Friday, May 30, 2014

THOMAS CUP FINALS IN NEW DELHI AND MALAYSIA’S SMASHING LOSS:

LENDING SUPPORT OR GIVING TOO MUCH DISTRACTION AND CONFUSION TO THE PLAYERS? UNKNOWN JAPAN EASILY TROUNCED CHINA AND THEN MALAYSIA TO BRING THE CUP TO TOKYO.
By Mansor Puteh


When will the badminton officials and the government leaders learn how not to overdo their showing of support for the Malaysian badminton team? How much can they show that before they become a nuisance to the players and destroy their morale and fighting spirit?

Badminton players and those involved in other international sporting events are already under pressure to fight, and the least that they need is additional and unnecessary pressure from the officials and government leaders and also their wives.

Showing too much support can bring about negative effects. It was when they did not think too highly of the Malaysian badminton team when they flew into New Delhi for the finals of the Thomas Cup earlier this month that they managed to gain a spot in the finals.

The officials did not think the team could make it to the finals; and if they made it to the semi-finals, they should be happy with that. But they went on to enter the finals playing Japan who no one had earlier given any chance of making it to the semi-finals, too.

So in a way, bother the Malaysian and Japanese were underdogs, with almost everyone thinking that China and Indonesia would be in the finals.

Malaysia’s twenty-two year wait to enter the finals of the Thomas Cup tournament and win the cup has proven to be illusive. The sports officials must learn something from the debacle. Or were they just happy to see the Malaysian team enter the finals?

It happened so suddenly without anyone expecting to happen, because the team comprising of other players were so easily trounced in the Thomas Cup matches in the past that no Malaysian could imagine such a thing to happen this time. 

The finals of the Thomas Cup, was just held in New Delhi, India. Malaysia trounced Indonesia, with Japan trouncing China, for the two teams to enter the finals.

Japan having trounced mighty China, had players who are relatively unknown in the international badminton scene; yet, they were able to also trounce the Malaysian team, almost effortlessly. They could have done better than to give Malaysia two of the three sets after locking with Malaysia at two - two.

Too much support was given by many in Malaysia who had gone to New Delhi but this could be the undoing of the players, all of whom must be eager to show how they had also contributed to the win to bring back the Cup to the country.

The Japanese players did not have to face similar pressures; their leaders and officials from their badminton association did not torment them with unnecessary pressures, with their presence there.

So they were able to play nice and trounce Malaysia without feeling too much jubilation.

Malaysia was already jubilant at its team making it in the finals after so long. The Japanese was cool to the fact that they too had made it to the finals. And Japan had not been known to have produced world-class badminton players, compared to Malaysia or even China.

No one knows if the finals were also shown live on television in Japan and if the Japanese were excited to see their national badminton team going that far playing in a sport which was generally not an everyday sport for the average Japanese, unlike in Malaysia where one can see a badminton court everywhere, especially the makeshift ones, which have the barest essentials.

It is also not odd to see Malaysian kids playing street badminton with no court or net and just on the roads in front of their houses in the evening.

One cannot see that sort of thing in Japan where badminton is not a regular sport but which requires a lot of effort for them to take part in.  

Yet, the new generation of batch of players of Japan had shown their mettle, beating the more experienced Malaysian players.

One can also bet that the players are also not given ‘superstar’ status like their counterparts in Malaysia, who are given wide media attention and coverage. Even the officials of the Badminton Association of Malaysia (BAM) can also attract a lot of media attention with their antics and comments.

So one of the main reasons why Malaysia lost to the Japanese could be to the too much publicity and support and pep-talk that the BAM officials and the people in the media and ministry had given them that had caused the Malaysian team to lose the Thomas Cup this time around, when it was just without their grasp.

BAM must surely have psychologists to give support to the players so their minds could be put at ease, so they can concentrate on the game.

But BAM did not have psychologists to work out with their officials and some others who thought their presence and support could spur the players to greater heights.

It did not work that way.

These people ought to have known better; that they should have made themselves scarce and not show their support which was unnecessary now that the Malaysian team had got to the finals on their own without being given the support that those people were now trying to give them, to shower them with praise and to give projections on how they could trounce the Japanese players.

