Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Reflections on Form 6

It's been a while since I last updated my blog so this post is going to be a bit long. Since today is the second anniversary of the start of my time as a Form 6 student, I decided to do some reflection on my experiences as a Form 6 student.

Time really does fly. It's hard to believe that's it's been 2 years since I entered Lower 6 on May 12, 2008.

I still remember how excited I was on that bright May morning that I was about to enroll in Form 6. I remember getting up early and heading to SMK SAS together with my dad to register in Lower 6 there. The registration went smoothly though I was disappointedto discover that SMK SAS would only be starting their Lower 6 orientation a week later. Since there was nothing else to do, my dad sent me home after registration. When I got home, I had nothing else to do so I just sat around looking bored. My mum then came to the rescue. She said she heard that SMK BU3 was opening a Form 6 class. Since my brothers were studying in Bu3, asked if I wanted to go there to check things out. I said yes and so we headed out to BU3.

When we got there, we discovered that it was SMK BU and not SMK BU3 that was opening a Form 6 class. So we headed over to SMK BU and the rest as they say is history. Anyway when we got to SMK BU, the Lower 6 orientation had already started. I was impressed that an ew school like BU was eager to get started while an old school like SAS wanted to bide its time. SMK BU 1-0 SMK SAS :P When I got to the school, I met Pn Hasni, Pn Chia and Mr Lau and talked to each of them a while. I remember trying to persuade Pn Chia to let students take 5 subjects for STPM telling her that if SMK BU allowed students to do so, I would transfer over from SMK SAS. I joined the orientation program a while. It was the day I first met JG, Kang, Gaya and Komathi. I already knew Sean as I used to play football with him back when he lived in TTDI. I saw PK in school as well but she left early. I also left early that day. I remember Cik Ng tried to stop me but I left for home anyway :P I remmeber JG telling me he wondered how the the teachers were going to differentiate us in class later as we shared the same first name. By the time I went home that day, I was 70% sure that I wanted to transfer to SMK BU.

I attended the rest of the Lower 6 orientation that week. I remember we had to help organize rhe teacher's day celebrations on Friday, May 16 2008. I remember Pn Chia appointing me to lead the organization effort. I guess even then she already felt I was the right person to become leader of the Form 6 students. I hope I lived up to her expectations.

After 1 week in SMK BU, I still wasn't 100% sure I wanted to transfer there and I wanted to give SAS a chance. So I attended the SAS orientation from 20-22 May 2008. By the end of the SAS orientation, I was 90% sure I wanted to transfer to SMK BU. Adter SAS orientation was the mid-year school holidays so I had time to make a final decision about my pre-u studies in peace. During the holidays, I attended the KBU open day as a part of me was still thinking of doing A-levels. By the end of my visit to KBU I had made a final decision, I was doing Form 6 at SMK BU. It is a decision which I have never regretted.

Looking back now, I can say that Form 6 did not turn out the way I had expected it to. I thought I would be a studious nerd as I was initially aiming for a CGPA 4.0 in my STPM. Now that Form 6 is over, I'm thankful I didn't become a studious nerd as I now know that I would never trade all my experiences during Form 6 and all the lessons I learned for a 4.0 CGPA.

Form 6 was like a second chance for me, a chance for me to achieve things I had always wanted to achieve, a chance for me to atone for past mistakes and a chance for personal redemption for past failures. It was also a chance for me to consolidate the new beginning in my life which had started during my exchange year in Germany in 2007.

And what a second chance and a new beginning Form 6 turned out to be! I achieved my dreams of becoming a head prefect, of becoming a top student in a graduating class of winning a real gold medal, of delivering a valedictory(farewell speech) at my own graduation. There were also other special moments, like finishing in the top 30 for the school merentas desa, leading a perbarisan group during school sports day for the first time in my life, coaching softball players who were selected for MSSS and many other moments.

But more important that all my achievements in Form 6 was the fact that I found great friends! They were unlike any friends I had before and I probably won't find friends like them ever again since Uni life and working life is rather different from school life. They were friends who supported me during good times, friends who let me hang out with them and who actually remembered my birthday! More importantly, they were friends who stood by me through all the challenges and down times I faced during Form 6 and for that I will always be grateful. Thanks guys! I hope that I was there for them too when they needed me.

