Friday, January 12, 2007

It's Your Country

Yours, Mine and Ours
This is one story I am so embarrassed to tell. But I will tell anyway since this is my blog and nobody can stop me.
I am already beginning to feel very empowered. Don't know whether that is a good thing. I hope I will not be my own victim. You know -- power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.
You do see that around, don't you? But, this is the blog world. How powerful can you get?
More apt is -- how influential can you get?
I suppose you will know when the people you irritate, anger and irk start squirming and use their "power" to get at you.
But, I am digressing as usual. Can't help it. Thinking about Jeff Ooi, Rocky and Shieh. "Big" and "powerful" people gunning for them.
Funny. On one hand, these very same people have been pooh-poohing bloggers. On the other, they wanna kill these little powerless people call bloggers.
Now, back to my embarrassing story.
Up until 2003, I was not a registered voter. I never felt embarrassed then. I felt that as a journalist I had to be impartial, neutral. So, I decided, for a very long time (way way too long, I think) to stay away from making a choice, a decision.
It was, of course, such a stupid stand. And I took it to the extreme. Not only was it stupid. It was so irresponsible.
But back then, I did not feel stupid. Neither did I feel irresponsible. I felt that it was the right thing to do, although I knew that I was not exercising my constitutional right. How could that be right, right?
I had been covering general elections (as a reporter) since 1982. Perhaps, that was why. I felt comfortable being on the outside and not casting my vote.
I can go on and on about how stupid I was....until 2003, that is, when I decided, yes, I want to be part of the election process.
I went to the nearest registration station, signed up, and the rest is history.
Early one morning in March, 2004, my sister and I went to Sekolah Sultan Abdul Samad in Petaling Jaya to cast our ballot. We were among the very few early birds there.
I cannot tell you how good I felt after I had cast my vote.
Did I feel that the destiny of this country was in my hands? I sure did.
That feeling still remains even though I have been told over and over again, that no, the destiny of this country is not in my hands. Nor the hands of voters. That it is in the hands of a few people.
I am a very realistic and practical person. I know that right now and right here, I cannot do much to right what is wrong.
The system of political rule in this country is not bad. Of course, of course, I hear you, I hear you. There are some not so good things there.
Maybe right now, the destiny of this country is in the hands of a few people. Maybe, there is nothing you and I can do, right now.
You and I know, all is not lost. You and I know too, that this country we call home, cannot be all that bad.
I am sure glad I did what I did back in 2004.
I like that overwhelming sense of responsibility when I marked the ballot papers -- one for a parliamentary seat, the other, for the state.
Sounds silly sometimes, just talking about it.
But no. Not silly, after all. It is about making a choice for this country. It is yours, remember? And mine.

27 comments:

Kak Teh said...

ena, i did my bit of covering politics - not much. Covering election campaigns etc, i didnt like it. And while I was there, I nevervoted. Then as you know, i was posted to penang and i did courts, i was more into the stories as told by the accused then the sandiwaras in the courtrooms. and i will try to dissuade any of my children from being a lawyer. i guess i am more of an observer..sit under the big tree sipping kopitiam and watch the goings on. itis more 'real'.

truemalaysian said...

nuraina, good for you. do you now feel complete? i registered as a voter as soon as I was eligible to vote. i must thank my parents for forcing me to register. i voted in every election after that. i am very glad i did. i know the feeling. i think, looking at the situation in the country, with price increase and all that, i know what to do with my voting power.
power to the people!!!

rakyat said...

When will the next election come? Will it be one? Do we just accept this as our fate helplessly? Or we can change? How to?

freelunch2020 said...

cool post. it's the little things that many people do that makes a difference.
n blogs are the new media of the millenium, just look at the trend in US and soon it will be malaysia.
it's a pity u left the NST. but i guess it's about power and regime change.
am really glad u have a blog :D

Anonymous said...

I remembered that 30yrs ago +-,a young intelligent looking and extremely sexy girl from PJ joined ITM in Shah Alam.All the male seniors eyes were on her but not many dared to approach her.You see this girl chooses the boy that she wants to talk to and not the other way round.
Glad to know that you are on your feet again,was wondering where you went after NSTP.Salam and take care.

sang nila utama said...

Dear Nuraina,
I read in kmu and then at Datuk ron's blog that rocky bru and jeff ooi are being sued by new straits times.
kmu got published letter from the lawyers. Looks like bloggers are living dangerously. And you entering the ring at this dangerous time.
Will you change your mind? I don't think so. I take my hats off these bloggers, including yourself, for exposing your backs.
there are so many back-stabbers in Malaysia.