One can expect how the officials and also their wives had already planned to welcome the Malaysian badminton players when they alight from Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA) holding the Thomas Cup and being paraded all the way to the city where a huge crowd would wait them there, to shower more praise on them.

And this too must have created in the players a sense of importance, that the whole country is watching their every move; for they are the ones who could give their country some measure of excitement with their achievement.

But alas, this was not to be.

But alas, also, the officials and their wives will never learn that their presence the pep-talk could not take the players very far. On the contrary, they could take them nowhere, to defeat. Such acts are not necessary.

The only consolation for Malaysia and its media is to try and be happy with the defeat of the Malaysian badminton team in New Delhi.

Are they celebrating in Tokyo? Was the Japanese badminton team greeted by screaming supporters at Narita Airport and was paraded to the city and welcomed by their prime minister and wife?


Are they getting perks from their government and other companies?   

Saturday, May 24, 2014

DID THE PRESENCE OF THE VERNACULAR CHINESE SCHOOLS CAUSE THE MELAYU TO BECOME MORE MELAYU TO GET OUT OF THEIR STUPOR?

WHAT IF THERE WERE NO VERNACULAR CHINESE SCHOOLS? WOULD THE SITUATION OF THE MELAYU BE WORSE TODAY!?
By Mansor Puteh



Just how have the vernacular Mandarin schools been good for the Melayu activists and not good for the Chinese activists?

And how did the Melayu in Malaysia actually benefit from the existence of the vernacular Mandarin and Tamil schools? Here’s how!

Many Melayu activists say and claim if there are no vernacular Chinese or Tamil schools, the country would be in greater peace.

In theory this may be true. But at whose expense, if not at the expense of the Melayu themselves, much as I do not like to say this.

On the contrary, the presence of the vernacular schools especially the Mandarin ones, have proved to be useful to some Melayu activists who do not have other issues to harp on.

Yet, their own survival and success in whatever they may be doing now could have been severely affected, if not for the presence of such schools.

Ideally, they claim, if there is no vernacular school and there is only one schooling system, there is greater peace and understanding between the three major races in the country.

However, unfortunately, this can happen in not too long a future, i.e. when the Melayu has achieved cohesion and unity with the demise of the old Melayu leaders who have pre-Merdeka or post-13 May, 1969 mentality, when the Melayu have become ‘the true masters of their own land’.

A single schooling system may be useful to promote national unity, if one looks at how the small but still significant Portuguese-Melaka community in Ujong Pasir, Melaka, who do not send their children to the vernacular schools but to the national schools aka Sekolah Melayu.

Yes, this is what they are SEKOLAH MELAYU any way one looks at it.

After all, there is no such a thing as an American school or a national school in America, just English schools where the medium of instruction is in the language.

So how could the presence of the vernacular Mandarin schools in Malaysia have indeed been useful to the Melayu activists – other than being their popular target of scorn and contempt by charging them to be chauvinists?

Are the Chinese activists chauvinists? Maybe they are. How can we say so? They do not mix around with anyone else, other than their own kind, except during political party campaigns.

Do they take part in other national festivities? One has not seen that happen before. Do they allow their children to mix with those from the other races?   

Are the Chinese and Tamil newspapers promoting chauvinism amongst their own kind? They only write about their own kinds in Hong Kong, Taiwan and China and also India, for one. They hardly write about Malaysians who are not like them, too.

Worse, and unbeknownst to the Chinese activists and politicians from both sides, in the government and the opposition, is how the vernacular Chinese schools have been bad for the Chinese themselves, yet their activists and including some in Dong Zhong do not realize this.

Even if they do now, it is too late for them to do much or anything at all. They have been trapped.

Maybe they have finally realized their own folly now after seeing how their community has become more marginalized the more they move to the cities and towns and with the Melayu in the rural areas encroaching into urban territory and enclosing the close-knit Chinese communities in all the cities and towns in the country.

Don’t the Chinese chauvinists realize how many of the Chinese kids who lack education is reduced to working to post illegal stickers everywhere with the uneducated Indians or shall I say, Tamil kids stealing metal covers wherever they can?

And which races dominate criminal activities in the country?

