Friday, November 11, 2016

US Presidential Election and Pakatan Harapan

The US presidential result you already know, many analyses you might have already came across, so I waste no time here.

What I find relevant is the observation of low voter turnout on the US polling day… 46.9% reported not voting.

This trend of lower voter turnout is actually also a current issue plaguing our opposition coalition here in Malaysia for the past 2 years.

In the last General Election, Malaysia had achieved the record highest turnout rate: 84.8%. Due to malapportionment and Gerrymandering flaw practices by EC in our electoral system, BN managed to hang on their governance seats in Putrajaya, despite losing popular votes for the second time in history (first in 1969).

Following by-elections held after Teluk Intan (including the most recent twin-by elections in Kuala Kangsar and Sungai Besar), PR/PH’s electoral performance had been marred by lower voter turnout and less enthusiastic supporters' sentiment. Even the combined number of votes for the opposition parties still could not overcome BN's.

What caused more than 10% depressed voters decided not going to poll stations in the recent twin by-elections? Maybe the same question is also for Hillary in US -- what happened to the 5% voters missing from the poll, and another 2-3% more voters rather voting for unelectable third party candidates?

If the Democratic Party’s main campaign was to go against Trump, portrayed how bad the Republican candidate is and hope this would work to pull more people voting for their party candidate Hillary Clinton, then they know how wrong it was. Michael Moore’s pre-poll prediction is correct, the Hillary problem and depressed voters would give way to President Trump. The difference between Obama and Clinton is that, the former represented hope and vision. That actually gave impetus and reasons for voters to vote FOR him because they believe in him, rather than they voted for him because they were so disgusted with another candidate. Some might have even volunteered and campaigned for Obama. We could see less number for Clinton this time round.

Same here for Pakatan… if they do not go to ground (in rural and mixed areas) collect sufficient feedback from the middle-lower and lower-income households, find and devise good policy solutions to the general (and specific area) problems, then I imagine it would be difficult for Pakatan parties to urge fence-sitting voters coming out to vote for them (don’t even mention to convert BN supporters). Banging BN probably will be same old tunes to many voters' ears, that would not be enough to deliver the crucial winning votes.

Many would want to hear more fresh and coherent ideas from Pakatan, and how Pakatan's vision and policies could be different. Whether or not Pakatan wants to admit it… in the last GE, their manifesto was populist and their policy proposals were too-urban centric (eg. abolish tolls, lower car price). As far as I understood, there was also no serious policy research done before drafting out the manifesto and policy framework… will Pakatan Harapan be any different next time? I worry.

BN always hold two sets of strong cards in ‘racial’ and ‘religious’ identity, does Pakatan have good, consistent, coherent and clear counter-arguments that could win hearts and minds for all (if not most) Malaysians, or at least stop the lingering doubts about Pakatan's stand? Vagueness would not instill confidence for many voters.

On socioeconomic, sustainable development and environmental issues, can Pakatan distinguish themselves from BN policies? The current two PH-governed states have to show good examples so to convince voters that their actions are actually consistent with what they promised before.

With the Bersih 5 rally date approaching, the general public enthusiasm is still quite dampening at this time point. This signifies the change of public sentiment and it is very telling even for civil society.

Will our opposition coalition also suffer from the ‘Hillary problem’ – too much political baggage, lack vision and direction (besides united to defeat BN in one-on-one fights – most voters wouldn't even care), too elitist until stay out of touch with grassroots’ daily life concerns?
With the next general election will likely be called within 2 years, Pakatan Harapan must present and sell ‘HOPE’ to general masses, as much as they claim themselves representing ‘Harapan’. No use just talking about power-grabbing and seat-arrangement strategies. Lower voter turnout will dent their hope in Putrajaya even further. If that is the case, poor Anwar would have to suffer in the jail for longer period.

Monday, November 07, 2016

Goodbye O'shirts and pants

Finally, I have to sort out my closet, since I tend to have the inertia not to throw or donate away my old shirts and pants mostly due to nostalgia reason and denial syndrome that one day I can still fit in those clothes...
Well, seems like I cannot afford to be too sentimental, 'cause space is limited.
In the end, rationality took place... with my wife's critical comments added weight, I have to do what is necessary...decided to throw away many with wrong size, wrong fashion/style, too old, etc.
Dear O'shirts and pants, if you are 'I am a shirt/ pair of pants' in the typical primary school Karangan , please do not write too harsh on me...

