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Archive for March, 2012

Hundreds of millions of people, businesses and governments around the world unite each year to support the largest environmental event in history – Earth Hour.

More than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide switched off their lights for Earth Hour 2011 alone, sending a powerful message for action on climate change. It also ushered in a new era with members going Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action for the planet. Without a doubt, it’s shown how great things can be achieved when people come together for a common cause.

Earth Hour 2012 : Saturday 31st March, 8:30pm

Earth Hour Official Video

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It amuses me greatly each time MCA claimed publicly and proudly that they represented the Chinese in Malaysia. MCA, may I ask you a simple question – when did I appoint you to represent me? See, you cannot give me an answer. Okay, never mind, you can say whatever you like. Being a blogger, I hate to suppress your freedom of speech.

MCA or the Malaysian Chinese Association was founded on February 27th 1949 by a Straits Chinese businessman called Tan Cheng Lock who was concerned with the fate of the non-Malays in the Federation of Malaya. To be fair to him, he did commanded respect and support from the people at that time because he was fighting a good cause – to get citizenship for the non- Malays. Malaysia’s first minister of finance (a very respectable position as you are literally holding the country’s purse string) was Henry H.S. Lee, a member of MCA in the 1950s.

That was past. Today, MCA has reached its nadir. How can you command respect and support when you have a pornographic actor as the leader? Chua Soi Lek was caught with his pants down with a female companion and he even had the cheek to say that his biggest mistake was not using a different hotel! He was the first MCA head without a ministerial post. So much for a community leader!

Then we have Liow Tiong Lai who made a fool of himself by defending the police when they sprayed acid water at the crowd seeking shelter at Tung Shin Hospital last year during the Bersih 2.0 rally. He had forgotten that we have something called “you-tubes” and with images clearly captured, you cannot lie anymore. The whole world saw what happened on the streets of Kuala Lumpur on July 9th 2011.

Of course we also have Ng Yen Yen spending the people’s money like it was her grandfather’s. She went on many overseas trips using taxpayer’s monies on the pretext of luring more tourists to our country. Did we see more tourists in our country? Illegal immigrants, yes but foreign tourists, no.

Then recently we have Jessie Ooi marching to the front of the stage and shouting herself hoarse at YB Lim Guan Eng during a debate between that pornographic actor and the Chief Minister of Penang. That silly act earned her a moniker “Miss Tow Truck” and she was mercilessly grilled by thousands of Facebook users for days. We were entertained endlessly by video clips of her asking the most stupid question there ever was.

The latest fiasco saw Wee Ka Siong being booed and jeered at by a crowd of almost 10,000 protesters during a rally in Kajang yesterday. He was later chased away by the organizers and parents who were angry with him for being such an incompetent deputy education minister. The rally was held to demand a solution to the shortage of teachers in Chinese primary schools. I can imagine what a nightmare it was for this crybaby. Thousands of protesters chanted “Resign, resign” at him while Rela men were seen forming a human shield to protect him as he was struggling to leave the place.

Come on MCA, why are you guys and gals so thick-skinned and stubborn? Why can’t you get the message that we don’t like you at all? Can’t you understand that you are no longer relevant in our lives; that you cannot do anything positive and concrete for us?

I know you all are in MCA for business benefits and ministerial positions but where is your dignity? Don’t you have any left or you do not have any to start with? Even a beggar or a whore have more dignity than MCA, at least they do not pretend they are helping others. MCA, on the other hand, claimed they are helping the Chinese when the whole world knew they are helping no one else but themselves.

There is a common Chinese saying, “Do you know how to write the word shame (羞耻) ?”

If you refuse to disband yourselves, perhaps we can do a big favor for you shameless fellows – we buried you forever come the next election! What say you, Malaysians?

“礼义廉耻”

简单的说,礼仪是一个社会的根本制度,廉耻是一个人的根本原则。

礼仪廉耻是维持国家的四个基本要素,如果这四个要素不能贯彻执行,则国家很容易灭亡。

Hey… ! Slap “you” for a valid reason.

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Also appeared in Malaysian Chronicle‘s blogsite :

After this public humiliation, would MCA still dare to claim they represent the Chinese?

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This morning, I came across two articles in The Malaysian Insider that caught my interest:-

1. PM: Tough to get two-thirds majority by Yaw Hong Chieh (March 20th 2012)

The prime minister admitted last night it would be difficult for the ruling coalition to secure two-thirds parliamentary majority in the coming general election as the environment was more challenging.

