Sunday, January 20, 2013

Kuasa Siswa-Siswi


Maaf jikalau saya menulis dalam bahasa yang agak rojak sedikit. That way, the stuffs that I want to talk about will be delivered more effectively. Now, sebelum memulakan isu yang akan dibincangkan, I want to remind you, I am NOT an activist. And I don't want to cause any trouble by writing this.

Ingat tak kes yang baru-baru ni menjadi viral di laman-laman sosial? Kes Bawani dan Sharifah? Ok, let's not discuss about those two. But rather the audiences yang ada dekat situ. Notice that when Bawani speaks, they applaud for her, but they basically switched side when Sharifah took the microphone away. What in bloody hell is that about?

"Owh why Ali, is it something so serious ke? Tak payah la nak heboh-heboh sangat la kan~~~"

Yes, yes it is. It basically means that you guys tak ada pendirian. Tak alert dengan apa yang terjadi. Bila diberi sesuatu, hanya mengambil, akur dengan apa yang disediakan. It shows that you guys doesn't even want to participate. Keputusan yang diberi akan ditelan begitu sahaja walaupun baik atau buruk. Spoonfeed.

Remember what Sharifah said during her "talk", something along the line "You should be proud to be a student here, at UUM" "Awak masih belajar, tak perlu lawan" "I am older than you, you have no right to talk back". Owh man, that actually hurt.

Just because we are still studying, meaning we can't contribute an idea? Just because we doesn't have a degree yet, we can't have the right to participate in the event that is occurring  right in front of our eyes? And certainly, just because we are younger than you, meaning we can't talk? That's blasphemy!

Now here's the disappointing fact, out of the hundreds of students there, none of them stood up and have the guts to tell her the opposite. She was insulting us damn it. Just because she seems confident, doesn't mean she's right. It's your university, and they are preventing you to ask something that is RELATED to the issues THEY are bringing up. Even Matluthfi menyindir hangpa semua yang buat-buat kaku di tempat duduk anda, selesa dikutuk secara halus.

Dan seperti aljambz tulis di entry sebelum ni, kita ni lah yang sebenarnya patut mengambil tahu apa yang sedang berlaku di sekeliling kita. If not us, who else? In the future we are the one that's going to make decision to the generation below us. And do we want them to be like us? Asking for us to make decision for them? Agreeing with every single one of them?

Sorry, kalau hangpa semua hanya siswa/i yang mendengar arahan, tanpa menilai sama ada arahan itu ada kebaikan atau tidak, cheq boleh jamin hangpa memang tak ada sifat kepimpinan. And to those yang cakap, well you are a student, you should listen to us, well, we are the future, whether you like it or not. Don't blame us if the future is gonna be dark, because to start off, YOU shaped us to be that way.

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Friday, January 18, 2013

Listen Fruitfully and Speak Soundly

Assalamualaikum, This is a post written by a guest writer, in fact, he's not even a 94's, just to give us some new experience. Enjoy this awesome post!

By : Wan Mohamed Afie, 20

Salam and good day readers,

Before I begin, I would like to clearly state that I am neither pro-government nor pro-opposition. My humble opinions and thoughts put forth onwards are based on my shallow grasps in Economics.

I’m sure the “Listen!” issue is no news to you.
Firstly, I would like to say that the way the girl was answered was rather distasteful.
We can only hope that in the future, we will not do the same to anyone.

Moving on, when we talk about economic policies (keeping aside political and personal needs), there are no rights and wrongs in a debate. Every statement issued by either side is normative; an opinion. A fruitful debate is not a debate where one side is able to successfully ridicule or humiliate the other. A fruitful debate is a debate where both sides are able to put forth their points clearly without offending the other side.

We as the youths of Malaysia ought to act more intelligently. While I do not support the humiliation of the young girl, the young girl, who is no doubt very intelligent, ought to know the risks and consequences of questioning and asking so openly and directly in a public university open forum. An open forum is where a citizen is allowed to protest. However, the fact that it is publicly done, the citizen protesting ought to be more careful; careful not in the sense of being supressed, but inciting unnecessary anger from the moderators and audience alike.

The moderators would undoubtedly feel threatened if you stand at the microphone and hammer on intensely. Always remember your intentions of speaking; if you mean to ask for a change, undoubtedly your plea has been heard when you speak your first few sentences. If you intended to spread awareness, no doubt the audience have understood what your issue is; the smart ones will go home and start doing some research. In this specific case, however, the citizen spoke of an economic policy. Economics is hard to understand, and most youth who criticize economic policies, sadly, have almost little to no understanding whatsoever of economics. When the citizen went deeper and started talking more economically, the audiences start to forget that what the citizen has said are just merely her opinions and start accepting those as hard, cold facts of unfairness.