Saturday, September 03, 2016



孩子,你又長大了!恭喜你跨入第100天。比起2個月前的你,現在你已是個大baby了,個子和體重都有明顯增加。最讓粑粑麻麻欣慰的是,你真的很乖很好照顧。麻麻說,你看到外面天黑和聽到穆斯林祈禱聲(waktu Maghrib)時,就會鬧著要抹身喝奶,然後大概在晚上9點前就入寢。通常就這樣一睡就睡到凌晨4、 5 點早上,粑粑麻麻不用太勞累而有充足素質睡眠。你有這樣的睡覺紀律,真是謝天謝地啊!







Saturday, August 27, 2016


To me, doing housework is not just work or duty. It is responsibility, not something money can buy.
I might not clean, wash or mop as clean as a professional cleaner; I might not cook as good as a chef out there, but I am proud to do that for my family.
Unlike professional cleaner or maid who does the job for money, when I do housework I make sure I put my heart in, because I care and I value the works contributing directly to my family. I want the house feel hygiene, tidy, clean and comfortable , i want the food to be yummy yet healthy, etc.
At home, XH and I almost practise 'meritocracy' and preference... there is no fixed women's or men's jobs at home, we just figure out what is best each can do. So, the 'division of labour' goes according to ability and preference but not along the gender line. No paksa, only rela.
I cook, because XH thinks that I cook better (and I also enjoy cooking). She sews, because I am really chor lor and lunzhun, can't handle tiny things (and she thinks she is better too). We clean using different methods at different time. We wash dishes depending on who is more free at that particular time.
House belongs to the members who live in. Everyone has responsibility to take care of one's home. I was 'trained' to do housework when I was young. I learned to be independent when I was abroad. Do housework is just essential life skills, both genders should learn, no excuse. For sure, I would train my kids to do housework when they grow up.
I also find that, when doing housework yourself, you train yourself to be humble. You would appreciate but not look down on cleaners who also sweat for doing their job for the communities.
The way I see is, housework should not be difficult things to do, both men and women should be capable of doing the same set of housework. So, gender equality should start from home. Do not let anyone tell you that you should (or should not) do certain housework just because you are woman (or man). Tradition can be changed. Respect housework duties and responsibilities.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016





你現在不是半個,而已是整個檳城人了...因為你的MyKid身份證上顯示的出生州屬號碼是07,呵呵。告訴你一個秘密...爸爸媽媽堅決把你的宗教信仰那欄放空為Tiada Agama (無宗教) ,因為我們相信你有自由和權利在未來選擇(或不選擇)自己的宗教。宗教是你個人的信仰,必須日後在深思熟慮和深度認知後自己決定,我們不插手。爸爸媽媽也沒給你掛任何前頭(prefix)的英文名,需不需要日後由你自己決定....你可以叫David或Jeremy,Donald或Bernie,我們不太在乎,因為在家里我們還是會叫你禹丞(或有時交替叫你ah Boy)。



當初你得黃疸病時,我們在家把你放在藍光燈下陸陸續續地照了7天,雖然我們有點心疼,但你也沒太大的抗拒。帶你去Klinik Kesihatan打針驗血了不下10次,幾次後你也不怎麼大哭了。檳城大醫院的醫生說你被抽血樣本時,竟然出乎我們預料地沒哭。




Thursday, May 26, 2016


我們希望能給你一個幸福的小家庭,并承諾你一個快樂健康成長的童年。除了撫養你長大,我們同時也樂意作你的導師,協助你吸取各方面的知識和學習各項生活技能。我們堅持,學習是為了充實生活、滿足自己的求知慾,并不為了考試。所以,我們對你的學業沒有特別的要求。我們承諾不會給你學習壓力,更不會要求你的考試分數如何。你必須要有上進心,為自己的未來升學和前途而努力,我們會為你分析情況但不會強迫你。倘若你有特別的天份和興趣,我們絕對支持你選擇的路。只要你做自己,我們持開放態度,不管你是什麼戀都好。(只是,如果以後有伴,記得帶回家哦,媽媽尤其關心 xD)



P/s: 乖,聽媽媽的話,ok?

Saturday, December 12, 2015




吉隆坡近20年來的發展迅速,發展速度快到很多地方的面貌都已無法從兒時記憶裡辨認出來。有人說檳城馬六甲的古跡保護工作難做,讀了亞才的專訪才體會到要在發展蓬勃的吉隆坡大都市大談保護古跡幾乎是螳臂擋車(或用英文來說,a lost cause)。畢竟發展主義的思維遍佈大眾,是主流價值觀。要逆流而上扭轉這種價值觀和提倡永續性發展,實屬吃力不討好。這讓我更加敬佩這位社運前輩,同時也與他一起努力改變這國家社會。雖然俗氣一點,我還是要說,不是因為看到希望而堅持,而是堅持為了看到希望。


Sunday, November 29, 2015

On land reclamation

Penang is not Singapore. The limitation of land size of the Penang Island is true, but that is a weak argument. The main factor for the land reclamation on the part of the contentious area on the Island is driven by greed of the housing developers.Penang Island does have more land on the other side of the island (Balik Pulau) but the development in that area in recent years cannot pick up because of weak demand. So, naturally developers do not consider investing in that part of land.

