Ally’s Thoughts: 2022 Malaysian General Election. Why do I vote?

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Hi friends and readers,

Today’s thought might not be for everyone because it involves my dearest country’s future, the general election. It is the 15th Malaysian general election after our Prime Minister dissolved the parliament.

Immediately after I reached the eligible age to vote, I registered myself as a voter. This was before the recent amendment for Undi18 which automatically registered people at the age of 18 as voters. Why did I register to vote? It is simply because of what was happening around the previous general election, the 2008 Malaysian general election. The countless rallies demanded change, political tsunamis, and the first female opposition leader. All these things made me think about what is going on, in Malaysia.

I’m curious.

I started to have the need to learn. Who are the politicians, which parties, what are the policies, and how does this country reach this point? The media was so disgusting at the time with its one-sided views plus numerous sex scandals during prime time news. Not to mention how the media keeps on painting the opposition as the devil that will disrupt the harmony and stability of this country. Where does all this unfairness and slander come from? Does this happen to other countries as well? Is this how politics should be? I have a lot of questions back then.

The most important step to take is to question. Then, I started to care. I learned to take interest in what’s going on in politics. I started to care about the national budget. I also started to care about national policy even though it doesn’t concern me much. I want to see progress. I saw that being independent for half a century and yet, racial discrimination is still strong. I grew up in the system, education system, yet, I don’t understand how things look so different in politics.

To be a voter.

With all those questions, curiosity, and realizations, I decided to be a voter. Ever since then, the upcoming 2022 Malaysian general election will be my third general election plus one by-election. While the game of politics can be an overwhelming one, especially for younger generations. Heck, even for me too. I believe what is the most important thing is to have something that you want for the country. I want stability but with progressive policies, I want to eradicate racial discrimination and biases by promoting a stronger bond of real unity, I want real planning with actions to tackle the climbing cost of living and improve Malaysia’s economy.

And lastly, I want to have leaders with high integrity and clear policies. I don’t want leaders that keep on badmouthing others, inciting racial discrimination, riding religious cards, and belittling the rakyat – citizens.

For those who wonder.

If you are wondering, should you vote? Who should I vote for? Everyone sucks here, I should not vote at all! Before I proceed, I would like to invite you to read about what made me a Malaysian below. When you have a solid foundation of what you are and a strong understanding of Malaysia, you will develop your own answer.

Back to the previous questions, voting is the basic thing that you can do for Malaysia. It is the bare minimum. If you ask what is the point if the candidate doesn’t look good at all? It is time for you to sit down and think about this carefully. You may think that your vote means nothing because you are just one person. However, you are not the only person having the same thoughts and ideas. There are other people facing the same dilemma as you. They are sitting on the fence and you are one of them. You will be surprised to find out that some candidates win and lose by a small margin

The next one is which one does align with your values. Some parties have different merit and narratives. If you understand your values, why not find out which parties are the closest to yours. At least, that is the basic thing to understand why you vote for someone or parties.

Finally, I understand that changes are scary. There are so many narratives frightening us if we welcome something new or something progressive. However, in some ways, the current conditions are not even better. Our economy doesn’t fare well, racism is obvious out in the open, ridiculous and uneducated remarks from so-called leaders, public infrastructure issues, and a lot more. If you don’t even feel the slightest frustration, I applaud you for not being affected. I know my life did.

So, if you are a registered voter. Go out there and do your duty. At least we still have this democracy and we still have the power to decide. Trust me, after a few times, even though the candidate I voted for lost, I learned to accept and respect the process. Endure and vote again next time.

Ally’s Thoughts: Sacrifice or self-serving conviction?

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Hello friends and readers,

I recently had the time to talk about life with someone and a subject that is really interesting came up. Sacrifice. What is sacrifice?

By definition, it is to give up (something valuable) for the sake of others. Something valuable can mean a lot of things like money, time, or even one’s life.

In a marriage, what is considered a sacrifice? In a family, is burning ourselves like a candle considered a sacrifice? Does being a citizen of a peaceful country run by corrupt leaders a sacrifice? Does everything have to be a sacrifice?

Let me sort these thoughts one by one.