As for voting, I have voted several times. Yes, I know how it is you felt. There are many people who have never voted. Maybe all your journalist friends have never registered because of your principles.
You have to respect such principles. Not stupid, not at all.
It's just that, you know, sometimes we must leave principles at home in order to achieve some good.

May we voters make a difference this time around. I am wiser, too.

Regards

Pak Tuo said...

hmmmm....Yes......

salam...sis

This is what i call 'when the falcon meets the falconeers'

Wassalam

~ GAB ~ said...

Man... I am not alone after all.

Well, maybe I registered much earlier than you did but when it comes to casting my vote in the ballot, only once I did - in the last election.

I have a funny way of looking at it, about casting votes thing. That inculcate the impression in me when I was young. I was at the center where the votes went for counting. I overheard talks in the coffee shop before the counting was done. They say, if Dato' so-and-so runs low in the vote count, the power supply will be cut off. They'll count again. It can be repetitious until that Dato overedged. And true enough, it happened. What's that?

Anyway, I did my duty as a voter and I will do it again next time.

mulah said...

I love TDM, UMNO and Barisan Nasional so much till now, i still do. As my childhood till grown up, these trio always makes me proud being a Malay, Malaysian.
But, the last general election, my vote goes to PAS for DUN and Barisan Nasional for Parliament . Why?
Because it is simple, 'Isa pendek' not belong there, and he did not deserve to be vote anymore. And I do not vote DAP for Parliament.
No regret, it shows my ability to make a decision with no emotional or sentimental influence on. Very powerful, right decision from my heart and mind. (what happen to Isa Samad now? - politically dead).
Still echo in my ear, the morning of elction day, my brother shouting to crowd at checking point. 'Orang kampong kalau letak lembu jadi calon Barisan Nasional, lembu pun dipangkahnya'.

Anonymous said...

I agree -- this is a good country. I would go as far as to say that it is a wonderful country. Land of milk and honey. But it is sad that the media has to be controlled in such a manner. But good for ex-journos who turn to blogging. I tend to accept what they write a little more readily than what the non-journos have to say, probably because ex-journos in general know how to verify souces and double check their facts. Generally, that is.

Here's to you new blog, Ena.

-vanitha-

Sesat said...

It sure has taken you a long time to decide to take the "plunge". You know what they say: "stand up and be counted", good on you. Visited your blog first time today, got your link from a link of a blog I have been visiting, am enjoying your rantings.
Ngomong punya ngomong, your mention (elsewhere) of the names Lubis, Nasution & Harahap makes this ex-Indonesian ex-Medanese Cina Sesat (sesat ke tanah orang bule') pleasantly nostalgic. Ah.... those were the days long long time ago.
Happy writing to you and happy reading to me.
Salam

rewang said...

Somehow I felt angry at your confession. Angry knowing someone didnt do his/her part - sort of like seeing someone 'curi tulang' while some of us sweat (blood) it out. But like the saying goes, better late than never.

lubok melayu said...

Ena,
Ramai wartawan "dulu" yang memang macam tu, tak mendaftar lalu tak mengundi, buka ahli parti BN atau pembangkang lantas dapat menjadi adil dan saksama dalam penulisannya. Bagi saya tak menjadi salah. Yang salah bila wartawan mengampu bodek orang politik untuk habuan diri sendiri, yang mengkritik orang kerana mau memenangkan tuan politiknya, walaupun tuannya itu sampah, korap, dan tidoq memanjang. Saya seorang wartawan, dah lebih dia dekad, tak pernah mendaftar. Tahun ini saya akan mengundi.

Anonymous said...

Yeah yeah yeah..you felt good then...and I'm sure you voted the party you think would deliver the goods..the question is "do you feel duped"? Like so many of us who did. Sooooooo, this time round, I just hope those who have been sitting on their butts, get up, read the blogs for the a more balanced report on the goings on in the country - that means forget NST lah - and make up you mind. And on the way to the voting booth via a toll that just hiked up their fees,and in your car that now costs more than RM80 to fill, vote well.

cucuparit

ilene said...

Wah Kak Teh, like that hor, you don't lawyers. Does that mean you also don't like the sexitalies working inside there ah?

Oooppss..sorry Nuraina, got carried away with Kak Teh's comments! Minta ma'af eh? Next time must remember to ask permission for tumpang lalu first! hehehehe..

BTW Nuraina, engkau ni tak membalas comment kita lah. Mana boleh? Anxious to hear your response.

Vote, vote, vote pun Parliament tak dengar suara aku lah! How lei?

ilene said...

