How should we judge a government?

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

"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

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: 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
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

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.)

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Final insults to our intelligence before end of 2008

I have just glanced through some headlines in The Star and just cannot resist posting the following statements from some of our leaders (my comments in brackets):

MB urges poor to be creative
Don’t depend on the govt to eradicate poverty, says Ahmad Said

Kuala Terengganu: Ahmad said they should look around for success stories to emulate (look at me, suddenly become Chief Minister and creative enough to order Mercedes E Kompressor for Exco members)

Wan Ahmad: Funds not for fishing votes

Kuala Terengganu: The Rm1.6mil allocation for SRJK© Chung Hua Wei Sen building fund is not an attempt to fish for Chinese votes, said Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh.

…that community leaders requested for the money from the state government recently and the amount was approved before the death of former Kuala Terengganu MP Datuk Razali Ismail. (and we cannot wait to hand over the money till after the by-election on January 17)

Gobala issue not political, says Johari

Kuching: The barring of a PKR member of parliament from entering Sarawak is not politically motivated, said PBB deputy president Datuk Abang Johari Tun Openg.

He said there must be reasons for the state Immigration Department to deny Padang Serai MP N. Gobalakrishnan entry on Christmas Eve. (like because Anwar Ibrahim is eyeing to win Sarawak in the state elections)

Ushering the New Year of 2009

I have never liked firecrackers because of the loud bangs they created and for which the Chinese are known to favour when ushering the Chinese New Year.

Though firecrackers have been banned for some years now, on the eves of certain festivals, including Deepavali, intermittent sounds of firecrackers could be heard. I am sure tonight, come midnight, sporadic sounds of firecrackers can be expected.

The one upmanship was obvious from the photos taken by someone in Taiwan, reaching ludicrous levels. Thank God, firecrackers are banned in Malaysia since a few years ago. Still, there are people willing to risk it by secretly importing them because there is a demand from those who are willing to pay for them, including the fines, if caught. You can bet, the police are only too happy to settle for less.

This is my unusual way to wish everyone who cares to visit my weblog, ‘A very happy and successful new year of 2009’! Let there be peace on earth. Cheers!

This is both ludicrous and senseless:
The rationale for the picture below seems to be: since there are so many boxes of firecrackers, why not burn them box by box? The prosperity will come big time I suppose. Seems wasteful to me.

Rainbow and Under the Canopy of Love

I’m now addicted to ‘Under the canopy of Love’ which is being shown on NTV 7 at 11.00pm from Monday to Friday. Impatient people would go straight into buying the DVD if it is available, but I am more for taking it one episode at a time. What’s the hurry?

I was attracted by the tarot card predictions and the destiny of two former schoolmates. The girl was the one who fantasized and actually looked forward to meeting the boy at the bus stand at the end of every school day, and would be terribly disappointed if he wasn’t there.

One day, she cheated in order to treat him and when found out, he admonished her and advised her not to do it again. Soon after, the boy was transferred and she got the impression that he took the blame and was disciplined and she felt guilty for it ever since.

As predicted by a fellow trader at a shopping complex, they met when they accidentally knocked against each other while she was like Alice in Wonderland gazing at the canopy of the complex. With the aid of film wizardry, an image of a white horse was displayed moving across the canopy. But it took many chance meetings before they realised they were schoolmates. At one stage, she was paranoid that he was stalking her!

She was asked to help out at her alma mater for a charity. When the lady told her about an ex-student who gave a talk, she was thrilled that the name was the boy she fantasized before, but then he had just left. She rushed out to the road and was surprised to see him, the supervisor whom she had met ‘accidentally’, was also the guy she had been looking for all these years!

Anyway, while I am in the mood for reminiscing, I wish to show the lyrics of the song I used to serenade to my wife:

by Russ Hamilton

(Intro): Rainbow, rainbow, rainbow

I'm saving my money to buy you a rainbow
A rainbow, to fit on your finger
And after I've gone and bought you the rainbow
I'll go out and I'll buy you the moon

When we go walking side by side in the moonlight
We count the stars as we go strolling by
Maybe one day we'll own those beautiful diamonds
That glisten like the teardrops from your eyes

You know how I feel on a moment like this
When hand in hand when we reminisce
Your eyes seem to glow when you whisper low
I really love you

(Verse 1 again)

[Instrumental Interlude]

And after I've gone and bought you the rainbow
I'll go out and I'll buy you the moon
I'll go out and I'll buy you the moon

(Outro): Rainbow, rainbow, rainbow

I used to strum the tune in the key of ‘C’ but the original is in ‘D’. It was a pity because I would love to strum along with the CD playing but what I can remember by heart are the chords in ‘C’. It is simple to change the chords but to me, it is not the same, not my own version!

Btw, I have yet to get those diamonds.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Capitalize on your strength...

and do not worry about your weaknesses.

I have often been impressed with some musicians playing a few pieces well, and sometimes feel like giving up music as I know I can never be able to play those like they do. But come to think of it, if we can play a few songs well, people would tend to judge your ability by those songs and not those which you are not familiar with. There are millions of music pieces and it is impossible to know them all. So why bother with those you have problem with? Why not concentrate on those you can play well with ease and enjoy what you can? The following story somehow made me think along those lines:

Weakness or Strength
Sometimes your biggest weakness can become your biggest strength. Take, for example, the story of one 10-year-old boy who decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.

The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn't understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move.

"Sensei," the boy finally said, "Shouldn't I be learning more moves?"

"This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you'll ever need to know," the sensei replied.

Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training. Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match. Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals.

This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened.

"No," the sensei insisted, "Let him continue."

Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.

On the way home, the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind. "Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?" "You won for two reasons," the sensei answered. "First, you've almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defence for that move is for your opponent to grip your left arm."

The boy's biggest weakness had become his biggest strength.

Malaysiakini, Fed Gov't CAN or CANNOT stop state governments on land titles?

With signs and symptoms of dementia, it is an added stress to find some statements contrary to what we think it should be. It is bad enough having mainstream media being used as propaganda by the government but Malaysiakini?

I wish to refer to the following letter by An Old Timer and having read it again and again I get the impression the headline was just the opposite of what the letter intended. Please correct me if I am wrong.


Land titles: Fed gov't can stop state governments
An Old-Timer Dec 29, 08 3:02pm

I refer to the Malaysiakini report Najib: Perak has no free hand in giving land titles.

Najib Razak should check with Professor Dr Nik Mohd. Zain,a former director-general of Land and Mines and whose PhD is in land law and admisitration on his statement that the Perak government cannot implement its proposal to change the land tenure of New Villages and planned village lots without the consent of the National Land Council.

It is true that the state authority cannot by law change the tenure status of any piece of land that has already been alienated. In fact Circular No 19/1980 issued by the federal director-general of Land and Mines dated Jan 24, 1980 and signed by Nasruddin Bahari, clarifies this matter.

The circular stresses the rationale for this is that the land does not belong to the state anymore. The state authority can only impose whatever conditions fr the land, including its tenure, only when it makes a decision to alienate the land.
However, it is pretty clear that the state authority can alter the land tenure status of the land if the legal owner of the land surrenders the land to the state authority thus changing the legal status of the land from an alienated land to state land.

The former owner of the land can then submit an application to the state authority which will then approve the alienation of the land to him or her imposing whatever conditions it deems reasonable including awarding the former owner a freehold title.
For this purpose, the federal government either through the National Land Council or the office of the federal director-general of Land and Mines cannot do anything to stop the state government from doing so.

Now, it should be understood that the function of the National Land Council - whose membership includes all the menteri besar and chief ministers and chaired by the deputy prime minister - is only advisory, similar to the function of the National Council of Islamic Affairs.

This council was established to advise, clarify and coordinate land administration policies in Malaysia. It has no legal powers to enforce its decisions.

What happened before was that since all the state governments were controlled by the same party or a coalition of parties, the federal government was able to get state compliance by politically twisting the state government’s arms.

My comments here are based on my experience. Some of them might be wrong and therefore stand for correction.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Unsolicited advice for Raja Petra...

because what is in store for me might be applicable to him, IF he believes in horoscope. Like him, I was born in 1950 in the year of the Tiger and I also share with him, the same zodiac sign, Libra.

