It's Surreal. Surprise Results, Shocking Ends, And Saving Grace

The last post on this blog was about my excitement for GE14. I finally have the time to jot down and process my feelings and thoughts for GE14.

Alright, I’ll admit I was procrastinating a little but since this is an extremely significant milestone… it warrants a post. Over the last one week or so, I've some stray thoughts I have here and there as I finally sit down and reflect, in the midst of all the ongoing political drama...


2013

During GE13, results were announced at the wee hours of the morning at about 2am. Millions probably went to sleep feeling disappointed. It was deemed as a close fight and one that the opposition coalition then claimed to have won if not for alleged electoral frauds. However, despite BN losing its two-thirds majority once again and even the popular votes, they secured a fairly good, comfortable margin over the opposition.

I personally thought the shouts of #IniKaliLah made it felt like it was now or never, and that it was the "last chance" if the people wanted a change. And that time has passed and it was over. The realist, or rather the pessimist in me said, 'No'. Nothing will change this time. Maybe yet another "close fight" but with all the things that have been going on, not a chance.



There had been massive corruption scandals and draconian policies introduced. I’ve been following local developments closely than ever due to the nature of my job. And then so as I’ve been keeping up, I read about that over the last year or so, election talks had been ongoing but there was a sense of fatigue, as some studies pointed out. Some of my closest friends were not bothered with what's going on politically. I for one, honestly, was getting tired of the politicking and endless bickering from one side to the other.

There were also whispers of lack of confidence in an opposition coalition that was led by the very person who architected of many of the country’s authoritarian institutions. The big BUT here is that the rakyat, at the very last minute, got fired up.


Arrogance VS. Anger

One of the leaders from the former government had openly declared that victory was at their fingertips except no one saw it coming that PH was going to win the election in what has been described as a surprise electoral upset. I bet even some officials from the current government didn't expect this.

The people have spoken. I don't know what are people's motivations when casting their ballots in GE14. Whether it is out of hope or desperation. Perhaps most that were affected by the day-to-day issues were fuelled by their discontent and strong desires to say, enough is enough.

It’s a fuzzy feeling 

I have to be honest, by the time I heard the last announcement by the EC on the final tally I was confused. So, did PH win or not? You have to forgive me as my mind was already going off that time without me even realising. Polling day was hectic. I woke up feeling extremely nervous. Got ready and went to my primary school to cast my ballot for the first time. My palms were sweaty all the time. Done, I made sure my vote counts. Also met some familiar faces while I was there queuing for an hour.

Came back, started working from home with my gung-ho colleagues. We remotely chased to deliver stories to our readers (thank you, on-ground reporters who've worked tirelessly). I signed off hours later, leaving for Bruno Mars’ concert. While I was there, I was judging everyone without an ink mark on their index finger. Sorry. It took all I have to ignore messages, I turned off my data at one point of the concert just so I can enjoy the guy’s amazing performance. I love Bruno Mars.



I came back hours later, a little tensed and frustrated. Resumed work with my amazing team who stayed up the whole day/night. When are the results out? Faster, please. One hour, two hours, three hours… then several hours later. The results were finally out at an ungodly hour after much delay. As I finished my last story for the day, I looked at the clock - almost 7am - and went to look out the window at my bedroom. Wait, is the sun out yet? It would be amazing if I can catch the sunrise. Of course, the view was obstructed (what was I thinking?). I just breathed a sigh of relief, gulped down a bottle of water, and closed my eyes, drifting to sleep almost immediately.

I woke up hours later at about 1pm. What did I miss? My phones were buzzing with post-GE14 messages. I was told no one’s conceding defeat yet. Fear crept in. What are they up to now? But as time passed by, it became clear and people knew that victory for PH was imminent.


Finally, Malaysia gets on international news for the right reasons 

Whether you're a supporter of the new government or not, I think we all should be proud that it's an astonishing victory for Malaysia. We are all part of this historic moment in Malaysian history because the extraordinary win means it's a win for democracy - and it speaks volumes especially since Malaysia has been viewed as a country with flawed democracy.

The fact is, the world has now turned their eyes to our nation, looking up to us for going against all odds to unseat a government that held on to power for more than 60 years. Prior to this, most international pollsters predicted another victory for the BN government. But the PH coalition defied each of these predictions, against all odds.

Some laws, which were bulldozed at the last minute, were said to be flawed and tilted the playing field. Allegations of electoral fraud have been rampant even down to affecting voters - us - but we've heard so many real life, inspiring stories about how Malaysians (all over the world) have rallied together to ensure that every single vote counts whether it is through the #pulangmengundi initiative or strangers passing on their ballot papers to their fellow countrymen that formed relay teams so that their ballots could be sent back on time for polling day. Such camaraderie that we’ve seen far lesser in recent times.

How many times we've heard in the past that made us fear there could be riots in the event there is a transition of power needed. That the country would go up in flames? We've proved that despite all these attempts of fear-mongering, we can remain civil.


