Friday, November 27, 2009

Is the blame on the Government or the mentality of the race?

I went for dinner one night with my husband to a fast-food restaurant locally, an internationally known fast-food restaurant, famous enough worldwide. After getting my food at the counter, we took our seats and was about to start our first bite on our food. In came two Malay ladies, somewhat middle aged. One of them was blind while the other guided her walking around. We were seated indoor and there I was asking myself, how could such fast-food restaurant have these people coming in begging for money? It was something unusual for me though, as I would usually see these people begging for money either by the roadside or perhaps at hawker stalls. We gave them a dollar and she tried offering a packet of tissues (which would just cost merely 20 cents if they were to buy them in bulk), but my husband refused to accept them; making it a sincere donation without asking for anything in return. Upon our third or fourth bite, in came another small Malay kid, aging probably at around 8 or 9 years old holding a few small Arabic prayers book begging for money. This time, I gave another dollar but this little girl did not offer that prayers book to me. My husband asked me why that little girl didn’t offer that book to me; I said it was because we gave her only a dollar. She would give it to me if I gave her 5 dollars and above.

After we have finished our dinner, we moved to the seats outdoor of the restaurant as we were also waiting for a friend to arrive. Once we sat down, came another small little girl whose age probably is the same as the previous one begging for money. This little girl this time was holding a piece of paper, laminated and would show it off to every table she went begging for money. I gave her another dollar but I did not bother reading that piece of paper. Roughly about 15 minutes after that, came another little girl this time with a plastic bag of tissues begging for money. I giggled but I still gave her a dollar. When we just parked our car at the car park, there was a boy aged around 11 years old actually waited at that empty parking spot; that was also waiting for the new customer parked at the spot he waited to give him some money instead! For this little boy, my husband ignored him and did not bother giving him even a single cent.

On and off while still waiting for our friend to arrive, I see these few little kids wandering around the whole area of this fast-food restaurant awaiting for “new faces” of customers to arrive so that they can go begging for money from them. Most of the customers ignored of course. Being a resident of that area for more than 10 years, I somewhat see these kids grow actually. It’s been uncountable times that I’ve given them a dollar each time I go for dinner around that area or sometimes even from breakfast! The kids would probably not recognize me as they wander around more than the adults; but there are some adult beggars who have actually recognized my face up to a point where they would avoid my table whenever they see me. Funny?

Why I said I giggled was not because these little kids looked cute or because they were adorable but it was because these kids are actually siblings! Their mother would sit at the pavement of the shopping mall nearby which is about 15 minutes walking distance from this fast-food restaurant, holding a new born baby in her arms; sometimes awake and sometimes a sleep. I giggled because I felt sorry for these kids. That piece of laminated paper the kid held eventually wrote about this little girl who was born without proper parents guidance or probably another paper wrote this kid’s parents left her and that this kid is being taken care by her grandparents who are either too old to take care of her or probably the grandparent is sick or something. I can bet if I were to go back there the next day, I would find another kid probably a different girl or boy holding that same piece of paper trying to beg for money from others.

Many of my friends would usually ignore these kids whether they stand right next to us watching us eat or even make a scene by crying out loud as though we hit them or something. I asked them of why wouldn’t they give them the dollar and just let them move on. They said that if I keep giving it to them, they keep coming back for more. Partly is because they think if we were to give them the dollar, they’d take it for granted and not work things out properly instead depend on what they beg as a living. Honestly, I would agree to what they said. But I would only withdraw my donation if it’s an adult. These little kids know nothing at all! They’re totally innocent. What if we do not give them the dollar and when they go back to their parents, or probably their ‘head’ without a cent and that they would be tortured or abused? At the end of the day honestly, I don’t even think these kids know they’re asking for money! I have a nephew who’s in kindergarten this year but at the age of 6 where when we had our Raya celebration and these kids were given green packets from their aunts and uncles containing money inside, he took it so lightly! He didn’t even look at what’s inside the little packet and instead at the end of the day when his parents were leaving, his mother asked him of where his green packets were, he said he threw them away because they were not toys. This was what I meant by saying these little small beggars don’t even know they’re begging for money!

It was only the ones who’re slightly older like that boy who was waiting at the parking spot and my husband refused to give him a single cent, who would know the value of the money he’s begging for. Sometimes honestly, by the end of the month or sometimes even during the middle of the month when our pockets were getting tight, we would go for dinner at the hawker stalls to be a little thrifty. Off we see these little kids holding bags of KFC or McDonalds getting ready for their dinner! Of course it’s true that they are richer than us in many ways until a point where they as beggars could afford eating KFC or McDonalds. The average of us, working like mad dogs in the city of Kuala Lumpur would get $1,200 per month for general clerical job. After deducting EPF and SOCSO, the amount would either be a mere $1,000 or probably $9++. Divide it with a ratio of 28 working days, wouldn’t you be getting $30 per day without any savings at all? And mind you, these kids walk around the whole day, even if they were to sit at the pavements of shopping malls; trespassers would still drop off a dollar or two looking at them as innocent kids. Say, how much do they earn in a day? Giving an average of $50 a day and you times it with 30 days (for these kids are at these areas 24/7), they earn a freaking $3000 a month! They wouldn’t need any savings at all because they’re like a walking piggy bank and they know they would get that money even if they’re walking around begging for it or even sitting down at the pavements.