However, The North-East coast Islander centric view of what should constitute as a proud Penangite does more harm than good, fuel the demand for housing units in this already densed and congested area.

It is not the issue that the mainland Seberang Perai does not have land for development, why Penangites should allow the controversial land reclaimation projects to go on and alter the environment and the biodiversity altogether? If you said the government should think about the long term benefits, sure the government must also think about the long term cost.

Singapore did it out of their necessity, so the question is, does Penang really come to that point already while Penang still has the Mainland Seberang Perai and west coast in the island? Why so proud about the Singapore model, while Penang still has something that Singapore has long lost: the biodiversity and the prestine nature in the hills and seas (despite declining rapidly these days because of so-called 'development')? Singapore is willing to compromise their heritage buildings for development, does Penang willing to do so on George Town too?

Some Penangites tend to forget to treasure what they already possess. It is not that I do not want Development, but the development must be balanced and sustainable. That is why the state government's role is crucial in the urban planning. Do you see people protesting too much over the development in Batu Kawan? No, I think that is a good move for the state government to shift the focus on the mainland and create more job opportunities. What some Penangites need to do is, to change the 'North-east coast Islander superiority' complex.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Dear Mr Jeyaratnam...

This personal open letter to Mr JBJ from Dr Chee Soon Juan made me tearly when first read it. Then again it made me, when I was watching the rally speech video Dr Chee dedicated especially to his late comrade JBJ.
Both Mr JBJ and Dr Chee are patriots. They are real democracy and freedom fighters. Dr Chee reminds me very much of our own Anwar Ibrahim, whom he is already 200+ days languished in jail as a result of a political motivated sentence. Anwar has been fighting too since 1997, and still keep fighting from jail at the age of 68.
Dr Chee's grit, determination and persistent advocating for democracy, makes him a truly outstanding person in Singapore. He could have, like Anwar was once offered, a chance to live in exile and live a good life at overseas with his family.
He chose not to, but came back to Singapore and keep fighting for the people with the values he believes which are good for the society. Nowadays virtues , beliefs and principles hardly worth anything in a capitalist society which always seek to maximise profits and trade benefits. Therefore, these qualities are hard to come by. You will only see how determined one holds on to his/her beliefs and principles when the person is challenged and tested over time.
Dr Chee never gives up, despite numerous arrests made to his name. In the past 25 years, he was seen in and out of police stations, courts and jail. MSM tarnished his reputation and image , the authorities intended to destroy him personally. Even at his bleakest moment when he was sued and found guilty for the defamation suit until declared a bankrupcy, that did not take away his struggle and his will to speak up. He is a consistent proponent for democracy. He challenged unjust laws, and compassionately care for his people and the society.
(*Please watch the once-banned-documentary film about his struggles, entitled 'Singapore Rebel'. It was filmed a decade ago by Martyn See. Those quotes he said before, are still used by him until today. He is that consistent. That is why how sad I watched Mr. JBJ , together with many other previous opposition figures had to suffer from the ill and harsh-treatment by the state, and especially by the one 'great' man.)
People probably do not appreciate the values and the meaning of democracy and liberty until they get to fully enjoy that. After that, trust me, they will never want to go back to the one-party authoritarian state.
You can go ask any Indonesian, South Korean , Taiwanese and East German, no matter how prosperous were once their good old time under some of their past 'great' leaders, do they want to go back to the old system and give up their freedom and democratic spaces? I can assure, you will find a emphatic resounding 'No' as the reply.
Even the political parties in these countries inherited from the past, already transformed themselves into a democratic one. Still the pro-Suharto candidate for the last presidential election in Indonesia, Probowo Subianto, did not win. Jokowi is the real popular choice, a symbol of new politics.
I have reasons to believe that Dr Chee will support any democratic social movements in the world, including the Bersih movement. He will not paint Bersih 4.0 the same brush like Mr Lee Hsien Loong did this afternoon (Mr. Lee likened Bersih as a racial "non-Malay" rally to the upcoming 916 red-shirt rally). I also hope that Dr. Chee could speak up for Anwar and ask for his immediate release after the GE.
I wish him and his party all the best, and I hope to see them in the parliament of Singapore.

