Friday, October 9, 2009

Heart Break

We were friends,
We were once happy,
What shall I compare thee to?
Certainly not the summer’s day of Sonnet 18!

We all have options,
To stand our ground or compromise,
To save or to waste,
To confront or to turn the other way,
To remember or to forget.

Shall I confront thee?
Or to turn away like I used to?
No! That is it !
I shall confront thee and be true!

Strong wind gusting through yet nothing changes,
Tiredness wells in my heart, for our day is done.
Only God know what lies,
In your whispering heart !!

Pretending not to know…
Pretending not to see…
Seeking peace and tranquility,
As heartbreak wells in me.
To my wind,
To my body,
And to my soul,
For thee my friend,
Take care… take care.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


What you usually see is the end product of months of effort. It is the same with performances. The excitement of one is infectious- from the reverential hush that comes down and the slow opening of the heavy velvet curtains to the virtual scent of magic that hangs deliciously in the air. The taste of glamour is like brandy- intoxicating and surreptitious. The show will take your breath away with its storyline and the amazing choreography. Finally at the end, the applause is deafening. The actors take a bow, once, twice, acknowledging the ovation. The show is a success.

After the cries of ‘Encore!’ have died down, the performers move backstage. Then, the unseen workers come out, like silent butterflies, to clean up. Noiseless and efficient, the trademark of a good crew worker.

Some people’s job is to be behind the scenes. Working, touching up, taking care of the so-called ‘little things’. That is one of my jobs-waiting in the wings. I am the one who draws and opens the curtains, touching up the little things and making sure the lighting is fine. Not important, right? I guess you could say so. The show must still go on with the curtains thrown open and in pitch darkness, right? (sarcastic intended).

Yeah, there is always someone who has to do these things. Moving the props and seeing to the actors’ comfort so that the actors can concentrate on singing and dancing with neon smiles on their faces. Makes you wonder if they are really happy. Job satisfaction is one thing, Cheshire cat expressions are another. But I suppose the Cheshire cat could have been happy leading Alice in a merry dance. (barbed remark not intended).

What is it with us? Maybe we just do not like the spotlight. Most people only know those who always are. They come for a two-hour show to see the brilliant costumes and with dialogue but no one bothers about the sweeping, cleaning, sweating and the moving of heavy objects that have been going on for the whole day. Donkey work it is called. But it is not bad; pays for our bread and butter, and gives us something to do. We know how the theater works inside out- we ARE the theatre- though I wonder whose ambition it is to be a crew worker behind the scenes?

From young we are taught that the only respectable professions were, well, the professionals- doctors, lawyers, and accountants. But if we were all doctors, who would be the sick? If we were all lawyers, who would be the accused? I know ambitious people have to start small and build up from there. Doing the few odd jobs, gaining experience, then finally unleashing their impotent wrath on the industry. Nah, make the talent instead. If you want to know more, get behind the scenes.

There is nothing wrong with doing seemingly unimportant jobs, though some would see you as a failure. As said before, if everyone were to be a doctor, who would be the patient? Wise men say it is the little things in life that count. That goes too for this philosophizing crew with the hundred watt smiles could be hiding heartbreaks-broken families, drink problems, you name it. Same goes for those with high profile sixteen-hour jobs. You never hear of the semi-deranged crew member beating up the paparazzi. 


   I hope that I will lead a peaceful life. I am happy and I guess that is what really matters. Not money, not fame. So I guess I will go set up the stage for tonight then. Tonight if you want to find me, I will be in the wings watching the big names and thinking what a failure I am. A happy failure. That is what counts. I wonder if the Cheshire cat was happy doing the disappearing act? Well, at least he did not have reporters and photographers hounding him.

