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.)

Thursday, December 31, 2009

Analyzing my Petition and Poll

I am guided by this piece of advice: Do not give up when you still have something to give.
Nothing is really over until the moment you stop trying. It is a fragile thread that binds us to each other.

First of all, we must understand that most Malaysians are apathetic and they are unlikely to take part in anything unless there is something worth going for. Many people still do not use the computer, like my wife for example. For those who use, they might be surfing so many other sites interesting to them, so the chances of them visiting my blogsite, for instance, is very slim. Then, out of those who regularly visit my site, not all would participate in a petition or a poll.

Out of those whom I have sent my petition for a supportive response, I was most surprised at some who did not, despite reminders. I was really upset when one even expressed her different viewpoint (that KTMB should instead make the new station disabled friendly instead) and just refused to lend support to mine as an alternative suggestion! I was most disappointed when the disabled person who spurred me to start on the exercise, did not respond too (did not want the publicity?), which made my whole purpose futile. His case was meant to be a catalyst though my suggestion is for the benefit of all. KTMB can easily do an independent survey of the residents' opinion to see if it fits with what I have been claiming all along.

I still maintain that after me, there is unlikely to be another busy body to take up the issue, unless come the next general elections, either the Pakatan candidate for Batu Gajah or BN leaders would do so. Probably BN leaders would want to show that they could do something which the opposition could not. I honestly do not mind who does it, but please do it. The residents would be really grateful.

On the Polls, I tried my level best to let it go at its own steam (without canvassing people to do so), with myself casting the first vote in favour. I could have casted 5 votes for my family alone, but I was afraid it might affect the results if coming from the same computer. After weeks of 100% in favour, I was unfazed by a sudden 3 votes (for 'makes no difference to me') on the same day when a mischievous guy posted a comment (second time) which was in a different language (not legible in my blog, possibly in Chinese) with 'dots' each linked to a sex site. I believe it was done by the same person. Now, if we think about it, as I have mentioned earlier, most people would not bother to take part in the Petition as well as the Poll, so it would really take someone with intent to actually cast votes which showed 'indifference'! Positive apathy (for want of a better description)? Anyway, despite the 20% votes for 'Makes no difference to me', there was none who voted 'No', and I got a positive 80%. But the polls seem vulnerable to manipulation, either by me or by someone else. But I rather be an honest failure than a corrupt success in this, as well as other endeavours.

To KTMB management, I would say, 'Shame on you for not even responding to my Petition. I wish I can get a reply from someone responsible to acknowledge that they are unable to do anything about it.' Just bear in mind that whoever had earlier made the decision on the location of the new station were responsible for the 'progress or development at the expense of convenience' which was totally out of line with the people's consideration. I can only hope that whatever plans they have for the old station, be it a railway museum or a relic of the good old days, that the platform be raised to enable 'ad hoc' stops for emergency use.

To those who have supported my Petition, a big thank you and sorry for raising your hopes and disappointing all of you. I wish to thank the host of Petitiononline who had given me the opportunity to test and confirm that a nobody can never get things done in Malaysia! But I still carry the hope that someone in the near future would be able to make a difference to what I have failed to do.

Nevertheless, I wish all my visitors a very Happy New Year!


GST: good news to some but depressing to most...

My Australian friend, Ken, who is a practising accountant said one of his clients remarked that each morning when Ken wakes up, he should thank John Howard for introducing GST. He admitted that his revenue doubled as a result and that was why he had been visiting Malaysia every year since year 2000!

So, one thing that is certain for our PM for introducing GST will be the gratitude of public accountants in Malaysia. The requirement for every trader or service provider who is defined as under GST to submit quarterly returns (showing tax due to be paid or refunded) would necessitate proper records to be kept. For those small time business people (according to their previous tax returns which may or may not be true) who are used to preparing accounts based on incomplete records at the end of each tax year, they will have to make an effort to keep proper records throughout the year and this is where the public accountants will be gleeful about.

The chain of add-ons (of 4% at each stage of production) to the prices of goods and services will invariably increase their prices to end-users, the public. It does not make sense to say that it will not lead to inflation, as claimed by government leaders. It would be erroneous and misleading to compare with the 5% Service Tax based on the difference in tax rate alone.

There is an assumption that all the GST will be properly accounted for and paid to the government. We should expect leakages as there will be many businesses which would charge the required tax (whether registered for GST or pretending to be) but not necessarily pay them to the government.

GST is certainly depressing for most of us to think about in the new year of 2010.


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Disabled sign at BG railway station leads to nowhere?

and I am not joking.

After seeing off my 3 former classmates at 6.16pm at the BG railway station, I decided to see for myself where the disabled ramp leads to. I took the left turn instead of the right (before flyover leads back to Jalan Tualang, after the flyover leads to Jalan Gopeng as well as Clearwater Sanctuary) which leads to Kg. Pisang.

When I reached the underpass (see picture) which goes underneath the double-tracking railway lines, I remembered what Hona (my disabled friend) said about having to go underneath the railway lines, which means this must be the one he was referring to. I wish to inform that when I stopped the car to take the picture (with left signal on), a motorcyclist saw me and further down the road, intentionally let me pass, presumably to note my car registration number.

Again, like before, at junctions, I tend to take the wrong one and this time took me the long way to the new housing project behind the station. But before I could reach the place, an old Nissan Sunny actually stopped in front, blocking my way and a Haji alighted and came towards me asking, "Mana pergi? (Where're you going?)". To be honest, I sensed something wrong as normally strangers' cars are not stopped as a matter of course. Anyway, I mentioned that I am trying to find out where the disabled are supposed to get out from the station. He led me to the place where I could see a staircase leading to the station from that side (back) of it.

Again, I was none the wiser after the scouting mission.

Conclusion: KTMB has yet to finalize the route for the disabled. Or, if it was in place, there are no obvious signs anywhere from the main road to the station, to inform those picking up disabled persons where to go for them.

Note: One of my 3 friends actually was looking to buy a bottled water. I asked the cleaner and she said there is going to be a canteen soon and suggested that he might be able to buy water on the train. The lone KTMB ticketing guy was too busy so I did not ask him to confirm if water is being sold on the train. On their trip to BG, my friend said there was no one selling anything on board! A few months back, there was service for beverages and snacks... was it stopped because of poor response?

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Stesen KTMB Batu Gajah is already disabled friendly...

so it seems.

Monday just before noon, I went to the BG railway station to pick up my three ex-classmates arriving from KL Sentral, on their nostalgic train journey. One of them, now an Australian, used to live in Sentul railway quarters because his father was an engineer in the Central Workshop. Another friend took a longer time to come out because he had gout and could not keep pace with the others walking up the high pedestrian crossing and down.

Before I arrived, just before reaching the car park, I noticed for the first time, 2 disabled signs on the other side of the railway lines and what looked like a ramp, probably leading to a road near a new housing project next to Kg. Pisang.

So now that the disabled are already taken care of, there is no need to respond to any of my emails? Even if I had been unreasonable in asking for an additional train stop, was it too much to expect a reply to explain KTMB's stand? Is there any public relations personnel at all?