I personally believe in sacrifice BUT not the kind of sacrifice based on manipulation and self-serving conviction or belief. What does that mean? To offer something valuable to us does require a huge sacrifice for example being the better person in an argument or donating our organs. I know it doesn’t sound close to a certain degree or level of sacrifice that we all perceive and consider as a sacrifice. There are two things that these two have in common, that is having the option to do it.

The first example, taking the higher road and being the better person. What is the valuable thing that we sacrifice? Ego and pride. Do we have the option of being petty? Yes. We can escalate the conflict but we don’t. Even though, we can. Then, let’s talk about the second example, donating organs. We can also donate our blood. According to an article by The Medical Futurist, How Much Is Life Worth? a kidney is worth around $262,000 each. However, instead of getting involved in a black market, we decide to donate our organs in the hope they reach the ones that deserve them. Do we have different options? Yes.

My point is a sacrifice is to have an option. What about an ultimatum? We have a choice too, right? I guess it depends on how far the perimeter of the ultimatum is controlled by us instead of the other party. If we don’t have control of it, I would consider that a manipulation. The same goes for self-serving convictions like, ‘I did this because of you…’, ‘I sacrifice my this, this and this, so you could…’, and goes on. I believe instead of a well-thought option, it becomes a personal and self-centric decision.

I do want to explore more of this topic but the thoughts ended here. In conclusion, we all have sacrifices to make but it should be based on our ground and willingness. If it goes beyond our willingness and moral compass, it is either we are being manipulated OR we believe that we are serving the best based on our own beliefs.

Before I forgot to mention, Ally’s thoughts are mostly a post on random thoughts and based on my own personal opinion and perspective. It is undeniable that there are other perspectives to be discussed such as academically, philosophically, religiously, and more.

However, for now, this is just one man’s thought alone.

Ally’s Thoughts: What made me a Malaysian?

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Hi friends and readers,

Recently, I worked with an NGO, and a question was asked that keeps on bothering me for months. What made me a Malaysian? The manager raised a couple of good points like the fragility of tying our nationality with food, and sports. I can’t help to agree. This is just my personal opinion and that is what “”Ally’s Thoughts” segment is all about.

I agree with his statement. Does being a Malaysian about having good food and good badminton players? Is it about having the tallest twin tower in the world? In a more recent quick discussion, I had with an academician, he said, if being a Malaysian is all about having all the good food, it feels superficial. I nodded in agreement.

Let me share my opinion on what made me a Malaysian. First of all, I know well Malaysia is a multiracial country, once a British colony for hundreds of years. The colonizer brought in laborers, mainly from India and China to maximize the production of local resources. They created a system that somehow managed to seep into the present, elitist. If you are Malaysian and somehow want to understand more about it, I highly recommend you to read The Colour of Inequality: Ethnicity, Class, Income and Wealth in Malaysia by Muhammed Abdul Khalid. It doesn’t matter which race are you from because it definitely helped me to understand why Malaysia feels so torn apart sometimes.

Unity and beyond

I personally believe being a Malaysian is all about unity. The unique thing about it is we look past it beyond colors and belief. For me it is a blessing compared to other countries, Malaysians enjoy each other’s company, celebrate together, and deeply respect each other in our daily life. In the recent crisis, Covid, and the flood that happened, I saw how united Malaysian can be. The solidarity shown for fellow Malaysians that was affected by the crisis is heart-moving. It really shows the Malaysian spirit.

I believe this should be the starting point for a better future. I also believe similar things have been done in the past. However, if it works, I wouldn’t be writing this kind of post. I would probably be writing about something else, not about the obvious thing that should make me a Malaysian.

Somehow from my observation, I don’t think we Malaysians share the concept of history the same as each other deeply. We all understand how we gain our independence and the leaders behind it. However, we came from different backgrounds. Some might feel that independence is a distant past that the younger ones have difficulties embracing.

Again, unity as the core principle value is not new. I’ve seen the words countless times as I grew up. The terms perpaduan, bersatu padu, semangat perpaduan, and the list goes on. We have been injected and shaped with those words constantly, I, for example, have been to Sekolah Kebangsaan (SK) and Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan (SMK), playing with those words in my essays. Even so, I believe in experience and practical things rather than just theory. I attended two different SK. One is in the city, where I experience the multiracial environment. The other one is in the kampung, where 99% of the students are Malay. The atmosphere and experience are totally different. When I get to SMK, the students from the kampung have a hard time mingling with other races and prefer their own. It’s just from my observation.

