How should we judge a government?

"If you're not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people who are being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing." - Malcolm X

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

Why we should be against censorship: 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

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist?

MyCen News

Friday, April 30, 2010

Some Chinese philosophical thoughts...

When without money, keep pigs;
When have money, keep dogs.

When without money, eat wild vege at home ;
When have money, eat same wild vege in fine restaurant.

When without money, ride bicycle;
When have money, ride exercise machine.

When without money, wish to get married;
When have money, wish to get divorced.

When without money, wife becomes secretary;
When have money, secretary becomes wife.

When without money, act like rich man;
When with money, act like poor man.

Man, O Man, never tells the truth:

Says sharemarket is bad but keeps speculating;
Says money is evil but keeps accumulating.

Says women are trouble-makers but keeps desiring them;
Says high positions are lonely but keeps wanting them.

Says smoking & drinking is bad but keeps partaking;
Says heaven is good but refused to go.

In the past, woman gives man their virginity;
Now, woman gives man their newborn baby.

In the rural area, chicken calls man awake;
In the cities, man calls for chickens.

In the past, famous actresses will not sell their bodies;
Now, actresses will sell their bodies to become famous.

Link

Less Indians have Alzheimer's disease?

If the following report is anything to go by:

Curry, the new weapon in the war on Alzheimer's

By JENNY HOPE
Daily Mail , UK newspaper, 4th June 2009

Eating a weekly curry can help prevent the onset of Alzheimer's researchers claim
It probably won't be our main priority when deciding what takeaway to order.

But curries - so often criticised by advocates of healthy eating - may protect against Alzheimer's disease.

Eating a curry two or three times a week could help prevent the onset of Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, an expert said yesterday.

According to Professor Murali Doraiswamy, the magic ingredient is curcumin, a component of the spice turmeric.

Curcumin prevents the spread of harmful amyloid plaques found in the brain of Alzheimer's sufferers, he said.

These plaques are thought to play a key role in symptoms such as memory loss and mental impairment.

Professor Doraiswamy, who grew up in the southern Indian city of Madras , which is famous for its fiery curries, said: 'There is very solid evidence that curcumin binds to plaques, and basic research on animals engineered to produce human amyloid plaques has shown benefits.

'Turmeric has been studied not just in Alzheimer's research but for a variety of conditions, such as cancer and arthritis.

Turmeric is often referred to as the spice of life in ancient Indian medical lore.' A trial is under way at the University of California , Los Angeles , to test curcumin's effects in Alzheimer's patients and specifically on amyloid plaque proteins.

Scientists say the spices in curry, including curcumin, a component of the spice turmeric, can help memory
Similar research is about to start at Southampton University, although some British experts suggested that large amounts of curry would have to be eaten to counteract some of the brain changes that are characteristic of Alzheimer's.

Professor Doraiswamy, of the Department of Psychiatry, at Duke University Medical Centre, in Durham , North Carolina , said human studies will build on laboratory research.

He told delegates at the Royal College of Psychiatrists' annual meeting in Liverpool : 'You can modify a mouse so that at about 12 months its brain is riddled with plaques. If you feed the rodent a curcuminrich diet it dissolves these plaques.'

He added: 'Studies looking at populations show that people who eat a curry meal two or three times a week seem to have a lower risk for dementia.' Turmeric is also found in mustard and Professor Doraiswamy predicted a day when those unable, or unwilling, to eat curries might be advised to take a daily 'curry pill'.


Link

Reset your ink cartridge may save you money

Link video

Car repairs - making use of my contacts

... that is, if they are still at it!

Most of my useful contacts in the car service industry have either passed on, retired or moved to somewhere unknown to me.

My daughter who has just started work in PJ is now using her brother's car, which is now almost 6 years old. Her recent account of wobbly experience while driving back to BG led me to discover that the front shock absorbers needed replacement.

After a few weeks, she said she felt something is wrong and knowing how I rather check it out myself, it was left to me to take it to my friend in Jalan Ipoh. Confirmed the rear shocks are still ok but not the rear tyres. He also discovered the silencer has rusted and if not replaced, it is going to sound like a sports car! The original remote control for the alarm cum central locking has fallen apart (given her a scare at a friend's house) and she had been locking the car manually.

I was introduced to a key specialist near KFC to change the remote control which costed Rm145, including a new dry cell battery. Having made appointment with a contractor in PJ, I scouted for a tyre shop there to replace the rear tyres. I was recommended Continental tyres at Rm172 a piece. As usual, when I went back to my friend in Jalan Ipoh, his son who has just started a small tyre shop said they were expensive. I had to apologise simply because I did not know he could do it for me as I did not notice the small the number of tyres stacked in a corner of the shop.

For the exhaust, I found the shop at the corner of Jalan Perhentian closed for two days when I wanted to have it done. I drove to Sentul Pasar and actually passed one shop with a sign but was too lazy to take a big u-turn to check it out. Then I went to Kg. Kasipillay and the few workshops left did not have one for exhaust. Then I went to the Segambut industrial area and found one next to a Hyundai service centre! I asked the exhaust specialist and he said he is free only in the afternoon and when asked the price, Rm250 was quoted for a local product. I went back to my friend and upon closer inspection, said he could do it without involving welding because the section is secured with nuts only. The spare parts man happened to be around and he went for a replacement part. Within half an hour all in, it was done for Rm195 (175 + 20 for labour cost), saving me Rm55.

Now, I feel more at ease, knowing that the few necessary repairs have been done because I would not wish my daughter to be in distress over something which could be avoided with timely repairs. The satisfaction of having saved money as compared with the young lady who left her Kia Optima to a service centre in Ipoh and ended up with a bill over Rm4,000 (all because of her 'do what is necessary' instructions to them) is priceless! Not only was she conned into spending more than necessary for repairs, the next day her car engine died and could not start, followed soon after, by a flat battery when the alternator failed to work. It made me wonder if there were in fact good parts being stolen in the process!

The most common problem with poor management of car repairs is the replacement of parts which have a long useful life left. The service centres are fond of replacing more parts than necessary when dealing with easy customers.
Link

Thursday, April 29, 2010

A taste of traffic jam after a slight downpour in PJ

I had been quite lucky avoiding the traffic jams when travelling between Petaling Jaya and Kuala Lumpur, especially when my friend leaves his house to fetch his wife before 5.00pm and I head back to PJ.

But having to fetch my daughter from Uptown at 7.00pm yesterday evening, I left at 6.30pm from Section 14. What normally takes 20 minutes (after carefully chosen off peak time) took 1 hour 40 minutes! It was bad right from the start at Jalan Utara near Hussein Onn Eye Hospital. I cannot remember exactly the times but she called when I was yet to reach Rothman's roundabout, then RHB Bank at junction of Jalan SS2/75, then before the traffic lights next to Lebuhraya Damansara Puchong. Later I was told, she was giving a running commentary to her seniors who stayed behind knowing she was waiting for her father!

Of all days, when I was stuck with the massive traffic jam (the vehicles seem unable to disperse and there were no obvious reasons why, apart from a short spell of rain) my son arranged with some relatives to have dinner together. It was a general feeling of helplessness when one cannot even get back and just call it off. So it was a chain reaction of being late from one person who I had to fetch to another and having to apologise to those at the end of it. The only consolation was that I am not living here but I pity those having to travel to and from work in Klang Valley.


Link

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

How to spin a story...

These police normally sleep at work...

until a major crime appears to be committed... and the motorcyclists were stopped... why?

because the pillion rider was not wearing her safety helmet! Why do you think otherwise?

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Danger of accepting name card from stranger

We are bombarded with warnings almost everyday, but still, it is better to be safe than sorry...

