Life is a box of chocolates... Oh, the irony!

If there's a movie quote that wouldn't stop bugging me these few days, it's that one from Forrest Gump, where he said 'Life is a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get'. True, how true. If there's another thing that I believe in, it's that life is full of ironies. Take this one for example:

Example 1:
For quite a few weeks, every morning as I walk past the main entrance of the hostel to head to classes, a kitten would be awaiting, prowling around the main entrance, as if lonely and in need for a company. If I wasn’t in a rush I would stoop down, give the kitten a loving pet around its ears and feel it purring against me. After a few days, I think it got familiarized with me too, and I started feeding it with sausages, and sometimes bring down a small bowl of milk from my room (hostel rule strictly prohibits rearing pets of any kind in the room).

Since then a few students got really familiar with the kitten too, and someone provided a box for it, located just outside the main entrance of the hostel. I took down a piece of cloth for it and others ‘donated’ some other pieces of clothing. At the end, I think it got a pretty comfortable loft to sleep in.
(picture courtesy of Yuinyin.com)

Then one day on the way back from class, as usual I looked around for the kitty, but not only can’t I find it, its little cardboard box was also missing. Immediately I asked the hostel commandant. She explained, ‘A welfare officer from the university came by the hostel for a visit this morning, when he saw the kitten in the box he threw away the box and I don’t know what he did with the cat. He said stray animals may contain fleas or even worse- some diseases and he doesn’t want the hostel students to catch it’

I was angry to say the least!

It’s just a little kitten for goodness sake, and he had the galls to describe the adorable thing like it was the catalyst for the next bubonic plague or influenza outbreak.

The Irony...
This ‘welfare officer’ apparently makes frequent checks on the hostel. How then can he miss this?

Or this?

For your information, this is a scene from my kitchen. I live on the third floor, and the common waste disposal bin is located literally meters away from where I cook, where I sleep and where I live.

And for your information, everyday when we head towards the nearest bus stop to catch a ride to the hospitals for our lessons, and on our way back, we definitely will pass by this dumpster and whatever embellishment people decide to decorate around the dumpster. And more often than not, this is what we see.

A cat versus a dumpster (possible swarming with an infestation of different kinds of bacteria and other microbial existence) going rampant? You do the math yourself...

Example 2:
On one hand, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, the Prime Minister of Malaysia, mentioned in his speech during a Christmas Day celebration in Kuala Lumpur.

“I’m really concerned when issues involving religion are brought up from time to time and the attendant problems that all of us would need to address. If moderates don’t take centre stage, surely extremist elements will occupy it, making us fall for their extremist approach being touted as a religious or national approach.”

In his speech, he’s mentioning that in a multicultural and multi-religious country like Malaysia, we should exercise moderation when it comes to issues concerning religion- something that I agree and support wholeheartedly.

The Irony...
On the other hand, the leading catholic weekly newsletter, the Catholic Herald, was slapped with a license suspension notice 3 days later, and headlines like these were splashed across newspapers worldwide:

World Africa, Reuter.com- 28 Dec 2007 ‘Malaysia faces Christian outcry over word "Allah"'

AsiaNews- 28 Dec 2007 ‘Catholic weekly denounces government for banning Christians from using the world “Allah”'

MalaysiaNews.Net- 4 January 2008 ‘Malaysia says Herald not allowed to use the word Allah in its publication’

Apparently, due to the usage of the word ‘Allah’ in its Malay language print, the government, via the Internal Security Act, had imposed a suspension on the Newsletter’s license. The reason was that they had mentioned the word ‘Allah’ can only be exclusively used by Malaysian Muslim in order to avoid confusion.

In fact, as this following article states, Arabian Christian has been using the world Allah to refer to God, even before the existence of Islam. And in other Muslim countries, like Iran, Pakistan, Indonesia, Egypt and so on, the usage of Allah in Christian literature is allowed. No confusion raised. Period.

And yet, the Internal Security Act, whom Abdullah Badawi is the head of, slaps a suspension of the newsletter of a different race, days after he himself mentioned ‘religious moderation’ and denounces religious extremism, and days after he shook the hands of Christians and wished them Merry Christmas.

