Saturday, 31 August 2013

No Justice, No Peace

In another post this week I've been talking about all the unpleasant news from all over World; but things can be just as depressing over here in Malaysia. And recently Lady Justice has been having a pretty tough few weeks here in Malaysia.

There was a pretty horrific bus accident that claimed the lives of 37 people including the driver on their way back from Genting Highlands; the driver had lost control and the bus plunged into a ravine. Survivors of the bus accident later told reporters that the driver of the bus seemed angry at another car that had overtaken the bus. It was later revealed in the papers that the bus may have had faulty breaks but the Road Transport Department is still investigating. The bus driver also had 16 traffic summonses issued against him, all of them except for one were for speeding.

Hopefully the survivors of the bus crash as well as the families of the victims might get some justice and compensation for the ordeal they've been through. I'm no legal expert but it seems to me to be a little irresponsible on the part of the bus operator to hire a driver with 16 traffic summonses. I's like Post Malaysia hiring postmen who instead of delivering the mail, decide to dump it in the jungle instead. Oh wait..that did happen.

Unfortunately, in cases like these where the driver is also killed and can't be held accountable the authorities seem to forget all about it once the hubbub has died down. Sure, there's already a talk of setting up a panel to investigate the accident; but this isn't the first time an accident like this has happened. And when the next accident happens, everyone goes through this process all over again.

Malaysia just might be one of the countries where the criminals might just end up arresting you. I say this after reading a story about a man by the name of Saravanan Batumalai who a month ago saw a woman being mugged by two men on a motorcycle; he then sped up and rammed his car into the motorcycle.

One of the men managed to get up and run away while the other still tried to get away on the bike. Saravanan then rammed the motorcycle a second time pinning the bike under his car. The guy then pulled out a knife and Saravanan did not pursue him because he was armed. When the police arrived later they traced the bike and said that it belonged to the Kelana Jaya police station (Da Fuq?!)

That's not even the best part; Saravanan later went to the police station to record his statement, where he had to wait for two hours. After the long wait the senior police officer called for two men to be brought in; he recognized them as being the same men who tried to rob the woman. And he was later told that they were policemen. He later formally identified them at a police line-up.

I think we can all agree that Saravanan Batumalai is a BAMF and that those two cops are a bunch of punks with badges (allegedly). I have to say “allegedly” for legal purposes; the policemen are still under investigation a month later and still haven't been suspended from duty (Da Fuq?!). Apparently it's really complicated to charge the police with a crime. So just to cover my bases let me say that all suspected criminal cops are innocent until proven guilty in a court of law. For the record I like cops but only the good honest ones. The rest can go erm..have sexual intercourse with one another.

Recently a video went viral here in Malaysia on Facebook; the video showed a family entering an elevator. The husband then assaults the wife by slapping her a few times; as the wife tries to get away from the husband he kicks her causing her to fall. The husband then proceeds to kick her several more times before exiting the lift with the children and leaving the woman behind. can be horrible. Naturally there was a fair bit of outrage from Netizens.

The police have identified Mohammad Affandi Ismail as the man in the video and he has been charged with voluntarily causing hurt to his wife. The offence under Section 323 of the Penal Code carries a maximum one-year jail term or RM2,000 maximum fine or both.
He has pleaded not guilty to allegedly (really?) assaulting his wife and was granted bail by the court.

As he left the courthouse he was followed by press photographers; he was smiling and gave them a thumbs up. Before entering his car he said “I apologise to all women. I did not mean to teach my wife a lesson.” I'm not a lawyer but doesn't that sound like an admission of guilt? Personally, if he is found guilty for his “alleged” assault he should be tied to a tree like a piñata and “all women” can show him how they feel about what he had done. Allegedly of course. I wouldn't want to get in trouble for expressing my opinion. As always he is innocent until proven guilty.

Even the Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had weighed in on this case. He said that Malaysians should respect women “at home, at work and even in a lift.” I want to commend the Prime Minister for taking such a stance publicly on such a serious issue. Hopefully, all Malaysian men will take his lead and be more respectful towards women.

And I'm sure the Prime Minister is just as concerned as we Malaysians are over the aquittal of the two former police officers for the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu. Altantuya Shaariibuu was murdered in 2006; according to the police investigation she had been shot twice before her body had been blown up with C-4 explosives; although they say that she may have been alive when her murderers used the C-4 to kill her. It's really hard to get your hands on a gun in Malaysia; unless of course you're a criminal. So I'm guessing that it's significantly harder to get your hands on C-4.

The police investigated the matter and arrested two police officers Chief Inspector Azilah Hadri and Corporal Sirul Azhar Umar. These men at the time were the bodyguards to the Minister of Defence Datuk Seri Najib Razak who of course is the current Prime Minister of Malaysia. This almost seems like a great plot to a John Grisham novel.

Anyway, in 2009 both men were found guilty and were given the death sentence. And just last week the Court of Appeals granted these two men an aquittal on the grounds that there were gaps in the evidence submitted and they have since been released from prison. If it wasn't so sad it would almost be funny.

For many people the aquittal came as a shock, most were expecting a mistrial at least. With a mistrial these men could have been taken to court again and the facts of the case would have been re-examined. There are still many unanswered questions in this case. Conspiracy theorists say that there are people higher up in the government responsible for Altantuya’s murder. But I guess now we'll never know. Since both these men have been acquitted they can never be charged over the same offence again. Of course, the real question now is who is responsible for Altantuya’s death?

