Here is the email I was going to send to Rehman Rashid, author of what I’m tempted to describe as the best book I’ve read this year, A Malaysian Journey.
A few weeks ago I was invited to come speak in Kuala Lumpur on how governments around the world have responded to the challenges posed by the rise of citizen media – you know, blogs, podcasts, and the like. The stuff old school journalists like yourself tend to obsess over and demonize at the same time. My co-panelist, I learned, was named Marina Mahatir and her name was spoken with a degree of reverence. She was (didn’t I know this already? they asked) the daughter of Malaysia’s most famous and infamous leader. She was also a former journalist and now an enthusiastic blogger in support of free speech.
I had known none of this and so clearly I had quite a bit of reading to do before trying to speak authoritatively about any subject at all. On a stopover at KLIA’s budget hub I visited the bookstore across from McDonalds and read the first page of every book lumped together on the ‘Malaysia’ shelf.
You had me by the end of the first paragraph. And the reason why – I hope you don’t cringe at this – is because your writing had nothing of the stuffy and defensive air of South East Asian analysis that I had come to expect. No, it felt much more like reading a wandering and distracted blog. In other words, once I started, I couldn’t stop turning the pages.
Until now, sitting pool-side at a Nairobi hotel whose façade of swankiness gently gives way to lethargic maids, leaky pipes, and still-moist towels. You can imagine my surprise when I discovered that the author who is supposed to be introducing me to Malaysia, its history, culture and people, is also the ex-boyfriend of the person I will soon be speaking with.
Which makes me feel all the more like I’m reading a blog and not a book – this is exactly the kind of interconnectedness that has become routine online, but still seems behind-closed-doors in the self-censored world of print publishing.
I have no idea where I’m sending this email to, nor for that matter why I am sending it, but serendipity has always been enough to inspire me to hold out my hand and offer a greeting. Especially to someone I already feel that I know (and here blogs and books are equally deceiving). I have hopes that you’ll receive this email with your sandals still wet after a dive somewhere in Bermuda.
If, instead, you happen to be in KL, I’d be most honored to meet you and to learn what the future might hold for you and what you might hold for the future. I’ll be in KL from Oct. 1 – 5. The event’s organizers have promised to keep me busy, but I’m sure that I could sneak out for a cup of coffee or a meal if you’re available.
But then, just before pressing send, I googled his name. Standard procedure, right?
There is an irony in the fact that Rehman Rashid’s online reputation has been written by the very people he chose to attack, Malaysia’s blogging community. Here are his words from a column this March titled “Broken down in the barnyard of free expression”:
The local blogosphere is the domain of life-challenged grumblestiltskins and disenfranchised pundits whose asinine maunderings only show why they should never have had day jobs in the first place. Rumour, inuendo, half-truths and damned lies are their stock-in-trade, and previously sacrosanct standards, principles and ethics are now laughable. Are they not entitled to their opinion? Of course they are, as much as everyone is entitled to ignore them. I would venture, however, that everyone has an opinion and a rectum, and not that many seem capable of telling one from the other.
Distinguishing an opinion from a rectum? I’m not sure where he’s going with that one, but it makes for a lovely visual. Of course – as I’m sure Rashid knew they would – the Malaysian bloggers pounced. Rocky alone attracted over 100 comments. The most disingenuous statement, however – the one that Rashid should actually be ashamed of – is this:
previously sacrosanct standards, principles and ethics are now laughable.
Sacrosanct! Malaysian journalism? Rashid himself has been hired and fired from the New Straits Times multiple times throughout his career as he has struggled maintaining a balance between his idealism and his elitism. In 1987 he left the paper after being reprimanded for writing a scathing editorial criticising the Mahatir government for banning three newspapers during Operasi Lalang. (In his book, he writes of the episode: “I cannot look back upon this episode now without the greatest shame. So feebly had I defended myself. A word for the journalistic fraternity, and then it was yes sir no sir three bags full sir. My capitulation was completely, and virtually immediate.”) He later rejoined the paper, but was booted again in 2003 after refusing to ghost-write for editor-in-chief Abdullah Ahmad. He’s now back at the New Straits Times, a newspaper which is still owned and controlled by UMNO, Malaysia’s institutionalized ruling party. Sacrosanct standards?