A man came over and offered his service as a painter to a female putting gas in her car and left his card. She said no, but accepted his card out of kindness and got in the car. The man then got into a car driven by another gentleman.

As the lady left the service station, she saw the men following her out of the station at the same time. Almost immediately, she started to feel dizzy and could not catch her breath. She tried to open the window and realized that the odor was on her hand; the same hand which accepted the card from the gentleman at the gas station.

She then noticed the men were immediately behind her and she felt she needed to do something at that moment. She drove into the first driveway and began to honk her horn repeatedly to ask for help.The men drove away but the lady still felt pretty bad for several minutes after she could finally catch her breath. Apparently, there was a substance on the card that could have seriously injured her.

This drug is called 'BURUNDANGA' and it is used by people who wish to incapacitate a victim in order to steal from or take advantage of her.

This drug is four times more dangerous than the date rape drug and is transferable on simple cards.

So take heed and make sure you don't accept cards at any given time alone or from someone on the street. This applies to those making house calls and slipping you a card when they offer their services .

Diabetes and Vitamin D...

A team from Warwick Medical School in the U.K. has found that people who maintain healthy vitamin D levels are 43 percent less likely to get heart disease or diabetes. After evaluating 28 different studies conducted on nearly 100,000 people, researchers concluded that people who eat oily fish two or three times a week and five servings of fruits and vegetables a day are able to achieve healthy levels of vitamin D.

While the team evaluated only natural sources of vitamin D, including from sunlight exposure and consumption of oily fish like tuna, salmon, and mackerel, it is probable that supplementation with natural vitamin D3 would prove to have the same effect.

Published in the journal Maturitas, the study revealed that high levels of vitamin D reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by 33 percent, metabolic syndrome by 51 percent, and type-2 diabetes by an astounding 55 percent.

According to Dr. Johanna Parker, one of the study authors, sunlight exposure is the best way to get vitamin D. "People should expose themselves for 30 minutes twice a week – this means exposing the face and arms with no sunscreen. This would provide the body with adequate vitamin D," she explained.

Some experts recommend getting sunlight exposure every single day, especially in the summer when the sun delivers the most ultraviolet (UV) rays which produce vitamin D in the skin. Twenty minutes of sunlight exposure on a summer day can produce a healthy 20,000 IU of vitamin D in the skin, delivering optimal protection from all kinds of diseases.

Last summer, a study published in Diabetes Educator also found that vitamin D helps to prevent diabetes and can even help those who already have the disease. "Vitamin D has widespread benefits for our health and certain chronic diseases in particular," said Sue Penckofer, Ph.D., R.N., and co-author of that study.

It appears that people who have diabetes are generally low in vitamin D, which is also the case with many other diseases. Since vitamin D-deficiency and serious illness are so closely related, many medical professionals are advising people to have their levels checked to be sure they fall within a healthy range. More often than not, people who are acutely ill are deficient in the necessary vitamin.

If one is deficient in the vitamin, it is best to get more sunlight exposure, eat foods with vitamin D, and supplement with vitamin D3 in order to achieve optimal levels.

Sources for this story include:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The modern daughter-in-law

The new wife was being welcomed at the husband's home in a traditional manner. As expected of a modern daughter-in-law (traditional wife would have remained silent), she said something in response:

"My dear family, I thank you for welcoming me in my new home and family", she said. "Firstly, my being here does not mean that I would want to change your way of life, your routine. No, I will never do that."

"What do you mean my child?" Asked the father-in-law.

"What I mean dad is (looking at her father-in-law) :
Those who used to wash dishes must carry on washing them.
Those who used to do the laundry must carry on doing it.
Those who cooked shouldn't stop just because I can cook too, and
Those who used to clean should continue cleaning".

"Then what are you here for?" Asked the mother-in-law.

"As for me, my duty is to entertain your son!"

Link

It can even be funny till the very last hours...

Maurice returns from the doctor and tells his wife that the doctor told him that he has only 24 hours to live.

Given the prognosis, Maurice asks his wife for sex. Naturally, she agrees, so they make love.

About 6 hours later, the husband goes to his wife and says, 'Honey, you know I now have only 18 hours to live. Could we please do it one more time?' Of course, the wife agrees, and they do it again.

Later, as the man gets into bed, he looks at his watch and realizes that he now has only 8 hours left.

He touches his wife's shoulder and asks, 'Honey, please... just one more time before I die'.

She says, 'Of course, Dear,' and they make love for the third time. After this session, the wife rolls over and falls to sleep.

Maurice, however, worried about his impending death, tosses and turns, until he's down to 4 more hours. He taps his wife, who rouses. 'Honey, I have only 4 more hours. Do you think we could...'

At this point the wife sits up and says, 'Listen Maurice, enough is enough! I have to get up in the morning... you don't ! '

Link

Pork-barreling ok here?

"From the universal standards of free and fair elections, vote-buying is universally rejected and even given a nasty nick name `pork-barreling'.

Vote-buying as practiced in Malaysia is often a double crime - firstly, in trying to influence the voter/s through giving cash or kind, or promising the same; secondly, it also involves abusing public funds usually by tapping illegally into government coffers ie, the people's fund. The public is robbed collectively when a politician abuses with impunity his/her position to steal public funds to buy votes and improve his/her sagging electoral appeal.
...
The EC claims that it has no investigative power and thus pushed the job to the MACC. The MACC claimed that their legal definition of corruption was so very different from the Election Offenses Act that they would not touch the matter. And so the truth is, the very law prohibiting vote-buying does not have an enforcer!"

More where that came from:

http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/130342
Link

The cherry tree story with a Malaysian spin...

Legend has it that George Washington, America's first president, chopped down a cherry tree in his youth. The story goes that George gives the tree a good swing and chops it down with an axe.
His father sees the damaged tree and asks his son if he knows who did the deed. George is quoted bravely admitting the truth:

'I can't tell a lie, Pa; you know I can't tell a lie. I did cut it with my axe.'

Below is a satire of how some Malaysian politicians (names deleted) may have reacted to the question :

'I did not cut down the tree, I was just taking a nap underneath it.'

'I swear that I have never MET that tree.'

'...but I only own a keris, not axe, how to cut down the tree?'

'Apa nama cherry tree, yes, I chopped it down because, I don't like the idea of Pak lah sleeping under it.'

'Yes it was me, I resign as caretaker of this orchard.'

'It could be me, it might have been me but I don't think it’s me.'

'I did NOT do it, and I am not giving any DNA sample for you to plant on the axe handle.'

'The new state government should just trim the grass and not waste time asking who cut the tree.'

'I chopped it because cherry trees are more expensive to maintain than durian trees.'

'The cherry tree is not included under my tourism MOU so I cut it down and besides there were unauthorised signboards put up around the tree.'

'I challenge you to a debate on tree cutting.'

'I chopped it because Hindraf members were using it as a meeting point.'

'We have planted durian trees for 50 years and we will plant them for another 50 years, we do not need cheery trees, apple trees , pear trees and all these other foreign trees.'

'You must see the bigger picture, and I needed to test my new axe, so you see, it is a WIN-WIN situation all around.'

'I cut the tree because we could no longer afford to subsidise it.'

'The bigfoot creature did it.'

'The big monkey did it'.

'There is nothing in the standing orders against chopping cherry trees... Kinabatangan duduk, Bukit Gelugor duduk.'

'I did not do it, neither did the Mat Rempits. By the way, what's a cherry tree?'

'Cherry tree also you don't know, you are an insult to Oxford!'

'Racist, racist, racist! When we cut down durian trees nobody made a fuss. Now...'


