Friday, October 19, 2012

As I managed to secure a distinction in my final examination of my first year MBBS, I've been back to my college for third semester (a.k.a second year) study.

We are learning certain new subjects, they are pathology, pharmacology, microbiology, community medicine, medicine & surgery. We started posting everyday morning in which we are required to visit the ward and sometimes the operation theatre.

Here comes the main thought I wish to voice out now: As we started the posting, we bought stethoscopes and brought it with us because we might need it to auscultate the patients in the ward during the posting. Doctors asked us to get fully equipped while entering the ward to "disguise" as doctor while interacting with the patients so that they are not aware of the fact that we are just medical students. Therefore, each of us hanged our stethoscope around the neck and put our two hands inside the pockets of our white coat, smart looking indeed.

I did the same thing too, otherwise the patients wouldn't have been willing to speak with me. However, I'm just not feeling quite comfortable to do so. I'm just a third semester student who knows nothing much about the condition of the patients. I don't know how to relieve their pain and grief whenever they complaint something to me, let alone any treatment.

I'm just not fond of taking and showing some photos of mine posing smart in the white coat with stethoscope, or posing cool in the surgery gown with the face covered by a mask and the hair covered by a surgery hat, as if I'm already capable to treat patients.

I can understand the reason my friends around myself have been doing so. We are excited by the fact that we are going to be doctors in the future. We want to be a part of the career we are going to traverse by labeling ourselves prior to that. It is a sense of self-involvement, a sense of pride in what we are doing.

Sometimes it bears more responsibility than to portray ourselves to the public as doctor-to-be. Do reflect on whether our current ability can actually match the prestigious image. It is never too late to show our titles to others.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

There are a lot of stories and experience I can share but I've not been having so much interest to put them into words recently. Here is a quick update.

The final exam is just around ten days from this moment, however I'm not in a good mood to spend the whole day long just for revision. I truly believe if we have worked hard throughout the academic semesters, we could make ourselves comfortable to stick with our normal schedule during the exam weeks. If we could memorise everything within the short period before taking a paper, then there is no need to be consistently diligent and motivated in this course. Moreover I'm feeling a little homesick and craving for a short break, so I do procrastinate a lot despite the final exam is approaching.

It has been almost ten months I'm staying in Mangalore, India. If your friend is back for holiday after going through some semesters in universities in UK or USA, I'm sure he would be able to share so much regarding every aspect of the university life, from the great diversity of the student group he interacts, the living quality, to the different culture he is exposed. He must have enjoyed a lot.

I'm not sure what to say whenever I'm asked,

"How's India treating you? How's your life there?"

What do you wish to know? The food, people, or the environment? Whether I like them? Is the life as miserable as it seems to be told by so many of the seniors? I don't have a definite answer. Or maybe you can get one by yourself after reading this post.

My life in India is simple, it is all about study and get a good sleep while getting myself entertained through Internet. Oh, not forget to feed myself. In short, Internet is the only channel I could keep in touch with the society I truly belong to. In this place, I'm just like a person living in my own world.

I don't have many friends in India. I'm not even interested to make some new friends. I'm actually friendly to everyone, I just don't get to know them further. Some of them sent me some friend request on Facebook but I'm not approving. To be honest my friend requests are now piling up to more than one hundred, and I've got my reason to be aware of my privacy of social websites. In case if you are one of those waiting for the approval, kindly send me a message to at least introduce yourself.

The electricity supply in this city is so interesting. Basically there would be an average of one power cut every hour, each lasting from seconds to minutes depending on the situation. Since my hostel is equipped with electricity generator, so the power cut would not normally exceed 3 minutes. But it could be troublesome, considering the fact it would happen at anytime, including when we are having classes or examination. Another interesting thing to notice is that during every power cut at night, the Indians would get so excited in the darkness and they would start giving all kind of sounds, screaming in excitement as if they are celebrating something, when ironically we as foreigners are accustomed to frequent power cut, and do not bother at all. I'm not sure what is the reason behind this phenomenon, it is just so annoying. Moreover, the current is not quite stable, sometime we can notice the lights or table lamps are flickering because of the fluctuating current. Not forget to mention, I experience mini electricity shock quite often while handling electrical device with the power supply connected but I'm not sure what could be the underlying problem.