Rashid knows that blogging is good for his country. In fact, in 1993, when A Malaysian Journey was first published, he pleaded for the impending communications revolution. This is how he put it:
I had come to think of Malaysia as a galaxy of stars in a night sky: uncountable motes of brilliance in the dark, each of them shining with an internal light. But each shining alone. Brilliant Malaysians were everywhere: in business, industry, the media, the schools and colleges, the cities, towns and villages. But so many seemed to burn alone, unaware of the existence of the others. The key was to link them. Network them. Let each shining light extend a ray of talent and ability to the others, conjoining, reinforcing, enfolding each individual seed of potential in a nourishing field of support. When that multitude of stars began irradiating each other, when their light began to mingle, then the night would be transformed into day, and their light would illuminate this nation, and not merely glow in the darkness like a constellation of fanciful dreams.
Of course, that is precisely what blogging has enabled in Malaysia. Those ‘uncountable motes of brilliance’ are SK Thew and Bernard Khoo, Marina Mahatir and Malik Imtiaz, Tony Yew and Nathaniel Tan. The list goes on. Just five years ago, most of them had no idea who the others were.
But so far, I admit, we have been unfair to Mr. Rashid. The above excerpt from his column is just one tangential rant of a larger neo-Luddite manifesto. Just like Ned Lud destroyed sock-making machines during England’s Industrial Revolution because he feared they would ruin the livelihoods of human knitters, Rehman Rashid says he would like to destroy all “devices of information & communications technology.” Why? Probably because he fears for his own livelihood. Rehman Rashid – the 1993 idealist – wanted all of Malaysia’s brilliance to shine. The 2007 elitist, however, has discovered that the brilliance of Malaysian bloggers has dimmed the previously established uniqueness of his own column and voice. Rashid is a great writer and a keen observer. But then, so are hundreds if not thousands of other Malaysians and I think he resents the crowds within the kingdom of commentary.
I have great sympathy for Rehman Rashid. Unlike his colleagues Rocky and A. Kadir Jasin, Rashid hasn’t been patient enough or clever enough to use the new technology to his benefit. Or maybe just not humble enough.
Which is too bad because there are signs that he would have made a brilliant blogger. Just check out this comment that he left on Aizuddin Danian’s blog back in March of 2005:
It seems to me we each have an idea of who we are, and each of us lives in the hope of finding someone who can see us the way we see ourselves. To see through our words what we truly mean; to judge from our actions, our true intent. This is almost laughably difficult, but this, I think, is our yearning as human beings. But why is it so difficult, so rare and precious, to have others see us as we see ourselves, and know us as we know ourselves? It has been said that “the sins done to us we carry in a pouch around our neck; our own in a sack on our backs”. This is why, I have learned, everyone you meet can teach you part of what you need to know about yourself. No exceptions. You learn from them what you are to them. They can see the sack on our back. It can be a most humbling experience, but it is usually useful. It does not lighten the burden, but it can enlighten it.
It’s a shame to see such a change of attitude in a person like Rashid… life, it seems, can be a bitch.
Rehman and I used to be staff writers at the same magazine, a decade or so apart.
I read your article while I was in Bangkok. I am a gtreat fan of his and always looking forward to read his weekly article in NSTP every friday even when I m overseas. I came across your article and forwarded to him. I called him today 25/11/07 to asked if has received the article forwarded to him but unfortunately , NO. U could write to him. email@example.com. I think he would like to read your comments on his book and those little things you found on the blogs.
David, hi. Ruth from Malaysia writing to say “hello” and tell you “well said”. You eloquently wrote what I have not been able to express in words, only feel.
For nearly 20 years I saw Rehman Rashid through my mother’s eyes.
She never met him but kept clippings of his writings for years on end. When he quit the New Straits Times the first time around, she lamented the opportunity she’d missed to write to him. When “A Malaysian Journey” first appeared on the bookshelves, a copy of it was my gift to her. She never lost her fondness for him up to the day she died.
I did not disillusionize her. She would not have understood. She was happy because he had said he had plans for me (late 2002). I did not tell her he had turned to me to say those words after jabbing his finger at an article written by an outside columnist and remarking, “I’m going to start a campaign to get her out.”
Abdul Rehman Abdul Rashid was a landmine I stepped on because I did not know it was there. We exist in the same building, on the same floor, in the same space, invisible to one another, the cords of communication cut. Arrogance is the root of our discord. (“Who asked you? Go. Go and stand over there.”)
He is the associate editor assisting the deputy group editor in managing the leader & opinion pages of the New Straits Times. Both are as thick as thieves, in part because they think alike. Rehman is also one of the paper’s nameless leader writers.
