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Electronics and electrical items these days became essentials in our lives. Many years ago, having a television was already considered as a luxury of a whole village. Almost all villagers will gather at the owner’s house to watch TV at night. Today, a home may house two to five or more televisions – one in each room.

Televisions

I bought a television recently – a 50 inch Sony smart TV. I actually ordered a 48 inch TV and only a few minutes after that my friend announced on our Whatsapp friends group that she has a TV to let go at a much cheaper price than what I ordered. So I took the offer. I was at a family gathering and rushing to get home so my cousin asked me, “What’s the rush?”

“The dispatch is here to send the TV,” I said.

“Wah buying new TV la… where’s the old TV? Pass to me then,” he said.

“I got no TV at home… that’s why I am buying one!” I said, surprising almost everyone. My Dad has a small TV which he watches in his room so I will join him in his room during news hours. At our living room, the old heavy TV box was beyond repair. I never got a TV until recently. To many people, TV is an essential and it will make jaws drop if you are without one.

DVD Players and other electronics

What is a TV without DVD, VCD, Blu Ray players? Speakers and amplifiers could be an add-on to the list. Perhaps a pay TV box like ASTRO. Unifi or any Wifi routers add on to the list of essentials. How can you live without Internet these days?

I am satisfied with a TV and DVD players. Speakers do not make any difference for me – I can’t differentiate sound that comes out from the TV and from expensive speakers.

Handphones

handphone

I remembered my uncle was the first in the family to own a mobile phone – a big whole box where you carry around. The picture above explains. It was heavy and only meant for men, girls couldn’t carry such heavy box to go around. Then the same uncle owns the newer version of mobile phone – we called it the “water tumbler” because the antenna prodded out like a straw for a water bottle.

Today, many of my family members have 2 to 3 phones and sometimes cannot do without both handphones with them.

Water Heater

When water heater was first introduced in Malaysia, many people thought it was going to be a failed business. Malaysia is humid and we see the sun everyday of our lives in the country. Now it became an essential item at home. I have no water heater at home until now. I recall that I boiled water to add on to our pail during rainy days but the last I did that was 2 years ago, most days I prefer cold baths. My mother’s house (my parents divorced so they stay separately) has water heaters at all bathrooms and can’t do without. As far as I can remember, none of my family members do not have a water heater at home, all except me.

When my family members from our hometown visits us, no one chooses to stay at my home.

“Hah? No water heater? How to shower?” was the normal reaction.

Air Conditioners

I am particularly afraid of cold. I can stand heat and love sauna sessions. I think partly due to the long hours under the sun when I was in school training foot drills for competitions. My aunt said that my uncle once said he couldn’t stand the cold temperature but after installing the air conditioners for some time, he now couldn’t sleep without turning on the air conds. He has 4 air conditioners at home.

My Dad disliked the air conds too but after two years not staying with him, as I shifted back to stay with him, I saw a new addition in his room – the air cond!! I was once proud of my frugality and always tell people I do not have an air cond, no water heater and even TV at home. I also installed another air cond at the living room recently, for the comfort of our guests who come occasionally. I still do not have an air cond in my bed room, still prefer to sleep without air cond.

Vacuum Cleaners

When I wanted to buy a vacuum cleaner, my Dad would scold asking why I was so lazy to even sweep the floor. I explained that both of us have sensitive nose and a vacuum cleaner could do better than a broom. He opposed.

Two years I was away, and when I shifted back to stay with him, guess what. A new addition in the store room – the vacuum cleaner. I am not sure of other homes but this item seems to be an essential for any home now.

Furniture

I have a Japanese table – with no chairs, obviously. I sit on cushions or on the carpet. I have a bench at home which was something left to bring home from my office. I bought a bean bag recently for its mobility. So, at my living room – I have the mentioned Japanese table, bench, bean bag and to add on – an altar table, TV cabinet with TV and the players, a bar table with 2 bar chairs and a display cabinet.

People coming to my house would spot a missing “essential”! “Why no sofa? How to sit?”

I sit on the floor and have many many cushions for my guests too. However, many cannot do the most essential thing – sitting on the floor – anymore! Almost everyone who came to my house could complain of the discomfort having to sit on the floor. Rising from the sitting position remained difficult to many people. Our furniture has created new ways to sit and we almost forget completely that the most basic seat was only the floor. Sofa was a luxury but not anymore.

