Introduction to a world of Perception, Action and Reflection

This is precisely what the CSF Journals are about, the perceptions, actions and reflections of my life that has led me to start a Community Service First initiative as my contribution to humanity. This is a series of journals incorporating my interest to Connect, Synergize and Futurize with the community or communities that I can be of assistance.

Let me share with you my feelings right at this moment of life. As I scan my brain and my heart of years of accumulated thoughts and feelings, my output is as follows :

My life has been one of continuous learning, appreciating, improving and sharing. Learning helps me improve my thinking while appreciating helps me improve my feelings. Thinking and Feeling develops my Perception which when shared to the world comes in the form of my Actions in life. Reflections serve as a sharpening exercise from the feedback that is received which can further improve my thinking and feelings so that a cycle of Perception, Action and Reflection can be said to lead to PAR excellence or a Continuous Improvement Process.

Post-dated addition :
It is worth spending time to watch the video below to understand how Perception is the root of improving our biological bodies too for better health!

Connectivity increases Intelligence through the subconscious mind

I remember the world that I was first introduced to. It was a safe place where I had caring parents who seem to take care of everything in the world that I lived. The world then was the home in which I lived where I had learnt the basics of life. From the baby cot to the boundary of the house, I grew progressively to connect to all that is around me. Much of my learning seemed to be of the unconscious kind in the sense that I wasn’t receiving formal instructions but through my own senses, I began to pick up certain patterns that became not only useful for me but made the world regard me as more intelligent.

I guess my first cry as a baby must have been a sign of relief for the person who delivered me as well as my parents to know that I was going to be a normal child who could express himself. My connectivity with my parents, siblings and others around me in my home soon helped me picked up a more formal language of communication. I had learnt not just the English language but several dialects of the Chinese language that was spoken in my home and later the Malay language at school. It was interesting to discover that when I went to school to be formally taught the English language with all its rules of grammar, adjectives, verbs, nouns, pronouns, tenses, singular and plural etc I only got more confused and somehow stuck on with what my intuition tells me to be correct rather than referring to all the basic rules. Somehow, I had connected with tones, meanings and the pattern of flow which made me become proficient in the language. I truly did not master the language because of my conscious study of rules which if anything was only more confusing due to the many exceptions.

I had similar experiences in my learning of music. As my parents could not afford a piano for me or perhaps was not in the priority of things to be learnt then, I picked up music on my own primarily just by using my senses again. I would listen to a tune of music and can repeat it in my mind after which learning to whistle enabled me to ‘play back’ many wonderful songs I have heard. Soon I had my hands on cheaper instruments such as the harmonica, the flute and even the guitar in my youth. Interestingly again, when I only had the opportunity for music lessons later in my youth at school, I found it a struggle to remember all the rules of music. The theory of music seemed to only constrict me from playing any music I wanted to as I would have to find the notes for the music that I wanted to play and couldn’t. The world tends to make the rule as, you are only to use what you are consciously taught and forget the subconscious. Put in another way, you are to be obedient to rules that are clear and proven and not dwell on unknowns or the undefined.

Post-dated addition :

Performance depends on several factors

The formula Performance = Abilities + Circumstances + Motivation rings true for many in life.

It appeared that my natural abilities were not useful when I had to leave home to be formally educated. My development was slow in the beginning as it took time for me to adjust from my natural way of learning to one that was based on tests or the punishment and reward system, which never motivated me then nor to this day. I remember the strict school that I was transferred to where at every year end, the school principal would have all the classes in the same level to assemble in the school hall. The names of the top students would be called and they would appear in front of everyone to receive a standing ovation. Then when all the clapping was over, the boy who failed the most subjects and was last in position in the whole level would be called to appear. He would receive a stroke of the cane from the principal for every subject he failed. For some reason, this boy who wore a turban, being the son of a bank guard who was a singh or of the sikh faith, would always be the same boy who would be called up each year to be caned. It had always crossed my mind that the punishment never helped him improve his grades and the same boys would always be the ones called to receive the standing ovation. I therefore conceived the opinion that the system of punishment and reward, at least used by the school, was flawed as a motivation factor for anyone to do better.

In school, there is a set pattern of learning and due to the large numbers of students, the way is such that you go through the education system rather than education really go through you, understand the difference? If you really wanted to be ‘educated’ in those days, there was no other choice and even in these times, the choices are more limited in a developing or third world country. Mind you as I write today, I am fully aware of 1st world countries who repeat for students today with what they thought made them successful in the past. ( View from an Autistic with his own website. ) I took time to develop the abilities for me to perform in school but circumstances and self motivation pulled me through.

Here is Eric Chen, whom I met in Mar 2013 in Singapore, author of 'Star Child on Earth' who is autistic with his view and website link quoted above. The contribution of different minds in society can be viewed in a series of Ted videos here.

In my home, I was the youngest of seven and the fifth son. All my older brothers were graduates and some even recipients of distinguished scholarships such as the Colombo Plan scholarship. I guess I didn’t have much choice to how I was to be educated but it was initially a slow and some times painful process. I recall when I had problems with mathematics the mistake was approaching my father for help. Though he was very good in it as a qualified land surveyor with a topographic engineering degree from Europe, he wasn’t the most patient man to teach his slow learning son who ended up in tears of despair. Fortunately there was no direct strong pressure from my parents to study or succeed in school and they were to my memory mainly facilitative towards my progress by making sure I had a good stable environment and to be in a reasonably good school. I had to find my own motivation and I believed that not wanting to be the only drop out son of the family was probably the strongest reason. I think the Chinese culture of ‘saving face’ or having a strong personal pride became the motivation factor for me to push myself to perform well.

So I would push myself to try and not cry as circumstances improved for me. I was put in a better school of a higher standard of education with better teachers and students whom I could pattern after. I acquired the ability to go through education and get whatever I wanted. However I am not sure to this day if education really went through me for I cannot remember many of the things I had rote learned. Instead the thing of most value to me that I will never forget is how to balance my heart and mind to adapt to any situation and be able to do your best. (My Heart and Mind. ) Like the way I learnt language and music, I used my subconscious mind to learn how to balance my Heart and Mind to adapt to any situation. My consistent research today in Optimal Performance and Thinking is only to make my subconscious processes more palatable to the majority who have a preference of using the conscious mind to learn. For instance, as you are reading this journal, you are being bombarded by an awesome number of stimuli: sights, sounds, smells, tastes and kinaesthetic (or feeling) signals. Scientists estimate that the number of such stimuli is around the 11 million mark. Your conscious mind is capable of dealing with about 40 stimuli at anyone time, so an extremely large percentage of the 11 million is left unaccounted for. So the unconscious mind will be dealing with some number of them between 40 and 11 million (Source: Philippa Davies: Eureka! - Hodder and Stoughton, 2004-) It is my hope that in my continuous efforts to understand and explain the processes of the subconscious to attain the optimal state, the abilities of many will increase to better succeed in the changing world today.

Our progressive connection to the world and beyond

Before we were born, we were already connected physically to our mothers through an umbilical cord for food and nourishment. In another sense, we are connected to our parents through our genetic inheritance of numerous characteristics of our race so whether we have brown or blue eyes is a matter of our connection to our ancestry.

Great grand father on the left and his great grand son on the right
Even in the womb, we are connected with the outside world as any polluted food, water or air through our mothers’ intake inevitably comes to us. How about the variety of stimuli that we could feel as we are connected to our mothers? Imagine the dreams, happiness and joy together with the anxieties, fears and apprehensions of our mothers that could be possibly felt by us through our connectivity? After we are born, nature and nurture continue to influence our characters. Both the conscious and subconscious mind is fed with a host of information first through our family and later through every channel of media that can reach us and in today’s world and that is a lot more than even our father’s time.

In trying to find the links or connections to unexplainable phenomena I’ve experienced in the world, my research took me to various disciplines of Science, the Arts, Computers, Sociology, Philosophy and Religion. What was most challenging is the field of quantum physics and the study of sub atomic articles. My conscious mind had been telling me that I needed to understand more about the source of Energy. Energy is something I know I have a lot of and has made me the kind of self driven person I am but it is only of late that I am beginning to be more curious about it. Perhaps it’s the connection to the current energy crisis of extremely high oil prices that has raised my interest to investigate further. Prior to that, sickness in my family has aroused my interest to study all the methods of prevention or cure advocated in the world today which are many.

