Sunday, July 23, 2006

MALAYSIA BOLEH? BOLEH!

(Adam: Malaysia Boleh? Boleh, boleh, boleh. Jom! Kita makan dulu.)







While in conversation with a friend the other day I had an epiphany. Of sorts. For years we have been so proud of a slogan we borrowed from a chocolate milk drink.

Malaysia Boleh!

Using it to tell ourselves what a wonderful nation we are. We can do anything. Malaysia Boleh means Malaysia Can Do It.

Can Malaysia do it? Malaysia Boleh? Of course. We CAN do anything. The relevant question we should have asked ourselves before shouting that slogan is whether or not we WANT to. Sadly, the answer is NO!

Rightly, we should shout to the world and more importantly to ourselves WE WILL DO IT! But no.

Malaysia Boleh. Malaysia Can Do It. We have shouted it from our rooftops. From the world stage. We have taken it to the top of the world and across the oceans of the planet. It didn’t matter if getting to the top of the world is a feat that is achieved almost every month of the year by almost anyone who cared to try including paraplegics. It didn’t matter that we tax payers had to spend millions of Ringgit to salvage the Malaysia Boleh effort to literally drag someone’s boat half way round the world just so we can say we did it. We also drag out the slogan whenever a Malaysian, it doesn’t matter if he or she has not lived in the country nor could care less about Malaysia, makes some headlines anywhere in the world.

For years I’ve wondered why we are so happy to shout “Malaysia Boleh” at every opportunity. I still don’t understand. We’re still in the shit hole. We have been voted the 3rd rudest country in the world. Our universities are at the bottom of the poll list. We are no longer better than Ghana in a lot of things. See? They made it to the World Cup while our football is still the stuff jokes are made of.

Why? Why? Why?

Why? Malaysia Boleh merely means Malaysia CAN do it. Sure we can do it. We can do anything that we put our minds to. If we work hard. If we persevere. If we are passionate about wanting to achieve great things. If we are all those things then surely Malaysia WILL do it.

But we’re quite happy to remain just above the shitty level in achievements and to wallow in our mediocrity. Thank you very much.

Malaysia Boleh!

Post script. Somebody just told me that there is no word for “WILL” and “WANT” in our National Language. True ah?

61 comments:

mob1900 said...

I actually use the 'Malaysia Boleh!' chant out of sarcasm nowadays, you know whenever some Mega projects failed and burn Mega holes on taxpayers money, that's truly the spirit i guess.

Because We Can. <---There's another good tag right there! heheheh

Agnes said...

Of course Malaysia boleh. Look at everything around us. The twin towers *point point*. The LRT *point point point*. We have all the best things around us - though sadly, someone has mentioned that the country has first class facilities and yet a third world mentality. I don't really know if I'd wanna argue with that sorta labelling.

bob goh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bob said...

Do you know that the phrase "Malaysia Attitude" is a "dirty" word?

Maxforce said...

I think initially it was to motivate and spike people up. Initially everyone was in high spirits. Really! Everyone began to think that we Malaysians could do anything that we aspire to be.
But Patrick, you re right on mark with the Malaysia Boleh - Can Do It but Will NOT Do It. Sigh.
Anyway, in our National Language WILL should be translated as AKAN
So We Will Do It ---> Kita Akan Buat.
Doesn't sound like a good tagline.

Want should be translated as Mahu.
We Want to Do It ----> Kita Mahu Buat
Errr... ambigious? Double meaning???

Anyway, maybe we should have gone for We Will Succeed ----> Kita Akan Berjaya.
Sounds much better. But of course we needed to know that we CAN do it. So it became Malaysia Boleh.
I still think it is another case of lack of follow throughs. Maybe we should have launch Msia Boleh followed by Kita Akan Berjaya. Maybe.

Nicholas said...

Will -> "Akan"
Want -> "Nak"

dee said...

Malaysia boleh actually started from 'Fab Boleh'

Maxforce said...

Haha, now to come to think of it. Yeah lah!

Lizzam said...

Will - akan, wasiat, kemahuan
Want - Hendak, kehendak

try replacing those words with the Boleh in Malaysia Boleh, and you get another one in your funny slogan list.

and the point is, no matter Malaysia Boleh or not, it's really not up to Malaysia, but Malaysians. What, Malaysians so lazy they have to depend on thier country to do anything ah?

flaminglambo said...

Love the blog Patrick.

Want to hear a joke? Apparently, we're going to be a developed nation in 2020.

