Hornbill Unleashed

January 2, 2011

Happy New Year, everyone!

Filed under: Alternatives — Hornbill Unleashed @ 10:14 AM
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Sim Kwang Yang

The new year signifies a change of season. We ought to count ourselves lucky, for we live in a tropical country, where every day is a new spring.

People living in temperate zones of the world are sometimes less fortunate; they have to contend with snowstorms, for example, during the current cold spell in Europe, the worst winter season in living memory.

These people are forced to face chaotic disruptions in air traffic, roads and rail services, causing much hardship among travellers.

I am past partaking in noisy celebrations on New Year’s Eve. Instead I shall choose to spend this New Year’s Eve in a more thoughtful and reflective mood.

Let the young people of the world shout ‘Happy New Year’ until their lungs feel like bursting. My best new years are behind me: I am at an age more suited to pensive reveries than expensive revelry.

The world will still be a cruel place for most citizens of our planet Earth in the coming year. In all corners of the globe, millions of people are still suffering from war, natural disasters, abject poverty and hunger. Untold suffering is inflicted on millions of innocent human beings.

We are still far away from the universal happiness, which mankind has pursued since time immemorial. We can, as in all the years past, pray for universal deliverance of the human race.

We are fortunate to live in Sarawak, where despite the many imperfections of life and the brutal, grinding poverty of the rural people, we are still free from most of the natural disasters of the world.

Some might argue there is no absolute poverty in the Land of the Hornbills, but things could always be better in Sarawak, this blessed land of plenty.

It is my wish that more well-off Sarawakians will devote themselves to other, less fortunate people on this good earth, during the New Year.

As for me, I shall continue to be eternally grateful to the good Lord for having shown me the blessings of this bountiful earth.

Hope burns eternal in the breast of man that, however bad the situation may seem at the moment, the New Year and the coming days ahead will turn out to be better than the past year.

We, as members of humankind, regardless of our ethnic identities and religious beliefs, all have to live on this, our only hope, as our salvation.

I have stopped making New Year resolutions, knowing full well that they are nearly certain to remain unfulfilled in the months ahead.

We are such imperfect creatures that it is better not to harbour false hopes, but to get on with the business of living the best way we can.

This New Year, as ever, I am particularly indebted to my two female cats, Venus and Snow White, who are both four and a half years old now.

This is the first time I have enjoyed ageing, together with my cats, and I rejoice at their every leap, their every purr and their every show of affection towards we who love them.

The great pleasure in life they have given me is worth more than anything money can buy.

There are, inevitably, events in the past year which I look back on with regret. I am no saint, and I make mistakes in my life, no matter how hard I may try to avoid them. As a wiser man has said: to err is human, to forgive, divine.

The passing of another year is a time for much reflection and self-examination. No wonder most countries declare the New Year a public holiday.

The examination of our own lives through this good season will require no less than our full attention.

Happy New Year, and may the good Lord bless you all.

(The author can be reached at kenyalang578@hot-mail.com. All comments are welcomed.)


  1. Sarawak a land of plenty, yes the natives will not stave to death as long as they have their land. They will survive despite the hardship, but now things has changed for the worse, the Government who is supposed to look after their welfare is slowly squeezing them of their life line i.e their land in the process of enriching themselves and their cronies.

    Comment by andy57 — January 2, 2011 @ 4:55 PM | Reply


    Your musing on “universal deliverance” reflects what a wise old man once said:

    “Countries want independence, nations want liberation and people want revolution”

    The world has not changed tremendously because the forces of imperialism led by the USA (in its waning days) are still exerting domination and oppression of peoples of the world.

    Many countries have gained “independence” but are not really free from foreign domination and exploitation as their economies are controlled by foreign multinational corporations. The people’s lives remain miserable and deprived of the basic things in life which the advanced nations enjoy and take for granted.

    We need not look far. “Malaysia” is a good example especially when 2 of its richest colonial territories Sabah and Sarawak rank as 2 of its poorest “states”.

    Let us remind ourselves that since “independence in Malaysia” thousands of rural people have been violently evicted from their traditional land and homes and are rendered poorer than before by their corrupt UMNO BN government leaders seeking only to enrich themselves and their cronies. The people’s timberland are stripped bare or trees and wildlife and the environment despoiled and water sources polluted in the name of “development”. Hunger and malnutrition are not strangers to the land while the minority rich ruling class gorge on its ill gotten gains.

    “Malaysia” for the rural people has come to mean mass impoverishment and oppression for being the owners of land wealth which the rulers covet for themselves.

    It is not surprising that the Sabah and Sarawak people are crying out for real independence and liberation from the foreign colonial bonds of Kuala Lumpur and its local puppet ruling elites domination oppression and plunder and revolution to transform their living conditions.

    Yes fully support universal deliverance!

    Comment by Universalsoldier — January 2, 2011 @ 12:12 PM | Reply

    • The natives of Sarawak and Sabah should ask themselves if they had been united under BN to enrich themselves or they had been united under BN to help the two thief ministers of the respective state to enrich themselves ? Did the Opposition or Pakatan “split” the people as claimed by those idiotic ministers and YBs of BN to make the people poorer or did Pakatan educate the people of their rights to developments,land ownership and self determination on land use? Why are the natives of Sarawak and Sabah prefer to be robbed by Taib Mahmud and Musa Aman and ensure their children and grandchildren remain poor perpetually under BN government?

      Comment by Frankie — January 2, 2011 @ 9:07 PM | Reply

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