October 29, 2005

Yes, I Was There.

I spent a day in Esplanade, Singapore's version of Sydney Opera House, admiring the public installations put together by a group of young Singaporean artists.
What really surprises me was the fact that they allowed Breakdancing and Rollerblading at the Basement of Esplanade.

Try doing this in KLCC's Symphonic hall, and you'll end up in the lockup, awaiting bail. Such is the difference between the people living on either ends of the causeway.

But it was indeed a pleasant afternoon. And I took the above picture (with me in it) as a proof of my existence.

20 comments:

Paul Ooi said...

When was that...

JerryWho said...

October 21, 2005

tuna said...

is it the steel durian building?

JerryWho said...

yeah, the "durian" design allows air flow and light penetration, it's an architecturally sound design.

tuna said...

talking about architecturally sound... what about our Spaceship Galatica National Library? :-D

JerryWho said...

please see my next post. :)

SVEN said...

our art gallery , theatre hall and even national library for me, i think still far away for public...if u wan to go there..hmmm...hard la ...take taxi or lrt then walk la....so who want go there for a meet up or gathering? plus....the problem of our national places is: they dun provide a well open public place for youth to spend their weekend, too sad and too bad.....

JerryWho said...

Perhaps, in Malaysia, you need a car to be considered "literate" enough to visit a library.

Or, perhaps, thats how they help increase Proton sales?

malaysia is no future said...

First of all, are we (the non-bumis, that is) really to believe that the government will abolish or tone down the New Economic Policy in the near future? We must be realistic, if you have the right to buy a property at a discount and have scholarships for your children, would you let go of these rights?

With Chinese population dwindling in Malaysia, what needs to be done depends on the Chinese themselves.

There is nothing wrong with the brain drain. In fact, we should encourage our children to move to Singapore, Taiwan, China etc. if we disagree with Malaysian government policies that are based on race and religion.

When it comes to the matter of the dwindling number of Chinese Malaysians, we should talk about quality, not quantity.

We should resolve why the Chinese-Malaysian population is reducing. Official figures have more than one million Chinese Malaysians emigrating over the past 25 years. Why did they emigrate? I am sure the government knows.

Straight A students can't get scholarships or university places. Nothing new, it is been that way for the past 35 years. Nowadays, even enlightened malay Malaysians are speaking up on this injustice. The MCA and Gerakan? Busy making money from private colleges.

What is so great about having TAR College or Utar which took more than 35 years of begging? Why should it be so difficult to set up an independent university when we have scores of public ones?

While we push young talented people away, other countries notably Singapore, the US and Australia welcome them with open arms.

Is it logical that we drive away our young talented ones and then invite retired Mat Sallehs to live here and exploit our low-cost of living?

Singapore's success in particular owes much to these ex-Malaysians or their descendants including Hon Sui Sen, Goh Keng Swee, Goh Chok Tong, just to name a few.

About 30 percent of top management in both Singapore's government and corporate sector are ex-Malaysians. We export them so that Singapore can compete with, and then whack us.

Korea and Taiwan, both way behind us in the 70s and 80s are now way ahead. Thailand is breathing down our necks.

Sadly, there is just no integrity in the nation's leadership.

molisa said...

I am a female Chinese Malaysian, living in the Washington DC area in the United States. I have read many of the letters that often talk about foreign countries when the writers have no real knowledge of actually living in those countries.

Many draw conclusions about what those countries are like after hearing it from someone else or by reading and hearing about them in the media or after four years in a college town in those countries.

I finished STPM with outstanding results from the prestigious St George's Girls School in Penang. Did I get a university place from the Malaysian government? Nothing. With near perfect scores, I had nothing, while my bumi friends were getting offers to go overseas.

Even those with 2As got into university. I was so depressed. I was my parents' last hope for getting the family out of poverty and at 18, I thought I had failed my parents. Today, I understand it was the Malaysian government that had failed me and my family because of its discriminatory policies.

Fortunately, I did not give up and immediately did research at the Malaysian American Commission on Education Exchange (MACEE) to find a university in the US that would accept me and provide all the finances. My family and friends thought I was crazy, being the youngest of nine children of a very poor carpenter. Anything that required a fee was out of our reach.

