How should we judge a government?
Saturday, October 31, 2009
The Selangor ADUN for Port Kelang was a reluctant PKR candidate to start with? It may seem incredible until we read Raja Petra's account...
On Polling Day, Badrul won the Port Kelang state seat and, for the first time in history, Kampong Raja Uda went to the opposition. However, when it came time to announce the winner, Badrul was nowhere to be seen. They rushed to his house to see whether he was home but it appeared like no one was home. They knocked on his door anyway and for a while no one stirred. They continued knocking and soon a very sleepy Badrul came to the door. He had been sleeping. While the votes were being counted Badrul was at home fast asleep.
Badrul had a very confused look on his face. You won, they told him. Get dressed and come to the counting centre. They need you there to announce the winner.
Badrul remained silent. Quickly, get dressed. You won. You need to go to the counting centre.
I won? Badrul could not believe what he heard.
Yes, you won, quickly, come with us. You need to be there.
The signs that something was not quite right with this man already showed on Nomination Day and Ronnie told me he was a bit worried about this guy. He went to the nomination centre without any money and could not pay the deposit. So they quickly did a collection to help raise the deposit by passing the hat around.
After Badrul had been sworn in as a State Assemblyman, he ‘disappeared’. Instead of spending time with the other Pakatan Rakyat Assemblymen or the Member of Parliament, he was seen almost every night having dinner with the Umno people. He was mingling with the Umno people and staying away from the Pakatan Rakyat people.
More in Malaysia Today:
Friday, October 30, 2009
Offhand, I can think of the so-called preventive (or punitive?) measure of introducing service charge of Rm50 (for principal cardholder) and Rm25 (for subsidiary cardholder)which would add revenue to the government but outlay to the cardholders. A more appropriate way should exempt the first and only card, making additional ones a luxury.
The proposal to have vehicles over 15 years old to have compulsory vehicle inspection by Puspakom should be greatly resisted. Most people can understand the rationale behind it, but past experience had shown the unreliability of Puspakom in preventing corruption, making it a routine Rm200-250 payment for hassle-free inspection of commercial vehicles which is required every half year. Just imagine the goldmine to Puspakom and its under the counter dealers if this was extended to all vehicles over 15 years! And who are those who had to put up with old vehicles but those who are not well off, as explained by a writer to Malaysiakini.
In Britain, many local repairers are allowed to issue MoT certificates required for vehicles more than 3 years old (if not mistaken) and the system works well because of the trust placed in reputable repairers and the genuine need for replacement or repairs of certain parts vital for proper road use. No monopoly of one.
Most people would agree that major accidents were due to badly maintained commercial vehicles (which escaped the inspection of Puspakom) and drivers who were reckless (those who escaped the test of driving testers) and speed maniacs (poor enforcement)and even those who had too much of alcoholic drinks or drugs or just simply those who did not have sufficient sleep. Education plays an important part as logically, who would wish injuries or even death on oneself by deliberately not maintaining a vehicle?
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Examples: Strangers in the night, exchanging glances (trousers?) wandering in the night...
Like a Rhinestone (limestone?) cowboy...
Take my breath (breasts?) away...
A brother, when asked to sing karaoke, said he doesn't mind, but everyone has to get out of the room because he is going to sing, 'Only you...'
'Mr lover... by the guy who sings Mr. Bombastic...: a sister-in-law heard it as Mr. Lohpak!
The Bellamy Brothers' 'If I said you had a beautiful body' (would you hold it against me?), to me must one of the best lines in music lyrics. The play on words has double meanings: it could mean 'would you bear a grudge against me' or literally 'hold your body against mine'.
Off hand, I can think of another good one, though dissimilar, in 'Unbreak my heart'.
Police injunction undermines fundamental rights
By Amnesty International Malaysia
Malaysia (AI) is deeply concerned over the use of a blanket injunction reportedly obtained by the police for the 28 Oct 2009 Perak state legislative assembly. Such allow for abuse of , as any person within a stipulated range can be arrested without due process and proper examination of facts. This subjects the public to the risk of detention, torture, and other forms of ill-treatment and selective prosecution.
It has become the standard practice for police to obtain such to facilitate mass crackdowns on peaceful assemblies. Applications are made and granted based solely on one party's prejudice. This undermines the people's right to be heard in an open court and to address allegations, unfounded grounds and concerns, making a mockery of our justice system. It furthermore undermines the and movement guaranteed by our Federal Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
AI would like to strongly remind the Malaysian police of their statutory duty to protect the interests and rights of the public. The UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials spells out in Article 5 that no law enforcement official may inflict, instigate or tolerate any act of torture, or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. They may not justify these actions by citing superior orders or exceptional circumstances such as a threat to national security.
Any policing and Malaysians, and to stop the current practice of obtaining unilateral court orders to crack down on peaceful gatherings.exercise must clearly demonstrate compliance with human rights. The public must be assured of a professional and credible police service. We call on the police to respect the fundamental freedoms of
Amnesty International Malaysia
28 Oct 2009
From Patrick Teoh's blog: watch the video and see how the Police gave 3 minutes to those present to disperse and just counted, '1, 2, 3, arrest...'
Wait till we see how the law enforcers showed their disrespect to the state lawmakers and we could give Taiwan a run for their money on Parliamentary chaos contest. Just wondering if Pakatan's state assemblymen were huge in size like Hulk Hogan would make a difference to the manhandling by the Police.
Show me the money: wish to have this, this and this but how we wish we have the money.
Has money and energy but no time:
Have money and time, but no energy:
Had nothing left:
With a bit of planning beforehand with the Funeral Director, maybe can create comfort to encourage company once a year, though communications would be a problem between two worlds.
Who calls the shots? By Terence Fernandez
People have often wondered why guilty civil servants do not seem to face punishment as we expect of them, just being transferred to another department or ministry. Even this so-called punishment can actually be meted to those responsible for not co-operating with fraudulent activities, which further blurs public perception of who is right or wrong!
