May 2005 Archives

Woe is the future of Malaysia

Read this for background. Its an excellent piece.

There are many reasons why Malaysians abroad, working and earning abroad don't want to come home, and as far as the principle, "to each his own" holds true, none of us should begrudge them the opportunity they have. Having said that, some do want to come home and Malaysia should do all it can do to welcome them.

As a general rule, these Malaysians are the cream of the cream, the very best Malaysia has to offer the world -- it goes to reason that their presence in Malaysia, working here, putting their energies into our home society, can only serve to improve us as a nation. That's why so many incentives have been offered over the years to attract them home. Its not surprising that many have declined the offer. What is surprising is the reason some of them have given: rascism.

Malaysia is by-definition a multi-racial, multi-cultural phenomenon -- its been used as a "model" for other similarly diverse nations around the world e.g. South Africa. There is something very wrong with us is we are creating a country where even our own countrymen fear to tread just because of their race; its a double whammy for Malaysia that these people happen to be very, very talented. It doesn't make us a very good model, does it?

Soalan cepu emas: How long can we keep up our "success" without our nation's best people? There will be a "snapping point" where our current success will no longer be sustainable without their input -- we've come a long way and UMNO/BN should be applauded for that; but will we be good enough to take it to the next level unless systemic changes are made towards how we treat the best people our society has to offer?

A new cat for me

I've thought about it for a long time: keeping cat as a pet. I've always been put off by a fear that i wouldn't be able to look after another living being, but i think the past year or so... i've got a feeling that i've changed in a way that will make keeping a pet a very rewarding activity.

But, before i go into this, i'm going to need to do quite a remarkable bit of planning. The more thought i've given it, the more i realise needs to be done, to be understood before i can proceed. I want to give my cat a warm, loving and safe home -- there are things that need to be done to make this happen.

Ok, help needed pls:

1. Besides the SPCA where can i go to adopt a cat/kitten in KL?
2. What are the good sites on the web about cats and cat care?

I'm looking for a short-hair cat, playful type. Any ideas what breed of cat i should look out for with this as a criteria?

Celebrations! Celebrations!

As we enter Project Petaling Street's birthday month of June (woohoo!) -- does that make PPSs zodiac sign, cancer? -- , the plans for its celebration are nearing its climax!

First up, we've got the PPS Birthday Bash, planned for the night of the 23rd. It promises to be a fun-filled affair, with good food, great company, and the eagerly-awaited results for the PPS Awards! The Official PPS T-Shirts have also been commissioned and the early birds will be receiving theirs on the 23rd, and everyone else who ordered by mail will probably get theirs a few days laters; its a great looking "T", and even if you don't read PPS, it sports a cute design, made of wonderfully luxurious materials (well, at least for a t-shirt!).

All in all, its been a fun run-up to the final date, and i can hardly wait for the actual date to come! Hope to see you all at the Bash!

Sex and Marriage V

This is the final post on the topic, just to round things off and close the matter.

The comments i've received from everyone range from insightful to unreasonable (based on my personal judgement) -- the fact that there is such a diverse range of opinions does indicate one truth: we Malaysians do not have access to verifiable, unbiased information on the topic.

When no one knows the truth, everyone begins to believe that they know the "truth". That's not a good situation, and leaves too much to chance, more than any of us should find acceptable.

Sex and Marriage IV

If Malaysia is ever going to educate its youth about the true meaning of sex, and perhaps educate its adults via the infamous kursus kahwins about the true meaning of sex in marriage, what has to be in the syllabus is Eve Ensler's "The Vagina Monologues".

I listened to it over the weekend, after downloading it from Audible.com, and its was a shocking eye-opener. The topics covered in it were not particularly new to me (or should they be to any contemporary adult): the word "vagina" and its many forms (the part where Eve runs through the many, many, many names we give for "vagina" was perhaps the only funny part of the performance), violence against women, sex & marriage for women, lesbian love (apparently the only way many women experience orgasms), what it means for a woman to have an orgasm, cheating husbands or boyfriends -- so much to say, and she covers it all pretty well in 1 hour 45 minutes.

One interesting issue: the matter of female genital mutilation, commonly practiced in some Arab and African nations. In polite circles, its referred to as female circumcision, but in reality its not. In relative terms, if a man were to have as much removed from his penis as a woman has removed from her clitoris during the procedure, it would mean that circumcised men all over the world would be walking around with only half an organ.

