Month: June 2010

Jiwa Bangsa..itu Bahasa.

Mungkin saya perlu menulis sekali-sekala dalam bahasa ibunda. Benar, tulisan saya di blog ini majoritinya dalam Bahasa Inggeris, tetapi itu tidak bermaksud saya memandang rendah bahasa ini. Sebahagian daripada diri saya yang masih mampu menikmati hasil seni masih berat untuk mengatakan bahawa karya sastera dalam bahasa Melayu adalah yang paling indah dan paling lembut.

Tetapi setelah melatih diri untuk lebih mahir mengekspresikan pendapat dalam bahasa Inggeris saya semakin menyedari kesukaran untuk menyampaikan maksud dalam bahasa Melayu. Apa lagi bertutur dalam bahasa Melayu penuh tanpa diselangi bahasa Inggeris. Mujur juga bahasa Arab yang saya tekuni belum berjaya menyerap masuk ke lidah – jika tidak lebih rojaklah bahasa yang saya gunakan.

Oh, dan percayalah, untuk menulis dua perenggan di atas saya terpaksa berfikir secara gigih untuk mentafsirkan beberapa lafaz yang terlintas di kepala – ‘Living in the UK and training myself to express my thought in English has taken its toll on me‘. Bagaimana mahu menterjemahkan ayat ini kepada ayat bahasa melayu yang sama maksud dan ekspresi, sama juga impak? Aduh!

Saya amat merasai hal ini ketika cuba-cuba untuk menulis secara kreatif, tetapi untuk menyampaikan sesetengah maksud – terutama yang seputar isu kegemaran saya iaitu alam sekitar dan pembangunan lestari, saya menghadapi kesukaran.Kebanyakan konsep yang saya kenali sejak awal dalam bahasa asing dan untuk ditukar ke dalam bahasa lain kelihatan (dan sememangnya) sunguh mencabar.

Saat berbicara dalam situasi separa formal, di kedai-kedai misalnya, saya lebih senang melafazkan dalam bahasa Melayu.

Apakah ini bermaksud jati diri saya sebagai Melayu separuhnya sudah lenyap?Kerana bukankah bahas itu jiwa bangsa?

Saya masih bisa menghargai kecantikan, malah menikmati tulisan dalam bahasa ibunda – tetapi jiwa saya lebih rapat dengan nada Indonesia. Barangkali kerana buku-buku Indonesia yang saya baca, yang selalunya sangat terkesan di hati namun saat ini, saya begitu marah kepada diri sendiri kerana tidak mampu lagi untuk bertutur sepenuhnya, secara formal, dalam bahasa Melayu, dan dalam masa dua minggu lagi saya akan menyampaikan kuliah/perbincangan untuk sekumpulan peserta program yang penganjurnya awal-awal lagi menegaskan – harus dalam bahasa Melayu. Oh Tuhan, bantulah!

Pelan tindakan?

Saya akan berusaha secara sedar untuk menuturkan ayat dalam bahasa Melayu sepenuhnya tanpa sepatah pun perkataan Inggeris mulai hari ini.

Saya pun Melayu, bak kata Zaid Ibrahim.

Nota tambahan: Saya hanya mula berkomunikasi dalam bahasa Inggeris dalam perbualan hari sejak pertengahan 2003, terpaksa dan dipaksa. Oh, saya memang lupa daratan bukan?

[Day 4] The Gambling Stir

Apparently I failed to be consistent, but nevertheless, I’d continue. We’ll see how long will it take for me to write 30 entries.

I’m sure most of us are aware by now that gambling, or betting (those are of the same concept anyway) for World Cup has just been legalised by the government. Of course you can expect a chaos out of that decision. And you heard all kind of comments – the opposition parties, namely PAS loudly condemned that, while UMNO, except a few isolated branches, supported that.

Where do I stand?

I think it is not principally a correct thing to do, to legalise gambling for whatever reason.