Link

Heal yourself - Part 15 (listen to your body's informative symptoms)

I think this is the concluding section of the 15 on how to heal yourself. Please read them with an open mind and treat it as additional information to supplement what doctors are trained to do. Sometimes, we need simple common sense just in case there was a genuine mistake or incomplete instructions. For example, recently, I was given hot pad treatment for my injured knee. I heard the 20 minutes part but did not get the part on 'call if it is too hot' (what the assistant claimed later) only after I was scalded!

Heal yourself in 15 days by listening to your body's informative symptoms

Continuing with our 15-day self-healing series, today we're going to shift focus inward. This chapter on self-healing is about learning how to listen to your body and understand what it's really trying to tell you.

In medicine, the word "symptoms" is thrown around as if it were something bad. Doctors talk about the "symptoms of disease" and then they prescribe chemicals to suppress those symptoms. If you have pain, they prescribe painkillers. If you have high blood pressure, they prescribe chemicals to artificially lower blood pressure.

This practice of detecting and then suppressing symptoms is called "mainstream medicine."

But what if that entire approach were wrong? What if symptoms were gifts rather than curses? What if the messages they were sending actually contained important information about your health?

That's exactly what you're about to learn here (if you don't already know this, that is): Symptoms are messengers... cries for help from your body. And learning how to listen to those messages rather than suppressing them may be the key to unlocking your greatest health potential.

Medications dull your body and mind

Conventional medical doctors have been trained that symptoms are things to be suppressed, negated or destroyed. These doctors don't consider symptoms to be a holistic part of your healing experience, but that's in fact exactly what they are.

If you sprain your ankle playing frisbee, for example, your body sends you a pain message. This message contains important information: "This tissue is injured. Do not use it until it is repaired." If you heed the message, you will allow your ankle time to heal. Once it's healed and safe to use again, the pain will disappear. It is now safe to put weight on your ankle again.

In this context, pain is an intelligent regulator of your activities. It can direct you to avoid further injury. But pain killers dull the pain and artificially block the pain messages. They allow you to keep playing on an injured ankle to the point where you are likely to cause further injury, resulting in even more suffering and perhaps permanent damage that cannot be healed.

That's why pain is something to be listened to, not ignored. But pain isn't the only messenger you'll want to pay attention to...

What your skin and nails are telling you

Your skin is also a messenger. What's happening with your skin is a reflection of what's happening with your internal organs. If you have acne on your face, for example, you have much the same thing happening in your digestive tract. Facial acne is a sign to clean up your diet, eliminate all animal products for a while (dairy, meat, etc.) and detox with a plant-based diet.

If your skin is dry, itchy or flaky, it's a sure sign that you're deficient in omega-3 fatty acids and possibly some other key vitamins or nutrients. Increase your intake of omega-3s through fish oils, marine oils or plant-based sources like chia seeds, and add superfoods to your diet to cover any vitamin deficiencies you may have.

Your fingernails can tell a lot about your health, too: Misshapen or discolored fingernails point to chronic nutritional deficiencies in minerals and certain vitamins. If your fingernails have ridges, cracking, discoloration or any other symptoms, get yourself to a naturopathic physician right away. Fingernails, you see, indicate what's going on with the rest of your body because your nails are, of course, grown out of your body. If you have nutritional deficiencies or chronic organ problems, they will be revealed in your nails.

Your tongue can tell a wealth about your health, too. Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioners use tongue diagnosis (and pulse diagnosis) to assess symptoms and clues about what's happening with your internal organ health. Tongue diagnosis is remarkably accurate: A tongue that's discolored, has a layer of mucous, has deep ridges on the sides or other non-healthy characteristics directly indicates problems with your liver, kidneys, heart, lungs or digestive tract.

If you're curious about this, seek out a TCM practitioner for a tongue and pulse diagnosis. Sadly, American TCM practitioners have a watered-down approach where they are afraid to offer any medical diagnosis for fear of being arrested by state medical authorities, but in China , an experienced TCM practitioner can tell you more about your health from a simple diagnosis than you would typically learn from an MRI.

What goes in must come out

To pay even closer attention to your body's symptoms, observe what's coming out of your body:

• Do you have body odor? If so, your diet is unclean. Too much milk, butter and meat.

• Does your breath smell bad? Same problem: Unclean diet or poor digestive health.

• Are your stools too hard, too soft or not healthy looking? Check with a naturopath -- the health of your stools indicates the health of your digestion.

• Does your urine smell strange? It will after eating asparagus, of course, but normally your urine should not have an offensive odor. If it does, go visit a naturopathic physician for some advice.

• Are you hyperventilating at times? It may be a sign of consuming a diet that's too acidic. Or could also mean pre-diabetes. Check with a naturopath.

What comes out of your body, you see, is a very accurate indication of what's going on inside your body. Did you know that physicians actually used to taste the urine of patients? They could diagnose disease just from tasting the urine.

Of course, these days mainstream doctors don't taste your urine anymore. Instead, they give you expensive urine by pumping you full of HRT drugs, psych meds and other expensive pharmaceuticals that you pee down the drain while you're literally flushing your money away.

Listen to your cravings

Your body will also tell you what it wants through cravings. These are little subconscious messengers that direct you to eat something your body needs. Most people, however, misinterpret those cravings and end up eating something bad for their health instead of what the body actually craves.

For example, if your body craves salt -- real salt, not the processed sodium found in junk foods -- you may feel an urge to eat a salty snack food. But that urge is often just a craving for full-spectrum salt. Try eating some fresh nuts dusted with full-spectrum sea salt and see if that takes care of your craving.

Cravings for chocolate may often be just your body crying out for magnesium. Your body sends you the message, "Eat more magnesium!" but your conscious mind mistakenly thinks you just need more chocolate. The problem is that most of the processed, store-bought chocolate on the market today is overly processed and has little or no magnesium left in it. Buy real chocolate if you want it to contain the minerals it's supposed to.

Is your body crying out for water?

Dehydration can cause all sorts of symptoms that are often misdiagnosed as other diseases. Chronic dehydration can appear as all the following symptoms or diseases: Asthma, high blood pressure, hunger, kidney disorders, heart problems and constipation.

Drinking more water on a regular basis (and avoiding dehydrating beverages such as sodas) can solve these underlying problems, and you may actually see many of those symptoms vanish within a few days, weeks or months.

What's beneath the symptom?

If you do go see a regular mainstream doctor, you may in fact receive a quite useful diagnosis of specific symptoms. Western doctors are quite good at determining what's wrong with you on a superficial level even if they have no idea about underlying causes.

So if you receive a diagnosis from a western doctor, you can often take that diagnosis home and do something useful with it. For example, if your doctor says you have high blood pressure and recommends you start taking toxic blood pressure drugs, the best thing you can do for your health is tear up the prescription, go seek a naturopathic physician and ask what you can do to resolve the underlying causes of high blood pressure rather than trying to artificially medicate yourself with chemicals.

Chances are, you have various nutritional deficiencies (lack of omega-3s, often), combined with dehydration and poor dietary choices. Correcting those three things will often resolve blood pressure symptoms. Of course, your specific case may be different, so be sure to check with your naturopathic physician about what's best for you.

Use the symptom as information

Never be tricked into taking a medication that masks the symptom. Use the symptom as a clue to look for root causes that can be corrected through more holistic, natural means. This is how you can listen to your body and interpret its messages in useful ways that lead you in the direction of health.

It takes no intelligence whatsoever to mask symptoms with medications. Any fool can accomplish that by popping pills, much to the delight of pharmacies and drug companies. But an intelligent, mature person will listen to their body's many messages (symptoms) and learn from them to discover what's really going on with their health.