Its a serious matter, and one that is discussed in great detail in the audio performance. Society and religion demands the procedure because the clitoris is seen as a tool for evil: women who are allowed to experience sexual pleasure in their clitoris will not be faithful to their husbands; the clitoris removed will allow a women to better control her sexual urges. Furthermore, women who suffer the procedure, are then subject to infections, loss of feeling, and even, in extreme cases, death. There is no good reason to do it, and yet its still done.

A classic example of how the gender powerplay is unreasonably tilted to men -- why should a women's sexual's organs be destroyed to control the urges that are often initiated by men?

I've often wondered how extensive is the practice here in Malaysia. I know my two sisters were circumcised, but to what the extent of the damage, or to the type of circumcision, i don't know. I've asked my mother about it once or twice, but the only response i got was a mumble. Enquiring minds would like to know, if anyone visiting this blog can share it with us: what's the extent and practice of female genital mutilation here in Malaysia? Is it founded on religion, or is it a general, religio-neutral practice? How much damage does the woman undergo to her sexual organs?

This is probably a stretch, but the possibility is obvious: does female genital mutilation have an impact on sex in a marriage? By extension, could this problem lead to other problems, potentially damaging to the relationship: sexual insecurity, sexual frustration?

Sex and Marriage III

There are many reasons why we should be married: social security, comfort, companionship, love, wealth, social status, even sex.

Of them all, is there a right reason for marriage? Or are all reasons, wrong? Or perhaps there shouldn't be a reason for marriage, it just happens when two people spend a lot of time together, and want to spend a whole lot more time together. Perhaps, banal as it sounds, that is in itself a reason for marriage. Perhaps not. Who knows? Who should know? Does anyone know? Does anyone want to know?

When marriage approaches, its normal that we begin asking ourselves these questions, and sometimes, we begin to panic when the answers are unsatisfactory. That, believe it or not, is a good thing. I would think that those among us who don't ask these questions, or are not worried about the answers, should be the ones who have more to worry about.

Its a sad fact, that often, these questions pop up after marriage, in many cases, after many years of marriage. Why am i here? Did he marry me just because he wants to sleep with me? Oh no, he used to be rich, now he is poor -- what will happen to me? I'm getting bored, what's next?

Damn, forget about marriage, these are the questions we often ask ourselves even while we're courting! If you didn't have the answers then, what makes you think that you'll have the answers later, after you've both said your "I dos"?

Take it all in, and let yourself not be discouraged. Marriage is still the holiest natural institution that two people can share. Its not to be treated lightly, and its not to be treated with too much care, lest we become afraid of all that it is and start treading like we're walking on eggshells.

Every case is different, some may be easy, some may be not. Every marriage is different, some will require careful consideration, some may be perfectly blissful for 50 years, and some others, well, the partners in the marriage may just not give a damn to care either way. There is no right way, but there is certainly a need to examine your expectations. Don't let yourself be disappointed, but if you are, its often never too late to re-examine the reasons for it, and mitigate them together with your spouse.

Sex and Marriage II

Some women expect their husbands to do everything for them. Everything.

Wash the clothes.

Cook the meals.

Change the diapers.

Give them nafkah (money).

Make the bed.

Pay for her car, and the house, and the bills.

Do the Sunday morning marketing.

Pamper her with treats and holidays.

Have a libido that can be turned on and off like a tap.

And, why? Because if he doesn't, then "apa gunanya dia?" is the question leaving her lips. And that leaves the guy feeling all guilty and useless.

Sheesh. Some women are real bit***s. Its blackmail stemming from a perverse sense of roles in a marriage.

The world is changing. It used to be the men who were the assholes.

Sex and Marriage

A good friend of mine came over for drinks and a smoke, and we talked about how married life was treating him. Recently wed just 8 months ago, he didn't look all that happy about it for some reason. Deeper probing revealed a surprising truth: his wife wanted too much sex.

Every night, sometimes 2 or 3 times a day on weekends, she wanted him again and again, over and over. As you can imagine, this was fine in the beginning and even desirable, considering how much he enjoyed it at first (both were virgins at marriage, as far as i've been told). But now, after 8 months of no respite, he looked sad in admitting that it was taking a toll on him.

Its affecting his work, his relationship with his friends (she expects him to be home when they get back every night, and holds him to ransom: sex or she gives him the cold shoulder), its almost come to the point where he tries to find more work to do (they both work at banks and already work long hours) so that he can have an excuse to come home late with the hope that she'll be asleep when he does.

He tries very hard not to blame her for this situation they are in. He blames, in part, the kursus kahwin, for making sex with his wife boring -- they only have sex one position, the one "endorsed" by Islam, very technical, very straightforward, and almost without passion, at least for him. She expects him to do his duty, and though its satisfying for him and for her, he doesn't take pleasure in it as much as she obviously does.