As I have been harping for so long, the problem lies in the location, location and location of the station in the middle of nowhere. The first thing my Australian friend commented was, "No bus service? No taxis? How far is this place to the town? As we were walking out of the station, I noticed people who came to wait for arrivals were getting out, except one lone Chinese girl looking worried. Can you imagine her family member or friend who was supposed to fetch her did not turn up? What if this happened at night? This scenario will be played over and over again each time the train stops at the new station in Batu Gajah. It is so sad that the management are now so insensitive to the needs of the people.

Monday, December 28, 2009

China has the fastest train in the world

and the recent visit by President Obama was to find out how China achieved her fantastic development within a relative short period of time?

Wuhan-Guangzhou bullet train link to hit airlines hard
By Xin Dingding in Beijing and Zhou Lihua in Wuhan (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-12-26 08:32

According to an unrelated report:

US President Obama visited China last week, primarily to find out what and how exactly China is doing things that makes it such a success story, surpassing all the so-called "expert economic planners" of the US and Europe. His team found these 5 basic lessons behind China 's success :


The Chinese believe in Setting Goals, Making Plans, & Focusing on Moving Ahead - there is always the sense of forward motion.

As an example, a huge 6-lane highway in Shanghai took only 2 years from planning to ready for traffic. In the US, 2 years will only get you the environment and local authority permit if you are lucky - in Malaysia in 2 years, they will still be calculating how to inflate the costs, and to whose abang-adik company to award the project.


The Chinese are obsessed with ensuring kids get the right education - English, Maths and Science. They made sure that their education system reached even the most remote rural areas - today the literacy rate in China is OVER 90%, surpassing even the USA 's 86%. According to American Educationists, the Chinese kids are way ahead of the kids in the USA .

Meanwhile in Malaysia, our Moo-Moo politicians are determined to retract our education system into the stone age.

The Chinese DO NOT send their elderly to nursing care centres - they personally look after and care for their parents. In the US, nursing care of the elderly is now costing each resident USD 85,000 annually, and this is rising. The Chinese also believe that the grandparents at home make the best tutors for their children. It also provides a sense of cultural continuity - this helps bind society.

Here its a growing trend to have children brought up by maids, of the lowest educational and moral quality - so our children (the future leaders) grow up with similar language and outlook capability.


In the USA , savings dropped to zero in 2005, and is only now slowly rising to 4%. In China , the savings rate for every household has exceeded 20%. The Chinese believe that frugality and a healthy savings rate are a sure indicator of a country's financial health. High savings lead to increased investments - results in increased productivity, innovation and job growth.
In the West, and aped by our Malaysians, the status symbol is to spend more than you earn, with as many credit cards as possible. In the end, the whole country gets into debt.


In China , everyone is forward looking - never backwards. New graduates make a vow - never ever will their children and grandchildren ever work in the fields again. With this kind of forward mentality, people are always thinking and planning how, not just to succeed, BUT how to be the best in the world in everything they do.

(Author unknown)

Sunday, December 27, 2009

When opportunity knocks...

It is near the Christmas break of the school year. The students have turned in all their work and there is really nothing more to do. All the children are restless and the teacher decides to have an early dismissal.

Teacher: "Whoever answers the questions I ask, first and correctly can leave early today."

Little Johnny says to himself "Good, I want to get outta here. I'm smart and will answer the question."

Teacher: "Who said 'Four Score and Seven Years Ago'?"

Before Johnny can open his mouth, Susie says, "Abraham Lincoln."

Teacher: "That's right Susie, you can go home."

Johnny is mad that Susie answered the question first.

Teacher: "Who said 'I Have a Dream'?"

Before Johnny can open his mouth, Mary says, "Martin Luther King."

Teacher: "That's right Mary, you can go."

Johnny is even madder than before.

Teacher: "Who said 'Ask not, what your country can do for you'?"

Before Johnny can open his mouth, Nancy says, "John F. Kennedy."

Teacher: "That's right Nancy, you may also leave."

Johnny is boiling mad that he has not been able to answer to any of the questions.

When the teacher turns her back Johnny says, "I wish these bitches would keep their mouths shut!"

The teacher turns around: "NOW WHO SAID THAT?"



Saturday, December 26, 2009

Classic insults...

or lack of tact?
Sometimes it is difficult to differentiate.

When Insults Had Class

These glorious insults are from an era before the English language got boiled down to 4-letter words.

The exchange between Churchill & Lady Astor:
She said, "If you were my husband, I'd give you poisoned tea."
He answered, "If you were my wife, I'd drink it."

A member of Parliament to Prime Minister Disraeli: "Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease."
"That depends, Sir", said Disraeli, "whether I embrace your policies or your mistress."

"He had delusions of adequacy." Walter Kerr
"He has all the virtues I dislike and none of the vices I admire." - Winston Churchill

"I have never killed a man, but I have read many obituaries with great pleasure." Clarence Darrow
"I didn't attend the funeral, but I sent a nice letter saying I approved of it." - Mark Twain
"I've just learned about his illness. Let's hope it's nothing trivial." Irvin S. Cobb
"Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go." Oscar Wilde

"He has never been known to use a word that might send a reader to the dictionary." William Faulkner (about Ernest Hemingway).

"Thank you for sending me a copy of your book; I'll waste no time reading it." - Moses Hadas

"He has no enemies, but is intensely disliked by his friends." Oscar Wilde

"I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend... if you have one." George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill
"Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second... if there is one." Winston Churchill, in response.

"I've had a perfectly wonderful evening. But this wasn't it." Groucho Marx

I feel so miserable without you, it's almost like having you here." Comedian Kip Adota

"He is a self-made man and worships his creator." John Bright

"He is not only dull himself; he is the cause of dullness in others." Samuel Johnson

"He is simply a shiver looking for a spine to run up." Paul Keating

"In order to avoid being called a flirt, she always yielded easily." Charles, Count Talleyrand

"He loves nature in spite of what it did to him." Forrest Tucker

"Why do you sit there looking like an envelope without any address on it?" Mark Twain

"His mother should have thrown him away and kept the stork." Mae West

"He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lamp-posts... for support rather than illumination." Andrew Lang (1844 - 1912)

"He has Van Gogh's ear for music." Billy Wilder


Christmas dinner for Pusing old folks

I could not help but be reminded of last year's sad incident of a committee member who suffered a heart attack, and died soon after in the Batu Gajah hospital. He was at the same table as guests of honour, YB V Sivakumar and YB Hee Yit Foong, and some district councilors, one of whom represented YB Fong Po Kuan.

This year there was no VIP table and apart from some local ex-councilors, I could identify only two DAP veterans, Frankie Wong and the indomitable Bemban chairman. At our table, was an ex-aide (with her husband) of YB Fong.

After the dinner, I enquired and the unofficial explanation was that because of the uncertainty over the Perak government, the committee decided not to invite either side of the political divide! But coffee shop talk would put it as a general bias towards DAP instead. There is another rival committee for another social activity aligned to MCA in Pusing.


Escape Rescue System

Bayi sent me this video clip of Escape Rescue System, a world class rescue system suitable for
escape from fire which started in a high rise building.
But I was more interested in how they handled the escape of someone in a wheelchair. It appears so easy when we are ready and prepared for such an eventuality.

I cannot help thinking, 'Why can't we think of something that is simple and practical for use at railway stations with high pedestrian crossings, for the benefit of the old and disabled?'

I am sure there are many ways to do it. For example, the hydraulic lift which can lift up a car for repairs - surely we can have one that can handle lighter weight for much cheaper without sacrificing safety. All we need next is just an opening to the existing pedestrian crossing over the double-tracking railway lines and a similar opening to another hydraulic lift at the other end.

