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.)

Friday, July 31, 2009

To the uninitiated, sign language is even worse...

as a cause of misunderstanding.

Matter of interpretation...
A woman gets on a city bus. She looks at the driver and holds up one hand; the driver holds up two hands.

Next, the woman points up; the driver points down. Then, the woman grabs her breast; the driver grabs his crotch.

Finally, the woman grabs her butt and gets off the bus.

A curious passenger asked the bus driver what the odd motions were all about.

The driver explained, "The woman is a deaf-mute. She asked me if a bus ride is five cents, and I told her it was ten cents.

Next, she asked if the bus was going uptown, and I told her it was going downtown. Then, she asked if the bus was going pass the milk-farm, and I told her it was going pass the ball-park."

The passenger interjected, "Okay, but why did she grab her butt as she left the bus?"

The driver continued, she replied "Oh shit, I'm on the wrong bus!"


Even whites have problem with the English language

Someone who appears to be an obnoxious racist turns out to be a cost-saving realist!

A modern fairy tale

A koala was sitting in a gum tree smoking a joint when a lizard walked past, looked up and said, 'Hey Koala! What are you doing?

The koala said, 'Smoking a joint, come up and have some.'
So the little lizard climbed up and sat next to the koala where they enjoyed a few joints. After a while the little lizard said that his mouth was 'dry' and that he was going to get a drink from the river.

A crocodile saw this and swam over to the little lizard and helped him to the side. Then he asked the little lizard, 'What's the matter with you?'

The little lizard explained to the crocodile that he had been sitting with the koala in the tree, smoking a joint, but got too stoned and fell into the river while taking a drink...

The crocodile said that he had to check this out and walked into the rain forest, found the tree where the koala was sitting finishing a joint.

The crocodile looked up and said, ' Hey you!'

So the koala looked down at him and said, 'Shiiiiiiiiit dude... how much water did you drink!?'
(Author unknown)

Road safety reminders

Red light means stop! Not last minute to go!
Green light means go! But you still have to watch out for idiots who might jump the red light!

Maternal instinct overcame natural instinct

In a zoo in California, a mother tiger gave birth to a rare set of triplet tiger cubs. Unfortunately, due to complications in the pregnancy, the cubs were born prematurely and due to their tiny size, they died shortly after birth.

The mother tiger after recovering from the delivery, suddenly started to decline in health, although physically she was fine. The veterinarians felt that the loss of her litter had caused the tigress to fall into a depression. The doctors decided that if the tigress could surrogate another mother's cubs, perhaps she would improve.

After checking with many other zoos across the country, the depressing news was that there were no tiger cubs of the right age to introduce to the mourning mother. The veterinarians decided to try something that had never been tried in a zoo environment. Sometimes a mother of one species will take on the care of a different species. The only "orphans" that could be found quickly, were a litter of weanling pigs. The zoo keepers and vets wrapped the piglets in tiger skin and placed the babies around the mother tiger. Would they become cubs or pork chops?

Take a won't believe your eyes!!

Singlish version of Patrick Teoh's Tokkok?


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Some interesting signs

Does it say: business went belly up?

Size matters: small can, big cannot!

Menu in the toilet too: ponder while you poo!

Washing instructions designed by men for men

This is not a sign, but isn't it obvious 'No overtaking' was meant?


Funny side of shopping...

This is stretching a bit: supposed to be live fish!

It is obvious shopping takes top priority

Thoughtful design suits tired toddlers

Nappies are good for napping

Venus and Mars...never a twain shall meet...

I never quite figured out why the sexual urge of men and women differ so much. And I never have figured out the whole Venus and Mars thing. I have never figured out why men think with their head and women with their heart.


One evening last week, my girlfriend and I were getting into bed. Well, the passion starts to heat up, and she eventually says, 'I don't feel like it, I just want you to hold me..'

I said, 'WHAT??!! What was that?!'

So she says the words that every boyfriend on the planet dreads to hear..'You're just not in touch with my emotional needs as a woman, enough for me to satisfy your physical needs as a man.'

She responded to my puzzled look by saying, 'Can't you just love me for who I am and not what I do for you in the bedroom?'

Realizing that nothing was going to happen that night, I went to sleep.

The very next day I opted to take the day off of work to spend time with her.. We went out to a nice lunch and then went shopping at a big, big unnamed department store. I walked around with her while she tried on several different very expensive outfits. She couldn't decide which one to take, so I told her we'd just buy them all. She wanted new shoes to compliment her new clothes, so I said, 'Lets get a pair for each outfit.'

We went on to the jewelry department where she picked out a pair of diamond earrings. Let me tell you... She was so excited. She must have thought I was one wave short of a shipwreck. I started to think she was testing me because she asked for a tennis bracelet when she doesn't even know how to play tennis.

I think I threw her for a loop when I said, 'That's fine, honey.' She was almost nearing sexual satisfaction from all of the excitement.. Smiling with excited anticipation, she finally said, 'I think this is all Dear, let's go to the cashier.'

I could hardly contain myself when I blurted out, 'No honey, I don't feel like it.'

Her face just went completely blank as her jaw dropped with a baffled, 'WHAT?'

I then said, 'Honey! I just want you to HOLD this stuff for a while. You're just not in touch with my financial needs as a man, enough for me to satisfy your shopping needs as a woman.'

And just when she had this look like she was going to kill me, I added, 'Why can't you just love me for who I am and not for the things I buy you?'

Apparently I'm not having sex tonight either.......but at least that bitch knows I'm smarter than her.

(forwarded by a Venus!)


English becomes crazier the more we know...

Let's face it - English is a crazy language.

There is no egg in eggplant, nor ham in hamburger, neither apple nor pine in pineapple.

English muffins weren't invented in England or French fries in France .

Sweetmeats are candies while sweetbreads, which aren't sweet, are meat.

We take English for granted. But if we explore its paradoxes, we find that quicksand can work slowly, boxing rings are square, and a guinea pig is neither from Guinea nor is it a pig.

And why is it that writers write but fingers don't fing, grocers don't groce, and hammers don't ham?

If the plural of tooth is teeth, why isn't the plural of booth, beeth? One goose, 2 geese. So one moose, 2 meese? One index, 2 indices?

Doesn't it seem crazy that you can make amends but not one amend? If you have a bunch of odds and ends and get rid of all but one of them, what do you call it?

If teachers taught, why didn't preachers praught? If a vegetarian eats vegetables, what does a humanitarian eat?

Sometimes I think all the English speakers should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what language do people recite at a play and play at a recital? Ship by truck and send cargo by ship? Have noses that run and feet that smell?

How can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites?

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out and in which, an alarm goes off by going on.

English was invented by people, not computers, and it reflects the creativity of the human race, which, of course, is not a race at all.

That is why, when the stars are out, they are visible, but when the lights are out, they are invisible.

(Author unknown)

More examples on the difficulty of English language

Sometimes, when we are not thinking, we might make mistakes of using wrong words that sound the same or almost the same. In reading comments in other blogsites, examples like 'taught' spelled as 'thought', 'tomato sauce' as 'tomato source' and so on.

The other day, a phone shop girl said the reason she did not like to learn English was because of the many different meanings of words that sound the same. She could not differentiate between 'course' and 'cause' for example, and many more simpler words as well. I would not bother her on the following examples:

1) The bandage was wound around the wound.
2) The farm was used to produce produce .
3) The dump was so full that it had to refuse more refuse .
4) We must polish the Polish furniture.
5) He could lead if he would get the lead out.
6) The soldier decided to desert his dessert in the desert.
7) Since there is no time like the present, he thought it was time to present the present.
8) A bass was painted on the head of the bass drum.
9) When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
10) I did not object to the object.
11) The insurance was invalid for the invalid.
12) There was a row among the oarsmen about how to row.
13) They were too close to the door to close it.
14) The buck does funny things when the does are present.
15) A seamstress and a sewer fell down into a sewer line.
16) To help with planting, the farmer taught his sow to sow.
17) The wind was too strong to wind the sail.
18) Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
19) I had to subject the subject to a series of tests.
20) How can I intimate this to my most intimate friend?

Different takes...

