I Heard The Herd.

Bit of humour thrown into the mix, as Chinese folks answered the question of what they REALLY wanted in life.

On May 8th, an incredibly large amount of Malaysians trudged to the Kelana Jaya stadium in Petaling Jaya to show their support for the nation’s political Opposition. I was amongst them. I wanted to hear if the Pakatan Rakyat coalition had a plan to harness the power of the people to see that the newly-appointed, ruling Government would pay for the fraud that it pulled off during the recently concluded 13th General Elections just three days prior to the rally.

It didn’t.

At least, it seemed that way to me. Speaker after speaker took the stage to reiterate, rinse and repeat the rhetoric that the Government was being a cheat, that the Prime Minister had to step down, and that the nation’s Election Commission needed a severe overhaul, whilst also calling for its Chairman to step down.

Now, I’m a simpleton, and I get bored very easily. My attention span is such that — anyway, it was the same message drilled into our heads. Now, there were people who were lapping it up, and I can understand why. People were gathered there to find a common ground — and they did. But my innocent curiousity was not piqued [I had voted for the Opposition, by the way], and my friend and I who had gone to listen felt a bit underwhelmed.




Is groupthink more pervasive now in the way that we view things than five years ago?

After everything that’s happened between the 12th and 13th General Elections, the Government has blundered its way through scandal after scandal. There’s a form of widespread anti-Government hysteria going round, and it’s hit a fever pitch. A casual glance at your social media feeds will already show you this. After more than a week, there’s still enough user-generated content to last for a long while more.

All this is fair and good, but now we’re getting more and more people who actively share content without properly verifying and validating what it is they’re sharing. The time for conscientious media consumption is over, I suppose. More and more of us are starting to become even more polarised, and the middle ground isn’t sacred anymore — in fact, it’s starting to erode away.


Can the younger bunch take  any of this seriously?

There’s a wealth of untapped voters when you consider young Malaysians who haven’t come of age yet. I saw a younger set of people all around me at the rally, and it sort of momentarily freaked me out in the sense that they were treating it like a massive social event: kawaii posing, peace signs and a heap of Instagramming a-plenty. I don’t mind it that much, but it honestly made me wonder about how well informed they were about the issues at hand, or if they knew why the rally was being organised the first place.

I mean, yes, it’s good that there’s some sort of populist angle there to get them hooked on it, but the amount of political slacktivism that rampant social media sharing has garnered might devalue their presence there. I’m just saying that we, the old farts [I can’t believe I’m labeling myself as this] have to take it upon ourselves to try to sort give a bit of levelheadedness towards everything that’s being said.

Cooler heads will prevail, and as condescending as I might be sounding, we need to breathe a bit.


What’s the plan, then?

I’m just a bit peeved that I felt that my time was wasted at the rally. It was hastily organised, and you could tell — there wasn’t a proper route out of the stadium grounds [it was a tight squeeze to leave the inner workings of the place, from the field to the rafters]. People were edgy, and despite coming together for a unifying cause, I could see people scuffling about.

There were also encouraging signs. It’s always good to have throngs and throngs of people coming together and sharing positive vibes. And I’m all for that. My only issue is that there was no real plan. No agenda. No statement of intent. Nothing. Just a constant stream of chanting. It came to a point where I couldn’t hear anything anymore, though that was equally attributed to a lackluster sound system and a riled-up crowd.

I just wish that more could have been done. Something meatier, without the fat. I know that it was only 3 days after the election, but I’m quite convinced that the powers-that-be in the Opposition would already have been able to cook something up for us to sip on. Anything, really.

Are we going to start seeding out vote counters and election staff in the next election? Are we going to embark on some rural community outreach to explain why we want to vote for the Other Guy? What can we start formulating on to ensure that the majority doesn’t embark on another round of election fraud in the future? There’s no time like the present for the Opposition to tackle these problems. A blueprint should have been kickstarted on the night the power got blacked out.

We’re impatient. We need a solution: now.

