Something About Raya In Space...


Written on 10/17/2007 05:38:00 pm by sikapitan

Selamat Hari Raya to my readers (if I still have any). Every year since the inception of this blog, I have been telling you tales about my trip to my hometown of Penang. This year was different, because for the first time in ages, I celebrated Hari Raya Aidilfitri at Subang Jaya. It was a close call, this one, because my two aunts who are still staying in Penang wanted us to go with tradition and head back to Gelugor, but at the end of the day, the rest of family persuaded THEM to head over to KL and celebrate here instead.

This is the beginning of a new era I guess. Most of my relatives are here in KL anyway, and my soon-to-be in-laws are based in KL. This will probably be the first of many Raya celebrated in KL. Yes, I do miss Penang. I still have fond memories of the trips there. I fear that without this yearly jaunt to my hometown, I’ll probably never get out of KL!

But to be completely honest, I’ve not had that Raya feeling for quite some time. I guess the introduction of Astro into my grandma’s house somehow robbed us of that “I have nothing to do, so let’s explore Penang” kind of attitude. I can’t even remember how to get to Padang Kota, so what kind of a Penangite am I? (Yes, yes…the sharp nose is still there, and I can still do a mean anak mami accent if I want to…but the heart is no longer set on the beaches of Ferringhi…)

Heck, I can’t even bring myself to watch the TV shows for Raya. There used to be a time when Raya Specials were really special. It was something that has never been shown before, something that we look forward to because we missed it in the cinema (of course, all this is irrelevant if you don’t watch Malay shows…but that’s your loss). The musicals were jam-packed with stars like M.Nasir, Siti Nurhaliza etc. But nowadays you get crap like one show I accidentally saw on RTM 1 called Duets Raya or something. You get people from bands like Sofaz partnering some unpopular and more importantly, not so talented, female singers butchering classic Hari Raya songs.

Let’s not start with the movies. Why do TV stations assume that people want to be enlightened on Raya eve? Why do they always decide to put some soapy, sad drama about (1) anak durhaka (2) isteri/suami durhaka (3) mak bapak durhaka? Why must we suffer the indignity of being swayed by one-trick-pony directors like Rashid Sibir? Most importantly, why do we keep having reruns of Prof. Abd. Razak Mohaideen’s idiotic brand of “situational comedies”?
Lost in Space

Perhaps everyone thought that we would be more interested in watching a space show, or to be more specific, our proud angkasawan at ISIS, Outer Space. Yes, I am proud that we have a Malaysian in space, and no matter what, we shouldn’t take the mickey out of Doktor SM’s successful launch into space. It’s not his fault that our government can’t seem to prioritize!

Why does the government of Malaysia think it’s valuable to send someone into space? What is it that Malaysians can do, that actually other astronauts can’t? I mean, what sort of “research” are they actually asking him to do? Wouldn’t it be easier to just send the “nasi lemak” or “durian” to astronauts who are actually going there to do something significant? More importantly, wouldn’t it be cheaper?

You see, while Singapore, which earns more than we do, has a higher GDP than we do, with a higher per capita income than Malaysians do, are busy solidifying their economy in the face of the expected global market meltdown and turmoil in key oil states in the Middle East, we decided to spend more than RM 100 Million (that is reported, I’m sure the real and hidden cost is much more than that) on sending a man into space to wear a pretty cool Malaysian jumpsuit, but proves nothing besides the fact that we know how to spend money.

Malaysia is a bit like those on-off hip hop stars, like we have some hits at some point of our career, get a lot of dough, spent it on blings-blings, then become anonymous until the next lucky hit comes along. It’s great if we can come up with the hits, but what if it dries up? Maybe we should learn from P.Diddy, who built a business empire despite his limited talent in the rap game. Who says you can’t have the cake and eat it too?

Oh yeah, oil prices are at a record high recently, and with the tension over Iran growing, there’s no sign it’s going to come down to manageable level anytime soon. That means petrol prices in Malaysia are expected to rise again, as the government cannot afford to subsidize us anymore, what with their space mission, national service, Port Klang Free Zone bailout…I mean, what can they do, right? Go figure.

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