## Saturday, April 25, 2009

### Happy Birthday!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME.

thank you everyone for the birthday wishes, especially the greetings from dad and mom;

and also from members of the UM debate team.

and also all the birthday greetings that came here all the way half way across the globe.

Thank you Ting Ting, for that "virtual lunch" we had.

Thank you Vincens, Siew CJ, Yen Sim, Zern Chu and all other people who have left me a message on my FB page and letting the whole world know how close I am to 30!!!!!

## Friday, April 24, 2009

### 2.2 Gauss's Law of electrostatic

1. Introduction

2. Electrostatic

2.1 Coulomb's Law

2.2 Gauss's Law of electrostatic

In the previous section, we have came to conclusion that E field is q/(4πεr^2). But that was due to a point charge and assuming that the field spreads out equally in all direction, i.e. in sphere-like manner. What if we want to know the field generated by an arbitrary collection (or shape) of charges and the field distribution other than a sphere?

This is where calculus comes in handy. We could always start with a small surface, dA and small charge, dQ and then sum it (integration) to obtain a more general equation for the electric field.

Recall that we obtain 4πr^2 from the surface of a sphere. Instead of using 4πr^2, let's use dA to denote an arbitrary small surface and ρdV to denote an arbitrary small volume of charge (where ρ is the charge density and dV is the small volume occupied by this charge). Then the E field is

E=(ρ * dV )/(dA * ε) ;

(quiz question: why don't we multiply a density function for dA like we did for dV?).

Rearranging and integrating,

ε∫E.dA = ∫ ρ dV

Here, it is important to introduce a very useful and important mathematical tool called Gauss' theorem. We need not concern ourselves how to derive this theorem. All we need to know is that this theorem converts a surface integral of a vector field into a volume integral, and vice versa.

∫F.dA = ∫ ∇. F dV

where F is any vector field and the sign ∇, called nabla or del, is the vector (d/dx, d/dy, d/dz). The term ∇.F is also called the divergence of the vector field F.

*****************************************

At this stage, it may be important to ask what does divergence and the symbol nabla physically mean. The origins of nabla, divergence, and the curl of a field (not yet touched upon here) are used so often in field theory that I would dedicate a section to explain them. Please refer to this section for more information.

*****************************************

Hence, applying Gauss' theorem on the LHS,

ε∫∇.E dV = ∫ ρ dV

which implies

ε∇.E=ρ or ∇.E=ρ/ε

Here, I will introduce yet another quantity called the displacement field, D. I will explain in more detail what it means in the next section. But for now, it's suffice just to remember that D=εE.

Hence, the above equation becomes

∇.D=ρ

which is the first equation of electrostatic.

Gauss theorem, is not a law of nature as some students may misunderstood. It is really just a fancy mathematical tool to convert a surface integral to a volume integral. Another way to see it, is that it converts the equation from a 2D one, to a 3D one and vice versa. For those who are interested you can look up for Green's theorem, which is a more general theorem to Gauss' and Stoke's.

It's always useful to take a step back and think how we've come to this equation to understand the physical significance of this equation. What ∇.E=ρ/ε really means is that the flux of electric field through a closed surface is equal to the total charges contained within the closed surface, multiplied by a constant. In a simpler form, EA=kQ, where E is the electric field, A is the area crossed by the electric field, Q is the amount of charge contained within A, and k is a constant. The product of E and A is also known as the electric flux.

The original meaning of flux is flow - as in flow of water. In science it usually means the rate of change of a particular 'thing' over an area. E.g. the flow of water in our pipes; flow of temperature; or in this case, the 'flow' of electric field. So, one can think of electric charges as sources where electric field will 'flow' from. And that from the principle of conservation of field (or matter), the source must equal to the resultant flow, i.e. total flux=source=kQ, which is the same as above (the constant k is just a scaling factor and can be easily set equal to 1 if appropriate units for Q and flux are used. Refer to previous section on how it was decided to use 1/ε as the constant). Just like our water supply, the amount of water that has flowed out from the pipe must equals to how much water is lost at the supply tank. All the fancy equations about fields come down this simple analogy of water flowing from a tap!

