It’s going to be the general election in Malaysia next week, 8th March 2008. This I believe is going to be a close election, I explained to my colleague. But not close in the sense that there is going to be a formidable opposition coalition that can win the election from the incumbent Barisan Nasional (BN), which my Zimbabwean colleague initially thought. What Malaysians can realistically ask for is just to stop BN from taking more than two-thirds majority of the seats in parliament, which will hopefully put more pressure on BN and stop them from getting ill-advised motions passed without contest. This I believe is an achievable feat in this coming election, as there really are a lot of resentments coming from all races in Malaysia, including the Malays. But at the end of the day it’s going to depend on the voters.So to hear that Fong Po Kuan decides to quit contesting in the coming election after the Prime Minister announced the date of the general election three weeks ago was really a major disappointment for me, to say the least. The disappoinment comes not just from the fact that it will be a major blow to the opposition party. But it is the lost of another bright talent who had dedicated years of her life fighting for what must have been seen as a lost cause by many people. It does stirred me into thinking that there is probably really no hope to all these, and there will only be sad ends to those who put themselves forward to fight for a better country. I was truly disturbed. But the saga (Po Kuan decided to contest again at Batu Gajah last week after careful consideration, fortunately!) reveals that my heart is still with Malaysia, although I now reside in the UK. Malaysians still mean a lot to me, and Malaysia can certainly be a much better country, if the political scene can be a bit more, or perhaps a lot more, healthy.I know voters are wiser than before. But let’s hope that they make the right decision, especially this election, which I think will be monumental to the future of Malaysia.
Helped my dad to clean and tidy the house this morning. It is Chinese New Year tomorrow. I think it is a tradition to clean the house, wear new clothes to welcome the new year. While we were tidying and storing stuff into what used to be a dog hut, my dad found a rat hiding in a paper box which is carrying a fire extinguisher. Dad then used a large plastic bag, wrapped the whole box in it, waited for the rat to emerge from the box and then killed it using a wooden stick. Actually not quite, my dad has to also step on it once to finally finish it off. I feel bad, although I did suggest my dad to let the rat go. In fact I’m the one to pass my dad the wooden stick when I was asked to find one! Guess my dad still has too much authority over me.I remember saying to myself that “Ratatouille” is one of the best animation movies around after watching it on my flight back to Malaysia. And I think Disney movies are great, which I haven’t really appreciated until now, as they have the magical power to make people, especially kids, love and appreciate animals, due to the animations that make animals look so cute and adorable. However here I am ended up helping my dad killed one of these little animals. Shame on me.To make matter worse, I found out later on in the afternoon that it’s the year of Rat this coming year. What a bizarre experience, to have killed a rat on the eve of year of Rat. Damn, I really don’t like what that has just happened today!
An English friend of mine told me about some unrest in Malaysia which we weren’t aware of last Saturday. Today I received a link from a friend from Malaysia to a video clip from Al-Jazeera, a Middle East television network, about the protest.
Of course the protest is “illegal”, as it is unlikely the police will approve such assembly. Apparently, according to W, an assembly of more than three people requires an approval from the police.
Have a look at this and the comments and you’ll get an idea of the kind of political scene in Malaysia. Full of interesting characters 🙂
Finally there’s a place in Reading that serves Malaysian food 🙂 And it’s truly authentic! I’m so pleased that my English friend took the time to inform us about this new cafe (see map), knowing that we’ll definitely be interested in our fellow Malaysian’s food 🙂 Feeling a bit hungry after a session of tennis yesterday, we paid the cafe a visit to see what have they got. To our pleasant surprise, the cafe is indeed run by Malays. Although Taste of Malaysia Cafe is more like a take-away shop, you can choose to eat-in if you want to. The menu is very vegetarian friendly, and should give the residents around some very interesting alternatives to the usual kebab, fish & chips, chinese and indian take-away. We ordered nasi lemak, and man, I’m still feeling the heat in my stomach today! If you haven’t tasted authentic Malaysian food before, then this is the place. Cheap and cheerful.
Went to Tioman Island with our family during the time we were back in Malaysia. Still not sure if it is a good idea to drive there, but there aren’t many choices to get there in the first place. The other option we could have taken is to fly from KL to Tioman Island. Not attractive either, as we are from Ipoh. And thanks to MAS, there are no longer any flights to KL from Ipoh. In fact, they have also closed the Ipoh office!So the trip entailed a 2 hours journey to KL, then stopover at my sister’s place for the night, before embarking on a 4.5 hours journey to Mersing, via Ayer Hitam. Yes, that’s not the end point yet. We still need to take a boat to Tioman Island. Depending on which type of boat you take, the journey time can be an hour difference. The ferry, which is the slower option, took us almost 2 hours to get there. We could have taken the quicker speed boat, but the situation was such we could board the ferry almost immediately after we arrived at the dock. And of course we had been somewhat misled by the people selling us the tickets into thinking that the ferry we were going to take is the speed boat. To be fair, they showed me the boat, it was parking at the dock loading people, and it is a speed boat. Just that I think it’s bigger and more difficult to manoeuver when docking than the speed boat speed boat. And crucially, they offered significant discount on the tickets we were supposed to buy from a rival company. Anyway they are good people, and were very helpful to us.Lastly, there are a number of docks on Tioman Island, around 5 or so. Make sure you get off at the right dock. My brother-in-law made a mistake and thought that it was nearer for us to get off at Panuba than Air Batang beach to get to our accommodation – Bamboo Hill. Distance wise, it is indeed nearer. But to get there involves climbing a hill via the jungle treks. With the luggage with us, as well as both our mums, this is going to be hard work. So we ended up hiring a small boat to take us back to Air Batang beach instead. What a journey!This is the view out of our chalet. Not bad at all huh?
Here’s a short video clip found on youtube that reminds me of how wonderful the policemen in Malaysia are 🙂 It’s not a real candid shot, but I’m sure a lot of Malaysians, based on experience, will agree with me that this is indeed what used to happen in Malaysia, if not still happening now.