The two former police officer aquitted of the murder of Altantuya Shaariibuu

The Prime Minister said that women needed to be protected and respected and it's the same for Altantuya Shaariibuu. Hopefully she will get some justice, as well as her father who said that he was disappointed with the verdict. I can only imagine the pain he must be going through again knowing that his daughter's murder is still unresolved.

Of course not knowing what really happened is only fuelling speculation online by Malaysians. There are so many conspiracy theories floating out there. One of the things that I've seen people keep mentioning is the fact that we've never even seen what these two former police officers looked like. They've always had their faces covered; at least in America people practically knew the life story of George Zimmerman. I could come face-to-face with these two men and never know who they were.

In a recent press conference about combating crime in Malaysia the Prime Minister said that “The people must live in a country where they feel safe and we will not compromise that.” Which is something I agree with wholeheartedly. No Justice, No Peace.

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”
Martin Luther King Jr.

Don't take my word for it; here are some links for you:

Image Credit:

You Probably Didn't Know This About Any Of This..

I can understand why people hate watching and/or reading the news. I mean have you seen the news lately? It's HORRIBLE! The World can be such a depressing place sometimes.

No wonder people like to spend their time distracting themselves with their phones; watching Youtube videos; maybe reading this blog (hmm?); while ignoring what's going on around them. And I can't blame them. It's easier to concentrate on the trivial things in life.

You're probably not going to turn on CNN any time soon and the Breaking News is that “Today was a good day.” Nope..the good news is few and far between I'm afraid, it's usually filled with stories about conflict in various parts of the world; occasionally we're treated to the spectacle of a Royal Baby being born. And as nice as that is, sometimes I can't help get the impression that there's a lot of injustice in the World.

I'm not naïve; I've watched “The Wire.” I know that things don't always work out according to plan. Sometimes the good guys are the bad guys and vice versa. Sometimes they get away with crimes they committed. Of course when justice does prevail it doesn't seem enough somehow. But that doesn't mean we just sit quietly and let the injustice continue. My small contribution is to offer you my snarky opinion on certain topics. Let's begin.

Halliburton recently pleaded guilty to destroying evidence relating to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. And for lying the company will have to pay the government the grand sum of $200,000. That's not a typo, that was the actual amount they were fined; of course, Halliburton will also be donating $55 Million to the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.

While I commend the executives for donating out of their good “conscience” the “punishment” feels like a slap on the wrist; especially when you find out that Halliburton made $7.3 Billion in total revenue in the second quarter of 2013. That'll teach em' a lesson.

Meanwhile, the U.S. government was more than happy to make an example out of Chelsea Manning; the soldier was recently sentenced to 35 years in prison. If you're slightly confused and wondering why I didn't mention Bradley Manning, then you definitely haven't been paying attention to the news (check the links below).

In a statement read by Chelsea Manning's lawyer she said that "When I chose to disclose classified information... I did so out of love for our country and a sense of duty for others. If you deny my request for a pardon I will serve my time knowing that sometimes you have to pay a heavy price to live in a free society."

While I'm aware that she broke the law and is therefore considered a criminal I can't help feel sorry for her; when a government or a soldier does something that is morally wrong and if you ignore what's happening then you are part of that moral wrongdoing. It must have been difficult to have that burden on your shoulders. I don't know what I would've done if I had been in that same position. I will say that I admire Chelsea Manning for having the courage for doing what she did. Btw, good luck trying to get Edward Snowden now.

I wonder what ever happened to those Apache pilots in the “Collateral Murder” video. I get it, war is Hell; and in war mistakes happen. But I'm pretty sure that those men are spending time with their families and getting to sleep in their own beds at night. Chelsea Manning on the other hand will be spending her time in a cell for at least the next 7 years, which is when she will be eligible for parole.

Chelsea Manning's supporters have called on President Obama to give her a pardon. Unfortunately, this is unlikely to happen. Especially now that the President is busy with the issue of Syria and the governments alleged use of chemical weapon on it's own people.

In a recent interview with CNN, President Obama said that what has happened in Syria is “very troublesome”; in a separate interview the Secretary-General of the UN Ban Ki-Moon said that “Clearly this was a major and terrible incident. We owe it to the families of the victims to act.” The UN estimates that there have been over 100,000 deaths in Syria as well as over 2 Million Syrians made refugees from the fighting.

You won't catch me disagreeing with either of those two opinions, but why all of the sudden is there a rush to act now? Wasn't it “very troublesome” when there were 10,000 deaths? How about at 50,000 deaths? Why are governments so focused on the “red line” when it comes to chemical weapons? So basically you can kill 100,000 of your own citizens but make sure to keep using bullets and bombs? “We” owed the families of victims to act a really long time ago. But hey, international politics is complicated.

And in Japan the news isn't great as well. The Japanese government has criticized Tokyo Electric Power Co (Tepco) ; the Japanese electric utility company which is operating the Fukushima power plant over it's handling of highly radioactive water which is leaking at the site from a storage tank.

We’ve allowed Tokyo Electric to deal with the contaminated water situation on its own and they’ve essentially turned it into a game of ‘Whack-a-Mole,’” Trade Minister Toshimitsu Motegi told reporters. “From now on, the government will move to the forefront.”

Tepco still has to deal with over 330,000 metric tons of water (enough to fill 132 Olympic-size swimming pools) with varying levels of toxicity that is stored in pits, basements and hundreds of tanks at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear plant.

On top of the leaking tank, Tepco admitted that irradiated water is flowing into the Pacific Ocean (from underground tunnels); which the government estimates at 300 tons a day. I'm not a doctor but I'm pretty sure that can't be good for you. But what do I know? It seemed to work fine for Spiderman. But maybe as a precaution stay away from Japanese Sushi for now. At least until Tepco gets its shit together.

Of course what everyone seems to care about this week is what Taylor Swift whispered at the VMAs; or how much the new Nintendo 2DS sucks; and that Ben Affleck would not make a great Batman. There's even a petition on to “Remove Ben Affleck as Batman.” As of writing this post it has over 80,000 signatures.

Meanwhile, the online petition sent to the White House to free Chelsea Manning has about 6,619 signatures. I saw another petition on asking to have all charges dropped against Chelsea Manning that has 102 signatures. And no, that's not a typo. Like I said earlier, it's a lot easier to focus on all the trivial stuff. Ignorance is bliss..

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere”
Martin Luther King Jr.

Don't take my word for it; here are some links for you:

 Image Credit

Friday, 23 August 2013

My Heart Got Kicked In The Ass - The Prequel (Part 2)

The day of the big night arrived. That's when the problems started happening. My Dad was supposed to send me to TJ's house and on the way we'd stop to pick up the flowers at the florist. But the car had a flat tyre so I had to take a taxi instead. I picked up the flowers and then it took me a while to find another taxi. God only knows what I looked like lugging around my suit and the bouquets at the same time.

Eventually I arrived at TJ's house, out of breath and sweating. A few other guys were there as well; we were supposed to head out together. After getting showered and dressed and ready we played some games on the good'ole Playstation before finally heading out to the hotel. I met Adilyn there, presented her with her bouquets and corsage while she helped put mine on. We took some pictures; my camera battery died after a few shots. And pretty much after this point things went bad.

Prom was starting soon so Adilyn headed down to the ballroom with everyone else. A friend of mine; lets call him Andy was still waiting in the hotel lobby for his date, Braelyn. So I decided to stay back at the lobby with him. Braelyn arrived about fifteen minutes late; we all headed to the ballroom and had to sneak in. The lights in the ballroom were dimmed and everyone was seated at their tables and eating dinner.

Andy, Braelyn and I eventually reached our respective tables and I found one of the Year 12's sitting in my seat and eating my dinner. Now a more aggressive person would have confronted him, yelled and/or given him a kicking. I'm not that type of person; when someone is being an asshole towards me I just keep quiet and try to remain calm. Usually it's when someone is being an asshole to the people around me that I react.

The wise guy eventually moved back to his own table to eat his own food after eating half of mine and I sat down in my seat. I didn't even get to eat any food! I didn't really talk to anyone on my table. And the strange thing was that I didn't even talk to Adilyn. The alarm bells were already ringing in my head. I just sat quietly in my seat slightly on edge, waiting for the music to start so that maybe I could get that slow dance with Adilyn and salvage the rest of the night.

Everyone finished their dinner, the music came on and finally the song for the slow dance started. That's when I got up to ask Adilyn for a dance; I remember feeling very nervous and that my heart was beating so fast. “This IS IT!” I told myself. She said yes and we both went on to the dance floor.

I ended up making a mistake because I was so high-strung. I put my arms on Adilyn's shoulders instead of around her waist. I quickly corrected myself and we had only taken a few steps when I stepped on Adilyn's toe. We stopped dancing and she looked at me and then walked off the dance floor. That was it. I didn't see her for most of the night.

At the point that I realized that Adilyn wasn't coming back I was pretty depressed. Whatever little confidence I had built up disappeared at that moment. I was feeling dejected. I've been punched in the stomach before but getting my heart broken was a lot more painful.

Most of the ballroom was now dark except for the dance floor. So I found myself an empty table and just sat down watching all the other couples dance together. “Why can't I have that?” I thought to myself. I finally knew the meaning of the phrase “having the wind knocked out of you.” I spent the rest of the night going over what just happened repeatedly in my mind.

It's funny how things get amplified when you're a teenager. I was embarrassed. I felt like a loser and I was hating myself “How could I be such a fuckup?” It felt like the world was ending and I just wanted the ground to break open and swallow me up. I don't remember all the thoughts that went through my mind but it wasn't good. After some time I left the ballroom and hid out in the bathroom stall for awhile. Tiring of this I headed back to my empty table and sat in silence.

I do remember a few people coming up to me and checking up on me. At one point I ended up having a slow dance with Braelyn. She was just being nice. While we weren't really friends we always got along together fine in class. But it didn't feel right to me; it felt strange and awkward. I was pretty much on autopilot and once the song was done I went back to my seat. That was the only real dance I had that night.

TJ was the person that helped me the most. Or at least he tried his best to put up with my bullshit. He tried talking to me to get me out of the mood I was in and cheer me up. He even tried to get me back on the dance floor and dancing again. But I wasn't having it. I was a broken man. And later TJ protected me from some horrible information.

TJ saw some stuff that I had missed while I was sitting alone. A few years later after we both left for University he told me about it. I'm glad I wasn't aware of what was happening in the background that night. If it was possible to have been more devastated than I already was I just might have been.

TJ was back from the UK on holiday; we decided to meet up for breakfast and we were reminiscing about the past; he was glad I was doing fine and it was good that I managed to get over Adilyn's rejection on prom night. And then he told me what he saw and it felt as if I was reliving that horrible night again. Even then it was horrible hearing what he said; it was like getting punched in the gut a second time. TJ wasn't intentionally trying to ruin my day; he didn't know I would take it so badly. As far as he knew I was over the whole night. I guess I had always pretended to have gotten past it.

We've been discussing it again on Facebook recently and the following is how he described it to me from his point of view. “I mainly remember prom and how disappointed you were. I think I got most angry due to Adilyn's actions at prom. I saw how she was being incredibly inconsiderate and how her friends were helping her and they were laughing. It made me sick and it was at that point where I had absolutely no respect for her. I remember your face and how sad you were.”

