Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Mr. Najib, Harriett Thomas and Malaysians

"Brother Kenneth, what do you think about 1MDB?" Asked my friends when I arrived in Malaysia.

My response was one that hurt them to the core, to their very conscience, because being my straight and direct self I responded, " Aren't you, and many Malaysians, like Mr Najib Razak? Aren't you all exactly the same as Mr Najib Razak?"

I recalled, how Harriett Thomas used her dirty tricks to wrongly dismiss a teacher, and I questioned myself, "aren't Harriett Thomas the same as Mr Najib? Harriet used dirty tricks to remove her teacher who has an honest opinion, but wasn't her critic?"

So aren't Malaysians like Mr Najib Razak? YES! Many Malaysians are like him!

I chose to write today about 1MDB, because the shuffling of Mr Najib's cabinet effects the Ministry of Education in Malaysia. I can only hope the new Deputy Minister does not create any mess with the education system currently in placed, but help to improve the education system.

In what way is Australia different? Yes, Australia has our whole lot of rubbish, just like any politics we have our rubbish. I am sure this year itself, Mr Abbott's cabinet wanted him down? Then we had the issue of "paying" boat smugglers to turn out of Australian waters, and send the illegal boat people elsewhere.

I think, in my opinion, unlike Malaysia, there is some degree of transparency in Australia. Australians on the whole can criticise each other, but at the end of the day they respect each other. In my experience, politics in Australia is always opened for debate. Ministers never try to go over board to cover up their mess, while some no doubt does, but on a minimal scale. There is a respectable degree of accountability among Australian politicians, and they never fear to say "SORRY".

With Malaysia, I think many of you and the whole world have seen and heard it all. What do Malaysian politicians, and Malaysians in general do when they come face-to-face with their own evil? This is what many Malaysians do:

**They go into DENIAL, then they CONDEMN their 'critics' (those who honestly bring the matter to the table), finally they CREATE STORIES to make themselves look innocent....

My opinions:
1) One Malaysia (1 Malaysia) - from the start I knew this was a monetary and political scam! As an educator in schools, I have never come across any racial issues, and yet, suddenly I heard the Government is coming up with 1 Malaysia. That is why in my speeches in schools, in class and in church I never mention "1 Malaysia".  Sadly, many students and teachers accuse me of being "racist", just because I never believed in 1 Malaysia.

2) 1MDB issues - Malaysians, why I say you are just like Mr Najib Razak? Because you invest in things like share markets, unit trust, you buy so many goods....I asked those who asked for my opinions, "DO YOU KNOW WHO USES YOUR INVESTED MONEY? DO YOU KNOW IF THE COMPANIES YOU INVEST IN ARE ETHICAL?" Many admit to me, they have no idea. As long they earn money they are happy, but when they lose money then issues such as 1MDB comes up. In the first place why do people even invest in 1MDB?

3) Reshuffling of Mr Najib's Cabinet - To me this is exactly the reflection of the Malaysian mentality; 'if I don't like somebody, I do all sort of things to get them out of my way'. A shame that the ministers who got fired, where not given the option to resign. So no point complaining Malaysia, because many of you are the same.

1) Malaysians you got to WAKE UP! Know that you have rights, speak up, be heard...
2) To those in power, be it in politics or the corporate sector, in this modern age, learn to LISTEN to those around you. Your so called, 'CRITICS' in reality are not there to condemn you but to help you.
3) Those who have too much money, make sure you KNOW the real details of things and company you invest your money in. If you can't be bothered, then when you lose money (such as in the 1MDB issue) do not make the headlines!
4) Invest your money in MODERATION...got too much money, help me so that I can help the poor.

**Without Prejudice - remember, my opinions are based on many Malaysians, not all. There are genuine good and holy Malaysians in Malaysia.

Friday, 24 July 2015

Remembering Fr. Gregory Jordan

Eternal Rest, grant onto Fr Jordan, O Lord.
Let your perpetual light of Love, surround him.
Before, I pen down my memories on Fr Jordan, I cannot help but also recall my sins; my mistakes, my shortcomings. In all good stories, there is some darkness, this the reality of human life; our crosses, our crown of thorns.