I don’t know what exactly it is about the leader desk: every woman who was on it quit and the men keep returning. It seems to me to be the place where leadership is sprouted but not well practised, in service to hubris more than anything else. Not surprising, when intellectual honesty at the helm of the New Straits Times is woefully lacking.
You may contact Rehman Rashid at firstname.lastname@example.org, if you wish. You will be better at communicating with him than I. My accent grates on him. (“Don’t you just love her voice?”)
For the record, Rehman was sacked by the New Straits Times just the once — in April 2003.
The sacking was preceeded by a 2-week suspension. Mere weeks before that (on Easter Day 2003), when I’d gone to see him in his office about something work-related, he shifted the conversation to a more personal level. Among the things he’d said to me were that he’d tried to maintain high standards all his life and that he put up with all the shit because he loved the company. Then he added: “RR to RR to the power of 4, let’s work together to make this company great.”
A colleague rather belatedly told me (in 2004) that he’d said I had gone to his office that day to try and impress him.
Rehman returned to the NST in second-half January 2004, was declared the prodigal son and welcomed.
Come general election day at end February 2004 he was very upset and sat morose and quiet in a subs desk chair until 4.00am the next morning. I was the first to leave and he followed.
When I returned to the office later that day he was already in and he stayed put much of the time in his office, which was two-thirds the size of the one he’d had prior to his sacking. That evening food packs were catered and it was a free for all. Vegetarian food was minimal — and unedible as it turned out since the sauce was straight out of a bottle and heavy with preservative. I grabbed a pack for Rehman because he did not eat meat (he told me in 2002) and fish was not on the menu.
I went to his office and found him with tears in his eyes. Later that evening he asked me, “Why are they treating me like this?” He felt shut out from the election coverage and analysis. That set the tone for the rest of his tenure. I told him to give it a year, till March 2005, let it all die down (office politicking).
In July 2006, he chose to leave for far richer pastures but the back door was left open. In March this year he trotted in right on cue, ostensibly because the price was right but, really, did he have anywhere else as viable to go?
Within months of his return in 2004, I had occasion to message him that forgiveness is a state of grace. Things got ugly. Today, the man cannot even look at me.
And I find that I have neither forgiven nor forgotten all the complaining and cutting comments behind my back at the workplace and beyond that started in 2002.
To borrow a phrase he used recently, it was all so unnecessary.
Why run to others over issues that he should have discussed with me? In the first instance, where was his professionalism in his dealings with others and me on and off the workplace?
He told me after he was sacked that I had been his main point person on the subs desk and I had been unco-operative. Huh? Did he ever sit me down at work during the entire time he was employed to tell me this? And what was expected of me in my duties? Tell me how I was being unco-operative? (A question I put to him when he brought it up after he was sacked — he remained silent.)
Once, in 2004, when I sent him a message asking him for time to meet to discuss workplace issues, his initial response was “if you think it is necessary” and everything was downhill from there on.
And the year before, who can forget that very public slap in the face as he played to the workplace gallery: “Oh, Ruth is never wrong; only in her emotional judgement.” As laughter erupted all around me I gasped: “What?” Rehman immediately responded in a low, intimate tone: “Mmm, I k-n-o-w that tone.” More laughter.
It seemed so calculated. Moments earlier, I had shown him two items placed in an envelope: a poetry certificate I’d received in the mail the day before and a clipping of his piece he’d written for his Mid-week column published that day. I intended it to be a celebration that we could both share in.
For me, because it marked my first teeny-weeny-weeny “success” in getting a toe-hold in poetry-writing and mum, who had publishing success before marriage when in her early 20s (which would have been in the late 1940s — her work later plagarised and used in the English Readers I learnt from in school) was very, very happy for me.
For Rehman, because he’d just been allowed to resume his column following a particularly upsetting few weeks: he’d been issued with a “show-cause” letter for refusing to write his Mid-week column over various frustrations. The night before, as the proofs were being sorted, he had told me he had written that Mid-week piece, which was on the Oxford Dictionary, for me.
When Rehman saw first my cert, then the copy of his piece in the envelope, the expression on his face changed dramatically. He fixed me with a hard, icy stare and his eyes narrowed. The anger in his face locked the words of explanation in my throat. (He had raged at me before, out of the blue.) He got up abruptly and as he walked away, a colleague who had disagreed with me on something, came up to him and asked him to “tell Ruth that she is wrong”.