A more primitive and much cheaper version which was actually used some where else for some other purpose, was to have a simple water container on each side with a platform for a wheelchair or two. The system works by opening the water outlet from one container to the other, which in effect raises the platform to the required level!

But of course, I reckon these are so third world and too cheap for our country!

Confessions of a bassist wannabe

Just imagine someone who was still unfamiliar with the scales on the bass guitar, played bass for a church when he was still unfamiliar with the hymns! On top of that, he was given only 10 out of 16 song sheets, not knowing the right sequence! But despite the fumbling for the right song sheet, it turned out passable to most, judging from the few friends who thanked me personally and even one young Indian guy who even said 'you're good' in appreciation! I was so surprised at that that I did not even thank him in case I heard wrongly!

Just to put in perspective (for those who are unfamiliar with music amplification), electric bass guitar (or double bass with microphone at the right place) can provide the 'oomph' in a subtle way. So for a congregation used to being without a bass guitarist, even a beginner playing the right notes helps to improve the overall musical performance together with the choir. Furthermore, we were aided by a bongo player!

Then there was this unfair comparison with an unprepared lone rhythm guitarist (eg. borrowed guitar on site) who played in a different key to what the Chinese choir were singing! Later, I was told (by someone who knows Chinese) that a song was sung different from what was displayed on the projected board! So, I was good compared with an unprepared and unaided example!

To be honest, I had to prepare under difficult circumstances. A week ago, a chance meeting with one of the two guitarists led me to their practice the same night. I was sharing with two others, one set of song sheets on a stand. Then I was given the 10 song lyrics with chords. Bear in mind I was unfamiliar with the hymns other than the universal ones like Mary's boy child, Silent night and We wanna wish you a Merry Christmas. I had to search Youtube for those and sometimes they were in different keys.

I waited for the guitarist one night for a practice session but he did not turn up. I told myself that I might as well just give up. Then it was arranged for the following day and a quick run through, it ended up more like his display of old pop songs that he liked! I wished I was in the mood for that because I was more anxious of not being able to play even the basic notes correctly.

On the song sheets, I had to draw up the scales next to the songs for quick reference in case I needed to. I even had to mark a few places on the bass guitar just to ensure I get the right notes of those I was unfamiliar with! It was worth the effort. Now, there is a standing invitation to play on Sundays! I can treat it like bass practice while serving the church!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Sponsors of Raja Petra spotted?

(The Star) - Those who sponsored fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin’s stay in London should be exposed, said Batu Pahat MP Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi.

“It is of national interest to ascertain the motives of the people who sponsored Raja Petra, as he is a controversial writer who is daring in his attack on the government and making claims that could undermine national security,” he said.

Dr Mohd, who is also the deputy Education Minister, said the police should also ascertain the owner of the posh apartment where Raja Petra was allegedly seeking refuge. ...

Two sponsors were spotted!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

We wish you a Merry Christmas...

Tonight I will be helping out by playing simple bass (that's all I can do and with mistakes too) with two regular church member guitarists at the St. Joseph's Church in Batu Gajah. The last time I did that was over one Easter.

St. Joseph Church is where my two daughters attended kindergarten. It is one of those Roman Catholic churches steeped in tradition and religious rites. Even though I am not a member, I feel comfortable there which is what matters most.

My daughters will be celebrating a likely white christmas in UK while my son will be celebrating a tropical Samba Christmas in Brazil!

To all those Christians, I wish you all a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year! I have chosen, at random, from Youtube,

Enya's version:


Tun Dr. Mahathir - Father of Squander?

Opinions vary from 'Definitely' to 'NO, in fact, he was the key person which made possible, the iconic Twin Towers, KLIA, Putrajaya, F1 Race Track, North-South Expressway, Penang Bridge, etc. etc.'

We can argue until the cows come home without any agreeable conclusion. For possible corruption charges, we know how ineffective our MACC and AG are. So we are left with trying to make sense of the main arguments on the main items.

The key word is 'squander' which does not necessarily mean corruption but does not preclude it. Then we are left with each individual's perception of what is considered squander.

If we use an analogy of a family, then the patriarch or matriarch is responsible for the house, car and other necessary items and expenses. When times were good (think Petronas oil), by squander we expect to see an ostentatious palatial mansion built, Rolls Royce, Cayenne and Ferrari bought and frequent foreign travels by First Class were the order of the day.

It would have been acceptable if the children were given excellent education and medical care and the housekeepers and other staff well taken care of. But these were secondary to material wealth to show off to neighbours.

One day, patriarch or matriarch dies (think Petronas oil dries up) and within a short period of time, the expenses (imagine maintaining a palatial mansion – think Putrajaya; the Rolls Royce and other luxury cars; and costs of First Class foreign travel and so on) exceeds income, which inevitably eats into what was left to the heirs. It will then be a matter of time before the mansion becomes unsightly because of poor maintenance and the cars left idle in the garage.

Now, can we imagine Malaysia without the iconic Twin Towers and other glorious items mentioned earlier? Comments in Rocky Bru were mainly in favour of Dr. Mahathir and against Lim Kit Siang and the main arguments were that LKS opposed NSE and Penang Bridge but now seem cannot do without them. Good point but we should understand that LKS and other oppositionists had for the past 40 years, been fighting against unduly high costs of any project because of rampant corruption. NSE was admittedly used to save the finances of Umno. In any other country, the party would have been thrown out at the following general elections. But our situation is unique in that the majority are for special privileges to the majority and Umno happens to be a racial party championing the majority race!

Even with the important infrastructure items like NSE and Penang Bridge, it could have saved billions if there were open tenders and fair agreements and I would put those extra billions (including compensations in lieu of toll revisions as a result of lop-sided agreements) as squander to the nation.

Putrajaya and its high costs of maintenance, plus future costs to the travelling public (and government employees who continue to live in KL) because of necessary dealings with government departments could have been avoided altogether if the expenditures were concentrated on KL on improving its public transport system instead. I would consider this as squander because it fed the ego of one man. As a comparison, we should take a look at No.10 Downing Street, the home and office of Prime Minister of Britain which seem acceptable for umpteen years.

The delusion of grandeur in having an iconic Twin Towers which happened to be the tallest building in the world for a short period of time, speaks further of another egoistic venture. A crony made enough to have his own building next to them.

The F1 Race Track could have been a present for a son's passion for fast cars. The fact that even Lee Kuan Yew praised the idea because it brought exceptional world publicity must have been an endorsement which is priceless, but then, since when has LKY been a good example to Malaysia?

Anyway, there is a general consensus on the fact that all major projects were highly priced to provide for kickbacks which even an Umno Minister had admitted that, assuming at 20%, it costs our country Rm29 billion! And that must be a conservative estimate, coming from the ruling party!

Now, coming back to my earlier analogy. Malaysia is like a family which concentrated on showing off with material trappings but did not spend enough on ensuring the children have a good education and medical care. We have heard often of the reasons for turning down proposals for a decent minimum wage, better facilities for education and medical care (not just grand buildings but fair system with good educationists and hospital management), public transport and other things more urgent and useful than displays of First World structures but Third World mentality and maintenance.

My conclusion is that Tun Dr. Mahathir has a very big ego with grand plans and his fault was the autocratic ability in making use of Petronas windfalls which financed them during his tenure. For his choice of grandiose structures, I would consider it squander, wouldn't you?


