Monday, December 24, 2007

What do you want to watch today?

A week into my new job and I'm beginning to worry...with wonderment no less.

I'm now with the opinion that we Malaysians (Malays more than anyone else) are addicted to tragedy. Other people's tragedy. Why? Because that's all they want to see on telly these days. I'm reading scripts after scripts of these things. Synopsis, story lines, idea pitches and development notes of programmes are filled with tragedy.

Don't get me wrong, I've got nothing against tragedy. Shit happens in this world, I know. But being in the media industry, I think we ought to be a little bit more inspirational than to sell to the masses that 'life sucks, don't bother changing it'. It worries me that 26 million people in this country get to tune in to shows that practically say 'there's no way out, it's been like that for ages, so don't bother'.

If you do drugs, you die. If you steal, you die. If you are forced into prostitution, you die. If you squander millions from the good guys, you die. DIE, DIE and DIE!!! Aiyoh...seems like there's no hope for these buggers. Have we condemned people to typical stereotypes? Is there no chance of a reprise, of turning a new leaf? Have we lost faith?

Hmmm...from the offering on telly these days, it sure seems like we have lost faith. Faith that people can still do good. Faith that there's a way out. Faith that deep in our hearts, there's a human being that wants to do good.

No wonder more people are turning off local programmes and switching on to international channels.

Therein lies my challenge. To change the face of television in this country.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Friends' Lives

Not too long ago, it was a phone call, an email occasionally or meeting up for dinner or afternoon tea on the weekends. That was how friends kept in touch, amidst a full and busy week of family, work and miscellaneous drama everywhere.

Yet, the age of technology gave people another outlet to this mundane, almost archaic venture of keeping in touch. It's called a blog! Everyone's got one (well, almost).

Yesterday I was called (cos' I'm the Helpdesk to my friends) to solve another problem. Someone wants to set up her blog to get paid but dunno what an RSS feed was. XML? What kind of shit is that?! How come the lines don't appear to be the way I want it?.....and it goes on...

What was interesting was this is a friend who's not the best-est of friend with technology but guess what...she's managed to setup a pretty impressive blog on her own. Kudos Drama should be proud. I'm sure you'll offer us mere mortals a glimpse of your life with the kids that's filled with giggles and raised eyebrows!

Even my Pathfinder buddy (the one that's Chinese but speaks Malay to each other like we're Malays! Yes, it's you Jeffrey Tan!) has got his very own...

So now that everyone's got a story to tell and the space to tell them to the world, I am looking forward to interesting tales from beyond the ones and zeros of cyberspace.

I wonder what tomorrow will bring to Drama Mama...(fingers crossed)

International Helpdesk...hello?

When you buy a product, it usually comes with a warranty...and a Customer Care phone number to call in case the unimaginable ever happens to your purchases. But what do you do when the warranty runs out? You of course call on one of your more savvy friends...and assign them as your Helpdesk...for life! And that's where my story begins...'Good Morning! I'm Chee Yeong and I'll be your Helpdesk for life. How may I help you today?'

The occasional I-Can't-Log-In problem, My-Car-Makes-A-Funny-Sound problem, What's-The-Name-Of-That-Song questions and Do-You-Think-Black-Is- The-New-White opinions was the usual challenges I have to deal with. And it's all local of course...until recently.

Someone decided to make a long distance call (from Macau!) while on holiday with the family to seek the Helpdesk!! I guess overnight, I was elevated to the status of International Helpdesk....
'wherever you are in the world, whenever the time you decide to call. Always glad to be serving you.'

Wow...that's peace of mind. If only big companies dish out such outstanding service to their customers. I know one company would not dare to even think of doing this...Microsoft. Their lines will be off the hook crazy.

(This article is written on a Mac...and proud of it!)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Load up on Hairspray!

It's been some time now since there was a great musical movie that gets you, High School Musical and it's sequel aside. I'm talking Moulin Rouge, Phantom of The Opera, Rent and Dreamgirls. And now...we have Hairspray!

