Monday, March 28, 2005

Reminisce of 1997-2002 & Today

Having the most understanding, loving and caring parents is the greatest gift, a privilege of an individual. In this case, it’s my parents. For all the years, they had made me become wealthy with knowledge and the education I much needed. Yes, I was the ‘lowest’ educated rank of ‘attainment’ in the family once, where I got poor results in primary & secondary school. I was too much concentrating into arts & literature, reading poetry of Usman Awang, went to drawing competitions and debates but lost a lot of concentration in my studies. Since my geography teacher was my mum best friend, Geography, literature and Arts was the only subject had in mind. But then I went to UiTM, things have changed. It was a rollercoaster. I got kicked out from UiTM in my final year for uncompleted paperwork (practically I haven’t passed the Casting subject in Fine Arts) because I was terribly unwell. I was in the midst of ‘killing myself’ for the reason that I was a complete failure for not doing much work. Then my mum gave me more money for me (which I happen to found out that she sold her gold bracelet to get me money) in order to continue my Degree. It was a difficult period. Yet, I was the only student who took Electronic Arts movement in my major artwork (Installation & Web Art) and I have been fighting with my ‘digitally naïve’ course tutor that time just to continue the legacy of the late Ismail Zain (who is the visionary of computer arts). I got no support over there because it was a risk to bring ‘new’ trends into the old Fine Arts Department’s culture, but then people like Prof. Ponirin Ahmad, Ramlan Abdullah, Sharmiza, Prof. Ariffin ‘Pak Pin’, Prof. Yusoff Ghani, Prof. Zakaria ‘Pak Ya’, Hasnol J. Saidon, Mr. Hisyamuddin and Mrs. Zanita of National Art Gallery, who had opened my mind, turned up to rescue me which forever I express my gratitude towards them. God bless. You see, people who travel a lot see things in different perspective. They know exactly how to appreciate art. Not to see art as a commercial value. I remember Jai (Abu Hassan) once said to me, “you not just looking, but also seeing”.

And Today?
Today, my mother had lent me her funds to pay off my debts (my car and insurance). She was very helpful and understanding even she knows at this very moment, I was a dishearten son searching for better and safer opportunity in career in order to survive*. I cannot offer to tell precisely what has occurred in the current company I work with, but this will be my last week at this juncture.

* Surviving the moment Means to stand up and take advantage of time.
I.e. hang on in the bus, squeeze yourself in because you must grab the opportunity of else, time will affect and cause unsecured result. Don’t let time rule. (Based on our discussion with my sister, her boyfriend and parents during our Sunday breakfast yesterday)

What’s the real metaphor?
The typical Malay society (mostly government sector like land Army and Police) will never understand how important is education and how strong is a family values. You see, this morning at 1 am, I went to Warung Mamak in Sg. Besi (which defines as Indian Muslim Restaurant / Stalls) for my short session of Ginger Tea and my cigarette break (I just came back from the bank to cash deposit the money my mother gave me earlier).
I had “observed” a lot of Malays sat in groups, wasting their time talking rubbish, non-business related topics and girls (sex) and these are all married men. So this is the Malay are heading today? My father once said, “these days, the Malays hangout in café’s, doesn’t matter if it’s a mamak or Starbucks, but they all sit there to criticize people, looking at people and wasting time”. It’s true. For those, foreigner who had been to Malaysia, I’m pretty sure you had experience the same. It’s uncomfortable.

So, when I came back home, I saw a letter on my father’s desktop where the Sekolah Angkatan Tentera Sg. Besi’s (Military Secondary School) Principal wrote a letter for fund request for their event. I use to come across this kind of request because my father was the Chairman of the Parents & Teacher’s Society in that school. The question is, what’s going on and how can the school always lack of funds?