[Yes, I know I’m harbouring on being a pure irritant, but it’s only because I have faith in the Opposition to provide hard, fast, final solutions in a jiff.]


All in all, most people around you would probably state that they went to the 508 rally and loved it immensely.

Me? I felt like was the donkey that was being ridden hard, without a carrot dangling. Come on. At least give me a carrot.

“LICK MY BLOODY CUNT” or My Aunt Stuck To Her Balls.

8 years ago, before she succumbed to cancer, my aunt was part of the Kepong MCA machinery, and essentially got her hands dirty very frequently. She was apparently recruited into the party based on a proposed economic plan that she had published. One highlight of her stumped political career was that she had helped to set up the MCA Hotline, and subsequently held a gig as its Service Chairman.

Things took a turn for the weird when she decided to stand against Chew Mei Fun for the MCA Wanita Deputy Chairwoman position during the party elections. My aunt subsequently lost. The end result? Chew Mei Fun – 1320 votes ; Tai Sim Yew – 423 votes. Chew would have won the seat, uncontested, if my aunt hadn’t steamrolled her way in. Admittedly, my aunt knew that Chew would have won, either way.

So, WHY did my aunt run a losing race? It was because of the ‘cai dan’ – a shortlist of candidates that MCA delegates would have to choose from to fill up the Central Committee’s posts. In her own words, it was “undemocratic”.

(Others might point out that the ‘cai dan’ does not actually outrightly hinder anyone from entering the ring, though, admittedly, you’d be under hard pressure NOT to choose anyone off the list.)

She stressed that the reason why she was fighting the powers that be was because what was going on was not FAIR. After announcing her intention to contest, my aunt received a few death threats and prank calls, but she was an experienced lawyer, and was most probably more amused than outright fearful. She stuck to her guns. And was then kicked out of the Kepong MCA Wanita committee for not playing by the rules.

My point here is that even though she was part of a losing battle, she was still committed to doing whatever she felt was right. I think it reminds me of the duty that we owe ourselves, not just through voting, but in everyday life — we must do what we feel is right, otherwise our conscience would most probably take a swandive.

There are people around us in better positions who do not have such a conscience, and they’ve gotten away with abusing their powers. It’s come to a point where you and I can agree that, “Okaylah, let them abuselah, but not so much”. We’re giving allowances for people to abuse our trust, because we’ve resigned ourselves to no other possibility.

By the way, this isn’t an anti-MCA/BN rant. This is just a soft reminder that we should always try to do right, whenever we can, and to stick up for those beliefs when we get cornered. It sounds ideal and naive, but sometimes seeing things in black and white can keep us grounded. It’s also good to occasionally QUESTION what’s going on around you, and to be curious. It’s a tedious, tiresome process, but it’s always be better to be informed than to be impeded.

My aunt had a favourite phrase she’d like to throw around – “If they don’t like it, then they can lick my bloody cunt”. My aunt’s words. She used them a LOT.

I think my aunt would be equally distressed and pleased if I shared my own skewered political views with her now. Then again, she was a bit of a pain, and would probably have rattled me senseless now.

I miss her; at the same time, she was a prime example of what you should and shouldn’t be in life. But that’s really a story that’s too personal to be shared.

But any way.

May she rest in peace.

And may lesser fools lick her cunt in Heaven.

Check this out to learn more: http://www.thesundaily.my/node/177222

Sadness? Over-rated.

I don’t really subscribe to the theory that sadness is tender. I don’t understand how it works. There’s nothing poetic about it. There’s nothing nice about it. Sadness just helps to paint a portent picture of melancholia, available at your friendly neighbourhood Shoppe d’Feelings for, let’s say, a nickel.

Thanks to a steady stream of blue-ribbon deviantART accounts, tween dramas, Thai music videos [look them up], radio weepers and a misinterpretation of the colour burgundy, we’ve been put on a collision course with the idea that sadness equates to beauty. That’s also if you include any filter-toting smartphone photograph you’ve taken of an inanimate object, in an attempt to highlight sadness by stating that the otherwise dead thing is more alive than you are [guilty!].