Sucking or blowing?
You mean...I was a mistake?
If in Malaysia, at least daddy did not commit an offence! But for wearing black, the police might arrest you instead.

Someone suggested this is early gay sign!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dont't get uptight with the word 'up' because...

like the rain, there will be no let up...

There is a two-letter word that perhaps has more meanings than any other two-letter word, and that is 'UP.'

It's easy to understand UP, meaning toward the sky or at the top of the list, but when we awaken in the morning, why do we wake UP ? At a meeting, why does a topic come UP ? Why do we speak UP and why are the officers UP for election and why is it UP to the secretary to write UP a report ?

We call UP our friends. And we use it to brighten UP a room, polish UP the silver; we warm UP the leftovers and clean UP the kitchen. We lock UP the house and some guys fix UP the old car. At other times the little word has real special meaning. People stir UP trouble, line UP for tickets, work UP an appetite, and think UP excuses. To be dressed is one thing, but to be dressed UP is special .

And this UP is confusing: A drain must be opened UP because it is stopped UP . We open UP a store in the morning but we close it UP at night.

We seem to be pretty mixed UP about UP! To be knowledgeable about the proper uses of UP, look the word UP in the dictionary. In a desk-sized dictionary, it takes UP almost 1/4th of the page and can add UP to about thirty definitions.

If you are UP to it, you might try building UP a list of the many ways UP is used. It will take UP a lot of your time, but if you don't give UP, you may wind UP with a hundred or more. When it threatens to rain, we say it is clouding UP . When the sun comes out we say it is clearing UP .

When it rains, it wets the earth and often messes things UP.

When it doesn't rain for awhile, things dry UP.

One could go on and on, but I'll wrap it UP, for now my time is UP, is time to shut UP!

(author unknown, except Bayi was shown)


Making up stories...

If you happen to be in an eternal queue...

you might need to have your head checked...

before you end up in a basket building!

Unlimited supply from nowhere

An idea for Petronas to put up, to show how our government feels about the oil revenues which form half of government revenues, as if the supply is from nowhere and will not end.

Unreasonably high car prices in Malaysia...

Buying a car in China, the old fashioned way:

Someone forwarded an article by a Syed Akbar Ali, who must be really upset about our unreasonably high car prices. I know cars are much cheaper in UK, USA and Australia but his figures show even more so than I thought! Though he has the point about the high car prices, I think he has oversimplified the argument. Eg. the use of 26 million people in the population as all car purchasers. Then he has overlooked the aspect of the loss of revenues from import duties and excise duties which had to be removed to enable low car prices. Despite leakages and so on, I am sure such revenues form a large part of our government income to finance certain development expenditures. Besides the people working for Proton and component suppliers, we have seen how continual recent reductions in car prices had badly affected resale values of used cars which caused hardships to those who are unable to repay the balance of their loans if they were to terminate prematurely the hire purchase agreement.

A sudden removal of duties would be chaotic. Just imagine if you were the purchaser of a Toyota Camry which costed Rm170,000 and within a few months, the government decided to remove all duties and the price came down to Rm70,000, how would you feel then?

Subject: Car Prices In Malaysia 3x higher
Date: Tuesday, 21 July, 2009, 8:47 AM

BMW 535i sells for RM178,000 in the US
In the United States of America (a developed country which we are also aspiring to become by the year 2020) a 2009 model BMW 535i Sedan is selling for about USD50,367.00. This is only RM178,000 – about the price of a Toyota Camry 2.4L here in Malaysia . The same BMW sells in Malaysia for about RM450,000.

BMW 328i sells for RM155,000 in the US
The 2009 model BMW 328i 2 door Convertible sells for USD44,014 or RM155,369.00 in the US . In Malaysia the same car sells for over RM460,000. This is an untenable situation.

Audi A4 2.0T Cabriolet Convertible sells for RM142,000 in the US
The 2009 model Audi A4 2 Door 2.0T Cabriolet Convertible sells in the US for USD40,328.00 or RM142,357. In Malaysia the same car would sell for about RM265,000.

VW GTI 2.0T sells for RM85,000 in the US
In the US the 2009 model Volkswagen GTI 2.0T sells for USD 24,039 or RM85,000 only. In China the same car will cost around RM60,000. Over here the same VW car sells for about RM200,000.

And the 2010 model Toyota Camry 2.4L sells in the US for USD 19,659.00 or RM69,396. In Malaysia the 2008 Toyota Camry 2.4L sells for RM170,000. Toyota Camry 2.4L, 2010 model. RM69,000 in the US

Car prices in Malaysia are about three times higher than the prices in the United States . We are a developing nation. Our land and labour costs are so much cheaper than the US . Why are our cars so expensive? It does not make any sense. Tak masuk akal.

Then here are some car prices from our neighbour Indonesia. The Toyota Altis sells in Indonesia for about RM46,000. The same car sells here for around RM 112,000. Again we are three times more expensive than Indonesia .

The Honda Jazz sells here for RM108,000. In Indonesia the Jazz sells for RM 36,000. Three times more expensive.

We are paying ridiculously high prices (and actually impoverishing the Malays – who are the largest buyers of cars in Malaysia) to support an out of date, out of touch with reality motor car policy.

We are paying the highest car prices in the world to support the Proton and other locally made cars as well as support a mind boggling AP policy which only benefits a relatively few rich Malays. A disproportionately large number of Malays and other Malaysians are being impoverished to subsidize the wealth of a few inefficient rich. You should know who are we talking about?

26 million Malaysians have to pay three times more for their cars just to support Proton and 120,000 people who are directly and indirectly involved in the motor sector in Malaysia and the AP holders. That is a ratio of 216:1.This ratio of 216:1 is too skewed. 26.0 million happier people can contribute many more votes than 120,000 members of an inefficient motor industry. 26 million unhappy people can change a Government.(The maths is not really difficult here)

And this outdated policy is impoverishing the Malays more than anyone else.

Here is some news from our DPM Tan Sri Muhyudin Yassin about our car policy:

Muhyiddin assures govt support for automotive parts and component sector

1. KUALA LUMPUR , May 26 — The deputy prime minister said special focus will be given to “facilitate and encourage” the development of the automotive parts and component sector despite the current global and regional economic downturn.
2. “Under the CEPT and Asean Trade in Goods Agreements, Malaysia has agreed to eliminate import duties on all products in the Normal Track on January 1, 2010. This includes motor vehicles, auto parts and components,” he said.
3. He pointed out that . . . “the motor vehicle sub sector in Malaysia will not be directly impacted because of its heavy dependence on the domestic market”.
4. “The Malaysian government recognizes the contribution of the domestic automotive industry towards the development of the country.”

Para 2 sounds promising but then Para 3 and 4 basically says that the Malaysian motor car industry will continue to be protected. This means we will continue paying the highest car prices in the world for such “sucks & non safety standard” automobiles.
Cuba kita kira : kalau kereta Honda Jazz di jual dengan harga yang sebenarnya (lebih kurang RM36,000 saja) dan bukan pada harga sekarang (RM108,000) maksudnya bayaran bulanan pembeli kereta akan jadi kurang, mungkin sepertiga sahaja daripada bayaran bulanan sekarang..
Jika sekarang orang bayar RM1,500 sebulan untuk beli Honda Jazz, kalau harga kereta lebih menepati harga pasaran dunia, orang kita perlu bayar sekitar RM500 saja sebulan.Maksudnya tanpa Kerajaan perlu membuat apa pun (merangsang ekonomi, belanja berpuluh billion Ringgit duit rakyat) sebagainya) setiap rakyat Malaysia yang membeli kereta yang seharga dengan Honda Jazz akan dapat menjimatkan sehingga RM1,000sebulan daripada kos sara hidup bulanannya.

This is like giving the car buyer an RM1000 pay rise without incurring any extra costs for the taxpayer, the Government or the economy. It will greatly reduce the cost of living in Malaysia and spur greater economic growth too.

Tapi sekarang, yang menjadi mangsa dulu dan yang menjadi miskin dulu orang Melayu juga. Orang Melayu yang paling ramai sekali menjadi pembeli kereta dalam negara kita. Orang Melayu kebanyakannya makan gaji – tiap bulan dapat gaji tetap. Bila harga kereta naik gila, yang menjadi miskin di saf depan sekali adalah orang Melayu juga.