And it is also happening with the shrinking size of the Chinese community which will see them lose more constituencies so that they are not able to win any seat in the near future, especially if the Melayu have finally come to their senses to get rid of PAS to embrace Umno.

The Melayu activists have reaped what the presence of the vernacular Chinese or shall we say vernacular Mandarin schools, so much so that they had managed to turn things around to benefit much or a lot from it, for without it, the status of the economy and also the politics of the Melayu today would have been much worse.

The division of the Melayu into two parts – Umno and PAS and now three parts with the presence of the pseudo-Melayu political party otherwise known as Parti KeAdilan Rakyat (PKR) proves that the Melayu can only lose if there their community is fractured.

All of this, acts to confuse the Chinese activists and politicians into thinking that they stand to gain much from the split amongst the Melayu in the country. But it is just a ploy by the Melayu to further bring out the true colors of the Chinese.

The Chinese do not realize that if the Melayu are united, they would be able to withstand any political onslaught from the Chinese, and they can even make do with MCA and Gerakan who then would have no choice but to merge with DAP, which is a pseudo-Chinese party anyway which uses Mandarin in their conferences and annual meetings instead of the national language compared to PKR which uses Melayu which embraces everybody.

On the other hand if there is only schooling system, with no vernacular Chinese and Indian schools, then surely most of the political as well as government and commercial activities in the country would have been dominated by the Chinese themselves.

So in the end the whole country could be theirs to control, and with such immense power, they can create immense and unthinkable opportunities to further reduce the influence of the Melayu including creating some systems that could ensure that the population of the Melayu be further reduced.

Singapore did it by ensuring the population of the Melayu in the republic remained at fourteen percent like it did when the country became independent from Malaysia in 1963. They had to bring in more Chinese from Indonesia and the other countries to prop up the shrinking local Chinese population knowing how the Chinese normally do not like having large families compared to the Melayu.

If they did not do this, surely, the size of the Melayu population in Singapore would be at least thirty percent by now.


The Zionist state of Israel too had to take drastic measures to ensure that their local Arab population does not overwhelm their Jewish population; and they do it by importing willing East Europeans to come to Israel and be given immediately citizenship in their Law of Return, which do not apply to the Arabs who have lived there for generations, but who had been displaced from their own land with their properties seized.   

Thursday, May 15, 2014

BODOHKAH DBKL KOSONGKAN PASAR KARAT DI LORONG BELAKANG DERETAN BANGUNAN KEDAI DIANARA JALAN PETALING DAN JALAN SULTAN DI KUALA LUMPUR?

Oleh Mansor Puteh


SEMUA BANDARAYA BESAR DI SELURUH DUNIA ADA PASAR SEPERTI ITU YANG DIPANGGIL ‘FLEA MARKET’; CUMA WARTAWAN BERKENAAN YANG BODOH TIDAK TAHU SEJARAH TENTANGNYA DENGAN MENULIS SESUKA HATI.

Saya ke pusat perniagaan barang-barang lama dan lunsor, yang dipanggil pasar karat di Jalan Petaling dan Jalan Sultan pada pagi Sabtu, 10 Mei, 2014 dan mendapatinya ia telah dikosongkan, dengan peniaga yang berada di situ hilang kecuali beberapa orang sahaja yang berlegar-legar di situ.  

DBKL sepatutnya tidak dengar komen wartawan yang menulis tentangnya dan mahu ia dirobohkan. Dia bukan orang pandai.

Dia tidak tahu semua bandaraya di seluruh dunia ada ‘flea market’ yang menjadi tarikan pelancong.

Ada perspektif sejarah dan sosiologi dan psikologi berkaitan dengan adanya pasar seperti itu. Kalau dia tidak tahu DBKL juga sepatutnya tidak patuh dengan cadangan jahat dia.

DBKL sepatutnya buat kajian tentang flea market sebelum ambil tindakan mengosong dan menghalau peniaga di pasar karat.

Saya sudah ke 40 buah negara dan saya selalu pergi ke pasar flea market untuk mendapat barang-barang yang tidak ada dikedai seperti sebuah buku sejarah Portugis dan Melaka yang saya dapat di flea market di Lisbon, Portugal November lalu dan saya hadiahkannya kepada Perzim atau Perbadanan Muzium Melaka yang tidak mempunyai buku berharga seperti itu yang diterbit di Portugal.

