Saturday, January 31, 2009


Over the course of time she has come to be subdued in her nature. Once a go-getter and never one to be intimidated by situation or people, she is now content to recline to the backseat - cruising along a path littered with bags of regrets and shattered dreams.

He looks at me in the eye and I glare back. 'I dare you to move me from where I am, coz nobody's getting me out of here. If I have to move, I will move myself.'

He withdraws his gaze and retreats, as if frightened by my threat. Again, I have been a pain not just to my surroundings, but to myself. I am stuck, and I am here to stay.

Truth is I wish not. But I realise this is my lot - that change doesn't come from others making the case for me, but the hard work rests with me. If I want to get out of my situation, I have to do so by my own will, strength and might.

Trouble is, I have none of the three - will, strength and might. Months and months of routine and mundane responsibilities root me deeper into the black cushioned seat. Sometimes I get a cold from the inactivity, sometimes I walk to the bathroom and cry.

He refuses to give up and comes round one more time. What do you want to achieve out there? I soften at his question, realising he meant genuine concern and would help if I let him.

'I don't know, really. I thought I am a go-getter and I have answers to everything, especially about things concerning my life. But I am wrong. I don't know what I want now. I want to be a story teller, but it sounds too idealistic to be achieved. And hang on, I know what you are going to tell me - that as long as I can dream it, anything is possible - I can achieve it. I have come not to believe in those tales anymore.'

He sees the forlorn look in my eyes and feels a pang in his own heart. I know, because I know him. He feels this way about anyone lost. And I am lost. The one others thought is admirable and indestructible - is held captive by her own prison.

The pain in my head throbs more violently. I wince like a caterpillar crushed under someone's foot. 'Help me get out of here,' I hold his hand and plead sincerely.


'I can be helped, I know I can. Don't let me stay this way. Help me through this blackness. I will be useful again.'

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Today in History: The Inauguration

I owe it to him. For giving me hope, for inspiring me, for re-igniting my passion for living.

For having a keen mind even from a young age. For embracing cultures wherever his mom brought him to – Hawaii, Indonesia, Chicago. For never letting racial prejudices get in his way. For breaking traditions, social norms and conventional beliefs.

For daring to hope where there is no hope. For standing up for what is right and proving to the nay-sayers that yes, a black man can be the most historical President of the great United States of America.

Even though his calibre as president still proves to be seen, even before he officially enters into office, he has brought hope to the flickering darkness of a nation of people at the brink of despair; he is revered as the most enigmatic leaders of our time, and he has inspired a whole new generation of people; young and old, white, colored, multi racial, of all citizens; to believe, that as long as we stand together in the face of adversity, we can bring change to our world. And change has come to America. Change has come to cities all over. Change has come to my part of the world – my place here in Singapore.

I owe it to you, Mr Barack Obama. I owe it to you, Mr. President.


P/S: Today is a day in history, and I never want to live in another generation. It is my honour, my privilege, to be living in this generation and witness first-hand, one of the finest moments in history since the birth of Jesus Christ – the inauguration of the 44th President of the United States of America.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The rule of law

Disturbing but true. The act of shaming an errant individual to serve as a reminder to the larger body of members. The iron rod of religion that encroaches on human decency and esteem - as the world progresses, so should institutions that uphold the society. Of course, basic fundamentals of an institution established from its foundation ought not be questioned and made issues of controversy, but the method of dealing with errant members - that should be addressed with wise judgment and deliberation of the circumstances surrounding the erroneous act.

Often times the very body or authority that passes such strict judgment and punishment are not angels themselves and are as frail a being in need of grace and redemption as the common folks. A balance of judgment ought to be struck - a balance that poses the question: Am I passing this judgment based on the standards of a reasonable person living in this current age and time or am I simply upholding a traditional form of judgment which even I myself may question its validity had I been the defendant.

Of course, it is easy for someone down the chain of command to question the judgment and action of a governing authority who has a wide and often privileged spectrum of issues and policies to consider before arriving at certain conclusions. The benefit of the doubt given, and I say this in respect, that it is prudent that governing authorities check the rule of law from time to time to critically study if they are serving the people they are meant to serve or have they turned tyrannical and irrelevant.

Straits Times - Jan 14, 2009

Malaysian waitress ordered to be caned for drinking

KUALA LUMPUR: A religious court has sentenced a Muslim woman to six strokes of the cane for drinking alcohol, possibly for the first time in Malaysia.

The Syariah High Court in Pahang also handed the same sentence to a man on Monday, and is due to make a decision on another woman in May.

Mohamad Nasir Mohamad, 38, a father of four, and waitress Noorazah Baharuddin, 22, were found drinking beer separately in pubs in July last year in central Pahang state, said reports released yesterday.

Nasir admitted that he had drunk beer at a pub in Cherating on July 11, while Noorazah was caught drinking at the pub where she worked, in Jalan Gambut.

Both were also fined RM5,000 (S$2,100) each by the Pahang court on Monday.

The third accused was part-time model Kartika Sari Dewi Shukarno, 32. According to the New Straits Times, Kartika, a Singapore permanent resident, could not attend court as she is studying in Singapore.

Judge Abdul Rahman Yunus said that he had given the maximum fine and caning as a deterrent to other Muslims, but had spared them a jail sentence.

'The caning is to shame them and should be done at any of the prisons in the country,' he was quoted as saying by NST.

