Saturday, December 24, 2016

第4份信:寫在7個滿月前夕的平安夜

禹丞,
為了配合你的7個滿月生日和即將來臨你的首個聖誕節,這是粑粑寫給你的第四封信。(事實上,粑粑因忙碌而錯過寫給你半歲生日的祝賀)。
你的可愛吸睛魅力和受歡迎度,不用我多說,從大家對你的興趣和讚美已足矣。幾乎所有粑粑麻麻的親戚朋友們都愛提起你、想見你、抱你和斗你玩。你在他們面前一般都表現得很不錯,開朗笑容有加,深得他們的心。或許你見到新人而充滿好奇和新鮮感,對嗎?你的惡魔那一面通常都只留給粑粑麻麻,尤其是近來你的作息方式和時間讓粑粑麻麻操勞了(其實更多時候在深夜里都是麻麻在撐住,粑粑早就不行了)。比較棘手的是,最近發覺你是淺睡者,任何外面的風吹草動聲音都會干擾或驚動已入睡的你。所以,粑粑麻麻要進房間時都不得躡手躡腳步步為營,開關燈或門都得小心翼翼,深怕一不小心就吵醒了你。
目前是你快速成長的時期,我才發現不過短短的幾個月,你又變了樣!我昨天才抵達你麻麻的新加坡老家,被告知你已可以獨立無需支撐地自己坐著了。哇,才5天不見,你的功力又升級了,粑粑為你感到驕傲!還有啊,你那天跟麻麻首次飛行,全程除了喃喃自語以外你竟然沒有哭鬧,這個記錄真的很了不起!
由於你是稍微早產兒,你的體型體重比起同齡生偏輕。粑粑麻麻從沒擔心過,因為你至今都很健康和精靈。麻麻在你接近半歲大時就讓你試吃固體食物,你還真的很嘴饞貪吃!幾乎什麼都吃目前你最愛吃的有梨、蘋果,鱷梨果和魚粥。金瓜、紅蘿蔔、莧菜、香蕉、木瓜等,你都吃了。為了方便麻麻為你的食物準備,粑粑特地買了一台食物處理機,麻麻說很有用哦!這樣你就可以盡情地吃了,然後快高長大!
我很開心你特別愛跟粑粑玩。可能因為粑粑比較癲,動作聲音比較誇張和幼稚,所以適合你口味,呵呵(即使再誇張幼稚,我也是蠻創意的,ok?)。粑粑的拿手把戲是唱兒歌比手語。粑粑也開始給你接觸書本啦 給你摸和玩兒童硬皮繪本。那天緒莊叔叔才跟粑粑講解了很多有關兒童繪本的知識。
九月尾時,粑粑麻麻忙著打包收拾搬家,從檳城搬回梳邦。我們真的很感激你的全程配合。那個過程基本上還算蠻順利。隨後,你也得跟隨粑粑麻麻物色添購家具和用品。跑了幾圈,花了不少錢,最後終於家也開始像個家,差不多該有的都有了。我們一開始還擔心你不能適應,其實還好啦。你應該不會懷念檳城舊家的陽台外景吧?粑粑其實還有點想念,雖然梳邦新家的外景也還可以至少還有點綠。
別擔心粑粑平時騎腳車上班,粑粑會小心的。同時粑粑也得鍛煉身體保持健康,以後才有精力配合漸漸長大(變重)的你,把你抱上抱下陪你玩。年紀漸大的粑粑,若不趁現在保持或改變身形,以後就更難控制了。
好啦,粑粑就寫到這裡。我們一家三口也祝大家聖誕節快樂!(你的叔叔和阿嫲還在泰國蘇梅島玩樂慶祝呢 xD

粑粑

24.12.2016 (平安夜)

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

第三封信:100天誕辰

禹丞:

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!