Dan ada bermacam-macam barang lama yang masih baik yang dijual di sana.

Dan semasa melawat Salt Lake City di Utah, Amerika, saya sempat pergi ke sebuah pasar pagi yang mirip pasar karat di Kuala Lumpur dan mendapati banyak gerai sementara dibuka di sebuah kawasan luas oleh pihak berkuasa bandaraya.

Apabila hari menjelang siang, ramai pengunjung telah datang dengan memandu kereta masing-masing dengan setiap pengunjung dikenakan bayraan satu dolar Amerika untuk masuk.

Saya tidak percaya wartawan yang bodoh tentang peranan flea market atau pasar pagi serta ‘boot sale’ atau ‘yard sale’ yang sering diadakan di Amerika, jadi tulisannya tidak mempunyai perspektif sejarah dan psikologi serta sosiologi.

‘Perniagaan’ seperti ini tidak memerlukan sebarang lesen. Ia sama seperti orang yang membeli besi buruk dan suratkhabar lama yang menjualnya kepada pembeli barangan terpakai untuk dikitar.

Dan pegawai DBKL dan mungkin Datuk Bandarnya juga yang tidak pernah menetap lama di luar negara, juga tidak peka tentang perkara ini.

Jadi mereka tidak perlu merendahkan martabat peniaga seperti itu. Ia adalah satu penghinaan kepada orang yang mahu meniaga disamping mengalak orang awam menghargai barang-barang lama mereka yang mereka tidak perlukan lagi supaya mereka dapat salurkannya kepada peniaga untuk diedarkan di pasaran.

Kalau ini tidak dilakukan, atau kalau sistem perniagaan seperti ini tidak wujud di Kuala Lumpur, maka semua barang-barang tersebut akan dibuang begitu sahaja dan akan dibuang ke dalam tong sampah.

Nyata sekali Datuk Bandar dan pegawai DBKL serta wartawan berkenaan dan pengarangnya memandang rendah kerjaya orang lain dan menghalau mereka dari pasar karat seperti mereka anjing. 

Oleh sebab itu mereka tidak menghargai pasar karat yang ditubuh secara spontan oleh peniaga barang-barang lama yang masih boleh diguna oleh orang lain.

Mereka juga tidak tahu bahawa pasar karat seperti itu yang mengajar masyarakat untuk tahu jaga dan guna barang-barang yang mereka ada, supaya mereka tidak membuangnya dengan sewenang-wenangnya walaupun ia masih berguna dan baik.

Dan mereka akan berinya kepada pihak-pihak tertentu atau menjualnya dengan harga murah supaya peniaga pasar karat dapat menjualnya kepada sesiapa yang berminat.

Inilah cara yang telah diguna oleh mereka di barat untuk menggalak orang awam supaya lebih menghargai barang-barang yang mereka milikki supaya tidak membazirkannya walaupun ia masih baik dan tidak pecah.

Malah ada peniaga yang bijak ambil atau kutip barang-barang lama dan pecah yang dibuang oleh pemilik asalnya dan baikkannya untuk diguna semula atau membuat barang-barang baru dari barang-barang yang telah rosak itu, dengan mengguna dayakreativiti yang mereka memilikki.

Jadi, kalau sesiapa pergi ke pasar karat yang terletak di lorong belakang kedai diantara Jalan Petaling dan Jalan Sultan, mereka akan mendapat melihat pelbagai jenis barang-barang lama dan juga baru dijual.

Kebanyakannya adalah barang elektronik dan ada juga buku lama yang adanya sukar didapati di kedai-kedai buku.

Masyarakat di Malaysia sekarang sudah menjadi masyarakat yang suka membazir; mereka beli barang-barang tanpa berfikir dan setelah jelak menggunanya, mereka akan buangnya untuk menjimatkan tempat dalam bilik atau rumah mereka yang kian sempit.

Perbuatan seperti ini sering berlaku di Singapura oleh sebab apartmen mereka hampir semuanya sempit dan mereka tidak ada ruang untuk membeli barang-barang yang baru tanpa membuang barang-barang lama.