I think it's more appropriate to put a question mark at the end of the slogan to force people to think or at least just use their common sense. Especially the government. Malaysia Boleh? Please refer to MAS, Putra Jaya, KLIA, public transportation system, etc. I'm not trying to be a pessimist but it seems like being a developed nation to some of these people equates to throwing money at building something big, new or modern. It's like saying, 'We oso got wat. Don't pray-pray ah!'. On the face of it, yes we do. However, maintenance and the need for such somehow didn't factor into the feasibility studies of some of these projects. It's all a fireworks display. Spend billions for a few minutes of 'bang' and when the dust settles, they look at each other and say, 'Damn! It looks great. D'uh, what now?' The other would go, 'Who cares. We've been paid haven't we? Let's send an orang utan to space'

Anonymous said...

Sure Malaysia Boleh what! We can spend the last sen in our treasury on all the 'hardware' but we often forgo the 'software' part of the equation. Result = 'Mana boleh?'

Eric

kat said...

To me, a developed nation means doing things for the betterment of the country..sacrifice individual gain for the greater good...

In this aspect, Malaysia Mana Boleh??!!

Kenny Ng said...

Good blog, that's what I talking about all the time. To me the slogan should leave a blank space for everyone fill it up, Malaysia Boleh....... (guess everyone know the answer)

Anonymous said...

The problem with Malaysians is there is no ownership / accountability towards the country. The sick mentality we have is that we always say "let someone else do it". Clean up the city? Someone else will do it. Be a courteous driver? Someone else will do it. We do not even understand that micro needs to come before macro. If EVERYONE starts to do something about it, things will definitely begin to happen. How often have I been ridiculed by friends from other countries on our initiative to be a developed nation. Take away our tallest buildings, towers, technology, and what do we have? Still proud?

Ah_Liong said...

Malaysia Boleh maaa....

Malaysia was prev the Largest Pirates CD/VCD/DVD manufacturer distributor --- now replaced by China with its fast BT-ing

Malaysia just been told the Largest ICE manufacturer --- not the the ice cube horrr

So much international commerce, very boleh maaa...

Ohh.. forgot the Fake Credit Card thingy, so dun worry lorr MyCard is less hard to copy than Credit Card...

smeagroo said...

Malaysia, mcm ini pun boleh? Referring to how the clowns in cabinet is trying to milk us dry with silly projects like London sports Academy. HOw 9MP wants to build more schools whilst our UPM is now being tagged as school for monkeys. Maybe more schools to start em young.

Anonymous said...

That's why in Malaysia, apa-apa pun boleh.

Anytime a goverment project goes kaput, the person in charge gets promoted/transfered/rewarded.

Our elected representatives are only part-time MP and full-time businessmen.

Malaysia Boleh!

Anonymous said...

Basically, I just wish that we ditch this useless slogan and take a frank look at the state our country. Masih 'boleh' ke?

Cuddly Family said...

the schools systems make me wonder.. since I have to register my older two very soon... sigh.. long debate!

Malaysia semua pun boleh.. except when it crashes out, blame predecessor..

The Unladen Swallow said...

You know, I'm overseas right now, and security guards are telling me that they don't trust the MyKad because it looks like fake ID. I guess they've reading Malaysian newspapers as of late.

Anonymous said...

Malaysia mesti boleh!!!
There the LRT......ONE of the BOLEH project which everyone in my family appreciated and excited before the completion.....then IT IS THERE but no bus service to the station from my house....DAMN DAMN DAMN!!!!!

C-Fu said...

will as in wat?

will smith?

will as in i will kill you? that is "akan"

will as in the will to live? that is "semangat"

Ummi said...

boleh = can

Malaysia apa pun boleh. Talk, talk, talk and do nothing. Boleh. Give bleargh service. Boleh. Be the 3rd rudest country in the world. Boleh also. Anything impossible, Malaysia Boleh what.

will = akan

Malaysia will upgrade the public transportation? Will be a developed nation in 2020? Will be in the World Cup? Will raise the education standard? The possibilities are endless. In the meantime, I'll remain sceptic.

The thing is, *Malaysians Can*. It's just that they don't *want* to do it and they don't have the *will* to do it. ~sigh~

Julius Bean Laden said...

When I was in primary school in the 70s, my teacher says Malaysia adalah negara sedang membangun. Now, my kids teacher still say Malaysia - negara sedang membangun.

REALLY AH??.... After thirty years still belum bangun. Yalah my boy says ... teacher says 2020 only bangun mah

Omigosh!!!... Malaysia memang boleh tidur lena sekali. Another 14 years before the sleeping beauty wakes up. Perhaps will go back to sleep again.

Look how Hiroshima and Nagasaki changed in 30 years since world war 2.