“It’s a different environment now. You have social media at work; you don’t have a monopoly as you had. People are more educated, free flow of information,” he said at the launch of the Foreign Correspondence Club Malaysia here.

For the first time, I totally agreed with him. I guess most Malaysians will agree with him too on the above statement.

Gone are the days when we read only mainstream newspapers. I remembered most of us have a copy delivered to our doorstep each morning before we start our day. We read them at home, at the coffee shop, in the bus or at the office. They used to be our only source of news and we relied heavily on them. Monopoly of media is not good for any country.

Now, it is totally different. Now, we have internet, thanks to the late Ronald Reagan, the former President of USA! With internet, we have alternative media which means more independent news – news coming from different sources, instead of only one. With internet around, I have stopped reading mainstream newspapers for years. When given free to me at LRT stations, I used them to wrap up rubbish before disposal, they are still useful in a way, right?

We used to watch news from local stations a few times a day. Now, I wonder who will still go for them. Not many, I guess. I have put away my TV set in the store-room for many years already. I will take it out soon, dust in and give it away to some old folk’s home or orphanage so that they could have some entertainments.

Oh yes, most Malaysians are educated by now, compared to decades ago when our grandparents or parents were mostly illiterate at that time. With education, you became wiser and more alert of what is happening around you. You can judge what is right and what is wrong. Although this is not always true and it depends on each individual, education does empower a person and wakes him up from his dream-like state.

This in turn makes our demands more sophisticated. It is not just a matter of bread and butter  only– we simply wanted more, in fact much more than what our forefathers desired in the early days. Of course there are still some simpletons whose hearts, souls and their children’s future could be bought with a few hundred dollars!

2. “Useless” to hold another rally, DPM tells Bersih 2.0 by Lisa J. Ariffin (March 18th 2012)

“To me, it is useless to do so (hold another rally),” he told a press conference today after attending the Federal Territory Umno Election Assembly here.

He was speaking in response to Bersih 2.0 chairman Datuk Ambiga Shreenessan, who yesterday warned Putrajaya of a potential Bersih 3.0 rally in light of lagging polls reforms and reports of a sudden surge of voters in some parliamentary constituencies.

“We know the people don’t like demonstrations.”

Thousands of Malaysians took to the streets on July 9 2011 to join Bersih 2.0 rally for free and fair elections but the protest turned ugly at midday when riot police launched tear gas canisters and water cannons to disperse participants.

The widespread clampdown which saw more than 1,000 people arrested even before the rally, earned the regime a whip-lashing in the international media.

Of course nobody likes demonstrating on the streets under the hot sun on a weekend; weekends are so precious to us. If given a choice, we would rather stay at home with our family to relax, go shopping at the malls or for a movie at the cineplex or simply frolic at the pool with the kids. There are so many things to do with our loved ones during a weekend than to be walking in the streets of Kuala Lumpur with the boys in blue running after us from all directions.

But then, we have many Malaysians from all walks of lives, who loved this country very much, who wish to see better days for our children and their children; that we don’t mind coming out to walk because we are walking for them. You can beat us with your batons, you can kick us with your boots, you can fire us with your canisters or you can splash acid water on us but still, we will walk on, for a better future in this beautiful country, the only place we called home – our Malaysia.

It is definitely not useful for him but it is definitely useful for us to walk. It is the only way for us to show our collective anger, frustrations and unhappiness. If thousands of Malaysians are ready to come out, surely they shared one common conviction – that the walk will serve a purpose, and therefore it is useful.

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Reblog from KOMAS :

Women make up half the population of Malaysia. Our contribution is clear in the social, cultural, economic and political life of this nation, both before and after the independence of our country. Women are at the forefront of the concerns of Malaysians about the increasing levels of corruption, racism, exploitation, divisive politics and a curtailment of civil liberties. As a consequence, women and their families struggle to survive with their burden worsening day by day. There simply must be change and this can only come about with a clean government. Today, as part of the celebration for International’s Women’s Day, women stand united to voice out what we want for Malaysia.

