My Anthem

Wednesday, August 31, 2005



DESIDERATA ends this National Day Project proudly by first thanking Mitochondria, Kyels and Sabrina with four salutes:);):);). This auspicious day's Essay is a sort of roundup really, starting with an anecdote from one of myGOodfRiend (mGf) in the singular or plural, Catherine De Costa. She was invited to contribute an essay, but as she was pressed for time moving house, she declined(hence Desi could not achieve the target of SEVEN! Ne'er mind, there's alays next year...). But as a self-published writer who thinks she’s by nature a Romantic Idealist, Cathy supports me fervently as I proceeded, and she explains why she deems herself:


National Day is drawing near, and radio stations are encouraging us to fly the “Jalur Gemilang”. What does Merdeka symbolise, I often wonder.

We are still compartmentalised into Malay, Chinese, Indian and other less dominat ethnic groups such as Kadazan, Iban from Sarawak/Sabah, and the Orang Asli, truly the original natives of the land. The Malays still have their special position and privileges, and MARA scholarships are still exclusively for the Malays.

I hope that one day I will be able to fly the “Jalur Gemilang” with all my pride and patriotic nationalism. I must say I’m quite sceptical. Until the day comes when the bumiputra discounts for purchasing new houses are taken off, when MARA opens its door to all Malaysians, irrespective of race and religion; and when Bahasa Melayu subject taught at schools is reverted to Bahasa Malaysia as in my schooldays.

Allow me to share this story with you…

My son, Ethan Chan, likes to eat Indian food. One day when we were all watching TV in the living room, he complained that mosquitoes were biting him. My brother-in-law teased him, saying that the mosquito which bit him must be Chinese and also it’s because he eats Indian food most of the time. My son answered this. “Mosquitoes have no race.”

The true meaning of Merdeka will be realised if we can all think like my nine-year-old son, Cathy concludes, with sending her best wishes to all Readers a "Happy Hari Merdeka still!"

This story ties in with a comment sent in last night by another mGf, Yan, of, and here is the extract:

***** Yan said...
Hi, Sabrina,

Love your writing though it brings that vain pain in my heart.

I read another AFP story today captioned "Malaysians live peacefully - but separately."

I pick the essence of this story -

Malaysia bills itself as a model of peaceful multiculturalism, but despite nearly half a century of nationhood, the races that make up its population have never been further apart.

Separate schools, separate friends, separate social lives - Malaysia marks 48 years of independence on Wednesday but many citizens lament the lack of ties between majority Malays and the Chinese and the Indians living alongside them.

Scholars and politicians warn that the existing peace and harmony in the country must not be taken for granted and have pressed for a national convention to identify a strategy towards a united Malaysian race.

"Overall, the people live in harmony but there is some degree of tension due to the feeling of being discriminated against ...

Well, Sabrina, move on, fly high ..



The main dilemma, in my eyes, and based on the radar screens of my Esteemed Essayists and Commenters is that arising from the brazen abuse, and misuse of this issue of RACE, especially by politicians driven by questionable motives other than national interests.

For the past few General Elections, the Barisan Nasional had extensively publicised the May 13, 1969 Incident, using the elements of FEAR, THREAT and INTIMIDATON to garner votes. Sad, but true. Effective, but at what price? I’m glad to note there was less of such tactics when the BN was led by Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi into battle in 2004. This portends well for the nation indeed.

, our Esteemed Blogger who flagged of this Essay Series, expressed apprehension whenever politicians raised the nation’s temperatures in their actions, which are highly irresponsible and imflammatory. A recent example is the UMNO YOUTH Chief Hishammuddin Hussein raising the keris at the party’s assembly at the PWTC,mayhaps to express the dated "Ketuanan Melayu" (Malay Supremacy)concept? Several years ago, a sizeable UMNO Youth group (‘em again!) marched on the Chinese Assembly Hall building in Kuala Lumpur threatening to burn down the office of SUQUI housed within the building. (This non-government organisation Suqui had earlier submitted a memorandum outlining some problems befalling Malaysian society, and enumerated many appeals for addressing those problems – surely a democratic and civil way of fowadrding citizens’ concerns to advance civil society?)

Bu no police action was taken in both these cases. Suddenly, the Royal Malaysian Police Force had been very, unusually, visibly tolerant. But the trouble is that it has been a consistent “selective” treatment of common citizens – other NGOs or groups of ordinary men in the street conducting similar actions, even on less controversial, issues, would have the full, half, or at least quarter force of the FRU (Federal Reserve Unit) on them. Ask Keadilan or DAP or SUARAM members, with whom I also fraternise sometimes, and I know the majority are law-abiding citizens. They all have the concern and love for OUR MALAYSIA as much as the national leaders or public officials waving Jalur Gemilang on National Day.

That is why Desiderata feels the May 13, 1969 incident should be properly evaluated by a suitably established GROUP OF EMINENT PERSONS so that we can learn some lessons and avoid similar incidents that can or may lead to blood-shed.We can also minimise the exploitation by certain quarters to feed o fear and apprehension to advance their bigoted, racist agendas.


Young Malaysian students, and their parents, every year without fail would have to bear with the indignity of seeing their sons/daughters being denied places at local universities to pursue tertiary courses. Why – many feel they have been discriminated against, on critera other rather academic performance. Even allowing for some leeway being granted to “certain disadvantaged” groups, most feel they has been much abuse of the system, aided by politicians and their cronies, to push ahead children who are already well to do, and whose families have indeed arrived.

In passing, I just note here two points relating to House Price Differentiation and the institution of MARA. I already had expounded on the former, when I called for the removal of discounts for houses above RM100,000 to Bumiputeras. If Malaysians who are deemed to “have arrived” in society (surelt those who can tafford to buy hiuses prived above RM100,000 fall within this category? Do I hear a NO? That you want to enjoy that 7-15 percent discount to but that RM300,000 bungalow, and at the same time driving around an imported spanking new Mercedes or Kleesman? I sometimes say ISA (I say amen…) to such people’s desires, and that the Good Lord has a special hearing for their needs.

On MARA, I know it’s specially set up to advance the Bumiputeras – but what the average Joe Public is afraid the poor kampong youth or the urban squatter Bumiputera youth are not the final recipients of such aid or programmes, tye major benefits again go to the well connected.And commission collectors along the way. It’s the culture of GREED and RENT-SEEKING, SUBSIDY DEPENDENCY and CRONYISM that deprive of the truly NEEDY AND NEEDFUL from government assistance. Even the PM has acknowledged such ills, and the breaking out of the APPROVED PERMITS into public glare was an eye-opening Xperience for all, Bumiputeras and non-Bumis alike.

I know for a fact that MARA has a budget of RM500million to RM700million to sponsor Bumiputera students for overseas and local tertiary studies. Most Malaysians would not object to such special aid for a certain period, but again, Malaysians need to be weaned away such a dependency culture. If a minister’s son or daughter continues to take away such a scholarship, he/she deprives another less-finnacially well off fellow Malaysian – be it Bumi or non-Bumi – from such a scholarship, I recall our PM stating this at an official function. A salute to him, God-fearing and caring.

I know many Chinese parents would sell off a house, or forego buying a second home, or sacrifice that Round-the-world second honeymoon tour in their twilight years, just so to raise that RM300,000 to RM500,000 for a child’s university education overseas. Sabrina Tan tells us of why she needs to stay back to work in New Zealand for she has an NZD300,000 loan to pay off! And that’s being filial, surely in line with the Rukunegara precept of civil society behaviour and being a responsible son/daughter?

I don’t even want to talk about scholarships by other quarters such as the Public Services Department, or PETRONAS, as I might have worked these subjects to death,in my own Blog or at other forums like Screenshots. Just a reiteration for the national oil corporation to flow its benefits more directly to the Rakyat. A PETRONAS FOUNDATION PLEASE, giving our YoungOnes a helping hand across RACE, COLOUR AND CREED?

Again in mitochondria’s words in one conversation, I’ve become “too tired of being tired”. If the Government does not transform its mindset, and those of the Government-Linked Companies, and Statutory Bodies and Agencies, from THINKING RACE, NOT NEEDS to THINKING NEEDS, NOT RACE as advocated here on many occasions, then don’t talk about nurturing patriotism, because you’ve sown so many seeds of discontent.

Nine-year-old Ethan’s true story of THE MOSQUITO has somethin’ there to teach us ADULTS – I believe all our politicians are adult? – our blood, is commonly red, and the mosquito does not discriminate. I believe we Homosapiens have brains bigger than mosquitoes, or don’t we?


Another major DILEMMA in Desiderata’s summary is that of the lack of transparency and accountability in Government -- the Executive branch, and the Legislature(s), and the failure of the Judiciary and the Fourth Estate in discharging their public duties and obligations. These are grouped together as they constitute the Four Estates respectively. Usually the levels of performance of these estates are inter-related, for one affects the other beause the standards of performance and behaviour in one set a trend for the others. At the apex, Desiderata places the onus on the Government to set the lead and example, being the country’s administration and house-keeper. If PAGAR MAKAN PADI, all else will also follow, and all the people will suffer and society decay.

In my opinion, the electorate gave too huge a majority to the Barisan Nasional in the last GE2004, resulting in the ruling coalition having 90pecent of the 219 seats in Parliament. I hope to see some progress in our country heading towards a mainly two-party system like in the US, UK and Australia. But the Opposition parties must get their act together; and the people too must get wiser. At the end of the day, stop complaining too much, for you -- the VOTERS -- put the Government there. You finally deserve the Governmnet you get -- arrogant, complacent, and not accountable.