Friday, September 25, 2009

百感交集 感慨万分 笑看风云 戏之人生

当上大学,宿舍及学院的学生代表,使我一生受用无穷。很多人说我变了,有的说变坏了,有的说变奸诈了。可是又有多少人可以了解我内心里的感受呢?在帮助别人的当儿,我却帮不了我自己,这也绝非是许多人所能理解的。至于面对别人的指责时,我一向以問心無愧和坦蕩蕩的心胸來面對所有誣蔑、抹黑以及無中生有的指責,以“仰天吐痰”的態度來看待這些抹黑者。其实,在政壇一定會有人事磨擦、嫉妒、仇恨、爭寵等利益上的衝突和誤會,如果指責是有根據的,就及時更正;如果指責背後有不良動機,就要坦蕩蕩以及有智慧地面對這一切指責。我曾經读过前任马华总会长丹斯里黄家定向明吉法师请教的分享心得,他问道如果有人一直無中生有,抹黑和誣蔑自己,應該怎麼面對?明吉法師說佛經第42章經中記錄到仰天吐痰, 他说一个人向天吐痰,藍天這麼高,痰終究會濺到自己面上,自食其果,自取其辱。
做任何事情一定有人講好有人說不好,最重要的是如古人所說的:豈能盡如人意,但求無愧我心。過去很多人擁護我、尊崇我、給我的榮耀和期望,都是因為我所坐上的学生代表位置, 一步一腳印坐到最高位置,也很明白我所受到的擁護和待遇,和我所在的位置有關。我心裡非常清楚,當很多人來找我,尊重我,期望我做很多事,是因為我坐著的椅子,而不是因為我是曾锐杰。所以一旦我不坐這椅子,我不會怪任何人,因為他們來找的是那張椅子, 我退位後很舒服地過著一般老百姓一樣的自在生活,也認為放下是一件很快樂的事情.就因为我坐的那张椅子,所以我才更加努力地为广大群众服务,务必做个全民的学生代表,改善大家对学生代表的看法以及为大家争取应有的学生福利。我承认,有一些事情我无法在任职期间克现,但是我依然努力在我退休后,继续向有关当局跟进,现在就剩下两样任务,希望在毕业之前能够克现。我的朋友们,让我们一起等待吧,给我多点时间吧,我可以做到的(就算没有权位在身边)。
我從一个普通学生開始提起責任、工作和職位,在大学政坛中活跃起来,當這些職位越高,任務和受到的期望自然就越大,接下來迎來的是更大的地位和榮耀,也有更多的壓力、勾心鬥角等負面生活。我觉得當這些位子坐得很久,就越舍不得放下,但事實上當初拿起這個責任,原本是為人民為朋友们做事。所以我认为領導人需要有智慧去平衡這些負面問題以及消除不健康的思想. 放下職位和責任很容易,但放下的地位、榮譽和執著就很難,這需要智慧。

Perkongsian Kuasa Kepimpinan antara kaum di IPT Malaysia

Perkongsian kuasa kepimpinan antara kaum di IPT

Mukadimah, institusi kepimpinan pelajar yang utama dalam konteks IPTA di Malaysia ialah Majlis Perwakilan Pelajar (MPP) yang dipilih melalui pilihanraya kampus yang dijalankan setiap tahun. Dalam pilihanraya kampus, lazimnya setiap pelajar akan membuang dua undi iaitu satu undi untuk kawasan bebas ataupun umum dan satu undi lagi untuk kawasan fakulti mereka. Proses ini seolah-olahnya mengikut model pilihanraya raya di negara kita iaitu satu undi untuk kawasan Parlimen dan satu lagi untuk kawasan Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN).

