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Sunday, March 09, 2008

The winds of change ....

They thought it was only a breeze - soothing & refreshing, but not strong enough to erode the cliff.

They ignored the dissatisfaction that have been building up for a few years now, dismissing it as exagerated noises from a few disgruntled people.

They underestimated the need for a more open and transparent communication, sidelining the louder voices from other channels such as blogs, websites, online news & sms as cheap thrills preferred by the monkeys.

They assumed that what worked in the past decade is still current in this millenium.

They thought who were popular before would continue to win the hearts of the people simply because of their popularity.

They've got it all WRONG this time !!


Ayah & I brought the boys for roti canai & ice lemon tea this morning at the ever popular Restoran Ali Maju in Rawang new town. While the usual aroma of roti kosong, garlic naan, tosei garing and tandoori chicken fills the air just the same, a different tinge of something else was pretty obvious. The mixed feelings of shock, anger, rejection and acceptance were written on a lot of different faces. People dived their noses into the pages of the local newspapers - not on the regular weekend pull outs of sensational celebrities stories, but this time on the shocking results of the General Election aka PRU12.

Oh well... shocking it would be for those who ignored the writings on the wall.

Shocking it could be for those who opted to lepak at home or do their usual Saturday chores instead of going out to the polling stations to cast their votes.

Shocking it might be for those who thought it was just another general election.


I am not a politician. Betul...... hahaha.... though a few colleagues thought I have the looks of a PKR member written all over my face. While a few other friends thought I could be part of the younger blood in Puteri Umno. And I could still remember how I was encouraged to take up law for my field of studies during the pre-SPM results interview by the potential sponsors - so that I could help rebutt Mr Karpal Singh ( not kidding! guess there were still a lot of staunch supporters of the rulers from amongst the officers of the scholarship providers' back then).

Yes I do follow the updates on local politics from time to time. But no... I am not a politician. I'm just a regular working mom.

What bothers me though is the fact that some of the very obvious views and increasingly demanding needs of the people that are within the grasps of basic understanding of a regular working mom can continue to be blatantly ignored by some of the top politicians in this country.

Heck! If they know children of the urban areas are more demanding than those in the rural townships, why should they expect their parents to be any different?

Read this and tell me if I am wrong. Tom & Jerry & Doraemon on TV2 maybe sufficient to keep some children in some Felda somewhere glued to the TV - with due respect. But elsewhere in Bangsar, Bukit Antarabangsa, Kota Damansara, Subang and now even RAWANG (kenapa? tak percaya?), PS2, PSP, X Box, handphone & fully loaded prepaid card are the gadgets least expected to keep the children calm and steady and for the parents to maintain some degree of sanity while sipping a cup of tea with some friends. And hey.... we haven't even touched on the varying expectations of the babies, the toddlers, the preschoolers, the primary school goers and the hormone-raging teenagers.

So why is it so difficult to acknowledge and accept that in the above 'elsewhere' - RAWANG included, it's no longer sufficient to have the parents of the children to be satisfied with just having the electricity and water connected, the tarmac resurfaced, the traffic lights in good working order and pot holes covered up?

There are a lot of things that the politicians could learn from mothers, I tell you. After all, haven't they heard that the hands that rock the cradle can rule the world?

And hey... there is one other thing that the politicians can learn from WORKING mother you know! When the rocking and the lullabying is 'outsourced' to the domestic maid, you expect the children to always listen to the mother just because she is the mother? Yeahhhh right!!! Go fly wau. Dreamy mommy. God knows what kind of lullabies were sang to the children to soothe their ears. I can bet you my expiring Enrich points that it is of a different tune, accent and lyric altogether.


So if the politicians have not been "at home" and have not updated or renewed the grocery checklist - they shouldn't expect the people at home would be oh-so-happy with the contents of the grocery shopping bags brought home.

Saja lah Ibu nak bercerita ! Sesekali air bah, sesekali pantai berubah....

Sombre. Numb. Hopeful at the same time.

p/s I'll be counting the days to see the "harga minyak" diturunkan. But eh..... depa tak bagitau pulak minyak apa eh? What if they clarify that they actually meant "minyak cap kapak" ?!! Bagi hilang pening dan buangkan angin?!!! Biar betul.......

