You wake up, brush your teeth, head to work, sleep and start a whole new cycle again. You’ve also witnessed your family and friends growing up and realizing you’re on your path to growth as well. Flashback to those times and now we’re in the present year. About 3 more weeks we’re about to ring in the year 2020. I know this sounds like a cliche but time flies so quickly.
Cover image via left to right (MYC , E!News and AFP)
There may have been times in 2019 where you regret a certain thing, achieve your goals in life, experience sadness or happiness and moreover. The same thing goes to Malaysia. In this year, we’ve experienced a roller coaster of achievements, downfalls and sometimes a tad hilarious news that may have surfaced that made all Malaysians *facepalm.
Here is a short recap of some of the news that has swindled through every Malaysians for 2019.
1. Human Calculator
Yaashwin Sarawanan, a 15-year-old boy from Kajang stunned the world with his impressive skills that earned him the title ‘Human Calculator’. He showed off his mathematics skills when he first appeared in Asia’s Got Talent which he went on to be one of the nine finalists in the third season. Everyone was certainly impressed with the genius that he is and the best part is he’s from Malaysia. That put us on the map while he was competing in that reality TV show.
2. Insurance cover mental health
We have finally won something when it comes to the mental health issue. For the first time, AIA insurance offers insurance benefits for people who are going through mental health. It’s A-Plus Health medical plan will be able to claim up to RM1,500 per year in psychiatric consultation fees when visiting any private or government hospitals. This benefit will cover six (6) mental health conditions: Major Depressive Disorders, Post-Partum Depression, Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and Tourette Syndrome. What a great start to support and acknowledge mental health.
3. No Straw
This movement by the government that issues all eateries in Selangor area to ban straw from serving to its customers took full effect July 1, 2019. This is a tough stance to protect the environment and to further encourage the use of metal straw which can be reused for lots of times. Some opinions have said that this move may not be effective in cleaning up the environment as it’s more of an impression that the government is making to show they are doing something about the issue. However, some eateries have been using a paper straw to replace a plastic straw. Only time will tell how much straw can one handle.
4. Convocation Drama
It’s a happy day when one graduate but it’s another story when a graduate goes up to receive their scroll ends up doing a sign of the Nazi salute in front of the camera. That’s where it has crossed every offensive and disgusting line. A graduate from Universiti Malaysia Sabah boasted about using a Nazi salute in protest of Israeli violence in Palestine after receiving his scroll. Err… how is he graduating again? His public stunt got so heated that even German embassy condemns the heinous act. Although I am finding it hard for his action to just a warning when another graduate was protesting during the Universiti Malaya graduation convocation on their racist vice-chancellor, in turn to be denied of the graduates accountancy degree scroll. What a confusing country this is.
5. Last Rhino in Malaysia
With a heavy heart, our last Sumatran rhino in Malaysia dies and is officially extinct here. The 25-year-old female named Iman pass away in November on the island of Borneo, officials say. She had cancer. Only five rhino species can only be found today, two in Africa and three in Asia. According to Christine Liew, Sabah State’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, “Iman was given the very best care and attention since her capture in March 2014 right up to the moment she passed. No one could have done more.”
6. Mekdi Signboard
You how Malaysians are when we speak. We have that accent that differentiates us from the world. To connect every Malaysians who eat McDonald’s, this branch in Bukit Bintang decided to change it’s original name to how we would say it, Mekdi. The sign essentially is also a tribute to Malaysians who have supported the brand and developed it to be the ‘Mekdi’ we know today. Make sure you snap a picture of this iconic signboard too!
7. Boba Craziness
A milk tea with big black balls. No, this is not me dirty talking but it’s the craziness of boba that has swamped through every bubble tea lover out there. It has become so erratic that you’ll see a long queue of people trying to get their hands on this boba drink. Now, SS15 Subang Jaya is known to be the bubble tea street where you have people from east and west would do what it takes to have their daily boba, even if it means lining up for 2 hours or more. You could say it’s the next best thing but I’ll say it’s only a trend or rather a phase. Fight me on this.
8. Suggesting on banning Netflix
CEO of The Malaysia National Film Development Corporation (Finas), Ahmad Idham reportedly urged Putrajaya to censor contents of popular streaming platform Netflix. It seems certain parents claim they are worried over uncensored contents, alleging that they may negatively affect the country’s youth. First of all, the only thing that will damage the youth of Malaysia is when you have close-minded people telling you what to do and not exposing you to the real world. By banning Netflix, it’ll only fuel people up when you take away their entertainment platform for movie and TV show. Plus, Netflix has the option for kids only server. Maybe they should learn more about this streaming platform better. To counteract, FINAS set their own Netflix called Aflix -works better for parents with kids. *facepalm*
Okay let’s be honest here, it hasn’t been a very buzzing year for the online grocery and food delivery service, HonestBee. They were suspended and stopped all services since July 22, 2019. This company has owed a few restaurants a couple of thousand bucks. According to Tech Crunch, HonestBee is in a financially dire situation and is looking for a way out with collaboration from big corporations. They even go on to say that some employees that work there do not get paid on time as they don’t have the funds to pay its staff.
10. Tattoo Expo
The recent tattoo expo conundrum that was held from November 20 to Dec 1st has left everyone speechless with the reaction from an outside party(the ones who did not pay to go in the exhibition). Blackout Trading, the organiser of the Malaysia Tattoo Expo 2019, has come forward to apologise over the semi-nude incident during a competition which went viral on social media. Usually, tattoo expo would be held in Sabah without any trouble but this time some people who think they got it all together knows what is right and wrong. However, most Malaysians are defending the tattoo culture that it has been part of Malaysian culture in Sabah and Sarawak, that also includes full-body tattooing and the practice of displaying these tatts. I don’t know why some people are getting all “offended” by this expo but for me, I see it as a beautiful art form that displays our culture through tattoos.
11.Best Costume for Miss Universe 2019?
Everyone was rejoicing when Miss Universe Malaysia, Shweta Shekon has won the Miss Universe Best National Costume title when in fact host Steve Harvey had made a mistake in announcing that Miss Philippines has won the award. When in fact, he was right. In a tweet account, @MissUniverse stated that the host did not slip up and the rightful winner of the best costume went to Miss Philippines Gazini Ganados. Shweta was wearing a Peranakan-themed national costume designed by local designer Carven Ong. With the vibrant and Malaysia’s multicultural character displayed on the costume, it was truly a winner already in our hearts!
12.Asian Games 2019
Despite the overall target of 70 gold, Malaysia managed to haul 55 gold medals, 58 silver and 71 bronze in the 30th Sea Games in the Philippines. I think it’s very impressive no matter what the target is. Few newsworthy stories were that S.Kisona won the SEA Games women’s singles badminton and national gymnast Farah Ann manage to rank in her third SEA Games gold. Plus, Malaysia has even scooped two gold in diving too! No matter what the outcome was, we are super proud of our athletes and making us love Malaysia more.
There’s just wayyyy too many things to talk about when it comes to Malaysia and the happenings of 2019. So far it has been lots of highs and lows that we have to brace ourselves with. One thing for sure is that it has made us all united as one. I hope we finally get to achieve vision 2020 and make next year the best one and a more harmonious place to live in together.