Clothes and shoes

When I was growing up, I wore pre-owned clothes. My aunts would pass down all the baby and children clothes from one home to another. Even the eldest in my generation had to wear clothes passed down from another family. Having a baby in the family means scouting around for clothes among family members to see who has kept old baby clothes. Buying new clothes was a “luxury” that we children looked forward during Chinese New Year. Today, we buy new clothes for all new born babies and at times too much clothes till the children have no chance to wear because they grew up so quickly.

I remember complaining about wearing old clothes until when I grew older knowing that there are people in the world without proper clothing. My aunt taught us to be frugal and how she would buy clothes only when there is a sale. Buying RM10 for 3 pieces of T-shirts was a norm in my house. After all, you only need to cover your body. As children, we were dirtying our clothes while playing all the time anyway!

School shoes will last from the beginning of the year till year end. Sometimes if the shoes are better, we wore it to the second year. That was considered a luxury. At that time, we try buying the cheapest but most comfortable shoes. A pair of shoes normally cost us RM29.90 at Bata. My first shock was looking at Nike shoes priced at over RM100 and always wonder how people will buy such expensive shoes.

Today’s children own a whole cabinet of shoes. Buying sports shoes worth RM300 and above seems to be a norm. I too have 3 pairs of shoes ranging from RM100-RM300 for different usage.

I still keep a frugal habit. I have clothes I wear for more than 10 years. Many people cannot believe this. I met Anas the other day, wearing Zubedy t-shirt. His first speech was, “Wah wearing Zubedy t-shirt. So old la the t-shirt.”

I clear my wardrobe every year, giving out those old clothes to charity, keeping only those needed shirts. Yet, those clothes still stuffed my little wardrobe which I always have gratitude to have so much to wear. The charity home or those organisation collecting recycled items would stop collecting clothes. They showed me the reason. I went to their warehouse, they opened up a store room – high ceiling say about the height of a one-and-half storey home, huge room about 600 square feet. The clothes they collected would stuff that room to ceiling high, one big pile right in the room. They have nowhere to give out the clothes.

I still have new clothes – t-shirts given during functions and events, new and still kept in the plastic bags. If I were to throw away a t-shirt, it will mean it is really weary and old or torn. Thus far, no one complains that I wear the same shirts every time they see me. My friends who see me often will immediately know I have a new shirt because they see me wearing the same all the time.

Now I only buy new clothes for work – as a professional emcee, we need to work and wear professionally too and I only do this once a year.

Food

Food is definitely an essential. During hard times we survive on leftovers and appreciate so much that we have just ENOUGH to eat. Today, as I clear the refrigerator monthly, I tend to throw out a few expired items. As I clean the kitchen near Chinese New Year, sometimes I scold myself for buying too much and needed to throw away a bottle or two of sauces, expired canned food or food kept too long.

My Dad would prefer a small fridge, my mom would prefer a big one. My cousin has 2 refrigerators at home. At any point of time if you need food, open the fridge and you may find a whole month supply of food in it. I make it a habit to clear the fridge frequently to avoid food wastage. That was why I sometimes posted on Facebook photos of food I made using whatever I could find from the cold box.

How life has changed…. Let us give thanks and be grateful for whatever we all have now, all these were considered luxuries in the past. We are really living in luxury.

Malaysia is a unique country so much so it is an envy to many people (or countries). We are the only country in the world (or one in a few) with a constitutional monarchy system and a unique King rotating system; multi ethnics, culture, language and religion; which achieve stability in politics, economy and social standing. Who (or which country) wouldn’t envy us? And recently we see how other countries start to stir our harmony and stability.

As a country, our leaders have often strived to be inclusive and have policies which cover almost every ethnics possible. I am not talking only about the Malays, Chinese and Indians but also Kadazan, Iban, Murut and the list goes on.

Yes, there were unfair policies including education, business opportunities and housing discounts, among major grouses by the public.

Tun Mahathir said in an interview that he was labelled as ultra-racist by many Chinese in the country but as long as the Malays and bumiputras (indigenous) are well taken care of, at the same time non-bumis are give fair opportunities, BN can still win. Many Chinese tycoons were also produced during Tun M’s era yet these tycoons seldom regard government policies and business opportunities as their benefactor.

Pak Lah has tried his way to be more liberal, more open and even started the ball rolling with fighting corruptions. His quick plans were also eventually failed, as the results of 12th General Elections proved.

