Monday, 30 December 2013

Karma is there, up to one to believe

A thousand words will not leave so deep an impression as one deed - Henrik Ibsen. 

As we all prepare to wind up the 2013 which was dubbed the “election year” and swearing over inflation year of 2014, a few incidents in a row that happened to two ex-colleagues plus some other incidents that happened to others made me can’t help but to think of the existence of karma.
Not too long ago, I was asked in the blog if I do believe in karma and my reply was, yes, I do. Karma does not only restrict to Buddhism but it is in all other religions as well. Were we often told or reminded of “do not do unto others what you do not want others to do to you” and others that are equivalent to it but I would like to add that, sometimes, misfortune may not necessary happen to the person who did the evil job but can land on someone close to him/her.
In Buddhism, there are also karma which one carries from the previous life and lots of other karmas which I am not going to describe further because that will take forever to understand and write. I’ll leave it to theologians who are expert in this field to describe it further. Besides, karma also involved being blessed and the rewards by doing good deeds. It works like a bank account, for every bad thing that one does, a credit is deducted and when it hit bottom, one has to pay the penalty. So goes when good deeds are done, the deposits kept increasing and one reaps the benefits of the interests.
Back to my two ex-colleagues, only they themselves knew what they’ve done to others for they are now feeling the pain of other innocent colleagues that were their victims. For most of us, I guess the common sight of karma at work is that we get to see how one treat their parents and parents-in law and how their own children and children(s)-in law repeat it back to them; déjà vu.  For me, another common thing that I often see, due my involvement in politics, is how politicians so used to lies and betrayal themselves ended up being betrayed and lied upon.
Another common occurrence among us is that sometimes we will be in awe and wonder how come this and that person can be so blessed with this and that. Well, perhaps next time we should ask them, besides hard work to achieve what they achieved, what other good deeds that they do? For sour grapes, instead of envying others for their success, it is time to change one’s attitude because envying others is said to be adding on to one’s bad karma.
Back in 2006, I was given a CD by my close friend Denise titled “The 4 stories of Liao Fan” (了凡四训). It talks in length about a Mr Yuan of Ming Dynasty, his destiny and how he changed his course of life through good deeds. It is my favourite CD and a constant reminder that karma and fate are intertwined and it is never too late to start doing good deeds. 

Ibsen is right that a thousand words will not leave an impression as deep as a deed whether good or bad. In the end, problems or successes, they are all the results of our own actions - karma. 

Thursday, 26 December 2013

From old letters and greetings cards

Letters and cards from Jen, 

One thing that I love about being back to hometown besides the good food and comfort of being close to my family members is the ample time left to tend to personal matters. This is the kind of luxury that I can ill afford in Kuala Lumpur due to many other reasons, chief among them is the amount of time spent on the road battling traffic jams.


I was rearranging my personal belongings at home when I came across an old box containing letters and greetings cards (Birthday, Christmas, Chinese New Year) from my pen pals. They were all still nicely tucked in their respective envelopes and sorted out according to the alphabetical order of my friends’ surname. I took some out to read, looked at some old photos attached to them and memories of yesteryears started to flow in like the rapid water gushing down after a heavy downpour.  

I started to write to pen pals since secondary one. I remember looking forward to every Thursday’s Section 2 of The Star Newspaper to search for name, address, gender and a line or two notes printed there. I will usually make my pick based on the town that the person is staying and I will start writing. Not all my letters receive a reply. Some stop after one or two correspondence. However, I do keep a handful of active pen pals but that too naturally stop as examinations and other priorities take over.

With the emergence of email and improvement of technology, suddenly pen friend became something of the past. Some of them were on my ICQ list, later MSN and lastly, I am left with two on Facebook. Both are now married, settled down with reputable work but what I am glad is that we are still friends. Jen and Swen has been my friend for the past 17 years!

I remember meeting the shy Jen once in Melaka and Swen for many occasions when I was working in Penang. Jen is now based in Los Angeles, having graduated from University of Pennsylvania.  Shy as she was, Jen’s letters were usually long and insightful, always regarding current issues. She was so right when she wrote in 1998 that the sacking of Anwar Ibrahim opened a new floodgate that the people are more politically conscious now.
By writing this, I hope to reconnect with my long lost pen pals. Those who still remember me can email me or add me on Facebook.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Melbourne, I miss you so much


View of Yarra River and Melbourne's CBD from Southbank.
Today mark the second final highlight for 2013 with the conclusion of the MCA party election and I am looking forward for the finale of the event of the year – my brother’s wedding in a few more days. I am counting the days, yes, counting the days but not for the wedding celebration. I am counting the days that I will be travelling down under again to Melbourne.
I have to confess that I miss Melbourne very much and I can't wait to be there again soon. If it is not for my involvement with MCA’s election and Yann’s wedding, I will be in Melbourne now, enjoying the beautiful summer by the Yarra River, visit to cherry farms, drive to historical towns like Ballarat, cruise along the Murray, crab catching at Lakes Entrance and many more.
However, what I miss most in Melbourne is catching up with friends over delicious food and drinks. I promised Hong Huynh that I’ll visit her as soon as I am free but I kept delaying the visit and I have to thanks Hong for her patience. I am looking forward for the seafood feast that she is going to cook when I am there. I hope she can still find time for it since that she’d had an additional member to her family now with the arrival of Mason. I look forward to play some rounds of Pontoon with Sandra “Bullock” in Crown…err..but I am not too sure if she is still working in Crown.
I am now working hard to plan my schedule for a work cum holiday visit to Melbourne as soon as possible. I hope this trip will be possible before Chinese New Year or otherwise it will be in February before the autumn chill starts. Melbourne….I am coming soon.  

Friday, 13 December 2013

卜算子


There is a goddess of memories, Mnemosyne; but none of forgetting. Yet there should be, as they are twin sisters, twin powers and walk on either side of us, disputing for sovereignty over us and who we are, all the way until death.  – Richard Holmes,  A Meander Through Memory and Forgetting



Suddenly thought of this Song Dynasty verse that evokes some memories of yesteryears and I would agree with Holmes that there should be a goddess for forgetting, just as there is Mnemosyne.


卜算子      李之议者

我住长江头,
君住长江尾,
日日思君不见君,
共饮长江水。
此水几时休?
此恨何时已?
只愿君心似我心,
定不负,相思意。


Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Call for all MCA contenders to pledge for the end of corruption and abuse of power



New Movement would like to invite all contenders who vie for positions in the upcoming MCA party election to an event organized by New Movement on 17th December 2013 at 11 am at Wisma MCA to pledge for the end of corruption and the abuse of power in this country.

Besides that, in tandem with the election manifesto of YB Dr. Leong Yong Kong who is vying for the position of Vice President, we would also like to urge for Members of Parliaments from MCA to work hand in hand with Barisan Nasional component parties as well as Pakatan Rakyat to push for a motion to be tabled in Parliament for the MACC and Attorney General as well as Auditor General to be answerable directly to Parliament.
We hope that all contenders for positions in MCA from the Youth Wing to Wanita to MCA Central Committee will attend the pledge signing ceremony on Dec 17 to show one’s seriousness in fighting corruption in this country. Together, we work towards a better nation.

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Tea drinking and feng shui


My tea tray with assorted decoratives.

Since the publication of “Tea Drinking can Unlock and Grow Abundance of Your Home” written by Lilian Too in the Feng Shui World magazine for its Nov/Dec 2013 edition, I have been getting a lot of questions by friends and strangers that I met at the tea shop and during private drinking session. Knowing that I do study Chinese Metaphysics, everyone is very curious about tea drinking’s association with feng shui.

The most commonly asked questions are:
1)      Is it true that the ritual of preparing tea can have a hidden impact on your good fortune as tea released propitious energy into your home?
2)      Is it true that pouring freshly brewed tea into figurines representing auspicious creatures made by purple clay that we used to decorate our tea tray will unlock inner auspiciousness?
3)      Is it true that pouring enough water into your teapot for it to overflow is an auspicious sign?

Well, I have to admit I do not have answer for all these questions. I have checked with some practitioners as well as feng shui books but I find no part of it that associates feng shui with tea drinking. Jokingly I told those with questions that they should seek the answer from Grand Master Lilian Too, with due respect since she is the one writing the article or the best way to know if it is true or not is to try it out. Nothing beats the experience of trying it and experimenting something.

However, all that I know is that one is indeed fortunate enough to drink some age old pu erh or Wu Yi Mountain Rock Tea as they are much more costlier than gold. Secondly, one indeed will absorb the positive energy of particular corners of one’s house if one is spending considerable amount of time at the corner regardless of drinking tea or reading a book or just playing Candy Crush.

Thirdly, I am not the type that has the habit of over pouring the water from my teapot because it can make the tea tray messy, especially if one is drinking pu erh. Finally, I do pour hot water and left over tea over some objects made of purple clay that I used to decorate my tea tray but I never believe that trinkets can assist in bringing good feng shui. To me, they are just decorative items.

Therefore, my personal conclusion is that tea drinking has nothing to do with feng shui and auspicious objects are mere decorative items, they won’t bring any prosperity no matter how many times you pour hot water into them. 
Part of my collection of objects made from purple clay.

Tuesday, 3 December 2013

Daylight robbery by cabbies at Hentian Duta

Taken at Hentian Duta at 5pm on 2nd Dec.

Impressed with the efficiency of the service provided by Transnasional, I am now a frequent user of the service provided by this bus company to travel back and fro Teluk Intan. This afternoon, after the having settled down with moving into our new family house, I took a 2 pm bus back to Kuala Lumpur. The bus reached Hentian Duta at 4.45 and it was raining.
As I wasn’t sure of the timing that I will be arriving in KL, I didn’t ask for Azman to wait for me at Hentian Duta to fetch me home, besides knowing that I will be able to hail a cab without much hassle. Just like KL Sentral, Pudu Sentral, Terminal Bersepadu Selatan and KLIA, there is a surcharge to hail a cab from Hentian Duta. One will need to purchase the “ticket” at the designated counter for a fixed price according to destination before boarding the cab and the pricing of it is about 50-75% more than the usual fare of a metered taxi.
Today, as I approached the counter, the lady working there told me “Tak ada teksi (No Taxi)” but I can see about 7 taxis parked there with their drivers sitting at the store nearby having their drinks. I asked how long do I need to wait but the lady replied that it depends on the rain. The rain, okay! This means that the drivers are not going to drive because it is raining and traffic is bad. While I was calling Azman to come to fetch me, a driver approached and shouted “IKEA….Siapa nak pergi IKEA”.
Immediately I told him I am going to Mutiara Damansara and I’ll buy the ticket from the counter. He told me I don’t have to and motioned me to get into his cab while mumbling that it is raining, the traffic is heavy and I will have to pay extra. I ended up paying double the usual rate. I knew I have to pay or I do not know for how long more I will have to wait before a cab is going to take me home.
Daylight robbery by cab drivers during peak hours, during raining hours and during whatever special days is not something new. The matter has been raised for so many times but why there aren’t any affirmative action taken by the government? While we are aware of the plight of the taxi drivers, consumers’ plight should be taken into consideration too. Rain and traffic jam should not be an excuse for cabbies to conduct daylight robbery.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

Advocating MCA’s reform to regain MCA’s glory. New Movement fully support YB Dr. Leong Yong Kong to contest for Vice President.

New Movement team members presenting a calligraphy scroll YB Dr. Leong wishing him success.


Today, MCA’s New Movement has with us YB Dr. Leong Yong Kong, the ADUN of Gurun, Kedah, who agree with us the need for MCA Change and party’s reform to contest for the position of MCA’s Vice President.
New Movement fully agrees with the idea of YB Dr. Leong Yong Kong in contesting this position to:
1.            Change MCA based on political discourse
2.            Political pledge should be used as the main aim for contesting in the party election
We, as the grassroots members of MCA are worried and anxious about MCA’s future due to intense fight between factions in the party. We also felt that members of the public are tired of this type of politicking in the party.
We hope that members of the public, party members and central delegates will support us and candidates that contest in this party election based on the ideas of political discourse and political pledge rather than personal pledge.
Finally, we would like to assure members of the public and party members that despite factional fighting in the party, we are committed to reforming the party for the future of the party, the well-being of members of the public and towards a better nation.   

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Call me superstitious; I consult the Chinese Almanac (Tong Shu) before a haircut

A copy of Tong Shu
The Chinese Almanac or Tong Shu or Tung Shing (通胜) has been used for centuries by the Chinese as the source of date and time selection for almost every occasion or activities in everyday life. For those who believe in selecting the right date and time to enhance one’s luck, as per the saying of doing the right thing at the right timing, the Tong Shu is a must to have before the beginning of a new year. The advice for date selection ranges from the right date to get married to the right day to meet friends to getting a haircut.  
I have to confess that I do not know much about the origin of Tong Shu is said to be originated from the Hsia dynasty around 2200 BC while some rumored it to be written by the Yellow Emperor. Regardless, it is taken seriously by the Chinese to the extent that there is there is an online Tung Shing on the corporate website of Sun Hung Kai Properties, Hong Kong’s largest property developer controlled by the Kwok family.
Although I was exposed to Chinese Metaphysics since young, I only started to get serious in studying the Tong Shu in 2005 and it has since become one of my daily habits. Thanks to feng shui masters like Lilian Too and Joey Yap, Tong Shu calendar and diary is now available in English to assist those who are not able to read the original version in Chinese. Like all Metaphysics things, it is up to you to believe the importance of date and time selection but consulting the Tong Shu certainly helps me in getting things done smoothly.

