I've been here for more than two weeks. Got stuck a bit really. I's been a great holiday away from the hustle and bustle of the city but... It's time to head Cambodia as I have things to do there and time flies. I'm planning a long stay there but... we all know how it is and how one can get lazy, then postpone things... and in the end it turns out that the deadline is approaching and the panic starts. I want to avoid this panic and do things on time. Slowly but surely.
The jungle will wait. I will have to. Anyway, I'll be coming back to Asia every so often so nothing has been lost(silver lining).
I'll be in Penang early in the morning and I'm trying to find somewhere cheap to stay online but it doesn't loo pretty... :-) Very expesive is this Malaysia counrty. Expensive but sooooo interesting, indeed.
On of my favourite things right behind smoking cigarettes, drinking coffee and sex :-) (although the order should be reversed) is reading newspapers, which the activity is even more interesting in a foreign country. It gives a bit of the insight into what the nation is talking about. So, I'll try to brief you shortly in what Malaysia is talking about these days.
1. 1Malaysia Campagin
There are three major ethinc groups here: Malay, Chinese and Hindu. Their cultures, religions and food mingle with one another but the country isn't free from ethnic problems and inequalities. Thus, the 1Malaysia concept and campaign was introduced.
"1Malaysia is intended to provide a free and open forum to discuss the things that matter deeply to us as a Nation. It provides a chance to express and explore the many perspectives of our fellow citizens. What makes Malaysia unique is the diversity of our peoples. 1Malaysia’s goal is to preserve and enhance this unity in diversity which has always been our strength and remains our best hope for the future. I hope this website will initiate an open and vital dialogue exploring our Malaysian identity, our purpose, and direction. I encourage each of you to join me in defining our Malaysia and the role we must play in its future. Each of us â€“ despite our differences â€“ shares a desire for a better tomorrow. Each of us wants opportunity, respect, friendship, and understanding." (from http://www.1malaysia.com.my/about/about-1malaysia/)
Posters with slogans calling for creating a unified nation seem to be everywhere: in the streets, squares, public buildings. All the effort is to make people feel Malays; not Chinese, not Hindu or Muslim but most of all Malays. In the press people from various groups discuss how to achieve this unity and all the eyes are at teachers and educators who are supposed to talk to and teach students about tolerance.
2. The Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Moon Festival, referred to as the Lantern Festival or Mooncake Festival.
In Kuala Lumpur the main attractions were organized in the Chinatown area: dance shows, exhibitions and of course mooncake eating.
But the festival is not only about eating but also about buying lanterns or building them. So, this year, as one could read in one of the KL's dailies: "Octopus lanterns sell out." This year for the first time ever, lanterns came in the octopus-like shapes and sold out like hot cakes (mooncakes - people had to queue for hours to get these). It seems also, as the New Straits Times suggests, that old-fashioned traditional candle-lit lanterns are back in a game. "Battery operated lanterns were popular some years back, but people seem to appreciate handmade lanterns more nowadays." Apparently, a traditional lantern strikes the better mood.
3. Malaysia-Indonesia Crisis due to abused Indonesian maid who was found in Penang
So there are people from Indonesia coming to work here and one of the common professions for women is tending rich Malay's houses. This unfortunate case when revealed cause a lot of tension between Kuala Lumpur and Jakrta. "Biker horde tells Malaysian envoy to go home." There was a protest organized in front of the Malay Embassy in Jakarta. The participants said the they are giving the Malay envoy two days to leave the country. The protesters threatened to go to shopping centres and ask Malaysian tourists to leave the country. The police assisted the protesters and bar their entry to the shopping malls. The governments are investigating the case. A couple from Panang, who hired the maid, was arrested on the September 19th.
4. Paris Hilton is not coming to KL....
We could read last night that paris Hilton cancelled her trip to Kuala Lumpur due to unexpected trouble at the airport in Japan.
Hilton was denied entry to the Country of Cherry Blossoms due to drug offences. Japan has very sever laws when it comes to drugs and anybody previously penalized for drugs-related incidents will be banned from the country. In the past celebrities such as the Rolling Stones and Paul McCartney had problems with admission to Japan. It is said that Paris stood a chance to get permission from the justice minister had she informed authorities about her arrival earlier. But the princess decided to just show up a day after being convicted. As a result of all this fuss, Paris left Asia and cancelled her trips to Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta, where she was to introduce her new lines of clothes and perfume. On her departure she twitted: Going home now. So disappointed to miss my fans in Asia. I promise to come back soon. I love you all. Love Paris xoxox."
OMG!!! Paris, you've surely disappointed masses. NOT.
And what is going on in our wild country?