I don't like most of the way the Indian guys behave. If I have to describe, it is rude, brutal and even barbaric. They love to speak loudly in their language and I can even recognise the vulgar language used. They are impatient, so they always cut the queue in the canteen. Once I shouted at them so angrily because I could not tolerate their disrespectful behaviour anymore, and they were so surprised I would challenge them in such an unexpected way. Before that, I did speak politely to those Indians but they didn't even bother to look at me. That's why I was so irked. It has been a habit they could accept anywhere in the public, but not for me as a foreigner.

Rubbish is seen everywhere in India, especially in public places like railway station, roadside, town etc. It is an uncivilised scenery, as ironic as it appears when this country is claimed to be the third superpower of the world after China. I was once travelling by a train across different states of India, and I was so surprised by the way every passenger disposed their rubbish - they just simply flung the plastic bags, food leftover or whatever water bottle to the outside of the train via the windows. That is the reason we can see the massive collection of rubbish trail along the track.

Just a random fact - Peeing in the public is acceptable, but kissing is not.

Monday, August 15, 2011


It has been more than half of a year since I last updated this blog before heading to India.

I'm currently enjoying a short semester break, a period of time where I can temporarily escape the hectic university life. Yes, it is hectic, considering the fact that we have to attend six days of classes per week. The Saturday is just another day of waking up early in the morning and dragging ourselves into the classroom for hours of lectures. How about Sunday? Having greatly deprived of adequate rest throughout the week, it is the only day that I'm allowed to sleep until whatever time I want. After that, I have to revise the topics taught by the lecturers for the rest of the day if I don't want myself to get embarrassed when bombarded by questions from lecturers in the next day. I would find myself guilty if I don't revise something on any day. Time management is the tricky part. It is hard to decide to work, play or sleep.

The diagram above explains everything.

Nevertheless, I never imagined how much I could have learnt during such a short semester. In short, as a first year undergraduate taking Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS), I'm required to study three main subjects namely anatomy, physiology and biochemistry. Anatomy has been generally recognised as the most dreadful subject that everyone of us must face. It deals with every single detail of the human body structure, thus posing a large workload one has to strive very hard to gain an understanding. However, I can see it is of great importance to absorb as much knowledge as we can from the scale of a single cell to the gross structure of human body, as it is the basic of everything. Physiology is dealing with the function of human body, whereas biochemistry gives a macroscopic view at the happenings such as metabolism running in the human body.

I once heard a comment from a working doctor:

"One need not to be a genius to choose this career, what it takes is actually the diligence, perseverance and self-discipline."

I agree. Medicine is a field of wide knowledge. Unlike how we have been studying in the secondary school, there is no fixed syllabus or textbook in the medical school. Information is everywhere, and from the well-categorised source of medical knowledge, we need to put in great effort to integrate, store and apply the knowledge.

Yes, we study a lot. No matter how badly we are going to forget the details after several months, we are forced to cram everything into our mind, and expected to recall it during examinations, especially the oral test called "viva". I have been lack of confidence at speaking, moreover sometimes it is not easy to understand the English spoken in their accent, I'm always afraid of having any kind of interaction with the Indians in any session. Not to mention I'm always confused by the indication shown via shaking head. They shake their heads for saying yes and do the same for saying no.

India is a unique where we can observe a lot of extremities. We get to see how the poor blends with the rich, how the wealth mirage is accompanied by severe poverty, how the high-tech companies and skyscrapers mushrooming in the cities where man power is still the main workforce of everything. Men form a the line to carry and pass bricks, they build ladders using robes and woods to reach the great height without using machines.

If I'm asked "How's life in India?", I don't know how to provide an answer. I can't think of a positive thing to share with. I came across with a lot of negative incidents: Open defecating or urinating, reckless driving on the road, dirty streets where people spit and litter everywhere, unscrupulous auto rickshaw drivers who love to earn more via cheating, slow action by staff in public sectors, unstable electricity where at least ten blackouts happen everyday, beggars chasing after you, extreme weathers, not-so-tasty-food, terrible road condition, the over-obsessed students, the lack of courtesy, and more. Life has been depressing knowing I have to spend five and a half years in this land. By the time I'm back to Malaysia, I am a man of 26 years old, if everything goes as I wish.

