Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I always seem to have something to do.

Been real busy with school reports, assignments, studying, Impresario, and even my upcoming musical for the past couple of days and I've just been too busy to update.

But despite all the stress and work, uni life is going quite well.

And I got two stamps ready to mail postcards to Raja Petra Kamruddin, who is currently being unfairly and unjustly detained in the Kamunting Detention Centre just because he dares speak up against the corrupt.

If you can, drop him a postcard. I'm sure he'll appreciate it. Just think about it, Raya is tomorrow, and he's being detained by the government in the Guantanamo Bay of Malaysia for political reasons. He'll need all the support we can give. And of all the people I know, he's one of the most deserving too.

We need to band together to abolish the ISA. This time, we cannot keep silent anymore. Even if Anwar doesn't pull it off and finish BN off this year, it is our civic responsiblity to remember the sins the current government has committed and perform our fundamental responsibility as citizens to get rid of them when the next elections come along.

Whatever happens, this current situation has to change. So write him a postcard today, addressed to:

Raja Petra Kamaruddin,
Tempat Tahanan Perlindungan,
34600 Kamunting,

Or just take a look at the other things you can do to show your support here.
(or access it at http://mt.m2day.org/2008/content/view/13056/84/)

Stay strong, Raja Petra. We're with you.

And to all Muslims out there, Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri! Have a blessed, blessed time!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

I am my brother's keeper.

Now my friends, I am opposed to the system of society in which we live today, not because I lack the natural equipment to do for myself but because I am not satisfied to make myself comfortable knowing that there are thousands of my fellow men who suffer for the barest necessities of life. We were taught under the old ethic that man's business on this earth was to look out for himself. That was the ethic of the jungle; the ethic of the wild beast. Take care of yourself, no matter what may become of your fellow man. Thousands of years ago the question was asked; ''Am I my brother's keeper?'' That question has never yet been answered in a way that is satisfactory to civilized society.

Yes, I am my brother's keeper. I am under a moral obligation to him that is inspired, not by any maudlin sentimentality but by the higher duty I owe myself. What would you think me if I were capable of seating myself at a table and gorging myself with food and saw about me the children of my fellow beings starving to death.

- Eugene V. Debs

It is a sad day indeed to see that the Malaysian government has now sent political blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin has been sent to the Kamunting detention camp under Malaysia's draconian Internal Security Act, for at least two years without trial just for expressing his views on the internet.

ISA - A Crime Against Humanity

It is indeed sad to see someone like Raja Petra, a role model to all us Malaysians who dared stand up and speak against the government to be so unjustly treated like this.

Why is it that racist politicians who claim that the other races are but mere immigrants and wave the keris, asking for Chinese blood to flow walk free without any consequence? But when a blogger states his case, with evidence to back it all up, the government does all they can to shut him up?

Where will they stop? Will they go after all of us smaller voices who speak up against such injustice next? Will they send ears out to snoop on kopitiam talk to throw dissenters into the deep bowels of ISA detention?

Enough detention without trial!

They just might, looking at how things have been going lately.

Yes, it's easy to complain that we have a useless, corrupt government. It's easy to launch into a tirade of complaints against the government at the neighbourhood kopitiam.

But the government's not the only one to blame for this whole mess.

You out there, reading this, are to blame for this whole situation too.

Yes you! Out there! Have you been sitting down there, comfortable where you are watching this whole farce playing before your eyes as you give your silent consent? Would our politicians be so arrogant to not even consider public opinion and review the draconian ISA if we had severely rebuked their arrogance in the past?

I don't think so. We're to blame too.

I am my brother's keeper, and I simply cannot just sit here and watch this wave of injustice just sweep across my country like that. Doesn't it pain you Malaysians out there to see our politicians do so much damage to the image of our country in the international arena?

Do you know how embarrassing it is for me when my foreign friends comment that Malaysian minsters cannot even speak in proper English, or feel pity for us Malaysians that an UMNO leader labeled all non-Malays immigrants?

It's just way too much.

If you feel as I feel, if you see as I see, and if you seek as I seek - something just has to be done about all this.

If there is one small thing we can do about this whole mess, it's this:

Free RPK!