From my early research, I can begin to relate to much of the unexplainable that has occurred to me in my life. It is from there that I could better understand how I could communicate to animals, specifically dogs ever since I was young till my middle age now. Then there are the healing powers that I have exercised and those witnessed by others which I had always kept as sacred but with underlying curiosity of its workings. It helps me understand the wonders of eastern martial arts together with the alternative medical cures of eastern culture, both of which I have experience of in my life time.

The Mind-Body connection to everything via sub-atomic particles

My research on Optimal Performance and Thinking finally connected to the topic of Energy and here is the simple explanation. If we want to analyze anything, we need to break down the matter to more details to understand the detailed processes involved. What can be more detailed than the understanding of sub atomic particles? Most would think that the source of the energy in our bodies is a process of chemistry within. We think of the metabolism or break down of the food we eat to become energy to be stored or used for our body needs. I remember vividly in my chemistry class at school in the mid 70s that we were taught the Periodic Table at school. This was my first introduction to the understanding that chemical elements were made up of atoms, the basic unit of matter. These elements were further made up of protons,neurons and electrons and the Periodic Table was a ranking of the number of protons each element possessed in its nucleus. It didn't mean much to us as students then except that the branch of atomic science was able to create the powerful atom bomb that ended World War II.

Even though I had finished school to go to Business college to qualify as an accountant and later became a management consultant with Hard and Soft skills of Information technology and human resource development, I had always been interested in things of science. I continued to keep abreast of advancing science by reading books, magazines and watching documentaries. When the internet became available, I had a rich world of information that I could download text, photos and videos to satisfy my hunger of knowledge. With increased bandwidth and speed of the internet today, I could lately participate in live online courses to glean from the authors of the books I had read who were specialists in the areas I was interested in. Intelligence is truly flowing into the world as if it is one big body connected to intelligent cells located anywhere through a central nervous system of wires that links us together.

I got to learn more about the nature of these sub atomic particles that they are of a wave and particle. The latest String Theory suggest that sub-atomic particles are really just resonances or vibrations of a tiny string. They are one-dimensional strings that vibrate as bundles of energy and information. In short, the theories tell us that whatever we see as solids including our bodies are actually made up of sub-atomic particles that contain energy and information where the variations of the frequency of the wave or vibration of the strings make up the unique codes for each element or substance that we know of in this world.

To understand frequency, I liken it to the frames of a film, the frequency or the speed of the movement of the frames produces an animated movie that looks real to us. In other words, every thing we see even as a solid is actually made up of sub-atomic particles that is a wave or string of energy and information with different frequencies. The different frequencies of these waves or strings make them appear as solids, liquids or gas just as ice turns to water or steam when heat energy is applied to it. WOW! The theory that these particles are a wave or string of energy and information suddenly broadens my understanding of the brain and neuro transmitters which was thought to be mainly chemical reactions and interactions. Imagine that if you could change the frequency of these waves or strings to transmit energy and information to other beings, their cells etc, you could not only be an effective communicator but a healer as well by giving new energy and information that sick cells need! The pharmaceutical industry makes drugs that are based on chemical properties to alleviate symptoms in our bodies. If we could somehow change frequencies of the waves or strings of sub-atomic particles in our bodies, maybe it would be an alternate cure of our sicknesses. There is evidence to show that there is a Mind-Body connection, without the intervention of any chemicals by use of drugs, as in the case of the placebo effect observed when sick patients given inert pills and believing they are genuine actually find that the symptoms of their sickness actually disappear!

I am beginning to understand the mechanics behind why the faithful, with a unified heart and mind, can heal as the power of love transcends all of mankind and nature. Love and Faith create a strong force of energy and information that can permeate through everything just the same way a laser cuts through even diamonds, the world’s hardest stone. All nature and the universe are connected through these same sub-atomic particles that everything on earth is made of. It just takes a powerful source of energy such as love and effective information which is personally indisputable such as faith to drive though anything to create seemingly miraculous results to the common man. If you understand the mechanics of it like a magician performing his acts, it can be an everyday occurrence.

An important point to note is that each wave particle or string is not intelligent by itself as there seems to be a flow of greater intelligence that creates order in all the sub atomic particles. This flow of intelligence could be a life force in the body of Man that if it ceases to flow when death occurs, all energy and information contained in the cells or sub atomic particles are rendered useless

The heart and mind or our feeling and thinking is powerful because it can change energy and information levels of others, the way the hearts and minds of creative people have changed the world. Think about it, every thing man has made from ancient history is due to his understanding and connection to greater source of energy and information or simply light and truth. From there he is able to use the energy and information to invent, create and innovate to improve his personal life and that of his community. The use of tools, levers, gears, machines, cars, aero planes, rockets, computers, telephones, radios, satellites all have something to do with or ties back to the use of our heart and mind, that I believe is the controller of energy and information within us.

The Fear Factor

When I was assaulted by 4 men, on 7th June 2008, who were operators of a bus company in Kuala Lumpur, I learnt about the fears in the streets of our community. (Refer to Familylane ) From the rude bus operators who behaved like gangsters in ushering passengers around, it was no wonder that after I was bashed up, I could not get anyone present there to be my witness of the incident. I personally appealed to them one by one, be it a young or old man and even a religious woman with her hair traditionally covered. None would nod their head to indicate a desire to assist me. My own boys in the bus of course were willing to help especially my youngest who was surprisingly calm and said he would be a willing witness. But when my oldest boy gave out a loud cry of trauma as I sought his help to translate to an older mandarin speaking man for his help, I knew the air was tensed with waves of anxiety and fear.

I must add that coming out of the bus itself when I was finally allowed to, I must have been mentally or emotionally affected as I momentarily fainted. On the phone to my wife later in the office of the BHP petrol station where the bus had stopped , I broke down in tears expressing to my wife that I merely wanted to see to my children’s safety when I boarded the bus to help them be seated even though I was warned loudly by the man who later assaulted me not to do so, claiming that he was the bus owner. You know, I can forgive this man who must have been acting out of fear of my camera perhaps for taking his photo but no one is above the law and if he violated the law, he should be brought to justice unless I am out of date with Malaysian law. If so, no wonder the civilians in the bus who knew better, rightly acted with fear not to cooperate with me, feeling it would be a waste of time! To this date I have been trying to contact by cell phone to Inspector Kamal who was faithfully messaging me after my police report but was silent a week before I left for Beijing and I still cannot get him on my return. His last report is that he did follow up with the girl at the kiosk to identify who the man in the photo was that I posted in the blog.(familylane). I just hope there isn’t a greater force over the police that might put fear in Inspector Kamal to do his job. The incident has prompted me to follow up with the JPJ or Road transport department and the LPKP who is the licensing or enforcement division for public buses to know if they have a system of choosing quality operators to serve the community.

It is interesting that as your subconscious mind thinks about something such as the fear factor, you not only recall many things of the past that relates to it but new events occur right before your very eyes that relates to fear. They call it the ‘Law of Attraction’ and let me tell you what happened

After the incident was over and I did my full report with the police and referred the press to my blog account, I must say that I now roam the streets of Kuala Lumpur with a very sharp eye for trouble.

On the afternoon of 11th June 2008, 4 days after my bus incident, I just left my downtown apartment on my scooter and had to stop at the very busy junction at the end of Loke Yew and Jalan Imbi near the Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka building. At the stop, I noticed there was a diversion in junction for the road leading to Times Square. Now there was a traffic policeman standing at the side and I merely thought to ask him about it as I wasn’t sure which direction I was to go. Now note that I have learnt from young not to fear the police and it is customary for me to converse with them. I have always felt of their sacrifice to serve others in the community and have even participated in fund raising events by the Lions Club for the police to help their families. But on that afternoon, the policeman looked at me with almost the same type of face the bus operator did before assaulting me and even shouted out some rude remarks to me that I couldn’t understand. As a habit, I would always take a photo of any event or occurrence that is unusual before me but due to the bus incident, I took a quiet shot of the man from the side, unknown to him for I really felt the fear that if I took a snap shot right in front of him, he would have pulled his gun out and shoot me! Honestly as he looked very angry for some reason and in my mind I just related it to a fear of something unknown to me.

