More than a year has since passed when I had the privilege & honour to enjoy the hospitality of Johan & Kat in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Here’s a love story with a difference . . . and the difference grows .
A story depicting peace & harmony happening naturally . . .
An outstanding example on being “Truly Malaysian”!
This is not a commercial advertisement for tourism promotion as shown on TV screen.
Way back in the 1966/67, I was their form master in the HSC class of the then premier Anderson School of Ipoh, Malaysia. He was the Deputy School Captain and my class monitor, with which positions he commanded a lot of respect from fellow students. Tall, dark & handsome, he was quite a catch and I guess that’s the reason why some mystery persons kept “pinching his bottom”! Nobody knows till today . . .
Perhaps that was how his bottom kept being pinched!
Though I faced my students day in day out in class, there was a lot of secret“going ons” unknown to my eyes & ears. For instance, I learnt only recently that the girls were all crazy of the handsome history master with spring in his steps and an operatic voice to thrill their hearts. Mind you these young, pretty & bright girls were all selected elite intelligent students from various schools after their good performances at Senior School Leaving Certificate level. However, though not apparently so, Johan & Kat had eyes only for each other.
Kat, a demure pretty sweet thing, could be taken to be a white girl by the colour of her skin & features. I remember her to be quite serious and absolutely no nonsense. Not sure who set the “tender trap” but I remember Johan was sweet on her . . . perhaps that was how his bottom kept being pinched.
Being of Chinese descent, Johan was not his name in school. This is his adopted name when he converted to Muslim faith upon his marriage to Kat. She is of course a Muslim, a modern one with western attire till today. Johan observes every aspect of his new faith . . . no eating of pork & the requirement of praying five times a day!
Johan adores Kat worshipping & honouring her as his “boss”. He always refer to Kat as his “boss” and she takes it in her strides keeping a beautiful comfortable home in a double-story corner house, “a Green Villa Resort” in SS19, Subang Jaya. In the absence of having any offspring of their own, it’s also a home for their cats. This is quite unbelievable as Kat is allergic to cats. Kat has cats here, cats there & everywhere in her home.
Their home once featured in the Straits Times Press is even more attractive to the “Greenies” with lots of flowers & plants and rich green canopy to ward off the tropical heat. Its environment is truly cool through rain or shine.
Now you probably won’t believe me! Kat may be mistaken to be a Chinese who gets at the break of dawn to hasten to a neighbouring open field to lead a group of Chinese residents mainly in “Qigong”, a well-known Chinese art much like :Tai-Chi”.
She had a bout of tuberculosis which was healed through TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine” and since then she’s became a true devotee in Chinese herbal medicine. Both are qualified herbal medicine healers, graduates of TCM College. They operate their virtual free consultancy from home and there is always a stream of visitors coming by seeking a cure in alternative medicine when western medicine fails. People following traditional practice offer red packets as fees for their consultancy.
So here we are . . . you see a couple of mixed marriage with contrasting religions showing fellow Malaysians what’s meant by being “True Malaysian”!
UPDATE & APOLOGIES
with points of correction
That was very kind of you…though somewhat “pie say” for us. But we know you mean well, so we accept it as graciously as we can.
However Sek Yee and I would like to clarify the following points:-
1) My TB was not cured by TCM alone. I took the standard TB treatment from the hospital but I remember the lung specialist did comment that my healing response was very quick despite the stage IV when I was diagnosed. Besides I did not suffer any side effects from the drugs I was prescribed given the condition I was in and of course the age group that I belong to…so it must have been the TCM of which qigong is a very important component. Yes, I owe it to qigong, and the lots of TLC from my Chinese husband.
2) We counsel cancer patients on a voluntary basis. We do not accept ang pows from them. They pay only for the herbs ie if they decide to take the Cacare herbs from us.
3) We use whatever TCM knowledge we acquire from everywhere, and everybody in order to help cancer patients who come to us for help.
We would also like you to know that it was indeed an honour to play host to our form teacher. I guess it was a challenge which not many would take up. I admit it was not easy for us as we were not equipped to take in such a guest at such a short notice. However, looking back, we are glad we survived and did not kill you in the process.
Mr Chong, thank you. Please know that we are still learning from you.