And he responded as described above.
How do I see through his words, what he truly means?
How do I judge from his actions, his true intent?
What am I to think when he holds on to a woman and publicly declares her to be the love of his life, then marries another within months?
The Rehman Rashid I know from columns and articles exists, but imagination does much to cloud and colour what tries to remain hidden.
Nothing remains hidden from me.
Nuraina A. Samad, a former New Straits Times news editor, told me in early 2004 that Rehman had mellowed over the years. I stayed silent to this statement, but from what I was seeing, he was getting worse with age. Rehman Rashid never had the influence in the New Straits Times that he thought he had; not because of obstacles in his way but because he is his own worst enemy.
He once asked me which Lord I was referring to.
Had he allowed me space to reply I might have said the One who showed me a man who is always thinking of money and what is best for him; who thinks about himself but not others; a man who can’t handle independence in women and who does not like women very much but re-married to put the issues over his sexuality to rest; a man who will, in fact, find that a young Thai girl suits him just fine.
Dr Kamsiah Gulam Haider, selamat pagi. We have never met, but you know who I am and I know who you are. I find it dishonest that you chose not to tell Mr David Sasaki of San Diego a little more of who. you. are.
Also, what makes you think Rehman Rashid is as keen as you to read other people’s opinion of him?
Then again, he just might be.
A perfect stranger to me, but not to Rehman — the chap had been leaving messages on Rehman’s cellphone, after all — spent time and energy to write a paragraph on me in which he called me a bitch. It was a comment posted on Sharizal Shaarani’s blog.
Rehman, who was supposed to be w-o-r-k-i-n-g, as I was, was keen for me to read it. “Ruth, come here and read what other people are saying about you,” he commanded from his spot over at the NST news desk.
I ignored him. But, I heard him.
From across the room I heard him that Sunday, reading it all aloud to my junior colleague, Azilea Badri.
If I heard him, then those within the same radius heard him: editors, reporters, artists, subs.
I heard him on his cell phone, too.
Some half-hour or more earlier, he had been screaming at me on the steps of Balai Berita NST that he hoped I would leave the company.
It was all in relation to a comment I had posted on Sharizal Shaarani’s website in October 2005 under the name “Smashed Angel”, in response to Sharizal Sharaani’s posting entitled “Calling All Angels”. All postings deemed offensive have since been deleted, but interestingly enough, when sent in under moderation, were accepted. What motivates a site moderator to accept a comment, and more, then take them all off a week or two later?
(Why I used the name “Smashed Angel” are Rehman Rashid’s stories to tell.
I’ll give you a hint. See his comment piece of 12th May, 2007 titled “The lady’s not for returning”. I’ll give you another hint, and you’ll see where he gets some of his ideas from (apart from Margaret Thatcher and the former journalist and first lady, Lady Bird Johnson, who died on 11th July 2007). Rehman used to call me ma’am, until one day I told him over the phone to stop. “Don’t call me that; I’m no lady.”
The next time he saw me, he burst out “Baby!” and grinned widely. Please don’t take this personally, Dr Kamsiah. He’s called many women that. It’s the theatrical side of him, not to be taken seriously — unless you think he’s serious. “Dear”, “Lovey”, “Love you, love you” and the classic arms thrown wide open gesture: “Darling!” The list goes on :))
Back to Rehman’s screaming fit that Sunday… he remarked to someone that I had apologised “for telling the whole world she slept with me” — something I allegedly did out of jealousy.
For the record, I have never slept/had sex with Rehman Rashid.
From his mouth have come the identities of whom he has slept with. His indiscretions.
It was his choice as a Muslim to commit khalwat. His choice as a Muslim to court the risks of being caught for breaking the Syariah. His choice as a Muslim to chance being charged, fined up to RM3,000 and/or jailed for up to two years for every offence under Section 27 of the Syariah Criminal Provisions Act (Federal Territories. His choice as a bodoh to pull up a chair in the office and bring up pillow talk. His choice to be an arrogant, inconsiderate Muslim sod, unreasonably presuming protection and cover from the law from family, friends and collegues unwittingly made accomplices because of his need to share.
In my opinion, sympathy is wasted on En Abdul Rehman Abdul Rashid.
That said, I now find that this is turning out to be a far longer post than I had intended.