Monday, September 07, 2015


我覺得自己已是個Bersih老鳥。過去我在海外的三個不同的地點和國家見證了Bersih運動的成長。沒錯,我曾協助參與策劃倫敦Bersih 1.0 以及 柏林Bersih 3.0的集會遊行, 同時也以遊客身份參與了巴黎Bersih 2.0。今時不同往日,八年就這樣飛逝,現在來到了Bersih 4.0。我也已從海外歸來,即將首次踩在自己的國土上,與十萬人以上一起在首都吉隆坡遊行要求制度改革(和納吉首相下台)
幾天前,杜乾煥博士向我求助關於Powerpoint上的技術問題。眼尖的我發現一張歷史性照片出現在他的其中一張幻燈片里…那就是倫敦Bersih 1.0集會的大合照。我興奮地向他指出我在那相片的位置。他似乎沒察覺到我的存在。轉眼間就8年了。如果你問我,凈選盟運動對這國家社會到底有沒有帶來什麼改變,我會回答:有,顯著且深遠的改變。
你們或許不諳當年的政治氣候如何,即使我在自由國度如英國依然可感受到強權政府賦予人民的緊箍咒。當時我在Malaysian Hall和我大學《大馬之夜》會場外派發Bersih宣傳單的情景還歷歷在目。不多人敢接觸我們,甭說接受黃色傳單。有些人看到我們好像看到鬼這樣,盡量避開躲遠遠。一些還反復地念著咒語般:’no politics, no politics…’, 期望這樣就可以‘避邪’打發我們。還有一些領了傳單,掃描了沒幾秒鐘內容後,就直接把它送往最靠近的垃圾桶。《大馬之夜》的負責人甚至親自下來警告我們,說如果我們不走他會叫保安。我告訴他,去吧,這裡大學是公共的地方,我有權和自由派發傳單。再況且我們沒有阻止人出席他的節目。
很明顯的在那個時候,當我公開談起政治,我可以感受到海外大馬同胞的恐懼和冷感。那些還留在國內的更不用說了。當時Global Bersih還沒成立與註冊,環球沒有多少城市參與集會。所以,當年倫敦那場的出席率不超過30人,對我們來說已經非常鼓舞人心,難能可貴了。這說明仍有人在強權的淫威籠罩下,依然主動關心國內時事局勢,膽敢站出來表達立場。
如果說Bersih 1.0 沒有突破,那麼我們就無法見證2008年十二屆全國大選後的政治海嘯。眾多的民間運動鼓舞了公眾,同時加強了他們對民主自由和公正的信念。公民力量一直都是我國社會進步的基礎。在野黨陣線在大選中大有斬獲,因為他們趕上了國民醒覺和改革浪潮。如果不是Bersih,我們大概也沒機會看到大批能幹、專業和有理想人士加入和壯大在野黨陣線。他們確實相信他們能對國家有所貢獻,有機會改變這個國家。那五個在大選中政權替換的州屬,已成為了這些有志之士的培訓之地,作為未來執政中央的準備。
通過Bersih 2.0,我們見證了一個新的馬來西亞誕生。人民已跨越了族群宗教年齡性別的界限,不分彼此地聚集在吉隆坡和世界各地,向政府施壓喊話要求改革。愛取代了恐懼和偏見。‘人民主權’就這麼定調,人民不再害怕當權者。無數次的恐嚇對人民已失去了作用;警方使用的暴力譬如催淚彈、水炮車,和棒棍人身攻擊等,都無法擊敗人民要求改變的意志。那些過去的鎮壓動作,已不管用了。我們人民之間的弟兄姐妹情結已建成一道堅固的牆,那時我們也共同找到了一個新的國家。
Bersih 3.0 更推到了一個新高,出席率是迄今公民運動遊行之最,也是人民強大力量的展現。這賦予人民希望,政府不改就決心要換政府。認為執政者已失去信用不得民心的大有人在。參與民運的人,都想要Ubah,那是不爭的事實。
上一場Bersih 3.0,我還在德國。雖然我所居住的城市距離300公里以外,我自薦負責統籌柏林的那場集會。那時出席者大約30位左右,包括幾位來自他國的友善支持。現在已回國的我,看到德國再次出現在Global Bersih 4.0版圖上有三座城市響應支持。各別代表德國北中南部,它們是:漢堡、科隆和慕尼黑。讓我覺得他們很厲害的地方是他們竟然已印上了他們城市名字的戰衣。他們甚至已有人安排交通從斯圖加特載人到科隆。