Don't under-estimate the power of civil servants because of their almost permanency in government service until retirement, compared with politicians who come and go every few years or so.
A minister can announce that the policy is such and such, but the practical side can be quite different as implemented by the civil servants, and it happens all the time which is why most people do not take much notice of ministerial statements.
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Thanks to the internet and especially to Youtube, almost any song can be accessed and listened to, and if you wish, link to your site for the benefit of your visitors. The first one I listened to, by Slim Whitman was not suitable simply because of his unique style of singing. The following fits almost to a 'T', with pictures of The Rockies, a place I have never been, and that includes the whole of America and many other places!
A leader should know how to manage failure
(Former President of India APJ Abdul Kalam at Wharton India Economic forum, Philadelphia , March 22, 2008)
Question: Could you give an example, from your own experience, of how leaders should manage failure?
Kalam: Let me tell you about my experience. In 1973 I became the project director of India ’s satellite launch vehicle program, commonly called the SLV-3. Our goal was to put India ’s 'Rohini' satellite into orbit by 1980. I was given funds and human resources -- but was told clearly that by 1980 we had to launch the satellite into space. Thousands of people worked together in scientific and technical teams towards that goal.
By 1979 -- I think the month was August -- we thought we were ready. As the project director, I went to the control center for the launch. At four minutes before the satellite launch, the computer began to go through the checklist of items that needed to be checked. One minute later, the computer program put the launch on hold; the display showed that some control components were not in order. My experts -- I had four or five of them with me -- told me not to worry; they had done their calculations and there was enough reserve fuel. So I bypassed the computer, switched to manual mode, and launched the rocket. In the first stage, everything worked fine. In the second stage, a problem developed. Instead of the satellite going into orbit, the whole rocket system plunged into the Bay of Bengal . It was a big failure.
That day, the chairman of the Indian Space Research Organization, Prof. Satish D hawan, had called a press conference. The launch was at 7:00 am, and the press conference -- where journalists from around the world were present -- was at 7:45 am at ISRO's satellite launch range in Sriharikota [in Andhra Pradesh in southern India ]. Prof. Dhawan, the leader of the organization, conducted the press conference himself. He took responsibility for the failure -- he said that the team had worked very hard, but that it needed more technological support. He assured the media that in another year, the team would definitely succeed. Now, I was the project director, and it was my failure, but instead, he took responsibility for the failure as chairman of the organization.
The next year, in July 1980, we tried again to launch the satellite -- and this time we succeeded. The whole nation was jubilant. Again, there was a press conference. Prof. Dhawan called me aside and told me, 'You conduct the press conference today.'
I learned a very important lesson that day. When failure occurred, the leader of the organization owned that failure. When success came, he gave it to his team. The best management lesson I have learned did not come to me from reading a book; it came from that experience
Now, what do we normally do with those letters wrongly delivered to us? This morning, our part-time cleaner handed me a letter addressed to my in-law's old address. Only the house no. was correct and the housing estate, by sheer coincidence, happened to be hers, AND of the same road! I suggested that she give it to the house number (minus the last of the 3 digits, as is likely to be the cause of the mistake) but she would rather that either I, or she, put it back into the post box!
Now, it may seem a bit selfish on her part, but truth be told, I have done that before for good reasons. It may seem like a simple errand of handing over a letter to a neighbour, friendly or otherwise, but the implications can be the notion that you could have secretly opened and seen the contents and re-sealed it before delivering! So to avoid any misunderstanding, whether reasonable or not, it is best to put it back into the red box, after all, it was due to their carelessness to start with.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Anyway, the following is the correct story:
The two-foot teenager: Jyoti, the world's smallest girl set to make it big on British TV
Her tiny form is disarming. But Jyoti Amge's dreams are as big as those of her friends. At 15 she stands just 1ft 11½in tall and weighs less than a stone, giving her one very big claim to fame - as the smallest girl in the world. Doctors believe Jyoti is a pituitary dwarf but have never been able to pinpoint her condition.
Such dwarfism is caused when the body fails to produce enough growth hormone.
Jyoti, centre, with some of her classmates - also aged 15. Her little grey uniform is specially made for her
Specialists have told her she will remain the same size for the rest of her life. 'When I was three I realised that I was different to the rest of the kids,' she said.
'I thought that everyone was bigger and I should get bigger too.' Jyoti has her own mini grey uniform and school bag and even a tiny desk. But she looks like a doll next to her teenage classmates.
She said: 'I am proud of being the smallest girl. I love all the attention I get. I'm not scared of being small, and I don't regret being small.
Jyoti, centre, is the world's smallest girl - but still attends school with her classmates, who she says don't treat her any differently
She works from her custom made chair and table but her pens and books are still rather too large for her
'I am sure there are many people in this world who are dwarfs like me.'
'I'm just the same as other people. I eat like you, dream like you. I don't feel any different.'
Weighing 12lb - only 9lb more than her weight at birth, Jyoti dreams of becoming an actress.
Despite her size she insists on living as normal a life as possible in her home town of Nagpur in India - including going to the local school.
'When I first went to school everyone was so big I used to get scared but I'm okay now, I like it. I have a different desk and chair that were made for me. I'm a normal student.'
Jyoti with a family friend - who, at 13 months, is already bigger than she is
She is also like any other teenage girl. 'I have a huge collection of dresses. I like to shop for more. Everyone in my family gets things for me. I love make-up and like dressing up like beautiful models. I would like to be an actress when I grow up. My dream is to do films.'
Jyoti has already had a taste of fame in a pop video for Indian star Mika Singh.
'They asked her to appear in the video for a song on his album,' said her mother Ranjana Amge, 45.