It's a story about a large girl (trying to be PC) trying to fulfill her dream of being a dancer on the Corny Collins Show. Set amidst the racial segregation and integration drama of the 60's, it proves to be an engaging, entertaining and downright feet-tapping-crazy kinda show.

I must congratulate the producers of Hairspray for casting Nikki Blonsky as the lead. She is so bubbly she'll perk you right up with her charm and warmth as Tracy Turnblad, the large girl with a dream.

Despite her size, she is as agile as any when it comes to strutting her stuff on the dance floor. It's just a joy seeing her go through her moves when she breaks into song and dance her heart out. I'll bet large-sized girls around the world will look up to her as a role model no doubt.

For a relatively newcomer to the movie scene, Nikki's first outing sees her working with a long list of established names...John Travolta, Michelle Pfeifer, Zach Efron, Queen Latifah, Amanda Bynes, James Marsden and Christopher Walken. That's quite a feat for a newbie, yet she held her own.

And speaking of Travolta, this movie sees him goes back to the genre that immortalised him forever. Beieve me, it's a thrill to see the man back in his dancing shoes, doing what he does best...albeit not as a man!

As Edna Turnblad, Travolta shines in shaking his booty (a REALLY huge one!) on screen that makes you just chuckle uncontrollably. Under all the make-up and prosthetics, he still managed to give an unforgettable performance. Truly a great performance from a multi-talented actor!

I thoroughly enjoyed the songs from the movie. Heavily influenced by the 60's era, the arrangement and compositions gets you going from the very first song in the opening of the movie till the end. I'm getting the 2-CD edition of the soundtrack. Fantastic!

If you haven't watched now to a theater near you and shell out some dough on a great time at the movies.

Monday, September 3, 2007

You are your thoughts

I was having a conversation with a friend today and noticed a pattern among some of our friends. They say that work sucks, can't find the man/woman that they want, money is scarce and blah blah blah...Too much negativity to put into words. But they say they want work that they're passionate about, to have man/woman that love/cares/respects them, to not have to worry about where next month's salary is coming from and blah blah blah... Too much hope to fill these pages.

It dawned on me that these friends of ours seem to be pulled stronger by the under current of their fixed beliefs in life than what they really want. I want a man/woman/marriage but I hate man/woman... Errr... Houston, we have a problem! Men are not gentlemen. women are gold diggers. How lah to have a relationship like that.

Don't you know that what you hold dear in your thoughts will manifest itself in the real world? The same real world that you wake up to every morning and retire every night! And trust me, what you hold dear are not the intended 'wants' in your life but the shoulda/woulda/coulda's of your fearsome, scared, defensive life.

So the remedy is... drum rolls please.....STOP THINKING THE WORLD'S OUT TO GET YOU!! Stop closing the doors to infinite possibilities. And for heaven sake, stop punishing yourself by punishing others!! Just stop, stop, stop and stop!!

The Law of Attraction is simple... you bring forth into existence your deepest thought. For you are the Master Creator of your reality. So the bullshit that you've been brewing in that huge ass cauldron of yours is going to be real, like it or not. In the end, you've got no one to blame for not having anything or anyone who gives a rat's ass about you but yourself. Unless of course, a sad, pitiful life was what you intended in the first place.

Hmmm...some people just love to beat themselves up. My advice... be a friend and knock the lights out of this person to wake them up. If they ask you why did you do that, just tell them "You told me to!" They asked for it, trust me. Really.

Merdeka - What's Next?

Just 2 days ago, our nation celebrated its 50th anniversary of its independence. In my opinion, it was a bit of an anti-climax really. No real essence, all glitter. Is this what we've become as a nation?