Friday, March 07, 2008

If only I could use the dice ......

When I was a kid, where I grew up - it used to be a serious thing. At least from Bapak's view of the election. To him, it was about putting your trust and confidence of your future in the hands of the right people. The people who, from Bapak's simple view, would provide a better future for his children, development for the country and peace & harmony for the nation.

Bapak was a marine police officer, you see. He expected orderliness. He upheld orders from the higher ups. Challenging authority was not in his vocabulary. So this election thing was a really serious matter to him. It was not something that we siblings should joke about. Cynical remarks of the ruling party or satirical comics of the election process were unheard of down south. It was a stronghold for the powers that be. And no way any deviation from the norm should ever be considered to be initiated from under his roof.

I remember I followed Mak to the polling station and into the booth too. It is still very vivid in my mind as to how I reminded Mak on which box to PANGKAH because Bapak said so. I think Mak followed what I said. Does that qualify me as an infuential party campaigner? Hey... every single vote counts!

Perhaps from a limited point of view, who Bapak & Mak voted for then must have worked for them as they now see their children doing & living much better than they did. Bapak finished standard 5. We all finished at the very least until Form 5. Bapak managed to save up for a Yamaha motorbike in exchange for his bicycle to go to work. Some of my sisters bought super bikes for their boys as rewards for good SPM results. Mak stirred up two eggs, fried them in thin spread cut into 8 equal pieces for equal share amongst us during dinner. We now have our maids enjoying scrambled eggs for breakfast.

During the last one or two elections, Bapak still spoke about how progressive Malaysia had become. Proton. Petronas Twin Towers. Penang Bridge. Wawasan 2020. No second guessing of who he voted for.

I have not called Bapak this time. I wonder if his views remain as simple as before.

I am pretty sure he still feels this election thing is a serious matter. If I asked, I can bet my clubcard points that he would still stand by the motion that this is about putting your trust and confidence of your future in the hands of the right people. The people who would provide a better future for your children, development for the country and racial harmony.

But today, I don't read just Berita Harian only. I read & hear from a few others. And there is no way I could have escaped the propagandas coming my way via other streams too - hardcopy, emails, television, radio, internet and sms.

It would shock Bapak I'm sure if I show him the online posters, the sms jokes, the sing-along election karaoke on you tube, the powerpoint slides on dalil-dalil why si polan should not be a leader, etc. Knowing his heart condition, I would have to ensure Tuan Doktor is not on leave to catch some snakes before I show Bapak all those propagandas. It may be a laughing matter to those who want to chill but it is a serious matter to my father.

On reflection ...... though I laughed at the jokes and enjoyed ( and shhh.... even sang along) the la la la you tube karaoke, I sort of miss the times when there was a lot more respect amongst one another and decorum in the way people voice their views. Does it have to be the way it has turned out to be today for the sake of wrestling power and authority? Is this a taste of what good looks like on freedom of speech? I wonder what and how all these would evolve into when it is my boys' time to talk to their children about general election in the coming decade.

In one half of the picture, the creative urge and strong push to challenge the status quo for all the wrong doings that have been cited have put me in a more upright position to be wary of those in power. In the other half however, there is not one convincing proposal, not even a spin, on how it would be done differently (fool proof strategy & action to deliver better) if some others nestled into the much desired seats.

While the sketch on 'ubah lah gaya hidup' to cope with the increasing toll and petrol price is quite funny and catchy at the same time, the 'others' or rather the alternatives have not (yet) confirmed that they would not do the same thing with other staple needs if they were elected.

While the allegations that those currently holding the reins of power have not tried hard enough to ensure safety & security of the young ones hold some truth, the sheer sanctioning of throwing stones to the buses ferrying some other mothers' children suspected to be phantom voters are not a sight for sore eyes either.

While I aspire to adopt Islamic practices as a way of life than merely having it as a status of religion printed in MyKad, I find it ironic that some self proclaimed spiritual leaders make doas for the Almighty to "melaknati" other fellow muslims merely for the sake of not losing the powers in hand.