## Thursday, April 23, 2009

### We live in singapura

For all those who are being driven nuts by exams.....take a break.

## Tuesday, April 21, 2009

### Different sides of magnetic and electric field

This is why...

A static electric charge does not generate magnetic field. On the contrary, an electric current, or moving electric charges, 'generates' magnetic field. But motion is relative to the observer.

So if we have a static electric charge at the center of the room and you stood still - no magnetic field is observed. But then when you started running in the forward direction, the charge would seemed like it is 'moving' backwards. And, as above, a moving charge 'creates' magnetic field! Therefore, by running around the room, your motion could actually 'create' magnetic field, despite the fact that it is just a static charge in the middle of the room.

But surely, from the example above, you should know that we did not really 'create' anything. We are merely observing the effects of moving/accelerating against a static electric field, i.e. magnetic field radiation is just the observation of disturbance to the static electric field. Hence, electric field and magnetic field must be just two sides of the same coin!

*************************************************

There is a difference between observing static magnetic fields and observing radiating magnetic fields (as in the case of accelerating against a static charge). It is still an ongoing debate among physicist whether a uniformly accelerating static charge does indeed radiate. But if acceleration is not uniform, radiation is guaranteed. Those who are interested could search more information on the internet for this.

## Monday, April 20, 2009

### Exercise to be healthy...

This is a 10-20 minute everyday work-out plan I drafted myself prior coming to UK. I told myself, I gotta get healthy.

Guess how much of it have I been following? Yup, none.

*****************************************************************

*Warm up*

i. Stretch

ii. on-the-spot-jog

iii. Take 3 deep breath. Inhale thru nose, exhale thru nose.

iv. Take 3 deep breath. Inhale thru mouth, exhale thru mouth.

Head

1. Turn your head left, right, up and down and hold for 10 secs in each positions

2. Use your palm and push against your own forehead, your left-cheek and right-cheek. Each for 10 secs

3. Slowly turn your head clockwise twice. Then counter-clockwise twice.

Shoulders and arm

4. swing your arm in clockwise then counter-clockwise direction. 15 times

5. Swing your shoulder in clockwise then counter-clockwise direction. 15 times

6. outstrecth your fingers, i.e. hand held firm together with palm pointing outwards and then push towards direction away from your body. 10 secs.

7. Strecth your arms. close and open your fist for 20 times.

Waist

8. Swing your waist to your left. Then to your right. EAch 15 times.

9. With both your hands on the waist, tilt your upper body backwards and maintain position for 10 secs

10. bend towards your feet and try to reach your toes with your fingers

leg

11. one-sided horse stance. 10 secs

12. kneel and stand. repeat 10 times

13. lift one of your knee up and backwards, while balancing with the other feet. Repeat with the other leg/knee. 10 secs

14. lift one of your knee up and frontwards, while balancing with the other feet. Repeat with the other leg/knee. 10 secs

15. On-the-spot run, lifting your knee as high as possible

*Short break*

General muscle exercise

16. PUmping 10 times with palm

17. Pumping 5 times with fist

18. Sit-up 20 times

19. lie with your back on the ground. lift both leg slightly away from the ground and maintain position for 10 secs

20. Repeat the above, now with your head also slightly lifted away from the ground. 10 secs

21. in the position described above: Lift, let-go and lift your feet off the ground slightly. Repeat this 15 times

22. still maintaining in the same position: supporting your bodyweight with your hands and legs, push your belly upwards (away from the ground). push it as far as possible and maintain position for 10 secs.

*Breath-in, breath-out*

Outdoor jog for 10 mins

*Breath-in, breath-out*

*Warm down*

The promise made on 30 Nov 2008:

Dec 2008 to Jan 2009:

(One day at least twice) for (at least three days in a week).

Feb 2009 onwards:

(One day at least once) for (at least three days in a week).

## Thursday, April 16, 2009

### Siapa hantu? Siapa binatang tu?

"Ketuanan, Maaf dan seorang binatang" by Marsli N. O.

