Saturday, October 10, 2020


The unmistakable stench of goblin and orc pheromones continues to linger...

Self-portrait @ sixteen: perhaps I 
accidentally invented the selfie?
I was only 16 when I met Azizah at a "grownup" party where couples were slow-dancing and drinking alcoholic beverages. My classmate Suhaimi had invited Johnny Khoo and I to the party. As a fifth form student in Batu Pahat High School I was still a Walt Disney kid and as naïve as Dumbo the Flying Elephant.

One afternoon I saw Suhaimi sitting alone in the school canteen, busy rolling a balut (reefer). "What's that you're smoking?" I asked. Suhaimi winked and said conspiratorially: "We call this ganja." I had no idea what he was talking about so Suhaimi explained that in English it was known as marijuana. He pronounced it "mari-jew-anna."

I was horrified. "Suhaimi, you're my buddy and I care about you, so please listen to me and stop this dangerous habit before it destroys your life."

Suhaimi grinned and nodded amicably but didn't bother arguing with me. Nor did he offer me a toke on his glowing reefer. Two years later when I had my first joint I thought back to this early encounter with "illegal substances" and felt like a complete twit. What a namby-pamby twirp Suhaimi must have thought I was! But he was kind enough not to mock me and I'm still grateful for that.

courtesy of Sabrine
But I digress. Coming back to the party where I met Azizah: I remember her grabbing me by the hand and dragging me to the dance floor. Though I felt awkward and shy I managed to pretend to be cool and sophisticated. I was on cloud nine dancing with the vivacious and extremely friendly Azizah. To top it all she was very pretty too. Before we parted she told me she lived in the Gunung Soga government quarters. She even gave me her address and invited me to visit anytime.

About a week later I found myself driving around the Gunung Soga area with Johnny in tow. My dad, bless his soul, trusted me with his car even though I was too young to possess a driver's licence.

"Hey, let's see if we can find Azizah," Johnny suggested. It only took a couple of turns around the neighborhood to locate her house. We walked up to the front door and boldly knocked. Azizah opened it and broke into a big smile when she saw us. She began chatting with us but made no move to invite us in. A moment later we understood why.

A heavyset bloke sporting a policeman-style mustache suddenly emerged from a bedroom and sauntered to the front door. Azizah appeared a tad nervous as she introduced her fiancé Azlan to us.

Azlan gestured to Azizah and she gave us a weak smile as she disappeared into the kitchen, as if to fetch us some drinks. Her fiancé's hunky body blocked the entrance. "How do you know Azizah?" he asked curtly.

"Oh, we met at a party and she invited us to visit," I began... but Azlan wasn't listening. He took a step forward and kneed Johnny in the groin. Johnny reflexively got into fighting stance but I put a hand on his shoulder to calm him down. "Let's leave. I don't think we're welcome here."

That was my first experience of testosteronal overdrive, territoriality and the Malay male. It was such a rude and unpleasant shock I quickly blotted the incident from memory.

Thirty-three years later I was reminded of Azizah and her possessive lover Azlan when I saw Huzir Sulaiman's dramatic monologue, Election Day, wherein he played three housemates named Francis, Dedric and Fozi. The narrator is Francis (a freelance copywriter who could be either Indian or Eurasian) and the plot revolves around "the beautiful and enigmatic Natasha" (a rich girl who is neither seen nor heard at any point but for whose affections all three housemates end up vying). Dedric is a Taiwan-educated Tian Chua type human rights activist and Fozi is a fashionably bohemian architect and one-time PAS member in Perak.

At the start of the play Natasha is Fozi's girlfriend and she has just left the house after a spat with him. The action takes place on Election Day, 29 November 1999. As the drama unfolds we discover that Dedric has a crush on Natasha and thinks Fozi isn't worthy of her. Cleverly interweaving acerbic sociopolitical commentary into his narrative, Huzir concludes his one-hour neo-existentialist drama with a chilling revelation: one of the three housemates is actually a Special Branch officer who manages to set up the other two guys for arrest and detention without trial so he can get the girl - and possibly a promotion for services rendered towards the maintenance of the status quo.

Natasha in Election Day represents the ultimate reward: the land itself, a trophy bride to show off to the whole world and in whose fecund and erotic soil the conquering hero can plant his seeds.

Was Huzir Sulaiman cynically implying that the old adage - all's fair in love and war - holds true and that only the completely amoral stand a chance of winning the game?

Anyway, as I began to recall that long-forgotten run-in with Azizah's jealous fiancé Azlan, many complex issues emerged for me to ponder. First of all, why did Azizah invite me to her house? Okay, assuming she found me rather cute and was keen to befriend me, why didn't she warn me about Azlan? Those were the days before cellphones and SMSes, so it would have been a bit harder to plan secret trysts, even if she had passed me her home phone number. Yet Azizah struck me as a free-spirited, fun-loving girl who enjoyed a wide circle of friends and didn't see anything wrong with befriending other guys even if she already had a steady boyfriend or fiancé.

