Icebow over Langkawi

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The recent appearance of a solar halo above the skies of Langkawi is a phenomenon similar to a rainbow, except that it is formed by the refraction of sunlight through suspended ice crystals, instead of raindrops.

A sign of changing times?

In older days, such a sign was apparently an ill omen of things to come.

To one living in Asia, the West appears relatively stable.

“But we hear of shifts happening every day. Weather, political games, crime — the insane things that people think and act out seem to be increasing in infamous splendour,” said psychologist Dr Gerard Hoffman on a recent visit to Kuala Lumpur.

In Asia, the situation is fast moving on two major fronts: environmental challenge, behind rapid economic growth. The region is the hot spot of pollution and easy money.

And there is the culture mix. This is a multi layered every day interaction of people; the interplay of beliefs and ways of life.

Hoffman added, “The political scene is a mirror of the clash of three aspects of the mind, the subconscious, conscious and superconscious – though many say that there is little evidence of any sort of seasoned mind working anywhere in the universe of lies, blatant and self deceptions which is politics at its worst.”

Malaysia is about to celebrate 50 years of independence at the end of August. If the undercurrents described by the nation’s leading bloggers are any indication, a growing number of Malaysians are questioning whither they’ve been led, and who is best to lead the way into future days.

After the celebrations and thrills end this month, many expect a snap general election.

Whither will the country go in the next 50 years?

As foreign observer in lovely Malaysia, I blindly hope for the best to win through.

– Kuala Lumpur, 14 August 2007