It's posted in Utusan Melayu as "SASTERA". Sastera my foot.

Wow.....nak tanya Marsli (Si penulis), siapa hantu? Siapa binatang tu? Kalau berani tulis, cakaplah terang-terang. Kami orang Cina ambil sastera Melayu di peringkat SPM juga, dan dapat A1!! Jgn ingat kita tak faham. Faham? Nasibnya, Marsli yang tak faham Cina - 马来前锋报多行不义必自毙。

Do Malaysia a favor. Spread the word. It's time for Utusan to pay.

## Wednesday, April 15, 2009

### Over-reaction over no. 2's comments

I do not agree with the content of that interview in Mingguan Malaysia. Neither do I deny that in the past many UMNO politicians utter racist remarks to Malay press, especially when he thought he was solely addressing the Malay audience.

But this time I think it was taken out of context and blown out of proportion. I quote, "

*... ia mencatatkan penurunan, macam tidak ada penghargaan terhadap apa yang kita lakukan.*". This was the sentence that triggered all hell for Muhyiddin.

At first look, it does seems like 'ungrateful' is the word. But so is the word 'unappreciative' or if you take the whole phrase 'macam tidak ada penghargaan' it could mean 'it looks as if it doesn't work'. In fact, if you do not look at just this sentence but the entire content of the interview (which I will not reproduce here but you can see it at Malaysia-today here), I believe you would agree with me that it was the latter.

I think he was just trying to explain how he was at lost why the Chinese community still did not support BN, despite using the traditional tactics that BN has employed over the past 50 years and more. He was more like saying, "I don't know, it seems like it doesn't work anymore."

I was known to be a bit poor at reading comprehension. So I may be wrong. But I am also willing to give people benefit of doubt, especially when it comes to interview. Not many people can use a language with great precision and things get tougher when you are required to speak off the calf.

You could say that as a politician, he should be more careful with words. But for those of you that has come across with a press conference and journalist, you will know that no matter how careful you choose your words, things can still go wrong. Journalist and press editors, trained everyday to perfection, can easily create any impression by highlighting or emphasizing a particular word that you just said.

So it's all up to the ethics of the journalist.

For those of you who are close with me, surely you know how the rumour between Chew Mei Fun and Victor Gu started in the past general election. (FYI, for those of you who still doesn't know - it's just rumour. It's a complete fake!). This just shows how easily a journalist can manipulate the audience.

And finally, whether you agree with me or not, given the ambiguity of the situation it's best to give the other person benefit of doubt. Yes, even UMNO people deserve it sometimes. As such, I believe this was taken overboard.

## Sunday, April 12, 2009

### 2.1 Coulomb's Law

1. Introduction

2. Electrostatic

2.1 Coulomb's Law

Most scientific theories up to the late 19th century are based on Newtonian forces. So it's not unusual that the investigation of electrostatic should also begin with the force that is acting on an electric charge.

Let's begin our little experiment by isolating a single sphere of negative charge.

***********************************************

We like to assume these charges are sphere-like because we assume that they exert a force in all directions. But how does a charge actually looks like is altogether a very complex question to answer. Also, beware of the term 'single charge'. What is 'single'? Is there such thing as one charge? Without units, these terms become ambiguous. But for the moment, let's assume that there is such a thing called 'unit charge'.

***********************************************

Now, we all know from A-level physics that like charges repel and opposite charges attract. So if we then place a positive charge near to it, then both will experience a force that pulls them together. But for the moment, let's assume that the first charge, q1, is fixed in spaced and concentrate only on what happens to the second charge, q2.

To visualise this, we represent the direction of the force with an arrow. We repeat the experiment a number of times, each time with q2 placed in a slightly different position such that the end of the arrow coincides with the beginning of another arrow, this is what we might get.

Imagine if the experiments are repeated so many times and that the arrows become very small, it then forms a continuous straight line. If we place q2 in a space with two charges of opposite polarity, it becomes clearer as to what we are trying to achieve here.