I hope and pray that I will never forget the times in Form 6 which I shared with my friends. I will always cherish the memories of all our outings, trips, open houses and birthday celebrations. I still remember the first class birthday celebration in Form 6 was for Hui Leng and I remember Pn Wong spoiled the surprise :P ( Roy's b'day celebration since it only involved the ex-bud4 students and it wasn't a class celebration. I remember he got condoms for his b'day though :P ) I remember the first Form 6 trip was to parliament and I remember Cikgu Zul fell asleep during the parliamentary sitting :P I remember camwhoring in the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya. The Penang trip was of course a high point and it was unforgettable! I only regret thay I could not spend more time in Penang with my friends :( Now whenever I visit to the island of my birth, I will look back nostalgically to the magical time I had there with them. The Genting trip was also good as we faced our fears together. There are of course many other occasions which I remember but they are too many for me to blog about for now.

To all my dear Form 6 friends, you all have been great! You guys are really sweated bananas(credit to Ches for coining the term ;) ) but I'm a sweated banana too and proud of it! Though there have been times when we've fought and had our differences with one another, I'm glad that we've managed to overcome those obstacles and remained friends. As Shakespeare said, " Alls well that ends well" :) Though we have begun going our separate ways, I hope that we will never forget one another and that we'll still do our best to keep in touch and that we'll remain friends for years to come ;) I wish everyone all the best for the future! I'll miss all of you though I'm already looking forward to our future class reunions ;)

I could go on blogging about my time in Form 6 but I might never stop so I'll end this post with a quote from Nobel Prize winning humanitarian Albert Schweitzer "Das einzig Wichtige im Leben sind die Spuren von Liebe, die wir hinterlassen, wenn wir weggehen" This is the English translation according to Google "The only important thing in life are the traces of love we leave behind when we go away" To all my dear Form 6 friends, all of you have left traces of your love in my heart and in my life and I hope that I have done the same for all of you too ;)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


Been sometime seriously since this blog has been updated. And among all the four authors of this blog, only the Js in the blog seem to be still rather active here. Looks like it's still fine this way. Better than nothing, I would say.

Look, I'm not one to be absolutely politically active in my life, and if you know me as an individual, you will know why but yet, I am not blind to see how unrest is happening here in my own country and is just bound to erupt sooner not later.

Yes, the other author of this blog has been rather open with his views about the recent events happening here in Malay-sia and I am here to say that, there is much truth in what he has said. It's not that I'm gonna say more of what he has said but just that, even for someone like me who isn't that updated with the political situation here, I am also aware of what is going on.

So much is always been said on the dinner tables, even during the Chinese New Year celebrations and I find this rather disturbing. Such celebrations last time was really awesome, with everyone just in the mood to laugh and enjoy. Now all I hear at the dinner table, is how this politician is wrongly accused or how this politician is so backstabbing...

What is wrong with this world we live in? Or have we been just living a so-called fantasy of everything being peaceful, a fantasy probably created by our previous prime ministers?
What is going on? I am not living in peace here!

All these hidden agendas been kept from the public's eyes are now haunting back. Perhaps the release of such ghosts will finally clear everything or will it shatter the entire country to its core? Maybe only time will tell for that.

For now, let it be that this world we living in has a deep scar that must not be ignored. We being the future generation to take over the country later must understand unity in its deepest meaning. Be truthful to yourselves and treat others like how you would to your friends. Racism is not the way and let it stop by starting from you.
It does not matter the colour we have in our skin, in the end we must all know that we are born in the same land and same soil. No matter what the other might believe in, as long as we know that life is much richer when everyone is holding a peace sign to another without the index finger down.(Thanks Jeremy for the inspiration here.)

Maybe there is a song that can create thoughts here, a song which can be said rather old but yet, the lyrics are so meaningful...It is a treasure in the history of music. For those that might be familiar with it, the song is entitled "Imagine", a song by the famous Beatle, John Lennon. Yes, imagine the world with certain things it can do without. Imagine the difference it could probably make, for better or for worse, that is yet to be known.

And I end this article short because in truth, I am not prepared for this article with any huge message to pass on. I am only here with a short thought I had when I read my friend's articles earlier.
Hopefully, my words mean something to you loyal readers here and maybe bring food for thought.
And how would we know, ideas will generate which can help to make this world a better place for tomorrow!
Thank you for listening to my thought.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nostalgic Reflections

Three year's ago on this day, I boarded a Malaysia airlines flight to Singapore. I spent five hours in transit in Changi airport then boarded a Qantas flight to Germany. Thus began my AFS exchange year, which would turn out to be the most profound experience of my life.

I still remember the day of my departure was also the eve of Chinese New Year. That meant that that year, I was absent at my family reunion dinner. There was also no ang pao for me back in 2007. Nevertheless, I was still very excited that I would be living abroad for the first time. Despite my excitement, I was also a little nervous as I would be leaving behind my friends and family and everyone I had ever known and flying off into the unknown.

