Thursday, June 08, 2006

Another Shot

If you don't win one literary prize, hopefully you get a shot at another! I'm happy for Ian McEwan whose Saturday has won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize after losing out so badly in the Booker stakes.

And while Sarah Walters lost out to Zadie Smith in the Orange stakes, I'm sure we'll be seeing The Night Watch on the list for other awards later in the year. (It will eligible because it was only published this year, unlike the other Orange shortlisted books.) It is that good, believe me. John Ezard in the Guardian reckons it has a "formidable chance" of taking the Booker or the Whitbread.

I'd have hated to be a judge for either the Orange or the Booker with so many strong titles to choose from. And I am still perplexed by Robert McCrum's article on the novel losing its way. I am one happy reader and will let you know if that changes.

Related Posts

His Saturday - My Sunday (4/9/05)
The James Tait Black Shortlist Announced (3/5/06)

23 comments:

miya said...

Malaysia has the misfortune of being ruled by Muslims, hence their intolerant attitude to you non-malays.

It was the Chinese and Indian minorities that have begun to lift Malaysia out of third world poverty, and those malay bastards should be grateful to them for this but like I said before, that is too much to ask from a Muslim.

Malaysia is a xenophobic country - the bitter truth is that malays are afraid of competition from other races - they are indeed lazy and want everything for free.

If Malaysia is to divide into two countries with malays taking the east and the west to the Chinese and the Indians - watch the malays starting to migrate to the west illegally for a better future.

It is no wonder Singapore is a country which is 50 years ahead of Malaysia. Malays are fool racists indeed.

The writer reader should know that most of non-malay community realised what the government have done to them is un-forgiven.

If we still depending on government we won't be in top position in overseas, for example (76% in NASA is Indians), two-thirds of the community of practicing doctors in Singapore is Malaysian Chinese.

We (non-malay community) have been proven our intelligence around the world but not in Malaysia. So what we have do just emigrate or use Malaysia as an investment base.

Actually we (non-malays) should know that government will never change their policies unless there is a protest, here we don't do that……….That is the problem - anything the government says we just simply raise the Barisan flag.

It will be good idea if we emigrate, like one say in English, 'Where is a will, there is a way.'

But always remember the 'will' for non-malays is not in Malaysia.

rutom said...

Malays today are nomadic people that originated from the China as well.

The Chinese made their money before the NEP anyway. Before there was no any affirmative action. All the people like Robert Kuok and the rest of them made their money before 1957 when there was no affirmative law.

Probably it is time to take away the cane from the rich malays and give it solely to the poor ones. I am sure the nelayan and petani would appreciate the aid better.

The very reason why Malaysia has not yet to achieve a similar status like Singapore is due to the very reason that we are arguing or disputing on the malay special rights. There is just no unity among races. We manage until now is due to tolerance. And this would not get us very far.

What has become of this nation of our? Is it going to the dogs? To be fair, I don't blame it on the Pak Lah government, this all started some twenty-five years ago during Mahathir era and it has been left to rot. Twenty-two years is a long long time he ruled the country, but did he care to rectify the situation?

Umno were responsible for our Malaysia Malay, Indian and Chinese identities in their divide-and-rule policies. Racial and religious bigotry is the result of a long history of discrimination, lack of political and cultural space, and abuse of power for the non-malay Malaysians.

This nonsense and tyranny has gone on for too long. Malaysians want a clean, corruption-free, just and transparent government that ensures equal rights to all Malaysians, without the current institutionalised racism and blatant discrimination.

The New Economic Policy has degenerated into a subsidy policy and programme, benefiting a handful of Umno-members at the expense of the many bumis.

But they came across as smug, hypocritical, conceited humbugs when they lectured the people about the need to be weaned from the subsidy mentality - when they are not prepared to set an example of eradicating such a subsidy mindset in the first place

Without accountability and transparency, the record of the use of the Petronas hundreds of billions of ringgit to bail out mega-financial scandals like the repeated Bank Bumi rescues, Malaysian International Shipping Corporation and Renong, and to fund mega-projects like Twin Towers, Proton, Formula 1 Circuit, and Dayabumi - the most spectacular examples of a subsidy culture and mentality - is it any wonder that the people are not convinced by the government's case for the hefty hike in fuel prices?