“Wanita Suara Perubahan” call for:

A CLEAN GOVERNMENT

A clean government is an accountable government, adhering to the basic principles of good governance. This call for a clean government comes at a time when our national budget goes into increased deficit and when it has been projected that in less than 10 years the country will become bankrupt. The corruption and stacking away of people’s money by people in power is seen as a “right”. Women will, therefore, suffer most as they need to ensure food is on the table; that children’s health is taken care of; and that there is money to send their children for a proper education. Yes! Women will be the most affected.

Millions of ringgit have been lost that should have been spent on adequate housing, health, transportation, education, establishing decent living wages, and ensuring environmental protection. Instead, basic services are being privatised (e.g., health) and subsidies are being cut. Worker’s rights are being eroded, labour is being casualised and the rakyat are being told to cope and live within their means. Many families, including single parents, struggle to pay the rent, feed their children or access decent healthcare. Many women work long hours or hold two jobs to make ends meet.

A clean government must ensure safety and respect for women and all genders. It is, therefore, a growing concern that violence against women continues to be under-reported. In the last two years, 400 out of 1000 cases handled by an NGO showed that domestic workers are sexually assaulted, raped or molested in the homes they work. Too often we are told there are not enough shelters or service providers to attend to victims of violence against women and all genders. There is no support for sexual crime victims in court. The system is failing women and the people as crime increases.

A clean government is about building public confidence in key public institutions such as the Judiciary, the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) and the police force, which are meant to provide the checks and balances and ensure accountability and rule of law. Their effectiveness and impartiality are now in question. Women suffer the consequences of unjust laws as well as poor enforcement or lack of laws relating to women’s safety.

A clean government involves the participation of people, through consultations, especially with women, where there is opportunity for a variety of opinions to be voiced and dissent expressed. There should be freedom of information and freedom to assemble peacefully. Women’s opinions matter, our voices should be heard and our civil liberties respected.

Women have fought hard to realise equality. And we do have the power to bring about change. We reject all forms of sexism, racism, exploitation, corruption and divisive politics. The 13th General Elections will be held within a year and we will make a difference. We will vote for a clean government where good governance is ensured with transparency and right to information.

Wanita: Suara Perubahan calls upon all women voters to participate in the 13th GE and choose good leaders in both State and Federal governments, leaders who will accept and make our demands real.

As we celebrate International women’s day in 2012: WE DEMAND

1. A GOVERNMENT FREE OF CORRUPTION: Accountability and transparency is institutionalised in all key institutions like MACC, Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (IPCMC). They must come under the Parliament and not under the Prime Minister’s Office. A Right to Information Act must be enacted. Make all government income and expenditure transparent; all ministers and senior officials at the federal and state levels must declare their assets.

  1. A DECENT LIVING WAGE: All women and their families enjoy decent standard of living and a decent living wage beginning with a basic minimum of RM1500 per month with increased statutory benefits being regulated for all workers.
  2. A BETTER QUALITY OF LIFE: In order to achieve a higher quality of life for all especially the marginalised, all privatisation programmes related to health, transport and public housing must stop. The government must ensure access to health for all; decent housing for all; and effective and affordable public transport system.
  3. AN END TO VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND ALL GENDERS: End violence against women and all genders, including children in all forms and increase access to justice for survivors of violence. An independent special commission has to be established to critically evaluate the situation, review all laws and develop effective reforms and mechanisms to ensure gender justice.
  4. REPEAL THE PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY ACT: Ensure our Constitutional Right to assemble peacefully is upheld at all times.
  5. A FREE AND FAIR ELECTIONS: Ensure women’s right to construct a democratic nation with free and fair elections as stated in the BERSIH 2.0 eight demands.

Article originally from

http://komas.org/latest-news/102-wanita-suara-perubahan-call-for-a-clean-government.html

Facebook : http://www.facebook.com/wanitasuperMY

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Last night, I was at a departmental store to buy some bath towels for my family when someone quietly walked up from behind and gave me a gentle tap on the shoulder. Startled, I turned around and saw a face I have not seen for ages.

“Hi Miss Liao, it’s nice to see you again!” I exclaimed happily.

“Wow, your memory’s good, you could still recognized my face and remembered my name!” she smiled back.

“Of course, who could forget the secretary of Mr. Ruthless?” I teased her. “Yeah,” she nodded and laughed.

“So, are you still working for that awful man?” I asked her.

“No, I left the company early this year. He was fired shortly before I left,” she replied.

“Oh, was he? But he was very powerful in the office, always acting like he was the Chairman’s godson!” I laughed in disbelief.