The thing that I’m trying to say here is, I’m sure many of us have noticed that most of these beggars are Malays. Probably depending on the crowds of the area, you’d find some Chinese beggars in Brickfields or Bangsar and the Indian beggars in areas like PJ. Even if you find the beggars of other races begging, you’d still be seeing Malay beggars most of the time. Most of us know that by sending these small kids around begging for money are run by syndicates. These kids wouldn’t be that smart to go around asking for money day and night. At the wee hours of the day at times, past midnight I’d still see these kids begging for money at hawker stalls or night markets or wherever there’s a huge crowd. Who’s to blame on this issue?

Why wouldn’t other races say that the Malays are ‘useless’ when others would start a business or work their asses off while the Malays would send kids off begging for money? Why aren’t these kids being sent to school by any welfare? Why don’t these kids be sent off to orphanages to be taken proper care off if it’s true that these kids’ parents abandoned them and they’re being taken cared by their “sick” grandparent? Would you consider this as a “smart business plan” or “get-rich-fast kind of scams” or just plain “careless”? Oh guess what, while blogging this off the afternoon news on T.V. is announcing that the Deputy Prime Minister is trying to “upgrade the country’s economical status & trying to upgrade the style & rate of its fellow Malaysians just like any other ‘advanced’ countries”. How ironic could this be...?

Honestly, yours truly is a Chinese but I’m married to a Malay. All the while, my previous dates were all Malays and yes, I see the many colours of what this race is about. They’re not all ‘useless’. I’ve had an ex-boyfriend once who only lasted for 2 months because he was abusive, who was a total shame to his own race. He was jobless and was living off my money, he stole from me but I must say he’s a good actor for I bought all his lies upon his “jobs” (which didn’t exist at all). I only found out his lies when I got curious of why don’t he bring home money when he’s been ‘working’. He would wake up every morning during the weekdays at 8am without fail, dresses up in shirts & slacks and then leaves home and comes back at 6pm as though he was really at work. Whenever he had to pick me up from his work place, sometimes he would act as though he called his office back to check on some documents and stuffs. Great actor. Does that mean that the rest of the people of this race are the same?

I often tell myself not to be racist and that I’d argue with my mother whenever she looks down on all the boyfriends I brought home because she dislikes this race for their known ‘laziness’. And it was also through that I often tell myself not to be racist because it is this race that I have chosen to spend the rest of my life with. My husband was different. For once after numerous ex-boyfriends, I was being supported by my husband. We both work at the same office with his pay higher than mine by almost half and he’d still give me allowances every month and would still fork out part of his pay for our savings, pays off all bills, settles for all our meals & monthly groceries and would still award me with some pampering gifts or treats whenever he has extra. He would tell me to not use my pay instead unless it’s necessary. My husband made a difference, why not the others?

There was an employer of mine who was also a Malay, who was so smart in business that I felt myself so lucky to be working with him at that time for I learnt a lot from him. He honestly was one who ‘thinks out of the box’ and by judging the way he does his business & runs his company, many often doubted me whenever I said my boss was a Malay. Yet at the same time, the other employees of his hated him like hell by saying he’s really mean and stuffs. I totally disagreed with every judgement they made. And by coming up with my disagrees, the other employees eventually thought that I brought myself up to the boss by sticking up his ass & some even thought I had an affair with him for siding him at all times. Mind you, that boss of mine was married with one son and didn’t even bother looking at me even if I’m purely naked right in front of him. He too was mean to me at times by making me work overtime even when he had enough man power at the office and gives me such difficult assignments that I’d walk up to him and argue my heads off. All he said was, he sees no effort in the rest except for me and that’s why he’s leaving it all to me. It came to a point where he said he was planning to go off to Japan to study his Masters and he was choosing a candidate from the office to handle his business for 2 years while he’s away, and his choices only came down to one- which was me. This is not a self appraisal but to show of the different types of Malay people I’ve met in my life. I’m not being bias to anyone and that I respect this race at times when they’re smart but I honestly hate them like hell when they’re given so many advantages from the government unlike other races yet they take them for granted.

I just have a huge question mark in my question when it comes to seeing these beggars begging on the streets like nobody’s business. Shouldn’t the government be doing something more useful instead of trying to pamper them until a point they feel they don’t have to do anything at all as long as the government is on their backs?