They were elected through the grand subsidy of the politics of money, running into hundreds of millions and even billions of ringgit, totally against the principles of free, fair and clean elections.

Malaysian students are sadly very ignorant of what is happening around them now. When I look at some of my friends in the universities now, the most they care is how can they pass in the exams and even if they are reading the newspaper, most probably they will be reading the entertainment or sports section rather than national or international news. The things that are really affecting them are ignored.

We must educate our young on the freedom of choice and he responsibility of electing a government that truly upholds and protects the freedom of all Malaysia people through the rule of law and the constitution of Malaysia.

Any government who fails to protect the constitution and the Malaysia people could be removed from government seat.

pang said...

This is the politics of finding blame for own weakness or laziness.

What I hate most is when those racist and jealous malays see a well developed township owned and populated by Chinese, and start rambling that the Chinese grabbed the wealth from the malays.

The NEP was abused to enrich only a small portion of the malay population. Now, the pie is shrinking due to global factors and the political elite is looking for scapegoats - and guess what - the Chinese are always blamed, as if working hard and saving is sinful.

As a matter of fact just like Mahathir once stated the government has been giving a lot of opportunities to the malays. The other races prosper because they constantly create markets and grab opportunities for their businesses "without depending on any extra incentives by any governmental sector".

I think this country is wasting a lot of time and energy on this racial thing - actually is an income disparity syndrome, the have and have-nots regardless of race.

Last time all first world. If Malaysia was a body, malay was the bone. Today very sadly, malay is the sick appendix, if remove it, Malaysia will be healthier.

It is a tiring affair to talk of the problems of malays. The problems are too many.

We talk and talk and give resolutions to government to do, i.e. we talk but are not doing anything about it and rely on others.

The typical discussion would be to say malay is weak in this and that. And the immediate inference is to have what is missing. Too often we are fixing symptoms and not problems.

We have tried and pump money into so many programs but we have yet to create the malay industrial and commercial class.

In any corporate strategy implementation, the key aspect lies in leadership and corporate culture.

For a change, I believe let us have an action oriented discussion. Maybe let us start to think and act independently. With a realistic appreciation of the parameters, only then we act more realistically and prudently.

In the end, we the common people must not be fooled by the political elite. We are risking our very life.

San said...

Yup, throw meritocracy out of the window and see what happens!

In Australia, a Malaysian Chinese becomes youngest ever PhD holder in University of Melbourne, top university in Australia. That is because he went there at 3 years old.

Conclusion? Migrate to somewhere else where you are appreciated and where you can excel and bloom. Don't waste your talent here in this Malaysia country where only the mediocre and the well-connected (usually not mutually exclusive) excel.

And yes, Vijay Singh would not have been world champion if he had stayed in Malaysia.

And for those Malaysians with ambition to become a world class golfer. After using the unforgiving fairways and greens here in Malaysia……….get out! Go out somewhere where you can really become a champs. Places where sports don't mix with politics.

Do you think you are lucky too? No! You will be even more lucky if you go to Australia at age 16.

Do you see the change of environment changed the person! If Malaysia allows open competitions and accept only those capable students into the capable universities, Malaysia will not be Malaysia as is today.

Some shared this sad theory:

The poorer the country (education and money), the stronger the government influence. So in order to gain prolonged control, the people have to pay (with debt and education).

Well, how true……….the NEP failed. Make me question, was it ever meant to be successful? No wonder these talents left Malaysia. They emigrated for 'self incubate' themselves to be successful.

On the other hand, I have to admit that in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is the king. Thus, anyone smarter with guts could make it with a lot of hard work. Also true.

Let us face the real issue here, education is a political issue to be used and score points and that is what Malaysia ministers in parliament will ever see it as.

Strange, one can say that the NEP was really helping non-malays. I am non-malays and fully support the NEP as it is preparing us for real world outside Malaysia.

How many Malaysians have moved to overseas and contributed to their adopted country? Just like the Jews in the second world war, they have contributed so much more to their adopted country.