Based on merit and my extracurricular activities of community service in secondary school, I received full tuition scholarship, work study, and grants to cover the four years at a highly competitive US university.

Often, I took 21 credits each semester, 15 credits each term while working 20 hours each week and maintaining a 3.5 CGPA. A couple of semesters, I also received division scholarships and worked as a TA (teaching assistant) on top of everything else.

For the work study, I worked as a custodian (yes, cleaning toilets), computer lab assistant, carpet layer, grounds keeping, librarian, painter, tour guide, etc. If you understand the US credit system, you will understand this is a heavy load.

Why did I do it? This is because I learnt as a young child from my parents that hard work is an opportunity, to give my best in everything, and to take pride in the work I do. I walked away with a double major and a minor with honours but most of all a great lesson in humility and a great respect for those who are forced to labour in so-called 'blue collar' positions.

Those of you who think you know all about Australia, US, or the West, think again. Unless you have really lived in these countries, i.e. paid taxes, paid a mortgage, taken part in elections, you do not understand the level of commitment and hard work it takes to be successful in these countries, not just for immigrants but for people who have lived here for generations.

These people are where they are today because of hard work. (Of course, I am not saying everyone in the US is hardworking. There is always the lazy lot which lives off of someone else's hard work. Fortunately, they are the minority.)

Every single person, anywhere, should have the opportunity to succeed if they want to put in the effort and be accountable for their own actions. In the end, they should be able to reap what they sow.

It is bearable that opportunities are limited depending on how well-off financially one's family is but when higher education opportunities are race-based, like it is in Malaysia; it is downright cruel for those who see education as the only way out of poverty.

If you want to say discrimination is here in the US, yes, of course it is. Can you name a country where it doesn't happen? But let me tell you one thing - if you go looking for it, you will find it. But in Malaysia, you don't have to go look for it because it seeks you out, slaps you in your face every which way you turn, and is sanctioned by law!

Here in the US, my children have the same opportunity to go to school and learn just like their black, white, and immigrant friends. At school, they eat the same food, play the same games, are taught the same classes and when they are 18, they will still have the same opportunities.

Why would I want to bring my children back to Malaysia? So they can suffer the state-sanctioned discrimination as the non-bumis have for over 30 years?

As for being a slave in the foreign country, I am a happy 'slave' earning a good income as an IT project manager. I work five days a week; can talk bad about the president when I want to; argue about politics, race and religion openly; gather with more than 50 friends and family when I want (no permit needed) and I don't worry about the police pulling me over because they say I ran the light when I didn't.

How about you.............?

no brain leader said...

In Malaysia we have the crony group. They continuously recommend new rules and regulations to be implemented and legalised by their front liners, a.k.a. the government, to squeeze the normal folk of their pennies.

Surprised? I'm not.

The Public Services Department (PSD) and their scholarship awarding criteria is a yearly event. It is an annual drama during which the non-bumi students protest after which the government will intervene and award them PSD scholarships.

Why couldn't these deserving students been given scholarships in the first place? That's a question never answered. The drama will be played out again next year. Same play, different players.

And imagine the horror when it was revealed that of the 12000 Approved Permits (APs) that were awarded in 2003, one single deserving human being in our beloved country was given 6000.

He must be an immensely blessed human being to be granted such a privilege. But hey, the government is not answerable to you or to anyone. Our Barisan Nasional government is not concerned enough to come out and explain why such a privilege was granted to this one person in Malaysia. Never has, never needed to.

And why do we now need to pay extra for a hologram label on our medicine? Who gets to make the contract to supply the hologram?

Why do we keep paying a higher toll for the use of our highways? Where does all the money go?

Why was the Penang Outer Ring Road project given to a company without a background in constructing highways? Along with the privilege to develop prime locations on Penang island?

Why do we have to work harder for a smaller share of the pie?

Why are the privileged ones getting away with criminal acts?

Why are the ministers' children attending international schools instead of national schools?

Why? Because we live in Malaysia, and Malaysia boleh.

racist king said...