Official flag of the United Malays Organisation (UMNO)
Pernas Twin Towers
In a flashback to the days when we were in school & college & even at the university, we can remember fondly how we used to refer Malaysia
as the “Golden Chersonese”. Life was beautiful then, peaceful & harmonious in kind & nature. We didn’t have any “humbug” political slogans to instil that in us.
Then May 13 in 1969 civil racial riots & commotion struck upon us with great fury out of the brewing political storm of defeat, changing the political, social & economical landscape forever.
Hypocrisy & greed will not breed prosperity nor will they generate any posterity in longevity!
For the last five decades, the diverse southeast Asian nation of Malaysia has given economic benefits to its ethnic Malay majority, a policy of NEP (National Economic Planning) that was initiated by the ill-fated PM Tun Razak, who died of cancer, with weighted benefits in favour of the Bumiputras (the so-called sons of the soil). In this, you might have been born in Malaysia but you are out of political & legal consideration as one of them. Yet the ruling controlling party, UMNO in the Alliance, readily accepts other foreigners & confers them the Bumiputra title so long they are of Muslim faith & pledge allegiance to UMNO (United Malay National Organisation).
In line with the US media flagship of CNN, Malaysia has its own CCN representing Corruption, Cronyism & Nepotism which dig deep into the coffers of the Treasury, laying rampant waste & mismanagement while consolidating the power of the UMNOputras.
Seemingly, the gleaming Petronas Twin Towers aim high into the sky in the Malaysian capital city Kuala Lumpur. However, its economic wealth from oil resources has not benefited the overall population – need I say benefitting only the Bumiputras.
Amid Malaysia’s population of 28 million, comprised mainly of Malays, Chinese and Indians, the official religion for all purposes & intent is Islam, although constitutionally it’s free. Religious funds are freely available for Mecca pilgrimages, and the building of exotic mosques in virtually all nooks & corners.
Economically, Malaysia’s Chinese has long been a dominant force to reckon with. After the fateful day of May 13, 1969, the ruling component party of the Alliance government in all haste & rapidity implemented its NEP, the national policy aimed at increasing the slice of the economic cake for the ethnic Malays – the Bumiputras. It was stipulated to be at least 30% for a period of 30 years – but that period of time might just as well stretch on to 300 or 3000 years. Seemingly unfulfilled as far as the greater Malay majority goes, the NEP has largely enriched people with UMNO connectivity. How the national policy is being implemented is grossly questionable.
The 30 years of stipulated time frame for raising the economic level of the ethnic Malays has come & gone, but nevertheless still exists without constitutional rights. As long as the UMNOputras are secured politically and in power, the benefits will persist rightly or wrongly. Chinese & Indian entrepreneurs freeze while foreign investors flee.
The fundamental growth of the economy has always been attributed to the Chinese entrepreneurship, and to a lesser extent the Indian minority. History texts have been manipulated & changed to prove otherwise. This is laughable like denying that the Holocaust never happened or that the Nanking massacre to be a figment of the Chinese imagination. The fact is the aim has been forcefully there, but the target has been missed.
They say that all that glitter is not gold. Beneath the seeming reduction of dire poverty, the economy is no doubt stuck in the “Midway” syndrome with the financial coffers drained and bankruptcy looming in the not too distant future. Malaysia with its rich resources has been lagging behind the rest of its southeast neighbours, and glaringly behind the city state of Singapore.
Blatantly, the incumbent government is to be blamed – it has to go. Enough is enough! Racial quotas in education, home ownership, business & trade participation and a whole long list of negatives must go to allow the economy to flow & grow. Greater participation by all will benefit the country overall.
What Malaysia needs is a “mental revolution” to avoid treading upon the riotous road of “Arab Spring” or whatever. It’s been jokingly said that Malaysia hasn’t got a Prime Minister. It’s got a “Crime” Minister.
One juicy piece of news has just come to my hearing. It’s from a friend who frequently travels between Perth & Kuala Lumpur. It is not as though I have had no such news before, for I lived in Malaysia for a greater part of my life.
Born & lived there, I am a Chinese by descent but now an Australian by consent.
