When Desi first spotted kyels at her Blog kyels.com, 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 BRINGS ALONG NEW DILEMMAS - HOMOSEXUALITY, ANYONE?
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.