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Passed acid it seems...

I was a very happy man, my wonderful girlfriend and I had been dating for over a year, and so we decided to get married.

There was only one little thing bothering me, it was her beautiful younger sister.

My prospective sister-in-law was twenty-two, wore very tight miniskirts, and generally was bra-less.

She would regularly bend down when she was near me, and I always got more than a nice view. It had to be deliberate, because she never did it when she was near anyone else.

One day her 'little' sister called and asked me to come over to check the wedding invitations. She was alone when I arrived, and she whispered to me that she had feelings and desires for me that she couldn't overcome. She told me that she wanted me just once before I got married and committed my life to her sister.

Well, I was in total shock, and couldn't say a word.

She said, “I'm going upstairs to my bedroom, and if you want one last wild fling, just come up and get me.”

I was stunned and frozen in shock as I watched her go up the stairs. I stood there for a moment, then turned and made a beeline straight to the front door, I opened the door and headed straight towards my car.

Lo and behold, my entire future family was standing outside, all clapping!

With tears in his eyes, my father-in-law hugged me and said, “We are very happy that you have passed our little test. We couldn't ask for a better man for our daughter, welcome to the family.”

And the moral of this story is:

Always keep your condoms in your car.


Effects of global warming?

No! Just a neighbour's scorched earth policy of destroying what he did not like. He is lord of all that he surveys.

Wonder which category is that under...

StarMetro's Top 10 Neighbours from Hell
November 12, 2009

1.One who tears down or renovates a house without the necessary approvals from the local authority.
2.One who leaves the house abandoned and locked up for years, leading to mosquitoes and other pests breeding on the premises.
3.One who creates loud disturbances and noice at odd times like the wee hours of the morning when everyone else is sound asleep.
4.One who rents out the home to a huge bunch of tenants, and tenants who become a nuisance.
5.One who converts a house from its intended purpose of habitation into a commercial food business without approval and permission from neighbours.
6.One who screams and rages loudly at his/her family members, disturbing the peace and causing discomfort.
7.One who leaves his/her pets unsupervised and uncontrolled.
8.One who intrudes into the neighbour's parking space and builds a garden that encroaches into a public road/kerb.
9.One who renovates his own portion of the house without discussing with the neighbour and leaving the neighbour's joint section looking ugly and detached.
10.One who blatantly dumps rubbish into the neighbour's space or drains without guilt or conscience.

This list was compiled based on complaints and letters written in to StarMetro.

Expanding on 'Diary of a Man'

which was forwarded by a friend but consisted of a page purportedly the cover of the book, and a list of sex jokes which most of us have come across before (those in italics were from the list):

There are only two four-letter words that are offensive to men :
"don't " and "stop", unless they are used together.

I think 'getting it wrong', in terms of trying to know what a female date is thinking, must be one of the most common problems faced by men since the beginning of the dating game. Men are supposed to take the initiative and not all men are the same (and so do women). What is fair game to a playboy is a big hurdle to a timid and naïve guy and the fear of rejection must be terrible. I am sure some men got into trouble simply because they made advances thinking their female partners were willing. With the liberalized women, they are bold enough to take the initiative if they fancied their dates and this must have helped a lot in freeing some men from having to hazard a second guess, despite some obvious dropping of heavy hints!

I am not sure whether to take it as a compliment, but I can still remember when as a young man on a course, a female classmate said to another, “K... ah, he is harmless, lah!” That's for being a 'goody two shoe' while the naughty guys seemed to have had good times when they were lucky with their advances.

A wife is a sex object. Every time you ask for sex, she objects.

I tried phone sex once, but the holes in the dialer were too small.

This inability to agree on when to have sex must be a common problem because it is a very popular topic of jokes in many different forms, even in comics!

From a Sunday comics strip, Baby Blues:
TV: The following program is intended for mature audiences.
Husband (thinking): Hello! Oooh. Whoa. Seismic!
Said to wife: Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
Wife: That we need to block this channel before the kids see it?
Wife (giving a kiss on his cheek) said: You're such a good daddy.
Husband (visually disappointed, thinking): Final score: Parenting 1 Romance 0.

A married couple at the Zoo walk past the gorilla enclosure. Says the woman:
"Mark , do you know that gorillas are the only animals which resemble men in their behaviour"?
"Look, see that no one is looking and I'll expose one of my breasts to it and just watch how horny it gets, just as you men do".
Mary then exposes one of her breasts, and, sure enough the gorilla begins to get a hard-on and grabs the bars of the enclosure as if it wanted to break free.
"See" says the woman, "Now I know why you react the way you do, men can't control their animal instincts, just as gorillas can't".
Says Mark : "Now expose both breasts and let's see what happens".

The woman exposes both breasts to the gorilla and it gets even more excited and is now desperately trying to escape the enclosure.
Says Mark : "This is incredible, now pull your skirt up, turn around and expose your bum to it and let's see what happens!!!"
The woman pull her skirt up turns around with her bum to the gorilla which by now, extremely aroused, bends the bars apart and breaks free of the cage, grabs the woman and starts tearing her clothes off....
The woman yells: " Mark , what do I do now? Please, help me!!!"

Mark replies: "Well, why don't you give him one of those excuses that you usually give me?:

That you don't feel like it;
That you have a headache;
That you're tired;
That your throat is aching;
That I must understand you as a woman;
That you are depressed;
That it's one of 'those' days;
That you are having a very busy week;
That all you need is just to cuddle;
That you're all tense;
That you have to wake up very early tomorrow;
That you woke up very early today;
That you walked for so long and your feet are aching;
That caresses and hugs is all that you want today;
That you're so tense that all you want is a good
massage to make you relax;
That you feel like watching TV;
That you don't wanna miss the soaps;
That you've just come from the hair salon and therefore you can't do it and ruin your hair..."

"Go on..... explain all that to the gorilla and if he understands, then I agree that we men are just like animals when it comes to sex!!!"

The alternative solution to all that?

Having sex is like playing bridge.
If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand.

Q: What are the three biggest tragedies in a man's life?
A: Life sucks, job sucks and the wife doesn't!


Monday, December 21, 2009

How I ended up being petty in Penang island...

Our first stop in Penang island was Lorong Kulit where the Sunday flea market was. There I bought a long cup of iced chendol for Rm2, which was a rip-off compared to the ones off Penang Road, because of the many pieces of ice instead of ice shavings. After the usual shopping for old collectibles, we went to the hawker centre next to the stadium where my wife looked forward to her usual 'Malaysian salad with belachan sauce' and grilled fish and rice for lunch.

The other place we went to was Penang Times Square, a Berjaya project. We were looking forward to the publicized flea market a few months back, but the place was so empty apart from the Sun City supermarket. A check with the information girl and she replied that the flea market was a flop and they did not have one for at least a couple of months. I asked about the equipment for a show and red carpet in front of two shoe shoplots and she said the Penang Chief Minister is coming at 6 pm. It was only just after 2 pm so we decided to go out for a cup of white coffee (taken for granted in Ipoh) but got the local coffee instead. Yes, they do have white coffee but the 3-in-1 type.

After checking out some electrical equipment at the supermarket, my wife decided to go to her third intended place – the bookshop in Chowrasta market where she had found some old books and magazines before. I decided to stay in the car instead.