Dan peniaga atau individu di Johor terdiri dari kalangan Orang Asli di sana sering pergi ke Singapura untuk beli barang-barang tersebut yang hampir kesemuanya adalah barang-barang yang tidak rosak lagi dan masih boleh dipakai.

Mereka membuka sebuah kawasan khusus untuk menjual barang-barang seperti itu yang telah menjadi tumpuan orang awam.

Tetapi tidak pula pihak berkuasa di Johor yang telah mengambil tindakan untuk merobohkan gerai-gerai yang dibina di tepi jalan, yang dibuka setiap hari dan tidak hanya pada hari Sabtu dan Minggu di pasar karat di Kuala Lumpur.   

Wartawan berkenaan kata peniaga tidak berlesen. Mana ada peniaga flea market berlesen di dunia? Kalau mereka perlu dapat lesen, berikan lesen kepada mereka.

Mereka boleh didaftar sebagai peniaga sah, dan tempat-tempat khas seperti di tempat letak kereta dan lorong belakang bangunan boleh diwartakan sebagai tempat khas dan khusus untuk dijadikan pasar karat di Kuala Lumpur dan perniagaan ini boleh diumumkan dalam laman web DBKL untuk pelancong dari seluruh dunia pergi ke sana.

Saya mahu DBKL memohon maaf kepada peniaga di pasar karat yang rata-rata orang Melayu sebab menghalau mereka dari berniaga secara sah dan halal, dan umumkan bahawa pasar karat itu akan disahkan dan dijadikan bahan tarikan pelancongan.

Jangan sampai ada orang kecam DBKL tidak peka dengan perkembangan di semua bandaraya besar dan utama di dunia yang menghargai peranan dan sumbangan pasar flea market mereka. Lihat sahaja dalam internet tentang flea market di Bandaraya New York, Lisbon, Paris dan sebagainya untuk mengetahui tentang peranan yang mereka telah beri sejak lebih 200 tahun dulu.

Dan saya cadangkan DBKL hantar pegawainya termasuk beberapa pengarang akhbar dan wartawan yang mengecam kehadiran pasar karat untuk belajar cara dan kenapa flea market di bandaraya tersebut diadakan.

Yang bodohnya ialah wartawatan berkenaan tidak kecam perniaga Cina yang rampas kawasan kaki-lima yang menghalang laluan orang awam dan tulis tentang kilang-kilang haram yang ada di seluruh bandaraya dan DBKL juga tidak ambil tindakan terhadap mereka semua. Kenapa? 

Dan pada 13 Mei lalu, pada hari ulangtahun ke-45 Kejadian 13 Mei, 1969, saya pergi ke Kampung Baru dan mendapati bahawa mereka kini mempunyai pasar karat yang dibuka pada awal pagi hingga tengah hari pada hari Sabtu dan Minggu.


Adakh DBKL akan tutupnya juga? Dan apakah DBKL juga akan suruh semua peniaga di luar Masjid Negara, Masjid Jamek dan Masjid Bukhari di Pudu yang dibuka khusus pada hari Jumaat, untuk ditutup? 

Friday, May 9, 2014

COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY FILM SCHOLAR BELITTLED


– AND EVEN SUED!: THE TORTURE AND PAINS I HAD TO ENDURE FOR BEING THE ONLY IVY LEAGUE-TRAINED FILMMAKER OF MALAYSIA.
By Mansor Puteh

(Mansor is visiting his alma mater Columbia University in New York City and traveling around America. He plans to go on an expedition later this year called, ‘Eating Wind…Across America: Malaysia-America Friendship Tour 2014’, other than to be able to finally produce a feature film called, ‘Malaysian Snow’ which is also his master’s thesis film to submit to the university so he can finally graduate with his Masters of Fine Art in Film Directing degree and to create an unusual American academic history and a record, after Columbia had readmitted him, even after he had left the university for so long.)


COMMENCEMENT DAY AT COLUMBIA, THREE KNEE SURGERIES …AND FELLOW STUDENT, BARACK OBAMA:

I am now back at Columbia University (1 April,2014) having just flown into John F Kennedy Airport in Queens, and it is the first time I returned to the city flying into the airport after 36 years. But it seemed like it was yesterday.