Let see why this happen in some certain ways
According to my 26 years of living in the Military life, to my analysis, typical Military married men/family has this very typical culture;
1. Thought education for their children is redundant, that’s why we see their children wandering off the streets at night, damaging public properties and disturb neighbors at night. We see their children swearing at cyber cafes, playing ‘Counterstrike’ and wasting money and time. I don’t need to tell, but cordially inviting you to come over to any cyber café in Sg. Besi nearby Bandar Tasik Selatan Area (MRR2 Cheras or on the way to The Mines) and see this with your own eyes.
2. Parents encourage entertainment because they are busy meeting friends or doing side-income business. I saw ASTRO cable plates all over the ‘other rank’ houses in the camp. Even we, our family won’t buy it because we know our small sister and brother will not concentrate on their studies if they watch too much TV. They have a very expensive karaoke machine at home. Now how bizarre is that for someone who owns small income? I also saw a father buying pirates VCD for their children and to think that their salary is only RM750-RM1200 Ringgit. With RM6-RM10 Ringgit, you can buy your children two (2) education or story books for them to read or you can buy two (2) bottle of milk for your children to stay healthy.
3. Car modification. Oh, hell this one is a dead-end culture! They had been practicing this culture for decades. They would rather spend thousand of Ringgit to buy new sport rims, put on big car exhaust and expensive stereos. Have you heard the word ‘like father, like son’? This is how the mat rempit’s got their idols.
4. No control over their children. You can see young teen wandering around the streets until 2 a.m. hanging out at the bus stops or phone booth. Don’t they ever think that they might get kidnap, raped or kill? Don’t the parents suspect their sons or daughters involve in dangerous crimes, such as drugs, street racing, gang fights or free-sex-life for being a ‘bohsia’ (define as slut/bitch in Chinese)?
5. Tupperware meetings. Yes, typical military/police housewives. They love to talk about their neighbors, they intend to know what’s going on, who marries who, which housewife got divorce and others. Carrying around bad rumors and spread ‘disease’.
6. Dangdut & Magnum4D. Yes, this happens in our local Malay society. Why gamble money over something you know you will not receive at the end? It’s addictive and it’s treacherous. It’s even worst to see their husband hangout in Pubs and Dangdut clubs. Having affairs with other women (particularly Indonesian/Thailand sluts), leaving their wife at home to take care of things. Leaving them with your debts. It’s pathetic.

I can elaborate more issues on this, but these are few rationales I can provide you on what’s going on. It’s up to you now, to be grateful for what’s best in your life. If you love time, don’t waste it. Cherish your family and your love ones the most*. If you are married, love and trust your wife and your children. Don’t take chances to let yourself distract by doing something that is not right. Don’t EVER let yourself become a human but have the thinking of a beast.

I am depressed and frustrated at a number of situations, but to the very boundaries I came across; I have my family with me to ‘heal’ my heart, mind and soul, I shall me mellow. That’s a part of being a human, with love and to care.

Untuk Mama
Mama, ingat tak masa zaman muda? Mama pakai baju ni kan? Muid tempah baju kebaya yang cantik untuk Mama. Ini bunga untuk Mama. Letaklah diatas telinga Mama. Muid ingin menari dengan Mama seperti Mama menari dengan Abah dahulu.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

It's A Designer's Life (Part 3)

See how my experience related to this diagram/ graph I had created. This is the real scenario of Malaysian Design Industry. Question is, where do we seniors designer go if the company aren't willing to pay us base on our experience and expertise. Lame... :(

So as I was expressing my virtual 'rampage' over this blog, some option can be follow, as to sit down and plan properly. "Muid, don't dream of working in big agency anymore because you will become slave forever", someone said that to me last week.

Now, my beloved father is 'throwing' up few 'bucks' for me to open up a small, tiny mini me company. Let see where it goes from here. I'm making sure I'll practice 'Rich Dad, Poor Dad' methodology. Anyway, the location of my future business will be in Wangsa Maju. Good revenue. I plan to open up a learning centre where I want to teach Malaysian to become 'Instant Designers'. I will share my experiences, tell good and dirty tricks on how to get involve in the design industry so easy, and believe me, I'm gonna make sure 90% of my student become 'super' creative.

So DMP (Digital Malaya) Studios will become a reality eh? Offering great design quality of web, prints and Graffiti! Let's sembur!!

* ain't the last dance.

Friday, March 18, 2005

Muid Latif Calls For 911!