The case comes after two controversial fatwas, or edicts - one over tomboyish behaviour by women and the other concerning the practice of yoga - sparked intense public debate over decisions made by the country's top religious body.

Malaysia has a two-track legal system, with the civil courts operating alongside state-based syariah courts. Muslims are governed by syariah laws in family and personal matters, while ethnic Chinese, Indians and other races come under civil courts.

According to NST, this is the second time such a sentence has been handed down. In 2005, the same judge sentenced two Muslim brothers to six strokes of the cane after they were caught drinking.

However, the caning has yet to be carried out as the men are appealing against the decision.

Alcohol is widely available in Malaysia, and Muslims are rarely punished for consuming it.

'It's rare but it's within the law and Muslims are subject to such law in this country,' said lawyer Pawancheek Merican, a syariah law committee member of the Malaysian Bar Council.

MP Salahuddin Ayub, the youth chief of the opposition Islamic party PAS, said he 'agreed' with the court ruling.

'The ruling only concerns Muslims and it does not affect the non-Muslims. It is to remind the Muslims not to drink,' he said.


She is close to my heart and I love her so very much. I am always thinkin of her and what fun growin up is for her - she is so full of life, joy, enthusiasm and passion she can't be locked in by limitation or restriction. She is wholesome, creative and overflowing with life.

She is compassionate and sensitive to her loved ones - especially her mommy who sacrificially gives up all that matters to her so her little girl could grow in an environment of love, acceptance, encouragement and security (in that order).

Sheena is a representation of all that a child is to have - much love and room to grow, regardless of the environment which sometimes threatens the protection in which she currently enjoys.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

The beauty of family

You see people smiling and laughing when they are with other people - friends, family, etc. You don't see them laughing as much when they are by themselves (fact is, you'd start speculating their sanity if they do). Reason being there is chemistry when people get together. And that is why I love families, particularly my husband's. The sense of belonging, acceptance and oneness. A warm shelter from a cold solitary world.

They give me a reason to look forward to coming home from a long day at work, an arduous day in class, a weekend gathering with friends, an overseas vacation. I have every reason to find my feet excitedly bringing me home each day because I find a place to belong to no matter the season that lifts or drowns me.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Swim to me

Swimming is especially important to me because without it I am trapped in lethargy and dwarfed by limitations.

I have been ill now for 6 days and showing little signs of recovery. And I have been prohibited by concerned family members not to swim or perform any sort of vigorous exercise. Day by day my body aches, my head spins, my flu flows and my mind now anxious - why am I not recovering?

I resolve to swim first thing tomorrow morning - I may be in the pinkest of health, for all I know.

Thursday, January 01, 2009


the sky a blanket of darkness
the air a morning chill so comforting
I step out into the coolness of dawn
noticing the puddles of water on the ground
collected from last night's rainfall
I take in the smell of fresh dew
resting on green leaves, flowers and grass blades

the showers behind, what awaits is a bright day
of hope and renewed dreams

the fast food joint is brightly lit
the music is turned up slightly louder than
what's comfortable for a quaint morning breakfast
where we're all strangers at separate tables and corners
avoiding eye contact as much as possible
comfortable with distance; uncomfortable with connections
in this city of dreams - the lion city

the familiar American songs playing on the speakers
bring jolts and tinges of acute nostalgia
bringing me home to days of youthfulness and recklessness
days of experiential living and innocence lost
I sit here by myself, though am surrounded by strangers -
I sit here, I reminisce and I write
in memory of who I was and
what I'd become


Voices - Choose Right

Sometimes I would turn off the lights and huddle in the corner of the room so I could be alone with my thoughts. Aside by ourselves, my thoughts seem to adopt a persona where they would flow freely and speak about stuff I would normally miss in the busyness of everyday life. I need these quiet moments because I am a highly visual person and I am most 'attacked' in my mind - be it in my conscious state when I am looking at things or thinking of stuff, or in my subconscious when I am dreaming. Thus these quiet moments serve as a platform for me to 'take in' only the good ones and discard the bad ones.

Yet despite these quiet sessions, many a times I fear I would lose all the good things I have, especially the greatest love of my life. And I would remember the story of Job in the Bible - that the thing he feared most came to him as he feared. And I would try to shut the negative images in my mind out. But rather than shutting them out, I think all I managed to do was to push them to the sidewalk of my mind, and ever so often, they would step right back onto the high road of my mind and come taunting me all over again. In fact, every morning.

You see, I jog every weekday morning before I go to work. And I would listen to Christian podcast sermons by Dr A.R. Bernard, Phil Pringle and Joel Osteen. Their messages do wonderful things to my heart, mind and spirit. But you see, the devil is a destroyer and a counterfeiter. As I take in the good stuff from the podcast sermons, especially first thing in the morning when your mind is fresh and free of evil contaminations, the devil attempts real hard to plant his evil and negative seeds in my mind. You see, I recognise this, but try as I might, I do not have have apparent victory over his ploy.

I write this down now so I may warn myself not just thoughtfully, but in writing (something more tangible than just thoughts, and could serve as a reminder many days and months after) that the victory is my Lord's. I write so I may put my thinking into perspective and 'force' myself to take the narrow path of the righteous and avoid the broad path of self. I write this down also so this may serve as a warning to you should you be in the same shoes as I am. 'We read to know we are not alone', says the great C.S. Lewis. You may read this entry to know you are not alone - that really, we are, in more ways than one, in the same shoes as many others in many situations.