Sunday, 29 May 2011

Phil Bhir Dil Hai Malaysiani

When you staying abroad, your often being ask by foreign friend requested an honest description about Malaysia. As an only Malaysian staying in a little town of Bunbury so I self proclaims myself as Malaysian ambassador to Bunbury.

Malaysia is my home is blessed with natural beauty.  We have beautiful beaches, exotic islands and gorgeous landscape. To those who love Scuba diving, we have beautiful island such as Langkawi, Pangkor, Tioman and Sipadan, among others. If we wish to scale the highlands of the country, Mount Kinabalu is waiting for us to conquer. Taman Negara awaits the adventurous ones to come hike and camp.

We have our own casino like those at Vegas in Genting. We have the tallest twin towers, in Kuala Lumpur. We have a lot of huge shopping mall with fills with local and international fashion brands. We can easily get lost in the shopping mall building in Malaysia.

With huge shopping malls, we also have of massive sale promotion in Malaysia. We have the normal quarter sale, festive session sale (Hari Raya, Chinese New Year, Depavalli and Christmas Sale) and not to forget Jusco’s sale. Our theme is “The Whole Malaysia is on for sale”

To those who is gadget freak, we proud of famous for our super cheap gadget mall in KL that all the “geeks” love to hangout. We have Computer, phone and all electronic gadgets under one roof. You can also find pirated or illegal copies of software and games sold in this place. This is the place that stopping Bill Gates to become richer then he is now.

Talking about pirated or illegal copies, you can find the best quality of DVD movies (pirated) here with reasonable price anywhere in KL. Pirated DVD here is not just include current movie (which is still in movie theatre/cinema) but all sort of movie genre from Hollywood, Bollywood to Hong Kong, from black & white pictures to Blue ray standard.

Food is special in Malaysia. The mix of all the races in the country makes our own “rojak” when it comes to food. And yes, we all love our Malaysian food. When we go abroad, we will always miss our food.

If a foreign friend asks for an honest description of our country, the above will probably be what you will tell the friend. However, since the friend requested an “honest description” of my country, I cannot stop at just there. I ought to inform my friends of our system and people, too.

I ought to inform my foreign friends that in Malaysia, politics and the system of administration are big issues especially when it involves scandal and corruption. Almost every day, news on these topics will be reported and most the stories have part I and part II like a movie.

But Malaysians are forgiving people. We often hear illogical comments from people claiming authority, or even Members of Parliament making silly comments. But time has shown that Malaysians will always forgive these comments and sometimes re-elect the very same Members of Parliament who made those silly comments.

When we meet, other than politics, sports are certainly one subject Malaysians love to discuss. Football or some say soccer is Malaysian favourite sport even we are not good in international stage. Thousands will watch a local and English league football match. As we are an ex-British colonise county, we are too attach to British, even most of Malaysian is a Manchester United Fans. If MU has a friendly match with our Malaysian team, we as Malaysian are proud to cheer and support MU instead of our local team.

Malaysia has a world-class badminton player and squash champions. We will always hope our sportsmen/women will win the next world championship and proud to yell “Malaysia Boleh” when we certain they about to win. 

We have our own Formula 1 team. It hasn’t won a race yet but at least we beat Virgin Team (Still waiting the picture of Richard Branson in AirAsia Skirt outfit).

We ought to inform our foreign friend of the many sports facilities we have in Malaysia because it were built due to Commonwealth games in 1998. Some are not well maintained and only be maintained and repaired when there is a special event.

We have our own national cars, Proton & Produa which you can see everywhere in Malaysia road. The cars are cheap compare to foreign cars which government impose a lot of tax to make sure we are proud of our national car.

Our great infrastructure must also be mentioned – the highways with tolls and the trains that travel all over peninsular Malaysia. Of course we still stuck in traffic, our trains sometimes break down. So be prepared to be late here in KL and this is an “accepted” excuse if you run late for an appointment.

But Malaysians, above all else, will always be Malaysian. We can take a Malaysian out of Malaysia, but we can never take Malaysia out of a Malaysian.

The above will probably be an honest description of my country to any of my foreign friend who wishes to know about Malaysia and visit us.

Note:- This reminds me the translation of the Dato Shahrukh Khan movie/song Phil Bhir Dil Hai Hindustani (But the heart is still Indian) but for me it is Phil Bhir Dil Hai Malaysiani.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Australia from My Eye

I've only been in the Australia for a couple of months. To say that I know a lot about this country, I really don't. But no doubt I did learn a few things since I first came here. So I just thought I need to share some things that Malaysians might be interested to know about the Australia.