Life is tough in India. I'm truly honest to point out this. We need to be mentally strong or else we are going to trap ourselves in the maze of troubles. It would be a different story if one goes to some other countries such as Australia or UK. Frankly speaking, I feel a little envious when I see friends of mine are currently going for their tertiary studies in those countries. Every photo taken there seems to be more scenic.

However I'm very grateful to have been granted the chance to pursue my dream in India. I believe the hardship and challenge could help to train and prepare myself to traverse into medical field in the future. I do not regret to have chosen this pathway. People often say it is good to enroll in medicine or dentistry in India. I'm not sure if this is plausible. From my point of view, I could just say the way we are educated in the college has been a great experience. We are able to gain great exposure towards some aspects where it is not possible in my own country. For example, we have relatively complete specimen and enough number of cadavers to study in the dissection halls. Professors are professional, they are highly experienced at teaching undergraduates. I'm impressed by each of them. I'm quite sure they are much better than the professors in my own country. I guess this is the only positive thing I'm able to talk about India.

There is a lot of stories to share, hopefully I can come out with another interesting article after this!

Monday, June 13, 2011

My new gear

If someone asked me if I ever wished to own a DSLR camera a month ago, I would definitely give a firm "no". However I was quite surprised by how things have turned out to be too, and yes, I'm now shooting photos using a little more advanced camera - Canon EOS 1100D.

I used to have an incorrect perception towards some technical knowledge of the photo shooting world. I thought megapixel fully decides how a camera is worth its price and rating. I had never gone deep into how a camera really works. I was always wondering why people would have chosen a heavy and bulky camera ( I didn't know the referred camera is called DSLR ) rather than a convenient compact camera which has a higher megapixel value.

I was introduced to more photography terminologies and some insightful operating theories of cameras when I stayed with my previous college roommate for more than a year. He was holding a Canon EOS 500D equipped with a lot of accessories. Under his influence, I spent some time to read articles of introduction to photography and related guides from Internet as well as reviews of entry-level DSLR cameras. I managed to catch some ideas of several factors to be taken care of during photo shooting such as shutter speed, aperture, ISO etc.

Picking up photographing as a hobby isn't as easy as we might think because at the end of the day we are still bound to one of the most important considerations - money. If you have no idea of how much an amateur photographer would spend for basic DSLR camera sets, I shall give you an example here. While we are gradually improving our photographing skills, we need to upgrade our gadgets such as lens. My roommate spent more than RM2000 for normal camera set, another RM3000 for additional lens and digital flash. Sometimes a single lens would cost more than the total amount of money that my roommate spent for all of his photographing gadgets! It takes a considerable amount of money, time, passion, patience, skills building and experience to enter a semi-pro stage.

Why did I decide to own a DSLR camera out of a sudden? My family has been sharing and using a 10mp compact digital camera. I realised the quality of photos could have been better due to some limitations in compact digital camera. I wish to take great photos of each of my family members. Secondly, when I'm in India in the coming August, I wish to capture memorable moments and share it with friends and family. I was attracted by the advertisement of this latest product of Canon, the brown-coloured entry-level camera model which was released in March 2011. Thrust by great interest and urge, permission was gained from my parents, and I finally hold it in my hands.

Just a few weeks after the original set of camera bought, I further equipped myself with several important and handy camera lens and photography accessories as shown below.

Canon lens EF 50mm f/1.8 II

If I'm not mistaken this is the cheapest Canon lens available in the current market. It still costs about RM300. Almost every Canon DSLR user would go for this popular lens as their second lens because of its large aperture. What can a large aperture give? It enables photos taken at night or dark areas to be clearer and most importantly it gives great bokeh (out-of-focus area).

As you can see, the background is highly out of focused, leaving a soothing and blurred effect. A compact digital camera would hardly give us this kind of effect.

Canon zoom lens EF 35-80mm f/4-5.6 III

You might be surprised by the fact that this lens is as old as I'm. Surprisingly it can still fit into my camera body and function well after I found it out in the storeroom. However it doesn't come with image stabiliser (IS) technology. I'm wondering how much its virtual market price is about since no one is selling or purchasing this lens anymore. But I'm happily keeping it in my camera bag although I seldom shoot photos using it.

A tripod

For shutter speed slower than 1/30 seconds and above, the photos taken are prone to handshakes under normal zoom range without the aid of a tripod. Therefore to perform some photo shooting that requires a longer exposure time especially during night time, I bought this tripod with RM50. Moreover, by switching my camera to self-timer mode, I can include myself into the image! For more advanced photo shooting options such as high dynamic range imaging (HDRI), I need to combine three photos of same position but different exposures, therefore a tripod is needed.