These lines that we traced by repeating the experiment numerous time are called lines of action or more commonly known as field lines. They represent the direction which the force will be acting. In other words, if a charge is placed on a particular line, the force will act on it such that it will move along the line.

***********************************************

Generally, fields can be scalar or vector. In this case, electric field refers to the action of the force that pulls or pushes a charge. Force is a vector. Therefore, the electric field is also a vector.

***********************************************

So field lines are really just imaginary lines that scientists cooked up to explain what they observe in the experiments. They do not physically exist! The field lines are there just to help us to visualise. One can imagine that by placing a charge in space, field lines will emanate from it and exert forces on other nearby charges in the direction of the field lines.

Since electric fields are just some sort of forces, we can now choose to define it as the force per unit charge. We could have define it any other way (as long as it tells us something about the force), but scientists have found that this definition is the most useful (and they were right!) so we will just follow. But when we say force per unit charge, which charge are we referring to? q1 or q2? This depends on which charge the force is acting on, i.e. in this case it is q2. In other words, electric fields will tell you how much force a charge (q2) will be experiencing when it is placed in an electric field. We now have

E=F/q2

where E is the electric field (Newton per Coulomb), F is the force (Newtons) and q is the charge (Coulombs).

***********************************************

The reader may notice that we have not define the unit of Coulomb or how much is a single charge. We will come that later.

***********************************************

We now turn our attention back to the electric field. What causes it? The answer is obviously q1. Since the field lines are 'generated' by the presence of the charge, q1, it is natural to think that if q1 is 'stronger' or 'has more quantity of charges', then the field that emanates from it will be 'stronger' and the forces of attraction or repel will also be stronger. Just like in gravity, the bigger the mass the bigger the pull. And so it is reasonable to say that the electric field, E, is proportional to q1, i.e.

E = k . q1

Charles-Augustin de Coulomb, a French physicist, postulated that the force between two electric charges, just like gravity, has the inverse square law (i.e. proportional to 1/r^2) and experiments confirmed that his postulate was indeed correct. On this postulate, we can now further improve our above equation to

E = k . q1 / (4*π*r^2).

Hang on a minute! I said "inverse square law". I did not mention anything about the π. So where does the 4*π*r^2 comes from? Now, imagine a pulse of energy emanating from a single point. As time progresses, the energy spreads out in a growing sphere. The energy resides only on the surface of the sphere. Then, the energy density could be easily calculated as

Energy / Surface of the sphere = Energy / 4*π*r^2

Electric fields are not energy. But scientists found that other than energy, many of their observations in nature also obey this law. So, it was natural for Coulomb to assume electric fields behave like this as well. So, I emphasize again, that the inverse r^2 dependence is merely a postulate, or just a guess, if you will. This postulate was confirmed by experiments in Coulomb's days, and also with high-precision experiments of more recent days up to about 10^-12 cm and possibly even smaller. Unless an experiment can show otherwise, this postulate will hold.

A quick recap of what we have know so far,

F = q2 . E

E = k . q1 / (4*π*r^2)

which gives us,

F = k . q1 . q2 / (4*π*r^2)

Since at the point of this experiment in history, the value of k and unit charge (for q1 and q2) have yet to be decided, it is at our own discretion to choose a suitable value for them, as long as it matches with the observations in the experiments. But, as always, the scientists whom discovered the phenomenon have done this for us. For historical reasons, the value for k = 1/ε_0 and the unit for charge is Coulomb, as some of you may already know.

*************************************************

ε_0 is known as the permittivity of free space and the value is approximately 8.854x10^-12 and the unit is Farad per meter.

While 1 Coulomb is defined this way: If at each end of a meter is 1 Coulomb of charge, each charge will experience a force equivalent to 9x10^9N.

