How should we judge a government?

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

In Malaysia, if you don't watch television or read newspapers, you are uninformed; but if you do, you are misinformed!

Why we should be against censorship: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

MyCen News

Friday, October 24, 2014

A tip to frequent flyers: leave your email address in your passport

'A passenger with an American passport, changed money, and in the process left his passport and boarding pass on my counter. As it was placed on the side, where my monitor blocks the view; it remained there for over 20 minutes; when the next customer brought it to my attention. I went outside, to search for him but to no avail.

The passport was well worn, with numerous visas, including Japan.
He had travelled from Narita to LAX. The page in the (U.S.) passport where one can write home address and third party contact was blank. All there was his e mail address.

I went on line, and emailed him a brief message, including my phone number.

He turned up about a half hour later, profoundly grateful.
He was blissfully unaware that his passport was missing!
He was checking his e mail in the cab when he saw the mail I had sent. So he turned the cab around and came back to the airport to collect it. He works in Japan and his work permit was attached to the Japanese visa in the passport. He was in the US only for a week.

In retrospect it is evident that even if he had written his address in the passport, it would not have helped. Even a phone number is not much help, as a finder may not be willing to call long distance, if 'found' in another country.

An e mail, any one would send, from any place; and you can access your email from anywhere in the world, when you are travelling!

Therefore PLEASE WRITE YOUR E MAIL ADDRESS IN YOUR PASSPORT; it can really  'save your bacon' someday!'


Another perspective to our remaining precious time


The Magic Bank Account

Imagine that you had won the following *PRIZE* in a contest: Each morning your bank would deposit $86,400 in your private account for your use.  However, this prize has rules:
1. Everything that you didn't spend during each day would be taken away from you.
2. You may not simply transfer money into some other account.
3. You may only spend it.
4. Each morning upon awakening, the bank opens your account with another $86,400 for that day.
5. The bank can end the game without warning; at any time it can say,“Game Over!". It can close the account and you will not receive a new one.
What would you personally do?
You would buy anything and everything you wanted right? Not only for yourself, but for all the people you love and care for. Even for people you don't know, because you couldn't possibly spend it all on yourself, right?

You would try to spend every penny, and use it all, because you knew it would be replenished in the morning, right?
Shocked ??? YES!
Each of us is already a winner of this *PRIZE*. We just can't seem to see it.

1. Each morning we awaken to receive 86,400 seconds as a gift of life.
2. And when we go to sleep at night, any remaining time is Not credited to us.
3. What we haven't used up that day is forever lost.
4. Yesterday is forever gone.

5. Each morning the account is refilled, but the bank can dissolve your account at any time WITHOUT WARNING...

SO, what will YOU do with your 86,400 seconds?

Those seconds are worth so much more than the same amount in dollars.
Think about it and remember to enjoy every second of your life, because time races by so much quicker than you think.
So take care of yourself, be happy, love deeply and enjoy life!
Here's wishing you a wonderful and beautiful day. Start “spending”....

Enjoy Your Day!

A sound advice and some pics which make me feel intelligent


This guy or gal is too intelligent... almost selfish.

When we are old, whom do we depend on? Ourselves, ourselves, only ourselves

We have seen enough examples of how some people end up in old age. Yet try as we may, sometimes, we do not have a choice. While age advances, we will certainly lose control of our health and everything else, slowly but surely, sooner or later.

Someone had actually drawn a list of what to do when growing old...

Ourselves, ourselves, only ourselves,
(The truth, as disclosed by a group of old folks).

