Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Now What?

So yeah... camp's over. Long story short, we got some extensions and managed without any complaints, and overall I'd say the camp was a success. Definitely memorable and hopefully a life-changing experience for some, if not all the participants there. I can't ask for more. End of story.

Currently back in Labuan. Haven't been much into the blogging mood 'cos I haven't had much time to just sit down and do nothing for my mind to go where it goes when I've got nothing to do (and that's good). Unfortunately that doesn't last forever. The fact that I'm now typing all this out is proof enough that my mind can't idle for very long. It's shitty. It's fucked up.

So wish I could type out everything that's on my mind right now, but that's the trouble with a public blog (my fault for being so gung-ho on blogging when I first started, I know). But I'm wondering, why would I have these things on my mind, why would my mind still be in such a state when I've got a whole lot of weight off my shoulders recently? Results are out, I passed everything, hence I'm graduating, and that's a huge relief. I've pretty much got my career path chalked up and ready to go, and I don't think I could think of a better plan, so that's another huge thing done with. I'm no longer looking into 'baggage' (thanks for that word Jeremy, suits perfectly) so that's no longer an issue. I've got people around me constantly, friends and family. I'm back home! So why am I still having 'headaches'?

Sigh... I know if my thoughts continue going on 'overdrive' like this, a lot of 'things I don't want to happen', will happen. I will lose something and someone I've come to depend on without realising just how significant that is. I'm... starting to ramble.

I'm starting to go insane. I need and anchor for this wayward ship that is my mind, it can't just simply change directions like this everytime the wind blows! FUCK!

All I can say is, the mind is a terrible thing to lose... and I don't want to lose mine.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

"How could you?!"

That phrase from a certain incident was running through my head the whole day... Sigh. Still not off this god-forsakken 'highway' yet. 

Anyway, changing the subject.

After leaving Penang at 4pm... I'm finally here...

The reason I've sacrificed my time with family back home.

My last ever involvement with the Campus Ministry.


Port Dickson. 

IJ Sisters Convent/Bungalow.

Venue for Semenanjung Camp 2009.  

8 hours later. -_-"

Nothing of a surprise, 'cos I've already been here the week before. Came to scout the place (as though we had a backup to this place if I had said 'no'). The place is nice. For a building close to a 100 years old it still has a homey feel about it, and with the beach just literally outside the fence of the place, I'd definitely rate it high among the places I've been for camps like these. Also, due to the low number of participants, we all get to use the rooms, some single, some twin sharing, so that's definitely an unexpected plus. 

However, one thing I forgot to check the last time I came, and what slipped my mind that's normal for very old buildings, is the number of wall-plug-points available. Besides the hall downstairs, which has about 4, there's only ONE upstairs! Not a single place to charge your phone or laptop in the 12 rooms upstairs. -_-" ... great. Now we need to get extension cords before the complaints, which I know will come, from committee and participants alike arise for the lack of being connected to their 'Active 10'... or '11'... or whatever. But it's understandable, considering that everyone most likely has someone to call every night, and the committee (all 5 of us) will be running around suicidal by the time the camp begins this Saturday... Just should've thought to check this earlier...

Well... here's to taking things one problem at a time!
**sounds of cocks crowing in the distance**

Wonder what tomorrow's gonna bring? 

**noise from the cars and motorcycles speeding at the road opposite my room**

Better make sure I don't drain the laptop battery just yet.

**Azan starting from the mosque opposite** 


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Let's see if I still remember how to do this...

Yes yes, I know. I've been gone off the blogosphere for a while now. 

Any good reasons for it...? 

Well, first of all there was the whole thing about ensuring I graduated this semester. Unfortunately that didn't turn out as planned (the 'ensuring' part), but there's still hope in the horizon. Just hoping the department doesn't decide it's a good time to raise the passing grade this time 'round. So fingers crossed, nothing screws me over this time.

Secondly, politics has become a bit MORE of a circus nowadays. The same shit goes on day in day out, and most of it makes me think I'm just watching a rerun of the past. Well, until someone dies in Parliament, or something NEW that I haven't heard before comes up, I'm steering away from politics for the time being.

