Saturday, May 4, 2013

The Great Gatsby and my Malaysia's Election.

The Great Gatsby: An Unfair End

The Great Gatsby character of Jay Gatsby epitomizes the ideal goals (although partially) of what most guys dream living- successful, wealthy, famous, and so forth. With determination to prove his self worth and hard work, Gatsby focused relentlessly on his goal to achieve his dreams.

"No amount of fire can challenge the fairytale he had stored up in his heart..."
After having read the novel by Scott Fitzgerald many years ago, I am really looking forward for the upcoming movie starred by Leonardo DiCaprio (my favorite actor). Jay Gatsby, although very successful, like some people, he is still obsessed with his lover, Daisy, and this led to his downfall. He cannot let go of loving people, people of his past and get over with it.

My favorite song in this movie (below)... "Will you still love me when I got nothing but my aching soul..."

I hate the ending. I always wonder why an innocent person like Jay will be killed at the end of the story but not the guilty ones - Daisy for killing Tom's mistress, and Tom for accusing Jay as the killer of his mistress to the real husband, Wilson. 


My mid term exams ended yesterday. I never really had the chance to enjoy what a normal university student back home would be doing: Hanging out with a group of Malaysians (There's only 2 Malaysians in my university), going home or vote for the first time in my country's general election.  

My exam preparation "sidekick": Prawn Roll!

All gone in less than two days...
Blueberries with yogurt, can add as much as I want. Heavenly...
These days, we heard so much about "Changes" in the country. To change our government with big expectation for a better governance under the current opposition or to continue retaining a government who had done so much in terms of development after being in power for more than 50 years, it is a difficult decision.

Penang has developed so much. These days, traffic jams here are a menace and housing prices are skyrocketing without any means of halting them. During my parents time, if we can save enough, we can already afford a decent home. Nowadays, buying a landed property in Penang with earnings as a fresh graduate would be like a far-fetched dream.    

It is simply impossible for young people like us to afford a home. 

As an observer in this upcoming election, it's hard for me to judge both the opposition and the governing party. I am against the free education system proposed by the opposition. Education, I believe should not be free but it should be affordable for all people. If education is free, will we value what we learn? If university education is free, who's going to foot the bill? Borrowing money from the bank and letting our children pay for it one day? 

Next is the abolishment of government loans. Loans are agreement signed and agreed upon by both the borrower and the lender. Of course it is a very noble intention to scrap off the loans still owed by the borrower but what about the ones who had paid off the loans faithfully and on time. The defaulters and borrowers will get reprieve but the ones who had paid off their debt get nothing. Is it fair? The system will encourage more people to default their loans. Moreover, the government loans can be converted into scholarships if we meet a certain academic criteria. 

Next is the lowering of petrol price. It is a good news to some but again, who will be benefiting from it? Will they be the poor uncles and aunties riding motorbikes who use little fuel to make a living, or will it be the ones driving petrol guzzling expensive cars? If the fuel is overly subsidized, rampant smuggling of our resources (and it is still happening now) to other countries will definitely happen. 

Will the bakeries or all businesses reduce their price due to savings derived from fuel cost? It's just that I felt nobody will ever want to reduce their profits. Prices of goods rarely decrease. I felt it would be better if the money can be instead channeled towards improving public transportation like those in Korea or funneled directly to the people.  

The government is no less better. For over 50 years, we have allowed corruption and racial intolerance to be deeply entrenched in our society. Then, our ethnicity is a factor in university admissions, to certain schools (like MARA, Matriculation Colleges, etc) and that some ethnic group not benefiting from the special privileges given to them. I have to admit that I am sometimes envious of friends who scored lesser than me, from wealthy families and were given scholarships or admission to courses selected not based on capabilities but based on the color of the skin. I am just a mere human, not perfect at all. I do envy people, sometimes.

Government is selected by the people and they ought to be making fair and wise decisions: ones that will influence our long term interests. A government change will encourage better transparency because every party will soon realize that bad governance cannot be swept under the carpet anymore. 

At the same time, government change may lead to deadlocks and instability if not handled correctly. In the states, legislation cannot be passed because of disagreement between both the Republican and Democrats. In Egypt, we have the Muslim Brotherhood's government facing constant administrative problems, advisers resigning, and arrest.      

What have our government of the day been doing after over 50 years? We see more racial polarization day after day. Most people see each other based on ethnicity first than as a Malaysian first. What and how can the oppositions guarantee that they can be better than the present government? I do not know. What I knew was that being given the power to lead is sweet but sometimes, it can lead us astray. Even if the opposition is in power, can the coalitions with so much differences in ideology work together. Or can the present government with a track record of stability but with a tinge of corruption retains its seat at Putrajaya. This election coming Sunday (tomorrow) shall be a close and exciting one. 

God bless Malaysia.


Warren said...

Hey, I'm a Penangite too and I'm interested to study in Korea. Is it a good place to study at?

kyle said...

Yes, it's a good place to study. :) If not, I would already be back to Malaysia long time ago.

Warren said...

Thanks :) But, is it hard to cope with the language and all?

kyle said...

It depends on you. If you spend most your time mingling with foreigners and not Koreans, it's very hard to gauge your Korean proficiency.

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