I am particular interested in one aspect of the forecast and the following part of the song lyrics of 'You're in my heart' sung by Rod Stewart, comes to mind:

"The big bosomed lady with the dutch accent
Who tried to change my point of view
Her ad lib lines were well rehearsed
But my heart cried out for you"

Personally, if there is a risk of sexual entrapment, it means I have something worth trapping, be it money or person. But the former I have little, while the latter I am over the hill, so what could it be?

A few weeks ago, my good friend sent to me in PDF format, 2009 Forecast for the year of Ox by Ju Xian Guan. To be honest, I have not heard of him and that does not imply he is not famous.

I am more interested in his Zodiac Forecast and being born in the year of the Tiger, I was curious as to what is in store for me next Chinese New Year.

Without going into details, what struck me was the mention of sexual entrapment 3 times which must mean something.

Under Overall Forecast: …"You need to guard yourself against sexual traps and control your alcohol intake.”

Under Relationship:
“Those already married should steer clear from sexual temptation to avoid getting into trouble.”

Under Health:
“No major issue with health but you have to control yourself against sexual traps and alcohol intake.”

If what he states is true, there must be millions of 'Tigers' all over the world, who will be sought out by wily women with ulterior motives. So, Raja Petra, be forewarned.

I cannot help adding, 'tongue in cheek', that I am open to persuasion, if a big bosom lady with a Dutch accent tries to change my point of view!

When in Rome, do what the Romans do...

and you can't go wrong?

China man decides to move to Australia after 50 years of living in Shanghai . He buys a small piece of land near Mt Isa. A few days after moving in, the friendly Aussie neighbour decides to go across and welcome the new guy to the region. He goes next door but on his way up the driveway he sees the Chinese man running around his front yard chasing about 10 hens. Not wanting to interrupt these 'Chinese customs', he decides to put the welcome on hold for the day.

The next day, he decides to try again, but just as he is about to knock on the front door, he looks through the window and sees the Chinese man urinate into a glass and then drink it. Not wanting to interrupt another 'Chinese custom', he decides to put the welcome on hold for yet another day. A day later he decides to give it one last go, but on his way next door, he sees the Chinese man leading a bull down the drive-way, pause, and then put his head next to the bull's bum.

The Aussie bloke can't handle this, so he goes up to the Chinese man and says, 'Jeez Mate, what the hell is it with your Chinese customs? I come over to welcome you to the neighbourhood, and see you running around the yard after hens. The next day you are pissing in a glass and drinking it, and then today you have your head so close to that bull's bum, it could just about shit on you.'

The Chinese man is very taken back and says, 'Sorry sir, you no understand, these no Chinese customs I doing, these Australian Customs.'

'What do you mean mate' says the Aussie, 'Those aren't Australian customs.'

'Yes they are, man at travel agent tell me' replied the Chinese man, 'He say to become true Australian, I learn chase chicks, drink piss, and listen to bull-shit.'

Circumstantial evidence...

of sexual harassment...well, it depends on the circumstance!

Every day, a male co-worker walks up very close to a lady at the coffee machine, inhales a big breath of air, and tells her that her hair smells nice.

After a week of this, she can't stand it anymore, takes her complaint to the manager of the HR department and asks to file a sexual harassment grievance against him.

The HR manager is puzzled and asks: "What's sexually threatening about a co-worker telling you that your hair smells nice ? "

The woman replies: " It's Keith, the midget."

Sunday, December 28, 2008

African Tribal War is still primitive, fortunately...

This picture of African Tribal War brought back memories of my growing up years playing with our neighbours in secondary jungle next to the river (Sg. Batu, behind Kah Bintang headquarters in Jalan Ipoh). We used cherry guns instead not actual bows and arrows in our fights!
" Looking through all year end collections evoked memories of things that have been pushed into the background by more recent events. But, when I saw this picture I had no recollection of ever hearing about it.
Most conflicts in the world, even small ones, are usually played out with AK-47s and Rocket Propelled Grenades, not bows & arrows. "

"Maasai warriors cover a battle field as they clash with bows and arrows with members of the Kalenjin tribe in the Kapune hill overlooking the Olmelil valley located in the Transmara District in Western Kenya on March 01, 2008. The Massai, the Kalenjin and the Kisii tribes have recently clashed over ongoing land disputes that erupted after botched local elections during the general elections held in Kenya in December of 2007. Over twenty warriors from the tribes have been killed in bow and arrow battles near the borders of these tribes in the last couple of months." (Yasuyoshi Chiba/AFP/Getty Images)

"Over 20 killed? I wonder how many wounded. It's a good thing they don't have AKs and RPGs, because those bright colors make great targets."

What was supposed to be live from Little Penang Sunday Market...

I was at Little Penang Street Market this afternoon and I actually tried for the first time, taking video clips of a Malay group singing some pop songs and posted to my blog when the event was still 'live'. Then I took a picture each of two local group of dancers from Casa Art Academy and Dance Factory Art Academy which I posted. I am now back home and to my disappointment, nothing came of them! It was sent to my email address instead! Only two pictures look ok while the video clip 'received' caused endless flickering when I opened it. When Leon, Vince and Lucas started playing, I actually cannot find the correct way to start video recording! Disappointed, I left early. Here are the two good pictures from my mailbox:

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Now to confirm whether we are demented...

Your Yearly Dementia Test

It's that time of year to take our annual senior citizen test. Exercise of the brain is as important as exercise of the muscles. As we grow older, it's important to keep mentally alert. If you don't use it, you lose it! Below is a very private way to gauge your loss or non-loss of intelligence. Take the test presented here to determine if you're losing it or not. The spaces below are provided so you don't see the answers until you've made your answer. OK, relax, clear your mind and begin.

1. What do you put in a toaster?

Answer: "bread." If you said "toast," give up now and do something else. Try not to hurt yourself. If you said, bread, go to Question 2.

2. Say "silk" five times. Now spell "silk." What do cows drink?

Answer: Cows drink water. If you said "milk," don't attempt the next question. Your brain is over-stressed and may even overheat. Content yourself with reading a more appropriate literature such as Auto World. However, if you said "water", proceed to question 3.

3. If a red house is made from red bricks and a blue house is made from blue bricks and a pink house is made from pink bricks and a black house is made from black bricks , what is a green house made from?

Answer: Greenhouses are made from glass. If you said "green bricks," why the hell are you still reading these??? If you said "glass," go on to Question 4.

4. It's twenty years ago, and a plane is flying at 20,000 feet over Germany (If you will recall, Germany at the time was politically divided into West Germany and East Germany .) Anyway, during the flight, two engines fail. The pilot, realizing that the last remaining engine is also failing , decides on a crash landing procedure. Unfortunately the engine fails before he can do so and the plane fatally crashes smack in the middle of "no man's land" between East Germany and West Germany . Where would you bury the survivors? East Germany , West Germany , or no man's land"?

Answer: You don't bury survivors. If you said ANYTHING else, you're a dunce and you must stop. If you said, "You don't bury survivors", proceed to the next question.

5. Without using a calculator - You are driving a bus from London to Milford Haven in Wales . In London, 17 people get on the bus. In Reading , six people get off the bus and nine people get on. In Swindon , two people get off and four get on. In Cardiff, 11 people get off and 16 people get on . In Swansea, three people get off and five people get on. In Carmathen, six people get off and three get on. You then arrive at Milford Haven. What was the name of the bus driver?

Answer: Oh, for crying out loud! Don't you remember your own name? It was YOU!!

Now pass this along to all your friends and pray they do better than you.

PS: 95% of people fail most of the questions!!

Hint hint on Alzheimer's

For not turning up in KL, my friend has forwarded to me two articles on Alzheimer's

Blood sugar loss may trigger Alzheimer's
Wed Dec 24, 2008 6:43pm GMT
LONDON (Reuters) - A slow, chronic reduction of blood sugar to the brain could trigger some forms of Alzheimer's disease, U.S. researchers said on Wednesday.

The study of human and mice brains suggests a reduction of blood flow deprives energy to the brain, setting off a process that ultimately produces the sticky clumps of protein researchers believe is a cause of the disease, they said.

The finding could lead to strategies such as exercise, reducing cholesterol and managing blood pressure to keep Alzheimer's at bay, Robert Vassar and colleagues at Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago reported.