We indulge ourselves in all these extremities because we’re terribly [and mayhaps comfortably] numb most of the time. So much so that we can freely admit that the most genuine thing that we’ve felt in our lives was not happiness, but sorrow [guilty!], just like the endless bald tate of Billy Corgan’s head.

I don’t reckon this to be true. I think sadness, although limitless, should not be indulged in for too long, even if it is to relive certain tender memories that you couldn’t extract from the neighbourhood Brain Trust for a dime. Pensiveness does NOT equate to feeling sad and morose and drowning yourself in Vitamin Water. Nostalgia does NOT mean you have to will yourself to go back in time to relive and repeat that one defining moment in life when taking a left turn would have given you hard candy instead of sour plums.

Sadness is not fashionable. Sadness is not trendy. Sadness is not an Afghan coat that is supposed to keep you warm [guilty!]. Sadness is not a dog to fit in your clutch. Sadness is not cool. Sadness is hardly the encyclopedia-like database of fine wines and cheeses that you have in your head.

Sadness is sad. SAD. SAD!

I repeat: SAD. It’s like Crash And The Boys said: so sad, so, so sad [look them up].

You know that pain of yours that you claim the whole world ignores? It’s actually there. It’s the collective groan of a lot of tired ears.

If you have a problem, and you have to let it out, then let it out. Do not wallow into some contemptuous solo period of lamenting that no one can understand. You have friends, and ready, willing, loving, ears at the fore. Use them. People are concerned for you, and deciding to declare yourself an anthropomorphic raccoon [you guessed it…guilty!] will NOT lighten your heart’s burden.

(A burden is to be shared, because the people whose healing hands lay upon you may also need your healing hands one day to be laid upon them.)

And if you need to wallow, be constructive about it. Write a song, or some prose. Bake a cake. Don’t be another McGuffin. Because once you realise how much of a red herring everything is, you’re not in any shape to do anything but laugh.

Jon Bon Jovi said that no man is an island.

Don’t be.

An island, I mean. You can be Jon Bon Jovi, he’s quite a cool guy.

Any hole that you dig for yourself can either be a grave, or it can lead you to the center of YOUR world. Your choice. These are things that you can’t get from your neighbourhood Hut O’ Self-Esteem for a buck – you can get them for free from within.

I’m not denying that you will get upset, and hurt. I’m only saying that there comes a time when even you must rise up, brush aside the rubble and force yourself to stand amongst giants.

So what does the cat say?Your move, Bogart.

Don’t be such a twat.

All Things Must Pass!

I’ve recently tried to change my world view about things. The reason being is, aside from certain uncontrollable factors that touch our lives [such as twisted terrorist attacks and the occasional lampoon of a kangaroo grove that acts as a government], we live life as if its a drudgery of sorts. Half of us already go through the paces, and none of us are truly enlightened about how abundantly complex and enjoyable life can be.

I know that I should be the LAST person to lecture on how to live life, seeing how my mindset is more antiquated than your grandfather’s old phonogram [look it up], but let’s not forget that every day can be lived better if we kick off the habit of pre-rendering it as an EXPERIENCE, and not a slog.

Life is too short for us to carry burdens of the heart, no matter how high they scale on the brevity factor. Life is too precious for us to fiddle and bicker over minor things [nothing is trivial, but everything can be minor]. Life is certainly too valuable for us to point fingers at one another.

Again, I am NOT an authority on how to live life. I don’t know anything about inner mantras, nor do I sing any hymns to make you want to raise your hands and cry HALLELUJAH [that’s a half-lie, I know lots of hymns but I don’t sing them].

I am merely a happy-go-lucky chap who doesn’t take life seriously [except for the serious stuff]. If it’s not related to work, I say, just be happy and try to do the right thing. Spread some good vibes and make someone’s day! Give yourself extra points for trying to put a smile on, let’s say, Obnoxious Grumpy Neighbour #65, who just happens to look like a dour Tommy Lee Jones. Even if it IS related to work, put a smile on your face, because outside of the workplace, you KNOW that the one imbecile you can’t get along with in the cubicle still has someone that they too must go home to.

