Saturday, September 27, 2008

How Great Is That?

1. After 2 months away from home, now I got to reach my hometown safely.
2. The persons who waited for me at the train station for one and a half hours so that they could be the first ones to see me back home were my family members!
3. The first show I managed to catch (by accident) without missing much of it was my all-time favourite show - Friends!
4. Met Thompson on the net and booked some movies for our outing this weekend with Ranukka and June.
5. Slept till near noon the next day.
6. Penang food!

Was going to meet up my secondary school friends but because of curfew, I decided to pass this one. I still have the Cinderella curfew and a lot of my friends are no longer bound by it. It's ok. Sometimes I like curfew because it keeps me on the ground.

Till then. Selamat Hari Raya everyone!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Learn to Speak, Speak to Learn

As I read Swee Kheng's latest post on Spanish China, this idea hits me back again, and I think it's time I really share it to more people about it.

Sweeks was telling us how the Chinese (in China, of course. The Chinese in Malaysia are quite different from those in China especially in this context. Read on.) take (note: present tense) up several foreign languages so that they can communicate with the foreign visitors and sell things to them. It is well known that if it is apparent for someone to look like a visitor in a foreign country, people from all sorts of businesses would like to squeeze the blood out of their pocket with whatever method. Taxi's cut throat price, roadside pirated goods, you name it. Live examples are on show everyday in Bukit Bintang area.

What I want to point out here is not the unethical money earning method, but the very effort of learning an altogether foreign language just to make sure they get more customers. If you manage to convince a customer to buy your good, you will get one sale ahead of others. The competition is intense, and every customer counts. Beijing hosted the Olympic and Paralympic recently. It has hence created a huge opportunity for the Chinese to earn extra cash by meeting the demand of the visitors - accommodation, food, transport, souvenirs and etc. 

The Chinese realise that communication serves as the basis of connection. In stead of being proud of their mother tongue and speak Mandarin to every visitor, they painstakingly learn a foreign language to make their customers feel comfortable (and respected) while trading with them. They understand that if they were to stand at international level, they have to be able to accommodate international visitors.

English used to be the international language. Though it is still a language widely used, some has actually argued that Mandarin is soon becoming the international language. This is due to the fact that markets are opening up in China and everyone wants to have a piece of cake from them. We can see young working Japanese learning Mandarin from a guide book while commuting. However, to the Chinese, they understand that it's not the matter of whose language is the international language. It's the idea of being multilingua in order to be competent in the flat world.

If other people doesn't want to learn Mandarin, or have difficulties in learning it, then fine, the Chinese will go the other way round and learn other languages, so that they are the one approaching you to trade with you. They are the one who gets the profit. And they are the one who expands their influence, or threat, to other now economical strong countries.

The problem I see among Malaysian now is that nobody seems to realise that we should actually incorporate several languages into our education system ever since primary school. While everyone is arguing if we should abolish schools which use their non-BM mother tongues as teaching medium, why not we consider learning all the languages to solve the problem? Learn the Malay language, English, Mandarin and Tamil at least, so everyone wouldn't have language barrier with each other, and the major languages are preserved.

It is sad for someone to be restricted from speaking in a language that they know of simply because they have to respect others who don't. I understand how rude it is to do so, but if everyone were to understand what each other are talking about, shouldn't the ability to comprehend a language be cherished? 

These days we have more and more Chinese who doesn't speak or read in Mandarin, or Indian in Tamil. Of course, they still can survive in Malaysia because the medium here is mainly BM and a number of big cities out there use English. We don't have to argue if preserving mother tongue is important or forcing the young generation to take on their ancestral language is correct. We were given the impression that as a Malaysian, we have a national language, and we can all communicate in that language and there should be no barrier among citizens of this multiracial and multiethnicity country.

What a waste, Malaysia. 

The true treasure we have in Malaysia is the diversity in peace. But is that all we can get from this colourful country? Instead of just being tolerance towards each other, we can use it as a big classroom where we don't have to pay a cent to learn a new language or experience a new culture. Too bad we have yet to realise it.

Should we be proud of our identity as a country where multi races can live in harmony together, why can't we see the diversity in everyone of us? We're seeing uniformity, not unification. While the different language are still spoken in this land, we still have all we need for us to stand out in the eyes of the world. Our uniqueness is not about one national language, but the ability to communicate in different languages we learnt from our friendly neighbours who come from different racial background! 

As we talk about globalisation, are we ready for it? Are we ready to compete with other countries to be a sale ahead of them? Apparently we are not. We are sleeping while others have awaken. Language opens our world to a new dimension of knowledge we are unable to discover should we continue to be ignorance towards the importance of the "foreign" language. When the world is getting flatter, everyone can go anywhere, and everyone can be anybody else. What is it really "foreign" about that language then? The more languages you're able to command, the more knowledge and opportunities will be opened to you, and the higher and farther you will go.

Wake up Malaysia. You are a rich country if you know how to use your resourses well. Capital development and human resources, I mean. We are all blessed, but the government are too busy playing racial cards than to see the comparative advantage. I still love Malaysia. I believe Malaysia can do more than what we've done so far, by opening up the gate.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

What A Blast!

