This is a personal blog and should be taken as such. So don't sue me if what I write pisses you off. Or if I write lies. Or if I give maladvice. Or if you fail to read through my sarcasm. Et cetera.
I like stalkers.
Is it in bad taste to quote one's self?
"The greatest of debaters are not only the most eloquent -- they are the most bruised, the most resilient, the strongest of heart." -- Andrew Loh
Quotes "How many times have you chickened out?" - Qu Hsueh Ming
"Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds." - Albert Einstein
"An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile - hoping it will eat him last." - Sir Winston Churchill
"Affirmative action is something the good don't need and the bad don't deserve" - A wise man
"The men who create power make an indispensable contribution to the Nation's greatness, but the men who question power make a contribution just as indispensable, especially when that questioning is disinterested, for they determine whether we use power or power uses us." - John F. Kennedy
"The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were." - John F. Kennedy
"I love America more than any other country in this world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually." - James A. Baldwin
"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is but a broken winged bird that cannot fly." - Langston Hughes
"Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference." - Sir Winston Churchill
"Dreams are true while they last, and do we not live in dreams?" - Alfred Lord Tennyson
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." - John Calvin Coolidge
"We will either find a way or make one." - Hannibal
"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." - Napoleon Bonaparte
"For evil to triumph, it is only necessary for good men to do nothing." - Edmund Burke
"War begins in the minds of men, and it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must first be constructed." - UNESCO Constitution
"The proper study of mankind is man." - Alexander Pope
"My kind of loyalty was loyalty to one's country, not to its institutions or its officeholders. The country is the real thing, the substantial thing, the eternal thing; it is the thing to watch over, and care for, and be loyal to; institutions are extraneous, they are its mere clothing, and clothing can wear out, become ragged, cease to be comfortable, cease to protect the body from winter, disease, and death." - Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens): A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
"Patriotism is to support your country all the time and your government when it deserves it" - Mark Twain
"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man." - George Bernard Shaw
"The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it." - George Bernard Shaw
"Democracy is a system ensuring that the people are governed no better than they deserve." - George Bernard Shaw
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." -- Noam Chomsky
"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act." - George Orwell
"When the people fear the government, you have tyranny. When the government fears the people, you have freedom." - Thomas Paine
"I sense a learning: that much dumber people than you end up in charge. Look at the way things are. I'm no fucken genius or anything, but these spazzos are in charge of my every twitch. What I'm starting to think is maybe only the dumb are safe in this world, the ones who roam with the herd, without thinking about every little thing. But see me? I have to think about every little fucken thing." - Vernon God Little, Act II
His chief strategist is Mohamad Reza Jalaeipour, a 26-year-old
doctorate student of sociology. Mr. Jalaeipour says he developed many
of his campaign ideas after obsessively watching the Obama campaign
unfold on satellite television and online at his parents' apartment in
"I was fascinated by what was happening in the U.S. and hopeful that
we can also mobilize our own people in the same way," Mr. Jalaeipour
He joined Mr. Mousavi's campaign in March with a list of 30 ideas,
he said, many of which were borrowed from Mr. Obama, to the extent that
they were applicable in Iran. He joined a staff of older advisers, many
of whom were revolutionaries before.
Based partly on Mr. Jalaeipour's recommendations, Mr. Mousavi has
campaigned side-by-side with his wife, Zahra Rahnavard, and has broken
a taboo of public affection by holding her hand when they appear
together. Today, posters of the hand-holding couple are plastered
across the country.
There have been a plethora of editorials written about the 55th PAS Muktamar 2009 and its implications, the best of which, so far, I think is Bridget Welsh's Malaysiakini article.
So I will instead write about my experiences on the first day of the PAS Muktamar.
The 55th PAS Muktamar (conference in Arabic) was held in Stadium Malawati, Shah Alam. I don't know what it's Malawati instead of Melawati; I think Melawati both looks and sounds better.
All one had to do was pay RM5 for an observer's pass to get in. :) No biggie. For those who don't know Jawi, the pass reads "pemerhati," which is "observer" in Malay.
The biggie part was the separation between the observers and the delegates; observers were limited to the [American] 2nd [/British 1st] Floor of the stadium, while the [American] 1st [/British Ground] Floor was solely the domain of PAS delegates, VIPs, and the media. So with my RM5 pas pemerhati I could only watch the proceedings from afar.
Ahmad Tajuddin, Hisham, and Razuan were three pemerhatis from the PAS Youth Division of Machang, Kelantan. The best part of the muktamar was when they shouted takbir.
What is this takbir takbir? As wikipedia puts it perfectly, "In the Islamic world, instead of applause, often someone will shout "takbir" and the crowd will respond "Allahu Akbar" [God is Great] in chorus.