I was at Pantai Hill on the eve of the big day, waiting to catch a glimpse of the fireworks display at KLCC. Found a great spot, parked the car and waiting eargerly. 5 minutes before midnight, I turned around and saw a huge gathering (about 150 or so people) as eager as I am for some good fireworks fun. The clock strikes midnight...and we waited some more. And more waiting... 40 minutes later, still no firewors in sight. What a damper...and people started leaving. So did I.

I went and drove around Bangsar and noticed the almost silent atmosphere. Isn't it supposed to be a time to rejoice as a nation after 50 years of striving to be a great nation? The silence only told me that it wasn't the case. That it was a sombre occasion. What happened?

Then the sound of fireworks broke the silence of the night and lit the sky... it was 1 hour and 10 minutes past midnight! Apparently, too many speeches delayed the display. I just wonder what was more important, the celebration of a nation or the speeches of politicians?

2 days later and nothing has changed. I really hope people of this country will wake up from their slumber of denial and realise that they have a role to play. Soldiering on will only create more soldiers with no soul. I hate to see us becoming a country full of zombies who can't think for themselves and take steps in being great together.

50 years has come and gone...what's next Malaysians?

Sunday, August 19, 2007

6 days

That's all it takes to make an otherwise sane, logical and strong person turn into an ugly mess...

When someone you love deeply goes away for an extended time (read that as more than 24hrs!), sanity and reason goes flying out the window. Time gives no meaning, home is just a prison, going out seem like a daunting task.

It is time like this that truly tests a person's resolve and ultimately a person's love for another. I'm glad to say that this time away makes the heart grows ever more fonder. But it's been a painful and long process. I'm just hoping there's an end to it soon, so that something great will grow out of it.

I know there is and it will...

I miss you terribly.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Voices from the past

Got a call from AW yesterday and was told that someone was looking for me. It was Pasree and unknown to her, she will be playing a character voice in the animation I'm currently producing. When I told her that she got the part, she was so excited. I was taken aback a little by the enthusiasm, to say the least. But I'm glad cos it tells me that the project I'm in is headed towards the right direction.

Later that night, I was attending the Digi Apostrophe thingy and met up with another soul that went for the audition. I've known Bernice from the time I was working in Planet Films (some 9 years ago!) We got along talking about it and like Pasree, she too was overly excited about the prospect of this project. She said "Finally, I get to play a character for an animation! Been doing too many voiceovers for radio and telly. Please, please, give me a part!" We went on and on about the project and though she didn't get a role in the upcoming episode, I know she will be in one of the episodes, if not more. I like her voice. We'll KIV it lah!

Finally...some real proof that this is a great project to be in. Just when I thought that I was just the handful of people who's excited about it. Their enthusiasm and wanting to be involved in it really made my day.

Digi Apostrophe

Went to attend the Digi Apostrophe competition last night and it was really interesting!

It's an initiative by Digi to flush out the creative geniuses from the average blokes and showcase their work being interpreted by artists. Over 8500 entries and only 16 was selected to be showcased. The task? Write a short, short story... using only 16 words!! Hah...

Just when you think the average Malaysian public is a dumb lot who cannot create anything new creatively and would buy into anything they are being fed (according to the some people in the government)... it was interesting to see the entries. Some were macabre, some sad and most just got you thinking. All in 16 words?! Yes, more DOES NOT mean better.

Here's an initiative from a corporate body that is serious in promoting the arts in this country, not some haphazard effort with a logo and a slogan with nothing to show. Bravo Digi!!

This is only the first of 3 events for this year. I'm looking forward to more...hehehe. Check them out at

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Strange bedfellows

An email can really spoil your day some time...

Got one that just droved me up the roof the other day. A colleague decides to be stupid and tried to cover up his incompetencies by doing a tai-chi number on me. In his effort to look like he had it under control and seem important, he even included my boss in the email...mistake number one! You whiny little thing...