According to TJ, Adilyn had some of her friends keep an eye out for me just in case I came looking for her, then they would tell her and she'd find another place to disappear to. If only she had known I was sat in my dark corner she could've saved herself a lot of trouble. Of course her friends couldn't have been great lookouts. I did end up bumping into her in the lobby. I don't know why but for some we reason we took a prom photo together. I ended up throwing the photos out a few years later.

Of course prom wasn't a total loss. I knew my best friend was looking out for me (#bff). And I appreciated TJ more for being such a good friend. He is my Simon Pegg while I'm his Edgar Wright. Towards the end of the night my mood improved slightly.

Before the end of prom TJ and I ended up taking a photo together and that's the one I still keep in a box filled with all my old pictures. I still cherish that photo. I look at that photo now and what happened that night doesn't much. I was genuinely smiling when we took that picture. With Adilyn it was more of a forced smile. And I must say that TJ and I didn't look half bad in that photo. I still hate the fact that he's a few inches taller than me.

The night eventually came to an end and I found myself standing outside the hotel trying to figure out what I was going to do next. I had planned everything. Except how to get back home. I didn't have money for a taxi. What little money I brought with me had already been spent on the other taxis earlier in the day. I briefly considered walking home.

That's when Adilyn passed by in her car. She was with her parents and they offered me a lift home. As upset as I was by what had just happened I accepted the offer. I didn't look forward to getting mugged/murdered on the streets of Kuala Lumpur. We made some small talk but the drive home was mostly silent.

I got home and luckily my family wasn't awake to ask me how my prom went. They never asked how things went and I never gave them an explanation. They still don't know. Well..until now of course. I went up to my room and sat on the bed for a while. I turned on the radio and the song that was playing at that moment was Matchbox Twenty's “Unwell.” Which seemed really appropriate at the time. I took off my suit, had a shower and went to bed. And that was “Prom 2005” for me.

If I told you I walked away from that night completely unscathed I would be lying. After all, I'm writing this out eight years later; it's 2:30AM on my Birthday right now and I'm determined to finish this extremely long post (sorry) before I go to sleep. Hopefully writing this post out will help bring me one more step nearer to closure.

There was some drama between myself, TJ and Adilyn when the next term started. That's a whole other story. Adilyn and I didn't hang out any more after prom and we didn't really talk much like we used to. In our classes together she no longer sat with me. We avoided each other in the common room. But before we graduated we sort of became civil towards each other.

I have never fully recovered from that night. It took me years to regain that confidence again. And now more than ever I make sure to be careful about how I interact with women. I try hard to never overstep that boundary ever again and let myself get carried away with my feelings.

And I'm always in constant fear of misreading the signals. I'm still not very confident when it comes to talking to people; I'm more of a writer. And still to this day my confidence ebbs and flows like a wave. It usually happens right before I click the “Publish” button on my blog. But I just take it one step at a time.

For the next couple of years thinking about prom brought back bad memories for me. Not that I wanted to think about prom; I could be driving and the memories would resurface. And I'd grip the steering wheel a little tighter and take a deep breath. “God, you were such an idiot” is what usually went through my mind.

But that feeling faded away eventually. Now when I think of prom (like I did this week) I think about my friends and all the people who tried to make me feel better. And I never got angry with Adilyn, it's not her job to like me back for liking her. She is her own person. Though I wish she could have handled that night a little better. Besides, like I said before, when people tend to be assholes towards me I just keep quiet and try to move on.

Surprisingly TJ is still a little angry over what happened. ““I'm not sure why I still remember prom. Perhaps coz I hated people who hurt my friends” was what he said to me. And I understand his feelings; if the situation had been reversed I hope I would've been just a good a friend to him as he was to me.

And when TJ reads this post on this blog (which he does) I hope he can find some closure as well. For the record I love you, man. Not in that way; though there is nothing wrong with two men or women who do. Also I'm sorry I told everyone who is about to read my blog that I love you (#bromance).'s been a really long night. The way I try to deal with what happened is to think of it as a life lesson. Here are a few points that I learned:

  • It took me a while to realize this but just because you're nice and you fancy someone it doesn't mean that you're entitled to have that person like you back
  • There are 7 Billion people in this world. Chances are you will find someone who loves you back for who you are
  • It's okay to be sad. Don't let it consume you. Remember, that it doesn't last forever
  • You're probably going to get your heart broken more than once in life. Unless you're lucky and meet the right person the first time round
  • And if you do get your heart broken and it feels like your world has ended. Remember that it hasn't. Get up. Keep calm. And carry on
  • Sometimes in life there isn't a happy ending. Though there's nothing wrong in hoping that you might get yours

Wow..I sound like a self-help guru. I must be really tired now. It makes me want to delete all my bullet points but I won't. Some of you will probably roll your eyes at what you just read (I did). But maybe..just maybe, someone out there will take comfort in those corny phrases (I did as well).

So my plans for my prom night didn't go exactly as planned. I didn't get the dance. I didn't get the kiss. I didn't get the girl. I didn't even get dinner. I did get a suit; though I've never worn it since. I did get an awesome photo with my best friend. And as I type this sentence I think I got a little more closure. But most importantly of all, I gained a little wisdom.

In case anyone is wondering..I'm the guy with the Beard

P.S. As I clearly alluded to before in this post I just reached another milestone in my life. Thank you Facebook for your friendly birthday reminder; I just might have forgotten it without one.