Walaupun secara rasminya pelajar-pelajar yang ingin mencalonkan diri dalam pilihanraya kampus bertanding secara peribadi namun keadaan yang sebenarnya calon-calon ini dikelompokkan dalam beberapa kumpulan seolah-olah mewakili parti masing-masing. Calon-calon dari sesuatu kelompok tertentu yang memenangi kerusi majority dalam MPP berhak menduduki barisan kepimpinan di dalam Persatuan Mahasiswa Universiti masing-masing seperti PMUSM, PMUKM, PMUM dan sebagainya. Kumpulan pelajar yang memenangi kerusi majoriti ini akan membentuk barisan Exco mereka atau lebih dikenali sebagai ‘Kabinet Pelajar’ yang biasanya merangkumi jawatan Yang Dipertua, Naib Yang Dipertua, Setiausaha Agung dan Bendahari Kehormat serta exco-exco yang memegang portfolio tertentu seperti Kebajikan Pelajar, Kepimpinan dan Penyelidikan, Akademik dan Kerjaya, Keusahawanan dan Korporat, ICT dan sebagainya.

Secara umumnya, pilihanraya kampus di IPTA adalah bayangan kepada percaturan politik di luar kampus. Ia seolah-olah satu mikrokosme kepada real politic di Malaysia yang membayangkan pertandingan di antara dua buah parti politik , iaitu samada parti aspirasi atau bukan aspirasi. Sejak tahun 60an dan awal tahun 70an lagi, memang wujud pertandingan di antara dua kelompok pelajar di dalam kampus yang membawa platform perjuangan yang berbeza. Tetapi, jika kita meneliti perkembangan politik di dalam kampus sejak kebelakangan ini terutamanya selepas Pilihanraya Umum yang ke-12, nampaknya kumpulan-kumpulan pelajar yang dilabelkan sebagai pro-mahasiswa telah mencapai populariti yang lebih tinggi di IPTA. Hikmah saya di sini adalah bukan untuk mempromosikan populariti mana-mana parti di dalam kampus tetapi adalah penting untuk memberikan latar belakang mengenai keadaan politik kampus yang sebenar dalam perbincangan ini.

Perkongsian Kuasa Antara Kaum dalam MPP

Dalam membincangkan konsep perkongsian kuasa antara kaum di MPP, kita perlulah melihat komposisi kaum di IPTA di Malaysia. Umumnya, beberapa universiti seperti UKM, UM, UPM, USM dan UUM mempunyai komposisi kaum di kalangan masyarakat kampus yang seolah-olah mikrokosme kepada masyarakat Malaysia. Di universiti-universiti ini, pelajar-pelajar bukan Melayu merangkumi lebih kurang 40-45% daripada keseluruhan masyarakat kampus. Ini merupakan satu blok kuasa politik kampus yang penting yang perlu dimenangi oleh mana-mana kelompok yang ingin menguasai kepimpinan MPP. Namun, pola pengundian golongan pelajar ini atau samada mereka akan mengundi atau tidak adalah isu yang terbuka untuk didebatkan. Jadi, wujudlah politik kampus yang mirip kepada perkongsian kuasa politik yang dipraktikkan di luar kampus. Memang terdapat unsur-unsur perkongsian kuasa yang mirip kepada formula Perikatan iaitu kerjasama di antara UMNO-MCA-MIC di dalam kampus. Wujud perikatan di antara pelajar Melayu yang bekerjasama dengan pelajar Cina dan India semasa pilihanraya kampus.