Go figure.

Well, since then the issue has cleared up. And the Catholic Herald is given permission to continue using the word ‘Allah’ in its publication.

Example 3:
Last year June, on the way back home to Malaysia for my summer break, I stopped by Hong Kong with a friend, Eddy.

One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to the Ocean Park, Hong Kong. Not only was the theme park beaming with each kind of attraction, I was also particularly enthralled by the different marine life specimens showcased there. Like this one, of a very rare and near threatened leafy sea horse, or Phycodurus eques.

Notice how well it camouflages against the weeds in the aquarium? My next favorite would probably be the sea turtle. Since I live in Malaysia, home of the leatherback turtles, I somehow feel connected to this little being swimming serenely (and maybe somewhat frantically) in this (claustrophobic) aquarium.

Also, I took great notice of their conservative efforts of marine lives, as well as other animals. Apparently, they had even set up a conservation foundation, promoting conservative efforts to protect not only dolphins, whales and giant pandas, but also to protect other animals such as birds, reptiles and amphibians of Asia.

In fact, Hong Kong has been very vocal about their role in preserving the marine lives and other environmentalist issue. Their efforts in raising awareness and preserving sea turtles, for example, has been featured in CNN.

The Irony...
On the way out from the amusement park, lo and behold! At the exit of the park, along the coast, you can see rubbish and garbage just strewn across the ocean.

From these pictures (the Mine Train, a rollercoaster attraction in Adventure land, Ocean Park is seen at the background), you can see Styrofoam boxes, plastic bags, paper wastes, straws and other wastes polluting the sea. As you know, plastic bags threaten the already frail existence of the turtles. Turtles tend to mistake plastic wastes as jellyfish, a main source of food, with deadly results.

It is therefore an irony how on one hand they're doing their best to help out the marine life, then on the other, Ocean Park, one of the most prominent landmark of Hong Kong, as well as the world’s number 7 most popular park (as described by Forbes), is by themselves contributing to sea pollution.

How about you? Any other ironies that you know of worthy of mention?
 

6 comments so far.

  1. Maverick SM January 6, 2008 at 8:18 PM
    You are right in pointing out those ironies. It's really Cakap Tak Serupa Bikin.

    The health officer can see the kitten but can't see the garbage spillages.

    The PM talks about being moderates and asking the moderates to speak out; yet he is the culprit.
  2. Maverick SM January 6, 2008 at 8:29 PM
    Aleckii,

    I observed that you are a medical student at Kursk. I had someone, a commentator at my blog who told me a lot about Russian & Ukranian Medical U and the problems. Would you consider reviewing the comments and let me have your observation and critical analysis as you are a far better person to give me more info.

    The link is here:

    Crimea University Not Recognized

    and the article is this: Crimea U
  3. Anonymous January 6, 2008 at 8:44 PM
    Recommend also the new rukun negara Kepercayaan kepada Tuhan to Kepercayaan kepada Allah
  4. amei79 January 8, 2008 at 3:48 AM
    ur blog is dirty, can c the rubbish everyway...lolz
  5. FionaTan January 8, 2008 at 5:05 AM
    Hihi, thanks for your comments. First time visitor ! lol.. I can't believe that officer so efficient in doing his job but yet he's blind caused didn't he see the obvious rubbish bin there??!!
  6. Aleckii January 8, 2008 at 2:08 PM
    maverick sm: I got the inspiration for this post from your blog. I have high respect for people who dare to speaking out and standing up to our own principle. Ergo the name of the blog- intrepidly wrong? Geddit?

    Concerning the Ukraine/Russian Medical University post, I promise I will comment on that later, I need to gather my information for a rhetorical reply.

    anonymous: anything- it's a democratic country. Vote for a change! I'll support you, hahah!

    amei: Hahha! You should see the real condition with your eyes. And we have to pass by this walkway everyday... Really disgusting right?

    fionatan: This is called dasar tutup satu mata, buka satu mata. This dasar has been existing for a long time, not only in Russia, but everywhere in the world! Lol!

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