In Chinese, they say a street or area is ‘dirty’ to mean evil spirits still haunt the location to cause mishaps to other living beings going by the area. Well could that be the reason why within a short period of time, I could take the following photos in the same area.:

Here is the side shot of the angry policeman staring at the chaotic intersection after he shouted rude remarks to me when I asked him politely if there was a detour of the road ahead of me. (11th June 2008)
Take a look at the chaotic looking intersection with a bus trying to cross with the cars still passing in front of it. Could the scene have made the policeman so angry?
When I passed the intersection and got further along the road, I found two vehicles involved in an accident with each other. The Proton car behind ramped into the front vehicle as pictured above and the little accident only caused greater congestion on the already congested road that began at the chaotic intersection.

Just ahead of the accident area on the road is the Pudu Jail and Times Square intersection. It was just the next day in the night time that I travelled along the same road and found an accident had occurred at that intersection. A motorcyclist ran past the red lights and was hit by a car coming by on the right of him. A crowd gathered immediately after surrounding the victim. (12th June 2008)

From adversity comes some good

The victim was in critical condition and needed to be rushed to the hospital. A good Samaritan taxi driver stopped and the rider, still bleeding with blood stains on him, was carried into the taxi
I managed to take a good snap photo of the driver, a real hero of our streets in Kuala Lumpur
A month plus after my bus incident at the Pudu Raya station, I happened to pass the station again and noted that there was a JPJ or road transport department vehicle parked in the area doing some surveillence. (24th July 2008)
A month plus later (5th Sept 2008) I passed the area again and saw many JPJ officers patrolling the street outside the bus station. I felt pleased that the authorities could be responding to the negative publicity from my 'costly bus send-off' experienced publized in the press plus I had also personally called the enforcement unit of the JPJ regarding my incident after making the police report.
As for the police officer with his rude remarks, I never bothered to complain about him. I was pleased to note that two policemen on Jln. Maharajaleela, just a stone throw away from the busy intersection where the rude policeman stood previously, were found helping a stalled car stuck on the busy street to move along. I even got off my bike to give them a helping hand to push the car and once the car got going, the force of the policeman's bike using his leg, pictured above, kept it rolling to head to the side of the road. Well that was my Good Samaritan deed for the day together with the other two policemen and I'm glad to know that the one rude officer could be just the odd bad apple that ruins the whole basket. (1st Aug 2008)

Culprit of the subconscious mind

See I have observed that fear is a big culprit of our subconscious minds. I’ve noted that fear can do one of two things to one who is conscious of the fear or has it hidden in the subconcious. First is that it can paralyze the person, making the person fear further in repeating an action or weakens the individual to feel it’s a waste of time to do anything to change the circumstances even if it involves carrying out a non-related action. Apathy is the result of what you get with fears in our subconscious minds.

On the other hand, for more action orientated personalities, fear can invoke anger in these individuals which if not controlled by thought results in violence. Fear narrows the mind to a fight or flight mentality, thinking there are only two choices when there could be a third or more. That is why educated people, who in my opinion have had education gone through them instead of just having gone through education, will find themselves in a more optimal state to do something that is more carefully thought of to bring best results with best actions. Mohandas Gandhi was a good exemplar of having an optimal state of mind in his actions to free India from the Great Britain. It was ironical that his strategy was really to do nothing at all but stood firm in his opinions of his mind to free India with passive resistance and told the rest to do the same.

Perhaps he had experienced fear too of the mighty British Empire. His Optimal Mind must have enabled him to avoid re-actively to fight against them or run away from them. Instead he managed the fear that could make him angry or paralyze his mind to choose neither. As history records it, he directed the paralyzing part of fear to paralyze the British Empire instead by teaching his country men the strategy of passive resistance.

Post-dated addition:
Watch this video that explains more about the subconscious mind in comparison with the conscious mind :

Faith versus Fear. Applying connectivity concept of energy and the mind to increase faith and reduce fear.

Fear can be said to be part of an automated response system built into our being for a good purpose and generally that is to prevent Man from hurting himself when confronted with a situation where the body senses there is danger. Faith on the other hand I perceive is not something that is part of an automated response system but involves a higher faculty of the mind especially for adults. Why I say especially for adults is that for children, faith seems to come naturally when their higher faculties of the mind are not mature yet. Yet they seem to exercise child like faith but that is attributed mainly to the fact that they are new in experiencing the world and in learning. Therefore they develop a natural faith to accept what is new with little knowlege or experience of fear. It is through time that fear develops as children personally experience danger or are conditioned by the parents to fear many things that they have not experienced personally yet so that they will be more careful to avoid future dangers. Child like faith when referenced is also often to do with the humility of the child to obey their parents willingly which is not common in grown adults.

So when I talk about Faith, I would discuss it in the context of adults who already have experienced themselves what danger is or have developed a mindset of fear due to long term conditioning by others. For an adult to develop faith, it would then surely require the higher faculties of his mind to overcome fear and possess strong faith to tread through difficult paths that he knows can be dangerous or painful. So how does one develop such faith? Is faith similar to developing a belief in something?

I remember a definition of faith taught in Sunday school class that is useful to help differentiate faith from belief. Faith is said to be action orientated while belief only involves a set of thinking without any action. With reference back to the energy concept of our mind, that our thinking can change our energy levels, the concept of faith seems to possess more energy to propel action compared to a belief that seems to be more like a passive thought held in the mind. To psyche up our mind to have such powerful faith that can produce such high levels of energy would be one way of achieving our objective of having greater faith and higher energy level of performance. That would seem difficult and compexed that starts off from one having a positive mental attitude (PMA) and continual self talk with support of others to eventually create a powerful faith in self to propel action. Furthermore it will also take time as fear is often times too strong an obstacle to overcome.

Applying the principle of connectivity of the mind with energy and everything else, what if we applied physical energy to Do It which connects to our mind and creates the Faith that we were seeking for? Can the reverse bring result? Meaning instead of developing thinking that creates high energy levels to propel action, we initiate action by a decisive thought which increases energy level from our action that travels back to our mind to create strong Faith instead? Answer : It can as per the connectivity concept of life. We just need to observe and understand the nature of the relationship in the connection. In my life, I have observed countless times that decisive action immediately gives me stronger faith to accomplish difficult or almost impossible tasks. Physical action and real experience seems to be able to shape my brain and hence my mind to higher levels of performance.

In short, if you Fear something and wish for the faith to be able to do it, I say "Do it Anyway" and the faith will come much quicker. That is what I have learnt from the experiences of my life. Experience does shape the Mind and our Brain!

Shaping our Mind and Brain with Experience

The last two decades have produced more research on the brain and more new brain technologies than all the discoveries of the past. Current research shows the brain is physically shaped by the interaction among genes, the environment and experience. The debate about whether a child’s brain is shaped by genes(nature) or by experience(nurture) is over. “It’s both. And the truth is in the interaction,” said neuroscientist Judy Cameron, a member of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child (NSCDC), in the perspective “Stress, Neural Systems, and Genetic Code.” (2006) The NSCDC says, “The brain is composed of billions of highly integrated sets of neural circuits (i.e., connections among brain cells) that are ‘wired’ under the interactive influences of genetics, environment and experience.” (2007 Report) While brain circuits shaped through early experiences retain “plasticity” and “may adapt their architecture, at least partially, to experience in adulthood,” later interventions are less effective, less efficient and more expensive “than getting things right the first time,” says NSCDC. (2008 Report) One can view a short video clip explaining how the brain works here.

In other words, experiences in the early stages of our lives seem to build a basic framework of our neural circuits where later experiences in life will be built upon with some flexibility(neuro plasticity) to make adjustments or improvements but with less effectiveness. This basic framework in my postulation would be habitual neural pathways that the brain would take in the flow of energy that is strongly influenced by the frequency of repetition that creates an auto response system without the need to think or direct the flow of energy. Included in this basic framework would be fundamental reasoning and beliefs of our human mind that have a tendency to repeat itself each time the brain processes the same inflow of familiar information that results in similar auto responses of our thinking and behavior. For this reason, the process of 'thinking about our habitual thinking' is necessary if one has a desire to change one's habits or to have a better control of our thoughts and actions.
From the research via brain scans, scientists are able to correlate patterns of neural firing with specific mental functions of our brain. This is possible as neural activity increases oxygen usage and an increase flow of blood to certain parts of the brain implies neurons are firing there. So by performing different tasks like focusing attention or recalling past events and even the experience of feeling pain will show different areas of the brain 'lighting up'.

