Sunday, September 26, 2010

26-09-10 (Sunday) “Sama-sama”


Arif: Hei, semalam kamu datang hantar hadiah untuk saya, terima kasih banyak-banyak, ya?

Aqmal: Sama-sama. *Senyum*

Arif: Hey, last night you delivered a gift just for me, thanks a lot, yeah?

Aqmal: You’re welcome. *Smiles*IMG_1023 I like the Malay version of “You’re welcome”. Literally translated, it means ‘same same’ or ‘same to you’.IMG_1412 It portrays how the opportunity to help someone/make someone’s day itself is something worth being thankful for. Over the years, I have come to realize that it IS really a privilege when you can help someone and that we actually ought to THANK the person who gives us a chance to help them. Thus, “Sama-sama”.IMG_1504On the other side of the helping, I think the Asian upbringing teaches to be less dependent on others, in order to lessen the burden we are imposing on others. I think in terms of manners, that is quite practical but not when we bring to an extreme that we starve others of any opportunity to assist as at all, we put around ourselves a wall of self-sufficiency, telling others that we don’t need them. The process of helping/being helped also opens up a period of connection and communication between two parties, I believe. That’s how people get to know each other at a deeper level, when they help each other out. I think we should offer our needs to others wisely.

Terima kasih kerana membaca sampai habis, ya? ~ Translated: Thanks for reading all the way to the end, yeah?. :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

17-09-10 (Friday) “To My Fellow Malaysians”

This comes a bit late but I thought its still in the Malaysia Day period anyway.tugunegaramalaysia Racism and discrimination has been a major issue in Malaysia all the while, if not more recently. The Malays insist their privileges should not be questioned at all, the minorities complain there is no equality at all. Some claim that Malaysia is the only country that discriminates openly. The government hunts down people who become a threat to them… It is has almost become daily news now.Jalur Gemilang dari tempurung  Reading “What’s So Amazing About Grace?” by Philip Yancey, I can’t help but think of how much ungrace there is in Malaysia. We all demand for our rights to be preserved. We claim that we have been treated unjustly. We insist the government isn’t doing its job, to improve the welfare of the citizens.

They insist that they earned their privileges as “Sons of the Earth”. They claim that they are already being very tolerant, letting us stay on in the country. They also lambast the government for unnecessary actions. IMG_9846

I think both sides have their valid points in the argument and there can never be a conclusion to an argument as such. The problem, therefore, lies not in the validity of each sides’ arguments but on whomever is willing to yield first. Martin Luther King, Jr sparked a big change in America through peaceful strategies. Nelson Mandela used no hurtful words to achieve unity in South Africa. I hope Malaysia can go through a similar change in the sentiments of its people. I dream of the day when we stop complaining, talking each other down, pointing fingers, backstabbing, putting on fronts and cursing each other. I dream of the day we CHOOSE to love one another, to see each other as fellow countrymen, not as people of different races, to embrace our differences as the very reason we’re the same, that we’re Malaysian.

Do you think its possible? Don’t use the “I’ll do it if THEY do it first” line… Its like using a vote to decide who wins when you only have 2 different parties with separate opinions voting! Are YOU willing to do it first? Will you choose NOT to complain about the government, to stop talking down Malaysia as the worst country around whenever someone asks you how your country is like? Will you stop talking negatively about other races but tell of how beautifully diverse our country is culturally? … And if I may, DARE you sound like you are proud to be Malaysian?map_of_malaysia Its not about IGNORING the “evils” of our country. I’m just saying that if its so bad already, there’s no point making it worse, right?

I hope I did not offend anybody. I have no intention at all to do as such. If you are offended, you have my sincere apologies.

I will try to walk that talk I just did earlier. But you have to help me here. I have strong hope in my country and my fellow countrymen.malaysiaflag

Happy 47th Malaysia Day, Malaysia + our former countrymate, Singapore.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

15-09-10 (Wednesday) “You know you’re in love when…”

… When uh… You’ll know. Or you already do. You don’t even need me to tell you that. That was just to catch your attention. :)


I like the comparison of ourselves to seeds. Seeds only produce when they’re buried underground, when their own significance is covered under a pile of dirt. Then, they die to themselves in order to produce sprouts, which eventually turn into the trees that cover the earth. If a seed just stays as it is, no changes to its circumstance whatsoever, that’s all its gonna be – a seed. It could’ve turned into a massive fruit tree that produces fruit for the animals around, shelter for the birds of the air and even resource for mankind. It would produce a hundredfold in its return through all the seeds it produces! Its potential is endless! But only if it dies to its “seedyness'”