Masking symptoms, in other words, is a childish, adolescent approach to medicine. But listening and learning from symptoms in order to take a more holistic approach to health is characteristic of an intelligent adult. Which approach will you decide to take?
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When you are asked to write a long story...

and you have nothing much to work on...

In the dead of summer a fly was resting among leaves beside a stream.

The hot, dry fly said to no one in particular, 'Gosh...if I go down three inches I will feel the mist from the water and I will be refreshed.'

There was a fish in the water thinking, 'Gosh... if that fly goes down three inches, I can eat him.'

There was a bear on the shore thinking, 'Gosh... if that fly goes down three inches, that fish will jump for the fly... And I will grab the fish!!'

It also happened that a hunter was farther up the bank of the lake preparing to eat a cheese sandwich... 'Gosh,' he thought, 'if that fly goes down three inches... and that fish leaps for it... that bear will expose himself and grab for the fish... I'll shoot the bear and have a proper lunch.'

Now, you probably think this is enough activity on one river bank, but I can tell you there's more...

A wee mouse by the hunter's foot was thinking, 'Gosh, if that fly goes down three inches...
And that fish jumps for that fly...
And that bear grabs for that fish...
The dumb hunter will shoot the bear...
And drop his cheese sandwich.'

A cat lurking in the bushes took in this scene and thought (as was fashionable to do on the banks of this particular river around lunch time),
'Gosh...if that fly goes down three inches...
And that fish jumps for that fly...
And that bear grabs for that fish...
And that hunter shoots that bear...
And that mouse makes off with the cheese sandwich...
Then I can have mouse for lunch.'

The poor fly is finally so hot and so dry that he
Heads down for the cooling mist of the water.

The fish swallows the fly...
The bear grabs the fish...
The hunter shoots the bear...
The mouse grabs the cheese sandwich...
The cat jumps for the mouse...
The mouse ducks...
The cat falls into the water and drowns.

NOW, The Moral Of The Story...
Whenever a fly goes down three inches, Some pussy's gonna be in serious danger!

A letter from a discriminated Malaysian

... but again, it was a blessing in disguise...

I am a female Chinese Malaysian, living in the Washington DC area in the United States . I have read many of the letters that often talk about foreign countries when the writers have no real knowledge of actually living in those countries.

Many draw conclusions about what those countries are like after hearing it from someone else or by reading and hearing about them in the media or after four years in a college town in those countries.

I finished STPM with outstanding results from the prestigious St George's Girls School in Penang . Did I get a university place from the Malaysian government? Nothing.. With near perfect scores, I had nothing, while my Malay friends were getting offers to go overseas.

Even those with 2As got into university. I was so depressed. I was my parent's last hope for getting the family out of poverty and at 18, I thought I had failed my parents.

Today, I understand it was the Malaysian Government that had failed me and my family because of its discriminatory policies.

Fortunately, I did not give up and immediately did research at the Malaysian American Commission on Education Exchange (MACEE) to find a university in the US that would accept me and provide all the finances. My family and friends thought I was crazy, being the youngest of nine children of a very poor carpenter. Anything that required a fee was out of our reach.

Based on merit and my extracurricular activities of community service in secondary school, I received full tuition scholarship, work study, and grants to cover the four years at a highly competitive US university.

Often, I took 21 credits each semester, 15 credits each term while working 20 hours each week and maintaining a 3.5 CGPA. A couple of semesters, I also received division scholarships and worked as a TA (teaching assistant) on top of everything else.

For the work study, I worked as a custodian (yes, cleaning toilets), carpet layer, computer lab assistant, grounds keeping, librarian, painter, tour guide, etc. If you understand the US credit system, you will understand this is a heavy load.

Why did I do it? This is because I learnt as a young child from my parents that hard work is an opportunity, to give my best in everything, and to take pride in the work I do. I walked away with a double major and a minor with honours but most of all a great lesson in humility and a great respect for those who are forced to labour in so-called `blue collar' positions.

Those of you who think you know all about Australia , US, or the West, think again. Unless you have really lived in these countries, i.e. paid a mortgage, paid taxes, taken part in elections, you do not understand the level of commitment and hard work it takes to be successful in these countries, not just for immigrants but for people who have lived here for generations.

These people are where they are today because of hard work. (Of course, I am not saying everyone in the US is hardworking... There is always the lazy lot which lives off of someone else's hard work. Fortunately, they are the minority..)

Every single person, anywhere, should have the opportunity to succeed if they want to put in the effort and be accountable for their own actions. In the end, they should be able to reap what they sow.

It is bearable that opportunities are limited depending on how well-off financially one's family is but when higher education opportunities are race-based, like it is in Malaysia ; it is downright cruel for those who see education as the only way out of poverty.

If you want to say discrimination is here in the US , yes, of course it is. Can you name a country where it doesn't happen? But let me tell you one thing - if you go looking for it, you will find it. But in Malaysia, you don't have to go look for it because it seeks you out, slaps you in your face every which way you turn, and is sanctioned by law!

Here in the US , my children have the same opportunity to go to school and learn just like their black, white, and immigrant friends. At school, they eat the same food, play the same games, are taught the same classes and when they are 18, they will still have the same opportunities. would I want to bring my children back to Malaysia ? So they can suffer the state-sanctioned discrimination as the non-malays have for over 50 years?

The injustice the non-Malay have to suffer in frightening silence is the most damaging problem one has to face throughout one's life. You just have to look at the mighty govt structures which completely favours only one race, the Umno Malay.

The Chinese and Indians are treated no better than the illegal Indonesians. Racism and corruption are openly practised by the Malay politicians everywhere, Courts, schools/Uni, police, govt offices, contracts, GLC, NEP, ISA, local govt. It's so powerful and intimidating that you walk with fear and keep your mouth shut on anything and everything political. Religion is taboo unless you talk good about Islam.

As for being a slave in the foreign country, I am a happy 'slave' earning a good income as an IT project manager.

I work five days a week; can talk bad about the president when I want to; argue about politics, race and religion openly; gather with more than 50 friends and family when I want (no permit needed) and I don't worry about the police pulling me over because they say I ran the light when I didn't.

Have we seen the light at the end of the tunnel yet (Anwar Ibrahim)? Or is it the head light of an oncoming Umno train ? Lets hope its the former for the sake of all fair minded Malaysians.

The dream of a Malaysian 'race' in the future is nowhere in sight with the present BN govt.
Where is Negara-Ku???

Just thought this article by Dr Azly Rahman in his blog, might be relevant:

Monday, April 26, 2010

Kiasuism is the term in case this Germ does not know

The Bizarre Behaviour of Singaporeans

- observations made by a German national who has lived in Singapore for 9 years.

44 years of economic and material success have spawned some very strange behaviours among Singaporeans.

They spent so much to buy a house or flat, furnished it up like a palace, but spent their time outside, most of the time at work. And the maids are the ones enjoying the million-dollar or multi-million-dollar assets.

Then they pay so much, the highest in the world, for a car only to park at home. Too expensive to drive, too many ERPs and car park charges to pay. And they are encouraged to park their cars at home and take public transport, being cheaper and more convenient.

And when Singaporeans travel, instead of seeing the places, they went shopping. The best part is that they would head for the cheapest bargains, buying stuff that they could get in Chinatown or pasar malam, at even cheaper prices. But they are still happy that they got a bargain.

And while the heartlanders are busy trying to make a life here, being told to bust off if they are not happy, which they could not, the rich and presumably very happy and contented citizens are buying up properties overseas just in case they need to make that escape from this paradise.

While many Singaporeans are thinking of jumping ship, or preparing to jump ship, hoards of new immigrants are rushing in to take their place in this paradise.

