Sunday, September 09, 2007

A Reason to Celebrate

Sometimes it is fun to find reason to celebrate over something. It may sound foolish to you, but right from the morning when I filled up gas at BHPetrol in Kuang, I told my wife that I was looking forward to witnessing the mileage on the speedometer of my car to read 88,888 km that day. It’s not an everyday thing to see that, you know. A few years ago, my Honda Accord saw the mileage clocked the same number the time I was on my way from Pekan to Rompin, Pahang.

Anyway, the time I passed through Jln Sungei Besi, I kept switching my focus between the ticks of mileage on the speedometer and my driving, perhaps with less attention to the driving. For an apparent purpose, I watched it with a little anxiety. And finally, in between stealing the look with the road ahead…. Bingo!!! It hits the magic number before my eyes as I barely passed the exit to Jln. Kuchai Lama. Fireworks like what were seen in Putrajaya recently blasted in my head. My way of celebrating was just allowing a tinge of bliss and ecstasy to fill me up for a moment, happy. I smiled, feeling some kind of triumphant over nothing. Silly me!

It is funny how our mind works and sometimes it manipulates you for eccentric things too.

And sometimes, a twist only known to the Almighty, something calls for celebrations without reasons too. Perhaps that’s what happened to my wife’s best friend, Zalila. If you read in my three previous-entry, the name Zalila would ring your bell and you’d find what I wrote about her – about her husband passed away.

My wife told me a few days ago, Zalila was somewhat baffled by the recent happening she has got. It has been close to 4 years already since her husband’s passing in late 2003 but then in the past weeks, her husband’s name surfaced again.

The inscrutability started after she received a letter that was addressed to her late husband, Hassan, from a corporate company based in Rawang, Selangor. It is said that Hassan’s name was in the list among the winners for a lucky draw organized by that corporation. Zalila never had known that her late husband entered any competitions or meant to be drawn in any raffles when he was alive. And true enough, he never did. His name just came up in the computerized random selection from the database.

When a gift delivered to you out of the blue, in the name of free thing, anything will do, but when we are talking about a Naza Citra car, it is more than what one is bargaining for. Right, Late Hassan had won a Naza Citra. Actually, it is as easy as nullifying the winning when the winner had died before the line up of winners were drawn and announced but that was not the case for Zalila. Although quashing out the upshot is always a legal option, the auditory of the draw had practiced stringent pronouncement that concludes no changes for the winners. Thus, Zalila as the beneficiary was then entitled for the prize.

It’s not hard to understand why the company is giving out prizes to people as I know it too well on the strategy to play around with the accounting spread sheet in an effort to reduce business tax and make the authority in the Inland Revenue unhappy. Well, that’s another story altogether. The point here is what has been delivered to Zalila, of which she never had thought of before.

A wealth dropped from the sky for her. Since she is now driving her new CamPro Proton Waja, she had suggested accepting cash for the value of the car. And to her surprise, it was agreed by the company to pay her cash instead of delivering a car. For no apparent reason, she is now RM 80,000.00 richer.

Well, I had a good reason to celebrate with my 88,888 number while Zalila celebrated her lesser number from mine with only 80,000 and until now she is having hard time to find good reason for it.


Saturday, September 01, 2007

50 Years of Merdeka - 31 August 2007

Fifty years is long. It sounds even longer if we put it as half a century. How is it long? Enough to turn a newborn baby into an old man that would retire in years to come - perhaps little time left to live.

That is how long Malaysia has achieved its independence from the British. Gosh, I banged my head on the notion of letting our country to be ruled by foreign forces after we had seen our glory days back in history.

I learned that in my history class. We were such a great nation with plausible civilization. We were admired as much as envied by other great countries of their days. Do you think it’s an easy decision to let your daughter marry a guy across the ocean just for the show of respect? You'll bet it's not. But that’s what had happened when Puteri Hang Li Po was sent as a present to Malacca Sultanate.

The trade relations were something like what we have established today with the countries all over the globe, if not better. The life of people is said to be prosperous and no worries over the fluctuation of the currency that may leave them poorer when they wake up in the morning. Less hassle in dealing when the wired transaction was far off and barter trades were then the order of the day.

They were strong and never-say-die as far as pride and dignity were concerned. To them religion and motherland came first just to be followed by the importance of family and self. I am saddened by the people making fun of the keris wielding warriors of our past as to be analogous to today’s spirit in fighting for the nation. Hey, the spirit remains the same you know.

They were healthy too. Perhaps due to their healthy diet, eating food from those grown and bred in their own backyard. They never had the idea how nice and beautiful the vegetables in our hypermarket today that even maggots are scared to eat them. Earlier generations of those maggots have a history of being poisoned to death after eating young green leaves laced with pesticides.

Parents of yesteryears would peacefully enjoy their sumptuous meals together with their young children at home right on the mat. They would probably puke to death if someone had suggested the idea of eating at the chain restaurants from the west. After all it was so strange for their time to pay for their meals outside of their home.

No surprise if they had to deal with social problem as social problem exists in any era of time. They might have had hard time dealing with their youngsters too. Girls grow up to be women, likewise the boys, grow up to be men. It is only normal when they start to like each other. Those days, from behind the window, she would peek at the hunk passing by her house when he is on his way to silat ring while he had his share behind a bush peeping on her washing clothes at the river. The jungle was thick and wide. Anything could happen.

But nothing compared to the jungle of today. Surprisingly, it is even thicker and wider.

Those are the impressions I have when I have to say what independence means to me. I would look at those years in traces of history in my own perception. We were great then. Why so great? Because not the material success that matters most but what the freewill and autonomy had been. We were deprived from many earthly things but I want to bet a million that I don’t have; nothing better in this world than not being subjected to any form of slavery. Independence. MERDEKA.

We have lost our independence for hundreds of years before we get it back.

In the first place, if knowledge was the priority in our society back then, nobody would be able to outsmart us. And thus, there was no reason for us to dirty our knees kneeling down on our own soil, bowing to the masters that of the foreign decsendant.

The efforts of our forefathers in achieving the independence of the country are among the greatest things, I supposed. They were actually the people who have made corrected the mistakes done by the previous generations.

Now is our turn. We have another set of challenge, and by no means easier. No matter what, we want to make sure independence is here to stay.

From BERITA HARIAN: Teachers, staff and students of Sek Keb Saujana Utama in my area put the efforts to sew up a big flag and have it erected at the school building. Well, my son Edrin must be down there in the crowd.



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