The right of reply

Enough is enough. People who proclaim to fight for freedom of expression and free media but censors other's legitimate reply based on their whims and fancy, must realise that on the internet, they cannot suppress peoples' legitimate right to reply and express contrarian views. This blog welcomes all views. ~ Ellese

Of Millenials


I still have tonnes of books which I haven’t finished reading. One of which is the clash between Keynes and Hayek which I recommend to many. But there’s a write in the Times magazine which is really insightful on the new generation which they called “the millenia generation” ie born after 1990s. (Others have called them Gen Y) Its fundamental for parenting as well as political approaches. I find the write profound and thought of recording this on my blog.

These are quotes from the articles which I find interesting:

“Because millenials don’t respect authority, they also don’t resent it. That’s why they’re the first teens who aren’t rebelling.

They are most threatening and exciting generations…not because they’re trying to take over establishment but because they’re growing up without one.

They are fame obsessed…and convinced of their own greatness.

What millenials are most famous for besides narcissism is its effect: entitlement.

Now that they can socialize at every hour, peer pressure is anti-intellectual, anti historical and…anti eloquence.

Not only do they lack a kind of empathy that allows them to be concerned of others, but they have trouble intellectually understanding others’ point of view.

What they understand is how to turn themselves into brands. They have trained themselves to be reality-tv-ready.

A quote by an army trainer: “The previous generation I started recruiting was sort of do, do, do. This generation is think think think before we do it. They are 3 or 4 steps ahead.

Despite narcissism, all studies conclude they are nice and positive. They’re more accepting of differences and have many subcultures.

Its difficult for them to join counterculture when there’s no culture.

They are earnest and optimistic. Tinkerers more than dreamer. Their world is so flat that they have no leaders. They want constant approval and massive fear for missing out. They have acronyms for everything. They’re informed but inactive. They’re financially responsible. ”

I have teenage children who the article prescribes well. Parents should take note of this.


28 thoughts on “Of Millenials

  1. i first thought u r writing a review on the book/movie “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” of Stieg Larsson Millennium series 🙂

    and i believe all parents would agree the amusing part where “Millennials are interacting all day but almost entirely through a screen.”

    i personally dont see much diff among this gen x, y, z and those before like us. apart that they r generally more knowledgeable. and i think they care very less about patriotism, nationalism, unity and gratitute if we take the developed democracy as guide.

    • Not quite agree with you. There’s a big chasm. For example, i always find that some things we do are private. The gen y is very different. They tell the world a lot of what they’re doing and what they think. This nacarcissm sets them apart from other generation as pointed out by times.

      I set with another gen y yesterday and tried out the theory and found what he said was perfectly described by Times. Lets take politics. A number supported pr not because pr is good or able to bring effective change or bn is really bad. Its because its hip to change. There’s a subculture and they feel left out not joining it. Its not about right or wrong. You can’t rationalize with them coz they themselves are unclear what needs be done. The depth of logic reflects the depth of information they get from Internet. It was interesting. I’m approaching these milenials differently.

      HY, I think there’s a lot of things that remains not in discussion on the Chinese psyche. Had a very frank and open discussion with a few Chinese friends. I think there’s much to prise on the four books and five classics. Some of the stories and parables are “interesting”. There are factions within the Chinese community but the recent elections was interesting in that DAP has managed to pull almost all under them. We know the dap played the big racial card by killing Mca and telling the Chinese that Mca cant represent them, but now I think lks evoked some of the great revered characters which deeply resonate with the Chinese here. Too soon for me to elaborate as I’m still reading it.

      But I need a confirmation from you if you don’t mind. In vernacular schools are “romance of the three kingdoms” being taught and inculcated in school?

    • ellese, lets start with ur last q. “romance of the three kingdoms” is part of syllabus for form six, chinese language subject during my time. i dont think it is taught at primary n secondary level, hence the answer is no. the only diff of vernacular n national school is medium, the content is more or less same. however the values system might be vary, this is common, for instance if we look at missionary school.

      “romance of the three kingdoms” is as the name suggest, a romance n deemed as 1 of the 4 greatest novel in china, it is merely a story base on late han historical background, rot3k is popular in both japan n korea, there r many war n strategy game, management and leadership books, movie, series, comic that r base on the character n storyline in rot3k, hence i am not surpise if most chinese kids know rot3k even if it is not taught.

      • HY,

        Prior to this my impression is almost similar with you in that the syllabus are almost the same but the medium is not. But now I know they have different UEC syllabus based on china and Taiwanese syllables. And this includes history and literature.