Sekiranya gabungan pelajar ini memenangi majoriti kerusi di MPP maka barisan kepimpinan akan dibahagikan mengikut tahap pengaruh kumpulan masing-masing. Namun, dalam konteks IPTA di Malaysia, politik perkauman yang mewarnai politik Malaysia tidak dapat dipisahkan dalam kampus. Barisan kepimpinan masih lagi ditentukan oleh faktor perkauman iaitu jawatan tertinggi masih diduduki pelajar Melayu dan pemimpin pelajar Cina dan India yang menyertai gabungan yang menduduki MPP biasanya akan diberikan jawatan Naib Yang Dipertua , Bendahari Kehormat, Timbalan Setiausaha Agung, ketua biro tertentu ataupun jawatan-jawatan Timbalan yang lain. Kerjasama dengan kumpulan pelajar bukan Melayu adalah penting untuk memastikan kemenangan untuk kelompok pelajar Melayu yang bersaing di antara satu sama lain kerana tidak ramai pelajar bukan Melayu yang berminat untuk menjadi calon MPP mahupun mengenali dan memahami apa itu politik kampus dan perkembangannya. Secara amnya, pelajar-pelajar Melayu adalah lebih political savvy berbanding pelajar bukan Melayu. Terdapat juga kumpulan kepimpinan di peeringkat kolej kediaman, iaitu Majlis Tertinggi Mahasiswa ataupun Majlis Tertinggi Pelajar. Keadaan yang sama berlaku juga merentas setiap kolej kediaman di sesuatu universiti, iaitu perkongsian kuasa antara kaum adalah lebih kurang sama, malahan sesetengah kolej tidak mempunyai wakil bukan Melayu dalam kelompok kepimpinan tersebut. Keadaan ini mungkin disebabkan oleh ketidakinginan kaum bukan Melayu untuk menyertai mereka ataupun pihak pengurusan kolej kediaman yang memanipulasikan keadaan ini. Keadaan ini amat tidak sihat kerana suara dan hak kaum bukan Melayu tidak dapat didengar dan dibela. Wakil yang sedia ada pula tidak bersedia mencurahkan bakti demi kebajikan pelajar kaum lain berdasarkan pemerhatian yang dibuat.
Pemahaman saya terhadap pola pengundian di kalangan pelajar bukan Melayu ialah mereka akan mengundi calon-calon bukan Melayu yang jumlahnya kecil dan selebihnya calon-calon pelajar Melayu dari pakatan yang sama. Namun, saya yakin ramai mahasiswa bukan Melayu yang tidak mengundi dalam pilihanraya kampus terutamanya dalam beberapa tahun sejak kebelakangan ini kerana tidak melihat kepentingannya. Secara amnya, saya mendapati bahawa pelajar Cina adalah kurang berminat dalam hal-hal politik secara bandingannya. Aktiviti pelajar Cina masih lebih tertumpu kepada aktiviti kebudayaan dan sosial seperti Pesta Ang Pau, Pesta Tanglung, Persatuan AIESEC, Persatuan Buddhist, aktiviti –aktiviti kolej dan sebagainya. Jadi, hanya sebilangan kecil pelajar Cina yang terlibat dalam aktiviti poiltik kampus. Namun, perlu saya menitikberatkan di sini bahawa terdapat perubahan selepas tahun 1998 dalam era pasca pemecatan Dato Seri Anwar Ibrahim yang menyaksikan sedikit kebangkitan gerakan pelajar termasuk gerakan pelajar Cina seperti gerakan DEMA yang kini masih memainkan peranan yang aktif dalam kampus.

Ke arah Pembentukan Bangsa Malaysia –MPP Refleksi Kepimpinan Masa Depan Negara Kita

Cabaran pertama dalam Wawasan 2020 yang diilhamkan oleh Bekas Perdana Menteri kita, Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad berbunyi, “membentuk sebuah Negara Bangsa yang bersatu padu serta menyanjung masa hadapan yang dikongsi bersama. Bangsa itu mestilah sejahtera, terintegrasi wilayah-wilayah dan kelompok-kelompok etniknya, menikmati kehidupan bersama yang sepenuhnya berasaskan persamaan hak dan keadilan, membentuk sebuah ‘BANGSA MALAYSIA’ dengan rasa taat setia dan pengabdian yang tidak berbelah bagi terhadap bangsa tersebut.” Kita hanya akan mencapai impian Bangsa Malaysia ini sekiranya kita tidak lagi melihat kita sebagai orang Melayu, Cina, India, Kadazan, Iban atau lain-lain tetapi sebagai seorang rakyat Malaysia yang berbangsa Malaysia.