I had returned to the campus and to the city two times before, but after flying into Los Angeles to attend film festivals that had invited my earlier works.

The three years I lived in New York City including some months in Boston, saw how John Lennon got killed outside of his Dakota apartment; how the then President Ronald Reagan  and how Pope John-Paul II got shot and survived. Egyptian President Anwar Sadat got killed while attending a parade outside of Cairo.

I am sitting here in the lawn where the Columbia Commencement (Graduation Day as it is called in Malaysia) is held on 13 May each year. But in 1981, it was postponed to a day later, because Pope John-Paul II was shot on that day, so the Commencement was held on 14 May.

And this is also the place where I hope to finally receive my Masters of Fine Art in Film Directing degree from Columbia next year, after re-registering with the university since 2006 as a student working on his master’s thesis film, and also take part in the Student Academy Award with the thesis film.

If this is not life-long learning, I don’t know what else is…

I remember seeing prominent Palestinian leader and English scholar at Columbia, Edward Said walking into the campus, after the Commencement was over. 

I also remember how an American classmate of mine, Ron Nyswaner had called to ask if I would like to come to the location of a low-budget feature film called ‘Smithereens’ he and his friends were making. But I had to tell him I was not able to do so.

I regretted it very much in later years, after I found out that the film had been invited as an official selection by Cannes Film Festival to make it the first non-mainstream film from America to be given the honor, and I later found out that Ron had won an Oscar nomination for best screenplay for the film ‘Philadelphia’ for which he did not win it, but it won an Oscar for its lead actor, Denzel Washington.

I remember the late Frank Daniels, co-chairman of the Film Division who I gave some hard time by not submitting my final term paper for his Screenwriting 1 course, which is in the form of the writing of a script of a short film, which I only did two years later!

I was shocked when I saw his photo in the ‘Memoriam’ segment in the Academy Awards, which is to indicate that he was a prominent person in the film industry in America. And unfortunately, too, I would see every now and then photos of my instructors at Columbia passing away and being announced in this way.

He gave me a lot of consolation because he and everybody at the Film Division knew I had been diagnosed for a Giant Cell tumor of the upper left tibia for which I had to be operated on three times and at two hospitals, the St. Luke’s Hospital and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, which left me with a permanent knee prosthesis in my left leg leaving me having to use a pair of crutches for fifteen years, for which the university insurance company had to pay US$80,000 (RM200,000 at the rate then).  

So I can say how lucky I was in New York City at that time when I had the tumor so I was able to get the insurance coverage as a student totaling US$100,000 for paying only US$40 per semester, and the best medical treatment they could have anywhere in the world.

The other co-chairman was Milos Forman who won Oscars for best director for ‘One flew over the cuckoo’s nest’ and ‘Amadeus’.

But one interesting fact concerns American President Barack Obama, who I later discovered was also studying at Columbia when I was still there. I could have seen him on campus as it was not such a large one being in the city; also because there were so few African-Americans or Asians studying there.

BELITTLED, AND SUED IN MALAYSIA AND BY COLUMBIA! – AND MALAYSIA’S STRONGEST LINKS TO HOLLYWOOD NOT CAPITALIZED.

I am not ashamed to say that I have yet to graduate with my Masters of Fine Arts degree in Film Directing from Columbia because I have not been given the opportunity to produce my master’s thesis film called, ‘Malaysian Snow’, which I thought could be used as a bridge to forge better relations between Malaysia and America through the medium of the cinema.

I could have taken the simple way by producing a short film on campus and be done with it, but why bother?

Because I thought I wanted to be smarter and come up with a full-length feature film from Malaysia that can be accepted by a prestigious university so that it can also help launch Malaysia’s attempt to capture the imagination of those in Hollywood, other than in the academic circles, using the only opportunity I was given which I did not want to simply use.

However, since I returned to Malaysia in February, 1982, I was not given any encouragement to produce the film, and without financing, no film can be made even if one is highly qualified and has won numerous Oscars, that would also allow my master’s thesis film being able to participate in the Student Academy Awards, too.

I did not expect to be given such horrible treatment by the very agencies and ministries in Malaysia that had been entrusted to develop the film industry.

