Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Are We More Value Driven?

As I watch the media here in Australia and try to compare it to the ones in Malaysia, I usually achieve a clear distinction on two outstanding things. One is the degree to which Malaysian media stoop to constantly provide entertainment, entertainment, entertainment 24-7. Two, and the thing that interests me the most at the moment, is the direct openness of the Australian media that sometimes can be confronting.

I know that I’ve only been living here for two years and that is not long by any standards. But I think I have learnt the obscene power that media possess over the people who consume them. Here, the media, especially the current affair shows, blow up stories like “teenage running from home at 14 to have babies”, “woman wants to have 11 babies” and “grandmother forced to sell home because of mortgage crisis”. My very first reaction when I saw these news here was, SO WHAT? I think these things happen in Malaysia too but they are not on tv. So why the big fuss? But when I go on to think about it, I came to a realisation that behind the so-called strong values that Malaysians possess, we are actually so afraid of admitting our faults and mistakes or acknowledging the real condition of the society. So I can understand now why Edisi Siasat used to get a lot of “word-bashing” for their intake on current affairs and that’s not even 25% of the things said here. No wonder I used to think that Malaysia has no problems and that’s because we were never told so until things really get out of hands like when suddenly people start dumping babies in bins at large numbers, then it becomes newsworthy. If it’s just one or two in a month, it sort of appears that it’s the best for all to just keep it mum.

Still talking on values, I can assure that Aussies laugh the hardest at themselves, thus the success of shows like Kath & Kim, Summer Heights High and The Chaser’s War On Everything which are all a satirical view on the Australian perceived values of “mateship” and “fair-dinkum”. These shows make the people wonder about their values and drive them to question the way they live they life. Sure it’s entertainment but it’s embedding a whole lot more than it appears on the surface. On the other hand, I am almost certain Malaysians (including me) wouldn’t have the ability to constantly poke fun at ourselves and laugh at the not-so-ambiguous reflection on oneself thus we instead have the success of shows like Trek Selebriti, Melodi and Akademi Fantasia which are all a paradoxical representation of the Malaysian perceived values of righteousness and modesty. These shows drive people to become engrossed in something that are not theirs and make them drift in constant mindless entertainment. We become obsessed with everything beautiful and wonderful to shift the attention from the chronic issues of the society. In better words, we were never taught to think for ourselves.

What we see on Malaysian television are not us, the majority of people. So, I can only agree why new shows like “Kami” on 8TV should be a hit, it might be partly because a cute guy named Eizani (sigh!) and partly because it, indeed, attempts to represent a large part of the community and have subjects that really matter. So are Gol & Gincu, Datin Diaries (even if it’s a bit over the top yet it is largely a fair representation) and Realiti. We need more shows like the one initiated by The Hoppers and Ahli Muzik where Malaysian is the focus. We need more reliable documentaries like Majalah 3 which tells the story of Malaysia or to Malaysians. Yes, we need entertainment but we certainly do not need 15 reality tv shows a year. I’m sure the argument would be that “Well, we only air what the people wants to see”=consumer-provider relationship. But if you keep wondering why most people tune in to other optional international shows on the cable network, I think it should be self-explanatory by now.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Guess Who's Coming To Town?

OMARION! hehehe.. Yes, he is. So are Marques Houston (best known for Wonderful) and Avant.. They're going to be performing in Sydney Entertainment Centre on the 7th of November for the Get Served Dance Competition. Noice! How?? How?? Tempted nak pi ni... hehe

For tickets and more information, go to

In the meantime, The Black Eyed Peas are currently in town on a soft-drink promotional tour. They will be playing at an exclusive gig for some competition winners and the soft drink company. Be sure to bring those cameras handy in case you catch them cruising about in the coast..

Alicia Keys is also rumoured to come down in a short promotional tour. She will probably play in a small, intimate and exclusive gig organised by Sony-BMG as well as some special television promotions. I think it's safe to say Sunrise is one and I WILL wake up at 4 and catch the bus to Martin Place just to cheer her on. Well, I can pretend that I came all the way from Malaysia just to catch her, probably that would guarantee me a sure sight of her :p

I'm Feeling Minored

I just heard one of the best concerto in my life today. I personally think it's even better than Mozart's Clarinet Concerto in A Major! Yes.. yes.. I'm exaggerating but I was completely consumed into the mellow romantic tunes of Schumann's Piano Concerto in A Minor Op. 54 this morning that I really got distracted from the books I was reading. Before this, I've only heard one composition from Schumann which one will agree is his magnum opus, Carnaval. It is hard to explain the way I felt when I heard that piece but it moved my heart with every single bar it leaped. Profound stuff, it was. Well, I'm not a classical music enthusiast nor am I a music buff. I simply think I might be in love with a dead composer :p

Monday, October 29, 2007

Happy Birthday!!!