The political leaders run their campaign like nobody’s business. And yes, they will come up with stupid ideas like offering the ‘storm victims’ a house; so called worth $50,000 simply because that victim’s house (previously a traditional wooden house on stilts) had been blown away by the terrible storm a few nights ago. So then the political leader would now come up with some stupid ‘buffet dinner’ at some grand hotels claiming that they’d be donating a sum of money to the orphanage home. Mind you, when such events happens, there’s actually limited seats for the orphanage because the other seats are reserved for the whole family of the political leader, the suck-up assistants & assistant’s assistant, the mistress of so and so, the medias and all other suck-up supporters who only knows how to speak and not take action. I laugh myself rolling on the floor hysterically whenever I see such news on the T.V when they say they’re doing such and such “good deeds” because when they’re being interviewed on camera, you’d see that man must’ve suffocated for not being given enough air to breathe! He’d be surrounded by the many funny suck-up faces who attended the event simply because they want their faces on T.V. Now let’s look at this, I said only ONE political leader doing such event to an orphanage. Exactly how many orphanages are there in the whole of Malaysia? Why not just treat all of them? Besides, the money you spent for such event is either from the government or probably (by putting them in cruel words), from bribes? I bet that political leader need not spend a single cent at all. After all, what’s the point of having all these ‘suck-up assistants’? Someone has got to know someone from the catering business in which, probably for me- I’d ask them to sponsor the food because you’d be on national T.V, and you’ve got great mileage and credits to your catering company for doing so for a political event. Agree?

The country has got so many places built for holding big events. I bet you could rent them off at discounted prices because you’re a political leader. Why don’t you just book the national stadium or the Bukit Jalil Stadium in order to cater for another 10 more orphanages? And why do you only cater for orphanages (which mostly are Malay orphanages, I haven’t seen any other races’ among these orphanages); what about old folk’s home or the Down syndrome organization or the blind institute in Brickfields or the cancer patients or the handicapped people? Because you thought, by putting “children” through the eyes of the camera, you’d be able to “buy more sympathy & empathy” from the people, right? And because the orphanages are of the same race as you are, you’d be thinking that most of your voters would be from the same race- because that’s the majority of this country, isn’t it? So tell me, why don’t these political leaders think of a way to ‘capture the hearts’ of ALL races so that your win would be a great turn up instead of always worrying about the margin between you and your opponent?

I saw this movie in which added another thing into my wish list that I hope to achieve someday. The Pursuit of Happiness, which starred Will Smith and his own son; where I saw them having these welfare homes for the homeless. I haven’t been to the United States myself so I wouldn’t say much of the beggars they have in that country. But by looking at such welfare homes, I’m sure their government had a way or probably is on their way to work things out. Therefore, if I happen to be freakingly rich one day, I’d build one welfare home for the homeless at no cost or help from any government party or political leaders. An early warning: don’t think of buying your frame through my success.

And then there’s often issues of illegal immigrants to this country who’s trying to earn a decent living. These illegal immigrants are often from the neighbouring countries such as Indonesia, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Pakistan and many more poorer countries. The fellow Malaysians (again, mostly Malays) would now make noise that these immigrants “took their jobs”. Wouldn’t any human who has common sense know the real answer to why these immigrants are here so often that it came to a point where even the police officers nor the government knows how to control their entry to the country? Look, if the government would just pay attention to such beggars we see on the streets today and offer them the jobs of what the immigrants would go for- wouldn’t that have solved two major problems of the country? 1: Lesser or probably no more beggars on the streets. 2: No more illegal immigrants coming into the country anymore. I bet my nephew would know how to answer this question if I were to ask him.

But why I’d be “angry” at this race for their laziness? Simple. Think of the immigrants. Why are they willing to risk their lives to come all the way to Malaysia for a job?

1. They’re drop dead poor and they have a family to support.

2. There are very limited jobs in their country which mostly requires skills or diplomats and that these immigrants are too poor to further their studies in order to achieve that requirement.

3. The currency of Malaysia is higher.

4. They are cheap.

5. They are not choosey of the jobs they’re given here.


See that’s the main problem! Most people are choosey in the jobs they choose! Everyone wants to be rich quick. But why not think of working things out from the bottom? Malays often have so many sayings that they’d often give them back to me: 1. Bersusah dahulu, bersenang kemudian. (Go through the hardship to achieve success). 2. Nak seribu daya, tak seribu dalih. (If you want it you’d put in a thousand of effort, if you don’t want it you’d put in a thousand of neglects). I think it’s time they should use these sayings to reflect back on themselves and I bet they’ve been saying it for decades and centuries yet they still have not reflect it back on themselves. Sigh!

