Saturday, March 25, 2006

Reading the Sunday Star

Things that struck me as I read the papers today:

1. There seems to be lots of coverage on the upcoming docudrama 1957, boasting of "the support of the Selangor royalty and several prominent figures in the state", which essentially covers "... the role of all races in the fight for independence, which then Malaya achieved in 1957". Of course, a big part of the movie will involve the role of Tunku Abdul Rahman, who really championed the push for independence from the British, and proceeded to become the nation;'s first Prime Minister. My first thought was to wonder just *how* unbiased/factual the movie will be ... and another thought: It strikes me as kinda funny that the late Tunku is "orang Kedah" - Kedah royalty in fact, so why do "they" need to state that there is support from the Selangor royalty for this movie?? Ah, politics... better not ask too much? Anyways, you can read The Star's Search for Tunku, and Wikipedia's entry on the Tunku himself for a flavour of the man behind it all.

2. Was reminded of Ron Allan's post about students at the mercy of teachers, sparked by the death of a kid made to eat pencil shavings (read the article here).... it seems a teacher "allegedly used a hammer to clobber a Year Four pupil on the head and shoulder for not completing her homework on Wednesday". You can read more about it here. Can you believe the teacher wanted to hammer the child's hands/fingers, and turned to the head & shoulders when the girl refused to put out her hands? And.... you know what REALLY gets to me? The teacher is said to have apologised, but also claims that it was an accident. AN ACCIDENT?? Just reminds me of an Eminem song, the one where he walks in to find his wife in bed with another man, she says it was an accident, and he screams "What, you tripped, fell, and landed on his d*ck??". Yeah, THAT kind of accident, is that what you mean, oh Ms Hammer Teacher?

3-a. There was this small blurb saying that the Housing and Local Government Ministry had been roped in to strengthen usage of proper Bahasa Malaysia. Local authorities would be empowered to take immediate action against wrong useage of the language on billboards, signs, etc. Haaahahaahah I'm sorry, but most of the time i have the impression many "local authorities" don't seem to have a grasp of the language's grammar & spelling in the first place. I'm afraid you're gonna have a case of the blind leading the blind....

3-b. I notice they are calling it Bahasa Malaysia (Malaysia Language) again. When I was schooling it was called Bahasa Malaysia. Then, somone pointed out that the Malaysian Constitution talks about "Malay", not "Malaysian" when it comes to language, so for a long time it was changed to Bahasa Melayu (Malay Language). Which totally went against my grain - it reeked of an unnecessary racial divide. Rationally it makes sense - it *is* "Malay", not "Malaysian" that I speak, but "emotionally" calling it "Bahasa Melayu" instead of "Bahasa Malaysia" is just, well, not for the benefit of the nation.... and I suppose somehow it's now been rationalised that "the Malay language" = "the Malaysian language"?

4. There was this whole page focussing on a Yulduz Emiloglu, a Taiwanese lady married to a Malaysian, and has spent most of her life in the country. A few things struck me: it's not blatantly stated, but since she refers to Allah, and and father's name is Abdullah Emiloglu, it can be safely assumed she is a Muslim. Her husband, however, seems to be a non-Muslim Malaysian Chinese, based on the name given in the article. If that's true, how'd that happen? Did the authorities not bother with the whole "need for conversion" thing because neither of them were Malay Muslims? Hmmmmmmmm.... and also, there's this little bit that's mentioned ever so briefly, but somehow chilled me to the bone: "Due to her status, she could not work then so she contributed articles to Chinese newspapers and read to the blind". What status? That she was a foreign wife of a local? And they are not allowed to work? So what, people who marry foreigners are assumed to be rich and can afford to have just one source of income? There are lots of things left unsaid, which have me very curious...

5. A local "communications professional" has established the Genesis Initiative, to help provide "... life skills education for young people ..." It sounds like something I'd like to be involved in - just to assist if nothing else; wonder if she needs an extra pair of hands on a part-time and temporary basis? ;-) based in Puchong, tho - transport to get tehre sure leceh...

6. The Bruintjes family in the Netherlands are protesting being made to pay a "dog tax" - they say the authorities have been fooled by their "barking doorbell". More here.

7. The US Marine Corps must be desperately seeking victims suckers recruits : they sent a recruitment letter to a Ms Sonia Goldstein. Nothing wrong with that... except that she's seventy eight years old, and needs to use a walker to get around... errr, not *quite* what I'd envision a Marine to be, eh? The article here.

And on an aside : did you hear about the spoof of the March of the Penguins? "Farce of the Penguins" is described as the story of "one penguin's search for love while on a 70-mile (112-km) trek with his libidinous buddies on their way to a hedonistic mating ritual." Who's behind this, you may ask? ... Bob Saget. Yea, the same one from Full House and the original America's Funniest Home Videos host. I'm not sure whether to cheer or jeer... will wait till the movie and review come out before I even consider going to see it :p

And speaking about movies - tomorrow is V for Vendetta day with Deer. It sounds very interesting, thought provoking, and well in line with what I associate with the Wachowski brothers, tho I do hope with it being just the ONE movie, it won't be too lofty/abstract as the later Matrix movies turned out... :p

k... outta here... byeee......

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