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Post-Election Blues

I know I’ve been extremely lazy this year…haven’t been posting much here. Many things I would like to share but let’s do one thing at a time first.

For now, I wanna share my thoughts & feelings about the most exciting election of the century. Malaysia’s GE13.

I took the ETS (electric train services) back to Ipoh last weekend to vote because I was afraid of the massive jam on the highway. It was my first time on the ETS…and my first time voting. I must say, politics had never been my interest and I’ve never really bothered to vote before this…mainly because I’ve always thought BN was going to win anyway. Well, I’ve grown up believing that they were the only ‘capable’ government in the country…so why bother voting when everybody was going to vote for them anyway too? Besides, I never really cared who won & who becomes what…I don’t even know most of the Ministers’ name anyway.

Yeah…naive. Ignorant. It was only after the last election (2008) that suddenly I realised that it was ACTUALLY possible to change the government! And then one by one of their skeletons were exposed…and in these 5 years, I’ve heard & seen enough to convince me…or at least I thought so.

But this GE13 had brought out the worst in them.

Before election itself, they brought Psy & Lady Gaga (who didn’t turn up) to Penang…Jacky Chan to Kuantan…God knows how much they had spent on these superstars (like as if people were going to vote for them just because of a 10 mins performance in the hot sun). OK, nevermind. During their campaign period, suddenly you see all the news in the mainstream media became so biased. I remember they reported that PAS was going to implement Hudud law if they win. That was when DAP suddenly wasn’t allowed to use their party logo during the election…and was going to join with PAS. This Hudud thingy is like so yesterday. And even if they really do implement it, is it really such a bad thing? It’s only bad if you’re a criminal. Besides, maybe with this Hudud law, crimes will actually be reduced in the country (like in the Middle East)…considering all the snatch thieves & robberies are getting quite rampant these days.

But seriously, the biggest turn-off was really their ads in the newspaper & radio. Just a few to show that appeared in the Star newspaper:

Image Image

And I heard over the radio (Capital FM & RED FM, both owned by StarFM Group, who later I found out is owned by MCA), the BN ads…there were at least 3 different ads…all condemning the opposition parties. First of all, I thought there’s the advertising code of ethics where you’re not allowed to compare directly with competitors or even mention their name in your ads? So why the double standard now? I can say that if I were a fence-sitter at that time, after seeing & hearing those ads, it would make my choice so much easier. They were disturbing & annoying as hell.

Despite many complaints to the radio stations, they said that these were merely paid ads and they’re not supporting any party whatsoever. But as someone in media as well, I know better that we can reject ads that are not ethical or against certain advertising ethics or even that could jeopardize our reputation/credibility. Hence I’ve switched almost completely to FlyFM now.

Days before the election, SMS, Whatsapp messages & FB postings have been flying all over the place on things to remember/look out for/be careful of/etc. during the polling day. So much so that sometimes you really get confused. The EC fella who was interviewed on the radio said you can cross or tick or circle on the ballot paper, while some people insisted that you can only cross it, anything else would be void….therefore these people concluded that it’s all a scheme by BN to confuse the people so that their votes are spoilt. Hmmm….but it appeared on national radio worrrr….but on RED FM la. I don’t know la. Fine, so I crossed it anyway….to be on the safe side. But towards the election day, there were just too many claims & warnings & finger-pointing messages…to the extent I really don’t know which is real & which is not anymore.

OK…then came the election day. 5th May 2013.

My parents & I voted at the same place. We queued for about 45 mins in the morning, which wasn’t really that bad. My first vote…ever. 🙂

Everything went smoothly for us. But as the day went by, I read many stuff on FB…people claimed that there were busloads of Bangladeshis arriving at some polling centres…there were videos that recorded their conversation with these foreigners & how they chased them away…then towards the end of the day, these foreigners were ‘escorted’ by the FRU into the polling centres for fear that the people would hurt them. What the hell???? Then there were posts & Whatsapp messages that the polling centre in Kelana Jaya was in desperate need of help…apparently busloads of them were coming or something, I wasn’t very sure. Anyway my colleague actually went there to help guard the polling centre…I didn’t follow up with him what happened there.

Then came the most important part of the day. The counting of ballots. I was on my way back to KL while they were counting. My Whatsapp, FB & Malaysiakini site were all opened at the same time on my iPhone almost throughout the whole 2.5 hours train ride…until my battery was only left with 9% when I reached KL. The initial results showed that PR had higher votes in many areas…though Sarawak had already been won by BN, and that’s like 25 parliamentary seats to them.

Then even when I reached home, I had been following the results…until 1am…when I read that many places had sudden blackout & then new ballot boxes ‘magically’ appeared when the lights came on again. So they had to recount the votes…and then ‘magically’ the BN candidate would have majority votes now. I heard that Najib also lost Pekan initially too, then they asked for a recount & magic happened there. OK, this is not something new. I already heard that that was what they did in the last election as well. But I’m only surprised that the PR didn’t have any contingency plan when the trick repeated.

