Back in May 2018, something historical happened – BN who held power for past 61 years lost the general elections – the story detailed in Part 1 & Part 2. And with that, the old Malaysia died and a “New Malaysia” or in Bahasa, “Malaysia Baru” was born. Image source: Wikipedia
However since then, the New Malaysia like a newborn baby have been struggling to stand up, been making too many silly mistakes, edging dangerously on race & religion related matters and yet to show any positive results.
On a daily basis, there is no lack of news of power tussles, accusations that one political party is leading another, race & religion is under threat and the proposed succession plan not materialising. The political landscape is indeed in a mess but we will come to the main actors, i.e. the politicians and the so-called NGOs later.
Got this quotable quotes in my Whatsapp this morning and given that I am not from India, I was curious on only one thing – who is this Sudha Kulkarni Murty (I found later that she is a Padma Shri Dr) and how or what made her to quote this?
By the way, the actual complete quote is this:-
“With my experience in life, I want to tell you that having good relationships, compassion and peace of mind is much more important than achievements, awards, degrees or money.”
This was 6 years ago on water security index when Malaysia were in par with South Korea, Japan and Singapore on water security (capacities to secure enough water for their people). Image source: Recap Asia
With the regular incidents of pollution, will the level of water security will go down the drain and put Malaysia water security at jeopardy?
Foodpanda riders protest is nothing new – on regular basis, we had employees’ protest over unfair treatment, low wages and improvement of working conditions. Back in August, there were even protests from Utusan daily workers for salaries not paid for last 2 months – image source: NST
Ok I used the word “crisis” for fun – seriously I think the Foodpanda riders are taking the clueless Pakatan Harapan politicians for a ride. Personally I don’t use delivery service to order my meals – it at times expensive, it takes time for the food to arrive and if need to get food from outside, I can easily drive out.
Looking at this video when it came out a couple days ago, I thought that these are not Malaysians. From the looks of them, I thought they are probably from China attending some function in the country and by sheer ignorance; do not know the national anthem of the country. It is understandable if they choose not to stand up and respect the national anthem.
Water pollution & water disruption to consumers is not new – the above was back in October 2016 when it was discovered that a toxic solvent had been dumped into a tributary of a river that flows into the Sungai Semenyih water treatment plant. Earlier this month, the plant was shut down due to “odor pollution”.
On Sept 23, it was closed due to contamination from Sungai Lalang near the Semenyih Hitech area, and a day earlier, it was shut down due to contamination believed to be from an illegal factory along Jalan Sungai Lalang. Image source: The Star
Considering how water pollution is causing hardship to the consumers in this country and the level of punishment is not enough to stop pollution from recurring (and causing water supply disruptions), we need to treat all these polluters as terrorists and water pollution in particular as a determined terrorist attack.
Sadhguru– “We don’t need more Hindus, more Christians, or more Muslims – we need more Buddhas, more Jesuses, and more Krishnas – then there will be true change. Every human being has that inner potential”
(All the characteristics of a Yogi and more – Sadhguru has it all but he is also practical and a man who uses science as means to the end. He explains the basic of science & the impact clearer to a layman than in a science book – Image Source: Quora)
I have been following up with the teaching & speeches of Sadhguru in the past few years, not because he talks about Hinduism alone – most of the times he doesn’t even mention Hinduism – but rather he is one of the first Hindu Yogi who spoke more sense and does not shy away from the real issues that confronts the world today – economy disparity, the abuse of power and worsening of the environment and the impact on humans.
Yes at the same time, he infuses the teachings and way of life as a Hindu in his talks but it is done very implicitly in forms of the laws of the universe, yoga, dharma and morality.
(The front entrance of the hotel – Image Source: Amoma)
We had a scheduled 69 days stay in Cape Verde for project implementation, so it was crucial that we nailed the accommodations right from the start.
It’s crucial because as in the past projects, we can expect a stressful & long working hours – so we will always be looking forward towards to a cozy warm bed, a clean room and a minimum room service. Usually for long term working days, we will arrange for apartment so that we have a common room & kitchen but renting house or apartment for short period in Cape Verde was not feasible. Further of the expected long working hours, it will be tiring if we expect to come back & clean up the apartment as well.
(Space exploration – this is where the future lies and we need to look beyond, move beyond our comfort zone. Image source: discovermagazine.com)
Well, let’s read this interesting piece of development when it comes to the direction of the nation:-
Malaysia now has a National Space Policy to allow the country to look into developing technologies related to aerospace and turn it into a new economic contributor.
With the policy in place, authorities can plan to develop this sector systematically and ensure it is well managed so that the nation will benefit from it.
Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said that fields related to space science, be it research or creating new technologies, have vast potential and he was confident that Malaysia could become a significant contributor to the world in these areas.