In absolute numbers, the Malays are suffering the most because they are the most in number among the fixed income people who also buy cars.

Some folks said the other day that Proton has 150 major component suppliers, dealers, distributors and about 500 other parts suppliers too. Of the 150 major component suppliers, about 15 of them are listed companies. In total they employ about 120,000 people. The Proton supply chain is a mix of bumiputras and non bumiputras. But here is a sad fact : none of them are operating at their level best efficiency.

Our motor car policy is forcing Malaysians to subsidize Proton so that Proton can sustain major inefficiencies in the Malaysian economy. This is not a good thing at all.We have to unwind this situation. Set a target of 18 months from now to unwind all protection for our motor industry. Remove the impoverishing AP policy also in 18 months. Let Malaysian car prices reflect world market prices for the same makes of cars.If a BMW 535 sells for RM178,000 in America , it should sell for a little less here in Malaysia (our rentals and salaries are cheaper).

The Ministers continue making pronouncements about the car industry as though nothing has happened. I hope everyone will please wake up. The Government has a real chance of getting thrown out of office in about three years. The people will not accept inept answers anymore.

The ridiculous car prices in Malaysia is an issue that is just beginning to get more attention and publicity. It is going to become a really big issue in the near future. Be forewarned.

Syed Akbar Ali

Prison Complex in Seberang Perai, Penang

or Komplek Penjara Seberang Perai, Penang, is a huge prison complex hidden among the rural estates in mainland Penang, as the name suggests, but near its border with Kedah because it is fairly near Selama, Kedah and Selama, Perak.

I have passed the complex a few times on our way from Selama to Penang island, cutting across some small towns and villages. There is no major landmark to describe or relate to, and the best I can describe for its location, is between Kg. Air Putih and Jawi where we join the North-South Expressway. Even when I tried to use the milestone indicators, I found there is no proper continuation after one or two, with disconnected descriptions like Relau _km and then Jawi _km. I refuse to stop the car to take pictures lest I am arrested for spying or something!

Anyway, it is a massive project, either completed or nearing completion, which has yet to be publicized . On the way towards Jawi, the prison is one the left, with all facilities as well as the required modern barbed wires and other security features. On the right, there are nice houses and even a mini stadium on higher ground which are presumed to house the prison wardens and other officials, with the added advantage of overlooking the prison.

Being a federal project, I am wondering if it is meant to serve only the northern region, just like Sungei Buloh serving the central region, replacing Pudu Jail.

Unrelated to this, by the way, Rela in Kedah area is well known for being overzealous in catching illegal immigrants because the locals are competing with the Indonesians for plantation jobs. It is a good sign in terms of 'not being choosy when looking for a job' rather than praising Rela, as they are known more for their high-handedness and lack of accountability in their actions.


Hamisu? Thomas Su @ Pasir Pinji

State Assemblyman for Pasir Pinji, YB Thomas Su has suggested that a few DAP branches under him should have a website for Pasir Pinji.

As virtual Chairman of Shatin Park branch, I have been toying with the idea of a blogsite tentatively called, 'What's up @ Shatin Park?' but the branch is too small for that.

To be honest, I have a problem with publicity because it is not a question of knowing how to publicize but more a question of what happens after the publicity. By this, I am more concerned about what should or should not be publicized as well as political enemies taking advantage of knowing too much of what we do!

I suppose information on a 100-table dinner just before Mooncake Festival should not be a problem.

Being in charge of publicity, together with Jeffrey Tang, a professional MC and singer, I shall use this blogsite to publicize the event.

For the first meeting, I used text messages to inform my branch members. I only got 1 response, 'ok'! Two others who are closer to Thomas knew about the meeting anyway, so together with those from other branches, we formed a working committee to plan the event. My Vice Chairman, Looi Tek Aun has agreed to be Chairman of the organizing committee.

Thomas wants the event to be a mixture of some political speeches and entertainment. Pasir Pinji is one of three state constituencies (the other two being Canning, ADUN YB Wong Kah Woh and Tebing Tinggi, ADUN YB Ong Boon Piow) under parliamentary constituency of Ipoh Timur of which the Member of Parliament is none other than YB Lim Kit Siang. To find a suitable date for the event, we have to choose dates which are unpopular with weddings, which does not clash with Parliamentary sessions, and one when YB Lim is free!

I am toying with the idea of introducing 'Drumaoke' as a form of my personal contribution. But first of all, I have to seek the approval of the committee, and the rest would depend on whether I have the guts to play for the first time in front of 1,000 people! I used to drop my drumsticks when my mind wanders, so maybe this could be entertaining too!

Uganda to learn from MACC!

I find some news so ludicrous these days, like for example, Uganda wanting to learn anti-corruption methods from our MACC, and Dr. Mahathir saying that PAS cannot be trusted!
MACC's image in Malaysia today is at its lowest ebb (including its longer history as ACA) and yet Uganda wants to learn from it...well, maybe to learn its interrogation techniques and how to cover up for those essential for its own good.

While PAS's Nik Aziz said he cannot trust Umno, we have Umno's longest service PM saying he cannot trust PAS! Well, we cannot say for sure who is right or who is wrong because the answer varies, depending on who you ask. That's political rhetorics for us.

Image building is important, so it seems, according to this Malaysia Insider's article:

The fact that Uganda thinks MACC is best for anti-corruption shows what public relations could do to one's image. But its local actions and statements did not suggest good PR at all, and that baffles me.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Blue's version of Lonely this Christmas

Blue - Lonely This Christmas lyrics

This version is likely to suit the younger generation. Listen to it and compare. I would naturally go for the original.

Christmas in summer?

This wasn't me, ok? Somebody sent me this photo titled 'Santa in summer'

I was too excited to have found this clip (link is at the end of the post) of Mud singing the song, Lonely this Christmas.

I heard this song the first time in the mid-70s in Leeds, and I actually thought it was Elvis! Anyway, soon after, one Christmas, my girl friend then, and her sister went to the USA on a greyhound ticket, leaving me all alone over Christmas. Only those who have been in western countries would know how left out one can be, during a big festive season like Christmas, if not with family or friends.

Years later, I still remember the song and even looked up the lyrics. Once, I even called Yazmin Yusof on Radio 4 and she said she had played it before, but not when I was listening to the radio.

When I searched for the song a few minutes ago, I actually found Blue's version first, then only I found the orignal Mud's version. To my children, this was loneliness your dad experienced more than 30 years ago!

Lonely this Christmas by Mud

Try to imagine a house that's not a home
Try to imagine a Christmas all alone
That' s where I' ll be since you left me
My tears could melt the snow
What can I do without you?
I 've got no place, no place to go.

It 'll be lonely this Christmas
Without you to hold
It 'll be lonely this Christmas
Lonely and cold
It 'll be cold, so cold, without you to hold
This Christmas.

Each time I remember the day you went away
And how I would listen to the things you had to say
I just break down as I look around
And the only things I see
Are emptiness and loneliness
And an unlit Christmas tree

It' ll be lonely this Christmas
Without you to hold
It'll be lonely this Christmas
Lonely and cold
It ll be cold, so cold, without you to hold
This Christmas.

You remember last year when you and I were here
We never thought there d be an end
And I remember looking at you then
And I remember thinking that Christmas
Must have been made for us
Cos darling, this is the time of
you really need love
When it means so very, very much
(It' ll be lonely this Christmas)
So it' ll be lonely this Christmas(without you to hold)
without you to hold(It' ll be lonely this Christmas)
It' ll be so very lonely this Christmas(Lonely and cold)
lonely and cold

It 'll be lonely this Christmas
Without you to hold
It 'll be lonely this Christmas
Lonely and cold
It 'll be cold, so cold, without you to hold
This Christmas.

Merry Christmas, darling - wherever you are.
Mud - Lonely This Christmas lyrics

Old MACC Dontknow...

Old MACC Dontknow needs a 'part khau yen' or back scratcher instead of relying on others to scratch their back.

While the ruling coalition shares their spoils: one for you and you and you, one for me, one for myself, and one for yours truly, old MACC and PRDM scratches each other's back.