And to top it all up, they keep complaining about the govt and all the policies that they found unpalatable, but come every election, they will vote and return the govt to power.

Strange Singaporean behaviours!

Link

Talent acquisition and the people's representative

Selecting a people's representative in Parliament or State Assembly is no different from selecting a person for a given job vacancy in a company. The aim is to select the best for the position but in practice, the political system provides only for the choice between two candidates nominated by two opposing coalitions of political parties, as shown in the just concluded by-election in Hulu Selangor.

However, there are differences which would include the fact that the 'boss' in the case of a people's representative are the voters or electorate in the constituency, whereas the boss in a company (although they are the shareholders) is normally the CEO who is entrusted with management and who has the final say in the selection. We have just seen how difficult it was to get the message to the voters who are large in number, individuals with his or her own mind and at best, in disparate groups.

I have been drawn into the latest trends in selection of job applicants for specific vacancies because two of my children have recently been through them, after our usual natural anxieties as parents.

It is nice to consider oneself being 'headhunted' though it depends a lot on the vacancy at hand. For example, there are only a few professional CEOs or fund managers in banking and their performance speak for themselves. Owners of a bank wishing to employ the best would literally offer the best terms to get the person from another bank. Because of the small number, lady CEOs of banks like Yvonne Chia and Bridget Lai stand out among them. This part is just to spice up my topic!

Below the high and mighty level of CEO of banks (it is easier seeing Najib than any of them if you don't know them: because Najib will come to you if you have anything on Anwar), are the managers – corporate planning, finance, sales and so on.

Anyway, let's talk about the more ordinary jobs like management trainees which most newly qualified graduates apply for.

I have come across a case of a local graduate who decided to go overseas on a 'working holiday' which extended to more than a year. Upon her return, she attended an interview with a leading computer company and was asked, among other things, her ambition, future plans and so on. She got back and told her parent that she is unlikely to get it because she answered negatively on those things. It seems she was told that the disadvantage with her kind of attitude is the lack of direction, but the advantage to him is the fact that she would be open to new ideas and therefore easier to train! And to her surprise, she got the job.

Then there was a selection for a management trainee with a foreign multinational company. An applicant has to go through a few tests online, presumably on intelligence, aptitude, problem solving and so on. After all those tests came a telephone conversation. Then a very small number was selected for a day of activities which included interviews, case studies and presentation. The final selection rests on the person the applicant is supposed to work with, presumably on compatibility. Wow! Can anyone who is just relying on paper qualification without the necessary attributes, get through?

According to M Bakri Musa in his article, 'Genuine Obsessions With Fake Qualifications '

“The kerfuffle over the college credentials of Kamalanathan a/l P. Pancanathan, the Barisan candidate in the recent Ulu Selangor by-election, reveals less of the man but more on our fascination with paper qualifications. This obsession with credentialism is an intellectually lazy way to judge someone; you let those papers and certificates do it for you.

Who cares if you have a doctorate from Oxford, for if you cannot speak and read our national language then you have no business to be in Parliament or the state Assembly, where bills are debated and businesses conducted in Malay. You cannot possibly be effective if you are not fluent in that language.
...
If after a few minutes of conversation it turns out that your association with those august colleges was merely attending one of their culup (“quickie”) courses, then whatever impression you may have created initially would rapidly vanish. Actually you need not reveal whether you are a genuine product or not, the content of your conversation would be a sufficient differentiator. Less than a minute into Barack Obama’s and Sarah Palin’s speeches and you could readily tell who is the product of an Ivy League and who is from the local community college. ...”

According to Ibrahim Suffian, Merdeka Center for Opinion Research director, as quoted in The Nut Graph on the new MP:

"If Kamalanathan wants to shine, he will now have to prove his mettle in Parliament against a more popular opposition. Public relations skills may carry him only so far. To gain the respect of his peers across the floor and a more sophisticated public, he'll have to showcase his own capabilities or risk being known as Umno's lackey. He is now the fourth MIC MP.”

BN bought the buy-election...

blatantly.

The man in power gets what he wants and there is nothing much we can do since the institutions which are meant to uphold the law seem impotent.

That the PM had to attend to this by-election personally and openly bribed the electorate with offers of this and that, the victory can only be hollow and without honour. But who cares? In Malaysia money comes first and whoever holds the purse strings calls the shots.

Zaid must be naturally disappointed but hopefully undaunted by this defeat. He appears victorious in the minds of the people. Since he lost by such a narrow margin despite the full focus and force of the government machinery, he could easily sail through at the next general elections.

With this result, those who want change must be more pro-active and speak out where necessary to make known how we feel. The Pakatan leaders need encouragement too. The BN leaders need to know whenever we feel disgusted by their antics. There will come a time when the sheer number of people against BN will make their cheating fruitless. Hopefully, by losing this battle, we can win the war in the general elections.
Link

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Some funny Malaysian pictures...

now that voting is over... was this picture they were talking about Zaid on the bottle?
Just like those overdone 'bellbottom' pants, these handles are ludicrous!
Not sure if this is doctored, but it happens when signmakers cum installers did not think:
but on closer look, this sign looks portable... so there goes the joke... not funny anymore.


Link

Ricky Martin in GH?


Link

Hulu Selangor: Good news for PKR up to 7.12pm

and I hope the trend remains in favour of Zaid Ibrahim!

According to Malaysiakini:

Unofficial: PKR leads in early count
LIVE REPORTS

7.12pm: Unofficial results

PKR - 9,133
BN - 7,261
Majority - 1,872
About 33 percent of the votes have been tallied so far.

Earlier:

According to Zorro ( link on sidebar):

645PM OVERALL: PKR 7053 BN 6010
Link

The humble bicycle

The other day I was at the Physiotherapy section of Batu Gajah General Hospital doing some cycling on the machine to exercise my injured right knee. I made an effort to walk 15 minutes to and from the GH each week, though I have just been advised by a friend that the walking part (different from cycling or swimming) may not be good because it might further injure the knee. But the exercise of walking made me continue doing it.

While doing the cycling machine, I chatted with this Malay man who had an injured ankle. I told him of how we seem to go through a process of 'learning how to walk as a baby' and now as we get old, we are back to learning how to walk properly again! I told him of the classic story of how someone was upset with his poor quality shoes until he saw someone without a leg! He agreed and said that it is better to have a moderate lifestyle with good health than a fabulous wealth with poor health. A rich person will feel the irony of being able to afford any kind of expensive food but unable to eat them for health reasons. This is more like a 'suffering' (in Buddhist parlance) if you ask me, - 'can see but cannot touch'!

When my son was able to ride a kid's bike, his grandfather sent GBP50 for his birthday and we bought a kid's Raleigh bike. We kept it and even brought it back in the early 80s. My wife's niece who was on holiday wanted to take it back to Canada because her son enjoyed it so much, but she refused because of sentimental reasons! Problem with junk collectors!

We would not have expected that almost 30 years later, my son took to cycling seriously and even took part in a 'follow the participants of Le Tour de France' quite recently! He actually cycles to work in London which takes him only 20 minutes instead of over an hour by bus. He managed to help pay for his sister's lodging too. I bet he is going to miss cycling when he starts work in Malaysia soon.

His favourite related song is Queen's:

Bicycle bicycle bicycle
I want to ride my bicycle bicycle bicycle

I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride my bike
I want to ride my bicycle
I want to ride it where I like...