I took a family photo with the aid of my tripod.

This is a sample of photoshopped HDR image.

Nissin Di622 Mark II digital flash

Nissin is a third party brand. It does not build cameras. I'm supposed to buy a Canon digital flash, however the market price for getting one having similar function and specification of the one shown above is around RM900. Accessories produced by third parties could be very cheap, and some of them could still guarantee a decent quality and performance. I had gone through the reviews of different third party digital flashes via Internet and asked for some advice around. Eventually I found out the one I bought as shown above has a great reputation. The price of RM470 is within my budget too. Controlling lights could be difficult for beginners. Despite shooting repeatedly to obtain the preferred result, I can see the potential of how the colour and tones of a photo could be greatly improved by applying a particular amount of flashlight at a certain angle properly. Direct flash using built-in camera flash often creates harsh image with annoying shines and shadows. Digital flash is capable of rotating and light filtering, thus it is a versatile device to add more artificial lights. It gives a vibrant colour tone too.

Photo of my grandmother without using a digital flash.

Photo colour enhanced with some removal of undesired shadows compared to the previous photo. Flashlight is bounced from the wall onto her left face.

There are still a lot to explore and learn about. I would appreciate any advice regarding photo shooting given. Hopefully I can share great photos with you guys!

Friday, February 11, 2011


As one of the most popular websites, Youtube has always been serving as the main Internet platform in video uploading and broadcasting in most countries. In other context, it is the website where most of the Internet users are searching for audio-visual information. The user community has been growing steadily after several implementations of introducing a dynamic, user friendly, interactive interface. At the same time, the users can easily stay connected with video producers via subscriptions. Although Youtube is not a social network like Facebook, it is still obliged to take care of this large community and control the privacy, harmony and benefits of the community.

I don't know if I'm an active user of Youtube. I watched a lot of videos. I have an account but I rarely subscribe to any channels or providing feedbacks via leaving comment. At the same time, I don't bother to like or dislike a video at all. However I do observe how the community has been abusing their right regarding their freedom of speech. It is fascinating yet surprising to notice how easily human beings can be so juvenile, ignorant and abusive when they are granted the anonymity. And here comes the main point of this post. I would like to leave my opinions here concerning the way Youtube has been changing its feedback-providing system from what I slightly observed.

Once upon a time, Youtube was practicing a rating system which people normally called "five-star rating system". For example, if there were two groups of similar number of users rated 3 stars and 4 stars each, an average rating of 3.5 stars would be shown below the video. After that, this rating system was changed to what I called "bar rating system". Users were allowed to like or dislike a video without being given a scale to rate a video. The numbers of likes and dislikes were accumulated and displayed by two bars of green and red to show the video viewers a comparison. Now, Youtube has altered the "bar rating system". Only numbers of likes and dislikes are shown instead.

Before continue elaborating on my point of views, I would really like to determine the actual purpose of implementing a rating system. Groups of users can be differentiated in term of their interest, video making experience and so on. Some users would like to know how good their videos are made from the ratings given, while some of them are not interested to know the rating because they just share videos to close friends or relatives without editing. I don't know if we can completely disable all the rating and feedback in a video. At the moment, I would like to link the rating system to another website, The Internet Movie Database (IMDb). The website is proving a wide information of filmed movies with great and active response from the audience community. Instead of "five stars rating system", they maintain a "ten stars rating system" to improve on the rating sensibility of how worthy a movie should be watched. A rating system like this would be very useful, beneficial and appreciated with some reviews available at the same time. Back to Youtube, not many videos are filmed or made to entertain people in the same way as those commercial movies. Sometimes I just do not feel the necessity to have a rating system on Youtube, when I have no idea which parameter I should follow to rate a video featuring some bad news. It is the team of Youtube to decide which interactive elements to be maintained or to get rid of.