Initially, I parked in front of a closed shop with roller shutters drawn shut behind the Penang Road police station. Then one roller shutter was opened and I gestured my apology knowing the man was about to drive his car out. I turned into Jalan Phee Choon and was glad that there were already 2 tour buses parked on the left side of the road leading to a dead end on Penang Road. Surely, if tour buses can park, then I can safely wait in the car, I thought to myself. But just a minute later, the parking attendant told me that I cannot park there. I questioned him that if the buses can park, why can't I wait? Then he suggested to me to park in a proper vacant space and said, 'You can wait here.' Just only a few minutes, he asked me, 'How long are you going to wait?' I said, 'Look, if the buses are allowed to park in a 'No waiting area, surely I can wait.' But of course, he has already forgotten his earlier offer and I was in no mood to take up the space properly. It did not cost much but in effect, I was earlier properly waiting but was now forced out of the area completely. He challenged me to check up with the Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang because he said he is allowed to issue tickets to the buses at Rm5 each.

So it appears, if what he said was true, that certain rules are meant to be broken. The 'No Waiting' signs were on both sides of Jalan Phee Choon (for whole length of the left side), and on the right, except where car and motor cycle parking spaces were designated. It was right next to the police station and the car park attendants behaved like illegal 'jaga kereta'!

What used to be funny whenever I come across Jalan Phee Choon (in Hokien it sounded like 'approved') wasn't funny anymore. I wonder if MPPP really allows the car park attendants to issue proper parking tickets to buses where the left side of the road is supposed to be 'No Waiting'. It was not fair to any of the car owners who parked properly because it took me three times of 'moving forward and back' before I could drive the car out of the space, simply because of the buses parked behind the parked cars.

A child's view can be hilariously different...

but first, my friendship with Major Yeoh (Rtd) when he was a remisier with Phileo. He was the first ex-army officer who introduced himself to me as, "I am Major Yeoh, Retarded", which seems appropriate with the shortened letters meant for Retired! He used to be an English teacher in Teluk Intan and is very fond of discussing about mistakes made by people in the use of English, which is one of the things we had in common. Anyway, here is the story...

After Christmas, a teacher asked her young pupils how they spent their holiday away from school. One child wrote the following:


We always used to spend the holidays with Grandma and Grandpa. They used to live in a big brick house but Grandpa got retarded and they moved to Florida ...Now they live in a tin box and have rocks painted green to look like grass.

They ride around on their bicycles and wear name tags because they don't know who they are anymore. They go to a building called a wreck center, but they must have got it fixed because it is all okay now, they do exercises there, but they don't do them very well. There is a swimming pool too, but all they do is jump up and down in it...with hats on.

At their gate, there is a doll house with a little old man sitting in it. He watches all day so nobody can escape. Sometimes they sneak out, and go cruising in their golf carts.

Nobody there cooks, they just eat out. And, they eat the same thing every night -- early birds. Some of the people can't get out past the man in the doll house. The ones who do get out, bring food back to the wrecked center for pot luck.

My Grandma says that Grandpa worked all his life to earn his retardment and says I should work hard so I can be retarded someday too. When I earn my retardment, I want to be the man in the doll house. Then I will let people out, so they can visit their grandchildren.


Saturday, December 19, 2009

Looking for the Perfect Match

I don't think there is a perfect match for a couple because it involves perfect mutual admiration in all aspects.

The Perfect Girl
A friend asked a gentleman how it is that he never married.
Replied the gentleman, "Well, I guess I just never met the right woman ... I guess I've been looking for the perfect girl."
"Oh, come on now," said the friend, "Surely you have met at least one girl that you wanted to marry."
"Yes, there was one girl once. I guess she was the one perfect girl, the only perfect girl I really ever met. She was just the right everything. I really mean that she was the perfect girl for me."
"Well, why didn't you marry her," asked the friend.
"She was looking for the perfect man," he said.

From a practical viewpoint, a man might rate a girl 5 out of 10 while the girl might rate him 8 out of 10. This leads to the following advice on relationship:
Don’t let someone become a priority in your life, when you are just an option in his or her life.
It is easier said than done, especially when you are hooked on the person. Unrequited love is quite common.

Besides physical features, personal traits, views and other important aspects, there are problems of long hours of work, work pressure and stress, periods of separation because of different locations and so on, which affect a serious relationship. There might be differences in religion as well as the dislike of some future in-laws too! The list is endless. It is a wonder how so many people got married!

Laws of Nature...

I am sure we have been through some of these experiences without knowing that each of them is named after someone. I am not sure of their authenticity nor any value attached to knowing them. The phrases in italics are my personal experiences:

Lorenz's Law of Mechanical Repair:
After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch.
(or your wife will ask you to bring in the clothes)

Anthony's Law of the Workshop:
Any tool, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner.
(or the little screw or nut that is vital to your assembly will not be found)

Kovac's Conundrum:
When you dial a wrong number, you never get an engaged tone.
(especially when you are using I-talk and and having dialed some 30 numbers)

Cannon's Karmic Law:
If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the next morning you will have a flat tire.

O'brien's Variation Law:
If you change queues, the one you have left will start to move faster than the one you are in now.
(very true, and also this applies to routes taken when driving, and the wife knew which ever route you chose was a wrong one)

Bell's Theorem:
When the body is immersed in water, the telephone rings.
(in our modern context, whenever we leave our mobile phone for 10 minutes, someone would call even though no one called for the past 24 hours)

Ruby's Principle Of Close Encounters:
The probability of meeting someone you know increases when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.
(I am more inclined to see someone I dislike at every unlikely place that I go to; or someone calls to have a private chat when I have someone with me who is not supposed to know)

Willoughby's Law:
When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.
(especially when you take your car to the mechanic)

Zadra's Law Of Biomechanics:
The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.
(reason why the Chinese invented the bamboo scratcher)

Breda's Rule:
At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle arrive last.
(they are likely to be large in size too)

Owen's Law:
As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee, your boss will ask you to do something which will last until the coffee is cold.
(he might have been watching you)


A suitable mascot for global warming


How not to worry?

with our phobia on personal safety and financial loss?

If your son/daughter used your credit card to book his/her flight home, you would need to send photocopies to him/her to meet this requirement:
Malaysia Airlines:Fulfilment ....
For security reasons, the following are required upon check-in or ticket reissuance,
failure to produce these documents may result in denied boarding:
1. Photocopy or actual credit card used for the online purchase(s).
2. Photocopy or original photo ID of the credit card holder.

A big risk in case the mail did not reach the intended destination, and especially the person!

A friend forwarded this useful information (highlights by me which I think are more relevant to Malaysians):

A corporate attorney (presumably Australian) sent the following out to the employees in his company:

1. Next time you order cheques, have only your initials (instead of your first name) and last name put on them. If someone takes your chequebook, they will not know if you sign your cheques with just your initials or your first name, but your bank will know how you sign your
cheques. (not sure if this option is available here eg. Maybank prints full name as a rule)

2. Do not sign the back of your credit cards. Instead, put "PHOTO ID REQUIRED".
(most, if not all credit cards in Malaysia have 'not valid unless signed'!)

3. When you are writing cheques to pay on your credit card accounts, DO NOT put the complete account number on the "For" line. Instead, just put the last four numbers. The credit card company knows the rest of the number, and anyone who might be handling your cheque as it passes through all the cheque processing channels won't have access to it.

