Thursday, August 4, 2011

bed of roses

being a spouse to a diplomat doesn't mean that life is always a bed of roses. in reality, one is more susceptible to unscrupulous individuals that may take every opportunity they have to politicize any issues for their own political interests. globalization and the advancement of IT unfortunately exposes diplomats and their spouses to an ever more dangerous and challenging world. Twitter, Facebook, blogs, and the like no doubt can be very effective in building diplomatic relationship. on the flip side however, these cutting age technologies are easily hacked and abused by irresponsible individuals. if not handle carefully, any mistake may not only severely damage any diplomat's reputation, but also and most worrying lead to chaotic international relation and bilateral cooperation between countries. aside, rumors, any bias remarks or negative statements can be potentially fatal to a diplomat's esteem career.

there have been real cases of diplomats become the scapegoat and victims in the history of diplomatic service. the latest slander on the spouse of the Ambassador of Malaysia to the Republic of the Philippines over her tweet shows how the lack of sensitivity and integrity may cause unnecessary seeds of suspicion, prejudice and hatred. (refer to Leave Dato Zainab Alone at " vying for attention and support, irresponsible individuals would be willing to do anything so long they could achieve their agenda. in fact, the quest for power and glory could be above the nation's interest. What happened is truly an unnecessary tragedy. nevertheless, this very unfortunate incident perhaps serve as a timely reminder to all the members of diplomatic corps and their spouses on the importance of being extra vigilant in whatever remarks or activities they do as they will obviously be continuously scrutinized and targeted. diplomats and their spouses must be ethically conscious at all times and remember that their words and actions regardless intentionally said and done or not, will reflect the country they represent. Yes, sometimes, certain acts or opinions could be rather very personal, yet, they would be naturally perceived as representing the whole embassy and the country one belongs to. as twitter, Facebook and the like are obviously so public, it is best for diplomats and their spouses to refrain themselves from using vulgar language, making satirical remarks, offering his or her private thought or even displaying bias particularly in matters involving different nations.

though other than simple tweets, the highly spirited ambassador's wife has diplomatically and gracefully chooses to let the public find out the truth themselves, the fabricated and unverified news spin so fast on the web. thing gets worse as politically driven individuals having ostensible reasons are quick to further spread the news in blogs. the damage is irreparable. the reputation of both the highly patriotic ambassador and quintessential wife who have always proudly and enthusiastically spoken of the Malays’ achievement in Malay Archipelago throughout history has been tarnished. only those who have the privileges of knowing them would know how friendly, humble, open-minded and kind-hearted the couple is. no doubt, they have won the hearts of so many despite their relatively new presence in the Philippines. a public apology therefore ought to be made and the issue deserve to be addressed accurately and wisely. be fair to Datin Seri Dato' Zainab and the ambassador, the members of Malaysian Diplomatic Corps and Malaysians in general by re-informing and reeducating the whole world based on the right account of event. similarly, no future case should ever ever happen again.

thinking of this, diplo life is not always a bed of roses. i bet no one would not disagree at least at this point.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

of giving back to others

i have always feel we should go out from diplomatic circle if we are serious about seeking experience. though one might have been posted to many different missions, i never believe one could claim he or she is rich of experience if stepping outside, into the reality of lives is nothing one has ever done.

we may want to hit the most luxurious and the most elegant hotels or resorts, we may shop at the biggest and gleaming malls, we may have the most elegant dress, chic and expensive accessories and dine at the most fabulous restaurant. aside these however, take the chance to peek and stroll into the other side of our diplomatic world.

it's the harsh reality and the hardship that often teach us to be able to appreciate lives and value others. it's the act of reaching for and giving back to others that would enrich ourselves more. it's the simple act of stepping out into the reality that bring true experience of life to us. so dare to do the difference and i bet we would be blessed with unforgettable and wonderful experiences.

Monday, May 9, 2011

...happiness ?

i consider myself as lucky enough to live in a penthouse with two balconies, not one, yes, two spacious balconies which allow me the previleges of having abundance of wonderful morning sunlight and refreshing breeze. here, i love spending my time, hitting my laptop keypad, or flipping through magazines and novel or simply sitting down and letting my mind freely wanders every where for a while, and freeing my eyes to feast on the blue skies or sparkling stars.

if anyone ever wonder what could perhaps be one of the post-posting things or experience i will be missing most, the sight of this blissful green patch seen from my balcony and my masterbedroom is indeed one. this is what helps me to if not completely, partially eludes the provercial fear of the harsh world outside my domestic territory. this is what makes me take things in stride, live according to my heart contentment and chew new experience bit by bit. this is an unsignificant reward for some, yet it offers me the greatest joy to savour life in this foreign country.

indeed, the real sense of happiness knocks on our window when we are able to appreciate even the simplest pleasure in life.

what is happiness for you?