Here’s my simplified thought process

1. We can all agree that gambling is not a good thing. Even if it has some positive aspects to it (like quick, easy money IF you are lucky), the negative outweighs that. Muslims or non-Muslims alike can agree with that, I think. It’s like agreeing to the fact that alcohol, prostitution, smoking and such are bad.

2. Apparently, while some acts can be defended as personal action that won’t give damage to others, that is not the case for gambling. Chances are, if you lose, a large sum of money of course, there would be psychological impacts and social impacts – you can imagine the impact on family members, can’t you? How many are debt-ridden due to that? Will this impact the family? Psychologically-unstable children will cause some other problems, affecting the quality of life in the long run, and to be honest, even in the short term if you look closely.

3. On the basis of gambling having an impact on the social balance, I feel that it is the role of the government to intervene. The government promises a better life (though this better life is often tied to physical development, which I do not agree) – and this is what they should be able too see – the not so immediate impact of legalising gambling. Yes, legalising it does not mean that we allow everyone to gamble – Muslims are not allowed to involve. Oh yes, but here’s a fact – we can have all sorts of rules & regulations, but the enforcement fails. No point.

4. If we allow this kind of reasoning that legalising it will allow better control and provide additional sources of income – I bet (no pun intended) that soon such logics will be used for prostitution cases, drug, and others.

That’s all for now.

Say no to anything unsustainable.

[Day 3] Merlion and an Unexpected Wow

That’s a lame title I know. I’m not particularly in the mood for writing, but I’ve made a challenge so here it is.

I went to Singapore – dubbed the Land of Merlion – a few months back for training purposes, for a week.

Well, I have to admit despite the sentiment, that it is a nice country physically. I have to stress that. Not sure if less physical things like the kiasu culture is nice,  it feels like being in an European country though home is just a stone throw away. I put the credit to the country being pedestrian-friendly ( I missed walking that much), no traffic jams, clean (from what I see at least). Being accompanies with great friends, fed with food from two-level buffet feast, taught by amazingly interesting people might have helped me in being biased about my experience in Singapore.

That’s it briefly. But here’s the part I wanted to show you – now that I have learnt a bit about business – the business model that allows this:

…Clarks shoes shelves like these

..and Hush Puppies too.

Along with other brands, sold like in bundle shops. It’s like, wow. This shop has everything you can think of, both of the low-end and the not so high-end.

And I got my Elizabeth Arden perfume at less than half the price sold in Malaysia.

One might wonder how Mustafa of Mustafa Centre does that.

He must be a genius, I conclude.

[Day 2] Nature’s Niche: FRIM Kepong

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings.  Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees.  The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.  ~John Muir

I am not much of a conservationist, though I’d happily make a self-confession that I am an environmentalist (though, a pretty lazy one at that).

When I come back to Malaysia from the UK, my initial observation is that most NGOs I’ve read about in Malaysia concentrate more on nature conservation rather than greening the lifestyle of Malaysia. Well, I can’t deny that while I see that our lifestyle is the major villain that contributes to the unsustainability, I appreciate less the nature in general. I love greeneries, being born and bred in rural areas, but I could really understand its value much.

Until my boss assigned me to read on biodiversity & conservation that is, which I have written things about it in a number of posts before. And then I came to realise that, hey, the beetles, tigers, snakes, those tiny organisms living in the soil, the various species of moss and ferns that I would never fully know, are truly important to me – in a sense that they contribute to my survival in one way or another, which I won’t detail it here.

In short: They ‘ensure’ that my food is on the table, the air clean for me to breathe in, and the climate, of course, bearable.

And if I were to state the risk of biodiversity loss that we are facing – it’s of the same magnitude as the loss due to global warming – in trillions of USD per year.

And just right, literally, after I was awaken and enlightened, our department planned to celebrate the world environment day surrounded by nature – in FRIM Kepong, a few kilometres away from the metropolitan Kuala Lumpur.Oh, FRIM stands for Forest Research Institute of Malaysia, the body that takes care of the area.

