Archive for the ‘Citizen of the World’ Category

I doubt very much that the Joe and Jane Public in Malaysia is paying much scant attention to the fascinating US presidential campaign that’s ongoing currently, what with our own local political situation currently in shambles hogging the frontpage headlines. Everyone is too busy worrying over our own country’s political future, which I must say is more dramatic and action-packed than I could ever have hoped for.

This is the year America votes, and hopefully they vote really wisely this time around. And having followed the entire campaign process quite closely, I’m feeling a little more confident of America’s future prospects. Americans, I believe, have been given one great last chance to bail their country out of the shithole they’ve dug for themselves as a result of voting Bushy back as president in 2004. If they flub it again this time around, I fear the US will be in a deeper mess than ever that will take years to pull them out of.

But while I’m still sceptical about Barack Obama’s chances at trouncing John McCain in the elections this coming November 2008, I’m nevertheless optimistic that Americans will wise up and stop taking crap from the Republicans who have damaged the USA’s image internally and externally. Of all the Democratic candidates so far, Barack Obama presents the best chance ever to win back the presidency from the Republicans. He’s young, he’s suave, he’s visionary, he’s intelligent, he’s outspoken and he’s the one with the least baggage. And from his speech in Berlin, I sincerely believe that he would restore US’s reputation in the eyes of the world and herald a fairly peaceful age than the one we had in the Bush years.

Yes, I’m particularly enamoured by his charisma, but I still have enough sense to wonder if he can truly carry out the reforms and the promises he had stated in his speech, which is now taking shape as his election manifesto. I have to take into account the rifts in the Democratic camp as well, as I’m getting the feeling that Hillary Clinton is still rather sore about losing to Obama and her supporters might not work as hard for Obama as they would for her. No party is perfect, but the Democratic camp is very much the lesser of the two evils and if they can stand united for once show the world and their fellow Americans their strength, resilience and unity, they may bury the Republicans come November 2008.

I was elated when Kevin Rudd became the new Prime Minister of Australia… imagine how ecstatic and joyful I would be then, if Barack Obama does win the US Presidency! The winds of change are slowly blowing over much of the world. With UK’s Gordon Brown in danger of being ousted as well, the years ahead are promising to be a fascinating one in terms of the international politics scene. Don’t get me started with Malaysia, though… that’s for another post.

Anyways, here’s Obama’s inspirational address in Berlin, entitled “A World that Stands as One”, before a cheering crowd of 200,000.  You can read it below or watch the videos: –

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So yeah, today’s World Earth Day, the day we citizens of the world set aside not just to pay homage to this planet that we inhabited but to remind us of doing our part to keep this planet called Earth alive and healthy for our future generations’ sake.

We want them to have an Earth where the air is clean and fresh, not smelly, smokey and poisonous. We want them to have an Earth where the skies are blue, not covered with dust, ash and smoke.

We want them to have an Earth where the trees are tall, where forests are lush and green instead of barren stumps and empty wastelands because of rampant deforestation.

We want them to be able to know and feel a cool breeze, not hot, humid winds.

We want them to be able to enjoy clean, natural and fresh water, not drinking water that’s been processed from their own waste nor do we want them to drink foul, polluted water.

We want them to enjoy the experience of bathing and swimming in lakes, rivers and waterfalls, not just man-made pools and waterparks.

And of course, we want them to be able to enjoy seeing the various flora and fauna this blessed Earth have with their very own eyes, and not just from pictures in books, Internet and television documentaries. We want them to know what is a tiger, a panda, an orang utan, a whale, a tapir and a sun bear looks like alive with their own eyes. These creatures are the treasures of this Earth.

Most importantly, we want them to live on planet Earth… and not in some outer space planets. Why seek elsewhere to live when we already have such a beautiful planet to live in? Don’t we want our future generations to know what it’s like to live on this planet?

We all do, don’t we?

