Saturday, January 26, 2008

ACL2: Got Astro-Not?

Background

This is speech no 2 from the Advance Manual - The Entertaining Speaker. It was one of the funniest speeches I have ever done. The script reads pretty well and I only manage to draft it the morning of the presentation after a light bulb went off my head. I prepared a different speech altogether before writting this out in record time. The video is somewhere on this site. Take a look and enjoy!

Actual Speech:

KAPOOW! [Make explosion action] Malaysia... We got lift off! A Malaysian blasted off into space on 10 Oct 2007. However, before lift off there was a lot of skepticism… You see, when the American went into space, they called these brave people, Astronauts. The Russians were next and they called their brave men, Cosmonauts… The Chinese honored their people by calling them Taikonaut. But when we Malaysians decided to do the same, a lot of us were scratching our heads and asking SURE OR NOT?

Good evening ladies and gentlemen!

Do you know Air Asia is mapping new routes to space. Yeah! Datuk Tony Fernandez announced it recently. It’s called Air Asia Angkasawan and tickets are cheap… As low as RM 9.99. But what they don’t tell you is that Airport tax is going to cost you RM 76 million!

Let me ask you a question, how many of you signed up for angkasawan program? I did because I always knew I had potential… During my standard 1 maths class, my teacher – Mrs. Lee was very encouraging. We always had this exercise where she will ask me to stand up and she will ask me maths question. So when she asked me how much is 1+1… I went “Hmm… [scratch head] Tiga!”. She started screaming “Tiga! 1+1 is 3…. VIJAY! Your head is in space ar. You want me to blast you up there isit?”. You see, very encouraging!

So, I signed up but I when I entered in my resume, I forgot the keyword… Part time model. You see, our angkasawan, Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar is a doctor who is a part time model or is he a model who is a part time doctor??? In Malaysia, you can’t really tell. Anyway, how does being a model help you become an angkasawan? How is that related with anything? It does if the selection committee was made out of old Datins! Imagine this scenario:
Datin1: Hey Datins, this guy has 5 PHDs including 3 for Physic, Chemistry and Biology… What do you all think?
Datin2: No lar! Not so nice. What about this man. Amboi, kacacknya. So handsome. Part time model some more.
Datin1: Part time model? Ok! I vote for him
Datin2: Datin, Datin… Just to hide our tracks, we make sure the second angkasawan is ugly so that no one suspect anything!
Datin1: Uhhhh… Smart lar you!

You know I did a wikipedia search on Dr. Sheikh and my finding was really suprising. You know what those arrogant Russians call him… They call him a Spaceflight Participant and the definition for that is “distinguish tourist!”. Go check it out. It’s true. Aiyoh! After buying millions of old stuff from them, they call the first Malaysian in space a distinguish tourist. Too much lar.

However, it was a good thing the Russians took our man into space. Imagine Malaysians building the rocket. Now that’s something to think about. It would have cost 5 times as much just to get the building permits and Proton will be in charge. I tell you 5 things that will happen if Proton built the rocket?
- It will be shiny and has the thunder cat logo but inside all plastic
- Power steering won’t work. Cannot maneuver the rocket
- Power windows won’t work. Can’t take pictures of earth.
- First few rockets will work nicely because they came from Mitsubishi. But after a couple of years, local parts will be used and the rocket won’t be able to leave the atmosphere.
- And the worst thing is… Do you all know the term Kotak Mancis! Match box… Kapow! Ouch! Lucky for the kind doctor…

You know I sent out 26 SMSes on that night and only got 1 reply. Only 1 person was really excited and called me back and said “he was going to watch the whole thing… He is going to record. What a proud day for Malaysia!”. And this guy doesn’t count. You see out of 26 people and the only one really happy about the whole thing was a Pakistani! (Note to immigration, don’t send them home)

Then again, not all the countries in the world are too happy with our space program. You see, Malaysia got reputation also. Once we get the whole space thing right, there is only one thing left to do…. TOLL GATES! Can you say Projek Lebuhraya Utara SPACE… Or in 1 words – PLUS!

Ladies and Gentlemen, despite my sarcasm and brutal honesty, I am very proud of the fact that Malaysia went to space. You see regardless of whether our Malaysian man is a angkasawan, a cosmonaut or even just a glorified tourist, there is one thing that we should be all proud of and that is “Singapore don’t have!”. Malaysia Boleh! Singapore Tak Boleh!...

Thank you!

By, Vijay Balasegaram

Jokes which did not make the final cut:

You know they should have let him perform the teh tarik trick and gasing tricks! It would have been excellent PR for Malaysia. That teh tarik trick has Mamak conspiracy written all over it. After he does that, you will probably see Nasi Kandar advertising Teh Tarik Angkasawan! The same teh tarik stretched in space by Dr. Sheik! "Uh! Sedapnya!"

Fundamentally I think Malaysians especially guys are just jealous of Dr. Sheikh Muszaphar. Think about it. We were secretly supporting the ugly second guy! You know why. When I watching one of the news segments and they were showing the doctor. There will this female friend of mine. Lets call her Laura who I think has potential to be a future Datin. She looks at the guy "UhhHhh! Cutenya.." I say “what does him being cute have to do with anything” and she says "He looks like he is carrying a big package!"... Now, I am sure she was talking about the briefcase he was carrying but I am smart enough not to ask or clarify.