Personally? I think we should try our best to live life through the eyes of a child, and remind ourselves that although we know what’s coming in the end, there’s nothing stopping us from seeing EVERYTHING as an experience. The bigger picture awaits you, like a veil that needs to free itself from being bound around your eyes. It’s sounds naive, but perceiving life as an EXPERIENCE rather than a drag can put things into perspective. The meaning of your life is what you make of it, after all.

There’re far too many pieces of bad news, bad moods and bad vibes going around that make everyone bitter and spiteful and incredibly intolerably Chinkier than most Chinese people would go.

Turn off your mind, relax and, like, y’know, float upstream once in a while. If you’re super busy and your eyes start spinning, then close them and relax.

And for those of you who say that I’m saying all this because I’ve found myself dangling on the precarious position between insanity and cushy middle-class living, I say: nay. I have been through too much in life and worked too hard to see my life slip away from me to refuse itself the enjoyment of…enjoyment. So while you shuffle your paper, count your numbers, downscale your overheads and improve corporate synergy, please do realise that you are the focal point of everything around you, and that although you think you have it bad, things could be much worse.

For Pete’s sake [Parker, Townsend, Sampras – your pick], relax, people. Be thankful that you’re alive, and, y’know, don’t be scared to show it once in a while.

Be happy!


Now show me that Superbass.

There Is No 30!

I am an overgrown man-child. I take a look at all my friends, and they’ve accomplished so much, while I’ve somehow managed to regress back into a bum who stays at home to earn his dollar.

Sadly, everyone else is envious of me, and I have to admit – I can understand why.

But as I move further forward into the foreboding future, I’m still wondering if I can really live up to my own expectations for what my future holds.

I’m waiting on the grey hairs to start pecking me.


A few friends had heavily recommended myBurgerLab, and told me a tale of a champion barista who gave up a life of coffee-making to make…burgers. He’d invite his friends over to his private kitchen, and frantically work out a super-secret formula on making the greatest burgers, ever.

(Though I might totally have the wrong place; if so, I apologise in advance.)

It’s a continuing work-in-progress, but myBurgerLab has a variety of patties (chicken, beef and veggies) to keep you going.

I ordered something called a Beautiful Mess, while CK ordered a Say Cheese II (double cheeseburger). We topped up RM5 to get some fries and a bottomless drink.

Verdict? The overall ambience seems to be overly hipster, as it takes its visual cues from common themes. But to top the bun off on a decision, the burger was relatively decent, and I can’t resist unlimited cups of Mountain Dew. Ever.

A few cons: expect a long lead-in time once you place your order (we going to attribute this on the fact that it was packed), and some of y’all might not see a correlation between the burger and price (I don’t really mindlah, but that’s just me).

And now, the usual assortment of credible culinary opinions:

So. Go/no-go? This place isn’t Relish. And it’s certainly not a Ramly stall. It’s got its heart in the right place, and they constantly update (or upgrade? – mine was a 3.0) their burgers; there’s a good chance that you’ll get something different each time.

By the way, we spent about 10 minutes wandering around SEA Park looking for the place. To save you the hassle (though you’re probably more map-savvy than we were): it’s here.


11,200,000 results, just for me. Awwww.

Hitting up “Ian Tai” on Google brings up an interesting list of possibilities. Have you ever thought about who those other people who share your name are? Where they work? Who they live with? If they like alphabet soup? If they’re allergic to cacti?

Would you ever be bothered to know them? Or at least get the full skinny on what makes your namesake tick? On a hunch, I’m going to assume that the Ian Tai in San Francisco has a lot more fun than I have in sleepy Kuala Lumpur. And I’m going to ask him. I’ll also attempt to track down a more illustrious Ian Tai who knows his gold, just for fun. [And I might request that he gives me his URL.]

Maybe, in the due process, I can get to know myself better through the people who know themselves best: me.

Just a thought.