Of course, unity is the key but the keysmiths are the politicians. They are the leaders that shaped the country. I understand that Malaysians inherited a system from the colonizers and passed it down to the younger generations. I strongly believe we need to break free from it. It is in the news about how racism is on the rise but Malaysians don’t really talk about it. To be honest, I have faith in my generation and the coming ones. Slowly, I believe the real Malaysians, not the elitists, will be able to shape a better Malaysia. The one that has been brought up by the spirit of living in Malaysia will lead the country. Certainly not by the silver spoon-fed families that have no idea what happen on the ground. Real leaders that will bring unity which all Malaysians deserve.

You can leave if you want, but

Of course there are Malaysians who believe that this country is doomed. No point in staying and better migrating to another country. That is their opinion and nothing is wrong with that. But, the one who stays believes otherwise. They still want to fight, they believe in change. Slowly, they did. Slowly, they progressed. They are fighting for a better Malaysia.

You or any other Malaysians who no longer believe Malaysia can be better, you can leave if you want but don’t ever disrespect or belittle the effort of the ones who decided to stay. The same goes for Malaysians who don’t vote because they don’t believe in change or the system. To vote is the bare minimum to challenge the system. That is the basic thing to do for a Malaysian.

As a closure, being a Malaysian is all about unity. For me, that is the answer to the question, of what makes us Malaysian. This unity stems from respect, admiration, and understanding of Malaysia’s identity. I believe this unity has already sprouted and grown but is still a long way to fully mature. Perhaps, one day.

25 August 2022.

Ally’s Thoughts: I have a choice. So do you.

Hi friends and readers,

Have you watched a video from not so long ago about a judge recognising a classmate? If you haven’t, I’ll leave the link to the video here. Plus, with the update.

I believe this is a great example of how we all have choices. There are times when I am at my wit’s end. A dead end after a long confusing walk in a labyrinth. It usually happens when I don’t have the ideas, the knowledge, the different perspectives… I tried to do it alone. Don’t get me wrong, I realised that there are things that we can do alone, and there are things that we need help with. And for some people like me, asking for help can be challenging. However, that is a different problem. Let’s go back to our main topic of the day, choices.

So in the video, the defendant managed to change. To note, this is not his first run in court. He has been in the same situation previously. However, this time, a different judge decided to take a different approach. Imagine if she continues without having that conversation with the defendant. She had a choice. Either ignore or talk about it. She chose to talk about it. The impact? Is something that some of us wanted, to change and to be someone better.

I made bad choices in life. Some of them are painful, and some left me with emotional scars. However, I learnt that is the next step after that. There is nothing wrong with reflecting on our mistakes. What matter next is the choice, either to drown yourself in it or take the first step to own it and made better choices.

I’m writing this down not to preach. I want this to be a reminder to myself. I would probably read this post again in the future. When I hit the same dead end. When I made bad choices. When I need the strength to move on. I know this because I read my previous posts. It helped me even though it was something I wrote years ago.

Until next time, friends.

Ally’s Thoughts: Selamat Hari Merdeka ke-64 #MalaysiaPrihatin

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I wish to all Malaysian, a Happy 64th Independence Day, or Merdeka Day. In the spirit of fighting the pandemic, the theme is carried from last year, Malaysia Prihatin meaning Malaysia Cares. It does fit us in this challenging time during the pandemic including the political instability.

There have been plenty of things happened and I am sure that all Malaysians experienced it. Ever since we had our first lockdown, selfish actions by some politicians, economic disasters, and of course the loss of souls from Covid-19. In this post, I feel the urge to share my thoughts also known as venting out. I believe that as a citizen, there is nothing wrong for me to express my feeling, to share dissatisfactions.

I do have a lot to write on but it will probably turned out to be lengthy and uninteresting for other to read. I will just write based on a topic that I want to highlight.

Malaysia Prihatin, or Malaysia Cares.

In the place where I live, the lockdown have been imposed for more than 500 hundred days. I live in a state that contributes the highest Covid-19 cases nationally. While there are some softer restrictions earlier, it turned worst after Malaysia struggling with the 3rd waves of the pandemic. I mostly ended up staying home and only go out to buy necessary groceries. I am sure I am not alone to feel extremely exhausted because of it.