So in the end, BN got simple majority by 1.30am.

My heart sank. Not because BN won or PR lost. But because some people had cheated their way through to win…openly & blatantly…and yet nothing could be done about it…because all the authorities were on their side. The police, FRU, EC…who else? I was very disappointed because Malaysia had just been robbed & raped in front of her people & there wasn’t anything anyone could do about it. All the cheatings & frauds had made democracy irrelevant. Then why even bother having election? Wasting everyone’s time & effort only, right? Might as well do like the communists and say that “I will still rule & you will listen”.

I had changed my FB profile pic to black for a day…not because I was mourning for PR’s loss…but because I grieved & mourned for my country that had been robbed & raped of its democracy. If BN had won by the real, true majority, all fair & square, by all means, everyone would be satisfied to accept the results. But seriously, this was too much. So so dirty. The whole world knows about it…and yet, all we could do was just sit & watch.

But what I read somewhere is true. Democracy in Malaysia didn’t die on the 5th May 2013. It died long time ago. This had been going on for many many years…it’s nothing new. Just that it has become so blatant now that everyone could actually see it.

Anyway I was so glad that the next day was a public holiday for Selangor. I woke up feeling the blues…it felt like I had been jilted by a lover or gone through a break-up or something like that. The same kinda feeling. It hurts. I grieved. I mourned. Though a cool morning swim certainly helped. 🙂

So this was my first election experience. Also the most exciting moment in Malaysia history. I pray that justice will prevail soon. Let the people not lose hope in the country’s future but continue to fight for what is right & rightfully theirs.

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Post-Apocalyptic 2013

Wasn’t the world supposed to end last Dec 21st? I’m still able to update my blog today…so much for the end of the Mayan calender. I’ve heard, however, of a more acceptable theory – that it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the world, but the end of an era. What era? Hmm…anything, I suppose. Anything & everything. From matters of the world…to the matters of our own lives.

So if you’re experiencing some kind of changes right now, rest assured that it’s all because of the universe…and the Mayan thingy…so just sit back & watch it happen. 😉

IMG_1985OK, let me recap the major events in 2012:

  • Went skiing in Korea. My first ski experience. And hurt my knee pretty badly.
  • Hence I had to stop all sports activities for 4 months. No hiking, no running, only swimming.
  • My first MRI session. It was cold & lonely. 😛
  • My first chiropractic session, which turned out to be quite a ‘spiritual’ experience.
  • Saw panda bears for the first time…in Chengdu.

  • Did my Advanced Open Water in Tioman.
  • My 3rd trip to Bali & a whole new experience. Went cycling into the villages. Half the time was spent solo & actually loving it. Read my blog here.
  • My first white water rafting experience. It was in Kuala Kubu Bharu, which rated level 4 on that day. One word to sum it up – awesome!
  • My first surfing experience at Padang, Sumatra.

So many firsts in 2012. So what’s in store post-apocalyptic 2013?

Better things. Many many better things to come. I could already feel the positive vibes. No kidding.

OK, the sure things that are happening:

  • Going to Laos in March. Yes, will be celebrating my birthday in Laos this year. How cool is that? Haha. 
  • Climbing Mount Rinjani (in Lombok, Indonesia) in June. It’s a volcanic mountain, therefore the climb would be different from Mt Kinabalu or anything in Malaysia at all. 2 of my friends (May & Jasmin) did it last year…and the view (of the crater at the top) looked totally awesome! But the most ‘interesting’ part will be camping over 2 nights. And I mean, like really camping in the wild…with no toilets whatsoever…all ‘private businesses’ will have to done in between the bushes. Yikess!!! OK, to be honest, that was the one & only thing that had deterred me from doing it earlier…but I finally succumbed to the adventure side of it…oh what the heck, we only live once…and I shall not think about it until it happens. We’ll just have to do what we have to do when we have to do it. So off we bought the Air Asia tix last Oct without much hesitation. Ahhhh….really excited about it. 😀 Here are some reading materials on Mount Rinjani – http://wikitravel.org/en/Mount_Rinjani

rinjani-sunrise

The possible things that could be happening or in the pipeline:

  • The sales are pouring in pretty well for the start of the year. Hitting the 2 milestone targets for the year looks extremely promising…as compared to 2012, which was tough & challenging for me & the team as a whole. However, I may not ‘live’ long enough to taste both milestone incentives because…
  • Highly likely I’ll be changing job very soon…finally. At the time of typing this, I just had a tele-interview this afternoon with another publishing company, and the prospect looks pretty good. I’m all for it if I get this job. Well, let’s see…we shall all know soon. 😉
  • Moving to a new place. In fact, I’ve been looking for a while now…as the surrounding of my current place is getting more & more unsafe to live in. Also lately I’ve been very dissatisfied with the management on certain issues. Besides, I’ve been staying here for 7 years…so it’s time to move on. However everywhere else is so darn expensive! Believe it or not, you can’t even find a decent place for half a million bucks…even new condo developments are going for at least RM700k & above. Gosh! The property prices are just so crazy. So it may take a while for me to move out but it’s in the plan for the next 1-2 years.