So put it this way, if any party would bother offering such labouring jobs to the homeless- wouldn’t they be earning their own bread and butter? But generally people would know how to go for a bargain by investing on these immigrants because they are cheaper and not demanding at all. So who is to blame on this issue?

I bet most of the political leaders and the government leaders’ kids wouldn’t have to go through hardship. Oh, what do you know- some minister’s kid would be waiting for his brand new 3-series BMW if he or she promises to be good for a month. And then the higher minister’s kid would go off saying, “daddy, I’m turning 16 next week. Which 5 or 6 star hotel should I book to hold my birthday party? Will I be getting my new i-Phone or am I getting the new Mini Cooper as my birthday present? Oh and can you please sponsor hotel rooms for me and my friends at the hotel to spend the night? Oh and I booked my designer’s dress for that day- can I have $5,000 for deposit?” Or probably they’ve never had ‘mamak’ sessions. They go to school (probably international schools) in their convoyed Mercedes Benz rides with two bodyguards, they don’t even know the feeling of waiting for a public bus come rain or shine or even getting drenched by the rain or being stuffed like a sardine in the public bus! If the difference of living standards is so clear and with all these government people being so ignorant- tell me why wouldn’t people be begging off the streets?

So why would the government people still be so “stupid” to be conned by all these developers who claims of building the national court worth billions of dollars instead of chucking in a few million dollars to fix the beggars and recession rate? And in less than a year, that building has have faults and requires another few billion dollars to fix it. Stupid, isn’t it?

And then there’s issue of money laundering and bribes- of where the government is trying to avoid and prevent bribes. Yeah right, my arse! Give the 7-year old student a simple science test, I bet he would go through variable ways to find out the answer of which is better. What’s the point of upgrading the level of education when your government leaders don’t even know how to evaluate the test? You offer ‘cost-efficiency tests’ to your students and yet you yourself don’t know how to conduct it? If you want to talk about building & development costs- put a person as the ‘owner’ of what-so-ever company and wants to have his building built. He gets his quotation from his developers of course. Next, conduct the same project but by putting a ‘Datuk’ or ‘Tan Sri’ in front of this ‘owner’s’ name. I bet his quotation is priced at at least 20 times the price of the first quotation. Quality assurance: the material used for the first owner is probably grade B or grade C; depending on his budget. After all, as long as the building is concerned- I’m sure all aspects for it from security, durability and quality are all carefully inspected and graded as pass with minimal maintenance fee and lesser repair in the future. It’s a fair business. What about the second owner of the other building? His materials proposed were of course ‘written’ as grade A but in reality? Probably a mixture of materials from grade C + D. His building’s quality assurance? Hmph, you’ll require a maintenance fee every month and better prepare a budget for repairs every 3 months. But funny enough, this second project would actually have that amount of money for that 20 times budget proposed and would still prepare that monthly maintenance fee plus the budget for his every 3 months’ repair! Where the hell did this man get all his money? Do you now see the difference? Who’s to blame?

For all we know, this second owner is not even a business man. He’s just a government servant who often appears on T.V. What, you mean you get royalty by putting your face on the T.V screen every day? And exactly how much is your allowance by attending these talks & press conference that it comes to a point you’re able to build that stupid building that you’re being “conned” of? Come on, don’t tell me your pay exceeds $100,000 a month by being a small minister! Even if it is so, deduct your taxes, your EPF, your SOCSO, your monthly car-instalment, your monthly house instalment, your wife’s weekly manicure, saloon, your international schooled kid’s monthly fee, bla bla bla... you could still afford that building? Impossible. You’re money laundering. And guess what- it was also your face appearing on T.V saying, “We totally do not support bribery and for anyone who does money laundering will be taken action of- either by penalty or jail sentences.” Funny, you’re the one taking or probably asking for bribes and money laundering yet you’re still a free man. Ironic, huh?

When Anwar Ibrahim- the country’s ex Deputy Prime Minister was charged of sodomy (with no solid proof and as mentioned by authorities), he was sentenced to jail for a few years, his designation was taken away, his whole family was being criticized badly and he was almost being thrown out of country. Why is that so, because he was a Malay and there were religion issues in which the government could not accept. Up until today, he is still being criticized and pinned down for whatever mistake anyone could find in him. Even if he were to accidentally sneeze in the public, people would blame him for “spreading flu virus on the streets”. Then the Chinese minister, Datuk Chua Soi Lek whose sex scandal was video taped and became national news (hard as rock, solid as gold evidence); he resigned. In less than a year, in today’s news- Datuk Chua Soi Lek regained his designation as the Deputy Minister of the MCA. The government could accept, the people could accept. What common sense is there? If you say you’re an Islamic country- wouldn’t all ministers & political leaders be abiding the rules regardless if they’re white, yellow, pink or black?

I see some ministers on T.V with really rosy cheeks, huge beer bellies with very high designation within the government ruling parties. And they’re Malays. Why and how could a Malay minister be having beer bellies? Oh, and you tell people you’re an Islamic country. Who knows if the minister who approved the alcohol factory here is actually a Malay? The minister who approved the swine farm is also a Malay? The minister who allowed these pubs to be opened up to the wee hours of the day is also a Malay? And the religion issue here in Malaysia is one of the major issues spoken every day! Who is there to fix it? What are the actions taken to fix these?

I’m not saying I’m trying to be prejudice or what. But how do you expect me to tell my friends of other countries that I’m proud to be a Malaysian when such political issues occur within my country?

I’ve had a Korean friend visiting me some time ago. When he arrived in Malaysia, I had already converted to be a Muslim. He thought times would’ve been the same like how we were back in Australia when I was there studying- we’d go clubbing and get a drink at clubs & pubs every week. We never ran out of beer or white wine in our house back then. He was surprised to hear about me who had ‘stopped’ drinking. I explained to him regarding the religion matter that a Muslim is forbidden of alcohol. He understood the policy but he still asked, “then why are you allowed to enter such places? (I brought him to a pub for a beer but didn’t have any for myself)”. He looked around and asked what type of races were the people around him (he could not tell the difference). I showed him people of different races- there were Chinese, Indians and still, Malays. And he asked me another question, “So if the Malays are not allowed to consume alcohol then why are they still allowed to come into these places?” I was stunned by his question. I spent the night explaining to him about the different races and religions we have in Malaysia. Surprisingly, he respected the Muslims for he too said that he thinks this religion had a really good teaching in life of what should be precious and of why certain things are being forbidden. Then he hit me with another question, “How come some Malays that you showed me are all well covered up but the Malay girls I see in this pub dresses up so sexily?” His final question: “Doesn’t your government set strict laws to divide such issues?” You tell me, how should I answer my foreigner friend’s questions? Did he ask them at the right places?

It’s also always a question mark in my head when the lower class of Malays who often claims they are poor, often penniless, homeless or jobless wears the same outfit at all times are very well covered up just like how the religion teaches; but the higher level of Malays who probably has a walk-in wardrobe in their multi million dollar homes, enough to eat, earns that $100,000 a month and her father has the ‘C.E.O’ designation waiting once she graduates- wears so skimpy clothes and would spend thousands just to get that designers ‘ultra-mini-skirt’? And you call this an Islamic country?

My father often tells me to go vote whenever there’s a campaign or rally going on. He said I should do my responsibility as a fellow Malaysian. I had never voted for anyone so far (yours truly is now aged at 27; totally 6 years eligible for voting yet had never voted even once). Once I feel I’m being at least 1% sided by the government or when I have that 1% of government support behind my back or perhaps have that slight advantage the government often gives to its fellow Malays, I’d probably think of voting. But for now, forget it. I don’t even feel 0.01% security at all. What’s the point of paying my taxes when I work my arse off day and night while the beggars are exempted from it whilst they don’t work and earns at least twice my salary? What’s the point of thinking of building my success when there are often threats from Bank Negara officers, Police Officers, Ministers and perhaps SKM officers to shut down my company if I don’t bribe them? So I don’t get respect if I’m just holding a ‘Miss’ or ‘Mrs’ title unless I have a ‘Datuk’ or ‘Datin’ title? Hmm, I hear of some conmen who buys their ‘Datuk’ titles- how is that possible? And I can’t even set up my company to a ‘Sendirian Berhad’ status if my Board of Directors are not Bumiputeras. Should I inherit my family’s wealth and suddenly gained a billion dollars in my account for no reason nonetheless than family inheritance, I get questioned by authorities of why and where I got that sum of money in my account. And coming to that point, there are always authorities aiming to ‘freeze’ my account and would charge a stupid ‘penalty fee’ for having that much of money in my account- upon paying that ‘penalty fee’, my account would then only be considered of whether to be released or not. And if I decide to go to Paris on a shopping spree & withdraw that amount of money just to shop, I get caught and sentenced to jail; accused of “taking money out of my country”. Justice? Justice my foot!

Oh well, too much had been expressed yet there are still millions of question marks running through my head. I’m not being prejudice or racists. I’m a pure Chinese, a Muslim myself, I’m married to a Malay and who still have multi-racial friends around me. I have a list of things that I want to do in my life. Of course that includes of being a C.E.O someday, owning a dream car of my own (which is only just a Honda), owning a house, build a welfare home, open an orphanage, open an old folks home, building a mosque, be a pilgrim, donate a million dollars to whoever who needs it, stop working & live by my savings and the list goes on. I’m not trying to condemn my own country as well- I must admit that there’s no other country like Malaysia. The weather, the people, the food, the culture, the harmony, the language, the bargains, the night markets, the hawker stalls... Of course, for positive or negative reasons; Malaysia sure Boleh! Just exactly when will Malaysia be Boleh for the better? Show me a difference then I’ll think of whether to withdraw everything I’ve said above or not. I have confidence in it. You have to prove it.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Personal View

In Malaysia, one who embraces Islam (of another religion) is called a 'Muallaf'. It means 'a new relative' (translated directly from Bahasa Melayu- saudara baru).
But honestly, I am curious of how the people of Malaysia addresses and classifies the Muallaf.