Mr. Ruthless was a village boy who made good in the big city. He came from Batu Gajah in Perak. It was the same village where my grandpa lived and made bean curd for sale. His grandpa and mine were “mahjong” buddies. Their “kedai runcit” or provision shop was just opposite my grandpa’s house. It was a small world indeed.

He studied in a very prestigious mission school in Ipoh and then worked as an audit clerk in an accounting firm. There, he met his future wife, Miss Bitchy, an accounts clerk from Taiping. After their marriage, they moved to Kuala Lumpur and pursued their accountancy courses at night while working during the day. It took them many years of hard work before they became qualified chartered accountants and clinched top managerial posts.

Mr Ruthless worked in a property investment division of a large organization. He was the Group Financial Controller and Miss Liao was his secretary. His wife was a Branch Manager of a bank within the same organization.

Me? I was a junior secretary to another manager in the same company, just a small little fly.

As a top executive, Mr. Ruthless and those of the same level were entitled to pick the best units whenever our company launches new projects. After they had picked their choices, the remaining ones were opened to the public. Between him and his wife, they bought about 20 pieces of properties ranging from luxury condominiums to shop-lots at prime locations for investment purposes. They can easily secured loans due to their positions in their respective companies.

On top of this, Mr. Ruthless and his wife also dabbled heavily in shares. He was always on the phone most of the day, following the day’s trend. They each drove a brand new Mercedes-Benz to work and travelled to Europe annually for holidays. Their two young sons went to private schools in Melbourne. Life was very good for them.

Everything went smoothly until 1997 when the economic crisis hit the country hard. Mr. Ruthless was instructed by HR to draft a list of employees to be retrenched. Those who did not perform so well, those who were too well-paid, those who have little to do or those who had just taken maternity leaves were the first to be told to pack up and leave immediately with only a month’s salary as compensation.

You can imagine how unpleasant this exercise was – plenty of tears, begging from those affected and bitterness upon realizing their rice bowls were broken. But Mr. Ruthless stood firm on his decision. He would not yield an inch; all that he cared for was to save as much money as possible for the company so that the managers could continue to receive their year-end bonuses – at the expenses of non-executives. He became the most hated man in the office and was called Mr. Ruthless, the one good at “chopping heads.”

For those who were not affected of which I was one, it was not a blessing either. From a company with over a hundred staff, it was reduced to a skeleton. I was now a secretary serving three or four bosses instead of one and my salary was frozen infinitely. “Where is your group spirit?” he demanded whenever he sensed unhappiness in the office. At times he would just retort bluntly, “Take it or leave it!” Miss Liao stayed on because she needed the job real bad but I just tossed it back to him. I decided to stay home and do something I am happier with.

A few years after I had left the office, something tragic happened to him and his wife. It became a common occurrence for his nose to bleed. His white shirt was often tainted with blood stains, so too were his papers on his working desk. In the end he went to an ENT specialist and after some tests, found that he was having cancer of the nose; in fact he was in Stage 4. When the big “C” attacks, it means big medical bills. It got to the point where he was forced to dispose many of his properties to foot the bills. As if this is not bad enough, even his wife was diagnosed with lung cancer although both were not smokers. Before this, they lived healthy lifestyles, ate organics only, were regular joggers and often went to the gym.

“Miss Bitchy died last year, on the first day of Chinese New Year, at the age of 52, and nobody came for her wake or funeral,” Miss Liao concluded on this couple’s misfortune.

“Oh, how sad to die so young, how about the big bad wolf, did he survive?”  I asked her.

“Yes, but he was hairless now and without a nose; it was gone completely, like Michael Jackson’s,” she laughed wickedly.

“Wow, he managed to survive, that is good enough!” I said.

“But he looked like a zombie now; his cancer kept coming back despite repeated surgeries,” my friend said.

“How’s he to work in that condition?” I asked.

“He ran out of medical leaves and had incurred a lot of expenses for the company, in the end the management fired him and now he was jobless,” she said.

“Oh, what a tragic ending for a once mighty fellow who goes around throwing his weight!” I answered and she agreed.

“Seems like you can bully the poor and the weak, but you cannot bully the big C!” his former secretary said.

“And the doctor will have the last laugh; he will be laughing his way to the bank!” I said as a matter of fact.

