Tuesday, August 31, 2010

It’s My Country’s Birthday Today


It’s 31st of August; my country is celebrating its 53rd birthday.

The Prime Minister is calling the country to fully utilize local talents in order to move forward. According to him, every Malaysian citizen is crucial to the country’s development as he or she has the capability to contribute to the well-being of the nation.

“It will be a huge loss to the country if the talents, whom we have painstakingly nurtured, migrate in search of a greener pasture just because of our failure to provide the conducive environment for them to contribute,” the Prime Minister said in his message to mark the 53rd National Day.

He said society should not allow the Malaysian way of life, which is based on diversity and moderation, to be undermined by extreme attitudes which manifest themselves through racial and religious issues.

“Everything which we have achieved, which we have built, and which are dear to us, will be destroyed.”

“We should therefore value the prevailing peace, harmony and stability in the country,” he said.

He also said the time had come for the current generation to take the lead to propel the country to greater heights.

Saying the real challenge for Malaysians today was to transform the country into a developed and high-income nation by 2020, the Prime Minister said the Government had put in place a strong foundation in the form of the Government Transformation Plan and Economic Transformation Plan.

The success achieved in transforming Malaysia from a low-income and agricultural-based country into a medium-income industrialized one was due to the commitment, planning and diligence of the Government, along with the people, in holding fast to the philosophy of being constantly ahead of the curve of transformation and changes, he said.

“Refusing to be contented with the status quo, and out of sheer determination, our forefathers took Malaysia from one success to another.”

“Today, it is our turn to lead Malaysia to greater heights of progress and prosperity. The question is, are we courageous enough to break away from tradition and achieve the extraordinary?”

Looking back at the struggle of past leaders, the Prime Minster said the nation’s forefathers had never felt satisfied with what the country had then. They constantly worked to create a better future for the country and its people, he said.

To continue on that path, the Prime Minister said Malaysia should safeguard national unity as the country’s pillar of peace and stability.

It was for this reason, he said, that the basis of integration among Malaysians should be built upon shared values as spelled out in the Rukun Negara.

“Please remember that Malaysia is our homeland; this is the place where we were born, the place where we grew up, where we find our livelihood, a place where we find happiness and where we shall be laid to rest,” he said.

In conjunction with National Day, he called on Malaysians to renew their commitment and strengthen their resolve to make Malaysia the best country.

“For the sake of our children’s future, we must defend the survival of our country. Let us not break what is intact,” he said.

I read, reread, and read again his speech, and I am feeling inspired, excited and enthused.

And for a moment I forget all the squabbles, empty promises, negative thinking, feelings, and deeds of our beloved politicians, and all the racial, ethnic, cultural and religious disharmony, friction, division and strife among us.

Malaysia is a beautiful county and we love Malaysia.

Happy Independence Day!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Dilemma Of A Married Man


It was a Saturday morning when I usually filled up my petrol tank.

A childhood friend walked past me as I drove out the petrol station.

I looked at him, waiting to greet him.

But he never once looked up; he looked straight at the floor and mumbled something to himself.

I knew he did see me. But I couldn’t understand why he avoided me.

This wasn’t the first time; it had happened several times in this month.

I remembered calling him once but I received no response from him.

He looked rather haggard and drained every time we met.

I felt sad and deep down I cried for him.

We were very good childhood friends; we used to go and had fun together.

And I knew his family. He was one of the three adopted children; the eldest being a sister, and he was the elder brother.

Many had said that he would be the expected heir since he was the eldest son. But thing didn’t happen that way.

I heard rumor that he had tricked his adopted parents into opening another business venture. And they had since lost faith in him.

I heard later he got married and had children.

And then I saw him opening a car accessory shop.

But few years later, he just disappeared into thin air.

I didn’t know what had happened after that.

And now I saw him again and he was so different; I just couldn't recognize him anymore.

Life can sometimes be hard and treat us unkindly.

I don’t know what has happened to him and why his late foster parents didn’t favor him.

But now that I see his younger foster brother enjoying the inheritance, I pity him.

I wondered why he was so impatience and so eager to squander his parents’ riches.

Why couldn’t he just lay low, learn to be a loyal child and win his parents’ confidence and trust?

I feel sad for him.

The dilemma of a man with wife and children.......

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Lo! Just Look At The River Flows


A moment of deliberation has become my habit and my mindset these days.

When something new and unfamiliar comes to life, there is always this moment of hesitation and indecision. There are always things to ponder, consider and reconsider. No longer will I dare to rush headlong into the uncertain future; no longer will I want to try my luck after making a mess of my life.

Even when I'm dealing with something usual, familiar, and repetitive, there is always this sense of awe and foreboding. And then the question pops up: "Am I doing the best I can or is there a better way?"

Somehow the desire to live life to the fullest and to share all that I have to offer has slowly developed its shape and scope throughout these years.

Every man creates history, shapes his or her destiny, and fosters changes. But just what sort of impacts or influences have I made thus far? Is it positive or negative impacts or influences? Am I a helpful solution or an irritating nuisance? Do I serve as a catalyst or a deterrent?

Somehow this sense of hesitation and indecision has slowly crept into me. And it is taking me longer and harder to make decisions when given short notice.

Everyone wants it fast and everything needs to be done fast. Sometimes I just wonder whom am I living this life for and whom am I trying to please.

