05 March 2008

Still In One Piece

That would be me. I'm not back to my wholesome self yet but most body parts are intact, no malfunction of organs, nor did I break an additional limb during my short hiatus from blogging. Touch wood.

I was, however, forced to learn how to drive with my left foot - an awkward experience for someone with short legs, one of which is in a fiber-glass boot. Those of you who can do this well, I salute! A couple of solo trips to the physical therapy clinic was all I could manage during which I renewed my appreciation for 'old habits die hard'. The challenge was toughened by our car having a handbrake that is activated by a second left foot brake pedal. Why Mercedes build this particular system bothered me for a few days. David who is an expert lefty behind the wheels was my instructor for one lesson and almost suffered a whiplash injury from my slamming of the brakes. My co-ordination was seriously bad!

Another lesson I reluctantly picked-up is the true definition of physical therapy. It has nothing to do with strenuous activity. Mastering the endurance of pain has more relevance. I didn't burn any calories from fluidized therapy to riding the horizontal leg-press shuttle at the clinic and the agonizing home exercises. Instead, I developed a craving for Tylenol and found a new best friend in fake ice. My therapist who reminds me of John-Boy Walton in appearance and personality is fast becoming my most dreaded service provider. I know, I know - no pain, no gain. I should be grateful that he has helped me graduate from hobbling on crutches to walking with cane. With 25 years of success, he is excellent in his work and his staff is a lively bunch. One of them had me in stitches when she declared yesterday that her criteria for voting a President is someone who can help her read her telephone bill. I was going to suggest that she write to John McCain or Barack Obama but it looks like Hillary Clinton continues to be interested in her ballot as well.

I can't vote with my PR status but I am fascinated with the freedom and democracy of the US electoral process. Every vote counts and matters in deciding who runs the country, a government that is truly selected by its people. This is especially proven in the ongoing historical Democratic race to nominate the first African-American or lady presidential candidate.

Malaysians, on the other hand, go to the polls on Saturday to decide the margin by which the same ruling party we've had since independence will win this round of general elections, not much else. If you detect sarcasm here, I won't deny it. Patriotism runs in my blood and I am proud to be a Malaysian but it pisses me off that only selected Malaysians living overseas are eligible to vote, specifically those who are in civil service and therefore obliged to support the current folks in power. I don't fall under the category and have to return home to exercise my right. A policy that is grossly unfair and outright discriminative. It tempts me to re-consider my decision not to seek naturalization here. After all, the most precious gift that a country can offer its citizens is the right to vote and all US citizens get to vote no matter where they are located.

No photo to share except this presidential look ...



34 comments:

Nightwing said...

Ya...Lola gets my vote...:)

Today i was thinking why can;t Malaysia have the kind of system that US is using.

People choose their own Presidents.

Louis said...

Hi Rita,

Hang in there: the physical therapy will have you good as new again. Take it from someone who was rousted from his bed in ICU, trailing numerous tubes, drips, electronic leads, bags, etc by two physiotherapists who were kind and charming, but didn't take dazed groans for an answer.

As regards our US system of elections, yes, it's a wonderful system, enshrined in our Constitution. But recent events have illustrated all too well that even here we constantly have to be vigilant to ensure them and to protect them from our own fellow citizens and politicians.

Also, whether one is pro or con the situation in Malaysia, it may help to bear in mind that as a country, it has only been evolving for 50 years, while we here have had way over 200 years to get to where we are politically, yet are still considered a young nation. This doesn't excuse shortcomings either here or in Malaysia, but one can expect some teething problems.

J.T. said...

Hi Rita

I am with you on that. It is grossly unfair that we are not able to vote from overseas. Mat Salo mentioned e-voting in his blog (previous post, I believe) and I thought it is a super idea but I know our government will never do that no matter how tech-savvy they become (are they??)