So let us not just do our part to protect the Earth just on Earth Day ALONE… we are all responsible for conserving our environment and protect Mother Earth at ALL times, every day, every single moment we are alive on this planet.

We love our mothers, don’t we? Well, the Earth is our MOTHER and we are her CHILDREN!

So let us strive together to make this Earth cleaner, healthier and liveable, ok?

Thanks for reading and let’s hope for a better future!

Read More about what World Earth Day is all about! :-

Earth Day Network
12 year olds confronting the Adults in this world – Earth Day
WWF’s Earth Day 2008
World Earth Day 2008 on Flickr
World Earth Day 2008 in India
CRIEnglish’s World Earth Day 2008
BBC News’ Coverage on World Earth Day 2008

I’m not afraid to say it… I’ve got no love and no respect for this bald, bespectacled, hypocrite who should just shut the fuck up about “liberating Tibet” from the “oppressive” hands of China.

If he really preaches non-violent, diplomatic dialogue, he wouldn’t have egged his monk minions to stage violent protests across the globe and sabotaging China’s Olympic preparations. If he truly profess to being a peace-lover, he would have reined in these monks and stopped them from acting in a barbaric manner.

I just wish everyone would stop criticising the Chinese government over everything they’ve done in the past. They are not the best in the world but which government can really claim to be the best, the cleanest and the most upright. Like Jesus said, “Let he who have no sin cast the first stone”. Before throwing brickbats at the Chinese government, the US government and other pro-Dalai Lama allies had better examine themselves and sort out their own dirty linen first. They have no right to accuse China of using force to quell the protesters, who are definitely violating the law and disturbing public peace.

The Olympic Torch Relay is coming to Kuala Lumpur this coming Monday. I may not be able to witness the relay but I am firmly in the pro-China camp. China is the only hope the world ever have to break the US and their Western counterparts dominance and influence. It is true that China still has many flaws, but at least I’ve seen a lot more progress in China than in the States. I truly admire the way the Chinese government can still maintain the country’s stability and oversee its economic boom despite being the largest and the most populous country in the world. I admire their discipline and their tenacity in the face against obstacles and I feel China is being unfairly blamed and hit out by their its detractors.

I’m tired of Tibet being used by the West for their own agenda. And I’m tired of the Dalai Lama being portrayed in favourable light. There’s absolutely nothing favourable about him at all. He just wants Tibet so that he can set up his own Tibetan empire. He just wants a country/a land of his own to rule. Can anyone really believe that Dalai Lama has no ulterior motive in wantng to “free” Tibet?

Tibet has always been free. Tibet has always been part of the Chinese land. Go to Tibet and you’ll see the temples and the monks residing in these temples are all well-fed and well-kept. If it weren’t for the Chinese authorities pumping in money to the land, all these will be in shambles. And if China had really been what the Dalai Lama and his Western allies say it is, these monks and the temples would have all been destroyed long ago. And did you notice that the people of Tibet, the ones who are actually living there and not the ones who are living abroad and have been brainwashed by Western propaganda, have not really spoken out against China? That the ones living abroad and the pro-Tibet ruffians and their pathetic Western allies are the ones doing all the shouting and war-mongering?

Leave China alone, you bastards! And don’t you tarnish the Olympics with your pro-Tibet rhetoric!

Go China!

We’re already one week into the new year already!