In other words, the moderator suppressed the citizen from giving her opinion, while at the same time the citizen suppressed the audiences from their freedom of thoughts by delving deeper into a topic that very few understand. It is human nature to just nod at things you don’t understand and say that person is right. I am not saying that the moderator did the right thing, or that the citizen put forth her points wrongly.

To clearly demonstrate this effect of thought-suppressing, allow me to put forth an opinion (not mine) on free public education. Every government expenditure ought to be funded by government revenues which often come from taxes. To provide free education to the public would mean that the government either have to tax more from the people or to reallocate resources from other budgets to provide the free education such as reducing subsidies for petrol, medicine and others. Would you like to be taxed more? A government cannot just simply print money to fund its expenditures. As an economist too, when deciding for a policy, you ought to decide whether it is worth it or not. For example, you give free education to the people, but when you do so, won’t you have to provide for more facilities and more wages for more staff in the education sector? Will the country be able to supply the labour and resources? These are the dilemmas of policy makers and leaders in a country.

Now, I am sure by reading the past paragraph, a number of readers suddenly change their mind about free education. Next, I shall put forth the other side of argument to free education.

Welfare economics has several objectives. One of the main objectives is to achieve equity and equality in a nation. By providing free education, you give equal chances to everyone to pursue education. Based on the Robin Hood principle of taxing, you are taking the extra wealth from the rich and giving to the more needy by giving free education. Hence, it is important to provide free education to the people so that the disparity of income in a nation closes. By not providing free education, the government fails to be fair to the citizens.

Now, again, the same readers who were swayed to one side find themselves at crossroads. It is human nature to change their minds so easily and be fickle minded.

The danger of speaking publicly is that when you give your opinions in matters that very few people understand, you tend to incite unhappiness in those who do not understand clearly. For example, when a person complains of high taxes, others nearby automatically start to feel angry, though they themselves do not understand the reason why the person complains of high taxes, or the reason the government decided to levy high taxes unto the people.

Ultimately, my points are summarized as following:

1) Malaysian youths ought to be well versed in economics if they intend to discuss, criticize and be taken seriously when they put forth economic points.

2) Malaysian youths ought to act intelligently and be patient and understanding. In Malay, we would say, “Jangan jadi orang yang cepat melatah”

3) In the midst of achieving our goals, we sometimes forget our original cause.

4) There are no rights and wrongs. People ought to learn to accept opinions and reply with courtesy.

5) We can learn much by observing the mistakes done by both the moderator and the citizen.

6) Every person always opts for the best option. Even a serial killer would choose the plan that can ensure him getting away. As a leader, one would always choose the best combination of policies that tailors to one’s vision and mission.

7) Malaysian youths ought to move away from “fascism”.  What is meant here is that the youths ought to be more open to a rival’s opinion. For example, a government ought to support an opposition’s idea if it is sound and fruitful. Likewise, the opposition should not oppose a government’s effort if it is good and beneficial to the public.

There is much to say, but I don't want to make a long post. Yes, I do give points on both sides and that's what I expect of Malaysian youths. When they claim that they are oppressed  they blame falsely. They are the ones oppressing themselves by not gaining more knowledge and not being open.

Lastly, I would like to say thank you to the authors of the blog for asking for my two cents regarding this matter. It is an honour to be given the opportunity to be a small part in this huge effort in changing the future of Malaysia.

Salam and wishing you a great day ahead.

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The Art of 'Let Me Speak'


Sejujurnya, aku baru nak tulis pasal kes hangat 'Listen' ni, tapi terlambat pulak. Tidak mengapa kerana post hari ini adalah untuk 'damage control' isu-isu ini.

"Fight ignorance, not poverty"
-Someone I can't recall-

Sekarang, let mi spik/rait in Inglish bicos my ton is beter en fa mo enjoyabeel.


So, it's true that the recent UUM Forum video had sparked the nation in outrage especially towards the forum moderator (From here on now be called as Ms. S) who digress a student's question with animal analogies. I too, watched it and was shocked to see such act which embarrassed the student publicly in front of hundreds (thousands?) of students.

But I'm not going to talk more on that.

