Kampong Kirkby

By P Chong                                  Saturday, 23 January 2010

Kirkby College Badge

It’s most refreshing when I look back to the days when 300 of us Malaysian students of different colour, race & creed were living in distinct harmony & peace, 8,000 miles away from home, in a little spot near Liverpool, UK, we called Kampong Kirkby.We felt proud to be who we were . . . Malaysians. I doubt we were even conscious of the fact that Azimah was different from Kim or she from Arul. We saw & perceived each other as friends & colleagues, though the first was of Malay origin, with Kim as a Chinese and Arul of Indian background.(Not real names).That was in the 50s & 60s of an era gone by & sadly missed.

The state of affairs in Malaysia these days is far from desired, and absolutely unbelievable that racial disharmony & discontent can come to breed & exist through the politicisation, polarisation & manipulation of the ruling UMNO. When looking in from outside & abroad the country, we can see how futile, ridiculous and indeed sad though laughable the narrow-mindedness of the UMNOputras have turned out to be – desperate for power to be perpetually in their hands. The aftermath & virtual defeat from the last election have made this desperation even more so. Who in the saneness state of mind would imagine playing politics & connotation with a little religious word which called for reverence & respect in the name of our same Maker.

They have been playing the political game for far too long & are now losing their sense of direction, good judgement, fair treatment & blind for the overall well being of the country. People can get so emotionally uptight that temperature flare & tempest roar! Devious politicians know full well that with a little political push & pull, an ugly scenario can erupt . . . not again with May 13 history repeating itself!

The world today is an open world, transparent & unconfined. Globalisation & the high tech world of instant communication mean that the people around the world get to know instantly whatever is happening. You can’t conceal . . . you are revealed!

With hindsight, I was looking back at the life & love of the Malaysian teacher-trainees in Kirkby College. It was so beautiful. Can’t help wanting to relive those days all over again . . . when relationship was good and life was free & easy. I could see Azimah’s curl & lovely hair style with her face & smile clearly visible . . . Arul looked equally great in western blouse & skirt as in her Indian saree. When different festivals came around such as Hari Raya, Chinese New Year or Deepavali, we all got together in joint celebrations, dressing up in sarong & kebaya, cheongsam or saree. The array of different colours just enhanced further the beauty of the joyous occasion.

I remember too, the opportunity of enjoying our cultural concert of a variety of music & dance. There was this diminutive Malay lady singer who rendered equally well both English & Malay songs with her golden voice. Not forgetting though, there was this equally small Singh who could sing & match melodiously with her. No names mentioned here, but I am sure Kirkbyites would remember them.

Alas the College song we sang of the “Land of Golden Chersonese” that seemed so far away has finally gone away beyond our reach! As one famous writer would utter: “Cry, My Beloved Country!”

With all the rich natural resources, Malaysia should be “exploding” in its economic development. Instead it is “imploding” within with all the trivialities of race & religion.

Everything could be set right again if political vision is on the right track. The ruling elites have been fortunate thus far to have a population mass so docile & resilient, but with mounting pressure & continuing unfair superimposition, all hell can break lose and then paradise would be lost!

Tell yourself this:

Whatever to be it’s up to me!”


A Chinese by Descent

An Australian by Consent

Related Posts by the same writer:

1. Kirkby – Down Memory Lane (June 2009)

2. Kirkby College Memorabilia (August 2009)

3. Tun Dr. Mohamed Mahathir – A Tribute With Repute (August 2009)

4. Malaysia Merdeka! (August 2009)

Blogosphere Vs “Emailsphere”

Blogosphere Vs “Emailsphere”


There’s that blogosphere, the world of weblogs for you.

Not sure if “emailsphere”

is an acceptable word for the electronic world. Nevertheless,

you know what I mean.

So there I was for the past 10 over years emailing away

until a friend recommended that:

”Since you’re so fond of writing & good at it, you should start blogging.”

Thus on 21 May 2009, my auspicious birthday, I made my plunge.