“You know, some people who saw him recently said he was now a bitter and lonely man, staying at home with an Indonesian maid to take care of him,” and she continued, “and he was only 54 years old!”

“I think it’s his Karma,” I said. I could not think of any other reason to explain his sudden misfortune.

“Perhaps it’s,” Miss Liao said, “Look, I’ll have to go now or else I’ll be late for work. I’m now with a 5 star hotel, working as a counter supervisor, come see me when you’re free!” she said before hurrying off.

As I walked home with the towels, I thought to myself, “What’s the purpose of having this great wealth when you do not have the health to enjoy it?” Do you have the answer?

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Click and read this article:-

One year after disaster at Fukushima nuclear plant, town remains frozen in time

By Richard Engel, NBC News Chief Foreign Correspondent,
Wed Mar 7, 2012 9:21 AM EST
” ………… Last year, Japan’s disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant contaminated the land around it so badly that the area was effectively a write-off.  It’s been excised from terra cognita, uninhabitable, unwanted. Today the radiation-infected area is known by a name Ray Bradbury would like: “the exclusion zone.” ……………. ” Read more Click here

I read this article yesterday, on the first anniversary of the deadly earthquake and tsunami in Fukushima, Japan. Reading it sent a cold chill down my spine. Perhaps you would like to read it too to see whether it has the same effect on you.

Let’s come back closer to our home, to Lynas. The authorities said it is safe to have a rare earth plant right in the middle of a populated place (Gebeng, near Kuantan) as long as the waste is stored far away in a remote place. It refused to acknowledge the danger this plant will pose to those living nearby. Bringing in money from foreign investors is more important than the health of the ordinary citizens of this country, it seems.

In a country where constructions are shabbily done, do you feel worry about your safety and well-being if this plant is allowed to operate? Do you still remember the Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin Stadium in Kuala Terengganu? A major part of its roof construction collapsed on June 2nd 2009, a year after it was officially opened. Or that cracks appeared at some pillars of the MRR2 flyover in Kepong, Kuala Lumpur? Even our Parliament House leaked six times, each time after a heavy downpour! They said they can reduced floods in Kuala Lumpur with the SMART Tunnel but last week the tunnel was like a river after raining for a few hours.

So, will Gebeng be another Fukushima?
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Also appeared in Malaysian Chronicle‘s blogsite :

Read this… and yet the authorities insist Lynas is safe!

Say No To Radioactive Waste; Stop Lynas !

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I think by now most Malaysians (except those who are not connected by internet) knew about a young Mongolian beauty called Altantuya Shariibuu and her tragic death in this country on October 18th 2006.

However, if you are not from Malaysia and had given this a miss, you can Google her. Just type her name and read up Malaysia’s most sensational murder case. It was a real life story filled with lust, greed and deceit – all crucial ingredients to make Agatha Christie, the celebrated British crime writer, wild with delight. It was a secret dream of many a Hollywood film maker too, I believed.

What angered us was the outcome of her murder trial, which is not a surprise though.

“Whatever the motive was, it is a matter of law that the motive, although relevant, has never been the essential to constitute murder,” Shah Alam High Court judge, Datuk Mohd Zaki Md Yasin declared on Wednesday in his 70 page judgment that disappointed the entire nation. Thousands of Facebook users immediately gave him the thumbs-down sign for bowing to pressures from certain quarters.

“I am satisfied that there is no prima facie for him to answer his charge. I, accordingly, find the third accused not guilty and order him to be acquitted and discharged,” the judge concluded, much to the dismay of most Malaysians (refer to Malaysia Chronicle).

I am not an expert in the field of law but I grew up reading Agatha Christie’s crime novels to know too well that for every murder, there must be a motive. There must be a valid reason to kill someone. You would not simply go around and kill someone for nothing, would you? Murder in Malaysia carries the mandatory death sentence, so with this harsh sentence in mind, no sane person would kill without a very strong reason or motive to do so.

Even when you slaughter a pig, a cow or a chicken, your motive is to eat the animal’s flesh. When you kill a mosquito, your motive is to prevent it from biting you (Aedes mosquitoes’ bites can cause dengue, which can be fatal). Similarly, when you kill a snake that got into your garden, the motive is to prevent yourself from getting bitten by the reptile if it is poisonous.