The thing is, people are baffled and outraged towards Ms. S' attitude and her very weak argument BUT the same people gave the exact same attitude and weak argument towards Ms. S. These are ripped directly for the internet (Content advised):

"Ish, Ms. S ni. X de otak. Bodoh. Tu ar x pakai tudung lagi. SETAN!"
"Listen, listen, listen, listen. Ei, memang perempuan ni nak kene bunuh"
"This is why we need to topple the government. BANGKIT RAKYAT"

Now, we're talking about how non-eloquent Ms. S respond to the student's question. Not why she's the devil because she didn't cover up her hair. That's off context. Must be killed? Why? There's no evidence why she should be killed. POLITICS???? Ya Allah, how can a discussion on the attitude of the moderator can be related to Politics? Yeah sure, the forum and the questions are related in nature but a coup de tat'? How is that related?

The most obvious trend in all those examples above is: INSULTS

Right, what is the purpose of an argument?

 "an argument is an attempt to persuade someone of something, by giving reasons or evidence for accepting a particular conclusion"

Now, if you're insulted, will you be persuaded? If someone honked you on the road and say "Oi, drive cam orang bangang!" will you go "Ha ah lah, aku drive macam bodoh. Kene improve ni." ? NO
So, is that an argument? NO
That particular driver just want to insult someone. The same reason why the writers of those comments wrote such 'beautiful' comments.

You see, Ms. S screwed up big time. She won the argument, but lost the hearts of many. These 'internet people' is saying to argue that she's indeed a bad speaker and should apologize/do something about it. But with this level of arguments, I highly doubt it.

Those kinds of arguments are in fact, too much. Come on, talk and argue about how she should not do that. Not blindly associating this case with religion, politics and her personal life with a barrel full of rage and angst.

So, in order to curb these sucky 'internet arguments', here are five tips on how to argue effectively

1. NEVER insult
Explained above
2. No one cares about your opinion
Really, no one cares. It's not right because you say it's right. No one cares about your opinion but if you supplement it with logic, reasoning and rationale, maybe they will care. Eg: "I love Digimon" <-opinion "I love Digimon because it has a cool storyline and characters" <- opinion with reasoning. The key: ADD BECAUSE
3. Your ego is your enemy
This happened to Ms. S. Her ego forced her to be defensive and produce such weak arguments. NEVER put emotional attachments to your arguments. Arguments are meant to be objective and logical. Keep a cool head and argue like a pro
4. Avoid False Binaries
The 'absolute' way. "We must get free education or Malaysia won't achieve Vision 2020." The question is, is free education the ONLY way to achieve Vision 2020? The absolutes are dangerous. They are meant to brainwash and arouse the audience emotionally.
5. Don't digress
Be straight to the point. Don't go suddenly talking about coffee and tea where the argument is about foreign policy.

Now, let's make a change, to ourselves, as better argument-makers (No other suitable words) to make Malaysia a better place

And not some citizen who blindly follows anything and argues like five years old.

Fine, let's agree to disagree, then.

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

1994's, mahasiswa, dan video Listen.

Sebelum meneruskan perjalanan kita yang memakan masa 5 ke 10 minit ini, ingin saya perkenalkan terlebih dahulu diri saya yang baru sahaja dilamar semula masuk menulis ke sini(Boleh rujuk ke sait Menteri-Menteri di atas sana). Syukur, hati saya untuk menulis di blog ini kembali subur setelah paip di dasar telaga idea sudah dibaik pulih.

Sepanjang waktu ketiadaan saya, sebenarnya digunakan waktu-waktu tersebut untuk mencari angin segar bagi mencuci sarat-sarat keji-jahil dalam diri. Sekarang juga masih keji-jahil, tapi insyaAllah ada lah kurang sikit dia punya keji tu. Tengok senyum tu, ada kiut sikit ye dak.


Tempoh hari, kita telah dikejutkan oleh seorang Mahasiswa dari UUM, Miss Bawani yang bertindak menanyakan soalan-soalan killer yang tak mampu dijawab kepada seorang presiden kelab renang (SWIM - Suara Wanita 1 Malaysia), Cik Syarifah Zohra Jabeen dalam sebuah forum yang dianjurkan oleh pihak Universiti diberi tajuk 'Seiringkah Mahasiswa Dan Politik?'

Dalam video yang berdurasi 24 minit tersebut...... (Kalian udah tengok ye dak? Tak yah cerita panjang-panjang lah ye) Keh Keh.

Forum tersebut sebenarnya sudah hampir sebulan dianjurkan (forum dianjurkan pada 8 Disember 2012), tapi baru sahaja trending dari mulut ke mulut para pengguna laman maya kerana si penganjur baru sahaja upload video tesebut ke laman yutiub beberapa hari yang lepas.