4. Put your work phone number on your cheques instead of your home phone. If you have a PO Box, use that instead of your home address. If you do not have a PO Box, use your work address. Never have your Centrelink Number printed on your cheques. You can add it if it is necessary, but if you have it printed, anyone can get it.

5. Place the contents of your wallet on a photocopy machine. Do both sides of each licence, credit card, etc. You will know what you had in your wallet and all of the account numbers and phone numbers to call and cancel. Keep the photocopy in a safe place. I also carry a photocopy of my passport when travelling either here or abroad. We've all heard horror stories about fraud that's committed on us in stealing a name, address, Social Security number, credit cards.

Unfortunately I, an attorney, have first-hand knowledge because my wallet was stolen last month. Within a week, the thieves ordered an expensive monthly mobile phone package, applied for a VISA credit card, had a credit line approved to buy a Dell computer, received a PIN
number from DMV to change my driving record information on-line, and more.

But here's some critical information to limit the damage in case this happens to you or someone you know:

1. We have been told we should cancel our credit cards immediately, but the key is having the toll free numbers and your card numbers handy so you know whom to call. Keep those where you can find them

2. File a police report immediately in the jurisdiction where your credit cards, etc., were stolen. This proves to credit providers you were diligent, and this is a first step toward an investigation (if there ever is one).

3. But here's what is perhaps most important of all: (I never even thought to do this.)

Call the three national credit reporting organisations immediately to place a fraud alert on your name and Social Security number. I had never heard of doing that until advised by a bank that called to tell me an application for credit was made over the Internet in my name. The alert means any company that checks your credit knows your information was stolen, and they have to contact you by phone to authorise new credit.

By the time I was advised to do this, almost two weeks after the theft, all the damage had been done. There are records of all the credit checks initiated by the thieves' purchases, none of which I knew about before placing the alert. Since then, no additional damage has been done, and the thieves threw my wallet away. This weekend someone handed it in. It seems to have stopped them dead in their tracks.

Now, here are some numbers which you might need to contact if your wallet etc has been stolen:

1. Visa Card Australia 1800 621 199
2. Visa Card International 1800 450 346
3. Lost Travellers' Cheques 1800 127 477
4. MasterCard Australia (02) 9466 3700
5. MasterCard International 1800 120 113
6. Bankcard Australia (02) 9281 6633
7. Medicare 132 011
8. Centrelink Fraud 137 230
9. Seniors Card 1300 364 758
10. Passport 131 232

ANZ FREECALL 1800 033 844
BankWest 131 718
Citibank 132 484
Tamworth Coles/Myer Source 2340 1300 306 397
Commonwealth 132 221
CUSCAL- MyCard 1300 135 538
GE Capital 1300 369 904
Members Equity 1300 654 998
National 132 265
St George 1800 028 208
SydneyVirgin 2000 1800 080 000
Westpac 1800 230 144
Woolworths Ezy Banking 137 288


Friday, December 18, 2009

Don't worry, by happy...

I have mentioned this before. Now that it is school holiday, whenever I dropped by this shop, chances are the mother will be scolding her daughter for being last in class and that unless she improves herself, she would be like those juvenile delinquents under detention in a home for the wayward teenagers. As an observer, I still believe the problem lies with the mother! Why the pressure on a child who will be in Primary 2 next year? I still remember there is a provision in the UN charter which allows for the right of a child to play!

Anyway, our outlook in life will be very different if we consider life as a journey to be enjoyed!

Happiness is a Voyage
We convince ourselves that life will be better once we are married, have a baby, then another.

Then we get frustrated because our children are not old enough, and that all will be well when they are older.

Then we are frustrated because they reach adolescence and we must deal with them. Surely we'll be happier when they grow out of the teen years.

We tell ourselves our life will be better when our spouse gets his/her act together, when we have a nicer car, when we can take a vacation, when we finally retire.

The truth is that there is no better time to be happy than right now.

If not, then when?

Your life will always be full of challenges. It is better to admit as much and to decide to be happy in spite of it all.

For the longest time, it seemed that life was about to start. Real life.

But there was always some obstacle along the way, an ordeal to get through, some work to be finished, some time to be given, a bill to be paid. Then life would start.

I finally came to understand that those obstacles were life.

That point of view helped me see that there isn't any road to happiness.

Happiness IS the road.

So, enjoy every moment.

Stop waiting for school to end, for a return to school, to lose ten pounds, to gain ten pounds, for work to begin, to get married, for Friday evening, for Sunday morning, waiting for a new car, for your mortgage to be paid off, for spring, for summer, for fall, for winter, for the first or the fifteenth of the month, for your song to be played on the radio, to die, to be reborn… before deciding to be happy.

Happiness is a voyage, not a destination.

There is no better time to be happy than… NOW!

Live and enjoy the moment.


Thursday, December 17, 2009

Batu Gajah - in the news for the wrong reasons...

My friend in KL took the trouble to forward to me the following news:

Four schoolgirls raped, 15 collared

BATU GAJAH, Dec 17 — The police have detained 15 people, including several teenagers, in connection with four rape cases involving schoolgirls here.

The suspects were picked up in separate operations here yesterday, and remanded until Monday to facilitate investigations.

District police chief ACP Najib Mohamad said today that four 15-year-old schoolgirls were allegedly gang-raped on Dec 4, 7, 8 and 12.

On Dec 4, the victim was allegedly raped by five men at a house in Kampung Ara Payung here.
“The five were also alleged to have raped the second victim near a lake in Kampung Pisang, three days later,” said Najib, adding that the third girl was raped by 10 men at a house in Kampung Bendera.

The last victim faced a similar fate at a house in Tanjung Tualang.

The police chief said two other suspects were at large. — Bernama

One of the reasons which I have mentioned about residents' objection to the new train station (btw, in Kg. Pisang) is security risk, when passengers (especially lone woman or girl) disembark at night at the 'middle of nowhere' location. Of course, initially very likely there are other passengers, but soon after, all those with prior transport arrangements would have left, and anyone who is caught unaware, without handphone or handphone with low battery level, or the person who is supposed to come did not turn up for one reason or other... will be left to fate. Do we need to have a criminal offence committed or tragedy happened before we decide on a solution to the problem?


Rail travel is the way to go

if rules are meant to be broken and there are too many people and not enough coaches...


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Understanding some sleeping positions...

first of all, I must say that I am forced to sleep this way because of my problem right knee (not left as in the picture, whether that makes any difference) and the description may or may not be applicable to me.

try telling him that!

the picture says it all!
My late mother used to sleep this way... so do I!:
How do you explain this?

but this one deserves to have his or her bottom smacked!


Almost human...



when bored...

I think he (I mean, the kangaroo) needs some privacy, don't you? Perhaps, a master bedroom?

Monday, December 14, 2009

Make time...

I should know.

Having been a weekend father for 12 years, I gave up working in KL to be with my family. It was also after my widowed mother's demise, she was living on her own, which made it easier on my part.

I mentioned about 'driving down memory lane' on the old federal highway between BG and KL, which I am sure most people would not be able to feel it the way I do. My first recent trip was from Gopeng to Slim River (actually before the town) before I joined the North-South Expressway. My last trip, I went a bit further - from Gopeng to Behrang. This one in particular, especially on my return journey, which passed the old spot where there was a toll booth (Rm1) in Slim River (almost exactly half way between KL and BG) which brought back memories of anticipation after completing half the journey. The joy of seeing my elder daughter at the child-minder's house, 'jumping' (actually just bending and straightening her knees) upon seeing me was really worth the trouble.