It is expedient to point out the relationship between the mind and the brain. While it is clear that the brain is a physical organ of the body that is part of its central nervous system located in the skull,  the location of the mind is more subjective and is regarded more as a process that thinks, reasons, feels, judges etc. Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., a clinical professor of psychiatry at the UCLA School of Medicine in his book entitled Mindsight has this definition, "The human mind is a relational and embodied process that regulates the flow of energy and information." He further elaborates, "One of the key practical lessons of modern neuroscience is that the power to direct our attention has within it the power to shape our brain's firing patterns..... While the physical property of neuron firing is correlated with the subjective experience we call mental activity, no one knows exactly how this actually occurs. But keep this in the front of your mind: Mental activity stimulates brain firing as much as brain firing creates mental activity."

In my earlier post where I had shared my experience on faith versus fear, I had highlighted the point that decisive action that generates experience can generate positive states of mind based on what I called the connectivity concept of life. It appears that my observation or belief is well supported by the latest findings in neuroscience. I would like to further comment that these experiences become stored memories in our brain but what is stored often times is not objectively a perfect recording of what exactly happened but has gone through some interpretation that gives it a certain feeling and meaning in our lives for future recall. Some of these experiences become more deeply rooted in our lives that they can be said to become our beliefs that actually further influence our interpretation of future experiences.

The key words in shaping our Mind and Brain can therefore be highlighted as INTERPRETATION and BELIEF. We all can share a similar experience but we can have a different interpretation of the experience. The interpretation of those experiences that are repeated often enough or have a stronger impact in our lives can become our beliefs. Once it is deep rooted in us as part of our belief system, our behavior tends to be influenced by those beliefs. They become what the world calls values in our life. From these values, the human mind is able to create sets of principles that govern human behavior. Mankind is encouraged to live a principle-centered life.

Principles and Values are powerful factors that influence the decisions we make in life. It is interesting to note that the interpretation of new experiences by the Mind and Brain also tend to be influenced by our beliefs, notably the principles and values we hold. For example, if our belief is that adversity is good for us and helps us become stronger, each time we experience adversity, we react more positively to it. The process seems almost automatic that requires no further interpretation of the adverse experience when we have a strong positive belief about adversity. We just have a positive feeling despite the negative consequences that are occurring at the time of adversity! That is how powerful our beliefs are in shaping our Mind and Brain to determine how we will experience reality.

My perceptions, actions, and reflections of my life related to my Mind and Brain according to my own interpretation and beliefs are shared in a special web page here.(for PC view only.) As a former missionary for our Church, I have learned to be respectful to the traditional beliefs of others while sharing new knowledge with those who chose to hear me out. I have learned that old beliefs can change not only in the context of religion but in the way decisions are made in life that involves work groups, family groups or volunteer groups and organizations, all of which I have hands-on experience with especially in advocating modern management methodology and technology, all except political groups. The political world is something I must admit I have only been starting to become more aware of as I grew up in a country where my family life, my education life, my work life or Church life had no political inclinations. The country is changing as it advances over time as a democratic constituency and so I am only lately starting to gather more information through the internet that was once not available through local newspapers as news from the local press are heavily censored or biased when political information is involved.

Politics is classified as a system of the Mind and does involve also emotions from the Heart when passion is shown. There may be some with a strong spiritual inclination to serve the community for humanity sake but with the recent cries of accusation concerning corruption and money politics, the problems seem to hover in the realm of the Mind of Man! Note at my web page,(for PC view only) in my thoughts on the Body, Mind, and Spirit,(for Smart Phone view) I have summarized any system is usually devised by the Mind including Money and Politics. Is it not surprising that the two seem very compatible in nature? Is it a wonder why a great number of people who are not political nor in big time businesses but care for their families(Heart) or freedom of beliefs(Spirit), who were not so concerned about local politics previously seem to be coming out more today to express their views? These new groups be classified as political though they are not necessarily so.  More about this in another future post.

Milestone changes in world and local politics

I was born a year after the independence of Malaysia. I was therefore nurtured in an environment where I enjoyed a freedom that was part of my life in Malaysia. I had also traveled to other parts of what they call the 'free world'. In my teens in the winter of 1976, I had a chance to back pack in Europe, which was an eye opener. I took Aeroflot, a Russian airline which transited in Moscow in the then 'communist world' that we knew. It gave me a short glimpse of what the not so free world would be.

After that mind opening trip to Europe, I would spend another 3 years in a land of nature and freedom of Australia for my tertiary education. After going home to raise a family and begin my professional career in the business world for the next 30 years where the United States was the key country of my visits besides doing business in busy Asia. I believe my accumulated experience gave me a good grounding of what it is like to be in the democratic and capitalist world.

But the world isn't always the same. During my life time, some milestone changes occurred in various parts of the world outside Malaysia. Here are some chronological pics :

First the Fall of Communism

The Coming Down of Berlin Wall, the iron curtain, starting in early 1989

The start of change in China at Tiananmen Square, the bamboo curtain shakes, also in 1989

What happened in the years surrounding 1989? The following excerpt from wikipedia gives a most comprehensive coverage :

The Revolutions of 1989 (also known as the Fall of Communism, the Collapse of Communism, the Revolutions of Eastern Europe and the Autumn of Nations) were the revolutions which overthrew the communist states in various Central and Eastern European countries.

The events began in Poland in 1989, and continued in Hungary, East Germany, Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia and Romania. One feature common to most of these developments was the extensive use of campaigns of civil resistance demonstrating popular opposition to the continuation of one-party rule and contributing to the pressure for change. Romania was the only Eastern Bloc country to overthrow its Communist regime violently. The Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 failed to stimulate major political changes in China. However, powerful images of courageous defiance during that protest helped to spark a precipitation of events in other parts of the globe. Among the famous anti-Communist revolutions was the fall of the Berlin Wall, which served as the symbolic gateway to German reunification in 1990.

The Soviet Union was dissolved by the end of 1991, resulting in 14 countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Estonia, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan) declaring their independence from the Soviet Union and the bulk of the country being succeeded by the Russian Federation. Communism was abandoned in Albania and Yugoslavia between 1990 and 1992, the latter splitting into five successor states by 1992: Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (later renamed Serbia and Montenegro, and later still split into two states, Serbia and Montenegro). Serbia was then further split with the breakaway of the semi-recognized state of Kosovo. Czechoslovakia too was dissolved three years after the end of communist rule, splitting peacefully into the Czech Republic and Slovakia in 1992. The impact was felt in dozens of Socialist countries. Communism was abandoned in countries such as Cambodia, Ethiopia, Mongolia and South Yemen. The collapse of Communism led commentators to declare the end of the Cold War.

The adoption of varying forms of market economy immediately resulted in a general decline in living standards in post-Communist States, together with side effects including the rise of business oligarchs in countries such as Russia, and highly disproportional social and economic development. Political reforms were varied but in only five countries were Communist institutions able to keep for themselves a monopoly on power: China, Cuba, North Korea, Laos, and Vietnam. Many Communist and Socialist organisations in the West turned their guiding principles over to social democracy. The European political landscape was drastically changed, with numerous Eastern Bloc countries joining NATO and stronger European economic and social integration entailed.

Later the rise of the Arab Spring  

The protests in Tunisia were sparked by the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi on 17 December 2010 and led to the ousting of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali 28 days later on 14 January 2011, when he officially resigned after fleeing to Saudi Arabia, ending 23 years in power

This is a photo of the revolution in Egypt at Tahrir Square. The Egyptian Revolution of 2011 (Arabic: ثورة 25 يناير‎ thawret 25 yanāyir, Revolution of 25 January) took place following a popular uprising that began on 25 January 2011. It was mainly a campaign of non-violent civil resistance, which featured a series of demonstrations, marches, acts of civil disobedience and labor strikes. Millions of protesters from a variety of socio-economic and religious backgrounds demanded the overthrow of the regime of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Despite being predominantly peaceful in nature, the revolution was not without violent clashes between security forces and protesters, with at least 846 people killed and 6,000 injured. Protests took place in Cairo, Alexandria, and in other cities in Egypt, following the Tunisian revolution that resulted in the overthrow of the long-time Tunisian president.

The Egyptian revolution, along with Tunisian events, has influenced demonstrations in other Arab countries.  Arab Spring is a revolutionary wave of demonstrations, protests, and wars occurring in the Arab world that began on 18 December 2010. To date, rulers have been forced from power in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen; civil uprisings have erupted in Bahrain and Syria; major protests have broken out in Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, and Sudan; and minor protests have occurred in Lebanon, Mauritania, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, and Western Sahara.