Bayi's email on 'Interesting bicycle facts' started me on this topic:

There are about a billion bicycles in the world.
Every year some 50 million bicycles - and 20 million cars - are produced.
The first bicycles were made without pedals.
Cycling burns 600 calories an hour.
Twenty bicycles can be parked in the same space taken up by one car.
There are over a half billion bicycles in China. Bikes were first brought to China in the late 1800s.
The U.S. could save 462 million gallons of gasoline a year by increasing cycling from 1% to 1.5% of all trips.
The furthest anyone has ever cycled in 24 hours is just under 1,217 miles, achieved by American Michael Secrest in 1990.


Cheng in her comment has provided the following links:


Link

Vote buying should be voted out

We have seen it time and again, at each and every election - the last minute road and drain repairs; unlit street lights lighted again; the pretence of listening to the people; very senior old folks immediately got their citizenships (with full glare of publicity of course); neglected ethnic schools got something which they never had been able to normally; etc., etc., but this time, cheques were openly written to landowners as down payments, promising more depending on result of the by-election, as settlement to their long time problems with joint venture developers. Cash too was reportedly distributed and not a word from the Election Commission. The EC has to wait for reports before action, but what about the open use of government machinery during campaigning by the PM, DPM and Ministers of various ministries?

I sincerely hope that the results of this by-election in particular would show the people's disgust at the overt abuse of power, by accepting whatever is given but vote against them. If more and more cases of such rejection are made known to those in power, sooner or later, they will know that such last minute goodies are of no use to them.

I hope the voters of Hulu Selangor would vote for good governance as promised by Zaid Ibrahim and not the same as usual as practised by the BN. Though there will be no change in terms of seats if Zaid wins, this by-election is going to show to the rest of the people which direction we are heading. We need more people who can and dare to speak out against any unfair policies of the government, not more yes-men.

Just added this link from ARTiculations:
Link

Wrong flowers by mistake...

A new business was opening and one of the owner's friends wanted to send him flowers for the occasion.

They arrived at the new business site and the owner read the card.... "Rest in Peace."

The owner was angry and called the florist to complain.

After he had told the florist of the obvious mistake and how angry he was, the florist replied,

"Sir, I'm really sorry for the mistake, but rather than getting angry, you should imagine this: somewhere, there is a funeral taking place today, and they have flowers with a note saying,... 'Congratulations on your new location!'"
Link

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Why are so many Americans jobless?

John Smith started the day early having set his alarm clock (MADE IN JAPAN) for 6 a.m.

While his coffeepot (MADE IN CHINA) was perking, he shaved with his electric razor (MADE IN PHILIPPINES).

He put on a dress shirt (MADE IN SRI LANKA), designer jeans (MADE IN SINGAPORE) and tennis shoes (MADE IN VIETNAM). After cooking his breakfast in his new electric skillet (MADE IN INDIA), then he sat down with his calculator (MADE IN MEXICO) to see how much he could spend today.

After setting his watch (MADE IN TAIWAN) to the radio (MADE IN INDIA), he got in his car (MADE IN GERMANY) filled it with GAS (from Saudi Arabia) and continued his search for a good paying AMERICAN JOB.

At the end of yet another discouraging and fruitless day checking his computer (MADE IN MALAYSIA), John decided to relax for a while. He put on his sandals (MADE IN BRAZIL) poured himself a glass of wine (MADE IN FRANCE) and turned on his TV (MADE IN KOREA), and then wondered why he can't find a good paying job in AMERICA.

AND NOW HE'S HOPING HE CAN GET HELP FROM HIS PRESIDENT Obama (MADE IN KENYA)!

So is it any good, at a by-election campaign in Malaysia, to make use of Obama connection?

Good job there was no use of UK's election posters like these :

Link

And the Chinese voters in Hulu Selangor?

As my wife used to say, 'How can we not be racialist in Malaysia, when everywhere we go or whatever we do is based on race?' So you will find analyses on the by-election are along racial lines too!

Many people think that Dr Chua had the support of Umno to be able to depose Ong Tee Keat as President of MCA. He was the one who started to unravel the PKFZ mess which would implicate Umno. Many also think that Dr Chua would have to toe the line because of his sexual indiscretion on disc. Ong Ka Ting left because MCA lost too many parliamentary and state seats during his presidency and his comeback attempt failed.

I am afraid race-based parties are becoming uncool and if the 2008 general elections were anything to go by, the writings are on the wall that MCA will lose further support. Am I right to say that MCA did not go all out in this by-election? I believe more Chinese are supportive of Pakatan Rakyat's struggle for change, based on the fact that with change, we cannot do any worse than how we had been treated all these years.

And why Hulu Selangor Indian voters should not vote for P Kamalanathan

based on race... not only because this is now uncool, but also because the usual arguments for MIC to look after Indian interests are no longer valid. The choice of MIC candidate was up to Umno President, so a vote for him is actually a vote for Umno and the present status quo of MIC being merely a necessary nuisance to present some form of mult-racialism.

For more detailed reasons, read this 'Letter to Indian voters in Hulu Selangor' in Malaysia Today:

Link

Why Hulu Selangor voters should vote for Zaid Ibrahim

... no, not because 'you look a bit like Zaid' (the first time anyone said that!) and I did not make it up... go ask the only Chinese employee in MDBG! But because this by-election is so important to assess which direction we are going: continue with BN and its plundering OR go for a change! The leaders of Pakatan Rakyat need our support to continue their struggle for change.

The other day, as I was walking back from the grand MDBG building, I noticed many fallen trees (big as well as small) as a result of the recent typhoon in Batu Gajah. I cannot help comparing it with the 38 persons listed as having left PKR for one reasons or other, but according to Raja Petra, most of them left mainly because of finance. How many of us can continue if the life style we are used to, are affected by being in the opposition? So when the going gets tough, only the tough gets going. I try not to be judgmental on those who quit the opposition coalition but I am certainly against those who are paid to criticize their former leaders and comrades.

For the main reasons, I would agree with the writer of the following letter:

From Malaysiakini, a letter 'Why P94 should vote for Zaid Ibrahim' by First-Time Voter:


Link

Are we on par with USA?

no harm kidding ourselves... or in local parlance, 'Shiok sendiri'...

From DanielYKL:

For heaven sake! What has Obama got to do with Hulu Selangor By-Election? Hulu Selangor is in Malaysia, not in the USA - just in case you forget!

Friday, April 23, 2010

We have lawbreaking lawmaker and...

lawbreaking Election Commission?

Recent news about Bung Mokhtar, a Member of Parliament (or lawmaker) who pleaded guilty to breaking the law (unauthorized polygamy), and this letter in
Malaysiakini commenting on it http://www.malaysiakini.com/letters/129909 (I actually typed Bung Mokhtar to check his name and it led me to it) have shown some people is outspoken in Parliament but did not pay much attention to its laws to ensure compliance himself.

Our specialist on elections, Wong Chin Huat, has shown how our Election Commission did not care two hoots about election laws when arbitrarily transferring 228 voters without proper compliance of its own law. This begs the question: can we trust the EC to conduct the elections? Or, if strictly applying the law, would the election results be declared null and void later?

Are we heading towards 'lebih kurang' standards of compliance?
Link

You bet... betting on who wins is on...

which is typical of Malaysians in general, Chinese in particular.

At a local coffee shop during lunch time, someone asked me who will win, followed by information that there are people offering to bet BN will win by at least 500 votes.

I have just checked results of Yahoo's 'If I were voting at Hulu Selangor this Sunday, I'd vote for' as at 11.10pm and the votes were:

P. Kamalanathan 30% (1377)
Zaid Ibrahim 58% (2662)

out of a total of 4590 people who voted.

But it is anybody's guess how the voters in Hulu Selangor are going to vote. Our PM had been unashamedly throwing money at them, with promises of even more if they could deliver the state to BN!