Before this I wrote a post about having doubt about myself being appreciated.  And I talked about my birthday vs debate training.

Haha ;-) I should laugh at myself, after laughing for the whole day at everything before, during and after the training =)

Spending time with that bunch of people is still worth while. Because there isn't any boring moment with them. And I am a part of them.

They actually arranged a celebration for me. Dev kind of spoiled it while he mistakenly sent an sms to me by right it was meant for somebody else. It made me chuckled. But it's alright. At least I know that they do care for me. They wanted to make it special for me. And they gave me card and gift as if I deserve them because I'm me. 

And it's been so long I haven't heard a birthday song that is meant only to me. I have a coursemate, Ah Chew, who was born on the same day as I was. So if friends were to celebrate with the both of us, the birthday song would be for the both of us. While if my junior buddies were to celebrate my birthday with me, it'll be too few people to sing a birthday song without feeling embarrassed. Also, it's been ages I haven't spent my birthday at home because of classes and stuff.

This evening UKM English Debating Team sang me a birthday song. Debaters. Singing. Aren't they cute? ;-)

I can't deny I like to receive gifts that are specially chosen for me. Because while others are choosing that gift,at least  for that moment I've crossed their minds. It feels good that some people would want to spend time with and for you, hoping that whatever they do would make you happy.

I want to thank all of you who had sent me warm wishes. At least you spent some time dropping by to send me wishes.

I want to thank my childhood best friend Say Li for calling me up right after 12mid night to send me wishes. *wink*

I want to thank my beloved crazy ex-roommate Siok Leng for also calling me up and dropping me a great gift: After few months of courstship only now she tells me about it. I am very happy for her because she is a wonderful girl. I always think guys around her must have been blind not to see her charming personality.

I want to thank Shyang Heng for doing a trick to get my number just to wish me by phone. Thanks for making me laugh =)

I want to thank Sidek for the scented shirt. Fine, I'm very kampung. I haven't came across a scented shirt before, so it's something interesting for me, and I like it! Nice design and colour!

I want to thank Fea for spending her time to represent the team to pick a gift (book) for me. Choosing a book for a friend is never easy. You never know if he or she has read it or would prefer one category over another regarding reading materials. You never know if he or she likes the writing style of that author, or his or her standard is good enough for that level of literature. Not to mention deciding if buying a book for a friend who doesn't read as enthusiastically as she does is a good choice, too.

But I have to say she picked the right gift. These days I was thinking bookstores should give discount to students so that they can encourage a reading generation. Anyway, books are always a temptation for me ;-) It is a timely gift: The Bible : The Biography by Karen Armstrong. It is timely because I seriously need to revive my spirit for God and reaffirm my love for Jesus.

I want to thank Alia for her hugs. I always feel like never growing up when I meet those seniors who watched me grow. And I feel loved and secure whenever I'm with them, because they allow me to be imperfect.

I want to thank Lee Fang for her cookies. They are very delicious and fresh!

I want to thank Darryl and Dev for arranging all these while trying to keep it secret from me ;-)

I want to thank my KTSN juniors (namely Fatin, Kok Joo, Kevin, Lai Peng and Keh Len) who made the trip to training in Bangi not as tiring as it used to be. Thanks for the lame jokes and influences you guys have on me. Thanks for making fun of me (Gosh I'm getting retarded, how can I be thanking someone for making fun of me??). Thanks for sticking around. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with me. Thanks for being a part of me.

Last but not least, after all the blasting events, I want to thank God for sending all His angels to me, to tell me that there are a lot of ways to show our love to someone, to God especially. I've forgotten, now I re-learn the lesson: if we love someone, we think of them, we want (or willing to sacrifice) to spend time with them, we want to make them happy with what we do. We want to show appreciation, tell them boldly that we care for them, that they deserve all the good things from us because we love them. We want to stand out for them. Irregards of what other people say, because we always have faith in them. We don't need prove to tell us that loving that person is worthwhile, because to love is to allow someone to break your heart, but trusting them not to.

And that's the way God wants His children to love Him. Isn't this an awesome way to learn?

I'm glad that at least at my final year, I really had a birthday that is a BLAST!

Friday, September 12, 2008


A week has (almost) passed and Sunday is coming! Yay!

Can't wait! Sunday~ *dancing*

Every second passed means the Sunday is getting nearer!



tone down..

...SUNDAY~ SUNDAY~ *sing song*

Eager.SmiLe =)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Love Hurts

It's scary even if just to wonder if you meant a lot to someone who means a lot to you. For all the things I did, now I wonder if it's worth while. It's easy to say as long as they're happy and I did it with a cheerful heart, any other things doesn't matter anymore. When dilemma sinks in, I wonder if I keep sacrificing in such a manner is needed at the first place. 

Since last semester break, something happened to me and I yet to forget it. I hope I'm doing the right thing. And I wonder if it's time for me to let go now. Letting go of the responsibility, leaving the bunch of people whom I love dearly, for another group of people whom I equally cherish, but realise it at too late a time.

