At least on two occassions 1st February was of significance to me.
I reached home from Australia on this day in 2005, after four years of sojourn at the Australian National University, Canberra.
After completing a basic arts degree in politics and an honours degree in Asian Studies with a thesis on PAS’ internal division and its articulation of Islamic State ideals in a multiethnic society, I was given a conditional offer to study PhD at a Australian university without a scholarship, which I could not afford.
I came home eagerly wanting to return to my desk in Australia.
But I did not get a scholarship from the Malaysian Chapter of an alumni body of an Australian university. Due to some reasons not told to me, after having interviewed all shortlisted candidates, the organisation decided not to award any doctoral scholarship that year. I was the only candidate with prior admission to PhD programme.
Building on my thesis on PAS and my personal experience in DAP, I wanted to write a thesis on “the greater opposition” in Malaysia. I guess the theme was politically incorrect.
With hindsight, perhaps it was a blessing in disguise that I did not work on such theme. It looks obsolete after March 8th. I am now a participant helping to shape “the greater government-in-making” that comprises PAS, DAP and KeADILan.
I went on to do a masters degree in regional integration at the Asia Europe Institute, University of Malaya, while working “almost” full-time as the Research Officer of DAP Headquarters.
And, on this day in 2007, after spending four months as a visiting research fellow at the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies, Singapore, I returned to Kuala Lumpur to enter full-time politics in anticipation of the general election.
As they said, the rest is history.
Today, another 1st February, I would like to take a small step forward by reviving and revamping this blog.
I am embarrassed whenever someone walk up to me and say “I like your blog”. (I get it averagely once a week.) While I write a column for Malaysia Insider once in a while, I have not been maintaining my blog. Most of them mistaken me for Jeff Ooi or Tony Pua. Or perhaps people just assume that all DAP newbies blog.
I will try to update Malaysiana as often as I could to keep you informed, and to avoid future embarrassment for myself 🙂