Teohlogy! I’m glad I have the book. And I’m glad it is not a book about religion. But a bit about history, a reminder of current affairs past, since 2005 to be exact. Written by Patrick Teoh and published by my fave publisher ZI Publications. Thanks for another book, Lori Lee!
The book has 303 pages including glossary and is actually a collection of articles (from 2005-2010) previously published in the now defunct OFF THE EDGE magazine. I met Patrick only once, at the All Blogs Inaugural meeting in KL in April 2007. I heard him speak in person, and I can hear the same funny, provocative voice when I read Teohlogy. Great isn’t it.
Anyway, Patrick is a famous blogger too, and he blogs at Niamah! In his blog, he states his occupation as ‘actor’. Yup, he acted in one of the 15Malaysia short film called Slovak Sling by Woo Ming Jin. He is a fine and funny actor alright, and a good writer, too. Not to mention being a nice hubby who always mentions his wife in his blog, etc. No regrets reading this book 🙂
In 2005, the PRIME MINISTER then was Pak Lah @ Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who won the 2004 elections with flying colors. It was also the year that the Barisan Alternative (DAP+PAS+PKR) was ‘thrashed to pieces’.
If you read each chapter carefully, if you ponder deeply into each Malaysian plight that Teoh highlights in his book, you would probably realise that these were the issues that led to BN’s poor perfomannce a.k.a the political tsunami of 2008. But alas, it’s 2011 now lah. And nothing much has changed. Why ah?
If teohlogy is a book on religion and Patrick is god, you are already speaking to a convert. His grouses happen to be my grouses, too. Like it is for many others. Only that Teoh manages to say it in a much more humurous, witty and Malaysian way!
In a nut-shell, these are some of the points he highlights – things that depresses every Malaysians, and yet are the things that pull us together:
1. Upside down Malaysia-pay first, quality later- leads to mediocrity. 2. Tsunami 2004 and caring Malaysians – it seems people have to die first before anyone/someone cares enough to do something to improve the situation. 3. Flip-flopping, inaction and unaccountability on the part of those who hold power, politicians.
4. All the country’s a stage, right here in Malaysia. Real comedians can’t make money these days. The politicians have beat them to it. 5. On page 40, Malaysians get a shelling off from Teoh for not doing things for themselves, for expecting too much and complaining all the time.
6. Malaysia has the most laughable but empty slogans. 7. Visiting our neighbours (Singapore, Indonesia) and feeling so ashamed 😦 but it’s nice that Pat takes it upon himself to do better in this country than wallowing in self pity or disgust. Read pg. 72.
8. The recurring grouses in this book centres around transport woes. 8. The silliness of some government policies, for example, creating little Arabia in Bukit Bintang KL. But tourists leave their homes to experience life, art and culture in another land, or else why leave at all???
9. Current PM Najib Razak (then deputy PM) asking then Penang Chief Minister Koh Tsu Koon to prove he is CM for all races. Isn’t Sowing seeds of mistrust among the races, or better still among BN component parties? 10. Any many, many more sharing…go buy the book if you are curious to know more lah!
Actually, it can be quite a pain to read Teohlogy-lah, being reminded of all the problems we as Malaysians collectively face. But it does refresh our minds that these are also the very same issues that bring us together as one nation.