A sign that a new year is just across the line with this tree flowering its yellow blooms. It also heralds that the dry season or 'musim timor' is back in the Kedah plain. We will enjoy cool days and nights and time to start flying the kites too.
IN A FEW DAYS TIME we will usher in two new years, Awal Muharam and 1st day of January 2009. In fact both will run concurrently with Muslims and other nationalities or religious observers practising all the special dates and occasions attached throughout the year in the calenders. We will do that as we have done in the past years,
Yet 2009 has already caste a dark cloud on the horizon with countries feeling the coming economic turmoil. In fact thousands have already had their last pay cheques and worrying what the coming months will be for them. Malaysian are still in happy mood, unperturbed because our leaders are of the opinion that we could ride the waves and we are 'economically' strong. But all that trust and optimism seems to dissolve as days go by. Now they are talking in different tones.
Be that as it may, what has 2008 given or not handed us? Yes it has thrown on our laps many: the goodies as well as the brickbats. It has yet to answer to many unresolved issues. Foremost who blew up a young pretty woman from Mongolia; next where are the kidnapped or missing children? Will we continue to deport illegal entries into the country rather than close our doors? Making Malaysia an educational hub is one thing but allowing it to be a resort for 'students' to enjoy our facilities and sun shines detrimental to safety and security is another. What next re the teaching of science and mathematics?
It may be daunting to dwell on such petty issues as we stride into a new year. Still we have to be cautious while of course plan and approach the coming months with steadfast determination. We would like to believe that it will continue to provide us all the necessities.
A latest story about Lombok an island off Bali, seemed to tell the background of 'disappearing' young women from Malaysia. On record five are known to have left their families without traces. Now it seems, Lombok has a unique 'tradition' of kidnapping or running away with pretty damsels. This seems to be natural and 'manly' , showing shades of 'kelakian' when you could graped the women you like or fall in love with from their homes and later take them as wives. But running away with women from another country, crossing the border and international waters without proper documents , much less without the knowledge of their legal parents is no game or home-grown 'adat' anymore. That our young women, with much destruction on their families are gullible to such sweet talks and ploy is a subject of immediate attention less we find them in many corners of the world and not as near as Lombok anymore. That I hope and with other issues at hand will find remedies in the very near future.
Could it be that we have to be more thoughtful of one another and adopt strictly the neighboring and community spirit of yesteryear's and put aside this 'mind your own business' phobia ?
I trust 2009 though daunting as it seems right now will still gives us the best as the other past years have provided. Insya'Allah.