Friday, June 10, 2005

Negaraku & the Universal Laws of Love

I hardly ever blog about current affairs, other than the ones that happen in my own family. But this bit of news is a little hard to swallow. If you haven't already heard, our policymakers have decided to have our national anthem, "Negaraku" played at the cinemas. And now they're laying down the law:
Anyone who shows disrespect when the Negaraku is played – either by refusing to stand, sing the anthem or cause a disturbance – can be fined RM100 or jailed up to month. 
Let me give you an analogy. Ever since Jesse was born over nine months ago, Mae and I have been there for him. We feed him, clothe him, we put a roof over his head, and by God we'll break our backs to give him all that. And every so often, we hug him, cuddle him and play with him. Because we love him unconditionally. And even if he never loves us back, we could never love him less.

Try as you might, you can't ever make anyone love you. It doesn't work that way. The best you can do is to create an environment of love around the object of your affection, and hope that he or she reciprocates. This is the Universal Law of Love, as conveyed to you by yours truly. *ahem* The first Universal Law of Love applies everywhere. Parents and babies. Boy and girl. Country and citizen. And even gods and humans.

The second Universal Law of Love states that there ain't nothing as a sure thing. This means that just because you love someone with every ion in your body, doesn't guarantee that they'll love you back. This is a harsh reality of life that applies everywhere. Just because you get 13As doesn't mean you'll get a scholarship. People who fail to understand this are often devastated. They go to the ends of the earth for a girl or a guy only to find out that it didn't make a difference. So please, don't give me your kidneys and expect me to love you. Who needs the grief?

The third Universal Law of Love is perhaps the most important. Forcing it never ever makes it better, it just makes it worse. Think about this for a second. Why do you think rape never caught on? You can't force love.Heh!

The fourth Universal Law of Love is the only hope you have. Love sincerely, and hope for the best. Build a home on love, and perhaps your children will love you. Shower that girl with love, and maybe you'll wear down her defenses. Give good students scholarship, and perhaps they'll feel a little more patriotic.

The final Universal Law of Love is a warning. It is also a solution to the problem of love. Disappointment will lead to resentment. Unrequited love will usually die away. If my wife starts yelling at and beating me up, pretty soon I might be tempted to find love elsewhere. Yes, having your wife beat you up can be disappointing. Hahahha!

This is a long post, I know. And I'm not even close to being done yet. Because love is an important subject. At the risk of sounding like a Hippy or a cheesy Wet Wet Wet song, I'll state my stand: Love is all around. Everything revolves around love. You can love your mother, your wife, your child. You can love your job, your car, your cash. You can love your country. And if you're Big Cheese of the country, you can love your people.

Love your people. By the way, I too, would like a 5% discount on the price of my house. *ahem*

Here's a lovely verse from the bible, taken from 1 Corinthian 13:1-8 in the New International Version:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
Oh, incidentally, the King James Version of the good book uses the word "Charity" instead of "Love". That too, is worth a thought. As is James' Universal Laws of Love, compiled here for your convenience:
1. You can't ever make anyone love you.
2. In love, there ain't nothing as a sure thing.
3. Forcing love never makes it any better.
4. Love sincerely and hope for the best.
5. Disappointment leads to resentment.
Well, this is where I rack my brains for a memorable ending. A line that will... erm... seal this entry in your minds forever. But even as I do that, I'll be addressing that issue of getting a RM 100 fine or spending a month in jail for not respecting the national anthem. To our policymakers, I have this to say. When you've arrested those guys who didn't stand up for the "Negaraku", please remember this lovely, if overused cliche about love: If you love somebody, set them free. And perhaps then, they might find their way back to you.

Now tell me, ain't love grand?


  1. a very lovely post james though i still think the country should give scholarship to the best students unless there is a very very valid reason not to. nothing is black and white so i'm open to possibilites.

  2. Wahhhh....
    I'm imagining you now with bell bottoms, large peace bling-blings, an hippie van plus a whole lot of weed hidden somewhere...

  3. My sentiments exactly. I still say there ain't nothin' more patriotic than payin' taxes. Perhaps it will also stir up a media forecast of plummetting cinema audiences and phenomenal spike in pirated DVDs. And maybe sparkoff a social trend of stepping into the theatre just after the trailers, ads and you-now-what. A new twist to being 'fashionably late' Malaysian style. Malaysia Boleh!

  4. Usual by the govt, all words and no action/plans. (In cantonese: "Mo yeah, wan yeah joe. Jo my tit fai yeah"). Ever wonder how they gonna catch ppl who don't stand for Negaraku in cinema? Don't tell me they are going to send police force into the cinema to spot check...??!! Waste police effort only, I think there could be better use of them, like catching snatch theif, litter bug ...etc.

  5. Wha..? Well, in that case, I'll have my kidneys back, thank you very much.... ;)

  6. hmm... i think in bangkok, the national anthem is played at every movie.. hub got a shock when everyone started standing up with their hands to heart when a strange song came on. He was wondering if he should do the same, you fit in........ Imagine, foreigners, unfamiliar with negaraku, doing the exact same thing... hahahahahahahahahahah..... ah....

  7. negaraku in cinema is just ridiculous. ppl are just going to HATE the song...