So, let’s cut to the chase…

My wishes, hopes, dreams yadda yadda yadda….for the new year are….:-

    • Personal – To be more courteous, kind and polite to people and strangers that I meet. There’s so much ill will committed by others in our society today that a little good and charity can go a long ways to elevate suffering, inject hope and make people feel good about the world today.
        • Personal – One resolution that I always fail to achieve very year is my lack of sincerity/drive/motivation to keep in touch with friends, old and new, alike, whether is by spending a few minutes to call, SMS or e-mail them. I wish to remedy that this year. While I have a very small number of close friends whom I regard as my inner circle, I wish to expand that circle a little. So, this year, I definitely want to maintain contact and re-acquaint with old friends and hope to meet new ones. This is partly because I was inspired and moved by the Greek philosopher Epicurus, who said, “Of all things that wisdom provides to help live one’s life in happiness, the greatest by far is the possession of FRIENDSHIP. Eating or drinking without a friend is the life of a lion or a wolf.
          • Personal – Lately, I’ve been bombarded by public service announcements and advices from family and friends about eating right and living healthy. I must admit that in the past years, I’m not wont to do so. But this year, I have a change of heart and admit that I have not been eating right and living healthily. My mom chided me a lot for always adding too much salt and sugar in my food and drinks. This year, I would like to cut down on my salt and sugar intake. I also want to allocate at least once a week to go vegetarian. Finally, I must at least get some exercise – jogging, swimming and brisk walking is what I hope to do at least three days in a week.
            • Financial – Regarding personal and family finances, I resolve to be more careful with my spending this year, which means I should…errr…must refrain from spending on unnecessary things and material goods. As such, this year, I’m doing away with my 2008 wishlist. Making wishlists will only make me covet the things that I want but do not need. And when I don’t get the things on the wishlist, I tend to feel quite miserable. So, I do not want to spend much on anything this year. I should also look into trusted and reliable ways to invest my money to make it grow.
              • Careerwise – Regarding my career, I wish to not just write more and get promoted to something better, but I also intend to pick up new skills such as dabbling in Flash as well as filmmaking/editing/screenwriting. Of course, I can’t achieve all this in one year and be an expert in one year, this is one resolution that will have to take at least two or three years to fulfill. I believe by learning more new skills, I am able to open up more opportunities in the market, as I am quite sure that there are employers/companies who are looking for people with such expertise.
                • Personal – Additionally, I also wish to brush up on my Mandarin, speaking and reading. I’ve always felt quite small whenever I tell people that I can’t really speak Mandarin even though I am Chinese. Mandarin is a tough language to to master, but I hope to at least be able to speak at an intermediate level.
                  • Country – What I hope for my country in this new year is, of course, for its economy to continue to grow steadily. The last thing I want is for my country to be mired in another financial crisis. Another hope is that in the coming general elections, ONLY and only the worthy, the capable, and the BEST are elected into the lead the people and to govern the country. The voting public must exercise our right to vote and KICK OUT sexist, racist, incompetent, insensitive, religious dolts and idiotic politicians. I also hope to see that there will be a steady decline in violent crimes and most of all, I hope there will no longer be more children who die in horrific and tragic circumstances, be it murdered or suicide or accidents.
                    • The World – Many countries in the world today are experiencing continual violence, poverty, strife and discord. I wish that in 2008, these will all steadily decline and situations improve in those countries. Please keep the people of Myanmar, Pakistan, Kenya, Iraq, Palestine and Afghanistan in your prayers and your thoughts. I also hope to see more young, liberal and visionary leaders to rise up in the world and to steer their countries in a better direction. That said, I sincerely hope that there will be a decrease of terroristic events committed by religious fanatics, psychopaths and other troubled souls. My hope is also for President George W. Bush and his stupid Republican cronies to foul up even more so that his party will never win the 2008 US presidential elections. Finally, I will also resolve to do my part in conserving energy and fuel and to not contribute to pollution and global warming. Save water, save electricity and save fuel. Use only when necessary.

                      Well, that’s about it, I guess. There isn’t much else that I hope to see in 2008, except that 2008 will be a year of optimistic and positive changes rather than another year where everything goes downhill again. The year 2008 had already started on quite a depressing note – sex scandals, assassinations and political strife…

                      Let us all work together to make a change for the better and pray for a good 2008 ahead, alright?

                      And I’ll be praying and hoping he bloody stays there and never return!

                      Hundreds of millions of ringgit spent just so he could hitch a joyride with a couple of Russians to jet off to the International Space Station for a several Earth Days to do god-knows-what research while those precious hundreds of millions could’ve been well-spent improving the lives and welfare of our people.

                      Fucking unbelievable! God, isn’t my country just great?

                      While maybe millions of Malaysians are puffing their chests out in pride at the notion of having our first very own Malaysian astronaut, I can assure you I won’t be one of them. I’ve been anti-Program Angkasawan Negara ever since the dumb idea was first mooted a couple years ago. We’re bloody paying other people to use their expertise and know-how so that we could fulfill our nation’s “glorious” ambition of sending one of its sons off to space. For what?? For WHAT???

                      If I were in charge of governing this country, I would have scrapped the dumb idea and divert all resources into properly training our police force, improving our public infrastructure and other necessities like playgrounds, public restrooms and public parks, and creating a fund that can be used to help the poor, needy and destitute. I would certainly not waste hundreds of millions of ringgit just so one guy has the damn bragging rights to say “Heh, my lovely beautiful incredible country paid for my trip to space!”

                      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not against chasing dreams, thinking out of the box and fulfilling ambitions and all that… but can’t you see some sense here??? At a time when our country is in dire need of funds, they splurge them on nonsensical projects that benefit no one but the country’s ego… how is that good for all people, you tell me! We need billions for all the economic projects that are going on… and here we are, wasting millions to send someone off to space. Arrgghh!!

                      I’m totally not impressed. Uh, uh, not impressed at all! God… how I wish Tunku Abdul Rahman was immortal… he would’ve made sure none of these idiots do these sort of craziness! This government is rotten to the core… and I definitely fear for our future… sigh!

                      This is a news story about how a school in Nova Scotia, Canada, whose students rallied together to stand up to homophobic school bullies who had harassed and threatened to beat up a younger boy who wore a pink T-shirt to school.

                      You can read the full story here.

                      I cannot begin to tell you how much I’d like to applaud the actions of David Shepherd and Travis Price for doing what they did to get back at the bullies in a non-violent way. Gandhi and Mother Teresa would’ve been proud of them. It’s about time for kids to be brave enough to stand up to bullies and to support and encourage those who are bullied. A person’s childhood should be filled with memorable, fun times, not one filled with fear, brutality and terror! Schools’ too, should be place where children learn in an environment that’s conducive, fun and exciting – not one where bullies reign in terror over the weaker and smaller kids and others standing around, pretending that bullying doesn’t exist, praying hard that others are the ones who get bullied and not them.

                      Bullying is a big, big issue and its prevalent in every society, in every country. I, myself, used to be bullied in high school for two years until I was brave enough to stand up to them after two scary years. I had been threatened at knife point, I was beaten up, called names and was just harassed most of the time because I looked nerdy, bookish, sissish, retarded and weak. My family doesn’t know about this, though I know if my sister is reading this, she’ll be very shocked.

                      Anyways, what I am saying is that if I had friends like David and Travis when I was in school, I could’ve been spared two years of hell in school. If I had friends who were brave enough to support me, help me to stand up to these bullies, I could’ve been spared the misery and the feelings of despair, helplessness and loneliness that I had felt in those two years in school.

                      And I am absolutely sure that there are many kids – boys and girls – in our schools today who are facing the same problems as I did when I was in school. They are out there – silent, fear and a sense of helplessness dogged them each they as they stepped into their school, always having to strategise ways to avoid the bullies. But no matter how good they are at hiding and avoiding them, the bullies would eventually get them. Really, how many places in school can you run and hide to and how can you hide when the bullies are in the same classes as you?

                      I urge everyone who has kids to let them know what a difference they could be when they learn to make a stand for a good cause. I hate to keep hearing some parents say “It’s not your business, don’t interfere!” to their kids when their kids share their friends’ problems with their parents. It’s no wonder kids like these would grow up to become less civic-minded and wouldn’t even lend a hand to help someone in need.