During this pandemic, I submitted to my depression, I withdraw from projects, I lost some relatives, and likely to worsen my mental health. While that is from my perspective, there are others that are less fortunate. It is in the news every single day. Some loses their source of income, some struggling to have basic necessities, and some loses a lot more.

Fortunately, Malaysians can be helpful and generous towards each other. While we are made of different culture and races, being supportive is a trait that we shares together. It was shown by the #BenderaPutih movement. It was amazing to see how willing and able for us to help each other.

What disgusts me was when some politicians belittled the movement. It was unnecessary and showed lack of empathy, plus the big disparity between reality from the so called ‘elite’ perspective. My obvious impression is yes, we the struggling citizen can relate and believe in Malaysia Prihatin. It doesn’t seem the case for such elits in Malaysia. They don’t care.

The real Malaysians

As I grew up, and already starting my 3-series journey this year, I met with a lot of people. I dare to say this, the real Malaysians will never judge each other based on races. Why? Simply because it doesn’t make any sense. Why would I be judgmental towards other races? For me, it is all based on individual. No one would like to be band together for something that they are not.

I can see clearly how great unity is during this pandemic. I can see the eagerness from real Malaysians to help each other. I see them as the real Malaysians. I believe that as time move forward, we will become better.

And to the crooks and selfish politicians, Malaysians rallied together to help each other during this pandemic. While you were busy playing chess to gain power, you sidelined us to make us suffer. I believe that the younger generations are ready to change the landscape of the archaic political games.

The next 10 years will be something I am looking forward to. As a responsible citizen, I voted in elections ever since I met the age requirements. Things already changing and it was proven by the last general election. While things became unstable after that, I consider it as the inevitable change that will echo louder later.

I wish nothing else but to see better leaders in the future. Simply because, I might live through that future.

Project Social Distancing by Britt

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Dear friends and readers,

The pandemic has affected us in many ways. For myself, it has been exhausting and dreadful to handle because of the long lockdowns. Even so, I still have some source of income and a place to stay under. Others are not so fortunate. Some lost their source of income. Some lost their homes. Some lost both, and some lost their loved ones.

I would love to share about a project by a fellow writer, including her message.

My name is June Hew also known as Britt. I’m a 40 years old Chinese diaspora living in Malaysia. I’ve been suffering from mental health problem for many year s and things spiralled out of control 4 year s ago. I started seeking medical help then because I couldn’t conceal my condition anymore. The same time I lose my livelihood, losing my job and being without support.

I’ve started a website recently to slowly get back to writing. I was very active before everything went out of my control. Started selling printed t-shirt hoping to help with my daily expenses.

Britt

You can reach at;
https://rebelbritt.wordpress.com/
britt.curatedconsumption@gmail.com

Donation;
PayPal.Me@Britt365

Project Social Distancing;
https://www.bonfire.com/im-social-distancing-1/

I appreciate every help and assistance. Thank you!

Ally’s Thoughts: Saying Goodbye to 2019

person holding a sparkler in macro photography
Photo by Kris Lucas on Pexels.com

Hi everyone,

We are here, in December and leaving 2019. The truth is, it was a really rough year for me. Too rough and I still try to stabilize the aftermath.

I want to share it here because I know that there are more out there having bad times, worst than mine.

After working for almost 2 years in a good place, I started to feel depressed. Early 2019, I got myself diagnosed and referred to a psychiatric clinic. Now, I’m under medication and having a new job.

For those who are struggling with mental illness, I hope you found the courage to break out from the void and get some help. Then, the real battle starts there because wanting to feel good and ‘normal’ is ridiculously hard.

It is hard to find someone you can trust, to share the things you are experiencing right now. Find the right channel and you are not alone.

Now, I am into 10 months under medication and I am still far away being healthy. However, slowly I feel my motivation is coming back. As I was going through all these, I realized so many things about my situation. It opened my eyes and I hope you will find it in your journey too.

Thank you very much for reading and visiting my site. I am sorry for neglecting my WordPress community with less posts and less visiting your sites. I am ashamed but I really feel good whenever I return here.

Wishing you all the best in the year 2020. May all of you receive great blessing and find success in the things you want to achieve. Happy New Year!