My children used to be with my in-laws until our house was ready in 1994. The idea of the children being left alone in the house when I was in KL and my wife travelling out of town most times made me decide to have 'peace of mind' rather than any potential 'pot of gold'. Once, she even asked my son to fetch my youngest daughter on his bicycle and in his hurry, caused her to fall from it.

Anyway, the following story should be a good reminder to those who are trapped by their respective careers and had to use an euphemism called 'quality time' just because they do not spend enough time with their loved ones:

A young man learns what's most important in life from the guy next door.

It had been some time since Jack had seen the old man. College, girls, career, and life itself got in the way. In fact, Jack moved clear across the country in pursuit of his dreams. There, in the rush of his busy life, Jack had little time to think about the past and often no time to spend with his wife and son. He was working on his future, and nothing could stop him.

Over the phone, his mother told him, "Mr. Belser died last night. The funeral is Wednesday." Memories flashed through his mind like an old newsreel as he sat quietly remembering his childhood days.

"Jack, did you hear me?"

"Oh, sorry, Mom. Yes, I heard you. It's been so long since I thought of him. I'm sorry, but I honestly thought he died years ago," Jack said.

"Well, he didn't forget you. Every time I saw him he'd ask how you were doing. He'd reminisce about the many days you spent over 'his side of the fence' as he put it," Mom told him.

"I loved that old house he lived in," Jack said.

"You know, Jack, after your father died, Mr. Belser stepped in to make sure you had a man's influence in your life," she said

"He's the one who taught me carpentry," he said. "I wouldn't be in this business if it weren't for him. He spent a lot of time teaching me things he thought were important...Mom, I'll be there for the funeral," Jack said.

As busy as he was, he kept his word.. Jack caught the next flight to his hometown. Mr. Belser's funeral was small and uneventful. He had no children of his own, and most of his relatives had passed away.

The night before he had to return home, Jack and his Mom stopped by to see the old house next door one more time.

Standing in the doorway, Jack paused for a moment. It was like crossing over into another dimension, a leap through space and time The house was exactly as he remembered. Every step held memories. Every picture, every piece of furniture.....Jack stopped suddenly.

"What's wrong, Jack?" his Mom asked.

"The box is gone," he said

"What box?" Mom asked.

"There was a small gold box that he kept locked on top of his desk. I must have asked him a thousand times what was inside. All he'd ever tell me was 'the thing I value most,'" Jack said.

It was gone. Everything about the house was exactly how Jack remembered it, except for the box. He figured someone from the Belser family had taken it.

"Now I'll never know what was so valuable to him," Jack said. "I better get some sleep. I have an early flight home, Mom."

It had been about two weeks since Mr. Belser died. Returning home from work one day Jack discovered a note in his mailbox.. "Signature required on a package. No one at home. Please stop by the main post office within the next three days," the note read.

Early the next day Jack retrieved the package. The small box was old and looked like it had been mailed a hundred years ago. The handwriting was difficult to read, but the return address caught his attention.. "Mr. Harold Belser" it read. Jack took the box out to his car and ripped open the package. There inside was the gold box and an envelope. Jack's hands shook as he read the note inside.

"Upon my death, please forward this box and its contents to Jack Bennett. It's the thing I valued most in my life." A small key was taped to the letter. His heart racing, as tears filling his eyes, Jack carefully unlocked the box. There inside he found a beautiful gold pocket watch.

Running his fingers slowly over the finely etched casing, he unlatched the cover. Inside he found these words engraved:

"Jack, Thanks for your time! - Harold Belser."

"The thing he valued most time"

Jack held the watch for a few minutes, then called his office and cleared his appointments for the next two days. "Why?" Janet, his assistant asked.

"I need some time to spend with my son," he said..

"Oh, by the way, Janet, thanks for your time!"

My last resort if KTMB still ignores my Petition...

I think it would be a big publicity stunt to find an elephant to deliver the Petition, for the sake of Batu Gajah!

I am treating the Petition as a learning process and I had to do it the basic way ie. via a citizen's initiative. Many people poured cold water over my suggestion as they are resigned to our government policies which serve their own interests first. Anything worth doing must be huge in contract sums so that money could be made by political leaders and their supporters.

What we are asking for could have been easily approved and realized in no time, if for example, our Sultan says so, but that is asking too much for such a small matter.

I found out from a website, that the disabled centre in Rawang had been visited by our PM and wife and there is a new building on the planning board. I remember too, that our PM had placed importance on helping the disabled which must be the reason for the visit. Now, wouldn't it be appropriate if our PM were to look into the facilities at railway stations to ensure that they comply with basic facilities to be disabled-friendly?


Demolition in style...

a la Las Vegas! Even demolition must be done with fanfare!

As a comparison, our demolition expertise remains rudimentary.

In Section 14, Petaling Jaya, a couple of excavators used in the ill-fated demolition are left among the collapsed portions and debris as grim reminders of our lack of common sense - using heavy machineries on top floor working downwards!

In Ipoh, opposite Fair Park, driving (or waiting for traffic lights to change) along the main road, next to a row of shophouses under demolition, had proven fatal.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Different perspective...

depends on which side you are on!

An Irishman goes into the confessional box after years of being away from the Church.

There's a fully equipped bar with Guinness on tap. On the other wall is a dazzling array
of the finest cigars and chocolates.

Then the priest comes in.

"Father, forgive me, for it's been a very long time since I've been to confession, but I must first admit that the confessional box is much more inviting than it used to be."

The priest replies: "Get out. You're in my side."

Using this as an analogy, is it any wonder that Dr. Zambry would like people to concentrate on developing the state instead of opposing him?


Westlife fan...

16 years ago, we happened to be at One-stop Midlands Park, Penang, and who were there on a promotional tour, but the Backstreet Boys! Back then, I have not heard of them and there were probably less than 50 fans holding some posters waiting for them to autograph. Then they were on stage singing and dancing with pre-recorded music.

My youngest daughter was only 8 then and not interested at all in the pop group. She was quite contented window shopping with her mum, while I stood near the stage to watch a bit of the action.

I used to tease her about her missed opportunity then when later she became a big fan of BSB, like many other young teenagers. Later, Westlife came into the pop scene and she was quite obsessed with them, buying original CDs just so that they did not get cheated by the profiteers involved in music piracy!

Well, she will get a chance to at least visit Sligo and Dublin, the hometowns of the members of Westlife this festive season...

We will be in Dublin for two nights and going to Enniskillen where Anna's family lives for three nights. And I will be going from Enniskillen to Belfast on the 2nd January for a night before taking a bus back to Glasgow. I did plan to go to Sligo at the beginning but we couldn't find buses from Sligo to Enniskillen so Anna's father wants to do a whole family trip to Sligo! hahahahha.... oh goodness, her family likes me too much even before meeting me. By the way, Sligo is where three of the Westlife members are from, while the other two are from Dublin. Yes, the main reason for visiting Ireland is due to my soft spot for Westlife...

A brief history of Westlife can be found here:

A few years ago, she gave me a Westlife CD with Seasons in the sun (originally by Terry Jacks which I used to like) so that I could practise my drums with it:

Police seems to like me...