Perhaps Azlan and Azizah had very different views on this subject. I wonder if she eventually married the fellow - and whether she would have been happy being under the thumb of such a control freak who obviously believed it was fine for him to have four wives, but strictly a no-no for a woman to have four husbands.

I made an effort to imagine myself as someone like Azlan, who would shoot first and talk later if he felt his boundaries threatened. A man of action rather than contemplation who probably dismissed people like me as lily-livered bleeding hearts just because we're capable of a measure of empathy - and are therefore more likely to welcome the unexpected rather than barricade ourselves against the unknown.

If I were Azlan and one day found a couple of strange men at the door asking to see my girlfriend, what would my response be? First, I'd ask her if she knew these guys and whether she wanted to see them. If she acknowledged them as friends and was happy to welcome them to the house, I'd probably regard them as my friends too. They'd be served tea and cakes and after a bit of conversation I might find I enjoyed their company and vice versa. Even if they initially had plans to date her, they would probably be glad just to be accepted as family friends.

After all, if I'm fortunate enough to have a really hot girlfriend or spouse, she's bound to be a big hit with almost every guy she meets and they would all wish they could make out with her. And if I didn't attempt to put her on a short leash and respected her sovereignty as a conscious and mature individual, I'd trust her to always be honest with me.

It's absurd to force your partner to vow NEVER to be attracted to any other. However, it's not difficult at all to swear eternal love to somebody - as long as it's not exclusive, since one never knows what inner changes one will undergo over an extended period.

For instance, you may believe you're absolutely besotted with somebody when you're 17 years old, only to realize four or five years down the line - or perhaps even after four or five months - that it was a purely superficial attraction, and that it's time to move on. Even so, one must always be grateful for love and good times shared. It's a very positive thing to continue loving the ones you have mentally and emotionally outgrown or detached from - like your own parents or former teachers, for example.

Do you see what I'm getting at? Azlan is a metaphor for Umno's values of pseudo-nationalism, ultra-ethnocentrism, and erotophobic bi-polarity manifesting as an obsession with sex and power. Azizah symbolizes Malaysia.

As a traditional, patriarchally programmed Malay male, Azlan/Umno believes it is his God-given right to possess and control Azizah/Malaysia. The thought of somebody else - what more a pork-eating Chink? - wanting a share of his prized possession Azizah is enough to trigger a violent knee-jerk reaction.

All very basic, really: without wasting his breath by going into a discussion about the matter, Azlan instinctively knew what Johnny and I were after - his girl! - and since he was a much more mature guy than either of us fifth-formers, he simply turned into a bully-boy to dissuade us from ever approaching Azizah again. Just protecting his own interests, that's all. Nothing personal.

But there's the rub. Azlan saw Azizah as his property - not as a living, thinking, feeling, evolving, autonomous entity. Johnny wanted to punch Azlan in the face but I felt it was prudent to just walk away from an unnecessary fight. It wasn't as if either of us was seriously in love with Azizah. We only wanted to explore the possibilities of befriending this feisty, friendly girl. All very innocuous stuff, really, and it was stupid of Azlan to react so brutishly.

By obeying his own primitive, unthinking, territorial imperatives he had shown himself to be merely a humanoid biped not much more evolved than a gorilla equipped with basic linguistic circuitry. If he had had the good sense to break into a broad grin and quip: "So you guys want to chat with Azizah? Well, I'm her manager and it's going to cost you 50 bucks an hour... each! Actually, I'm engaged to be married to Azizah in three months and if you turn out to be nice fellas, we'll invite you to the wedding."

Well, such an approach might easily have won Azlan two new friends. Instead, he left me with a permanent bad taste about unwarranted jealousy, petty-mindedness and the sheer stupidity of being a habitual control freak. Indeed, I'm convinced that people like Azlan - unless they mature and mellow rapidly enough - won't qualify for admission into the heavenly realms, because we can't have such coarse and loutish souls clogging up the free flow of good feelings in those rarefied frequencies.

Nevertheless, Azlan's violent behavior was undeniably effective. I never attempted again to contact Azizah, though for me she will always represent the beauty, nubility, hospitality and infinite promise my country holds for me - and everyone else who regards her as home. And ever since that time the name Azizah has always held a mysterious appeal for me.

Azizah would be past 60 by now, probably a grandmother several times over. I fervently hope she wised up and dumped that reactionary Umnoish boyfriend of hers and married a Mat Salleh instead. In any case, I wouldn't be at all surprised if one of these days a vibrant, vivacious and extremely attractive young woman named Zamila added me as her Facebook friend, and I later discovered her paternal grandma Azizah was born in Batu Pahat and lived for many years in the Gunung Soga government quarters...