Developments in Malaysia and South East Asia

In a developing country like Malaysia, times have changed in accordance to world trends. In local politics, there seems a similar cry towards greater democracy, meaning more justice and freedom for its people.

The situations or reasons of the other countries to move towards more democracy may be different from that of Malaysia. For a start, Malaysia had won it's independence by peaceful means from the British and was set up as a democratic country from the beginning. It adopts the practice of a Parliamentary Democracy with a constitutional monarch. This model is similar to the British system where they have a Parliament as well as a King and/or Queen respected by it's citizens but do not have political powers. So why is there a cry for greater democracy in the country?

The system of Democracy is one involving multiparty elections, a representative government and freedom of speech. What is similar in Malaysia to what the other countries in the world may be facing could be that the  freedom of speech is somewhat curtailed. How is this possible? Freedom in Democracy has never been absolute freedom as the free choice is permitted under legal limits. This means the Parliament can make laws that curtail the freedom of speech with justification that it is necessary for the peace and stability of the country to avoid chaos or riots from happening as an example. Further Malaysia and some of the other neighboring Asian countries have a situation that the same party or coalition of parties and leader such as the Prime Minister or President seem to be allowed to be re elected for many multiple terms. Some may serve for as long as 20 years or more as it's laws does not set a limit on the number of terms a Prime Minister or President can serve.  The majority of the other countries have a maximum of two terms allowed by their laws according to the world list of political term limits here.

In the case of Philippines, Ferdinand Marcos had served as president from 1965 to 1986, the only President to stay in office for more than 20 years. He had declared martial law 3 years after his 2nd re-election of 1969 which was only lifted in 1981. He was re-elected for a term of six years but only served from 1981 to 1986 as he was deposed from office through a peaceful people's revolt. The laws have now changed for a President to serve for maximum 1 term only which is for 6 years.

Military background of a leader has also has influence on how the leader comes to power and how long he can serve in some countries considered democratic. In the case of the republic of Indonesia,  Suharto was one of the generals in the army of the 1st President Sukarno had wrestled power from the President to become the 2nd President serving for 31 years from 1967 to 1998. By the 1980s, it was recorded that Suharto's grip on power was maintained by the emasculation of civil society, engineered elections, and use of the military's coercive powers. Following the Indonesian riots of May 1998 and the resignation of President Suharto, several political reforms were set in motion via amendments to the Constitution of Indonesia. This included the limiting of up to two five-year terms for the President and Vice President, and measures to institute checks and balances.

The Bersih Movement in Malaysia

Even within a democratic country like Malaysia, there are cries for more freedom and justice against corruption in the country :

Street protests in 9 July 2011 under Bersih 2.0

What was I doing there in a grey tee shirt and shorts? The account is in this post.

More street protests on 28 April 2012 under Bersih 3.0

The government had put out a warning not to gather at the Merdeka Square when they heard plans to do so.

But crowds had already gathered in the night before the set date of 28th April 2012

I observed that the police had already put up barricades and barbed wire to stop anyone from going into the Square.

Even cyclists came to check what was going on

When the next day came, thousands upon thousands had gathered just outside of the Square as seen above in the Masjid Jamek LRT station area

As usual, the police shot tear gas and used chemical water guns to disperse the crowd when all were just gathered peacefully!

Some were quite well prepared for the tear gas that stings the eye!

If you don't have goggles, tight sun glasses will do!

The crowd at the Masjid Jamek area did clear and the riot police moved in.

The Latest in Malaysia 2013

The previous Bersih rallies were deemed illegal and the peaceful citizens were shot with tear gas and chemical water guns. A turn of events occurred when the government authorized a political rally by the opposition on 12 Jan 2013 held at the Merdeka Stadium. It turned out peaceful with no incidents at all but look at the size of the crowd in and outside the stadium!!!

With all the public protests and negative events of reported scandals of corruption by government leaders , the 13th General Election (GE13) seemed to have been delayed for the longest period of time. Going by Federal Constitution, parliament must dissolve by the end of the full five-year term which is 29th April 2013. On 3rd April 2013, the Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced that the parliament has resolved thus paving the way for GE13 to be held. The Elections Commission(EC) had to set dates for nominations and polling that must be held within 60 days of the commission receiving the notices of dissolution from the state legislative assemblies that had yet to be dissolved. The date of 5th May 2013 was finally set for the date of the GE13. Politicians from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) and opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR) will be fighting for 222 parliamentary seats and 505 state seats.

Here are the comments of a political writer on Malaysia :

GE-13: No easy choice for Malaysia

Tensions are emerging, however. PAS members, such as Shahnon Ahmad (left), have cast doubt on the party for no longer adhering to the needs of Islam by working together with the DAP. In response, PAS spiritual leader and veteran politician Nik Aziz referenced how the Prophet Muhammad cooperated with Jews and non-Muslims in ancient Mecca by signing the Treaty of Hudaibiya, which was negatively perceived by the Prophet’s followers as a concession to non-Muslim enemies. Aziz was quoted saying, “however, the Muslims managed to capture the city after that”.
To some, Aziz’s comments insinuated that PAS is only cooperating with Paktan Rakyat’s component parties to further its own program of founding an Islamic state governed under hudud law. PAS has advocated gender segregation, dress code requirements, a crackdown on high heels and lipstick, banning movie cinemas, and a ban on Valentine’s Day, all of which the party views as immoral.
Such a political program only appeals to a limited demographic of the Malaysian population, and imposing the will of Islamists onto non-Muslims would undermine religious freedoms and civil liberties. The introduction of such laws in a country like Malaysia would thus represent a dictatorship of a theocratic minority over the multi-faith majority.
The focus of the next administration should arguably instead be centered on safeguarding the religious and cultural freedoms that binds together Malaysian society. Yet there are questions emerging about Pakatan Rakyat leader Anwar Ibrahim’s liberal credentials, including on issues of dissent and political expression.
The recent lawsuit filed by Anwar against political scientist Chandra Muzaffar provides one such insight. Anwar pressed charges against Chandra for saying that his hypothetical tenure as Prime Minister after the upcoming polls would be “an unmitigated disaster for Malaysia”.
As Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister under former authoritarian leader Mahathir Mohamad, Anwar’s economic policies were aligned with international financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank. Both have historically dictated structural adjustment policies that cut social services and dismantle social safety nets in favor of central bankers and private lending institutions.
Some analysts believe that if elected Anwar would again align his policies with the IMF, which has called for the dismantling of Malaysia’s subsidy regime. If those policies are pursued in haste, some believe the nation could face the type of fuel riots that have rocked Nigeria and Indonesia in recent times, and the vicious anti-austerity protests that have become commonplace in the European Union members states such as Greece, Spain, and Portugal.
For all the Opposition criticism, BN has delivered a laudable measure of economic growth and stability. The ruling coalition’s legitimacy is based largely on its ability to deliver economic development with some of the lowest inflation rates in the world, unemployment at a meager 2.9%, and steady economic growth of around 5%. Under Najib’s watch, Malaysia has enjoyed a relatively healthy economy in a time of great global economic uncertainty.

The next administration will need to find innovative ways to reduce increasing public debt levels, bolster programs aimed at increasing incomes, and strengthen populist policies and the social safety net.
It will also need to steadfastly maintain the capital controls imposed under Mahathir that have allowed the nation to navigate through global economic and financial uncertainty.
The next government will also need to respond to outside calls for subsidy reform by balancing its budget wisely while retaining beneficial protectionist measures as it embarks on sweeping infrastructural projects throughout the country. The bottom line is that many Malaysians do not feel like the government is listening to their voices, and that it is more interested in appeasing foreign investors than grassroots communities.
Amendments such as 114A, which has been widely perceived to obstruct Internet freedoms, remain highly unpopular, as does recent news of Malaysia signing onto the controversial United States-led Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade agreement.
The election, which must be held by June, is expected to be a tight race, the results of which may drastically alter the direction of the nation. If Najib is re-elected, his BN-led administration would capture enormous public confidence if it continued liberalizing political expression, squashed capital punishment penalties, and oversaw genuine reform of the police by addressing their spotty custodial death figures.
To uproot and prevent corruption, the next government will need to mandate that all contracts be awarded through open tenders. In that direction, politicians, ministers, and civil society members should be required to declare their assets, disclose their sources of political donations, and declare any foreign assistance and bank accounts.
There is a popular call for the next administration to take a progressive line on past unpopular policies, whichever coalition is next elected at the ballot box.