        British has allowed the segregation of our youngs by race to maintain their policy of divide and rule. The intent of continuing this school is primarily not due to quality education but let me quote Lim lian geok, who is most famous, its for preserving Chinese:

        “One’s culture is the soul of one’s ethnicity, and its value as important to us as our lives. And if any of you (Chinese) want to inherit Chinese cultural heritage, and if any of you (Chinese) want to live a ‘true’ Chinese, your children must be sent to a Chinese school”

        Its not about being Malaysian first. Sorry I know your stand on this but i have to mention the above.

      • nope, not base on china/taiwan syllabus. uec of chinese independent school (not primary vernacular school) is similar to a-level. with one additional subject chinese literature, which i think is making sense since most student is expected to further study in taiwan earlier, which chinese language proficiency is a prerequisite, just like we take an additional english 1119 n not 121 alone. cis also have one additional subject history beside our own sejarah, however like i said, malaysia never recognised uec and their road ahead for tertiary education is mostly taiwan and china, thus is common if they have their history subject in chinese language, i went through their history book, it is more toward world history and not china history.

        our vernacular school (chinese school) before independent or even up to earlier sixties is base on taiwan syllabus, n kmt did send their officer to inspect the progress, mca is very closed to kmt. i think the changes made is when our govt try to ‘nationalised’ the various education stream and result is we have common syllabus but only diff in medium, except the chinese language subject.

        i never deny the fact that chinese school play a major role to impart chinese culture, in a very indirect n subtle way, through our school song, daily conversation, quote display in canteen, classroom and even toilet, many are actually what we can read from 4 books 5 classics, hence in short, we don’t learn 4 books 5 classics by reading 4 books 5 classics, it is imbued in our daily activities.

        u know my stand that i perceive chinese culture as part of malaysia culture, i uphold diversity, those that question my stance should define what is malaysia culture, and whether it is flexible n conciliatory enough to accommodate various people with different background, taking into account that our const is segregate in nature and islam have great influence to shape the values system of our majority, which some minority find it uncomfortable. many chinese seem to adore what singapore did, adopt english and anglophile ways of life, or like what indonesia did, allow freedom of religion n promote inter-racial inter-ethnic marriage. your take?

        i attend the many ceramah and rally n i see a different malaysian, they seem to create their own way of patriotism, nationalism, unity and gratitute which is diff with our generation. i dont know if anwar/pr have a role, or they are one that lead anwar/pr. i think umno/bn already lose the war on gen y.

        • Thank you for the clarification

        • My thinking now is for Gen Y you need to separate them into groups. Still evaluating but my thinking is that you distinguish them by language and demography. I think those in the Chinese groups pr dominated irrespective urban and rural. Malay rural gen y is still with bn but urban malay is difficult to tell. Here I’ve seen Najib mainly has been active with his soc media and there’s a fair bit of urban Malay followers. The Indian medium I don’t have much access but probably but the Indian friends I know use the English medium. But this is too preliminary and a personal observation. Need more rigid study on this.

          But gen y I believe does not have loyalties. I believe its more of a hype or not missing out thing. And this depends very much the events in next five years. It’ll be interesting.

          The level of knowledge and exposure is still superficial but much better than the last time. Next round it should be deeper still and its interesting to see how it develops.

    • when i claim i dont see much diff, i mean when we r at the gen y age, “If you’re not a liberal when you’re 20, you have no heart. If you’re not a conservative when you’re 40, you have no head.” so what change?

    • i disagee with your take on dap, perhaps u r not familiar with the politics btw dap n mca along the years, yes they play the racial card but they did this since day 1, in fact dap tone down since 2008. the reason y 90% (again i guess) or more support pr is because 1) anwar 2) pas 3) bn segregation policy. this apply to those above 35 n 40. gen y is entirely different. u r right they just want change for the sake of change, they want to become malaysian, not chinese. umno only defense is race. no?

      i talk to quite a number of them (gen y), many disagree with some dap talk that touch on race, especially those in johor, they dont even think umno/malay is racist. but all of them give the vote to pr.

      as for those above 40, like i said b4 we have nothing to lose or worry, one of my colleague provide the best illustration, his entire family vote bn all this years when his mum was civil servant, now retire, n all of them work in private have no hesitation to vote pr.

      ps/ i talk more on 4 books 5 classics later. it is comical when the chinese want to be chinese, we kene left n right, but when we want to be more malaysian, some ask us to learn 4 books 5 classics. even helen know nothing about 4 books 5 classics, is she a cina celup 🙂

      • If you’re willing I’m ears to listen. It was a good discussion I had. I told my friends the same as I wrote here but of course more polite. We were open and i was seeking about the disparity in values. Its not what i thought. You know I learn that even the concept of corruption is not even the same. Fairness as well. I thought many Chinese now have been imbued by western conception and ideas just like the Malay worldviews. But now I know there’s a gap I need to fill and understand. We agree to arrange some talks with Chinese civilization academicians and I will try to close on the religious and Malay gap with them. Interesting.