Books to give away



Here are some books that I bought a second copy that I would like to give away. If you are interested, please contact me at jadryn@hotmail.my

Thank you. 



























Monday, 18 November 2013

Open letter to Professor Mark Beeson of Murdoch University, Perth, Australia


Dear Prof. Beeson,

With due respect, I would like to bring to attention your comment to AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE (AFP) with regards to China’s initial humanitarian aids to Philippines post typhoon Haiyan amounting to US$ 100,000 which was later increased to US$ 1.8 mil.
First of all, you failed to understand that the Chinese, whether they are mainland Chinese or overseas Chinese, are the generous lot when it comes to helping others. To the Chinese, it is always the sincerity that counts rather than the amount in cash or goods given.
Secondly, you’ve also failed to understand the pragmatism in the Chinese that help may not necessarily be only once but they can actually be increased from time to time depending on the situation. This pragmatism also enable the Chinese to differentiate between humanitarian effort with border disputes. 
Thirdly, you need to understand too, that, it is in the Chinese culture that we do not like to blow the trumpet when we help someone. Most of the time, a Chinese donor would prefer to remain anonymous. There may be more help that neither you nor I know. Therefore, it is preposterous to comment that the Chinese are a bit stingy.
Based on the three points given above, it is with deep regret that you failed to understand the Chinese mind and culture before giving your comments that the Chinese government “can be viewed as quite stingy as compared to everybody else” and to link China’s aid with the test of test of humanitarian principles and foreign-policy-making.
Thank you.

Yours sincerely,
Jadryn Loo

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Piece by piece: The making of my new bedroom

Finally, after a few more realignments of the design and many hours put in by the designer, the carpenter, the electrician and the contractors involved, my new bedroom in Teluk Intan is ready for me to move my stuffs in. I would like to express my gratitude to all these people for delivering me such a beautiful and flawless room and also to daddy and mummy for supervising their work and having to put up with my fussiness which demands nothing but perfection to details.

Tiles work by Mr. Yap and his family.

The foundation work by the carpenters.

Putting the pieces together.

The final touch.



The desk, bookshelves, cupboards and wardrobe.

Click here for the first draft of the design: http://jadrynloo.blogspot.com/2013/07/artists-impression-of-my-new-bedroom.html




Friday, 15 November 2013

Many colors, one race


Recently, members of the New Movement group paid a courtesy call to Anas Zubedy, a self professed "unity advocate" at his office in Taman Tun Dr Ismail for an informal get together and to listen to Anas sharing his views and ideas about unity among the many different races in Malaysia and partisan politics in this country.
It is very gracious and kind of Anas for not only sharing his time with us but also two of his books that emphasize on creating unity and getting away with partisan madness. I’m particularly attracted to this book: “Many colors, one race – 10 Nice Things You Can Tell Your Children About Other Races” by him. It is a very meaningful book and Anas managed to convey the often complicated issue of race relations in a simple and easy to understand way.
Grab your copy today! It is a good book to have and it will certainly help you to understand other races better.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Living with the aftermath of Bell’s palsy