We can hold those we put on top accountable 

As Malaysians overturned a government that ruled for over six decades, it's high time we make sure the new one is grounded that they'll keep the people's best interest at heart. They are the ones who made the promises. The changing of government since independence is the first step forward. We’ve learned that we have that power, we are the bosses. Now let’s use that power for checks and balances. Never forget.

Don't judge too quickly 

Guilty. I already raised my eyebrows over some stupid statements and decisions the current government has made, but it's always good to listen and view things from another perspective. I'm learning. I'm a firm believer that it's good to be critical and every voice should always be heard no matter how unpopular it is, that there is a place for dissent. While it's easy to criticise, it's better to put action to our words as the hard task ahead is to make sure reforms take place for the betterment of Malaysia. That is the real change. And we're on the right track.


I'll always remember 9 May 2018 as this: Even in all of my disbelief and supposed diminishing hope for change, I - you, we - all have the power to alter the course of our nation, our country. This realisation gives me some courage.

I don’t know about you, but I feel liberated.

Our prayers have been answered.

A Quarter


The end of Q1 is here. It's that time of the year I have some spare time to come here and jot down some thoughts since I get to clear my AL while I run errands that I've probably put off for at least months or even a year. Oops.

Since the start of the year, it has been a new challenge to take on a new role. More expectations on myself, and it's another learning curve. The last few weeks have been hectic, challenging to say the least.

Embarking on new challenges as old projects come to an end.

So many uncertainties and the outlook doesn't seem "promising" for a lot of things but... we'll see.

I know I don't really talk about politics (here) anymore as often as I used to when I was a teen lol, but I'm looking forward to the next one month or so since we all know GE is around the corner.

Anyway, just putting here a song that I've been listening to in the past few weeks. It's not a new song but as I've been listening to it again, I find new meaning... in appreciating the lyrics and understanding God's love in a different view. Like a new revelation kinda thing.


How I Wrote Ten Books By Lydia Teh

Since we're still in the new year mood, I figured that it might be good that I start the first post of the year with this entry. If it is one of your resolutions this year to read more books, or even write more, then perhaps this is quite fitting.



Lydia Teh's 'How I Wrote Ten Books' (HIWTB) is a lot about her own journey as an author. I think in many aspects, the books is a memoir on its own as Teh breaks down systematically the processes involved. From identifying her readers to marketing campaigns, she goes step-by-step into her concerns and her triumphs; all in relation to her writing and getting her books published.

It's very easy to read - I finished in just a couple of hours. To a certain extent, the book can be a little disjointed but I like that it's organised this way because that means I could read it in parts.

As always, Teh is true to herself and I've liked her books because they're always very witty and honest. Teh's not afraid to disclose her past mistakes and she'd even go into details on things like why some books work and some don't - things perhaps most of us would find embarrassing to admit.

Some may pick up such a book expecting to finish it knowing what to do and how to do it - there are plenty of examples from Teh here. Teh has a lot of insights on her journey, like what worked for her and what didn't, so pick up those that might be relevant to you. One of the things that stood out for me is that Teh's story reminded me a lot about the power of networking.

I personally don't find HIWTB as a cheerleader-style kind of writing to inspire you to write and get published. It's a lot more than Teh sharing what is the art of good writing, or the craft. Rather, there are little nuggets waiting to be found within the book, like what was going on behind the scenes in the industry and the various aspects of book promotion, especially in local context. I think these are extremely valuable advice, given that Teh is of one of the most famous Malaysian authors in the 21st century.

My favourite line from the book: "Here's another universal truth: writing is recycling." As someone who writes almost everyday, I can resonate. Of course, there's a full context to this, go grab the book and read it. ;)

You can purchase How I Wrote Ten Books online here from MPH.

PS: Huge thanks to Lydia Teh for sending a copy for the review. I enjoyed it thoroughly!

2017: Being Thankful

Hello.

It's that time of the year again for "reflection post", duh. Sometimes, I just want to shut down this space because I don't fill it up as often anymore. Not even food posts. I think this year's entries have been at a all-time low with less than 10 posts.

10 years. It's been 10 years and more since I started writing in the virtual space. Thankfully, I wasn't that lazy to update for the "10 years" post.

Many important life events took place this year. A wedding in a family, among others. Everything went on smoothly, and frankly, in a blink of an eye. Great to have photos to remind me about things that happened that day. Heh.


Most recently, I got this once in a lifetime opportunity to travel to Switzerland (work trip). I cannot even begin to describe the immense gratitude I have that I was given this privilege.

I have never thought or ever dared dreamed of going places. While the people around me travel from one place to another, fulfilling their "wanderlust"... I am a potato who's super kedekut. I'm always counting how much I need for the things I want without breaking the bank. Then, suddenly, there's this opportunity to travel and all expenses are covered?! I'm speechless till today. I'm terribly humbled.

