2K8 – The year that has been

1st of all, a happy 4th tsunaminiversary!

It has come to the end.

The Year of the Global Politics. Malaysia’s BN had 5 states lost to the opposition coalition. While the US of A voted for Barack Obama as the president-elect, thrashing George W. Bush. The recent political turmoil in Thailand and Mumbai bombings in India had affected their economy.

On the local front, following the fuel hike in June, the Malaysian government had introduced a rebate system where vehicle owners get their cash back when they renew their vehicles’ road tax rates. Two months later, the fuel prices were reduced. Other issues such as the multilingual road signs in Penang has come in the spotlight. The by-election in the parliamentary constituency of Permatang Pauh, on the mainland side of Penang saw ex-DPM, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim becoming the new oppositional leader of Malaysia in Parliament. His victory led him to attempts of toppling BN’s Pak Lah government. Sharlinie and Asmawi (NOT the Akademi Fantasia one) went missing this year and still yet to be found. The recent lanslide on International Hill (Bukit Antarabangsa) reminded us of another Highland Towers tragedy back in 1993, possibly THE (pronounced ‘duh’) worst landslide in Malaysia yet. Apparently, the Malaysian government put (a form of past tense as well) an abrupt end to hillside projects in the states concerned.

This year started off in sorrow, when actor Heath Ledger found dead on an apartment in the US of A. Fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent better known by his initials, YSL died this year. Datuk Razali Ismail, the deputy education minister of Malaysia (there are two of them, the other is Datuk Wee Ka Siong) fainted and died when he played badminton in Genting Highlands. Malaysian automotive figure, Tan SM Nasimuddin, the founding father of NAZA died in LA. The son of the late Tan Sri Teuku Zakaria Teuku Nyak Puteh or P.Ramlee who he was popularly known, by the name of Nasir, passed away this month. Tuanku Ja’afar ibni Tuanku Abdul Rahman, our 10th yang di-Pertuan Agong and Tuanku yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negeri Sembilan passes away at the end of this year. Al-Fatihah (or R.i.P) to all of them.

In sports, Lee Chong Wei earned a silver medal for badminton in the Olympic Games and subsequently his Datukship later from the King (Yang di-Pertuan Agong). Other than that, squasher Nicol David also earned her Datukship from the Governor (TYT) of Penang. Roger Federer came on over to our shores to play tennis. I wish we could AND would see other tennis acts such as Maria Sharapova here. Are we a step closer to holding our very 1st tennis open tournament in Malaysia?

On the entertainment scene, Céline Dion held her concert at Malaysia’s legendary Independence Stadium (Stadium Merdeka) in KL, her compatriate and fellow Canadian Avril Lavigne performed here as scheduled amid controversies surrounding it (her concert). Yet, another Malaysian won TV’s reality show, the Amazing Race Asia, actress Ida Nerina and less-known celebrity Tania Khan earned third place.

The final week of 2008 will end with Muslims (like me) celebrating Maal Hijrah 1430 on 29th December (Monday) in Malaysia, ahead of the rest. Muslims have their style of ushering their new year compared to others. And this year, it is going to be celebrated twice. The last one was in 9th January.

So, with the curtain down on 2K8, was it beneficial for you?

2K8 – The year that has been

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