I woke up this morning to find pain behind my left ears and it was soon followed by weakness on the left side of my face that causes it to droop. A while later, numbness and pain conquered the entire left side of my face. Knowing the symptoms too well, I knew, Bell’s palsy is back on revenge.
I had my first Bell’s palsy attack some years back after a bout of flu and fever. When I noticed that I was drooling and the left side of my face droop, I thought I had a stroke or an early sign of stroke. Immediately I hurried myself to the emergency ward of SJMC was referred to Datuk Dr Loh Thiam Ghee, the consultant neurologist there. It was such a relief when Dr Loh explained that it is not a stroke attack but damage to the cranial nerve VII or the facial nerve.
For a few weeks after that I lose the ability to taste that naturally leads to loss of appetite. There was a constant ringing sound on my left ear which made me lost the ability to hear clearly from the left side. I had to drink and eat from the right side of my face because I was drooling. Worst of all, I had to use a tape to close my eye when I want to sleep. However, I was spared of excessive tearing and dry eye.  During this period, I have to thank my two best friends, Mavis and Jessica a.k.a Little Ben who helped to massage my face which helped to speed up my recovery.
The ordeal lasted a few weeks and slowly I regained my ability to taste. I was able to shut my eyes without the assistance of the tape. The numbness and pain goes off. However, I am one of the few unlucky ones to experience some sort of squeal after Bell's palsy. Once a while, especially after a typical tiring and stressful day or moment, I’ll experience spasm, tinnitus and hearing loss during facial movement.
According to Dr Loh, no specific cause can be ascertained and Bell's palsy is commonly referred to as idiopathic or cryptogenic, meaning that it is due to unknown causes. Therefore, there is no prevention that can be taken to ward it off.

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Let Ernest Zacharevic’s controversial wall mural be a catalyst for a safer Johor Bahru


Blessed are they who see beautiful things in humble places where other people see nothing. - Camille Pissarro
Every city has its beautiful and ugly sides, so does every piece of art created. If we are in the positive state of mind, everything is beautiful and meaningful and vice versa. At the end, it is how we choose to look at it, either positively or negatively. Besides that, the interpretation of an artwork is a very personal thing and I have to agree with Oscar Wilde that art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.
As to whether the wall mural in Johor Bahru by Lithuanian-born artist Ernest Zacharevic showing a female pedestrian and the bandit armed with a knife will create positive or negative impression of the southern city depends on which perspective one would like to view it. To me personally, with or without the mural or “graffiti” as the Johor Baru City Council (MBJB) would like to call it, the impression of Johor Bahru as the city of snatch thieves, armed robberies and a place of high crime are there.
Instead of debating and seeking expert views on what to do with Zacharevic’s mural, the authority should spend their precious time to do the right thing by coming up with plans to reduce crime in Johor Bahru and rebuild the image of the city. To quote state Domestic Trade, Consumerism and Tourism exco Datuk Tee Siew Kiong: "People with talent should use it in the right ways, to help boost our tourism and development," I would say that people with talent like him should work with the police and relevant authorities to solve the high crime rate in Johor Bahru and its negative image that gained notoriety worldwide.
Ernest Zacharevic is not only someone with talent but a visionary too. His wall mural may draw flak today but if it is being interpreted positively by the relevant authority followed by actions, he is helping Johor to boost tourism vis a vis crime prevention. Therefore, let the mural remain and let it became a catalyst for change in Johor Bahru to be a safer city. Finally, let it become a witness that high crime rate is one of Johor Bahru's past.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

In support for two days national holiday for Deepavali celebration

The time has come that Deepavali, the festive of lights celebrated by our Indian friends in this country be given a two days national holiday instead of the current one day. Currently, Deepavali is the only main festival of one of the three main races in Malaysia that enjoys only one day of public holiday compared to two each for Chinese New Year and Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
Over the years, we can’t discount the contribution of the Indian community in this country, from national building to economic development. Respected Indian entrepreneurs like Tan Sri Tony Fernandez brought us the world famous Air Asia and it is a dream come true for many that now everyone can fly. Long touted as the race that was marginalized, it is time for government to make up for the past by giving more to the Indian community as a way of recognizing their contributions.
Very often I have Indian friends who told me that they felt that there are the third class citizens in Malaysia after the Chinese complain that we are the second class citizen. When I asked why they felt that, two very simple examples they cited are no national holiday for Thaipusam and why other races all enjoys more public holidays compared to them. 
Prior to the last general election, the Prime Minister had asked for nambikei (trust) from the Indian community and it is time for him to extend romba nandri (thank you) to them not only via massive allocation as mentioned in his 2014 budget but should also include an additional public holiday for the community to celebrate the Deepavali. Now that Thaipusam is a national holiday, I hope that the government will grant the Indian community’s one more wish to have Deepavali as two days national holiday for celebration.  