And finally... I'm occupied with other matters at the moment. Directing a camp with almost NO committee members, on top of that having less than encouraging participation... let's just say this is an experience I will take with me. Whether I think upon it years later with a smile on my face, or would sooner forget it as soon as it comes to mind is a question I'll only be able to answer after the end of the month.

So what then am I blogging about this time? Well, the beauty of blogs is that you can say what you want, when you want it and DON'T GIVE TWO FUCKS if anyone gives a shit. To me at least.

-Random Ramble (just to get things off my chest)-

These past few days, weeks, and maybe months, have been... well, an 'enlightening' experience for myself. A lot of my past that I thought I had left behind, things I'd rather not remember or think of, awoke from their slumber. Instead of getting rid of or getting over them like I thought I did, they've actually just been hiding in some dark corner of my mind, waiting to pounce. Pounce they did. Unexpectedly. Leaving me in a messed up state. 

Mood swings. 

Inability to feel anything (emotional numbness). 

The things I thought I knew about myself, bit by bit start to crumble leaving me with questions. 

The people I thought I trusted the most, I start to question. 

The things I said I'll never do again, I almost did. 

Memories I never knew I had, I remember in detail now. 

It's just like my brain took the highway down memory lane and entered the unkept rest-stops along the way; dirty, unpleasant, never-to-return-again.
....and when it reached the end it went the other way... yet stopping at the same stops along the way back to the present.


All I know is, I need a break. From all this BAD thinking.

I need a new 'mask'. I need to rebuild my 'pillars'.

I need to get drunk. I need to hear a good joke and have a good laugh.

I need to see friends, good friends, people I can trust.

I need... 'LIFE'.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


My blog is in HIATUS!!... (duh! 'News Flash', I know!)...

Anyway, just wanted to say that I am still actively TRYING to blog... Just concentrating on fucking graduating first, 'cos I can't afford to extend any longer than I have extended already! (I NEED TO GET OUT AND DO SOMETHING WITH MY LIFE!! ...before the books ruin my appetite for living!)

So to friends, family, whoever else that reads my blog (hardly any nowadays, I know... 'thanks' SiteMeter!)... Here's informing you guys, albeit 6 months belated,

...just hopefully the world doesn't end before that.


Monday, May 26, 2008

The Name's Bond, James Bond

I just watched clip of a recent proceeding in Parliament. Apparently, if we were to go by what our Deputy Health Minister, Dr. Abdul Latiff Ahmad, has to say apparently our country's doctors are equivalent to the famous '007' British spy.

Take a read from Malaysiakini, dated May 26:
Deputy Health Minister Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad sparked an uproar in the Dewan Rakyat when he described medical doctors as having a “licence to kill”.

Replying to Alexander Nanta Linggi (BN-Kapit) on the shortage of doctors in remote areas of Sarawak, he explained that local universities are not producing sufficiently skilled doctors.

As a result, he said, the ministry is unable to approve their employment, adding: “As you all know, doctors have a licence to kill and a licence to cure.”

On hearing this, Dr Hatta Ramli (PAS-Kuala Krai) demanded a retraction of the statement as “it could send a negative signal to the public”.

“I am a doctor myself and I demand that (you) retract your statement. It is not wise to say that doctors have a licence to kill. What kind of message are you sending the public?” he asked.

Dr Lo’ Lo Mohd Ghazali (PAS-Titiwangsa), another medical doctor, also criticised Abdul Latiff. Several of her Pakatan Rakyat colleagues then added to the barrage of calls for retraction.

Speaker Pandika Mulia Amin tried to control the commotion and ordered Abdul Latiff to retract his statement. The unrepentant deputy minister refused to do so, only saying that he would not repeat it.

Lim Kit Siang (DAP-Ipoh Timor) pointed out that, under Standing Order 243, Abdul Latiff had to comply with the Speaker’s instructions.

Abdul Latiff remained adamant, explaining that he did not mean any harm by his words.

“It was just a figure of speech. I had no intention of denigrating anyone. What I meant to say was that we cannot allow unskilled medical graduates to practise because lives are at stake,” he clarified.

The Speaker accepted his explanation and directed him to continue with his reply.

Abdul Latiff said the government has introduced measures to tackle the shortage of skilled personnel, such as re-hiring retired medical officers who have served with the health ministry.