      • Let me also do a bit of reading. In Malaysia Guan Yu is highly revered. Im seeing and analysing how it played out in real life. May be you can highlight me four main personalities that I can look at which is influential here.

        On Helen, I like her. I think she’s much in tune with how many Malays perceive things though she’s more Chinese centric against MCA. I have absolutely no issue with that. In fact I like her write as she backs up her argument. She’s forthwith and intellectually honest to me though many may not agree with her.

      • guan yu reverence have less to do with true history n even rot3k. guan yu never surrender and being loyal toward the end become a good propaganda for any ruling class, include the emperor. historically guan yu is less great if compare against most general at the same period. i actually dont find guan yu is that highly revered among nanyang chinese of the modern era, perhaps only limited to hk, taiwan n southern china, especially among police n triad (funny right? both cops n crook aspire the same thing). i have one christian friend who marry a hk cid, a british white that revere guan yu more than jesus, her family find it amusing that a white man pray to guan yu every morning before leaving for his work.

        rot3k is about brotherhood more than anything, we have both the good man and bad man and that is y it become very popular. the good is of course general like guan yu, zheng fei and zhao zilong, and their military advicer, zhuge liang. i think we have many tao temple that base on this fer character.

        however the greatest historian figure during the 3 warring state was the “bad man” cao cao, he exhibit the charater of true leadership, courage n gut n very open to idea n talent with whatever background. he didnt kill guanyu though he know guanyu would never surrender. i find it ironic most malay display the similar trait of cao cao in politics unlike dap that is quite narrow minded. n u see i rarely criticize azmin ali because i respect his consistency from beginning until now, ambition to become mb or even pm is the aspiration of every politician i suppose, so why the harsh word from all this dap dumb supporters?

        helen can write well if she want to except her leap of logic, read her post on “Why the Pakatan popular vote advantage is nothing to shout about” n perhaps u know what i mean. she pander the bn supporters especially the malay, unlike earlier days, her blog become too one sided. i guess she know it, but her fans even the more logical one like i hate this n that chase away all the commentator from the other side, it bocome a little bit dull and bore to read, not mention to comment. however i dont think she understood the chinese psyche especially those from chinese school background, pretence or not i dont know.

        • Thanks. Can you give examples of the values from Rot3k and how its imbued though not formally in school?

        • Rot3k is a historical novel, unlike what were writen by Kongzi, Mengzi, Mozi and Laozi that develop a philisophy thought that have great influence to our value system, i think rot3k impact is mainly on literature and entertainment, you may share with me what you have learn and see if i read your question correctly.

          If i am not mistaken, i can only recall there is 2 chapters that related to rot3k in our chinese language subject during secondary level 1) Zhuge Liang Northern Expedition Memorial (出师表) and 2) Sushi poem “Memories of the Past at Red Cliff” (念奴娇,赤壁怀古). I personally dont see rot3k have much impact to shape our thought and values, it contribution are mainly opera, story, series, game, movie, comics.

          However like i wrote earlier, rot3k paint the world in black and white and therefore every reader know who is the good and bad guys, and the good possess value like brotherhood and loyalty while the bad is cruel and lack moral, it is similar to cowboy vs red indian, or pr vs bn, if this what you are trying to find out, my answer is no, i dont think rot3k have a causal role to shape such thought, it is more likely human nature and excellent propaganda 🙂

  2. Whether we like it or not they will likely dominate our politics soon.

    • Yes. But its an interesting bunch. I now know that they care not about being right or wrong. They don’t analyse deep and critically. It depends on the Internet information/misinformation their groups of friends have. Its more being within the group of subculture.

      Take election fraud allegations. The allegations are nonsensical. However you argue they can’t accept it because among their friends its not hip to do.

      Strange. I thought it must always be based on truth.

