Free and Fair

if you haven’t yet registered to vote in the Malaysian elections, you can do so today, Sunday June 12, at Sunway Giza, on the Ground Floor next to the Mr. Tom Yam restaurant or Baskin Robbins. the registration booth will be open from 12pm to 9pm, and all you will need is your IC. this is probably your last chance to register before the upcoming 13th General Election, so do go…!

and a very big thank you to everyone who’s been responding to my question on racism vs lack of public safety in the below post. i’m reading your responses with much interest. keep them coming…!


A Question For All

which is the bigger and more serious problem in malaysia – racism or the lack of public safety? and why?

addendum: it seems that most of the responses are towards the lack of public safety. but what about institutionalized racism? do you guys think that might be causing further economic inequality, which leads to a whole host of issues, of which the lack of public safety is one? or are they not related, and public safety is still the larger problem? or are they related, but public safety remains still the larger problem?



aiya i really didn’t want to be emo today, y’know, but the sensations are just here and i haven’t been able to shake them off. no matter what i do, i feel preoccupied – like i want to do something about what i’m feeling but i have absolutely nothing that is useful. no hands, no mind, no willpower, and all i can feel is this really dull pain. yes i’m aware i’m sounding like an angsty teenager, talking about ‘pain’ and all, but there’s really no other word for it. it’s like the underside of my skin has receptors, and they’re all in mutiny, standing up straight and boiling over so that i will wake up and do something. it feels like a textbook panic attack, in which i was once told that for several, very acute seconds you feel like dying.

i haven’t felt like i could write coherently and truthfully on this blog for a long time, and for just as long i haven’t felt like i could talk to the people closest to me about the things i truly think about and feel. i think all the trust debacles over the past few years have cumulatively been more than i could handle, and now there’s something within me that’s dysfunctional and broken as a result. sometimes i meet people who fix those issues and heal me just by sitting close to me, and saying some small inconsequential things, but these people are few and far in between and they often don’t know the effect they have on me. maybe if they did they wouldn’t be so cruel (to me), or they wouldn’t leave (me).

sadly i have come to think of myself as this person with life support, that i’m connected by some invisible tether to a space outside of me in which nothing but pure truth exists. it’s a small space, but it’s there, just for me and the person to whom i tell everything unadulterated and unabashed. i don’t know why it has to be a person but nothing else seems to compare. writing on paper, talking to god, talking to myself — none of these things work, because i need some kind of heat, a blink, a murmur that tells me there is a living, breathing being who could be doing other things with his or her time, is listening to me right now, and caring. caring: such a big and powerful force for this little world that we inhabit. it warms me and makes me want to create and expel honesty, pouring it all into that space of pure truth, so i can see it all and admire how simple and beautiful things can be when i remove myself from the muddle. but there are times when this security dissipates, and everything ceases to make sense to me. i can’t think. i can’t breathe. and then i feel like i feel tonight, full of hopelessness and very frightened.

how silly… understanding one’s existence only through something outside of oneself. but that’s just how i was built, incredibly weak like that.

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another summer break signaling another year gone by – likely the most challenging one i’ve had yet in this small lifespan of mine. i’ve sadly lost so many things in the short course of this year, but thankfully a lot of time was spent dreaming. and yet more importantly i’m learning how difficult it is to put into practice any lessons learned. but more on those another time… it would be nice to take a small break from those thoughts for a while.

i’m finally home for summer break, after a week or so tying up loose ends in NYC and another week spent on holiday with kafka, where i slept away almost every hour of each day. as always it is great to be back but this time it feels different. i almost feel like my time spent in malaysia is on some kind of a quota, and it’s running out. that’s a silly thing to say, i know, because i could be here for good after graduation, but who knows if that’s for sure? yes, yes, we are in control of our own lives and we all should do what we want to do, but the question is when exactly do we do what we want to do?

every year when i come back my grandmother looks thinner and thinner. she’s been on a speaking strike for some time now, but today i got her to call me by my name through bribing her with a ham cheen paeng, one of her favourite things to eat. it was a small triumph but i can’t help but wish really hard that all those years ago when i was 12 i’d gone to eat porridge with her at the little restaurant next to the bus station under the hotel in genting. but she’s got soul, and she’s a soldier.



in the midst of finals but suddenly overwhelmed with feelings of how much i miss my roommate. she left college midway through the year to take some time off to herself, which was and still is a good decision (i only wish i could do the same!), but there’s still a very big hole in my heart from her absence. i’ve become a lot sadder since she left, and in my quieter nights really miss how we would sit outside on the steps just to talk, or how we would go home drunk together after parties, giggly and silly as we stumble down the stairs to our room. we didn’t have the best relationship in the beginning of our roomie life two years ago, but circumstances and events have changed us both so much that inexplicably i find that she’s become one of my favorite people in the world. who would’ve thought? this crazy roommate of mine in sophomore year who did the most insane things that i simply could not understand, often with questionable intent… is now someone i love and care for so much. if anything went right in the later half of 2010 (and that was one shady year for us both), it was when she decided to chip away at all those layers of old skin and face masks, and allow her true self to emerge, and when i decided to chip away at the frost and distrust that lacquered my heart. she’s now growing up into such a fine young woman and i’m sad that i’m not there to see it. but i know she’s doing well, filling out those big shoes she was always meant to fill, and i’m very proud. rarely have i ever felt this proud of someone… and rarely do i miss someone this much.

in my headier moments i often think of taking a year off as well, if only so that we can make the walk to receive our diploma together, and graduate together.

so i just wanted to write and say that everyone deserves a second chance. we look past a lot of great people if we don’t, especially people who just need a little bit of time and attention from people who care, before they can lift themselves up of the wasteland that society sometimes leaves us in.


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