However, Jyoti's dreams of stardom could be ruined because of fractures to both her legs that have never healed because of problems with her size..
People in the region of India where the family live flock to see the teenager and some even treat her as a goddess.
She receives a lot of support from her brother and two sisters. Oldest sister Archana, 25, said: 'I have been taking care of her since she was a small baby. She is so delicate and fragile.'
During her first five years of life, brave Jyoti was in and out of hospital as she constantly fell sick, but eventually she grew stronger.
The teenager's father Kishan Amge, 52, a construction worker, said: 'She makes me proud. Lots of saints and spiritual gurus come to see and bless her. They pray for her happiness and long life.'
Jyoti is to be featured in Channel 4's Bodyshock series, which goes out tomorrow night at 9pm.
Monday, October 26, 2009
A lady about 8 months pregnant got on a bus. She noticed the man opposite her was smiling at her. She immediately moved to another seat. This time the smile turned into a grin, so she moved again. The man seemed more amused. When on the fourth move, the man burst out laughing, she complained to the driver and he had the man arrested.
The case came up in court.
The judge asked the man (about 20 years old) what he had to say for himself.
The man replied, 'Well your Honor, it was like this: when the lady got on the bus, I couldn't help but notice her condition. She sat down under a sign that said, 'The Double Mint Twins are coming' and I grinned.
Then she moved and sat under a sign that said, 'Logan's Liniment will reduce the swelling,' and I had to smile.
Then she placed herself under a deodorant sign that said, 'William's Big Stick Did the Trick,' and I could hardly contain myself.
But, Your Honor, when she moved the fourth time and sat under a sign that said, 'Goodyear Rubber could have prevented this Accident!' ... I just lost it.'
20 Rules in any office (may vary from the original version):
1. The Boss is always right.
2. If the Boss is wrong, see rule 1.
3. Those who work get more work. Others get pay, perks, and promotions.
4. Ph.D. stands for "Pull Him Down". The more intelligent a person, the more hardworking a person, the more committed a person; the more number of persons are engaged in pulling that person down.
5. If you are good, you will get all the work. If you are really good, you will get out of it.
6. When the Bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.
7. It doesn't matter what you do, it only matters what you say you've done and what you are going to do.
8. A pat on the back is only a few centimeters from a kick in the butt.
9. Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.
10. The more crap you put up with, the more crap you are going to get.
11. If at first you don't succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it...
12. When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried.
13.. Following the rules will not get the job done.
14. If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would get done.
15. Everything can be filled under "Miscellaneous" .
16. No matter how much you do, you never do enough.
17. You can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work you are supposed to be doing.
18. In order to get a promotion (or being the Boss), you need not necessarily know your job.
19. In order to get a promotion(or being the Boss), you only need to pretend that you know your job.
20. The last person that quit or was fired will be held responsible for everything that goes wrong.
Worse comes to worst, selling the business solves all management problems!
There were only 4 Arts classes, I think, when TARC first started operations in 1969. We were then the pioneering students (or guinea pigs, if you like) preparing for Higher School Certificate examinations to be taken in 1970.
It was such a rush job that we had to use borrowed premises at Specialists Teachers' Training College (or Centre) in Jalan Kuantan, opposite what is now the National Theatre. I was quite lucky to be given a Mini Minor (Reg. No. BG 5457) to use, after having convinced my father that I am able to change a tyre in case of puncture! Who would have thought the BG would have led me to settle in Batu Gajah 25 years later?
Anyway, after only a couple of months (I think), we were told to move to Cheras Secondary School, off Jalan Cheras, while the Science students had to go to a technical institute nearby. I was then given a Wolseley 1500 (Reg. No. JC 1581) to use, and the privilege of taking care of transport for 4 outstation female classmates: 1 from Alor Star, 1 from Ipoh, 1 from Kuantan and 1 from Muar, as suggested by their chivalrous flatmates at the recently demolished Pekeliling Flats.
Our class, HSC 2 had 33 students: 22 girls and 11 boys or ratio of 2:1 exactly. Come inter-class football, every boy had to take part, including the nerdy me! But, what I learned behind a sawmill as a kid, from a KL football club (Sunrise) player, surprised some of the girls! The best part was a compliment from a then girl friend of Malaysian player, Richard Choe, I think! Now, I can claim anything I like (the wonder of having my own blog)! It was not too far fetched because, as I have mentioned earlier, everyone thought I was a nerd, nobody expected anything from me to start with. So, to be able to stop a high ball and to dribble and stop advancing opponent coming with the ball meant something.
Anyway, to cut a long story short, out of the 22 girls, one of them when in UK, happened to introduce to me someone who later became my wife, for better or worse!
The connection with Midnight hour? One day, I brought along a tape-recorder/player to class and a Wilson Pickett tape (no CDs then). I was drumming away with my hands on the desk. She was sitting in front of me, and probably listened and must have liked it. On another occasion, at her house party, she played a WP record, and Midnight Hour was the most memorable song in it.
Sunday, October 25, 2009
Day before yesterday, I met a new friend, George (brother of Tan Sri Augustine) and because I expected a long chat, suggested to go under a tree! He said it was a noble idea and he would readily sign the petition. Yesterday, I visited a retired teacher, Mr. Yap (the tree was diagonally opposite his house) and he is confident that the petition would receive full support from the residents here, simply because of its convenience. He even said that because of worry over leaving his car at the new BG station, he would rather go to Ipoh to take the train! This was a surprise to me and it further illustrated the general dislike for the new station.
Before I start the petition, I decided to give KTM a chance to reply to my suggestion. In fact, I had forwarded my earlier post to them and they have acknowledged receipt.
But to my young friend (who was first in my survey), I dedicate this story:
A mouse looked through the crack in the wall to see the farmer and his wife open a package.
"What food might this contain?" The mouse wondered. He was devastated to discover it was a mousetrap.