*************************************************

Plugging this in, we finally have the equation for the famous Coulomb's Law,

F = q1 . q2 / (4*π*ε*r^2)

and the corresponding electric field is

E = q1 / (4*π*ε*r^2)

This equation gives only the magnitude. Since electric field and force is a vector, we denote a_r as the unit vector pointing in the direction of where the force is acting. So, finally we get

F = a_r . q1 . q2 / (4*π*ε*r^2)

E = a_r . q1 / (4*π*ε*r^2)

It is now worthwhile to note that in our example above, it was assumed q2 did not 'generate' any field of its own when placed next to q1. In reality, this is not true. q1 and q2 both 'generate' their own fields and by placing q2 next to q1, their field lines superimpose to form new field lines. It is this new field lines that will determine the forces and how these charges pull or push each other. As you can imagine by now, things get messy very quickly when the number of charges that we consider becomes more than 2.

### 2. Electrostatic

1. Introduction

2. Electrostatic

In this chapter, we will only concern ourselves with electrostatic, which means that there is no rate of change of electric charges with respect to time (In other words, as time passes by, the quantity of electric charges remain the same. Another way to look at this is to say that it is in equilibrium). This definition is important and the reader should always be careful that this criteria is met when applying theories and equations from this chapter.

It is also important know our objective of this chapter. What do we expect to know at the end of this chapter? We expect this:

∇.D=ρ and ∇xE=0

which are the two fundamental equations in electrostatic.

Looks simple enough! At the end of this chapter, I hope the reader would have understood how these equations are formulated and what do they mean physically.

We will begin by seeing how the investigation of force acting on electric charges (in vacuum space) leads to electric field and Coulomb's Law. Applying Gauss's Law, we shall see how does this gives rise to the first of the two fundamental equations of electrostatic, i.e.

∇.D=ρ

Next, we will see how we need to modify the equations to account for dielectric materials, which give rise to the quantity, ε_r, called relative permittivity.

Finally, we look at the experiments concerning current-carrying conductors, which will give us the second equation for electrostatic, i.e.

∇xE=0;

This is all there is to electrostatic! The rest are just clever mathematical tricks performed on the equations to solve complex problems.

### 1. Fundamental electromagnetic field and wave theory

1.1 Prologue

I have read quite a number of textbooks on the subject of electromagnetism and my favourite ones are 'Electromagnetics for Engineer' by Ulaby and 'Field and Wave Electromagnetics' by D. K. Cheng. Both textbooks have pros and cons in the way they presented this subject to the public but they complement each other well.

The book by Ulaby has a more practical approach and therefore emphasized the applied side of electromagnetism. This is usually more suitable for the general engineers - you don't ask (too much) why, as long as it works. The book by Cheng is more mathematically rigorous and it could be quite tough for students without strong mathematical foundations. However, it looks at the Maxwell's equations as a mathematical subject, which is what it should be. At higher levels, I reckon, students will appreciate Cheng's book more. Nevertheless, both are good introductory books to electromagnetism and I highly recommend them for undergraduate students.

I have always wanted to write a book on Electromagnetism myself. And I will attempt to do so here in my blog. I hope to distinguish my little online 'book' on electromagnetism from the other textbooks by trying to explain the world of electromagnetism in as little jargon and mathematics as possible. This is no doubt daunting because mathematics is behind everything in Maxwell's equations.

Also, most of the textbooks chose to explain the equations first, then the observations (as a consequence of the equations). To explain electromagnetism in this order is understandable, because it would be easier. However, giving explanation in that order will give little information on how the equations itself emerged and creates a false impression that the equations emerged before the observations. This 'book' will attempt to cover this gap.

1.2 Objective

My online 'book' would, of course, be unable to replace the actual textbooks. I am obviously unable to give a detail account of the subject using many mathematical equations and graphs as the textbooks are able to. But what I will attempt to do here is to provide an account of the subject from my perspective and attempt to explain the theories of electromagnetism in a layman manner. I feel that many of the textbooks explained electromagnetism from a very mathematical point of view, and many undergraduate students ended up memorising Maxwell's equations without really knowing what they mean physically. Upon completion of a course in electromagnetism, the students can apply Stoke's and Gauss's theorem effortlessly and know that the divergence of electric flux density equals to the total charge density. But what does all these means in the physical world? This will usually elude the general students. I hope this book will be able to give more insight into the physical meaning of the governing equations of electromagnetism.