Another Dilemma is that of LEADERSHIP BY EXAMPLE. I know of many fellow Malaysians swtitching off a TV channel, or stroll to another channel, when certain “ministers” appear on the news. I don’t blame them, because quite many are swimming in the same whirlpool I would liken its occupants to CROCODILES. I won’t go into many examples save that former Chief Minister caught at a place his religion even forbade him from entering -- at casinos overseas – and chalking up debts of tens of millions. I can’t stop any of my Sabahan fRiends fom moaning and groaning and quietly asking: How much has gone missing from the satte’s coffers during his tenure?

Yet another case involved another former Menteri Besar, of 22 sshort years, found guilty of “money politics” All he received as punishment was suspension from party and Government posts, followed by subsequent sacking the most, from the Cabinet. But what about paying a price for the purported "millions" spent in "money politics"? SEMUANYA OKAY, sebab dia adalah Brudder?
I'm afraid Pak Lah has a Herculean task in promoting a Towering Malaysian culture, because among his Cabinet members, not many can even rise to just competent levels, what more towering! Maybe half of the members have over-stayed their welcome -- Desiderata definitely thinks so, I don't know about Pak Lah. Maybe his hands are tied? I don't really know.


Another DILEMMA is the unequal treatment of citizens under the law.
For small breaches of the law, Public Joes and Janes are being sent to jail, like 6 months for petty theft of RM100 worth of snacks from the supermarket, or imprisonment for a few months or several years, in breach of trust of a bank’s funds of RM10,000-RM50,000? But tycoons get away with mere slaps on the wrists for almost bankrupting a bank, or fines of several million ringgit when they have taken away hundred of million; and at the most, short jail terms, and on release,these Datuks/Tan Sris spend their vacation oversea for the rest of their life living off the loot? (Actually the tax-payers like you and me pay for their offences, as the Government had to step in to bail out the banks by the BILLIONS -- the 1997/98 financial crisis and share market meltdown, remember?

Or have Malaysians forgotten those infamous billion-dollar bailouts -- BANK BUMIPUTRA(3 times!)-BMF, MAS, PERWAJA STEEL, BAKUN DAM, etc, ad nauseum. On a lesser scale, but highly visible before human eyes --the Bukit Cahaya Alam Seri Alam Park, and other state agricultural lands -- devastation and encroachment cases, with blatant removal of rich state timber. What's the penalty for these politician-connected businessmen who breached the law? Mostly getting away with mere fines (paid for by the offending companies). The country just needs ONE CASE of massive environment degradation, done usually in the stealth of the night in a jiffy, and it puts paid to dust all the efforts of thousands of good, law-abiding citizens over long years in caring for the neighbourhood and environs. So who the bloody hell cares?-- is a common attitude creeping into the Joe Public's psyche. NOT HEALTHY. DISASTROUS. A NATIONAL TRAGEDY.OUR DILEMMA.

No wonder my fellow-writers like mitochondria don’t feel motivated to celebrate Merdeka Day; it’s just another holiday to catch up with sleep or watch television; no wonder mGf like Sabrina Tan has many unanswered questions floating about, and she constanly shakes her head, and I too share their feelings and predicaments.

A younger student like Kyels might in a few years' time encounter experience and incidents narrated by her peer older by a few years that would yield a sense of déjà vu. Yes, she’d be brought down to earth that her rose-tinted lens from the high school, or even pre-university college, days, needs to be replaced by more REALISTIC lenses, in order to cope, in order to survive. Yes, mostly resulting in a more cynical outlook, with some youths turning even desperate and then like “opting” out of the system, or slightly better for some lucky ones, staying back in a foreign land, because “my government seems to be taking actions to drive us away”. What a sad refrain, and the Government laments -- sincerely? - BRAIN-DRAIN.I personally know many of such youths' parents have chosen to "opt out" of the political arena. SAD. TRAGIC, BUT TRUE.


Is our Government properly educated and informed of this threat posed by Globalisation? I hardly think so. We are losing our young talents, in big numbers, every year. Do our leaders care? We then pay exorbitant salaries to Expatriate workers instead, also for second generation technology transfer when other countries have moved on to another higher plane. Are we suckers for international CON-men?

Like one well publicised, recent example. The UMNO YOUTH calling for the revival of the New Economic Policy (NEP), based mainly on the ground that the 30-percent share equity to be owned by Bumiputears, stated in 1970 had not been achieved. By their own leaders’ figures, the share had been raised from an initial 5 per cent to abot 18 percent in 1985. BUT 20 years later, in 2005, the figure had stayed stagnant at 18-19 percent. (The sources, Hishamuddin and Shaberry Cheek, had been quoted in DESIDERATA’s earlier posts.)

So two conclusions:

(1) The UMNO politicians have been telling us half-truths, basing their latest figures on wrong criteria and not reliable statistics. Some academic sources argue that the current Bumi share equity of 19percent DID NOT INCLUDE those stakes held in Government-Linked Companies (GLCs) which are highly capitalised, as well as those held in trust or by proxy in certain State or Federal agencies/companies whose accounts are not made public.

(2) Even if the claims stated by these UMNO Youth leaders, are true ( which Desoderata strongly believes ARE NOT TRUE), then there is no reason why a policy that had failed miserably like the NEP should be revived. I should NOT say more because those so-called Barisan Nasional brothers to UMNO Youth like MCA, MIC and Gerakan are keeping deafeningly silent. They are elected for what? Well, sharing the loot?

Otherwise, why do 21st century so-called leaders want to revive the NEP,an instrument of the 1979s-1990s that had proven to be not effective? Don't we learn from history and current developments? The big bad world of GLOBALISATION has descended on us like a Tsunami. We still want to walk with crutches. The competition now comes from China, not the local Chinese badly represented by the MCA; from the Indians from the near continet, not from the local Indians doubly badly represented by the MIC.

As Thomas Friedman in "THE LEXUS & THE OLIVE TREE" rightfully pointed out, the world is now a Global Village. Investments and big dollars go where there is the best ROI (returns on investment)-- the bottomline decides where the investors will go, and Malaysian racist politics doesn't help. It's a boderless world, and the YoungOnes know it. That's why they want to seek the best education available within their means, to arm themselves properly to face a borderless world. Manpower is now very mobile. The richest man in the world, BILL GATES, has outsourced many of MICROSOFT's operations to INDIA. (Digressing a wee bit -- can? Microsoft's total corporate net worth and share values surpass all the combined capitalisations of Malaysia's 1,000-odd listed companies -- just Food for Thought...)

Today, it's the Internet and Information Age where communications between world communities is almost instantaneous, and knowledge powers a nation's progress. We may boast the best infra-structure of the First World standard, yes, Petronas Twin Towers is still the tallest in such category, but what about our human resources. Our mindset, is it First World? Are we grooming our own young talents, or are we driving them away. Our leaders have to answer these questions with a conscience.

But some of our leaders are still living in an Age of the Fixed Telephone Line. Fixed mindset, seeing the dollar signs everywhere they venture. Indulging in rent-collection; collecting commissions, like renting out the APs for a quick and easy buck. The future they see is now -- with instant gratification. Even a village idiot can do that, collecting rents, and instantly gratifying themselves.

Today I must take stock, and many fellow Malaysians may advise me to count OUR BLESSINGS. I do. I cherish our multi-culturalism, our generosity of spirits, sometimes sorely tested by certain bas....quarters; I am thankful for a relatively stable place of residence. But our nation;s security has been highly compromised == by acts of commission of vested interests, or by acts of omission because their immdeiate greed is not promoted. I want to celebrate Merdeka Day in my own individual way. I want to reflect on what's happening. I ant to build a united nation. But I am also bewildered. Maybe, most of it, or just sometimes, I really don’t know what the bloody hell is going on. Like our country exports premium petroleum and is a net beneficiary, but every time the world petrol price goes up, the pump prices also go up, when logically, it should go down. However, when world prices go down, as it had occurred several times in the past, the pump prices for petrol and diesel NEVER CAME DOWN. Sab shakes her head. I'm dumb-founded. Shall we 'Rakyat-ise' PETRONAS, fellow Malaysians?

In closing, I express the fear that our natural resource's riches are not flowing down to the Rakyat. I wish my government leaders are more forthright, transparent and honest with us. Are some robber barons stealng from our Treasury and GLCs?

I don't know. I have raised many don't knows. I have questions which the media should have raised, but they didn't. Can Desiderata band together with fellow writers to start a newspaper, anyone with a RM50million spare cash? FOR ANOTHER NOBLE PROJECT?

More down to earth, let's develop Blogsworld -- the 5th Esate? -- to slowly wind our way our of this Haze, or Maze? I don't know. We can only give it A FAIR GO. Mitochondria, kyels, Sabrina, Stay the Fight? THANKS FOR TRAVELLING THIS EDUCATIONAL JOURNEY. RIBUAN-RIBUAN TERIMA KASIH.

Maybe the right sources or authorities will respond to my effort. Answer some of my questions? Like the bank/s who can tell me how they could lend RM1.2BILLION to a 27-year-old while you and I have many hurdles to cross, even do a hop-stepo-and-jump, to get a RM50,000 to RM150,000 loan for a house. Or a RM500,000 for expanding a small-and-medium enterprise business? Or Bank Negara could explain why no action was taken against any banker leading to the banking crisis in 1997/98 which required any bailout using tax-payers money? Too many questions, too few answers.

I don’t have faith in the second echelon leadership in the BN, because you have people of questionable background (like the youngest billionaire ar age 27 years) becoming role model for the youth? And the UMNO counterpart one rank higher using a RM960,000 HUMMER? Promoting the national car project, mGf? I say a prayer for the YoungOnes. I also wish myGoodfRiends, cyber and real, Happy Merdeka Day.