So yes, I believe 2013 is a year of change…a change for the better…for you, me & everyone. Have the bestest new year 2013, peeps! 🙂

My Picture Perfect Story

If you hadn’t known, HealthToday magazine is part of our company’s publication.

The other day, Maithili (the Editor) asked me if she could do an interview with me for my story in photography. I agreed (obviously). She did ask me if I wanted to write the article myself, but because I wasn’t sure what exactly to write about, so I thought it’d be better for her to ask me questions instead.

So my story has just appeared in the November 2012 issue of HealthToday. See below (click for larger view to read it).

I didn’t realise that the story would be told from my point of view, i.e. with “I” & “me” as the storyteller. I thought it would be a “she” & “her” kinda article. I should have written it myself if I had known it…at least it’d be more personalised & real. 🙂 Anyway Maithili did send a draft to me first before publishing it & I thought it was pretty alright.

However I thought the picture (background) didn’t do justice to what makes it so special that I had picked it as my most favourite shot. They had totally cut off the highlight of the photo, i.e. the contours of the beach. Actually it’s supposed to show 2 silhouettes against the sunset at a low-tide dramatic beach. The full photo can be seen on the right.

Anyway maybe that’s just me…since I was the photographer. 🙂

A Tribute…

Yesterday morning, I got an SMS that my colleague, Malathy, had passed away.

She was pregnant with her 3rd child and about due around this time. So when I didn’t see her for a week, I thought she had gone on maternity. Only last Thursday, I found out the truth about her absence. Her brother called in to say that she was in the ICU…in critical condition. I was shocked. I didn’t even know she was sick.

Apparently she wasn’t feeling well lately, so after some tests, they found out that she had breast cancer…and due to her pregnancy, it had already spread like wild fire…and had affected her liver & kidneys. So they quickly took her baby out…fortunately the baby was already almost due…but she never got better….and finally succumbed to the big “C” yesterday.

When I heard about it, I was still stunned…I had just seen her a week ago, healthy & fine…and now I’m actually reading that she’s gone. After awhile, reality started to sink in…and the soul became worse. It gets in your head & I was feeling down the whole night.

Though Malathy and I are not exactly close pals, we’ve shared many moments together. As a tribute to her, I shall list the things I remember about her:

  • She had a big butterfly tattoo across the back of her shoulder. And I remember taking a peep at it…with her consent of course.
  • She was the one who introduced me to Milkadeal & Groupon…when I saw her pedicure. And that was the first time I went for a mani & pedi…inspired by her toes.
  • She was one of them who recommended Eric, the chiropractor from Premier Chiropractic, SS2. She spoke of her experience, especially the so-called energy healing part and we had a good laugh about it.
  • She was one of the hot dancers on the floor on the Chao Phraya river cruise during our company trip to Bangkok last year.
  • She went to Chengdu with us this year too, despite being in her 4th/5th month of pregnancy.
  • She told me that she was going to do a mini-laparotomy during her delivery of the (current) 3rd baby. We went on to have a discussion about adoption & how she would prefer that to going through another pregnancy. Little did we know that in fact her life stops right there after her baby is born. Sigh.
  • By the way, she was younger than me.

OK, the story hasn’t ended yet.

That was yesterday. This morning when I went into the office, I found that Oreo had died too! 2 death news within 24 hours. And both were my office mates. I’m beginning to think that our office is some kind of jinxed. I’ve had Oreo for a year now…and it wasn’t uncommon that I’d leave him in the office over a 3-day weekend. This time is no different. But he didn’t make it through. Maybe he’s already aging (as advised by my fish expert colleague who gave him to me). But he really couldn’t have chosen a better time to go…together with Malathy. Sighhhhhh.

Anyway, this post is a tribute to both Malathy & Oreo. You’ll both be missed. May you rest in peace….

New Addition

Finally this month marks my final payment to my baby, 600D. I’ve had it for 1 year now…well, almost…and I must say, the past year had been…fun (while it worked), stressful, tiring…to say the least. Quite a ride indeed.

After it went swimming with me, Canon had been sooooooo nice to repair it for me for free….but after it was repaired, it kept going in & out of the ‘hospital’ again…like at least 3 times after that. It’s most frustrating when you’re taking shots halfway & suddenly it just stopped working. Sigh. I think the people at Canon already know me by heart.