I wanted to go to Setapak for moon cake festival and birthday celebration with my coursemates this Saturday. But I have a debate training which I've promised to attend, and also to bring along KTSN juniors there. Sounds like they need more senior to attend - well, Dev said it's compulsory for all seniors anyway. And sounds like in Setapak it's ok without me attending it even if that very day is my birthday and probably the last chance for us all to have such a celebration together. The last time we have such a celebration with every coursemates was during my first year when all of my batch were staying in the hostel. Now most of them have moved out, and it's also my final year here. Shouldn't I spend more time with them in Setapak?

All these while I've put debate in the first place without much dilemma or hesitation. And I missed a lot of events. I never regretted it. Yet now I am thinking twice. They mean a lot to me, but am I to them? Will they know what have I given up to be with them?

Smile, Cher Linn, even if love hurts.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Fear Not but for the Lord

Humans have fear. Fear sometimes holds us back, or pushes us forward. But if we were to identify our fear factor and the main reason we have such fear, we might be able to overcome the fear and move on. On a positive side, fear exists to make us think twice before acting, to ensure we're on the right track. But sometimes we pondered for too long and we spent too much time hesitating on our next move that we're stunted from growing. Fear mainly due to the sense of insecurity, sometimes due to anticipation of bad consequences, and many other reasons.

Insecurity due to lack of understanding towards a particular object are the main reason why we're afraid of a lot of things in our life. Such as the lack of understanding towards snakes, snails, crocoaches, directions, escalator, autoclave, replacing light bulbs, frogs, water, blood, and etc. Thus it has hindered a lot of us from exploring new things in our life - jungle trekking, research, travelling, close contact with snakes and frogs.

The sense of insecurity also includes how we're afraid of what other people think of us judging by the way we behave. We feel insecure if they have negative impression on us, and it may in turn affects the current relationship we have - with discrimination, alienatation, public humiliation and etc. And we're afraid of loosing our dignity, pride and reputation, where our glossy image is tainted by judgemental comments. Together with lack of confidence in oneself, one may not dare to start a conversation with strangers, camwhore, or express oneself freely altogether.

Fear also due to the bad consequences we anticipate may or may not occur, and how these consequences may affect our daily activities. One example is the fear of having halucination after watching horror movie, that one may not dare to enter toilet cubicle at night, or look into the mirror while brushing teeth. Or one might be afraid of height and dare not go above level 4 in a building, the level where all the goodies are on sale *ahem*. One may fear to look into the deep dark eyes for fear of what one anticipated to find - ignorance, hatred, dissapointment, demand, discrimination and etc.

To overcome fear, we have to be able to recognise and acknowledge its existence, and then the reason for such feeling. By doing so, we learn how to overcome it by hitting the right spot - either increasing one's understanding towards such fear, or convince oneself that others' opinion don't really matter much in things which doesn't concern them. To identify the reason for insecurity or how the bad consequences may affect us, we have to really think what matters to us more - such as our pride VS freedom to express ourselves, right to experience new things VS comfort zone.

It is sad to know sometimes we've been hold back by our fears so much that we didn't go far enough to prove a point, or to experience the wonders in life. Fear for nothing but the Lord,

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit
of power, of love and of self-discipline.

[2Timothy 1:7]

Cher Linn

Friday, September 05, 2008

A sudden surge of loneliness filled my heart as the night approaches, and as it brings next-week along.

Hope next week will pass real fast!

Looking forward. Breathe. Smile =)

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Play It Again, will you?

As I was mesmerised by the melodies when I watched his fingers danced vigorously on the piano keys, Jason sang songs after songs passionately. The moment when the music speaks louder.

I know Jason when we were in our matriculation studies in Kedah. He is always the famous, funny, friendly and smart guy among his friends, even until now, in our UKM KL Campus - most of the seniors and juniors know or at least heard of his name.

And he was my teammate during my junior inter-college debating tournament in UKM. Yann Shan was always the perfectly calm and sophisticated prime minister, Albert the monotonous second speaker, Jason the animated and witty whip speaker, and me the blur reserve. Before and after the tournament, we didn't have a lot of chance to meet each other - we were of different class and are of different faculty now. Only once in a while, we'll bump into each other some where in hostel and catch up a little.

It is really warm to see someone of my own batch in hostel now since most of the seniors (final or 4th year) are staying out. Jason is a kind of friend who'll say hi to you even you only had two sentences of conversation with him as introduction. The same goes to my other remaining coursemates in KTSN1 like Intan, Noi, Kee Leong and William. I've seen these people around for so long yet I never get bored of them. And as I am remembered that it's my final year here, I begin to appreciate more whenever I have the chance to say Hi to the people here, especially the oldies ;-)

Jason was playing the piano as I passed by the hall. I've seen Thompson and June played with the piano. And just now, Jason. They are all great pianist. The songs were alive with their talents. I smiled. Not only because the songs were beautifully played, but also because of the great company. Friends are those people whom you can sit down and say nothing to each other yet you enjoyed the time together. I can't say that I know much about Jason, but somehow I consider him as my old friend, haha.

"Any song that's not in the book that you want me to play for you?"

A friend knows how to do you a favor to cheer you up =) Thanks for the evening, Jason!