Again, for the record, I posted a belated comment on Aizuddin Danian’s blog in response to Rehman’s comment of March 2005 (which David Sasaki refers to above). Aizuddin Danian chose not to publish the comment. I wish to repost that comment here. Here’s why:
Rehman once asked me what brought me to the NST. “Destiny,” I replied, and told him the story of how someone had kept insisting to my mum that I should be “in communications”. In a letter, I’d mentioned the path less travelled. A couple of days after he was suspended by the NSTP, the subject of destinies arose and he acknowledged that he felt a strong sense of destiny. The conversation over the phone meandered and at one point he said “in the fullness of time” and I responded “No, in the shortness of time.”
Rehman was right — up to a point. In the impatience to make things happen out of fear of missed opportunites and lost chances, I had forgotten that the path less travelled has a turnpike. But here’s the kicker: eventually something comes down the turnpike.
So, now, I repeat what I wrote in May last year:
“Stubborn, cussed olde men should realise this: ambrosia can taste both bitter and/or sweet.
If you time and again keep heading down dense alleyways, taking the bait into false nature and remaining in that reoccurring trap you call your mind, then that is the intention you came in with, all wounds self-inflicted.
This is how Alzheimer’s disease begins, 10 to 20 years before it manifests.
Get back on track into balance and restructure, and I think Rehman that you attempted to but found the processes for connection and realignment into harmony too harsh; during times of duress and split-aparts you became irritated and cut off communication.
It is never appropriate to lay blame when deep inside a flame burns with olde remembrances holding onto anger. Was it far or unfair upon those doing fulfilling double duty? It does not matter, it simply was.
The beast was shorn so that the lamb could lay with the lion in rolling pastures green and the limbo rock soften the bite of the granite tiger mean.
Sweetie, take that leap of faith into maturity and work out any vestiges of old patterns you hang on to, keeping you quagmired for reasons that lack higher communications.
6.6.6 this date your time of dignity and court-anointed freedom. So put on your magic shoes and in the way of the warrior begin your carefree dance upon trinitised californian fields.
Vision on earth is stunted by a consciousness of acceptance of mores and fear of breaking the mould. Hope, refinement, forward movement, inspiration, trust and faith are the unseen facilities that finish the project to its highest end when a keen ear is lent to that still voice within.
Inhale intuitive behaviour untainted by smoke smog so that you never again take that path down dead-end stairs. Study your behaviour when intuition speaks loud and pay attention inside — loving loyalties reside in the heart. Trust love and intelligence to balance out.
Wise Council say: You were called to answer an assignment you were suited to complete for you have one defining gift that will prevail over all others. We would like you to take on the greatest exercise of your universal life. Please find it within your heart of hearts to seek that which is rich on the kingdom of earth. It is your reason for being here today and it will be your reason for being in eternity. Find true love here on land for something and hold to that as if earth carries the greatest facet of that component in this universe. It will change your life and give you reason for being at this time and space. Know this and you know what lies ahead in the cellular tracking system within fountains of youth.
Go panther, go.”
To this I add, eat pure vegan.
Rehman hasn’t changed. He was never and isn’t an elitist, he’s honest forthright and has character. I’m produc to call him my friend and if you knew him, you would know he is a man of character and you would be proud to be his friend as well.
Austin, Texas USA
Mr McGinnis, I’m glad you call him friend. 🙂
Rehman told me I had no friends, then said he had no friends.
I was married to Rehman briefly n when i responded to the article last year I was no longer married to him. As far as I m concern he is HOT. Honest, Open and Trustworthy.
I have full respect for Rehman despite whatever had happened between the two of us. It is painful to read malicious allegations against him. Probably to the writer isa triump to continously hating Rehman just because.
Kamsiah: Shame on you woman!!! You still have respect for the man that was physically violent to you? The man that clawed your face and threw you against a wall? Where is your self-respect, woman?
I know why he divorced you darling….it’s because your English is left to be desired! He fractured your skull due to your very broken and fractured language (examples above) You do need a lobotomy, ma’am….and some badly needed intensive English grammar lessons… 😛
Sorry to say what u have misconstued what happened between me n Rehman and it was not true at all. I didn’t have clawed face nor he threw me against the wall. U basically fabricate all these.
Shame on you, well u don’t need to seek the truth as long as your England is not fractured you can fabricate , no editing… anything under the sun. Me, yes.. yes, fractured grammar n in need of labotomy may be in English… but how about my Mandarin, Malay n Spanish… can u judge that s well….