  8. Thanks Najah!
    You're right, of course, Sue. What could possibly be a good reason to turn some of these kids down? All of them have great results. And a few of them really can't afford to do it alone. If your country won't support you, who will?
    Hmmm.... i always wanted a Hippy VW van, Rajan. But I think I'll pass on the bellbottoms. :lol:
    Yes, Percolator. I fully expect that Malaysians will enter the auditorium after the anthem.
    :lol: Michelle, I think they will deploy undercover cops there.
    Sure thing Sashi, they didn't quite fit me anyway. :lol:
    If Malaysia abolishes income tax, I'll turn super-patriotic over night. I'll stand at the Negaraku, hold my hand to my heart and maybe even shed a tear of two. :)
    Yeah man, CCCP! This one is gonna have an adverse effect.

  9. Apa kidney kidney ni? I terasa a bit. Feh!

  10. Things like this make me thank my parents for sending me to the US, and thank my husband for marrying me ... and Thank God that I don't live there anymore. Yech. It's great for the food, the people, the country ... but the government is shite imo. Granted, nobody really wholeheartedly loves their own head honchos but the systems are kind of well run here compared to Malaysia and better organized.
    ~_~ then again they've had years on Malaysia to iron out the kinks ...
    *turns up her nose at post-Mahathir government*

  11. One more thing, I'd probably take off my bra, tie it over my head, then stand up for the anthem.
    Negaraku, look ma, no bra, foo!

  12. whao...good analogy!
    I afraid a lot ppl don't stand up when the national anthem playing is because a lot ppl "don't know" they have to, seriously, like my MIL and younger generation (my nieces and nephew), they ask why they need to stand up.
    the govt should reeducate the ppl, but not fine them.
    and I think even though we not really like the idea of playing national anthem in the cinema, we shouldn't insult our national anthem, if we did so might as well burn our Malaysian IC.

  13. I really love the country and the song and would shoot anyone who disrespect it. If I am outside the school compound when the children are singing Negaraku, I would stand in attention. It pains me that somewhere along the way, we lost that patriotric feelings. Hmm...let me sing the song 'You lost that loving feelings' and mend this broken heart of mine.
    Nice post James! I pray the people in power will know how to deal with it instead of turning to dictatorship.

  14. i couldn't have put it better! you're so very eloquent james!
    hear hear!

  15. james...iam sooo pitty..nobody love me.=(..can u love me?....

  16. >>The fourth Universal Law of Love is the only hope you have. Love sincerely, and hope for the best. Build a home on love, and perhaps your children will love you. Shower that girl with love, and maybe you'll wear down her defenses. Give good students scholarship, and perhaps they'll feel a little more patriotic
    How true... :) well James, I salute you for this post :p (and I'm still waiting for my lessons on how to charm the socks of ladies with the zany type of humor, heheh)

  17. No Gina, dun ever terasa over this. You offered your kidney to your uncle because you loved him conditionally, not because you wanted him to love you, fool! :)
    Over your head eh, Gwen? Makes me wish you were in Malaysia!!! :lol:
    You're right, Twinsmom. Surely there must be a better way that arresting people? Feels very communistic, if there's such a word.
    Yes, Lilian, I respect the national anthem too and I remember every word of it. Of course I also remember every word of "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'"! :)
    Thanks Kate.
    Hahah, Phoenix! If I even say "I Love You" to another woman, my wife will skin me alive. :lol:
    Charm, Leokoo? :)
    Thanks Babe!

  18. People are just going to end up coming for their movies 5 minutes later. You're so right when you say one can't force stuff like this. We were forced to sing it EVERY DAMN DAY of our schooling life, if that worked then we wouldnt be pushed into this now pulak rite..

  19. C'mon man. Cinema proprietors don't even care if underaged kids are brought into the cinema by their parents for 18SX movies/people who talk on their handphones dring a movie.
    How the heck are they going to fine ppl who do not stand up for the national anthem??

  20. Oh.. I was confused. hehehhe. Thanks for clarifying this.

  21. Hey, a nice site :-) I agree with all but there's just something left to be said. Love can't be forced but it can be chosen. I used to envy how the Americans can sing their anthems so proudly. It's true this can't be forced down our throats to croak it out. Our government has its flaws, but at least we've held our peace. Although a long way to go, perhaps we shouldn't give up hopes of making a little difference in Malaysia while there's still opportunity...look, at least our toilets on the highways are cleaner now. I'd rather we do something to contribute practically towards the lives of others than upset the digestion of our roti canais and char koay teows by throwing brickbats at the government. I believe God is real and watching; and if we pray with humility, He can certainly orchestrate better governance and bring conviction to those corrupted, selfish ones in authority. Negaraku, tanah tumpahnya darahku...will we or not if we love her? (That's my 0.5 sen worth ... currency deflated.)

  22. Hi, nice post...! Mind if I link?
    Recently discovered your blog and am enjoying it much :)

  23. Finally I see u care to write something socio-political in nature...
    Good to know I am not the only guy to write long long blogs....

  24. Annu, for some reason, back at school it didn't really bother me. Perhaps it was the context of the whole thing. :)
    Good point AhPink. But I fully expect the govt might threaten to revoke their cinema licenses if they don't enforce. Nothing really surprises me anymore. :lol:
    *piak* Gina!
    Thanks for dropping in Hibiscus. Yes, you're right. Sometimes we tend to enjoy running down the govt. But then again, sometimes they make it sooooo easy!
    Hey there Julian. Thanks for stopping by.
    Josh, ocassionally I go nuts and write socio-political stuff. I'd really rather write about food, though! :lol: