Tag Archives: The Malaysian Insider

MH17: It’s not easier the second time around


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MH17: It’s not easier the second time around
By Zan Azlee

Being at the departure floor at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport in the early morning of the 18th of July last week brought a whole lot of memories flooding back.

The memories weren’t from very long ago – only about five months, to be exact. Maybe that’s why they were so clear. Or maybe because it was just so intense.

As the whole world already knows, Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur was shot down and crashed in Donetsk, Ukraine.

And the memories I had from five months ago was of the missing Malaysia Airlines flight MH370 en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

I had covered both incidents for the news station that I work for quite intensively. And it was definitely a déjà vu moment if there ever was one so clear.

My brother, Aizyl Azlee, who is a writer, and I produce a weekly podcast where we talk about issues regarding the media but in a tongue in cheek and satirical way.

In our latest episode, he had asked me if things seemed smoother this time around as compared to five months ago. I thought it was a strange question, but I answered it.

What was depressing was the fact that everyone from the media already knew how things were going to be handled and knew where to go.

It was like we knew where the press conference was going to be and where MAS was going to gather and brief the families.

So in a way, experience made things go smoother. But unfortunately, it was only a smoother process. Emotions and feelings was a separate thing altogether. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

 

 

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What if I was a Muslim convert?


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What if I was a Muslim convert?
By Zan Azlee

A lot of people say that to be born a Muslim is something wonderful and lucky. I was born a Muslim but sometimes, I don’t feel so lucky about it.

It’s not that I felt unlucky to be a Muslim. I just wondered how it felt for someone who was a not a Muslim deciding to embrace Islam as a religion.

My experience as a born Muslim in Malaysia is a little bit different than what I imagined a Muslim convert would experience and that’s why I wonder.

In my mind, for someone who is not a Muslim wanting to be a Muslim, he or she must have had a huge epiphany to be convinced into converting. And that must be a wonderful feeling.

I, on the other hand, grew up learning about Islam. I went to religious classes when I was a young kid when I didn’t understand the significance of it.

What I learned were the habits and rituals of the religion. I mean, what else can you teach a kid who had not reached mental and physical maturity yet.

As I grew older, the rituals and habits became more intense as the teachers who taught me began to scare me into practicing them, convincing me that if I strayed, I would be punished.

It was only when I got older, and began looking for another meaning to Islam and being a Muslim that I have come to appreciate the religion and to understand it’s beauty.

So, back to these converts. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

Saying sorry and meaning it too!


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Saying sorry and meaning it too!
By Zan Azlee

“Please say sorry to Dylan, Athena,” I say to her after she deliberately snatches a toy that her cousin is playing with.

“No,” she replies.

“You have to say sorry when you do something wrong.”

“No.”

“Athena! You better say sorry now!”

“No!”

“You say sorry now or I’ll put you in your room!”

“No!”

(And she starts screaming and crying while I sigh a huge one!)

Being a father has it challenges. Especially when the kid is still a three-year-old mischievous girl. But you learn things as you go along.

One of the things I felt has been a major challenge is to teach my daughter right from wrong and, more importantly, to realise when she is wrong and to apologise for it.

I know that many parenting experts say that you should never force your child to say sorry. She needs to learn that what she does hurts others and that it is wrong.

Then she can sorry and really mean it. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

Getting rid of the poor is not eradicating poverty


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Getting rid of the poor is not eradicating poverty
By Zan Azlee

Okay sure. The Federal Territories minister has cleared the air on his remarks regarding soup kitchens operating in the city of Kuala Lumpur.

Apparently, he did not say that soup kitchens providing free meals for the poor and homeless in the city will not be allowed to continue with their work.

His rules are for these soup kitchens to operate only outside a 2km radius from the Lot 10 and Bukit Bintang area, so that they won’t dirty the area.

That’s a fair and reasonable request, I would say. But I guess that this would still be a good time to talk about the issue of these non-profit soup kitchens and the plight of the homeless.

The fact that anyone can actually think that just by providing free food we are encouraging the homeless and jobless to stay jobless, is ridiculous.

I doubt that a homeless and poverty-stricken person has anything else going to want to stay in that situation, just because he or she gets to eat for free once or twice a week.

By giving free haircuts and maybe a set of clean clothes to them does not mean that they don’t face any other problems the rest of their lives and are care free.

For a homeless and jobless person to come out of his situation, cutting off the supply of free hot meals does not help one bit at all. [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

Top 7 things to anticipate this Ramadan


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Top 7 things to anticipate this Ramadan
By Zan Azlee

The Islamic holy month of Ramadhan is approaching and in two days, Muslims and non-Muslims alike in Malaysia will be ushering in the first day of fasting.

We all know that for Muslims, this is a special month. All prayers and good deeds count for more and people take advantage of the heightened spirituality to get closer to God.

That’s all fine and good. I enjoy the month too and it’s usually a very serene time for me. But I thought I would take a bit of a dig in ushering in the month.

So here is a list of top seven things that I think we should be able to look forward to come this Ramadhan 2014:

7. Bulging pants buckles and expanding waistlines.
This one isn’t much of a surprise. Every time people fast during the month, gluttony sets in when evening time comes as the hunger in their stomach dictates the amount of food they buy and consume at dusk during breaking fast. And to think that so many people look forward to a month of dieting and losing weight!