Furthermore lu sapa??? Just an angry over develope boy!!!
WOW! WOW! WOW! This is what I so loved about Malaysia – you hurled EVERYTHING SINGLE PIECE OF SHIT OUT AND HAVE A SHOW ALL – hmm … or maybe show down?? Anyways, Ruth, if you don’t mind me asking, um – siapa awak, exactly? Sounds like you were colleagues or maybe still ARE colleagues with Rehman. He sounds quite misogynistic but I really really enjoyed reading A Malaysian Journey – and I think he is a man who is always searching – searching for something even he himself can’t articulate. I used to be Malaysian – I used to have a Malaysian IC – and I was a Singapore PR. But I got sucked into this comfort zone that is Singapore – antiseptic, only-showing-the-whitewashed-facades, comforting-lulling-robotize existence – and I gave up my Malaysian citizenship and became a Singaporean! Now, I really really MENYESAL BETUL – I could have just remained a Singapore PR and kept my Malaysian IC. After all, there is not much difference in benefits between being a Singapore PR and a Singapore citizen. Yes, I can’t vote as a Singapore PR but guess what – I HAVE NOT VOTED here in Singapore since I became a Singaporean because I happened to live in ‘walk-over’ constituencies! Also, I am so tired of all the covering up in Singapore – everything must appear cantik and bersih and murni – well, at least on the surface. The buildings in Singapore are almost always given a new coat of paint every few years – a very apt metaphor for this city-state nation as a whole. This is not a country – it will never be a country – there is NO bloody countryside to escape to in the first place – well, there are some pretend farms and there’s Bukit Timah Hill and some patches of jungle that are mostly inaccessible because the Singapore Armed Forces use them as training grounds … Anyways – I don’t know why I am ranting about Singapore when this whole forum is supposed to be on Rehman! But I think reading A Malaysian Journey made all these perasaan sesal menimbul lagi and I wish I could turn back time and still remain a little part of the Malaysian Journey. And no matter how much of a prick Rehman might be, I couldn’t put A Malaysian Journey down – even the political segues which could get extremely and tediously complicated at times, were very intriguing … I wish I could be a part of the show all instead of inhaling the fumes of white wash all the time …
Hello, Alice. This is Ruth of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, wishing you a Happy New Year.
Your question, “siapa awak exactly”, left me wondering how much to say. This will have to suffice. [I was one of those who knew how to spell ba-na-na… but did not know where to stop. :)]
I am a second generation Malaysian of Ceylon Tamil descent who was born in the Bangsar Hospital in Kuala Lumpur at a time when today’s Lrg Ma’arof did not exist; modern Jln Ma’arof was the Lrg Ma’arof of the day, a dusty ribbon of red earth; and much of Bangsar, where I now work, was secondary jungle. By birth alone I am a native of both the state of Selangor and the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur and not a pendatang as officials both sides of the border would see it.
My parents were Malayan-born and both sets of grandparents were Jaffna-mari. All left their mark. Office mutts who use me as a receptacle for their ***t learn that they have a tiger by the tail.
My widowed mother sent me abroad when I was in my teens, in part because she felt I needed the discipline that she could not give me: I loved being answerable to no one; studies were a chore; and the life of a latch-key child spelt freedom to be.
In part. She had Stage II breast cancer which had reached her lymphatic system and she did not want me to be made a ward of state.
I do not fear God. Hate is something I cannot relate to. And, I plan to serve this earth another 100 years.
My favourite dentist died on the operating table a year ago. A heart attack. It pained me that he stressed himself out into an early grave.
Yes, Rehman Rashid is my colleague. He sits 40 strides away from me. I function as his mirror.
He once said to me: “You and I, we are sooo different. Me, I am so open. You, you are so closed.”
Truth is, neither one of us can be pigeonholed.
What I learnt in passing (Sunday, Dec 21, 2008) is that the soul speaks of worth, and seeks it with fly open. The spirit does not.
Spirit places a premium on value, and that’s the gold standard and saving grace.
So, if you are lost and wanting 2B found, heed heart. Begin with fresh ginger tea in a large coffee mug 3 times a week and clear those lungs. Wacky but true.
Use no more than 1-inch of fresh ginger each time. Scrape off the skin and slice. Don’t you dare roast/grill the slices like the Indonesians do. Place the ginger in mug — without sugar, preferably — pour in hot water and steep to liking. After drinking, EAT THE GINGER and listen to music. My choice: ELO’s Fire on High
2009 is the Year of the 9-volt battery. Remember its shape. Time to batten down the hatches in the sq root of 16 of the Emerald Light City. Double Dutch to some, Greek to all. Hola!