Muid Latif need help from the creative industry,
Muid Latif is talented and hardworking,
Muid Latif can handle pressure,
Muid Latif can work with Project Manager nicely,
Muid Latif can stay back for work,
But recently Muid Latif haven't got pay for his work,
And Muid Latif is looking for a better opportunity.

Download Muid's resume now and help spread the word.
Thousand appreciation.

What Happened?
"Muid, it's no use..if you help people, they WILL NEVER help you back". That's what my sister had taught me, but being too human, I'm denying the facts. You see, when you work your ass up to get things done, at the end of the day, appreciation is all you need to cure and soothe yourself. But when a person could not control of stress, like me, My efficiency faded and drained down the river. Emotionally disturb and things got out of hand. Is this the real me?

I help people find jobs, getting jobs, even to a point some friend who I had help now doing great in this particular company and that other company. And what do I get? So, all this while I've been chasing rainbow huh? Yeah... as simple as that.

Reality Check Please!
ef·fi·cient Pronunciation Key (-fshnt) adj.
1. Acting directly to produce an effect: an efficient cause.
See Synonyms at effective.
2. Acting or producing effectively with a minimum of waste, expense,
or unnecessary effort.
3. Exhibiting a high ratio of output to input.

"Muid, we are looking for a designer who can do website, graphics, programming, art direction, multimedia, video editing, desktop publishing, project management,(multi-tasking) Oh, here is your contract, we are only paying you RM1,500. Oh yeah, it's actually RM1,200 with EPF and SOCSO reduction. "Er.. no O.T. (overtime)?", I asked. "No", he said. "So, how long is the confirmation process will take?", asked Muid. "Six (6) months". Oh, and we don't give bonus to empoyees who work less then a year. If we do, we only give 5-10% increment or half month salary as the bonus.

Passed so many interviews, and company could not be able to hire me for RM2000, not to imagine, my current expected salary (more than 3k). It is too hard to hire a senior designer these days? Where do people like us, senior, go to? We got better skillsets, experiences, awards, achievements, tons of portfolio, and why is that the industry are so blind to see all this? Why must the industry treat us, web designers like dogs? Isn't it unfair? So what happens to the talents and creativity we've gained from art schools? so we got nothing?

cre·a·tive Pronunciation Key (kr-tv)
1. Having the ability or power to create: Human beings are creative animals.
2. Productive; creating.
3. Characterized by originality and expressiveness; imaginative: creative writing.

tal·ent Pronunciation Key (tlnt) n.
1. A marked innate ability, as for artistic accomplishment.
2. Natural endowment or ability of a superior quality.
3. A person or group of people having such ability: The company makes good use of its talent.
3. A variable unit of weight and money used in ancient Greece, Rome, and the Middle East.

Muid, takkan la you kerja macam ni, diaorang bayar gaji sikit ni? Muid, "Nak hidup".. he said, "But you achieved a lot, you're in the magazines and newspapers, you even give talks to art colleges and support the industry! In fact, you are one of the invited final Judges for the 6th Philippines Webby Awards...". People in Malaysia really don't bother people like us. In fact, there is no such association for creative young people like us. The 4A Association only for registered companies or the fee's are to bloody expensive, only people in big firm can affort it. You won't believe that there are such things like 'Persatuan Pereka dan Pembina Laman Web Malaysia" rite? Nuh... why? The goverment doesn't know that people like us exist. It's always the Advertising people and the Writers who get more attention.

"Were all the web designers not helpful and not supportive among each other?" he asked. Well no, because they are affraid that they will loose their reputation and seniority. Knowledge to a designer cannot be share to other people. In other words, they are intellectually stingy (kedekut ilmu).

Then go for international firm lah! Muid said, "No! They won't hire me, I've tried sending my resume, it didn't work". I have to know somebody there, then I can apply.

