Monthly Archives: August 2009
and when it all falls down
who you gonna call now
Saya masih ingat ketika akhbar Cina melaporkan berita Perhimpunan Agung Umno ke-57 (13-17 November 2006). Memang tidak dinafikan, isu-isu perkauman terus dimainkan oleh Umno. Akhbar-akhbar yang dikuasai oleh orang Cina terus memanipulasikan isu-isu perkauman yang dibincangkan sehingga menimbulkan ketakutan kepada masyarakat Cina. Presiden Umno ketika itu terpaksa campur tangan dengan memberi amaran kepada beberapa akhbar Cina supaya tidak memainkan sentimen perkauman selepas beberapa perwakilan Umno membangkitkan isu-isu sensitif yang meresahkan sesetengah kaum bukan Melayu…
oleh Dr. Mohd. Ridhuan Tee, Mingguan Malaysia
Bodohnya budak ni.
Tak tahu pikir sebelum cakap.
Today I was pleasantly surprised at the honesty and courage of young Malaysians.
So it is commonly known (in the right circles) that the Oxford-Cambridge debates in Malaysia are generally substandard. This year’s was no exception, and I went not expecting anything. 🙂
What was different this year, however, was the audience participation.
A few of them stood up and expressed their disappointment with the debate. One of them said something to the effect of the debate “being of lower secondary school standard,” and that they expected so much more from Oxbridge students; glamour, prestige, and all. Other comments included the overemphasis on trivialities and specifics rather than general, more pertinent points and arguments.
In all honesty the kids were absolutely right: there was a (not-so) shocking lack of analysis and argumentation from both teams. There was no clash: both teams failed to grasp their rival’s points and either brushed the arguments off or constructed strawman arguments. Bad debating.
The kids were really confident and assertive in speaking out and critiquing the mediocre performance of both teams. It was actually quite cute! And mind you, these are secondary school/pre-University kids!
So in general the audience feedback was quite scathing lah.
One part of me was so proud of them for being so courageous! Criticising Oxbridge students man in front of the entire floor. Got balls. I like.
The other part of me was cringing for the poor debaters on stage. 🙂 Quite painful lah, to receive public criticism. I think some of the kids were hell bent on humiliating the debaters because they expected “an intense & fiery intellectual discourse.” Ouch.
In the long term, I think this bodes well for Malaysia and for Malaysian debate. I think we can expect Oxbridge to give us a better debate next year, or rightly face the wrath of these kids who tolerate no incompetency and give no quarter. 😉
So a little background: the US gang is going through a Yasmin Ahmad/Talentime phase, as evidenced by posts from John and Zhi Wei and our plurks. (wtf i copied zhi wei’s link and only then did i find out that we used the same title. jinx!)
So John very nicely organized an outing to watch the movie in 1Utama. 11 of us showed up: beyond my expectations man.
Tumpang glamour: Ka Hoe (the Chinese boy) was my Moral student!
This isn’t gonna be another post about how great the movie was, etc. I thought it was a good movie, albeit too slapstick at times, but such was Yasmin’s humour — these blunt, almost crude jokes only add to the quaintness and cuteness and playfulness and fun(!) and lightheartedness of Yasmin’s works. Very her.
But what really struck me was Pete Teo’s “I Go.”
I teared when the the er-hu came in (e.g. at 2:32). I have something for stringed instruments; I’ve read somewhere that string vibratos eeirely and accurately represent the wails of a human voice. My favourite part of any movie is when the music comes on and the violin vibrates and the voice falters and my soul resonates with every crescendo and dances to every progression and my heart breaks into a wretched half-smile and I gasp for breath and grasp at beauty and tear.
It’s going to be my new favourite song, and I will be listening to it for at least 10 times every day for weeks on end.
Not only is the song very pretty, I also think that it is ultimately prescient.
So long, fare thee well
The dancer and the dancing days have taken leave and fell
But I can’t hear it here no more
And I go
Hush now, don’t shake or break
Words have fallen silent like soldiers to the grave
No matter what they do or say
Lay me on the sleepy meadow by the tracks upon your face
It was at “I go-oh-oh-oh-oh-woh-oh-oh-oh” (2:18) when I got it. 领悟。Menerima wahyu.
It was almost like Yasmin Ahmad was speaking to us from the grave from the film.
And no matter what the media can play up about her past, or how hard Najib tries to hijack her message (the cuteness: “Yerr the fella copy me!!!” from 0:19 to 0:40), she goes.
To a better place.
Bismillah ir-Rahman ir-Rahim.
(Did she/Pete know that Talentime was to be her swansong?)
But we stay. And her messages stay. And her movies stay. And her values, her ideals, her love stay with us.
And this is the point and beauty and genius of Yasmin. The idea of Yasmin Ahmad is greater than the person that was Yasmin Ahmad, and this Yasmin stays with us forever and ever and ever.
But she stays.
In our hearts.
And it is beautiful.
And I love it.
So I thought that I wouldn’t join the tribute-to-Yasmin bandwagon, but I was compelled to write this lah.
Because the song spoke to my heart.
My favourite character was the Indian woman (Jac’s mother). I fell in love with her when she was joking around with her brother who was threatening to to burn some RM 100 notes if she didn’t take them. (She called his bluff.) Juxtapose that with her excellent portrayal of a tortured soul dealing with love and death and loss and letting go. Love it, love it.
but you stay
Kementerian Pelajaran bercadang memberi biasiswa penuh kepada pelajar yang muncul johan Pertandingan Bahas Piala Perdana Menteri (PPM) apabila mereka melanjutkan pelajaran ke universiti tempatan…
- Cadangan ini tidak berkesan sangat, kerana para pemenang berkemungkinan besar akan diberi biasiswa ke universiti luar negara. If you’re smart and you go to a PPM school, you will be head-hunted.
- Kenapa hanya PPM? PPM < Wira. And Wira < HELP < IIUM, in terms of competitiveness, caliber, and all-round debate goodness. Kedua-dua perbahasan PPM dan Wira merupakan pertandingan yang dianjurkan oleh kementerian. Jika biasiswa hanya diberikan kepada pemenang PPM, cadangan ini merupakan sesuatu idea yang elitis dan tidak adil, sememangnya kerana perbahasan Wira lebih kompetitif (bilangan sekolah yang jauh lebih banyak) dan representatif (kawasan geografi yang lebih luas).