Happy Deepavali to all my dear friends.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

Chinese Patriotic and Cultural Revolution Songs that I like

As mentioned in my last blog, explaining my idolization for Chairman Mao , I enjoy listening to some of Chinese patriotic songs and the songs produced during the Cultural Revolution in China (1966-1976) and I knew many of such songs in heart.  For some unknown reasons, the opening bars of these songs will always make me felt uplifted. Some of my favorites: 


The East is Red (东方红)




Sailing the sea depends on the Great Helmsman (大海航行靠舵手)




Liuyang River ( 浏阳河)
 



The sun is reddest, Chairman Mao is dearest (太阳最红,毛主席最亲)

Ode to the Motherland (歌唱祖国







Thursday, 24 October 2013

Explaining Chairman Mao: Why he is my idol


Eternal Glory to the Great Helmsman 

Guests that have been to my study will never fail to notice all the Cultural Revolution posters, figurines and Chairman Mao’s statues in various sizes. All too often, the next question that will pop up will be “Why do you idolize him?”

Besides him, my other idol is Lee Kuan Yew, former Prime Minister of Singapore. I constantly seek inspiration from these two great statesmen. Both possess the genius and the political will power to change the destiny of their country, even though they have to be brutal at times. To a certain extent, they are much alike. Mao likes to say that he is the incarnation of Qin Shihuang, the first emperor and many of his actions that he took throughout his rein were akin to the First Emperor of China.

Chairman Mao passed away 5 years before that I was born but world leaders who had met him said that he is a well-read person, intelligent, a skilled orator and a master strategist in domestic and international politics. I enjoyed reading his poems and selected works which were published after his death while Lee’s books are my constant reference.
Both idols have many books written about them, from various perspectives. For the Chairman, the two well know ones are by Dr Li Zishui, his personal doctor and by Jung Chang and Jon Holliday. I would suggest you to read these books and compare the facts. While Dr Li’s book remains the most intimate biography ever written about him, Jung Chang and Jon Holiday’s book were full of distorted judgments and criticized in the academic community on grounds of unreliability.
What I admire most in him is his power to mobilize the masses to his every call and constant revolution even after the founding of the People’s Republic of China, from the Let the Hundred Flower Boom campaign to the Great Leap Forward and finally the Cultural Revolution. The Chairman is also well known to use propaganda to its fullest to achieve his political aims and for the purpose of personal cult. Hundreds of millions of posters, banners, badges and his Little Red Book were printed. Patriotic and idolization songs were produced with zeal.  I do like some of the songs and will often play them at home.

Besides that, the most outstanding of Chairman Mao’s character, as his writings attest, was his readiness to take on challenge. He responded to the challenges with counter challenges, never conceding an inch. When offered or offering a challenge, Mao never showed any hesitation but rather the confidence to win. All his life, Mao was a winner, not in terms of specific political issues but rather as a man who revealed his heroic nature when he was confronted with a challenge.

Monument to the People's Heroes and Chairman Mao's  Mausoleum at the background.

People blamed him for the disaster of the Great Leap Forward but I would say that it is not all his fault. It is said that Qian Xueshen, the father of China’s long range missiles used to tell Mao about close cropping to establish bumper harvest and Mao bought his idea. The cadres at local level lied about the harvest and production.
According to his personal doctor’s biography, Mao never suggest the population to build backyard furnaces to produce steel but it was the local cadres who told the Chairman that it works. Convinced by them, the Chairman agreed for the backyard furnaces to be built across the country. As for the people’s commune, it was also the local cadres that established it and the Chairman thought that this will move China further into achieving Communism so he agreed to it. He meant good for the masses but again, it was the local cadres that messed it up.
Although Cultural Revolution is a dark period in the history of modern China and many still refused to speak about it till today, I would always argue that without the pain of the Cultural Revolution, the process of opening up of China by Deng Xiaoping will never take off so fast.
Historians argued that the Great Leap Forward and the Cultural Revolution were his worst legacies even and that it killed more Chinese than the Japanese Occupation and Chinese Civil War combined. I think otherwise. He had done more good to China than harm, his contribution to the Chinese revolution far outweigh his mistakes.
Unlike Lenin and Stalin who destroyed a great and powerful Russia that prior to the October Revolution had been one of the leading world powers, Mao transformed China from a semi colony into an independent and powerful state. He brought to fruition the mighty anti-imperialist revolution began by Sun Yet Sen, compelling the world to respect the Chinese people. He united mainland China after a long period of disintegration, power struggle and civil wars. It was during Mao’s rule that China was able to become one of the main geopolitical centers of the world. I often ask this question, who is the actual father of modern China?

