Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Gone But Not Forgotten

What we've got here is (a) failure to communicate - Cool Hand Luke

In one of my class, I asked my students about the Berlin Wall. Majority of them never even heard about it, which stopped me from asking further whether they even know about the East Germany and West Germany that are divided by the wall. History has never been a favourite subject for students as it is not being given the importance and recognition that it should get. I was reading an entry by saifulislam.com. He talked about how Prof. Khoo Kay Kim commented that Geography and History are not being given the preference in the education system. This leads to students studying Science and Maths subjects more so that they can score as many As that they can thus getting to study engineering or medicine. Undoubtedly, the profession that is being craved by the students, such as medicine, is a very noble and important profession. But at the same time, there is no balance between the left brain subjects and the right brain subjects. This leads to what saifulislam said, producing workers, but not thinkers. Arts and history actually help students to look at the aesthetic of life rather than what should be gained in life. Creative minds are being suppressed, I guess.

And now I know why.

I was taken aback when Deputy Finance Minister Awang Adek, said that the Pudu Prison has no significant importance in view of the impending construction of new commercial buildings on the site of the demolished Pudu Prison. Something as historic as the Pudu Prison has no significant importance? Wow, that is surely one way to teach our kids about history then. I went to the start of the demolition of the walls yesterday. There were many people who came and watched as the bulldozer demolished one part of the wall. That shows that there are many others who are still interested in watching the historic building being demolished, as a remembrance for the future. While development is a must and something must be sacrificed to make way for development, there should be something that is left from the historic Pudu Prison for the future generation to look at. At least one part of the wall should be preserved, just like one part of the A Famosa that is still standing as a tourist attraction and serves as a reminder of the past. Just because the land of the Pudu Prison is located at a prime place, commercialisation should not take place at the expense of education and history. There should be a strike of balance between them. But the world is never fair, thus the capitalists have their way and disregarding the opinion of the masses.

And they still dare to say that the youths do not appreciate history when the reason that it happens is because of the people in power prefer money over history. How many historic buildings must be demolished? How many Pudu Prison? How many Bok House until we realise that history plays a part in our life. This might sound like disappointment talking, but it is actually a hope, that one day, there will be people who realise that the development of people is more important than the development of commercialization which only benefits the few.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

The Man I Ought To Be.

I know it is a bit late, but I had a lot to talk about as I was starting to write about my dad. I had to omit a lot of things due to time constraints. But, here goes.

My dad is the type who rarely talks about his work. When I was still in school, whenever people asked me about his job, he just told me to answer, "Ala,pegawai kerajaan je.(Just a government servant.)" Now that I'm in a working environment, I just got to know that his job is one of the highly regarded job that people would compete to get. He never told me how hard it is to get oneself into his profession, which I would say can be rewarding at times. He never bragged about his job, being humble is his choice, I guess. But now that I passed the exam to get myself into his profession, I can see that he is actually proud of me, which I gladly did.

He actually wanted me to become an engineer. I vividly remember the times where he would proudly claim," You're going to be an engineer one day " which I'm not right now. We had our arguments about the choices that I made of what I wanted to do, but I stood with my decision which though he reluctantly accepted at that time, I can see now that with the offers that I'm getting, I hope that I made him proud. We rarely had our bonding time with each other, but I know that he likes something that is related to current issues. So I trained myself to read a lot of newspapers and get myself updated with current issues so that we would have things to talk about. It worked, actually. We always have something to talk about. At the same time, it helped me in a way that I can talk about anything with anyone. I always have a topic to talk to. That actually builds up my rapport which is quite useful when you have to deal with a lot of people.

Not only that, he is actually one of my readers whenever I write something in my blog. At one time, he called me just to say that I made a grammar mistake in one of my postings. After pointing it out, he would proudly claim that his English is better than an English teacher (read: me). Oh, whatever.Haha. It is one thing to read my blog, but it is another when he promotes my blog to his friends. He even promoted my blog to one of his friends who is a chief editor of a news agency. Because of that, I was called for an interview and was offered a job as a journalist. Though I had to reject the job offer, I still owe it to him for promoting my blog, which I myself wont be doing as much as he did.

"It's ok, just make sure that you wont do the same mistake after this," my dad said to me.

You see, I was into trouble for a lot of time. So everytime I was in a deep shit, I would get the dont-do-it-again lecture from my dad which he would end with that sentence. Whenever I did something bad, the first thing that I would think about is him. I was very afraid of what he would say or do if he found out about what I did. I can still remember till now when I was a kid and I didnt want to take a bath, he chased me around the house just to get me to take my bath. He was quite strict when I was small but now that I'm grown up, he only told me to learn from my mistakes and not to repeat it again. In a way, I learned that whatever bad things that people did, try to forgive them and try to encourage them to learn from their mistakes rather than punishing them and condemning them for the rest of their life. It took me some time to realise what he tried to teach me so now when I can see that, I tried to be someone who is more forgiving towards others and to give others another chance to learn from their mistakes. It's not easy but it surely gives you self satisfaction which you can't get from all the riches in this world. That is my dad. My abah. He taught me that. So thank you abah, and happy father's day.