So, think better on what you can do

the-bridge1
Source: Taste of Cinema

Have you looked outside the window?
Maybe the door or the house?
Far away from the shadow,
When the time stopped you can’t browse,

Then tell me,
How could you see the fortunate,
Or the unfortunate,
When your eyes shut and you always late,

Silly, that you can’t figure it out,
Then you taunt for a bout,
You act strong like a stout,
But my punches keeps you knocked out,

No, I am not really angry,
Just letting off steam and spare energy,
Plus all these words and creativity,
I can’t store them personally,

Life is harsh and everyone else too,
So, think better on what you can do,

Dalam diam gelap jiwaku terikat

dark_room_by_ikiz
Source: innocentstore.sk

Banyak yang nak aku luah,
Dari dulu sampai kini tiba,
Ada yang kecil, besar, shallow dan deep jua,
Tentang isu manusia, kucing, panda dan buaya,
Dari A sampai Z tapi aku buntu pada siapa,

Yang nak dengar bukan manusia,
Yang dengar bukan makhluk bernyawa,
Daripada kabus ilusi aku jampi jadi nyata,
Tiada yang akan menikam aku dalam dunia,

Suaraku bisu mulut ku terkunci rapat,
Tapi suara minda ku bergema kuat,
Lama kelamaan bayangan jadi hakikat,
Dalam diam gelap jiwaku terikat.

Ally’s Thoughts: The Struggle With Depression

dark_room_by_ikiz
Source: innocentstore.sk

Based on a study by Malaysia Psychiatric Association (MPA), depression will be a MAJOR mental illness by the year 2020. On what basis? According to the study by the 2017 National Health and Morbidity Survey found that 29% Malaysian suffered depression and anxiety compared to 12% in 2011.This means, the number is steadily increasing every year and most of us don’t know about it.
 
Wait, how did you know this? How did I know this? I am a Malaysian who suffered Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), of course I know about it. Whenever I talked about it, they don’t understand how someone can feel sad or down when it doesn’t show on our face, they don’t understand why someone can’t handle the pressure and tension of living like they do, they can’t relate when someone decided to hurt themselves and take their own life.
 
To add the pain, some will casually tell us, you need to smile more, you need to get out more, you need to let go, you need to get closer to God, you need this, you need that… If only it is that simple. The perfect example would be, if you suffered from diabetes and someone casually said “Just eat bitter food everyday and you will be fine”.
 
For awhile, I have suspected that I have depression because of all the things I read in the internet. Worst is that I started to have it since I was young. That explained all the addictions, self harms, mood swings, harmful impulses and the unbearable thoughts of dying.
 
It was until early this year, I decided to get myself diagnosed after I attempted to kill myself with a knife. I don’t have the courage to do it. I was a coward. After I had my session with the doctor, he gave me a referral letter to a hospital. Even so, I did not went to the hospital immediately, I was still hesitant.
 
For me, everyday was tiring, getting out from bed was tiring, getting out to work was tiring, talking to others was tiring, acting was fine was tiring. Not to mention, the constant dark thoughts, the images of myself, and the horrendous nightmares every night.
 
It took me a month to go to the hospital. I was diagnosed and officially became a mental patient. It was unreal at first because I don’t really know how this will impact my life. Every time my parent asked me, I couldn’t really give them proper answers. I mostly avoid talking about it.
 
The doctors were really helpful in supporting me. They explained to me thoroughly and patiently answering my questions. “How long does it take to recover?” It depends on the person. Every time I went to my appointment, the doctors will ask how do I feel, what did I do, did I skipped my medicine. Truly, skipping my med at first feels like the world start to whirl again.
 
Till this day, I am still struggling but I keep on surviving. My mind became lighter and I know I am recovering from it. I decided to share it here because I have gave it a long thought. I don’t have to hide it because there is nothing shameful about it. In fact, it gave me the strength to keep on moving and giving awareness to others.
 
Depression doesn’t have a face. You might have it, your friends might have it or your family members might have it. My advice is seek early treatment. Don’t hesitate to visit the doctors, be it public or private institution.
 
Depression can be treated. If you think you have depression, you are not alone. Don’t be afraid to seek help. Do reach out to someone that you can trust. If not, you can call the helpline in your country if you need someone to talk to.
 
For those who are on treatment, do not give up or falter. It is a rough and harsh road to recovery but you will get through. Stay strong.