"This finding is significant because it suggests that improving blood flow to the brain might be an effective therapeutic approach to prevent or treat Alzheimer's," Vassar, who led the study, said in a statement.
"If people start early enough, maybe they can dodge the bullet."

Alzheimer's disease is incurable and is the most common form of dementia among older people. It affects the regions of the brain involving thought, memory and language.

While the most advanced drugs have focussed on removing clumps of beta amyloid protein that forms plaques in the brain, researchers also are looking at therapies to address the toxic tangles caused by an abnormal build-up of the protein tau.

Vassar and colleagues analyzed human and mice brains to discover that a protein called elF2alpha is altered when the brain does not get enough energy. This boosts production of an enzyme that in turn flips a switch to produce the sticky protein clumps.

The finding published in the journal Neuron could lead to drugs designed to block the elF2alpha production that begins the formation of the protein clumps, also known as amyloid plaques, Vassar added.

"What we are talking about is a slow, insidious process over many years," he said. "It's so mild (people) don't even notice it, but it has an effect over time because it's producing a chronic reduction in the blood flow."
(Reporting by Michael Kahn; Editing by Michael Roddy)
Sleep gives brain disease warning
Restless sleep may be a bad sign in some people
Physically "acting out" dreams when asleep could be an early warning sign of dementia or Parkinson's disease.

Canadian researchers studied 93 people with "REM sleep behaviour disorder", which can involve punching or kicking out while dreaming.

The Neurology study found more than a quarter were diagnosed with a degenerative brain condition over the next five years.

UK experts said the research could help doctors predict the condition.

Normally, during "Rapid Eye Movement", or "REM" sleep, our muscles relax and do not move, but people with certain sleep disorders are able to lash out, or cry out.

It is a known symptom of some kinds of brain disease, including Parkinson's disease, and a rare form of dementia called Lewy body dementia.

The exact reason for the link is unclear, although some have suggested that subtle damage to a part of the brain which regulates sleep may be responsible.

However, in some cases, the problem happens long before the onset of the main symptoms of these diseases, and doctors at Montreal General Hospital wanted to see whether apparently otherwise healthy people with the problem were at higher risk.

Their study volunteers were all elderly - on average 65 years old - which already put them at higher risk of developing dementia or Parkinson's compared with a younger person.

However, each was followed on average for five years, and in that period, 26 of the 93 developed a degenerative brain disease.

In total, 14 were diagnosed with Parkinson's disease, seven with Lewy body dementia, four with Alzheimer's Disease, and another diagnosed with a disorder called multiple system atrophy, which involves both Parkinson's and dementia symptoms.

High chance

Their predictions suggested that patients of this age with the same sleep disorder would have a greater than 50/50 chance of falling prey to a similar condition over the following 12 years.

The researchers said that knowing more about the risks faced by people with the sleep disorder could not only help doctors to advise their patients, but also to work in the years to come to come up with ways to protect them.
Dr Susanne Sorensen, head of research at the Alzheimer's Society, said that the findings were particularly interesting in relation to Lewy body dementia, which accounts for only 4% of dementia cases.
The researchers had said that even the four Alzheimer's cases might turn out to be Lewy body dementia as the disease progressed.
Dr Sorensen said: "People with Lewy body dementia often have vivid nightmares, restless sleep and hallucinations - this study suggests that people with the disease may experience sleep disorders years before their other symptoms develop.
"This important finding could boost our understanding of how Lewy body dementia develops and help us detect it early. With further research we may be able to stop this devastating disease in its tracks."

Recession? What recession?

A friend forwarded to me this:

Employee Kidnapped from Home and Forced to Work by Manager

I've never been in the restaurant business, so I never really knew how hardcore they are about coming into work. Not sure if the economy is so bad that you'd continue to work for a manager who kidnapped you from home and forced you to go to work, but I'm glad I don't have to worry about such things.

The victim reported it to the police even though the manager threatened "he would end up dead somewhere" if the police got involved. I wonder why the guy didn't go to work that day; if he called in sick, was on vacation, or just decided to skip it. I'd also like to know what the manager's response was.

"A Buffalo man told police two men, including his manager, forced him from his home Friday evening and drove him to the restaurant where he works and told him to clean grease off a Dumpster.

The man, who lives off Hertel Avenue, said the pair forced their way into his bedroom by kicking open the door.
He also told police when he was done the manager gave him his paycheck and instructed him not to go to the police or "he would end up dead somewhere."

The victim, who also had his cell phone taken, reported the incident to police Saturday."

A word of thanks to some sponsors...

I wish to express my thanks to and for providing me with information on the number of I hits I get and where the visitors are from.

Each time I visit my own blogsite, my first glance would be the hits counter and the globetrackr to see if my earlier posts are attracting any visitors. I am not put off by the millions of hits obtained by famous personalities, like Dr. Mahathir, Marina Mahathir, Susan Loone, Patrick Teoh and so on, as I have to know my own limitations.

Patrick Teoh and Malaysia-Finance Blogspot have similar Globetrackr installed and the last time I counted the number of countries, both were in the region of 160 countries when I had only 20. Now, though my hits are still small in number, the number of countries have exceeded 60! This means it is easier for me to improve my influence internationally than in terms of absolute number of hits. This is encouraging.

People pleaser struck back...

no, it is not as serious as it sounds.

My ex-classmate since Standard 1 is now back on holiday in Malaysia and I am supposed to meet him before he flies off on Sunday. Because of the many dinners lined up at my end, and his family commitments with in-laws, he has only Dec 23 to 27 to himself. Then I was told he won't be free on Friday because of golf in Malacca, only left with today. It would mean I have to travel to KL and back just to meet him. The fact that he is a frequent traveller between Australia and Malaysia, makes it a bit more routine than someone I have not met for umpteen years. Moreover, able to go to Malacca but cannot come up to Batu Gajah? There is Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort which he has yet to try out.

The problem with people living outside KL is that there will be many times they have to visit KL for business or pleasure or because of children's education. Some people living in KL would feel that they meet friends too often because of its central location. So one has to strike a balance too, as to how often can become a pain to friends or especially their spouse!

As I was explaining to my KL friend why I am not making the trip, he sounded annoyed, 'so you are not coming...' to end the conversation. I can imagine his disappointment because there was a long lapse of time between our jamming activities but he should have known I live outside KL. Why not they make it to my place where I have a studio too? I have my other reasons like my dizzy spells and knee problem acting up, but that would sound more like excuses. Like they say, 'the spirit is willing but the flesh...' if I remember the quote well. I have yet to visit my surviving sister (excluding brothers) who in spite of her large family of her own would very much like me to visit her. Sigh. She still manages her floral business near Sg. Buloh so did not have time for visiting others.

My eldest sister who was still alive when I moved to BG for more than 10 years, did not step foot into my house because her children were too busy with their business. She joined tours to visit Ipoh and had lunch in Tg. Tualang but did not inform me. Anyway, it would not be possible for her to break off to meet me but I could have met her in Tg. Tualang if given notice of her trip.

Anyway, due to my mother's influence, on matters of 'pantang' I am apprehensive if I have any doubts about making a trip. It is a quick decision of 'yes' or 'no' and not changing minds and plans. I have to be at peace with myself too even over such simple matter!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Don't jump to conclusion...

A photographer for a national magazine was assigned to take pictures of a great forest fire. He was advised that a small plane would be waiting to fly him over the fire.

The photographer arrived at the airstrip just an hour before sundown. Sure enough, a small Cessna airplane was waiting. He jumped in with his equipment and shouted, "Let's go!" The tense man sitting in the pilot's seat swung the plane into the wind and soon they were in the air, though flying erratically.

"Fly over the north side of the fire," said the photographer, "And make several low-level passes."

"Why?" asked the nervous pilot.

"Because I'm going to take pictures!" yelled the photographer. "I'm a photographer, and photographers take pictures!"

The pilot replied, "You mean you're not the flight instructor?"

How prepared are we in a medical emergency?

When a man collapsed at a dinner function, people offered help and more people crowded round, probably making his situation worse. A suggestion to send him to hospital, and a few of them carried him, some holding his upper body, some holding his legs.

