels on their products warning consumers about the high levels of acrylamide found inside. Acrylamide is formed when starchy foods are baked or fried at high temperatures, and is considered a cancer-causing chemical by the Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment.

According to the United State’s Food and Drug Administration, various chip brands exceed the required warning levels for acrylamide. The offenders include:

Cape Cod Robust Russet: exceeded by 910 times
Kettle Chips (lightly salted): 505 times
Kettle Chips (honey dijon): 495 times
Pringles Snack Stacks (pizza-flavored): 170 times
Lay's Baked: 150 times

Naturally, until Morgan Spurlock decides to go on a month-long binge on Lay’s, potato chip manufacturers are in denial. But for all keropok addicts, you have been warned.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Marijuana to be legalised in Canada

It seems to me that we condone many things that we frown at before.

The gay community, once perceived as a lowly creature, now get to be pronounced husband and husband. More and more countries around the globe are restructuring legal rights in life partnership, due to mounting pressure from gay activists. And now, Canada's new Conservative government will scrap draft legislation which would have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana, as reported on Yahoo news.

Expect to see more coming in the next ten years. I guess this must have been the way cigarettes crept their way into the global culture, it started litle by little before finally legalized.

I predict that suicide pills will be common and even marketed in pharmacies in the next 20 years. Fierce competitions in job market, work stress and what with the burden of saving for retirement, I believe that many people will feel safe and secured to possess a thing that ensures a total escape from life suffering. While many love to spend lavishly, they might just use all of their money for leisure before putting an end to their life at the sunny Carribea, sort of the last flings before death. So EPF might not be a solution for many in the future.

It's almost funny to see a battle all medical scientists are facing as they try hard to prolong life span of human population, as on the other hand. people are not that keen to live that long.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Some people think that their brain is too good to be wasted for non-medicine

Everybody I guess is very accustomed to the fact that opting medicine as a field of career takes a lot of hard work, first to get into medical school, then comes the daily strenuous routine every physician has to endure. What with all the emotional turbulence a doctor encounters on daily basis (upon deciding the matter of life and death), being a doctor is indeed physically and mentally challenging.

The two states of affairs , however are becoming less true, at least for the former.

As I was in an elevator heading to my room after my biochemistry class, I overheard an African guy talking to his other about how he was surprised to see quite a lot of Malaysians in Moscow, even outnumbering them. His confusion perhaps arised from his personal experience about the facilities we have in Malaysia compared to the present state of universities in Moscow. Poor that guy though, he thought we do not speak English because his conversation almost struck me as being insensitive.

Indeed true what he said. Medicine is such a popular course that many excellent students and maybe some of the not so excellent ones wish to pursue. It was predicted that the problem of inadequate health-care workforce in Malaysia might be overcome several year ahead than targeted if current trend persists over the coming years.

What about other career tracks?

I see this as an unhealthy fashion that can affect the development of our country as a whole. Malaysia only has 15 years now before 2020, yet I see we are so 50 years backward in what determines the readiness of a country to be called a developed nation, which is capability of R & D, apart from economic excellence. Now who's gonna fill in these much needed posts?

As I yearned so bad to get into here before, that has somehow fogged my view of many other significant insights. You know, it's almost like when you adore a girl, you forget about her other flaws. Except that, medicine ain't got no flaws, but just so many things are incorrect about how we students are driven these days when it comes to career opting.

I dare not say that I am going to do the exact same thing if I could turn back time, because chances are I would not. One of my old friend who also studies medicine feels the same way. He could have taken journalism or music as a future, only that the people around would disapprove and tell him he got too much brain to pursue music and things as such. Or so did he presume, and we all did too.

Something is very wrong with the way our society thinks.