For all our efforts, can someone send over a bouquet of flowers each to Kyels, Sabrina and mitochondria. For Desi,posting this last of a series of SIX ESSAYS at just past midnight, a piping glass of HariDas' tehtarik, kurang manis, please...

Ten hours later, I can adjourn for a Merdeka Day celebation of a CONTINENTAL BF, plus A CONTINENTAL BRUNCH when I wake up at 10am. I allow myself some capitalist adventurism and some bourgesoie indulgence on special occasions. National Day surely qualifies. Someone has called me a closet socialist. I'm coming out.


Tuesday, August 30, 2005


DESIDERATA is the nick adopted by Y.L.Chong from his early days of writing – born out of necessity to earn a few bucks to see the cheap matinee at the the cinema, not your high-tech sen-surround cinematheque nowadays – and writing has remained a passion ever since. I used my writing craft earning bread and butter later as a Journalist, coursing through both mainstream and alternative media, plus a long-term imprisonment within some Diplomatic walls. Freelancing, for some years now, enables me to wander more publicly into CivilSociety&Political Discourses,and the engagement with Blogosphere conversationists, first via JeffOoi’s screenshots, then five months plus back via my own Blog, has restored some sanity and music to his much assaulted mind.

To fans like YoungKyels who wish to pursue Mass Communications, DESIDERATA can safely tell you that you can’t survive too long as a Freelance writer without a strong personal and lonely drive bordering sometimes on bewilderment and madness -- quite an expected trait of those with also a poetic bent? OtherWise, be prepared to soon become a Pauper (mGf Mr C…. says a Church-mouse is the apt term, oh, I digress, again, Mama-mia!). Today I shall allow myself some reflection aloud on a subject close to my heart as Our Country looks forward to celebrating its 48th birthday.


As our nation prepares to celebrate its 48th birthday tomorrow, Desiderata feels it meaningful and appropriate to re-visit the Five Principles adopted for nation-building and steering this country towards developed nation status in 15 years hence, in 2020. These five principles are the pillars constituting the RUKUNEGARA, which are as follows:

Belief in God (Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan)
Loyalty to King and Country (Kesetiaan kepada Raja dan Negara)
Supremacy of the Constitution (Keluhuran Perlembagaan)
Rule of Law (Kedaulatan Undang-undang)
Mutual Respect and Morality (Kesopanan dan Kesusilaan)

Now we are a nation of some 24 million people, comprising ethnic groups who can trace their roots back to some of the greatest ancient civilisations of the world – Chinese, Indian, Malay, and other more localised and less ancient ones like the Iban, Kadazan, and other indigenous groups resident for centuries in the peninsula then called Malaya, Sarawak and Sabah in the Borneo region, before the formation of Malaysia.

From a potporri of cultures and ethnic varieties, the coming together of all these groups under one umbrella surely would throw up many challenges and push-and-pull strains and stresses, and the task of nation-building can’t be an easy one..

No journey in a nation of 48 years can be all smooth,rosy and sweet -– indeed, our forefathers foresaw the many obstacles in the way of building a new nation after the British colonial masters left us. But we started off on a strong footing -– luckily the British laid a solid foundation for a reasonably good adminstration and sound education legacy, though its parliamentary monarchy was still an infant in 1957, but allowed to grow slowly but surely.

Along the way, the nation saw some traumatic times, and an important landmark was the May 13, 1969 riots, (its true story had not been honestly told ... my view) which still remains a scar in the nation’s consciousness. The Government would want the people to talk little about this black mark in the nation's history – yes, we’re still healing, the dark spot has not been completely removed from the national landscape, especially for those who lived through those dark times at “close hand”. However, there is no real, sincere efforts to study, dissect the facts from fiction, discuss and ponder over what led to this “blip” in our nation’s growing years. Officialdom adopts the attitude that silence is golden – akin to that ostrich burying its head in the Sahara sand a few thousand miles away.

So what can DESIDERATA fall back on to learn some lessons from the past, that we may not repeat the “quick” sand? To me, maybe it is important to re-visit and understand more fully and clearly, the founding principles that our national leaders, representing the various groups across race, creed, gender and age, have agreed upon to move this nation forward, and guide us ordinary citizens in our daily living.

Let’s reflect on the five principles in the Rukunegara by which Malaysians are expected to lead their lives, individually, and collectively, as this writer views it.

Belief in God is premised on the assumption that all the relgious faiths of the world instill in the human race good values to lead a positive life. Whiile the Federal Constitution recognises Islam as the official religion, there is complete freedom for the adoption and practice of other religions,as long as they do not deviate from universally accepted norms, or become a threat to the nation’s well-being. There is freedom to choose and practise one’s religion. I believe the majority of the people in this country are followers of one religion or another, as is evidenced by the common celebrations of major religious festivals, always observed as public holidays -- to put us all in a jolly good mood.

Loyalty to King and Country is premised on the fact that Malaysia on independence has chosen a parliamentary monarchy system which acknowledges the Yang diPertuan Agong as the Sovereign Head of the country to which all Malaysian nationals accord the Royal status as King, The unique system sees a new King being elected by the Conference of Rulers every five years, with the helm being rotated among the nine brother rulers at the state levels. All Malaysian citizens owe absolute loyalty to the Flag, and there is no provision for any Malaysian to carry dual citizenship.

Any Malaysian who acquires citizenship of a foreign country shall automatically surrender his citizenship in Malaysia. I believe all Malaysians are fully aware of their obligations towards this country if they in return expect their full rights and freedoms to be protected by the King and his duly elected or appointed officials.

Supremacy of the Constitution recognises the Constitution as the highest authority for the final reference as to the legality of any Act of legislation adopted by the Federal Legislature (Parliament) or the state legislatures (State Assemblies). And no Acts can be enacted that run counter to the written Constitution, governing the citizen’s rights and freedoms, in word or in the spirit so intended by the framers of the Constitution.

Rule of Law ensures that every Malaysian citizen is accorded the same and equal treatment in any Court of Law, subject to the legislation adopted by the Parliament and State Assemblies. An accused person facing any charge of having committed a breach of the law shall be presumed to be innocent until proven guilty in a properly constituted Court of Law, and the accused person is entitled to legal counsel or representation to assist in his/her defence.

Mutual Respect and Morality is premised on the nation’s pursuit of a Civil Society in accordance with the laws of the country. Every citizen is expected to exercise conduct that will promote harmony and civility within the community, and shall not commit acts that lend to disharmony or to the disturbance of the public peace. Hence, a certain standard of public behaviour in accordance with the religious values universally present in all the religions of the world is expected from each individual to ensure the promotion and the maintenance of peace and harmony among the people. Such moral standards are consonant with the First Principle governing Belief in God in that such a belief would tend to promote the moral uprightness and behaviour of an individual as well as his responsibility towards his/her community and neighbours.

Here come Desiderata’s Meanderings:
I re-state the dictum I follow in my discourse with my EsteemedReaders, and hopefully to be followed by Conversationists via Comments, which is allowed and aloud, with mutual agreement and respect, from VOLTAIRE:

“I may disagree with what you say but I will defend, to the death, your right to say it.”

With the Rukunegara Principle Number 1, I believe most Malaysians have no problem in accepting the Belief in God, however we deem Him to be. Whether we practise it in whatever degree, it’s an individual right and concern. I think most of my fellow citizens are God-fearing, although we may follow different faiths – Islam, Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, Taoism, Bahai'ism. I don’t have any problem if all Malaysians are allowed to practise our faiths openly and willingly.

Principle Number 2
requires all citizens to pledge Loyalty to King and Country. Under this requirement,I would state that any Malaysian who acquires citizenship of a foreign country shall automatically surrender his citizenship in Malaysia. I believe all Malaysians are fully aware of their obligations towards this country if they in return expect their full rights and freedoms to be guaranteed and protected by the King and his duly elected Government or appointed officials.

This point raises the issue governing many Malaysians who have studied overseas, or even gone as expatriates to be employed overseas, and later acquire Permanent Residence there. Desiderata reminds that their loyalty remains with their home country as long as they do not surrender Malaysian citizenship. Hence it is incumbent on them to promote the interests of Malaysia as much as possible, even if it is not out of a sense of gratitude, at least in respect of their family members and many GooD friends they have left behind?

I left a question mark there because this is an attitude issue, not a duty duly defined. Desiderata has in a comment yesterday to The Scarfer stated that it’s quite a disappointment to read of rantings and ravings by such Malaysians resident overseas, blatantly without any good intention, but to run this nation down. To such Malaysians, I would say in a soft voice: Cease and desist. Remember, don’t burn the bridges you have used behind you – leave them firm and open for others who may come later, and also wish to use the same bridges to cross to the other shores; mayhaps, even to return later! Hey, readers are welcome to re-but this point if you disagree – but be civil avout it, OK? (This is a rhetorical question.;)

Principles number 3 and 4 concerning Supremacy of the Constitution and the Rule of Law are taken together as often the outstanding cases of national interest and concern often intrude into both principles, with their fundamentals being sorely tested. In the enforcement of common law in the everyday scheme of things, in general there is good and satisfactory adherence to the law and the Constitution.

However, there have been certain worrisome breaches in recent times. I’d cite here the pronouncement of Malaysia being an “Islamic State” by former Prime Minister then Datuk Seri (now Tun) Dr Mahathir Mohamad in fact is still in “grey” territory as to its validity and concordance with the Federal Constitution. And the Rule of Law was sorely tested in many cases of detention of Malaysians under the Internal Security Act, and of course, that highly controversial case of former Deputy Prime Minister then Datuk Seri (still Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim for allegedly committing homosexual acts under the criminal law, where clearly the conduct of the trial was blatantly questionable even in the untrained legal eyes of Joe Public, what more among the legal practitioners.