Hi Nuraina,
Yep, it's me again. I need a little favour from you boleh tak? My friends in blog world all very jealous you come and visit me and not them. You see, famous writer and journalists have visited me and they're so envious. Boleh tak saya jemput Nuraina bersembang-sembang dengan kawan-kawan saya? They would be Judy Leese, Wonda and Firehorse. Thanks soooooo...much! muuuuuuuah!

mob1900 said...

Year 2008 will be a year for the Voters. Thanks for bringing the awareness back.

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

Ah (kak teh), i remember the three of us (you, fatimah and I) on our first court assignment.
how the three of us,instead of covering one court each, all three sat in one court to cover a snatch-theft case. how very naive, we were. we cried when the accused (he was about 21 yrs old or so) was sentenced to jail. can you imagine that. because he looked so innocent. we forgot the fact that he was the perpetrator of a CRIME. definitely, we cannot be magistrates. i wouldnt be crying for snatch thieves in court now. that's for sure.
we came back to the office to brief the desk-- three reporters briefing (on) one court case. and couldnt write the story because we were sobbing. luckily, we were on practical training. i think it was in 1977.
well.... we have come soooo far, havent we? scary...

NURAINA A SAMAD said...

hi ilene,
of course you can tumpang. no problem. i know that in Kak Teh's blog, you and yr friends, including kak teh, all sembang-sembang. so much fun. i enjoy reading the sembang2. as though i am there enjoying kopi and roti kaya while listening to all the chatter. so syok.
i think it is not that kak teh does not like lawyers.. she dowant her kids to be lawyers. thats all. you know her hubby is a law graduate. so, how can she dont like lawyers.
anyway, i will definitely visit wonda, firehorse and yr kawan2.
take care.

Anonymous said...

dearest friends:

yes, it is our country. but it's being ransacked by people who have no love for this country. it is being turned upside down by people who pretend to love this country.

just look south, friends. our brothers and our sisters the poor and the commoner are suffering. their homes are under water and their belongings have been swept away by the pitiless floods. are we taking care of them as we should? we are not. our leaders go on holiday abroad, take ferris wheel rides while watching the government burn taxpayers' money on fireworks, we treated outselves to foreign superstars, and we gagged on nasi kandar. they took pictures of themselves giving money and receiving money while they make money out of dubious merger schemes and rob taxpayers of whatever little money they have, and gave some to the wealthy concessionaires.

give a bit of thought to the sufferings of the people. not just those ruined by the floods but those flooded by bills to pay and debts to settle.

i say down with people who don't care about their people. may true leaders emerge soon. tdm please come back.

nuraina, keep the good work.

the writer from space.

Anonymous said...

Oh no! Not another blog! It's starting to feel like a full-time job just getting through the newspapers, webnews, and blogs (not to mention news on tv!) every day. Lucky thing I'm still just a student!

Congrats, Nuraina! I wish I could e-mail you directly, but I don't know what your current e-mail is. Maybe we can meet up for tea once I get back. In the meantime, happy blogging!

Aniza D.

ilene said...

Hei Nuraina, I saw your visit at Firehorse! Thanks sooooo..much Nuraina. Much appreciated. Ah...Kak Teh's husband law graduate ah? The more the children should take up law!

Apa lah, 3 angels cover one snatch case! heheheh...But at that time just freshies so can't blame you all. But if now...? I think all 3 of you would do a better job during the Q & A sessions than the freshie lawyers in court who stammers in their questioning because they came unprepared! Ooops! No offence to lawyers!

wonda said...

Nuraina,
Thanks for leaving your footprints on our blog's comments. You must be in for a surprise, seeing the stuff we put up and the way we commented. We are a bunch of fun-loving, crazy people trying to cheer each other up. As you know, Kak Teh is one of us and always tumpang lalu here and tumpang lalu there. Sometimes, we have turned our blog into a comedy and now script-writing. Just waiting for a Ken Watanbe and Ziyi Zhang to act on Memoirs of a beca. Do come by and join in the fun. :))

A Voice said...

Tak pakai ke Blogger United logo?

FireHorse said...

Nuraina, thanks for bisiting my humble kopitiam, ada order kopi kah, awes free wan tau. Got one question for you? Bila you mai kat my kopitiam Wonda going like "wow Nuraina mari sini".
I am simple kopi soh dun know much wan so pls pardon my ignorance, but are you fehmes or somethin lidat?

Dr ve Thru said...

Nuraina, with what is happening to the other three bloggers, esp Jeff Ooi (I used to read his blog), I hope you will be more careful but then again, maybe you are one brave Malaysian. :))

Besuk you pergi belog saya....I ada kejutan ya?

Anonymous said...

i also have registered but yet to cast my vote... Although, if I were to vote it would mean nothing..