1)  Not everyone knows and talk about Malaysia
Thanks to PETRONAS’s Twin Tower we has really brainwashed us to believe that the world revolves around Malaysia. No, not everyone knows Malaysia, my friend. Please quit thinking that people REALLY care about what we do in Malaysia, like all the time. They just don't. To them, Malaysia is just another country (in Asia, or if they're pretty good in Geography, in South-East Asia). Plus, they have a lot more important things to think about than to care about what's happening in Malaysia.

2) People hold the door open for the person walking behind them when entering a building (if that person is not too far away, of course)
And the person walking behind will usually say "Thank you" for that person holding the door. This is just one way people are being courteous towards others. Well, you don't want to do this if it is automatic door.

3) Cars stop for pedestrians to cross the road.
Well, this one was quite a culture shock to me when I first got here. But they only do this on small, not-so-busy country roads, of course. Cars don't stop in the middle of highways. Malaysians in Malaysia might want to try this. But don't be surprised if the pedestrian freaks out because he/she might think that you're just getting ready to run over them as soon as they walk in front of your car.

4) They’re not superior to us.
Yes. A lot of us might have inferiority complex when seeing a white person. But you don't really have to. Like I said, they just THINK that they are better than the others, so they act like one (and they usually perform like one, too). If we can also THINK and see ourselves as just as good as them (or even better), then we WILL also be just like how we see ourselves as. It's all in the mentality.

5) You will appreciate Kuala Lumpur so much once you're here
I just miss “mamak stall” and “warung” so much. I don't even have to go over the details about the football (or soccer?) matches we watch on those big screens and the lively crowd that stays till 2-3 a.m. I'm sure you guys know what I'm talking about. 

The small town that I live in here will literally "die" after 6 p.m. No kidding. It's no fun. The only closest thing to mamak would be 24 hours McDonalds. So please, appreciate what we have in Malaysia.

Well, that might be it. Some of the cultures here are good and I personally think that we should learn these things from them. But of course, we don't follow whatever that's bad.

But overall, probably the most important thing that I got from here is that I learned to appreciate more of what we have in Malaysia (except for the political scene, corruption, and crazy drivers). We might think that they have a better place to live than us. Yes, it might be for them, but definitely not for us. We are Malaysians, and Malaysia is where we live.

It's just like how they say it - "There's no place like home"...

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Who Moved My Nasi Lemak?

 "Being in the uncomfortable zone is much better than staying in the cheese-less situation" Spencer Johnson (Who Moved My Cheese)

“To boldly go where no man has gone before” that was my first reaction when I got my news that change my life forever.

We all have a comfort where everything feels safe and familiar. We tend to not want to venture beyond it, however if we allow ourselves to stay there we will not be challenged, experience personal growth, or learn new and exciting things. In other words, we would stagnate.

I have to convince myself, that I need to put myself in a position where I have to stretch outside my comfort zone, and then I am forced to expand my consciousness. 

You can only grow if you are willing to feel awkward and uncomfortable when you try something new.

It's hard stepping out of your comfort zone. So hard in fact, I couldn't help but wonder why people ever do it. But this year, I think I may have just worked it out. It's not about scaring yourself into oblivion as I first suspected, but rather, it's about pushing yourself into a "not so scary" place where you can achieve your goals and take yourself further than you ever thought you possibly could.

My little bubble of clarity exploded this year on a couple of fronts.

Firstly, I started a new job that requires me to move overseas. Exciting for some, shit scary for me. I'd been staying in Malaysia all my life even though I travel occasionally but it's fair to say I felt pretty comfy there. Anywhere other than there was well and truly outside of my comfort zone. Malaysia is my home.

I was sitting rather uncomfortably in my new home and work environment. Imagine if you will for a moment what it would be like if you were plucked out of your daily normal life amongst family and friends and all that you know and were sent to live in a community in the outback of central Australia where the language is not familiar and you are the minority by a long way.

Days and weeks passed with only minor hiccups. I soon realised that everything I loved about the old job could be found here too.My comfort zone was certainly not everything I had convinced myself it was. Yes, it was safe and nothing was awful there, but nothing was ever truly exceptional either so when i first step out of my comfort zone it feel difficult and fearful but at some point become comfortable again.