Late last night, while coming back from Bandar Baru Sri Klebang, near Chemor, I saw the swirling blue lights of a police patrol car following ours. There was no siren nor verbal warning via loudspeaker to stop. I hesitated, partly because my wife who was half asleep, said, 'Don't stop, don't know who they are.' But I had to stop because it really looked like a genuine police car and I would not like the idea of being shot at for not stopping.

I sounded annoyed when a policeman came near to my side when I asked, 'apa salah?' (or what did I do wrong?) He asked for my driving licence and identity card and asked where I was going and where I came from. There is also the favourite question of 'apa kerja?' (or what do you do?). Then I was told that one of my tail lamps did not light up. All the while, my phobic wife said, 'don't get down, drive to a bright area' but I had to trust my own judgment. I got out of the vehicle and sure enough the right side tail lamp was off. Again I was asked what work I do. I asked them in return, from which police station, 'IPK?' and was corrected, 'IPD'. He also asked who was sitting in the car and I replied, 'my wife' (she refused to wind down the window, so I could not blame him for asking). While one was writing down my particulars, the other advised me to get the light fixed.

Earlier this evening, I remembered about the problem light which my wife promised to take it for repairs but didn't. It was already quarter to 7pm and I had yet to shower to attend this birthday dinner. So I went to the nearest auto air-cond shop to have the bulb checked. The apprentice changed the bulb but the light came on and off. Then he suggested that I take it to an electrician. So I went to one which was about to close. He was initially put off by the type of car but realized Mazda twin-cab pick-up was easier to open the lamp cover than the Ford. After changing the base of the bulb, he checked the light as well as the braking lights. It was only while driving to the nearest junction that I realized the rear right signal lamp was not working instead! But I was getting late for my mother-in-law's birthday dinner and had to chance it. In fact, two factory workers were waiting for me to fetch them.

After dinner, at Jalan Lahat, I saw a police road block. When it came to my turn, one look at the back passenger (Indian looking Myanmar national) he signaled to me to stop at the side and signaled to one policeman to check me out. This Indian policeman wished me 'Good evening, may I see your driving licence and IC including those of your passengers?' As my wife drove past in another car, I gestured her to stop in case there were problems with their papers. He asked me the favourite question, 'what do you do?' and I replied, 'retired'. He said 'you don't look retired' and I replied, '59 already, not retired?' Then he asked 'retired from PDRM?' and I said, 'private sector, lah'. 'Where are you going?' and I replied, ' after mother-in-law's birthday dinner' By then he saw me gesturing to my wife in another car in front, and he offered his hand and wished me, 'happy birthday, why didn't you say so!' and I replied, 'nice meeting you!'

At home, my wife actually said when she was following my car, she noticed the problem lamp did not light up and thought I was stopped because of it. In other words, the earlier problem recurred and the signal lamp as well will have to be re-checked. But I must say, the police gave me the benefit of the doubt... because I looked... presentable? honest? never mind, I got away both times without having to 'bribe' like what others perceive the police would do. I should give credit where credit was due.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Family ties...

and keeping in touch with relatives.

Again, I was in KL to attend a wedding dinner at the Noble Banquet last Thursday. Being alone, I asked my brother living in OUG to fetch me from Section 14, PJ. What a mistake - they left the house at 6.10pm and together we were caught in this massive jam at the Federal Highway going towards KL. I suggested the Jalan Pantai - Jalan Bangsar route which was only slightly better and it was only after the junction to Brickfields along Jalan Traver that it was smooth until Jalan Raja Chulan. It took us about 2 hours to reach the restaurant! Reasons? It could have been because it was a working day, Friday was a holiday for Selangor, many people going off to hometown, Christmas shopping, or a live performance at Jalan Bukit Bintang.

The groom's grandmother, a widow for many years, is my late first cousin's wife. She came to our table and was quick to reminisced about the real hard times she had been through, with hands showing the motion of washing clothes for others, to make ends meet. Today she is fortunate to be enjoying the successes of his children and grandchildren. On our way out of the restaurant, my sister-in-law pointed out to me the bridal car (a new Mercedes C200) and said it was a gift from the son to his father!

Earlier, sitting at our table was a couple, the husband is my first cousin's sister's son. When asked about his children, he said, 'one in IT, two accountants and an architect! He himself has a factory producing electrical switches and conduits. Sitting next to me were a brother and sister who are the groom's first cousins doing accountancy. Then, at the main table was the groom's grand uncle, a retired Chinese school headmaster, who has a son who is an orthodontist having his own practice in KL, and another son, a specialist doctor living in Taiwan. All these success stories have proven that poverty could be a great motivator to drive those in disadvantageous positions to successes in business and at the same time, those who invested in their children's education have further improved their status in life. We do not need special privileges to succeed, just the drive and ambition.

Anyway, we were being served by a chatty waitress. I asked her, 'Who owns this restaurant?' She mentioned 'Yong Seng' which is actually a Chinese business name, not necessary a person's name. Then she mentioned they have another restaurant in PJ. I asked her, 'Tai Thong?' and she replied, 'No, Tai Thong is next door, Flower Drum'. Then I corrected my question, 'I mean the original Tai Thong'. She said, 'Oh yes, the son-in-law.' 'Philip Siew?' I asked, and she replied, 'Yes, do you know him?'. 'Well, years ago he used to see my second brother about re-developing the original Tai Thong site.' But my wife's brother-in-law used to regularly patronize their old PJ restaurant, Oriental, in Section 14, that even the chef came out to greet him and said this dish is specially for you! They are now in Jaya 33, known as Pavilion.

Night and Day...

in one picture!

The photograph attached was taken by the crew on board the Columbia during its last mission, on a cloudless day.

The picture is of Europe and Africa when the sun is setting.
Half of the picture is in night. The bright dots you see are the cities' lights.

The top part of Africa is the Sahara Desert .

Note that the lights are already on in Holland, Paris, and Barcelona, and that's it's still daylight in Dublin, London, Lisbon, and Madrid .

The sun is still shining on the Strait of Gibraltar . The Mediterranean Sea is already in darkness.

In the middle of the Atlantic Ocean you can see the Azores Islands; below them to the right are the Madeira Islands ; a bit below are the Canary Islands; and further South, close to the farthest western point of Africa , are the Cape Verde Islands.

Note that the Sahara is huge and can be seen clearly both during day time and night time.

To the left, on top, is Greenland, totally frozen. RD

Just an unrelated coincidence, on my way back from KL, I was listening to a CD titled 'Lady sings the blues' which a compilation which feature among others, Ella Fitzgerald's Night and Day.


Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Royal joke...

or was it a President's faux pas?

Late breaking news from London, scene of President Obama's recent visit:

Barak and the Queen are proceeding towards Buckingham Palace in the Queen's carriage, waving to the thousands of cheering Britons; all is going well.

Suddenly the right rear horse lets fly with the most horrendous earth shattering fart ever heard in the British Empire . The smell is atrocious and both passengers in the carriage must use handkerchiefs to cover their noses.

The Queen turns to Obama, 'Mr. President, please accept my regrets... I am sure you understand there are some things that even a Queen cannot control.'

Obama, in best Presidential style replies: 'Your Majesty, please don't give the matter another thought...Until you mentioned it, I thought it was one of the horses.'