The 'part khau yen' costs only Rm2, so go and buy one, and scratch your own back without having to rely on others.

While we don't condone wrongdoings by anyone, please carry out your work without bias and undue publicity. By going after small amounts while those who were involved with much bigger amounts are spared showed unfairness, and by publicizing, MACC looks more obviously bias and unprofessional.

I read the news report that MACC can go after those who were reported in the papers even without police reports because MACC's own officers can lodge police reports, with incredulity. I am sure I have read before that the ACA could not act without police reports where it concerned BN leaders, and we all know what happened to those who reported, don't we? The reporters got into trouble instead!

Then, there is the claim that there was fairness simply because more BN leaders were being investigated compared to opposition leaders. Of course, that should be the case because BN has been ruling most of the time, especially as federal administrators which involved much larger amounts.

Some quotes:

Tricia Yeoh:

Teoh was a quiet character who must have been thoroughly enthused about working in a new state administration. I cannot speak on his behalf, but the reason I have chosen to work in this Pakatan State government is because I want to contribute to a cause I believe in. To better socioeconomic policies in the view of fairness for the sake of the rakyat. I am sure Teoh was no different. Spurred on by the results of the March 8th General Elections, hope for a budding democracy had begun. Although the actual management and administration of the State has not been easy, nor without error, the struggle to create a better society is real.

As a young person, I resonate with his desire to contribute so willingly to this cause. His death cannot be in vain. Although it may spark fears amongst the young – and their parents – as to the grave political dangers of this working environment, I believe with a greater urgency and fervour that this is the right thing to do.
It can no longer be mere speculation that we as Malaysians are living in a system of darkness, corrupt and unfair practices. The treatment of a youthful, innocent man could be the same treatment given to any commoner on the street should he be hauled up by the MACC. What justice is available to an ordinary rakyat? No, the need to raise up a new generation of people to transform Malaysia to a nation of hope, justice, peace and good governance is even more necessary.

Along with many others, I call for a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the death of the late Teoh Beng Hock. The inquiry must be independent, transparent and conducted by individuals of the highest integrity. This has been a rare first political death of its kind, and should changes not be made immediately to the rotten system of Malaysia , the question looms dark in our minds: Who will fall prey as the next victim?

Raja Petra:

The writing was already on the wall very much earlier. Alarm bells were wailing like banshees. But this was largely ignored. It was ignored because it was Malaysia Today that had triggered the alarm bells. Malaysia Today is not the most reliable source. It does not offer the best of information. What Malaysia Today dabbles in are rumours and innuendoes.

“Where is the smoking gun?” they ask. “Show me the body!” they demand. No gun, no body, then no crime has been committed.

M. Bakri Musa:

The evolving public furor over Teoh’s death shows every sign of continuing its destructive downward spiral, fed by racist opportunists of all flavors and colorations, with Najib on the sideline reacting and not leading.

What stunned me were not the responses of the bigoted and uneducated; their chauvinistic views were expected and perhaps excusable because of their ignorance. It would be too much to expect them to have a perspective beyond their clan or kampong. To them this crisis is nothing more than yet another ethnic Chinese-Malaysian victimized by Malay officialdom, or the belligerent Chinese not missing an opportunity to mock Malays.

What took me back instead were the responses of those ‘educated’ ministers and leaders. They just could not comprehend the public outrage over the MACC’s interviewing a ‘friendly’ witness into the wee hours of the morning and who would later be found dead outside its premises. Perhaps those civil servants were trying to impress the public on how diligent and hard working they were in attending to their duties! If that was how MACC’s personnel treated their ‘friendly and cooperative’ witness, I shudder to think the reception a suspect would get.

tulang besi:

Usage of the "Malay Excuse" is Simply Pathetic

In order to stem the tide of hate against UMNO on Teo's murder, the BN is using all their UMNO-owned mouthpiece i.e. Utusan Meloya, Berita Hairan etc condemning those angry with the murder as being disrespectful to a Malay run institution.

Well, if it was respectful, then it shouldn't have let itself be used as an UMNO instrument in toppling Pakatan governments by usage of coercion and slander. And they always let complaints made against UMNO uninvestigated or not acted upon.

Respect must be earned not forced upon. Teo's death will be the final nail in the BN coffin. Mark my words


Yasmin will be sadly missed

Yasmin's ability to win the hearts and minds of millions, with her down to earth yet touching films and advertisements will be sorely missed. There will be no more new advertisements on festival days to make us reminisce on the good old days and good values of family ties and neighbourliness.

Her ability to touch base with the young, like my son and daughters for example, who tried to keep a collection of her films, showed her insight and sensitivities beyond the average film director. There was a time when our youngsters avoid locally made films like the plague. She managed to attract the attention of the young and let them enjoy 're-living' similar moments in their childhoods.

Her classic advertisement, Tan Hong Ming, had brought world fame to herself as well as the young one-off actor. Her personal achievements has made us proud and I do not think anyone felt jealous of her success, such was her friendly and humble personality that she carried herself.

It was amazing coincidence that only a couple of weeks ago, I visited her blogsite via a link in Malaysia-Finance Blogspot and was rather surprised to know she got some inspiration from comedian, Tommy Cooper, for his self-deprecating humour in his magic shows. By the way, Dali's blogsite has Tan Hong Ming's advertisement as well as a couple of similar gems of Yasmin creativity.

Her untimely death is a grim reminder of our own mortality and our need to live, enjoy and appreciate our lives before it is too late. May her soul rest in peace.


The lure of having seafood in their natural settings

A short diversion, going to Kuala Sepetang for seafood dinner, ended up caught in a massive traffic jam for about 2 hours, a few kilometres from the tunnel, because of an accident.

There was a trailer next to our car. My wife noticed the address, Bagan Serai and asked the driver, 'kawan, awak kerja Soon Fatt?' After breaking the ice, she asked what happened and he told her there was a bus involved in an accident, based on his handphone conversation with a friend in front. Blah, blah, blah. Then the driver said, he works for xxx, a Malay name which I read earlier on the side of the lorry! What made her think that there is only one Indian driver who is working for one and only (?) transport company in Bagan Serai? If it was written Soon Fatt, then at least it was understandable she made a mistake in recognizing a different person, but a company with a Malay name mistaken for Soon Fatt! Female logic?

Anyway, back to Kuala Sepetang. We have been there thrice recently. It all started when I mentioned about the phone shop woman who spoke enthusiastically about her first visit with her in-laws. About her first taste of scampi (known locally as 'lai liu har' or 'prawns which wet themselves' and how she enjoyed fish which she normally does not like, and of course, the wonderful crabs cooked in different sauces. She even claimed that the prawns did not start allergic reaction to her husband!

On our first visit, we found instead the one without the upper deck. We had rice porridge with shark meat, two small scampis (at Rm8 each), mini octopuses and a vegetable. A few weeks later, we went to the same restaurant with my wife's sister from KL, and we had two bigger scampis (at Rm12 each), mini octopuses, a type of clams, a fish and a vegetable.

Today, coming back from Penang, SP could not resist going there again, this time to try the restaurant with the upper deck. We had rice porridge with shark's meat and shark's liver, a type of shells which require sharp toothpicks to dig out the meat, and a vegetable.

We could not help but compare what we had in Kuala Sepetang, with what we had in Matang, where we used to have seafood porridge.

In Matang, the particular restaurant which we used to go to, the porridge costs Rm10 per head but the porridge portion was bigger, not the meat portion. Now we realized the latest one we had just tried provided much bigger portion of meat but less porridge at Rm9 per head, which was better value.

Between the two restaurants in Kuala Sepetang, the low deck one has decent toilets, but not the upper deck one, which bathroom door did not have a latch, while the toilet cistern is without cover and one has to dip one's hand in to lift the little string to flush the toilet! The door latch left much to be desired, being improvised with a broken plastic chopstick! On our way out, we noticed some framed newspaper cuttings of write-ups about the restaurant on the side of the staircase. It baffles me why the publicity did not prompt the owner to do something about the dismal conditions of the toilets!

We have decided that for ourselves, we would go for the upper deck one, but when entertaining some foreign guests, the lower deck one will be favoured simply because of its decent toilets!

