Monday, 31 August 2009

Selamat Hari Merdeka

My fellow Malaysians,
I wish all of you in your many shapes, sizes, hues and ages a very Happy 52nd Independence Day!

Let us take today to contemplate not just our shared history but our shared destinies, and let us appreciate that though we are blessed beyond measure, there are still many freedoms we need to struggle for.

May we see better days ahead. Selamat Hari Merdeka!


Sunday, 23 August 2009


Friday, 21 August 2009

Happy Fasting

Dear World,
Happy Fasting to all Muslims.
Can't wait for the cookies at Raya-time. Mmmm...


Thursday, 20 August 2009

Blueberry Girl

For the Sister.

I love Neil Gaiman, but I'm thinking...why buy the book when you can just watch this?

Wednesday, 19 August 2009


Black/Red and Grey
XXL/M I guess?
Simple/Not quite

For the cold/Always cold
Frayed lining/Back streets

Comfy/You grow into it
Fits me/I learnt to fit in

Many Memories/Yes, many.
Still with me/Still within me.
I'll wear it again/When I get here...

Someday: Soon.

[Edit 20/8: "Kota" means city, town or fort in Malay.]

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

Rashdan Harith

I had a blast at Rashdan Harith's EP launch (entitled "Revelations and a Cup of Coffee") last night in town. I think my friend put it best when he said "It's always heartening to see someone chasing their dream".

Congratulations to Rashdan. Support the Malaysian music industry! Get his CD people!

This is one of his earlier songs called "My Favourite Soprano".

Monday, 17 August 2009

Do do do do do!

Skip to about 1m 35s, when Max's uncle asks him about his college fees, watch up the part where Jude is answers Max's question, then tell me what you think.

[Edit 19/8: For those of you who can't make out what's being said, here's the part of the script I meant to ask about:

Uncle Teddy
: Do you have any idea what your father pavys for those tuition fees?
Mr. Carrigan (sarcastically): Please...
Max: You know Uncle Teddy, he won't have to pay them very much longer. I'm dropping out.
Grandma Carrigan: Cranberry sauce isn't as tangy as last year.
Mrs. Carrigan: Don't be ridiculous!
Max: I am not cut out for this collegiate crap.
Mr. Carrigan: Oh..oh no problem. Whatdoyou...What's your plans? You're gonna buy a broken down station wagon, drive across America like Jack...what is it?
Mrs. Carrigan: Kerouac.
Lucy (surprised): Mum?
Mrs. Carrigan: I read!
Max: Well, actually y'know I was hoping to borrow your car dad. It's got AC and stereo.
Mr. Carrigan (banging the table): Goddamnit Max! Be serious for once! What do you actually intend to do with you life?!
Max: Why is it always about "What will you do?" What will you do? What will he do? Oh my God! What will he do? Do do do do do. Why isn't the issue here who I am?
Uncle Teddy: Because Maxwell, what you do defines who you are.
Max: No Uncle Teddy. Who you are defines what you do, right Jude?
Jude: Erh...surely it's not, er, what you do but it's the way that you do it?]

From "Across the Universe".

Thursday, 13 August 2009


This is for Ash.

This Bowie cover starts out as a decent, if slightly folksy, ukuleles-are-the-bestest piece, but listen a little longer and I assure you you'll get goosebumps. If you don't, you need help!

Bravo Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain!
Check out their other work—they have a wonderfully irreverent sense of humour!

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

One Year On

At about this time, on this date, exactly one year ago, I landed on Malaysian soil, after being abroad for close to 2 years. When I finally got out onto KLIA's arrival lounge, I was very fatigued and very annoyed—there were plenty of things that went wrong on that journey (which would have been exhausting even if nothing went awry). I was dying to leave the airport as soon as I met my family. When I reached home, I finally saw the new extensions to the house that my family had told me about. It did not look like the same house I left. It was not the last thing I would soon find out had changed.

It seems strange that one year has passed; I can still remember the streets, buildings, layout, buses, sounds, weather, even smells of the city I left. It has all been engraved unto my memory. And of course, I miss the many, many people I left behind. (At this point in time, I suppose nostalgia is really creeping in and making me melancholic.)

But it does seem hard to believe so much time has passed. At times I thought I would never pull through—the last year has really seemed like nothing but a horrendous, never-ending nightmare. Now that it's over, I realise that I've not moved anywhere, as if I've just woken up from a night's sleep. Yet I know it would be foolish to act as if things have not changed, as if people have remained the same. The truth is things (and people) have changed a lot. Just as things change without you, things change with you, and within you.

Coming back was the right decision, even considering what happened after, but the way I spent the past 12 months, that was a mistake. I adamantly refuse to rose-tint the experience, just so I can feel good about it, just so I can say it was not a waste of time or just so I can delude myself into believing the feel-good, self-help, phony life coach "advice" we've all been fed.

It was something I wish did not happen. It was something that made me deeply unhappy. And it was a waste of time. I won't pretend otherwise. The fact is, sometimes things really were all bad, and sometimes you gain little from life even though you put in much. The point is to realise it, accept the truth, and then move on and not repeat the same mistakes.

The past year has neither made me a better person/son/friend nor a kinder one, but perhaps...I am a wiser one. I have lost faith in many things, and I have lost time, friends, happiness, self-confidence even, but perhaps...I have not lost hope. Hope that I will find something, if I keep looking hard enough. Hope that there are greener pastures waiting for me if I work hard enough. Hope that one day, I'll find my place in the world. Even if the past was shitty, there's no guarantee that the future will be the same...

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

What A Difference...

My friends say I sound happier, look more energised, talk more positively.
It's true, I feel so much better nowadays.
There's a spring in my step. I look at each new day differently. I am contented and at peace without any need for external stimuli to make me so.
14 days back, and I would have been a different person entirely....
I'm so glad to be me again.

Tian Shu

I got back from Kuantan last Sunday night, physically exhausted but spiritually renewed. The trip was very interesting, it certainly triggered many questions about myself and my relationships with people around me.

Anyway, I found this via The Historian's Craft. It's an art installation by Chinese artist Xu Bing called "Tian Shu". It's amazingly beautiful and it speaks to me as someone who is ethically Chinese but cannot read more than a dozen Chinese characters.

Click on the post title above to read and see more.

Image courtesy of