As usual, the Election Commission will have the right to remain silent at all such usual happenings during campaigning.
Link

In Perak, He came, he saw and he conquered...

by hook or by crook.

He sets his eyes on Selangor now. Beware. Expect the expected as well as the unexpected.

Are the voters in Hulu Selangor willing to let him think his tactics in Perak is now forgiven and forgotten? All that we expected in Perak turned out according to script: the rewards for Hee and the acquittal for two alleged criminals as a result of entrapment. Either they will be convicted if they stayed on with PKR or freed if they crossed over to enable the power grab. This is the perception of the people in Perak and it is not going to change.

I hope the voters will give the mandate to Zaid Ibrahim to prove that the people in Selangor is supportive of Pakatan and at the same time, show in no uncertain terms that Najib's magic is not working anymore, especially so soon after the conclusion of the Perak episode according to his script.
Link

Much as we have all expected...

but it does not lessen the disgust in the way it was manipulated, was this Malaysiakini headline:

Perak PKR-turned-independent reps acquitted
Apr 23, 10 12:32PM
BREAKING NEWS The Ipoh Sessions Court has today acquitted two former PKR state assemblypersons on corruption charges without their defence being called.

The moral of the story was: if you are caught with your pants down, don't fret, there is always a way out - the BN way.

Given the choice of a jail sentence OR freedom, money as well as PM's personal attention, which would you choose?


Link

Thursday, April 22, 2010

It seems we cannot accept a certificate at face value

Most people thought the uploaded copy of Kamalanathan's Degree in Mass Communication should put an end to the controversy but not for Raja Petra. He did several searches at the Edith Cowan University website without success:





Here's the link to his article:
http://www.malaysia-today.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=31333:it-just-does-not-add-up&catid=20:no-holds-barred&Itemid=100087

Taking a cue from UK elections




Link

Anti-virus vendors vs Botnet developers...

We cannot help but try to keep pace with new threats to online banking. Here's a report (source unstated) forwarded to me:

Zeus banking virus is back warns security firm

Botnets such as Zeus target those using online banking

Zeus, a virus that steals online banking details from infected computer users, is more powerful than ever, warns a web security company.

Trusteer says it has spotted the Trojan virus in one of every 3,000 of the 5.5m computers it monitors in the US and UK.

Zeus 1.6 can infect people using Firefox and Internet Explorer web browsers, the company claims.

The malware steals login information by recording keystrokes when the infected user is on a list of target websites.

These websites are usually banks and other financial institutions.

The user's data is then sent to a remote server to be used and sold on by cyber-criminals.

"We expect this new version of Zeus to significantly increase fraud losses, since nearly 30% of internet users bank online with Firefox and the infection is growing faster than we have ever seen before," said Amit Klein, chief technology officer at Trusteer.

DIY virus

In March 2010, many parts of the command and control (C&C) system for the Zeus botnet were destroyed when the Kazakhstani ISP that was being used to administer it was cut off.
However, it does not take long for malware controllers to spring up elsewhere, and toolkits for assembling botnets are readily available on the black market.

"There are plenty of opportunities for people to purchase access to these systems through underground chat rooms," said Dr JD Marsters, from the department of electronics and computer science at the University of Southampton.

"It's a game of cat and mouse between anti-virus vendors and botnet developers."

Computer users should ensure that their anti-virus software and operating systems are kept up to date, he advised.



Link

Cartoons inspired by internet...






Link

Logistic 'nightmare' caused by the volcanic ash clouds

I do not envy those whose jobs involve air travel and cargo. It is bad enough being stranded while on holiday or about to travel back for work (one-off problem) but think of those having to sort out the mess and backlog created by flights postponed over more than a week!

A friend forwarded to me this news report (source unstated):

Wednesday April 21, 3:47 PM
Volcano chaos a 'nightmare' for Malaysian economy

Malaysia's exports have been paralysed by the "nightmare" chaos caused by the European volcanic ash cloud and would hurt the nation's economic recovery, a hauliers' spokesman said Wednesday.

Southeast Asia's third largest economy, which relies heavily on exports, is tentatively emerging from the global downturn as global trade picks up. But Walter Culas, chairman of the airfreight forwarders association of Malaysia, told AFP that with the ash cloud forcing the closure of European airspace for almost a week hundreds of tonnes of cargo are not being delivered. "As of today about 400 tonnes of cargo are stranded at the airport. The volcanic ash has paralysed valuable cargo movement to Europe from Malaysia," he said. "The total losses could snowball to billions of ringgit," Culas said. He added that a sizeable portion of the cargo holed up were electrical and electronics products, which as a sector contributes significantly to the economy in terms of export earnings, manufacturing output and employment. "The stranded cargo will hurt the Malaysian economy which is coming out of a recession. We just came out of a steep hill and run into a ditch," he said.

Mukhriz Mahathir, deputy minister of international trade and industry said the government would try to find a quick solution to resolve the backlog cargo. Culas described the shutdown across Europe as "my worst logistic nightmare in my 39-year career as a haulier". "Most of the logistics hubbing for global trade are based in Europe -- London, Paris, Frankfrut and Amsterdam. The airtraffic shutdown has crippled the logistics industry," he said. He hit out at Malaysia Airlines Cargo (MASkargo), the air cargo subsidiary of Malaysia Airlines, for a lack of leadership in dealing the crisis. "MASkargo, the terminal operator which handles cargo to Europe has not communicated with hauliers. The situation is worsening by day with no solution in sight. The terminal operator is not providing any leadership," he said. Culas said some urgent goods were transported to Singapore by road Tuesday before being flown to Lisbon -- which has avoided the ash cloud -- and then driven to their final destination. However, Culas said it could take up to a month to clear the backlog of cargo.


Link

Our PM relies on gossips?

I watched the midnight news on TV3 and Najib was shown telling his audience in Hulu Selangor that his new found sources of news, Zahrain and Zul, had told him all about Anwar, including what's in his underwear... He appeared to have renewed confidence now with these revelations.

Now we know, our PM can be so gullible (relying on information supplied by two new recruits from the other side) and so frivolous. This begs the question: Why are taxpayers paying for the First Class (presumably) travelling expenses of two persons rewarded for jumping ship, with the main purpose of telling him stories about PM's number one opponent? I thought the Special Branch in the PDRM is already doing that.

It is frightening to know how easily our PM can be influenced and knowing the immense powers in his hands, what he could have done to innocent people.

Below is the link to the related report in FreeMalaysiaToday:

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

By-election never fails to attract promises...

but will they be honoured?

I hope I can remember correctly... there was an MCA leader who promised to deliver 6,000 votes to BN, while a MIC leader promised 10,000! Since the time when leaders of political parties, associations and so on, promised 100% support for a national leader, I had given up on such rhetorics. Unless and until there was a referendum, how could anyone be sure of 100% support from members?

Voting is supposed to be in secrecy and there is no way one can instruct another on who to vote for, and making sure that he or she did as instructed. This anomaly gives rise to the calls by opposition leaders to accept whatever is promised by BN but vote the opposition! If more people do it then there might be less of such illegal and unwarranted offers at every election.

BN candidate from MIC, Kalamanathan promises to deliver the Parliamentary seat to the PM for having chosen him. On the other hand, Dr. Halili Rahmat quits PKR (ie. did not keep his promise to listen to party leaders as would have been expected of him) to join Umno, and he stated that it was not because he was not chosen (you believe that?). Why now?

MIC's troubled Maika shareholders have been told their shares will be worth at least their nominal value after a very long period. I have my doubts because the timing sucks, and again why now?