Maybe I'll blog about it one day, but there are already two articles about some of the things I learnt about the beautiful country while I was there. And if you wanna know more, message me. I'll tell you all about it. :)

In hindsight, I wish I bought more things. All I bought was chocolates. Even then, there's not enough. I'm sorry, friends and family. :/ I was too worried lugging around the bags alone while travelling on the trains. I shouldn't be such a chicken.

There were some scares this year too. Break-ins, family member getting hospitalised, and such. But thank God, through it all, He was and is good.

This year I am also extremely thankful for all the level-headed people around me who remind me that I don't get too emotional about things. I'm thankful for friends who trust in me, and for having my back.

2017 was great. Looking forward to 2018. 'Quarter life age', here I come. Lol.

Food: Papasan Canteen/883 Jalan Kuchai Lama, Old Klang Road

I was searching for a good cafe to eat earlier this year when I saw Papasan Canteen being featured on some of the most popular blogs in Malaysia. I was skeptical, because these bloggers tend to say "this nice, that also nice" - or basically everything also nice. But, at the same time I was won over by the photos and the price of food!  

I had always thought it was Papa-san Canteen. As in papa-'san', the Japanese honorific title. But I'm guessing the name Papasan is actually wordplay of the numbers '883' in Chinese. Either way, I thought it was interesting to know. 

At the time of writing, I've been here more than a couple of times. Here are some photos of the food from the multiple visits: 














Takeaways:
Service here is excellent. During my first visit, it was full house and they were a bit kelam-kabut but they were very apologetic that they couldn't serve us better, and their mannerism was 100% professional.

Their menu have quickly expanded since the first visit as well. So you can say they're still keeping up their game.

I discovered a very good friend of mine really liked this place too.

Basically it's a good place to makan with family and friends cause there's a lot of things to try, at a very reasonable price.



Calling 999 At 12:50AM


This happened less than 24 hours ago.

...

It was past midnight, a woman just arrived home. Tired after a long day of work.

The front door of the house was locked, latched from the inside. Strange. The owner of the house managed to peep through the tinted window and noticed that something was off. The living hall looked like it was trashed.

Finally, it dawned on her that someone had broken into her house. Initially, she hesitated but she called for help - calling 999 - at about 12:50am. Please send the police.

...

Five minutes later, relatives arrived at the woman's house. Three sisters, and one of the sibling's husband (called Mister) came together. 

They waited. By 1.15am - that's almost 20 minutes after the call - still no sign of the cops. Where are they? 

...

The woman then called the community police station's number. She waited and waited, nobody picked up. She dialled 999 again, asking for status. When will help arrive? The operator was unsure. He said he had to call the nearest station.

So the woman, the siblings and Mister waited.

Almost 35 minutes after the first 999 call, two cops arrived slowly in the police car. The woman and the relatives spotted it from a far. It was difficult to miss the siren light that was glaring in that cold, dark night. 

...

It was still drizzling when the men got out from the car slowly, without any urgency, and approached the anxious relatives who have been waiting for their arrival. 

The officers asked a few questions, trying to understand the situation.

Then, the woman, together with the officers and Mister scouted the house, while the siblings waited in their own cars. 

...

They went to the back of the house and discovered a broken window and grille. 

No one could be sure if the thief/thieves were still inside the house, although it was speculated that they should be gone already. 

There was no other way in and to get into the house, someone had to climb in through the window to get to the main door and unlock the latch.

But it was not the two officers. They looked the civilian, Mister, and asked him to do it instead. Would they have asked the woman or perhaps the siblings if Mister was not there? 

...

Mister climbed into the house through the window and thankfully, no one else was there.

He unlocked the door and everyone else at the scene came in to have a look. The entire place was in a mess.

...


31 August

Politics is not the only thing that we should care about, but it's at the centre of any nation in this world.

I read, catch-up, follow local politics right, left, centre. Of course, it helps that I personally have been interested in the political scene since I was a teen. But it was not enough to just know, but to understand the rhetorics of the media, how propaganda works, and the intended message for readers.

But it's easy to operate based on emotions rather than information. We, or I, would much rather be inclined to something that I already know or belief in. Validation.

I'm surrounded with very different people with very different ideals and I'm okay with that. But what's terrifying is that as the days past I realised how many people out there who refuse to acknowledge the fact that the leaders of this country do screw up - be it the ruling government or the opposition - and would rather not talk about the elephant in the room and go on thinking happy thoughts. Perhaps it makes them feels better that way - I feel better not knowing but I can't.

They say, "What's the point of saying this out?"

The moment we start admitting our own mistakes and stop sweeping issues under the carpet, we'll get to where we want to be.

Are we ready to move forward as a nation?

Our forefathers struggled under colonisation. Today, we still struggle but almost similar but differently. At the end of the day, we're fighting against ideologies. Corruption is not okay at any level. It is not okay to keep quiet when you see injustice. Differences in opinions is not the end of the world.

I'm not asking us to ride on the high horse. I'm simply asking us to try to be better because we're capable of doing so.

My hope is that we can finally mature as a nation and choose to be grateful, because we've all been blessed in one way or another.