Wednesday, May 27, 2009

finally evidence of 'intelligent' life forms...

The Ministry of Education has finally put a stop to the ridiculousness of students taking more than 10 subjects for SPM.

Now, i didn't sit for SPM (so perhaps i have relinquished my right to give an opinion on the issue...still).

But i have been very aware of the trend our SPM has been taking with more and more students taking more and more subjects.
Frankly, i think it's silly and depicts the depravity of our education system to sieve out deserving and 'bright' students.

Quantity can never make up for quality. And perhaps even more so in the case of students choosing all kinds of subjects just to make up the number they're aiming for (20 subjects?? like hello!).. it only proves how directionless, distracted and disillusioned our emerging generation of 'bright' minds are.

This does not in any way diminish the 'value' of the accomplishment. 20 A1 is a big deal. But then the more important question is why 20 subjects in the first place? The other bigger question is are our exams therefore 'tough' enough?

i mean, the fact that it's even possible for quite a number of students to take more than the necessary subjects and ace all of them ...somehow brings our examinations credibility into question doesn't it?

No foreign country is gonna take results like 20A1s seriously (at least in my opinion). It raises a lot of questions with regards to the 'standard' of our exams as well as the motivation of our students.

i haven't even touched the whole area of education being more than just 'scoring' in exams yet.
What kind of community do we want to raise up?

People who have read a lot about life but know nothing about it?
People who have 'know' a lot about art but can't really appreciate it?
People who just can't communicate nor socialise with others?
People who can't understand the value of teamwork nor leadership?

perhaps... it's a good thing to put a cap on the number of subjects... but better still, if it translates to higher quality education and therefore examinations.

But then again, what would i know....
i didn't sit for SPM kan? ;)

Saturday, May 23, 2009

talk about anticlimax...

Just when i was thinking that our country's politics and judiciary were making some very positive progresses... the Court of Appeal unanimously decides that Zambry is the rightful MB.

Talk about a conflicted judiciary.

The message that seems clear through all this is that our Constitution is very vulnerable and open to interpretation and misinterpretation... that there is still yet a lot more progress to be made in the 'maturing' of our judiciary and political process... and that yes, our leaders have yet to 'get it'.

It's embarrassing that in this ridiculous tussle for 'power' the people and persons and parties in question have lost sight of the grand scheme of things and the much higher purpose to which they were given the responsibility to be in power in the first place... in service to the 'rakyat'.

Hopefully they remember that the 'power' they have is a power given... by the people... and if they don't wise up soon...
Well, there's always the next elections to drive the point home.

strike three.

My 'independent' application to University Malaya to undergo the Masters in Public Health programme has been unsuccessful.

Guess i've got to wait till i 'qualify' via the conventional method... which means i've got to wait at least another year or more before i'm even eligible to apply.

Sigh... looks like i've got to wait till the next 'inning'.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

still got it ;)

yesterday night i was part of a 3-on-3 interchurch basketball 'competition' and yes, our team won!

considering that we only 'practised' twice and i personally have played basketball only a handful of times this year (i'm almost always oncall and if not been more interested in trying my hand at badminton)... i think we really did well.

Most of all was that we played as a team, won as a team and kept our cool and conscience clear throughout the competition.

You know how it can be with these kinds of 'contact' sports (trust me i've had my share of bad experiences.. even in 'church' organised events) and therefore i'm very thankful that it all went well.

Personally, i think i've matured as a player.
Sure, i'm older and my stamina is not what it used to be (playing 5 games straight is no joke).. . but what i did notice is that i played without getting 'emotional' (as i have had a history of doing so before).

My insightful wife said it's because i've matured as a person.
Again, thank God for that.


GOD IS my satisfaction.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Complacency in ignorance

Lately i have been stirred to break away and move myself from being comfortable with my 'not knowing'.

There are definitely instances where we should come to terms with the fact that there are things that are just way beyond our capacity to understand and for that matter control. And with regards to some of these perhaps 'bigger' matters of life i think it's even healthy to be able to let go and resolve ourselves to 'faith' and 'trust' in a God who definitely KNOWS and knows way better.

But sometimes... if we're not careful, our increasing ease with 'not knowing' can spill over into areas where there should be a drive to 'know'.

In fact, even in matters of faith, there has to be an element of knowing as much as we can and should. Otherwise, it's just plain laziness.
Taking things for granted.

The responsibility to build ourselves up and equip ourselves lies solely in our hands. While the outcome of taking such responsibility in our pursuit of knowledge may be entirely in His hands, the choice and follow-through lies solely in ours.

We should not take 'i don't know' as an answer anymore. Especially to ourselves. We owe it to ourselves, to the people around us, to our nation and most of all to our God, to know.

i am trying therefore to no longer be satisfied with my ignorance.
If there's a matter, an issue, in which there are aspects of which i am lacking in my knowledge then i should (and i want) to know more about it.
i want to fill in those gaps.

Sure, we can't know everything.
But that shouldn't be the excuse for not knowing 'anything'.

Ironically, i feel that people who are comfortable with their ignorance almost never admit to it.
They always have some excuse like "it's not relevant to them" or "it doesn't interest them".
i think it's time we be honest my friends with our ignorance. Say "i don't know" by all means but please, let's do something about the fact that we don't know.

Being in denial of our ignorance just aggravates the depravity of our mind and being all the more.

i think all this has stemmed forth from my relatively recent realisation of just how much of a paucity of knowledge i have with regards to issues that matter... current affairs... government... healthcare systems and the like.
In my 'learning' and getting myself acquainted with various related events and the details concerning them.. i've discovered just how much i still have yet to discover.
It's opened my eyes to my still 'underdeveloped' intellect.

Of course it's not about just pursuing knowledge for pursuing knowledge sake (although i'm not so sure there's such a thing). And it's not about gaining more power by gaining more knowledge (you know the famous phrase). And it's the least of all about 'showing off' just how much of a 'brainiac' you are.

It's about developing your personhood.... maturity.
It's about increasing your effectiveness and efficiency as an individual to the society (and that includes the Church of course).
It's about ultimately using your 'talents'... and all that God has blessed you and i with... cos' in itself we give Him glory (to love God with all our heart, MIND, soul and strength).
It's about putting ourselves to 'better use'.

i know God says He will use the foolish to put to shame the wise.
But i don't think He means those who are comfortable and complacent with their 'foolishness'.... cos' those kind of people fall in the category of the 'unprofitable servant'.
And we all know what happens to him...

Monday, May 11, 2009

Didn't see that coming...

Yes, our Malaysian political scene is not short on drama at all.

i was more than surprised when i received The Star sms updates on my phone stating that the high court ruling was that Nizar was the rightful Menteri Besar of Perak.

Talk about a turn of events.

i mean with the recent clout surrounding the fracas at the state assembly... well.. to be frank, things weren't really looking too good for the pakatan rakyat. And with the whole crisis being as drawn-out as it was, i feel the public (well, at least me) was getting tired and weary with it all. There was a sense of perhaps 'let's just get it over and done with'. Maybe even the initial fervour for what was 'right' and 'constitutional' also began to wax and wane especially in the light of a seemingly never-ending tussle of who's who and who's where and who's doing what.

i also think it's ironic that the Prime Minister himself (no offense to him) who was insistent on a quick and speedy resolution of the 'crisis' now has to deal with perhaps the 'unexpected' outcome of actually having the court rule against his party's favour.
And in typical contradictory political fashion, is now in the process of appealing the ruling made by the court.

Perhaps the idea of getting on with 'life' and serving the Rakyat took a real backseat when it was revealed that the 'opposition' would be in power instead (so to speak).

But to be fair to the PM (cos' i'm really more FOR what's right and just rather than FOR any one party per say)... maybe there really was not much of an option for him but to appeal the decision. You can't risk the support of your own party by being seen to seemingly 'give in' although you may know that that's the best way to go about things for the sake of the good of the state, nation and Rakyat.

A big kudos to the judiciary for proving itself unstirred and unmoved by the political atmosphere created by both sides of the divide. It has proven itself 'impartial' and in so doing renewed our faith and hope in its role and function.

i'm still far from having a thorough insight into the intricacies of the law, judiciary and government in our country but i do have to say that my interest has been piqued all the more.

let's see how the 'story' unfolds from here on in...
it's bound to beat any work of fiction for now ;)

Sunday, May 10, 2009

so i'm not the only one ok...

i was waiting for my wife to pick me up from the hospital the other day (yes, i was serious when i said that she would be helping me)... when i suddenly heard a guy screaming in the field just opposite the accident and emergency ( the field between the hospital and my current home in the quarters).

And yes, he was being 'attacked' by the terrorist too ;)

There was a bunch of guys playing soccer in the field when i guessed one of them got within the bird's 'territory' and as such was victim to its antics.

This time it was kind of peculiar being the third person watching the whole episode unfold.
It gave me a clearer picture of how things looked (and more so how i looked) during the whole thing.

However the response of this guy was way different as compared to mine (and unfortunately so i might add).

i think after the somewhat 'traumatic' experience, he perhaps realised how maybe silly he looked in front of his fellow football peers and so 'macho-ness' kicked in (although like i said earlier, the fear was very justified considering the circumstances).

So he and another one of the guys took a stick and a football shoe bag and sort of tried to intentionally 'entice' the bird into attacking them so that they could whack the bird in return.

The efforts were to no avail but that didn't stop them from trying to aim for the nest as well.
i guessed that bird really 'ruffled' his feathers (pun intended).

Thankfully it didn't seem apparent that any harm was caused.
The guy vented out his frustration and showed the bird who's 'boss' and went on his way.

Me... well... while looking at the whole 'drama' and particularly how the guy responded... i was glad that i didn't walk down that same road and go all 'berserko' on the bird.

An eye for an eye, tooth for tooth is just barbaric and uncivilised to me ... especially when, well let's be honest, it's just a bird for crying out loud.

i mean although the bird perhaps had no 'business' disturbing the peace... but what would happen to the little ones it's trying to protect should it really fall prey to the hands of people or persons like that 'footballer guy'.

Would its death really be deserving of its 'attack'?
Would the suffering of its offspring be justified thereof?

There's no such thing as an eye for an eye...
Humans would rather have the whole head instead.

We're not fair and just by nature.

So ya, maybe i wasn't the 'macho' one but hey....maybe i was the more thoughtful one.
The bird should be thankful for 'cowards' like me ;)

Thursday, May 07, 2009


Yes, i am being terrorised.

By a bird.


Given the fact that i perhaps do have an exaggerated fear of the avian creatures, this particular bird is just doing it's best to make it worse.

i was 'attacked' yesterday on my way back from the hospital, walking back home.
i think i was probably in the vicinity of its nest or something cos this bird (whom i'm guessing is like the mom or something) went all 'berserk' on me.
i was minding my own business, oblivious to my surroundings when i suddenly heard and 'felt' an uncomfortable series of squawks to close to my head for comfort and when i looked up i saw the bird doing like a nose dive on me and then gaining altitude again before doing another nose dive right at me.
i ran but it chased me... and well.. after i was perhaps a 'safe' distance from what i think was its nesting grounds or tree... it aborted its plan of assertive action.

And yes, the entire episode repeated itself in the evening despite me using an entirely different route home.

That bird is 'terrorising' me!

Now i know by this time most of you are laughing your heads off at me and my illogical fear... but let me tell you when you have a creature (no matter the size) attacking you motivated by sheer self preservation and protection of its young.. you tell me if you won't be terrified.

So now my wife sends me to the hospital and picks me up later.

Wednesday, May 06, 2009


i was reluctant to watch this movie for awhile now even though a few of my trustworthy 'movie-critic' friends gave it the thumbs up only because i had a feeling that it was gonna be one that would play with my heartstrings just a little 'too' well.

And i was right.