Be brave enough to live adventure life.  The adventure is the place where no one else has ever been.  I have to leave the city of my comfort and go into the wilderness of my intuition.  

Well worth the small step outside of my little comfort zone.

Note:- Still misses my nasi lemak for now

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Mera Naam Jester

I was born by the name of Farid Affandi in the year of forbidden animal (Wild Boar) according to Chinese Calender and a month of fish (peaces) in zodiac calendar. So you can imagine my personality is (please refer any zodiac related website)
I am a Kelantanese wannabe (where I was raised and spend my childhood) and Johorian outcast (Where I was born), Pahang would not recognise (Where my parent currently stay and place back for Raya), hold a Permanent Residence status in Kuala Lumpur but now surviving with a lot of effort in Perth, Australia.
So I am a bit confused in which state football team that I need to support. But for sure, I am proud to say that “Saya anak Malaysia” (I am a Malaysian child).
There is a Malay saying “Sedangkan tempat jatuh lagi di kenangan, Inikan pula tempat bermain” (Even where you fall you will remember, so of cause “lah” you will remember where you played). So using that as a basis, I would say that in Kelantan is where I used to play when I was young and fall most of the time. Most scars due to the Kelantan’s rock over there. Home is where the heart is so my heart belong to Kelantan. Furthermore, Kelantan have a great football team the Red Warrior so  “Gomo Kelate Gomo”
I am lazy in nature but force to work. So I don't wanna grow up. How many people faced with the same predicament of deciding on a profession upon graduating used “not really knowing what to do” as their guiding compass?

For me that was accounting, a profession that conjures numerous clich├ęs.I have the utmost respect, admiration and appreciation for accountants. I have also been one for seven years in the financial services sector.

So for all those accountants stuck at work between 8pm and 3am in lieu of month-end – who’ve had to forcibly forego dinner, quality time with their family and friends, a favourite TV show, just so those books are closed to perfection – I sincerely salute you.

Well I am. It’s hard to walk away. But hey, if it pays well and the bills get paid, shouldn’t that be enough? And shouldn’t I just be grateful to even have a job in this economic climate?

Sigh. It’s back to my cubicle for now, brushing these things aside and being thankful that I even have a cubicle to go to.
As an adult actually you start to have responsibility and life suddenly became complicated. So as conclusion,  life for me is a series of problem solving situation and there were no more simple problem after kindergarden and Life is not amount of breath we take but the moments that take your breath away. So now I am a student of life myself....

Friday, 6 May 2011

The Refined Man, Man of Contradiction

Dear Reader,

These days it seems like any idiot with a laptop computer can churn out a blog and be famous. That's certainly what I'm hoping. It would be a real letdown if the trend changed before this masterpiece goes to cyberspace.

As some of you may know, my main profession is accounting. It's a challenge for an accountant to write a whole blog. Everything I've learnt in my entire life can be boiled down to a dozen of numbers, so  writing is a problem for me. 

I read someplace that the brain needs some boredom during the day to process thoughts and generate creativity. That sounds right. My best ideas always bubble up when I'm bored. And my period of greatest creative output is now when I am in Bunbury felt like a play date for coma patients. 

So my "plan for excellence" is to repeat myself often to take up some page space. In marketing terms, this is called "adding value." And for your reading pleasure I will include many colourful but unnecessary metaphors. In fact, the metaphors in this blog are more useless then it is.

The law of God and man both give the party an opportunity to make his defence, if he has any. I remember to have heard it obverse by a very learnt man, upon such an occasion, that even God Himself did not pass sentence upon Adam.

Men in general judge more by sense of sight then of touch because everyone can see, but only a few can test by feeling. Everyone see what you seem to be, for what you really are and those few do not dare take stands against in general opinions.

Allow me to defence myself before you judge me. A man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell the truth.

I am of delicate mind. I stepped aside for my needs, disdaining the common office.Let each man be judged by his deeds. I have paid my price to live with myself on the term that I willed…..

How can I prove my innocent if you are my Prosecutor, Jury, Judge and Executioner.I don’t want to fight with a fool;They will drag me down to their level and win by experience…

Forgive my nonsense as I also forgive the nonsense of those who think they talk sense..

My confessions,
Jester Istana (Farid Affandi)

Note:- This is my blog disclaimer to the reader