I made it to 26 years on this Earth as of Friday the 23rd of August. It feels awesome! And while I'm still not really sure how things are going to turn out in my life I remain cautiously optimistic. Good night, I'm going to go get some sleep now. As always I want to say “Thank You” for taking the time to read this. And hopefully I'll have something for all you good people next week.

My Heart Got Kicked In The Ass - The Prequel (Part 1)

This was the dream..

I was messaging one of my Tumbler followers recently and this person mentioned that it was a pleasure to read my blog and that my posts were well written (I don't mean to sing my own praises; though this helped to boost my considerably large ego further).

This person also mentioned something else that struck me “your words carry a certain amount of wisdom.” I considered this for a moment. Wisdom comes from your life experiences and sometimes those experiences aren't necessarily good ones. And they can come at a cost.

If I ever got my hands on a time-travelling DeLorean one of the things I'd do is go back into the past and correct some stuff. Well..a lot of stuff. One of the things I'd try to fix is the night of my prom. And then maybe I would invest in Google.

For me “Prom” has always been a dirty word. I tend to associate it with one of the worst nights in my life. *SPOILER ALERT* It does not end well. My prom night has been on my mind lately and I figured that writing about it will help bring me some closure. When I became sad after watching Kaelyn & Lucy's videos writing about them helped me get over how I had been feeling.

I was never really allowed to take part in extra-curricular activities in school. It's kind of complicated. Once, when most of the Year 10s went on a field trip that would require us to be away from home for a few days my Dad said I could go but he'd be following as well to accompany me; I opted to stay back in school with a few others. I also never really got to attend any of my proms back when I was doing my O-levels. And I was okay with that, I didn't have a reason to go.

Back in school I was a very shy person and I didn't speak much. When other kids were having lunch in the canteen during recess or playing sports, I would be in the library reading a book. I liked the library, it was my refuge. I felt awkward and insecure; like I didn't fit in (#teenageproblems).

A few years later when I did my A-levels things did improve for me. I think it was because there were fewer people who stayed back at my school to continue their studies; there were only thirty-six students who stayed for Year 12. I interacted more with other students and made some new friends. And my confidence grew a little.

I still skipped my Year 12 prom but in my final year I made the decision to go. Maybe it was because it would have been my last chance to ever attend a prom that motivated me. Of course the main reason was that there was a girl I really wanted to ask out. So the first step was asking my Dad if I could go; after all he would technically be paying for it. And surprisingly he said yes, I was nervous and ecstatic at the same time. Now all I had to do was ask the girl out.

I need to go back and explain some stuff. Because I was so shy in the past this meant I never talked to girls. Which meant that I never dated; compared with most of my peers who were constantly dating/breaking up with each other and then switching partners like it was an episode of Dawson's Creek. And because I never had a girlfriend I never had a reason to go to prom. Sure I could have gone to prom ALONE..but it was far less expensive/embarrassing to turn on the radio in my room and to sing and dance like no one was watching. one was really watching.

In 6th form I was talking more, especially with girls. I was still shy but not as much as before. And I spent a lot more time with one particular girl. Lets call her Adilyn; that's not her real name of course. I'm just a fan of True Blood. And the more time I spent with Adilyn the more I started getting attracted to her.

And we were spending more time together because at that point she had broken up with her boyfriend and we had a few classes together. We both hung out together in the common room. We even took driving lessons together and I got to spend some time with her at her house. I once walked her to her brothers office that was close to our school. We spent all that time talking about everything and nothing and to me that felt like bliss.

As I spent more time with her I realized that she was funny/cute/beautiful and all the stuff you think of when you get captivated by someone. My best friend TJ still gives me crap about it sometimes, he didn't understand the attraction. He will play a big part later in the story. All I can say in my defence was that I was eighteen and she was my first real crush and I behaved like a teenage boy in “love.”

I had made that classic mistake that we have all made at some point in our lives. I mistook her being nice to me and wanting to spend time with me as a sign of mutual affection. Maybe asking her outright if she liked me back would have saved me a lot of trouble. Unfortunately, at that particular point in time I didn't think about that possibility. Love/infatuation can be a very powerful thing. I should have known better. As one other wise person said “you don't get a cookie for being nice.”


The first hurdle was of course to ask Adilyn if she wanted to be my date to prom. And even that didn't go according to plan. I was going to ask her privately but at the time she was in the common room with her friends. Eventually, as she was leaving the common room I tried to ask her but right at that moment I got tongue-tied; I mumbled something along the lines of “would you like to go to prom with me.”

It was an epic fail. I remember not getting a response at first. TJ was there as well; from what he remembers she just giggled and left with her group of friends. Which is kind of horrible if you think about it. Eventually I found out that Adilyn could be a lot more horrible. I can't remember exactly who talked to me but I'm pretty sure someone told me to give her a call. And so I did. And then she said yes. It was an amazing feeling.

For the record, it was practically an open secret amongst us 6th formers that I fancied Adilyn. Pretty much everyone twigged on how I felt because of the way I was behaving around Adilyn. Of course, I told TJ about wanting to ask her out. I still don't know if Adilyn herself knew. I suspect she did, especially after I asked her to prom. And if she did why didn't she just tell me she wasn't interested in me back?

Besides being a meticulous planner I am also a bit of a romantic. In my head I would get the slow dance; maybe if I was lucky the first kiss and then if the odds were in my favour Adilyn would become my girlfriend. I had built things up in my head too much. I created a fantasy where everything fell into place. And boy did reality give me a kicking.

The weeks leading up to the prom flew by pretty fast. I found out from Adilyn's friends the types of flowers she liked. So instead of one bouquet I got two, as well the traditional corsages. I even talked my Dad into letting me have a suit made for myself.