Malaysia may decide not to bangun lah as the gov are always dreaming of sweet dreams ....how to bangun

Malaysia boleh! JOM lets TIDUR dulu lah. Perhaps somebody else will bangunkan our Nation.... ?? Merdeks is near.... sob sob....??

Anonymous said...

Just decided to post this 'cos this looks like an entertainting Malaysian blog. Malaysia boleh has gone to greater heights ...

**NEWSFLASH** We, in Malaysia, have made Botox HARAM! Hah! Top that all other muslim countries out there!

Why? 'cos it changes the way one is intended to be. What's next? Make spectacles haram too ... it changes the appearance. Stick to contact lenses ...

Anonymous said...

http://cbooboo.blogspot.com/
Think you might find the above blog an interesting read .... let me know somthing different written by as seen by a woof woof eyes....

sherrina said...

anonymous,
botox is not only diharamkan for muslim (if you are not, why worry)because it change the look but because it contains stuff that's not halal.

Dean Arif said...

Sherrina,

Agree with you. It's not so much that it alters the progress of nature, but because it is a poison! Taking minute dosage over a long period of time can be very harmful to your living cells. In the end? You age and die faster! So what's the point of taking Botox? Poison your body just to look "tegang"?

Me, I like my smiling lines!

Helen said...

Maybe someone thot (geniuses of course) the positive psychology is some sort of hypnotic theraphy.... The poor man version of brain washing if u know what i mean!~! lol

Anonymous said...

MALAYSIA Boleh
1) We have the only Light Rail Transit that does not connect.
2) We have the only unique Airport Taxi system
3) The only place with different off days
4) After losing 30 Billions in your job, you can still be promoted
5) We wiil be in the 2018 World Cup Final.

Mia said...

Let me tokok (add) my thoughts. Nothing is wrong with this phrase of two simple words: MALAYSIA (all of us can identify with) and BOLEH (a positive word, means do-able.)Try shouting that in unison in a group, you can feel truly inspired, anything is possible. Your goosepimples bloat, your energy level soars and you are ready to go, go, go! But we need to get our priorities right, and EVERYONE needs to walk the talk!If somewhere along the way we tripped, we get up and move on equipped with lessons learnt, not repeat the same stupid mistakes. Time is of the essence, we need to focus, not point fingers. And spend money on the right things, that will benefit generations to come,not to get into Guiness Book Of Records! And the media, they should sensationalise the right stuff,if they must,( like who is the most charitable philantrophist), NOT how much a celebrity's wedding will cost, WHO B.....CARES, if thousands are living below poverty line and in need of one simple meal a day?.

Good blog, and good debates. Good to nudge our people to stand back and figure how we all can play a part ( no matter how small) because it will all add up. In other words, not just Tokkok, but do, do, do. Malaysia Boleh!

naeboo~ said...

my take is that msia doesnt have a very free market competition to thrive on or else we wld have been developed a long long time ago.

"not very" is used bcoz u need to find some bumis to throw into the mix if u wanna open an intl firm here.

without a free market, theres no equal competition. who cares abt competing when u knw ur next meal is ald secure?
even tendering for govt projects sometimes means who u knw matters more than what u knw.

im a cynic. so, bite me.

naeboo~ said...

*developed country

Calvin's Girl said...

I dont think Wawasan 2020 can or will work.... sorry to say that but judged on how the country's doing.... It is just gonna be a flop, unless some angel appears from nowhere and rule the country.

Anonymous said...

I echo your sentiments, calvin's girl. Developed status? More handouts maybe, but developed status, nahhh...not gonna happen, not in such a short time anyway.

sympozium said...

Read with interest a comment above on the subject of botox. Yes, it changes one's appearance after usage, but doesn't covering one's body from head to toe also changes one's appearance?

Malaysia Bodek.

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obefiend said...

sympozium.. that was outta line

malaysia boleh? dont shit me man. we cant even acrry our own mykad without marah marah at the govvie. for anubis sake.. its just a damn plastic. if we "malas" to carry mykad dont dream about everything else

malaysian are a bunch of whiners

read my latest entry...

honestly.. we moan and bitch when the govvie do something but dont even want to lift a tendon when they ask us to sacrfice something. WTF? ask not what your contry can do for you but what you can do for yout BOLEHLAND

peace whiners!

Maxforce said...

Not everything is that simple. I for one carry my MYKAD since it was issued. I pay my taxes etc.
But give you an example like the landslide case, which was thoroughly discussed in this blog.
Clearly, the govt lack the follow through actions against the developer. When disaster strikes, finger pointing began.
The Govt needs to own up and start making examples for the rakyat to follow.
By the way, the Parlimen catfighting proceeding aren't exactly a role model material either.