He must not have known never to cross me...not when I'm right!...mistake number two. So, short to say that he got a rather not so nice email from yours truly (that I so generously included my boss as well). You see, this man's been working in an environment where people with grouses never voice their thoughts. Boy, do they talk among themselves and behind your back but never to confront. But me, not saying something when there's something to be said? Must be a dream then.

I'm sure it came as a surprise to him. And I'm sure he very much regretted using that tone with me for I know for a fact that he was called in to a meeting with his entire department by the boss. Just to show that sometimes, a little act of arrogance in the name of power can backfire quite badly. Especially in my space.

I have yet to receive his reply to my email...I'm still hoping.

I was just thinking...why does some people act strangely when they given a little power? How come people lose their sense of self and dignity when entrusted with a little authority? Can you get high on power? What drives these people? Hmmmm....power and stupidity makes strange bedfellows.

Tuesday, July 31, 2007


Dear Parents,

Not a day goes by that I am not marveled by your act of giving.

You gave to one another and made me come true.

And when I came into this world, you gave me more that you ever dreamt for yourselves. I can imagine the nights I kept you up and the days that I made you worry, for you know not what to do with me and yet you kept trying. You kept wanting the best for me, though sometimes, i think you didn't really ask me what was it I want.

When I got into trouble, you were the first people I thought of...not to rescue me but I was afraid that I would disappoint you. I know deep down that it will hurt you, though sometimes, I just choose to ignore it. As the years gone by, and as the nagging, scolding and pestering subsides, I realise that you've left an imprint in my life. A blueprint of how I will lead my life. My choices, in hindsight, seems to be guide by you. My strength seems to be gathered from you. And my wisdom and how I look at the world, seems to be from your eyes.

It would be foolish for me to think that I can run away from you. There were times that it seemed like a good idea. But reality is, I am your child and nothing will ever change that. It is as certain as death. I have learnt to embrace who you are to me and I have learnt to accept me as I am. I am a being that you nurtured and put your hopes onto. Yet, I am not you and have to live a life of my own.

So, I want to tell you that everything you have said and done for me, I appreciate. The times you thought I've turned a deaf ear, I've actually listened. And in the moment of silence, your voices are the loudest in my mind. I was born complete by you and have been ever since.

Thank you for your kindness and selflessness. You have made me want to be better. Not better than you but a better me.

I just want to tell you that I am fine and forever will be.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Life Changing

Someone email this to me the other day. Thought it might inspire some of you out there to dare to be different.

I personally like Steve Jobs's Stanford Commencement Address. I even have the actual sound file for this speech. Very cool!


10 Articles That Changed My Life
July 17th 2007 by Shaun Boyd

It's easy to find a well written article.

It's not always easy to find a well written article with genuine value.

That's because the Internet has nearly limitless value -- you can use it to look up the correct spelling of a word, or to translate text between languages, or even figure out "what's the name of that guy from that movie who was in that other movie?"

You can also use the Internet to go shopping while at home, or do job searching while at work, or publish blog entries while on vacation.

Taking it to the next level, you can use the Internet to interact with people, make new friends around the world, or research your next dating partner.

What I've discovered to be most surprising, though, is that the Internet contains life-altering advice.

Regardless of this, most people don't think to seek it out. They regularly use the Internet as a convenient source of information, but fail to recognize its potential as an instrument for self-improvement.

Online articles that promote life-altering advice are like hidden gems of the Internet -- they're accessible, but they're difficult to find because of the sheer abundance of everything else that's accessible.

For this reason, I've compiled the following list of articles containing value so profound that they literally changed my life.

I therefore extend my gratitude to the authors of these great articles:

#1 - Steve Jobs' 2005 Stanford Commencement Address

For teaching me to stop attributing value to unimportant things, and start trusting my instincts. Before reading Jobs' speech, I was working a job I hated because it was really the only thing I ever tried. It was what I knew. Jobs says "You've got to find what you love." His article helped me realize that I was wasting my life living someone else's dream. If I settled for someone else's dream, I'd grow old and die without ever seeking my own.

#2 - Violent Acres' Most People Are Depressed For a Very Good Reason

For teaching me that being depressed had nothing to do with the serotonin in my brain -- the reason I felt depressed was because my life sucked. I was making choices just to appease the opinions of people around me, when I should have been making choices to appease myself. This article helped me realize that medication was not the solution to my joyless lifestyle -- the true remedy was to start making my own choices to live a more fulfilling life.

#3 - Steve Pavlina's Don't Die With Your Music Still In You

For teaching me that "to abandon a comfortable lifestyle that isn't deeply fulfilling is to abandon nothing." Steve's article helped me understand I was defending a comfortable career without good reason. At the start of each workday, I was reluctant to get out of bed. At the end of each workday, the amount of satisfaction I received from the work I was doing was nil. Steve caused me to ask myself: Why should I stay loyal to such a meaningless job?

#4 - Brian Kim's How to Find What You Love to Do

For emphasizing the importance of self-assessment. Brian made me take a good hard look at myself and figure out what it is that makes me happiest. What's more, his article discusses how uncertainty and fear are the most common obstacles preventing you from doing what you love to do. His solution involves self-analysis: identify your skills and interests, then use your strengths to live your passion. In Brian's words, "conquer indecision and ACT, and you will most definitely conquer all fear."

#5 - Fred Gratzon's Top 10 Signs You're Made to be an Entrepreneur

For helping me understand that the reason I'm reluctant to get a job is because I'd rather be the boss, president, or sole proprietor of my own creation. Thanks to Fred's article, I was able to see the entrepreneur in me: I'm always looking for a way for things to be simplified, made more efficient, or automated by a computer. There's a reason I feel this way -- and it's for the same reason that I don't want to have to answer to someone else.

#6 - Steve Pavlina's 10 Reasons You Should Never Get a Job

For teaching me that working for other people is stupid. Self-employment using passive income is the best way to earn money without trading away life's freedoms. In other words, Steve helped me understand it's possible to be "Happily Jobless."

#7 - Darren Rowse's 18 Lessons I've Learnt About Blogging

For teaching me to use the power of exponential growth. Like any other long-term investment, creating a successful blog takes time. Along the way, you're bound to have ups and downs, and people will undoubtedly tell you that you suck. Darren says that so long as you be yourself, work hard, and are willing to experiment, your efforts will be rewarded.

#8 - Caro Clarke's Are You a Writer?

For helping me realize my dream of becoming a writer. Although many people have tried to tell me that I'm a writer at heart, I always disregarded their comments under the belief that it wasn't true. After reading Caro's article, I recognized the writer in me: I get my inspiration from the world around me, and write every day because I enjoy it. When I'm not writing, I'm often thinking about writing. The signs are clear -- I am a writer.

#9 - Danielle Gibbings' Need a Reboot?

For being the very first source of encouragement from a complete stranger. Danielle discovered my blog during its infancy, and was inspired by the movement I was trying to create. She wrote about LifeReboot on her own blog to help lead more readers to my site. She read my site often and left encouraging comments. She sent me my very first donation. Danielle's supportive attitude helped me more than she'll ever know. She helped me build confidence in my decision to pursue writing, and caused me to realize how I was finally on the right track.

#10 - My own 10 Reasons It Doesn't Pay To Be "The Computer Guy"

For demonstrating that people enjoy the things that I write. After publishing my "Computer Guy" article, its popularity skyrocketed overnight. Until then, I had never written anything that gained such attention. To me, the immediate reaction I received from this single article was proof that I had a talent for writing.

Again, I'd like to extend my thanks to the authors. Thanks for sharing your advice, inspiration, and encouragement.

Chances are, some of these articles won't affect you the same way they affected me. I believe that's to be expected, since we're all different people.

The fascinating thing is, everyone has their own "gems of the Internet" just waiting to be discovered.