I often come across many, many people who now calls me a Malay. Gosh, that sometimes pisses me off. Haven't they noticed that Religion and Race are two different issues? Why would people often come to me and asks me questions like, "why do you choose to be a Malay?", "so your family members are still Chinese?", "you are now a Malaylah, is it?"
It was also because of all these questions that often got myself thinking, was it the education or the social life among these people who asks these questions; be the main reason for these people to ask such silly questions?

When I was homeless once, I dug to the bottom of my pockets to collect every single cent I had in order to reach the Zakat office which was about an hour's drive away to ask for a home. The officer there told me that there were no such thing as a house for those Muallafs who were homeless except for a house nearby this Zakat office which stuffed more than 20 over female Muallafs inside it. Generally, an 'affordable government house' in Malaysia often comes with 3 rooms & 2 baths. You'd be really lucky if the house has more rooms than that (as though developers are willing to build bigger houses at a cheaper price for sale). So imagine staying in a house of 3 rooms & 2 baths with 20 other females.
I asked the officer of what if I'm in the midst of looking for a decent job while being homeless & that I do not have the funds to travel here & fourth (because the 'house' is about an hour's drive from town)? He answered me, "That's not our problem. You're given the choice of staying in that house. So it's up to you to take it or leave it."
So I see... because it's all free. It's up to you to take it or leave it. What the hell?!
At the same time, I see ministers announcing and showing off their proud faces over the news daily of new developed 'affordable' flats offered to those who are really poor & homeless (general public). My friend also told me that if one is a government servant, a flat of 2 rooms & 1 bath would cost a monthly rental less than $150. The cheapest 'room for rent' I found in the daily newspapers was at least $250. So what was wrong for the government to provide these flats to Muallafs who are in need of shelter? When these government servants often gets a higher pay (now that they've raised their pay a few times), shouldn't they be given a time period to stay in these flats and be encouraged to own their homes since every government servant gets a bloody discount whenever they purchase one? Some even had the company paying for the house since the rent is so darn cheap. Yet I still see many other senior citizens & villagers staying in wooden houses whose roof might just fly off any minute once there's a storm...
Therefore, I went home empty handed.

Zakat & Fame
Paying zakat is one of the 5 pillars of Islam. The meaning of zakat and why should one Muslim pay for it? It is to collect 'funds' for those who are in need. And why does ministers and officers puts on their best attire with glitters of sequins & fancy beads to appear on TV by giving away only cheap goody-bags or hampers (which won't cost much anyway) for a small percentage of the needy ones when there are still Muallafs asking for a home or even those who are still staying in a wooden house with sounds of creaks of the wood? These 'charity' events often happens in hotels with proper catering which looks much more grand than a wedding banquet. My personal guess? The amount spend for the catering & the booking of the ballroom would easily costs at least 20-30 times the amount of the 'goodies' given away to these people.
Has the zakat been misused or is someone not telling the truth...?

Working Environment
My ex-boss once came up to me being so excited and even got a few other directors of the company to ask me if I could help convince this new employee who was about to embrace Islam. The reason of why he hired her was because she said she is going to embrace Islam (this company only hires Muslim). I've heard of so many things that this boss was willing to do for this new employee because she was going to embrace Islam, but how come I've never heard of anything about myself at all? Mind you, I worked my ass out for a month up till a point where I was admitted to the hospital at 3am in the morning from the office because of appendix. Non of these 'big bosses' came and pay me a visit at the hospital except for my department head.
It wasn't much of complains. But when you sit amongst these people and you see and hear the things they do to others whose life are way better than you would make you think- How come there's nothing for myself? I see how hard these people and selected committee members of the company sets up for its own orphanage foundation but how come they don't pay attention to the people in front of their eyes at all? The company also offers Islamic classes every fortnightly but how come non of the directors attends the class? Is it because they hold a higher rank and there fore their knowledge of Islam is higher than any one of us? How come the boss offers a higher salary to the new employee who dresses up with super mini skirts & shirts which reveals her cleavage yet with the minimum education level but rejects the one who dresses up decently yet has a higher rank of education? And how come those who are already in the company who works their asses out day & night is not offered over-timed pay nor any additional benefits but earns a wage of $4 an hour? Why does the director only wears his songkok whenever he has an appearance in the news papers or the bulletin on TV? I've even had one of the directors who's married with kids; trying to hit on me. And he was the one who often pushes every one to attend the Islamic class. I'm not being fussy or what but I've never seen these directors nor even my own department head attending Friday prayers. And how bizarre could it be when these are the people who often talks about religion and would even lecture me on the religion sometimes.
Honestly, I don't and won't pay attention nor even put in a bit of respect for such people. Nothing bias to put in but I just think, I chose the religion myself and I have my own views of it so don't come and ruin the good name of Islam to me. My department head once even grumbled of why the other male employees took so long to go for Friday prayers when he himself had been sitting in the office the whole day, watching videos on YouTube through out the prayers' time. It was there and then, I lost my respect to him as my department head.

Muallaf's Reserved Funds
I was once told that being a Muallaf, you are able to claim for daily allowances of $15 a day for the first 3 years. I had also heard that for being one, you ought to claim that allowance as long as you're a Muallaf otherwise some "inside people" would claim that fund of yours and use it up for their own good. It was also the reason of why this right of a Muallaf was never announced publicly or advised to a Muallaf. Think about it, of course no one would advise you about it. Try calculating $15 x 365 x 3; would bring you a total of $16, 425.00. Imagine one 'authorized person' hiding the fact of 10 Muallaf's fund... that would give him a total of $164, 250.00. Wow, a jackpot out of no where.
When I asked around recently, speaking to another Muallaf who had been married for 20 years; she said that even if the fund was really reserved for us, once you're married you're no longer eligible to claim that fund for yourself.
Why is that so?
Because you're now under the care of your husband who is supposedly to be way more eligible to provide you almost every need. Does that count as you're no longer a Muallaf once you're married? Does that also means, I'm now a Malay since I'm married to a Malay?
I was preparing for my company's annual dinner a few months back. It was supposed to be a company which runs according the Islamic ways. The committee members were trying to arrange a list of names who were eligible to receive a contribution in forms of cash or hampers under a few categories. There were a list of single moms, orphans and disabled workers. I asked one of the committee members, "how about a contribution for the Muallaf?" (being newly wed at that time), the person-in-charge answered me by saying "do you mean yourself? Oh, you're not eligible for that because you're married. You're no longer a Muallaf anyway 'cause you're married."

I personally think that every Islamic organization should at least inform these Muallafs of their reserved funds. Even if one does not want to claim its own allowances, the organization should automatically turn that fund to either a contribution for the much needy ones (upon black & white agreement), or even better- offer it to the Muallaf itself as a reserved fund for him/her to perform its Hajj in Macca now that flight tickets are so expensive. I would definitely agree if they would make that possible as performing the Hajj is also one of the 5 pillars of Islam. So why not make really good use of it, so that everyone gets a chance to perform their Hajj?

Fund Rallies
When I attended the first meeting at the Islamic organization in Selangor, one of the officers told me that when I get married I would be given a contribution of $1,500. So I did get married, but I did the procedures in Perak. I asked the officer here in Perak of the $1,500 contribution- he said he had not heard of such thing. Now that got me thinking; has all these 'funds' or 'contributions' for Muallafs now become a rally? Do these Islamic organizations of every state now has a quota of the number of Muallafs they sign up every month? Why would it matter of where you did your paperwork when you embraced Islam and the different bounty they offer you? And to talk of the amount of papers you have to submit in order to get married... God! They were a hassle. I almost gave up getting married because of the hassles I had to go through.
It's true... that Islam does not burden anyone at all. But it's the really stupid people who likes to make things difficult for all of us. Just why does these Islamic organization of each state offers different procedures & that they vary in every state? Why is it so hard to standardize its procedures in the whole damn country? Is this a government issue or a racial issue?

Question Marks
Why would people classify Muallafs as 'non-Muallafs' once they're married? How about a person who converted him/herself a month before getting married? So does that means he/she only holds the title of a 'Muallaf' for a month? And if he/she spends the whole month preparing to get married with no time at all to learn of the proper rights set for one Muallaf now loses everything once they get married?

Why should those funds be valid for those who are 'single' and not for those who are already married? Why would the allowance fund be valid for only the first 3 years of a Muallaf and not valid after that? Does that means that a Muallaf only holds the title for only 3 years?
Put it this way. You now earn the title of a C.E.O of a company that you set up on your own. Do you give yourself a time period in holding that title of yours? When will that title end- after the time period has expired or when your company closes down? Putting it in a political way, why does the ministers holds titles of 'Datuk's' & 'Tan Sri's' up till the day they land in their grave and not given a time period of holding that title instead?

Do people really understand the meaning of Muallaf? Do people really understand the true meaning of being rational in making the border line clear that Islam does not burdens anyone?