Lately I enjoy watching the river flows. The river continues to flow smoothly; and somehow all the dead logs and branches along the way are swept away.

May be that is part and parcel of my life.

May be I need to let nature runs its course.

Lo! Just look at the river flows……..

Friday, August 13, 2010

Life Is People


Imparting knowledge and skills to others can be both fun and profitable, especially to those who are eager to learn, dedicated to their studies, and persistent in finding the ultimate goals of their life. There are always these feelings of belonging, closeness, intimacy, caring, sharing and connectivity between the teachers and students, manifested in all their splendor and perfection. Coupled with the conducive and appropriate environments and materials, teaching and learning processes have progressed and reached an all time high in due time, bringing fame and glory to the institution and the place nearby.

The opposites are true as well; there will always be those who are unwilling to teach to the best of their ability and those who insistently refuse to learn. Thing turns sour and relationship becomes tense and emotionally draining. Nothing much can be done and accomplished in such environments.

Teaching can be boring when it becomes just a daily routine of work, when there is no zest in it.

Learning too can become a lifeless and passive process when no one seems to mind or care about it.

*******

Then comes the final countdown, when test and exam are at hand.

Everyone starts finger pointing and shifting blame. No one wants to admit their wrong; everyone pushes it to others. Teachers blame the students for not studying and students blame the teachers for not teaching them well.

*******

Teaching is a lifelong process that requires much contemplation and keen observation. Not many dare to claim to be experts in the many areas of teaching.

Learning is a difficult process that requires much time and effort; many are still scouting and trying suitable and appropriate means to correct and improve their present learning skills.

*******

Everyone is both a teacher and a learner.

It is just that we always like to wear a mask that is not ours in the eyes of the public. We claim to know things we don’t know and we are happy about it.

As long as everything runs smoothly, everyone smiles secretly and sheepishly.

As one as it doesn't involve me; it's okay.

Not me, not me...

*******

Then comes the bell, the teachers leave the classrooms with books and papers in their arms. They walk rather straight and look very serious; some are really exhausted while others are happily smiling away. It is just another day of work, and the pay day is coming.

*******

Years later, when the teachers and students meet together, a haunting question comes to the ears, "Teacher, do you still remember me?" The teachers look up, hesitate to answer, look rather worried and don't really know what to do.....

*******

Life in this world isn't just live and work, retire and rest; it is not just showing our faces in public and rapidly getting away from the prying eyes of others.

Life is more of sharing and communicating, loving and caring, meeting and smiling and laughing, singing and dancing, and doing things together.......

Life is people.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

“Teacher, Do You Still Remember Me?”


“Teacher, do you still remember me?”

I looked at my ex-student, vaguely remembered him or her.

It has been my 24 years in the teaching profession, and I am proud to be a helpful teacher to my students.

Some of my ex-students have become parents and grandparents.

Many of them have their children and grandchildren studying in the same school.

I remember many of them; in fact, we have a good time together whenever we meet.

The use of Facebook has greatly enhanced our friendships, and brought more and more of my ex-students to me.

I am proud my students still remember me. God knows how much they mean to me.

If there is a respectable profession in life, teaching is one of them.

Lately I am haunted by the question, “Teacher, do you still remember me?”

Memory has failed; I have problems remembering things these days.

It is rather depressing to look at the innocent face when I can’t remember even a single thing about my ex-student; how very disappointing it is for him or her.

I never know my memory can deteriorate, that I can become more forgetful and confused.

The ability and readiness to forget some sad episodes in life is fine with me.

But to forget about well-cultivated friendship and relationship is just inexcusable.

It is time for me to strive hard to remember, and if possible to write everything down.

There are many sweet memories, unforgettable events, and surprising happenings to be remembered and cherished.

My sincere answer to my ex-students is to apologize, and then earnestly ask them to help me to remember.

“Teacher, do you still remember me?”

I Sigh!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Who Is Our Boss?


There is a common saying or belief that “we plan, God decides”. Some said this is a principle worth trusting and following. Others go against it and claim that they are the boss of their own life.

I have no qualms about it. Everyone is entitled to their opinions and beliefs; they can always do what they want.

But I can’t accept the idea that God doesn’t exist. In that case, religious people will be the miserable lot, since they are denying themselves the excitement and fun of the sinful world.

We are made moral and rational beings. We know such a thing as good or bad, right or wrong; we believe in rewards and punishments; we believe in heaven and hell; we advocate spiritual living rather than sensual living, and we strive to live an obedient and pious spiritual life.

Yes, we plan our life well and deliver everything that is good and right. We hold on to the belief that we will reap what we sow; we will get what we deserve. We believe that ultimately we have to give an account of our life to the God we believe, and await judgment or mercy.

Some believed that “we plan, God directs.” They said that the Almighty God is behind everything we do. We draw inspiration, guidance, insight, and motivation from God to plan and work, and we are directed to always carry out the right and good things in our lives.

Of course, we are not perfect; we make mistakes and errors; that is part and parcel of learning and training. We also face frustration and depression. Sometimes, we do feel like giving up and getting out.

But at the end of the day, when everything is done, we enjoy heartily our great fulfillment, satisfaction, happiness and joy.

Some went on to say that “all things are under God’s rule and control, and nothing happens without His direction or permission.”

And the arguments continue.......

Ultimately the question we have to ask ourselves is:

Who is our boss?

Can we do freely what we want?

Or is God always interfering and intervening in our lives?

What do you think?