Think about it. Life-altering advice exists online. Advice to help you get out of debt, leave a dead-end relationship, or whatever type of self-improvement you can possibly imagine. All you need to do is consciously seek it out.

You'll know once you've discovered it. The advice will resonate with you, inspire you, and maybe even change your life.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Hi, my name is...

While flipping through the newspaper recently, I came across a news article about Ning Baizura getting married. Another celebrity marriage, you say. Right... What caught my eye wasn't the news about her nuptial. It was a name. I'm referring to her new beau's name. What's interesting was how long it is! OMAR SHARIF CHRISTOPHER LAYTON DALTON. Don't try pronouncing it with your mouth full, you may just choke and die!

The guy is English (I think) and of course, has converted to Islam (a pre-req in this country!) As tradition goes, got to change name lah (though at present, I understand, the rules have changed somewhat regarding names)
A few questions come to mind :

1. Why in the world would you want to name yourself after a movie star of yesteryear that is synonymous with some of the greatest classics ever made? It's not like he's from Timbuktu, never watched telly and can claim ignorance. But come on...OMAR SHARIF!??

2. I wonder there was enough little boxes in his application form for spouse visa with the Immigration Department...

3. When they procreate eventually, the resulting offspring will have an even tougher time with filling forms...imagine this 'Sharifah Maya Shereena bt. Omar Sharif Christopher Layton Dalton'!

4. Have you ever wondered how many spaces are there in your MyKad for a person's name? Will they issue you 2 MyKads in case the name does not fit into the name column...(IC 1 : Sharifah Maya Shereena binti (bersambung), IC 2 : (disambung) Omar Sharif Christopher Layton Dalton)

...and the list of questions goes on and on...

But seriously...what's in a name? Apart from the obvious, it is a very personal thing and yet we do not seem to have any choice over. We merely inherit the name given to us by our parent (pray that you have a clever set of parents). Some unfortunate ones have to live with such enormous pressure of answering to an embarrassing name that borders being obscene. You can understand why the guy at the corner of the waiting area in a bank refuses to answer when the clerk shouts out loud, 'Chow Chee Bai' (smelly cunt). He wish he could just shrivel up and die!

So for those who actually have a choice in naming yourself, choose wisely. I'm of course referring to Islamic converts. Yes...yes...choose a name with great meaning that reflects who you are/or want to be (whichever tickles your fancy). Yaadah, yaadah, yaadah... But it seems that there's more to consider if you happen to be a Chinese Muslim convert. Like :

1. Will you keep the name given to you by your parents? (Most parents find it unfilial of you if you abandon it) Ancestral curse, family shame and threats of being disowned aside, this can potentially be really messy.

2. But my dad's name is Cheong Fatt Choy, not Abdullah... (again, I'm told the regulation regarding this has changed but it's still a consideration.)

3. The eventual offspring...errr...what to name him/her? Can have Chinese name ah? Got bin/binti whatever at the back ah? Can him/her carry the dad's family surname ah? Ah? Ah?

Possible permutations :

1. Maya Karina Chong Fatt-Tze bt. Muammar Gadafi Chong Lan Si
2. Maya Karina Chong Fatt-Tze bt. Muammar Gadafi Chong
3. Maya Karina Chong bt Muammar Gadafi Chong
4. Maya Karina bt Muammar Gadafi
5. Maya Karina Chong Fatt-Tze
6. Maya Karina Chong

Hmmmm....personally, I prefer option 5 from the lot. Then they will be those who will say, 'Itu bukan nama Melayu' Errr...the resulting child will be mixed, so yeah...she is not Mah Lai to begin with, technically speaking. If it's a boy, well, then it'll be a little more testing.

So, does a name signals your race and decides how you will be treated in the future (regardless of how mixed up you are to begin with) or is it just a gift that a loving set of parents give to their child? Idealistically, I favour the latter but then you'll never know.