The above picture illustrates a "troll face"

Have you heard of "troll"? You might have met with trolls but not knowing they are referred as trolls. In Internet slang, troll is someone who posts inflammatory, extraneous or off-topic messages in an online community. These people are almost everywhere. The bigger the population of an online community, the bigger the population of such trolls in the community as well. Why do I mention a new term here? Well, let's conduct some trials. Try to surf on Youtube to find as many videos with a moderate number of view counts as you can. You would be able track the trace of such a trolling activity when a video has been uploaded for a period of time until a troll can actually reach the site. And here comes their favourite agenda - giving some ridiculously juvenile and irrelevant remarks and a dislike, or more than a dislike if the troll has multiple accounts. You can hardly find a video with no dislikes, even if it is featuring sheer artistic performance. Under the same analogy, they would rate for the lowest star if possible, when they do not feel comfortable with the growing view counts and relatively high rating stars of a video. Perhaps you don't even know "Baby" by Justin Bieber has set a new record by collecting the greatest number of dislikes - about twice the number of likes. Do people really hate him so much?

Let alone the trolls. We cannot eliminate them as they are abusing their rights legally. Any democratic platforms are bound to these trolls. But certain actions can be taken to curb their activity. I recommend Youtube to remove the dislike buttons. By the way, what is the point to have this function? If we dislike someone, we don't express ourselves by telling him "hey dude, I dislike you." Instead, a preferred action would be telling him which aspect we would hope him to reflect on or change. Dislike is way too negative. This function could potentially harbour a community accompanied with hatred, jealousy and discouraging environment. I would agree to preserve the dislike button if it can bring a constructive means even without the presence of trolls. If you are thinking that you want to preserve the dislike button because you can take a look at its number while deciding if you want to spend your time watching the video, why don't you take a look at the numbers of view counts and likes, since trolling might give you a false feedback, assuming trolling does not target its positive feedback? In my humble opinion, the percentage of people who liked a video is enough for us to decide if a video should be watched. Thus, my another recommendation for Youtube would be showing the percentage, for instance, 25 out of 1000 people who watched the video have liked the video, thus giving a percentage of 2.5%.

It would not be wise to disable all comments in all videos due to trolling as we still need some constructive responses. At least inappropriate comments can still be flagged, reported and hid from public. By the way, if a video is really featuring something we don't like, personally I don't think it is a must to express ourselves. We have to accept the fact that having the urge to express such a dislike or negative sentimental thoughts to something is actually lack of self-cultivation, and being angry is an emotional penalty to no one other than ourselves. We just need to be moderate to build a harmony community.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Poor customer service

Since I am having holiday until early in March, I would really like to enjoy this precious period by doing something else besides communicating with the world via Internet. As an ASTRO user, I used to subscribe to some channels that I prefer to watch such as sports channels and documentary channels. However it would be wasteful to keep on subscribing to these channels considering the fact that I was staying in college for months while none of my family members is interested in sport or documentary. Now it is time to resubscribe to those channels.

On the last day of 2010, I browsed through the official website of ASTRO to gather some information and found out recently there is a newly introduced package called high definition (HD) package which includes some sport and documentary channels! I was so delighted. I made some calls to seek for customer service, and as expected, we will need to reinstall the hardwares. However the installation fee and the cost of new hardwares are waived as long as you are bound to an one-year-contract with extra RM20 added to current subscription fee per month, which is quite reasonable. I was promised that their technical team would reach within 10 days. What? 10 days?

"Maybe this HD package is in a high demand in Alor Star nowadays," I thought.

So the days passed by until it was the seventh day of waiting. I was wondering, if they do take care of customer satisfactory, they wouldn't choose to perform the installation procedure on the last day of promised period. I tried to reach the customer service again, and he confirmed with me the technical team will surely contact my father as the account holder in the next few days. So I kept on waiting. I hoped it wouldn't take long because there were some interesting football matches I would really like to catch up. Moreover, my holiday is going to end soon with everyday passing by so swiftly.

It was the tenth day, and I realised they had missed out the important phrase. The "ten days" was meant to be "ten working days". Thus I was again told to wait for a few days in frustration. However we didn't receive any phone call even though we had been waiting for their service for more than 10 working days!

I constructed an email to voice out my anger and disappointment. Having called ASTRO for more than 8 times, I wasted about RM10 as I needed to key in the numbers, listening to the repeated instructions for a considerably long time that charges during the calls. To my surprise, it was clearly stated my email would be read and replied within another 3 days. I recalled my customer service with Dell when I discovered my newly bought laptop was having some problems with a faulty hard disc inside. I sent an email on the first day, and got the hard disc exchanged on the second day. I was so shocked by their efficiency.

