Celebrating Independence Day in Malaysia


That’s right, you will never see me or hear I say “Happy Independence Day Malaysia” because that is factually incorrect.

I saw a post on Facebook the other day, asking their audience what their opinions are on the spirit of Merdeka. The first line of that post stated, ” This year marks Malaysia’s 57th Independence Day”, and naturally, being the passionate Sarawakian that I am, I commented back “Not Malaysia, but Malaya. Malaysia did not exist until 1963.”

Here’s the deal – call me ignorant or blame the school textbooks – but back when I was in school, the whole 5 years of studying sejarah (history) I learned that Sabah and Sarawak gained Independence through the formation of Malaysia. I carried that “knowledge” until I went to college, where I learned from Wikipedia that Sarawak had gained Independence before forming Malaysia, in Malaysian Studies. Now, tell me how messed up is that??

As a rakyat residing in Malaysia, I cannot ignore 31st August, because without that historical day, Malaysia most likely would not have existed. But everyone need to stop saying “Happy Independence Day Malaysia” every year on the 31st of August for a simple fact that Malaysia was only formed on the 16th of September in 1963!

And then saying “Happy Malaysia Day” later is just redundant.

So, let me answer the questions posted by Stuff@School:

Unity:
I grow up moving around and thus moving schools. When I was the new kid, the only question that I was familiar with is “Where are/were you from?” That changed when I went to a new school in PJ and my new classmates then (now bffs fo evah) asked me 3 questions: “Are you Chinese?” “Are you Malay?” “Then, what are you?”

Unity to me, comes from the mentality of not segregating along the lines of race and religion. I’m best friends with great people not because of their race and/or religion, simply because I’m in love with their personality. To me, I see that the only reason for anyone to learn about everybody’s background is to be prihatin (mindful) of each and everyone’s culture, as well as being able to respect their personal choices and lifestyle.

I don’t believe the younger generation is to be blamed for the “threat of unity”. That’s just an excuse. Schools have the opportunity to raise one generation after another about the importance of tolerance and unity. Parents and older family members share the same responsibilities by teaching their children and young ones to love and have a sense of compassion and understanding towards the people around them. Take these away and have them live and grow up among a society of ignorance and they will grow up ignorant.

Standing in unity is as easy as taking the initiative to give everybody a chance in your life and putting aside the differences. It’s not rocket science and certainly not a place for anyone to point fingers at, because ultimately it comes back down to us – are we doing what we can to continue standing in unity? Your (collective) answers determine the future of Malaysia 50 years down the line. So, if we’re still pointing fingers, we are NOT doing this right.

Spirit of Merdeka:
Personally, 31st of August means almost nothing to me. But, tell me, what is highlighted every year in conjunction with Merdeka? 🙂

No, I have never experienced the need to fight with my life to be independent from the British colony, Japanese army, and communism. In fact, Merdeka to me is more than just a mental note that we have been independent for more than 50 years (including Sabah and Sarawak). What we often forget (and casually be reminded through Petronas ads) is a simple exercise of unity through love and understanding. We’re different yet one and the same when we share the same vision, hopes, and dreams.

Every year, I celebrate Independence Day in Malaysia by remembering that I’m blessed to live in a country blossomed with beautiful cultures, delicious food, colourful personalities, and stunning landscapes. What more could I ask for? 🙂

Hariati Azizan of The Star approached me after my comment on the post, asking, “How can we make Merdeka more inclusive for our Sabah and Sarawak brothers and sisters?” Here are my answers:

I took part in the Bacaan Ikrar two years ago wearing an Iban traditional costume (known as the ngepan), which was handmade by my grandmother. After the celebration at Dataran, I could not walk for more than two steps because a lot of people wanted to take a picture with me. They complimented the colourfulness of my costume. They asked which tribe I represented. I would love to do that again. 😀

On the other hand, my mom is part of the formation team. Every year they would come up with new formations, complementing the year’s theme. And so I thought, why not incorporate traditional dances as well?

Imagine watching this on your TV: Several different traditional dances of 2-3 minutes each, with captions talking about the history or meanings behind each dance. I mean, if they can choreograph with a big team of students every year, why not have a special segment just to showcase the colourful and talented side of Malaysia?

I can already imagine a medley of traditional songs put together for a series of traditional dances. One can only dream!