And the best qualified people in film and the only Ivy League-trained scholar and filmmaker cannot be absorbed into the industry, whose experience and expertise can be used to benefit the industry and country which suffers from image problems without anyone knowing much about its history and multiracial composition of its society and colorful history all of which can be successfully portrayed in many interesting Hollywood-class films.

Many of them were ‘condemned’ to teach film at the local universities and film academies and not encouraged to produce and direct films either. 

Malaysia has therefore lost the only opportunity it had with the direct connection at the highest possible level with Hollywood whose experience and setup that Malaysia could benefit from.

MARA had threatened to sue me on countless occasions, despite the fact that I had paid them whatever I owed them for the study loan they gave me, except perhaps for a small amount which they did not bother to ask for so long.

And I was also sued by another bank which wanted to terminate an agreement I made with the then ministry of information, communications and culture or Kementerian Penerangan, Komunikasi dan Kebudayaan (KPKK).

Worse, even lawyers of Columbia threatened to sue me in the courts in New York City, after I reapplied with them to complete my studies, which I did not go through.  

KPKK and its minister and senior officials then did not show any eagerness to see that my master’s thesis film called ‘Malaysian Snow’ was produced.

They preferred to give grants to producers and directors who did not have impressive backgrounds, so no wonder none of the film they financed had been selected by international film festivals, much less win any artistic recognition for it.

It is therefore, a shame that I had been subjected to such torture by simply getting into an Ivy League University and the very agencies and ministries which are supposed to help develop the film industry had chosen to belittle, bully and also sue me. 

I have created another history of sorts for being the first and only Malaysian student to be sued by an Ivy League University.

I knew I had created academic history for the School of Mass Communication, Institut Teknologi Mara (ITM) as it was known then, for being able to gain admission into such a prestigious university even before I had graduated in 1977.

It was also amusing how my applications to do the same program at the few other non-competitive universities in America were rejected.

I also created history for ITM which had never ever got any of his graduates who had managed to get such a recognition then, and chances are there was no other student or graduate from the university who had got places to study in any of the eight Ivy League university in America, or ITM would have shouted themselves coarse bragging about it in the media and for the public to know, how the university had been given such recognition from those universities.

I also created history for MARA, for being the only student of ITM who got a place to study at such a university, in which their officials had chosen to reject my application for a scholarship. 

Sunday, May 4, 2014

MH370, FORT HOOD DAN BENCANA TUMPAH LUMUH DI NEGERI WASHINGTON…


Oleh Mansor Puteh
(Ditulis di Salt Lake City, Utah, Amerika pada 4 April, 2014.)

Amerika turut merasai kemalangan luarbiasa dalam dunia penerbangan dengan jatuhnya pesawat Sistem Penerbangan Malaysia MH370 pada 8 Mac lalu, yang akhirnya didapati terjauh jauh dari laluan asalnya dari Kuala Lumpur ke Beijing, yang kini disasar sebagai bangkai Boeing 777-200E sebagai berada di Lautan Hindi sama seperti seluruh dunia yang menganggap kemalangan itu sebagai sesuatu yang menakjubkan dan langsung tidak mudah dirungkai tentang kenapa kejadidian seperti seperti itu boleh berlaku, khususnya yang membabitkan sebuah jenis pesawat buatan Boeing, sebuah syarikat pembuat pesawat yang ulung di dunia, dan dalam misteri yang menyelubundi kejadian itu.

Dengan setiap teori dan konspirasi yang mungkin dapat diteka dan diusik oleh semua pihak di Amerika, termasuk kecaman yang dilempahkan kepada kedudukan MAS, dan pegawai kanannya, termasuk Jabatan Penerbangan Awam (DCA) serta keperibadian pemangku menteri pengangkutan Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Hussein, lebih ramai lagi di pihak media di Amerika terasa diri mereka tertipu dengan helah sendiri.

Sebab yang akhirnya perlu dikira dan diambil perhitungan oleh pihak berkuasa termasuk Boeing sendiri ialah dan cumalah fakta dan tidak lain.

Dan fakta sebenar disebalik kehilangan dan terjatuhnya Pesawat 370 hanya akan dirungkai dengan terjumpanya ‘kotak hitam’ dan bahan-bahan bukti kukuh.