Adilyn and I even went shopping together before prom. If there's one thing you need to know about me is that I hate having to go shopping. And browsing the shops. And hanging out in shopping malls. If I ever need to go shopping I treat it like a military operation. I make a list of what I need; I go at a time when there's very few people, get exactly what I need and go home. In and out; just like the Navy SEALs. But going shopping with Adilyn was the exception, I liked going shopping with her. She helped me pick out a tie, dress suit and shoes to go with my suit. At that point things were looking up.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

The Week That I Stopped Crime..Sort Of

I was reading about something called the “bystander effect” which is a phenomenon where bystanders will just watch someone who is in need of help without offering any assistance.

I remember an incident from a few years ago in China where a little girl had been run over by a car and no one in the crowd moved to help her and she ended up being run over a second time. It took several more minutes before someone went to her and tried to get help. Sadly in this case the little girl died from her injuries a few days later.

There are many reasons for the “bystander effect” and you can read them in the link below. I've always been curious about how I would react in certain situations. Would I intervene? Or just watch silently? Or maybe take out my phone and try to record a video and hope it becomes viral on Youtube. Something happened this week that sort of gave me an answer.

Where I live we seem to be known for three things; the jungles that are teeming with monkeys who will enter your house and steal your food if you're not careful; the postmen who being a bit lazy decided to dump their mail in a ravine (yes it happened) and the prevalence of crime.

A few weeks ago I talked about all the recent gun crime in Malaysia. And the papers here have been more than happy to inform the public about all the high profile shooting that have taken place. At last count we've had thirteen shootings in three weeks. There are probably people who live in more dangerous parts of the world who are rolling their eyes at such a “low” number. But in Malaysia gun crime is pretty rare. Or at least used to be.

In Malaysia it is highly illegal to own a weapon without a permit. And it's very hard to obtain a permit. We're a bit like Britain when it comes to guns. In Malaysia the people that tend to carry firearms are law enforcement, politicians and criminals. Everyone else who wants a gun needs to apply for those hard to get permits. Knife crime is more common here. As a law abiding citizen I do not possess a firearm. But criminals do. Funny how criminals just break the law like that.

Another form of crime that is common is snatch theft. Snatch theft usually involves two men on a bike who will try and grab women's handbags from them. Sometimes they will be have knives to try and either cut the straps or attack the woman so that she lets go of her handbag. Unfortunately in some cases this has led to fatalities. The best advice for women is to not struggle and just let go of the bag.

And in my neighbourhood there have been a few incidents involving snatch theft. We've even come across a few cases where we came across several women who'd just been robbed but were thankfully unharmed.

A few days ago I was driving back home from the Mosque with my Dad and I noticed two men on a bike who were struggling with a woman over her handbag. Now my Dad wasn't so sure about what was going on. But from her reaction I knew she was being mugged. So I did something that was brave/stupid/foolish/reckless.

I pressed down on the car horn and swerved the car to block the path of the robbers. I think at that moment they both panicked. And as they tried to avoid the car they both fell over. To their credit they were pretty fast. By the time I got out of the car they were both already running away. Where's Usain Bolt when you need him? A small part of me was glad that they did. I didn't have much of a plan as I opened the car door. I guess I would have tried to fight them. That might not have ended well.

Well they forgot to take their bike with them. I noticed another car parked at the side of the road just behind us. One car passed by close to me and the woman driving asked if a robbery had taken place. For some reason I couldn't speak and just nodded and the woman just said “Bastards.” Which seemed appropriate in this case.

I then heard my Dad shouting at me to get back in the car and drive back home. For some reason he was upset with me. He kept talking about how I could've ended up hitting the two guys and been charged by the police. I also think a part of him was worried that the two men might have had weapons and that I could have gotten seriously hurt.

When he got home he immediately called the police to tell them about what had happened and left to go back to meet them there and make sure the lady was okay. It turns out she was working at one of the houses and had just left work when she got mugged

The other driver was still there with her and after talking to him my Dad was surprised to find out that he had stopped with the intention of trying to catch the two men. My Dad had thought he had stopped at the side of the road to avoid hitting us. Apparently his friend had been seriously hurt in a similar type of robbery.

A couple of police patrol cars arrived a few minutes later. The bike that the criminals had left behind still the keys in them and had it's padlock intact which meant that it wasn't stolen and the police think that they'd be able to find the owner of the bike easily.

By the time my Dad got back he had calmed down and wasn't angry with me any more. Though I suspect he will be giving me crap about it for..let's see..the rest of my life. So I learned that in certain situations I'm the type of person who would take action. Even if that action is brave/stupid/foolish/reckless. And the fact there was already someone else who was ready to help as well means that things aren't so bad. There are plenty of decent people in this world.

I also learnt that my friends Sara and TJ can be quite violent. They suggested that I should have actually run the two motorcyclist over instead of just blocking their path. I blame violent video games. On a serious note I'm just glad everyone is okay. The lady, the other driver who stopped, myself & even those two idiots who tried to steal a woman purse.

So does this mean that on top of my blogging I'll turn myself into a caped crusader and hunt down criminals on a quest to keep the streets of Kuala Lumpur safe? I don't think I would even need a costume. I'll just take my glasses off and be COMPLETELY unrecognisable (seriously Superman?)

I wouldn't recommend being a vigilante either. Let's leave it up to the police to fight crime. The exception of course is if you're a Billionaire with access to hi-tech gear and a bat filled caved or maybe you're just a boy in love with a girl who just happened to get bitten by a radioactive spider. Then you can become a vigilante.

