Here, I would like to share about an incident that happened several years ago.
In August 2005, I participated in a Mathematics camp and competition in Langkawi. I was actually very reluctant to take part in it due to my lack of interest as well as my poor experience with a previous Mathematics camp that I took part in Penang. However, my family members forced me to participate, insisting that it would be important for my future. Once again, I didn't enjoy the Mathematics camp and competition at all.
The participants who performed well enough in the Mathematics competition in Langkawi would advance to the next stage, where they would join a Mathematics camp in Kuala Lumpur and then represent Malaysia in an international-level Mathematics competition. Knowing that my family members would surely force me to participate in the next stage, I made no efforts to perform well in the Mathematics competition, in hopes that I wouldn't qualify for the next stage.
One day in school in September 2005, my Civic Studies teacher suddenly said to the whole class "Did you all see the news? Daniel Lee just got selected as the Malaysian Idol!" At that time, I had never heard about Malaysian Idol before and I absolutely no idea what it was about. Due to the noisy environment in class, I misheard "Daniel Lee" as "Daniel Lim". Many of my classmates started saying to me "Congratulations on becoming the Malaysian Idol!" My teacher then said "You must have won the Mathematics competition in Langkawi, that's why you are the Malaysian Idol!"
Not realising that it was Daniel Lee and that my classmates and my teacher were just joking about me, I thought that I really had been selected as the Malaysian Idol! I thought I must have performed well enough in the Mathematics competition in Langkawi despite not putting in my efforts, and I would be representing Malaysia in the international-level Mathematics competition, so that's why I became the idol for Malaysians.
I immediately became very stressed. If my family members were to know that I had become the Malaysian Idol, they would definitely force me to take part in the next stage of the Mathematics camp and competition, which I really didn't want to. Gaining fame may be something that many people dream about, but that's absolutely not the case for me. I just wanted to have a normal student life like my classmates, nothing more than that.
My classmates kept talking about me and the Malaysian Idol. Knowing that my classmates very likely would tell my family members that I became the Malaysian Idol, I passed a piece of paper around my class, forcing my classmates to sign a pledge not to tell my family members "about the Mathematics competition". Most of them signed the pledge but a few refused to. When my family members picked me up from school later that day, one of classmates purposely came forward and said "Well, I already signed the pledge!"
My family members asked me what the pledge was about, to which I lied that it was about promising not to tease me with silly nicknames, and they didn't question further. Over the next few days, none of my classmates told my family members anything and they no longer talked about the Malaysian Idol in class. I thought that the pledge must have been effective and that made me feel a bit relieved.
One day during break time in school, I saw my Mathematics teacher talking to my family members at a distance from me. I thought that she definitively was going to tell them about the next stage of the Mathematics camp and competition and that I got selected as the Malaysian Idol. I was very stressed about that, but I told myself that I had no choice but to face the reality.
Surprisingly, after the talk my family members told me that according to my Mathematics teacher, she was still not sure whether I would qualify for the next stage of the Mathematics camp and competition, and she would like to know whether I would be participating if I qualified. My Mathematics teacher hadn't mentioned anything about the Malaysian Idol. I made it clear that I didn't want to take part and my family members' reply was that they would discuss more about it with me later should I qualify.
At that point, I concluded that there was no way where I could become the Malaysian Idol when it wasn't even confirmed that I would be representing Malaysia in the international-level Mathematics competition. I felt that the whole thing was just a joke by my Civic Studies teacher and my classmates simply played along with it. I felt a bit ashamed for making my classmates sign that pledge for nothing. In the end, I didn't qualify for the next stage of the Mathematics camp and competition, and I was so glad about that.
It was in January 2006 where I finally understood what the Malaysian Idol was about. It's actually a reality TV singing competition in Malaysia, which was won by a singer named Daniel Lee Chee Hun. Apart from the fact that he has the same name as me, it most definitely isn't related to me or the Mathematics competitions I participated!