"What are they?", my friend said. It seems that they were just too 'kroni' when it comes to hiring people. When you go to interviews, it's like going for Malaysian Idol audition. Looks must come first, work second or they expect too much from us. Fuck, I'm not a graduate from New York School of Arts for crying out loud! In fact, In Malaysia, skin color must come first. A part of facing racism in Malaysian company, I couldn't not apply and local company because I'm Malay, because they only want Chinese Designers and Indian Programmers.. Wait, I passed a Speedy Video shop at Selayang and it says "Chinese sales assistant ONLY". Oh, there's another one, go to a disco club in Penang, at the entrance, it says "Non-muslim = RM30, Muslim = RM45". This is today's issue. The fact that we must face everyday. It's all about colours.
rac·ism Pronunciation Key (rszm) n.
1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character
or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
2. Discrimination or prejudice based on race.

dis·crim·i·na·tion Pronunciation Key (d-skrm-nshn)n.
1. The act of discriminating.
2. The ability or power to see or make fine distinctions; discernment.
3. Treatment or consideration based on class or category rather than individual merit; partiality or prejudice: racial discrimination; discrimination against foreigners.

"Muid, are you racist?" No, I'm not. I got so many Chinese and Indian friends. I work with a Jewish boss. So I'm not racist. In fact, I prefer to work with non-bumi's. The Malays are most backstabbers I can tell. They are the one who love to see me fall, and they would do things to make sure I get nothing in the end. I like to be exposed to new culture. You cannot label me as racist.

"So where do Malay stand at?" Well, you can find them at Warung Kopi.., disco clubs, shopping complex, Uptown & Bangsar (see the 'mat rempit'), and most of them work in the Government sector. You can see them in the news, and alot of goverment officers love to do corruption (please refer to Kosmo newspaper, 19 March 2005). Because it's all about status, skin color and culture. Mr. Jordan F. MacVay has a very strong point about Malaysian.

What Happen Next?

Option One:
"So what are you going to do?", Muid said, well, let see. I shall give up. I want to throw all my diploma, degree and experiences that I have because it's no use. Despite of getting 7As, Grade 1 in SPM (MCE), all drained...

"I think I want to work as sales assistant in 7 Eleven. "And waste your whole career??", yeah, why not? I sell my car, I pay off my debts, I try to get ALONG.

Option Two:
Or, I work and downgrade my experience/skills to become a junior worker and get tons of disrespect and laugh from friends. And MY ENEMY would love this.... they going to be so happy to see I fall.

Option Three:
Attend audition for Malaysian Idol, Akademi Fantasi, masuk pertandingan-pertandingan menyanyi (which doesn't benefit my time at all, sadly). Why do Malaysians too obsessed with karaoke? Their only wasting time and money. Tired of seeing old pakcik (uncles) and makcik (aunties) on karaoke at kenduri kahwin (Malay Marriages)

Option Four:
Be an artist. But Artists in Malaysia will have to limit themselves. National Art Gallery won't accept people like us because we need to graduate from London School of Art or at least an overseas graduate. The other galleries eat our money too much. No revenue or buyer anyway. We want to create modern art but the judges insist of conventional art to be use in our works... deng! Malaysians still don't understand the Installation concept. They are not art literate and national/local school teach kids and students how to draw... no fucking aesthetic, no art & design fundamentals.

Option Five:
Open a RM2 ringgit company, look for clients, lick client's **s again, plead and beg them to hire us as consultants, get work things done, face the SSDD (Same Shit, Different Day) again. Compete with others, do the same thing. Get listed, and be cocky and annoying people in the industry? I don't think I'm opt for that yet thank you. My PR skills need to be improved, no business can comes in if I can't manage to get a good client, good paymaster. "Eh, Muid, can you build us a very big portal? We like to have MySQL and database running too. We pay your RM2,000 enough lah", said some cheapskate client. So, what the fuck is that? What's going on now? How can we grow? How can our creative industry grow?

This is the result you can see if we are under pressure, can't find solution to our problems. People just can't able to see what's happening. It's funny that I can't seems to find the 'term' thankful (syukur) when I wrote this. I hope I will be enlighten.

So what is happening to our creative industry? Nobody cares.
What about Malaysian Design Identity? Nobody cares..
Nobody absafuckinglutely cares....

Everybody speak for their mind, this is my rights to say what's in my mind in this blog. Love me or hate me. I'm cool with it.

* is this my last dance?