Halfway through writing this post it occurred to me that the syndrome I've been discussing is certainly not defined by ethnicity or nationality, nor does it entirely apply to the male gender. It so happened that in this early encounter with "the territorial imperative" the antagonist happened to be a Malay male. He could also have been Italian, Mexican, Japanese, Albanian, Filipino, Zimbabwean, Chinese or Portuguese. Possessiveness is a fairly common trait amongst females too. 
Ego insecurity and jealousy are hardwired into our reptilian brains - the most basic, most ancient and primitive component of vertebrate cerebrospinal neural circuitry. In most species the territorial imperative serves the long-range objectives of specific genetic programs in a Darwinian selective process. 
Stands to reason that under the harsh, hostile conditions of a prolonged Dark Age, the masculine, warlike qualities would become prominent survival features. However, in an Enlightened Age, this truculent, hooliganistic, shoot-first-talk-later behavior swiftly becomes countersurvival.  
Brain supersedes brawn and heart overrides gonads as sentient beings evolve. In effect, the Azlan syndrome is really a residual behavior accumulated over thousands of years when physical might improved procreative odds. In an era when metaphysical vision becomes more relevant and significant as modifiers of human evolution, the gorillaman faces abrupt extinction as the godman takes his place as prime progenitive preference.
Just as Umno has yet to integrate the deeper existential implications of its massive losses after the 8 March 2008 election, a large portion of humanity has yet to acquire the more advanced software that will enable us to constantly be aware of the Big Picture - the larger context of our interactions with other aspects of our constantly expanding selves. Those able to swiftly redefine themselves and their own ego boundaries may be classified as "Cultural Creatives" or civilizing agents.
[First posted 9 May 2009, reposted 10 December 2011, 23 August 2015 & 9 October 2016] 


UP41 said...


Anonymous said...

Pakatan Rakyat infighting benefitting BN/Umno. Silly of PR leaders and members to air their grievances in BN/Umno MSM as this is used by BN/Umno to spin the news to their advantage while covering up the maggots infesting BN and the rest of the BN Component parties. Also, Umno Penang last weekend send Tiga Line Thugs in 2 busloads to KL. What is going on here? I read about it here

Bryan said...

A Great Read.... Slowly but surely, the enlightened will inherit stewardship of this planet....

Azazel said...

Good post, Antares and that is because you added the footnote stating this sort of behaviour is not confined to a certain race but human characteristics in general.

However to equate this behaviour to a political party is also not accurate in my opinion, we seem to fall into this divide and conquer trap over and over again. When we were born and brought up as an infant, we do not know things about race, religion, country, etc. We learned these things as we grew up mostly from our parents and people whom we have interacted with. If you notice, even within a religious group or political parties, there are further divisions going on within it.

That is the reason i dont support any political group, or belong to certain religious sect or race. We should all just look at ourselves as part of a species called humans (homo sapiens) living on a beautiful planet called Earth.

Political parties which you support will also one day will be corrupted as bad as the current one. You should instead focus on what fuels this corruption? And it is this fuel that is going to destroy this planet some time in the near future.

Politicians take their orders from a higher authority and it is always this need for development and growth of the economy in a finite planet that will destroy us. Look for example in Penang, we built one bridge more than 20years ago, another one will be near completion and there is already a talk of an undersea tunnel to link the Island to Mainland. Yay!! Lets build more cars with our limited resoures and use more fossil fuel, we dont have to care for our future

Just watch this video to see the effects of growth in our lives :

That video is part 1 of 8, watch all of it and understand what issues humanity is facing today. Majority of humanity is arrogant if they think they can go against the only law that will ever exist; the law of the universe. Too bad the Elite have already brain-washed most of us into accepting that this is how it is going to be.

Sorry for digressing, anyway, the reason Azlan reacted in such manner or in any case most people who are attached is because of lack of trust on their partners but you are also right about people treating their partners as objects rather than a fellow human. It is probably the Ego which were cultivated from young based on conventional teachings. For example, certain religious teachings states that a certain gender must be covered to avoid exposure to certain appearance of their body. Isnt that not treating a fellow human as an object as well? Where do we draw the line?

You have always promoted one thing in your blogs which will remedy all the problems mentioned above and that is L-O-V-E. However, to understand and to have love in us, is the most difficult thing and it requires us to think and reflect what it means.

First rule, dont refer to Hollywood movies when it comes to learning about LOVE. Second, religion and mass media can only teach us that much but you do not want your understanding of LOVE to be forced into you by some other source than yourself.

LOVE have to come from within us, its based on our own observations when we interact with society and when i mean society, i mean from the people who have nothing financially to the people who have everything financially. Then you come to your own conclusion on what LOVE is all about and find peace in your life. Start by getting to know yourself better, close your eyes and think who you are, do you really know yourself? You must first need to LOVE yourself before you learn the overall meaning of LOVE.