Nile Bowie is an independent political commentator and photographer based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. He can be reached at

The GE13 set for 5th May 2013 would be the most interesting election to watch as for the first time, the ruling party is facing the biggest challenge ever from the opposition who have the greatest support from the citizens compared to what was received in past years! It is deemed to be the mother of all elections in Malaysia in anticipation of change.

For more on the excitement of election day itself, click here.

On Politics, Freedom and Harmony in Malaysia

The beauty in the basics of democracy is that there is mutual respect, ability to enjoy harmony in diversity and to agree to disagree. What is theory is of course not always the same in practice but in the case of Malaysia, I must say that the freedom I experienced living in what the world regards as a developing country is comparable even to some of the advanced democratic countries of the world. When I talk about freedom, I'm specifically referring to freedom of mind to believe what I choose to believe in, freedom to move around freely and safely in the country and with a freedom to chose my vocation and lifestyle with a choice of goods and services available in most other countries and perhaps even more.

My feelings that the freedom I had experienced in Malaysia is comparable to America was shared in an early day post here. I stated that perhaps the well defined laws in the US created the environment of mutual respect of its citizens. In Malaysia, I believed that a mutual respect of each citizen for the rights of another irregardless of what race or religion they may be from could be due to existing tradition and culture of the people rather than due to the existence of law as developing countries are far less sophisticated in its legal framework. A point to note on the recent US economic and political scenario, is that the complexity of the legal system of check and balances seem to have caused some dysfunctions in the government as some have expressed.

What I had not mentioned in the earlier post was more about the freedom that I had observed Malaysian politicians had displayed. Though press freedom is very much curtailed, again due to tradition rather than law, the politicians who end up being in the opposition some how are able to share their stories and experiences through books they have self published and circulated. These books were particularly very informative especially during a time when the internet was not available and you had to know everything from reading from a book or newsprint.

As a wide reader, I had my share of political books that kept me abreast of political activities in the country and around Asia too.

Though they made up just a small percentage of my personal library of books in the shelves that line the walls of my office and home, it was good enough to learn of the views and struggles of politicians of our young nation, trying to help this country progress or even achieve the status of a developed nation.

Thanks to the internet of today, I could refresh my knowledge and even get a faster summation of the life of some of our well known politicians in our country. It also allows me to appreciate the political freedom that still exists in the country though not entirely free. The following would be the fruit of my labors :.

I would start with Malaysia's 4th Prime Minister and the longest serving one too ie Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad who served from 1981 - 2003 with reference to comprehensive information from the Wikipedia site on the internet. A controversial man indeed as I first learnt of this when I read his book, The Malay Dilemma, when I started life as an entrepreneur in the early 80s.  He had written the book after he was sacked from UMNO supreme council and later expelled from the party itself at the end of 1969, the major component of the ruling coalition party. The book was subsequently banned until he came back to power again as Prime Minister in 1981. What a great man with leadership qualities and oratory skills that could inspire anyone, especially a new entrepreneur like myself I thought. I had always looked forward to his articles published in the newspapers during the time of his leadership as the Prime Minister as they were always inspiring and forward looking.

He announced his resignation in 2003 to the UMNO general assembly and fixed his retirement date on Oct 2003, giving time for him to pass on to his anointed successor, Badawi Abdullah.

Today, in the year 2013, much water has gone under the bridge as they say. Malaysia's political experience has  has become more mature and with the internet, the people are more aware of issues in the country.  On facebook just prior to the elections on May 3, I saw a post from Dr Mahathir's page and read its contents below :

This article appeared in the New Straits Times of April 30, 2013

1. Malaysia has enjoyed more than half a century of peace and stability and high growths under BN coalition Governments. The seizure of power by the Malay majority upon independence as predicted by foreign observers and some locals did not happen.

2. Instead under the Tunku they promoted a sharing of power and wealth between the three major races through a coalition, the Alliance. The Alliance won 51 out of 52 of the 98 Federal Legislative Council seats contested in 1955. The Tunku as Chief Minister agreed with Sir Cheng Lock Tan’s request and gave one million citizenship to unqualified Chinese and Indians, diluting the Malay majority from 80% to 60%.

3. In 1963 Singapore joined the new state of Malaysia. The PAP did not believe in sharing power. It promoted meritocracy, rule by the elites, by suggesting that Malaysia was not ruled by the cleverest and the most qualified but by Malays. This was intended to stop Chinese support for the MCA and antagonise them against the Malays and UMNO.

4. In 1964 elections the PAP contested with the Malaysian Malaysia slogan to reflect its meritocratic creed. It won only one seat. The Chinese in the Peninsular, under the MCA rejected the PAP.

5. The people of the Peninsular, in rejecting the PAP demonstrated their belief in the concept of “kongsi” or sharing espoused by the Alliance. Singapore and its chauvinistic meritocrats had to leave Malaysia.

6. But a Trojan horse was left behind in the form of a political party named DAP. The similarity of name is not accidental for the DAP was to continue the fight for a meritocratic Malaysian Malaysia. The fight against “kongsi” between the races was to continue.

7. Despite a claim that the DAP is multiracial, its leadership and the overwhelming majority of its members belied the claim to this day. The strategy was to antagonise the Chinese against the Malays by suggesting that the Chinese were second-class citizens.

8. This campaign was quite subdued when the Barisan National Government won strong support from people of all races in Malaysia. But as soon as the Government appeared to be weak the DAP extremists were let loose and the attacks against the Malays became blatant to the point of claiming that the Malays are as much newcomers to Malaysia as the Chinese and Indians. There should therefore be no special treatment for them. The DAP conveniently forgets the special treatment accorded to the Chinese and Indians in Malaysia.

9. The growth and prosperity of this multiracial country depend largely on Sino-Malay cooperation or kongsi. The Barisan National exemplifies this kongsi spirit. To break this kongsi the DAP must antagonise the Chinese against the Malays.

10. Through all the elections in Malaysia the people of Johore have personified the kongsi principle. In every election the Malays would support the MCA Chinese and the Chinese would support the UMNO Malay candidates resulting in Johore delivering 100% BN victories.

11. Now Kit Siang has decided it is time to break up the kongsi. True the Chinese majority in Gelang Patah is smaller than the other constituencies Kit Siang had contested. But Kit Siang hopes with the support of PAS he can split Malay votes, so as to defeat BN. Now UMNO is contesting Gelang Patah with little hope of getting Chinese support.

12. Kit Siang does not agree with the Islamic state and Islamic laws proposed by PAS but that party’s ability to break Malay unity in Johore would benefit DAP. Kit Siang knows that PAS would never be strong enough to impose its version of the Islamic laws in Malaysia if Pakatan wins.

13. Kit Siang is more wily than any of PAS’s leaders. He also knows that PAS needs the support of the Chinese in order to defeat UMNO. He holds the trump card in any “pakatan” of the opposition.

14. Johore is a Barisan National bastion. If it is broken then he could put an end to the MCA’s cooperation with UMNO under the old “kongsi” or sharing concept. Instead there would be meritocracy in everything where the winner takes all and the devil takes the hindmost.

15. A win for Kit Siang will be victory for racism and rule by the elites as is found in a nearby country. It will spell the end of good relations in Johore between the races.

16. Victory for Ghani Othman will mean a sharing of power and wealth of this country between all races and tribes in multi-racial Malaysia.

I was impressed to respond to it by saying, "The topic at hand really is not racism but corrupt leaders of any race that is ruining this country"

I also started to re read his book again, "The Malay Dilemma" and this time round, I found the following paragraphs disturbing to me extracted from Chapter 2 entitled, "What Went Wrong?" which was an attempt to analyze why the racial riots occurred on 16 May 1969, the last year when he was still a member of parliament :

"Looking back through the years, one of the starling facts which must be admitted is that there never was true racial harmony. There was a lack of inter-racial strife. There was tolerance. There was accommodation. There was a certain amount of give and take. But there was no harmony. There was in fact cacophony, muted but still audible. And periodically the discordant notes rose and erupted into isolated or widespread racial fights.