As I’m writing this, it’s in a ‘private hospital’ right now…waiting for its diagnosis.

After weeks of contemplation, I decided that all this in-and-out-of-hospital is just too tiring…and my baby needs a replacement.

So say ‘Hi’ to his 2-day-old replacement… 🙂

 

Maybank Idiots!

Dear Maybank,

I don’t know what sort of dumb employees you’ve got there.

Firstly, you required me to FAX (not by email but only fax!) my appeal letter to you for a refund. Fine. Then, before you decided to CALL me to tell me that you’re rejecting my appeal, please make sure that you’re prepared with a blaaardy good reason for it, otherwise you’ll end up sounding plain dumb & unprofessional. You know what, nobody has ever rejected my appeal before…not because I write fantastic appeal letters but simply because it’s basic customer service. I admitted I was wrong, gave you my reasons & now asking you out of goodwill to waive it. What is RM50 to you compared to a customer who has been with you for 20 years anyway?

So this is goodbye. I won’t miss you, as you’ve not treasured our relationship anyway.

Cheers.

Breaking From The Hills

If you’ve been following me on Facebook, you would’ve read about my knee & breaking from the hills.

OK, here’s the story.

First, my left knee started to pain during my descent from Mount Kinabalu. That was in April last year. Since then, it’s been fine whenever I go to Gasing Hill. However, when I went to Apek Hill, during descending, it would start to pain again. Every time, without fail. Maybe coz it’s higher & the trails are longer than Gasing. So I know that my left knee is still not fully recovered yet.

Then when I went skiing in Korea in Jan this year, I fell awkwardly (to be exact, my right knee was bent forward) during the 1st day of ski itself, resulting in me not being able to ski for the next 2 days, which I had already paid for. I could hardly even walk for the first week. Although I could walk normally after that, until today, my right knee still feels ‘weird’ when trying to bend at certain angle. In fact, I still can’t really squat completely. So I know that my right knee is definitely not recovered yet too. But it didn’t give any problem during hiking…so far.

So after much procrastination, I finally decided to seek professional help about my knees. So last Friday, I went to see Dr Saw (UMSC), an orthopaedic surgeon, who was recommended by my colleague. I told him about both my knees & he said that my right knee still looks swollen. Anyway here are some excerpts of our conversation:

(After examining both knees…)

Dr Saw: Actually there’s nothing that can be done about it (my knees). You just need to rest…for at least 2 weeks. 

Me: But I’ve already been having the pain for quite some time already.

Dr Saw: Yes, but have you ever rested????

Me: Errrrrrrrmmmmmm……(thinking, thinking, thinking. Hmmm, actually….that’s quite true. The week I came back from Korea, I was already playing tennis, despite my knee wasn’t well yet. :-P)

Dr Saw: So stop hiking or any sports…for a month. Then we’ll see if your knees are better. If not, then we’ll do an MRI. If the MRI shows there’s any (can’t remember the terms he used but something about something being torn inside), then I’ll have to refer you to my friend who is a sports therapist. You better take care of your knees, you know. You’re already thirty-what? But good thing you’re not overweight. Worst case scenario is you’ll need to do surgery to put a plate inside your knee, like this (he showed a model of the knee plated with some stainless steel)…you wouldn’t want that right???

Me: (Eyes & mouth opened wide…shaking my head) Nooooo….

Dr Saw: So can you do that or not? Can you rest for a month or not????

Me: Ahh…can can cannnn!!!

Hahahahaha! Real cute!

Then he also prescribed pain-killer (NSAID) & glucosamine for me…both originals. 😉

I must say, the pain-killer came in real handy because I went to Bukit Tabur the next day, and I felt nothing at all! I tell you, them pain-killers are really awesome!

So anyway, I gave myself until last Monday to do my last hikes before I call it quits…for a month. Wah, the Bukit Tabur was one helluva closure, man! (Will tell you more about it in my next blog.) I’ll also be breaking from the tennis session for awhile. Gosh! My concern is after 1 month, my fitness level is back to square one…and I’ll have to start from 0 again. Sigh. And I’ll probably grow fatter too. SIGHHH. Luckily I can still swim. And luckily swimming is my 2nd nature (to sleeping…hahaha!). So I guess I’ll be sticking to swimming for awhile.

Now I’ll have to think of what to do on Saturday and/or Sunday mornings. Like today, good thing my maid came in to clean the house, otherwise I’ll be feeling so weird to be sitting at home doing nothing. It’s funny how I got to this stage. I mean, I’d be dreading it when I had to wake up early on a weekend…and now that I have all the time in the world to sleep till I drop, hmm…suddenly it ain’t that sweet either. Apa macam ni? Hahaha.

So anyway, please pray for me that my knees will recover in a month’s time. I’ll be a good girl & rest, I promise. 🙂

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