Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A young Malaysian's dream

My young MP friend Liew Chin Tong from Penang has been reminding me to keep writing about hope. Hope. Hope because many in this country are again disillusioned about the recent events in this country.

Chin Tong recently launched his book "Speaking for the Reformasi Generation" and on the first page of my autographed copy, he wrote:
How would a better Malaysia look like for a young couple like us?

I imagine it to be this :
  • free of corruption;
  • lower costs of living ie. I don't have to pay so much for monthly car and house installments;
  • efficient public transportation, having a car will then be an option and not a necessity;
  • my children-to-be will be known as Malaysians only and not be identified by their race;
  • quality public education for them when they're young and the opportunity to study whatever course they so desire at a local university, one that adequately prepares them to compete globally;
  • affordable health care and quality public hospitals;
  • true freedom of worship;
  • able to trust what I read in the newspapers daily;
  • have confidence in the democratic system, the judiciary, the police, the MACC and other agencies;
  • safe environment : no fear of being robbed or houses being broken into and able to walk on the streets freely without grabbing my handbag tightly.
I do not think that the above is too much to ask for. Every taxpaying young working couple wants that for their new family. Many have migrated in search of the above in other countries.

My friends who live and work abroad come home yearly for holiday. To be honest, some days I do envy them when I meet up with them. They seem to be happier and find life and work more rewarding.

Each time I catch up with my friends, they will never fail to ask me, "So how's politics going for you?".

"I don't understand why you want to try so hard to change this country. I have given up hope".

"Any plans to migrate?"

Sure, we all want a better life. I know there are young Malaysians out there who feel the same as I do. You are frustrated with work. You are upset that after paying your monthly bills, you have very little left to pamper yourself. You covet the lifestyle of your friends working abroad. You just want to take the first flight out if you can.

My friends, I say to you again - hang in there! We are still undergoing the process of renovation for a better home, a better nation. When renovating, it is unpleasant, messy, dusty, inconvenient and often times, we cannot imagine the completed work. However, once finished and the smell of fresh paint is up, you will want to move in as soon as you can.

Each time I look at Karpal Singh and Lim Kit Siang, I stand in awe at their perseverance. They have been working and working and working tirelessly for years without fear to make Malaysia a better home for young people like you and I.

I, too must now do the same for our children and chart a new path for others to walk on. Don't give up yet. As U2 would sing it..."Walk on!"


anam helob said...

... it just sum up to "worry less about life"... anam helob from abroad... you see i have to use anonymous to comment too :) lol... and sorry i never meant to comment from abroad... i'll wait for you to renovate then i'll come home... again sorry for unable to accompany you guys in the renovation... the happiness to live in m'sia is just unreplaceable but sometimes it's also too comfortable abroad...

Isaac said...

Hey Hannah,

Am truly encourage by your own journey of perseverance. It has been an inspiration to many young people in the nation. I agree that we need to constantly share the message of HOPE for its one of the only things that we can hang on to.

We are all supporting and praying for you all the time. Keep up the good work! Many Blessings.

Isaac Lee (from Kluang)

Anonymous said...

Keep up the good work, Hannah. We all believe in a Malaysian Malaysia.

As those who want to migrate? You must be joking ...

Where to? Australia where the shops close early, water is scarce, racism is still entrenched, etc.

UK? It's crowded, too many social problems caused by the local and migrants, racism ... the US? same thing, the economy doing very badly ...

Another thing, 99 percent of the migrants will never be a part of the culture there. You're still a foreigner at the end of the day.

u9 said...

Do you view hope from the fulfillment of a good political manifesto? Nay...this world is not meant to be perfect(imho). Even your friends can't be perfectly happy in their newly adopted countries. Do you know how I view hope (in Malaysia, that is)... You are the hope. So keep up the good work and, ironically, keep away from partisan politics; it is usually treacherous. Malaysia is a good country. Despite all the avalanche of negative racist political propaganda,the rakyat remains basically good at heart and discerning. That, too, is another hope. Cheer.

3rd dimension said...

Yes, Hannah Yeoh, this should be the mental thinking of all young Malaysians.
It is a long process and if both Karpal Singh and Lim Kit Siang had done so much, the next one who took over will have a longer, tougher, winding road to go!!
Have faith, and you need all the 3 conditions to be right before any changes can happen.