With the benefit of hindsight, what is best under the given circumstances? Most of us would have come across advice after advice on how to deal with such an emergency but how many of us know confidently what to do? One thing for sure, at the dinner in Pusing last night, none of the guests was a doctor. Could it have been better to call for an ambulance instead?

I would think so, assuming it was a heart attack but then again, because nobody could foresee as each case is unique. In America, even doctors are likely to pretend they are not because there were too many cases of patients’ families suing them when things went wrong.

22 years ago, my eldest brother suffered a heart attack at the age of 50 and was sent to KL General Hospital. He died soon after. Over a year ago, history repeated itself, but with a happy difference when his second son, at the age of 50 suffered a heart attack while at work in a Wagamama restaurant in London.

He was told to rest while they called for an ambulance. It was well equipped and manned by knowledgeable staff who took care of him while in the vehicle and upon reaching St. Thomas's Hospital was immediately attended to and soon after had angioplasty done. He was so lucky the restaurant is near such a famous teaching hospital with experienced specialists. Last night, while typing my earlier post, I received his Christmas greetings by sms!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Show must go on

YB Sivakumar giving out angpows to very old folks.

Sadness at dinner for Pusing old folks

Just got news committee member died after collapsing at dinner.

(the above was picture posted when I was at the dinner)
Just got back from Pusing Old Folks Dinner, after sending leftover food to some factory workers. It is nice to see some foreign workers get to enjoy what might be thrown away as waste.

A committee member of a Pusing charity for old folks, who was sitting next to VIP guest, YB Sivakumar, suddenly collapsed. After some quick fix by rubbing good old Chinese medicated oil, he was sent to hospital. The empty table which was near ours was when YB and others accompanied him and yet to return. When I posted the picture with a short note, it was when we received news that he died. The other VIP present was YB Hee Yit Foong and some Majlis Daerah Kinta Barat councillors from DAP, one of whom represented YB Fong Po Kuan. I still remember 2 years ago, the VIP table was occupied with some MCA councillors!

The young girls and some boys on stage are those who obtained excellent results for school as well as UPSR and SPR exams. My wife commented that girls outnumbered boys which seems to be the trend nationally too.

Have a good laugh over Christmas...

Actual Naval Radio Transcript :

The following is the transcript of an actual radio conversation in October 1995, between a US Navy ship and the British authorities off the north coast of Scotland.

The transcript was released by the MoD on the 10/10/96

BRITISH: Please divert your course 15 degrees to the South. to avoid collision.

US NAVY: Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees to the North to avoid collision .

BRITISH: Negative. You will have to divert your course 15 degrees to the South toavoid collision

US NAVY: This is the Captain of US Navy ship. I say again, divert YOUR course.

BRITISH: Negative. I say again: divert your course.


BRITISH: We are a lighthouse. FUCK OFF!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Greetings to all Christians


Hard to believe but it happened that someone got into trouble for it:
Florida woman claims 'Merry Christmas' greeting got her fired

PENSACOLA, Fla. — A Florida woman claims a vacation rental company fired her because she used "'Merry Christmas" to greet callers.
Thirty-five-year-old Tonia Thomas says she lost her job after failing to use the company-mandated greeting of "Happy Holidays."
The Panama City woman and self-described strong Christian has filed a federal complaint that accuses the company of religious discrimination.
She has since found another job since her Dec. 10th firing, but for less money and is seeking compensation for lost wages.
Her former employer, Counts-Oakes Resorts Properties Inc., says it's no Scrooge.
It describes the woman as just a disgruntled employee, but refuses to elaborate.
Liberty Counsel, an Orlando-based legal group that advocates for people discriminated against because of their religion, is representing Thomas before the federal Equal Opportunity Employment Commission.
Their complaint also accuses the company of harassing and taunting Thomas after she was fired by calling the police to watch her pack her belongs and leave.
Thomas could have hard time winning the case, said Thomas Harper, a Jacksonville-based labour lawyer who writes a newsletter on Florida employment law.
"I wouldn't think an employee has the right to insist (on saying Merry Christmas) unless that really is a tenet of their faith.
She would have to make a strong case that was part of her beliefs, if not, it becomes insubordination," he said.
Harper said when it comes to holiday greetings, the smartest choice might be ignoring the season.
"The best option is just not to say anything," he said.
- The Canadian Press

Our vindictive Federal Government

The latest display of Federal jealousy over a brilliant idea, is being played out when our DPM pointed out that under the National Land Code, the state government of Perak has no right to issue freehold titles to new villages. The titles are not given away free of charge, but the mere fact that the state government will be receiving at least a few hundred million and more importantly, is run by political opponents, must be stopped at all costs.

When the Terengganu state was run by PAS, oil royalties from Petronas were paid through federal channel via ‘Wang Ehsan’, just so that the state government was starved of state revenue. Now that the state is in BN hands, it is paid direct to the state amid publicity because of the forthcoming by-election in Kuala Terengganu. If this is not being spiteful, I do not know what is.

The Tourism Ministry had already stated its views of practically no cooperation with the state governments run by Pakatan Rakyat.

The Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur has 10 PR MPs out of 11. Yet the Mayor is a Federal appointee, and there is a Federal Minister in charge of Federal Territories. A few months ago, illegal extensions of corner shops in Setapak and Jalan Ipoh were demolished in a show of force, by a team of enforcement officers with heavy equipment in what the public perceived as punishment for voting opposition. This was well documented in YB Wee Choo Keong’s blogsite.

Never mind the inflated mega projects, mega contracts, take over of profitable mega companies, by cronies of BN. It is ok with Terengganu state Excos having Mercedes E Compressors but not Perak's Toyota Camrys.

The recent proposal of Sime Darby to takeover IJN, though temporarily shelved in view of the by-election in KT, is indefensible because the heart hospital is profitable and has cash balance of over Rm200 million. Why mess up a good organisation, which provides service to the poor as well? Is it because CIMB is looking for more business for its merchant banking division? Or is Sime desperate to show its profitability after the grand merger of plantation companies, with the impending recession?

BN is now capitalising on Husam’s statement that if PR takes over the government, PAS will introduce Hudud law. Well, Raja Petra had time and again tried to dispel this fear, based on the lack of numbers:

Malaysia Today: The constantly grumbling Chinese

Some Chinese say they refuse to vote for PAS because they are worried that PAS may implement Islamic laws. But how can PAS implement Islamic laws when they will never have a two-thirds majority in Parliament? PAS contested only 60 seats out of 222 Parliament seats. Then they went and won only 23 seats.

PAS needs about 150 seats in Parliament to change Malaysia from a Secular state into an Islamic state. But when they contest only 60 seats, even if they win all the 60 seats they contest it will still be only 60 seats. And they can’t win all the seats they contest. They can only win less than half the seats they contest. Where would PAS get the 150 parliament seats it requires?

I have news for BN. Some successful Chinese businessmen, though members of MCA, are willing to sacrifice MCA for a change, because of its impotency within BN. Don’t take my word for it, let the results of Kuala Terengganu show if the trend is there.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Please do not mess with Nature...

God probably loves you just the way you are...

A 45-year-old woman had a heart attack and was taken to the hospital. While on the operating table she had a near death experience. Seeing God she asked "Is my time up?"

God said, "No, you have another 43 years, 2 months and 8 days to live."

Upon recovery, the woman decided to stay in the hospital and have a face-lift, liposuction, breast implants and a tummy tuck. She even had someone come in and change her hair color and brighten her teeth!

Since she had so much more time to live, she figured she might as well make the most of it. After her last operation, she was released from the hospital.

While crossing the street on her way home, she was killed by an ambulance. Arriving in front of God, she demanded, "I thought you said I had another 43 years? Why didn't you pull me from out of the path of the ambulance?"

God replied: "I didn't recognize you!"

That was fiction. But this was fact:

Gruesome addiction to beauty injection
June 28, 2008

She used to look like this before the cosmetic surgery disaster:
Her name is Han Mi Ok, a Korean celebrity who became known as 'Fan Lady' after her disastrous cosmetic surgery. She underwent 15 reconstructive surgery to overhaul her 'I-don't-think-it-can-be-fix' plastic surgery damage. She apparently became obsessed addicted to plastic surgery and couldn't get enough of the 'faux-fect face' ( I made the word up) so she went to quacks just to indulge herself. She even personally performed a facial injection at home. The result…. well you can see it.