Also, there is a need for students to know that the process of scientific inference began not from equations, but from experimental observations, i.e. experiments are carried out in order to find the laws of the nature and mathematical models are proposed to explain the observations of the experiments. Not the other way around. All modern scientific theories take a similar path. First, there is the law of nature. Then, there are the observations. Mathematical models are proposed to explain the observations. Finally, the models are used to predict other results or to engineer new products.

Therefore, for example, to explain why one of the Maxwell's equations says that the divergence of magnetic flux is equal to zero? It is simply because from experimental observations, magnetic flux always close upon themselves. In mathematical form, it is denoted as '∇.B=0' . There is no point further asking why to this, because there is really no reason apart from the fact that no other experimental observations deviated from this mathematical equation (of course, this changed with the emergence of quantum mechanics, but we shall leave that to another time).

The equations make more sense if you look at it as a 'model' to explain the experimental results. Therefore, in order to fully appreciate Maxwell's equation it is necessary to understand the major experimental observations from late 18th century and follow their historical development that led to Maxwell's famous equations. As you may have guessed now, Maxwell did not perform the experiments himself. He merely came up with the 4 equations that succinctly describe all the phenomenon observed in the experiments. The word 'merely' may be an understatement here, because this was not an ordinary feat.

It is worthwhile to point out that with the emergence of quantum mechanics in the early 20th century, the Maxwell's view of electromagnetism is not entirely accurate, especially at the atomic level. This is why some textbooks emphasize the word 'field theory' when they explain electromagnetism using Maxwell's equations. As we shall see later, Maxwell's equations worked on the assumption that electric charges produced 'invisible' fields into the space and exerted forces along these field lines. Nevertheless, on the macroscopic level (up to about 100nm), Maxwell's equations work perfectly well.

1.3 Pre-requisite

One of the most annoying part of being an undergraduate student is finding a suitable textbook. Some books are too difficult and some books are just too easy. There's never a book that is 'just nice'! And I'm sure, as students, we constantly find ourselves in the situation of reading a textbook only to find that it contained some weird symbol or equation that you have never came across before. You will have to pick up another few books, just so that you could understand them. Only to realise that the few other books that you picked up, also contained some symbol or equation that you do not understand. And the search goes on...

With the advent of internet, things become much easier. But nevertheless annoying. Therefore, it is important to write a book that is self-containing and has a clear pre-requisite in order for the reader to fully appreciate it.

For this book, I assume that the reader would have a sound understanding of A-level physics and elementary mathematics (further mathematics not required). The reader would also be familiar with basic matrix and vector operation as well as some knowledge in vector calculus. All other equations used in this book will be derived from this basic understanding or other equations that have been derived earlier in the book. Therefore, with this pre-requisites, I hope this book will be self-contained.

1.4 Structure

I shall structure the book into the following chapters: chapter 1 is introduction (this chapter); chapter 2 on electrostatic; chapter 3 on magnetostatic; chapter 4 on ... (I will add/modify this as I write more). I will put a tag called 'EM book' on all the entries so that when you filtered my blog using this tag, you will get the 'book' in the order of the chapters described here.

These chapters shall be written in a modular format so that readers can jump to a particular chapter without any loss of continuity if they wish to.

Sometimes, I will digress from the main topic to provide additional detail. Whenever this happens, I will denote it with a long asterisk line like this:

*********************************

digressing from main topic

and additional detail here

but you can choose to skip

*********************************

In order for the reader to have a continuous flow of ideas, the reader could choose to skip those paragraphs contained within the two asterisk lines.

The book begins now... and if you like what I am doing, tell your other engineering undergraduate friends and drop me a comment or two so that I know.

## Thursday, April 9, 2009

### Street protest - FRU vs MET

That guy died later due to heart attack...

This serves to remind us that police brutality can happened anywhere, even in the UK. Although we all know how bad street demonstrators are treated in Malaysia, it'd seem like it isn't any better in London either. London's MET isn't any better than FRU.