(or just go to http://www.PetitionOnline.com/isa1234/)

Also, more of us have to have the courage to speak up against the injustices of this country, even though the evildoers are doing what they can to keep us silent.

Have the courage to speak up and say what's right! It is really something that all faiths preach and what truly marks a real man.

I know that in the end, the voice of reason, the voice of justice will prevail. I just hope that it just won't come too late.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Recess Week

This is just SO NOT a recess week.

Week-where-you-stay-at-home-and-get-assignments-done is more like it. And did I mention the long distance calls that I have to make in the morning?

Well, at least I'm all comfortable at home lah.

Will try to come up with some decent writing after this whole OB fiasco bides over.

Hamlet's Hero out.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Walter Kovacs

After reading a good story, my imagination goes on overdrive. I dream of otherworldly landscapes, bizzare creatures and the most convoluted of plots. And as I go through the story again, the words call out to me, their meaning becoming clearer to me each time I see them.

And I draw.

Behold, the masked Rorschach.

It's definitely refreshing, to read about masked heroes who are as flawed, if not more flawed then we mortals are.
"Stood in firelight, sweltering. Bloodstain on chest like map of violent new continent. Felt cleansed. Felt dark planet turn under my feet and knew what cats know that makes them scream like babies in night. Looked at sky through smoke heavy with human fat and God was not there. The cold, suffocating dark goes on forever and we are alone. Live our lives, lacking anything better to do. Devise reason later. Born from oblivion; bear children, hell-bound as ourselves, go into oblivion. There is nothing else. Existence is random. Has no pattern save what we imagine after staring at it for too long. No meaning save what we choose to impose. This rudderless world is not shaped by vague metaphysical forces. It is not God who kills the children. Not fate that butchers them or destiny that feeds them to the dogs. It’s us. Only us. Streets stank of fire. The void breathed hard on my heart, turning its illusions to ice, shattering them. Was reborn then, free to scrawl own design on this morally blank world. Was Rorschach. Does that answer your questions, Doctor?"

- Rorschach, Watchmen.

Are there moral absolutes?

What do you do when right or wrong don't seem so apparent anymore? Flip a coin, or go with what you really believe in?

Sometimes we just need to have the courage to stand up and do what's right, even though every one else disapproves. The line between madness and heroism is a thin one, but then again the ability to believe in your own convictions is what I believe really makes a man.

Even if the tyrants that you're battling throw you into prison for no good reason whatsoever but you still remain unrepentant. That really is a mark of a true man.

One more day till D-day. Just one more day. Fingers still crossed.

Let's keep fighting for what's right, no matter what.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Organizational Behaviour.

Sometimes I think that the periods in which I am most creative occur during the oddest times. Earlier this week, during my organizational behaviour seminar session, I had a sudden creative urge to draw.

We had just completed our Article Arena presentation and my hands were just itching to draw.

Bridging Faultlines in Diverse Teams by team Elmo!

And so draw I did. As my OB group is named Elmo, and a really cute picture of Elmo was projected on the screen, I decided to draw Elmo!

"La la la la, la la la la, Elmo's song!"

And here is Elmo in colour!

Elmo in full Technicolor!

And in a moment of inspiration I proceeded to draw another Elmo! One not so suited for a life on Sesame Street!

What Elmo would look like if he were evil.

And speaking of more sinister Elmos, take a look at this absolutely hilarious YouTube vid on how Elmo is actually like behind the scenes!

Isn't Elmo just so nasty?

One thing about OB class is that my tutor, Trevor, is wont to give out sweets and chocolates to those that participate in class by answering his questions. We had an M&M wrapper on the table and then inspiration struck once again.

The M&M's were smiling happily at me...

"What if the M&M's turned dark, bloated and twisted? Hmmmm..."

And after some drawing and some giggling from my teammates at my table, presenting to you:

When M&M's go dark and evil!

Isn't class just fun?


On an unrelated note, the Malaysian government has really crossed the line this time by not only detaining Raja Petra Kamaruddin under the ISA, but has also moved to detain Teresa Kok and a reporter from Sin Chew Jit Poh.

What is happening to our country? When a senior politician outright makes clearly seditious, extremely racist remarks, all he gets is a soft pat on his bum, but they just throw supporters of the opposition in jail for no rhyme or reason!