Retreating to the farmyard, the mouse proclaimed this warning : "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"
The chicken clucked and scratched, raised her head and said, "Mr... Mouse, I can tell this is a grave concern to you, but it is of no consequence to me. I cannot be bothered by it."
The mouse turned to the pig and told him, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!" The pig sympathized, but said, "I am so very sorry, Mr. Mouse, but there is nothing I can do about it but pray. Be assured you are in my prayers."
The mouse turned to the cow and said, "There is a mousetrap in the house! There is a mousetrap in the house!"
The cow said, "Wow, Mr. Mouse... I'm sorry for you, but it's no skin off my nose."
So, the mouse returned to the house, head down and dejected, to face the farmer's mousetrap
. . . Alone. . .
That very night a sound was heard throughout the house -- the sound of a mousetrap catching its prey...
The farmer's wife rushed to see what was caught. In the darkness, she did no see it. It was a venomous snake whose tail was caught in the trap. The snake bit the farmer's wife. The farmer rushed her to the hospital.
When she returned home she still had a fever. Everyone knows you treat a fever with fresh chicken soup. So the farmer took his hatchet to the farmyard for the soup's main ingredient:
But his wife's sickness continued. Friends and neighbors came to sit with her around the clock. To feed them, the farmer butchered the pig.
But, alas, the farmer's wife did not get well.... She died.
So many people came for her funeral that the farmer had the cow slaughtered to provide enough meat for all of them for the funeral luncheon.
And the mouse looked upon it all from his crack in the wall with great sadness.
So, the next time you hear someone is facing a problem and you think it doesn't concern you, remember:
When one of us is threatened, we are all at risk. We are all involved in this journey called life. We must keep an eye out for one another and make an extra effort to encourage one another.
In fact, to Swiss banks, India as a country is classified as their biggest customers! According to this report, tax haven is a misnomer because its attraction is not its low tax rates but secrecy is the main attraction. It is even believed that tax havens are a conspiracy of the western world used in moving scarce capital from developing countries to the rich!
This is so shocking.... If black-money- deposits was an Olympics event... India would have won a gold medal hands down. The second best Russia has 4 times lesser deposit. U.S. is not even there in the counting in top five!
"Black money in Swiss banks -- Swiss Banking Association report, 2006 details bank deposits in the territory of Switzerland by nationals of following countries:
1. INDIA | $1,456 BILLION |
2. RUSSIA | $470 BILLION |
3. U.K. | $390 BILLION |
4. UKRAINE | $100 BILLION |
5. CHINA | $96 BILLION| ( No wonder China beats us Economically – Their Politicians work for their country – our politicians work for themselves)
India has more money in Swiss banks than all the other countries combined!"
Recently, due to international pressure, the Swiss government agreed to disclose the names of the account holders only if the respective governments formally asked for it.. Indian government is not asking for the details...any marks for guessing why?
We need to start a movement to pressurize the government to do so! This is perhaps the only way, and a golden opportunity, to expose the high and mighty and weed out corruption!
Please read on...and forward to all the honest Indians too! like somebody is forwarding to you...and build a ground-swell of support for action!
Is India poor, who says? Ask the Swiss banks. With personal account bank deposits of $1,500 billion in foreign reserve which have been misappropriated, an amount 13 times larger than the country's foreign debt, one needs to rethink if India is a poor country?
DISHONEST INDUSTRIALISTS, scandalous politicians and corrupt IAS, IRS, IPS officers have deposited in foreign banks in their illegal personal accounts a sum of about $1500 billion, which have been misappropriated by them.
1. This amount is about 13 times larger than the country's foreign debt.
2. With this amount hardcore poor people can get Rs 1,00,000 each. This huge amount has been appropriated from the people of India by exploiting and betraying them. Once this huge amount of black money and property comes back to India, the entire foreign debt can be repaid in 24 hours. After paying the entire foreign debt, we will have surplus amount, almost 12 times larger than the foreign debt.
3. If this surplus amount is invested in earning interest, the amount of interest will be more than the annual budget of the Central government..
4. So even if all the taxes are abolished, then also the Central government will be able to maintain the country very comfortably.
Some 80,000 people travel to Switzerland every year, of which 25,000 travel very frequently. 'Obviously, these people won't be tourists. They must be travelling there for some other reason,' believes an official involved in tracking illegal money. And, clearly, he isn't referring to the commerce ministry bureaucrats who've been flitting in and out of Geneva ever since the World Trade Organization (WTO) negotiations went into a tailspin!
Just read the following details and note how these dishonest industrialists, scandalous politicians, corrupt officers, cricketers, film actors, illegal sex trade and protected wildlife operators, to name just a few, sucked this country's wealth and prosperity. This may be the picture of deposits in Swiss banks only. What about other international banks?
Now do the maths - India with $1,456 billion or $1.4 trillion has more money in Swiss banks than rest of the world combined. Public loot since 1947.
Can we bring back our money? It is one of the biggest loots witnessed by mankind -- the loot of the Aam Aadmi (common man) since 1947, by his brethren occupying public office. It has been orchestrated by politicians, bureaucrats and some businessmen.
The list is almost all-encompassing. No wonder, everyone in India loots with impunity and without any fear... What is even more depressing in that this ill-gotten wealth of ours has been stashed away abroad into secret bank accounts located in some of the world's best known tax havens? And to that extent the Indian economy has been stripped of its wealth. Ordinary Indians may not be exactly aware of how such secret accounts operate and what are the rules and regulations that go on to govern such tax havens. However, one may well be aware of 'Swiss bank accounts, the shorthand for murky dealings, secrecy and of course pilferage from developing countries into rich developed ones.