And this is how she looks now after the overhaul:

On the photo above, Han Mi Ok was at the shooting of of 500th episode of Shocking Stories of the World. I admire her courage to display her damaged face in public and let people see how ungodly it is to distort ones appearance. I am not totally against plastic surgery but I am also not for it. She should serve as a lesson to anyone who dreamed of having a 'faux-fect face'. Think twice before you get cut up and think thrice before you inject yourself with human byproducts.

The Unscheduled Olympics in China...

the effects of the 2008 Olympics on the ordinary people.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Dr. Terence Gomez's bit on Proton's vendor system

In The Star Bizweek, Dec 20: Viewpoint: Comment by Dr. Edmund Terence Gomez
‘An insight into the rich business people’

The name Terence Gomez rings a bell, and brings back unpleasant memories of what could be just a miscommunication which I will explain after this:

I wish to point out one aspect of Dr. Terence’s article, relating to Proton:

Vendor affirmative action

A fundamental feature of affirmative action was the need to target Malays as recipients of government-created concessions to promote the rise of bumiputra-owned conglomerates.

This form of targeting was to have a major bearing on the shape of business formation and development.

One policy mechanism long implemented to promote bumiputra interests in manufacturing was the use of the vendor system.

This system had been a core component of the national car project, Proton, introduced in the early 1980s.

To promote bumiputra enterprise, firms were preferentially accorded the rights to supply Proton with locally-produced goods for the national car.

This vendor system, however, proved unsuccessful in developing the rise of bumiputera firms in the motor vehicle industry, while the Proton model cars themselves were hardly viewed as being equipped with quality material produced at affordable rates. This ultimately undermined the national car project.

The case of the Proton vendor system suggests that an attempt to anchor fledgling firms on to established enterprises would end up only weakening the prospects of the latter.

The outcome of the vendor system further suggests that selective intervention to promote bumiputra capital had failed, though not because of inadequate government support.

This same vendor system might have produced different results had contracts been issued to companies that had the capacity to produce high quality products at a reasonable rate, which would probably have held the Malaysian car project in better stead.

How can we escape from the perception that any protected entity or person cannot be the most efficient? Couple with this, the possibility of rent-seeking middlemen and we have inferior goods at high prices. If there were healthy competition, I am sure we have the people with the capability to produce quality goods at reasonable prices.

Though it is not a suitable example, I can imagine the DVD pirates have sufficient knowhow and equipment to produce quality stuff after years of experience! The lure of money somehow attracts the right people but for the wrong reason. It seems in China, since the melanin scare, it is going to be a blessing in disguise in that all the backyard and old factories will be replaced by new and efficient factories.

Anyway, about the miscommunication mentioned earlier:

A couple of years back, someone bought a table for Dr. Terence's farewell dinner in Kelana Jaya and offered to YB Fong Po Kuan. I was in Cameron Highlands then when I got a surprise call from Po Kuan asking if I would be interested in going for this dinner. If so, she would arrange for transport. She called back later telling me to call YB Kula as she had told him to expect my call concerning transport. I rang the number twice but it was not answered. It could be miscommunication, it could be YB’s way of not answering too many calls, but it was difficult for me to give him the benefit of the doubt then. In fact, I have learnt from before that 'your good friend's good friend may not necessarily be your good friend'. It is similar to say, in table tennis, where A is able to beat B and B is able to beat C, but A may not be able to beat C. Maybe, I am stretching the example a bit.

She explained to me that they are used to helping each other in terms of transport for each other’s supporters. But her good intention of offering me the dinner ticket turned out to be an unpleasant episode. As for me, I did not even know about the event until her call and I wished it did not happen at all.

The advantage of knowing who is calling, with the Clip feature in our house phone has its disadvantage too, though in the above case, Kula did not know my mobile number except that he was told I would be calling.

One day, I was in my music studio in the next house, playing drums in accompaniment to music from the CD player. When I got back to the house, I checked to see if there were any calls, especially ‘301’ which means missed call from overseas. I was surprised to see my sister-in-law’s mobile number at a time half an hour ago. When I called back, she asked how did I know? I told her about our Clip feature which was added when our then Indonesian maid got calls from strange people. Somehow, because my SiL wanted me to do a small errand, I cannot help but presume she might be thinking I intentionally did not answer and only call back later. But in actual fact, our phone does not show the number when someone is calling and I normally checked for record of missed calls only.

Woman of Substance...

with a relatively low profile.

Last night, I had the opportunity of sitting with a group of business associates at a wedding dinner in Ipoh. It was wonderful, being able to listen to some bragging among members of what I would call 'the Mutual Admiration Club’, while I am still a stranger to them.

One of them was nicknamed by my friend as the ‘Sultan of Batu Gajah’ for having a car with registration number ‘1’. His business associate actually called him ‘Sand King of Perak’, while introducing another from another table as ‘Sand King of Selangor’ if I am not mistaken. Justifying his purchase of luxurious cars, he related to us a Mercedes salesman’s story of a rich man using an old Merc who used to send it for servicing. Once he passed on, every of his sons bought a new Merc each. 'Since we cannot take it with us, why not enjoy what we can now?' he added. I would put it as it was also because of bumper profits, to have higher capital allowances for tax purposes.

The business associate said he is caught in the present slowdown of having bought 24 housing lots at Rm120,000 each. If this is not bragging, I do not know what is. SP whispered to me that one of them looked like a famous miner’s son. Though she was mistaken, he indeed, used to be a miner and she had tendered for his amang before some 20 years ago. Before she could pose the question, he could not wait to tell her that he knew her mother. Even the Sand King asked about certain pieces of land owned by her. While I would not like to compare wealth, as the Cantonese saying goes, ‘yat san wan yau yat san kou’ which means, ‘for every mountain, there is a higher one’. At the time, I was so tempted to quote Warren Buffet and his modest way of life and generosity towards charity, which is legendary, to put them in their place.

In spite of the display of wealth, I could detect a certain deference to the old lady’s business acumen. To put in perspective, I wish to quote an ex-Pusing resident:

According to Pusing Hakka Lao to my son: ‘I also know your grandma, a shrewd, smart and rich dulang washer. Your grandmother is the eldest daughter of Ah Miao (nicknamed, at that time everybody in Pusing had a nickname) and Ah Miao Po, your great-grandmother, the smartest and richest dulang washer in Pusing’.

Just for the record, it is not the same being the richest dulang washer and being the richest tin miner!

While they were talking about local politics, none of them knew I know a thing or two but as I have mentioned earlier, I am still enjoying my anonymity, not that I am going to be famous anytime soon! Honestly, I would prefer being an active blogger than a politician.

Woman of Substance...

of the village kind.

A village woman in her sixties, died recently, while walking out of a private hospital after mastectomy.

This woman was normally seen riding an old-fashioned bicycle in Pusing. It is rumoured, each Chinese New Year, she made at least Rm10,000 from making ‘nin kou’ a must ‘kueh’for CNY because it sounds like ‘year of happiness’.

It is now rumoured she left at least 200k each to her two sons! Even an ex-neighbour running a restaurant in Cameron Highlands was envious, saying ‘I do not have that amount in cash’.

During other days of the year, she would sell vegetables and groundnuts grown from her backyard. Firewood for making nin kou was available for free, she only had to go and get it.

This should be a lesson to those who are jealous of others’ wealth. 'Sweat and save' was the key to a villager’s wealth. Someone lamented that she could have accumulated more if she had invested in agricultural land over the years.

But I sincerely hope the Inland Revenue would not go after such hardworking and thrifty people because it was accumulated over a long period of time. Saving Rm10,000 per year over 40 years would have accumulated Rm400,000, excluding interest.

Go after those loan sharks who operate with licence but charge exorbitant rates unofficially.

Go after those ‘massage parlour’ operators who operate it as a front for vice and pay substantially to enforcement officers and police. Check the operators’ and enforcers’ lifestyles and assets.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Leadership by example?

Good or bad depends on the circumstances. A leader should lead by his own good conduct is commonly expected, but what if the leader has shown an example not exactly above criticisms?