6.The loss of Malay identity.
Malaysians used to be very comfortable in their own skin a decade or two ago. But now, it seems that to be more Arabic is the way to be more Islamic. Breaking of fast was usually always referred to as ‘berbuka puasa’. But these days, the Arab word ‘iftar’ is brandied around as cool lingo. Same as how ‘sembahyang’ is now more commonly referred to as ‘solat’ and ‘tudung’ being replaced with ‘hijab’.

5. Stinky breath.
About 60% of the country’s population is going to suffer from very bad breath since they won’t be using their mouths much aside from talking. Of course, this is with the assumption that all 60% of the Malays are practicing Muslims and are fasting during the month. And this would be a really cool transition into the next point… [Click to read the full article at The Malaysian Insider]

he holy month of Ramadan is approaching and in two days, Muslims and non-Muslims alike in Malaysia will be ushering in the first day of fasting.

We all know that for Muslims, this is a special month. All prayers and good deeds count for more and people take advantage of the heightened spirituality to get closer to God.

That’s all fine and good. I enjoy the month, too, and it’s usually a serene time for me. But I thought I would take a bit of a dig in ushering in the month.

 

So here is a list of top seven things that I think we should be able to look forward to come this Ramadan 2014:

7. Bulging buckles and expanding waistlinesThis one isn’t much of a surprise. Every time people fast during the month, gluttony sets in when evening comes as the hunger in their stomach dictates the amount of food they buy and consume at dusk during breaking fast.

And to think that so many people look forward to a month of dieting and losing weight!

6. The loss of Malay identity

Malaysians used to be comfortable in their own skin a decade or two ago. But now, it seems that to be more Arabic is the way to be more Islamic. Breaking of fast was usually always referred to as “berbuka puasa”.

But these days, the Arab word “iftar” is brandied around as cool lingo. Same as how “sembahyang” is now more commonly referred to as “solat” and “tudung” replaced with “hijab”.

5. Stinky breath

About 60% of the country’s population is going to suffer from bad breath since they won’t be using their mouths much aside from talking.

Of course, this is with the assumption that all 60% of the Malays are practising Muslims and are fasting during the month. And this would be a really cool transition into the next point…

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/zan-azlee/article/top-7-things-to-anticipate-this-ramadan#sthash.DIB9VcmR.dpuf

he holy month of Ramadan is approaching and in two days, Muslims and non-Muslims alike in Malaysia will be ushering in the first day of fasting.

We all know that for Muslims, this is a special month. All prayers and good deeds count for more and people take advantage of the heightened spirituality to get closer to God.

That’s all fine and good. I enjoy the month, too, and it’s usually a serene time for me. But I thought I would take a bit of a dig in ushering in the month.

 

So here is a list of top seven things that I think we should be able to look forward to come this Ramadan 2014:

7. Bulging buckles and expanding waistlinesThis one isn’t much of a surprise. Every time people fast during the month, gluttony sets in when evening comes as the hunger in their stomach dictates the amount of food they buy and consume at dusk during breaking fast.

And to think that so many people look forward to a month of dieting and losing weight!

6. The loss of Malay identity

Malaysians used to be comfortable in their own skin a decade or two ago. But now, it seems that to be more Arabic is the way to be more Islamic. Breaking of fast was usually always referred to as “berbuka puasa”.

But these days, the Arab word “iftar” is brandied around as cool lingo. Same as how “sembahyang” is now more commonly referred to as “solat” and “tudung” replaced with “hijab”.

5. Stinky breath

About 60% of the country’s population is going to suffer from bad breath since they won’t be using their mouths much aside from talking.

Of course, this is with the assumption that all 60% of the Malays are practising Muslims and are fasting during the month. And this would be a really cool transition into the next point…

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/zan-azlee/article/top-7-things-to-anticipate-this-ramadan#sthash.DIB9VcmR.dpuf

he holy month of Ramadan is approaching and in two days, Muslims and non-Muslims alike in Malaysia will be ushering in the first day of fasting.

We all know that for Muslims, this is a special month. All prayers and good deeds count for more and people take advantage of the heightened spirituality to get closer to God.

That’s all fine and good. I enjoy the month, too, and it’s usually a serene time for me. But I thought I would take a bit of a dig in ushering in the month.

 

So here is a list of top seven things that I think we should be able to look forward to come this Ramadan 2014:

7. Bulging buckles and expanding waistlinesThis one isn’t much of a surprise. Every time people fast during the month, gluttony sets in when evening comes as the hunger in their stomach dictates the amount of food they buy and consume at dusk during breaking fast.

And to think that so many people look forward to a month of dieting and losing weight!

6. The loss of Malay identity

Malaysians used to be comfortable in their own skin a decade or two ago. But now, it seems that to be more Arabic is the way to be more Islamic. Breaking of fast was usually always referred to as “berbuka puasa”.

But these days, the Arab word “iftar” is brandied around as cool lingo. Same as how “sembahyang” is now more commonly referred to as “solat” and “tudung” replaced with “hijab”.

5. Stinky breath

About 60% of the country’s population is going to suffer from bad breath since they won’t be using their mouths much aside from talking.

Of course, this is with the assumption that all 60% of the Malays are practising Muslims and are fasting during the month. And this would be a really cool transition into the next point…

- See more at: http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/opinion/zan-azlee/article/top-7-things-to-anticipate-this-ramadan#sthash.DIB9VcmR.dpuf