This verdict simply means the third accused will never be called to court to testify. He will remain happily in London with his family, pursuing his studies. His good buddy will continue to call the shots in the country while his notorious spouse will continue to go shopping for diamonds, Birkin handbags, expensive clothes and awards from some universities desperate for some business connections? After all, when you made lots and lots of money, you are tempted to spend them like there is no tomorrow, right?

Please don’t lie to me, unless you’re absolutely sure I’ll never find out the truth.
Ashleigh Brilliant quotes
(English Author and Cartoonist, b.1933)

Meanwhile, the two elite bodyguards were left to face the consequence. With their faces covered all the time and none of us knew how they looked like, it is possible that their places at the hangman’s noose will be taken over by some unknown drug traffickers. Then one fine day, the government announces that the two killers had been sent to the gallows and the case will now be closed forever! By then, most probably these two fellows will be on the plane flying away to another country with big fat compensations to seal their mouths and were told never ever to come back again!

So, in telling us that there is no motive to kill the Mongolian woman, the learned judge is taking us for fools or simpletons. We wanted to know who hired the two elite bodyguards to kill her, the reason why she was shot in the face and then bombed into smithereens until beyond recognition.

Unlike Agatha Christie’s crime novels where at the book’s end, we got to find out the motive for a murder and who the murderer (s) are, the chances of getting to the bottom of this whole story is rather remote, in view of the country’s judiciary state. Our law has collapsed and there is no place for the people to seek relief and justice. The people’s perception is that justice and truth no longer prevail in this country anymore, again thanks to MM, the Father of Destruction. He destroyed our education system and he also destroyed our judiciary system left behind by the British – among two very fundamental pillars in a functioning society.

I really feel sorry for the family of this young mother. She has two young sons and one of them was a disabled child. These poor boys lost their mother to a heinous crime thousands of miles away from their home and until today, they have yet to claim her ashes for the last rite. One can only hope that her soul will rest in peace one day when changes sweep the country but until then, it will remain a very distant dream.

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Also appeared in Malaysian Chronicle‘s blogsite :

No Agatha Christie ending for Malaysia’s most sensational murder case

and also in a Spanish blogsite :

No Agatha Christie ending for Malaysia’s most sensational murder case ~ Espacio de MANON
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When I walked out from the boss’s room after handing him my resignation letter, I felt like an alien stepping out from a space ship. I was faced with a barrage of curious stares and questions, some made perfect sense, others plain silly and downright mean.

The decision to quit came very spontaneously. I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom instead of working in this posh office. I wanted to be with my babies instead of being with this gang of rat racers. Well, that was twelve years ago.

Admittedly, it was not easy at first. I saw a very beautiful dress in a shop but I forced myself to walk away. I tried on a pair of pretty shoes but I have to put it back onto the display rack. No more monthly facials at the beauty salon. No more weekly outings to Kentucky, McDonald, Pizza Hut or Toys R Us with the little ones. Each day was a struggle between doubts and convictions. In the end, convictions won the day!

Along the way, as I began to adjust into a new routine, I was asked some questions which irked me greatly, questions which left me totally exasperated. The answers can be found in the mouths of these so-called “well meaning” friends or relatives, if only they step into my shoes for just a day.

Recently, I came across an article titled “Nine things you should never say to a stay-at-home mom” in msn.com and I felt I could relate very well to this piece. Read on to find out what people love to say to stay-at-home moms and judge for your-self whether they are genuinely concerned or out to spite the poor moms. I borrowed the title and points from msn.com but the illustrations are based from my own experience.