Sunday, April 3, 2011

home sweet home

the thought of hitting the keyboard or my ipad screen, surfing the Internet is always tempting. I wouldn’t care, if not due to the fact that everything around the globe has been so depressing. news on TV has been feeding viewers with reports on social uproars and political turmoil in the Middle East on hourly basis beginning from Egypt, Libya, Bahrain, and the latest, Tunisia, all simply send the message how any government is at the mercy of more prevailing power, the people.

april 7, 2011 Tsunami devastated and traumatized Japan by causing massive and unprecedented destruction apart from claiming thousands of life, and most nerve-racking has made the so called the most advanced country, vulnerable to lethal nuclear leaking impacts. my son had a sleepover at Rukito, his Japanese friend’s house the day the disaster showed its sinister. the boy’s family was spared from the nature’s wrath, yet they are affected still in many ways. my heart goes to all unwavering Japanese and unlike when killer Tsunami hit Acheh in 2005, I do not have the same curiosity to know more because it was, and is too disheartening.

living a diplomatic life in a far-flung, natural disaster prone country or any land known for its constant conflicts, all these send a very clear message of how only the good governance triumphs at the end and how despite of the cutting edge technology and human wisdom, we are all forever subjected to God’s power and nature. wouldn’t we be grateful to Him when we do not have to waddle through all those? some of us might feel we move to a greener pasteur abroad. no doubt maybe most of the time. Yet if we ever want to think of fortune, let's all believe in home sweet home.

The beach nearby my parents house i have have been grown up so fond with.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

of respecting and appreciating cultures

once, i was talking to a retired ambassador and he remarked what i considered as a fatherly advice, " in diplomatic service, you have to love meeting people". i could not agree more with him. my career background in teaching proofs itself as a valuable bonus. i love knowing more people, making new connection and broaden my view of life.

foreign and diplomatic service can indeed be very interesting and exciting if we open up ourselves to new and unknown experience, making us larger than life. as a spouse to a diplomat, i take pride of having the opportunity to see and to feel for myself the beauty of other people's vibrant culture. this host country i am residing in still retains its rich traditional and native legacy, with clear evident of the cultures brought in by its occupants in the distant past. somehow, the blend reflects great acceptance and tolerance of the people, giving this land a unique representation of how east can harmoniously meet west. despite the vastness or diversity of their practices, values, and beliefs and the complexities of their history, the people have great camarederie and in fact have been known as the happiest people in the world!

as i was enjoying the local performances, their medleys of folk songs, graceful dances and traditional musical instrument as well as their hospitality, i couldn't help but wish, how beautiful the world would be if we all take the effort to understand, appreciate and respect each others cultures. opening ourselves is indeed the very first step, the keypoint to cherish both differences and commonalities that should bring out the best of all of us.

beautiful land, beautiful people with beautiful heart. thanks for making me so much welcomed and thanks for widening my horizon :-)

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

cream of the crop

in the previous post, i just penned down my thought on what make a good diplomat or ambassador. and yesterday, my eyes caught an exciting and mind- boggling editorial article in the local newspaper. i read it with special interest since it speaks about the urge to limit the number of political appointees in the diplomatic service of the host country foreign affair department.
i couldn't help myself from smiling because apparently the issue of who make a good diplomat; trainned career diplomats or selected political appointee has also hit this foreign shore and perhaps has become a universal diplomatic issue else where too.
i have to admit that politics is not my cup of tea. interestingly though, having been a spouse of a diplomat in this esteem service has somehow spurred my concern in politics and diplomacy. at least i care about what's going on all around the globe. politics and diplomacy for one thing, has enhanced my sense of patriotism. of course i am not keen of supporting any parties, instead, the commitment goes solely to the country. history and the tumultuos arab world crisis in Libya, Tunisia and Egypt right now hopefully, will never be replicated in our own homeland. and therefore, i support not any attempt to tarnish the government reputation, to topple it, or to give way for foreign intervention. here lies the need of having such expertise of charismatic diplomat with either political and diplomatic backround or better still, both.

no doubt, diplomats are almost always the cream of the crop, having been selected as the finest among the best trainned diplomatic officers, usually reputadly those with high level of language proficiency, intellect as well as excellent command not only in diplomacy, but also administration, management and international relation just to name a few. nevertheless, i am afraid, substantiating the correlation between a good diplomat and merely those criteria would not be fairly established.