So, the NEP is great for us as it force us to be more that we are and force us all out of Malaysia, and competition is easier when we move into another country.

Thank you Bolehland for forcing former Malaysians to be more than what we are and to contribute to our adopted country, by rejecting us and telling us that we are not good enough. After all, we have the results to prove it.

Also, just to note, this sort of treatment does not only extend when you are in Malaysia. I know of countless cases where Malaysians of their adopted countries have rendered more help to them than local Malaysia embassy, as they do not want to know you if you are less than a "Dato".

This is true especially in Australia, as I have met with Malaysians in Australia not getting any help when their passport was stolen or burnt.

As regards to the passport thing, there is a joke about the comparison of the Malaysian passport and the Australian passport.

The Australian passport isn't worth that much as it is valueless if possessed by others, and to reapply back the passport, you just get it back from any post office within ten days time.

However, when their citizens are in trouble overseas, the whole country is backing them as reflected from the recent cases of drug couriers in Singapore. Though it is not a good example, but it just shows how much they care for their people, please note that the citizens include yellow, white and black.

To the migrants, Australia is a place they really can call it home!

konek said...

We can only wait a see it self-destruct!

After 48 years of independence why should the government continue to encourage jealousy between races, and using that as a pretext to allow Umno to enrich themselves?

The 30 years operative plan for NEP should have appeased the 1969 incidents, the cause of which is still yet doubtful, although the government has been brainwashing its people that it was due to so-called inequitable participation and distribution of assets among the various ethnic groups.

It seems to me that the country is moving backward and one day our competitiveness will be as 'sunset'. The sun will not rise again as far as competitiveness is concerned. Everything is tie to the competitiveness.

One of the examples is education. As pure common sense, education system is the top agenda in any country. Once a country plays a fool with it, the country will finished.

Since the current administration is still in denial syndrome, where is our country is heading?

When the country does not operate on sound principles, nothing you can do make our lives better in the long run.

I can't help but to stress times and again the following point. The root causes of all problems facing Malaysians lie in our governance: Lack of accountability, integrity, meritocracy, transparency.

All these problems we are discussing here are really not new. Frankly we can't expect accountability, integrity, meritocracy, transparency to happen naturally. Rightly, we should ask why accountability, integrity, meritocracy, transparency are so lacking in our land.

As I watch this country over the years, there are many fundamental things that we overlooked. Instead, we are merely focusing on the periphery and that is why we never seem to get the country on the right path.

The next is with regard to rule of law. What we have today is rule by law. Increasing we make laws that violet due process, usurp judicial review and erode human rights.

Now, if all these are not right, how then can we have integrity, accountability, transparency and meritocracy? Remember the phrase: 'power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely'. Fix the fundamentals; the rest will fall in place.

yoy said...

Hello, I am a Malaysian Chinese and agreed these racial discrimination things really happening now in Malaysia.

I think I will emigrate all to other country too later on. God bless the rest of us minority! And I beg to the international community to pressure our government to stop this racial discrimination.

The Malaysia government should be ashamed of itself. These policies are more akin to some Nazi state than a democratic country. I sure feel fortunate not to have been born in such a country where races divide rather than unite the people.

As a Malaysian Chinese sadly I need to say we can't do any shit about it, I wish I can just run to Singapore and stay there.

Trust me, it is not use ranting here. Malays are very tribal and they might consider you a friend if you are Muslim. Otherwise sorry, you just have to get used to second class.

I am sick of their attitude and my father was a victim of malay politics. Basically the corporation which used to earn billion dollars of profit now is losing millions every year.

Malaysia Airlines is following suit too and I am sure many people who received the "insider email" know what happened.

I am just sick of it you know. I want our country to flourish and these racists are here treating everybody else as outsider and enemies. Tolerance? We tolerate them more than they tolerate us.

So I left the country. Outside Malaysia, not many Malaysian malays can survive - the harsh reality of working to survive rather than being spoon-fed.

They can tell everybody else to "get out of the country" as usual and so I did. And when the time come, Malaysia will become like Indonesia and I hope they enjoy a country with 100% tribal malays.

