This is a series of questions asked by famous people and tokoh-tokohs of our country. For original site, visit http://rage.com.my/writeups/story.asp?file=/2009/5/5/rage_issues/20090505220817&sec=rage_issues
It has been really though provoking and interesting answering all these questions. I have never seriously thought of some of them before. And I figured I would like to share with you guys here.
These are just my opinions on the matters. Comments and reply post are all welcome.
How would you like to see Malaysia in the future?
I would like to see Malaysia as a developed nation where integrity, honour, unity and talent are greatly valued. I would like to see a nation which is truly colour- blind and just. I would also like to see a nation which is green and environmental- friendly.
What do you understand by "youth empowerment"?
To me, youth empowerment means giving responsibilities, duties and power to the youth of today, whether it is the simple task of selecting a youth as a committee member or entrusting a youth to organise and event. Youth empowerment simply means giving trust and confidence to a youth and believe that they can carry out their responsibilities as well as an adult.
What can you contribute to the country in this time of economy crisis?
In this time of economic crisis, I think the best things youth can help is to buy government bonds once we are legal of age. Then we can start investing money in fixed deposit accounts and other means. Besides, frugality is not really a bad thing. It helps us to spend money on only what is necessary.
Are you ready for gender equality?
Of course. Gender equality doesn't mean downplaying the role of men or promoting the superiority of the fairer sex. To me, gender equality means respecting men and women as equal counterparts as both male and female contributes differently in various level of the world and in life cycle.
What will it take for you as the youth to think 'Malaysian' first and Chinese/Malay/Indian next?
When the adults and policy makers start thinking so. I am sure all of us has encounter a situation where the aunty in pasar malam will start calling people by their races such as "Ah Moi" or "Tambi". I am also sure that when all of us fill in forms or applying for anything, even filling in lucky draw forms in shopping malls, we are asked to fill in the "Race" or "Keturunan" column. If we are segregate and differentiated in such minor things in daily life, how can we possibly think of "Malaysian" first before thinking of races?
When you look into the mirror, do you see a member of an ethnic group (Malay, Chinese, Indian etc) or do you see a Malaysian?
I would love to be able to see a Malaysian but sadly I still see an ethnic group.
When you are confused about your sexuality, to whom and where can you go to talk about it?
If there is such issue, I would talk to an adult who will not judge me for who I am.
What drives you crazy?
Ignorance, especially the ignorance of knowledge and the ignorance of manners.
What do you think about yourself?
I think myself as an eager learner and a humble teacher that wants to know more about life (not just about books or maths or chemistry or how many A's I get in the exams) and willing to help others understand the world.
How can we educate men to stop committing violence against women?
First, men must learn to respect women and not be bitter when a woman actually perform better than men in any field. Men must also learn the right way to listen to a women, to touch them, to see them and to appreciate them. For instance, men should be taught to listen the opinion of women, not disregard them; men should learn to touch women with respect, not with ill-intend; men should learn to see women positively, not with lust.
What things about us seem unfair to you?
Most adults don't listen and try to understand youth. Adults fail to understand that the environment that youths are facing nowadays are so much different from their days. We are constantly exposed to the media, peer pressure, different education system, an entire different set of culture, etc. I am quite sure youths today are no strangers to words like this: "Look at you kids now. When I was a kid, I never do this." How can adults compare the present with 30 years ago?
What do you really think of your parents (and no need to be politically correct and only say nice things!)?
I think of my parents are great teachers and good parents who do everything with a good intend, even if it is the wrong way, ie: forcing us to do something we don't like but it is for our own good.
There are many things that can motivate us, but that is different from what our own motivation is. What is your motivation, and why?
My motivation is my desire and my want for perfection. When I set sight on a goal, I will not let go no matter how many obstacles stand in my way, or how many times I fail. I will only let go when I no longer want it anymore. I always give my best in everything I do, no matter how small or insignificant it may be because I believe that it is better to try and fail than to never do it at all for fear of failure. I am also motivated by pride some times, because I want to make myself feel good about achieving something or make my family proud of me.
What is the definition of an artiste?
An artiste is someone who showcase their talents to the public. An artiste success is not measured by how many albums he/she has under her belt, how many awards he/she wins but how well his/her audience remember his/her performance.
What will make politics more interesting to you?
It is interesting enough now, with certain situations in certain states. I am sure politics now will get very good ratings if it is made into a movie or a series.
How important is national pride to you?
Not really that important.
If you were elected into power, what three immediate changes would you make?
Abolishment of ISA and allow freedom of press and freedom of speech;
Revamp the entire education system into one that is based less on results but more on skills learned and on practical knowledge;
Start a Green policy and ban smoking and styrofoam in the nation.
What does it take to become a champion?
Perseverance, determination, passion and not afraid of failure.
How important is it to you to put aside time for voluntary work in the community, whether locally or globally?
Very important. Everyone should give back to the society whenever possible. Even random act of kindness to a stranger or a homeless bum on the street is good enough.
If there's one thing you would change about school, what would it be?
I would like to remove the overemphasis on A's and results. I would also like to remove ignorant teachers who refuses to improve themselves or admit that they are wrong even when proven by students.
How do you perceive your role and responsibility as a citizen of Malaysia and the world?
I do my bit in helping to save the environment by reusing materials as much as possible.
What are you reading?
I am re-reading "Angels and Demons" by Dan Brown and "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom.
I am reading "Five People You Meet In Heaven" also by Mitch Albom.
Plus, I just received my monthly copy of National Geographic. And I read blogs and newspapers daily.
Do you believe only the young can speak to the young?
No. Anyone can speak to the young as long as one takes the patience and effort.