This past week has been a celebration of birthdays in my circle of friends... It is usually during this time of the year that you will come to realise how much you know (or do not know) about your friends' interest or view on life. And it also gives you the ultimate headache! Okay, let me give you an idea of how it works...

N celebrated her birthday on 20th. She has a loooot of handbags, hijabs and skirts so these three things seemed pretty much like the good things to give. You begin scouring for the best options in town but then again, you began to wonder if she can remember the presents we give her. Will it appear all the same? hurrrmmm... maybe not a good idea..

then you go on to things she seemed to don't really have because you never see her using them often like beads or shoes or books... but then you realise that she doesn't really use them because she probably finds it hard to find something she really likes.. What makes you think you can actually give her something she really likes that she'll wear it? See... it's confusing... but i think we finally got her the right thingslaaaa kan?

But then, you have people like D who also seem to have a looooooot of stuff but she sort of has a particular liking for a thing she hasn't had in a while. It was pretty easy to choose between a few options that we thought she would like and it was explicitly translated in her expression when she received it. Well, I'm sure that expression was genuine.. if not, :(

Yet, I think what matters the most on birthdays is essentially the company you have. I hoped both of my dear, dear friends had a great time on their BDay with me because I can assure you that I actually did. It was a great delight watching the two of you just "chiiiiiilllllllll".. hahaha :p

I Love It!

It's getting pretty hot nowadays in Sydney... Good, I need to get ready for Malaysia again right? I'm counting the days to be back in MySpace! I'm looking forward to late nights at the mamak and back at sipping teh tareks instead of mochas or lattes, munching roti canais instead of vegie sandwhiches, hitting the scene instead of peeking through and watching my family laugh in front of the tv instead of just hearing them... I'm loving it!

But with that, there will also be the less-anticipated awkwardness of seeing two familiar faces later. Catching them both at the same time would be somewhat inevitable too and I can only cross my fingers that I will not trip over for feeling completely overwhelmed. Well, sometimes we just gotta do what we gotta do if we want to be balanced. I'm determined not to become something I used to hate and for that, it might mean some broken "promises". (Damn, I wonder why I want to be sooooo cryptic? As if it can be brokenlah plak kan??) Hurrrmmm.. Not so loving it.

In conclusion, I love what I have now and I will hopefully love what awaits me in the future (Insya Allah). Point taken?? well, at least please do consider it :p


Ideally, this world is made and built on the foundation of democracy. Yet the question I ask myself after years of being served the notion of such freedom and togetherness is that in this world where power, greed and poverty can all exist in the same place, is democracy relevant at all or is it just a mantelpiece placed on the shelf of ignorance turned into ultimate bureaucratic bliss?

In the end of the past century, we have seen the demise of communist and socialist blocks that should implicitly mark the rise of democracy to dominate our platter of thoughts but being a concept not well confined within a limitation, democracy has certainly not been translated in the same way by all the willingly participating nations of the world. Let me just give one of the most easiest example.

United Nation. The nurturing pot of democracy as it represents the voice of all 192 countries internationally-recognised or accepted into the federation and that would be a whopping 98% of the world's states. The 5 most highly regarded nations (some for the very wrong reasons), China, USA, UK, France and Russia are members of the Security Council. Each has a veto power to undo or reject or object a proposition painstakingly conjured up with courage by the other 187 nation in just a single blow. The result? Russia says "no" to objecting Iran's nuclear plan due to their oil collaborations, China says "no" to putting a stop on open arms deal in Sudan because of the business deals they have in between them and USA says "yes" with carrying on with the plan to invade whoever/wherever they like.

So has revolution after revolution of democracy where the people's voice gets the attention actually lead to a sense of nothingness and reclusiveness of the privileged? When only 2% of the world's nations get to play with the fate of other 98% of hopeful others, it seems pretty darn clear how some of the biggest advocate of democracy themselves befall their own sacred ideology and thus, becomes one of the most idiosyncratic notion of the modern world. Sort of like having ducks saying they can and will fly. Believe them, they do! It's just that you're a little bit unfortunate that you'll never see them do so while you are alive.

