For the past week or so since getting back to Kuala Lumpur, life's been swinging between a flop and a fever.
Election fever in Malaysia did not really affect where we live. The streets looked very lively and colourful with blue, white and green flags, banners and buntings. A couple of them promised cheap petrol and cheap cars - mainly in the poorer neighbourhoods. The mugshots of the candidates were the usual run of the mill but I must say the poster boys of a certain political party looked like images drawn up by Saatchi and Saatchi of London. In open necked shirts (looking like Tony Blair), with shoulders back and arms folded in a Stamford Raffles stance, they give such an air of authority and style that you feel tempted to vote for them because of their impressive image and to disregard the ideas. But that's politics for you. Lebih indah rupa dari kata!
A couple of days ago we were driving through the leafy suburbs of Wangsa Maju when a car with DAP flags attached to the sides passed us by and what we read on the posters at the rear windows made us gasp in disbelief! I had no chance to take a photograph but we remember very distinctly what they claimed. It was so heinously devious and cynical it couldn't come unstuck from the memory!
One poster read FREEDOM FOR PALESTINE, SYRIA, and MALAYSIA.
The other 'pleaded' SAVE GAZA AND PERAK.
Where were these "Malaysian Freedom Fighters" when the Zionists were pulverising the Gazans and Palestinians? What campaign and demonstrations did the DAP organise to support these beleagured people?
As Malaysians, we have to apologise most abjectly to the Syrians, Gazans and Palestinians for the cheek of some of our citizens for making use of their sufferings and oppression to serve the political ends of some of our well-fed, well-heeled smug people in Malaysia and Perak!
I guess I was so shocked by those posters that I didn't notice this naughty-wotty Aedes mosquito
attacking me and leaving me flopping about with breakbone (dengue) fever. Or could that poster-wielding car have been nasty Mr Aedes in disguise? Especially in Malaysia, many politicians are such great actors that they could fill up the rolls of Oscar nominee awards. There are wolves in sheep's clothing, wolves in wolves clothing, sheep in wolves clothing, foxes in clerics'garments, foxes dressed as hens scouting about the henhouse, sharks in dolphins' suits, Greeks bearing gifts, smiling crocodiles in city suits and Malay baju, dumb asses who would sell themselves for a carrot, carpet baggers on the ready for a quick buck and loads of Friends of Red Riding Hood (FoRRH) using her to get a good bite at her dear old grandma.
Indeed the dengue's breaking my bones, but I hope my mind's still intact.
For (some of) my fellow Malays : I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping ..... However, ....... ..... I don't know how someone controlled you They bought and sold you. ..... I don't know how you were diverted You were perverted too. I don't know how you were inverted No one alerted you.
I got so embroiled in writing my riposte I forgot to mention that the two wanderers are back home from home.
We've had our asam pedas ikan merah and sambal goreng tahu/tempeh from my sister. We've had two dinners and more from our nearest (physically and metaphorically) neighbour Zarina. We've been plagued by the little monsters especially when all of Ampang suffered a disruption of water supply over the weekend except for Setiawangsa ! And we had our petai!!
What more could one ask for ?
Our cats were happy to meet us. Here's Comot reviving her old days with the spouse.
Socks is never around except for breakfast and dinner. She spends all her time on the neighbour's roof - our cat on a hot tile roof!
Poor Rusty had to go to the vet today because of ringworms which he caught from another stray cat.
Here he is with a flowery attachment to make him look better.
I'm so pleased with my tiny vase which travelled in my handbag. I could pick my favourite bunga tahi ayam from the garden and have a teeny-weeny floral display in the house.
Here it is set against the banana tree that had increased its height by ten times since we were away.
And closer still on top of the writing bureau. The vase is just two inches high!
Even though it was night time we couldn't help but notice the political buntings and flags on the way home from the airport. It looked even more colourful in the day ... unlike elections in England and Singapore this democratic exercise is lively, healthy - and crucial. But I wonder what my dear Abah would say if he was alive now to see how the Malays have split themselves into three and are shooting themselves in the foot as a result!!
Alas, what happened to the Spirit of 1946! He would say "Melayu tak sedar diri - mudah lupa daratan. Dengki khianat sesama bangsa". He told me that about my bangsa in the 1950s, way before Merdeka 1957. And Anak si Hamid concurs - especially now, despite over half a century of Merdeka.
I think Anon ( re: posting April 7, 2013), or should I say, "you of all people" should beware - and be more precise about accusations of 'intellectual dishonesty', 'anti-Chinese bias' and of an educator objecting 'to the acquisition of knowledge'.
But in the light of your petulant outburst I do need to demolish your allegations about my blog. So let's expose your illiteracy, your vacuous interpretation and the insinuating mischief within.