"What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else."

Eyes said...

Good one Antares! I like your metaphor and symbolism and I believe that I understand why that chap reacted the way he did.

You see , and bare in mind your metaphores(azlan- malays, azizah- malaysia , you and johnny - chinese) Azizah to Azlan was worth fighting for. To die for.
You and Johnnie were there just passing by. Just a crush, a testosterone based attraction. Nothing serious. You were there to EXPLOIT her. You were not willing to fight or die for her.

When push comes to shove, you just left her (migrated). If Adzlan had not acted the way he did, and if Johnny and you had your way, in no time would you and Johnny be checking into a cheap motel with Azizah and exploited her body to its very core. Probably end up with one of you banging her anus while the other one vigorously deep throat mouth fucking her while giving each other high-fives. All of this while she gasps for air.

And when you are done, and her juice has been all sucked dry, you would send her back to her house to a waiting Azlan who will have to nurse her back to her feet.

You see antares, your metaphors make the most sense this time. Yet you failed to fully make readers aware the kind of people johnny was. Surely if his intentions was good, there wouldnt be such rampant hate of epic proportions towards people like johnny -

Starmandala said...

@UP41 & Bryan - Thanks!

@Azazel - Very sensible comment from somebody named after the scapegoat :-)

@Eyes - You started off so nicely but it didn't take long for your mind to turn nasty. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if Azlan ended up as a police officer and eventually became a senior SB interrogator where he put the same kind of twisted logic to the state's corrupt service. I bet you grew up watching a lot of Cerekarama. "Fighting and dying" for a woman or a country isn't heroic - it's a clear sign of having been mind-controlled to serve as an Orc or Stormtrooper. Some describe this as a "siege mentality" - seeing enemies everywhere you look and believing you live in a competitive, hostile and violent world - and in so doing, fulfilling your own projections. Enjoy your Sinophobia, bro. But don't get a heart attack when you discover someday that at least 70% of the genetic stock labeled "Malay" has Chinese and Indian origins :-)

Eyes said...


I see you dislike the taste of your own medicine..

Azazel said...

Ha! Thats the original biblical meaning of Azazel, i got mine from a character in a book, read here :

And i dont think that guy grew up watching Cerekarama, he probably grew up watching a lot of porn and was badly neglected by his parents. Let him be, he just needs some LOVE!!

Interesting comment on the gene pool. Indians and Chinese on the other hand were also derived from another gene pool of modern humans most likely originated from Africa. However, there was an event around 69,000 - 77,000 years ago that resulted in a significant population reduction and that event is the largest volcanic eruption which happened very nearby us, The TOBA SUPERERUPTION.

*Here are some excerpts :

It is recognized as one of the Earth's largest known eruptions. The related catastrophe theory holds that this event plunged the planet into a 6-to-10-year volcanic winter and possibly an additional 1,000-year cooling episode. This change in temperature resulted in the world's human population being reduced to 10,000 or even a mere 1,000 breeding pairs, creating a bottleneck in human evolution.

Recent research states that genetic diversity in the pathogenic bacterium Helicobacter pylori decreases with geographic distance from East Africa, the birthplace of modern humans. Using the genetic diversity data, the researchers have created simulations that indicate the bacteria seem to have spread from East Africa around 58,000 years ago. Their results indicate modern humans were already infected by H. pylori before their migrations out of Africa, and H. pylori remained associated with human hosts since that time.

*Source :

Starmandala said...

@Eyes - I can see right through you, bro. Deep-down a nice guy, but running low-grade software installed during the long, dark era of Dr M (who dispensed psychic poison, not medicine). Cukuplah, I belanja you teh tarik.

@Azazel - I'm not an Asimov fan but you're someone I would enjoy meeting. Good imagination anchored in scientific curiosity!

Azazel said...

Bro, i've been wanting to visit you at Magick River for quite some time now, hopefully soon but you have to let me know how to get there, i roughly know where it is but i need directions so i wont end up stepping on some orang asli boar trap. You can email me the details.

lanaibeach said...

Azizah wanted to spread her wings
Thinking she could have it her way
Letting others come to enjoy her company
In the abundance of smile, thoughts and insights

But she never banked on a jealous man
She thought this was a progressive way
We had come a long way from the cave
Now our thoughts could be liberal...

Azizah had a shock of her life
She couldn't get out of her mind
The jealousy of her man
It would make her cry in silence

She lived in a country of many races
She knew she wasn't the only race
She had to reach the others to make her presence
Lived the way of tolerance and be free

But Azizah didn't have her way
She was controlled by her jealous man
A man who wasn't her husband yet
It was the nature of the beast..

“If I can't have you
Nobody should have”
The story of Azizah
It's still in the nation

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