Again, the child actors did a more-than- splendid job of setting the tone and establishing the foundation of the story and the mood thereon in.
The portrayal of friendship was so beautiful that in itself it was enough to make you cry.

And as i thought.. as the story progressed ...tears were not stinged upon.

i mean you have literally got to be made of stone if it doesn't make you feel weak in the knees and at times nauseous in your stomach.

Look out also for the 'men' in this movie in general.
There were quite a few that i felt were inspiring in their portrayal of honour, sensitivity and loyalty.

Come to think of it... this is perhaps one of those 'movies-that-can-make-you-cry' that's actually tailored more towards men.

So yes, to all the 'guys' out there... if you need an opportunity to feed your 'soft' side and let your heart grow a size a two... well, watching this movie may do just the trick.

And ladies.... if you want to see if your man has a heart at all in the first place... well, watch this movie with him and see how he reacts.
If at all ;)

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

Slumdog Millionaire

i finally watched the much acclaimed, multi-award winning and pretty controversial "Slumdog Millionaire" with my wife yesterday night.

And yes, it's good.

What can i say... i'm a sucker for happy endings ;) (hope i didn't give too much away)

One of the many things that really captivated me was the fact that the movie was directed by some Caucasian dude.

i say so because the movie was shot with such an authenticity and sincerity with such depth and insight that it was almost unbelievable that a foreigner (and a Caucasian at that) could capture the essence as well as subtleties of India.

Some may say that the depravity is an exaggeration.
i tend to lean towards the contrary.
If anything (given that i have only limited experience and that too limited to areas like Bihar and the like) i think the reality is far worse.
Truth beats fiction hands down.

The child actors in this movie really made the film in my opinion.
i imagine that it's no easy task working with child actors and so to see such fantastic performances all round by them was not only a very pleasant surprise but a testament to their sheer talent and flair for acting.

Perhaps the fact that the cast were mostly 'unknown' made the movie all the more 'raw' and 'fresh' and therefore believable and 'down to earth'.
All the more 'close to home'.

This is one of those movies that typifies my stand that great Oscar winning movies don't have to be 'arty' (in the most superficial sense of the word) and melancholic and obscure... but rather can be 'feel-good' and warm and sincere and most of all... inspiring.

The fact that my wife liked it.... well... let's just say my wife has impeccable taste ;)

Sunday, May 03, 2009

i've 'Lost'

See, i thought i had a knack for coming up and guessing the most outrageous twists and turns in a plot or story.

In fact, it was kind of thrilling to be able to 'figure out' what were the possible outcomes... who murdered who... what's gonna happen next... solve the mystery.
i mean, i guessed the ending to 'The Sixth Sense' for crying out loud!
So ya, i think i have quite the intuitive mind and a wild imagination to boot...

But i have met my match.

'Lost' Season 4 was as 'out there' as you could possibly get. i mean talk about really thinking out of the box. i have definitely a renewed respect for the writers/creators of this quintessential mystery cum sci-fi series.

Sure, some people perhaps have tossed their hands in the air in surrender in the face of what seems to be an intensely and intricately weaved plot intertwined with often more questions than there are answers.

And yes, it does take quite the toll on the mental faculties of a person just trying to 'keep up' and 'make sense' of all that is going on both from a microscopic as well as macroscopic view... but hey, to me, that's where the appeal really lies.

This is one of those series (not that there are many that i can think of) that definitely doesn't attempt to insult the intelligence of its audience. If anything, it does quite the opposite... challenging those who watch to 'stretch' their boundaries of logic and reasoning and imagination way more than perhaps what we're usually used to.

My only hope (which is what i have been telling myself all this while since the Season 1) is that, this better not end in some terribly disappointing and abrupt, lame and 'surprisingly' unintelligent conclusion to the series.

i mean, with all the fantastical ideas they have been playing around with through the series, the writers better have an even more astounding and climactic end.

Otherwise, i (like many perhaps many millions more) would be severely disappointed and would have loss our 'faith' in the genius which is 'LOST'.