“A leader is a statesman first, politician second.”
The above quote, according to the book, Dialog, was said by the first Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman when asked about his views on the priorities a country’s leader should have. This quote spoke volumes about the level of integrity of the man that was given the title of “Father of Independence” as it shows how dedicated he was to ensure this newly-liberated country of Malaya prospered under reputable hands. A statesman, according to him, puts the people first before oneself whereas a politician puts his own interest before anyone else’s. He also valued unity and frowned upon hateful rhetoric that threatened to break the fragile union of races. He negotiated independence from the British with a vision of a united and harmonious people living in a country to call their own. Yet, six decades later, is is clear that we are nowhere near that now. It would be more accurate to say that we actually downgraded ourselves in terms of values considering that a lot of people in Malaysia today would agree that things were a lot better in the 50s leading up to the 80s in that regard. In a way, they are right; we have devolved and that degradation of values could be attributed to the conduct of the people in the highest office.
First and foremost, I would like to preface this post by clarifying that I am by no means an expert on Islam and that this is an opinion formed based on the years of observation conducted whilst living in Malaysia.
With the negative view of Islam that most of the West tend to hold, it might be difficult for fellow Muslims to procure items which are deemed Islamic or exclusive to Muslims. Such items would usually be halal foodstuffs and head-scarfs which, thanks to the efforts of those who can stand above bigotry, are now rather easy to obtain. However, some countries seek to go beyond. ‘Why stop at labeling food when we can label a lot of other things halal or Islamic?’, was the question that seemed to pop up in the minds of these countries and one example close to home is, well, home; Malaysia.
In the 3rd of April, 2009, Muhammad Najib bin Abdul Razak was sworn in as the sixth Prime Minister of Malaysia. Since then, there has been an unprecedented level of civil unrest beginning with the Bersih movement. The movement, as the name in Malay implies, was formed to call for transparent and ‘clean’ elections after the highly controversial and still-hotly debated “blackout” incident in the nation’s 13th General Elections which saw the current party, Barisan Nasional, remain in power despite increasingly unpopular views from the public. From there, everything the PM did appeared to result in more controversy; the imprisonment of Anwar Ibrahim over sodomy allegations (again), everything to do 1MDB which would be far too much to condense in one blog post, many accusations of public fund embezzlement regarding his wife and most recently, his deal with Donald J. Trump promising to replace all aircraft engines with American-made ones beginning with AirAsia.
Usually, in light of such damaging incidents, a politician’s career would be ruined. Park Geun-hye was impeached for business deals and political manipulation schemes that would be laughable when compared to the dubious conduct of a regular senior officer in a Malaysian government office. So why then, aside from the Bersih rallies that appear to be tamer with each new iteration, are the people of Malaysia not doing much about it–particularly the youth?
When setting foot in a new environment, be it a school or a workplace, one can be sure to make new acquaintances along the way. One may even make friends too. However, should the moment comes where one has to part ways with their friends, that is when time truly puts those relationships to the test. Read More
Debating is something I know I have the ability to do but refrain from doing so anyway due to several reasons. And when I say debating I mean the school debating competition scene or “parliamentary-style” debating.
To me, that sort of debating is not really practical. Granted, it does teach you about what debating is all about and its usefulness in life, but it also gives participants a watered-down version of the actual thing. This is because, as far as I’m concerned, no one would really limit themselves to three points-of-argument only and for a set amount of time. They would rather interrupt you with their thoughts at any given time and, if they have nothing else to do, bombard you with long-winded rants that may or may not be relevant to the original argument.
But, what I’m talking about today isn’t about what school debates teach you to do in life, it is about what school debates teach you not to do in life. More specifically, spewing out statements and arguments that are detrimental to your stance or credibility as a person.
To put it in layman terms: Shooting yourself in the footRead More
Being in a private international college has made me used to hearing English all around me. The teachers speak English, the students speak English, heck even I speak English. Race did not matter as everyone there speaks English.
The only time I would ever hear any language other than English is when they meet up with friends of similar race. The Chinese in particular(very talkative). But that’s not the point. The issue I have is with my fellow Malays. Specifically, the scholars.
I do not know why but they always speak English whenever they talk to me. Now don’t get me wrong; I am okay with people speaking English to me as I stated before. What I do have a problem with is when they insist on using English when I speak in Malay to them.
I don’t know about you but I find that to be rather rude especially considering that they only use Malay when with their fellow scholars. Now, I understand that the scholars treat most non-scholar Malays the same way as they, like the rest of the student community here, have little to no exposure in the local schooling system where English is mostly spoken during English classes only. Most of these scholars come from that local system so it is perfectly understandable for them to do so as they may want to practice their English skills or avoid the awkward situation where the person does not know even the simplest of colloquial Malay.
However, I come from that system as well. I should know: I was in the last batch of students taking PMR before it was replaced by the dreaded PT3. It might a be bit unfair to the scholars at this point as they couldn’t have possibly known how I feel but not speaking your native language for a long time can have that effect on a person.
Even if said person speaks and writes better in English instead.