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!

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan
Was he referring to Malaysia? Seems so apt...

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?

MyCen News

Friday, September 28, 2007

A journey of a thousand steps...



and we have a thousand lawyers taking the first step. They should take the lead since it involves the judiciary.

An independent judiciary is vital to a democracy, otherwise nobody will obey the laws. It is the last bastion of justice.

There are too many criminals getting away, even for murder. We need good police to investigate properly, efficient prosecutors to charge them and ultimately, impartial judges to sentence them.

This is NOT an advertisement

Yesterday I went to the doctor for my yearly physical. My blood pressure was high, my cholesterol was high, I'd gained some weight, and I didn't feel so hot.

My doctor said eating right doesn't have to be complicated and it would solve my physical problems. He said just think in colors; Fill your plate with bright colors; greens, yellows, reds, etc.

I went right home and ate an entire bowl of M&M's and sure enough, I felt better immediately. I never knew eating right could be so easy.

The Right Choice

A woman came out of her house and saw three old men with long white beards sitting in her front yard. She did not recognize them. She said, "I don't think I know you, but you must be hungry. Please come in and have something to eat."

"Is the man of the house home?" they asked. "No," she said, "he's out." "Then we cannot come in," they replied.

In the evening when her husband came home, she told him what had happened.

"Go tell them I am home and invite them in!" The woman went out and invited the men in. "We do not go into a house together," they replied.

"Why is that?" she wanted to know.

One of the old men explained, "His name is Wealth," he said pointing to one of his friends, and said, pointing to another one, "He is Success, and I am Love." Then he added, "Now go in and discuss with your husband which one of us you want in your home."

The woman went in and told her husband what was said. Her husband was overjoyed.

"How nice!" he said. "since that is the case, let us invite Wealth. Let him come in and fill our home with wealth!"

His wife disagreed. "My dear, why don't we invite Success?"

Their daughter-in-law was listening from another corner of the house. She jumped in with her own suggestion:

"Would it not be better to invite Love? Our home will then be filled with love!"

"Let us heed our daughter-in-law's advice," said the husband to his wife."Go out and invite Love to be our guest."

The woman went out and asked the three old men, "Which one of you is Love? Please come in and be our guest."

Love got up and started walking toward the house. The other two also got up and followed him.

Surprised, the woman asked Wealth and Success: "I only invited Love, why are you coming in?"

The old men replied together: " If you had invited Wealth or Success, the other two of us would have stayed out, but since you invited Love, wherever he goes, we go with him. Wherever there is Love, there is Wealth and Success!!!"

Thursday, September 27, 2007

It's a Dog's Life after all...

A butcher watching over his shop is really surprised when he sees a dog coming inside the shop. He shoos him away. But later, the dog is back again. So, he goes over to the dog and notices it has a note in its mouth.

He takes the note and it reads, "Can I have 12 sausages and a leg of lamb, please". The dog has money in its mouth, as well.

The butcher looks inside and, lo and behold, there is a ten-dollar note there. So he takes the money and puts the sausages and lamb in a bag, placing it in the dog's mouth. The butcher is so impressed, and since it's about closing time, he decides to shut the shop and follow the dog. So off he goes.

The dog is walking down the street, when it comes to a level crossing; the dog puts down the bag, jumps up and presses the button. Then it waits patiently, bag in mouth, for the lights to turn. They do, and it walks across the road, with the butcher following him all the way. The dog then comes to a bus stop, and starts looking at the timetable. The butcher is in awe as the dog stops a bus by pulling its left leg up and gets in it.

The butcher follows the dog into the bus. The dog then shows a ticket, which is tied to its belt to the bus conductor. The butcher is nearly fainting at this sight, so are the other passengers in the bus. The dog then sits near the driver's seat looking outside waiting for the bus stop to come. As soon as the stop is in sight, the dog stands and wags its tail to inform the conductor. Then, without waiting for the bus to stop completely, it jumps out of the bus and runs to a house very close to the stop.

It opens the big iron gate and rushes inside towards the door. As it approaches the wooden door, the dog suddenly changes its mind and heads towards the garden. It goes to the window, and beats its head against it several times, walks back, jumps off, and waits at the door. The butcher watches as a big guy opens the door, and starts abusing the dog, kicking him and punching him, and swearing at him.

The butcher surprised with this, runs up, and stops the guy. "What in heaven's name are you doing? The dog is a genius. He could be on TV, for the life of me!" to which the guy responds: "You call this clever? This is the second time this week that this stupid dog's forgotten his key.