現在的你是個愛笑的baby。你不怕陌生人,每每會專注‘定定地’看著人的表情動作和聽人講話。你甚至會偶爾發出一些聲音回應他人,好厲害哦!粑粑麻麻帶你出外時,你常常引起安哥安娣的注意,他們都稱讚你好可愛喔!還有一些哥哥姐姐要逗你玩!

昨天你第一次出國,來到了麻麻的kampung(雖然檳城移民廳的人說新加坡哪裡有kampung)。之前為了你出國,粑粑麻麻得費勁弄你一本護照,怎知恰好卡在政府發出誤導性消息說護照短缺,結果導致一大堆人擠爆移民廳更新護照。粑粑麻麻為了要幫你弄張好看的護照大頭照,找了攝影店的攝影師,最後卻只能把你弄成那樣子(遲點才讓大家看看你的首張正式大頭照),我們倆啼笑皆非。

很快地,你得適應新環境了。你出生以來居住的檳島公寓雖然山林景色依舊壯麗,我們一家人得在月底搬走離開,回到你老粑的家鄉梳邦-巴生谷。粑粑申請遷移至吉隆坡的辦公室繼續做個政策研究員,已獲得批准了。不止是你,麻麻也得適應新家、新城市和新環境。是的,檳城住家真的太方便了,便利店、餐廳、髮廊、工具店、診所等全部通通都在樓下。以後在梳邦,如果粑粑不能載麻麻出去,她就得學會開車,或招車來去購買用品和食物。但對我們一家來說,以後我們更靠近你阿嫲家,麻麻要返回職場將有更多選擇。粑粑想要繼續研究國家政策,巴生谷一帶會是日後事業發展的重心地。我們相信,你會歡樂無憂地在粑粑麻麻呵護教導下在那裡健康成長。

檳城已是粑粑在國內的第二個家,我們有機會一定會回去看看。粑粑到時應該也會想念在檳城居住的生活時光。粑粑在檳城的兩年半里,盡心盡力為檳城貢獻和付出,以確保它能有個平衡可持續性的發展。檳城擁有兩個最讓人心迷和珍惜的部分,即文化遺產和大自然環境,粑粑有用心出力去維護。所以,粑粑問心無愧面對檳州納稅人,因為他們是我的老闆。回到來梳邦,粑粑仍會繼續關注檳城,只因我的朋友‘兄弟姐妹們’都還在那里。粑粑在檳城時認識了很多很棒的良師益友,豐富了人生。或許以後,當你有機會回到來這裡生活的時候,希望你仍能欣賞到檳城最美的一面,認識這裡熱情友善正直的人。

寫到這裡,粑粑要去選你的照片了哦!希望你明天你在百日party見到許多麻麻的親朋戚友時,能從容微笑面對和招待,辛苦你了。你餓了,粑粑會餵奶(瓶)給你!

粑粑
寫於2016年9月2日

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Housework

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

給孩子的第二封信(7月7日)

禹丞:

這是老爸寫給你的第二封信。對不起,老爸還真的很忙,你的正滿月那天來不及抽空寫給你。

明天是你的滿月派對,到時將會有很多親戚朋友來看你!(還有,明天也是你老媽的生日哦)粑粑今天順利且小心開車把你和麻麻載回梳邦,你粑粑的老家啦!你一路上都睡得好,很乖。

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)。

謝謝你這個月來的耐心和乖巧,讓我這位新手粑粑戰戰兢兢、小心翼翼地照顧你。向大家報告,我已會為你換尿片、洗澡換衣、喂瓶裝母奶、唱歌哄你入睡等技能,我還在努力學習做你的好粑粑,ok?