Principle number 5, which promotes Mutual Respect and Morality, is closely related to Principle number 1. When over-zealous officials in the name of Good Morals step into the realm of “private space”, as I believe the Squad Skodeng spearheaded by the 4B Youth Movement did, they were not showing any respect to their neighbours. Fortunately, our God-fearing and our beloved Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi told these misguided ones to “Cease and Desist” in its infancy. During such excursions to play moral guardians by non-religious bodies and individuals, Malaysians, including Desiderata, have grounds to be worried.

There is enough problem for any family to bring up their own children in the “straight and narrow” moral path of their own choice and accord. Neighbours should not poke their eyes and nose into any peace-loving Malaysian home to check on their religious faith, ceremony and private behaviour. I wonder if the Chief Minister of Malacca or his Press Secretary is listening in? Unless, of course, there are some deviant cases of Devil worship, which could be a security threat, and that is best left to the Royal Malaysian Police to handle. Mutual respect must be accorded to your neighbour in everyday conduct, across creed, colour and race, also gender and age. Absolutely essential, and non-compromisable.

So where and what's is THE MALAYSIAN DILEMMA
? Please be patient, I’ll come back early morning to ruminate on that. Buy me a CON BF for all my hard work?

Just a parting shot to a certain Minister who has sometimes made himself a laughing stock. He had called on the Rakyat to fly the Jalur Gemilang as widely and as generously as possible, and when he sees a lack of response, starts to mouth things like the Rakyat are not showing sufficient "patriotism". Mr Minister, patriotism, like that thing called LOVE, comes naturally; it comes from the heArt, it has to be watered, nurtured, given air and sunshine to breathe, bloom and flower. It cannot be grown by mere posturings and mouthings of some funny mini-tongue.At 8.30pm as I write this, over Light&Easy my fav actress Nicole Kidman is singing Somethin' Stupid with that funy man ...

And let no fellow Malaysian ever question anyone of my neighbours and my loyalty -- and patriotism -- to this land we call HOME. Home is Where the HeArt Is, as Elvis Presley sings.

In closing, I hope all Malaysians will fulfill their responsibilities and duties as citizens to foster goodwill and harmony among all the communities, regardless of race, creed and colour. I send too a special appeal as Merdeka Day dawns soon to the politicians, cease and desist from using the Race Card – this is no more 1969, it’s 36 years later, for heaven’s sake! – in their game, or is it lust? for power. Only in unity, and a clarity of mind and civil behaviour, and a single-mindedness to attain the Towering Malaysian status as promoted by our Prime Minister Dear Pak Lah, will Malaysia slowly but surely emerge as a sovereign nation we can proudly call OUR MALAYSIA.

Come midnight, I hope you'll rise with me and sing in SweetSpirit the Negara-Ku, in the fast tempo beat,then adjourn for a late sleep-in. Yes, it's another HolyDay. Wishing all fellow Malaysians a "Happy Hari Merdeka" come Wednesday August 31, 2005.

Monday, August 29, 2005


Barriers to Forging Lasting Malaysian Friendships


She used to be a good friend. However, now I can’t say the same anymore.
Why? It’s just because we were both Malaysians, but of a different race.

She asked me out for lunch one day, and we agreed to catch up at one of the cafes.
I was happy to be in her company.
She has always been a nice person, though she has her strange ways of managing her life, but she’s nice nonetheless.

We were talking about Malaysia, and how it’s sad that we both can’t really relate to Malaysia anymore.

She is under a government scholarship to further her postgraduate studies in the humanities.

She used to stay in the best room in the hostel. However. after a year or two later, the local university that funded her education decided to stop her living expenses here in New Zealand. She complained. She is also a Permanent Resident herself. She could enjoy NZ benefits, i.e. student allowance (for which she doesn’t need to pay back at all), student loan, etc. Yet she complained.

I remained silent.

Malaysia Continues to Lose Some of The Best Talents

We were talking about how the brain-drain situation in Malaysia is getting worse.

I was hesitant, yet I braved myself to speak.

“ It’s very sad, it’s so sad to see Malaysia’s brightest minds are all over the world except Malaysia. The person who is researching into getting water for Singapore is a Malaysian. The head of Parasitology in Cambridge is Malaysian. The best doctors in the world are Malaysians. Yet, they are no where near Malaysia.”

“ Yea, there just isn’t a comfortable place for Malaysians anymore…”


“I find that the thing that causes the brain drain is because the government awards merit to people who don’t deserve it. The benefits that some groups of people get, they don’t deserve it.”

She was silent. She was stunned.

“What do you mean, the undeserving, Sabrina?”

“ Well, I am not saying that it’s not right that you get these benefits or anything. If anything, we were to be blamed because we agreed to it when we signed the constitution decades ago. Our forefathers agreed to it. Fine, perhaps there was a reason why they agreed to it. However, it just seems that the people that are benefiting from these benefits are not deserving.”

She was silent again. I continued.

“ Look at the farmers, the fishermen, the rubber tappers. They also belonged to the supposedly ‘deserving’ group, yet why do they get poorer and poorer, yet the rich get richer? I am merely saying that yes, these benefits should be given, but to the people who truly deserved it.”

She remained silent throughout the whole conversation. After we gave each other hugs, we have never seen nor heard from each other ever since.

That was four months ago.

To be honest, I felt guilty that I said it out loud. Yet at the same time, I felt that I was just saying what I truly feel.
The angst in me increases in size whenever I hear friends from the ‘deserving’ group complaining.
Complaining the government is not giving them enough money.
Complaining that the mentality of their fellow countrymen doesn’t change.

Yet where do I fit in when I hear this?

They say that the government is not treating them fairly. To me, I don’t even know what is fair anymore.
My friends who did brilliantly in high school got scholarships for Engineering in GERMANY. It’s a hard life there. They feel like an outcast, severe racism, do not speak the language. Yet they are thankful that they at least got the scholarship.

What about the ‘deserving’ group?
They get to go to Western countries. Some even are coming here to New Zealand.
And what to they do in the end? They get married. Yes, the girls get married while doing their demanding course of Medicine or Dentistry.
One wouldn’t be surprised to hear that few years down the road, they quit their degree to have babies.

The Malaysian Dilemma?

Can the ‘deserving’ group and the ‘commoners’ ever be good friends?
Perhaps, someday this phenomenon might change.
Perhaps, there would be an understanding between us.
Perhaps, there would be divine intervention that would change everything for us.

Written by Sabrina Tan
August 2005


Sabrina proved she’s lots to say – and why not? – sharing with fellow Malaysians and caring for Our Country – such characteristics are what I would define under my book-for-the-future Desiderata.OurMalaysia, if Desi can take all these Young&Idealistic minds through a tested time of endeavours and struggles for a Malaysia across Race, Creed and Colour, and of course regardless of age and gender. We’ve just begun the Cyber-Journey trying to band together to promote Malaysia as a Towering Nation, as expounded and promoted by the Prime Minister, which is a noble goal and a good start to the new millennium after entering the fifth or sixth year.

I believe Pak Lah is sincere and means well.
I don't know about the Cabinet he inherited,
I don't even know about the Civil Service today.
i don't even know if my Endearvour will bear any meaning fruit. I just am determined to give it A FAIR GO.

BUT there are just many PERHAPS on Sabrina's side, and too many I don't know's on my side, along the way. I share Sabrina's concerns and wonderings.How about you?

Sunday, August 28, 2005


Desiderata's GUEST BLOGGER SABRINA TAN on this Special Sunday is someone who needs little introduction because she has been my most constant guest contrubtor as well as Conversationist. Final-year dental student resident in NEW ZEALAND SABRINA TAN sometimes infects this mentor's oulook and style to the extend I fall into the trap I was still a teenager like her, ranting and raving, although I'm 40plus + going on to 40 minus - next year, then 40 minus - 2 the year after. TIME IS MAGICAL WHEN YOU TRAVEL AT FASTE PACE THAN THE SPEED OF LIGHT, as some nutty poets do. Sabrina likes to make her readers go nutty, more than once! Travel lightly to and see if you agree.

Sabrina, who somehow reminds me of an early love of the same namesake plus another which rhymes with hair of auburn, explores the National Day Project subject UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL, via:


She comes into the Dental School. Warmly greeted me with a big smile after not seeing me for a year.

“ Time flies, isn’t it, Sabrina?”
“ Yea Mrs xxx, it sure does…it’s August already…”

“ So where are you going to end up after you graduate? Going home? Stay here?”
“ Probably not home, either here or Australia, depends on which one pays better.”
She looks at me with a puzzled look…

“ Why not home?”
“ It’s a long story…”
“ Go to Australia then, they pay better…”
We ended up chuckling together.

This is not the first time that I have faced this situation over the past few years of seeing patients in Dental School.
Why not home…?I myself wonder why.

I am a Malaysian, yet I sometimes find it hard to call that home.
It’s home because my family is there, other than that I don’t see why is there a point for me to go home.

Where do we go from here? Where are we going to end up?

Chatting with my fellow Malaysian colleagues who are out in the workforce, most of them are either here in New Zealand or Australia. Most of them are comfortably settling down, working in hospitals or private practice. Earning heaps of money too, for some of them.

Yet do they see themselves in Malaysia in the near future? Not sure or, just a plain NO.

Most of their families are residents or citizens of these countries.
They spent most of their high schooling here.
They love Malaysia’s food and cheap shopping options. Yet if you ask them what else they love about Malaysia, most of them can’t even say more than five reasons.

“ My dad has a dental practice in Kuching, yet I don’t want to go back.”
How ironic does that sound. Most fresh graduates would be beaming with delight when you can work with your own practice once you graduate. Yet he doesn’t find any motivation to go back. Why? There is a better market here. The government appreciates us better here.