Moral of the Story:

You may continue to exceed onlookers' expectations but shall always fall
short of the boss's expectations. It's a DOG's LIFE after all....

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Magna cum laude

Whatever that means in whatever language, I think congratulations to Cheng is in order.

I received a letter today from Faculteit Sociale Wetenschappen, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven which shows the results for her International Master of Social Policy Analysis. Overall Percentage: 81 and Overall Result: Magna cum laude.

She has yet to find out for us how she should show her new qualification. IMSPA? While we wonder about her future career, she said she has acquired the skill of knowing whether a report, say from World Bank, is well prepared or not.

But one thing we can be sure of is that even with a PhD, a report can be rubbished by a Malaysian minister, so there is no future here. We only want reports that support our NEP ok?

Cheng explains:

"Magna cum laude" is translated as "with great distinction" (or literally, "with great praise" in Latin) and is the rough equivalent of a British first-class honours. Amongst the PhD student community, this is the norm - in fact, some even have "summa cum laude" degrees ("with greatest distinction").

Just when you think you can outsmart others...

Banta walks into a bar for a beer and takes a seat. However, just as the bartender put the beer on the bar, there was a loud disturbance outside. He ran out to see what was going on but soon went back to drink his beer.

When he got back he found his glass empty and a note saying: "Thanks for the beer!"

Banta was a little ticked-off but ordered another beer anyway. Again, just as the bartender put the beer down a loud crash was heard in the street. Thinking that someone ran into his parked car, Banta runs outside to check on things. Seeing that his car was okay he returned to the bar and again found his glass empty and another note that said: "Thanks again, this was as good as the first one."

Well he still hadn't had a beer to quench his thirst, so he ordered another. Just as the bartender put the beer down, a series of shots were heard outside. This time Banta wasn't going to lose his beer to anybody. So he spit into the beer and left a note saying, "Enjoy, I just spit into the beer." He then ran outside to see what had happened.

When Banta returned he was delighted to find that his beer was just where he left it.

However this time the note said: "You enjoy, I spit in it too!"

Correct, Correct, Correct...

Saying 'correct' repeatedly may not be correct after all as the infamous lawyer's monoloque(?) comes under scrutiny. With modern digital technology, the other person's phone number can be revealed, hopefully. A monoloque or rather practising for a play (?) could fool a three-year old. Maybe we should test it on Jun while she is still in Malaysia.

Correct Choice? Depends on your wisdom too, so it seems.

An angel suddenly appears at a faculty meeting and tells the dean of the college that, in return for his unselfish and exemplary behavior, he will be given his choice of infinite wealth, wisdom or beauty. Without hesitating, the dean selects infinite wisdom.

"Done!" says the angel, and disappears in a cloud of smoke and a bolt of lightning.

Now, all heads turn toward the dean, who sits surrounded by a faint halo of light. At length, one of his colleagues whispers, "Say something wise."

The dean looks at them and says, "I should have taken the money."

So money is still the greatest! Sadly that is what I lack most!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Austin 7 manufactured in the year 1928



While I hope to find my one and only photo of what used to be our vintage car, Austin 7 with registration B 2405, this will do for now. It is now worth around Rm300,000!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Good for cracked heels?



A girl soaks in the hot spring enjoying the "fish spa" in Huizhou, south China's Guangdong Province.

Could be a relief for psoriasis sufferers.

A newly emerged "fish spa" is becoming fashionable in many hot spring resorts, and has attracted even more customers, all curious about this peculiar treatment.

At such a spa, many Garra Rufa, a type of small tropical fish, also nicknamed Chinchin Yu, nibble fish or simply doctor fish, are put in hot springs. As they can live and swim freely in at least 43-degree-hot waters, they are naturally used for the treatment of skin diseases in such spas.

When placed in the spa, these fish can feed themselves on the dead cells of the human body, since they only consume such cells, leaving the healthy skin of the human body to grow. The whole process is reportedly free of pain. It won't hurt and the bather might feel a pleasant tingling on his or her skin.

The fish species are often found in the river basins in the Middle East, including Syria, Iraq, Iran and Turkey, and thus is also called Turkish Fish. It is legally protected from commercial exploitation in Turkey due to concerns over harvesting for export.