  3. I copy paste below a small part of an full of mistake and fallacy article China Mari written by one puerile TAI ZEE KIN pertaining to four books five classics (Si Shu Wu Jing)

    “I asked them, do you know the “Si Shu Wu Jing (四书五经), the four main literature and 5 great mantras of the chinese. They couldn’t even quote me the title of the 9 most important literature work of the chinese literature.”

    Shu (书) is book and Jing (经典) is classic, where the hell this Tai got the idea of literature and mantra? Si Shu Wu Jing are the most authoritative books of Confucianism, not Chinese literature, thus to know Si Shu Wu Jing and to comprehend what is Si Shu Wu Jing is entirely two different thing. Not only this author English and Chinese are equally bad, he doesn’t even have a clue of the historical development of Si Shu Wu Jing.

    Not many Chinese know the title of four books five classics simply because it is not taught in school, include school in mainland China unless one major in history and philosophy, or if due to interested to know. Sung dynasty Zhuxi fixed the core content and subject of Confucianism ie 4B5C, and since then it become the official curriculum of the imperial examination until the abolishment in 1905, when most scholar believed that 4B5C are feudalistic. The Chinese want a new culture and modern education that emphasized democratic and science, and this is when Chinese start their called for learning from the West. Thus 4B5C is deemed as antique until Deng open up China, the revive interest of 4B5C is because the ruling CCP need to fill up the spiritual vacuum occupy in the past by communism ideology, which is now confirm a failure. That said, many Chinese remain oppose to the idea to reintroduce 4B5C into the classroom because it doesn’t reflect the need and values of a modern society. So my question is, do we Chinese Malaysian need to know and learn 4B5C?


    • Bro…. if 4B5C could fill up the spiritu

    • Bro…. if 4B5C could fill up the spiritual vacuum of the Chinese Malaysian, why not learn it then. After all we Muslim believe in the 4 religious books of guidance. By the way bro… I am interested in one of the 5C i.e. the I Ching which was introduced to me by a Chinese Muslim from China by the name of Kamal.

    • Why as you said the VS pursued the instillation of 4b5c values in school then? That was my impression I gather frm your comments.

    • ….cont…

      Good question both, actually I dont know the answer.

      When China were divided into KMT/ROC and CCP/PRC, both adopted ideology that are against each other, for instance KMT/ROC insist to preserve many thing Chinese like Confucianism, traditional Chinese against CCP/PRC Communism (a western ideology) and simplify Chinese. Like I said, Malaysian Chinese schools were model based on Taiwan system, and culturally we are close to Taiwan because communism were never an accepted way of life in Malaysia, and that is the reason why Confucianism value (4B5C) remain with us, however while we moving on, we realize we must have have a total break off with the politics of KMT and CCP simply because we are no more Chinese (nationality) but Malaysian, and at the same time we notice we have a hard time to integrate into the mainstream (now the rightist call it mainstream, however I believe most Malay still doing lots of soul searching what is the road ahead, Eng vs Malay, Secular vs Islamic….) culture as the reason I stated earlier (const n religion) and moreover our Malay leader never have the intention to assimilate, hence I believe to preserve our culture and Chineseness become a natural course, which values are entirely difference with China, and we know Taiwan have lost it influence in the Sinosphere, therefore what we have here is a very native Chinese Malaysian culture and lifestyle. And that is also why I found many of Lim Lian Geok thought and anticipation still relevant today if we read his writes in comprehensive manner and not out of context.

      Similar to Islamic text and values, there are many thought in 4B5C that have problem to sync into our modern lifestyle, thus I think the solution is perhaps alike, which I believe you both could have the answer but prefer to keep it for yourselves?

      Ellese, I don’t know who could dictate what is good and what is bad, there are many idea and thought in the 4B5C that worth pursue and imbue, but there are also many that are negative because I think (some may disagree) the core message of 4B5C is to instill a value to be obedient citizen, which I am totally resist and against.

      Hasan, among the 4B5C, I read only Lunyu and Mengzi, the rest no idea what they talking about, but that is my own problem, time is one main constraint, I have great doubt toward this I-Ching thingy, my take still same, it is nothing but fortune-telling tools in a primitive society, unless I meet one who could convince me otherwise, like Kamal?

      • “Similar to Islamic text and values, there are many thought in 4B5C that have problem to sync into our modern lifestyle, thus I think the solution is perhaps alike, which I believe you both could have the answer but prefer to keep it for yourselves?”

        I am with you here and I can feel your drift.

