On Merdeka Day

These are thoughts of a little boy on Merdeka Day.

Merdeka

By Christopher Lau, 10

My mother says I am still a very tiny bud. I think small as I am, I am still called a flower. A flower needs to be nourished and guided.

Thank you, my parents, I am protected and guided.
Thank you, Malaysia, the land where I stand.
Thank you, God, I am growing each day.

My classmates and I like to form other meaning with words. Merdeka in our own foochow dialect sounds like “selling pig legs”. “Malaysia Boleh” in our foochow dialet sounds like “Don’t eat glass”.

So, everyday, we shout “Merdeka”, “Malaysia Boleh” and the like. We have fun. We have joy. Today, on Merdeka Day, I want to truly say, “Merdeka, Merdeka” in its true meaning.

I want to fly a flag also on my mother’s car. I think it is so nice to see the flags flying. But, my mother does not like the idea. She says flying flags does not really show a person’s love for the country. True enough. this morning we just passed by a small car with more than 10 flags flying high. They overtook us and the passengers popped out their heads and showed monkey faces to us.

So, I think the flag really flies in our hearts.

We went to the church cleaning this morning. It was a spring cleaning. I see many uncles and aunties happily cleaning the church. I think I see the flags flying in every corner of my church.

I used to like August very much. Why? Because on the first day of the month, it is my birthday, in the middle of August it is my grandfather’s birthday, then on the last day of the month, it is my country’s birthday. There have been a reason to celebrate on 1st, 15th and 31st. But, my grandfather went back to the home of the Lord last year. Now, August has become a month with a reason to remember my grandfather on the 1st, 15th and 31st.

I remember. I listen. I watch. I learn. I see. I feel. I move. I smell. I touch. I love. I run. I jump. I yell. I sing. I dance. I am not a great person. Malaysia is my country. I am one small star. But, my mother says that’s wonderful too.

Happy Merdeka Day.

Best,
Chris

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Very interesting!

Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at teh rghit pclae. The rset can be a total mses and you can still raed it wouthit porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid does not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

Vrey intretsing.

I read this somewhere long, long ago. It still amuses me. To take away your Monday blues..

Prayer for the Nations

This is lifted from my Church Bulletin for today. I thought the essence of this prayer that the change should begin in us for nation’s healing should give us some thoughts –Prayer for the Nations

If my people, which are called by my name shall humble themselves,
and pray, and seek my face,
And turn from their wicked ways, Then will I hear from heaven,
and forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
2 Chronicles 7:14
Dear Lord,

How desperately our land needs Your healing.

Lord, I see wickedness spreading across it,

and I wonder how this happened.

A solution seems so far away.The solution You’ve outlined in this promise is not without personal cost.

You call on me to humble myself, seek You in prayer,

and turn from my wicked ways.

Today, I confess that I have many sins to my credit and not much good.

I turn from sin. Please bring me forgiveness and healing.May I be a part of my hurting country’s healing, Lord.

Turn our leaders and people toward You –

perhaps by using our testimonies for You today.In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen

Raunchy Reading

Recently I interviewed a “Malaysian Star” studying in NUS High School of Science and Maths in Singapore. The full interview plus photo will be posted here after it has been published in The Borneo Post. Be patient, akan datang.

Today’s thoughts come from reading an article in Focus in Family Website titled Rauchy Reading Hits Public School Libraries.

This “Malaysian Star” when asked what books she (yes, a 13-year-old girl) read, she told me every single book she read is screened by her mother before it lands on her hands or lap.

The principal of the school who was also there when the interview was conducted, asked, “Even books from the school’s library?” For which, the “Star” nodded her head.

I thought it is over-cautious at that moment.

But today the article made me re-think into the subject. Should we screen every single book before our children get their hands on it?

According to the report, titles like “Doing it” and “Rainbow Bous” feature scenes with teachers and adults having sex with students. The article further reported that parents trying to get the books out of the reach of the children was only successful to move the books from open section to parental guidance section. One of the parents, Laure Taylor said this:

“I looked at it and found it to be absolutely heinous. It had pictures of naked children, it had pictures of children copulating, it had full-frontal nudity.”

MyKad MyLuck

I applied for MyKad few years back together with my daughter who then qualified to carry an Identity Card reaching the age 12.

I remember it was one fine day when I took a day’s leave specially for this big event. It was a crowd. I specially chosen a light pinkish blouse thinking that I would look a little younger, complexion a little better. When it was my turn, I was disappointed that because of the light colour of my blouse, I have to wear the black jacket made available by the National Registration Department. It was, of course, smelly with thousands of people having used it. No compromise. So, I put the jacket on. Before I have chance to put on a smile, the photo has already been taken. Very efficient.

So, it was done. But, my daughter’s application was not so effectively handled.. She had to go through many tests and trials. Why? Because she was born in Singapore. Though holding a Malaysian citizenship, her application needs clearance from Bukit Aman. She could not have her photo taken at the National Registration Department. I have to send her to outside photo studio to take photograph and bring back the printed copies for processing.

It was such a hassle that the 12-year-old said this, “I am going to hold a press conference for treating me as a second-class citizen.”

Huh? Press conference? Yes, she “threatened”. She must have heard of many press conferences from her mother!

I do not know whether the little girl, now 15, has read this news (from NST) –

Win prizes with MyKad

The Government is holding three lucky draws, with exciting prizes, and all you need is your MyKad.

The 16 million MyKad holders have a chance to win RM350,000 in prizes including a grand prize of a Perodua MyVi worth RM50,000.