Saya tidak dapat menerima konsep perkongsian kuasa yang dipraktikkan di dalam kampus sekarang kerana ia masih dipengaruhi faktor politik perkauman tetapi ia adalah satu hakikat sebenar yang perlu kita hadapi.Impian saya ialah untuk melihat kepimpinan pelajar ditentukan oleh faktor-faktor seperti daya kepimpinan, tahap keintelektualan yang diperjuangkan oleh mereka untuk kecemerlangan dan kebajikan pelajar dalam kampus dan bukannya faktor perkauman. Namun, daripada penghayatan saya ini, adalah agak mustahil dalam jangka masa yang dekat disebabkan faktor senario politik negara yang lebih besar. Saya ingin melihat menjelang tahun 2020, pemilihan Yang Dipertua MPP akan dijalankan melalui kaedah pemilihan langsung iaitu sesiapa sahaja boleh dicalonkan tanpa mengira kaum dan pengaruh sesiapapun dan faktor pengundian oleh pelajar adalah berasaskan karismatik seseorang calon itu dan bukanlah warna kulitnya. Kepimpinan pelajar adalah refleksi kepada kepimpinan Negara masa depan. Jadi adalah penting politik kampus dapat membebaskan diri daripada bebanan politik yang dipraktikkan di luar. Kita ingin melihat faktor perkauman akan menjadi kurang signifikan dalam proses pembentukan Negara Bangsa Malaysia (nation building). Communal politics perlulah dikikis dan ia sepatutnya bermula dari politik kampus dan MPP adalah platform yang terbaik untuk pelajar menyumbang ke arah itu. Saya tahu ia adalah sesuatu yang tidak mudah dicapai dan memerlukan banyak kesabaran, keberanian dan akan memakan masa yang lama.

Secara keseluruhannya, pelajar hari ini akan menentukan arah tuju negara kita pada masa depan. Saya amat berharap Bangsa Malaysia akan tercapai pada suatu hari nanti. Tidak lama dahulu, pernah ada cadangan di kalangan ahli Barisan Nasional untuk membubarkan semua parti –parti komponen Barisan Nasional dan mereka semua diintegrasikan dalam satu parti sahaja iaitu parti Barisan Nasional namun cadangan seumpama itu nampaknya masih jauh daripada menjadi kenyataan. Saya amat menghormati pengasas UMNO, Allahyarham Dato’ Onn Jaafar yang mempunyai pandangan yang begitu jauh dan beliaulah yang mula-mulanya berusaha mengikis politik perkauman di Malaysia dengan mencadangkan keahlian UMNO dibuka kepada semua kaum pada tahun 1960an lagi. Namun, beliau adalah ‘A man beyond his time’. Semua pelajar harus mempunyai anjakan paradigma yang tinggi agar dapat mengubah suasana politik di dalam kampus dan bersama-sama mewujudkan semangat integrasi dan perpaduan yang intim demi kesejahteraan manusia sejagat Negara tercinta. Saya berharap saudara-saudari sahut akan cabaran-cabaran yang dihadapi oleh masyarakat negara kita dalan era globalisasi ini. Ini bukan lagi isu persaingan di antara kita tetapi persaingan dengan dunia luar. Tergamakkah kita membiarkan wawasan dan visi Negara kita hanya tinggal omong-omong kosong?

Bring Back the real spirit of unity

Bring Back the real Spirit of Unity

We are fortunate that the country’s unity remains anchored to a bedrock of religious tolerance, mutual understanding and respect among the various races. It has not been seriously threatened by ethnic and religious tensions created by provocations of irresponsible politicians or biased implementation of policies. We may have succeeded in effectively managing racial rifts over the decades but there is a dire need for a long-term solutions to ensure real harmony.

One obvious obstacle towards this is our ineptitude to hold to hold frank and open dialogues over religious issues without all getting riled up. As such, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s final mission as Prime Minister before leaving office-to ease racial and religious tensions-should indeed be lauded and supported. It is never too late for political players and policy makers to realize that the future of Malaysia hinges on its continued religious and inter-racial harmony. As the PM said at the Christian Federation of Malaysia’s Christmas Open House before, our children must be raised without any sense of prejudice. Differences in religion should not be a hindrance to developing and maintaining friendships.