A talented politician, an historian, a poet and philosopher, an all-powerful dictator and energetic organizer, a skillful diplomat and utopian socialist, the head of the most populous state, resting on his laurels but at the same time an indefatigable revolutionary who sincerely attempted to refashion the of life and consciousness of millions of people – this is how Mao Zedong goes down in history. The scale of his life was too grand to be reduced to a single meaning.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

New Movement's urge to newly appointed government officials from MCA


New Movement members.

As a result from the just concluded MCA Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM), the reform of the party should be back as the main agenda of the coming party election and one of the main core points in the reform should be the direction of the political principle and services of MCA’s newly appointed government officials.

The passing of the two resolutions tabled in the EGM will enable MCA members to take up the positions of state EXCO members, municipal and district councilors, village head and others and to resume services to the members of the public via positions in the government. With this new development, New movement would like to urge MCA leadership to adopt the suggestions put forward by New Movement in “ MCA POLITICAL REFORM SUGGESTIONS” to select a quality candidate who has Rakyat support:

1. A bureau, hereby referred to as “Candidates Bureau” must be set up by the party headquarters to handle matters related to the candidate selection process.

2. Candidates for the position of the position of village head, District, Municipal or City Councils or other local councils should at gather the support and obtain 300 signatures from party members and the rakyat of that particular village or division and be submitted to the Candidates Bureau before she/he can be selected to represent the party and be appointed for the position(s) mentioned above.

 New Movement would like to urge these newly appointed officials to fulfill the objective of:

1)       Turning the complaints from the people into actions that lead to changes in government policies.

2)       Serve the people based on the concept of civic rights as the main political principle.

We hope that all the newly appointed government officials from MCA will play a major role in making changes to the outdated policies to suit the current needs of the people and at the same time giving their best service to the people.

Although MCA is a pure Chinese based political party, but from the past experiences of our service centers, we are serving the people regardless of race and religion. Despite that, MCA still fights for the benefit and rights of the Chinese community with the MCA’s C for Chinese but with the change of today’s political and social landscape, the C should be changed to Civic.

However, the change from “Chinese” to “Civic” political principle will be very difficult because MCA members are still using the problems of the Chinese community as the main political principle but the implementation of civic rights political principle will make MCA walk away from its identity as a single ethnic political party and bring benefits to the party. Therefore we hope that MCA leaders will look at social problems and policy making from the perspective of civic rights to serve the needs of the changed political and social landscape in this country.

The change in this political principle is also a signal to MCA members on the need to respond to civic issues and seek strategic cooperation with other races to create solidarity and mutual benefits for all Malaysians and a Better Nation.



Thursday, 10 October 2013

Confession from a friend: From millionaire to taxi driver, no thanks to lust

While waiting for Azman to fetch me after lunch at The Gardens just now, I bumped into a familiar face that I have not met for some years now. Despite his greying hairs, hunched back, wrinkles and a not so well groomed look which was a far cry for his heydays as an astute property investor and well known general insurance agent, I can still remember him. I called out to him and he recognized me instantly.