Let’s face it, corruptions is best known to be associated with the Chinese. People once said, wherever you find a Chinese in any part of the world, there is always a relationship with corruptions and gambling. Some even said Chinese taught the Malays to corrupt. Eventually, I suspect and believe, it was the Chinese who voted against Pak Lah administration forcing a change of premier to Najib. The Chinese cannot survive without corruptions. It was almost the only way to survive especially with bumi-favoured policies in the country. Even when we don’t talk about policies, a big percentage of the public will also bribe a police if slapped with a summon. Some went to the extend to say bribing a police is small compared to corruptions of politicians but hey, corruption is corruption, big or small and it all started small!

Malaysia is also one unique country where the President of a Malay party automatically becomes the Prime Minister. To win in a Malay party, a President candidate must prove that he can protect the interests of Malays. Almost all top leaders of this party has once played the racial card to the maximum. Labelling non-Malays as pengkhianat, raising the keris to irk the non-Malays and aggressively fights for the Malays are a few acts to score point among members in the party.

However, being a Prime Minister was different. A Prime Minister was meant for all Malaysians, not just for the Malays. That despite being a leader in a Malay party, using Malay-centric promises and promises to protect the Malays.

Learning from Pak Lah’s mistake in rolling out open policies too soon and knowing the need to protect Malays support, Najib has been very careful in rolling out 1Malaysia programs.

While the Chinese thinks 1Malaysia means we will finally have fair policies and some even thought of the removal of bumi special policies, the Malays felt a sense of fear and uneasiness. Just like how most of us felt when petrol is going to increase by a mere 10sen per litre. We feel a pinch even when 10sen was going to be lifted of the subsidy, just imagine how most Malays will feel when more people asked that their special policies removed? That wasn’t just worth 10sen per litre.

Then, even until now, the 1Malaysia concept is so ambiguous. Some said 1Malaysia meant we accept each other and help each other grow in this bumi-centric country. Some said 1Malaysia means unity and how we live together harmoniously. The fact is no one will have a clear definition of 1Malaysia until it is proven a success. Imagine Najib saying, we will live as ONE Malaysia, one level playing field and fairness for all. How will the Malays support him to be the next President aka Malaysia PM?

If he says, 1Malaysia is meant for the Chinese and garner support from the Chinese, he won’t get support from both sides too. But then again, Malays know well that 1Malaysia was really mainly for the Chinese and to garner support from this most difficult ethnic group. 1this 1that and so much efforts by Najib including visiting the Dong Zhong (the very first by a PM), visiting Batu Caves, mega dinners with the Chinese, going to the ground just to meet more Chinese (and Indians), visiting China a few times to strengthen ties so Chinese can expand business in China smoothly, receiving an Indian premier with much hoo-hah, up to the extend where China granted us the “loan” of 2 precious pandas, even pondering to make UEC recognised by the government.

Yet the Chinese did not give enough votes to Najib, making GE13 the worst ever for BN. Many also brought forward baggages for Najib although mostly not being implemented during Najib’s administration. NFC, PKFZ are not during Najib’s administration. Diamond ring was proven a lie.

People chose to trust lies rather than truths. People chose to believe the indelible ink was BN’s trick to drag voting process to drive away voters and so that they won’t be able to vote in time by 5pm. The truth was the indelible was something so much wanted that people had to go on the streets 3 times for Bersih rallies. People chose to believe there were Bangladeshis hired to vote and that there were ICs with expired date, blocking Bangladeshi-looking people from voting. If I were to have phantom voters I’d choose Chinese nationals, they have the same skin colour as our locals and are aplenty here in Malaysia. People chose to believe that there was a blackout and additional vote boxes were added to the list when the blackout occurred. Not many people understand how the whole voting process works and how votes are being monitored and counted by both sides of the divide.

As a PM, after experimenting these, do you think you will consider continuing same amount of efforts in supporting the Chinese community? As the party election is looming, also many Malays have criticised Najib sidelining the Malays since taking over as a PM, as well as to thank the majority bumiputra voters who voted for BN, Najib has no choice but to role out a bumiputra economic plan to the bumis.

And this too, will get criticised by the non-bumis but alas, no MCA representatives in the government to voice rejection already. With more and more racial tension on the way, I don’t see how both bumi-centric policies or a Chinese-friendly PM would solve the problem.