Such a waste and pity. A country with so much potential but they just can't get over their tribal mindset.

Everyone should stop flaming malays, come on, their body so smelly, they don't eat pork but much more stupid than a pig, their face so ugly, their music and movie all third rated lame ass stuff, they can't even eat food without having other people feeding them, how come you guys keep flaming the malays, be more considerable, they already having a miserable life now.

Look at the state of mistrust among the races. There is no unity.

It is the mentality of the people that we should be more concerned about. Only when the individual changes, can the community change, can the society change, can the government that represents this society change - for the better.

Racism is a cancer. Until we rid of it, nobody whether Chinese, Indian or Malay can prosper in this country.

Truth hurts but truth really prevails……….this country sucks!

samp said...

Yes, certainly a change in lifestyle is needed. But a change in the management of our country's wealth from the abundant natural resources seems to be a more effective medicine than merely changing one's lifestyle.

Hey whilst having a dream to live in Australia is indeed good, don't forget that those who screw us all these while will be there too. They have mansions and yachts everywhere.

So wherever you go these people will still haunt you for the rest of your life. Again I m saying this, in other parts of the world there are natural disasters to destroy the nation but in Malaysia we have these numbskulls. Maybe God is just being fair.

Yes, I agree Australia is a Utopia because people manage the resources of the country well.

Australia is definitely the place to be for living a high quality life with everything you need. Was studying there for a couple of years and definitely would like to relocate there.

Many are upset with what happened to Malaysia as a result of Umno policies. But it has nothing to do with the ordinary people of all races - Malay, Chinese, Kadazan, Indian, Iban, and etc.

Wherever we are, if we contribute in any way, we should do our best to ensure Malaysia and its ordinary people are protected and in save hands.

The ordinary people must be left to live their ordinary lives of ordinary aspirations.

Seriously……….besides the good food, natural resources, some amazing friends and relatives, and (used-to-be) beautiful islands, I don't see anything that wonderful about this screwed up country run by screwed up people.

I give up. Period.

vesewe said...

Isn't this a shame that with all the multitude of handouts, the malays are still lagging, I mean very far behind.

While the malays are fighting tooth and nail to get what they call their share of 30%, the Chinese are not talking such numbers. While the malays are looking to the Malaysia government which incidentally, is a government of the people, to attain this 30%, the Chinese are going about their business as usual.

If the attitude is going to be one of "receiving rather than earning" - then not for another hundred years or even thousand years can the malays ever stand on their own feet. It is not that the malays have not received. When they get preferential dues and get handouts, all they think is to sell them and make some quick bucks.

Of course, if they are still bent on looking forward to handouts, then by all means carry on with what they are doing, just gleefully spent and waste the money away. For most malays in Malaysia who seem to "show off" their so-called proud achievements of standing tall in business or profession, I have every reason to cast doubt whether they would have become what they are without government help.

If these views are honestly analysed and understood, then the malays would confidently and openly say "no" to handouts. The days of doom and gloom are not far-off as other stronger economies are emerging to pose a threat to our standard of living.

The Indians are no better. A friend of mine recently joked that Indians have become the major crime menace including gangsters because they have a leader who behaves like a thug himself. A classic example of leadership by example.

I can henceforth and very confidently too, say that Pak Lah will definitely fail in his mission as he is certainly going in the wrong direction.

That does not bode well. So, it is again nothing more than a piece of paper. Almost everyone entrusted with the implementation are vultures. The talk has to change. The style has to change. The methodology in its entirety has to change, otherwise there is no hope.

If Pak Lah is going to change them by asking them to wear badges and the like, well, anyone would know what the end result would be.

It is no fun to see this country blessed with abundant natural resources, diverse yet marginalized or underutilised talent, and great climate go down the tubes because of poor and weak leadership, and the NEP mentality.

Plans will remain plans, but the 9th Malaysia Plan (9MP) is not even a plan; it is just waffle, an attempt to do everything including going back to agriculture purportedly with biotechnology and ICT. Without focus, there is no way we can win. Say goodbye to lot billion.

