Yesterday was my second anniversary of using Word Press, without paying any fees. I thank them for that. In another two months, when I retire fully, I shall have no income at all, except some dividends from EPF, shares, and saving. In this country, it is difficult to earn a living as a writer, and poets are passé, liked street photographers in yester years. I shall write a few random thoughts for this anniversary.
President Barrack Obama visits Malaysia today. Uncertain whether such a visit is to be interpreted as a blessing or curse. People lined the streets to welcome him, so are protesters. The American government is notorious for destabilizing countries, and even their president lied about WMD. The administration is uncertain which is more important: sovereignty or human rights violations. The logic depends on which side the US fancies, and their skewed view of history, so long as it stays in perpetual supremacy, for instance, Ukraine and Russia, China and Japan controversies, they don’t keep promises.(Potsdam Declaration, for instance) The US is too powerful and it’s best for other countries to adopt a kind of ambivalence towards them: love their education, science and technology, but hate its double or triple standards.
Hong Kong residents show unnecessary vehemence towards mainland Chinese for pissing in public places, despite they are also Chinese, with or without Anglo-Saxon DNAs, and they depend on the mainlanders for tourism and trade. They bite the fingers that milk them. Some of the city Chinese get their wealth too fast, and their attiudes are bad, but HK residents do not meet the good Chinese who have no money to visit them. I am not defending people who piss in public places. I remembered some years back when I visited Hong Kong. I purchased a few books from a local bookshop. The shop keeper would not allow me to use their toilet despite being a purchaser, and the public toilet facilities were too few and far apart, and the notices were hardly visible for visitors. Had I not paid the bill, I would throw the books back to them . There are always two sides of the story; they are prejudicial towards their own kind. I hope they can learn from Singapore, or even Malaysia, where clean toilets are seen everywhere for free. Urgency is natural and physiological, and fancy, the HK shop owners don’t reckon this as human rights violations.
I have been reading Lee Kuan Yew’s “One Man’s View of the World”. I think it will be wise for every Malaysian and Singaporean to read the two relevant chapters on their countries. To paraphrase his view, the dominant political ideology in Malaysia will not change much, not even with the improbable chance of the opposition forming the next government. Of course, gerrymandering and cheating is not new in a democracy. Don’t bet on the wrong horse, for they are donkeys. The minds of the dominant are, and will always be racial, on both government and opposition. Any negotiation is marriage of convenience. Despite the curse of our education system, Singapore needs to acknowledge that we are producing talents for them. What happens to their own talents, despite their better system? They either stay or leave, like all other talents, even the Malays in Malaysia. I think both education systems are stressful; either under performing or over performing in terms of teaching or learning, and one system is racial whereas the other is merit based.
Both Malaysia and Singapore reckon they are multicultural. Indeed so, but it is not a diversity as claimed; the cultural differences and separation are obvious. How do different culture identify, or how to reconcile such differences? Is it shared destiny? Shared interest? In Malaysia, home is not shared, but temporary abode for some. In Singapore, in order to maintain its status as an advanced first world, the heart-landers have to open their minds, be cosmopolitan enough, less grumpy, but not to be confused with views of some neo-liberal. Singapore needs to open up more discourses and debate on this issue, for capital and talents flow in and out in a globalized world. I think it is not wise to enforce national identity from top to bottom, best to reverse the formula. Fancy Singapore cannot keep its own talent, what certainty they have over the imported ones, even for a change of heart in the second or third generations. I think these are the angst felt by the mentor, and he is physically run down as shown in his recent picture. How would Singaporeans identity themselves, without the hyphens? Language such as creole (Singlish), kiasu (fear of losing) is more prominent than elsewhere, but can national unity bond on that? May be a common destiny of survival to stay on as a nation, especially an advanced first world. Despite all the faith and optimism, the Chinese in Malaysia need to explore their own identification? They cannot identity with China. The young Chinese in China have no memory of their ancestors seeking help from overseas Chinese. The Malaysian Chinese is a separate class now, and they have to review their language and dialects in a changing world, locally and internationally. Often they fracture their own families and unknowingly harming the bonding with their children and spouses. Their cost saving on better education for their children are often not balance in a wholesome way. Malaysian Chinese spend excessive time harping on the wrong topics. Don’t fear about the new laws; they only amputate the limbs of their own kind or converts, and, if they so desired, what can others do, except pay for their social services. This is a globalised world, the talents move out, and leave the mediocre and the seniors to compete. How would you like your children to be?
I hope those ranting will encourage Malaysians of all races to read more widely. Advance to a First World together or slip into Third World? We take pride riding on the slippery board.