Back in the 70s, even in a lesser known town like Ipoh to the north of Kuala Lumpur, prostitution though strictly illegal in Muslim Malaysia, flourished in no small measures under the guise of massage parlours, bars, girlie barber shops and private residential areas. As long as the police were/are in the coffers of the seedy operators, the show went/goes on undiminished & unperturbed.
Prostitution is as old as mankind. The scenario in South-east Asian countries as elsewhere is no different. I remember Taipei in 1970, right across from our hotel room window, loomed flashing signs of “VD Clinic/Hospital”. In Ipoh, men often talked of “tiger show” performances by the then infamous Rose Chan. New arrivals from foreign lands always command & demand more for their services. In keeping pace with the whims & fancies of demanding customers or clients, seedy operators are constantly flashing out new schemes of services.
However, this is one attracting scheme which was unheard of in the past. Hailed as the “ultimate loyalty program”, the promotion of ‘free sex’ is based on a number of cumulative ‘cash wash’. Such a roaring loyalty trade, however, is not remotely legal. Recently, a car wash & brothel in Kuala Lumpur was questioned over its questionable loyalty scheme, when the police caught wind of its operation.
Slideshow of Malaysian Service Stations & Tourism in their Various Promotions . . .
For one operator caught, more as a “window show case”, others just go more underground. In fact, I was told that Muslim Malays are allowed to have sex with prostitutes under the guise or pretence of multiple or trial marriages. Devious or not, the ingenuity of men to suit his own convenience & pleasure will always come up with “legally acceptable” schemes.
As reported by the Malay Mail:
When authorities raided the operation, they found nine Vietnamese women in the back of the building and storeroom, all without proper working permits. The women and the operators of the car wash were immediately detained and taken into police custody.
Authorities are still investigating the situation. Prostitution, as mentioned, is illegal in Malaysia.
In Europe as far as I can remember in the 1950s, “legal” prostitution took to operating in specially condoned areas like Reeperbahn in Hamburg (there’s even a new place on the Kiez ‘Reeperbahn’ right next to McDonald’s). In the Netherlands, authorities condone brothels in the interests of civil & social order. There are several permitted or tolerated areas of sex shops in Amsterdam, and you’ll find sex customers “sex-window” shopping openly. Sex industries are in operation in Amsterdam, Paris, Copenhagen, Hamburg and others in Europe – and no doubt in the US.
What of the sex scenario in the Philippines, Indonesia, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Taiwan, Hong Kong or Singapore?
“Sex-window” shopping areas exist in Kalgoorlie, the Australian mining city in Western Australia. And in Perth, sex shops are also a common sight.
The question is: Should sex operation be made legal at all?
How would authorities cope with prevailing sex-slaves & human trafficking in Asia?
If you are one of those drivers confronted with road rage in traffic jams in Kuala Lumpur, Bangkok, or Jakarta, forget about driving in Beijing or be caught in one of their traffic jams . . . they could stretch for days on end.
How about this: ONE traffic jam snaking into Beijing is 100km long and expected to last for a month . . .
showing how China’s economic growth and booming car numbers are still outstripping the billions being spent on infrastructure.
Baffled by the world’s longest traffic jam, the Chinese government has mobilised hundreds of policemen to clear the 100-km long stretch of the Beijing-Tibet highway, riddled with vehicles for 13 days, with the pile-up almost reaching the outskirts of the capital. Surprisingly, there have been no reports of road rage, and the main complaint has been about villagers on bicycles selling food and water at 10 times the normal price.
“Insufficient traffic capacity on National Expressway 110 caused by maintenance construction since August 19 is the major cause of the congestion,” a publicity officer with the Beijing Traffic Management Bureau told the Global Times this week.
The snarl up on the highway, on a section that links the capital to the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia was triggered by road construction and repair. While all sorts of vehicles appeared to have been caught up in the jam, it was mostly caused by lengthy coal carrying trucks, which brings fuel for the industries around the capital.
Traffic arrangements built up over generations in the U.S. are lacking in much of China, said Bob Honea, director of the University of Kansas Transportation Research Institute, who has visited China. “We’ll see this problem more and more often. It’s true of every developing country,” he said.
“Beijing’s already a big parking lot!” complained a taxi driver Gan during a traffic jam on the East Third Ring Road. “We’re making another Great Wall, it’s just that this one is made of cars,” he said.