I remember having all sorts of pre-concieved notions about Germany and about my host family. I remember having various expectations about what my exchange year would be like. This was despite AFS Malaysia telling me during my pre-departure orientation that I should expect the unexpected. In the end, my exchange year turned out to be more or less completely unlike what I had expected it to be like, but looking back now, I realize that that was probably for the best.

Time flies and it's hard to believe that it's been three years since that day. Looking back now, I wonder if I had known the impact AFS would have on my life, would I still have dared to board that flight? Looking back now, I realize just how naive I was back then before my departure, and I also realize just how much I grew up during my time in Germany.

My AFS year made me a more confident and independent person. It has also helped me learn how to be more open minded. I am now better able to view things from different perspectives. My appreciation for cultural diversity has also increased thanks to my AFS year. I also gained a new family and many new friends.

While I was still on exchange , I did not realize just how much I had changed. It was only after my return that I became more aware of the impact of my AFS exchange year on me. Not long after my return, discovered that I could not click so well with my old friends anymore and gradually began drifting apart from them. Once upon a time I would have been saddened by this but I am not anymore. I also look back on my past friendships differently as compared to before. Since my return to Malaysia, I have gained new friends here and I realize that there are differences in the way I interact with them as compared to how I interacted with the friends I had before I left for Germany.

I could write on and on about my exchange year but words will probably never suffice to capture and describe the magic and depth of my experience as an AFS exchange student. Not a day goes by when I do not wish that I could have just one more day as an exchange student but I know that will never happen. Thus all the more do I treasure the memories of my exchange year.

Three years on, I'm still very grateful and thankful to everyone(especially my parents) who made it possible for me to board that flight from KLIA that would mark the beginning of my AFS exchange year. Even though it's been more than two years since my exchange year ended, I'm still very grateful and thankful that it was all a real experience and not just a dream. And now whenever I lie in bed before I fall asleep, I can hope for no better dreams than to dream of my exchange year and the people I shared it with. For though in real life I can never turn back the clock to the year 2007, at least in dreams I can still do so and relive the best experiences of my life, the memories of which I will cherish till the end of my days.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Reformasi 2?

In light of the upcoming sodomy trial of Anwar Ibrahim, I just thought I would pen some thoughts on the issue.

I was just a primary school boy when the whole Sodomy 1 sandiwara was played out for the world to see. As a boy, I did not fully understand everything about the case nor did I fully understand why there was such a big fuss over Anwar's sacking, trial and subsequent imprisonment. What I did know was that on the day that Anwar led a massive rally in Kuala Lumpur, I was supposed to go on an outing with my mom but my mom cancelled the outing at the last minute because she was worried about safety. I remember being disappointed that the outing was cancelled and asking why. I remember discovering that the Anwar who was sacked was the same Anwar who gave me duit raya when I attended his Hari Raya open house in Cherok Tokun in 1997.

My disappointment about the cancelled outing led me to develop an interest in the case. In order to satisfy my curiosity about the Anwar saga, I began reading the newspapers, a habit which I have maintained till today. I came across many unfamiliar terms, notably sodomy. Looking the term up in an encyclopedia, I learnt what the word meant and discovered that men could have sex with men.

I remember being shocked by the images of a bruised and battered Anwar which I saw in the newspapers after his brutal assault by then IGP Rahim Noor came to light. I remember thinking to myself, if a deputy prime minister could suffer such a fate, what more normal civilians like myself. Anwar is no saint, but he is still human and he and all other victims of police brutality in Malaysia should not have suffered what they suffered.

I remember that I eventually lost interest in the case because I could not understand all the dynamics about it. My interest in the case would only be revived back in 2004 when Anwar was acquitted from his sodomy charge and I began to read up again on his trial and the Reformasi era.

I am now on the verge of adulthood. Once again Anwar Ibrahim is in the news. Once again he is facing a sodomy charge. I am no longer the ignorant innocent boy that I was back in 1998. I am now convinced that Anwar was the victim of a high level conspiracy back in 1998. The signs so far seem to point to the fact that the Sodomy 2 trial is a front for another conspiracy to bring Anwar down. I won't write about the facts of the case as others more informed and more qualified than me have already done so. But what I want to say is that the Sodomy 1 fiasco led to me developing an interest in human rights and politics in Malaysia. It also sparked the Reformasi era which was a time of political awakening for many Malaysians. If Sodomy 2 sparks Reformasi 2, then it may now be my turn experience political awakening.