I couldn't wait anymore. I got the phone numbers of the technician in charge of my residential area and started calling him. However, the office number directed my call into irritating voice mails, whereas no one picked up my call when I dialed the cell phone number. This lasted for 3 days.

When I was about to cancel my subscription, they contacted us. Right at the time I was constructing this blog post, 17 days after my initial call to subscribe the HD package. Typical customer service in Malaysia, I would say. Don't ever think you can always dominate and monopoly the market when the fundamental support is actually from customer's trust.

And, customer's trust is earned, not given.

Friday, December 10, 2010


This post is just something I figure out and find it interesting to share with. It might make some sense to relate basic scientific facts to our life.

Imagine there is a container with gas particles moving inside it randomly but following the fundamental laws of motion. They are atoms and molecules, the building blocks of any other complexes. Not going into too much scientific details, we know any atom would consist of subatomic particles such as proton, electron and neutron. In higher academic level, scholars divide these particles into quarks and leptons, and so on whenever new discoveries are made, possibly to be smaller than any scale we could ever imagine. In a simple way to draw up a conclusion, no matter how small the particles are, still, they are masses that occupy space, and undergo motions or are relatively stationary at any split second under the fixed ways they behave as one part of this world.

By understanding mass-energy equivalency, we know that our universe is at a dynamic environment yet constantly conserving its potential as a mass or energy as motion. By understanding Newton's first law, we can say an object would travel in a straight line with constant velocity or would not move provided no external force is exerted. I'm not going to give more examples of laws as it has clearly shown that the masses follow the rule, and this is the law of nature, which wouldn't change. No matter how complex a system is, none of the small mass could choose to defy these laws. In fact, they don't have the "ability" to "choose", they just obey whatever laws that are fixed.

Imagine a simple electrical circuit is set up by using copper wires, batteries and a light bulb. It would be complex enough to just look at the part of copper wire when the circuit is completed. There are multitude number of electrons moving at different velocities at any instant because each single electron would be situated at a totally different situation which is a combination of forces pushing or pulling the electron by different factors, such as electric field, magnetic field, gravitational field and so on. People do not normally take care of such a complexity as it is unnecessary to do so because by convention, any measurement is made under an error and uncertainty that may be omitted. It is impossible to be done as no super computer can handle such an intense calculation too. Thus, an ammeter that reads at particular sensitivity and accuracy will get the job done easier.

And the examples shown above derive from non-living things. This post would be a solely low level, not-so-precise and physics related academic post in general terminologies if I stop writing here. So I would like to relate the above statements to our life.

Living organisms, undergo movement and locomotion under controlled. In the kingdom of Animalia, if I'm not mistaken, all organisms have a nervous system controlled by the neuronal activity integrated organ called brain. The influx of sodium ions into the axon as well as the attachment of neurotransmitters into the receptors happening at synaptic cleft, which is the small gap between two neurons illustrate the simple concept of how the messages are being transmitted in the form of electrical pulses in these animals especially in human. No one knows exactly how our brains work, although some achievements have been made in brain researches to successfully identify different regions of brain separated by its functionality. It is even more complicated when we try to figure out and analyse how human mind works based on what the human population has understood at the perspective of science and logic.

Each human motion is controlled by the brain, the extremely complicated network of synapses and neurons with electrical messages being transmitted all time long. If I relate the natural law of motions into every mass included in this nervous system, and if and only if it is true, we, the human beings, are a set of combined masses, which obey the fixed laws, and cannot be changed by itself! Thus, the human motion is itself a natural act, controlled by the mind, which is an abstract representative of a network of "masses" that act naturally. Thus I would say, with each act that we have done, and act that we will have it done in the future, our life has been indirectly fixed, just like the way the laws are fixed. You might argue that we could change our mind anytime and refute this theory. As I've mentioned, each act, including changing our mind, is still being "controlled" by the neuronal activity, that would not "change" by itself. It is included.