        But I think the actual issue is with the Malays are the Exercise Book Generation vs Face Book Generation [EBG vs FBG] and the Rural Malays vs the Urban Malays [RM vs UM]. The former had experienced the communist threat and short occupation and it dies hard in their memories. To most of them the Chinese are communist. Thus, this is an advantage to BN for now. But the FBG and the Millennials are replacing the EBG fast. They are changing our political landscape. Thus, this is a disadvantage to BN.

        Yeah bro…”similar to Islamic text and values, there are many thought in 4B5C that have problem to sync into our modern lifestyle”… O yes, the Muslims have their anti Hadith group and the Mutazilism. O yes, I can write a book on this. Or perhaps better still, we can co-write a book on this. 🙂

        Aahaah…Could you please enlighten me on this I-Ching thingy bro. It has been three years now since I last met brother Kamal. The extract below is from the wiki…

        “The I Ching (Wade-Giles) or “Yì Jīng” (pinyin), also known as the Classic of Changes, Book of Changes or Zhouyi, is one of the oldest of the Chinese classic texts. Classic of Changes [易經], also known as I Ching or Book of Changes. The book contains a divination system comparable to geomancy or the West African Ifá system. In Western cultures and modern East Asia, it is still widely used for this purpose.”

        I find that it teaches about the universe and nature…how to understand and feel them… how to blend and to be a part of them. We are indeed a part of them. They can understand us but we can’t understand them. It is ‘Ilmu Alam’ in its real literary sense…rather than ‘Ilmu Nujum’ as you have mentioned.

      • Like your write and discourse with Hassan.

        My general reading finds the great learning and books of means interesting.

        However this is my observation with the current reading. I think the education value and system must move according to time. The method espoused by the great learning points towards rote education and respect for authority/ teachers is somewhat rigid. I think the Islamic traditional discourse also face the same issue.

        I think the education philosophy has to move a bit to the west. We had this argument before but I think my general reading on the great learning has further affirmed my previous argument. We need to maintain some and adapt to suit new environment. Now educators have moved to problem based learning (PBL) encouraging kids to be creative and questioning ideas. They’ve encouraged students to solve on their own among themselves. With Internet, knowledge now is widely available. But what we need is critical thinking and analysis.

        I’m not saying there’s no successful Chinese, but as a system we need to grapple with how others have moved ahead. Scandinavia’s model is still one to emulate. We bring emotions and expression into play.

        Not sure where DJZ intends to bring the vernacular education system to. But I find the ideas and concept of our new education system interesting. Students are assessed regularly and there’s more creative presentation in class. Of course there’s room to improve and negative aspects especially the implementation side, but rote learning has lessened. There’s more project papers with knowledge acquire outside the text books.

        Perhaps you’re right questioning whether 4b5c should be determinant of Chinese social values (something to that effect) but what is more important is whether DJZ still pushes for these values/ methods or adapting the new environment. The website is in Chinese and I can’t figure this out. Can you elaborate.

      • ellese, we r on the same page. the one that being critique of the 4b5c were mostly one that went through the ‘old school’ while further their study in japan or the west during may forth movement, they know both the good n bad from both system. leaning to the west system is the only viable way but at the same time we have to preserve the good values of our aged culture, but not to embrace it in full.

        i went to one taiwan factory in mainland china, by looking at their mission statement and moral std including the quote i read at all corner, surprisingly not limited to confucius and laozi but many western and even from nabi mohammad, i think this is what we shd strive for, open to anything good regardless is from who and what.

        if u talk to many johorean that have kids study in spore, u will find out the vast diff of method btw us n them, the apparent one is most of their headmaster is pretty young, 30-40, while djz is occupied by many old face. i would like to see our national school to take the lead, at least they r one with most resources, n see how we could improve the trust toward our national education, but this would bring us back to politic rhetoric.

        btw, chinese school follow exactly the same national school system, however i believe we still preserve the rote learning culture and habit, i personally is fine with rote learning. for chinese independent school (secondary), it seem the school board have more autonomy what they want to do and not entorely follow djz.

  4. exercise book vs face book? lol…hardcore vs softcore…..:)

    i ching from my little understanding do have element of science and ‘ilmu alam’ from observation and recording done by our ancestor, like ‘feng shui’. the chinese myth of world creation bear similarity to big bang if we read metaphorically, thus i ching is something between religion and science, which normally we categorise it into philosophy, however most chinese use i ching for ‘Ilmu Nujum’ and nothing else, so i tentatively follow the direction of majority (minority rule tu ilmu apa, definitily not ilmu hisab) until i learn more.

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