After several postings, I began to feel like retreating,

until a friend, Ean, in Singapore, whom I have not met in person,

encouraged me to go on. The rest as they say is history – if the word

applies for such a relative short time span of about three months.

At the time of my writing this, I have posted 106 variety of articles

& have reached a readership of well over 3,800.

A big welcome to you if you haven’t been there at my site!

For years I have been writing and I love it. I wanted to share this great love to the world by getting my manuscripts published, but it was all futile & vain. Rejection slips, though polite, are all that I received. I still have two unpublished poetry manuscripts and one on golf entitled “Swap Work . . . Play Golf” – essentially on the creativity of the game, its joy & frustration and the challenges that golf presents. I’ve got some successes getting articles published in the local papers & magazines including a self-published work on motivation “How To Have Motivation Unlimited”.

At Murdoch University, Perth where I spent one year in the graduate law program in 1995, I had to learn the use of the computer for the purpose of doing law assignments. So I did. From that point onwards, I was introduced to the electronic mailing world.

What a pleasure it was! Emailing is so fantastic, speedy, efficient & cheap. It’s miles ahead of “snail mail” which you have to go to the post office, purchase the stamp to post it. I guess that was how you lose track of your friends because it was such a tedious way of keeping in touch. Most people generally don’t like putting pen to paper. With emailing it’s so very convenient – the feel of the keyboard is different and with just one click you can reach a multitude of friends. In fact, there’s absolutely no excuse for people not keeping in touch with friends these days. No place is too far, no day is too short . . . the electronic world transcends both distances & time.

When told of getting into the blogosphere, I had then only fear! What would I know anything about blogging? The word itself was never in my dictionary, nor have I any connotation of its significance. Who would teach me or willing to? As it’s said, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

That was my initial reaction & really there’s nothing to fear except fear itself. I always believe in action rather reaction. To me, age is just a chronological number. To ward off any physical effects or defects, we have to actively & positively stimulate our mental ability & capacity. Be in it to benefit it.

In the beginning, I played around with “multiply.com”, “livejournal.com” and even Google’s Blogger. However, I didn’t get much interaction, excitement nor satisfaction, until my sister Annie told me of “Wordpress.com”. Ever since end of May this year, I have been electronically transferring all my thoughts & philosophy into this newly created blog of mine. A very warm welcome awaits you if you have not been there yet:


As I express, the Word presses on.

Therein I have all my messages in one place accessible by all globally. My blogosphere is my home where I store that which people can conveniently explore. Blogosphere is far more stimulating, inspiring, motivating & “sexciting” than the more traditional “emailsphere.” My blood runs to my brain & through all my veins! My perspective on life takes on a higher plane, rejuvenating life, generating sparks & fire! Life takes on a new meaning and puts you on a different level. Your boundaries are challenged beyond all limits. In sales, they would say “The sky’s the limit”.

Remember the time before Christopher Columbus when men thought that the world was flat. On the Eastern front, there was the Great Chinese naval adventurer, Zheng He. The much more publicised Columbus sailed to America in St. Maria (eighty-five feet) in 1492. Zheng He sailed from China to many places throughout South Pacific, Indian Ocean, Taiwan, Persian Gulf and distant Africa in seven epic voyages from 1405 to 1433, some 80 years before Columbus’s voyages. His 400ft. long ”treasure ship” was much larger than Columbus’s.

By the same token, “emailsphere” pails in significance when compared with blogosphere. To me, the crux of the matter is that I thoroughly enjoy being in a new sphere, making new friends on an international scale & enlarging my circle of friends globally. Not everybody, as usual, will interact with you, but those who do, I find them to be more genuine, sincere & interesting. They are taking the extra effort of interacting with you even as strangers. But a stranger is truly a friend you have not met.

In blogosphere, you are creating your treasure & asset digitally while creating new friends globally. It’s a world of virtual reality. There’s the prosperity transferable in posterity.

In this world, the question is not how many friends have you got – rather how many people are you a friend to?

Paul Chong

Wednesday, 26 August 2009 @ 4.28 am

A Chinese by Descent

An Australian by Consent