Being involved in the last general elections as a Parliament candidate has made understand a lot of things including practising empathy on both politicians and the public. While I understand why the PM would make such decisions viewed as racist, I also can understand why the Chinese refused to support BN.

The Chinese thinks that the core of the root problems were not solved. As mentioned earlier, these are long-time haunting problems include fairness in education, business contracts and opportunities by the government and housing policies.

The Chinese neither care how many pandas we are getting from China nor mega dinners involving mostly elderly folks. The younger generations held grudges and avenge that they were not granted equal opportunities for tertiary education at local universities, forcing their parents digging into coffers to support their studies at private universities. Education is of utmost importance for Chinese and some parents loaned money, worked harder, sold their properties and even staked their last penny for their children’s education. Even so, some government officials made stupid claims that Chinese are all rich and could afford high tuition fees by just looking at racial statistics and comparisons between private and public universities. The high number of Chinese in the private universities is a reflection of the low number of Chinese granted entry at public universities, not because of their wealth.

The Chinese, just like any Malaysian, worked hard, study even harder to finally get good results. Yet, the reward awaiting these high scorers was the fact that Malays with lower grades get into the public university easily while they themselves do not even get to choose the courses they so wanted. Imagine an ambitious student, wanting to be a doctor so he can treat ALL Malaysians, study so hard to get all A’s but finally being offered a vet course. Their dreams were crashed, they held grudges that education policies in Malaysia were unfair and forced to take alternatives including spending millions of ringgit overseas for a medical degree. Yet they were labelled as rich bugger who can study overseas and if they continued working there (hopefully with higher salaries to recoup the costs of getting their degrees), they are called ingrates. Hey, who in the first place did not appreciate their efforts in studying so hard? It is not difficult to understand why majority of students involved in suicide cases are the Chinese.

Malaysia was built by many pioneer contractors and developers, who were mostly Chinese. Understanding the need for transfer of knowledge and to help Malays build a foundation in business, I can comprehend why government decided to give priority to bumis in getting government projects. Yet the system was being abused non other by the Malays themselves. Instead of learning a trade, Malays fell again into the traps of business-minded Chinese who could always get their ways in almost anything they want. Chinese are well known to be determined and persistent in doing business.The Malays made it a convenience to eventually become middlemen between the government and Chinese contractors, making commissions from these deals. These happened for many years, knowingly but no one wants to solve the core issue. The Chinese felt that they did the work while the Malays get free lunch. The cost-conscious Chinese thinks that the system has increased their costs (with additional “commissions” to be taken into account) and passed the costs to consumers. Then again, Malays blamed the Chinese for always jacking up prices and rake in a lot of profits, further citing the rich gets richer and Malays need more opportunities. If only government contracts and opportunities are on open tenders with equal opportunities for all races, all ethnic groups will compete among each other and eventually grow to be able to compete globally. I don’t deny there were Malays who successfully rise with the system but the majority abused this brilliant system.

Malaysians are understanding. The Chinese understands that they could afford houses while some poorer ones couldn’t. So, it was naturally accepted to have a 5%-7% bumi discounts on housing but what about the poor Indians and hard core poor Chinese? Why are rich Malays who can afford bungalows worth millions of ringgit are still given housing discounts while the middle income non-bumis who couldn’t buy their first dream homes were not further assisted?

So without proper roof over their heads, without equality in education and business which are akin to food on the table, do you think the young generation Chinese grew up to vote for BN come age 21? Do they care how well the PM rubs shoulders with his Chinese counterpart? Do you think that the younger generation even care how much BR1M you provide and how many 1Malaysia projects were being implemented? Do they care how many Chinese schools being built and cash handouts given to their schools when they can’t even realise their dreams when they worked so hard?

The Maslow hierarchy of needs perhaps will help us understand.

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If Chinese can stake every penny for education, education is regarded as the basic needs just like food and water. Yet it is an unsolved plague. If we look at the second tier (from below) of the Maslow hierarchy of needs, safety is also a concern but that takes another blog to explain.

So, can solving these issues like equal opportunities in education and business, and fair housing distribution/discounts, bring back Chinese votes in the next general elections?

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This blog is an honest expression by the author and carries no intention and prejudice. The opinions expressed may be right, could be wrong, stand to be corrected and open for discussions.

The majority of people have a pessimistic mind. I am not sure why. In Malaysia, where our petrol is subsidized by government, no one appreciates the subsidy until the government removed some of it. When the Malays in Malaysia have special rights and status, people cried that it should be removed and yet when 20sen per litre subsidy was taken away, the same people cried the most. Asking other’s privileges to be removed yet when their own 20sen was removed, they cried too.

The same people are those who could afford a RM120,000 car (while ranting car taxes are high), can afford RM12 Starbucks once in a while or perhaps RM40/hour massage yet cry foul at maybe RM10 increase per petrol tank.

Today, I had my car filled a full tank and posted a Facebook status to thank taxpayers (I am also one but only a pool of taxpayers will make things happen, not just one proud taxpayer) and the government for the subsidy I get for this full tank of petrol. Many people look only around them and find their pockets burnt at RM10 increase in a tank of petrol but never realised how much it cost the same for the government to subsidise the same tank of petrol. And then there are people who will shout, hey I am also a taxpayer and yet never be thankful to other taxpayers as well. Malaysia Boleh!

Speaking about the Boleh-land, I would like to start writing what so Boleh we are in his country. We are rich in natural resources, plentiful of land and great for economic growth. While the people say Malaysia government *never* made good use of the vast land available and become incompetent as compared to a small island down south, our farmers average age is over 50. Not many young people want to work that “vast land” despite various benefits, subsidy and knowledge transfer the government readily provide. So while pointing fingers at the government again, these people think the “vast land” has magic potion to develop by themselves. Only the government is wrong! The government should do this this this and that but not me…

The government and the country will never grow without the people working for it, build it and preserve it. The government can only do so much but a 29 million population could contribute a lot. The same people blaming government for incompetence also compared ourselves with Vietnam. “Look at Vietnam! They will pass us very soon!” But do look at Vietnamese – they are hardworking, they build the country together, they are more united especially after war and they know it is only through unity and hard work that their country could catch up with their peers.

The comfort of Malaysia, our complacency will one day hit back at us. While we are more polarised than ever, more political than before and more racist after 56 years of independence, it is easier for our enemies to sneak in and break us.

History has proven, while the perang saudara was ongoing, one by one our Malay states fell in the hands of the British and we were conquered.

Many will also blamed politicians for all these that happen to our countries each day, I would like to ask, have we all ponder what can we do to make our situations better? Have we got more things that can be done rather than complain everyday, post our frustrations on social media and rant as if things will change when we get angry?

We are no more a child who will cry and cry when we don’t get the things we want. We are at 56th year of independence and growing more matured every year.

The government is pushing for the nation to be a developed nation by year 2020 and yet when certain blanket policies were being removed, we find many SMEs lose the competitive edge globally. Are we ready to be a developed nation?

Let us start our day by asking “What can I do today to make today better than yesterday?” If each of us try to make each day better than yesterday, Malaysia will heaven on Earth!

As many of you may already know, I was one of the candidates who stood during the Malaysia 13th General Elections. To many Malaysians, being a candidate also means either he/she has made or have or even will make a lot of money. More so I was with Barisan Nasional. Even more reason to suspect that because I am in MCA.

Many are not to be blamed to think that candidates also drive big cars, have big homes, big beds or are well to do to the extend they should be spending more. Public perception is always that of discrimination.

Little did many people know, my name is still Chew Hoong Ling, who came from humble beginnings and want to remain humble with whatever small things I have now. Each cent I have, I can now be sure that it is all my own blood and sweat. I have spent almost every cent of political fund back at PJ Utara. My office can last only until end of September, most money was donated to temples, Poh Toh functions (which also donates money to charities), needy people and clearing the remains of my office. Many also do not know my very “bed” was a single mattress on the floor at my office room and I slept there for almost one and a half year (talking about big home and big beds?). I now moved back to my Dad’s house which I have the comfort of a Queen size 🙂

I still drive my Proton Iswara and can never even afford to park right outside of the MCA headquarters. The guards only allowed MCA VIPs, staffs and big cars to park there. Many of us cannot run away from people who start judging us by the looks of our cars. A Proton Iswara driver means he/she couldn’t be someone big in MCA. “How can a ‘YB’ (I am now a Yang Bukan) drives an old Proton Iswara?” yes that of a kind.

Well, I too know who I am and never misused the opportunity to park at VIP car parks but I frequent the use of a valet service though. Yes, with my old Proton Iswara… cannot meh?

There was once at Sg Way school when I was to attend a function. I called my friend to say I find no car parks. I was one of the thousand of participants so I thought no one would care if I wasn’t there, I decided to leave. He is a VIP and too often use VIP car park space so his immediate response was, “Just come right up at the VIP parking. Tell them who you are!”

“Who am I? And the RELA won’t let me up because I am driving my Iswara.”

For a while, my friend was stuck. “Who am I?” was the question that hit him.

While many may say I could be judging these guards too soon myself, well it is proven. I drove to the RELA officer manning the VIP car park entrance and surely, he won’t let me go up whatever I said. I was invited by this Datuk, I come to sit at VIP table, I got an invitation card, I will assure you will be fine if you let me park up there… Nothing works, the car has done its job! Only when my friend came down to ask his favour, then he let me in.

Today, I almost forgot an appointment at MCA HQ so I sped there and alas, the parking at the basement was full. The meeting was very important one with a lady friend and I thought perhaps I could plead for a parking space from the security guard, which I really did.

“Tuan, saya ada mesyuarat penting tapi dah lewat sampai. Parking basement dah penuh, boleh minta tolong?”

“U siapa?”

“Saya ahli MCA juga la”

“Tak boleh la… U pakai kereta macam ni mana boleh?”

It then occured to me my candidate pass by the SPR was still in the car, came as a rescue. I flashed it and said, “Saya calon MCA untuk PRU13”

“Ye ke? Siapa suruh bawa kereta macam ni?” and he spontaneously removed the cone for me to park. How la… that’s the only car I have? How to answer his last question! And even while letting me in, he said, “Park hujung sana hah! Jangan park depan depan… kereta besar saja park depan!”

How people see us by the car we have!! It is no wonder young people these days chase new cars, latest gadgets and branded stuffs to impress their peers. It is conditioned in the mind that people who drive small old cars are poor and no reputation while those who drive big cars are trusted?? and rich??

On a contrary, have it been the impression that disabled people must drive small old cars instead of big ones? I got my OKU (Orang Kelainan Upaya – Differently Abled Person) card this year. Yeah, many do not know I am also a partially abled lady – I lost my left hearing since born and the right is deteriorating too. At times of rush, if and only if there are more OKU spaces around, I will at times park at OKU parking lot and display my OKU card at the dashboard. Some OKU space says “For physically challenged only”, I will respect that and find a car park elsewhere.

I was driving a friend’s S-Class Mercedes one day, we parked at an OKU space and displayed my OKU card. We will be at the venue only for a short break so we thought will be fine to occupy that space. When we get back to our car, we got a note at the windscreen. “I don’t think you are OKU and please be considerate to let OKU park here.” If the note says, please be considerate to let the physically challenged park here – I would very much agree. But I am a OKU with an OKU card certified by a doctor and can’t afford to park a S-class at an OKU space?

Let us not judge a person by the car but by their characters and virtues.

Petrol price increase again in Malaysia, as announced yesterday. Many people rant and blame everybody except themselves. Petrol price will hit us sooner or later, with or without government subsidies and whether or not we can control the price or whether or not we are oil producing country.

There are so many ways to save petrol. And we SHOULD save petrol not because petrol price will hit us but more for environment and a better future for our next generations.

1. YOUR CAR

You can save petrol by maintaining your car in good condition, cleaning your car so not to carry extra weight, getting the right tyre pressure, controlling speed on the road, start up the car, cleaning the filters and even controlling the air conds could save petrol.

Here are  9 Steps to save petrol http://www.wikihow.com/Save-Petrol and 12 ways to save petrol http://www.sgcarmart.com/news/writeup.php?AID=40

If you think of changing car, think of fuel consumption for the long run of your new car.

2. YOUR ENVIRONMENT

While we are used to driving to do almost anything, it is at times best to take a walk or even get a bike to ride to the nearest grocery store or buying the local newspapers. If you can get somewhere in your car in 5 minutes, walking and riding a bike is the better choice. Better for health too!

Avoiding traffic jams can save petrol. I have friends who get to a meeting venue earlier to avoid jam, relax and prepare as well as to catch up with friends. Good for building relationships! Get a like-minded new friend for a drink to spend the 5pm-6pm if meetings/conferences end around that time so to avoid jams. Who knows the new found friend could bring surprises. Or manage your timetable to meet people around one area instead of running up and down town.

