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16 theSun | THURSDAY NOVEMBER 20 2008

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Dreaming for change


When did you join Umno?
I joined Umno in 1990 but was only
member because an MP once active from 1998 when I became
said PAS spiritual leader Johor Umno executive secretary.
Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat and Then, I was political secretary to the
president Datuk Seri Abdul Johor MB. And from there, I rose
Hadi Awang used to be your from division vice-head, to deputy,
Tok Guru. to division head, then to Senator A FEW years ago, I was at a vice-chancellor? I’m sure if I so that I’m not too old to do it all. But I
Yes, I was close to them. When from October 2004 until the March function where a group of On dared it would have been writ- think we all can be history makers, by
they came to the US, I used to
meet them. That’s why Anwar
2008 election. children no taller that 1m were Pointe ten in my report card that I was taking a stand, speaking up for what is
asked what they would like to quite the dreamer and needed right, for not accepting bad service, by
said “this Puad, at one time he Back to the boycott issue. BN MPs be when they grew up. There by Natalie a huge dose of reality. being polite, for demanding accountabil-
was kissing Ustaz Hadi’s hand, also boycotted Anwar during his were the usual doctor, lawyer, Shobana Ambrose As adults we become so ity, insisting on transparency, disagreeing
now (that) he had secured big 2009 Budget debate. engineer responses and what jaded that we forget to dream with marginalisation and taking an inter-
projects, he could not even Yes, but there was no such instruc- have you when suddenly the crowd because our dreams were quashed a est in the country that we call home.
see Ustaz Hadi’s hands.” I was tion. laughed when a little girl boldly declared long time ago. We then end up being a We should not let power, class, race,
surprised. When did I get big she’d like to be a zoo keeper. I bet there barrier to the young dreamers among us age or a quota system stop us from
projects? But, I didn’t react be- But it was noticeable. were disapproving people around who crushing their spirit for change. dreaming, hoping and wanting change.
cause he’s a politician, he can Yes, because people were unhappy. thought she’d make a good nurse instead There is a danger though when we As small as we may think our voice is,
provoke us. Sometimes when From the start of his speech, he of a zoo keeper. I though, just wanted to decide in our heads that our dreams our dreams still matter and carry weight.
I provoke him, he gets angry. stressed that the budget must be know what wonderful parents she had are just dreams and not worth pursuing We don’t have to be an Obama to change
Like when he said to me I’m rejected. And then he went around who allowed her to dream and be proud because of the prejudices and obstacles the world, we can start by being polite to
not yet a finance minister. He that point. So they said, what else ... of her dreams. that abound or just because that’s the the foreign workers at the petrol station
asked me recently, why are you and left the Dewan. But there was In primary school, at a certain time way things work while we take on a or even to our neighbours. We can start
so fierce now? Actually, I know no instruction to boycott. That’s in each academic year, pupils have to “what does it matter” attitude. When we believing we can make a difference and
him very well and am used to why I stayed. I was the only one (BN fill the “When I grow up form”. Till today, stop dreaming we stop wanting to see stop being complacent about things
his style. I was once teaching at MP) who stayed. I have no clue what the purpose of this change and become complacent, hope- only contributing to the Ugly Malaysian
his school Yayasan Anda when was, except for comic relief years later. less and end up being dream catchers syndrome.
he was in Abim (Malaysian So there was no agreement on Even though I never wanted to be a – instead of dream enablers. We should be more like the mother
Islamic Youth Movement) be- this? doctor I penned the “right” answer – I’d This year many dreams came true in the Mitch Albom book, For One More
fore he joined Umno. That was No. If there was an agreement, of like to be a doctor first, then lawyer at the ballot box for various countries Day, who took her young son back to
after I graduated. I was teaching course I would have to leave too. and I can’t remember what the third – dreams of change and hope for a differ- the library and rebuked the librarian for
there together with (Information But I stayed and I think I stood up option was. Honestly, I couldn’t care less ent few years ahead, for a better, more saying that the book her son wanted to
Minister Datuk Ahmad) Shabery almost seven times to interject. what I wanted to be then. I was more transparent, just, livable hopeful future. borrow was “too hard” for someone his
Cheek, (Deputy Entrepreneur And when Najib was winding- interested in the Care Bears, Scooby Doo This change started with a dream, a age.
and Cooperative Development up. It was not like Najib was not go- and Thunder Cats (HO!) than to think of dream that for many seemed impossible Are we limiting our dreams and being
Minister Datuk) Saifudin Ab- ing to give way for him (Anwar), he life 20 years down the line. What I really and a dream that if dreamt 20 years ago left behind while the rest of the world
dullah and (PAS vice-president just wanted to explain the additional wanted at that age was probably to be would have been quashed. aims much higher and achieves more
Datuk) Husam (Musa). At that measures first. But later when he a superhero or stuff myself silly with ice I spend an hour a week with a group than we can ever imagine?
time we were close to him. wanted to reply to the points made cream and cake while playing all day of awesome teenagers, hoping that they Will you dare to dream the impossible
by the opposition, they were not with my cousins. continue to dream and become his- for a better you and a better Malaysia
Were you a professor? there. And, I ended up asking the As I think about this little zoo keeper, tory makers and I believe they already and a better world?
No, I was a lecturer at Universiti opposition’s question (Bandar Tun and how proud she was of her answer, are becoming history makers just by
Pertanian Malaysia (now Uni- Razak MP Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim’s I thought, what if I’d written crocodile believing in their dreams.
versiti Putra Malaysia), before points) on Valuecap, which (he hunter under option three – what would Many times, I wonder where the Natalie thinks that we should all dream
I joined politics. Maybe that’s said) would lead to cash outflow. have happened? What if I said I’d like dreamer in me went. Some days I think big and dream for change because
why Padang Serai called me a I asked (Najib) because I wanted to to be prime minister of Malaysia or a I’m too old to be a history maker and dreaming is free. Comment: letters@
professor. know the answer. mechanic, a rubbish collector or even maybe I should be writing my bucket list thesundaily.com