My New Year’s resolution is to be better prepared. What’s yours?
KumKum Keropok Udang, Kamsiah bleeds because she knows deep in her heart that no self-respecting woman would have married Rehman Rashid.
And that’s his rage, and his shame.
Sitting on his hands, biting his lips.
It did not need the likes of you and Quiet Storm churning the waters for an ongoing shark fest determined on overkill. Over what? Put downs. You see the man as a walking, talking glob of superiority and you shred him for soup.
I have heard that it’s professional courtesy not to eat shark. It is a pity that journalist Ahirudin Attan did not chomp down hard on the congregation when he could have, to provide space for a marriage in its infancy with still-schooling children to breathe and bond. Rocky has learnt nothing from his wife from her time with the Human Resource Department of the New Straits Times Press.
Grrr. Having your steamed heads on a platter is wishful thinking but no answer. There is no victory in that. I am not here for the parents. I am here for the children who seem stuck in the loop that life kicks them in the teeth and when they wake up, their dentist’s office has burnt down. I do not have issues 24-7, but I am tired of preaching.
Now, please, let us all pick up our healed selves and move on. No more mirrors. You want a butterfly, start here. El Oso did not realise it but this space was meant to be a safe haven for mauled women, and men, to heal. Merci, David. Bonne nuit.
AT THE END, I CAN FIND THE WAY TO KNOW YOU. MR REHMAN RASHID.
I WAS COME FROM THE NON-NON-NON ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRY. I DON’T CARE IF MY ENGLISH LANGUAGE IS NON PROPER, I AM STILL LEARNING TO MASTERING MY ENGLISH. TO LEARN ENGLISH IS VERY EXPENSIVE IN MY COUNTRY, IT MEANS FOR RICH PEOPLE. UNLESS WE WORK VERY HARD. I WAS A STUDENTS IN THE ONE OF TOP 5 UNIVERSITY IN INDONESIA, THIRD YEARS STUDENT OF FOREIGN LANGUAGE. ONE SWEET AND NICE LADY COME ALL THE WAY FROM KUALA LUMPUR TO PASS IT THE BOOK IN OUR FRONT DOOR OF OUR UNIVERSITY LIBRARY, THIS SOFT SPOKEN LADIES NO OTHER THEN IBU RIRI WHO RESIDING IN KUALA LUMPUR TOLD TO US. THIS IS A BOOK TO READ NOT A READING BOOK, PLEASE READ THIS BOOK THREE TIMES.
LEARN AND STUDY. YOU’LL FIND SOME INSPIRATION WHEN YOU FINISHED READING THIS BOOK WHICH WILL CAN USE IN OUR LIFE.
AFTER FINISHED READING THIS BOOK THEN ONLY WE UNDERSTAND WHAT IBU RIRI TRYING TO SAY. THIS IS A WINDOW TO THE WORLD.
WE DON’T CARE ABOUT REHMAN RASHID PRIVATE LIVE, WE ARE NOT LINING UP TO SHARE HIS PRIVATE LIVE. EVERY OF US HAVE OUR OWN STORY. WE ARE INTERESTED IN HIS BOOK. FOR US HE IS A GOOD WRITTER, A MALAYSIAN JOURNEY IS A WONDERFUL BOOK, A GREAT BOOK WRITTEN IN THE BEST LITERARY OF JOURNALISM.
REHMAN RASHID KEEP ON WRITING, LEFT BEHIND YOUR BITTER EXPERIENCE, MAYBE YOU FAILED IN YOUR LOVE LIFE BUT NOT IN YOUR WRITING WORLD.IN THE WORST OF TIMES IS THE BEST OF TIMES. AS EAST ASIAN WE ARE PROUD OF YOU. THAT EAST ASIA HAVE SUCH A GREAT WRITTER LIKE YOU. WE PROUD OF YOU. THANKS FOR WRITING TO THE WORLD.
BRAVO REHMAN RASHID. WE WILL WALK WITH YOU.
OUR PRAYER FOR YOU THAT SOMEDAY YOU’LL FIND SOME ONE WHO WILL GIVE YOU MORAL SUPPORT SO YOU CAN ALWAYS WRITE A WONDERFUL BOOK.