I returned to Australia, with the hope of giving up my observance of the Consecrated Life, desiring to put my Faith aside. Meeting Fr Jordan kept me on track and renewed my Faith! Through meeting him, he put me in touch with Sr. Catherine Hefferan, rsj my Spiritual Director who helped me to heal my past wounds committed by the church. Fr. Jordan also assisted us in gathering together for prayer and fellowship through the establishment of the Salt + Light Prayer Group.
Our First Meeting:
I was introduced to Fr Jordan, months before I landed on Queensland soil. It was through one of the FSSP (Fraternity of St Peter) priest that I got to be in touched with Fr. Jordan. Fr. Jordan provided me with transport to the Latin Mass at Buranda, and after my first Latin Mass in my life time, Fr. Jordan send me back home.
Fr. Jordan came into my home for a chat and cuppa together with the others in my house who were from France. I think, if I was right, Fr. Jordan did speak a little of French with them! Fr. Jordan was good with languages! 
Fr. Jordan was a lovely man, I love his smile and his ability to connect with people from different age groups, culture and background.
An Intellectual and Witty Man:
I have been reading on news and write ups pertaining to Fr. Jordan, after his death. All that were said was so true and, to me, I am blessed to have encountered personally Fr. Jordan as he is!
Yes, I did feel very difficult speaking with Fr. Jordan as his response were always so deep, filled with facts, so knowledgeable. Honestly, I found it hard to understand the gist of his jokes.
Never the less, I respected Fr. Jordan for who he is, just as he himself accepted me for who I am.
Deep Faith towards God and Mother Church:
Yes, Fr. Jordan was a man of his word! He stood up for what he knew to be True (with a big 'T') and he made what he thought known to those around him. Fr. Jordan was never one to shy away from defending the Truth about God and about the dignity of human life.
Perhaps, Fr. Jordan's openness, his unreserved nature, placed him at odds with the Archbishop of his time (his boss). Many Priests in the diocese also had their reservations about Fr. Jordan, many like me, find it hard to understand Fr. Jordan. But, through my journey with Fr. Jordan he never hated his 'opponents' - he always reminded me to "PRAY" for our enemies.
Fr. Jordan Mission Lives on in Me:
In Malaysia, the final few years before the La Salle Brothers had to vacate their last school, due to lack of Vocations, some Brothers told me in private that their greatest concern is the lack of "ROLE MODELS" for the future students.
In many ways I have been blessed to have met people such as the late Bro Ulrick, Fr. Jordan and many living Priests, politicians, lay people in Australia (sadly, in Malaysia is only a tiny handful of good ones left). These good people helped shape the person I am today, and in the future.
I think what I learnt from Fr. Jordan are:
1) Decide on your site - he encouraged me to make my choice, not sit on the fence. Sadly, to date I still prefer to sit on the fence as this will help me to serve the people on both sites of the fence.
2) Firm in my believes, thoughts, convictions - he showed me the beauty of God, the Church and the beauty of safe guarding what is True. Despite the persecution one has to go through, he thought me to stand firm. After all, if God is on our site, who can be against us? Today, I continue to speak up on Social Justice Issues and the protection of Education for the poor and youths.
3) Appreciation for the Sacred - Through Fr. Jordan's willingness to celebrate the Latin Tridentine Mass he allowed me the space to identify and appreciate the Sacredness of all things pertaining to God; the Sacraments and human life. I wasn't a frequent attendee of the Latin Mass, but through the Latin Mass I have grown in holiness.
4) Youths and Education - When I met Fr. Jordan he was already in his late 70's, by then he was no longer a school teacher. But, one thing I saw in him, like in Bro Ulrick, was his ability to draw many young people from diverse culture; Fr. Jordan was a magnet, a magnet for things GOOD! I am glad that while in Brisbane, and even today, I still enjoy education and I am passionate to be among students/youths. Youths, young people, do need good role models! Fr. Jordan loved to correct my English, and yes, I too do it with my students today.
I leave you with some pictures of activities whereby Fr. Jordan had some role in them, at least indirectly. Unfortunately, I do not have personal photos taken with Fr. Jordan as I am never keen in publicising my personal mission work.
Salt + Light Prayer Group (Korea, Malaysia, Singapore, France, Australia...)
Fr. Jordan go now in Peace! May Our Mother Mary, whom you had great devotion lead you to the bosom of the Eternal Father!
Pray for me Fr Jordan, that your good work lives on in me!

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Busy Bodies ('kaypo') versus Genuine Concern

The apostles gathered together with Jesus
and reported all they had done and taught.
He said to them,
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”

Mark 6: 30-31

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time - MARK 6: 30-34

I recently had a good gathering with friends and family; good in the sense that we got to relax, talk, enjoy food and drink in the company of each other.