In 2006, the first Asian Doctor Fish spa resort opened in Hakone, Japan. These fish are used to clean the feet of the bathers at the spa. Recently, such spas become fashionable in resorts in China and South Korea.

Can't buy me love


Money can't buy me love.

Once men had money, somehow something else is lacking, so it seems.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Update on Jun



Picture taken in UK, as shown on page A12 in Guang Ming Daily, a Chinese newspaper in Malaysia, dated September 2, 2007.


Seven weeks after we handed over Jun to her grandma in Malaysia, we visited them last weekend.

As what I had feared, Jun did not take to us immediately, most probably because of her traumatic experience of being taken away from her parents, and left in the care of a Malaysian home in a disciplinary environment. In the UK, parents seen hitting or slapping a child can be reported for child abuse. Grandma described Jun to her mum as 'beyond control'!

It is a matter of approach. According to her dad, she joined a nursery in UK as soon as she reached 2 years old, as required, and they were told that a parent had to be with the child for at least 2 weeks initially. Yet, she took to the kids like duck to water and 2 hours later, when her mum asked if she could go, she replied, 'yes go now' while waving her hand. There were 3 Chinese nursery workers, 2 of them from Hong Kong. After about 1 year and 4 months when she had to leave for Malaysia, the 2 actually cried! They told them that it was the first time any child affected them that much!

The whole exercise was an expensive mistake as one month later, her dad came back as he could not bear his daughter complaining about being away from them. Jun's mum too could not bear the separation and had been nagging him to do something, yet it was her great idea! He has already booked ticket for her to return to UK on October 8.

I took the opportunity to introduce Jun to my side of the family, meeting her other grand uncles and grand aunts and some young uncles and aunts. Each time my wife got her cosy, it is time to say goodbye and she wanted to be with her.

I still could not get over this: William was having lunch with one of his brothers in KL and Eddie took a Chinese newspaper on the table and flipped the pages. Both of them are not literate in Chinese. Eddie saw picture of a little girl with 2 English girls. He asked, 'Is this your daughter?' William had the same picture in his handphone! The short write-up was about a Chinese girl wearing western dress and boots while an English girl was wearing a Chinese cheongsam! I presume the picture was one of a few which were published when Queen Elizabeth was visiting Camden Chinese Community Centre last year where Jun got the chance to shake her hand! The chance of seeing that particular picture in a Chinese paper on that particular day was so slim that it was incredible.

I am sure the journalist who wrote that article would never have expected the girl's father to have seen it!

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Remembering Pavarotti

I have been a fan of Luciano Pavarotti since I first came across the VCD, Pavarotti & Friends for the children of Liberia, a few years ago. The first song, Let it rain which he sang with Jon Bon Jovi, really inspired me and is one of my favourites when I practise playing the drums. The combination of tenor and contemporary music really suits my taste, like those duets.

The other song, I particularly like, is Se Bastassa Una Canzone, which he sang with Eros Ramazzotti. My daughter, Nee, heard it before and knew I like it and while in UK, asked me for the correct title so that she could download and use it as a ringtone for any call from me!

When I read about Pavarotti’s passing, I couldn’t help feeling sad. For 2 days, I played the drums accompanying the two songs in his memory. His music will never die, like Elvis, John Denver, James Brown and many other greats.


Let It Rain

(Jon Bon Jovi and Luciano Pavarotti, Modena, June 9th 1998)

Last night I had a dream that there would be a morning after
Long days, sunshine, and peace
Long nights of love, forgiveness, and laughter
Maybe it was just a dream but it could be reality
Children are like planting seeds, you’ve got to let their flowers grow
Don’t you know

Fà che piova, (Let it rain)
Fà che il cielo mi lavi il dolor (Let heaven wash away my pain)
Fà che piova (Let it rain)
che sia la pace il nome d'amor (That peace would be the name of love)

Through the rain I saw a child just like my child
Someone’s son or daughter
I watched as they played for a while
I wanted to cry, those babies just smiled
Maybe it was just a dream, but it should be reality
A child is just God’s sign that peace and love are seeds to make
tomorrow grow

Fà che piova, (Let it rain)
Fà che il cielo mi lavi il dolor (Let heaven wash away my pain)
Fà che piova (Let it rain)
che sia la pace il nome d'amor (That peace would be the name of love)

Go on, we’ve tried war
No one wants peace more
Than the children who ask their dads why

Fà che piova, (Let it rain)
Fà che il cielo mi lavi il dolor (Let heaven wash away my pain)
Fà che piova (Let it rain)
che sia la pace il nome d'amor (That peace would be the name of love)

Why golfers are losing friends

Husband and wife were playing on the ninth green when she collapsed
from a heart attack.

