Saturday, August 30, 2008

51st Merdeka

Tomorrow we will be celebrating our country's 51st merdeka or independence day. Many individulas and agencies have made the necessary preparation for this auspicious event. As usual, there will be parades by the public and private sectors and many school children will also be taking part. Now, what does merdeka actually mean to each and everyone of us? How do we show that we are loyal citizens and that we love our country? What is patriotism? Does draping as many jalur gemilang as possible across the width of our cars show patriotism? Or does flying the flag in our house compound or sticking many tiny jalur gemilang on our vehicles show that we are citizens who love our country dearly? Does criticising the government at times mean that we are not loyal and good citizens? I don't fly the jalur gemilang or drape it across the bonnet of my car but that doesn't mean that I am not patriotic or a loyal citizen and don't love my country. I love the peace in my country and the beautiful people there regardless of their race and religion. I love the fact that I don't have to worry that I might be blown to pieces by a suicide bomber each time I leave my house to go to a shopping complex or an entertainment outlet. I love this peace loving nation. I love to sing the national anthem and all the rest of the patriotic songs. For me, patriotism comes from within the heart. It is a way of life. Patriotism and loyalty to the country cannot be forced onto every individual. He or she needs to understand the true meaning and do it willingly. For example, we can't force a child to stand in attention and respect the raising of the flag when singing the national anthem. He or she should automatically know what he or she should do in such a situation without having to be told to do so. A few days back, my colleagues and I were talking about this. We were pointing out that children nowadays do not love their school as we did when we were in school. If we do not love our school, the institution where we first learn about the history of our country, then how are we going to love and be patriotic and loyal to our country? I remember when we sang the national anthem and all the other patriotic songs including our school song, it was with much pride and admiration that we stood in attention during the singing and the raising of the flag. We took the trouble to memorise the songs and sang with all our hearts. This is what patriotism means to me. Only with this can we learn to love and be loyal to our country. However, everyone is entitled to his or her interpretation of patriotism and loyalty to the country. We might differ in thoughts and opinions but we are one, that is Malaysians. Happy 51st Merdeka!

jennyiyan's recollections...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Family and friends

I had to leave Iyan again yesterday to return to Penang because I work there. How I dread the moment I had to leave. One of my colleagues told me to just apply for a transfer back to KL where my family members, including my beloved Iyan are since I'm always missing him so much. It's not that I don't want to work near home. It's just that staying away from home has its good points too. I find that by staying on my own, I have grown to love my family more and not take them for granted. I not only cherish the time that I spent with them but also each other and there's also less bickering among us siblings. I have learnt to appreciate mum's cooking more as I don't get such good and healthy food when I eat out. I have actually been staying away from home ever since my school days and this has taught me to be more independent. Of course, when I was in school, my parents would take me home from the hostel at the end of each semester and send me back when the hols were over. But over time, I grew to be independent and could take the bus home during the weekends when I missed home too much and once every fortnight, my friends and I would take the bus to town just to unwind. There were curfew hours and we had to be back at the hostel by 6pm but that did not stop us having fun. When I went to college, my parents did not have to worry about taking or sending me back to the hostel anymore. By then, I was more matured and could take the public transport. When I began to work, my first posting was to a small town in Terengganu, at the border of Kelantan. There was no shopping centre or even a cinema for me to go to. The nearest city was about 50 km away. I couldn't imagine myself surviving in such a condition. I remember missing my family tremendously, but with the help of friends I managed to overcome my loneliness. We would gather after work each day and exchange news of our workplaces. We had a lot of fun just sitting around chitchatting. Sometimes, during certain festivals where we couldn't be home, we would gather and celebrate together with the little means that we had. It could have been a simple gathering like a barbecue, or someone's birthday, yet we had lots of fun being together. That is why I treasure all my friends. One of my colleagues told me that she does not trust anyone anymore because one of her so-called friends has hurt her. Well, maybe she has not been in a situation like mine. In my situation, we have to learn to give and take. Yes, a friend might have hurt our feelings, but we need to learn to forgive him or her if we want to have a happy life far away from our loved ones. I wouldn't say that I have put friends before family but I wouldn't deny that there are things that I share with a close friend and not with my sister. Yet, that doesn't mean that I don't share things with my family members. For me, my family members still and will always occupy the number one spot in my heart. Ultimately, family members are the ones who will stick by us. Their love for us is unconditional.

jennyiyan's recollections...

