- Tuesday, July 28, 2009

She Smiled

Saw this at Crystal's blog. I used to think that Yasmin Ahmad was an arrogant, norm-defiant person, which to a certain extent, the adjective 'norm-defiant' is applicable; but she's definitely not arrogant.

This video helped me see the more tender side of her, and the jolly, smiling, full-of-jokes side of her, which, in my opinion, is uber cool!

I had lots of questions while watching this video. If only Joshua Foong covered them.

The leadership was different. Mahathir proved that the first world mentality was the future when he announced it. Najib has not really proved that he had the capability to achieve the 1Malaysia status -- for his actions have yet fully affirmed Malaysians about that vision of his. But think about this; don't we need to be united before we achieve first world status? That is, unless we equate first world with high rise buildings and fast internet, huge business dealings and great accomplishments. Ideally, unity is that all citizens are of one heart; but this would never be possible, will it? There will always be differences in opinions, there will always be dissatisfaction -- which, when compounded, will eventually lead to strive. After all, how many of us can view things objectively without bias, without emotions attached to our thinking? This is especially true to matters that pertain to us.

Since Najib's idea about 1Malaysia, as according to him is, "stand together, think and act as one people under the 1Malaysia concept" (The Malaysian Insider), can this really be achieved? Look at United States, a country that has so advanced laws and vocal people who cry for equality, the country that leads the world, the country that the world actually cares who becomes the next President, the country that sets an example to the other countries and defines what 'democracy' is all about, has it rid itself of racism -- which is not a form of standing together, thinking and acting as one people?

To stand together, think and act as one people -- that requires a lot. How can one man manage to tell people to do so? Unless he is one hell of a leader, that is. But right now, Najib is not so agressive, compared to our former Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir. Discarding the fact that under Mahathir's leadership, there were problems; but how can one question his ability when it comes to improving the country's status, architecture and infrastructure? What if Najib brought this up at the wrong time -- just like Abdullah, who aimed to curb corruption but couldn't, as even at the end of his reign, corruption still existed?

Of course, it is unfair to say that Abdullah's aim is achieved only when corrupion is completely abolished because corruption can never be completely abolished, especially in a country that is infested with it. Also, one has to consider the definition of corruption, which is "dishonestly using your position or power to your own advantage, especially for money" according to Cambridge Online; this shows that any form of power abuse -- be it related to money or not -- is in fact corruption, but how can one judge, aye? This is especially since our mindset about corruption is bribing, extortion and graft.

Similarly, can 1 Malaysia truly be achieved? One has to question this and put deep thought to it. What about stereotypes? They do play a huge role in creating dissentions. What about the recent change in the education system? A lot of people, yours truly included, have raised their fists or shook their heads as a form of protest to the change. Has the government heard our opinion? At least address the issues that we bring up, about why abolishing the entire plan to teach Mathematics and Science in English instead of improvising and improving it? Granted that people can still make it in life with their knowledge of Bahasa Malaysia, but what are the percentage? Has the government even considered that maybe because of the change of medium for education, people will even more seek greener pastures to live in or study in, hence a higher rate of migration and people studying abroad? What about people doing poorly in their studies when they go for higher or tertiary education?

Having Malaysians failing is definitely not a way to show first world mentality, nor is it close to showing 1 Malaysia, because if people aren't properly educated, and if all the Malaysians are restricted to is Bahasa Malaysia and heavy Islamic teachings and opinions, this then will only build stronger opposing voices. While I cannot discard the fact that with similarity, we are a step closer to being one, but this oneness will only be for a while.

When people go into the world and find much difficulty in communicating in English (not listening to English), they who are loyal to Malaysia will come scurrying into Malaysia with cries of education improvement, and a possibility -- a switch of medium of teaching. The whole cycle repeats, need I say more?

Just look at our current ministers. Most of them struggle to talk in English. Those who can, good for them. Many of the ministers send their kids overseas to study, why for? Why not send them to... say, University Malaya. Ah, that then would be different. It would show that they stand by the concept of 1Malaysia, the concept of Najib Tun Razak, our current Prime Minister.

As I am just typing what comes to mind, this will not be an exhaustive or sound argument. But think about it, will you, about what the government is trying to do?

If the government is so interesting in the concept of 1 Malaysia, then the rule about bumiputras should be abolished. A fair number of students permitted to enter local universities should be abolished. Malay rights should be abolished. The term "Islamic state" should not be used because isn't that a subtle manner of the government's effort to convert all other races to Islam, which, by then, the government will be free to proclaim with pride: We are a true Islamic nation?

When Najib said “don’t be just concerned about your own community but strive to fulfil the high expectations of all Malaysians” to his cabinet, was it just a polite way of saying: Don't worry, things will still be the same. In order to show we are truly concerned about the true state of the nation, we should appear to be concerned about those of another community.

However, Najib was right in saying the "high expectations of all Malaysians". Perhaps he should realize that these high expectations are the result of our constant disappointment of the government, and that when somebody takes over, we kinda hope that somebody will be somebody special and different, and not like his forerunners. So we will see what comes of Najib.

Oh yes, we should have something like the First Amendment. Freedom of religion (for all races with prior restrictions abolished, including the ones pertaining to Islam), freedom to assemble peacefully (look at the number of peaceful assembles that have been made unpeaceful, thanks to the government's mingling), freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Our fourth estate, our watchdog is kinda stifled.

I suppose I may continue ranting about the condition of Malaysia. I am unsure of the 1 Malaysia concept, because I think it's far from possible, considering the current state of politics and considering the amount of corruption (maybe Najib should continue Abdullah's pursuit to curb corruption).

I rest my peace.

However, above all those chatters and thoughts about the government,

To Yasmin Ahmad,

You will be sorely missed. Your meaningful, close-to-the-heart advertisements will be missed, dearly missed. Perhaps amongst us, there might be somebody as visionary as you who might be able to produce films and commercials like you. However, what are the chances to have someone with that touch similar to yours in our media?

Perhaps zero.

Yet again, seeing that your advertisements have made Petronas what it is now, I wouldn't be expecting much from the advertisements soon, especially the Hari Raya and the Chinese New Year (especially).

Your work, your sincerity, your vision, your heart, your beliefs, your possibles, your films, your commercials -- they all will be remembered and missed.


ah^kam_koko' said...

Well, I cannot comment much but I can say that I see where you're coming from.

Most of the younger generation is sick of racial based administration of everything in the country.
As they grow older & subsequently take over the country... Let's hope that they do not forget or let fears stifle their voice.

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