Dentists are one of the highest paid profession in Australasia.
We have student loans to pay off. Those who are not under student loans have to pay off their parents. When the students graduate, they have to pay off their student loan of a total debt of more than NZD 300,000 with a 7% interest annually and increases with time, if one gets a higher salary bracket.

Most of them just think about paying off their student debt once they graduate from Uni. They look for the option that pays them off the highest, and most would choose the path of being in a private practice. So the next time if someone complains about the health professionals charging sky high prices for their consultations fees, think again. I can guarantee that by the time we finish our courses, we can afford to buy a nice villa alongside and nice and shiny ‘bimmer’.

Their parents do not have anything to do with their student fees or expenditures. Hence, they have to rely on themselves for going after the best option.
These are Malaysians, who once ate and breathed in Malaysia, yet they are sucked into the Western soil.

Better still, these days the immigration for New Zealand has been made easier for health professionals. So does a Malaysian get tempted into being a resident of NZ, why not? It helps them a great deal!

How does it help, you would ask. Let me point out a few reasons why:

Being resident of NZ, I can get a cheap housing loan scheme
I get to be on a cheaper health scheme
When I am old, the government can take care of me
If I chose to opt out of the workforce to take care of my babies, the government can sponsor me
If my socioeconomic status is low, the government can sort out my children’s education
If I am out of job, the government can pay me weekly allowance

The most important thing is: I get these benefits regardless of what colour I am.

Where does the dilemma come in?
If the Malaysian’s parents requested them to come back and stay with the parents.
Not sure how many educated and informed parents out there would choose to do this, perhaps they might have their reasons. So far, most of my friends’ parents have encouraged them to go abroad and spread their wings.

So this comes to the question of why do we have this situation over and over again? Isn’t it more prevalent now compared to before? We always see an exodus of people emigrating out of Malaysia, yet with each phase the number of people emigrating seems to get larger and larger.

We know - You know why. Yet is there change? Will there be change?
I have my doubts about it, especially if I see news like “Selangor bans cinema” and "Fomer CM loses RM...Million at Casino" and other "funnies" appearing in The Star headlines. Makes me shake my head and wonder what on earth is going on back home.

When people shout out brain-drain, yet we don’t seem to have done anything about it. New Zealand has brain-drain too, but they are doing their best to put a stop in it. As for our mother land Malaysia, seems like the government is doing their best to drive the people away.

What have you got to say? Can you beg to differ?
I am just going to continue to shake my head.

DESIDERATA: A truly speaking from the heart -- and that's Sabrina for thee. I may or may not agree with some of her views. Indeed, many of our readers are CHALLENGED by Sabrina herself at closing to share their views -- nay, even rebut her views, which is fine at Desi's Place. This subject of Immigration is going to emerge on the slips of many Malaysian students studying overseas, not just those financed by their home ministers, but also officially sponsored by the Government's treasury. Yes, I know of parents "selling off a house" just to enable their child to study in Oz or the UK or the US of A, and also of students generously monied by tax-payers' dollars who break their bonds on graduation. No wonder some Malaysians shake their heads!

My EsteemedReaders, the mike is paased onto to you, and when you're tired , go onto Desi's LATEST CHALLENGE for some leisure usuallly opposed to Never on Sunday.

CHALLENGE 4 - Cos You Asked for It!


This is a really Special Sunday.

Desi has first to forego sleep to upload Sabrina's THE MALYSIAN DILEMMA at 3-something in the morn so that SsssPirit and other fans of hers, plus newbies too, could wake up to butter/spoil (your choice, Life's about CHOICES, Sab used to say...)their CON BF! for newbies, that's for CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST, which is an addiction for Desi on SUNDAYS! So if you're treating me, please act like a CON- ma/woman/lady, whatever, PERSONAL COICE again!)

So, are you ready to take on the challenge?

Because YOU ASKED FOR IT, DESIDERATA obliges with the continued challenge to find a winner for that CHALLENGE TO LOVE, by Catherine De Costa, who needs no further introduction. Desi has decided, after sle-eee-eping on it for endless hours, decided on the NAME of OUR I-LAND.

The Booker Prize goes to the first among Desi’s EsteemedReaders to guess the CORRECT NAME that Desi has decided on (Hey, READ MY MIND is the name of the Game!) first via COMMENTS channel at this post. YOU MAY LIST THREE ANSWERS (1), (2) and (3). If more than one respondents get the answer right, the ranking of these 3 answers may factor in as the decider. I wonder why I am so confident that this 4th challenge will 4 any Winner. Maybe there will be CHALLENGE 5, and this is thinking aloud.

The Deadline is 2400 hours – midnite for IgnorantCowws!--Tuesday August 30, and the WINNER will be announced bright and early to welcome Merdeka Day on 31 AUGUST 2005 at 10.10am.

The Clues lie within this Poem © YLChong composed on August 24, 2005 at 8.58p.m.


A combo from Mark Twain
Commonest yet chick
To attain that Utopia
Perhaps not, just a trick
Song Of A Roaring
Itching Nitching Geek
To Our Final ‘hore
Can’t give more


POST-Script (that is normally spelt PS at Desi's, but today being a day to teach IgnorantCowws some Inggeris, I'm allowed to, you know, "P"L -- Lesen Lembu!, and it means just that -- after the main script. No, it doesn't represent a request for you to send me the ANSWERS by slow mail. No eamil either. Just via COMMENTS!

Earlier atthe earlier Post's Comments, I said I'm going to cheat -- yet get away with it -- yes, post this second Post today (special, remember?). but it's ranked below Sab Tan's THE MALAYSIAN DILEMMA ESSAY becos, as in news ranking, it enjoys on;y 2nd ranking! --so for LazyCowws who have not read the first ranked ESSAY, please go back to the TOP, read as a precursor to doing this puzzle,there is this thingy called WARMING UP, remember, before the run?! (half rhetorical, half-NON-, hence an Exclmation plus a Question mark, and such issues come under PUNCTUATION. And please, IGONORANT ....I was going to say Cowws, then I realise I was the one I include under, so taken back, the PS DOES NOT form part of the CLUES.

NOTE: I'd do a PPS later after I wake up from adjourned sleep to answer that stupid CHALLENGE 3(b)! Some people don't even know one exists! Poor communicator, this guru engrund. SOS to Howsy, take over, polliiiisssss....
Now the exact time is 4.42am.


Thanks to people like ssssspirit, Sab, Imran, and other IgnorantC... (I used this term generously on Sundays!) for trying to give difficult and complicated answers,"Hey,my dear Watson, the answer is so elementary..." To kyels, she got so lost in the whole forest of word, she did not know that Challenge 3 (b) existed! And Sab gave the puzzle a few goes, I threw her back into the pool of mangoes, luckily the crocs went swimming in the Malacca Straits.., Poorgals, this Mentor had been working Mentees Kyels and Sabrina too hard on the ESSAY CHALLENGE! But You Asked For It!

And to fashionista, I had replied that: you are NOT too late -- the party is NOT over until the Fat Lad' sings remember? Desi is a lad', and I haven't sung(k?)!


Ahoy, thumbs-up for Malaysia

PENANG: Malaysia is a comfortable zone for the Australian Navy as is evident in the recent stopover by two Australian Navy ships at Swettenham Pier.
HMAS Adelaide captain Cmdr Tony O’Malley said the Australian Navy often travels around Southeast Asia to foster goodwill among the countries, and the ship has been to Malaysia about 15 times and to Penang five times.
“We are very comfortable visiting Penang and Malaysia as we like the warmth of the people and the food here,” he said, adding that they also felt safer with the assistance offered by the Malaysian Navy.
This is the fifth time the ship is stopping in Penang, before moving on to Cambodia.
The smaller and newer frigate, HMAS Ballarat, commandeered by Captain Cmdr Greg Sammut is stopping in Penang for the first time.
Bot ships arrived on Sunday and are scheduled to leave today.

I gave an additional clue view Comments when Downer gave as an Upper, remember?:

All you IgnorantCowwwwsssss here:

ONE MORE & LAST & FINAL & MUKTAMAD (IM dear?) CLUE: You failed Challenge 2 'cos of the REVENGE of the APOSTROPHy..ooops, E, not why, my deer!

THE ANSWER, mGf, lies in that WORD containing the "deer"! See "commandeered"...?

Do I need to give the RAT-TIONALE?

Okay, for those still so blur, have not recovered from BLOODY LATE SAT NITES! Hey, parents, this can be listed among the new Malaysian Dilemmas, because those YOungOnes are still lingering around BB and Bangsai at 3.45am last night ...yes, I confirmed with my own eyes on going for sup after this morning's posts! I have a GOoD REASON, but for 16-year-olds dressed up as 21? don't kNOw about that! Sorry, I digressed!

Back to the rat-ionale, yes,the grounds for the answer, which reminds me, please give a rat-tionale to answer 1 in your next challenge 4, OK? In case I need a tie-breaker, I'd look at the rat-tionale, a mosey-one also-can!

According to my 'ick, "commandeered" meanns "took by force".
If HMAS Ballarat was indeed commandeered by Captain Cmdr Greg Sammut, that means he could have "taken it" like a pirate from another party or country, which means he could have set up a war between the parties/nations; now you know why I gave that CLUE within the main text?

Now, get back to CHALLENGE 4. Use the scientific method. As I give tis parting shot, I'm saying a prayer for Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot -- they have very, weary disciples among mGf in the plural.

CHOW, I'm leaving for my double BF! (it's exactly now 11.37am, but I'm timing this PPS as 2.41am, second cheating in one day, I hope my GGoD Lord will forgive me, also the two CONS!