"Please dear, I need help!" she said.

The husband ran off saying, "I'll go get some help."

A little while later he returned, picked up his club and began to line up his shot on the green. His wife, on the ground, raised up her head and said, "I may be dying and you're putting?"

"Don't worry dear. I found a doctor on the second hole who said he'd come and help."

"The second hole? When in the hell is he coming?" she gasped in pain.

"Hey! I told you not to worry," he said, as he practised stroking his
putt. "Everyone's already agreed to let him play through."

Nightmare of a Buffet restaurater

'All you can eat' man fills up

A guest stunned hotel staff by scoffing 15 fried breakfasts in one sitting.

Businessman Barry Bradley, 47, paid £7.50 for the 'all you can eat' grease mountain, which took more than three hours to devour.

He gobbled up at least 30 sausages, 20 rashers of bacon, 15 fried eggs and three tins of beans, reports Metro.

He even topped it off with six bowls of cereal at the Premier Travel Inn in Tonbridge, Kent.

A waitress said: "We couldn't believe it - he looked like he was never going to stop."

Inner Peace

I am passing this on to you because it definitely worked for me, and we all could use more calm in our lives. By following the simple advice I heard on a Dr. Phil show, I have finally found inner peace.

Dr. Phil proclaimed the way to achieve inner peace is to finish all the things you have started. So, I looked around my house to see things I started, and hadn't finished; and, before leaving the house this morning, I finished off a bottle of Merlot, a bottle of Kahlua, a package of Oreo's, a pot of coffee, the rest of the Cheesecake, some Saltines, and a box of Godiva Chocolates.

You have no idea how freaking good I feel.

Meaningful play of words

If you want something you never had,
do something you have never done.

Don't go the way life takes you.
Take life the way you want to go.

And remember you are born to live and
not living because you are born.

And some smart-ass rules on work:

Those who work get more work. Others get pay, perks, and promotions.

If you are good, you will get all the work. If you are really good, you
will get out of it.

When the Bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking
about themselves.

A pat on the back is only a few centimeters from a kick in the butt.

Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

The more crap you put up with, the more crap you are going to get.

Following the rules will not get the job done.

If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would get done.

No matter how much you do, you never do enough.

The last person that quit or was fired will be held responsible for
everything that goes wrong.

Life before Computers

An application was for employment
A program was a TV show
A cursor used profanity
And a keyboard was on a piano!

Memory was something that you lost with age
And a CD was a bank account
And if you had a corrupted disk
It would hurt when you found out!

Compress was what you did to garbage
Not something you did to a file
And if you unzipped anything in public
You'd be in jail for a while!

Log on was adding wood to a fire
A hard drive was a trip on the road
A mouse pad was where a mouse lived
And a backup happened to the commode!

Cutting, you did with a pocket knife,
Pasting, you did with glue.
The Web was where a spider lived
And a virus was the flu!

Friday, September 14, 2007

A Sioux Indian Story

"My grandfather took me to the fish pond on the farm when I was about seven, and he told me to throw a stone into the water. He told me to watch the circles created by the stone.

Then he asked me to think of myself as that stone person.

"You may create lots of splashes in your life but the waves that come from those splashes will disturb the peace of all your fellow creatures," he said.

"Remember that you are responsible for what you put in your circle and that circle will also touch many other circles.

You will need to live in a way that allows the good that comes from your circle to send the peace of that goodness to others. The splash that comes from anger or jealousy will send those feelings to other circles. You are responsible for both."

That was the first time I realized each person creates the inner peace or discord that flows out into the world. We cannot create world peace if we are riddled with inner conflict, hatred, doubt, or anger. We radiate the feelings and thoughts that we hold inside, whether we speak them or not. Whatever is splashing around inside of us is spilling out into the world, creating beauty or discord with all other circles of life.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

A boon for weight-watchers...

how to weigh yourself correctly!