In fact, some finance experts and economists believe tax havens to be a conspiracy of the western world against the poor countries. By allowing the proliferation of tax havens in the twentieth century, the western world explicitly encourages the movement of scarce capital from the developing countries to the rich. In March 2005, the Tax Justice Network (TJN) published a research finding demonstrating that $11.5 trillion of personal wealth was held offshore by rich individuals across the globe.
The findings estimated that a large proportion of this wealth was managed from some 70 tax havens. Further, augmenting these studies of TJN, Raymond Baker -- in his widely celebrated book titled ‘Capitalism’s Achilles Heel:
Dirty Money and How to Renew the Free Market System' -- estimates that at least $5 trillion have been shifted out of poorer countries to the West since the mid-1970.
It is further estimated by experts that one per cent of the world’s population holds more than 57 per cent of total global wealth, routing it invariably through these tax havens. How much of this is from India is anybody’s guess.
What is to be noted here is that most of the wealth of Indians parked in these tax havens is illegitimate money acquired through corrupt means. Naturally, the secrecy associated with the bank accounts in such places is central to the issue, not their low tax rates as the term 'tax havens’ suggests. Remember Bofors and how India could not trace the ultimate beneficiary of those transactions because! of the secrecy associated with these bank accounts?
A SPANISH Teacher was explaining to her class that in Spanish, unlike English, nouns are designated as either masculine or feminine.
'House' for instance, is feminine: 'la Casa.'
'Pencil,' however, is masculine: 'el lapiz.'
A student asked, 'What gender is 'computer'?'
Instead of giving the answer, the teacher split the class into two groups, male and female, and asked them to decide for themselves whether computer' should be a masculine or a feminine noun.. Each group was asked to give four reasons for its recommendation.
The men's group decided that 'computer' should definitely be of the feminine gender ('la computadora'), because:
1. No one but their creator understands their internal logic;
2. The native language they use to communicate with other computers is incomprehensible to everyone else;
3. Even the smallest mistakes are stored in long term memory for possible later retrieval; and
4. As soon as you make a commitment to one, you find yourself spending half your paycheck on accessories for it.
The women's group, however, concluded that computers should be Masculine ('el computador'), because:
1. In order to do anything with them, you have to turn them on;
2. They have a lot of data but still can't think for themselves;
3. They are supposed to help you solve problems, but half the time they ARE the problem; and
4. As soon as you commit to one, you realize that if you had waited a little longer, you could have gotten a better model.
The women won.
He painted a sign advertising the 4 pups and set about nailing it to a post on the edge of his yard. As he was driving the last nail into the post, he felt a tug on his overalls. He looked down into the eyes of a little boy.
"Mister," he said, "I want to buy one of your puppies." "Well," said the farmer, as he rubbed the sweat off the back of his neck, "These puppies come from fine parents and cost a good deal of money."
The boy dropped his head for a moment. Then reaching deep into his pocket, he pulled out a handful of change and held it up to the farmer.
"I've got thirty-nine cents. Is that enough to take a look?"
"Sure," said the farmer. And with that he let out a whistle."Here, Dolly!" he called.
Out from the doghouse and down the ramp ran Dolly followed by four little balls of fur.
The little boy pressed his face against the chain link fence. His eyes danced with delight. As the dogs made their way to the fence, the little boy noticed something else stirring inside the dog house.
Slowly another little ball appeared, this one noticeably smaller. Down the ramp it slid. Then in a somewhat awkward manner, the little pup began hobbling toward the others, doing its best to catch up...
"I want that one," the little boy said, pointing to the runt.
The farmer knelt down at the boy's side and said, "Son, you don't want that puppy. He will never be able to run and play with you like these other dogs would."
With that the little boy stepped back from the fence, reached down, and began rolling up one leg of his trousers.
In doing so he revealed a steel brace running down both sides of his leg attaching itself to a specially made shoe.
Looking back up at the farmer, he said, "You see sir, I don't run too well myself, and he will need someone who understands."
With tears in his eyes, the farmer reached down and picked up the little pup.
Holding it carefully he handed it to the little boy.
"How much?" asked the little boy.
"No charge," answered the farmer, "There's no charge for love."
The world is full of people who need someone who understands.
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Not sure if this particular tree had been genetically altered to bear fruits in such unusual way - at the tree trunk rather than the branches.
Now it appears popular to have headstones custom made to suit the professions or hobbies of the deceased:
Big biker (or Traffic policeman?):
Golfer (probably died of heart attack at the golf course just after a tee-off):
Bartender who loved his job so much:
Crossword puzzle addict:
Coming next: Sudoku or even Mahjong addicts?
Hypochondriac's 'I told you so!' though a bit too late:
Till death do us part...pro-actively:
Till death us not part:
Friday, October 23, 2009
You mentioned that you met your farmer friend from Cameron Highlands. Well I was the first-born to a young farming couple from Cameron Highlands. We later moved to Penang but continued with vegetable farming to earn a living. Our farm was on a hill next to Penang Hill, no tram service there but mere leg power, as a lot of walking needed. We would plant long bean, French bean, snow pea, cucumber, choy-sum, kai-lan, chilli, bitter gourd, etc. I was there until I was in Form 4, already a well versed young farmer.
For this discussion, I would like to put the vege into two groups: the leafy vege, and the beans/"qua". Leafy vege are the choy-sums, kailans, etc. We eat the leaves. And "qua" are the cucumbers, bitter gourds, brinjals, etc. We eat the fruits.
And the chemical sprays are grouped into 2 categories also: the fungicides and the pesticides. As the name suggests, fungicides are used to protect the plant from fungus, and pesticides are to ward off pests like bugs, caterpillars, snails, etc. The main culprits are the caterpillars.
