Monday, September 20, 2010

1Malaysia is Work in Progress

This evening, I was at the Prasarana office for the KL Advanced Toastmasters meeting. Only this morning, I volunteered to do a speech because the third speaking slot was available. Again, I did my CC speech # 6: Vocal Variety and my evaluator was Teddy Lesmana, a visiting DTM from Jakarta Motivators Toastmasters Club. I didn’t get the chance to properly prepare for this speech but Lincoln’s speech yesterday at the Sai Masters Toastmasters meeting gave me inspiration. I titled my speech “I love you, Billy” and I acquitted myself very well. I know that my gestures and vocal variety especially were much improved and personally, I am very satisfied. Of course I could still improve but that is not the point. What is important is that I met the speech’s objectives and I am happy with my own performance. And you may be relieved to know that I didn’t win the Best Assignment Speaker award – Monica Jo, the third speaker won and deservingly so! Anyway, what is special about today’s meeting is that we had a guest speaker from the UK, Evelynne Fisher who generously recited three poems that kept all of us adequately enthralled and sufficiently entertained. We were indeed privileged to be able to listen to Lorna Fisher’s mom.

On September 17, Prime Minister Najib Razak defended his 1Malaysia concept, claiming it had not failed but was merely a “work in progress” (Webpage, posted September 18, 2010). “I want to say that…, it’s a journey. Even this concept of 1Malaysia... it cannot be a full realization today”, Najib had said. I didn’t respond then because I have been thinking a lot about what he said regarding 1Malaysia. It’s a strange way of implementing something that has not been properly put together – it’s like a jigsaw puzzle with many missing pieces.

Of course lah – when it is a work in progress – it means that nobody else has a clue as to what 1Malaysia really stands for beyond creating this illusion of a majestic niagara of nice-sounding words overflowing into well-meaning sentences. The work is never done because we are seemingly embarking on a neverending journey (‘journey’ is his word, mind you!) that may not have a destination. After all, it is constantly changing and we can always give the excuse that the environment is also continually changing – so nobody can pin anything down for long. It will be easy for politicians like him to do his famous flip-flops and he can just keep moving the goalposts to confuse everybody. Then, of course, nobody will be none the wiser!

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