They probably won't take a chance with other Malaysian citizens overseas (non-governmental people) because we can actually vote them out. (hahaha)
It is true... the government officials overseas have no choice but to vote for the people that gave them those cushy jobs (and will continue to vote to keep their positions). :) So those are guaranteed votes for the ruling party. sigh

Pi Bani said...

Lola O'Bummer for president!!
She'll make sure there's a woof over evewybody's head and there'll be enough food for evewybody - especially the pwesident! Woof! Woof!

Fruit Species said...

It ain't fair but it's always been this way in some countries. Politics are real nasty

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

hey, 'no pain no gain' as the saying goes BUT, i dodged some physical therapy sessions during the earlier days and let time do the healing. it worked on me!

having said that, by no means you should try that at home. get it worked out and the result will come sooner.

now get into the car, step on the paddle, burn those rubbers and go to places!

beachlover said...

I hope you're getting better in days soon.Yes,I'm so pissed about Malaysia voting system.I didn't register b4 and can't register while I'M IN NY and now today I can't vote even I'm in KL!!.The goverment change all the voting area and booth so stupidly.My mom suppose to vote at her home area but instead they send her to another area which she moved from there 30 years ago.How can they said it's a fair and clean election??.

mº¿ºsh, brecht & nora said...

Welcome back to blogging Rita and thx for updating us on your well being, we were concerned on your no appearance = ) Good luck with all that therapy Rita, hugs for a good weekend. I hv zero knowledge when it comes to politics and voting cos i come from a country that i hardly get the chance to vite! ; )

Rita Ho said...

Hi Nightwing ... I have no grievance with the Malaysian system, just the policies that govern it to ensure BN continues to win. However, the election results indicate a change and hope. :)

Rita Ho said...

Hey Louis ... ICU?? You must have had a serious health treat. I am very glad that you are fully recovered. Prompt and diligent rehab does make a huge difference. :)

On Malaysian politics, I do recognize that we have only achieve 50 years of independence and need time to develop into a first world nation. My siblings and I were on the receiving end of institutional discrimination for most of our lives but never followed any cause to reject it. We recognized and accepted the government's direction to provide a stable and peaceful environment, worked around and above the disadvantages to become achievers.

What I question here is the policy that allows only certain citizens residing overseas to vote. These are civil servants and students who are obliged to support the government. Much as I'd like to be fair, I can't consider this blatant abuse of our right to vote a teething problem.

Hopefully, the new government will change the policy.

Rita Ho said...

Hi Jacqui ... What irks me further is the government's presumption that the rest of us will vote against them. The clear message is that they don't intend to govern in the interest of all Malaysians.

If only our politicians could think outside the power box a little, some of the overseas vote could have produced different election results for them.

Let's hope they will heed the wake-up call this time around.

Rita Ho said...

Hi Pi ... Another good one! What's with the sexy Rayban? Don't tell me Yah suggested them??

Rita Ho said...

Hi Fruity ... I agree. It is going to get nastier in the Democratic race here.

Rita Ho said...

Kerp ... I did cheat a few times, gave up on PT exercises at home and let time take care of the foot. Unfortunately, my therapist seem to have psychic powers and know the difference. He picked on me after that!

I will be stepping on the pedals in a couple of weeks when we head south to attend a wedding. 9-hour road trip one way, so I suspect I will be driving some. :(

Rita Ho said...

Hey Lesley ... I am now wondering if my registration still exist. Let's hope they changed their overseas voting policy and allow us in in 2012.

Are you putting on or loosing weight there? Haha!

Rita Ho said...

Hey Mush ... Thank you for your concern and very kind thoughts. Hugs back to all 3 of you, especially Nora!

OK, I am confused now or may have gotten your country of origin wrong. Aren't you from Singapore? If not, where? If yes, why no chance to vote?

Sorry for the misread. Blush.

beachlover said...

