Selamat Hari Merdeka Everybody

I was born and raised in Tawau.

This is my perspective on our National Day as an East Malaysian.

I am often bemused with the West Malaysian attitude towards Sabah and Sarawak. Most of them cannot tell which towns or cities belong to which state.

Miri? Is it in Sabah? Tawau? Hmm, I seem to have heard about this place before. Is it in Papua New Guinea? No? Indonesia? No? Ghana then.

Come on! You have got to be joking! Malaysia is not THAT big. It’s only 329,847 square kilometres of land. Not like the US or China, innit?

Oh here’s another thing that gets me riled up.

FACT: Please remember that Ibans are from Sarawak. Kadazans are from Sabah. Ibans are the ones with the long ear lobes. Kadazans are generally fair skinned and the chicks are hot!

Even though I am a Malaysian, all my life I have felt like a second class citizen. East Malaysians seem to be forgotten in Malaysia’s march towards economic prosperity and growth. We seem to have fallen on the wayside, forgotten and ignored.

Case in point, Tawau is a small seaside town. We don’t have much. As I was growing up, for the whole duration of my secondary school years, I remember studying by candlelight at least twice a week. Our electricity supply is rationed. The reason? The electricity plant does not have enough generators to effectively serve the town’s needs. I still get irritated when I think about the darkness, the hot and sticky feeling and the mosquitoes. That was 19 years ago.

I was talking with my mum on the phone the other day, and apparently, this is still the case. This. Is. Absolutely. Ridiculous.

A couple of years back, I was travelling by road from Kota Kinabalu to Tawau. The view along the way, for very long stretches was hugely depressing. Barren land, dried cracked earth dotted with grey tree stumps for as far as the eye could see.

I don’t blame West Malaysia. I know this is our fault. Our greed. Our inept forest management skills. Our inability to curb illegal logging activities. Did you know that good solid forest tree trunks can fetch prices of up to RM10,000 per trunk?

A lot of the export income from logging flowed to huge infrastructure works in West Malaysia. Highways, bridges, Putrajaya.

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UPDATE: I had to include this paragraph extracted from Wikipedia.

Sabah’s economy was traditionally heavily lumber dependent, based on export of tropical timber, but with increasing depletion of the natural forests and ecological efforts to save remaining natural rainforest areas, palm oil has emerged as a more sustainable resource. Other agricultural products important in the Sabah economy include rubber and cacao. Tourism is currently the second largest contributor to the economy.

In 1970, Sabah ranked as one of the richest states in the federation, with a per capita GDP second only to Selangor (which then included Kuala Lumpur). However, despite its vast wealth of natural resources, Sabah is currently the poorest of Malaysia’s states. Average incomes are now among the lowest in Malaysia, and with a considerably higher cost of living than in West Malaysia. In 2000, Sabah had an unemployment rate of 5.6 per cent – the highest of any Malaysian state and almost twice the national average of 3.1 per cent. The state has the highest poverty level in the country at 16 per cent, more than three times the national average. Part of the problem is the inequitable distribution of wealth between the State and the Federal government, and large numbers of illegal immigrants from Indonesia, Philippines, even East Timor.

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I am not begrudging West Malaysia these luxuries. It’s just this feeling of sadness that my state is slowly being left behind.

I love my country. I love the people, the food, the relative freedom we enjoy.

We have got something good going on here in Malaysia. In our march towards a modern and progressive nation, let’s not leave anyone behind.

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Have a great National Day celebration everyone! 

PS: Incidentally, did you know that our nation is only 42 years old? Malaysia will be 43 this September 16.

Nice Ears

Three hours of watching *that* wedding dinner on TV3.

A look of incredulity is permanently etched on my face. 

I am traumatised.

And bored.

Nothing to do now… Sigh.

Idle hands are damn troublesome, always up to something idiotic.

On the other hand, I like socks!

They keep my ears warm.

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Smells like cheese too. I like it. Mmmm.

I need help.

Who Wants Cake?

Coconut and pineapple meringue cake from Bakerzin in Bangsar Village.

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Close up.

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Let’s cut a piece out.

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Goes very well with tea.

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The Other Side

Trepidation. Over-the-bukit. Mature. Ageing. Hair loss. Charlie Chickadee. Loneliness. Misery. Melancholy. Nostalgia. Anxiety. Redundancy.

Old, old, old. Oooooooooooooooooooooldddd…..

These words are significant to me these days.

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Nerd Alert!

I was walking innocently to my regular mamak for tea with Lengus. Along the way, I spied a good-looking girl standing by the road.

Our gazes lock.

She smiles.

She approaches me.

By now, I can smell something fishy. I have grown accustomed to the fact that hot girls do not approach me. Ever. The ones that do always have something to sell. Sigh…

Pretty salesgirl: Come, come. We have new spectacles in our shop. New range. Very nice one.

anttyk: (Hesitant) Hmmm.

Pretty salesgirl: Sir, you buy one spectacles, you get me free…

anttyk: !!?!!

Now this is getting ridiculous. She said no such thing. Anyway, these Burberry black rimmed spectacles caught my attention.

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Temptation is hard to resist. Arrgh. Stop me, somebody. 

Oooo… Nice. I have to put them on. Whoa!

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Suddenly, everything looks 1950s cool…

What do you think? Nice or not?

Dino

Hi, this is Dino. Dino the fuckasaurus.

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Dino stands 11 centimeters tall and 18 centimeters long. Unlike other sauropods, Dino lacks a tail. He is quite upset by this fact, so let’s not tease him about it. Dino lives in my prison cubicle.

Dino is a happy and fulfilled dinosaur.

He has friends.

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He surfs the internet regularly. Purely for research *cough* reasons.

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He is a ladies man. He gets jiggy wit it. Every single night.

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Most of all, Dino enjoys checking out hot chickadees. The loooong neck helps.

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Dino is a really gay happy fellow. If you see him out in public, do not hesitate to say hi to him (or the nut he is attached to).

Thank you.

Bollocks

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Waka*urgh*kaka… This made me laugh and grimace at the same time.