Monday, March 14, 2005

Journey of Life: Escapism (Part 2)

- Alfred Tan, Me (Muid), Azril, Syamael & Juin (not so clear).

Intro: What’s Goin’ On?
Last week had been my most deficient week, due to massive disturbance that I cannot avoid. Obviously, the root of that ‘particular’ problem can be solved only by my own patience and time... I have not been myself for that particular time and had affected my professionalism as a creative thinker. Not to be able to think, to be able to understand things around me and most imperative, I lost control over my mind and my sentiment. My level of confidence had drop to 50% and it’s hurting everyone around me. In other term, I called it 'Emo'. I would like to apologies to my friends who’ve been hurt caused by my ‘emo-ism’. I will modify my attitude and behavior.

Pleasure defines as;

1. The state or feeling of being pleased or gratified.
2. A source of enjoyment or delight: The graceful skaters were a pleasure to watch.

- Juin & Alfred

- The food was so heavenly delicious, Cendol are fabu!
Ariff, Me, Alfred, Riz, Fir & Raz

What happen on the 11th until 13th of March last week was a paramount of my new friendship alliance. It was our destination of an ideal gateway from the city, job, stress, and to celebrate achievement of our time, to see what’s around us, taste what’s around us... yes, when we are at work, we barely talk to each other, but it’s the other way around after our blue collar session. Riz & Raz, Alfred & Juin, Umar & Izrin, Azril & Ariff, Fir, Symael & Amina was there. In fact, the dearest friend of mine who had been around my life for 8 years, Haryany @ Nony had been such a great friend to bring us around to the city and streets of Penang.

While Raz (Riz's Wife) with baby, we stooges decide to go for Angel's Posse...

That Ferry Ride
My journey last week ended with a beautiful ride back to the main land of Malaysia. It was all that jazz feeling, cool sea breeze, life full of crowds and watching the Penang Island, fading away from my eye sight. Memories will be in my mind and heart for the three best days spent there, the island where I was born. I miss my parents already, who are now in New Delhi, India for vacation. I hope and pray to Allah that they will be safe and fine. I love them dearly.

* This is not my last dance, but I’m sure Nicky (My mum) is dancing with Sharukh Khan in Bollywood

Monday, March 07, 2005

Stop Dreaming, Start Believing (Part 1)

Stop Dreaming, Start Believing (Part 1)
- Research and Writen by Muid Latif

Don't ever to dream you would fall in love with someone like in the movies. It doesn't happen that way. There is not such 'the one'. What is love actually? Love defines the whole universe. It doesn't represent only to one individual. Do not dream you might be rescue by a warrior, because it's all illusion. If you have this kind of mentality, you are simply influence by novel, music and movies.

Why Breakups? Why Divorce?
Q: You opt to either to end your relationship because:
Q: You are bound to your 'guidelines' in finding the 'dream' person you want?

A: It's ludicrous. In fact, you had chosen misery. It leads you to endless breakups and prejudgments. That's when you start condemned yourself and people around you. It's when you start to become naive. It will take away all your self-esteem and the beautiful value you once had.

Or you can choose to live happy:
You, yourself adjust your own level of confidence, your own control. Don't let CLEO magazines and such; lead your life to become an ego freak or inferior-complexion. Breakups happen when it is caused by something, it's not an excuse. Beauty doesn't last forever. Beauty is actually a shame.

Believe you need no relationship because you don't want to hurt as many people as possible.

love(l v) n.
1. A deep, tender, ineffable feeling of affection and solicitude toward a person, such as that arising from kinship, recognition of attractive qualities, or a sense of underlying oneness.
2. A feeling of intense desire and attraction toward a person with whom one is disposed to make a pair; the emotion of sex and romance.
3. a) Sexual passion. b) love affair
4. An intense emotional attachment, as for a pet or treasured object.
5. A person who is the object of deep or intense affection or attraction; beloved. Often used as a term of endearment.
6. An expression of one's affection: Send him my love.
7. a) A strong predilection or enthusiasm: a love of language
b) The object of such an enthusiasm: The outdoors is her greatest love.