When I was in Methodist Boys’ Primary School, Sentul, I was appointed as a Prefect. The problem was I did not have shorts of the right colour. Only Gian Singh, of Mountbatten Road (now Jalan Tun Perak) is the official supplier. Our local tailor promised my mother that he had the correct material. It turned out a few shades lighter!

When I was on duty, some boys questioned me, ‘Hey Prefect, where is your uniform?’ Because of this, I was not on duty a couple of times and the Head Prefect reported to the Prefect Master and I got a slap on my face!

Mr. Suppiah was actually my brother’s friend and he actually used my brother’s Morris Minor as bridal car! But he was one who is quick to react. How could I ever forget such an incident? I do not think slapping is acceptable in schools now.

The reason why I mentioned this incident was when I watched a television news clip recently, showing our JPJ officer in charge of safety, a turbaned Singh informing the public about using proper crash helmets. I know he had good intentions but with due respect, I find it funny when he himself was wearing something which was allowed as an alternative to a crash helmet for riding motorbikes for religious reason, but obviously unsafe! Wouldn’t those caught using an unauthorised and obviously unsafe helmet, question him?

With the introduction of seatbelts for rear seat passengers, I could not believe my ears when I heard him saying it is not an offence if there were four passengers in the back! Why can’t our authorities make up their minds? Either it is an offence or it is not, no buts please! Imagine enforcing a law for two or three persons and then, never mind because you have a fourth passenger!

I have just read the Sunday Star with a headline: ‘CJ mulls seniority of judges based on merit’ and it was reported that he is mulling the possibility of departing from the current practice of determining the hierarchy of judicial officers, which is based on the number of years and days served in the judiciary.

Under a new proposal, a judge now ‘senior’ on the judges list could be replaced by his junior in terms of length of service.

‘Leadership by example’ comes to mind as he has already shown the way! His route to become CJ was nicknamed, 'hop, step and jump' by Lim Kit Siang when he predicted the ultimate intention of PM when he was first appointed President of the Court of Appeal, straight from private practice, over and above some very senior judges, who must be fuming mad.

Public perception and public opinion are obviously unimportant to the powers that be. We have the mandate, remember?

Time management and priorities

When I was working in KL while my wife was working in Batu Gajah, my priority then was, without doubt ‘family comes first’. When my mother was still alive, it was a weekly emotional tug of war between family and mother.

Occasionally, I had invitations to wedding dinners or just get-togethers of old friends or ex-classmates. In the case of wedding invitations in KL, SP would try to make it as well if it involved relations. I tried to explain my reason if I had to forego attending, that my presence was more important to my children, especially Cheng who really showed her excitement when I went to fetch her from the baby-sitter, compared with my inconspicuous presence in a dinner crowd of a few hundred people.

At last night’s dinner, Govin and wife, actually came all the way from Johor Bahru to attend my mother-in-law’s birthday event. Veny told me that she actually asked him whether they should give it a miss this year, having just attended a wedding dinner the night before in KL. But he insisted that this event is very important to him. Anyway, the dinner party consisted of 40 people only and that included 10 workers, so he actually felt honoured to be invited too. So, it has to do with number of people involved again.

Recently, I was one of many, invited to DAP’s dinner in PJ, by Tony Pua and because of the many dinners locally, I had to give it a miss. This was also more to do with ‘who am I?’ and ‘I wouldn’t be missed at an event attended by 1,000(?)’.

Did I hear some sniggering? Yes, going to KL is a luxury to me now. A trip would cost me easily over Rm100 in petrol and tolls, and the latest penalty for having lost my transit ticket (presumed to be coming from JB) which costed me Rm68, really put me off. In trying to outsmart people who tried to cheat, I can understand the rules. But only recently, friends on a trip to Vietnam said their van paid only Rm4.30 from Gopeng to KLIA! So the loopholes are still there. It seems there was an unscheduled stop where the driver alone 'had to go to the toilet'.

Affinity of chance meeting

We have just got back from my mother-in-law's 89th birthday dinner at Overseas Restaurant in Ipoh.

At the restaurant, I was expecting my son to call from London but instead of me, he called SP instead and because of the noisy chatter, she didn't know it. But his good friend who happened to be in the same place, saw her and texted him about it. He called Seng to tell her to take his call!

Few months ago, I had this wish to be able to call a friend upon seeing him or her from a distance. Sure enough, when Nee was back in August, I drove her to Maybank, Bangsar to re-activate her ATM card. While waiting in the car for her I looked towards McDonald and saw a lady walking past the shop. I thought she looked like my former classmate whom I have not met for at least 20 years! We have been in contact through emails and occasionally by phone only. I thought I could recognise the way she walks! As the chances were so remote I did not call her mobile number there and then. A few hours later, I could not resist but texted her and to my surprise, she replied 'yes' it was her! I missed the chance of seeing someone answering my call from a distance! I am also fascinated by the coincidence as in 'yau yin' or affinity of chance meeting. She happened to be my matchmaker which made it more to do with destiny of fate. I wonder what went through her mind when she discovered she was being watched!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Incontrovertible proof of our failure in Education policy

The Star Friday's Page N26 Headline:

Rm70mil to retrain jobless grads
Minister: Govt aims to make the unemployed more marketable


‘He said the grant would be used to train them in skills like communication, language and creative thinking.’

"Some have good qualifications but their hurdle is language. So, we want to train them in English,” he said.

He added that the training courses would be carried out over a period of two to three years.

“We want to make our unemployed graduates more marketable,” he said.

Yet, we are still having second thoughts about teaching Science and Mathematics in English.

I would support those who suggested that we should revert back to making English, in addition to Bahasa Malaysia, compulsory for SPM. It will be for their own good. Don't underestimate students' ability to learn languages. Blame it on our policy makers.

Just imagine having to study for a course in university, knowing full well that you will be lacking in communication, language and creative thinking skills. Why can't we provide them with the full works?

I still cannot get over the 'good qualifications but their hurdle is language' part.

Tale of the unexpected...

of the desperate kind:

Man Almost Loses Penis Humping Steel Bench

Last night in Hong Kong, the police received a disturbing call from a man in trouble.

Xing, a 41 year-old man, was calling from LanTian park in the middle of the night. The lonely and disturbed man had apparently thought it would be fun to have sex with one of the steel sit-up benches around the park.

The bench has numerous small holes in it, which Xing used to attempt to satisfy himself. However, once he became aroused he found that he was stuck and could not get his penis out of the small hole.

When police arrive they found Xian stuck face down where he had been stuck for some time.

When doctors arrived on the scene they tried to release some of the pressure by removing some of his blood, but the penis was so swollen that they ended up having to cut the entire bench free and take it, with Xian attached, to the hospital.

4 painful hours later, Doctors finally separated Xian from his bench.
Doctors stated that if he had been stuck for even an hour longer, they would have had to remove his penis.

Lets just say this is probably one bad date that Xing will never forget.

(this is based on old news report)

Tale of the unexpected...

of the careless kind:

Tale of the unexpected...

of the sexual kind (2):

Advised to leave home without it?

Tale of the unexpected...

of the sexual kind (1):
Sometimes, we wonder if there were cheeky beings of the supernatural kind, involved in this. Or was it plain raging hormone?

Friday, December 19, 2008

Constituents should have a sense of balance

I am prompted by the following letter:
theSun: Speak Up: Give Perak PR govt time

WHY all the fuss about the Pakatan Rakyat government in Perak, "Wake-up call for Perak govt" (Dec 17)? They have four years and let them do things their way and let us analyse their performance at the next election. As for the developments in Ipoh and Perak as a state, I would say the real development in Perak stopped many years ago during Tan Sri Ramli Ngah’s time. No one complained then, no one made a fuss then, no one voiced their dissatisfaction then and no one wrote letters to papers then. Why now? Lets give them time and I’m sure they will fare better than the previous state government.

I’m from Ipoh but work in Kuala Lumpur. I long for the day when I can get a decent job in Ipoh and move there permanently. Most people from Ipoh who are working elsewhere have the same longing. This will only change with a more prudent and intelligent state government. The previous state government proved its intelligence when it moved the Medan Kidd bus terminal to Medan Gopeng.