31st of August is the most celebrated day in Malaysia. And every year to celebrate we have a little bit more gratitude within ourselves of our beautiful country, where we eat more nasi lemak and roti canai, drink more teh tarik, hang out more with our machas and apeks, cry over Petronas ads, and the list goes on! That to me are unity and the spirit of Merdeka in a nutshell.

So, do me a favour, guys. There is no such thing as Malaysia’s Independence Day. Tell yourself that and share the word around. Remind everybody!

I’ve been told that I am a party-pooper but y’all know I have nothing against the yearly grand celebration. As a Sarawakian it’s important for me to remember July 22nd and September 16 as I feel that the Merdeka Celebration has overshadowed those dates for as long as I can remember. Did you guys know that Sabah’s Independence Day is also 31st of August?? I didn’t. I found out the same day I learned about Sarawak’s Independence Day! Sabah and Sarawak most definitely did not gain independence through the formation of the Federation of Malaysia. lol

At the end of the day, we as Malaysians stand in unity with undeniable pride, waving our Malaysian flags like the there’s no tomorrow, simply because we love our beloved country. I just have one little wish, that is to have the media and our government to stop saying “Malaysia’s Independence Day” like nobody’s business. The amount of people taken aback when I tell them that there is no such thing as “Malaysia’s Independence Day” is still shocking.

Enough about that.

This year I’m “celebrating” Merdeka a little different. I’m at work, and not in a downtown KL hotel like I’d usually be every year. Most definitely will miss the morning’s celebration as work will only be done at the earliest, 4. This girl gotta catch up on her sleep! She and the family will be in PD right after the celebration. She misses the beach a lot. x

Here are my #throwback pictures from 2 years ago. 😀

With my East Malaysian girls! :D | I don't remember seeing a Sabah flag so I guess that's why we just jumped into the picture with the Sarawak flag xD
With my East Malaysian girls! 😀 | I don’t remember seeing a Sabah flag so I guess that’s why we just jumped into the picture with the Sarawak flag xD

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Taking our oath as Malaysians.
Taking our oath as Malaysians.
Photography session with random rakyat/foreigners.
Photography session with random rakyat/foreigners.
Interview with TV3.
Interview with TV3.

Happy Independence Day, Malaya & Sabah. 🙂

Short Story: Reality


 Photo on 4-29-13 at 11_Fotor

What the heck was that, brain? I would not call that sleep. Unacceptable. And couldn’t you have chosen someone else to dream of? Seriously!

She struggles to take a breath. Crap, it’s already 7. Ah, my head! The pain was throbbing from the sides of her skull and her scalp. She was convinced. Must be from the lack of sleep. After all, four hours of half-sleeping will never be enough for her. But that wasn’t all that gave her the headaches.

Did I really just dream of him twice within the span of four hours? She sighed. After all this time, she was still having recurring nightmares of the one that she thought she would spend the rest of her life with. It’s been a fucking year and three months, brain. You can do better than this. Teamwork; that’s all there is to it. She sighed again. She finds her phone and started typing.

Just dreamt of you. Again. You would think that with the amount of distractions I’ve given myself I’d eventually forget about you and move on. But, no. I’ve actually been doing great so far until last night so you must have still mean a great deal to me. But, you know. Whatevs.

She hits send and got up from her bed, disgruntled and famished.

Cooking is her favourite therapy. Although she wasn’t exactly cooking that morning, she found peace just from spreading butter on slices of baguette, to be toasted in the oven. But, she wasn’t exactly patient either. She left the oven at a slightly higher temperature, which led to a few pieces of burned toasts. Some, with burned sides. Life doesn’t like me right now. I just know it.

Iced tea and burned toasts, not what she had in mind before falling asleep. She anticipated the aroma of freshly brewed coffee, followed by the fluffiness of griddle-pan waffles topped with sunny-side up eggs and bacon on the side, much like her usual favourite – pancakes and eggs. She did get a cup of Sumatra coffee on-the-go from the opposite café upon realizing she had arrived at work on time, but earlier than everyone else. No idea what this is but coffee is coffee. Please love me today.

Her phone buzzed.

Hey. I know things haven’t been easy for you too but holding on to the past is never going to be a good thing. And, no. I’m not the kind of guy with hopes that you still think about me. I hope you can keep moving on and work towards a better life. I know it’s not easy but please try. I wish you the best of luck in anything that you’re going to go through in the future. You always could do it without my help. You’re stronger than you think.