Having seafood dinner next to the river mouth where we can hear the sound of motorized fishing boats come and go, birds like eagles looking out for their prey, the smell of the river water, while watching the sun sets, must be one of the few natural experiences which would appeal to those who love a rustic way of life.

By the way, we have just been to Kuala Gula recently too. It was the same trip with my sister-in-law when we had lunch at Kuala Sepetang and dinner at Kuala Gula! We did the same as when Alex and Paul were here the last time, except the boat trip. The government run resort complex is being completely renovated! Anyway, we bought Rm20 worth of crabs and took it to one of the restaurants to cook for us. We were charged Rm7 per dish for cooking (we had two types: sweet and spicy and 'kum heong') and we ordered a vegetable and plate of noodles as well. Because of the heavy lunch, we could not finish the crabs and noodles and had them packeted for home. This is going to be the place for crabs if any of our friends asks for it!


Saturday, July 25, 2009

I will survive...

First I was afraid, I was petrified...did he survive?

Signs that we have arrived...

like looking for the list which was supposed to remind us of the things to do; going into the kitchen or bathroom and wondering why you are there; looking for your car in a multi-storey carpack but not finding it; and so on and so forth. To improve our memory or at least to prevent dementia, gingko or 'park ko' has been suggested, while mental exercise like mahjong or sudoku is supposed to help too.

This singer sings about it but he is definitely not suffering it:

Appropriate signs?

The first time I had been to a Tesco in Colchester, Essex, I was surprised at the many empty parking spaces reserved for the disabled, as well as special trolleys meant for those with babies.
It showed the remarkable civic consciousness of the management as well as the shoppers in being considerate.

Of course, in some countries as well as in Malaysia, signs indicating seats or parking spaces reserved for senior citizens and disabled are likely to be ignored. The following sign must have been designed with sarcasm, for those habitual offenders:
Maybe we should not be too harsh on them, as they were attracted by the best offer in town:


Making full use of the time and place...

The world is how you make it. This reminds me of how a British would ask for the time, “What time do you make it?” Our uninitiated mind would wonder, 'Me? Making the time?'

I used to admire British classmates doing homework just before class begins! Reason? Because they were able to do their work under pressure, just like during an examination, unlike our upbringing which instilled in us to be prepared, which meant to complete your homework well before the next day's class.

Anyway, this video clip shows how if you dare, nobody cares. Unlike Mr. Bean doing it while driving his Mini, this does not pose any danger nor anger. Cultural differences mean a bit of embarrassment, even amusement, and some stares. No harm is there? 'The end justifies the means' seen in a different light:


Friday, July 24, 2009

Maintenance of the Car

A friend forwarded me this obviously American piece, but the points are just as relevant:

6 Car Repairs You Can't Afford to Skip

No matter what strange noise your car is making, it almost always turns into the ca-ching of your mechanic's cash register gobbling up your savings. Because car repairs are expensive, it's tempting to let them slide. But putting off or skipping certain repairs can be a costly and even dangerous game.

Here are six car repairs you might be tempted to skip to save a little cash. But we'll show you how making that call could cost you a lot more in the long run.

1. Brake Pads
It seems like common sense: Don't neglect your car's brakes. Still, when it's time to replace your car's brake pads, it's easy to look the other way. For one thing, brake pads tend to wear gradually, so you might not notice changes in your braking performance right away. Secondly, a car with worn brake pads will still stop -- just not as well. So what's the harm in saving some money and holding off?

It turns out the harm in not replacing your brake pads is about $400. When your brake pads are worn, they can cause damage to brake rotors. As the rotors rub against the worn pads, they become warped, which makes it tougher to stop the car (if you feel your car shudder as you brake, you probably have warped rotors). Fixing the rotors requires that they be turned or smoothed out -- something that requires a mechanic and can run over $100 per rotor. If the rotors need to be replaced, you'll end up spending four times what it would have cost to replace the brake pads.

2. Oil Change
An oil change should cost you around $40 at most quick oil change stations. And that same station will probably tell you to come back in three months or 3,000 miles. But do you have to? It depends. That old rule of thumb still applies to some cars, but others can go much longer between oil changes. To find out how long your car can go between changes, read your owner's manual.

After you've found out the oil change interval for your car, follow it. Oil is like your engine's blood. But unlike your blood, all sorts of impurities build up in unless your oil is changed regularly -- not to mention that all engines lose some oil. Too much buildup and not enough oil lead to your engine seizing up. Sure, you can save $40 by putting off an oil change, but you could end up spending $4,000 on a new engine.

3. Air Filter
Changing an air filter is cheap. It's even easy enough for most people to do themselves. Not changing your car's air filter, on the other hand, is expensive. According to the EPA, a dirty air filter can reduce fuel economy by up to 10 percent simply because your engine won't breathe as efficiently. By not changing a dirty air filter, you'll save about $15. But, if your car is supposed to get 25 miles per gallon, and gas is $2.50 a gallon, those savings have evaporated by the time you've driven about 150 miles.

Even worse, if the air filter isn't clean and that means enough air isn't getting to the engine, you could foul your spark plugs and might have to replace them. Depending on your engine, that can cost anywhere from $100 to $300. Now, spending $15 for a new air filter doesn't sound so bad, does it?

4. Transmission Fluid Leak
One of the most common problems associated with your transmission is a fluid leak. You'll likely first notice it when you see drops of red fluid on the pavement where you usually park your car. Ignore it for long enough, and you'll definitely notice it when the leak leads to your transmission shifting roughly, or the gears slipping.

Transmission fluid is what cools and lubricates your transmission. If it's leaking, you need to fix it, and fast. Resealing a transmission is a relatively easy job and should usually only cost a few hundred dollars. Ignoring the leak can lead to the transmission seizing up and a subsequent transmission replacement --which costs several thousand dollars.

5. Burned Out Lights
Here's one car repair on our list that is really easy to ignore. After all, a burned-out tail light won't eventually lead to engine failure or to your transmission falling out. While that's all true, you should still fork over your hard-earned $5 for new tail light bulb if yours is burned out.
Believe it or not, failure to keep your rear lights working can be an expensive proposition. First, if a police officer sees you with broken tail or brake lights, you're going to get a ticket. In some states, the fine for a broken tail light is $150, which makes paying for a new bulb seem like chump change. Second, broken lights increase your risk of being on the receiving end of a rear-end collision. And while the other driver's insurance should cover any damage (assuming they have insurance), you still have to deal with the headache of getting your car fixed.

6. Clogged Fuel Filter
An important part of maintaining your car is keeping impurities out of the engine. While the air filter does part of the job by keeping airborne impurities out, the fuel filter keeps impurities from the fuel out of the engine. Like the air filter, if it gets clogged and you don't fix it, you're looking at some major problems.

On older cars, a fuel filter is relatively easy to replace because it's easy for mechanics or car owners themselves to get to. On newer cars, it's a more complex job. More complexity means more money, which makes this repair tempting to skip -- despite the fact that it can lead to the car stalling or refusing to start altogether.

Don't skip it. At its most expensive, replacing a fuel filter will be a few hundred bucks. Let it go too long, and not only are you looking at dealing with a car that will barely run, you could also have dirt in your fuel injectors -- causing them to need replacing. Replacing just one fuel injector can cost over $500. But if they all need replacing, you're looking at least $1,000 in repair bills.

Have we missed out something? Surely Goodyear would remind you the importance of having good tyres, besides all the above. My former classmate used to be Goodyear Malaysia's Sales Director and I can still remember his emphasis that the four tyres are the only contacts which the car, no matter how expensive, has with the road. Anyway, this video looks so real that you would feel sorry for the woman:

Repainting white elephants in Batu Gajah...

or how to make unfriendly grand designs friendly to the people in Batu Gajah.

Batu Gajah's MDKB (Majlis Daerah Kinta Barat) building is now housed in a grand looking building on the hill commonly known as Changkat. Its spacious compound can be confusing to someone new to the place, yet driving a car into the car park, one gets the feeling that a few more cars would make it awkward, whether driving in or out.