Just ask the minister what he did with nearly million in public funds for innovation and research in biotechnology and herbal science. Why was he not held to account for giving away taxpayers money to his friends and political cronies?

That is why I have said time and time again that Pak Lah has no courage to deal with his cabinet ministers and civil servants. They can ignore him with impunity.

What this kind of a leader in charge, we will be left behind even by the likes of Indonesia and Vietnam in the next half a decade. By then our man would have retired, or is kicked out by his Umno party or the voters. We all have to live with his follies.

Why do not he just step down and our grateful nation will honour him, and give him a very handsome gratuity and a great pension? It is a cheaper option for us. He can then live like a Sultan. Right now, it is painful to see him grapple with matters above his head.

reek said...

This race stereotyping is actually the work of the present day government, headed by the Umno racist using race and religion as a tool to stay in power.

The native of this land a.k.a. son of the soil are the Orang Asli (Dayak, Jakun, Sakai, etc) in Peninsula and the natives (Dusun, Iban, Kadazan, etc) of Borneo. Not you malays arrogant pieces of shit!

Before the arrival of Islam into Malaya, the different races live in harmony without questioning religion or race . They may be cultural different but they accepted each other.

After independence, race was used by the Umno racist, and then formulated the NEP, which divided everyone. The Umno fascist use Islam in schools, universities and workplace to segregate, and in the name of fighting PAS.

The modus operandi of Umno has always be, divide and rule, and the devil is in the details and implementation of the religious department.

Umno is king creating diversion when they are cornered, use race and religion. Race and religion is the most explosive issues and they have used it successfully since independence.

All this is done to perpetuate their hold on political power. It is to Umno benefits to play the race card, because this is the only way to ensure their hold on to political power. And 50 long years have proven them right. The race card works well and works every time!

They have succeeded in keeping the races apart socially, and fanned animosity amongst the races with their racist and discriminatory politics.

All give politically reasoning - well here goes a correct one - malay is lazy because of Islam.

How can one pray 5 times and yet be expected to be productive? Wait for the foreigners to come and set up their factory and having to cater for Islam needs!

If malays embrace other religion then there is hope for Malaysia……….otherwise your hope is in the existence of Umno terrorist liars - don't count on them being there forever - we are factoring in Umno racist absence in our business plan!

The problem with malays is that they forget too easily. It was the Chinese, Indians and Malays who fought for the independence.

The NEP was design to help malays catch up with the Chinese and the Indians. Now looks like after 40 years, the malays are still behind and very proud of it.

Still want to receive handouts from the government! Still afraid to fight it out on fair ground with the Chinese, Indians and the other races! Fearful is the malay race!

Without the government subsidies and support - I don't know how many malay businesses will still stand? So when can we see some towering malays and who dare to refuse government help and still succeed? Grabbing other people success and call it your own success is not success but a disgrace!

Their laziness caused the nation's economy to slump and resources are wasted. They take 5 days to complete a day work. Malays always think that they are helping the other races when they are lazy. For God sake, please wake up! You are doing it for your own, not for anybody!

Majority of the nation need to be educated again. On the meaning of Malaysia.

tim said...

Most of my family on my mother side resides in Malaysia and I have been there many times. I think that many of these facts are true, but from what I see when I am in Malaysia is that, most the Malaysia economy is dependant on the Chinese population.

I have no empirical data on this but my observation is that the Chinese population is harder working and more entrepreneurial on average than the malay population.

I not reside in Malaysia and yes - most of the comments posted, if not all are true. We even call it here as the "crutch" - the government use to help the malays walk.

The government has the intention of dominating profitable businesses in this country. They even use the taxpayers money to save ailing malay government-linked companies, e.g. MAS (the national airline) with losses of over RM1 billion.

I guess much of this has something to do with the fact that most malays are jealous of the business acumen of Malaysian Chinese businessmen. It is our taxpayers money, for goodness sake!

Scholarships in local universities for deserving non-malays, especially the Malaysian Chinese people are always denied whereas the number of malay students (regardless of socio-economic status) with average results being sent overseas in thousands for expensive tertiary education, is increasing year by year. Meritocracy is definitely not practised by the government here.