Kwokmun Lee said...

A taxi driver who was driving me to KLCC once said that he was disgusted at people who do not follow road rules, in particular other cars who abused special lanes for taxis and buses. He said, "See what happen ... Malaysia Boleh mah ... apa pun boleh." When I think about it, we CAN do a lot of things. We can triple park in Bangsar, swim across the English Channel etc but few are productive for the country.

Manny said...

My Dad used to say that as far as Malaysians go, we're the type of people who are happy just keeping our heads out of the water; neither sinking nor swimming. In other words we're a-okay with progress and moving foward, but only if it comes our way. Take our Malaysian footbal for example, during its hey-day the "MALAYSIA BOLEH" attitude was rife on and off the pitch. We'd see kids to grown ups talk about how our lads kicked Indonesian/Filipino/etc butt the night before. Everyone would cheer "MALAYSIA BOLEH" when we were scoring. But decades and several giant slumps down the world rankings later who's cheering "MALAYSIA BOLEH" now? Yes, everybody likes to support only the winning side I get that, but when your chanting "MALAYSIA BOLEH" isn't it more then just a chant to plough the boys on? Isn't it about patriotism at it's core. Why chant "MALAYSIA BOLEH" if your not patriotic when you can opt to be more specific and just chant "Ramasamy Boleh", "Ah Wai Boleh" or "Abdul Boleh". We jump in the band wagon when things are going good but when It starts to suck, Where's the "MALAYSIA BOLEH" crowd then?! They're at home cheering "Man U Boleh! Chelsea Boleh!" (No offence to EPL fans of course, I watch EPL games as well). The underlying fact here is simple, Don't cheer "MALAYSIA BOLEH" whenever we build the biggest, tallest, most idiotic, etc. Cheer it because you love Malaysia both when she's at her highest and lowest. Words mean little without faith. You got to believe that Malaysia actually 'boleh' before one chants "MALAYSIA BOLEH".

syabie said...

I've been to India and Pakistan recently, and you know what?Malaysia is not too bad! Yes, I do agree with some of you who are quite critical and overly concern about the pace, but I am quite optimistic the impact we will be making.

The only thing that worries me about malaysian are their lack of patriotism and passion.

Dean Arif said...

Patrick oh Patrick...

Been very busy lately, yeah? We missed your presence, esp. on a Friday...

Anyway, is it alright if I link up Tokkok to my blog?

Anonymous said...

Hey Patrick, it's nice reading your blog. Guess where I WAS from? Right, Ipoh-mali! Guess which part of Ipoh? 33. Anderson Road!

Of course! Malaysians Boleh if they want to Boleh! My determination got me out of 33, Anderson Rd! So there!

June

uma said...

Hi, most of the above comments are coming from Malaysian. So many of us go all out to critisize, people are never satisfied are they. The list can go on and on. Why not try to look at the brighter side of things?Why not appreciate what we have instead of critisizing and ridiculing the country?I am in Aus and I've heard so many foreigners say so many good things about KL, makes me extremely proud to be a Malaysian here.If you want Malaysia to be like every other country, just go and live elsewhere.We are so very fortunate in so many sense. Please try and think about the good things we have in Malaysia instead of making fun of it.

Aidid Razak said...

will = akan (or) semangat

want = mahu, hendak

I think so anyway.

Anonymous said...

Good for you,Patrick!! I lift my hat off to you, for speaking up, instead of molly-coddling a country that invites the President of an evil country such as Iran, and treats the Iranian President like he had, just had an audience with God!! Yes, I am an ex-Malaysian and proud to be an ex-Msian. God Bless the day I renounciated my citizenship!! I am ashamed of being associated with Malaysia,esp.of the discriminating policies it shoves down the throats of all Msians. And expects all Msians to live with it and accept it blindly!! My gosh, Patrick, one needs to be blind to say nice things abt Msia, except for its food and places to visit. Other than that, sorry lah, Malaysia TAK Boleh!!!
From, Right To Have An Opinion.

Anonymous said...