In Bukit Bendera MP Liew Chin Tong's book "Speaking for the Reformasi Generation", he reflects on how he and many others came of age politically during the Reformasi generation. I am not one of the Reformasi generation but I may soon be one of the Reformasi 2 generation, if there is a Reformasi 2.

I have never tasted tear gas nor spent a night in prison though that day could soon come. I hope and pray that I will have the courage to stand up for my principles and rights and beliefs when the time calls for it. I hope and pray that if I ever join the struggle for a better Malaysia, the experiences I gain will bind me together with my prospective comrades.

That's all for now. The post is a little long and the structure is a little choppy but I have never been an excellent writer. Maybe I should blog more then so I can get more practice.

Urgent: Get Your Copy of "Where Is Justice" While It Is Still Available!

To all readers out there, I am writing this post to support my friend Nathaniel Tan. His most recent book entitled "Where is Justice:Death and Brutality in Custody" was published by Kinibooks in December last year and has been on sale in bookstores ever since then. I heard from another friend that it even made it to the Top 10 list of non-fiction books sold by Borders the Curve.

This book is a thorough study of the issue of deaths and brutality in custody on Malaysia with a focus on four high profile cases, namely the 1998 assault on Anwar Ibrahim and the suspicious deaths in custody of Altantuya Sharibuu, Kugan and Teoh Beng Hock. The book consists of brief summaries of the facts of each case as well as published articles written about each case. The book also contains extracts from the SUARAM human rights reports from the past five years.

Recently, there have been reports that the book was seized from bookstores in Penang and Malacca. It is possible that the book may be banned. After all the Malaysian Home Ministry, does ban many books. The book is still on sale at bookstores in the Klang Valley so please get a copy before the book is removed from the shelves.

For those of you like me who care about the issue of human rights in Malaysia, the book will be an interesting read. It was an eye opener even for me as even though I knew the Malaysian human rights record was spotty, I did not realize it was that bad until I helped Nathaniel complete this book. My role was a small one but I am grateful that I was given the opportunity to work with him and John Lee(the co-editor of this book) on this project.

Btw, please do not think that I am promoting this book for selfish reasons as the proceeds do not go to me. I am doing it in support of my friend and also because I think that Malaysian youths, as future voters and leaders of Malaysia must be aware of what is really going on in Malaysia. Even if you have never given a thought to the human rights situation in Malaysia, you can start now by picking up this book. We have the power to make a change in Malaysia. We can make this country a country to be proud of! But before we can do so, we must first be aware of all that is happening around us. Only then can we become informed voters and citizens.

For those who are interested in getting a copy of the book, please find the relevant info below:

Where is Justice? Death and Brutality in Custody

ISBN: 9789834092269
Publisher: Kinibooks

Available in all major bookstores.

Please do get the book if you can ;)

Update after a long time

This blog has been dead for many months as all of us contributors to this blog were really busy with school work and related matters during that time. However, now that we are on holiday, we'll try our best to revive this blog a little bit. I have a couple of ideas in my head. If I can flesh them out into proper posts then I will update the blog.

Thursday, April 23, 2009


Today my school softball team beat SMK Bukit Bintang's softball team 20-13! Everyone was telling us about how we made history because we only had one and a half months of training and yet we beat who BB who are a very experienced team and were 2nd place in last years tournament. It's too bad the JU reporters were not around to record the moment when the game ended and we all ran screaming euphorically into the field and tossed our caps and gloves into the air in celebration. It was unfortunate that the boys did not take training more seriously or we could have done so much better in the tournament and might even have gotten a medal. Nevertheless, I'm proud of my boys because of today's victory and the improvement they have shown over the past two days. Thank you guys so much for letting me experience the sensation of a home victory(something which I have never experienced before)! :D But what makes me prouder is the fact that some of the boys have been nominated to attend the selection training for the district softball team. All the best guys! Make SMK Bandar Utama and our district proud! But the best part was I was also nominated to attend the training despite the fact that I did not play a single game this time. The officials and teachers were telling me that they were really impressed by the fact that I succeeded in managing and coaching the school team to a victory over BB in just one and a half months despite the fact that I'm still only a student. I was probably the youngest manager out there as every other school had teachers in charge and some even had proper coaches. Today's victory proves just what SMK BU is capable of if we believe in ourselves and work hard. Success with home grown talent is always the sweetest. We could make the big boys sweat even though we were rookies. Anyway, 5 years after playing in the softball MSSS, I now have another chance of making it into the Petaling district team. I don't think I'll get in though(as there are many better players out there) and will probably give it a pass as I have to start focusing on my studies. Thank you very much to everyone who gave me this opportunity though(including the school softball team)! :D