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 way....my 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.