Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Message from Tunku Abdul Rahman's Great Granddaughter!


Tunku Abdul Rahman's great granddaughter

Sharyn Lisa Shufiyan, 24, Conservationist

Both my parents are Malay. My mum's heritage includes Chinese, Thai and Arab, while my dad is Minangkabau. Due to my skin colour, I am often mistaken for a Chinese.

I'm happy that I don't have the typical Malay look but I do get annoyed when people call me Ah Moi or ask me straight up "Are you Chinese or Malay"

Like, why does it matter? Before I used to answer "Malay" but now I'm trying to consciously answer Malaysian instead.

There's this incident from primary school that I remember till today. Someone told me that I will be called last during Judgement Day because I don't have a Muslim name. Of course, I was scared then but now that I'm older, I realise that a name is just a name. It doesn't define you as a good or bad person and there is definitely no such thing as a Muslim name. You can be named Rashid or Ali and still be a Christian.

I've heard of the 1Malaysia concept, but I think we don't need to be told to be united. We've come such a long way that it should already be embedded in our hearts and minds that we are united. Unfortunately, you can still see racial discrimination and polarisation. There is still this ethno-centric view that the Malays are the dominant group and their rights must be protected, and non Malays are forever the outsiders.

For the concept to succeed, I think the government should stop with the race politics. It's tiring, really. We grew up with application forms asking us to tick our race. We should stop painting a negative image of the other races, stop thinking about 'us' and 'them' and focus on 'we', 'our' and 'Malaysians'.

No one should be made uncomfortable in their own home. A dear Chinese friend of mine said to me once, "I don't feel patriotic because I am not made to feel like Malaysia is my home, and I don't feel an affinity to China because I have never lived there.

I know some baby Nyonya friends who can trace their lineage back hundreds of years. I'm a fourth generation Malaysian. If I am Bumiputra, why can't they be, too? Clearly I have issues with the term.

I think the main reason why we still can't achieve total unity is because of this 'Malay rights' concept. I'd rather 'Malay rights' be replaced by human rights. So unless we get rid of this Bumiputra status, or reform our views and policies on rights, we will never achieve unity.

For my merdeka wish, I'd like for Malaysians to have more voice, to be respected and heard. I wish that the government would uphold the true essence of parliamentary democracy. I wish for the people to no longer fear and discriminate against each other, to see that we are one and the same.

I wish that Malaysia would truly live up to the tourism spin of Malaysia truly Asia. Malaysians to lead - whatever their ethnic background. Only ONE NATIONALITY MALAYSIAN. No Malays, No Chinese, No Indians - ONLY MALAYSIANS. Choose whatever religion one is comfortable with.

Really meaningful, I hope this wish comes true!

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Da Vinci: The Genius - Exhibition at Kuala Lumpur

This exhibition is on the works of one of the most famous man from the Renaissance period, Leonardo Da Vinci. Held in 4 locations around the world and I think it is fortunate the they chose to hold one in the National Science Centre in Kuala Lumpur. This exhibition started on 1st October and will end on 17th January.

The exhibition was divided into a few sections.
1st section: A general introduction and some history about his life
2nd section: Flying machines
3rd section: Mechanical devices
4th section: Civil machines
5th section: Anatomy
6th section: Mona Lisa
7th section: War machines
8th section: Musical instruments

I only got some pictures for the 1st section because when I tried to take some pictures for the 2nd section, the people in-charge said I could not take pictures (what the heck!). I didnt want to get into trouble so no pictures for other sections.

1st Section

A portrait of Leonardo

The two of the many codices of Leonardo on display

Historical timeline

All of his works stored as codices in possession of which party. It was quite big so I doubt the names can be seen in the photograph but the last name on the bottom-right is Bill Gates!

A painting of the city Florence

2nd Section:
A parachute that looks like a tent pyramid, the famous spiral flying machine, a double blade machine that resembles modern helicopter, wings and much more I couldn't remember. The sign states that the spiral machine is the inspiration for the modern helicopter but the other looks more like a modern helicopter to me. ALL of the flying apparatus/machine are made of only wood and canvas.

3rd Section:
Mechanical devices such as the ball bearing, pulley system, gear systems, spring and many more. All made of wood except the spring.

4th section:

Quick to build bridges, piling mechanism, bicycle and many more.

5th section:
One of the best parts of the exhibition. Many large size actual pages of his works. Detailed drawings and his mirrored handwriting.

6th section:
Yes, 1 whole section just on the famous portrait, The Mona Lisa. Results of the research done by Pascal Cotte on the drawing using various photographic techniques. He even used a 240,000,000 pixel (240 Megapixels) camera just to photograph the face!

7th section:
The items that I clearly remember is the UFO-like tank, cannons, a miniature submarine that looked like two halves of a boat put together and carriages that have blades on the wheels.

8th section:
A portable piano, a drum that plays when you push it.

One more unique item was a strange looking clock.

Overall the exhibition was quite worth it. It was really amazing how could one person come up with so many things. RM25 for a ticket but if you are a Telekom Malaysia subscriber or Astro subscriber, you are entitled a free ticket for every transaction.

Well, if more details was added it will spoil the fun right! So go and experience it yourself before it ends.

*Sorry for the wall of text. I didn't want to get into trouble by taking more pictures.

For more information please visit here