On the outside the Malaysia society is in racial harmony. But deep down there is discontent amongst the Chinese and Indian community in Malaysia toward the government pro-malay policies.

It is just that we can't do anything because we are the suppressed minority as malays make up 60% of the total population whereas other races only constitute about 40%.

The malays are generally (not all of them) full of pride of their own race to an extreme and are emotional people.

I reckon bloodshed would happen if we were to openly and publicly oppose the ruling government. It has happened in Malaysia in the 1960s, where many Chinese in Malaysia have fought against the malays and died in the process for equal rights and treatment.

Maybe it will happen again in the future, I wouldn't rule out the possibility of history repeating itself.

Other than that, our representatives in the parliament are nothing but a bunch of bustards, that are placing more importance in debating aloud about making bow ties compulsory in the parliament and making countless other stupid comments, instead of discussing important issues like how to increase productivity and such.

Could any of you readers out there tell me what the very country is this? I just don't understand why we are paying these people through our taxpayers money. It is obvious that they are not doing their job.

It is just that the minorities here in Malaysia have to work harder than the malays to earn a decent living due to denied opportunities and unequal treatment. I am pretty sure liberal countries would help the minority but it is the other way round in Malaysia.

I am a Malaysian, I was born and brought up here, I have many a sweet memory in Malaysia, but due to all these factors, I just can't bring myself to shout out "Malaysia, I love you!"

I have nothing against my malay friends. They were lucky to be born into Malaysia. It is the government that is the root of all problems. It is dumbfuck pathetic. Let the truth be open to the world.

So I hope that the Malaysia government will learn from the history lessons - had to learn the hard way and, treasure their economically very active minorities and try to keep them in the country.

By the way, I am not Chinese. My grandmother is Chinese but my grandfather is from a mixed European-Indian background and my father is white. I am not putting the races against each other, I am just stating my honest observation from my numerous visits to Malaysia.

bibliobibuli said...

all these are posted by the same loser from alor setar who has posted here before

racist stuff of course

his IP is 210.187.192.38 if anyone wants to trace him

of course he is too cowardly to get his own blog or to write to the newspapers

bibliobibuli said...

i've reported the abuse to tmnet and have forwarded his details - goodness knows if anyone will pull the plug on him, but at least the rest of you know not to take this wanker seriously if he opos up on other websites

Chet said...

And here I was, wondering what was so interesting about McEwan winning a book prize to result in 12 comments. And when I started reading the comments, I was wondering if ... never mind. Yes, a loser indeed. Coward, too.

sympozium said...

They do have valid points - and they must feel quite passionate to be so riled up.

Ron said...

I was disappointed too on those twelve comments not being about books After reading the depressing post on the demise of the novel at Grumpy Old Bookman, I needed some stimulating and positive 'book-stuff'.

bibliobibuli said...

sympozium - intersting maybe, but you miss the point. there is no "they". one person is posting in all these voices. the last time he hit my blog he was writing as an expatriate malaysian who was too disillusioned to come home. fine, but he lives in alor star! the guy is a liar and a coward ... total pondscum

and oops sorry i got the last number of his IP wrong, it should be 210.187.192.34

ron - thanks for the link - i printed off the whole post and sat reading it over breakfast - there's so much in it i don't know where to begin

animah said...

Wow Sharon, all this was written by the same guy? Poor thing is so full of hatred, he cannot see beyond his own nose. Is he cowardly for hijacking your blog. Probably, I'm sure it stems from a deep fear he does not know he has.
Kesian.
And Sharon, where is your posting for the day, don't let insecure racists defeat you.

bibliobibuli said...

worry not animah, blogger was down!

sympozium said...

Ah, I see. Thanks for explaining.

bibliobibuli said...

and furthermore, i now have evidence that the poster is malay and not chinese - so what is he trying to achieve?

(also have the name of his institution, i think)

sympozium said...

I believe it's called 'shit-stirring' :-))))

Greenbottle said...

you have the name of his institution sharon?? what institution? a mental one i suppose?...what a wanker!

bibliobibuli said...

tmnet came by to investigate this abuse - guess they've got this guys number now