“Hey, Miss Loo, you looked great, what are you doing here, shopping?” he asked.
“What are you doing here then Sunny (not his real name)? Where have you disappeared to?” I asked him in return.
“I am working, as a taxi driver now,” he replied.
“What actually happened? You disappeared from public view, I dialed your number 2**88888 and another person picked up. A new family moved into your bungalow. Do you have time, let’s go for tea nearby!”
“Are you sure you want to have tea with a poor old man like me? I am no longer the Sunny you knew that wine and dine at JW Marriott Hotel.”
 “Come on Sunny, I am not a fair weathered friend, otherwise I would pretend I do not know you just now.”
When I knew him at a private jewelry preview lunch some years back, Sunny was on top of the world with a nice portfolio of prime properties across the region, stocks, treasury bonds and a steady passive income from his general insurance business. Above all, he was blessed with a hardworking wife that handles most of his insurance business and two teenage kids.
Though I do not like his wife whom I regard as opportunist and her manners which does not quite belongs to the group of high society ladies that I am also acquainted with but Sunny and I hit off instantly. We would talk about properties, stocks, commodities, politics, travel and almost everything under the sun during our afternoon tea sessions and occasion dinner. However, after a while, Sunny slowly disappeared. When asked, the reply will be he is busy doing business in China. Soon, Sunny became a persona nan-grata, forgotten by everyone.
We head off to Starbucks and after a few sips of iced lemon tea; he started to reveal his story to me. He was influenced by his friends to keep a mistress in China. Since Sunny is English educated and know no Mandarin, it will be helpful for his investments in China if someone can do the translation job and manage the properties for him, his friends reasoned. Besides, how can a successful man like him not having a beautiful mistress to show off?  He was introduced to a girl from Hangzhou who worked as a part time escort while still studying in a university in Shanghai. Her real background was not checked by him for at that time lust took over his senses. She became his mistress.
Soon, he bought her a house at the prime area of the old French concession in Shanghai and a Ferrari. He took her for holidays everywhere, buying and entertaining her every whims and fancy. He began to neglect his investments and his family in Malaysia.  As the months passed, he began channeling more and more money for her in China. Suspecting something amiss, his wife hired a private investigator but she did not confront him.
In return, she began to plan for her and the kids to migrate to Perth for the sake of their education, she gave the excuse. Thinking that with his wife away in Perth, it will be easier for him to be with his mistress, he consented and began selling his properties and investments for his wife to move. It is a very smart move on her side for she just took all the money that he can fork out, register all the properties in Perth under her personal name. When she finally settled down in Perth and after taking all the money that is remaining of him, she divorced him.
He did not felt any remorse for divorcing his wife. In fact he felt rejoiced for he can now concentrate on his young, beautiful and seductive mistress. Soon, the mistress began asking for even more money under the pretax of investment in China and other sorts of stories. Too blinded by lust, he just gave everytime she asked for. However, a letter of demand from the bank for payment one day just woke him up from his fantasy. It was then that he realized his bank account is negative with a few outstanding loans. When he turned to his mistress for some money back from China, she just disappeared. Never to be seen again.
Sunny is lucky that his mother have some savings from the money that he gave her during good times. With that he settled some of his loans; his bungalow was auctioned off by the bank. From a filthy rich millionaire, he is now a taxi driver, all because of lust. Anyway, Sunny's story is nothing new. For millennia, kings, heroes, politicians, millionaires, no matter who they are, became zero just because they can’t pass the test of lust. There is even a Chinese saying that 英雄难过美人关。
After listening to Sunny, on the way back, I asked myself this philosophical question: who is to blame?

Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Invitation to wine, 將進酒


This poem Invitation to wine could not have written by Li Bai without having been to the Hukuo Falls. 

I received an email from a reader of this blog who asked if I can kindly post the Invitation to wine poem by Li Bai with its translation in English after reading my last blog about places of interest in Shaanxi Province. It is said that Invitation to wine was Li Bai’s last poem. He died after composing this poem, drunk and drowned in the Yangtze River near today’s Anhui province while trying to embrace the moon’s reflection on the water.

將進酒       李白
君不見黃河之水天上來,
奔流到海不復還。
君不見高堂明鏡悲白髮,
朝如青絲暮成雪。
人生得意須盡歡,
莫使金樽空對月。
天生我材必有用,
千金散盡還復來。
烹羊宰牛且爲樂,
會須一飲三百杯。
岑夫子,丹丘生。
將進酒,杯莫停。
與君歌一曲,
請君爲我傾耳聽。
鐘鼓饌玉不足貴,
但願長醉不復醒。
古來聖賢皆寂寞,
惟有飲者留其名。
陳王昔時宴平樂,
斗酒十千恣讙謔。
主人何為言少錢?
徑須沽取對君酌。
五花馬,千金裘。
呼兒將出換美酒,與爾同銷萬古愁。


Invitation to wine by Li Bai

Do you not see the Yellow River come from the sky,
Rushing into the sea and never come back?
Do you not see the mirrors bright in chambers high,
Grieve over your snow-white hair though once it was silk-black?
When hopes are won, oh! Drink your fill in high delight.
And never leave your wine cup empty in moonlight!
Heaven has made us talents; we are not made in vain.
A thousand gold coins spent, more will turn up again.
Kill a cow, cook a sheep and let us be merry.
And drink three hundred cupful of wine in high glee!
Dear friends of mine,
Cheer up, cheer up!
I invite you to wine.
Do not put down your cup!
I will sing you a song, please hear,
O hear! Lend me a willing ear!
What difference will rare and costly dishes make?
I only want to get drunk and never to wake.
How many great men were forgotten through the ages?
But great drinkers are more famous than sober sages.
The Prince of Poets feasted in his palace at will,
Drank wine at ten thousand a cask and laughed his fill.
A host should not complain of money he is short,
To drink with you I will sell things of any sort.
My fur coat worth a thousand coins of gold,
And my flower dappled horse may be sold
To buy good wine that we may drown the woes of old age.