While my heart aches learning just how much the private jets and the official planes cost, my senses have not picked up the assurance that the ones reporting on it would sell them back to potential buyers and channeled the proceeds to the needy (like partially sponsoring Kerp's new wheels maybe? or guaranteed employment opportunities for Kak Pi's buddies? or providing free education, and I mean really free, and build more public libraries that are accessible to all the children in this country?) instead of using the funds to buy supersonic rockets to go the moon in the name of justice.


Should it be for the Devil that I have come to know OR the Angel that I don't know ?

It's only a few hours away before I have to PANGKAH in the box.

Or should I not bother at all and just sleep late, enjoy my slumber, then wake up and catch a movie?

Quite a tough decision for a working Ibu to make eh? Hmmm... no wonder Bapak said this is a serious matter. It is indeed. It is not a game of snake & ladder, mind you.

If one can passionately writes on how one supports his or her party of choice, so can this pleasantly insane working Ibu blatantly shares her doubts of either choice. Kan?

Every feeling is a valid feeling. Yours. And mine! Having different views and feelings though, should not make us online enemies.

This is after all, my story, for my children.


Sunday, March 02, 2008

Party Apa?

I'm not apolitical .... busy rather. Extremely. They say, when it rains, it pours!

Still manage to have a fair bit of small talks with my children re the general election though. Nothing serious. Just entertaining the innocent questions coming from my 3 children.

Children are very observant, who dares to disagree? My boys are no exception. All those posters and bendera put up practically everywhere .... lamp posts, traffic lights, roundabouts, empty shop lots.... could not have missed their attention. Most of the time though, they (the posters) have been the object of their "I Spy With My Little Eyes" on board kill-the-time game instead of subject of general election discussion.

Some serious questions do pop out from time to time though. And some of the answers can be quite hilarious and thought provoking at the same time. Here's one scenario.

Abang Idin : What party are you going to vote for, ibu?

Ibu: Party Tupperware.

Abang Idin: Alah Ibu.... jangan la main-main.

Ibu: Hey...Undi adalah rahsia you know?

Abang Idin : Eleh... Teacher Rameni dah share dah party apa dia nak vote.

Ibu: Really? Hmmm... and what would that be?

Abang Idin: PAS.

Ibu: REALLY??!!!

Abang Idin: Teacher said, PAS tu kan party Islam.

Ibu: So?

Abang Idin: Ye lah... Islam tu kan baik. She said she likes Islam.

Ibu: Ohhh.... PAS tu yang mana satu eh?

Abang Idin: Alah Ibu ni.... yang logo dia gambar bulan tu lah....

Ibu: Ohhh....

Ameer: Ameer tak nak bulan! Ameer tak nak bulan!

Ibu: So Ameer nak apa?

Ameer: Ameer nak ghoket!!

Ibu & Abang Idin: Whoaaaaa...... GHOKET!

Ibu: Kenapa Ameer nak ghoket?

Ameer: Sebab nak naik ghoket pergi outer-space. Nanti boleh jumpa Transformer!

That was followed by gelak sakan by yours truly, Abang Idin and Hafiz ( who was quiet since the beginning of the discussion).

Ibu: Hafiz pulak nak vote siapa?

Abang Hafiz: What is 'vote'?

Abang Idin: Aiya you.... Vote pun tak tau? What larr...

Ibu: Well..... Do you know what General Election is?

Hafiz: General Election? Ermm... no.

Ibu: Hafiz nampak tak poster-poster kat tepi jalan semua tu.

Hafiz: Oh..... yang gantung banyak banyak tu, yang ada gambar orang semua tu?

Ibu: Err.. ah ha! So that means, general election is coming. In general election, it's time for us to choose who to become our leaders.

Hafiz: Leaders?

Ibu: Errm... (cam mana nak cerita ni?) Like Prime Minister ke...Or President ke?

Ameer: Ah! Macam Optimus Pghime!!

Another ketawa sakan ensued.

Ibu: Hafiz nak jadi leader tak, like the President or Prime Minister?

Hafiz: Oh no!! No... No...

Ibu: Why not?

Hafiz: Because I don't know how to TALK.

Oooohhh.... that left me chuckling and wondering at the same time. Remember I said children can be very observant? It's either Hafiz has observed that one needs good communication skill to become a leader OR...... or what? I leave it to your imagination ;)

Assalamualaikum & good days ahead people.