Case 1:
You might want to live happily ever after. In the beginning of a relationship, you will start holding hands and say 'I love you' and 'till death do us apart'. And after 4 years, you breakup… all those effort, simply drained away. Rationale? Listen to Mary J. Blige ‘Not Gon’ Cry’. That is some issue.

Case 2:
You want to dream of a great marriage. And after 20-30 years of marriage, your husband wants to file for divorce because he found 10% out of the things you, 90% ever have. Listen to what Jill Scott have to say about 'I Can't Explain'.

Why breakups?

Trust (tr st) n.
1. Firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.
2. Custody; care.
3. Something committed into the care of another; charge.
4. a. The condition and resulting obligation of having confidence placed in one:
b. One in which confidence is placed.
5. Reliance on something in the future; hope.
6. Reliance on the intention and ability of a purchaser to pay in the future; credit.

It's all about trust. If you lost your way to find the meaning of trust, the pillars of your future will be collapse, black before your eyes. Foolish misgiving on the one you love, for everything they do. Why didn't you award space in your heart to be patience?

Lovely Day

1. Time & "Isolation"

Yes, time will pass by and you will notice you’ll be living alone. But it’s not the end of the world! Believe... who can love you? God does. God love you much then you could ever know. We just scared to admit it because we, ourselves have been so far to reach God because we don’t want to. We are scared. So are you all alone? No… you are absolutely not alone. You are cool and you will be alright. As long you are living simple and happy. Be positive is all you need. Make yourself happy and makes people happy.

2. So what do you get in the end?

You have your friends who will stand by your me, my friend is my family. They are the one who will care the most for you. We are Asians, we are not Americans or living in western culture. We stay with our parents even if we are married. Family is strong and it’s the topmost of your life. Unless, you had become cruel and stubborn, you will never find your way to harmonize your relationship. Our Malay culture taught us to respect our folks and the only thing that separates us is the outside culture. They don’t care about their parents… they only come and visit their parents, who had spent their years raising you from child to adult. Whatever eh?

The past that still haunt me...
I lost the girl who I love long ago. Her name is beautiful. Her name is Azrina. She married with a guy and I'm not sure how she's doing right now. I wish her hapiness although at some certain time I want to blame her so much for not accepting me and let time 'squeeze' our relationship too much.

It's confusing for some people to look at me. They look at me with clues. I tell them:

I'm solitary, I am unbound but I am not looking, but hope 'in searching'.
I had my preliminary love but it has vanished long ago.
I am 'gay' but I have no boyfriend by any means.
I am 'lesbian' but I haven't got any girlfriend.
I pursuit for vocation. All I be able to say...
and I love my family very dearly.
I have friends who will always be there for,
me to make me contently harmony inside.

To whoever who reads this, kindly gratify with open heart and open-minded. Respect and comprehend is all I long for. For those who are not, whatever happens, it's up to you. You can make it as a tease or it might happen to you or even your close friends. Try to seek what real meaning of life. It's what I had deal long before. 26 years of fighting and still can't vanquish the life I have. Time, again will tell. God Knows...

* not my last dance.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Journey of Life: An Introduction

Journey of Life: An Introduction by Muid Latif.

If I'm given the possibility to survive another day in this world, I would crave to spend my most precious times with my family. I want to go out on a long drive, take the entire family out to the beach side or on top of the hill where I can watch the sunset... spending the whole day with them, playing some music and dance with my mother and my little sister. They are the topmost people in my life. Without them, I won't be able to live and breathe. I also want to seek forgiveness from God; for all the wrongdoings I've done, and the blessings I've gained. I would like to cherish every moment in my life.... because this time I know, there is no turning back, and it’s absurd to alter those moments that has colored and shaped my life.

Life is complex, but life is a gift for each individual... we must learn to appreciate it and use up the time we have as worthy as possible. I want to do that and indeed, I knew deep inside - I can do it.

An appreciation goes out to Abby, my sister who helped nurtured my 'sentimental' yippee yay mood back with Suzanne Vega’s “Caramel”, a nice mysterious classical jazzy music, available from the motion picture soundtrack, Closer.

* This is not my last dance yet.