The Prime Minister said he was happy to read about the success story of astrophysics PhD student Nurul Adlyka Ainul Annuar, whose discovery in the field of astronomy made headlines around the world.
The issue of religion in this country has been a very sticky issue especially when it comes to issues relating to Muslims and Non Muslims.
One such case is the issue of implementing hudud – it will be interesting to see how this works out the non Muslim component political parties of the Government with the upcoming RUU 355 which will be presented by the Government in Parliament. There is already voices of dissenting to the proposed changes from MCA, MIC and component political parties from East Malaysia but let’s see how these guys will actually react when the changes actually tabled in Parliament. If you ask me, the whole thing about RUU 355 looks more politicial than religion.
Another has been the unilateral conversion of children in a marriage where one parent converts to Islam – a case in point has been the case of Indira Gandhi, a case that gone all the way up to the Federal Court for decision. The husband convert already gone into hiding with one of the children and remains missing despite mounting court orders. I am not sure what that achieves other than causing high distress and bad experience for the children. In the end, the family remains disunited and parents at each other’s throats and time wasted at the courts.
Of course, there are others that is considered “out of this world” such as building tombstone in a school. It does not matter if 80% of the students in the school is not Muslim or if there is no consent from the parents & teachers.
But it does a great concern when we try mixing religion & politics into our schools. It would have been a different story if the same parties had build a science lab or an astronomy observatory for the students. I don’t see how we can achieve high income nation status with building tombstones and not science labs. We sure need to make a reality check on what we need to present as educational item for the young minds.
Anyway as I said, the issue of religion in this country has been a very sticky issue and it will be so in the coming years. Now that leads me to a very interesting news recently relating to my fellow Hindus for Thaipusam.
A group of vigilantes behind the Facebook page called the “Thaipusam Spraying Group”, have threatened to use aerosol spray paint on women, including those who wear the saree (Indian traditional dress for women) with their backs exposed.
Accompanying the warning were pictures of saree blouse designs that the group deemed inappropriate. “Advance Warning to Hindu Female Patrons coming to Thaipusam festival, beware of being sprayed with Aerosol paint if found inappropriately dressed”, said the group in its “about the page” column.
Federal police Corporate Communications Head ACP Asmawati Ahmad told FMT the post could be considered a crime, punishable under Section 507 of the Penal Code for criminal intimidation, or Section 233 of the Communications and Multimedia Act for improper use of network facilities or network services. “So don’t taint a religious event by doing things that can disrupt public harmony and peace,” she advised.
The post was published last week, and at the time of publication, the group had close to 150 members. A Facebook user by the name of Henry Barnabas, who allegedly created the page, wrote on his personal Facebook page that the post was meant to protect the “ritual and culture” of Hindus.
“Let’s spread the positive message through this group, so they will also get knowledge and respect the meaning of Thaipusam. “Most youngsters these days don’t know our history. Thaipusam for them is just to be glamorous, dancing, etc. Let’s bring some awareness among the youth and the upcoming generation,” he said.
Barnabas also called for his followers to make the post viral, saying that women today were behaving like “call girls”. “Who to blame? Boys trying to protect girls but girls behaving like call girls and at the end of the day, when they are in trouble they will blame the guys.”
I can’t recall when was the last time I visited Batu Caves (even worse, Batu Caves during Thaipusam) but if I am not mistaken it was couple years ago when I attended someone’s wedding at the wedding hall in the temple grounds or when we had to shave my daughter’s head during prayers. I don’t know which is which. The massive crowd, lack of parking space, the heaps of rubbish, the issue of safety, my own reflection of religion – I don’t know which of these reasons that made me to shun Batu Caves during Thaipusam. I guess, I rather pray in a more conducive manner.
So when I heard of the “Thaipusam Spraying Group”, I admit I had mixed feelings. On one hand I was concerned that someone is trying to force their set of religious values onto others by means of violence (even though it may be limited to spraying), something seems to be rare when it comes to Indians – we even had people with short pants coming to temples for prayers in the past (how about naked Sandhus during Kumbh Mela, one of the most important Hindu event in India?), so what is so wrong with some sarees with modern designs?
On the other hand, it was comical since there are worse things happening during Thaipusam than some pretty ladies wearing a designer saree – how about starting with cleanliness of the temple area in the first place?
Yes I agree that there should be minimal standards when it comes to devotees coming to places of religion (no one will accept anyone walking in naked to pray unless of course it is a Sandhu, right?) but I don’t think sarees with some designs is so degrading and causes high tension at places of religion.
Seriously guys, the notion of pushing down one’s religious throat with force and violence need to stop. Religion as I mentioned before, in my opinion is something personal and it is just between you and Him. This is also why I prefer morality compared to religion any time, any day.
The last thing we need in this country is moral policing vigilantes that makes threats and causes apprehension on others. So calm down everyone, designer sarees will not cause the end of the world and we do have other priorities in life. So please have great days ahead.