                      It’s time that parents be concerned and do everything they can to help their kids to help their friends who are in trouble! It’s time we shed this “I don’t care” attitude from our mindset! It’s time to CARE! It’s time that we mould and shape our kids to be like the David and Travis in this Canadian school! It’s time we send a message to bullies that enough is enough, their reign of terror must come to an end!

                      It’s time, my friends, to put an end to bullying in schools!

                      For the last three days or so, the Indonesian island of Sumatra had been plagued by earthquakes one after another with a magnitude ranging from 4.4 to 8.4 Richter scale, even triggering a mini tsunami. Dozens of people were killed and scores more were injured, left homeless and living in fear of the same fate that befell the island in 2004. For those of you who have forgotten (how could you even forget??), a massive earthquake measured at 9.2 Richter scale triggered a massive tsunami that left a huge trail of destruction across six nations, leaving hundreds of thousands dead and billions in losses.

                      At a holy time when they should be fasting in peace, observing the practices of their religion are most likely the last thing on the minds of the people living in Sumatra. Though the level of destruction had not been as massive as the 2004 catastrophe, there’s no denying that the spate of earthquakes had left nerves in tatters. Many fishermen are now afraid to go out to the open seas, jeopardising their livelihood. Many buildings that are still standing have cracks on them following the earthquakes, and if another big one happens, these buildings can’t stand a chance. Many will not dare to live in them until they are sure that the situation has stabled.

                      Unfortunately for them, being so close to the Pacific Rim of Fire, stability is unheard of. Who knows when the next big one is going to happen next?

                      So, please, I urge you all to spare a thought for these people. Pray to whichever gods that you pray to for mercy and for divine intervention, that the people of Indonesia can slowly live in peace and have a sense of normalcy back in their lives. These people had already lost much, it’d be too cruel for them to suffer more.

                      Links

                      Indonesia hit by another earthquake
                      Indonesia hit by four earthquakes in 24 hours
                      Aid groups rush to asses after Indonesia quake
                      5th strong quake hits Indonesia in 3 days

                      Haraplah anda semua mengambil masa untuk berdoa agar mangsa-mangsa yang terlibat dalam runtuhan jambatan yang ngeri di Minnesota itu dalam keadaan yang selamat. Walaupun tragedi ini memang tidak dijangka sama sekali oleh ribuan pengguna jambatan ini, namun, masalah-masalah yang dihadapi oleh jambatan berumur lebih kurang 40 tahun ini telah muncul sejak tahun 1990 dan dalam laporan 2005.

                      Ini patut menjadi teladan kepada pihak-pihak berkuasa di Malaysia yang sering menghadapi masalah-masalah infrastruktur terhadap bangunan-bangunan yang mereka bina. Tidak boleh dinafikan bahawa mereka yang menjalankan tugas membina apa-apa jua bangunan dan infrastruktur awam haruslah sering menjalankan pemeriksaan yang rapi setiap tahun supaya masalah yang lebih serius tidak timbul. Keselamatan orang-orang awam haruslah dipentingkan!

                      Saya pasti kita semua tidak mahu tragedi Highland Towers yang berlaku kira-kira lebih 10 tahun dulu tu diulangi, kan? Apatah lagi desas-desus yang saya pernah dengar oleh kawan-kawan saya di Pulau Pinang tentang keselamatan Jambatan Pulau Pinang kita. Harap-harap kerja pemulihan dan pemeriksaan telah dijalankan secara rapi, saya pasti tidak mahu Jambatan Pulau Pinang kita yang nampak begitu teguh dan gagah tiba-tiba runtuh ke dalam laut pada masa depan!

                      Kita semua memang patut bantu menbangunkan negara Malaysia, tapi janganlah sampai kita mengabaikan kualiti dalam usaha mengejar kejayaan dan kekayaan!