Our Government spending seems reasonable after all

...compared with the following:-
Urinal with choice of left or right inclination

How to stop burglar from entering via balcony


ATM not for those vertically challenged

Friday, September 07, 2007

A Chat with Heart Specialist, Dr. Devi Shetty

Qn: What are the thumb rules for a layman to take care of his heart?
Ans:1. Diet - Less of carbohydrate, more of protein, less oil
2. Exercise - Half an hour's walk, at least five days a week; avoid lifts and avoid sitting for a long time
3. Quit smoking
4. Control weight
5. Control blood pressure and sugar

Qn: Is eating non-veg food (fish) good for the heart?
Ans: No

Qn: It's still a grave shock to hear that some apparently healthy person gets a cardiac arrest. How do we understand it in perspective?
Ans: This is called silent attack; that is why we recommend everyone past the age of 30 to undergo routine health checkups.

Qn: Are heart diseases hereditary?
Ans: Yes

Qn: What are the ways in which the heart is stressed? What practices do you suggest to de-stress?
Ans: Change your attitude towards life. Do not look for perfection in everything in life.

Qn: Is walking better than jogging or is more intensive exercise required to keep a healthy heart?
Ans: Walking is better than jogging since jogging leads to early fatigue and injury to joints .

Qn: You have done so much for the poor and needy. What has inspired you to do so?
Ans: Mother Theresa , who was my patient.

Qn: Can people with low blood pressure suffer heart diseases?
Ans: Extremely rare.

Qn: Does cholesterol accumulates right from an early age (I'm currently only 22) or do you have to worry about it only after you are above 30 years of age?
Ans: Cholesterol accumulates from childhood.

Qn: How do irregular eating habits affect the heart ?
Ans: You tend to eat junk food when the habits are irregular and your body's enzyme release for digestion gets confused.

Qn: How can I control cholesterol content without using medicines?
Ans: Control diet, walk and eat walnut.

Qn: Can yoga prevent heart ailments?
Ans: Yoga helps.

Qn: Which is the best and worst food for the heart?
Ans: Fruits and vegetables are the best and the worst is oil.

Qn: Which oil is better - groundnut, sunflower, olive?
Ans: All oils are bad .

Qn: What is the routine checkup one should go through? Is there any specific test?
Ans: Routine blood test to ensure sugar, cholesterol is ok. Check BP, Treadmill test after an echo.

Qn: What are the first aid steps to be taken on a heart attack?
Ans: Help the person into a sleeping position , place an aspirin tablet under the tongue with a sorbitrate tablet if available, and rush him to a coronary care unit since the maximum casualty takes place within the first hour.

Qn: How do you differentiate between pain caused by a heart attack and that caused due to gastric trouble?Ans: Extremely difficult without ECG.

Qn: What is the main cause of a steep increase in heart problems amongst youngsters? I see people of about 30-40 yrs of age having heart attacks and serious heart problems.
Ans: Increased awareness has increased incidents. Also, sedentary lifestyles, smoking, junk food, lack of exercise in a country where people are genetically three times more vulnerable for heart attacks than Europeans and Americans.

Qn: Is it possible for a person to have BP outside the normal range of 120/80 and yet be perfectly healthy?
Ans: Yes.

Qn: Marriages within close relatives can lead to heart problems for the child. Is it true?
Ans : Yes, co-sanguinity leads to congenital abnormalities and you may not have a software engineer as a child

Qn: Many of us have an irregular daily routine and many a times we have to stay late nights in office. Does this affect our heart ? What precautions would you recommend?
Ans : When you are young, nature protects you against all these irregularities. However, as you grow older, respect the biological clock.

Qn: Will taking anti-hypertensive drugs cause some other complications (short / long term)?
Ans : Yes, most drugs have some side effects. However, modern anti-hypertensive drugs are extremely safe.

Qn: Will consuming more coffee/tea lead to heart attacks?
Ans : No.

Qn: Are asthma patients more prone to heart disease?
Ans : No.

Qn: How would you define junk food?
Ans : Fried food like Kentucky , McDonalds , samosas, and even masala dosas.

Qn: You mentioned that Indians are three times more vulnerable. What is the reason for this, as Europeans and Americans also eat a lot of junk food?
Ans: Every race is vulnerable to some disease and unfortunately, Indians are vulnerable for the most expensive disease.

Qn: Does consuming bananas help reduce hypertension?
Ans : No.

Qn: Can a person help himself during a heart attack (Because we see a lot of forwarded emails on this)?
Ans : Yes. Lie down comfortably and put an aspirin tablet of any description under the tongue and ask someone to take you to the nearest coronary care unit without any delay and do not wait for the ambulance since most of the time, the ambulance does not turn up.