When WE start letting our SELFISHNESS die away and consider others better than ourselves(Phil 2:3). We unleash a whole chain of happenings. We make others feel loved, significant, appreciated… They start realising that they themselves aren’t too bad after all and so they move away from having gratify their self-esteem and they in turn start to encourage OTHERS… Its a lovely cycle. But it HAS to start somewhere. The starting point’s usually the hardest point to find in a cycle. The points AFTER that starting point may not necessarily work in favour of the cycle but I’d like to think that they usually do. :)


I can see why wisdom is one of the spiritual gifts. It is not easily obtained and it is priceless.

Friday, September 10, 2010

11-09-10 (Saturday) “The Eucharist”

For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord's death until he comes. ~ 1 Cor 11:26

A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. ~ 1 Cor 11:28

During the Bible Study today, I think of how The Lord’s Supper is done back home. Only those who’re baptized and are above 12 years old can partake of this sacred communion. I think of the year I turned 12, of the first time I took the Holy Communion in church. All the time I was thinking: Oh yeah… I’m finally old enough to do this. Take that, you little primary school kids! Too bad you’re not old enough yet. You only get to get some ‘words of blessing’ from the pastor. It sure sucks to be you.IMG_8555 I think it IS a good thing to have an age limit to the whole thing just so that people don’t make little of the whole sacrament but I think its not justified in that the whole point is not explained to those who do not know. I think it kinda backfired for me all the time instead, taking the Holy Communion as a ‘rite of passage’, if you will, a CHRISTIAN ‘rite of passage’ instead. I am quite ashamed of my attitude all those years. IMG_8827 I think it just too easy to get used to the whole gift of salvation. I don’t realize how much was sacrificed for my petty, little life. How a man who lived perfectly, without sin, had to suffer pain, persevere through embarassment, endure separation from One loved as the Self, for no logical reason but love.IMG_8532Even more than that, the whole idea of God coming down to the humble that He CREATED, to walk on the dirt-paved paths, to breathe in the musky air, to come into contact with germs… The very God who created everything!! All for me! All for you!!

It IS good to remind myself of the extent of this love every time I partake of the Holy Communion, even every single day that I wake up to!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

06-09-10 (Monday) “Pride”

Oh why are you so common everywhere?


You make us swear at each other. You do not let us back down. Convincing us that it is HIM/HER/THEM that is/are at fault. Why should I apologize/admit I’m wrong when I clearly am not?

You make us insist that the whole thing should run according to what we planned it out to be and not following that silly, disorganized plan for this.

You make leaders treat their subordinates more like their servants, ignoring their suggestions as pish-tosh and their cries for kindness as laziness.

You make our wives submit to us because we are superior and not because we have laid down our lives sacrificially as Jesus did for the church.

You make Peace sound like a kid, resorting to childish and senseless actions in its making.


You cause us to avoid face-to-face resolutions, determined to let the other person suffer in loneliness, wrecked with guilt. You stop us from just resolving the whole issue with a simple, honest, down-to-earth conversation.

You tell us that we deserve all that glory and praise. That we’ve earned it. “All those crowns, those trophies, those certificates… Its all you. Never mind those ppl who supported you along the way. They didn’t have to go through all the toiling YOU went through.”

You tell us we’re better. Better than that guy who is struggling to form a proper sentence. Better than them who clear up the waste that we left in our wake. Better than them who have to sleep on the benches in the cold every single night.

IMG_8460 Occupied vs Available (My paparazzi skills being tested out here. :D)

You know who/what I’m talking about? I wish everyone would be able to struggle and overcome Pride. The more one denies having it, the more one has of it. The worst thing is that we don’t realize it working in us most of the time. I can say that from my own experience and perspective. *Sigh*


“There is perhaps no one of natural desires so hard to subdue as pride. Disguise it. Struggle with it. Stifle it. Mortify it as much as one pleases. It is still alive and will every now and then peep out to show itself…. Even if I could conceive that I have completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.”

~ Benjamin Franklin on his 13 virtues

(Couldn’t have put it in better words…)