The several offices located in different parts of the large building require some walking to get from one to the other. On a recent visit to the payments counter, I noticed the cashier having a free time which I later found out that it could be because of the ease of payment now available at the Post Office which is more centrally located.

The grand design of the post office has its weakness in being unfriendly to the pensioners and disabled, who need to visit the place once a month for their pensions and disability benefits. The other day, I took a photograph of an 'oku' being helped by a 'haji' down the steep stairs. I have counted a total of 18 steps from the pavement to reach the post office, and compared to Batu Caves's 272 steps, it is almost 7%! As a long term solution for the benefit of the aged and disabled, the post office can arrange to have an electronic device at ground level which can be used to ring for service. Alternatively, for a limited number of days, a counter could be set up next to the lower ground car park where there used to have a 'drive through' service, specifically for these group of people. This is going further than 'a special counter for senior citizens' as what had been reported before in The Star on 22 April, 2008.

I have mentioned a few times about the grand railway station of Batu Gajah which requires driving your own car or be at the mercy of the taxi drivers who would charge at least Rm7 just to take one from the station to the main Jalan Tg. Tuallang and Rm15 to Changkat! As a comparison, the train fare is only Rm10 for Economy and Rm17 for the better compartments. To lend credence to what I have been complaining about, here is what an Australian couple posted in a blogsite:

Mattie and Maggie's Big Adventure!
by Karen O'Reilly And Matt Williams
21.04.09 - Batu Gajah - The Search for Great Uncle Alfred

The next day we get the earliest train we can to Batu Gajah, bearing in mind the only information we had to start out with is that my Great Uncle Alfred was buried in Bath Cajah in 1923, after we googled this place it only came up with Batu Gajah. Further investigation we find info on 'Gods Little Acre' which is a cemetery to commemorate people that died during the communist emergency from 1949-1960, unfortunately my G.U. Alfred isn't on the roll of honour for that time and the year he died isn't right for the communist emergency, but we figure it's our best bet. So we're pretty blind going into this but get the train there anyway.

It doesn't start very well, we arrive at Batu Gajah train station in the middle of nowhere. There is no bus service so we have to get a taxi. Our taxi man doesn't speak English and wants to take us to Ipoh a different town. We do get to Batu Gajah town and talk to some locals, a lot of time was spent talking to three young men, about 'Gods Little Acre' but no one has heard of it, they keep trying to send us to a tourist castle.

We go back to the internet to get more info. Armed with notes we talk to two policeman, taxi men, a waitress, the owner of the internet place, lady in 7/11, some more strangers and no one has heard of this place. Oh Dear!

We find the three young men again and start drawing pictures etc, we know the cemetery is opposite an old court house and they seem to know where this is. They draw a 'spectacular' map to the old court house. We walk about 20 minutes and find the court house, we immediately worry because opposite it is a very new looking Football Pitch and a small stadium!!! Surely they haven't replaced a cemetery with a football pitch and if they have we still don't even know if Uncle Alfred is here?!

We walk for about an hour near the court house, we ask a security guard who tells us to follow the road. We find two cemeteries, he has to be here!! We search and search for another hour but we can't find him and it isn't 'God's Little Acre' anyway.

We walk back down the road to the back of the court house but still can't see it. We ask a man fittingly called Amen, can this man answer our prayers? Once he understands war memorial he asks us to follow him on his bike, he leads us to 'Gods Little Acre', hooray! Now we hope G.U. Alfred is here. Amen loves it and helps us to look, he finds a Alfred William Sayer but it's no good. Then I come across a grave with Carn Brea, Cornwall and the name Louisa Williams with the same year and month, I slowly realize this is the name of my Great Gran and see the name
Alfred written above her name, we found him!!!!!!

I have a suggestion which I hope the relevant decision-makers can ponder on. For the sake of the many train travellers who have been complaining about the distance of the station from the main road, unlike the old station, would it not be feasible to have designated or scheduled stops at the old station? Nearing Kuala Lumpur, other than Rawang, there are Sungai Buloh, Kepong Sentral, Kepong, Segambut and so on, and I do not see why another stop in Batu Gajah cannot be considered. Please be reminded that the whole idea of the location of the new station was without proper consultation with the residents.

Whether the old railway station is renovated is immaterial to the residents so long as it is convenient to them. We must bear in mind that certain times of arrival are actually very late at night or very early in the morning, when taxis are unavailable and one has to rely on the goodwill of relatives or friends.

It is ironic that having spent huge sums of money on the district office, post office and railway station, the most important aspect – that of convenience to the public, seemed to have been overlooked!

What it used to be:
Note the golden triangle of the old railway station, MDKB and post office.

Now only the post office remained and rebuilt into a showcase of unfriendliness!

Honesty is still the best policy...

The Devil & the Duck

There was a little boy visiting his grandparents on their farm.

He was given a slingshot to play with, out in the woods. He practiced in the woods; but he could never hit the target. Getting a little discouraged, he headed back for dinner.

As he was walking back he saw Grandma's pet duck. Just out of impulse, he let the slingshot fly, hit the duck square in the head and killed it. He was shocked and grieved!

In a panic, he hid the dead duck in the wood pile; only to see his Sister watching! Sally had seen it all, but she said nothing.
After lunch the next day Grandma said, 'Sally, let's wash the dishes.' But Sally said, 'Grandma, Johnny told me he wanted to help in the kitchen.' Then she whispered to him, "Remember the duck?'

So Johnny did the dishes.

Later that day, Grandpa asked if the children wanted to go fishing and Grandma said, 'I'm sorry but I need Sally to help make supper.'

Sally just smiled and said, 'well that's all right because Johnny told me he wanted to help?'
She whispered again, 'Remember the duck?' So Sally went fishing and Johnny stayed to help.

After several days of Johnny doing both his chores and Sally's; he finally couldn't stand it any longer..

He came to Grandma and confessed that he had killed the duck.

Grandma knelt down, gave him a hug and said, 'Sweetheart, I know. You see, I was standing at the window and I saw the whole thing, but because I love you, I forgave you. I was just wondering how long you would let Sally make a slave of you.'

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Sacred tears of a woman and secret tears of a child

Sacred Tears of a Woman

A little boy asks his mother: “Why do you cry?”
“Because I am a woman.” she answers.
“I don't understand” he says.
His mother hugs him and says, “and you never will.”

Later, the little boy asks his father: “Why does mommy cry?”
“All women cry for no reason” he says, is all that his father could answer him.

When he became an adult, he asked God: God, why do women cry so easily?”
“When I created woman, she needed to be special.”
“I created her shoulders strong enough to bear the weight of the world...and soft enough to be comfortable.”
“I gave her the strength to give life, the kind that accepts the rejection that often comes from children.”
“I gave her the strength to allow her to go on when everybody else gives up.”
“The kind that takes care of her family, despite illness and fatigue.”
“I gave her the sensitivity to love her children unconditionally, even when they have hurt her deeply.”
“I gave her the strength to endure her husband in his faults...
And to stay at his side without weakening.”
“And finally I gave her tears to shed whenever she needs them to be shed.”
“You see, my son, the beauty of a woman is not in the clothes she wears, nor is it in her face or in the way she does her hair.”
“The beauty of a woman resides in her eyes. It is the door to her heart, the door where Love resides...
And it is often through her tears that you see her heart goes by.”

Before anyone asks, I would like to comment that this is just a priest or pastor's version, as I cannot see how anyone could have communicated with Him, unless in a dream and it is believed to be true.

But I would readily agree that women in general are special in their role as mothers in being selfless and unconditional towards their children.

But wait a minute, there are exceptions, ok? I have come across live examples of mothers who are just the opposite of the above description. Like this one for example:

MANY REASONS I OWE MY MOTHER (read secret tears of a child):

My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE .
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

My mother taught me RELIGION. "You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL .
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

My mother taught me LOGIC. "Because I said so, that's why."

My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me.."

My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

My mother taught me IRONY. "Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS. "Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

My mother taught me about STAMINA.... "You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

My mother taught me about WEATHER.
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

My mother taught me about BEHAVIOUR MODIFICATION. "Stop acting like your father!"

My mother taught me about ENVY.
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION. "Just wait until we get home."