During the last election, most Perakians wanted change and we did it. I rushed back to Ipoh after work to put in my vote for the change. Many did the same. Many rushed back from North and South to Perak. The highway was jammed with cars on the eve of election. All our hardship paid off when PR won.

It’s not even a year since the PR came to power, so be patient. We kept quiet for umpteen years during the previous state government seeing things turning from bad to worse.

Lastly, so what if the state executive councillors want to drive a Camry? They deserve it. I for one would love to see my choice of councillors come and go in style.
JasonKuala Lumpur

Sometimes, we need to have a sense of balance in our perception of what is going on. Some people complained that once elected, their MP or State Assemblyman does not visit their constituency frequent enough, did not inform them earlier and they got to know about their visit from the newspapers, or did not answer their calls to his mobile phone. Some would insist on dealing only with the MP or ADUN personally, not his or her assistant.

We should imagine ourselves in his position and think whether it is possible to do all the official work, attend to all the complaints (some really petty) yet socialise with the constituents.

YB Nga Kor Ming gave a convincing rebuttal to all such complaints when he said that during the morning of DAP state convention, his handphone showed 27 missed calls and over 300 messages! Could he have done anything if he were to answer all the calls and reply to all the messages? He said he wished he could just socialise and have tea with them everyday without having to attend to official matters!

I will try to be objective on the question of replacing Proton Perdanas with Toyota Camrys.

Just this morning, my friend complained about his new Proton Saga which had both front power windows out of order, after only a few months. I could not believe that in spite of all the criticisms and promises to rectify, this problem persisted. But it was true. The other common complaint about Proton is their gearboxes which cannot last as expected, like other cars. Service was not as good compared with Toyota or Nissan, for example, where their personnel actually call up to ask for their feedback.

If we think about it, if a car is troublesome, even if the service is good, it still requires time and money to repair. How many of us, if given the choice, would opt for a troublesome car? To add to it, poor attention and service is double jeopardy.

One of the reasons cited by the present Perak state government for replacing Proton with Toyota is unreliability of the cars. In the case of Terengganu’s Proton cars, abnormally high repair costs were attributed to not sending the cars to the authorised service centres while still under warranty, which was open to abuse. Someone even suggested that some private cars could have been serviced and charged under official cars. Nevertheless, a good internal control system should have detected unusual repair costs and not allowed it to reach ludicrous extent.

One of the complaints of Perak state’s decision is why Toyota Camry 2.4 instead of 2.0. Perhaps if it is not too late, a compromise, say, only senior excos are allowed 2.4 model should be considered. But, come to think of it, prior to the Protons, Excos were using Mercedes 124 models! What about the luxurious Mercedes E Class used by Terengganu now?

Anyway, with proper control over the use and service of the cars, much lower repair costs over the years would prove the critics wrong and justify the decision to change.

One big difference between the Pakatan and BN elected representatives is that the former had been through hard times and cost saving is likely to be one of their attributes.

As far as DAP representatives are concerned, I can vouch for a fact that I have seen YB Thomas Su alone personally arrange chairs prior to a party meeting. YB Sivakumar, who is presently the State Assembly Speaker is known to be the only Speaker who inspects clogged drains and uncollected rubbish and so on.

MP for Batu Gajah, YB Fong Po Kuan is well known for attending to constituency matters though she had lamented before that it seems a waste for her to look into clogged drains and uncollected rubbish. Fortunately for her, now that her party is in the state government, such responsibilities are greatly reduced as the respective State Assemblymen have correspondingly increased theirs.

I tip my hat to YB Lim Kit Siang, at his age, for his ability to criss-cross the country, sometimes at a moment’s notice. He was at the candlelight vigil in Ipoh recently, and when informed of the arrest of some people in PJ, rushed there to show his support.

Secret wish of women of today...

if I may presume...
Randy Glasbergen has this knack of visualizing and put in comic form what he thinks of people's thoughts.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just the way you are...

It was a busy morning, about 8:30, when an elderly gentleman in his 80's, arrived to have stitches removed from his thumb. He said he was in a hurry as he had an appointment at 9:00 am.

I took his vital signs and had him take a seat, knowing it would be over an hour before someone would be able to see him. I saw him looking at his watch and I decided, since I was not busy with another patient, I would evaluate his wound.

On exam, it was well healed, so I talked to one of the doctors, got the needed supplies to remove his sutures and redress his wound.

While taking care of his wound, I asked him if he had another doctor's appointment this morning, as he was in such a hurry. The gentleman told me no, that he needed to go to the nursing home to eat breakfast with his wife.

I inquired as to her health. He told me that she had been there for a while and that she was a victim of Alzheimer's Disease. As we talked, I asked if she would be upset if he was a bit late. He replied that she no longer knew who he was, that she had not recognized him in five years now.

I was surprised, and asked him, 'And you still go every morning, even though she doesn't know who you are?'

He smiled as he patted my hand and said ........
******** 'She doesn't know me, but I still know who she is.' ********

I had to hold back tears as he left, I had goose bumps on my arm, and thought, 'That is the kind of love I want in my life.'

True love is neither physical, nor romantic. True love is an acceptance of all that is, has been, will be, and will not be.

With all the jokes and fun that are in e-mails, sometimes there is one that comes along that has an important message. This one I thought I could share with you.

The happiest people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have.

Billy Joel's 'Just the way you are' comes to mind:

Don't go changing, to try and please me
You never let me down before
Don't imagine you're too familiar
And I don't see you anymore

I wouldn't leave you in times of trouble
We never could have come this far
I took the good times, I'll take the bad times
I'll take you just the way you are

Don't go trying some new fashion
Don't change the color of your hair
You always have my unspoken passion
Although I might not seem to care

I don't want clever conversation
I never want to work that hard
I just want someone that I can talk to
I want you just the way you are.

I need to know that you will always be
The same old someone that I knew
What will it take till you believe in me
The way that I believe in you.

I said I love you and that's forever
And this I promise from the heart
I could not love you any better
I love you just the way you are.

Cruel joke or a good laugh...

depends on you. I have just received this email:

Very Shocking...

This is a real story of a young college girl who passed away last month in Penang . Her name was Ai Ling. She was hit by a truck.

She was working in a call center. She had a boy friend named Tony.

Both of them were true lovers. They always talked on the phone. She used to be never found without her handphone.

In fact she also changed her network from Maxis to Digi, so that both of them can be on the same network, and save on the cost. Even when Tony left overseas to finish his masters, they constantly kept in touch.

She used to spend half of the day talking with Tony. Ai Ling's family knew about their relationship..... Tony was very close to Ai Ling's family as well. (Just imagine their love) . Before she passed away she always told her friends 'If I pass away please burn me with my handphone' she also said the same thing to her parents.

After her death, people couldn't carry her body, A lot of them tried to do so, but still cant everybody that had tried to carry the body, the results were the same.

Eventually, they called a person known to one of their neighbours, who can speak with the soul of dead person and who was a friend of her father.

He took a stick and started speaking to himself slowly. After a few minutes, he said 'this girl misses something here.' Then her friends told that person about her intentions to burn her with her phone.

He then opened the grave box and places her phone and SIM card inside the casket. After that they tried to carry the body. It was then moved easily and they then carried her into the van.

All of us were shocked. Ai Ling's parents did not inform Tony that Ai Ling had passed away as they're waiting for him to come home after his graduation..

After 2 weeks Tony returned and called Ai Ling's mom...

Tony:.'Aunty, I'm coming home today. Cook something nice for me...Don't tell Ai Ling that I'm coming home today, I wanna surprise her.'

Her mother replied... 'come home first, I wanna tell you something very important.'

After he came, they told him the truth about Ai Ling. Tony thinks that they were playing a fool. He was laughing and said 'don't try to fool me - tell Ai Ling to come out, i have a gift for her... Please stop this nonsense'.

Then they show him the original death certificate to him. They gave him proof to make him believe. (Tony started to sweat) He said... 'Its not true. We spoke yesterday.. She still calls me. Tony was shaking.

Suddenly, Tony's phone rang. 'see this is from Ai Ling, see this....' he showed the phone to Ai Ling's family. all of them told him to answer. he talked using the loudspeaker mode.

All of them heard his conversation. It is the actual voice of Ai Ling & there is no way others could use her sim card since it is nailed inside the grave box!