Saturday, August 27, 2005


When Desi first spotted kyels at her Blog, I commented that for one so young&tender, her thoughts are mature beyonnd her age. Later conversations gave me some Inspiration to take her as a "mentee" -- she wants to upgrade her English to Shakespeare peerage, and how can I deny one so enobled? Yes, KOI KYE LEE, aka kyels on popular blogospehere, a 19-year-old Malaysian pre-University student, endears us with her straight talk and sincere heArt today as GUEST BLOGGER 2 in the Series OF ESSAYS to celebrate National Day coming soon, next to the world around thee.

Salute to the YoungOnes like kyels:):)


Globalisation, deregulation and liberalisation in a borderless world must be handled with care as they are means to an end -- not ends in themselves. Also, globalisation and new realities must result in better life for all. One might be wondering what globalisation means. Globalisation describes the changes in societies and the world economy that are the result of dramatically increased trade and cultural exchanges among countries, some whose economies were before closed before opening up recently, most notably China.This is mainly due to world pressure and the impact of the GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade), followed by the present World Trade Organisation(WTO)as China tries to play a greater role in world trade and commerce.

In this globalised world, Malaysians are now facing many new challenges and issues. So, what are the major dilemmas that Malaysians have to face today, early in the 21st century?

To me, I believe one common dilemma that Malaysians are facing now is the upsurge of trends from the West overtaking trends of the East. Our trends, cultures, actions, thoughts have been drained away and being replaced by the conformity of the Westerners. Some young Malaysians are apathetic about it but it’s a great deal to the older generation.

Teenagers nowadays are much more fashion-conscious than the teenagers back in the olden days and this is due to the impact of Western culture that was brought into Malaysia. Often on the streets, one can see groups of teenagers dressed in punk styles or some variants of Madonna and Britney Spears. However, it’s not wrong for them to dress that way but through the eyes of many people, or idealists, those teenagers look like whores (for girls). Imagine that you’re walking on a street that is flooded with young girls clad in skimpy tops that bare half of their breasts and skirts so low that when they bend down, one can see their bottoms, and young boys clad in black, with their Mohican hair styles and series of studded armlets on their hands.

Take a few minutes off your busy schedule and let your imagination run wild. What do you see?

Indeed our culture has transformed over the years but are the changes positive or negative? There are positive changes and negative changes as well. It is up to individuals to adapt themselves towards those changes, but one should not over-do it and be trapped inside those changes. And one should not exclude oneself either from these changes because things can tend to change for the better, or for the worse.

One might not agree with the statement above, but it did happen in Malaysia and the trend is growing rapidly and more teenagers have lost their touch of being Asians. Everyone has to remember that Asian cultures are still embedded in their blood and they can neither run nor hide from that obvious fact.

Why is it a dilemma?

Well, when young Malaysians dress that way it will brush off their self-pride and self-esteem because it shows how indecent their dressings are although some of them might think it’s cool and funky. However, bear in mind that not all of us have the same perspectives or thoughts. Every one differs. And it’s rather degrading to dress that way because Malaysians are still very much conservative, especially those senior citizens.

Also due to globalisation, our cultures went through a series of rapid changes, for example, the upsurge of Madonna and Britney Spears look-alikes amongst young female teenagers today. Besides that, same sex relationship was also brought into the Malaysian communities, and we’ve seen gay marriages being allowed by law in some parts of the United States. Fortunately, our Government did not take such a drastic move as in approving same sex marriages although some Malaysians are gays and lesbians.

It is, however, their choices and they have the right to be who they want to be and it’s up to them to engage themselves in a gay or lesbian relationship. But they have to bear in mind that people will definitely look down on them because not all Malaysians are open-minded and liberal enough to accept such actions. So, this is another dilemma that Malaysians are facing nowadays, after coursing through new realities that globalisation inevitably brings long its path, for better or worse.

Are Malaysians to be blamed or the other way round, like we Malaysians should blame the Western culture instead?

The upsurge of crime in Malaysia is another dilemma that we are facing now. Everyday in the local newspapers, you can definitely find news regarding crimes that had happened a few days ago, or last night. What is happening to Malaysia? Is it evolving itself into a country without law and order?

The most widely reported crime via the media in Malaysia are rape cases. It’s really sad to see all these rape cases happening, and some extreme cases youngsters not more than 15 years old being raped by their own family or strangers. Moreover, it’s sick to see all these maniacs being so inhumane heartless, some ven killing off the victims, and they deserved to be called "animals".

There are other crimes such as corruption but it is not much highlighted except for one recent case that happened a month ago whereby a politician was suspended from the party because of his involvement in money politics. However, corruption happens everywhere, but my iopinion is thatin Malaysia they did a great job covering it up from being properly reported in the press.

So, is this another Malaysian dilemma?

Also, the issuance of Approved Permits created a big hoo-ha in Malaysia, just recently and they are still debating over the issue now. If the Government had acted promptly and fairly enough, all these problems wouldn’t have prevailed for so long.

The problems on a major sacale that Malaysians are facing should be treated as a National Dilemma and it is important for all Malaysians to try to solve it together and not let the dilemma grow bigger in the years to come. All those dilemmas mentioned above are the nation's woes, even though many are left lingering around -- unsaid and unseen in this society.

The awarding of scholarships is another dilemma that our country faces almost every year without fail. Many of us know that the selection process is solemnly and patently unfair, most of the time. It is not raising any eyebrows, but Malaysians know it -- it’s a hard task for deserving students to obtain such scholarships, especially for the non-Bumiputras. I am not echoing any racial sentiments here, but this is an obvious and undisputed fact. For non-Bumiputras to being awarded a scholarship to further his/her studies, it is a rare opportunity. Well, not that the Government is reluctant to support non-Bumiputras, but politics gets in the way.

Furthermore, because of this factor, most well to-do students choose to further their tertiary education in private colleges and universities because the chance to get into local universities is rather low among the non-Bumiputeras compared to Bumiputras. Some might even go abroad to further their studies and later apply for Permanent Residence overseas.

How sad can all this be?

This is a dilemma that we have been facing for quite some time but we thought there we would be changes in this policy of awarding scholarships, but the changes are not major or consistent.

Malaysia is a multi-racial country. comprising three major ethnic groups or races. Thereotically we should be proud of our diversity which we are blessed with -- but we are not as united as a nation should be.

Why can we not be considered as a united nation?

Unity is of great importance because it will bring peace to that country. While Malaysia boasts it is a united country, my point is that Malaysians are not united enough.

If we are united enough there would be no discrimination amongst the races in Malaysia. Unity amongst our fellow citizens is another challenging dilemma which we must confront if we are to achieve meaningful unity between our ethnic groups. Without unity and sense of togetherness, Malaysia will not be able to achieve its Vision 2020 -- it’s a dream that’s not going to become a reality to attain developed nation status for our country in 15 years' time..

Malaysia might have achieved distinction in certain projects such as the spanking Petronas Twin Towers, KL Tower, Putrajaya, the MSC, Kuala Lumpur International Airport and the Sepang Formula One Circuit, but that is not enough.

Inter-racial marriage is another dilemma faced by Malaysians. Because of discrimination and stereotyping, inter-racial marriages are less regarded and not promoted more freely in Malaysia.

Why it is less regarded? Due to discrimination among races in Malaysia, inter-racial marriages are not that common in Malaysia. As highlighted in "Sepet" by Yasmin Ahmad, strong and negative racial sentiments were raised when such an issue arose, even in a movie, what more in real life! Because of discrimination and stereotyping, inter-racial marriage is not of general liking to a large section of the populace. Sad.

Malaysians however, should put a stop in racism because it happens to be one of the biggest dilemmas in this country. So, how can we, Malaysians, curb all those dilemmas mentioned above?

One proposal is that all citizens should not be discrimnated by our skin colour; race or creed. All of us should move steadfastly towards a truly fair and equitable society in line with Vision 2020, a noble objective. Also, Malaysians should all work together to make Malaysia a better place to live in and get rid of all those prejudices that divide us – maybe slowly, but surely. Hard work will pay off in the end and it’s up to Malaysians to move towards the motto of our main political party, “Towards a Malaysia of Excellence, Glory and Distinction”. The solution may work, it may not. It’s all up to Malaysians to be together in the circle of unity.

We should pledge ourselves to be the real Malaysians that undoubtedly care for our own country and we should make it a better place for all of us. Living in peace and tranquility is definitely better than living in a world of discrimination and discord and instability.

Hail the glory of Malaysia and to commemorate the 48th year of Malaysia’s independence the coming 31st of August, all of us should vow to become better citizens and try toovercome all those dilemmas – together.

Written by Kyels

DESIDERATA: Some controversial views from a young mind, but forthrightly stated. Readers are welcome to debate, or exchange views with Kyels -- Desi will offer the usual Teh Tarik for a comfortable, maybe excited, conversation.

Friday, August 26, 2005


DESIDERATA launched a National Day Project titled THE WRITE CHALLENGE: The Malaysian Dilemma, on August 2, 2005.In inviting my EsteemedReaders to take part, I had expressed the aim "that this project was planned to consist of a Series of Essays to discuss or ruminate, and to highlight, on the various challenges and issues of importance and of potential flashpoints facing Our Country. Malaysia will soon reach the age of 48, not very old to be dismissed as incapable of reform, neither too young to continue to be coddled on crutches.

Malaysia reallly needs to stand tall and be Independent. Malaysians reallly need to aspire towards Towering status. We all need to stand up and be counted."

DESIDERATA is deeply honoured by GUEST BLOGGER LATIFAHAIDA ABDUL LATIFF in flagging off a cooperative endeavour of a SERIES of SIX or SEVEN ESSAYS in the run-up to the 48th birthday of OUR COUNTRY – NEGARAKU. This series with the main theme of THE MALAYSIAN DILEMMA gives an opportunity to my welcome guests here who volunteered to take part – regardless of ethnicity, creed, class, or gender and age –to my invitation to think about some issues they feel concern, and care for, as each and everyone, Desi believes, wants Pak Lah to succeed in his mission to create a nation of TOWERING MALAYSIANS.