Now that I think about it, I think it is truly a bless that KL, as hazy as it is, still allow her dwellers to find a haven – I know some would refer Pavillion or KLCC or Empire as their haven, but err, I beg to differ. I know there are quite a number who are still in touch with their natural instinct.

It turns out that FRIM is only 20 minutes away from my house. Yeay!

OK, I’d let the picture do the talking. Writing is not working with me now:

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[Day 1] Tease Me Please

[Tease Me Please is the title of a Scorpions’ song]

Have been meaning to write this for quite sometimes – yes, I know I have been meaning to write a lot of things.

I finished my so-called training session, well, the whole six months of it, and on the final day, we had this activity where each and everyone of the thirty of us need to write something for the other – anything, positive particularly. The idea is that, as the facilitator stated, when are down and need some sort of encouragement, you can look at these words and lift your spirit up.

I know that these two pieces of paper will be lost along with the nice words, so I figured out, maybe I should record them here.

Jangan garang and sway sangat – AM

Sustainable girl! You are deep thinker – WK

Good luck in your career. Keep up your good work. Kekalkan kemuslimahan.

Ubi likes you.

Glad to know you even though it was short. Continue working hard and the sky shall be your limit.

I’ll be there.

Good luck, Afni. Take care. – Nurul

Your mature personality inspire me. All the best! -NAMKA

Hey darling. You are rocking. Keep spreading the sustainable effort.

Afni, you do look sweet when you smile. So, selalu la senyum ya..

Afni! Afni!

All the best in work & life. Go sustainability!

Great to know you, Afni! Stay ‘green’, love you!

Be sustainable. Great to know you -Asy

Afni, good luck in you career.

Afni..keep up the sustainability. A great friend to be with. Lots of respect!! -SB

Keep the passion! It separates you from the rest! – D

Miss Sustainability! Keep up the sustainability! I love sustainable too!! Keep it up together -SST

Afni, you have a strong personality that I adore! -NMA

Sustainability rocks! Knowledge sharing at TBC with you was fun! I like it. -NS

Afni, All the best and good luck in everything/

I [?] got to know you ‘properly’ in Singapore, and I don’t regret it!! -V

Afni, Miss green! You are different in your own way, good luck with your green initiatives!

Afni, love reading your blog (I’m your silent reader). See you in one of the NGOs later in future – HY

Sustainable Afni! Thanks for being a great friend. You are such a great advisor.

Dearest Afni, Stay green. Thank you for the honour of your friendship.

You’re great! It been a pleasure knowing you! Frens 4eva -C

Can you see how many ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ words are there?

Oh, did I mention that we have this award given to each of us, and mine was this:

She-Hulk Award!

‘For being the Miss Sustainability and means business’, that’s what they said.

I’m such a freak, I know.

Wonder if I’ll Ever See You Again

I am assigned to start a foundation on biodiversity and conservation matters, most importantly on how business can tackle these issue in their business operation.

And while I was reading on biodiversity today, I came across this story:

Even species with very large population sizes can go extinct. For instance, a species faces extinction if its habitat is lost and it cannot find a suitable replacement. One striking example is that of the passenger pigeon. During the early 1800s the passenger pigeon had a population size in the billions, on the order of the current human population. Over exploitation by hunters and habitat degradation caused its numbers to rapidly dwindle. As its numbers decreased, the species became vulnerable to the genetic factors listed above and then demographic stochasticity. In September 1914, as World War I was beginning, the last passenger pigeon died in captivity. This species went from very abundant to extinct in a century.

Oh, I feel like crying. For these passenger pigeons, which I know I will never see them again (I hope those scientists working on the cloning of this pigeon might give us some hope).

Maybe I should start to wonder if my children and grandchildren will ever see a tiger in their lifetimes.