He's spoken to her about it, she's tried to be reasonable, but its difficult for her. She finds him irresistable, she's almost insatiable, and he just doesn't have the sexual drive to keep up with her.

As i listened carefully to all the details, it would have almost been funny, if he wasn't so serious. Its almost unbelievable, and coming from anyone else, it would have been easy to dismiss it as a hoax. I've met them on various occasions, even during their wedding, and she doesn't seem the type: very shy and quiet, reserved and particularly careful in what she says or does in public.

I suggested counselling, but he doesn't know who to see; and of course the embarassment of it all would be too much. His wife would find it very difficult to open up on such matters to a counsellor.

I suggested he take the lead in spicing things up, at least for his sake; then sex with his wife wouldn't be such a chore. Plan romantic getaways to the islands off the East Coast, come home early for once and make her a candlelit dinner, perhaps visit our special friends in Petaling Street and get some porno flicks -- he nodded in agreement, then asked me a very pertinent question: how long would he be able to keep it up? Spicing things up take tremendous effort, and while he could do it for a while, its probably something he couldn't persist in indefinitely, especially if she continues to want sex every night, or in the mornings before they shower for work.

We sat there quietly for a long moment, watching the smoke curl up to the ceiling from our cigars. Quietly, we were both thinking. Him, perhaps of what awaited him at home after he left my place. Me, about this posting i'm writing right now.

What would i do, if i were him? What would you do?

Further reading: Perhaps, in order to better understand the sexual psyche of the Malaysian society, someone should conduct a study akin to the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Kinsey_Reports. Looking at the evidence of my friend's predicament, and what i know from others, i think the findings of such a study would be much more surprising that anyone could possibly imagine.

Romber was robbed!!

Damn, am i the only one who feels the best team should have won? What's all this about wanting the underdog to win?! Hahaha... a great finale to perhaps the best season yet of the Amazing Race.

But, honestly, Rob and Amber, by far, the best team to ever grace the show, were robbed in the end:

1. NO PILOT reverses the plane and re-attaches the bloody hatch after the boarding gates have been closed!

2. Stupid people giving stupid street directions. If you dunno where it is, don't say something just for the sake of saying it! 27th Street, my ass!

Just no luck, two crazy things didn't go their way leading to a sad loss for Rob and Amber. Haiya. Great entertainment, and here's hoping to a quick return of the series for the Amazing Race 8!

A poor "example"

The judge wanted to set an "example" to all the other NS shirkers out there, so she sentenced Ahmad Hafizal to 14 days jail time in lieu of a RM600 fine that he couldn't afford to pay. The boy has since been freed when the state MB came forward to pay his fine.

By the letter of the law, she did the right thing; poverty is certainly no excuse for breaking the law (though some others may feel otherwise), but courts have the discretion to take into account mitigating circumstances before they pass judgement. In Hafizal's case, the fact that he comes from a disadvantaged background, and he is an important bread-winning member of his family, should have been considered during sentencing.

Force the lad to attend NS, perhaps a reprimand on permanent record. But a RM600 fine, then jail-time because he couldn't pay -- darn me silly if i'm wrong, but that just seems a bit heavy handed to me.

If the judiciary wanted to make an "example" out of someone, Hafizal was a very poor choice. For the State to lash out (or be thought of an unsympathetic) on the disadvantaged is never a good move.

Official PPS T-Shirt Updates

Some important updates to the development of the official PPS t-shirt can be found on the VOI Wiki. Check it out if you're interested in buying the shirt.

Zen

A bit of Saturday night zen for everyone:

Head down, chin up.

Not quite drinking from an empty cup, but close enough i reckon. :)

Making a fortune on the 'Net

Wanna make US$100,000 a year by selling things you don't own over the Internet? :) No, this isn't a scam, i'm not a Nigerian, and, no, i won't be asking you for your credit card number (well, not yet, anyways...)

I've been doing some research for the PPS Anniversary T-Shirt project, and i stumbled across this article on WSJ.com: "By Accident or Design, Selling T-Shirts Is Big Business on Web":

CollegeHumor.com, a site offering jokes and pictures from college campuses nationwide, sells T-shirts that say "My other shirt has its collar up," "What Would Ashton Do," and dozens of others. Its parent company, Connected Ventures LLC, says it takes in roughly $200,000 in monthly revenue from the shirts, about half of its total income. "A year from now things could be very different, but for now, T-shirts are a great way to monetize the Internet," says Josh Abramson, one of the site's founders.