Dan ini tidak mungkin boleh berhasil dengan teori semata-mata tetapi penyelidkan dan usaha menari kotak itu dan bangkai pesawat.

Amerika atau media mereka menganggap apa yang berlaku seperti luar dari apa yang mereka mampu fikir dan agak serta teka.

Dan dalam kekalutan ini mereka gemar membuat tuduhan dan anggapan.

Tetapi ia tidak mewakilli Amerika amnya yang rata-rata tidak mempunyai anggapan melulu yang dipegang oleh sebahagian dari media mereka.

Rakyat Amerika rata-rata mempunyai pegangan lain yang amat berbeza dengan media mereka.

Mereka semua tahu gaya dan cara media mereka bertindak khususnya tentang perkara yang mereka anggap pelik tetapi jelas mempunyai sebab-musababnya, yang mereka tidak ada pegangan ugama yang kuat untuk beri pelajaran untuk mereka dan semua.

Saya rasa hairan dan juga tidak terkejut dengan pegangan ini seperti yang saya sendiri dapat rasakan selama berada di negara ini.

Walaupun kejadian itu sudah berlaku hampir satu bulan, namun ia masih dapat perhatian media dan orang awam juga ambil perhatian tentangnya.

Saya berada di stesen bas Greyhound pada 4 April lalu apabila televisyen di ruang menuggu menyiarkan berita langsung menunjukkan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak membuat lawatan ke pusat mencari di Perth, Australia diikuti dengan laporan tentang berita terkini tentant Penerbangan 370.

Dan di belakang saya ada perbualan diantara seorang wanita kulit putih dengan seorang lelaki kulit hitam tentang laporan itu. Dan dari cara dan apa yang mereka bincangkan, saya boleh agak yang mereka tahu tentang kejadian itu dan mengikutinya dari awal.

Tetapi mereka tidak buat sebarang kecaman. Mereka rasa simpati dengan semua pihak yang terlibat mencari pesawat itu dan lebih lagi ahli keluarga mereka yang maut dalam penerbangan itu.

Ya, media di sini tidak lagi menyebut Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 tetapi hanya Flight 370, supaya tidak galak ada pihak yang mahu tuduh Malaysia seperti seluruh Negara ini bersalah.

Dan tidak hairan juga kalau ada pihak di Hollywood seperti yang dilapor oleh akhbar hiburan, Variety, sebagai berkata bahawa ada penerbit filem di sana yang kini asyik menyiapkan persiapan mereka untuk terbit kejadian yang berlaku kepada Penerbangan 370 sebagai sebuah filem kelak.

Sebabnya ialah misteri disebalik kehilangan, dan usaha mencarinya mempunyai elemen drama yang amat disukai oleh Hollywood.

Kita tunggu sahaja apa yang berlaku dalam hal ini samada filem yang dicadangkan itu akan berlaku. Dan ini hanya boleh diketahui apabila semua maklumat disebalik 370 itu akhirnya diketahui secara sahih.

Dan dalam masa yang sama rancangan ‘Air Crash Investigation’ atau ‘Penyiasatan Kemusnahan Penerbangan’ terbitan History Channel yang juga disiar oleh Astro di Malaysia dihentikan buat sementara waktu.

Siri rancangan ini mengguna peristiwa kejatuhan pesawat sebagai episodnya.

Dan dalam usaha mencari bangkai 370 di Lautan Hindi, Amerika turut mengalami kejadian ngeri iaitu apa seorang veteran Perang Iraq telah mengamuk dan tembak mati tiga orang sebelum dia bunuh dirinya sendiri.

Ini diikuti dengan kejadian lempahan lumpuh di utara Bandaraya Seattle di Negeri Washington, yang menyebabkan kemusnahan yang besar, sehinggakan Universiti Washington telah mengenepi yuran untuk tahun depan untuk pelajar-pelajar yang terbabit dengan malapetaka itu, yang mana Presiden Amerika, Barack Obama menganggap sebagai malapetaka kebangsaan, dan mengarahkan bantuan dari agensi persekutuan diberi selain dari bantuan dari agensi negeri itu sendiri.

Dan ironinya juga ialah di Negeri Washington ini merupakan tempat dimana kilang membuat pesawat Boeing.