It was quite a ‘family day’ last Sunday as me and my family gathered from as early as 6am for a trip to Nirvana Memorial Park at Semenyih to carry out our usual annual Qing Ming tradition. Qing Ming is a Chinese festival of which we will pay respect to our ancestors through many rituals such as offering food, burning joss stick and paper offerings, cleaning the tomb, lighting firecrackers, etc. I skipped the festival for the past two years because I was in Australia and so I couldn’t perform my duty as a son and a grandson to pay respect to my late mother and grandparents.
It’s hard to wake up at around 5.30am but it was all worth it because we managed to avoid traffic congestion. The sun just rises when we reached the memorial park and there was already a lot of cars and people present. We always have a hard time locating the exact location of the tombs of my grandparents and my mother. We only remembered the section, but not the exact row. It’s forgivable as this memorial park is really very huge with a lot of sections and is expanding rapidly. We managed to finish everything in less than 3 hours and it’s only around 10am. The sun is not at scorching level yet and that’s good for all of us. When we are exiting the memorial park, we saw crazily long queue of cars trying to enter. So now, it looks like we are going to do the same for the following years too (settle this Qing Ming tradition in very early morning). In previous years, we would only start our trip at around 10am and finish till 3pm. By the way, I’m amazed by the creativity of the seller of paper offerings in recent years. Now, we can burn anything from washing machine, large house with servants, cars and massage chair to fake teeth, shampoo, credit card, passport and iPhone to our ancestors.
On the other hand, the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games is currently on-going. Our Malaysian weightlifters are making us proud by winning the country’s first two gold medals. I think they outperformed. However, on the swimming events, Malaysian swimmers under-performed so far with no medals at all yet. The badminton events have just started and Malaysia is set to win some gold medals here. However, we will face huge challenges from other countries like India because our national badminton team has been on decline in recent years. Till now, there is still no successor to Lee Chong Wei. He can’t keep on going because he is already getting old and weaker now.
Before ending this post, I would like to take a moment to talk about that ‘crispy rendang’ issue which has gone viral in recent days. It all started after a Malaysian is eliminated in a Masterchef cooking competition as the judges complained that her ‘rendang chicken’ is not crispy and they cannot eat it. This issue caught attention of the Prime Minister too. The judges defended their criticism to the dish and said that it was just not good enough to move forward in the competition. They clarified that they doesn’t mean that the chicken should be crispy but in the clip of the competition, they literally mentioned that way. They are just being arrogant and ignorant and they do owe an apology to Malaysia (but I don’t think they will, looking from their reaction to this matter). It’s not about that Malaysian losing or winning the competition; it’s about the integrity of the Malaysian dish and identity.
And one more thing, as all Malaysians had already knew by now; our parliament has dissolved last Saturday after the expected Prime Minister’s announcement on the last Friday. That means the country 14th General Election is coming very soon. It must be held within 60 days from the day the Parliament is dissolved. The Election Commission has not announced the exact date of voting yet but many are predicting that it will be on the first weekend of May. It is most probably to be held in that time frame to avoid clashing with the fasting month ahead. So, it’s on now. The time has come. I will most probably be in Singapore as my employment would have started by then but at the same time, I wish to perform my duty as a Malaysian to cast my vote. I’m still undecided whether to return on the voting day. It will be my first time voting. Arrghh…I guess I’m coming back on the weekend to vote because I do really wish to see a change in government for a better Malaysia.
(Images in this post are from various sources throughout the world wide web)