"Have your own abode. No matter what, do not lose it, until your death!
If you have an old companion, keep each other good company.
Watch your health while it is still good.
Maintain a positive outlook and you will be happy.
Now, our health is still good, our mind still clear.
But on whom can we depend in our old age?
We will have to analyse in various stages.
1st Stage:
Just after retirement, between 60 to 70 yrs old,
Our health will still be comparatively good
So too our financial means.
Eat moderately while we have the means
At times, wear what we fancy
Those who like it, have some fun.
Do not be hard on yourself
Our days are numbered
So, grasp the opportunity.
Have some savings !
Keep the house !
Make  arrangements for the days ahead or retreat.
If the kids are well off,
It is their business ...
If the kids are filial
They have good traits ....
We need neither decline financial help from our kids
Nor decline their respect.
But we should remain independent and
Live our own life well.
2nd Stage:
If no mishap and illness strike after we are 70,
We will still be able to take care of ourselves.
Not a major problem.
However, we must realise we are really getting old
Gradually, our body and mind will give way.
Our reflex will slow down with time ...
We will have to eat slowly, to avoid choking.
We will have to walk slowly, to avoid falls.
We can no longer put on a front, we have to look after ourselves!
Do not meddle anymore with this and that, or control the kids!
Some even interfere with the third generation !!!
We have intervened our entire life,
It is time for us to be a little selfish .....
Take hold of ourselves.
Life must come full circle.
Help with the cleaning chores ....
Try to maintain our health for as long as possible.
Give ourselves more opportunities to take control of our own life .....
We lead an easier life when we do not have to solicit help from others .....
3rd Stage:
Our health begins to fail ....
We have to request help from others ....
We have to be mentally prepared for it.
The majority of us cannot escape this hurdle.
We have to prepare ourselves, emotionally, to accept that:-
In life, living and aging, sickness and death are milestones we have to encounter.
This is the final stage in life .....
Nothing to fear!
Be prepared for it in advance and we will not be too depressed.
Either check into a private nursing home ...
Or an old folks home ....
Depending on affordability, of course.
There must be a way out ....
The idea is not to add to the kids' burden, emotionally, increase their chores & their financial commitments.
Try our best to overcome -
What hardship has our generation not endured?
What disasters have we not experienced?
Trust us to take life's last lap in our stride.
4th Stage:
Our mind is still clear, but
We are terminally ill,
When our quality of  life has deteriorated drastically...
We must be courageous enough to face death!
Insist that the family not try to prolong our life ....
Do not incur unnecessary expenditure .
Ourselves, Ourselves, only Ourselves ... Amen"

On the other hand, here is an example of someone young but in a state of helplessness, which might refute the last statement on not trying to prolong life:

I notice some main changes in our traditional views. For eg. living in old folks home used to be a 'no-no' for Chinese because it gives the impression that the children are not filial and cannot spare the time to look after their parent. But in today's society, the more successful the children are, the less time they can spare for the family... unless, they are rich enough not having to work for others or can delegate the running of their businesses to others.

The other main change is where to have the funeral wake. Again, not having one's own house for this was considered shameful before, as it gave the impression the family cannot afford to own a house. But with today's concern for security and convenience, the funeral parlour seems to be the top choice of very wealthy families. Having the wake at home means opening the house to all and sundy, during a time of general confusion within the grieving families. This can pose a security problem and there were cases of those with criminal intent, browsing obituary notices just to get the necessary details for action. There were actual reports of donations and visitors being robbed during funeral wake or bereaved families being extorted.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Violinist Joshua Bell in an experiment on perception


In Washington, DC, at a Metro Station, on a cold January morning in 2007, this man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time, approximately 2,000 people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After about 3 minutes, a middle-aged man noticed that there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds, and then he hurried on to meet his schedule.

About 4 minutes later:
The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw money in the hat and, without stopping, continued to walk.
At 6 minutes:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.
At 10 minutes:
A 3-year old boy stopped, but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head the whole time. This action was repeated by several other children, but every parent - without exception - forced their children to move on quickly.
At 45 minutes:
The musician played continuously. Only 6 people stopped and listened for a short while. About 20 gave money but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32.
After 1 hour:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed and no one applauded. There was no recognition at all.

No one knew this, but the violinist was Joshua Bell, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars.

Two days before, Joshua Bell sold-out a theater in Boston where the seats averaged $100 each to sit and listen to him play the same music.

This is a true story.

Joshua Bell, playing incognito in the D.C. Metro Station, was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about perception, taste and people's priorities.

This experiment raised several questions:

*In a common-place environment, at an inappropriate hour, do we perceive beauty?
*If so, do we stop to appreciate it?
*Do we recognize talent in an unexpected context?

One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this:
If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made. How many other things are we missing as we rush through life?!

Enjoy life NOW ...  it has an expiry date!