For the leafy vege, normally less sprays are needed. When they are "young" they usually don't need any sprays unless there is an outbreak of a fungus disease in the neighbourhood. In any case any spray at this young age is of lesser harmful effects because it would be many days later when it is consumed. The toxins could have long gone. But when the vege is maturing with many young leaves growing, farmers usually apply a round of pesticides to ward off the attack of pests. No fungicides are needed. The label on the pesticide bottle says that it should not be used 1 week before harvest. Of course not all farmers follow that faithfully, but I remember my father used to insist not to spray any vege less than 5 days to harvest time. So how "toxic" a leafy vege is depends on the attitude of the farmer.
Then we have the other groups of beans/"qua". You see these are "fruits" from a "plant", and these fruits are being harvested continously from the same plant which could last several months, not a one-time harvest as the leafy vege. In this case the farmers need to protect the "plant" as well as the "fruit". He has no choice but to spray the plants with both pesticides and fungicides.
Take the example of cucumber. Cucumber plant would have its first cucumber mature enough to be harvested 40 days after planting, and we can harvest cucumber (from a row of cucumber plants) every day for another 20 days. So what to do during this period of 20 days? The farmer just have to spray whatever pesticide/fungicide needed even if he is harvesting the fruits again the next day. During this harvesting period of 20 days he may spray 1 or 2 times of the needed chemicals since the spray is effective for a week only. For long beans the harvest is on alternate days and the harvesting period is longer, up to 35 days. Chilli and brinjal plants can last even longer. So for this group of beans/"qua", the chances of eating one with recent toxic sprays is certainly very high. You might be eating one which was sprayed with pesticides the day before.
My advice is take more leafy vege which should have less spray. And if you take the other group of beans/"qua" soak them in water for a longer period. Some people even suggested scrubbing them. And please discard the "skins". For cucumber it is easy to trim off the skin. The skin might contain more vitamin C but I think if you eat enough fruits and vege, you have no problem getting the required amount of vitamin C. But you probably can't scrub bitter gourd or the beans.
The experience related here was the practice prevailing 40 years ago. I am not sure if the practice has changed much. I doubt it could change at all.
We often heard people comment something like this: those farmers don't care lah, they would simply spray everything. That is not correct. Not that every farmer cares but because the fungicides/pesticides are very very expensive chemicals. The farmers would certainly try to minimise the use if he is sure they are not needed because the chemicals are so costly. Of course I also can't guarantee some "kiasu" farmers won't over use it to be doubly sure their crops are protected.
Bye. Hope I don't frighten off the vege-lovers.
P the ex-young farmer
Common sense tells us that it boils down to spending money not from our own pockets, yet which could fill our own, with no need to face the music, probably a transfer to another town.
What does that tell us on the effectiveness of our top civil servants? Shouldn't they be held responsible for their own ministries or departments? Why are there no actions taken to prevent recurrence?
Our accounting students have been top students in all the major accounting examinations, so there is certainly no lack of knowledge nor expertise on financial controls. We have all the major international accounting firms having offices here with their world class management consultancies, if only they are allowed to intervene.
The reason for not discovering why 2 laptop computers were paid Rm42,000 each (almost 10 times actual cost) was put to no breakdown of the bill! Whoever in charge or said that must be a fool, or at least pretended to be one, and definitely treating us all like fools.
Are we going to continue to live in a fools' paradise?
Testimonies from grateful grandparents:
If I had known how wonderful it would be to have grandchildren, I'd have had them first. ~Lois Wyse
One of the most powerful handclasps is that of a new grandbaby around the finger of a grandfather. ~Joy Hargrove
It's amazing how grandparents seem so young once you become one. ~Author Unknown
If your baby is 'beautiful and perfect, never cries or fusses, sleeps on schedule and burps on demand, an angel all the time,' you're the grandma. ~Teresa Bloomingdale
If becoming a grandmother was only a matter of choice, I should advise every one of you straight away to become one. There is no fun for old people like it! ~Hannah Whithall Smith
What a bargain grandchildren are! I give them my loose change, and they give me a million dollars' worth of pleasure. ~Gene Perret
It's such a grand thing to be a mother of a mother - that's why the world calls her grandmother. ~Author Unknown
Grandchildren are God's way of compensating us for growing old. ~Mary H. Waldrip
Or is it?:
An hour with your grandchildren can make you feel young again.
Anything longer than that, and you start to age quickly. ~Gene Perret
Grandchildren don't make a man feel old; it's the knowledge that he's married to a grandmother. ~G. Norman Collie
From grateful children:
Grandparents are similar to a piece of string - handy to have around and easily wrapped around the fingers of their grandchildren. ~Author Unknown
A grandmother is a babysitter who watches the kids instead of the television.. ~Author Unknown
Nobody can do for little children what grandparents do. Grandparents sort of sprinkle stardust over the lives of little children. ~Alex Haley
Grandmother - a wonderful mother with lots of practice. ~Author Unknown
on the other hand:
When grandparents enter the door, discipline flies out the window. ~Ogden Nash
The best baby-sitters, of course, are the baby's grandparents. You feel completely comfortable entrusting your baby to them for long periods, which is why most grandparents flee to Florida . ~Dave Barry
Testimonies from grateful grandchildren:
Grandma always made you feel she had been waiting to see just you all day and now the day was complete. ~ Marcy DeMaree
Grandmas never run out of hugs or cookies. ~Author unknown
Grandmas hold our tiny hands for just a little while, but our hearts forever. ~Author Unknown
You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother. ~Proverb
Grandmother-grandchild relationships are simple. Grandmas are short on criticism and long on love. ~Author Unknown
A grandparent is old on the outside but young on the inside. ~Author Unknown
Last but not least:
What is it about grandparents that is so lovely? I'd like to say that grandparents are God's gifts to children. And if they can but see, hear and feel what these people have to give, they can mature at a fast rate. ~Bill Cosby
(Selected and re-arranged from someone's collection of relevant quotes)
Dr. Chua seems arm-twisted to hold hands with Ong in a show of harmony, for the cameras. Could have been worse, I suppose.