Racial harmony in Malaysia was therefore neither real nor deep-rooted. What was taken for harmony was absence of open inter-racial strife. An absence of strife is not necessarily due to lack of desire or reasons for strife. It is more frequently due to a lack of capacity to bring about open conflict." 

Then I started to read in Wikipedia that described his early political career in the middle paragraph as follows :

Elected to parliament in a volatile political period, Mahathir, as a government backbencher, launched himself into the main conflict of the day: the future of Singapore, with its large and economically powerful ethnic Chinese population, as a state of Malaysia. He vociferously attacked Singapore's dominant People's Action Party for being "pro-Chinese" and "anti-Malay" and called its leader, Lee Kuan Yew, "arrogant". Singapore was expelled from Malaysia in Mahathir's first full year in parliament.[14][15] However, despite Mahathir's prominence as a backbencher, he lost his seat in the 1969 election, defeated by Yusof Rawa of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS).[16] Mahathir attributed the loss of his seat to ethnic Chinese voters switching support from UMNO to PAS (being a Malay-dominated seat, only the two major Malay parties fielded candidates, leaving Chinese voters to choose between the Malay-centric UMNO and the Islamist PAS).[17] Large government losses in the election were followed by the race riots of 13 May 1969, in which hundreds of people were killed in clashes between Malays and Chinese. The previous year, Mahathir had predicted the outbreak of racial hostility. Now, outside parliament, he openly criticised the government, sending a letter to Abdul Rahman in which the prime minister was criticised for failing to uphold Malay interests. The letter, which soon became public, called for Abdul Rahman's resignation.[18] By the end of the year, Mahathir had been sacked from UMNO's Supreme Council and expelled from the party; Abdul Rahman had to be persuaded not to have him arrested.[16][17]

Anyone reading the own words of Mahathir before the latest elections in May 2013, the extract from his book on Malay-Chinese relations(of which no evidence or any survey results was provided) and last but not least the history of his early political career can surely conclude that he has been consistently raising the racial issue negatively against the Chinese. Maybe one could ask the question, "Why does he do it?" Could it be possible that it was a political strategy to win back popularity in his UMNO Malay  party? Yet to perhaps throw a smoke screen for the Chinese people, his book turns to dissect the many failings of his own Malay race with his usual straightforward and honest style of writing and giving speeches. Having to please everyone at the same time must surely be a skill of a good politician especially in a multiracial country like Malaysia I'm sure!

I really like to thank Tun Dr Mahathir for the freedom of the internet in Malaysia that he guaranteed should not be censored for the success of the Multimedia Super Corridor(MSC) when it was first initiated in the country in 1996. It has allowed me to piece together this post in analyzing the political climate of our country.  I have always appreciated his straightforward and honest way of writing or giving his speeches. Here is just an extract of the first 3 paragraphs of another article he wrote to show his candidness on the subject of Libel :


This article appeared in the New Straits Times of April 28, 2013

1. The DAP’s Kit Siang has learnt a lot from Anwar Ibrahim, the PKR leader. When unable to counter a critic, silence him by threatening to take libel action in court if the statement is not withdrawn. A long drawn hearing in the court with many postponements, will relieve Kit Siang from having to answer his critic.

2. Now he wants to sue me for calling him a racist. I have been called a racist and an ultra hundreds of times. I never sued anyone. I am a politician and ours is a democratic nation. I believe in free speech. If my political opponents call me names, I can reply or I can do something to prove them wrong.

3. I was called a Malay ultra when I became the Deputy Prime Minister. Yet in the 1999 Elections the Malays did not support me. It was Chinese votes which gave me a two-thirds majority. Incidentally Kit Siang and Karpal Singh, the loudest in calling me a Malay racist, lost in that election.

The issue of race seems to be again highlighted in this 13th General Elections (GE 13) by the ruling coalition BN party as reported in this online news where the term 'Chinese Tsunami' is blamed for their poorer results despite winning the elections for another 5 year term.

The following videos may be helpful to give us a better understanding of the political controversy that exists in Malaysia, behind the topic of race which to most Malaysians will be reminded about the May 13 riots of 1969 :

Seen on the video is the 1st Prime Minister of Malaysia, Tunku Abdul Rahman (1957-1970)
The above hard to find video clip in Malay, that reveals the concerns of Tunku on how self serving politicians have brought this country into the regretful situation it is today, is extracted from this blog post.

The video is by a prominent leader of the Democratic Action Party (DAP), Lim Kit Siang

As I had commented on Tun Dr. Mahathir's facebook page that corruption should be the main issue of the country instead of race, it is worthwhile to watch the video below of the head of the opposition coalition PR party, Dato' Seri Anwar Ibrahim. He was formerly the deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia (1993-98) and how he became an Opposition leader in Malaysian politics is explained in the Wikipedia site.

 He shares his plight as an Opposition leader in the country

Here is a former Finance Minister of the country, Tengku Razaleigh, who is still a member in the ruling political party but shares his honest opinion of why a change is needed extracted from his web page which is a must read as well!

In the height of the political activities in the country, I had a special personal experience to share below :

The plight as an Opposition leader makes me recall the above photo taken with a Member of Parliament from Sibu city in Sarawak state of East Malaysia on 19 April of 2012. The site was a student protest area at the Dataran Merdeka near my apartment in KL where earlier in the morning they were attacked by some mobsters as described in this blog post. I happened to meet the man by coincidence that I had read about to be the one who won the parliamentary seat in a by-election in Sibu despite Najib visiting earlier to offer to sign a cheque of 5 million for the city if they elected the BN candidate as per this video. Mr Wong Ho Leong  happened to be attending a parliamentary session in KL and dropped by to pay a visit to the students. I heard him giving them commendation for their courage to protest against the government but highlighted to them that it is not an easy path but one that will be filled with challenges, having experienced being thrown to jail before in his own life experience.

Another man whom I got to know personally before he became a politician is Edward Lee Poh Lin

I knew him through some social work that he was involved with as an active Christian, helping a Pastor Peter Low for cancer treatment at the local University Hospital in Petaling Jaya.

Sadly, by coincidence, both men Mr Wong Ho Leong and Edward Lee Poh Lin, the only politicians whom I got to personally know, passed away from cancer. I've added a link to their names to click for more information about their life. For Edward Lee who lived in Section 5 PJ where I've been to his home with a few other meetings outside whenever social work was involved, I feel a certain closeness to his spirit and feel I would like to follow up with meeting his son who has this blog post in remembrance of his father.

So we can read about and hear from the politicians themselves to become aware of their stories, thinking, mission and vision. We also have views and expert opinions from third party sources. I have found bloggers who are very good in collecting informative views from various sources such as Din Merican with the following posts of related topics worth reading :

Making Corruption History

The last excerpt with the title of 'Corruption' caught my attention as a post-dated addition to this continuing blog post!

As time progresses, the honest and bold writings of other writers came to my attention :

Dr M’s lies and falsehoods

Year 2015 - Political Breakthroughs

This post that started when my mind began to think about politics of the world and eventually into the local scenario in my own country has become quite a journal of what has become the Story of Malaysia for good or for bad. Somehow as I perceive the many different people of Malaysia with it's multi racial and multi religious culture each has contributed to the progress of the economic and political systems in the country, for good and for bad. Basic senses come into play through different people wearing different hats but overall, the maturity of the people in their feelings and thinking can be perceived especially in the political thinking of the people.

Every story has it's troughs as well as its peaks and I've earmarked this year of 2015 as a peak of exposures or breakthroughs in the political environment of the country. The people can begin to see a division of the wheat and the tares so to speak in our democratic based system of government of its people. The world with its social media is now very involved to know what is happening in Malaysia that has created concerns by certain quarters of the government who are starting to clamp down on certain internet sites as well as the news media that it claims are confusing the public between the truth and falsehoods! As a result, some of the website links I have published in this post are not accessible any more.

The beauty about the information world we live in is that someone like myself, a stranger to local politics in the past can begin to do proper research by reading more of what is available and make my own assumptions or conclusions which I've shared openly in my writings. I have the benefit of public figures who have honestly shared their wisdom and experience in social media and one such person I have come across is Koon Yew Yin, an elderly successful businessman and philanthropist. His writings in the middle of the year like this one describes well the political scene of the nation in the middle of the year. One can click the home page of his website to find the archives of all his writings up to the present day to find him an active writer in politics as well as business.