language acquisition is naturally accellerated by a stimulating environment that requires and encourages its usage. as such, given the chance, anyone is capable of achieving the fluency. yet, we have to bear in mind that linguitics intelligence itself includes not only speech or presentation ability. instead, it also covers the ability of one to be word smart in order to obtain the desired communication objective. highly potential diplomat should also posses or develop interpersonal as well as intrapersonal skills. these are normally develop through positive nurturing especially at the very green age. in short, IQ and EQ are equally important in diplomatic career. whereby, being well versed in all the other areas does not come solely from few years of rigorous academic trainning and exposure only in foreign services. so if only these
are allowed to define a good diplomat again, i'm afraid it might do injustice.
there's stark contrast between academic achievement and years and years of hands-on experience in diplomacy. politicians though not all, i'm afraid might be better at this.

diplomatic service should therefore welcome the participation of political appointees or diplomatic officers from just any departments or ministries. time has changed and it requires us to adapt with the changing and demanding diplomatic landscape. having diplomat whose
career has taken him or her across multiple departments and ministries or those from political field should be an added advantage. what is important, diplomats must possess the best ethics possible, profesionalism, knowledge as well as hands-on experience, expertise and perhaps above all those qualities, he or she must be highly patriotics and be aware of his or her duty and responsibility to serve the country
at all times. it is certainly very common for career diplomats to assume ambassadorship at the pinnacle of their careers, however, we should keep in mind that such a pristigious post comes with great responsibilities. and therefore, QUALITIES should always be prioritized rather than individual. the cream of the crop could be just anyone, anyone with remarkable leadership and capabilities yet to be recognized. the brightest
among the bright could be just anywhere, should we look hard enough and give the chance to all. an open door policy would encourage more healthy competition. only then, we would really discover the cream of the crop, beef up performance and make diplomacy more relevant. so why not?

Monday, February 21, 2011

true friendship

"in prosperity, friends know us, but in adversity, we know friends". this anonymous means so much to me. living our life as a diplomat's wife actually has made us both less fortunate and fortunate in terms of friendship. yes, we could be less fortunate with the fact that diplomatic life has moved us away far from friends and family to a distant land. communication is very much hampered, and despite the impressive communication technology offered by Skype,FB, Twitters, BLOGGER sites etc, no virtual telecommunication technology could ever best replace a true human communication, flesh in flesh! we could be unlucky too because chances are, we do get fake friendship which is built based on power, and popularity instead of love and trust.

nevertheless, it's this diplomatic life that opens up some other unexpected beautiful friendships to us. leaving away in a different community is a premium because now friendships transcent religion, and nationality. we might find ourselves grieving over the lost of many good friends, but God has a better plan for us. i myself, have been blessed with many new substitutions and though the cycle of friendship might be shorter due to my brief stay in a land afar from home, this means a world to me. here they are, new friends who are willing to lend their ears, share their happiness, laughter as well as our sadness and tears. here they are, those who used to be complete strangers but now touch our heart with their kindness. here they are, those who make our days and who walk to us when the rest don't even want to see. these are the people whom have been our friends here, but we would love to keep and seal them in our heart forever.

i still and will lament the loss of these friends. but, i truly understand separation is always a part of friendship package. people say if we love someone we should let it go. If he or she comes back go us, he or she is ours. but in diplomatic friendship reality, chances is, we most probably hardly see these friends again. keep loving them though and be grateful to Him for beautiful friendship itself is a rare and expensive gift . a gift that fills the void, colour our each day and keep our sanity while we are making sense of our temporary life abroad.

the err is human to forgive is divine

it's not how much you accomplish in life that really counts,
but how much you give to others.
it's not how high you build you dream that makes a difference,
but how high your faith can climb.
it's not how many goals you reach,
but how many lives you touch.
it's not who you know that matter,
but who you are inside.
believe in the impossible,
hold tight to the incredible,
and live each day to it's fullest potential.
you can make a difference in your world.

(Rebecca Barlow Jordan)

i love those words. other than the Book of Guidance, i too adopt these inspirational words to live by. no longer living a rat race life, a slower pace of diplomatic wife means i have been priviliged or perhaps even choosen to reach out for those forgotten ones. hidden behind thick and cold walls, there are those hunger for freedom and compassion. some are guilty, some are just plain victims. but even if they are sinful, they all deserve the chance for repentance and the second life.

the forgotten one. they are not here on this earth without purpose. some of them find their quest of the true meaning of life only when they get behind the concrete that deprived them of utter liberty and denies them of the connection with the rest of the world. though confined by the limit and control designed by human, many are blessed with spiritual journey, making them closer to the Creator and leading others too into the right path, setting them perhaps far better than us.
at the very least, they are here to give us the chance to do good to others. so lets open our eyes and our hearts widely. help those people to get back on life, render some supports so they would be able to give back to the society, country and religion should they been given the chance.

behind the thick and cold tall walls, they are forgotten, casted as insignificant and made unwanted. many would shun or turn them away, but let us be the ones who would accept them with sincere hearts and love them without either reservation or expectation. after all to err is
human, to forgive is divine.