Life is not just about an individual matter. It is the world, the interactions between people, the abiotic factors and biotic factors, the history and so on. We think, perceive, learn, and develop our mindset, and this is even more complex than the description of previous paragraph. Thus, I would symbolise every person as a mass, the influencing power as its inertia, and the historical background and abiotic factors as different fields, and there ends up being a mixture of content under different motions, following the laws! You could say, in a pessimistic way, that we cannot change what would happen in the future. Our fate and destiny has been written. Of course we can say we would fail the test without study, and we would have chosen to do that if we wanted. But now we have passed the test, and it happened out of many possible outcomes, but what happened is only that happened. There is only one result. If we shift the timeline to before the test, and it wouldn't be wrong to propose "no matter how your result is, it is fixed." This is an act, a happening, symbolised by the vector and magnitude of motion of a mass after a "collision".

So hereby I suggest a new relativity, the relativity of natural relation between each aspect stated above, and no matter what it is. Of course this is not fully a professional proposal and I'm just an ordinary student of age 19 who has only completed his A-Level course. This is definitely a theory with loopholes and flaws. But I just couldn't help to share this as it is really interesting.

And at some point, I believe it is true =)

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Reflection (Part 1)

Having participated in Biro Tatanegara (BTN) course that lasted for five days, I'm going to share what was going on throughout the camp. I had the urge to share my point of views while I was having the course, however it is not easy to recall every single incident that happened and come out with an overall review based on what I had been thinking.

BTN, in case you have not come across with this term, and if I'm not mistaken, was introduced at the early age to mould the youngsters who were thought to raise disciplinary problems in school. Recently it was further modified to fulfill the need to instill patriotism in the government servants and those government-servant-to-be. I guess this is also one of those preventive measures in reducing brain drain.

We didn't have enough sleep during the course, but we did not need to worry about hunger. They provided six meals including breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Teatime would fill in every empty slot of schedule. You would never feel hungry. There would be almost at least a piece of chicken and a fish for every participant in every meal, which is quite costly. The accommodation was the best part of the camp. We were provided a clean dorm with eight bunk beds and new furniture. The campsite is relatively isolated from the city and near to a beach, thus we would feel the calm and windy weather.

On the first day, I was so surprised to find out the campsite actually has a wifi source, and managed to steal some time and stay connected to Facebook for a while before our mobile phones were confiscated throughout the next four days. However most Maxis users received poor signals from the base stations of mobile phones in this remote area. Despite the fact that even if we took control of our own mobile phones, we cannot connect to the outside world with no signal coverage, still, I guess 107 of us were all having a hard time without mobile phone in our pockets.

The whole course was just mainly about presentations and group trainings that involves some aspects to build a civil minded and patriotic soul. Every morning we had to wake up at 5.30am, slightly late comparing to Muslims. We had to take part in so called moral lessons when the Muslims were attending for their morning prayers. After that there would be morning training session. I did not have any experience in marching or foot drill, and it is embarrassing and insulting when the commanders were no happy for he expected everyone of us must have joined a uniformed unit or national service before.

In my opinion, it is just a personal matter whether anyone of us chose to join a uniformed unit, and don't take that as a compulsory when it seems that joining a uniformed unit would greatly help one to obtain extra co-curriculum merit and secure your university seat. Just allow me to speak a little out of topic, I just find it ridiculous when people were so surprised to find out the fact that I, as a PSD scholarship holder, do not hold any certificate of a uniformed team at all. My point is simple, everyone has his or her own liking, interest and time management. When the government is practicing a moderate way of encouraging youngsters to take part in uniformed unit, we can make up our mind to give a full commitment in other kind of co-curriculum activities and the outcomes are beneficial as well.

Back to the marching part in every morning, I truly enjoyed the session as I learn something new instead of listening to cliche that has been aggressively reiterated during speeches given by trainers and facilitators. However when I further analyse the speech content as well as activities curriculum, I notice they had unevenly distributed what they want us to learn and understand in the course by national civic bureau. We were exposed to the content of constitution of Malaysia in different ways. However they just focused on some important clauses. According to the syllabus stated in the official website of national civic bureau, we are supposed to learn about the latest issues, patriotism, the nation history, the government system, social contract, constitution of Malaysia and others. However what had been greatly emphasised was the social contract and some particular facts included in the constitution. I'm glad to learn all of these, and eventually I catch the main point and agenda of the course, which is to indoctrinate participants to understand the social contract based on constitution. Not to say we learn only a little about others but honestly I was a little annoyed by the way it had been emphasised.

Nevertheless, at some point I'm still holding on to my ideology. I would reflect on it and figure out more to share with you next time.
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