Our current malay generation is racist now because they desperately want to hang on to privileges which I frankly believe is slowly causing the malay race to rot away and become a pathetic race on crutches dependent.

I think that malays are the most stupid idiots on earth�K�K�K.They might have big sized bodies bud in their head, they have puny brains�K�K�K.

Thus coming to the conclusion that they are the most stupid black blocks on earth�K�K�K.they are colored black and stink like a garbage dump�K�K�K.

Does malay ever think twice about their religious? What if yours believe is not what you think..........

You malays will rape anybody just for sexual pleasure. You didn't read about the malay who raped his own sister?

Not only that! They yell 5 times per day and expect to go to heaven! After committing so many sins like killing, rape, steal!

If Americans don't hate the malays, why is there so much bad press against Mahathir when he scolded the Americans? Isn't he a malay? You malays are brainless and never read the newspaper. Everyday special rights here and there�K�K�K.still like your tongkat so much!

You go to American embassy and see which country now is blacklisted? Did they blacklist Singapore, Taiwan?

Malays are jealous of Chinese, that is why they hate them. Americans are not jealous of Chinese, because they don't need tongkat. They buy a lot of Chinese goods. If they hate, they would have boycott the products. Bodoh!

Oh! Bodoh! Only blind man needs tongkat.

Even the Japanese look down upon the malays because they are just a bunch of lazy, fool, corrupted person who feed on the Chinese income tax for their existence.

The malays want to produce as many pig babies as they want, but doesn't teach them what is honesty, hard working, civilisation!

the model racist nation said...

Look, that seems to be the problem with certain countries. They seem to want to bash and victimize themselves every possible step of the way so as to not take blame for anything, and using sorry justifications to uphold their prejudiced and many times, racist policies and laws.

Look at Malaysia and Indonesia. It is not only the Chinese there that are suffering. And about "Chinese being privilege", yes, right�K�K�K.Many of us know of times where British put up those familiar "No Chinese and dogs" signs banning certain nationalities inside. I don't know how privileged is that.

Need I mention the thanks they give their minorities (that provide the iron rice bowl to the economy), for example, sin money (a tax that is considered dirty because it comes from license taxes paid by gambling resorts and pig farms and such, considered sinful and unclean by their majority religion, Islam) used for Chinese welfare�K�K�K.many Chinese there have slammed it as an "insult" to them.

Stop referring to some sob past to justify some country's unfair policies and laws that relies on leeching on certain races for certain things, while the locals or the majority (malays) just sits back and enjoy the spoils.

Indonesia has plenty of Chinese who were abused, raped by Indonesians and so on for being "richer" and "taking money away from the people".

Hello, if they didn't have the - cannot be bothered attitude - and actually work hard to make a proper living for themselves without wasting precious money on luxury or items not necessary, and saving money, living frugal, they wouldn't have fallen into their own financial muck, and resorted to blaming other races for their own misery.

Today it seems, other races seem to be holding the reins of the economy in certain countries and these countries, instead of realising, they are falling behind and bucking up to be competitive to regain their competitive spirit and improve their situations, resort to using cheap tactics that discriminate against every other race, clearly, it shows they have no intention of getting their sorry bums up and working hard for their families and their country's pride.

Even countries like Saudi Arabia, where unemployment, crime, and every other bane of a country is rampant, because of the cushy role, the monarch plays as some sled oil dealer of the world.

Unlike which incidentally, still has quite a percentage of their economy made out of oil revenue, but is improving where they have realised that if they continue playing the stereotype of the dumb fat oil sheik, they are not going to get anywhere and once the oil runs out they will have a major crisis in their country.

North Korea is another country in Asia that is decadent, and finds no end to blaming other person or country for their stupid mishaps.

There, discrimination is at its best. Policies and laws mutilated in the name of corrupted politics run amok, and despite depending so heavily on foreign imports, they yet label these people as the problems of society that spreads evil decadent ways of the outside world into their country and refrain from giving these people proper rights - yet these people (the Chinese) are the ones contributing to the country the most.

One could argue every country has its own policies and laws that place prejudice on certain parties - yes, that is true, but none so shamefully as those who (Malaysia) not only boast about it, take the credit for the successes of these people whom they slam their discriminatory abuses on, and have no intention to change it (and that said with a smug look on the face).