So this bright Friday morning a 26-year-old professional, LATIFAHAIDA, also known as Mitochondria, and hosting her own weblog ( , shares with fellow Malaysians this sincere Greeting, looking through her youthful lens:


Six days from today, Malaysia will celebrate her official 48th year of independence. Forty-eight years ago, our forefathers looked forward to the magical date - 31 August 1957 - to celebrate their victory in fighting for the motherland, their rights to dictate the future of this blessed soil and the freedom to uphold the sovereignty of this country. But 48 years later the magical date has lost some of its charm, 31 August has become just another public holiday with lots of concerts, and the true meaning of ‘Merdeka’ has mostly been buried along with the heroes from those days…forgotten and unimportant.

To be honest, I do not really feel the spirit of Merdeka. Maybe because I had never experienced the difficulty and the agony of the people in that era, I just learnt all that from text books and from my father’s experiences. I’m sad to admit that 31 August every year has become just another public holiday for me, longer time in bed and more time for TV. But if there’s one thing that I look forward during Merdeka celebration is the multi-cultural performance. I like to be reminded of the harmonious multi-ethnic nation I’m living in.

Race issue has become an integral part in the development of this country. If we look back during the time of the British occupancy, the British were very smart. They have brought in the Chinese from China to work in the mining industry and Indians from India to work in the estates in Malaya. From my point of view, this was to create polarization in the country. The Chinese had grown economically strong, while the Malays had powerful force in politics, a formula deliberately created by British to form a divergence in the society which will ultimately lead to a more sensitive issue – Race. In view of the uneven distribution of the economic wealth and political power between Malays and Chinese prior to Merdeka, one of the conditions given by British before ‘releasing’ Malaya is that there will not be any disorder between the major races, failing which there will be no independence. I guess the British never had thought that their plans will backfire when the Malays and Chinese agreed to find a solution to the uneven distribution and decided that it’s time for the British to go. As such, the social contract was born where the Malays will surrender some of their political power and the Chinese will help their Malay friends to gain economic strength.

Unfortunately, the noble idea of a social contract had been used over and over again by politicians for their own personal victory. Every time a ‘race’ issue was brought up, I become very worried. The recent New Economic Policy (NEP) issue is a perfect example. To paraphrase a professor from UIA: ‘”The cultural stability despite the multi-ethnic groups in Malaysia is not because of our full understanding of the other ethnic groups. But the stability was based on a perfect tension. It’s like when you play the guitar, each of the guitar strings needs to be on a right tension so it can create the desired sound. That’s how it is in Malaysia. The tension was created so each race in Malaysia would have the chance to show their full potential.” Honestly, my 26 years old brain do not understand why do these politicians need to add more pressure to the already intense ‘guitar string’ since too much tension might cause the ‘guitar string’ to snap.

It is sad that four decades after the independence, we are still unable to free our mind. We are still making decisions based on our race, the politicians’ manifesto will fight for the wellness of only their own race, people will vote for leaders from their own race, employers refuse to employ candidates not from their own race. We have become very selfish and overlook the fact that Malaysia was not built by only the Malays or the Chinese or the Indians, but it was a joint force from these three major races. We are still unable to see Malaysians beyond the colour of our skin. Everyday in the train on my way home from work, I notice that schoolchildren will hang around people from their own race. Malays will flock around Malays, Chinese will hang around with other Chinese, and Indians will also be among themselves. This thing also happens in the public university where most students prefer to mix with just their own race. Be it in the lecture hall, cafeteria, library or the dormitories.

I still remember when I was in the University, I specifically requested not to be put in one room with other Malays, well at least one of my roommates has to be from a different race. Not that I hate my own race, but it was because I looked at it as my only chance to learn about their culture and all of them had become my good friends. I celebrate Chinese New Year and throw mandarin oranges during Chap Goh Meh, I learn to wear saree and help my Indian friends to cook the sweet rice during ‘Ponggal’ and my friends definitely enjoy watching wayang kulit and fasting with me during Ramadhan. I was glad I made that request ‘coz between me and my friends, the only thing that reminded us of our race was our name.

If I have one wish for this coming National Day, I would wish that we can free our mind and embrace the rich culture that we have. The government agenda should not only streamline on development of only a certain race in the name of ‘patriotism’ and distribution of wealth has to be fair and equal. I think the race issue is one of the enormous challenges faced by the people in this country and definitely an issue that need to be looked at more seriously so we can prosper not as Malays or Chinese or Indians, but as Malaysian.

22 August 2005

DESIDERATA: Ribuan-ribuan terima kasih to a YoungMalaysia who bears the Torch of Hope for the future Malaysia. At the outset, I wish to reiterate the dictum I have adopted for discussions at Desi’s Place:

“I may disagree with what you say but I will defend, to the death, your right to say it.” VOLTAIRE

Our discourse shall proceed with civility and a rational mind, motivated by the common aspiration to build a United and Towering Nation of OUR COUNTRY – OUR MALAYSIA. Over the next five or six days, one writer will each day explore the same subject THE MALAYSIAN DILEMMA with his/her own sub-theme. SO COME BACK FOR MORE, TO CHECK OUT WHAT OUR YOUNGONES, and that not-so-young, but still YOUNG-AT-HEART, have to say on OUR MALAYSIA in facing the challenging times ahead.

Readers are now invited to address the issues raised by Mitochondria – one of our future leaders – and engage in conversations with her, for the above is her proud effort. Desi will just play host – offering all visitors the famous HariDas' Teh Tarik – and will join the conversations once a while when appropriate.


SECOND UPPER from the Land of Nicole Kidman!

A second post in one day, quite untraditional of Desi, as this one is DEDICATED to: SssssSpirit aka that nicole kid because she protesteth Desi's ref to (Sheila). Furthermore, I make amend because this monr's post was mainly Cut&Paste.:)

Yesterday I was happy to report an UPPER from Aussie Foreign Minister Mr Alexander Downer, and Malaysians were grinning from ear to ear, I presume.

Today I am happier to recive a SECOND UPPER from the LUCKY CPOUNTRY of Nicole Kidman, with whom I fell in love with in Paris doing the MOULIN ROUGE ( yes, it’s pronounced, French-style, MooLA Rouge, rhyming with Sha-la-la, and stooge!) Correct me if Desi is wrong because he studied Engrund, not Flance, in Those Schoolgal Days, of telling tales and biting nails are gone …(Imitating Howsy and Lulu, can or cunt, Ooops, brudder Mack is watching my behaviour, cum spelling: change that to: or can’t?:)

Back to that Upper, sighted in theSun, not a freebie, 30sen, didin’t go up despite the fuel price increase and the Haze …page 5, August 25, 2005, another Brief (hey, don’t be knotty here, this one is not part of lingerie!:(it’s in journalese defined as a SHORT ITEM, not good enough for the FrontPage! 4 as for SEE, Desi is giving free tuition for some smart MassComm (that is short for Mass Communitcations, which is different from Mass Communion, ah, the luxury of Digressing. Although I’ve put up this Blosg for sale at RM20million divided by SEVEN via Howsy’s, I haven’t received an offer - so OUR I-LAND has just to be patient, which is a virtue in Life, which is damned short on this earth, but can be extended on that I-LAND … DIGRESS somemore, I’m ENJOYING MYSELF, hope U2!, and that’s THE ESSENCE OF BLOGGING. Cathy, quickly. Climb on board …:)

Ahoy, thumbs-up for Malaysia

PENANG: Malaysia is a comfortable zone for the Australian Navy as is evident in the recent stopover by two Australian Navy ships at Swettenham Pier.
HMAS Adelaide captain Cmdr Tony O’Malley said the Australian Navy often travels around Southeast Asia to foster goodwill among the countries, and the ship has been to Malaysia about 15 times and to Penang five times.
“We are very comfortable visiting Penang and Malaysia as we like the warmth of the people and the food here,” he said, adding that they also felt safer with the assistance offered by the Malaysian Navy.
This is the fifth time the ship is stopping in Penang, before moving on to Cambodia.
The smaller and newer frigate, HMAS Ballarat, commandeered by Captain Cmdr Greg Sammut is stopping in Penang for the first time.
Bot ships arrived on Sunday and are scheduled to leave today.

DESIDERATA: For some practice before this Sunday’s CLALLENGE 4 which offers the BOOKER PRIZE of A CHALLENGE TO L’VE, I’m giving you, IgnorantC… a rehearsal.

CHALLENE 3 (b), Fashionista’s challenge with no prize is now termed Challenge 3 (a) for BKT, remember?

CHALLENGE 3(b) asks thee to spot a near-fatal error in the news item above; could easily set off a war between two parties, even two nations. What ails the mariner?

Please, no lONEly word answer; give the RATIONALE, which means the basis, which also means the grounds, also means the deck, also means the earth, you got the drift, I gues

Buy, Bye - which means you can buy a copy of theSUN (Imran, it’s only 30sen, WTH! don’t be kedekut like Penan…, I withdraw that, cos I count among many mGf coming from that Pear …
Oh. The DEADLINE … is 8.00pm today, as Desi will make his decision for the winner at 9.00pm. Putusan ini adalah MUKTAMAD! (as I post this, it’s 1.44pm, Msian time.)
Oh,Oh. The PRIZE.
Three teh tariks from HariDas aka Hari-Hari Does It! One for the Winner, one to MyGOodSelf, one to Haridas.