But here's the thing, which is why UK is still better than Malaysia - the press gave a full coverage of it, citizens were outraged by it, and an independent inquiry team is conducting a full investigation of it.

Headlines such as "the thin blue line between control and assault" and news report that said, "it doesn't matter if the assault did cause the heart attack that eventually caused his death, but it is the assault itself that is despicable." showed that the system is working to rectify a wrong. But not in Malaysia.

From the optimist point of view, we shouldn't be so disheartened about how FRU treats the street demonstrations in Malaysia because they are just as bad in the developed nations. But this serves not as a justification for FRU's action, but as an encouragement to the street demonstrations in Malaysia - for the right cause, of course.

## Tuesday, April 7, 2009

## Monday, April 6, 2009

### Global Financial Crisis... How did it happened in A B C

It tells you how it happens in A B C. Hope you'll enjoy it!!!

Part 1

Part 2

## Sunday, April 5, 2009

### 吵架

我知道这听起来大逆不道。不过，请听我解释：

其实我这个人脾气很坏，但是在外又特别爱面子（像我爸爸），所以什么不满都是kuk着不敢发泄。惟有在我最信任，最敬爱的人的面前我才放下面子把心中所有的不愉快说出来。而认识我的人都知道，我很容易对很多东西都感觉到不愉快。我缺乏耐心。

所以，在我这个怪异的性格下，越是靠近我的人，越有可能被我骂，跟我吵。也许这是因为我知道，无论我怎么做，他们也不会离开我。他们会体谅我。他们会原谅我。他们会安慰我。他们会听我说。

如果有一天我跟你吵架，那就代表有两个可能性：一，就是我真的很讨厌你。二，就是我觉得你很好！好极端吧！？

公开这个“秘密”以后，我社交圈子会不会缩小？？？？

## Thursday, April 2, 2009

### How do we define being marginalised?

This letter which I wrote to the editor of Malaysiakini was published today. You can read it below or click here to view from Malaysiakini's webpage.

*************************************************************

I refer to the letter Perak Malays feel they're being marginalised.

What is the definition of being marginalised? It means to confine to a lower social standing or edge.

Does helping other races constitute confining other races to lower social standing? Does helping the needy regardless of race constitute marginalising? Have the Malays become of a lower social standing after what the Perak government has done so far?

I do not think so, and far from it. If the writer’s logic is any true, then help to any race other than the Malays would have been an act of ‘marginalising and alienating the Malays’.

However, in reality, it is the writer’s crooked philosophy, that has been used so profoundly in BN’s policy, that really alienates the rest of the race.

The writer said and I quote, ‘...granting of many hectares of land…to Chinese schools and associations (in Perak) have alienated the Malay community...’ What then have the BN been doing for the past 50 years by giving so many incentives to the Malays? Alienating the non- Malays?

I think the key word here is ‘need’. If the Malays needed it, as the NEP tried to justify, then help should be rendered. So the question that goes begging here is not whether those schools were Chinese or not, but if those schools really needed the money.

For years (in fact, since independence) the Chinese schools have been deprived of financial backing from the state government, funding that they deserved.

So why is it giving back what they deserve and what they need in order to expand and improve our country’s education system an act of ‘marginalising’?

Furthermore, the author has a zero-sum mentality which suggests that if you raised the social standing of a particular race, then you must have lowered the social standing of another. It begs to suggest that there can only be one ‘supreme race’ on the surface of Malaysia.

But in fact, these are two independent acts. One can raise the social standing of the Chinese race and at the same time raise the Malay’s too. There isn’t any conflict and so why would helping the Chinese schools constitute as marginalising the Malays?

In fact, if we look beyond this case, we could surely see that (since the last election) the Perak government has done so much good for the state in overall, which benefits all races!

This suggestion by the writer that Malays in Perak are being marginalised is just like any other BN political tactic where they disregard the big picture, zoom in on a particular spot, find fault and then exaggerate it.

Although it may be true that the feeling of being marginalised is a perception that many Malays in Perak share, it is also true that this perception is wrong. Unfortunately, as the writer says, perception is everything in politics.