“We also have increased medical education opportunities and work closely with the human resource ministry to encourage skilled workers working abroad to return and work here,” he added.
The article stops there, no idea why. It left out the part that Abdul Latiff, who is also the MP for Mersing, saying "Saya tidak minta maaf tetapi saya tarik balik kenyataan itu." ("I do not apologize (for my earlier comment) but I will retract my statement.") You can get the details of the proceedings in Parliament on this issue (in Malay) from both http://mppas.wordpress.com and HarakahDaily.

To the Deputy Minister of Health:

Okay, first of all, what do you mean by "license to cure" and "license to kill" that caused this whole argument in Parliament that lasted for a good 25 minutes or so? From what I understand from the term 'license' it means 'to have permission to do or not to do something'. Are you telling me that doctors have permission to heal or not heal someone? Or to kill or not kill someone? Do you mean that when a person goes to a clinic seeking medical aid, a doctor has the privilege of saying "no"? What the... of all the moronic things I've heard in my life!

I have doctor friends, I have friends who are studying medicine, and according to my understanding of their noble field, garnered from the multiple sharings during teh tarik sessions, a doctor is required by medical ethics to help anyone and everyone that is in need of their expertise! No "but", no "if", not even "maybe". They don't have a so-called 'license to cure', it's what they sacrifice 7 or more years of their lives studying to do! And then, what is this bullshit of doctors having the "license to kill"? A doctor's mission is to SAVE LIVES! How can you be a doctor when you can't even comprehend something that simple, which they tell you on the first day of enrollment in any medical institution? And you're the Deputy Health Minister? Awesome!

You know you made a mistake in your statement, or if you didn't (which means you probably graduated at the bottom of your class) your fellow doctors in Parliament were trying to make it clear to you that it was a mistake! Yet you can still say that you're not sorry. I will never understand you. Perhaps 'pride' really is man's greatest weakness after all.

Well, here's hoping that one day you choose to use that "license to kill" on yourself, or that you choke on air and die! You've just disgraced your own profession and your fellow peers, and if one day you were to find yourself in need of their help, I hope in the spirit of proving that you were right,


Island Wars - Round 2

So after Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Putih, what other territorial disputes are there? Apparently, it's highly likely that another island will be involved, this time around it will be the island of Pulau Pisang, situated just off the west coast of Johor.

(Photo courtesy of Malaysiakini)
Taken from Malaysiakini:
Pontian parliamentarian Ahmad Maslan from the ruling Barisan Nasional said in a statement that the government should now act swiftly to protect the sovereignty of Pulau Pisang, situated about 15km off the Johor coastline in the Straits of Malacca.

In 1900, Sultan Ibrahim of Johor handed the island to the British colonial administration based in Singapore.

A 16-metre lighthouse was built on the highest peak of the island and has been managed by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA).

Pas Youth chief Khairul Faizi Ahmad Kamil, in a separate statement, urged Malaysia to meet with Singapore to determine ownership over the island.

He pointed out that:

• The Marine Department of Malaysia does not list the Pulau Pisang lighthouse as one of the 14 lighthouses managed by the government.

• Data from the University of North Carolina states that the lighthouse is owned and managed by Singapore.

• The Lighthouse Depot website recognises Singapore’s authority in managing the island, so long as the lighthouse is in operation, even though the island is located in Malaysian territory.

• MPA has indicated that Singapore is still managing the lighthouse.

Suggesting the bilateral talks should be held to enable Malaysia to take over management of the lighthouse, Khairul also said development and management activities should be established to mark Malaysian authority over the island.

In addition, the government should ascertain that no agreement was ever made to hand the island to Singapore.

“The government should act quickly resolve this situation so that the rakyat will not have the nightmare of twice losing an island,” added Khairul.
Here we go again. Another island (a real island this time, not just 'pebbles' and 'rocks'), another lighthouse, the same two sides. Let's hope this one can be resolved outside of the ICJ.

Keep an eye out for future developments on this issue!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Win-Win? We Got Pebbles, They Got A Lighthouse!