We can start with paragraph two and your opinion of "the great strides taken by the malay community" in Singapore. Clearly you attribute such great strides to the fact they live under a Chinese-controlled government in a Chinese majority (75%) society - whose 'tolerance' and grooming are crucial to the Malays' progress - a kind of progress as defined by the Singapore government.
Is this your contention? If it is, it only confirms my view about some people's arrogance...... If it isn't, why make the link with my alleged "anti-Chinese bias"?
Fourth paragraph: How condescending of you to affirm that "the treatment muslims receive in singapore/malaysia is far more even-handed compared to what they receive in France/UK ". If you had said that to a Brit in UK ( just change the religion and the country) they would say, " Why not, it's our bloody country, mate!" As for your 'aside' in the last paragraph about foreign languages in Britain, it's so laughable that a Brit would justifiably exclaim, "What a tosser" !
I am bemused at your ignorance and gumption - especially as you present yourself as some sort of cosmopolitan who had spent a ' substantial period ' in London. I recall that nursery rhyme "Pussy cat, pussy cat where have you been, I've been to London to see the Queen". So where has this pussy cat / tom cat been in London? The British Museum? The National Art Gallery? Harrods? Marks and Spencers? Hamleys? Ministry of Sound London? Soho?
Fifth Paragraph: Excuse me? What is the connection between my ability to tolerate living in UK and my so-called feeling of oppression "by the Chinese in asia"? Where is the "intellectual dishonesty"? Are you aware of the correct use of this phrase?
In the first place I do not merely 'tolerate' living in UK. It is my husband's country and though it has its warts ( which I often write about in my postings ), I respect and appreciate its ways and culture without turning into a 'kacang lupakan kulit' (the pea forgetting its pod) or a Bounty Bar or a Banana! Secondly, in my part of the world, my spouse speaks just enough Malay, Hokkien and Hindi and respects the culture of all people who call themselves Malaysians and Singaporeans.
No one race can make me feel, as you put it, "oppressed". I take issue with and I write about injustice, mistreatment, prejudice, bigotry, self-righteousness, arrogance and most of all double standards in any society. Check on the labels on my blog and eat your words!
In Singapore, as a teacher (I don't like the pompous word 'educator'), I had the privilege of teaching in a Malay medium secondary school (Yusof Ishak Secondary School) and later in an English medium school (Jurong Secondary School). Both were "integrated schools". YISS was "integrated" ( notice how I use inverted commas for the word integrated) with the English medium, JSS with the Chinese medium. I found myself having to play the role of intermediary between the two opposing mediums and at some and most of the time as a guardian/bouncer for my Malay medium kids in YISS for 10 years and for the English medium kids ( of all races) in JSS for two years.
And to add grist to the mill - I spared no effort in challenging the self-satisfied arrogance of some of my mainly Malay colleagues in USM in the early 1990s. Their brand of prejudice in tolerating and keeping a white American drunkard while giving a brown-skinned woman the short end of the stick, told me I had better get out of that education business at least!
Paragraph Three only displays how wet you are behind the ears or, if you're older than I reckon, how immature and puerile you are despite the age. Malays, especially, wherever they are in the Malay Archipelago, should learn a third language (other than their mother tongue and English) like Mandarin, Arabic or another European language like French or Italian. For instance, Ariff, my great-nephew in a KL secondary school is studying Mandarin as a third language. Malays must not be like the frog in that poem "Bangau oh Bangau". Read http://anaksihamid.blogspot.com/2013/03/a-digression.html
While Twitter, the internet and blogosphere have widened the net for expression and discussion, at times they have also opened the door for ignorance and cowardice and especially the absence of accountability. It is like "Kera di beri Bunga" (giving a flower to a monkey) or "Casting Pearls before Swine".
Finally here's my "Aside ". I often refer to the proverb "What is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander". At 69, I still have use of what my favourite detective Hercule Poirot described as 'the grey matter', and I can't help but conclude that this Anon is the Gander whose sense of superiority is irked by what he reads in AsH. So he fabricates what he reads to brand AsH as anti-Chinese - a very devious and sly ploy. Alas, he botched it and has instead been hoisted by his own petard!
Now, that is dishonesty and it carries no whiff of intellectuality!
Just an hour ago I received this comment on my 12 March posting of SIGHTING.
As I will be taking a long-haul journey to Kuala Lumpur in 29 hours time, I will not be able to write the riposte that it deserves. So I hope Anonymous will be patient until I get back home - as I am always careful about not putting my foot where my mouth is.
I'm at a disadvantage here as I am not informed about the cultural identity of Mr/Ms Anonymous. But I shall try my best - never intellectual, but always honest.