Fuck. Her little heart yells. Her hands shaking, body shivering. Her eyes began brimming, but she managed to gather all the strength that she could muster. After a fucking year? After all that yelling, telling me that you never wanted to talk to me anymore, this is the best that you could say? My messages were left never replied and you never once had the decency to even pick my calls, even if it’s work-related! She never thought his first reply after 10 months of silence would infuriate her. But it did.

She started composing her words in her head. After a couple of breaths, she began typing.

Serious shit, I’m getting emotional Just getting this after one year. Are we seriously becoming strangers, after everything that we’ve been through?? And I’m trying! You know full well that I am. Last night was just….one of those rough nights. But whatevs. Go kick ass in your life too. I still wish I could be in it. Miss you always x

Send. NOPE. NOPE. NOPE. THAT IS NOT WHAT I WAS GOING TO SAY. This is going to mess me up all day. Fuck.

She quickly scans through her contact list, looking for a shoulder to cry on. Micah! 

She took a screenshot of their conversation and sends it over to Micah, with a few more messages describing her confused & mixed-feelings situation.

“This is just an illusion, right?”
“I don’t think so. It was pretty heartfelt. But um, I’m going to be driving for about 2 hours with him today. 4, if you include the return trip.”
“Of course the person that I wanna talk to the most about this HAS to be the guy that will be spending time with him!”
“I’ll shut up. I won’t do anything.”
“Could you buy him a bar of Toblerone, though? The white ones. I’d pay you back.”
“Kinda doesn’t go with whatever was in that message, don’t you think?”
“No message. Just a bar of chocolate. He will never figure it’s me.”
“I’ll confuse him with an illusion. I’ll talk to you tonight?”
“Thanks, Mike. I owe you a million. :)”

Reality.

She sighed. I’m back to reality.

Reality is when she goes back to work, pretending that none of the morning scenes ever happened.

Reality is when she argues with her priorities, and makes a trip down to where she was needed the most, succeeded in fixing other people’s problems but her own.

Reality is crying her eyes out from keeping the emotions in longer than she could hold them, while driving back to her first workplace.

Reality is when she pens her thoughts in lyrical form, feeling lonely in a room full of people, and at the same time loved and cared for by the people that she now calls her new family.

Reality is when her hoodie smells like cigarettes and she wishes that it smells like him instead.

Reality is when she shuts the world out at the end of the night with hopes to return the next day, continuing her services to the people, better than ever.

I really want my waffles though. She muttered, half-asleep.

Alex Goot & Against the Current LIVE in KL


Aaaahhhhh Mental.

Thank you Darren (AHM) for inviting me! Wouldn’t have left the house if ya didn’t. ha! Too exhausted from back-to-back events and workload. 😛

I got in late, so I completely missed Lizzie’s performance and got in during Skyward’s last song. Glad I could at least catch An Honest Mistake though. I brought my Canon EOS1100D with me so I don’t have to bear with the low quality pictures from my phone. aha.

Side note before moving on to the pictures: THE LIGHTS WERE AMAZING. CANNOT GET ENOUGH OF IT!

 

An Honest Mistake

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Against the Current

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Alex Goot

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(more) Camera & Phones

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Outside the hall: during breaks & after the concert.

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After-party!

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I don’t know when else I’ll get to have this kind of opportunity. Never been to an actual concert besides the praise and worship ones so I’m honestly grateful for Darren. As a production girl, I just wanna give props to the production team. You guys did an incredible job and none of this would’ve happened without you guys! To the acts, AWESOME AS ALWAYS!

x

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Chill!


The last person that said this to me was my own best friend, and I have had enough. Who are *you* to tell me to chill?! I’m not a chill person in the first place! I blame the city life for the less-friendly side of me.

It’s true; the horrifying traffic, running on a schedule almost on a daily basis… Everything around me is a bunch of numbers!

Appointment at 9?
How long does it take for me to get there? 35 minutes.
What time should I start to get ready? 7:30.
Why? Shower – 5 minutes. Getting dressed and makeup – 20 minutes. Walk to the car up to ignition, 5 minutes.
But you’re 25 minutes early! If it’s a new place, I can kill time by checking out the area. If not, coffee!

Welcome to my brain, everybody.

Today was exceptionally different.

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all set!