Aren't we very curious living creatures?

As I was meditating on this week's Gospel from Saint Mark, I realized that I tend to begin my conversation with friends with a QUESTION; perhaps at least a "how are you?" Very often I also tend to ask questions such as, "what are you doing here" and "what brings you here". Unlike many people I tend not to ask people, not even my closest of friends, questions such as "how much salary you get", "where are you working"...Some 'friends' will even dare to be sneaky and ask another friend to sign up for insurance policies!

Our questions can make other people uncomfortable.

This we must avoid. How? Ask yourself if the extra information you get will help you, in any way, to become a better living creature? I always only give an honest answer to a question only when I am certain that the answers I give will help the other person to go to Heaven, or to be a better human being, for those of you that do not believe in heaven. I always believe that if the information I give will only help you to become richer, help you to gossip more, be more selfish...Then I rather not answer the question, run away from you or I tell you a lie.

I realized that in the Gospel today, perhaps in the entire Gospel, Jesus does not interrogate anyone, yes Jesus may ask a few questions, but he never investigates to the extend it makes the person uncomfortable. Not even sinners! Not even wrong doers! Jesus was contented with any person that comes to him with honesty, sincerity, faith.

Jesus welcomes you and me, the way we are as long as we go to Jesus with Faith, Hope and Love.

Next time when you are with anyone, be it a friend, stranger, family or work mates...See how many questions you have. Remember sometimes a reverential respect for the other is more than sufficient; put on a listening ear and not a hearing ear. Let us not be busy bodies/gossipers but let us be genuine in our questions we throw onto others.

Remember you can do good...I recalled the events concerning Harriet Thomas who forced a teacher to sign documents, even when the teacher showed doubt in what was written in the documents. If you and I were in Harriet's shoes what is the right thing to do?

1) Clarify, clear the doubts of others, before we ask someone to sign or to commit to anything.
2) Since the person has expressed doubts with the content of the document, then the person should be given time to think over before we make people sign any document.

I firmly hold true that Harriet, in her role as Deputy Principle, should have the common sense to respect the options the teacher has. Since the teacher has showed or expressed doubts, then in her role as Deputy Principle she should be wise to either clarify those doubts or allow the teacher time to investigate the content of the document.

In forcing or suggesting the teacher to sign without addressing those doubts, has made Harriet Thomas a criminal; forcing anyone to sign blindly, especially when Harriet knows the content of the document is untrue, has made Harriet Thomas seriously and multiply wrong. Ms Lydia unfortunately has played a seriously shameful act, when Lydia allowed Harriet to make use of her to complete Harriet's malicious acts in defaming that teacher concerned.

Have been reading about the history of the Mission Schools in Asia.

As a Chapel Monitor I remembered opening and closing the doors of the chapel.

Sunday, 12 July 2015


Jesus said to them,
“Wherever you enter a house, stay there until you leave.
Whatever place does not welcome you or listen to you,
leave there and shake the dust off your feet
in testimony against them.”

Mark 6: 10 - 11 (15th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

(We remember that we are in the Year of Consecrated Life...Have you prayed for your Brothers and Sisters? Have you did some research by reading (google?) on what it means to be consecrated?)
I think if I, as a young man, had chosen a life of careerism, money, sexual relationships...I will not have been able to 'get my feet dirty'; I will not have been able to truly experience what the poor experience daily. There are so many in our midst who are poor - the materially poor, the unemployed, the handicapped, the sick, the unskilled, the elderly, those living in fear of being persecuted.
Truly, truly I am grateful that God has given me the grace of living in holy poverty, holy chastity and holy obedience in the Gospel Rule of Life of ST Francis of Assisi.
Let me ask you a very important, but sadly neglected, question.
Do the POOR have DIGNITY?
I am sure upon hearing the word dignity, we will immediately say, "OH, YES I AND EVERY ONE HAVE DIGNITY?"
Very well, will you mean your YES even during occasions whereby you will lose your convenience; perhaps your protection of the dignity of the other will cause you to lose your 'face', your job, your yearly bonus...Will you still respect your dignity and the dignity of others in these situations?
I think many people do admire the work of the Catholic Church, with all the many schools, hospitals, mission centres serving the needs of everyone regardless of sex, religion, background.
 - Pope Francis
Why am I so protective of students and of education?
- students are vulnerable, they are fresh, they are innocent...they are yet to know of their basic rights
- education is an asset available to all, especially the poor
-education must not be a PRIVATE entity
-education must be OPEN...if not what will your child learn? Just basic facts on reading, writing and counting?
I must admit here, that I reprimanded Mr Norbert Chan of my HR Department (Manager), who entered the discussion room to discuss the manner for solving the unjust treatment of a teacher in my school. I am sad for you Malaysians, i think that is why your own politicians feel you are "stupid" and "worst than monkeys". Norbert came into the room, walking in as if he has the right to be there. Yes, though he was sent by the school and legally he could be at the 'right' to be at the discussion. But, respect your dignity...folks, do you have dignity? You say "YES!" But, are you exercising your dignity? Are you exercising your rights?
Even before I sat down at the meeting table I told Norbert off, raising my voice, "...this man should not be here, he was just hired by the school and has no knowledge of the incident (of the teacher)..."
How can you respect your dignity?
In Norbert's case, furthermore Norbert as a catholic with a small 'c', he should have the common sense to alert all the members at the meeting that he is new to the school (only 1+ months) and he should request if he can be at the discussion meeting. Many of you do not do this, but I do....I do go with my common sense, even when I may be politically wrong in doing so.
What will be the outcome if someone does admit and asked for permission to be at a place?
Perhaps, many of you will say if Norbert had did what I suggested, then Norbert may have lost his case? Because the politically 'correct' thing to do, since he was asked to represent the school, he should just be QUIET of the fact he is a fresh/new employee. Norbert should just walk in and sit at the meeting table pretending he is innocent.
I tell you by merely walking in, Norbert, like many of you, have allowed your 'companies' to trample on your dignity and make a fool of you.
If Norbert had practice the virtue of humility, and before sitting down at the meeting table just inform the members present, "I am new to the school, but I was sent on behalf of the school. May I be part of the meeting." See, if Norbert had done this he will impressed the members at that meeting with his confidence, his humility, his dignity...This, gesture of Norbert, if done, will have put the school under investigation at a more dignified state.
Sadly, Norbert did not do this and in my official report to the church and the NGO - I have to be honest, that the quality of the employees of the school concern is questionable. 

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Obstinate and Hard

'Their children are bold of face and stubborn of heart—to them I am sending you.
You shall say to them: Thus says the Lord GOD.
And whether they hear or resist—they are a rebellious house—they shall know that a prophet has been among them.'

Ezekiel 2: 4-5

14th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Gospel from Mark 6: 1-6
Very often I tend to listen what others are saying, most often I pay most attention to what students are trying to speak to me about. They come to me during recess, lunch and co-curricular periods of the day, just to have a friendly chat; they speak to me about their family, their 'issues' ...sometimes falling into the dark trap of gossip.
I try to get the gist of what people are trying to say, but how often I fail to get the real story behind the conversations.
I think why I fail is because most often my mind, my understanding, my wisdom, may have been formed by my surroundings; as I grow up, like many of you do, I am influenced by my upbringing by my parents, relatives, educators, tuition teachers, Catechism (Sunday school) teachers, strangers, events around the world. Very often, even when I am attentive listening (hope you know that to listen is not to hear, hearing is just to sense sound, listening is to hear and then think with the heart and soul), my final judgement will always be influenced by my upbringing.
Today, the Sunday readings in Church reminds us the fact that we, each of us, are sent out into the world that is filled by people who are proud and hard hearted (Ez 2: 4). But, we are assured that despite this hard reality, God's grace is enough.
'Three times I begged the Lord about this, that it might leave me,
but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you,
for power is made perfect in weakness.” '
2 Corinthians 12: 8-9
Some people ask me, "why I put myself into hardships by speaking up? Why continue writing into the papers?"
Friends, if I and you do not speak up, then the world is a little less hopeful, a little less bright. If I be silent, I am telling myself that I agree with the injustice done towards others by the 'mighty'. In keeping silent against abuses done to employees, to minors (children), to the poor, to the migrants, to low income earners...I am saying that I agree what is being done to them.
When I speak up, I do not condemn. Condemnation is not for us, mere humans, to do. It is not our duty to condemn, but it is our duty to speak out, to highlight areas of concern that can be improved, for the betterment of others. When I speak out I am not judging, I do not hate the person/persons I am speaking about. In speaking out I am trying to find justice for both parties; to the abused I hope their situations improves, and to the perpetrators I hope that they live a more respectable-joyful life.
Remember, when you speak out for others, speak with respect for every person....Even for the perpetrators (enemies). Never hate others, when you hate you are the biggest loser.
(Ms Lydia's Teacher Observation document, shows no sign of "POOR")
When I received the report from Ms Lydia S, I was delighted because her report was an honest and sincere one. Ms Lydia's report from the class observation carried out in March 2015, proved that Ms Harriet Thomas' accusations against the educator I am investigating to be false. Ms Harriet spoke to me in person and wrote onto the Work Review documents that the teacher concerned is:
"Poor in teaching, poor in relating with students (because students "fear" the teacher), poor in technology".
The reports given to me by Ms Lydia, as well as Mr Wong SC proved Ms Harriet to be speaking with falsehood.
Friends, in this modern age and in a developed nation, do not bring down your dignity and the dignity of others by using malicious techniques. If and when you do not agree with something, you are not satisfied, always go up to your enemy, sit down and have a heart-to-heart talk.
If Ms Harriet feels she cannot work well with the teacher concerned, then she should be honest about it and not by giving me false statements; Harriet also made used of poor Ms Lydia, using Ms Lydia as the culprit against that teacher. I am sure if Harriet have spoken honestly and openly with the teacher concerned, that teacher will have learnt and improved. When we speak with lies, giving false events, then Harriet and that teacher are not given room to improve.
We are all humans, we are weak, we commit mistakes...When we talk honestly, openly, heart-to-heart then we are giving opportunities for ourselves and for the other (even if it is our enemy) to improve so that both parties can live a more respectable and dignified lives.
Keeping things inside your heart will only brew more mistrust, which given the time, will explode...This is when people go to 'war'.
Let us pray, as we begin a new week that we will have humility and be soft of heart to be more aware of God's Presence in others and in our surroundings.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Creating Death

'God did not make death,
nor does he rejoice in the destruction of the living.

But by the envy of the devil, death entered the world,
and they who belong to his company experience it.'

WISDOM 1: 13 and 16

My friends asked me, "I am single, don't I feel lonely if I fall ill or am dying?" I admit that, "I do, but FAITH reminds me to have complete and unconditional trust in God."

I was touched because they then say that they will keep a room just for me in their homes.

Death, dying...Most of us, this will be our last and final earthly experience. Like St Francis, who upon experiencing death, completed his Canticle of the Sun...Finally, he concluded with Sister Death.

'Be praised, my Lord, through our sister Bodily Death,
from whose embrace no living person can escape.
Woe to those who die in mortal sin!
Happy those she finds doing Your most holy will.
The second death can do no harm to them.'
- Part of Canticle of the Sun
(Servants of the Lord and Our Lady of Matara)
Definitely not easy to be holy, not easy to promote the concept of Peace, Joy, Contentment...When we live in the midst of so much distrust, so much prejudice, so much wants, so many desires.
Are you and I creating life or death?
When she failed to get the answer out of me, she brought in Ms Yap and then Mr Choong, DCOO. She also failed to get the honest answer, because the truth is every single survey is still kept intact with me.

I conducted a survey among 4 classes of students, because Harriett reported to me that a teacher in the school has been receiving 'complaints' from 'students' that the teacher is "POOR" (Harriett spoke and wrote this onto the Work Review documents) in teaching and in the use of technology. I knew these were not true, because Harriett isn't a wise person, so I carried out a survey and spoke to students whose name Harriett claimed to have made those complaints.

As a Brother Educator it is my duty to identify and investigate complaints. True enough the survey clearly proves that Harriett was not telling the entire truth; she was not being transparent.
I reflected on Harriett's attitude and worries, it just shows she FEARS. Harriet clearly knows she has done something wrong, and is hoping that she can cover up her dirty work. In reality none of us, not even the King of Spain can cover up any dirty business.

The law is above us, what is right will be rewarded and what is evil will be punished.
Therefore let us take the Lord Jesus' command to, be "not afraid" and to "just have faith" (Mark 5: 36) to heart. In reality, we need not fear as long as we are doing things with a pure and clear conscience.
Sounds very unrealistic, but ask yourself why go around trying to 'hide' and trying to 'cover up' when you get caught? Why make death for yourself? Why create death for others?
At the end of each day, and what more at the end of our earthly life, we cannot hide from death. Death is a reality we cannot, just cannot, escape.

Yes, we can also never hide from the political 'deaths' we create for ourselves and others. As the Psalms say, the trap we lay for others, it is we who fall in those traps ourselves. 

Thursday, 18 June 2015

Let people dress in any way they want?

(Having a cup of tea with my close friends, before I left the next day)
I had a good holiday recently, returning from Malaysia and now settling down to the normal routine of a real life. A real life? Lol...what is it, right? Think about it.

Let me start my sharing, as usual with a quotation from the Holy Scriptures.

'But I am afraid that, as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning,
your thoughts may be corrupted
from a sincere and pure commitment to Christ.
For if someone comes and preaches another Jesus than the one we preached,
or if you receive a different spirit from the one you received
or a different gospel from the one you accepted,
you put up with it well enough.
For I think that I am not in any way inferior to these “superapostles.”
Even if I am untrained in speaking, I am not so in knowledge;
in every way we have made this plain to you in all things.'

2 Corinthians 11: 3-6
Just as I was completing my holidays, there came up a 'DRESS CODE' issue in Malaysia; I think it was in Kuala Lumpur(?). There was this woman, with her skirt just above the knees and she was not allowed at the counter at the Transport Department (JPJ) unless she puts on a given 'sarong'.

I discussed with a friend over the issue, a local Malaysian, and he says it is acceptable as it was just above the knees. I agreed with him.
Days letter I noticed people made a fuss over the issue in the papers, and I came across a comment stating that we should allow people to dress any way they like, because it adds to the colour/vibrancy of life.
My question is which way are we heading to in agreeing with what we mean by "DRESS ANY WAY THEY LIKE". Are we sincere about this? What will our reaction be like when our suggestion to allow everyone (this I mean the poor, the homeless, the sexy, the old, the crippled...) to dress any way they like - happens right in front of our eyes?
When I put this challenge to people, their reaction is always, "WE DO NOT THINK SO FAR AHEAD AS YOU!" Then they will either shut me up or change the subject.
Maybe that is why we need good (in the brains, in the soul too) political representatives in politics?

(The brothers and a sister having a group photo)
Think about it, to let people dress in whatever way they prefer? HHmmm...I think when people make this statement most often they are saying it is fine for people to wear shorts, slippers, singlet.
But, do we also accept if someone dresses ruggedly with dirt  all over (perhaps a homeless person)? Do we agree if someone poses nude in public; such as the case with foreign tourist posing nude in Kota Kinabalu? What is your reaction when someone dresses like a terrorist and enters your home without an ill intention? How will you react if your son brings in his future bride all dress in the complete hijab, whereby you can only see her eyes?
I do not think many people think deep enough before they make a public request. Because when the reality of what they propose happens, very often many people cannot handle it. Many retaliate and change a previously made opinion when the reality hurts them to the core. Even in church the same, I have priest who preach while thinking what they say will 'never' be followed, but when a person walks up to the priest and says "Father, I want to be poor for Jesus Christ after having heard you preached about Poverty." You know what will be the priest's reaction? He will most often say, "...you should go back and pray about it first..." 
This is when troubles happen, and this is where people will want laws to be reverted. Worst still, when the wishes you make is turned into a reality that you cannot handle, you will try so hard to justify what you meant in your earlier opinion. This is when people end up quarrelling, when wars happen.
I performed a sincere survey (students as promised it has not been disclosed) at a school recently after receiving complaints from students concerning Ms Harriet Thomas. Harriet, after 3 weeks I was in the school, talked to me one morning in her office.
Harriet said this to me, "DO NOT DRESS IN SUCH A WAY THAT PUTS YOU AS A CATHOLIC." [I shared this with the students and their first reaction is "RELIGIOUS DISCRIMINATION". Aren't they smart?]
Even among my good friends, when I go out with them to public to eat or drink, they will immediately comment, "oh, this is a COSTUME..." or "you are so BROWN...top to bottom all brown". Even when I am obliging by wearing casual when I am invited out for a meal or drink, friends will then comment, "wah, so luxurious!" "Wow so fashionable...do not look so holy anymore!"
A few years ago, I was asked to assist at a Chinese Catholic Wedding Mass, I dress in my black cassock and over it was a white surplice. The main celebrant Priest told me, "Why are you dressed in black? It will be against the Chinese culture." I then placed a white chasuble over my black cassock. Mind you this also happened at the wedding of my cousin where I was not encouraged to wear black.
Friends, if we agree that people....(even in PUBLIC AND WORKING places)
  • can wear shorts
  • can wear slippers
  • can wear mini mini mini (very short ones) skirts
  • can wear singlet
Then, to be fair are we going to allow and be respectful (that means on first glance we do not come up with a statement) to people who...
  • dresses modestly
  • dresses in the complete Muslim hijab (only can see the eyes of the woman?)
  • dresses with a cross
  • dresses in the priestly or religious robe (for Catholic priests, nuns, brothers and sisters)
  • dresses in rugged, shabby, no pants, maybe just underwear (in the case of homeless and mentally challenged people)
  • dresses only in shorts and without shirt (western culture, Australia for example, during summer some young men will just walk into shops with no shirt)
Think deeply about it, because if Malaysia reverts the law to allow EVERYONE TO DRESS IN WHATEVER THEY LIKE (even in public and working places) then YOU must be prepared to embrace the reality of what you proposed.
In Australia, for example, some years ago politicians were pushing our tougher laws to ban the Muslim Hijab; this was called for because of the recent terrorist attacks by those who identify themselves as 'Islam'. I spoke out, stating that how a person desires to dress is his/her free will. We should not ban the Muslim Hijab. A young moderate Muslim man wrote to me saying, "if there are more people like you, there will be world peace."
So is the statement, "ALLOW EVERYONE TO DRESS IN WHAT EVER THEY LIKE" just your wish or do you desire to make it into a reality?

Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Fair to Compare Malaysians (Penangites) to Monkeys (Macaques)?

No offence but I don't think it is right to compare a monkey to a human; they are both different in species and I greatly support that monkeys can be smarter than humans!
I cannot see how a human behaviour can be compared to a monkey? But, if we compare the level of thinking - critical thinking, analytical thinking, basic civic mindfulness - then yes, I think many Malaysians (since the news concerns Penang- Malaysians) have very low, tremendously low level of thinking capabilities.
I think it is because many Malaysians always start their thinking with the big "I", big "MY", big "OURS"...Many start their thinking by first thinking about themselves. This is very selfish and that is why when we start our critical thinking by thinking about ourselves - the whole process becomes a bad one.
When we think only about our need to throw rubbish, without thinking about the method to dispose our waste, without thinking about the effects our waste have on our environment - then we end up littering our living space; people throw rubbish any where they desire, except into the garbage bin. Just this afternoon around 3pm, I noticed a car bearing a KL plate, driven by a young couple - both were enjoying the street food they just bought, ate it in the car, soon the handsome and well-dressed man came out of the car and just placed his bag of litter by the road. I thought to myself why dress so well (the girl was wearing a hijab - head scarf), the car was beautifully modified, then I see them litter???
Why can't they put the litter in their car first, and when they come across a garbage bin, they can empty their litter? Is it so hard to do just that?
Isn't this attitude worst than a monkey? I guess so. An intelligent person will believe that such selfish attitude is worst than a monkey, because monkeys have the basic ability to think about the other members of their group. To litter any where we desire shows we are not mindful about others, we are selfish!

(Here I am giving a talk on LEADERSHIP by example to prefects)
I continue to gather information with regards to Ms Hariet Thomas who wrongfully dismissed a teacher from her school. This time I gathered indications from teachers, and I came to realise she is prejudice against that teacher; Hariet feels that teacher is not 'respecting' her and Hariet feels that the teacher speaks her mind too much.
Living in the 21st century and to be prejudice against others, without solid prove, is a crime in itself! Employees never allow your employers to treat you in that manner. Do not permit yourself to be treated worst than a monkey. Some employers, such as Hariet Thomas (without prejudice), are 'king' and 'queen' of monkeys and you need not be part of their group of monkeys.
For goodness sake, speak up! In this modern age where equality, respect and democracy is such a concern for and by the younger generation (my generation) we have to fight for the good of every single person; regardless of age, gender, religion/background....
Listening to Hariet's case, I am so sad with the attitudes of Malaysians...I can only say that the Penang Council (MBPP) is right in comparing litter bugs' attitude to be WORST than the attitude of MONKEYS.
Malaysians, if you think you are not worst than a monkey...let us prove to our politicians that they are WRONG about you.