Just another additional comment.
It may not be related to "Malaysia Boleh" Blog but more to your "Emigrate" Blog.
Some say, "One should stay, and speak up and don't take crap". To all of those people, can you explain 'Joshua Jamalludin' and ISA Arrest (I personally call ISA Arrests as "any tom, dick and harry excuse for the day") and the Kamunting Detention Center in Taiping, Perak??? Yes, you people joke around and make comical comments, abt. cheap DVD's and teh-tariks, and nasi kandars because nobody has 'touched' you nor your family, but imagine life as a Joshua Jamalludin or being thrown into and beaten up in Kamunting Detention/Prison under ISA for 25 bloody years,and nobody willing to rise up and speak about the INJUStice.!??!
There is NO WAY one can speak up in Malaysia. I have always told my husband, "The only way to best describe the 'chosen ones' (if you know what I mean)back in M'sia, is to see them as a tea bag. Put it in hot water, and then you will see its true colours!!) As long as you 'ambu-bodek' them and act blind, everything is a bed of roses. Otherwise, beware...!!! It is either "their" way or the highway. BTW, for all those curious, I did not just emigrate, I did it all the way, meaning, I renounciated my citizenship. Not for money, as I am just an ordinary housewife, and my husband is a retiree. Not for a better life, cos we aint got no friends here. But because it was the ONLY thing to do.
From,
Right To Have An Opinion and A Proud Ex-Malaysian.

Junita said...

I'm living near a landfill which is just 1km away and you can imagine the beautiful stench that i had to endure every single minute. Yet, developers are allowed to open new housing areas.... Malaysia Boleh it is...

Anonymous said...

'malaysia boleh': great copwriting, man. Actually i think malaysia is a great place to be if u happen to be priviledged in a sense. financially mostly of course. but like others have said its an attitude. truth be told, who put the powers that be in power? u and me right? the weight of the ballot bequeaths mighty power indeed- we just have to figure out how to wield it! corruption is what we are riddled with but lets be honest with ourselves here: us citizens arent any better. if i came up to u and said "hey macha, i give u 2% cut of a multi billion dollar project, u want ah?", u aren't going to say "sorry de', cannot, u couldn't head a project if i gave you a manual"... instead u'd probably say "only 2% ah?" but at least our road-side sign boards are shaded well with overhanging foliage - cant have them over exposed to motorists' glares!

Dean Arif said...

Ehnony Moss,

You said:
"truth be told, who put the powers that be in power? u and me right?"

I don't remember putting them in power. A lot of my friends and family did not vote for them. So how did they get there? Reality check: Did you know that the EC is not really independent? Did you know that the elections/ by-elections are rigged? Who created the phantom voters and the all-convenient, truly-mobile 'undi pos'? Go figure. But I do agree with you, the majority of Malaysians are still lulled in la la land... *me shake head...*

Manny said...

Did you know that the EC is not really independent? Did you know that the elections/ by-elections are rigged? Who created the phantom voters and the all-convenient, truly-mobile 'undi pos'?

I don't really think it's a matter of how they got there. Trickery or not we don't really have much choice when it comes to choosing a capable goverment. I despise certain policies of the current goverment employs ergo; the goverments preference for certain ethnic groups over others. But truth be told they do run the country reasonably well. They may not win 'Best Fair Goverment Award' (If there ever was one) but they do alright. The other 'contenders' vying for governence are quite incapable, yes they do bring a lot changes and if it weren't for them 'sounding off' the current goverment's indiscrepancy in its employed policies the Malaysia of today would be a whole lot different however they don't really have the zest required to build a nation, for the time being at least. The current goverment may not be anywhere near 'good'let alone 'great' but its the only one we've got that can move the nation from A to B. Languid and thick though they could be at times but at least we're not stagnating like our neighbours Indonesia.

Maxforce said...

I dunnolah... but this is the place I am born. This is the place I grew up. This is the place where I truly belonged.
I am NOT moving!!!
I am a fighter by nature.
Yes, now I learnt to be a survivor as well.
At times, I do not do despicable ampu bodek. But at times I kept my mouth shut for fear for myself and family. But still, I believe that its not the end yet. May have lost the battle, but not the war.

Mada mada tane!

bongkersz said...

the latest boleh is 'boleh kick orang dalam balai, tapi tak boleh rakam guna camera phone' :D

faith said...

yes there are bad things about Malaysia, but at the same time there are some things to proud of. for all its faults, the government has kept some sort of peace, it is still possible for those who are able and those who work extremely hard to escape the rut. there are things to celebrate. true, we must maintain some tension in the debate, we must not accept mediocrity, but there is no shame in celebrating our victories either.

above all, give us courage.

Nash Ar-Rawy said...

Malaysia Boleh! Corruptors oso can b d 'Wakil Rakyat" and Chief Minister . One Malasysia can throw money like d granfather's property: FORMULA ONE : ONE MALAYSIA ONE MILLION ONE DAY coz Malaysia Boleh!
( www.perakexpress.com )
( www.nashsisepuluh.spaces.live.com

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