He is not mysterious, Nor he wants to be, He is mostly reserved, Hiding behind a silhouette, He has much to say, Yet spoken shortly with emojis, He is nothing, But a lost soul, He sees the goal, But walking in a crumbled path, He is a man, Deprived of everything.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
Have you been in a situation where you don’t think things will work out because of the differences in values?
I’ve been wanting to share about this for the past few weeks but I couldn’t decide on how to share it. The word value also means principles or the thing we think is important in life. If we think love is important, love is a value in our life. If we think money is far more important, we hold money as valuable and a priority in our life. Those are just examples.
What if a couple doesn’t share the same values? What if a family has different ideas on the values that matter? What if the company’s value is totally different from that of its employees? It is a mismatch and will hinder their situation, trust, and growth.
Of course, a solution or a compromise is the next step forward. However, before taking that next step, the current step is to understand what kind of values that we believe in.
I personally, can be really particular about the things I get myself involved on something. Be it personal, networking, or career-wise.
I was in such a situation recently and I feel tormented for the inability to share about it. Imagine working on a project that you are so uncomfortable with. It was not the tasks, colleagues, or the bosses but the whole idea of the project. A project that focuses on great values but personally to me, it is against mine. Don’t get me wrong, I do support the project but to be personally involved in it, stirs the guilts and pressure inside me.
How are you? I hope you are doing well. I know I’m not really doing well but I am working my way. Few hours ago, I have watched the season three of You. It is a Netflix series that I’ve started to watch last year. I even made a post about it. I’ll leave the link to the first post down below.
Did I skipped writing about season two? Yes. I feel like season one and two have a strong resemblance while trying to tie all the lose ends. So, nothing really strikes me to write something down. However, season three for me is something really refreshing and a theme on its own.
Before I go even further, spoilers alert and as always, my thoughts are not about how the series is good or bad. It is just some personal thoughts that I feel I really want to share when I watched it. Again, if you haven’t watch the series, just skip this post.
I was anxious, yet excited!
Not even ten minutes into the first episode, I was so anxious about the whole situation they were into. Can they really be a normal couple? I can’t help to think who would be the casualty in the series. I couldn’t stop thinking about body counts… I am referring to the dead bodies throughout the series. Every single time the series introduced a new character, the thought on my head is… will this character die? Will this one get killed? It is constantly in my mind.
However, I really love the progress of Joe and Love are making. Both of them are crazy but I really love the dynamic between the two of them. Out of all the ‘You’ Joe had, I really love, Love Quinn character. I believe she is a strong and capable woman. If her character develops beyond the story and things really get together, she will be super successful. Plus, the actress, Victoria Pedretti instantly becomes my celebrity crush. Okay, back to the series.
Marriage scares me.
I know that Joe and Love have their own twisted personalities. Both of them came from different background growing up with traumas that defined their adulthood. I can see where they are coming from, their obsessiveness, overprotectiveness, impulsiveness, and all the values that led them to where they are. I kind of understand the flaws inside of me. I really believe that I am not perfect and I made mistakes and probably will too in the future.
Being alone is about me having to deal with all these by myself. However, some things can be a long stretch battle and I don’t know if I am capable to heal or get over it one day. Imagine having so much issues and trying to get through it is hard. Now, add another person. Some people probably overcome and able to handle things. What if I don’t?
I do believe in the process of healing. I do believe that people can get better. If only they want to go through it together and be a team. It’s not that I don’t believe in it, I just have so many doubts in me right now.
Expectation and happiness.
I recently joined a course in Coursera called The Science of Well-Being and one of the topic in discussion was how we think we will be happier with expectation. When we expect to find a job making certain amount per year would make us happy, but it only make us happy a little bit or not at all.
Joe and Love have their own definition of being a perfect parent. Despite both of them have a dark history and personalities. They carries different value in themselves. Somehow, thing went the opposite. Both only sees their own values and belief while tiptoeing among each other.
They tried to improve their relationship but the moment they saw different things, it went south.
It saddened me.
The finale saddened me. I really love the dynamic between Joe and Love. I was running different scenarios in my head on how the season would end. It’s either one of them died. Or both of them survived. Personally, I would love to see them on the run and somehow managed to kill the whole town if necessary. That would certainly be a plot that I want to see. But, that wouldn’t fit the title and the original storyline.
So, I am open for fan-fic at this moment. Overall, I really love the series. It’s really heartbreaking to see the ending. It’s really hard to see a happy ending in such dark and grim series.
Can I find a partner to be on my team?
I learned that life is a long journey as long as I’m still breathing. There are many encounters, mistakes, lessons and everything that will help me grow. I understand that well. I’ve seen so many people found new beginnings after some things ended.
I don’t believe in perfection but I believe in contentment. Perfect is just a façade to cover my own weaknesses. I’m not looking for perfection but willingness. What do you think?
That’s all for now. I hope you enjoy reading it. It’s been raining here and I just feel like sleeping the whole day. Welcome Monsoon season.