P.S. The next morning I read a story in the newspaper about a POLICE OFFICER who was a victim of snatch theft. He was feeling a little drowsy and decided to take a nap at the side of the road and had left his drivers side window half open.

As he was sleeping he felt someone tugging at the gun in his holster. Before he could react the robber got away with the policemans gun and several personal belongings. The robber then ran to a waiting accomplice on a motorcycle and they both promptly got away. The police officer in question is being investigated though he is still on active duty.

And recently a police officer has been arrested for helping a drug dealer escape from his cell at a detention centre. Sigh..Commissioner Gordon, light up the Beardyman Signal.

"Because he's the hero Kuala Lumpur deserves, but not the one it needs right now"

Some Links for you:

Mission Accomplished

R.I.P Giggles
Good evening, Mr. and Mrs. America from border to border and coast to coast and all the ships at sea. Let's go to press.

A few weeks ago the brave men and women of the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) with the help of local law enforcement foiled an Al-Qaeda linked plot to spread Sharia law in Wisconsin by raiding a terror cell and terminating with extreme prejudice the terrorist agent identified only as “Giggles.”

Thankfully, none of the DNR agents or deputy sheriffs were injured in the highly dangerous and risky operation. Americans all over these United States can rest easy knowing that the men and women of law enforcement remain ever vigilant in protecting the homeland. Mission Accomplished.

I'm guessing a part of you might be a little confused about the last two paragraphs. Maybe I need to clarify a few details for you. The DNR did indeed conduct a raid on a location with the help of the Sheriffs Department. Of course when I said “terror cell” I actually meant a no-kill animal shelter, the Society of St. Francis. And when I say “terrorist agent” I actually mean a baby deer. Sounds crazy doesn't it. If Guantanamo hasn't made you angry yet this might just do it.

I had been listening to the Joe Rogan Experience podcast and on this particular episode they were discussing a recent incident involving a raid on an animal shelter to hunt down a baby deer. Now a small part of you might be shocked at the story and you may be wondering “Surely this can't be true.”

So I AskJeevesd it..who am I kidding. Google owns everything. And yes it turned out to be a true story. Here's what happened, a family found a baby deer on it's own and it seemed to have been abandoned by it's mother so they did what most decent people would do. They took the fawn to a animal shelter.

The employees at the shelter had named the little fawn Giggles because she made noised like laughter. Giggles had been taken care of by the shelter for two weeks and she was about to be transferred to a different shelter in neighbouring Illinois that specialized in the rehabilitation of deer.

Unfortunately for Giggles she never made it. Just a day before she was due to be moved to the new shelter a team made up of nine DNR agents and four sheriff deputies raided the Society of St. Francis. "It was like a SWAT team" shelter employee Ray Schulze told reporters. The agents and deputies arrived in multiple cars and were heavily armed.

According to the DNR, the agency had received two anonymous calls telling them about the deer being kept at the shelter. In Wisconsin it is illegal to posses a wild animal without the proper permits. The DNR even had aerial reconnaissance photographs confirming the presence of Giggles at the shelter and with this evidence they managed to obtain a search warrant for the shelter.

The employees at the shelter were then corralled near a picnic area and then the agents searched the shelter for Giggles. Ray Schulze said that he saw them later carrying Giggles in a body bag over their shoulder. A DNR spokeswoman later denied that Giggles had been killed at the shelter and said that the fawn had been taken to a separate site and euthanized.

What THE..wait for it..FUCK! That was my first response to the story, which is quite understandable. I thought watching Bambi was a traumatic experience. Clearly Disney needs to remake the film and update it with storm troopers instead of hunters. Why does every department and agency require a small army?

The part that gets to me the most was the lack of common sense displayed by the authorities. I understand that a permit was required but surely they could have sent someone to check things out first instead of choosing to raid the animal shelter. Heck they could have sent a letter, e-card, e-mail or even have made a simple phone call. Then they would have easily found out that Giggles was due to be moved to a different shelter.

But nope..that would have been too easy. The DNR even took the trouble to obtain aerial photographs; it was unclear how they did it. Since they have their own army then maybe they have their own air force equipped with drones as well.

When asked why the DNR didn't make a call to the shelter the spokeswoman responded “If a sheriff’s department is going in to do a search warrant on a drug bust, they don’t call them and ask them to voluntarily surrender their marijuana or whatever drug that they have before they show up.” Which makes sense in that scenario but in this case we aren't talking about drug dealers; what were they so afraid of? That the employees at the shelter would try and flush Giggles down a toilet in an attempt to destroy the evidence? Sigh..

Talk about overkill; thirteen heavily armed people to find a baby deer. Who did they think they were going after? Scarface?! It was a baby deer named GIGGLES! And what was with the body bag? Surely an orange jumpsuit with a black bag over the head would have been sufficed. I thought the police were tough in Malaysia. I take it back..the Royal Malaysian Police doesn't have anything on the Department of Natural Resources.

Sigh..I don't understand my own self-righteous indignation. How can I feel morally superior when I eat fast food. Alls I know is that I loved Bambi and a few weeks ago the DNR killed Giggles when it didn't have to. The DNR should have just taken a page out of the Bourne Legacy and launched a Hellfire missile from a circling drone at the shelter. Maybe next time. 


Saturday, 10 August 2013

My heart just got kicked in the ass..

General opinion's starting to make out that we live in a world of hatred and greed, but I don't see that. It seems to me that love is everywhere...if you look for it, I've got a sneaky feeling you'll find that love actually is all around”

That quote above is from one of my favourite movies of all time, Love Actually. I am a sucker when it comes to romance. I thought this week I'd write about “Love” since it's a little more upbeat compared to last weeks post on sedition and gun violence.