The decision on who should be President of any of the coalition parties will always rest on the President of Umno, and there is no doubt about it.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
The first man was an Engineer,
The second man was an Accountant,
The third man was a Chemist, and
The fourth man was a Government Employee .
To show off, the Engineer called his cat, 'T-square, do your stuff.' T-square pranced over to the desk, took out some paper and pen and promptly drew a circle, a square, and a triangle.
Everyone agreed that was pretty smart.
But the Accountant said his cat could do better. He called his cat and said, 'Spreadsheet, do your stuff.' Spreadsheet went out to the kitchen and returned with a dozen cookies. He divided them into 4 equal piles of 3 cookies.
Everyone agreed that was good.
But the Chemist said his cat could do better. He called his cat and said, 'Measure, do your stuff.' Measure got up, walked to the fridge, took out a quart of milk, got a 10 ounce glass from the cupboard and poured exactly 8 ounces without spilling a drop into the glass.
Everyone agreed that was pretty good.
Then the three men turned to the Government Employee and said, 'What can your cat do?'
The Government Employee called his cat and said, 'CoffeeBreak, do your stuff..'
CoffeeBreak jumped to his feet...
Ate the cookies...
Drank the milk...
Sh*t on the paper...
Screwed the other three cats...
and went home for the rest of the day on sick leave...
AND THAT MY FRIENDS, IS WHY EVERYONE
WANTS TO WORK FOR THE MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT!
To: Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd
Respectfully, we ask KTMB to consider having a scheduled stop at the old Batu Gajah station which had served its travellers well for so many years, but its replacement, the new multi-million ringgit modern station has instead inconvenienced them. We would like to ask KTMB to listen to the pained voices of so many people who need to travel by train but inconvenienced by the new location.
The new KTM Batu Gajah train station appears to be the pride of the town, but in actual fact, it has created untold miseries to those who need to use the train services.
If you have not already heard the complaints, we wish to highlight the main ones as follows:
1.Its location is actually not within walking distance from the main road, Jalan Tualang, compared with walking distance at the old station in Jalan Pusing.
The need for own transport or taxi service has meant special arrangement and additional costs of petrol, or taxi fares of Rm8 just to get to the main road, or Rm15 to get to Jalan Changkat, and that is, only if there were taxis available. Just imagine anyone, especially a lone girl or woman arriving at night. The residents have so far seem resigned to the given situation and we do not think this is fair to them, having to accept a problem created by having a new station at great public expense.
The need to take a taxi would in effect undo the relatively cheap train fare of Rm10 Economy and Rm17 Superior for the BG-KL trip.
2. Lack of consideration for senior citizens and disabled persons.
Has any of the management staff tried walking up the high pedestrian crossing? Only those travelling south would find it convenient using the platform of the new station. Coming from the south, a disabled person using a wheelchair would face the formidable task of having to go a fair distance before he or she could be picked up by someone using a car. This problem could be solved if only there is a scheduled stop at the old train station.
I sincerely hope KTM can be a good corporate citizen by listening to the people, having ignored their pleas before the planning and construction of the new station.
Sincerely, The Undersigned
Flashback to an earlier letter by a local resident:
We Need Only a Halt, Not Station
Posted on: Monday, 17 October 2005, 00:00 CDT
I REFER to "White elephant in the making" (NST, Oct 12), and agree with the writer.
Also, what is important for the people of Batu Gajah is not a beautiful railway station far inside the kampung but only a halt at the old railway station close to buses and taxis and with a vending machine to buy tickets.
There is an overhead bridge not far from the old railway station which people can use to get to the other side if the authorities do not want to build a bridge at the railway station itself.
The old railway station is still standing, and what is needed is another shed on the other side with some facilities, which will not cost much.
It would be much better if handled by our local elected representatives like ADUN for Tronoh, YB V. Sivakumar or MP for Batu Gajah, YB Fong Po Kuan.
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
But no, we are attracted to go to UK despite cold treatment from their immigration staff. They treat us with suspicions, no thanks to the tens of thousands of illegal immigrants from Malaysia who overstayed. They were attracted by the high exchange rate which is understandable.
Stricter measures that I have come across include closer scrutiny of applications for student visas. What used to be straitforward now appears to be like an obstacle course. One case that I knew of had her application rejected despite having to provide on separate occasions, a covering letter from the sponsor, deemed unsuitable bank confirmation, birth certificate and subsequent requirement for translated and certified copy and so on. Her successfu re-application (having to pay another processing fee) seems a re-arrangement of documents and nothing more!
Over in UK, those who over-stayed and had been driving around without proper motor insurance were found out by police who had their mobile computers with all the relevant databases to check on vehicle owners. Even 30 years ago, I knew their police had this facility of knowing the identity of vehicle owners and I wonder why they waited till now to make use of it.
Those who are on student visas were checked upon and if found to have worked more than the permitted 20 hours a week are deported.
Arrivals at Heathrow airport are selected at random and interviewed separately if in a group, sometimes by an officer who is a former Malaysian! If he said he is only a tourist who does not know anyone, an announcement is made over the PA system and if in fact, a friend or relative was around, he is deemed to have made a false declaration and deported.
I don't know about others, but I would rather go to a place more welcoming than one with suspicious immigration officers looking down on us.
Now read why they are unhappy with us, from The Sun:
UK unhappy over Malaysians
When you know which one it is, you will know what to do for that person..
When someone is in your life for a REASON, it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON, because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it, it is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons, things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
Thank you for being a part of my life, whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.
One day I hopped in a taxi and we took off for the airport.
We were driving in the right lane when suddenly a black car jumped out of a parking space right in front of us.
My taxi driver slammed on his brakes, skidded, and missed the other car by just inches! The driver of the other car whipped his head around and started yelling at us.
My taxi driver just smiled and waved at the guy. And I mean, he was really friendly.