  1. What do you do with all the free time in your hands? I have been asked this countless times. Each time, my answer is, “I would like to sleep like a pig from day till night” or “I would eat pop corns while watching some Bollywood dramas on TV all day long.” With a one and a half-year old toddler who could not sit still all day and a ten- month old baby who kept tossing in her crib, how much free time do I have? Round the clock breast-feeding and changing the baby’s diapers; feeding porridge to the toddler who walked with unsteady feet and keeping an eye on him lest he put some small toys into his mouth left me hardly much time to go to the toilet to relief myself or even take a bath.
  2. If you are tired, why don’t you nap when the baby does?  Oh yeah, that sounds very tempting and well-meaning, but who will take care of the tons of soiled napkins, do the cooking and clean up the house? If I have a fairy godmother with a magic wand, Snow White or Cinderella in the house to help me with the house chores that kept piling up, I might consider that. Anyhow, my sleep clock does not keep in sync with my babies, no matter how desperate I was to close my eyes just for a brief moment.
  3. It must be nice not to have to work anymore. Of course it is nice not to have to go to the office to face tons of workload, warmongers or backstabbers. But don’t you consider all the cooking, cleaning and looking after the babies as work too? We need to use energy and brains too while doing such work, you know! You can’t go around the house doing chores like a sleep-walker…….
  4. Your husband must do really well. I couldn’t afford to stay home. My husband was just struggling on a mere salary and honestly, I could not afford to stay at home either. But between getting a foreign maid to stay in the house or place the children in some abusive babysitter’s arms and pay them a big portion from my own salary, I preferred to stay at home. End of story.
  5. When do you plan to return to your career? Initially, I thought I will return to work once they reach school-going age but in the end, I loved my stay-at-home job so much, I decided I will just stayed on forever! It is incredibly rewarding watching my children growing up day by day and being there for them at all times.
  6. Do you feel like your education was a waste? No, not at all. My education is a bonus for me as a stay-at-home mom. I could teach my children to sing, to read, to write, to draw – to discover themselves. I loved to tell them bed time stories and act them out together. I loved to sing them lullabies each night when I sent them to bed. We have a great time. It is fun, it is pure joy!
  7. Taste it and you will know what you are in! When friends or relatives heard that I have traded a comfortable job in the office to stay at home minding the children, they were like, “I suffered through it before and now it’s your turn, so I’m going to let you know how tough it is going to be.” But nothing they are going to say will make me change my mind. I am in it, for better or for worse.
  8. I could never do what you do. I’d die without adult conversation. This implies “You must be simpler than me, so you can tolerate it.” There are mothers who thought they are above house chores and child minding. “Not for the life of me, I’ll have a maid or babysitter to do these things, I just hate to sit at home, I’ll be bored to death,” a lady boss told me on my last day at work. She was in the higher rung of the office hierarchy and I can sense jealousy in her voice, can you too?
  9. Does your husband give you an allowance from his paycheck? This question does not sit well with me. I am not his employee. I am not doing this for monetary gains. I am doing this for the children. As long as I am adequately provided for, it is fine. Knowing my children grow up healthily and that they are well looked after is all that matters to me. No amount of money can buy that sense of satisfaction of knowing that they are in good hands.

 

This article is a tribute to all stay-at-home moms on International Women’s Day, celebrated each year on March 8.

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I found this lovely piece in my mail box yesterday and it brought a smile to my lips. I want to share it out with those of you who were born in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s. Read on to see whether you can relate to some of these beautiful memories. The photos in this post are from my own private childhood album. They were taken together with my elder siblings and cousins during a trip to Japanese Garden in the mid 1960s.

Here it goes:-

First, we survived with mothers who do not have maids. They cooked and cleaned while taking care of us at the same time.

They took aspirin, candy floss, fizzy drinks, shaved ice with syrups and diabetes were rare. Salt added to Pepsi or Coke was remedy for fever.

We had no child proof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets.

As children, we would ride with our parents on bicycles or motorcycles for 2 or 3. Richer ones in cars with no seat belts or air bags.

Riding in the back of a private taxi was a special treat.

We drank water from the tap and NOT from a bottle.

We would spend hours on the fields under bright sunlight flying our kites, without worrying about the UV ray which never seem to affect us.

We went to the jungle to catch spiders without worries of Aedes mosquitoes.

With mere 5 pebbles (stones) would be an endless game. With a ball (tennis ball best) we boys would run like crazy for hours.

We caught guppies in drains or canals and when it rained,  we swam there.

We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually worried about being unhygienic.

We ate salty, very sweet and oily food, candies, bread and real butter and drank very sweet coffee or tea, ice kacang, but we weren’t overweight because…..

WE WERE OFTEN OUT PLAYING!!

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, till street lights came on.

No one was able to reach us all day. WE DID NOT HAVE HANDPHONE TO BUG US. And we were O.K. AND WE WERE SAFE.

We would spend hours repairing our old bicycles and wooden scooters out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into the bushes a few times, we learned to solve the problem .

We did not have Playstations, X-boxes, Nintendo’s, multiple channels on cable TV, DVD movies, no surround sound, no phones, no personal computers, no Internet. WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!

We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and we still continued the stunts.

We never had birthdays parties till we were 21.