Qn: Do, in any way, low white blood cells and low hemoglobin count lead to heart problems?
Ans : No. But it is ideal to have normal hemoglobin level to increase your exercise capacity.

Qn: Sometimes, due to the hectic schedule we are not able to exercise. So, does walking while doing daily chores at home or climbing the stairs in the house, work as a substitute for exercise?
Ans : Certainly. Avoid sitting continuously for more than half an hour and even the act of getting out of the chair and going to another chair and sitting helps a lot.

Qn: Is there a relation between heart problems and blood sugar?
Ans: Yes. A strong relationship since diabetics are more vulnerable to heart attacks than non-diabetics.

Qn: What are the things one needs to take care of after a heart operation?
Ans : Diet, exercise, drugs on time, Control cholesterol, BP, weight.

Qn: Are people working on night shifts more vulnerable to heart disease when compared to day shift workers?Ans : No.

Qn: What are the modern anti-hypertensive drugs?
Ans : There are hundreds of drugs and your doctor will choose the right combination for your problem, but my suggestion is to avoid the drugs and go for natural ways of controlling blood pressure by walk, diet to reduce weight and changing attitudes towards lifestyles.

Qn: Does dispirin or similar headache pills increase the risk of heart attacks?
Ans : No.

Qn: Why is the rate of heart attacks more in men than in women?
Ans : Nature protects women till the age of 45.

Qn: How can one keep the heart in a good condition?
Ans : Eat a healthy diet, avoid junk food, exercise everyday, do not smoke and, go for health checkups if you are past the age of 30 ( once in six months recommended)

Smart ass

A Sri Lankan guy went hunting one day in Ontario and bagged three ducks. He put them in the bed of his pickup truck and was about to drive home when he was confronted by a game warden who didn't like Asians.

The game warden ordered the SL guy to show his hunting license, so the Sri Lankan man pulled out a valid Ontario hunting license.

The game warden looked carefully at the license, then reached over and picked up one of the ducks, sniffed its butt, and said: "This duck isn't from Ontario. This is a Quebec duck. You got a Quebec hunting license, boy?" The Sri Lankan reached into his wallet and produced a Quebec hunting license.

The game warden looked at it, then reached over and grabbed the second duck, sniffed its butt, and said:"This ain't no Quebec duck. This duck is from Manitoba. You got a Manitoba license?" The SL guy silently reached into his wallet and produced a Manitoba hunting license.

The warden then reached over and picked up the third duck, sniffed its butt, and said: "This ain't no Manitoba duck. This duck's here from Nova Scotia. You got a Nova Scotia hunting license?" Again the SL man reached into his wallet and brought out a Nova Scotia hunting license.

The game warden was extremely frustrated at this point, and he yelled at the Sri Lankan: "Just tell me where the hell are you from?"

The Sri Lankan smiled turned around, bent over, dropped his pants, and said: "You tell me, you're the expert."

Hokkien for dummies

Quotable quotes quoted by Patrick Teoh with comments

Despite what may have been said about them the editorial team at The New Straits Times do have a sense of humour la. Look at today's front page.

4 quotes. All attributed to one man. The Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib Razak. So what's so funny about that you may ask. Well, read on...

"We should be watchful of what we say, not because we cannot say it, but because we must know how best to say it"...

...and this from the same guy who not so many years ago was standing in the middle of a padang in the middle of Kuala Lumpur at a public rally and waving a keris calling for the shedding of blood. Whose blood I won't say la because I should know how best to say it, right?

"I believe it is a disservice to the spirit of our nation and founding fathers if we keep harping on what would keep us apart, rather than what has kept us together for half a century"...

...very true words, Najib but unless my memory fails me all the disservice in recent years seem to have been done by mostly politicians in the Barisan Nasional. Right?

"Let us celebrate the success that is Malaysia. Let us celebrate 50 years of nationhood, sacrifice, tolerance and co-operation"...

...yes thank you, YB we shall do just that as soon as you and your political colleagues recognise that Malaysia belongs to us, the Rakyat, and not to the politicians in power. That the sacrifices you so often refer to is made mostly by us, the Rakyat, albeit led by a team of leaders like the Tunku and your father. I as a Chinese Malaysian together with my brethren, the Bumiputras and Indian Malaysians have tolerated a lot in the last 50 years and will continue to do so with understanding. So please la, don't lecture us about tolerance and sacrifice anymore, okay?

By the way, what is your sacrifice and contribution ah? No seriously, tell us. We really would like to know.