Now Ezam promises to reveal another of Anwar's secret deals. This begs the same question: why now? He has been keeping the secret (if any) for far too long. If this is not an election gimmick, I do not know what is.
Link

Why English is a difficult language to master...

The following is worth repeating now and again:

An amusing take on the English Language.

ONLY THE ENGLISH COULD HAVE INVENTED THIS LANGUAGE

We'll begin with a box, and the plural is boxes,
But the plural of ox becomes oxen, not oxes.

One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese,
Yet the plural of moose should never be meese.

You may find a lone mouse or a nest full of mice,
Yet the plural of house is houses, not hice.

If the plural of man is always called men,
Then shouldn't the plural of pan be called pen?

If I speak of my foot and show you my feet,
And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
If one is a tooth and a whole set are teeth,
Why shouldn't the plural of booth be called beeth?

Then one may be that, and three would be those,
Yet hat in the plural would never be hose,
And the plural of cat is cats, not cose.

We speak of a brother and also of brethren,
But though we say mother, we never say methren.

Then the masculine pronouns are he, his and him,
But imagine the feminine: she, shis and shim!

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

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

English muffins weren't invented in England ..

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

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

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

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

Sometimes I think all the folks who grew up speaking English should be committed to an asylum for the verbally insane.

In what other language do people recite at a play and play at a recital?

We ship by truck but send cargo by ship.
We have noses that run and feet that smell.
We park in a driveway and drive in a parkway.
And how can a slim chance and a fat chance be the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposite.

You have to marvel at the unique lunacy of a language in which your house can burn up as it burns down, in which you fill in a form by filling it out, and in which an alarm goes off by going on.
And, in closing, if Father is Pop, how come Mother's not Mop?

AND IF PEOPLE FROM POLAND ARE CALLED POLES THEN PEOPLE FROM HOLLAND SHOULD BE HOLES AND THE GERMANS, GERMS!



Link

Fart facts

Just the other day, my wife's nephew commented that the word 'fart' never fails to deliver, in terms of inducing laughter. Some even think it is funny to go near someone and fart as loud as possible, among family and close relatives.

Here are some facts (some hard to believe):



Link

The many faces of Mr. Bean

Bean Baby
Bean Daughter
Bean Avatar
Bean Pirate
Bean Laden!


New addition: Bean Mother!



Link

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Great Mums! Great Kids! by Michelle Looi...

a review by a former househusband.

The book was first published by Pelanduk Publications in 1993, had its second print in 1995, and a third (revised) in 2007.

I was asked by Michelle to read the last edition and write a review on it, and to provide some publicity in my blogsite for this coming Mothers' Day on May 7. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the book has been generously donated to KAMI (Kinta Action on Mental Issues) Ipoh, and Reaching Out Programme Bentong, Pahang.

Me? Review a book? Well, there is always the first time. I feel honoured to be given this pleasure of reading something close to my heart, having been a househusband or homemaker before. Maybe that was the reason she came to me – the opinions from a Great Dad?

My initial reaction was, 'Why not write one for Great Dads! Great Kids!' to which I can provide some first hand information?' Michelle actually liked the idea of me writing about this, which she hopes could be included in her next book, as one of a number of articles she is trying to collect from various people.

In my personal opinion, that her book is biased towards mums was evident in her introduction ...'The title of this book throws a challenge to the fathers to pick it up and hopes to provoke them to ask the following questions: “What about me, the role of a father? Where do I fit in? After all, I too contribute to the upbringing of my children.”'

My retort would be “In my case, I gave them both quality as well as quantity time!” Many busy parents equate the little time they spend with their children as 'quality time', which is not necessary so. Similarly, quantity time as provided by me does not necessary mean more is better.

When I assume the role of househusband, only my eldest, son, missed out because by then, he was already in Form 5, studying in Anderson School, Ipoh. My elder daughter then was in Std 6 while the younger in Std 4, studying in St. Bernadette's Convent, Batu Gajah. The positive results of my role if I can call it that, or more appropriately my 'rewards', were the fact that both of them excelled in their studies and were Head Prefects in their respective years in secondary school. But more important was the fact that all three are in regular contact with us and care about our wellbeing, which is an important aspect of education.

If we look around us, after some basic needs, we do not need to be rich to live a wonderful life. In fact, those who have much in their names live surprisingly simple. They wear comfortable clothes and ordinary footwear. Sometimes, they even go out of their way to try to be inconspicuous which seems a sharp contrast to those with false pretense.

I must say Michelle writes 'from the heart' and provides useful information to mothers, based on her own personal experiences, as well as those of friends and relatives around her. The book is filled with relevant and useful quotes from educationists, psychologists, philosophers and well known statesmen. Parenting can never become irrelevant as children become parents themselves and the same 'trials and tribulations' of motherhood or fatherhood is being repeated. This explains why even though this book was first published 17 years ago, it remains just as relevant, if not more so, because of extra distractions and demands of modern living in this age of information technology.

A letter from ALChoo of Kuala Lumpur, dated 1st June, 2007 is testimony to Michelle's ability to transform people's thinking through her positive attitude:

It's been umpteen years since I really sat down and read a true and proper book. As I went through every word, phrase, sentence, paragraph and page, I felt as if all these years, I was totally lost in this unpleasant journey of my life. I was always filled with anger, sorrow, misery, guilt, self-pity and easily irritated. As I read through, I seemed to be gathering lots of lost pieces which have somehow got scattered all along the way.

I am now picking up confidence and rejuvenating my spirit of life from the first to the last page of your book. I am suddenly recharged into life once again. I cannot find proper words to express my gratitude. At the age of sixty I'm going to re-educate myself. You've shown me the path back to happiness.

Just thanks, Michelle, Real Thanks from the Deepest Part of My Heart!


I am most impressed by her account of how positive thinking, like going on holiday instead of another operation, helped her to lose two lumps discovered in December 1987. This baffled even the surgeon who operated on her cancer of the thyroid in 1984. If you believe in miracles, this must have been one of them!

This book is not just about parenting but also the life experiences of a now retired English teacher who had cancer many years ago, and how she managed to cope with this dreadful illness through belief in God, healthy living and positive thinking.

Michelle was inspired by Lao Tse's words: “Kindness in words creates confidence; kindness in thinking creates profoundness; kindness in giving creates love.” It is this very kindness that we must spread and inculcate. We, as parents, are in a vantage position to show this kindness in the home – our child's first school and we, his or her first teachers.

On parenting, in a nutshell, I would put her advice to both parents, mothers in particular, as to be able to treat your child with love, care and respect. There has to be communication, which is essential for bonding between parent and child, and friendship to create rapport between them. She devoted a chapter to the importance of 'The one-minute hug' which is so important to make a child feel secure and loved.

For a start, we have to be mindful of ourselves to set as good examples at home for them to learn from. We have to be 'Extra Sensitive to our child's Senses' to provide the necessary encouragement to develop his or her innate potential.

When they are being educated in school, we have to provide them with security and reassurance of our love especially during times of failure or when they missed the chance to excel in examinations.

As Michelle suggests, her book should be a good gift on Mothers' Day. I would even add that the book should be recommended reading not only for both parents and children because of its content which most of us can relate to, but also for students in general because it is written in excellent English by a English teacher at a time when we are trying so hard to improve their standard of English. Perhaps those students at the receiving end of unreasonable parents could point out the advice given by Michelle!

It is available in MPH bookstores. I have tried linking her blogsite http://gmgk.blogspot.com/ which was set-up in 2007 but unfortunately not updated because she had to stay away from computers and even mobile phones. But I must warn that apart from Amazon.com, one of her three links was no longer there and the link to Pelanduk (the publisher) even has Trojan horse virus when I visited the site.