In the worst-hit stretches of the road in northern China, drivers pass the time sitting in the shade of their immobilized trucks, playing cards, sleeping on the asphalt or bargaining with price-gouging food vendors. Many of the trucks that carry fruit and vegetables are unrefrigerated, and the cargoes are assumed to be rotting.
No portable toilets were set up along the highway, leaving only two apparent options — hike to a service area or into the fields. At several places, drivers, sick and tired of the snarl up, were bitter and angry as temperatures soared during the day and dipped in the nights. Many complained that local vendors were fleecing them for food and water, charging heavy rates, by selling water for 10 yuan as against 1 yuan.
The jam which some in Beijing say was not new in that particular section has also brought the spotlight back on China’s soaring auto sales. The congestion is set to peak in five years, when the total number of cars is expected to nearly double, the Beijing Transportation Research Centre said in its new report.
If people continue to purchase vehicles at the current rate of 1,900 new cars a day, the total will reach seven million in 2015 in Beijing alone, reducing average speeds in the city to below 15 km an hour, the report said.
By the end of 2009, Beijing had four million cars, a growth of 17 per cent over 2008. Experts say the urban layout forces people to buy cars and the city planning leaves people no choice but to travel.
In recent years, vehicle buying in the world’s most populous nation has gathered pace. China last year passed the US for the first time as the world’s biggest buyer of automobiles.
Car ownership is soaring fastest in China’s biggest and richest cities such as Beijing and Shanghai. About 650,000 new cars are estimated to be put on the road every year in the capital alone.
And construction of 15km of rail track is planned for Beijing’s Mentougou district this year, with a further 170km if it is successful.
Source: CCTV, The Australian, Global Times, The Wall Street Journal
The race always go to the swiftest & the fastest. When your engine stalls, others will roar. There is no relenting . . . there is no waiting. There can only be winners or losers. That’s the name of the game. When you’re ahead, you’d race & surge on.
When I wrote “China‘s Leaping Achievements” in November 2009, which article still enjoys a great reading audience by topping the list up to the present, I hadn’t put in much details about how China build & grow from an impoverished economy to its present giant standing, overtaking Japan as the second largest economy & is right on the doorstep of the U.S.
Way back in the early 1960s when I was at the University of Malaya at Pantai valley, Kuala Lumpur, I had learned from our economic geography professor, Dr. Dwyer, one phrase of his famous expression: “The Chinese are the most assiduous in their economic pursuit . . . unshakeable & resilient “. According to him then no race in the world can ever even match or compare. A country maybe rich in its natural resources, but it’s the people that constitute the greatest of all resources, natural or otherwise. There are many countries in the world endowed with great natural resources but not getting anywhere and conversely, there are countries without such natural fortune making their marks in the world. Singapore, the City State, is undoubtedly the best example in this category.
China has always been an inventing nation right from ancient times. Printing, paper, fork, drum, silk, gunpowder, umbrellas, the plough, rice cultivation, wheels and a whole lot of other things . . . are originally from China. Its history is littered with war and famine, so you can expect the Chinese to be tough and been there and done that sort of thing. After thousands of years under the rule of dynasties and finally under Chairman Mao of Communist China. Deng Xiaoping, the architect of modern day China, began the nation building with these words “Xiang Qian Zou” – The Road To Riches.
Nation building involves fundamentally the national identity using the power of the state by the unification of its people so that the state is politically stable and sustainable for future development. China addresses this problem very well and it has built a patriotic, hard working and educated workforce. The key to developing a nation’s wealth is developing your human resources . . . educating and building up the middle class. Science and technology hold up the base. In just three decades, China has shown the world an unprecedented growth.
China successfully prove what can be achieved when a Communist nation embraces capitalism. As a nation, they have synchronized the chaos into a force to be reckoned with. Even the West has accepted the fact that the Chinese are smarter, more hardworking, obliging and its immense pride to collectively build a nation.
From a nation of million bicycles, China has become a nation of cars. A few years ago there was a survey done by The Economist concerning car ownership in China , India , France and USA . As predicted, USA has more than 1000 cars, France 762, China 11 and India 7 for every 1000 people. Just only, last year China has become the biggest car market in the world!! According to China Daily in the first 10 months car sales were up 34% from last year … BMW has already fulfilled its target of 112,000 cars for this year in September, Mercedes sold over 101,000 units and Rolls Royce sold more of its cars in China than the US and last month Jaguar/Landrover has just open a new dealership in China.