We had games like Chopping, Kunda Kundi, Catching, Five Stone, Galah Panjang, Police and Thief and many more. What games bring you out of the house?
Cycling. And shopping.
How will your lives be different if music ceased to exist?
I cannot imagine live without music. Music is my inspiration, my chanel of expression, my companion... Music is my life. Without music, I will have no live.
What fresh new ideas do the young generation have to help solve global economy crisis and world peace ?
In terms of global economy crisis, the rich should help the poor. The rich can help by donation or even investment.
In terms of world peace, awareness and education should help in world peace. And people should be less greedy and power-hungry.
Is there more to you than money, money, money, the rat race, finding a rich partner and "scoring"?
Of course. Life is about learning. Undeniable that having money, winning that rat race, getting a rich partner and "scoring" are great, but those are just bonus. In the end, when you are on your death bed, only life satisfaction and the peace with yourself and those people in your life that matters the most.
When you close your eyes and see yourself, what do you dream you are and what do you dream you can become?
I dream that I am a singer with amazing voice, playing my guitar and singing songs that I wrote myself.
In reality, I dream to be a successful researcher in the field of biomedical science, particularly in the field of disease transmission and pathogen evolution.
Do you care who your leaders are?
I care about leaders that I work closely with because their decision and performance will influence me and those who work with me. But I don't really care about the national leaders because at this point, I am mostly disgruntled with all the political drama.
Do you feel disconnected from the politics of Malaysia and in this regard how much do you value your right to vote?
Not at all. I value my right to vote if the leaders the people choose get to govern the country and serve the people.
What are the characteristics of good governance and what is your role in ensuring that these characteristics are truly embodied by the government of the day?
To me, good governance is the attitude of serving the people and making the best decision for the people. Good governance also means efficiency and proficiency.
My role in the matter is to voice out issues with hope that the policy makers actually take note of what the people really thinks and really needs.
What do you think is a good age for a young person to leave home?
I think the appropriate time for a young person to leave home is after secondary education where they most probably need to leave home for tertiary education. This is a stage where a person is eager to learn about the world, a little reckless, but still sensible and rational enough to make the right decision.
Do you feel that creativity (or freedom to express oneself creatively) is sufficiently encouraged in this country?
No. Even in kindergarten level, children are programmed that apples are red and grapes are purple. Then in primary school education, students are programmed that a certain sentence can only be written in a certain way and no other. In secondary school, students are taught to memorise sample answers and essays. Our education is simply mass producing robots with a predefined mind. Not many are even capable of thinking out of the box, let alone express oneself creatively.
If, as a young person, you are able to lead this nation, how will you seek to build a Malaysia where there is greater consciousness of being Malaysians first?
Let go of the race perception. Abolish all race- based quotas, privileges, advantages and build a nation strictly based on merit. Then the word "Malaysian" will be an identity of people who are capable of excellence.
Why are so many young Malaysians apparently so apolitical?
Most of our youth today put high emphasis on themselves and entertainment celebrities rather than politics because they are self centred and immature.
On the other hand, some youth may think that all the current political drama is a waste of time because it seems to be never-ending.
You all are so blessed with everything lay on your table whether is technology, transportation and even communications, but what do you see yourself 10 years from now? Can the world be a better place with your new generation knowledge?
In 10 years time, I see myself as a person who is capable of contributing to the world's development. The world definitely can be a better place with new knowledge and new ideas, but only if we don't destroy the world with so much pollution and war in these 10 years.
What is the best thing about being in a multi-racial country?
I can to learn about other culture, speak other languages, taste other traditional food and often embracing other cultures as my own.
Do you think lecturers in a university should learn to be more effective teachers?
Yes. We cannot deny that many lecturers are people with knowledge to share. But not many of them are good at conveying messages. They should learn to teach effectively instead of just lecturing.
How would you like to see Malaysia become in 10 years time?
A nation of success with equality, justice, minimal politicking and scandals.
Should the young know who is Tun Sri Lanang, A.Samad Ismail, Usman Awang, Victor Hugo, Tagore, Lu Xun or Tolstoy?
Of course. The ignorance of the past is simply the first step to repeating mistakes in the future. And definitely, without the past, how can there be a present and for sure there will not be a future. Plus, this people are really great people with great ideas and revolutionary insights.
Do you feel that you have got a good deal as a Malaysian citizen?
Good enough. At least I am not born into a war-torn country where children die in hunger, women get raped and killed for family honour and the government doesn't care if the people are alive or not.
How can we become a developed nation without sacrificing our local and traditional values?
By integrating traditional values into developing the country. However, we cannot be tied down to those values because as times changes, values will have to change to adapt to the world. Or not, our country will simply be phased out by the other countries as they move forward while we are still wallowing in our midst of old-fashioned ways.
Apakah yang anda fahami tentang pentingnya mencintai sungai dan alam semulajadi?
River is the main vein of survival. Even in early civilization, people lived near rivers. If we don't love our environment that we are actually commiting suicide in slow motion because we are destroying something that sustain our very survival.
What does being grateful to your country mean to you?
It meant giving back to the country, be it serving the country or simply giving back to the society through voluntary work or helping others.
What is the most important thing about being a young Malaysian?
The courage to dream big and one day contribute to the world as a Malaysian in any way.
What do you think you are all about, really?
I am about being the best person I can, making changes when necessary, trying new things, challenging myself and others, feeling emotion and appreciating the environment, not matter good or bad.
The youths of today will have the most impact on making the vision of 'One Malaysia' a reality. How are you as young Malaysians today going make this dream a reality?
The concept of "One Malaysia" is a good one. But it will take a long time to realise. And I personally don't think that it will occur in our generation. We have to break down racial barrier, religious differences, and so many more. And these takes years, if not, generations.