Those who do not have a MyKad can quickly get one to be in the running as long as they change their old identity cards by Nov 30.

Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid said the move was to encourage the remaining two million Malaysians who have not applied for their MyKad to do so quickly.

“For those who have already received or awaiting their MyKad, all they have to do is wait and see if their number is picked,” Azmi said adding that identification numbers would be picked randomly by a computerised system.

Names of winners would be published in local dailies and prizes would be posted to the address listed on the winners’ Mykad.

The monthly lucky draw prizes, to be held in September, October and November, offer a 150cc Suzuki scooter worth RM6,500 and six 29- inch television sets worth RM2,000.

Also included are five flight tickets to Jakarta, six personal computers, seven refrigerators, five video cameras, hand phones, digital cameras, microwave ovens as well as 10 digital video disc players and 20 pressure cookers.

The grand prize draw will be held in December.

The department, he said, would publicise National Registration Departments with fewer applications to make it easier for the public to apply for their MyKad.

WAJ! It’s “What a joke!”, not the young ones’ WXX”. We have to resort to lucky draw to encourage the remaining two million Malaysians to apply their MyKad quickly. What a shame! I type in “lucky draw” in my google search bar and hit the enter key, nay, result – 3,000,000. I type in one more time but this time request to search web in Malaysia only, the result – 8,030. Still a consolation prize that majority of Malaysians do not live by “luck”, isn’t it?

If the little girl has read this article, will her little mind wonder whether she is entitled to this one in a 16 million chance?

The Roll Call

My heart is still warm though it is now the 5th day after listening to the Prime Minister of Sing-land, Lee Hsien Loong’s rally speech last Sunday in Singapore.

Warm because of the many stories of the extraordinary people he mentioned in his speech. All these people are just ordinary people. I have given this post the title, The Roll Call, because many people are being mentioned in the national rally speech.

I love stories. I also remember stories better than facts and figures. I also love telling stories, and re-telling stories. Join me – I know you will be delighted by the extraordinary stories of his own ordinary people told by Lee Hsien Loong.

Story 1
She was a clerk and was retrenched. She could not find a job. She finally landed in a job cleaning toilet. When she was asked by her son to stop working, she had this to say – I do not loss my dignity as a toilet cleaner. I am earning a living and not robbing anyone. When her story was featured in a magazine, she was offered over 70 jobs. But, she chooses to work in an organization helping the aged. She is 63.

Lee said this, “I wish her well.”

Story 2
Lee told of the story of a radiographer with Singapore General Hospital who had well past 70 years old. While praising SGH for being a good employer for employing three who have past 70 years old, Lee also praised this radiographer being efficient. When he was attended by this radiographer to take X-ray pictures, he never had to re-shoot. Lee related that while he did the same thing in a very well-known hospital, a young man was not as efficient.

Story 3
On improving service culture, Lee told this story.

A Singaporean airhostess arrived at destination and found she had no passport. The airport manager managed to get her admitted. She was scolded. To that, she answered, “I must go home and socld my maid because my maid packs my bag. My maid forgot to pack my passport. It is my maid’s fault.”

Lee said it is a little bit harder to provide good service whenw e are used to be look after.

Story 4
“My birthday wish for Singapore is to have a constant supply of water. I also wish for peace in Singapore.” Eleven-year-old Patty caught Lee’s eyes with this birthday wish in the programme booklet of a national day musical.

Patty was given full marks by Lee.

Story 5
Teacher Ranjini was also mentioned for her letter to PM which read – It’s only now that I love abroad that I find myself proudly flying the Singapore flag. Singaporeans inevitably carry Singapore with them wherever they go, and there is a bit of Singapore through which they pass ont he will to be the best one can.”

It’s a roll call!

Elite Vs Essence

When I arrived in “Sing-land” on Sunday, I was much delighted by the live telecast of the speech of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong for the National Day Rally 2005. Being Chinese-educated, I am naturally drawn to the “essence” of his speech in Mandarin.

Though he used a few Chinese idioms with slight variations from the original, either through ignorance or by intention, he has impressed among the Chinese-educated of his love for the language.

This article is purely written with that heartwarming experience of listening to the elite and essence of Chinese sayings quoted by Lee.

Elite. Essence
Lee is happy to note a new confidence in the Chinese community over the past year. According to him, a new generation has emerged. The new generation are bilingual, and he stressed, I quote, “understand Chinese culture.”

Lee quoted Jack Neo (梁智强) saying that only the English educated are the elite (in Chinese, 精英, because they 精通英语 master English), while the Chinese educated are the true essence (精华) of the country, because they 精通华语 master Chinese. However, Lee disagreed with Jack in saying that this group of “essence” is a disappearing essence (最后的精华). He felt that this group of “essence” has just emerged. There are the first of the best show like in a long-running serial show.

Change
Lee quoted 穷则变,变则通 when he stressed that change is essential.It means when desperate, we must adapt and in adapting, we will find a way out. However, Lee is of the opinion that we should adopt this – 变则通,不变则穷. It means in adapting, we will find a way out. However, if we do not change, it shall be the end of it. He further quoted China’s slogan 三年一小变, 五年一中变, 七年一大变, that is small changes in every three years, moderate changes in every five years and major changes in every seven years.

Life Long Learning
Talking on education and training, Lee used 活到老,学到老 to emphasize that learning is not just for the young ones. We cannot live to only 80 years old, and stop at 55.

The Path
路是人走出来的(roads are formed by the footsteps of pathfinders)is the last of the Chinese essence he used to express confidence that Singapore will succeed!

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