February 2015
Dr Mahathir speaks out

Very enlightening session to hear the questions posed by the public to Dr Mahathir who gets a chance to explain his rationale of his leadership of the past, with admittance of some personal weaknesses of his own, with signs that he has a desire to correct the problems faced by the country where he was the one who had chosen his successors. Why English is important as a language for Science and Mathematics was well explained. His rationale for extended terms for a Prime Minister was well covered at the end of the video, highlighting the pro and cons of it. A question on the  NEP or New Economic Policy in Malaysia was the last he responded to. The event was organized by CENBET.

August 2015 - Bersih 4

More information of the public progressive public rallys of Bersih from the first to the fourth can be read in this article.

Due to the exposed corrupt acts of the current serving 6th Prime Minister, Dato' Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak,  among other suspected criminal acts spread through social  media, a historic number of the citizens of the country took to the streets in Malaysia and gathered in other cities of the world to show their no-confidence vote to him! A live-report of the 2 days' event in Kuala Lumpur can be found here.

Even Malaysia's 4th Prime Minister and the longest serving one too i.e. Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad who served from 1981 - 2003 appeared himself to join the public outcry, explaining the reasons for his appearance in this public rally in the video below and the series following it :

Channel News Asia coverage :

Najib absent in IACC :

It is not surprising that Najib Razak did not show up at the International Anti-Corruption Conference when he was an assigned speaker as reported here.   Nevertheless, the Wall Street Journal writes that the Malaysia protesters face an uphill battle to dislodge Prime Minister Najib Razak as per this article. 

Year 2016
 February 2016 - Opposition leaders exposes corruption of a gigantic scale by the ruling party leaders especially the current prime minister Dato' Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak. 


1 March 2016 - Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad leaves UMNO


27 March 2016 - Tun Dr Mahathir bin Mohamad appears on 60 Minutes Australia :
                             Click the video below to watch :


Australia Broadcast Corporation (ABC) programme on Malaysia :

28 July 2016 

 To read the full story above, click here.

5 September 2016
Former Prime Minister of Malaysia Dr Mahathir meets jailed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur. Click here for the full story.

15 September 2016
Pakatan Harapan is a political alliance that was founded in 2015 as a coalition of left-leaning and centre parties. It is the second largest coalition in the Parliament of Malaysia. Coalition president Wan Azizah Wan Ismail has been Opposition Leader of Malaysia since 18 May 2015. In state level, it is also the largest party in 2 of 13 state legislative assemblies of Malaysia and forms the government in the state of Selangor and Penang.
The coalition was formed on 22 September 2015, consisting the Democratic Action PartyPeople's Justice PartyNational Trust Party and Malaysian United Indigenous Party.[5] The movement has aimed to form a broad alliance of centre-left parties for the general election due to be held before 24 August 2018.
The coalition has chosen former Prime Minister and coalition chairman, Mahathir Mohamad, and coalition president, Wan Azizah, as their candidates for the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister post respectively for the upcoming General Election
Pakatan Harapan is a direct successor to the three-party Pakatan Rakyat coalition that consisted the People's Justice Party (PKR), the Democratic Action Party (DAP) and the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS). Pakatan Harapan was founded on 22 September 2015, two years after the 2013 general election, due to disagreements and conflicts between PAS and DAP mainly regarding on the issue of the implementation of the sharia law, resulting in PAS splitting off from Pakatan Rakyat and the break-up of the coalition on 16 June 2015.[6][7][8] The dissolution resulted in the formation of a new coalition named Pakatan Harapan, consisting the former Pakatan Rakyat parties, PKR and DAP, and a PAS split-off party, the National Trust Party (AMANAH).[9][10]
On 12 November 2016, a UMNO split-off party, the Malaysian United Indigenous Party, abbreviated as PPBM, confirmed that the party is committed to join the opposition bloc Pakatan Harapan, as stated by PPBM Chairman and former Malaysian Prime Minister, Mahathir Mohamad.[11][12] Later on 13 December, PPBM formed an electoral pact with Pakatan Harapan through a seven-point agreement at the PKR headquarters,[13] and on 14 March 2017, PPBM officially joined Pakatan Harapan as a member party.[14]

19 November 2016


An interesting turn of events where Dr Mahathir now wears the yellow Bersih tee shirt to join thousands of protesters who created a yellow sea of people surrounding the KLCC twin towers!

I was in Kuala Lumpur ready for it with my cameras and did most of my posts in facebook which have been embedded in this post.

Activist Maria Chin Abdullah was released on 28 November 2016 after 11 days in detention. I was in the crowd on the day of her release seen with Opposition leader MP Lim Kit Siang. 

The following are some latest articles about his plight to remove the current Prime Minister Dato' Sri Haji Mohammad Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak and moves to join opposition parties :

Click here to read about an interesting comparison of the two political leaders

Dec 2016

May 2017

Najib visits Saudi for Arab Islamic American Summit in Riyadh attended by Donald Trump 

News Report from local Malaysian online paper here.

Screen shot of Najib from a video coverage of the summit meeting with a speech by Donald Trump, the US President. Full video can be viewed here.

July 2017

Response to Najib's comments about Kit Siang and Mahathir reported here.

1 Aug 2017

Read in my WhatsApp message on this day :

8/1/17, 11:54:51 AM: ‪+60 12‑217 9110‬: UK : Don't like our VAT 20%? You can leave UK and go to Malaysia. Their GST is only 6 %

US :You want free healthcare ? You can leave USA and go to Malaysia . It's almost free there!

Hong Kong : Cannot afford a house ? You can leave Hong Kong and go to Malaysia . Almost everyone above 35 years old own houses there!

Philippines : What ? You want a car ? Leave Philippines and go to Malaysia . Every house hold owns more than a car there!

Sweden : you complain about high cost of living ? Migrate to Malaysia, they have one of the lowest cost of living around. 

Canada : petrol price too expensive ? Leave Canada and go to Malaysia . Their petrol is even cheaper than Coca Cola!

China : want to secure a place in high school ? Leave China and go Malaysia . They have lots of Chinese schools for you and everyone is secured of a place . 

Japan : want to enjoy life while working ? Leave Japan and go Malaysia . They have lots of Public Holidays, they work only until 5 pm, civil servants work until 430 pm, and everyone is on 5-day week. They can go movie, drink Starbucks, eat out regularly and always travel .

Australia : Unhappy that shops here close too early ? Migrate to Malaysia mate, they have 24 hour eateries everywhere and supermarkets open till 10 pm. 

Indonesia : want a Chinese mayor ? Leave Jakarta and go to Penang . The Penang Chief Minister has always been a Chinese, since 1957 ! 

Singapore : you want to curse and defame your leader in FB ? Leave Singapore lah and go up north . They can curse their Prime Minister everyday. 

And the list goes on...

*Whatever it is Malaysia is still the best! 👍*


21 Nov 2017

(LIVE) What Say Youth Town Hall - Conversation with Tun Mahathir and Lim Kit Siang
Posted by Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad on Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Posted at Najib's blog on 17 Nov 2017 

18 Jan 2018
by Aliran

Corruption in Malaysia from Boynie Chong on Vimeo.

6 Feb 2018
With the 14th elections of Malaysia expected to be around the corner, such action by the authorities is expected :

On checking the law to protect Whistle Blowers, it is found to be inadequate as it needs to be reported to the government agencies who take directives from the government ministers themselves as shared in this public article.

7 Feb 2018

SHAH ALAM: After seven years of trial, PKR vice-president Mohd Rafizi Ramli was sentenced to 30 months' jail by the Sessions Court today for exposing the bank account details related to National Feedlot Corporation Sdn Bhd (NFC) and its chairman Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Salleh Ismail.

Source - NST Online News

This cartoon points out the irony :

Ambiga Sreenevasan: We Are Being Destroyed By The Massive Corruption That We Have Had to

3 Mar 2018

Personal encounter with Rafizi Ramli on a brief trip to Kuantan. 

13 Mar 2018
Last speech by Rafizi Ramli in Parliament


Latest - Gerrymandering tactics in redrawing electoral boundaries

23 Mar 2018

27 Mar 2018

28 Mar 2018
News Report from The Malaysian Insight

29 Mar 2018

30 Mar 2018

7 April 2018

Parliament is dissolved.

Click here for the news

17 May 2018
Anware Ibrahim interview by CNN

...To be continued or edited where necessary