My mother taught me about RECEIVING . "You are going to get it when you get home!"

My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE..
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."

My mother taught me ESP. "Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

My mother taught me HUMOUR.
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT .
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

My mother taught me GENETICS. "You're just like your father."

My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

My mother taught me WISDOM. "When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

My mother taught me about JUSTICE.
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you.

Lady boss and the roving eyes


Prof. Jonathan Zittrain and the unsung internet heroes

Crack teams of volunteers keep the net online and functioning, according to leading internet lawyer Jonathan Zittrain of Harvard University.

The way data is divided up and sent around the internet in many jumps makes it "delicate and vulnerable" to attacks or mistakes, he said. However, he added, the "random acts of kindness" of these unsung heroes quietly keep the net in working order.

Professor Zittrain's comments came at the TED Global conference in Oxford. Incidents such as when the Pakistan government took YouTube offline in 2008 exposed the web's underlying fragility, he explained.

But a team of volunteers - unpaid, unauthorised and largely unknown to most people - rolled into action and restored the service within hours.

"It's like when the Bat signal goes up and Batman answers the call," Professor Zittrain told BBC News.

Blind faith

The fragility of the internet's architecture was largely due to its origins, said Professor Zittrain. He said it had been conceived with "one great limitation and with one great freedom". "Their limitation was that they didn't have any money," he told the TED audience in Oxford.

"But they had an amazing freedom, which was that they didn't have to make any money from it.

"The internet has no business plan - never did - no CEO, no single firm responsible for building it. Instead it's folks getting together to do something for fun, rather than because they were told to or because they were expecting to make money from it," he said.

That ethos, he suggested, had led to a network architecture that was completely unique.

"As late as 1992, IBM was known to say that you couldn't build a corporate network using internet protocol."

Internet protocol (IP), the method used to send data around the internet, was first described by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn in 1974. Data is broken into chunks - or packets - sent around different parts of the network, often owned by different corporations and entities.

Professor Zittrain likened it to how a drink may be passed along a row of people at a sporting event.

"Your neighbourly duty is to pass the beer along - at risk to your own trousers – to get it to its destination."

"That's precisely how packets move around the internet, sometimes in as many as 25 or 30 hops with the intervening entities passing the data around having no contractual or legal obligation to the original sender or to the receiver."

The route the data takes depends on the net's addressing system, he said.

"It turns out there is no overall map of the internet. It is as if we are all sat together in a theatre but we can only see in the fog the people around us.

"So what do we do to figure out what is around us. We turn to the person on our right and tell them what we can see to the left and vice versa. This method, he said, gives network operators a general sense of "what is where".

"This is a system that relies on kindness and trust, which also makes it very delicate and vulnerable," he said.

"In rare but striking instances, a lie told by a single entity within this honeycomb can lead to real trouble."

Bucket brigade

One example, he said, was an incident in 2008 when Pakistan Telecom accidentally took YouTube offline. At the time, the Pakistan government asked Pakistan's ISPs to block the site, reportedly because of a "blasphemous" video clip.

However, a network error caused a worldwide blackout of the site. "This one ISP in Pakistan decided to [institute] the block for its subscribers in a highly unusual way," said Professor Zittrain. "It advertised that … it had suddenly awakened to find it was YouTube."

Because of the way that the network spreads messages between neighbours, the announcement quickly reverberated around the world.

Within two minutes, YouTube was completely blocked. "One of the most popular websites in the world, run by the most powerful company in the world, and there was nothing that YouTube or Google were particularly privileged to do about it," said Professor Zittrain.

However, he said, the problem was fixed within about two hours.

This was down to a largely unknown group known as the North American Network Operators Group (NANOG), he said. NANOG is a forum for distributing technical information among computer and network engineers. "They came together to help find a problem and fix it," he said.

Despite being unpaid volunteers they were able to put YouTube back on line, he said.

"It's kind of like when your house catches on fire," he said. "The bad news is there is no fire brigade. The good news is that random people appear from nowhere, put out the fire and leave without expecting payment or praise."

The same social structures - and in particular kindness and trust - are also responsible for websites such as Wikipedia, he said.

"It's like dark matter in the universe. There's a lot of it, you don't see it but it has a huge impact on the physics of the place," he earlier told the BBC.

This year's TED Global conference runs from 21 to 24 July.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Our Malaysian whizkid...

This Pua is not only best in Taiwan, some say Malaysia, but the whole world, for his invention of the useful pen drive.

$31bil Man from Malaysia


Interesting to know that the Pen Drive was invented by a Malaysian Chinese who could not get into one of our local universities primarily because he is not a bumiputra. He had to study in Taiwan.
Fact file
Name: Pua Khein Seng (picture above)
Age: 31
Hometown: Sekinchan, Selangor
Education: SJKC Yeok Kuan, Sekinchan; Pin HwaIndependent school, Klang; Chiao Tung University, Taiwan
Occupation: Engineer/ president of Phison Electonics Corp
Current base: Taipei , Taiwan
Years abroad: 12
Pua Khein Seng went to Taiwan to get his engineering degree but ended up staying on, starting his own company and inventing the pen drive.
WHEN he set off for Taiwan in 1993, Pua Khein Seng's only aim was to complete his degree in Electrical Control Engineering at the renowned Chiao Tung University and return home to work in Malaysia.
Never did he envision himself heading a multi-million dollar Taiwanese company that developed the world's first USB flash removable disk, which they called Pen Drive .
Pua Khein Seng went to Taiwan to get his engineering degree but ended up staying on, starting his own company and inventing the pen drive.
"I went to Taiwan to pursue my undergraduate degree. I chose Taiwan only because it was too expensive to study either in the United States or Singapore
"However, I did well in my undergraduate programme and was offered a place to do my masters," explained Pua, who was back in Kuala Lumpur recently for a holiday.
After completing his Masters in July 1999, Pua worked for about sixmonths in a local company before deciding to set up his own venture company with four fellow engineers who had studied with him at Chiao Tung.
"We were confident that we had the know-how and ability to start our own business, which is focused on USB technology. The company is called Phison because there are five of us – two Malaysians and three Taiwanese engineers," said Pua, 31, who hails from Sekinchan, Selangor.
Phison Electronics Corporation was set up in November 2000 and within six months the young entrepreneurs came up with their first invention – a USB storage device called Pen Drive.
"We were the first company in the world to develop the USB Drive SoC (System On Chip) and we were very confident that the market for USB will be huge. At the time, no one believed in us so we had to do everything ourselves – from developing the technology, the chips to the product itself.
"We were only 27 years old at the time and inexperienced. But we were confident that we could design good systems and chips but we didn't know anything about selling. So, we sought partners or traders who could help sell our products for us," Pua added.
Through smart partnerships and shrewd strategies, Phison soon made its way into European, American and Japanese markets. One quick move was securing Japanese tech giant Toshiba as Phison's largest shareholder and customer.
"We launched Pen Drive in June 2001 and by August the same year, we broke even! From September 2001, we were reaping monthly profits from our invention and there has been no turning back since."
Having established himself in Taiwan , Pua is in the midst of setting up Phison's branch in Malaysia , due to begin operations this February.
"I am starting a branch in Malaysia because this is my country. I would like to do contribute to its development.
"We have about 100 engineers at Phison in Taiwan , 20 of whom are Malaysians. Though they studied in Taiwan , I had to re-train all the engineers I hire because, like most fresh graduates (in this field), they are not industry-ready upon graduation.
"Unfortunately, some of the Malaysian engineers want to return home after a couple of years because they are homesick, about to start a family and so on. Some prefer to work in Singapore , as it is closer to home. Instead of losing them to competitors, I decided to set up an office in Malaysia where they can still work for me," said Pua. Another problem faced by returning computer engineers from Taiwan , Pua added, was the lack of job opportunities for hardware engineers in Malaysia .
"There is no environment or support for design engineers here inMalaysia. One of my Malaysian engineers from Phison returned home and ended up as a teacher in a Chinese school! I was shockedand thought, ‘After all that training and re-training, he is going to just teach?' I told him to hold on till I open up the Phison branchin Malaysia ."