Friday, August 22, 2008


I remember the first time I set my eyes on a cute little baby the day he was born. I never knew I had so much love to share until then. The moment I saw him, I just wanted to hold him closely and protect him always. I vowed never to allow anyone hurt him physically. He's the apple of my eye, the love of my life and that special someone who will cause me to break all rules. Each time I have to leave him brings me heartache and I'll be counting the days till I next see him. And each time I go to a shopping complex, I will think of what to get him when I return home to see him. At times, I miss him so much that I just could not hold back the tears. When I talk about him, it is always with pride. For him, I will do many things that I do not normally do, like I've learnt to cook his favourite food - salmon teriyaki, minestrone soup and mushroom soup, just to name a few. It's a joy to see him grow from a baby to a toddler, and now he is already in the primary school. How time flies. He celebrated his seventh birthday last week, on the eighteenth. He is none other than my favourite nephew, Iyan. I think it is still not too late to wish him a happy belated birthday. We were out together just now at the shopping complex and we always have fun when we go out. I remember many a time he would be rushing to the washroom right after eating to answer nature's call and I would have to help clean him up. He would make me wait for him outside while he does his 'business' and only when he says, 'I'm done' will he allow me in to help him clean up. Sometimes we would just laze on the sofa at home watching his favourite shows or he would be playing games on his psp or ps3 and I would be reading. For me, these are very special moments. Spending the little time that I have with him. How I wish I could spend more time with him. I just want him to know that he is very much loved by all his family members. Iyan, Taiyee wish and pray that you will grow up to be a fine, young man. An individual who is not only confident, wise and successful but respects and loves his mum, dad and mei-mei dearly, not forgetting popo. Taiyee will always cherish the time spent with you. Indeed, you are very special, not only to Taiyee but also your mum, dad, mei-mei and popo. 'Happy belated birthday, Iyan'.

jennyiyan's recollections...

Saturday, August 2, 2008

the dark knight

two days ago i went for the dark knight. i would say it was a very good movie. the character of the joker played by heath ledger was excellent. he should be awarded the best actor at the grammys. however, its a sad thing that he is no longer here. such a young and talented actor who is at the prime of his career. if we look back, how many of these young people have died prematurely. take for example the hong kong singer and actor, leslie cheung kok weng who jumped to his death due to depression and anita mui who died of cervical cancer. if we go even further back, we read about bruce lee's death and not loo long ago his son. before that, it was elvis presley and james dean, just to name a few. we hear of artistes and youngsters taking drugs today. some take the easy way out by committing suicide. what are the reasons for them doing that? is life that bad that they have to find a way out of it? is it due to peer pressure? or are parents placing undue stress on their children? it is a competitive world out there and i won't deny that this is one of the reasons. children want to impress their parents by doing well in life because it has been drummed into them that to do well in life they need to work real hard just as what their parents are doing now. they leave for work early in the morning and only return after their children have gone to bed. they are not there to guide their children through their growing up years. hence, children are left to fend for themselves. its a miracle if the children grow up and become good citizens but the same cannot be said for those who turn to drugs for comfort. how long can that help them? if given the choice i'm sure they would not have chosen that. there are also children from poor families who have to give up their studies and go to work to help with the family expenses. how much can they earn with their qualification, if we can call it that. so, the cycle continues and they will never be able to come out of the pot that is holding them. my heart goes out to them.

jennyiyan's recollections...