On that account, I will have to say that I think Malaysia has one of the saddest democractic nation built on a very sheepishly configured racial distribution. We can never deny the fact most of the parties in the ruling united party were (are) racially inspired and that if one of the major three parties were to leave, a majority will not be guaranteed. Having parties driven by racial interest and preservation rather than a shared vision and mission that is encapsulated by a certain ideology is definitely one of the downside of Malaysian political scenario. Well, some might argue that we have different values than Western society but we should have become matured enough to educate people in making the right choice by deciding what's best for their country economically, socially and politically and not racially. Unfortunately in Malaysia, we do not even have much of a choice. The result? A sense of mere acceptance because nobody else can afford to offer a better option and the ruling party doesn't even need to struggle to ensure that they will have to come up with explicit,workable plans for the nation.

I'm not saying that everything needs to change. I'm not ignoring to acknowledge that democracy and discussion did work to overcome a lot of problems. But when practiced to suit a particular interest, it often fails to represent what it aspires and what actually truly matters. The People.

for more on the issue, join the discussion on

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Raya Raya Sydney

I know it's kinda late to do this and I'm doing this at this very,very "apt" time too (i.e 1.40am when I have a test coming up later in the day.. but then, who gives a dang right?) but I just thought I might share my potpouri of feelings.

*It was quite hectic even though we have been making preparations for eid about a week earlier. Most of the basic stuff for the cooking seesion were ready two days earlier but we still worked until the eleventh hour before the guests came for the small celebration we had on 1 Syawal*

*I'm grateful that I have these great housemates celebrating with me... They are the reasons why I actually felt happier for eid this year (compared to last year, of course). Thank You, Thank You, Thank You...*

*The eid solat was done within the given circumstances. I'm proud that my close friend was given the chance to read the khutbah. The only thing missing was probably the cokmar, eyh?*

*I finally received my baju kurungs on Friday (12th October). Was very delighted to see that my mum and siblings chose something that really suits me. Was a little bit disappointed to learn that one of the baju kurungs is tooooooo huge (it's a ready-made M, no wonder). Wore 4 traditional clothings in two days. Felt a little bit of overdoing it :p*

One of Four

*Couldn't reach my mum on the phone until around 1pm on 1 Syawal and was almost reduced to tears. Finally got through and all my uncles/aunts were sharing the ending of "Kerana Cintaku Saerah" with me on the loudspeaker... Our family is such a cliche*

*Loved Unit 38's Snow White Biscuits and Blackcurrant Jelly, Unit 37+36's Dalca and Ayam Merah, Unit 107's Rendang, Iffah+Syal+Zye+Izzati's Lidah Jin and Kuah Lodeh, Syikin+Amrien's Mama Carey Biscuits and Cheese Cake/Biscuits*

*We played the firecrackers without any guilt because it's LEGAL here... For once, we were the ones making noise that our neighbours practically came around to peek at us. I bet they thought we were making some bombs and stuff.*

*Gave some food to our chosen neighbours (obviously not the boofheads next-doors). The cute European guy who lives opposite us seemed genuinely touched that we included him in our feast... Well, if you're nice, of course we undoubtedly will treat you so too*

*We had guests coming on two separate days despite having prepared to only receive them with a feast on the first day. All the same, we were more than happy to have them in our humble home with the little things we can cook up. Hope you guys had a great time like we did*

*My 5 closest Malaysian friends (with Nina and Shah missing in the equation) paid a visit to my mum on Wednesday, 17th October. Nabil, Asraf, Amin, Wan and Khairiyah were served biskut samprit that was supposedly saved for me when I come home later (I doubt Nabil can resist the temptations to gooble it up), drank sirap and watched jutawan fakir. Yeah, all my three favourite raya things... The six of us+mummy talked on the loudspeaker for just 15 minutes and already we were talking about when Acap or Amin will get married. The conversation ended when we realised that we have left the pan on the stove for toooooo long and it's on fire!*

Two Of Four

Notes of Mine

Note 1:
My dear, dear friend... Hearing that you're not well makes my heart leap a beat. I care for you so much that being apart from you makes me often wonder how you're doing all the time. Do whatever the doc says and let me know anything that bothers you. Nothing is too small or big when it comes to you... You should know that.

Note 2:
My dear acquaintance... I know we're no one to each other but I happen to worry for your health... Do get well soon and take good care of yourself...