Dari parodi Mat Luthfi sampailah ke troll Animal Planet, sudah macam-macam dihidangkan kepada kita di laman facebook hatta di laman twitter sendiri berkaitan video yang mencetus kontroversi ini.

Bawani sebenarnya telah membuktikan kepada kita bahwa bukan semua mahasiswa/siswi di Malaysia ini yang hidupnya untuk berhedonisme semata-mata, pergi kelas-balik kelas, study mengadap buku 24 jam, main dota, dan menonton KPOP tetapi hidup seorang mahasiwa/siswi yang bertanggungjawab adalah lebih daripada itu lagi.
Hal negara. Hal selok-belok politik. Hal cerita rakyat.
Semua itu hanya dihujung jari sahaja, tinggal lagi nak duduk ambil masa, baca sekejap, jadi cakna atau tidak sahaja bergantung pada nilai sesitiviti dan keprihatinan seorang mahasiswa itu.
 "Politik ni jijik! Pecah-belahkan bangsa! Aku memang tak ambil port lah pasal politik ni."
Anak muda macam ni yang bermasalah. Anak muda macam ni yang buat dunia tak yakin dengan kepimpinan akan datang. Tentang perhimpunan tempoh hari, berapa ramai antara kita yang eager nak tahu tentang perhimpunan tu, apa tuntutan yang dibuat, dekat mana. Tak ramai. Yang kita hanya fikir nak download movie apa malam ni letak dalam harddisk yang sampai 1 Tera tu saja.
Sepatutnya jadilah anak muda yang jenis ingin mengambil tahu bukan anak muda jenis yang buat tak tahu. Hidup kita ke depan kelak - bukan orang sekarang lagi yang nak memikirkan. Sebaliknya kitalah yang harus berfikir terkedepan tentang masa depan kita sendiri.
Selaku salah seorang anak muda, saya menyeru agar anak-anak muda di 1994's ini menjadi lebih cakna tentang isu semasa - isu negara - di samping tidak meninggalkan tuntutan sebagai seorang khalifah di bumi ini. Ini bukan sembang politik, bukan juga sembang warung kopi, tapi ini cuma untaian kata dari benak hati seorang hamba Allah yang impikan kematangan yang lebih solid dari para anak muda
Semoga video Listen, menjadi ibrah kepada kita. Bukan hanya Listen semata.  
p/s : Saya tulis pendek-pendek ni sebab nak melawan arus perdana fasal dah ramai orang tulis panjang-panjang tentang benda ni. Ke saya menulis fasal Listen ni dah memang pun mengikut arus?  
Kah kah kah. Lantakler.

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Monday, January 7, 2013

I Want To Change But...

It's that time of the year again. Every year, during the first week of January is commonly known as 'resolution week' when people of all ages make their new year resolution, deliberately sharing it with friends through chit-chats, conversation and social media.

They are an ambitious bunch too, posting flashy and dream-like resolution like "I want to go to gym everyday" or the common "I want to get 4.0 in every exam". Dear readers, I'm sure you're one of them too. (Cuz I am)

But most of the time, we see those ambitious declaration faded from existence as soon as complacency and plain laziness came. Gone with the wind, like they never made those resolutions before. And at the end of the year, we hear the same sigh:

 "I'm worthless. I achieve nothing this year. I didn't change for the better"

is an interesting word. Most of our new year resolution revolve around this idea. To portray oneself differently from the past, in possible, in a positive way. But change is hard. That's why most people didn't stick to their resolution. CHANGE IS HARD

But change, like most of other hard stuffs, can be bearable. You just need to do it, stick with it, embrace it.

Let's say, you want to lose weight. Ask yourself, do you really want to lose weight? If you do, buck up and be serious! Write it down. Plan a strategy. Stick with it. Get your friends to support you. Enjoy it! Soon, you will see the results!

Well, easy said than done, true? Of course. I told you, Change is hard.

But those who decided to change and stick to their resolution had their lives changed 180 degrees.

I have a friend who decided that he won't be the 'last person in the class' anymore. He struggled, meeting with nothing but failure. People said he wasn't bright, yet he turn out deaf ears. Alas, he changed. From that kid who failed most of his subjects to the kid in graduation clothes, receiving his Best Student Award for SPM.

Here's his full account to his story:

Nazran from 1994's wish all of you a Happy New Year, Happy Making Resolutions, Happy Sticking With Them. And May You Change For the Better!

"If you want things to change, you have to change"

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