Trevor T said...

we honour the effords of LKS and KS, and Anwar & gang for that matter, but with due respect to PR, I see it tough for you guys to change the entire govt mechanism, be'coz you try, you work hard towards this, you can order the head, but it's simply too difficult to move the body and the tail efficiently enough, even at local council level. However, I shall always give you the mandate in GE13, and pray for God's guidance and preservation. God Bless.

Jeff Wee said...

A young Malaysian's dream. It hits a chord!
Walk on~ !

Eddie said...

Well, first we've gotta remove the system or people which allowed M'sia to deteriorate to the current state.

Lau Weng San said...

You should watch this one.


Still Hopeful said...

It'll of course be great when the renovation is over and we can move into the new home and smell the fresh paint. But the brutal truth is I think Malaysia will never be a "finished" home. The renovation will never be completed simply because there's too much that's wrong with the very structure of the home itself. One great political thinker once remarked that the only way to change such a system is to wipe the slate clean, i.e. to tear down the entire system, or in the case of your metaphor, the entire house. It's a pipe dream, I know, but Malaysia really needs a revolution. That's how every great modern nation is built. Think about it - US, Britain, France, Germany - all went through some degree or form of "revolution".

Caroline Ho said...

Dear Hannah, I am encouraged by the faith you have for Malaysia. I share the same thoughts about migrating. I too sometimes feel envious seeing friends who are having better quality of life in other countries. They are often happier, more contented and satisfied with their new life as compared to the old one in Malaysia. I frequently get the question, "So, why don't you migrate?" Like you and many young Malaysians, I have a dream for this country. We must keep this dream alive despite all that is happening around us. Malaysia is going through a process and the final product is not too far away and will be enjoyed by all who keep their hope and dreams alive!

Do not be weary of doing what is good! Keep it up! May God be your all-sufficient provider in this important task that He has called you for.

Anonymous said...

Dear YB Hannah

Interesting wish list from you.

Here is mine (achievable in our lifetime?)

Phua Kai Lit


Malaysia establishes a National Health Service (like the NHS in the United Kingdom)

Malaysia starts a programme of “Healthy Cities” and “Healthy Communities”

Malaysia introduces a programme to “green” its cities and towns

Malaysia introduces a system of “fair price shops” to sell affordable basic foods to poor people (like in Kerala, India)

Malaysia nationalizes its water, power and sanitation companies

Malaysia introduces a Finland-style system of primary and secondary education

Malaysia introduces a U.S.-style system of higher education

Malaysia introduces a German-style apprentice system for low academic achievers

Malaysia gives monthly child support payments to families with newborn children (for 3 years after birth)

Malaysia introduces a Minimum Wage

Malaysia introduces Affirmative Action for the poor of all ethnic groups

Malaysia outlaws all forms of discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, gender, age, religion, disability

Malaysia introduces a Singapore-style public housing programme

Malaysia introduces a system of Unemployment Compensation

Malaysia abolishes its army and replaces it with a National Police (like Costa Rica)

Malaysia changes its transport policy to encourage walking, biking and public transport

Malaysia raises road tax for private motor vehicles and uses the funds generated to finance public transport

Malaysia builds a bullet train system to link Penang and Johor Baru

Malaysia changes its electoral system to a “proportional representation” system (like New Zealand)

Malaysia abolishes laws such as the Internal Security Act that allow detention without trial

Malaysia invites foreign observers (foreign poll watchers) for all elections

Malaysia recognizes dual citizenship and also makes it easier for ex-Malaysians to apply for permanent residency or to regain their citizenship

Malaysia sets up a Truth and Reconciliation Commission on the May 13 Tragedy

Simon Seow said...

I support you YB. Even though I don't live in your constitution. A better tomorrow for Malaysia.

North Perakian said...

Nelson Mandala and ANC battled for more than 2 decades against apartheid! Nobody gave them a ghost of a chance but they succeded eventually. As a student in NZ, I still remember taking part in the protest against the Springboks' rugby tour of NZ in the early 80s.

After the 308,we are beginning to see glimmer of hope. For our children, children's children, we must persevere till we succeed.

Anonymous said...

Phua Kai Lit.

May it happen.

Anonymous said...

Why not have a non-racial-based party?

hurricanemax said...

it is for this very reason that my home is undergoing renovations that i am staying put...i could easily have bought a house, a bungalow in say Oz, renovate it and furnish it ceiling to floor...but its still not my home.