How's this for an idea:

1. You're good with a camera.
2. Take some amazing photos of anything you want.
3. Take your photos to Cafepress.com.
4. Turn your photos into high-quality posters/prints.
5. Sell. Make $$$

The good thing about it: you don't spend a sen on inventory costs, you don't spend a sen on paying for a online payment gateway, you don't spend a sen on the handling and shipping of goods, you don't spend a minute going to the post office to send the goods out, you don't even need to spend a sen on Customer Service.

And the best thing about it: you get paid in US dollars.

Obviously the market for this sort of thing isn't in Asia, its in Europe and the US where their currency is strong, and the culture of online shopping is thriving. For us, US$20 is a lot of money, but for an American who has a liking of your photography/artwork/designs, US$20 is a pittance -- taking into account Purchasing Power Parity, US$20 to the average American is like RM$20 to the average Malaysian. But the profits to you are very real, and in US$.

So what are you waiting for? Go out there and make some money.

And remember ol' Aiz when you make your first million. :)

A debtful wedding

Damn, there are some people i know who SERIOUSLY need to read this article.

“Society has a perception that a big amount of wang hantaran reflects a better social status,� he said, adding that there were also those who related it to a family’s dignity, which they felt should be upheld.

One the things i just HATE about the Melayu society: the silly things that need to be done so that tak malu in front of others.

Cigar Quotes

How many bad habits do you know can inspire quotations of such grandeur and wit:

"While smoking a cigar, we are in the presence of eternity."
"A fine cigar is just like a woman. If you don't light it up just right and suck on it with a certain frequency, it will go out on you."

Hehehe... :)

The geek/hunk in us all

Bibi provided some interesting morning reading today, why women should pay more attention to the geeks. It started me thinking about mate preferences that this article suggests women have to make: the hunk with the smooth looks and flashy smile, or the geek, quietly punching away on his laptop in the corner. Perhaps this is stating the obvious, but why should women (or men for that matter) have to make such choices? Why not have both?

The danger of stereotyping is that it becomes so easy to overlook what's really there, or dismiss the unexpected as mere aberrations. Surely, it can't be fair to do either.

Why not be the hunk who has the penchant for tearing the innards out of a computer and the ability to put it all back together again; why not be the hunk who has a sensitive side, who understands the needs of his mate, and who cares for her loyally without reservation?

Conversely, why not be the handsome geek -- the geek who knows the difference between "strictly black tie" and t-shirt koyak, the geek who spends as much time on appearance as he does his geeky C++ manuals, the geek who knows how to wine and dine, who knows how to burn up the dance floor with the slickest, hippest moves?

Really, ladies, it doesn't have to be an either/or choice; and very, very often in life, it isn't, well not really anyway.

Further reading: The Geek Handbook, The Complete Geek (An Operational Manual), Black Tie: What do i wear?

The Death of Letters

A friend recently asked me why i start all my emails with "Dear ...", and i end all my emails so formally with, "Peace, Aizuddin Danian". I replied to him that's how i've always written my emails. In fact, that's how i write all my letters, digital or handwritten.

It got me thinking, why would he find that strange and unusual?

Looking through my inbox, both at work and at home, it seems that very few people do as i do. Of course, there is nothing inherently right or wrong with any style, but i have certainly noticed the way people write their emails are very different from how they would write a physical letter.

I wonder why is that?

Why do people feel that an email should be/can be written in a manner totally different that how they would handle physical letter? Aren't the two the same, in essence. Are there a different set of rules governing emails?

I think it has a lot to do with the perception we have towards emails. Many emails don't start with salutations because we don't feel we need to have one in emails; in physical letters, its different, because of the time and physical effort it takes to write one, we put more effort into personalizing it in an attempt to make the person reading feel that the letter is meant for him. Perhaps, a proper signature was never part of the "email-psyche" simply because it was impossible to have one; on a written document, it is a matter of pride and personal satisfaction to sign-off with a flourish and flair: the signature means something to us, the writer, and to him, the recipient.

I've never felt that emails are any different from physical letters. I've written more than my fair share of both, and while i think the balance has certainly swayed in favour of the expediency emails provide, i still take joy in writing the odd letter to the people truly close to me. An email, or a letter, is an expression of me to you, and i think that really only means something if i try my best to treat them both in the same way.

Boob job

This is a seriously cute animated GIF -- the wonders of the female anatomy! Warning: 18SX!

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About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from May 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

April 2005 is the previous archive.

June 2005 is the next archive.

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