"Each of us must ask ourselves what we have done to promote national unity"...

...are you listening to yourself, YB? Oh sorry, it is YAB isn't it? Ah whatever la. Makes no difference to me. Or any member of the rakyat I don't think. Thank you.

"I am proud to say that almost everyone in this country has access to safe, potable water supply"...Dr. Lim Keng Yaik, Energy, Water and Communications Minister.

...I wonder if Dr. Lim has installed those gleaming silver water filters that cost a fortune in his home? If he has then he is tokking kok right? If he hasn't then I salute him for being a brave soul for drinking unfiltered water from Malaysia's water supply. Syabas!

"That means my identity card or passport must state that I am a Bangsa Malaysia. My religion must also be left out as it is strictly between me and God"...the former Inspector-General of Police, Rahim Noor on his definition of a complete Malaysian.

Now how the hell did somebody with those thoughts get to become Inspector-General of Police? The Home Ministry better tighten up some loopholes la.

"We also want them to promote Langkawi, Penang and other interesting islands as an alternative to Bali"...the Malaysian minister of tourism on his plans for co-operation with the Indonesians to exchange tourists.

Sounds like something wrong here la. It's like..."Dei brudder, send some of your tourists over la. Bali enough already isn't it? Share share la". This wise minister suggested that during the season when Middle Eastern tourists visit Malaysia the ministry would promote Indonesia to them and wanted the Indonesians to do the same with their Russian and Australian tourists who visit Bali often. Call me a cynical Chinaman entrepreneur la but somehow that doesn't sound right or clever to me la. You?

"I don't see any other reason that they cannot spend about RM3 to buy a mini flag and fly it on their vehicles"...Deputy Information Minister, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi after being frustrated by the lack of commitment shown by motorists in flying the mini Jalur Gemilang on their vehicles this year. He reckoned that motorists were expecting the Government to give them the flags for free.

Hello, YB when you've given people things for free for 4 decades now you blame them for wanting everything free???

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Excellent relationship with God

"God and I are tight. He knows I have poor eyesight, so he's fixed it so when I get up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, *poof*!, the light goes on. When I'm done, *poof*!, the light goes off."

"Wow, that's incredible," the doctor says.

A little later in the day, the doctor calls George's wife. "Ethel," he says, "George is doing fine but I had to call you because I'm in awe of his relationship with God. Is it true that he gets up during the night and *poof *!, the light goes on in the bathroom, and when he's done, *poof*! the light goes off?"

"OH MY GOD!" Ethel exclaims. "He's pissing in the fridge again!!!!".

This reminds me of my ex-colleague in UK who could not help laughing when relating to us how her husband pissed into their laundry basket after a round of heavy drinking at the local pub.

There is also the joke about Clinton's then Vice President's wife who called Hilary to ask if it is true that they have gold-plated urinal, which turned out to be his saxophone!

Settling in at Maastricht

It was my introductory session today with loads of information (especially concerning yucky administrative work) and meeting new people. There are supposed to be nine research fellows in my cohort, although only six turned up today. All of us are girls, except Kwan, a short Thai who was working with the World Bank in Bangkok before coming. There is a Dutch girl, Siu Hing, whose parents are Chinese, and my roommate (yes, we have offices!) is cheerful Lenka from Czech Republic. Sonila and Dorcas are from Albania and Kenya respectively.

Besides the research fellows, there are also over forty new students who will be undertaking the Master in Public Policy programme this coming year. Although we don't share similar classes, we are expected to be acquainted with one another through the graduate school's non-academic activities and the sharing of the common space (e.g. coffee machine corner, kitchen, cafe, toilet?) within the school (which has its own building). For instance, I got to know a Hindu-Punjabi girl from Delhi, Neha, who is an urban planner (basically, consultancy work) back home.

I've finally found myself a nifty bicycle from the secondhand shop. The heavy chain lock that I bought soon after was nearly half the price of the bike. The bicycle shop owner convinced me of the futility of a cable lock that gives way after five snips with the wire cutter. Maastricht, like the rest of the Netherlands, have routine-like bike thefts. No one knows exactly why people would bother stealing (mostly secondhand) bicycles in a land where almost every able-bodied person owns a bike. Maybe it is a hobby or sport (e.g. who could steal the ugliest bicycle in Maastricht).