Thursday was “Hari Raya” in Malaysia which means a day of celebrations after the fasting month (though in Malaysia it usually means a month of open houses and weddings). Since I wasn't visiting any relatives this year and I had already depleted my supply of fireworks I thought I might as well get June 2013 finished with.

But Faiz, it's August. You're already finished with June. Are you feeling alright?” is what you might be thinking now; what I meant was get done with Kaelyn & Lucy's June 2013 montage video. I had missed their recent livestream so was looking forward/dreading it.

I'm not really good at explaining things to people so if you were to ask “What's love?” I'd just direct you to Kaelyn and Lucy's Youtube channel. I guess they would be my best example of two people in love. Who are Kaelyn and Lucy? Just click here and you can read the post I wrote a few weeks ago.

They uploaded their June 2013 video last week and I've been dragging my feet when it comes to watching it. You see I've been dreading this moment for a while. Watching the June 2013 video would have been like watching a horror film, for example Final Destination. Please bear with me, this analogy is actually quite good.(IMHO).

No matter what happens in any Final Destination film you know that pretty much EVERYONE is going to die (oh and that Death has a twisted sense of humour); when you watch a K&L montage video you will end up a bit sad and maybe with the need to have a little bit of a cry. cry too Faiz?”; of course not! I was only talking about other people. A manly masculine bearded man such as myself maintains a stiff upper lip and does not cry. I may get teary-eyed..but that's not crying. It's a completely different thing. In fact I give permission to myself to allow moisture to build up slightly around my eyes. And then I jam the “tears” with the palms of my hands and force them back down my nasolacrimal ducts (a.k.a tear ducts) where they belong.

And there was a very strong chance that I may end up having to allow myself to get teary-eyed. I already knew what to expect after reading other people's Tumblr posts. One fellow Tumblrer told me that she “died” after watching June 2013; figuratively of course, I'd hate to think of all the inadvertent cases of manslaughter caused by K&L. So I braced myself for the emotional iceberg that I was about to hit.

This time I watched their video from start to finish and the 35 minutes passed by real quick. I don't want to spoil anything for you if you haven't watched it yet so here's a brief account of what I went through watching June 2013.

Right at the start of the video it was pretty much non-stop smiling, with a little chuckle here and there. At around 26 minutes the smile isn't there and my stiff upper lip quivers a little. At 30 minutes I hit that bloody Iceberg (and boy does it hurt) and took a deep breath. I blame Kaelyn's beautiful words & Lucy's clever editing of Taylor Swifts “Come Back..Be Here”. And finally at 34 minutes my heart dropped and I may have gotten teary-eyed (damn you nasolacrimal ducts for betraying me!)

At the end of the video I felt slightly empty and a touch melancholic. Luckily I had prepared a playlist of some of my favourite Youtubers to help me get over the current slump that I was in. They helped me get over the gloomy mood I was in.

As a unlicensed humour therapist I would recommend the following people to help bring a smile to your face and lift your spirits; Jenna Marbles, Sam Pepper, Rose Ellen Dix, Kingsley, LAHWF, PistolShrimps, the Joe Rogan Experience and listening to Get Lucky by Daft Punk till your ears bleed (if your ears really do bleed you seriously need to see a real doctor).

And don't let me put you off from watching June 2013. Keep in mind that if anything June 2013 is a celebration of love and happiness between two people. And I learned a few things from June 2013. Here's a short-list of what it takes to be happy:

  • Love
  • Sushi
  • Chipotle and/or Taco Bell
  • A cat and/or any other pet
  • More Love
  • Starbucks
  • Taylor Swift
  • Family and friends
  • Being with someone who makes you feel safe and comfortable
  • Did I mention LOVE?

I don't mean to single them out as the “perfect” couple; in a world of 7 Billion people I'm sure you can come up with a few of your own. And Kaelyn and Lucy will be the first to tell you that they're far from perfect. I admire and remain in awe of them both because of the strength of their love and how hard they are willing to work to maintain the love they have for each other.

On a side note one of my most favourite moments is not from one their montage videos. It's a vlog from a few years ago that Lucy uploaded about her trip to America and St. Kitts. It's a very brief moment but it's very touching; Lucy arrives in St. Kitts and this is the first time that she meets Kaelyn in person after spending the first year of their relationship online. They see each other and rush to embrace one another. #besthugever

Watching their videos used to make me sad because it made me feel alone. But it also made me happy that here were two people that found each other and ended up falling madly in love. It gives me hope. And while it can still be a bitter-sweet experience to watch, their videos remind those of us who maybe haven't found love yet to keep the faith and trust that just maybe things will get better.

And to those couples who are lucky enough to already have that love in their lives to appreciate what they have. One person on Tumblr said that watching Kaelyn and Lucy's videos reminded her to text her boyfriend and tell him that she loves him.

More than anything Kaelyn and Lucy both help to remind us all something that we tend to forget because we're human and we get distracted by the little things in this world that love..actually is all around. Don't take my word for it. Check out June 2013 for yourself.

I'm sorry this is so long. I can't help myself. I just want to thank Kaelyn and Lucy again for posting their videos and say THANK YOU for sticking with us; the people who follow you on Tumblr and Youtube.

I had started this post out with a quote from a movie and I'd like to end with another from one of my favourite Youtube couples (here come those damn tears again).

But I love you very much; I hope you can see
For you are my soul mate, my friend, and my lover
I will be with you, always and forever”
-Kaelyn to Lucy, June 2013

Here are some links for you beautiful people to check out:

June 2013
America + St Kitts Vlog
Proud to love
A story about love
My Ramblings Tumblr