It's about time I touched on what I would like to think of as "The Battle of Pebbles, Rocks, and a Lighthouse". By the way, I just have to say that it'll suck to have to memorize the facts of this case in schools, when they eventually add this into the history text books. So kids, be afraid! (kidding)

I have to admit that I had not been following the development of the case from the beginning. I did however hear about it from a few people, that there was an on-going case between Malaysia and Singapore regarding some islands, and that a lighthouse was involved. I only knew that the islands had no other worth than to expand the fishing territories and airspace of both countries and that the lighthouse was a major asset. That's all I knew.

So when I just so happened to be at the right place at the right time (I had gone out to have tea, not knowing that the decision was due that day) to watch the live telecast of the decision of the International Court of Justice (ICJ), I was quite shocked to hear Rais Yatim say that it was a "win-win situation". Hearing that Singapore had won the rights over the main island (the one with the lighthouse), while Malaysia got Middle Rocks, with the decision on South Ledge yet to be decided at the time, didn't sound like a "win" to me at all. At that point I really thought I had missed out on some important facts, and that maybe those small "rocks" did carry some worth after all. So I went back and got busy surfing the web and reading the comments and posts from all over the blogosphere on this issue. This is what I got out of it.

Singapore won this:

Malaysia won the outcropping islands that you see in the picture above (top left and top right) and this:

(Both photos taken from http://muststopthis.blogspot.com with credit to Singapore Memorial)

After what I've read, I fail to see how this was a "win-win situation". We got a few pebbles (2 of which can only be seen during low tide), while they got a freakin' lighthouse! And those islands are closer to Johor than to Singapore! How close? Take a look:

(Photo courtesy of Wikipedia : the '+' is the location of Pedra Branca/Pulau Batu Puteh)

Excuse me, but that seriously doesn't look like it is close enough to be deemed 'claimable' by Singapore. Alright, they've been maintaining the lighthouse and have been claiming it as their territory since at least the early 1960's, but geographically I would still consider that more 'Johor' than 'Singapore'. I bet anyone with a brain can see what I mean. Heck, I'll even give Riau (Indonesia) a better claim than Singapore! So with our highly confident legal team going to the ICJ to present Malaysia's case, how did we end up "winning" only 2 out of 3 'rocks'?

This turned out to be the ball-buster, Singapore's trump card:

(Picture taken from http://no2umno.blogspot.com)

Malaysian Legal Team: "...fuck!"

Well, I finally understand the importance of good filing.

That letter was all it took to give a 12-4 ruling towards Singapore having legality over Pulau Batu Putih, or Pedra Branca as it should be known now that it's officially theirs. I'm left wondering, how was it that knowing Singapore had this letter, the best the Malaysian team could come up with was an excuse that "it was written at the time by the State Secretary of Johor, who had no rights to give away state land except with mandate from the Sultan of Johor, so the letter is insignificant"? That's just lame. I have no degree in law, but even I would know that that excuse alone won't be buying you enough 'brownie points' to overwrite anything in black-and-white! It's either these 'clowns' that were sent to The Hague were too lazy to do the extra 'assignments' that came with the 'homework', or worse; they weren't even aware of the existence of this letter!

Today, the reality is that we've lost something that is supposed to be ours, to another country. What's worse is that we lost it not because we were cheated out of a deal or anything of the like, but we practically GAVE IT AWAY around 55 years back, signed, sealed, delivered! And our legal team were more inclined to be mistaken as Malaysian tourists than ministers representing the country at the ICJ. There are calls for those ministers to apologize over their lack of preparation, calls for the facts they presented to be made public to determine whether they really did present a strong enough case, and even calls by some for the state of Johor to apologize to the rest of the country for giving Singapore that letter 55 years ago.

I say: It's too late. There's no point in doing all that, especially the calling for the state to apologize. What's done is done. Whatever the people want to say about the ruling, there isn't any way for them to appeal or overrule the ICJ's decision. The only way we'll ever get that island back is if Singapore writes us an almost similar letter that hands us back the sovereignty of that island. Too bad, I think Singapore wants all the space they can get. The rocks might not mean much, but the extra airspace and the waters surrounding that lighthouse will do them wonders. Now all Malaysia can do is buck up. There are other similar territorial disputes that we still haven't solved. Learn from this experience and make sure there are no stones left unturned the next time we go to court over such matters. Make sure our claims are valid and strong. And bloody hell, make sure there aren't anymore letters that states we gave away those territories and makes us look like fools! Else, the next time something like this happens,