Today’s Communist China is only Communist in name. The demand for luxury goods in China is growing at an exponential pace. Luxury items makers such as LV , Prada, Gucci, Coach and etc. reported more than 100% annual growth for the past few years. It has come to the point where Western products has to customize to suit the Chinese needs and taste like longer leg rooms at the back seat for Rolls Royce coz most of them are chauffeur driven so the bosses need extra leg room !!
The amount of research articles published by Chinese scientist is staggering. It is reported that China has jumped to number 2 – up from 14th in 1995, in the number of articles published in the science and technology journals worldwide such as IEEE, Nanotech & Applied Physics. It is an open secret that the majority of the PhD students in the hard sciences enrolled in elite US universities (Ivy League) are Chinese. It is these PhD graduates that will do most of the research. It should be noted that a lot of the Microsoft patents came from its Beijing Labs.
By far China ’s most successful research institution is the National Institute for Biological Sciences or NBIS, which is responsible for half of China’s scientific publication. The Institute’s 23 main investigators, director and deputy director are all returnees from the United States. Quote one of its principal investigators : “ If I stayed in America the chances of making a discovery is slimmer, here people take risk, they give you money and you can essentially do whatever you want ”. (Refer information onwww.economywatch.com. ) Patents are actually a measure of technological prowess and innovation. Nations that file the largest number of patents are the home to innovative corporations and Nobel Prize winners. It won’t be long before you will see Chinese Nobel Prize winners. No wonder there are so many first coming out of China nowadays.
China has the fastest Supercomputer (Tianhe-1A) in the world running at the speed of 2.5 petaflops which is equivalent to the power of 175,000 high-end laptops.
The fastest bullet train belongs to the Chinese (CRH360) with a top speed of 262 miles per hour leaving the Japs and Germans far behind. And these are indigenous technology. With all the money throwing into the national car industry after 20 over years, we ended up being a ‘BETTER CAR ASSEMBLER’ than our neighbours.
China hold the whole world at ransom in July this year by banning all its Rare Earth Materials. Rare earth materials are a collection of 17 minerals found at the bottom of the periodic table. China controls 95% of the world supply. These rare earth includes cerium, scandium, yttrium, lanthanum and etc are used in our daily lives such as handphones, laptops, camera lenses, flat screen tv, x-ray machines, guided missiles systems, oil refineries and etc. By banning, the exports of these materials China indirectly impede the growth and development of many things. Fortunately, there are 2 other companies in the world that will have the capability to produce some to offset the Chinese ban. One is the Lynas Corp from Western Australia which have a mine in Kuantan, Malaysia and it will start production by end of next year, while the other is Molycorp from California . How their combined output added up to around 40-50,000 tons which is still way below the global demand of 250,000 tons. Unsurprisingly the shares of both of these companies jump multiple folds since the July ban. Lynas was trading at some where 38cents in July and the high of the year was $1.69 (ASX) and shares of Molycorp are more than double now.
It is also a misconception that China’s success is due to its Cheap Labour; yes, that was probably 15 years ago. However, the next megatrend will be the growth of the Chinese Research & Development. The Chinese will be able to apply the same cost advantage in its manufacturing towards Research & Development in no time. If you notice currently the global telecoms equipment sector is now dominated by 2 Chinese companies (about 65% of new installations) notably Huawei. Western countries are buying this Chinese equipment not because it’s cheap but also it is good!! In a recent electric car, trade show in Shenzhen there is this Chinese R&D company that reinvented the battery. Their battery last twice longer, much more power, half the existing battery weight and 100% recyclable. This is going to change the face of the global automobile market. With its low cost R&D, product development and manufacturing, which country can match China? It will continue to dominate the world for decades to come!!! In the End, it is the Communist China that won the battle of capitalism.!!
