Tuesday, 25 September 2007

What Astronaut???

Malaysians have a penchant for self-aggrandization, but this one takes the cake.

We kick-started the publicity by completely humiliating ourselves with plans to play batu-seremban and gasing, in addition to making roti canai and teh tarik in space.

Common sense (or a not-so-gentle rebuke) took over and some benign samples might possibly make their ascent to space with Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, Malaysia's first spaceflight participant.

Yep, you read right. It's spaceflight participant. NOT astronaut. Get it right people, and save yourselves the embarrassment later.

You DO know that 'spaceflight participant' is a fancy term for space tourist, don't you?

At least we got the "First Malaysian" part right. We can't rightfully claim to have sent any living thing up there, not even a chimp, or orangutan.

But judging from the number of official ceremony helium-balloon-releasing activity we indulge in, we may be held accountable for some space debris.

Sean-the-man is a little more brutal, as he refers to our local hero as "baggage". :)

He's not far from the truth. Let me give you an example:

Let's say you and your three friends decide to head from KL up to Penang for the weekend. The toll and fuel costs are bound to have you wincing even if you split by four.

So against your better judgement you agree to let the friend of a friend join you. Help reduce costs and all.

For the sake of simplicity, let's call her Girlfriend.

So you all meet up on Friday evening, when you realise that Girlfriend has decided to bring 32 pairs of shoes on the journey.

"But why?" you groan.

"Because I can't decide which one I'll want to wear," she explains sweetly, all full of logic.

So you cram everyone else's luggage into a quarter of the car boot, while Girlfriend occupies the other three-quarters. But heck, she's helping foot the bill, remember?

And in our case, a billion-dollar purchase of 18 Sukhoi 30-MKM fighter jets.

Our Malaysian Astrocannot - Sean Tang