Friday, August 13, 2010


Freedom is the right of all sentient beings. Said Optimus Prime.

Without freedom, we have nothing. Absolutely nothing.

My grandfather got on a boat from China when he was 17 so he could find his freedom on a foreign land.

On my mother's side, there was her grandfather who came from Pattani. He was a travelling preacher. His wife was from a rich family of people from Indonesia.

On my maternal grandfather's side, is the Bugis connection. Grand sailors. Pirates. Who settled in landlocked areas of Pahang.

The current PM, Najib, comes from the same family. We are related. Though I have never used this.

My family has always moved around. We don't sit still. There's a wanderlust in all branches of the family.

My paternal grandfather, the Chinese dude, packed only the clothes on his back, coming here. He slept on a pillow of stone for years, because it ensured he would wake up early. To the end of his days, at almost a hundred, he woke up at 6am and start gardening.

The family looks down on laziness and stupidity. If you're stupid, with no saving grace, we kill you.

The stupid ones in the family had to either develop cunning or be ridiculed for the rest of their life.

Getting number one is not lauded. It is expected.

At any one time, you need to juggle at least three tasks. When watching TV, I was also expected to clean dried anchovies, clean dishes AND kill flies.

Weekends mean even more work than usual. Resting is a sin. We used to repair the house, paint it or clean it. If your body is not aching by dinner, you are a failure.

A few years ago, I rebelled.

I said, "Fuck it, man. I pay for the Astro. That TV is 70% mine, and I bought cleaned dried anchovies already. I'm watching The Powerpuff Girls and nothing in this universe can stop me from doing just that."

I broke tradition. Fuck pain. Fuck hard work. I will do whatever the fuck I want to do. It's my way or the highway.

Like the Bugis pirates who ditched their boats and stayed inland. Like the 17 year old Chinese boy who left Guangdong and came to a strange country.

In the end, I am also a transient.