The sad reality is that a large segment of Malaysians, especially among the young, can only mingle within the comfort of their own race groups. They do not show any interest in or concern for other communities. It is obvious that inexpedient educational policies and failures in promoting multiracial interactions have contributed to the regretful situation. But the mess can still be untangled to free the original spirit of unity. The country, after all, was born and nurtured on such a foundation.

We have proven in the past that the core values inherent in our faiths, culture and customs are enough to unite us as Malaysians. The coming new year offers hope for renewed focus on unity based on respect for multi-ethnicity and religious tolerance.

School isn't that bad after all....

School isn’t that bad after all

“I hate my school”. Honestly, how many times have you heard this coming from a frustrated student, tired of the huge white building we call school and just about everything in it? It comes as no surprise that at some point of a student’s life, he or she will feel immense resentment for school rules, exam pressure, stern teachers, mountain-like piles of homework, and every other challenge that a student must face in school if they intend to survive it until adulthood. However, having been a part of a particular school named Sam Tet for almost a decade, I beg to differ. In fact, it is right here in these four walls that I have formed the most vivid and probably the most lasting memories in all the twenty two years of life.

Imagine this: you are shaken several hours earlier than you would have liked. Leaving the comfortable warmth of your bed, you go through a daily morning routine, almost robot-like thanks to your annoying lack of sleep, before you are hustled into a bus and brought to school. As you trudge grumpily to school with your eyelids weighing heavily over your eyes, you are immediately greeted with glowing smiles from your friends, your spirits lift and your heart goes a flutter as you sigh with blissful happiness…. Maybe that was a tad exaggerated, but it is extremely comforting to see a couple of smiles thrown at you as you drag yourself to school, or when you have received bad marks for your exams and dread the consequences when you reach home. Furthermore, having transformed from an obedient tell-my-parents-everything boy to a secretive teenager, I find that there are a few topics I cannot always discuss with my parents as well as some secrets that I cannot reveal to them. This is where my friends come in, lending an ear as well as giving useful opinions which I certainly would not have thought of myself and for which I am grateful for.

School is often described as a type of prison, with its four walls closing in on helpless students who are given so little freedom that they are on the verge of suffocation. School rules are no stranger to any student at all, each school has its own set of rules which every student is expected to obey without question. Naturally many students consider obeying rules to be a hassle as most school rules are deemed to be too strict and unreasonable. Although some students may feel that their lives would be better off without rules, I shudder to think of what the school would become without it. Although I am not always in total agreement to school rules, I have realized that it is an effective way to discipline myself as I begin to understand that some mannerisms cannot be tolerated in certain places.

Perhaps the worst fears of a student during their days at school would be the cold and seemingly merciless teachers that enter their classrooms to teach everyday. As a particularly strict teacher enters the class, each student ducks their head, avoiding her gaze, from time to time he steals glances at the clock, wishing time to go twice as fast. Any student unfortunate enough to bring up their teacher’s wrath has to stand meekly in front of the whole class as he is being lectured, wishing the earth will open and swallow them up. But is this true description of a teacher? Someone who is cold, cruel, and unforgiving? Teachers are humans too, after all, and therefore must have a softer side in them. Perhaps students have lived too long in fear to realize that their teachers are always there for them when they face problems, helping and guiding them through their school days. I have come to fully appreciate my teachers for constantly coming to my aid, assisting me when I need them. After many years of school, I realized that it was in fact my teachers who have moulded me into the person I am today.

School life can be hard sometimes. After all, one can hardly expect it to be all frills and fancies all the way. Naturally every challenge would usually be accompanied by the usual ‘it’s for your own good’ lecture, but if students were open, they would realize that most of them ring true. After all, the purpose of going to school is to prepare us for the time we shall leave our comfortable cocoon and enter the cold, cruel world. Any glitches along the way will only serve to mould us into stronger, more independent characters. After reading this composition, do you really think school is that bad after all?