Chow, as in makan-makan(4, nicolekid, I'm teAching you Our National Language, merger, remember? MALAUSTRALAYSIA...:) , a Malaysian habit tese Aussies pick up from us (hey, Howsy, our food must rank as the Second Largest Export DU?...).

CHOW, also in some funny Inggeris world, can also mean, see ya agin! Meanwhile, ENJOY solving the puzzle!

Thursday, August 25, 2005

When will they ever learn?

For the First Time, Desiderata is doing a Cut&Paste, for a good reason. I am wafully tired, may be also over-worked -- like Imran and Howsy -- I'm wont to half-giving up, except I have a few fans here whom I can't let down. They want their daily fix! Teh Tarik from Hari-Hari does it, anyone?

This update from

is HIGHLY timely and consonant with yesterday's post, its usage here acknowledged with great and unfathomable thanks.

As Desi says, there is always an EXCEPTION to the norm, bear with me because I also have a more selfish and urgent reason, MY SERIES OF ESSAYS ON "THE MALAYSIAN DILEMMA" starts tomorrow! I need to get the SUB-EDITOR in me to GET CRACKING!:

Here follows a relevant news update from the newspaper that gave the world the two award-winning professionals whose expose brought down a US President! Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, remember? Watergate, don't remember? IgnorantC...! (But take my advice: see the movie ALL THE PRESIDENT's MEN on VCD or DVD, I'm sure you can get it from the neighbourhood teh tarik stall, pulling thy leg-lah! JUST to lighten everybody up. There's a lessson or two for the 4th Estate practitioners and politicians here, and everywhere, who think they can hide in the shadows ...

Remember, which way the wind blows today, tomorrow it may just strike down those shadowy ones like a typhoon or cyclone. Then I say:
I: I
S: say
A: amen.

Bush Says U.S. Will Stay and Finish Task
President Honors Lives Lost, Defends Role in Iraq

By Mike Allen and Sam Coates
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, August 23, 2005; Page A10

SALT LAKE CITY, Aug. 22 -- President Bush acknowledged the human toll of the Iraq war in blunt numerical terms on Monday, a gesture that advisers said was aimed in part at deflecting criticism that he is not sensitive to the sacrifices imposed by his policies.

Breaking with the previous White House approach of putting little public emphasis on fatalities, Bush said the nation has "lost 1,864 members of our armed forces in Operation Iraqi Freedom, and 223 in Operation Enduring Freedom" in Afghanistan.

"We owe them something," he said at the national convention of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. "We will finish the task that they gave their lives for. We will honor their sacrifice by staying on the offensive against the terrorists and building strong allies in Afghanistan and Iraq that will help us win and fight -- fight and win the war on terror."

Bush's speech was his first public appearance in nine days and came in a month when his Texas vacation has been shadowed by the encampment of Cindy Sheehan, the mother of a U.S. soldier killed in Iraq, and other antiwar protesters outside his ranch in Crawford.

Bush's aides said they have no illusion about quieting the demonstrators in Crawford, but they said the address was aimed at convincing a "broader audience in the country" that "this president recognizes the hardship of war and the sacrifices that are being made," as one senior official put it.

Bush struck a defiant tone in rejecting critics' views. "Terrorists in foreign lands still hope to attack our country," he said. "A policy of retreat and isolation will not bring us safety."

He said he would never settle for "less than total victory over the terrorists and their hateful ideology."

The speech is the first of three Bush will give in military settings in the next two weeks. They are part of an effort to mitigate the barrage of discouraging Iraq news -- including what polls show is flagging public support for the U.S. role there -- as the White House builds up to the fourth anniversary of the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The president's advisers were aware that increasing attention will be given to the Iraq death toll as it approaches the milestone of 2,000. By the end of Monday, the Defense Department's official toll had risen to 1,869 in Iraq. "Each of these men and women left grieving families and loved ones back home," Bush said. "Each of these heroes left a legacy that will allow generations of their fellow Americans to enjoy the blessings of liberty."

Bush's critics often point out that he has not attended a funeral for any soldier who has fallen in Iraq, and his speeches seldom address specific tragedies that are in the news on a particular day.

A senior Bush aide said the White House has been "sensitive about the subjectivity of elevating one sacrifice over another, but the president thought it was important to take stock collectively and say that these people are heroes."

Bush rarely lingers after speeches, but he stayed behind for 17 minutes to bask in the adulation of the VFW audience. He grinned as he loped along the front of the crowd and posed for photographs, kissed women, called kids "buddy" and signed caps, programs and coasters. He often rushes onto Air Force One when he is headed for a leisure destination, but Bush delayed his departure for Idaho -- where he plans to spend two days mountain-biking at an opulent resort -- to individually greet 200 members of the Utah Air National Guard.

But even here, in a state that gave Bush a higher vote percentage than any other (72 percent) in 2004, he was met with noisy protesters, suggesting they may become a staple of his forays into the country. The demonstrators, led by Salt Lake City Mayor Rocky Anderson, enjoyed supportive honks from passing cars. Before Bush arrived, two policemen tied a cordon across the plaza outside the Salt Palace Convention Center to separate the opponents from a small band of Bush supporters.

Bush spoke a day after Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) said on ABC's "This Week" that the U.S. involvement in Iraq "has destabilized the Middle East" and that the nation "should start figuring out how we get out of there." Democrats criticized Bush's remarks. Sen. Russell Feingold (D-Wis.) said in a statement that Bush "failed to give the American people a realistic assessment of where we stand today, and where we should be going."

Saluting the veterans who "triumphed over brutal enemies" and "liberated continents," Bush drew a parallel between the World War II generation and the forces now in Iraq by saying, "At this hour, a new generation of Americans is defending our flag and our freedom in the first war of the 21st century."

On Wednesday, Bush will speak to a National Guard audience in Idaho, a state in which he won 68 percent of the vote. Bush plans to say that the stakes in Iraq are high, aides said, and that failure would embolden the enemy.

Next week, Bush will travel to San Diego to mark the 60th anniversary of the allied victory over Japan in World War II. He plans to relate that to Iraq by pointing to the deep skepticism then that democracy could take root in Japan and that a hated enemy could turn into a strong and steadfast ally.

In his speech, Bush also pointed to the Israeli withdrawal from Palestinian territory in the Gaza Strip as a victory. "Both Israelis and Palestinians have elected governments committed to peace and progress, and the way forward is clear," he said.

May these participants be reminded that “Charity begins at home” – and these are some of the sentiments that inspired my writing this “war” poem in the midst of US-led war against Iraq earlier this year. Quite often it is the 15 minutes of media fame that provided the motivation for donors of charity. It’s all so easy to criticise other parties engaged in a war, about the death and carnage wrought on civilians and women and children, but they forget on the homefront, it’s daily warfare too -- on the streets littered with runaway children, or homeless old folks who can’t afford two square meals a day. Armchair critics need reminding that “war” is not just about soldiers engaged in combat in Afghanistan or the West Bank in Palestine, it’s just as real in the neighbourhood for homeless children and youths.

DESIDERATA: May these war-participants be reminded that “Charity begins at home” – and that the Americans who died in the 1960s/70s in Vietnam had paid an immense price -- did the current US president and his advisers learn anything from history?

It’s all so easy to criticise other parties engaged in a war, about the death and carnage wrought on civilians and women and children, but they forget on the homefront, it’s daily warfare too -- on the streets littered with runaway children, or homeless old folks who can’t afford two square meals a day. Armchair critics need reminding that “war” is not just about soldiers engaged in combat in Afghanistan or the West Bank in Palestine, it’s just as real in the neighbourhood for homeless children and youths.

There is a saying to the effect that: One sees the .... in the neighbour's eye, but does not see the beam in one's own eye.

It is appropriate to end this section on war with the soulful lyrics in the number quite often adopted as an anthem by the War Protesters, whther sung in the sixties or now in 2000s -- there is a relevant message for those who hear and see. “Where have all the flowers gone?” popularised in the ‘60s by The Brothers Four, so relevant to not just Americans but all thinking citizens worldwide, because in one way or another, the Vietnam war impacted on peoples throughout planet earth, just as the present US engagements in Iraq, Afghanistan and other parts of the Middle-East:


Where have all the flowers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the flowers gone, long time ago?
Where have all the flowers gone?
Gone to young girls, every one!
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the young girls gone, long time passing?
Where have all the young girls gone, long time ago?
Where have all the young girls gone?
Gone to young men, every one!
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

Where have all the young men gone, long time passing?
Where have all the young men gone, long time ago?
Where have all the young men gone?
Gone to soldiers, every one!
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

And where have all the soldiers gone, long time passing?
Where have all the soldiers gone, a long time ago?
Where have all the soldiers gone?
Gone to graveyards, every one!
When will they ever learn, when will they ever learn?

And where have all the graveyards gone, long time passing?
Where have all the graveyards gone, long time ago?
Where have all the graveyards gone?
Gone to flowers, every one!

When will they ever learn, oh when will they ever learn?

PS: Just strolled to via jeffooi, enjoyed PREACHING TO THE CHOIR, so Desi reprised the footprint he just left behind with Jason Lim :

Just a short excerpt: Preaching to the choir is usually regarded as a pointless exercise.

However, call it faith, but sometimes, with the right sermons, choirs tend to grow."

JASON LIM is a staff writer of theCICAK.

Desi's short:

August 24th, 2005 at 6:41 pm

It all boils down to FAITH REALLY…

Even if Desi’Place gets ONE guest calling a day, I promise my theatre will go on, because it’s fun, enhanced by an out-ofsync choir singing WHERE HAVE ALL THE FLOWERS GONG,(sowat, as long as WE ENJOY!) mayhaps, and on, as the good Bard says:

The world is a satge
And all men (and women) actors