So I asked, 'Why did you just do that? This guy almost ruined your car and sent us to the hospital!'
This is when my taxi driver taught me what I now call, 'The Law of the Garbage Truck.'
He explained that many people are like garbage trucks. They run around full of garbage, full of frustration, full of anger, and full of disappointment.
As their garbage piles up, they need a place to dump it and sometimes they'll dump it on you. Don't take it personally.
Just smile, wave, wish them well, and move on. Don't take their garbage and spread it to other people at work, at home, or on the streets.
The bottom line is that successful people do not let garbage trucks take over their day.
Life's too short to wake up in the morning with regrets, so ... Love the people who treat you right. Pray for the ones who don't.
Life is ten percent what you make it and ninety percent how you take it!
Have a blessed, garbage-free day!
Today, I heard glass breaking sounds and I did not know what happened. When I walked from the gate, I kicked a piece of broken glass and then I remembered what I heard earlier. I looked around and found more smaller pieces which include a large piece (bottom of a glass) standing on the road with sharp edges pointing up. Whoever did this must have hoped someone else would step on it and cut himself or herself. Where is our civic-mindedness? As I was carrying a plastic bag holding two plastic containers, I used some thick papers to cover the broken pieces before putting them in the plastic bag and into the bin.
A very shy young man goes into a bar and sees a beautiful lady sitting alone.
After an hour he gathers enough courage to go and asks her,
"Er... excuse me, would you mind if I sit here beside you?"
The lady responds in a loud voice :
"NO, I DON'T WANT TO SPEND THE NIGHT WITH YOU!"
Everyone in the bar turns to stare at them.
The young man is surprised, shocked and embarrassed and goes back to his table.
After a few minutes the lady walks over to him smiles, apologizes, and says,
"You see, I'm a graduate student in psychology and I'm studying how people respond to embarrassing situations."
The young man responds loudly,
"WHAT DO YOU MEAN TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS FOR ONE NIGHT? THATS TOO MUCH!"
With the ongoing internal problems within the major political parties in Malaysia, people wonder why? If we think about it, the reasons could by simply due to our differences as human beings.
Just imagine, if people sharing a fridge could face problems, the jostling for power and wealth would have created greater problems magnified manifolds.
Looking at some of the following pictures, the first three look as if there was a rat within the fridge! This reminds me of the Hokien saying, 'phai seh chueh nngn eh' or 'being polite, eat half first and finish it the second time'!
To religious people, the last one could be effective. Once, a foreign worker was being questioned whether he gave a handphone to a maid whom he had an affair. At first he denied, but when asked to go to the Hindu temple to swear (he was from Nepal), he readily admitted!
'I am always amused when I see someone eat sometimes five bowls of rice (equals 50 teaspoons of sugar) and then asks for tea tarik kurang manis!' But we should spare a thought as to how this habit came about. In poor homes, rice being the least expensive, has to form the bulk of one's meal and sometimes the lack of meat or fish has to be substituted with plain soy sauce or even salt water. Going by today's dietary advice, sugar and salt seem to be double jeopardy in poor people's diets.
In some parts of Asia , rice forms up to 85% of the plate. Even if you take rice, keep it to a minimum. Remember, it is only for your tongue - not your body. Actually, rice and other grains like wheat and corn are actually worse than sugar. There are many reasons:
Rice becomes sugar - lots of it!
This is a fact that no nutritionist can deny: rice is chemically no different from sugar. One bowl of cooked rice is the caloric equal of 10 teaspoons of sugar. This does not matter whether it is white, brown or herbal rice. Brown rice is richer in fibre, some B vitamins and minerals but it is still the caloric equal of 10 teaspoons of sugar. To get the same 10 teaspoons of sugar, you need to consume lots of kangkong -10 bowls of it.
Rice is digested to become sugar.
Rice cannot be digested before it is thoroughly cooked. However, when thoroughly cooked, it becomes sugar and spikes circulating blood sugar within half an hour - almost as quickly as it would if you took a sugar candy. Rice is very low in the 'rainbow of anti-oxidants. '
This complete anti-oxidant rainbow is necessary for the effective and safe utilisation of sugar.. Fruits come with a sugar called fructose. However, they are not empty calories as the fruit is packed with a whole host of other nutrients that help its proper assimilation and digestion.
Rice has no fibre.
The fibre of the kangkong fills you up long before your blood sugar spikes. This is because the fibre bulks and fills up your stomach. Since white rice has no fibre, you end up eating lots of 'calorie dense' food before you get filled up. Brown rice has more fibre but still the same amount of sugar.
Rice is tasteless-sugar is sweet.
There is only so much that you can eat at one sitting. How many teaspoons of sugar can you eat before you feel like throwing up? Could you imagine eating 10 teaspoons of sugar in one seating?
Rice is always the main part of the meal...
Are you a rice addict? Going riceless may not be easy but you can go rice-less. Eating less rice could be lot easier than you think (provided you can afford it?). Here are some strategies that you can pursue in your quest to eat less rice:
Barry Sears, author of the Zone Diet, advises 'eating rice like spice'. Instead, increase your fruits and vegetables. Take more lean meats and fish. You can even take more eggs and nuts.
Have 'riceless' meals.
Take no rice or wheat at say, breakfast. Go for eggs instead.
Go on 'riceless' days.
Go 'western' once a week.
Take no rice and breads for one day every week.
That can't be too difficult. Appreciate the richness of your food. Go for taste, colours and smells. Make eating a culinary delight. Enjoy your food in the original flavours.
Avoid the salt shaker or ketchup.
You will automatically eat less rice.
Eat your fruit dessert before (Yes! No printing error) your meals.
The fibre rich fruits will 'bulk up' in your stomach. Thus, you will eat less rice and more fruits.
It's your life. Decide what you want to eat! But eat less rice!