So when will China overtake US as the number one economy in the world? As predicted China will overtake Uncle Sam ‘s economy in two years in terms of PPP (Purchasing Power Parity) It won’t be long as China’s opponent is embraced with an insolvent banking system, high unemployment rate , homeless population, high foreclosure rate and with 40 million people on food stamps and its Federal Reserve printing money out of thin air. Over here in China , its economy is growing at a 10% pace annually. And if you think, it’s easy for you to access the Chinese Market. Think again. If your company owns certain patents they will demand access to them and furthermore train their people on how to use your technology so that they can reverse engineer it the moment you open shop. Just ask car manufacturer Peugeot on the difficulty and pain in working with the Chinese.
China is also quietly building up its military and I believe it is currently making use of the financial crisis to extend its geopolitical and economic sphere of influence in Asia and beyond. China is already refurbishing an ex Russian aircraft carrier (Varyag) due to completed in 2012 and building 2 other 50,000 to 60,000 ton carriers due to complete in 2015. When completed China will have what they called a ‘BLUE WATER NAVY’ . This means Chinese navy are capable of operating across deep waters of the oceans and also able to launch a nuclear attack from anywhere in the world. Moreover recent developments in the Chinese missiles technology caught most western powers off guard. For example, a few years back China conducted a successful anti satellite missile test. It used a modified DF-21 (Dong Feng) ballistic missile mounted with the kinetic kill vehicle to intercept the satellite. Another recent development is the Chinese ASBM or anti ship ballistic missile the DF-21A which is designed to launch from land and can penetrate the most advance defence from any moving aircraft carriers. The carrier battle group used to be the ‘untouchables’ will no longer hold and it will make the US aircraft carrier battle fleets a sitting duck. With these multiple warhead ballistic missiles homing into these battle groups, there is nothing they can do to stop it. Even if it explode in mid air, imagine a nuclear warhead explodes in the vicinity of the fleet, it will just vaporize the entire fleet.
There are so much more happenings that are ceaselessly unending. To list them all would not be possible here. Some of the great & would-be achievements are inescapable:
1. China’s Great Engineering Feat: The Three Gorges Dam
2. China – World’s Biggest Megapolis with 42 Millions!
3. China’s Engineering Might: Bullet Trasin
4. World’s Longest Cross-Sea Bridge – The Pearl River Delta Bridge
Read in my blog “Who Owns The U.S.?” together with the above 4 topics, you’ll be amazed & astounded beyond all reasons to realise just how great & mighty China is and will be in the very near future.
Today 31 August Malaysia celebrates its 52nd. independence from the British colonial rule. To me, 31 August 1957 was particularly significant & auspicious, for I was there in the thick of it celebrating the first Merdeka. Being the last batch of the Queen’s Scouts from St. George’s Institution, Taiping, I was chosen to march in the Merdeka Parade in Kuala Lumpur. For a young lad this was a thrill beyond all imagination. I was, without doubt, extremely proud to be a Malaysian.
Myself in Merdeka Parade (31 Aug. 1957) – Second from right (Fourth row from front)
That kind of pride was even evident when we were all training to be teachers on Malaysian government scholarship in Kirkby College, Liverpool, England. We were a closely knit community of some 300 students in a foreign land studying & living in peace & harmony. It was a beautiful blend of racial mix – “truly Asia” as the present Minister for Tourism would advertise as such.
Just when you think Malaysia was such a paradise with durian & rambutan, “cha kwei teow” & “laksa” or “mee rebus”, “nasi lemak” & chicken rice, celebrating together Hari Raya, Chinese New Year & Deepavali, there exploded the racial riot of 13 May 1969 – all because of politics. Sadly, the days ahead have never been the same – no longer gay. Ever since, even with modernisation of highways & freeways, it’s downhill all the way!
All roads lead to a deteriorating state of social, economic & political quagmire. The way things are there’s nothing to be admired. Nothing to fulfil one’s hope, dream & aspiration nor would it thrill your heart’s desire.
Without looking afar, Malaysia pales in significance by far in comparison even just across the causeway. Singapore, an island state, deemed to fail upon its separation from Malaysia & without any natural resources like Malaysia, is laughingly way ahead in all spheres of development.
Politics is a dirty game.
It only enriches the class playing the same.
The population at large hardly have much to gain.
All Malaysians without exception must realise this. They need to rise and stand up to be counted. Prosperity must be equitably spread for posterity in perpetuity.
In closing, may I urge you to read my previous post on “Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad” to get a better & further insight that plagued the nation of Malaysia.