And normally when non-Muslims hear anything that even remotely sounds like Arabic they shudder. But the takbir-shouting regime is actually damn funny. You guys know how teenagers get a high when they go "yeaaaaaaaa!!!!" or "woooohooooo!!!!" en masse in concerts/performances/political ceramahs? I think that the takbir is effectively that; its function is to rouse spirits, to bring more rowdiness and semangat to the atmosphere, to make the situation more meriah and 热闹.
And so my friends from Machang had very loud voices one. I think this was how it went:
Ahmad Tajuddin: TAKBIRRRRRR!!!!!!
Crowd: ALLLAAAAAHU AKBAAAARRRR!!!!!!!!
Then I would laugh [because it was soooo funnnnyyy how this phrase always associated with suicide bombers is used for such a cute, fun, and boisterous purpose], and Razuan and Hisham and Ahmad Tajuddin would laugh along with me hehehe.
When I put on my jeans that morning my mom was like ohhh they're not gonna let you in because my jeans were ripped (not on purpose, I swear).
Some of the best lines from Angkatan Pemuda Machang:
Hisham: We are not orthodox. (!!!!!!)
Hisham: [pointing to our clothes] warna sama ya?
Andrew: Memanglah. Green for PAS mah! Esok I pakai hitam untuk Perak.
They asked me when I would next be in Kelantan because they were going to set up a PAS Non-Muslim Supporters Club in Machang. :) So cute.
At first we were on one of the sides of the stadium. But the PA system sucked where we sat, so we moved to another spot.
While the center portion (directly facing the stage) was supposed to be for Muslimat (women) only (?), we saw two men in the otherwise empty front row, to which Hisham quipped: "mereka ni sesat."
Only for us to sit next to them in the end because the other places were full and/or far away. :D Hah.
In the end I managed to sneak in to the 1st [American] floor and got to meet some journalists from the Nut Graph!!!
But then someone saw my pemerhati pass and I had to leave boohoo. :(
Some asked me whether I was/will become Muslim, to which I always answer "I takut sunat lah."
One observation: I almost always spoke in Malay when I first approached people. The interesting part comes in through the way in which they responded: some responded in Malay, as I would expect them to; some instead responded in English! So either my Malay sucks so much that they wanted me to stop butchering BM, or they were kinda sorta showing off their English to someone who is obviously not Malay. :) I very much hope that it is the latter, because I rasa Bahasa Melayu I boleh tahan lah, even though it is very pasar and I use Is and Yous.
Contrary to expectations, I actually felt quite comfortable at the muktamar. Don't know why, but I was initially quite nervous heading to the conference lah. I didn't need to worry. The muktamar was a very friendly milieu -- I smiled at random people like the Unit Amal boys and the guards and passers by and almost all of them returned the widest, most precious smiles ever. :))))))
The tension, the energy, the chemistry, the electricity!
The jokes, the wisecracks, the scathing one-liners. Mmm mmm yummmy.
Khairy: "And on this panel we have a US hegemon (Jamie Metzl), an UMNO hegemon (himself), a Chinese opposition member (Tony), an Indian businessman (Premesh Chandran), and a dan lain-lain reporter (Jacqueline Ann Surin)!"
And they were great, I think, mainly because they were mutually forced to step up their game; all debaters know that you do your best when you have to, when victory is not assured, when your rival is damn good.
And again, one cannot help but revisit Shanon Shah's write up on MSLS II, which also perfectly describes the situation yesterday.
"I think today I just witnessed an incredible snapshot of what a real Malaysian democracy would look like.
"It was amazing how civil and - Heaven forbid - fun the discussion was. And it was amazing how the crowd - consisting mostly of students - responded enthusiastically. With applause, laughter and even boos (again, done more in humour than to seriously humiliate the speakers onstage).
What is also cute is that Khairy bothered to type up a huge-ass reply to Khoo Kay Peng's take on the Asia 21 Forum. Khairy is the only hope for BN lah. I ask you this: which other BN leader has firstly the guts and secondly the ability and eloquence to spar with other civil society leaders and the opposition, and also insert himself into cyber discourse? Which other BN leader can engage, mesmerize, and inspire the youth? Which other BN leader has seen the writing on the wall and knows that if they don't change, they will die? 一个也没有。
Well, maybe Shabery Cheek and Shahrir Samad lah. Alas, they are but a distinct minority in UMNO.
After putting blogdrive in the lowest possible results for search engines, it appears to have had a change of heart?!
So apparently after two Swarthmore.edu links and the Swarthmore article on Wikipedia, my blog is the fourth google link shown.
I didn't believe it at first. I didn't even google Swarthmore -- someone else did and came to my blog; I just clicked on the referral link.
So I signed out from my gmail because I know google personalizes searches to email accounts. And yet my blog was still fourth? :)
(Swarthmore if you are reading this you should give me more aid!)
I also need help! Please google "Swarthmore" wherever you are; but especially if you are overseas. (Carol and Emily that means you! Pleasepleaseplease) Tell me if google highlighted my blog only for Malaysian googlers.
Aiya the sad thing is SMK Damansara Jaya googling doesn't do the same thing :(