Category Archives: Inspirational Movies

GE 13: What Could Still Be Done

Most of us would agree there are a lot of things going on almost all at once in the run up to GE13 – I sense mainly enthusiasm and hope on one side and fear and rumour mongering on the other.

What to make of all this? What can I do, given there’s only 4 days to the polls? These are some of the questions running through my head. Well, here’s one way forward, thanks to my friend Make Peace. Very timely and apt for the occasion. Read on!


With a few days to go before the nation goes to the polls in what would be the closest, most keenly fought battle between the the ruling party and the opposition ever, one wonders what could still be done to ensure that the whole process of the elections would be carried out in a clean and fair manner.

What could still be done to ensure that the elections truly enables the nation to choose leaders who will truly govern the country with democracy, justice, equality and integrity? . What could still be done to rid this country of all its maladies, namely the malady of corruption, the malady of racism, the malady of injustice, the malady of poverty and marginalization of the poor and the voiceless?

What could still be done despite the biased mainstream media, the maleficence spewed by many of the candidates and personalities linked to the powers that be (perhaps not for long) causing some of the rakyat to fear, to waver, to doubt what they already, obviously and intrinsically know to be the truth and nothing but the truth?

What could still be done to ensure that we are not going to be frustrated for the next five years, that we are not going to be grumbling during our teh-tarik sessions or any where else, about the leaders who continue to amass great fortunes at the expense of the quality of life every Malaysian deserves?

What could still be done by us, true, loyal , peace loving, honourable and good hearted Malaysians?

While the candidates and their respective parties are giving all they can in the run up to the elections, many of us I believe are also contributing in many ways. Some of us have become polling agents, joined groups and NGOs monitoring the authenticity of the whole process, helping out at the various bilik-bilik gerakan, attending ceramahs, writing in news portals and blogs and giving our time and energy in various ways and even our money.

What could still be done?

Some of us may have heard of the concept – “pay it forward”. It’s a philosophy asking the beneficiary of a good deed to repay it to others instead of to the original benefactor. The concept is old, but the phrase may have been coined by Lily Hardy Hammond in her 1916 book In the Garden of Delight.

Pay It Forward is also a 2000 American drama film based on the novel of the same name by Catherine Ryan Hyde. It was directed by Mimi Leder and written by Leslie Dixon. It stars Haley Joel Osment as a boy who launches a good-will movement, Helen Hunt as his single mother, and Kevin Spacey as his social-studies teacher.

When eleven and a half year old Trevor McKinney (Haley Joel Osment) begins seventh grade in Las Vegas, Nevada, his social studies teacher Eugene Simonet (Kevin Spacey) gives the class an assignment to devise and put into action a plan that will change the world for the better. Trevor’s plan is a charitable programme based on the networking of good deeds. He calls his plan “Pay It Forward”, which means the recipient of a favour does

a favour for three others rather than paying the favour back. However, it needs to be a major favour that the receivers cannot complete themselves. Trevor does a favour for three people, asking each of them to “pay the favour forward” by doing favours for three other people, and so on, along a branching tree of good deeds.

Based on this same concept, I would like to answer the question…WHAT COULD STILL BE DONE? : The answer: SAY IT FORWARD!

We have been enlightened by the right spirit and right information and right motivation with regard to what we want for our country, not just for ourselves and our loved ones but for all. And we need to pass this to others and this process would be more effective than any web portal, twitter, email, sms, ceramah , press conference….

We need to SAY IT FORWARD. We have been enlightened, and it is imperative that we enlighten others, especially those who may be in the dark through no fault of theirs. So could I suggest that each of us choose to talk to 3 persons (face to face) who we think will benefit from this endeavour explaining to them the importance to come out to vote and to vote for the candidate and party based on all the right reasons. We could help dispel all the fears that have plagued and paralysed many a good Malaysian, with all the facts and figures we can obtain. And most importantly we could share with them our passion and hope for a better and greater Malaysia. And when we have done that, we could convince them to share all that we had articulated with 3 others explaining this simple concept of saying it forward, encouraging and inspiring them to continue this process.

The time is now, we have a few days but much can be achieved, so lets begin this process…I believe it can work.






St. Anne’s Feast & Novena Day 4

Day 4

Theme: Telling the story of Jesus to and by our children (Catechetics)

The celebrant, Fr. Mark, used a video clip by based on a talk given by Sir Ken Robinson, to drive home the message of the understanding the true meaning of education, and linked it to how catechetics needs to be taught, or rather “caught” as one La Salle religious brother reminded me a long time ago.

The full video below:

I thought it was insightful.  We spend a lot of time and money on educating our children. How much time and effort are we devoting to their holistic personal growth?

The signs of the times point to a culture that is rapidly changing known and accepted values. Issues that would have been kept behind closed doors a decade or two ago are being openly bandied and promoted through the use of social media communication means. Our children have easy access to them.

As Fr. Mark pointed out, these changing paradigms are exactly why we, parents, teachers, religious and priests need to keep up with the changing times. We need to learn, unlearn, and relearn.