Important thing is, let the parents choose. Nobody else has any business in saying otherwise. You are not the one who will eventually have live with the name.


Heroes....those that stood for a cause that inspired them to charge against all odds for the greater good. Unselfish, selfless, determined and a pillar of hope...

Well, that's the rose-tinted and idealistic version of it, of course. Sadly, there are some in this country who's definition of Heroes are a little monotone. Here's what happened recently in a meeting :

Buyer : I like your animated series...will like to buy it but can you change the title of the show?

Seller : Errr...what do you mean?

Buyer : We are buying the show through a political party. So, I think you should drop 'Wira' from the title.

Seller : What's wrong with the title? It's a show about Heroes of Independence.

Buyer : Yeah, I know... but you got Chinese and Indian personalities in it. So it's not apt.

Seller : Errr...(stunned silence)

In this day and age, callousness like this do exist. Politics and common respect doesn't seem to be good friends. What kind of a message does this Seller wants to perpetuate in this country? For me, it seems like unless you're a Malay, your contribution to this country, big or small, is not appreciated, let alone be recognised. History, it seems, are shaped by a process of elimination. Champion the popular ideal, no matter how skewed and subdue the rest. Suddenly, there's a caste system in place: the desirables vs. the undesirables.

Men and women of all ethnicity populate this wonderous land of ours. They toil and with their own blood, sweat and tears tend to this country. Yet, when it's time to shed a little appreciation for their effort, some party will like to stake the entire claim for it. It's not a matter of how much you've given for this country, it matters more if you belong to the right race.

Wake up people! Who in their right mind still plays the race card in this day and age? For a moment of racial pride, everything we have worked towards in creating harmony and strength by unity seems to be thrown out the window. People with these kind of conversations are but a small minority...but they tend to be the one who has the power to influence the masses with messages that they send.

I am always mindful of the power of communication. I work in the communications line. The material I produce are watched by all age groups and all segment of the population. And I've come across on many occasions, some material that I deem a little derogatory to race, gender and common decency. What kind of message am I perpetuating in participating in something like that? And almost everytime, I am able to change it for the better...almost everytime.

You out there...take a little time today, sit back, and think about what is it that you are perpetuating out there in the world. Are your actions advocating more fear, holding out and intolerance due to the differences in race...or are you in this together with everybody else.

You can make history...and heroes. Let's not have history make you.

Who are you?

It's going to be a great celebration, we were told. As the nation approaches its 50th year of independence, it is a milestone in the country's achievement since gaining freedom, they extolled. Yes, we have one of the world tallest skyscraper and yes, we even have have a space programme (albeit too soon to know it's eventual fate).

But the question remains, who are we? Or a better question is, who have we become?

The idealistic views of our founding fathers about our great nation, sadly, have lost it's fire in the midst of today's rat race. Those people who risked everything in their struggle to gain us the freedom we enjoy today must be turning in their graves, for we have systematically diluted the spirit this country was founded upon.

What happened to striving for the greater good? What happened to equality? The introduction of a policy to close the economic gap between the races has spiralled out of control. What started as a noble idea has turned into a fiasco reeked with abuse. It has created more dependency rather than independence. Handouts, special privilieges and favours rules the day. And when it doesn't go their God, you won't be able to hear the end of it. Like the powers that be owed it to them. And the worst part of it...the rich got richer, the poor stayed poor and the middle class, well, let's just say they are confused.

So, as we celebrate a milestone in our great nation's freedom, who do we want to identify ourselves with? A Malaysian or a Malay/Chinese/Indian/Dan Lain-Lain? 50 years is a long time but in the evolutionary timeline of great communities of the world, 50 years is just a bleep on the screen. We may have a long way to go before the people of this country will refer themselves without hesitation or doubt that they are Malaysian and proud of it. But how hard are we going to make it for ourselves? Time will tell but history has a way of not letting us forget.

Happy Birthday Malaysia from a proud Malaysian.