Rita:
I heard that if you have register b4,you can still vote in future but the problem is I never register b4.But few of my friend was register in post office but when election time come,they told them,their name is not there!!.Said post office didn't submit!!that also can?.My uncle was a teacher,he is pension now,said he have to vote BN coz they can track his name and numbers or else he will get into trouble,so he don't care to vote at all.Yes,I gained so much weight just eat,eat and eat everymeal!!lol!!

Kerp (Ph.D) said...

i watched one of stiller''s flicks the other day and it took them 1 whole day & night driving down south to mexico. let me guess, are you guys heading to LA? just a wild guess.

Farina said...

Rita, glad tht ur back and feeling better!

wrt the election, its good tht now the oppo has bigger voice. they better not screwed up either. gotta make whos who work their arses off now! too many of the officials have been taking advantage of the rakyat.

it is sad tht those who really worked is no longer there. makes me wonder, whts gonna happen to Nurin Alert now tht shahrizat is no longer a menteri?

Big Boys Oven said...

Great to see you back, hope you will get even better each day!
The election went well, and a l;ot of people here is happy over some changes in the poll!

HI said...

Oh, Rita...I hope you feel better each day. PT does help though. Olivia was in PT from 5 months to almost 1 year old to treat her stiff neck.

Without that, I shudder to think that she might not even walk or has to live with a crooked neck forever.

Nightwing said...

Hi Rita,

How r u? Got a tag for you. Drop by when u can...cheers.

Rita Ho said...

Lesley ... Some changes are likely to take place back home. Hopefully, a better organized election system is one of them.

Don't worry about the extra pounds! After all, your first balik kampung in 14 years. :)

Rita Ho said...

Kerp ... not LA, just down to Medford in Oregon, 9-hour drive one way. We did the N-S trip a few years back from Seattle to San Diego. Total time on the road was 22+ hours!

We plan to visit Mexico later this year. It will be my first visit and 30th of so for David. Member went there often when he was living in San Diego. :)

Rita Ho said...

Farina ... I think whoever takes over from Shahrizat will prioritize Nurin Alert. He or she has too. It is too important to ignore.

I'm glad you feel much better already. Talk again soon. Warmest hugs!

Rita Ho said...

Hey Sunny ... Thank you for your kind thoughts. And yes, there are more people who are happy with the changes than those who are worried. I consider it a significant improvement in the mindset of Malaysians. :)

Rita Ho said...

Hi Hooi Imm ... Thank you! What happened to Olivia's neck? She must have a strong will to come out shining in the end at such a young age. Very admirable!

Enjoy your weekend!

Rita Ho said...

Hey Nightwing ... I am as well as can be. Thank you for asking. I will pop over to receive my tag. Easy or difficult? Haha!

mº¿ºsh, brecht & nora said...

hi Rita, yes am singaporean and since i reach the legal age to vote, the area where i use to live, the opposition party always 'walked away' thus giving the PAP an automatic win, thus i hv never voted in spore. hope that clears it up, sorry for the confusion.

Zawi said...

Rita,
Sorry for the late arrival.
I am most happy to hear that you are getting better and better everyday.
Don't worry too much about your voting right, come GE13, we will have a new Government in place who will correct this anomaly. Hopefully those opposition given the chance to govern a few states as a test case don't screw up this chance to show a good example of good governance. Should they fail, nothing will ever change.

Rita Ho said...

Hey Mush ... Thanks for updating my memory. :) Singapore is my kampung these days as mom and two of my siblings live there, on the east coast. On the election front, PAP has been governing the island well like forever, not much change needed.

Have a great week, Mush!

Rita Ho said...

Hi Zawi ... No apologies needed. :) I am still on the very slow coach to your blog. Haha! I do agree with your views on the political scene and feel somewhat positive that the new folks in power will learn from their own mistakes or those of others.

Puteri said...

Now, Lola does look presidential! Heheh.

Rita Ho said...

Thanks, Puteri. This is her extremely rare face. It is usually "FEED ME - FEED ME". :(