That is a slap on the face to democracy and equal rights for all.

emigrate engineer said...

The world is very small this day, and with the concept of globalization which is unavoidable any way, goes to where an equal opportunity is available if you can.

Education is an important investment, and there is only a certain time frame that your children could utilize it at the best. So do not waste that time! There is more assistance than you could imagine if your kids do find difficulties on the path.

There is a thing called "quality of life". It means that there is a place where children have equal opportunity to develop themselves to the fullest, and the children believe that they are not prejudiced and could achieve what they want to be as opportunities are just there.

Good social order and hence personal safety, (not so much of snatch thieves, robbers, road rages, rapists, pirates etc), good living environment (safe water, and clean air), educated society (people say "please" and "thank you" more often), up to date medical care, and good and efficient government administration (you get your income tax refund not more than six weeks after your submission etc).

But you must be prepared to earn an honest living, as the laws are very strict against any illegal acts, which many underdeveloped countries utilize to make money under the name so called as "business".

So consider ourselves as global citizens and if we are good we still can contribute a lot to the humanity and the world community where your effort is appreciated.

Success or failure is not measured by its size but rather an effort to make the best out of oneself, and for that, fair and equal opportunity must be available.

run away from malaysia said...

There are a lot of sensitive issues that are 'forbidden' to be discussed with reasons being racism, national security or anything you call it. But not being able to discuss them openly doesn't mean they do not exist and I do hope to enlighten everyone.

I am not pointing fingers but this is what is happening.

Speaking from the perspective of being a Chinese, we had to study so hard with parents working twice as hard. It is either straight As or you'll end up in a local university much later doing a course that you don't really like.

I achieved straight As in my SPM. I applied for local universities with my results and when I got the reply, I was granted a course totally different from the one that I've applied for. Computer science (applied for by me) and agricultural science (the one given to me) - two very different things.

Yet, I have malay friends who got only Bs and Cs getting into medicine, engineering and everything they applied for. So many of my peers who are fantastic students with fantastic results and great brains ended up going to colleges through scholarships by other governments like Singapore.

When other governments can appreciate our talents, why are we treated like second-rated citizens in our own country?

Perhaps some of you reading this will say, well, the Chinese can afford it because they are rich generally and the government is only doing a fair thing in supporting the malays. Well, think again. I am not from a wealthy family, a lot of us are not too. When our government forsakes us, we had to work extra hard to pick ourselves up. So don't tell me that this is fair.

Affirmative action should be done based on social economic status, not race. How can you justify that the rich malays could get a 7% discount on semi-detached house, while a poor Indian factory worker has to pay full amount for his cheap apartment?

Our country is so far behind developed countries and only our pride denies us from accepting this fact. Examples? We don't even dare to compete on even ground with our automobile industry. Everyone knows the fact that if not for the taxes that the government imposes on imported cars, Proton will almost certainly be a huge flop.

We are 'forced' to buy Proton. Telekom is a monopoly and we are light years in terms of Internet connections. There are countless of examples.

Now, when we grow up, we ought to contribute to our country. But what makes the government think that they deserve our services?

My parents had to work extra hard and use up all their savings to pay for my education abroad as we didn't have a choice. Now, I've graduated and am working in the UK.

During my last visit back to Malaysia, I remembered a lady was asking me if I would come back to Malaysia and serve the country. I honestly said to her, 'Why should I?'

The country and the government rejected me and treated me as a second-class citizen and now I should serve the country? That must be a joke.

Even though I am not a British citizen but I feel so much at home here. I have been treated equally, I am entitled to health care and have the support of the locals.

No one talks about things like this. Forget the press, they are government tools. This is racism of the modern days. I lived through it as a child of Malaysia. Sad but true.

malaysia is very low class said...

Hasn't anyone realized that they (babiputras) prefer that Chinese just emigrate, so they can have the country for themselves? At least that is what they think.

I know, you will say that after the departure of the one million Chinese from Malaysia, the brain drain, there is less wealth in Malaysia, but all the same they would rather we are not there. They see us as sharing their cake, not the actual fact of us creating a bigger cake for all.

Still, from talking to other Chinese in Malaysia, they still prefer NOT to migrate, they'd rather being discriminated against, being second or third class citizens, being bullied, and continue to vote them (babiputras) into power.

Granted, some do not qualify to emigrate, especially to a western country. But ALL the ones I talked to they DO qualify, yet they prefer the comfort zone. And there are countries treating us Chinese more fairly and the migration policies are more lenient.

Can anyone explain such mentality? If that is not stupidity, you tell me what it is.

No wonder already one million Chinese left Malaysia - they are not only fed up with babiputras but also the attitude of their own race.

cool fire said...

I am a dental student in the US from Malaysia. Have been living in the US for about 7 years, now and I would like to share some insights that may help view things from another perspective.

Lets consider few other interesting facts:

A comment was made where even the western countries are going through a phase of "brain drain". Let me tell you that it is not true.

This is why. Countries like the US are continuously reaching out in welcoming more and more foreign citizens in all important fields such as engineering, IT and medical. They will never go through "brain drain".

1. If you recently graduated from a dental or medical school in the US, regardless of where you are from, you are eligible to apply for an expedited green card. In fact, they will approve your green card almost immediately so that you can start working.

2. All professors are encouraged to do research and studies in the summer and publish them. The more publication you have, the more likely you will receive a raise.

3. US was worried from a report published few months ago that foreign enrollment for masters were dropping due to tighter visa restrictions. They admitted that less foreign enrollment would greatly affect the R&D of the country. Why? Most R&D is done by foreigners and they are greatly recognized for it.

4. I know a South Korean guy who graduated from my school and went on becoming a dentist. Two years after graduating from dental school, he returned to my university to give a presentation. His English was fair, not that great but guess what, his two dental practices in the State of Utah, made US$3 million a year profit (not revenue).

5. In Malaysia, the pay for a medical lab assistant with a bachelor is RM800 - RM1000. In the US, the pay for the same position is US$1800 - US$2400. And they do look at color actually. If you are a foreigner (with a permit of course), silently preference will be given to you�K�K�K.because they are loyal and hardworking.

To make it fair, even without converting the currency, we can see which country values its citizen and strives to improve their R&D. (Keep in mind, things are cheaper in the US than Malaysia�K�K�K.without converting the currency�K�K�K.You are lucky if you can buy a decent car�K�K�K.)

With all this said, if a person is qualified and have a family to support, why would they want to go through the trouble of "not getting promotion because of color", "not getting admitted to university because of race quota filled", and lastly after spending more than RM400000 on medical school, you are to spend 5 years slave laboring for the government, not knowing how you are going to pay off the debt and support your family although you hold the prestige "Dr".

These are all things that distract from progressing for an individual and for the country. Our country is losing a lot of time and talent but subjecting all these on qualified individuals. So what you do, not let this effect your progression.

We have to take care of ourselves first and after that worry about patriotism. Patriotism is not going to put food on the table or grow money tree outside my house.

I am not planning on returning back to Malaysia (to settle) unless things change in Malaysia. But with the money I will earn, I can visit Malaysia every year and contribute to the tourism industry. When I reach the age of 60 and retire, then I will return to Malaysia.

emigrate to USA said...

Too much has been said.

When I actually make that giant leap, I make it solely for the future of my family. If you look at it from an economic point of view, I will lose more than half of my accumulated wealth.

Emigrating is simply a decision that I make within my family and has nothing to do with the guy next door. Call it selfish or whatever, but all I can say is that it is none of anyone's business. I am the one leaving behind the good and bad times, friends and family, my social circle and the things and people I love.

If I had millions of surplus cash like many of our 'politicians', I might put it in a briefcase and just walk into another country and buy properties and live a good life. It might then be a decision that needs not much thinking about at all.

You see, I am not leaving my country, but leaving behind a system that does not present a fair future for my generation. It is a pity that my kids will not have the opportunity to grow up with the older generation and their cousins.

They will lose a very big part of our tradition, but I am hoping that they will grow up to be good human beings, able to do whatever they please with their future.

There is so much out there for everyone, but it is a pity that the lords and masters of our country are trying to limit the capabilities of our children. From where I stand, we are moving from becoming a developed nation to a backward nation in terms of intellectual ability.

See what is happening to our universities, as they churn out youngsters into a workforce that does not view them as valuable resources. This is due to the many limitations (government propaganda, quota, syllabus, etc) within the system that disallows young minds to be independent and competitive in the world market.

Everybody knows it, but no one dares speak out. This itself is creating a very subversive culture which will only damage the country in the long run.

Perhaps one day things will change, but I do not see it in the near future and am not willing to bet my family's future on it. Yes, I am looking for a better life, but not necessarily a wealthier life. When my kids become adults, where they choose to live, will be their decision.

The grass may not be greener on the other side, but you never, never know if you never, never go!

yes agree malaysia is no future said...

So the story is simple.......... when most of the Chinese has left this country then the population of malays will outnumber the rest and this gives them even more say and the remaining groups will have to suffer more.

So how? Maybe we can ask the government for a piece of land, maybe an island and we can start afresh from there and call it Chinaland. And 5 years later we will be greater than Malaysia. Is that workable?

Maybe.......... one never knows.

yes malaysia is no future said...

Well, here is one for you if you think that economic ground is the only reason for many to emigrate.

I will be leaving this country within the next one year.

If you must know, currently I am earning a five figure salary, living in a luxury condo in the heart of KL, own another landed property in Bangsar and have two kids who are three and five respectively. I also have a maid, who for a mere RM400 a month, helps my wife to look after the home and kids.

Yes, I will be migrating to the land of the white-man soon. And guess what, I don't even have a job to go to yet in this white-man's land. But you know something? It doesn't matter to me as I know that with my skills, I can get a job there if I look in the right places.

They do not ask me if I am Muslim or a bumiputera before giving me a job. All they look at is my CV which speaks for itself. And I don't need to be connected to a 'Dato'.

I wouldn't even mind taking up a lower level job as long as I can look after my family and at the same time give my kids the option of a better and fairer future. There is no guarantee that my kids will become doctors or scientists. But merely knowing that they have a fair option is more then enough for my family to decide to take this giant step to uproot.

My lifestyle in this white-man's land will definitely be different. But just as I had strived for 10 years in Malaysia to create my wealth from nothing at all, what is there to stop me from doing it all over again? In fact with the same effort, I should be much better off.

To put it bluntly, I am prepared to take the risk of emigration at the age of 38 with my family 'on tow'. The question arises - why should a person in my capacity want to leave when I have all that a person can wish for?

One should stop looking with malice at people like me who make a choice to migrate for the betterment of our family's future. He might want to do a proper study on how much Malaysia stands to lose from skilled people leaving this country simply because they have had enough of it.

Please crawl out of your tempurung and look around at the amount of money that is being wasted in this country to make the well-connected bumis rich. They have nothing to complain about as the government is prepared to give you anything even when in many cases you might not deserve it.

If you want to talk about fairness, then look at the titles that have been given to bumis who had not done much at all. The round-the-world sailor who had to be assisted by the Royal Malaysian Air Force with an expenditure of about a million ringgit and the swimmer whose feat is not accredited by organisations monitoring English Channel crossings.

What about the first Malaysians to make it up Mount Everest, where are their 'Dato' titles? Perhaps a title for the medical student who recently crossed the English channel in almost half the time of the former 'hero'?

I know of bumi students in University Malaya. I know them well. You see, I didn't get the chance to do a proper science course locally and had to struggle to fund my overseas education by begging and borrowing.

You might also want to find out the real reason why the 128 students were not given medical seats in local universities even though they had very high scores. Are you saying that these students are inferior to the matriculation students?

Do you know the pains of studying in order to score excellent results in the STPM? Please, feel free to furnish me facts so that poor souls like me would be convinced that the policies of this country are just and fair.

If you have ever heard of the simple saying, "Give a man a fish, he eats for a day, teach him how to fish and he eats for a lifetime," you will realise that many non-bumis have learned how to fish but the government is still handing out fishes to the bumis.

One day the fish will run out.