Though he has been in Taiwan for the past 12 years and married to a Taiwanese, Pua is not sure how much longer he will remain there. "I have really no idea where I will be in 20 years. Maybe Taiwan, maybe Malaysia , maybe somewhere else ... it all depends on my business. The industry is moving so fast that I cannot predict what or where I will be," he said.
For the moment though, Taiwan is home for Pua, his wife and two children even though he misses the Malaysian way of life."I come home once a year for Chinese New Year and will usually stay for about two weeks. There are several things I really miss about Malaysia.
One is the food! For the past 12 years I have been craving forMalaysian food ... I miss laksa, curry noodles, chee cheong fun and all the other delicious dishes we have here.

"I also miss the lifestyle and quality of life here. When I come back, I am always amazed to see people hanging out and relaxing at mamak shops at night. In Taiwan, most people would still beat work at that time of the night!
"Before I got married, I used to work for 15 to 17 hours a day, everyday. Now that I have children, my wife has forbidden me to stay so late. Now, I go to work at 9am and come home by 11pm. These hours are quite normal for the Taiwanese."
The man who invented USB pen-drive is a young modest Malaysian who can't even get into a local University but invented the most versatile, indispensable computer peripheral today. And helped his adopted country, Taiwan make $31bil in the process. The rest is history....
A friend's son who worked as an engineer in a local electronic firm complained that some fresh graduates expected to have a technician to do the dirty work instead of being 'hands-on' and he had to tell them off since he himself had several years experience and had to do things himself.
I recall having read what someone wrote about his own study and working experience overseas, who actually thanked the discriminating policies which forced his parents to send him overseas!

Just like our forefathers who took the risk of coming to Nanyang to earn a living and some ended up rich beyond their wildest dreams, Malaysians overseas are repeating the process for one reason or other. There are opportunities in adversities, or some would describe as 'blessings in disguise'. What we lose in terms of rights, we gain in terms of resilience.

Robert Kuok Hock Nien's notes on the past sixty years

(On the occasion of Kuok Group's 60th Anniversary 10 April 2009)

(1) My brothers and I owe our upbringing completely to Mother. She was steeped in Ru-Jiao – the teachings of Confucius, Mencius, Laozi and other Chinese sages. Ru-Jiao teaches the correct behaviour for a human being on his life on earth. Mother gently, and sometimes strongly, drummed into the minds of her three boys the values of honesty, of never cheating, lying, stealing or envying other people their material wealth or physical attributes.

(2) Father died on 25 December 1948 night without leaving a will. Following the Japanese surrender, he had re-registered the firm as a sole proprietorship. We went to court to get an appointment as managers, permitting us to continue to manage Tong Seng & Co. The judge said that, as there were two widows, the firm and the estate should be wound up.

(3) We decide to establish Kuok Brothers Limited. In mid-January 1949, five of us met at a small roundtable in our home in Johore Bahru. Present were my MOTHER, cousin number five HOCK CHIN, cousin number twelve HOCK SENG, my brother HOCK KHEE nicknamed Philip (a.k.a. cousin number seventeen), and myself (a.k.a. cousin number twenty). We sat down and Mother said, "Nien, would you like to start?" I said, "Fine, yes I will start." To cut the long story short, we got started, and commenced business from a little shop house in Johore Bharu on 1 April 1949.

(4) As a young man, I thought there was no substitute for hard work and thinking up good, honest business plans and, without respite, pushing them along. There will always be business on earth. Be humble; be straight; don't be crooked; don't take advantage of people. To be a successful businessman, I think you really need to brush all your senses every morning, just as you brush your teeth. I coined the phrase "honing your senses" in business: your vision, hearing, sense of smell, touch and taste. All these senses come in very useful.

(5) Mother was the captain of our ship. She saw and sensed everything, but being a wise person she didn't interfere. Yet she was the background influence, the glue that bound the Group together. She taught my cousins and my brothers and me never to be greedy, and that in making money one could practise high morality. She stressed that whenever the firm does
well it should make donations to the charities operating in our societies. She always kept us focused on the big picture in business. For example: avoid businesses that bring harm, destruction or grief to people. This includes trades like gambling, drugs, arms sales, loan-sharking and prostitution.

(6) We started as little fish swimming in a bathtub. From there we went to a lake and now we are in the open seas. Today our businesses cover many industries and our operations are worldwide but this would not have been possible without the vision of the founding members, the dedicated contributions and loyalty of our colleagues and employees, and very importantly the strong moral principles espoused by my mother.

(7) When I hire staff I look for honest, hardworking, intelligent people. When I look candidates in the eye, they must appear very honest to me. I do not look for MBAs or exceptional students. You may hire a brilliant man, summa cum laude, first-class honours, but if his mind is not a fair one or if he has a warped attitude in life, does brilliance really matter?

(8) Among the first employees were Lau Teo Chin (Ee Wor), Kwok Chin Luang (Ee Luang), Othman Samad (Kadir) and an Indian accountant called Joachim who was a devout Roman Catholic and who travelled in every day from Singapore where he lived.

(9) I would like on this special occasion to pay tribute to them and in particular to those who were with us in the early days; many of whom are no longer here. I have already mentioned Lau Teo Chin (Ee Wor) and Kwok Chin Luang (Ee Luang) and Othman Samad (Kadir), there are others like Lean Chye Huat, who is not here today due to failing eyesight, and Yusuf Sharif who passed away in his home country India about one and a half years ago and the late Lee Siew Wah, and others who all gave solid and unstinting support and devotion to the Company. It saddens me that in those early difficult years these pioneers did not enjoy significant and substantial rewards but such is the order of things and a most unfortunate aspect of capitalism. However through our Group and employee Foundations, today we are able to help their descendants whenever there is a need to.

(10) I have learnt that the success of a company must depend on the unity of all its employees. We are all in the same boat rowing against the current and tide and every able person must pull the oars to move the boat forward. Also, we must relentlessly endeavour to maintain and practise the values of integrity and honesty, and eschew and reject greed and arrogance.

(11) A few words of caution to all businessmen and women. I recall the Chinese saying: shibai nai chenggong zhi mu (failure is the mother of success). But in the last thirty years of my business life, I have come to the conclusion that the reverse phrase is even truer of today's world:
chenggong nai shibai zhi mu. Success often breeds failure, because it makes you arrogant, complacent and, therefore, lower your guard.

(12) The way forward for this world is through capitalism. Even China has come to realise it. But it's equally true that capitalism, if allowed to snowball along unchecked, can in many ways become destructive. Capitalism needs to be inspected under a magnifying glass once a day, a
super-magnifying glass once a week, and put through the cleaning machine once a month.

In capitalism, man needs elements of ambition and greed to drive him. But where does ambition end and greed take over? That's why I say that capitalism, if left to its own devices, will snowball along, roll down the hill and cause a lot of damage. So a sound capitalist system requires very strongly led, enlightened, wise governments. That means politician-statesmen willing to sacrifice their lives for the sake of their people. I don't mean politicians who are there for fame, glory and to line their pockets.

(13) To my mind the two great challenges facing China are the restoration of education in morals and the establishment of a rule of law. You must begin from the root up, imbuing and infusing moral lessons and morality into youth, both at home and from kindergarten and primary school
upward through university. Every Chinese needs to accept the principle of rule of law; then you have to train upright judges and lawyers to uphold the legal system.

(14) Wealth should be used for two main purposes. One: for the generation of greater wealth; in other words, you continue to invest, creating prosperity and jobs in the country. Two: part of your wealth should be applied to the betterment of mankind, either by acts of pure philanthropy or by investment in research and development along the frontiers of science, space, health care and so forth.

Tan Sri Robert Kuok Hock Nien (born 6 October 1923, in Johor Bahru, Johor), is an influential Malaysian Chinese businessman. According to Forbes his net worth is estimated to be around $10 billion on May 2008, making him the richest person in Southeast Asia. He is media shy and discreet; most of his businesses are privately held by him or his family. Apart from a multitude
of enterprises in Malaysia, his companies have investments in many countries throughout Asia. His business interests range from sugarcane plantations (Perlis Plantations Bhd), sugar refinery, flour milling, animal feed, oil and mining to finance, hotels, properties, trading and freight and publishing.