They were so shocked and asked for the same person's (who can speak with the soul of dead persons) help again. He brought his master to solve this matter.

He & his master worked for 5 hours. Then they discovered one thing which really shocked them....

Digi 'I will follow you!!!'

Don't shout at me I am also looking for the person who has sent me this what you can should also forward this mail to all your buddies...and i enjoyed. HAHAHAHAHA...

For those outside Malaysia, who are unfamiliar with our television advertisements, Digi ( a mobile telephone service provider with numbers starting with 016) has an ongoing advert showing this silly man in bright yellow full body suit (including the head with opening for eyes, nose and mouth) who seems to be everywhere where people go.

(picture from Lowyat.netv)

He ain't heavy, he's my brother...

by The Hollies come to my mind, when I read this very refreshing and original article by Wong Chin Huat. For his intellectual thoughts, please read his full article as linked .The lyrics seem relevant, at least to me.

(B. Scott and B. Russell)

The road is long
With many a winding turn
That leads us to who knows where
Who knows when
But I'm strong
Strong enough to carry him
He ain't heavy, he's my brother

So on we go
His welfare is of my concern
No burden is he to bear
We'll get there
For I know
He would not encumber me
He ain't heavy, he's my brother

If I'm laden at all
I'm laden with sadness
That everyone's heart
Isn't filled with the gladness
Of love for one another

It's a long, long road
From which there is no return
While we're on the way to there
Why not share
And the load
Doesn't weigh me down at all
He ain't heavy, he's my brother

He's my brother
He ain't heavy, he's my brother...

The Nut Graph Ahmad Ismail, my brother
By Wong Chin Huat
And I believe Umno and the BN are beyond repair until they lose the elections. Even Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi's so-called legacies are pathetic half-baked measures that make former Indonesian President BJ Habibie look like a giant. And the police are increasingly paranoid and mentally unstable to fear not only citizens singing the national anthem, but also citizens riding bicycles!

Talk about intolerance, how many of us have not asked our opponents to shut up, if not also threatened to lock them up? Talk about corruption or privileges, how many of us have not looked for the easy way out? Talk about breaking laws, how many of us have not talked on the mobile phone while driving or supported the pirate DVD industry?

As Malay wisdom reminds us, when we point a finger at others, we point the remaining four at ourselves.
Back to the hypothetical question above, why should I defend the citizenship of someone who denies mine by calling me pendatang? Because I would not reduce myself to his or her level (pardon my pride).

I want a Voltairean Malaysia. To paraphrase my late friend, activist Toni Kasim, “the Malaysia we fight for shall include you, even if the Malaysia you fight for may exclude us.”

The late Toni Kasim (pic courtesy of Ezrena Marwan)

So, I shall defend Ahmad's right to call me a pendatang or penumpang. Just as I would an Islamist's right to peacefully advocate for an Islamic state — despite my opposition to the idea — because he is my brother or she my sister.

A Little Trouble?

In Cantonese, a teapot is called 'charpou' and in HK film dialogue it is common to refer to 'trouble' as 'charpou'. It has to do with Chinese characters being unable to copy English pronounciation.

Nowadays, I tend to watch Mandarin news on NTV 7 at 9.30pm, after watching The Legend of Bruce Lee on 8TV, to try and absorb a bit of Mandarin, just like me watching Taiwanese serials to improve my Taiwanese Hokien. It is easier for one to accommodate the other in communication.

Watching Mandarin news on tv or listening to radio, our PM and DPM's names are often mentioned. For Abdullah, it is 'Ah Tu Lah' (not Ah Tu Lan which means angry in Hokien) and Najib becomes 'Nah Chee' which I cannot help but think of the Hokien meaning of 'sticking tongue out'! Nazri becomes 'Nah Ser Li' and so on. It is necessary to know the Chinese versions because when we communicate with Chinese educated people, some would not know the romanized names.

When a tiger is cornered...

There’s a Cantonese saying, ‘pik fu thieu cheong’ which literally means, ‘tiger when forced against the wall, will jump over it’. In this clip from Youtube, when a tiger is desperate, it will attack...

On the other hand, ‘fatt thieu cheong’ which literally means, ‘buddha jumps over the wall’ refers to a special dish which is so good that even a Buddha would jump over the wall for it!

No matter how you call her...

a wife is still a wife.

A Priest was about to finish his tour of duty, and was leaving his Mission in the jungle where he has spent years teaching the natives when he realizes that the one thing he never taught them was how to speak English.

So he takes the chief for a walk in the forest. He points to a tree and says to the chief, 'This is a tree.'

The chief looks at the tree and grunts, 'Tree.'

The Priest is pleased with the response. They walk a little further and he points to a rock and says, 'This is a rock.'

Hearing this, the chief looks and grunts, 'Rock.'

The Priest was really getting enthusiastic about the results when he hears a rustling in the bushes. As they peek over the top, he sees a couple of natives in the midst of heavy sexual activity.

The Priest is really flustered and quickly responds, 'Man riding a bike.'

The chief looks at the couple briefly, pulls out his blowgun and kills them. The Priest goes ballistic and yells at the chief that he has spent years teaching the tribe how to be civilized and be kind to each other, so how could he kill these people in cold blood that way?

The chief replied, 'My bike.'

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

2 Tough Questions revisited...

The following questions and answers had been around for quite a while and I would not be surprised it is a few years out of date, in terms of facts now when we read it. But anyway:

2 tough questions

If you knew a woman who was pregnant, who had 8 kids already, three who were deaf, two who were blind, one mentally retarded, and she had syphilis, would you recommend that she have an abortion?

Read the next question before looking at the response for this one.

Question 2:
It is time to elect a new world leader, and only your vote counts. Here are the facts about the three candidates. Who would you vote for?

Candidate A.
Associates with crooked politicians, and consults with astrologist. He's had two mistresses. He also chain smokes and drinks 8 to 10 martinis a day.

Candidate B.
He was kicked out of office twice, sleeps until noon, used opium in college and drinks a quart of whiskey every evening.

Candidate C
He is a decorated war hero. He's a vegetarian, doesn't smoke, drinks an occasional beer and never cheated on his wife.

Which of these candidates would be our choice?

Decide first... no peeking, then scroll down for the response.

Candidate A is Franklin D. Roosevelt.
Candidate B is Winston Churchill.
Candidate C is Adolph Hitler.

And, by the way, on your answer to the abortion question:

If you said YES, you just killed Beethoven.

Pretty interesting isn't it? Makes a person think before judging someone.

Wait till you see the end of this note! Keep reading...

Never be afraid to try something new.


Amateurs...built the ark.
Professionals...built the Titanic

And Finally, can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 500 employees and has the following statistics:

* 29 have been accused of spousal abuse
* 7 have been arrested for fraud
* 19 have been accused of writing bad checks
* 117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
* 3 have done time for assault
* 71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
* 14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
* 8 have been arrested for shoplifting
* 21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
* 84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year...

Can you guess which organization this is?

It's the 535 members of the United States Congress.
The same group that cranks out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line.

The last part on US Congress is definitely out of date though I do not know what are the changes needed to update the facts. Even if the Congressmen remain the same, after some time, the number of people involved in crimes and other activities would have changed. It gets a bit silly after some time.

God gave us the intelligence to question Him...

An old friend once told me that we cannot question too much when it comes to religion. We must have faith in Him. I am sure most of us wonder whether God can be everywhere:

New Fraudulent M2U Email Link?

A friend forwarded to me the following, which I am posting in good faith:

Subject: FW: new - Fraud Maybank2U Email Link...Be Careful!!

Kindly share this information with all your family members and friends. Lately there were numerous times these types of scam email have been received where the sender claimed from "MAYBANK' asking Mayban2U customers to login to Maybank2U through their email link. Here it is shown that when you click the link, these websites will be displayed and if you just entered any username and password (DO NOT ENTER YOUR REAL USERNAME & PASSWORD) and also any TAC it will still move to the next page without notifying you had entered wrong login codes. If you enter the real username and password, they will used them to login to your account.

The best is in the last PAGE where they do not advise you to check on your account until 5.45pm, so that they got the time to CLEAR all your money.

Please remind our family members & friends.
(Click to enlarge pictures)