Anonymous said...

there are no heroes, courages & wise men but men of faith & obedience...these are 'heroes' of faith. whenever you're weary or feel like giving up...just remember '...look to Me'...it's not only the future or where you at that matters, but what you're going to do at present that's going to determine the future. Albeit the world is bound to get worse, i hope that God gives you strength, wisdom & holiness to finish the race set for you. GBU.

PrayerImpact said...

Dear Hannah and friends of Hannah,

Yes, an inspiring wish list. And it probably might reflect the heart's wish of many Malaysians. However, right now I have just ONE immediate wish that cries from within...

My heart's cry right now is that everyone of us would make it our personal urgent business to intentionally engage with those we often come into contact with - colleagues,friends & family, neighbors,acquaintances, our regular grocer/pharmacist/church member etc....to ask if they have REGISTERED AS VOTERS and did ACTUALLY VOTE.

If they say "YES", praise God! If their answers are in the negative, then please make it your business to talk to them, engage with them to explain and highlight the importance of doing so and how their ONE vote makes a tremendous difference.

From my experience, many are confused as to how/where to do it, feel idle about going through the process, some are E Msians who want to register but dont know where to register - in hometown or in Peninsular, and the list goes on.

Ask them if they have not yet had ENOUGH or whether they are willing to look forward to more of what has been dished out so far! If they have not tasted any particular "dish", please spell it out to them and dont spare the details...just wake them up!!!

Enough complaining! Time for everyone of us to get real! Time for each of us to start asking real questions: "what can I personally be doing and what part can I play?" It may mean getting out of our comfort zones and a whole lot of inconvenience to us and our families...but really!...we cannot afford to not get involved anymore. Too much is at stake!

At the very least, make sure we vote and engage others on this issue to make sure all eligible Malaysians will vote and vote WISELY i.e. keep others updated and informed so they will cease buying into all the MSM lies!

Surely it cannot be the sole responsibility of the precious few like Hannah whom we voted into power to steer this nation out of distress. It is the duty of every ANAK BANGSA MALAYSIA and that means you and I!

So really...complimenting and encouraging Hannah in her blog is all very nice and cool, but really we need to do much, much more out there to help people like her and many others who are giving so,so much of themselves...many of them going beyond themselves for our nation simply because so many of us are just not willing to give much more of ourselves to do our part.

All of us can go on making all our wish lists and feel good. Right now, we have got to get both our feet on the ground to strive and give all we've got for real change to be possible.Just a few of us doing it is not good enough. We need to ALL link our hands together to make it work.

To my ADUN Hannah: I am sorry for sounding tough in my comments on your personal blog but I believe you would know and understand where I am on this.However, I wont be surprised if I get whacked for this!!

To those who have yet to register as voters and are complacent and procrastinating, please allow me to say this to you: Havent you had ENOUGH??? Please, please...get yourself registered as a voter and then just get out there when the time comes and vote! That is your most basic duty as Anak Bangsa Malaysia.

FY said...

I fully support your hopes and dreams for all Malaysians who shared a common destiny.

The dream of having a harmoniuous Malaysia is one where we know no colour and creed of your friends and neighbours and where there are no losers but everyone gains.

I hope of living in a Malaysia where leaders truly reflect the aspirations of all communities and are committed to making every sen collected counts for the shared prosperity of all.

It is with young leaders like you and all in the opposition at Federal level who will doggedly make this Malaysian dream happen.

It can take 10 years or maybe 50 years but we the rakyat do not think that all your efforts in realising this dream will be futile.

Yes, we sincerely hope that all the small steps taken by you and your comrades in PR will materialise be it in 10 or 50 years.

May god bless all of you.

Debby said...

thank it's reali encouraging
cheers... for the future!

Gan said...

"Walk on!" ... towards a new Malaysia for all Malaysians ! Thanks Hannah

Anonymous said...

"# my children-to-be will be known as Malaysians only and not be identified by their race;
# quality public education for them when they're young and the opportunity to study whatever course they so desire at a local university, one that adequately prepares them to compete globally;"

This really reminds me of Martin Luther King JR.'s "I have a dream".

Yeah, all of us dream that for Malaysia. That 1 day we will see 1 Malaysia (not taking Najib's slogan) which is truly one for all and not just empty words that means nothing in all Malaysian evident in the lack of actions taken such as review of unfair, racist policies and practices (sorry but I'm actually referring to the current 1 Malaysia's slogan and recent events)