On Tuesdays I travel to Malone’s when I’m not at Laundry. Today I went to Sooka Sentral and Jaya One. Both have the options of taking the public transportations instead of driving. I put Multiply on repeat, put on my earphones, and started walking to the train station. The sun was behind the clouds for the most part, it was lovely. ❤

Except that I was 50 minutes behind time.

I was supposed to be at SS by 9am. I started getting ready only at 8.30am. I had breakfast before that, and then proceeded to the “normal” getting-dressed routine; with slightly more eye makeup and full face foundation (that’s extra 20 minutes). I left the house at nine ten.

Now, usually I’d be in frantic mode by 8.30 itself, but I was like mehhhh…. My next appointment is at 3, I have a lot of time to kill!

I didn’t get started on my work right away when I got to the venue; the supervisor was not on site yet so I chilled for about 10 minutes before he arrived. And then when he showed up, I proceeded with my work, and got done with it in one hour at about 11am.

Right, how am I supposed to kill 4 hours?!

Coffee.

One of the server was kind enough to ask me if I wanted any drink, twice, but I thought coffee would be lovely AFTER I get my job done, as a little reward. So I spent around one hour sipping my delicious cup of cappuccino while going around the social media and listening to more of Multiply. Ah, bliss.

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And then I began to realize that the sky was getting cloudy, and it rained when I arrived at Asia Jaya train station… There was lightning and thunder and strong wind so I mostly stayed indoors. Didn’t wanna get myself wet! :3 The bus arrived about 15 minutes later and I didn’t get off until it stopped at Jaya One’s bus station. Thank God it wasn’t raining as much then, because I would’ve been soaking wet! Running for shelter isn’t as fun when you have your electronics with you. 😦

My entire soul was craving for Mexican food upon arrival, but I did not have that kind of money with me to splurge. I settled with apples, assorted sushi and a bottle of water, cost me only RM6! I comfortably made a sofa bench my temporary territory. Like a dog pissing marking its territory, I spread out my belongings, not giving it even a tiny bit of space for anyone to sit on. Aha.

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And then it was time for my last appointment/assignment, and finished it within 30 minutes. Time to go home!

Or not… TimD came by from church and we had late lunch together Marufuku.

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He was telling me the other day that he got the church’s guitar’s mechanism and pickup changed, and it sounded amazing! The whole setup + new sets of strings + labor sums up to my budget of getting a new acoustic guitar, so I thought I might give the idea a shot. We went to church right after lunch and spent a good 20 minutes just playing a bunch of songs (mostly mine LOL) and just falling in love with the pickup’s tone over and over. ashfsakjkabvkjb

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at one point he rearranged one of my song and i wish we could’ve just recorded it there and then. so beautiful.

And then after that we kidnapped Qian and brought him to One Utama with us! HAHAHAHA (Qian: Eh excuse me. Technically I voluntarily walked myself to the car so no, this is not a kidnap.) (Aww #sad)

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more guitars! bkjakjgxvjksgvkjs

We went home soon after. I wanted to buy a dress from Nichii to wear this Sunday but didn’t have the money on me. Sad. 😦

I am now in the comfort of my bed and being proud of myself for actually taking the chill pill. I’ve also chosen not to go for a beer with a fellow musician friend because I have no life lyk dat. 😀 (shout out to the biggest dickhead tonight, if you’re reading this!)

The whole day doesn’t sound like the typical me. I should chill more often. :3

The Doo Doo Rascals live at No Black Tie


i made an effort to support my friend(s) tonight (aug 12) at No Black Tie. i brought a Nikon Coolpix s3500 with me, so the quality isn’t that great. but the night was spent with good company and music, so that’s all that matters. 🙂

 

The Doo Doo Rascals is a band that consists of 5 original band members from the International College of Music (ICOM), and was formed towards the middle of 2013. The band consist of Drummer/ Band Leader, Cliff Wong, Guitarist Andrew Cheng, Keyboardist Joelle Benson, Bassist Herman Ramanado, and Saxophonist Taiyo Shirai. Doo Doo Rascals acquires a distinct blend of sound from a myriad of influences raging from Pop, RnB, and to Contemporary jazz. For this upcoming performance, they will be accompanied by a special guest singer, Sachie Amira.
 
official poster.

 

some pictures from the night:

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Please excuse the inconsistency of my edits. x