Which reminds me of another story by another priest in another homily:

A stranger walks up and knocks on your door. You, the parent, answer. He asks if he could spend some time alone with your 5 year old kid. He wants to “chat”. What would you say? Most definitely, you would be shocked at such a question and immediately tell him to leave.

The priest continued, “If you said NO to that man’s request, why then do you parents continuously allow total strangers into your homes 24 hours a day and give them complete access to your children?? You are wondering, when, where, how did you ever do that?

Your satellite TV channel. Those are the complete strangers, with all kinds of motives and reasons, wanting access to your kids. 24 hours a day. And you let them in!”

Think its too tough? Maybe, but the alternative is even worse!

“God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference” – Reinhold Niebuhr


Boat on Dry Land

I actually saw this boat sitting right smack by the roadside that leads to my workplace some two weeks ago. It seemed such an absurd scene that I couldn’t help but take a couple of shots, watched by a couple of bemused guys nearby.

This morning I found myself awake at 4  a.m. and try as I might, couldn’t get back  to sleep. So I did what I usually do  nowadays – turn on the tv and promptly  found The Next Karate Kid playing on  HBO.

This was the 1994 sequel starring Hilary  Swank as a troubled young teenager and  venerable Pat Morita.  Unfortunately,  this 4th edition in the “Karate Kid” series was lambasted by the critics when it first came out.  Watching it now though, thanks to a broken night’s sleep, some of the scenes and dialogue did strike a chord or two…

I’m not sure if Mr. Miyagi‘s words of wisdom are actual Zen/Buddhist euphemisms but they do make sense. A pick of the crop:

“Ambition without knowledge is like a boat on dry land” – which brings me to that boat on the road above and, reminds me of the times how I have felt – stranded on dry land, clueless and directionless at different times in my life.  Then again, the state of this country at the present moment – got engines but no pilot, no able crew, and seemingly, if one cares for the signs of the times, headed into financial oblivion.

“Answer only important when asking right question” –   Too many times probably, in the quest to attain knowledge, wisdom has been cast aside…. here lies probably the greatest funeral of all – Malaysia’s blundering education system,

and this one,

“Sun is warm, grass is green”  – The gentle reminder that no matter what, we are still blessed in many ways, and that we should never take things for granted, and enjoy the good moments while we have them – both in our “little” own lives and in the larger scheme of things.

For those of you who missed it, I’m sure you’d be able to catch it on Astro’s HBO Channel – thanks to the many “repeat” broadcasts, failing which you could always check out my online site above for a DVD copy.

Steve Jobs

In memory of one of my heroes:

Steve Jobs


From a tweet in outerspace:

“Steve Jobs.

On behalf of every dreamer sitting in his or her garage

who is crazy enough to try to change the world,

you will be missed.”

And in his own words:

  • “Sometimes life’s going to hit you in the head with a brick. Don’t lose faith. I’m convinced that the only thing that kept me going was that I loved what I did. You’ve got to find what you love, and that is as true for work as it is for your lovers”
  • “Stay hungry, Stay foolish”
  • “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living with the results of other people’s thinking”
  • “Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice, heart and intuition”
  • “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work, and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking, and don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it, and like any great relationship it just gets better and better as the years roll on. So keep looking. Don’t settle”

Thank you, Steve. R.I.P.

Freedom Film Fest 2011

There are movies, then there are “movies”, and, we watch them for many different reasons. For instance, my 10 year old has been consistently reminding me of our date for the new “Johnny English – Reborn” feature – something which I’m actually looking forward to.  I think it’s about time for a short breather and get silly for a while!

Consequently, an email from an old friend reminded me of the 2011 Freedom Film Festival – organised by Komas once again, which features about 20 documentaries on human rights issues in Malaysia,  ranging from child refugees, women’s rights, the current political climate and national identity.










This year’s Freedom Film Fest kicks off at the Wisma   Bentley Auditorium, Petaling Jaya on 1st. Oct, moves up north to Penang on the 8th Oct., then travels to Kuching on the 29th and Miri on the 30th.

According to its website, also slated for the tour this time are the smaller towns like Bukit Mertajam, Sri Manjung, Ipoh, Muar and Johor Baru.  This is good news for the so many of us who would otherwise be starved of such films. The synopses also offer a glimpse of what story lines are being portrayed on screen this year.

Better still, you can watch the previous years’ Freedom Film Fest movies online.

Oh yes, one final thing. The FFF is by invitation only. You will need to register for FREE INVITES.  You can register online here. If by any chance the registration is closed, you may do so at the appropriate venue at least 20 minutes before movie time.

It can’t be any easier than this folks! I just did minutes ago. So, take some time out, bring your family and friends for a different kind of movie experience. Have a break – have a Kit Kat moment!

To infinity and beyond! – Buzz Lightyear, Toy Story.

You got a dream… You gotta protect it. People can’t do somethin’ themselves, they wanna tell you you can’t do it. If you want somethin’, go get it. Period.
~ Will Smith, The Pursuit of Happyness.