我還得感謝你母親對你的細心呵護。我很佩服她,因為她堅持差不多每兩三個小時就喂你母奶一次。她已超過一個月沒有持續睡超過6小時了。你以後一定要感謝(感恩)媽媽,知道嗎?因為她的堅持,你才健康快樂成長。看你現在精靈可愛的模樣且短小精悍的身軀,感覺到你充滿頑強生命力和巨大潛能,我們倆的付出一切都很值得。慶幸的是,你真的很乖巧,很能適應環境。

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。

見過你的親朋戚友都說喜歡你,對你讚賞有加。不管現在人家說你像誰或不像誰都好,你是我們驕傲的兒子。你真有性格,表情多多逗笑逗趣,有你是我們的幸福和歡樂。我們會好好照顧和養育你,讓你繼續成為我們的驕傲。

粑粑在這裡給大家分享一些你首個月的口愛照,以作滿月紀念,希望你不介意。禹丞,滿月快樂,粑粑愛你!

志翰

Thursday, May 26, 2016

給我孩子禹丞的信

孩子,
歡迎來到這世界。我是你爸,第一次寫信給你。和你媽一樣,我們興奮同時又緊張(不過當然你媽要承受更大的痛苦把你帶來這世界)。你媽很厲害,四個小時內就把你帶來人間;接生你的黃國光醫生也是頂呱呱。
你的名字是林禹丞。我們希望你能向這位華夏歷史傳奇人物大禹看齊。你不一定需要治水,但要利用你的智慧、知識和領導協助解決世間即複雜又實在的問題。你的出生,有人說會增添地球的負擔。但你要記住,你來到這世上的意義不只為了自己和家人而活。我們期待你成為對社會有用的人--將來受他人的尊重,並不是你的榮華富貴或社會地位,而是你的人格修養和實際貢獻。
你的“丞”,除了有輔助的意思,也包含了古文中“拯救”的意思。我的同事導師黃裕端博士告訴我,這個字源自甲骨文,畫有兩隻手把人從陷阱之中救上來。我們也希望你能發揮正義感善於助人、與人守望相助一起建設國家社會。要知道,這世界絕不會圍繞你為中心而轉。你要待人以誠愛人以真,做個有禮貌值得信任的人。我們會盡力給你立下好榜樣。
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)
作為爸爸的,我會把良好的閱讀習慣傳承給你,所以我承諾多講故事給你,與你一起閱讀繪本書籍,並從書香中發掘見識這個世界。我們也會帶你多接觸大自然,讓你好好感受我們的山林、河川、海洋和公園并遊樂其中,希望你長大後也同樣像我們一樣熱愛和維護大自然的美。
我們將來會有好多好多的話要對你說。希望你在我們的照顧之下,慢慢但好好地健康快樂成長。最重要的是,我們愛你。

你的老爸,

志翰
2016年5月26日

P/s: 乖,聽媽媽的話,ok?



Saturday, December 12, 2015

讀了慧思的《專訪陳亞才》後記

慧思用樸實的文筆敘述亞才的故事,卻給我帶來深深的感動,尤其是亞才對吉隆坡古跡保護的堅持。亞才的精神,讓我相信堅持是一種美,也是一種意義。

或許,我對吉隆坡的認識還不夠深,所以無法充分欣賞它。過去(甚至是現在)在我腦海印象里,它是一個過度發展、沒太規劃好、高樓聳立的鋼骨森林大都市。每當外州人或外國人問起我從哪裡來,我都刻意不說我來自吉隆坡(雖然客觀事實我是對的)。我出生於巴生,在沙亞南和梳邦長大,說我是雪蘭莪人應該沒人質疑。吉隆坡甚至曾是雪州的一部分。但巴生河流域的發展與吉隆坡的向外發展乃息息相關,梳邦市也是吉隆坡外圍的一個衛星市。我可能很難抽離吉隆坡對我居住地方的影響。

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。

說起來,我認識他時,我還是初中生辯論員。他幾乎出現在大大小小的州級辯論比賽擔任評判。我印象深刻的是他專業分析和淵博知識。他讓我相信,一位學者要學以致用貢獻社會,就不能只顧關在象牙塔或冷氣房內,必須身體力行參與能影響、改變和動員大眾的社會運動。惟有這樣,學識和運動才能發揮最佳作用和效果,變得更有意義。

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.