My timetable for the year is hectic, with classes from Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm with an hour's lunch break in-between. I also have additional econometrics tutorials from 10am to 12pm on Fridays. Thankfully, there is no "culture shock" here as I had a relatively similar study regime in Differdange.

Cheng

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Modern marriage vow

A long suffering husband's fantasy?

When push came to shove...



even fish think of migrating.

Karma

One day a man saw an old lady, stranded on the side of the road, but even in the dim light of day, he could see she needed help.

So he pulled up in front of her Mercedes and got out. His Pontiac was still sputtering when he approached her. Even with the smile on his face, she was worried.

No one had stopped to help for the last hour or so. Was he going to hurt her? He didn't look safe; he looked poor and hungry.

He could see that she was frightened, standing out there in the cold. He knew how she felt. It was that chill which only fear can put in you.

He said, "I'm here to help you, ma'am. Why don't you wait in the car where it's warm? By the way, my name is Bryan Anderson."

Well, all she had was a flat tire, but for an old lady, that was bad enough.

Bryan crawled under the car looking for a place to put the jack, skinning his knuckles a time or two. Soon he was able to change the tire. But he had to get dirty and his hands hurt.

As he was tightening up the lug nuts, she rolled down the window and began to talk to him. She told him that she was from St. Louis and was only just passing through. She couldn't thank him enough f or coming to her aid.

Bryan just smiled as he closed her trunk. The lady asked how much she owed him. Any amount would have been all right with her. She already imagined all the awful things that could have happened had he not stopped.

Bryan never thought twice about being paid. This was not a job to him. This was helping someone in need, and God knows there were plenty, who had given him a hand in the past. He had lived his whole life that way, and it never occurred to him to act any other way.

He told her that if she really wanted to pay him back, the next time she saw someone who needed help, she could give that person the assistance they needed, and Bryan added, "And think of me."

He waited until she started her car and drove off. It had been a cold and depressing day, but he felt good as he headed for home, disappearing into the twilight.

A few miles down the road the lady saw a small cafe. She went in to grab a bite to eat, and take the chill off before she made the last leg of her trip home.

It was a dingy looking restaurant. Outside were two old gas pumps. The whole scene was unfamiliar to her. The waitress came over and brought a clean towel to wipe her wet hair. She had a sweet smile, one that even being on her feet for the whole day couldn't erase.

The lady noticed the waitress was nearly eight months pregnant, but she never let the strain and aches change her attitude. The old lady wondered how someone who had so little could be so giving to a stranger. Then she remembered Bryan.

After the lady finished her meal, she paid with a hundred dollar bill. The waitress quickly went to get change for her hundred dollar bill, but the old lady had slipped right out the door. She was gone by the time the waitress came back. The waitress wondered where the lady could be. Then she noticed something written on the napkin.

There were tears in her eyes when she read what the lady wrote: "You don't owe me anything. I have been there too. Somebody once helped me out, the way I'm helping you. If you really want to pay me back, here is what you do: Do not let this chain of love end with you." Under the napkin were four more $100 bills.

Well, there were tables to clear, sugar bowls to fill, and people to serve, but the waitress made it through another day.

That night when she got home from work and climbed into bed, she was thinking about the money and what the lady had written. How could the lady have known how much she and her husband needed it? With the baby due next month, it was going to be hard....

She knew how worried her husband was, and as he lay sleeping next to her, she gave him a soft kiss and whispered soft and low, "Everything's going to be all right. I love you, Bryan Anderson."

There is an old saying "What goes around comes around."

By posting this story I am letting this light to continue shining.

It is an amazing coincidence that I was about to write about something similar.

I am truly grateful that in the course of my children’s education overseas: my son in Sydney, daughters in Colchester and Canterbury, even when they were in KL, they had been assisted in one way or other, by relatives and friends. It is difficult to put it in terms of dollars and cents, or pounds and pence, (or Yen as well for Cheng) but the offers of assistance were there when needed, unconditionally.

I honestly believe that my children are destined to be of help to others in the course of their future careers.

I am glad each time I am told that my son had helped a student to choose the right course of study in the course of his work marketing a college’s courses of study. He would place himself in the situation of the student so as to provide impartial advice in the choices available, even suggesting that he look at other similar colleges before making a final decision.

My elder daughter seems to veer from her original ambition to be in politics to social research, while my youngest, is opting for a gap year to work in a charitable organisation!

So to those who have helped my children over the years, a big THANK YOU! Your credits will be transferred to others who are more in need in future.