3. YOU!

Reading these steps will NOT save you petrol. Blaming the government, sharing your frustrations on Facebook and getting angry yourself only waste YOUR fuel and your time. Start acting and start a list of things you will do next and  DO IT! Save petrol NOW! Better for the environment, better for us, for your children….

 

A few days ago, I was asked by a reporter to comment on the possibility of the appointment of non-political Chinese individuals in the Cabinet, now that the MCA and Gerakan both declined government positions due to the dismay general elections results.

I replied, “I don’t think I can answer this question because I consider myself a Malaysian, a bangsa Malaysia and I don’t see the Cabinet as having Malays, Chinese and Indians!”

I further elaborated that it is ridiculous to think that the Chinese will not be represented in the BN government just because there is no Chinese in the cabinet. I also cite an example, let’s say if we have a Culture Minister – do we need a Chinese Culture Minister, Indian Culture Minister or a Malay/Kadazan Culture Minister just to uphold the culture of all ethnics in Malaysia? Although the minister may be a Malay in ethnicity, his duty is to uphold the Malaysian culture as well as the cultures of our diversed ethnicities!

The reporter asked again, “so do you agree with a Chinese non-political individual being appointed?”

I think she is confused but I reiterated that the question is not relevant to me anymore as I don’t see colours and ethnicities anymore.

Of course, my comments were not publsihed. 🙂

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The news today in The Star did not come as a surprise. In fact the beggar gives back to the society very frequently.

I can’t help wondering when people collect public donation, what and how will they spend the donation.

I still remember asking for donations for organ donation campaigns and must thank Nirvana Foundation, Beaubelle Academy and the public for donation. And then at end of campaign, I wrote to the sponsors, thanking them and revealing to them our accounts.

Malaysians are kind and often do not mind to spare their small change to donate to charity but let us be responsible donors by also looking at how they would spend their money.

Political parties which receive sponsorship and donation from the public too need to be accountable and responsible to their donors by reporting to them.

Yet we have also seen very frequent collection of funds from the public but few would declare how they spend.

Let us not “beg” without telling how much we make or how we use the money. The Thai beggar revealed his income and even gave back by donating large sums to the temple. We should hold a higher dignity than a beggar, otherwise we are worse then the Thai beggar.

The long awaited news is here.

For someone like me, rumoured to be a cabdidate, who potentially will be contesting, I was caught by surprise. I did not think the Parliament would be dissolved when people tell me about it a day earlier.

The second question poured in, “So are you contesting?” My answer has been the same, I have no letter on candidacy yet. These days I add on, “if I am at the nomination and successfully walks out alive, then I am the candidate…”

I have no “pantang” about death, so when people say BN may die in this General Election, I say I’d shave! Well the story was during a kayak expedition when we faced a very difficult situation in the sea, I said “if I come out alive, I’d shave my head!! ” And I fulfilled that vow.

I had a number 4 hair for some time.

Having faced death 3 times in life made me braver, more courageous and definitely up to the challenge.

I admit I am new in the game of politics and have been learning so much from party veterans and friends from Pakatan too.

A friend Jadryn tagged me in her post today and I read her frank opinions in most of her blogs. I too hope BN is transforming, not only for political survival but for the country walking into matured state of sosiopolitical growth.

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I cooked my own lunch today, indeed a fulfilling one. Simple fried fish with rice but the sambal belacan made the difference. Smashed the fish with sambal belacan and it is good to go with plain white rice. Wanted so much to add on some tempoyak but…. takpe, tahan sikit. In the kitchen now I still have a pot of soup boiling and porridge for dinner. I love cooking and in fact these days couldn’t find the time to test new recipes. Cooking can help to destress because I feel good to eat my own “creation”, though not that great but a true satisfaction. These days young adults often eat out and the tradition of having our grandma waiting for us at home for dinner, has long gone in some households. Cooking can very healthy too if we find the right blend of foods and definitely more nutritious that outside food. With many modern cookers and all sorts of electrical appliances, perhaps Malaysians could think of getting back to the kitchen for convenient, healthy, satisfying meals for the family.

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This is my office’s waste area. We separate wastes and then transfer recycleable items for charity.

Next to the red bin is a green pail which I started compost, but failed as it attracts pest.

More people recycling at home will be bits and pieces to help the environment last longer for us human, Earth destroyers.