"Hoi, banyak cantik punya muka....." replied 'Bang Long when I asked him if' 'the best cook in KL' - his wife ( my sister) - could just leave her asam pedas ikan merah, sambal goreng tempeh/tahu, crispy-fried ikan selar kuning in our kitchen when we arrive in KL on Tuesday 9 April InsyaAllah. We don't expect them to wait for us as we won't get to the house until midnight!!
And I thought they would be happy to see the two 'kaki menginding' back again!
But I reckon Zarina (another 'best cook in KL') would be delighted to carry on giving us her super scrumptious 'meals-on-8-legs' (hers, Ken, Daniel and Haiqal) to the two gorgeous geriatrics - wouldn't you Zarina??
So, it's time to "bed down our house" again. We've had a rejuvenating, productive and recuperative time and the heavens brought us loads of snow and cold - just what we came for!
Goodbye to our friends like Jack and Doug and all the lovely ladies at Leicester Animal Rescue. Farewell to a 'so near yet so far' moggie at the window.
Yesterday, we went for a brisk walk in a cool and sunny Victoria Park to say goodbye to Daisy and Daff....
...... and to the spouse's favourite flowering currant, which he says has the same spicy fragrance as the 'bunga tahi ayam'.
Although it's difficult to part with this little one in Leicester.........
Wania and dadiji
...... there are all these monsters waiting in Kuala Lumpur.
Rusty and Socks above and Comot below.
H E L P !!!!
This I will miss most of all - my Play Station.
Fare thee well Leicester. InsyaAllah we shall be back.
I knew there was something odd about us and it's such a relief to blame it on where we live. Somewhat akin to Feng Shui, the English have their Ley lines - lines that are in harmony with one another and utilise a mysterious aspect of the Earth's energy. So I searched for our alignment, according to our postcode, and lo and behold .......
We are at the convergence of 3 Ley lines. The red line connects Stonehenge to an ancient agricultural terrace; the green links two hills in a Roman camp in Beaumont and the blue joins a Saxon settlement to a bridge. The upshot of this : that we "live at a swirl of ancient energy highways; this may mean that your area is a hot spot for paranormal activity or even for unidentified flying objects! "
That explains why we are what we are. Phew! Thank goodness, it's not due to our defective personalities!
That explains my hoarding spirit that cannot resist accumulating 'junk'. It also drives me loopy, giving me an urge every few years to pack boxes of all such paraphernalia off to the motherland.
Just part of the attachment to be beamed off to KL.
Speaking of which, these were then transported (not by teleportation) on Wed 27th. As the weather in March had been abnormally cold - minus two to minus three at night, and hovering between six to seven in the daytime - I experimented with this mad hatter's trick of donning a summer hat so that my worldly and otherworldly goods will arrive safely!
In one of those boxes I packed this magic book.
It was written in 1902 and published in that wildly self-righteous land of plenty which has the feature of the Freemasons pyramid and the all-seeing eye on the back of their one dollar bill - wow! - this is real hot stuff.
Here's a page taken from that book, about a " Malayan Child Life ". Do note certain sloppy errors like the child's name should be Busu, for the youngest in the family. "Busuk" means smelly!! I suppose the wrong spelling for Muar can be overlooked as the 'durians' had been correctly spelled.
But today, there's not much care for children from the exotic parts of the world like Gaza or Vietnam.
This mighty nation - this USA - is happy to abet Israel in wrecking the lives of children from Palestine and Gaza.
The drawing below was done by a little boy from Gaza. It shows Israeli soldiers 'foraging' in his house for bombs, weapons, grenades, and terrorists!
I must say that Palestine or rather, all of the Middle East, must have very distressing Feng Shui and Ley lines.
As for our abode and the possible presence of UFOs, I reckon these two men of my life, the spouse and Jack, would fit the bill. Here they are enjoying two and a half hours of opera music on the laptop OR probably communicating with their brethren from outer space.
Then today, on a shopping expedition , we came across Matthew Fearon busking in Leicester City Centre. He sang "My Song" which I recorded and as we left to catch the bus, the Beatles' "Here comes the Sun" echoed in the square. Matthew has such a strong and beautiful voice, like a stream meandering in a forest.
This is one pleasure you can find when you live where three Ley lines converge!
P.S. Matthew Fearon is also available on YouTube.
P.S. 2. We have a wonderful freight forwarder based in Birmingham. His name is Andrew Blakemore at email@example.com We have used Arcadia Freight Services to transport our goods (door to door) in 2 half-containers a few years back, and a pallet size most recently. He is very efficient, courteous and helpful and his cost is very reasonable. It's not my practice to advertise any one, but Andy is such a dependable gem and a good egg!