We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and just yelled for them!

We don’t know what is “Bumiputra”……

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law ! Nobody knew about child psychology !

Yet this generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!

The past 40 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.

We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned ……!!

HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!

And YOU are one of them!

CONGRATULATIONS!

You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the government ‘regulated’ our lives for good !!

And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

P/S: The big-font used is because of Long-sightedness or hyperopia at our age .

The article above was written by Patrick Teoh in his blog “Niamah!!”. http://www.niamah.com/

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“Mommy, mommy!” my daughter called out as she came running into the kitchen where I was preparing dinner this evening.

She had just arrived home from school. I turned around and saw disappointment written all over her young face. Her voice was choked with emotions and she was on the verge of tears.

“Hey, what’s wrong with you, honey?” I asked with concern, stroking her hair.

“I got only 31 marks for my Malay Language Paper One examination today,” she lamented sadly, her head hanging down.

“Oh, is it? What is the full mark for this examination then?” I asked.

“40,” she replied, her lips quivering. “It is an objective test.”

“Never mind, do better next time, okay?” I tried to comfort her. But she still looked unhappy over this issue and I soon found out why.

“Yesterday when I was absent from school, the teacher spend the whole afternoon giving the class some secret tips. She told them what questions are going to come out today. I missed all that,” she revealed with a tinged of regret in her voice.

My child did not attend school yesterday. We were at the dentist. One of her tooth required extraction and two others needed to be filled up. That took the whole evening at the government dental clinic; hence she had to skip school.

“Last night when I called up Sharon to ask her what I had missed during my absence, she said I had missed nothing. Only today, when the test was over and the result was known an hour later, another classmate told me what the teacher had gone through with them when I was not in,” Alexandra continued as she stood beside me at the sink. Tears began rolling down from the corners of her eyes. This was her first test in a secondary school.

Yes, I got it now. She felt betrayed by Sharon, her best friend since Year Two. They had been sitting together all these years; they were close friends but rivals in their studies. They took turns to come out top in class.  When Alexandra got first place, Sharon will get second and vice versa. It had always been like that. Now they go to the same secondary school, were put in the same class and sit together again. And so, the rivalry continues, I guess.

“Look like Sharon kept something back from you,” I pointed out to my daughter. I could feel her disappointment too. I have been in the same situation before, during my school days, around her age too.

“Yes, I feel the same. I had always shared everything with her but last night she was hiding something from me,” my daughter said sadly of her best friend.

“Take this as a lesson in life, my dear. Friends are like that, no friends give their all, and there will be some holding back, especially when it comes to studies or working. You will meet more of such friends when you are grown up and started to work in the adult’s world,” I explained to her.

If you know Alexandra well, you will find that she is a good friend to have. She is always kind and helpful to her friends. My daughter loved to share; it was something I taught her since her toddler days. She won’t hesitate to share her toys or her snacks with other children her age. And when she got older, she loved to share the joy of learning with her friends in school. But the problem with her is that she thought everyone is like her too. I wanted her to find out for herself that this is not so, that not everyone is so generous in sharing.

“Sharon scored 37 and she got the highest mark in class. She got A,” Alexandra said enviously.

“You are not doing too badly either. And it’s all your own efforts, without tips from the teacher!” I tried to cheer her up. She nodded and managed a weak smile.

“But I am on the border line. She was in a more comfortable position,” she said finally, letting out a sigh.

“Alexandra, I wanted you to know that the score is not so important as compared to how much you understand the questions and how much you learnt from your test,” I stressed to her.

She kept quiet, trying to analyze my words.

“Remember this – don’t depend on your peers too much. Always depend on yourself. Succeed on your own efforts, not on tips from your classmates. If you can do that, you are doing fine, understand?” I tried to rub that onto her young mind.

“Don’t limit yourself to Sharon and the others from your former school. Get to know new friends that came from other schools too. Widen your circle of friends. Who knows one day you might meet better friends from among them? True friends are very rare and hard to come by, take your time to find them,” I told her while wiping her tears away.

She smiled broadly and looked up at me. “Yes, I understood now. Thank you, Mommy, and I loved you so much!” she said, giving me a tender hug before running off to get her bath. Dinner was ready.

I think my daughter had learnt some lessons today. She is learning some ups and downs of real life. I am glad for her.

By the way, what would you say to your child if she felt betrayed by her best friend?

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