Personal View
Of all the things that I've said above, personally I would say that once a Muallaf, you're always a Muallaf. And like of the funds and rights reserved for one, the government should do something about it and start making it a point where everybody feels at least a little bit important. For those who claims themselves as 'Muslims' should first seek the true knowledge of being a good Muslim before they go around lecturing others & accidentally ruin the good name of Islam. My family often misunderstood the good name of Islam with the wrong doings done by born Muslims. Come on, it is said that the end of the world is near when Muslims subside. Shouldn't we all preserve the good name of Islam instead of condemning it with your own selfish acts? Shouldn't we all convince more people that Islam is the true way of life instead of ruining it? And for those Islamic Organizations, please don't try and make these funds into rallies in order to hit your 'quota' (should there be any) when your main obligation is to educate & it is also your biggest responsibility to prove that you are the one who could help Muslims & guide them to the better way. Whatever fund or services you offer to Muslims, you should standardize it within the country and not of each state. Think about it. Other people who have thoughts of embracing Islam would think of it as a burden should you turn these rights into rallies. Don't confuse us. You should be guiding us.

A warm welcome

Assalamualaikum, a warm greeting to all Muslims in the world.
This blog of mine which has just been created on this day forth- 27th September 2009 will be of the things that I have experienced through out my years since I've embraced Islam back in 2004. The journey itself was not smooth for sure... as I gradually learn that God himself puts a test for every follower of His. Please, feel free to share your own views especially for those who are newly converted Muslims. I'm sure our experiences vary. There are no special reasons of why I chose to blog out my experiences. It's just that I personally feel that nobody will really understand what each and every one of us went through for each of us faces different tests each day.

A short story of myself

Yours truly embraced Islam back in 2004. The idea of embracing Islam honestly wasn't that clear at that moment. It was just a brief thought of embracing Islam first and then gradually learn the religion from there itself. What opened up my mind and got me interest in Islam was the many different lifestyle of my own friends who are born Muslim. In some cases, I see them being organized and that their life was with answers of 'whats' and 'whys' in which many might ask. I also did some research in the internet of why certain things are being banned or illegal within the religion. The main thing that got me liking Islam was when I saw many pictures of what He did to show of His presence. With pictures of how His name appeared in fruits, vegetables, on fishes, on the earth, on the moon and even on the forehead of some children; I felt His presence.

The very thought of embracing Islam was firm on my mind; but somehow it was the people around me whom I thought were friends who turned it all up side down. Imagine, the very next day after all procedures embracing Islam was official; the people whom I called 'friends' eventually started turning a cold shoulder on me. Being the only girl among a group of mostly Muslim boys, they insisted of me staying home after Maghrib. Honestly, even up to date; not all these 'friends' greeted me the Muslim way. When all that I learned was from what they've been talking about all the time, it turned out that they do not practice it themselves.

Of course, God is great. As He has promised to test each and every one of us, He began giving me one of the hardest test: a week after I embraced Islam was the fasting month. The following tests which came after that includes myself being homeless and penniless where I almost had to beg for food. There were nights when I cried myself to one or two of my friends asking if embracing Islam was the right choice should these be the 'fate' that He has arranged for me. It was also there and then when He who has promised to test you with the darkest and hardest road to walk then puts a golden rose along the road to lighten it for a while. It was also one of the thing that got me remembering of who, what and where I am right now. One guy that I've just met for a few months had always been there whenever I needed a shoulder to cry on. It was his words that kept me going up till today. He said to me, that I should be thankful for He has given me the hardest road to walk on for those who were given the harder roads were often close to Him. He said those whose life are easy is because God does not care about them at all. This friend of mine is the only one who said he's jealous of me because God has chosen me to embrace Islam. In other words, he said God paid more attention to me rather than to others whose life were way much better than mine.
I kept those words of his up until today. I also thank God for making him that 'golden rose' to lighten my road.

Probably like many others, I almost lost my own family for embracing Islam. It was almost 2 years that I could not go back home to see my family at all for partly I was ashamed to meet them and also it was rather hard for them to accept the fact that I'm a Muslim. And like how He has promised to return the favor for you to savor, I'm glad that my family can finally accept the fact that I'm with a different religion and that I am still the same person.

Of course, the journey that He has set for me does not end here. After 5 years, the ups and downs that I've been through was not easy yet, I am thankful for where and what I am now.

Moving on

Please read my blog at your own risk. As my first & introduction blog, I would like to express my apologies should I accidentally hurt one's feelings reading my blog. It's nothing, really. Just that some things are better off left on a journal than said verbally. Also, just a brief information of what I'll be putting up on this blog: personal thoughts of being a Muallaf @ Muslim and perhaps, speaking of rights of being a Muslim.
Therefore, hope to meet up again soon.