I really think that Malaysians from all walks of life have really had enough of the Barisan government pushing us all around like that. We've really had enough nonsense already.

The people shouldn't be afraid of their governments, and it should be the governments that should be afraid of their people.

I really believe that if all Malaysians hold their ground and decide to stop taking all this nonsense from the government, we can actually make a difference. It's enough! We're supposed to be a democracy here!

I've already had way too much ISA nonsense already. You?

Let's see what happens this coming September 16th. Will it be a day which students 20 years down the road learn about during history lessons? For good? For bad?

I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


Update 15th September, 12:10AM:

For all of you taking Organizational Behaviour this semester!

Courtesy of Apple: History of Organizational Behaviour Studies

It's quite an interesting website! Thanks Apple!

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Quis custodiet ispos custodes.

"...but the world is so full of people, so crowded with these miracles that they become commonplace and we forget... I forget.

We gaze continually at the world and it grows dull in our perceptions. Yet seen from another's vantage point, as if new, it may still take the breath away.

Come... dry your eyes, for you are life, rarer than a quark and unpredictable beyond the dreams of Heisenberg; the clay in which the forces that shape all things leave their fingerprints most clearly.

Dry your eyes, and let's go home."

- Jonathan Osterman, Dr. Manhattan, page 28, Watchmen IX.
Lest we forget how miraculous life is.

Monday, September 08, 2008

A Happy Day.

Today I took another train ride, one very similar to the one I took yesterday. I took full advantage of the train ride this time, immersing myself deep in thought and philosophical musings while watching life zip by in fast-forward around me.

And when I had arrived at my destination, I knew I had to go there. I had to go to the bookshop. The selection there was strangely bewildering, disorienting even, and I suddenly found myself caught in a long and elaborate daydream full of fantastical characters. Maybe that's just what I'm looking for - the wonder, fantasy and beauty of my imagination. It really is a wonder to get my hands on a piece of literature that makes you pause, ponder and reflect.

I love it.

And to top it all, I had a wonderful friend to share it all with me.

The three words you messaged me: Best friend always.

Hamlet's Heroes forever!

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Solitary Train Rides.

I haven't been on a long train ride armed with a good book to read for a long time already.

I realised that actually getting out of NTU, listening to my music and reading while musing about life really invigorated me - I had enough economics and organizational behaviour reading already.

It was great to just have time to think and ponder on the subtler points of life, in my private bubble in the train, protected from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. It just made me feel centered and happy. It's definitely something I should be doing more off.

Life just seems so much brighter and full of potential now as a result of my on-train-meditation. (:

Just want to share an inspirational quote I read today. I heard of it before, when the GP teachers were screening Freedom Writers back in St. Andrews.

Here it is:
You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our own presence automatically liberates others.
- Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love.
Su Hui and Charmaine, just take care and have the time of your life in the UK, okay? The brunch bunch just won't be complete without you. Looking back, those were really good times where we were just so carefree and just bonded over lunch.

Can't wait till we can have brunch again Su. Really.

Till we meet again, Su.

It's going to be another really nice, long train ride tomorrow. (:

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Involuntary Time Travel

Strawberry Fields Forever?

The rain just seems to keep pouring down. It just doesn't seem to stop.

Like the raindrops which keep racing down to earth, time seems to speed by too, and the days here seem to fly by like mere hours.

The week's already coming to an end, when feels like the week has only just barely begun.

Do time travellers have time to stop and smell the roses, or do the roses just grow old and wilt before their eyes?

Ironically, only time will tell.


To infinity, and beyond!

And did you know that I've just learnt that:

0.999... = 1

Don't believe me? Watch me work the wonders of math!

Assuming that x = 0.999...

Multiplying both sides by 10,

10x = 9.999...

Subtracting both sides by x,

10x - x = 9.999... - 0.999...
9x = 9
x = 1


0.999... = 1

And if 0.999... = 1, it also implies the following:

Wikipedia, wikipedia, wikipedia... = way too much time wasted.

If only I spent the time I spend on wikipedia and YouTube studying, I wouldn't have to worry about exams. Damn.