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? “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.)

MyCen News

Thursday, September 30, 2010

When someone collapses, quick action could help...

Continuous Chest Compression CPR - University of Arizona Sarver Heart Center

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A spy within a party?


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Why successful people now should not be cocky...

In 1923, who was:

1. President of the largest steel company?
2. President of the largest gas company?
3. President of the New York stock Exchange?
4. Greatest wheat speculator?
5. President of the Bank of International Settlement?
6.. Great Bear of Wall Street?

These men were considered some of the world's most successful of their days.

Now, 80 years later, the history book asks us, if we know what ultimately became of them.


The Answers:

1. The president of the largest steel company: Charles Schwab, died a pauper.

2. The president of the largest gas company: Edward Hopson, went insane.

3. The president of the NYSE: Richard Whitney, was released from prison to die at home.

4. The greatest wheat speculator: Arthur Cooger, died abroad, penniless.

5. The president of The Bank of International Settlement, Shot himself.

6 The Great Bear of Wall Street: Cosabee Livermore, also committed suicide.


However,

In that same year, 1923, the PGA Champion and the winner of the most important golf tournament, The US Open, was Gene Sarazen. What became of him?


He played golf until he was 92, died in 1999 at the age of 95.
He was financially secure at the time of his death.

The Moral: Screw work. Play golf.

(Better still, like my friend's father, who died while playing golf! Wasn't that a good way to go?)
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Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Why Doctors need good English...

Doctors' Comments On Patient Charts:

"Occasional, constant, infrequent headaches."
"By the time he was admitted, his rapid heart stopped, and he was feeling better."
"Patient was alert and unresponsive."
"Healthy appearing decrepit 69 year-old male, mentally alert but forgetful."
"Patient has left his white blood cells at another hospital."

"Patient's past medical history has been remarkably insignificant with only a 40 pound weight gain in the past three days."
"Patient had waffles for breakfast and anorexia for lunch."

"The patient has been depressed ever since she began seeing me in 1993."
"Patient has two teenage children but no other abnormalities."
"Patient has chest pain if she lies on her left side for over a year."
"She has had no rigors or shaking chills, but her husband states she was very hot in bed last night."
"She is numb from her toes down."
"While in the ER, she was examined, X-rated and sent home."
"She stated that she had been constipated for most of her life, until she got a divorce."
"When she fainted, her eyes rolled around the room."

"The skin was moist and dry."
"Skin: Somewhat pale but present."

"I saw your patient today, who is still under our car for physical therapy."
"On the 2nd day the knee was better and on the 3rd day it disappeared completely."
"Patient was released to outpatient department without dressing."
"Discharge status: Alive but without permission."

"Patient was seen in consultation by Dr. Blank, who felt we should sit on the abdomen, and I agree."
"The patient will need disposition, and therefore we will get Dr. Blank to dispose of him."
"The patient expired on the floor uneventfully."

"The patient refused an autopsy."
"The patient has no past history of suicides."

"The patient was in his usual state of good health until his airplane ran out of gas and crashed."
"The patient was to have a bowel resection. However, he took a job as a stockbroker instead."


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A parent's perspective on Notebooks

Just based on our experience, Twinhead notebook seems so durable compared with HP tx2000!

Elder daughter bought a Twinhead notebook upon my recommendation (after some advice from users) before she went overseas in 2003. She is one who can use a computer for hours, the longest was 10 hours in a stretch! 3 years ago, she came back to upgrade it to a HP tx2000, mainly because of more convenient service during warranty period. It was her choice this time and what a mistake it was! Just 2 months after the warranty period expired, it just won't start! If this is programmable then I would tip my hat to the programmer! No seriously, just like what we used to joke about, it always happen soon after warranty period.

Her sister bought a newer version of Twinhead notebook a year after, before she went overseas too. After using it for 4 years, she reckoned it was time to upgrade it and she chose Samsung when she was in Scotland. She is still using it back in Malaysia.

As for the durable Twinhead notebooks (now 7 years and 6 years old respectively), on the 'hand me down' system of things, I inherited both. Both are still in good working condition within their capabilities, and in fact, I am posting this using the newer one.

Cheng brought home the HP for me to see if it is worth checking out on service; if not, then to see if there is anything worth salvaging from it. I have just phoned an HP Service Centre in Ipoh and I was told that the most likely cause would be the motherboard which would cost about Rm1000! But to check, I need to pay Rm72 first!

The question is, with the prices of notebooks falling and the availability of netbooks, is it worth checking? Apparently, according to users forums, this particular model of HP is prone to this particular problem. I am most disappointed with the quality of the product and the lack of support in terms of cheaper replacement part(s). The company's reputation is at stake and I am sure a more pro-active way of handling this problem would help the product sales in the long run. As it is, I will not touch any HP product after this unpleasant experience.
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Your house seen in different perspectives

The following was forwarded to me by Bayi and I wish I could do something to the pictures, like using the same house with necessary 'make-overs' to reflect the intended messages. Anyway, this will do, with my comments in italics...

Your house as seen by:

Yourself...





Your buyer...
(This is probably the view when the prospective buyer is trying to haggle on the price with the seller. I am sure he would have found it attractive initially to be interested.)


Your lender...
(Ah, this reminds me of when my wife first bought the house for rebuilding. It was a run-down wooden house, but the bank manager was so eager to sort out the outstanding loan (non-performing, I guess) that he offered a decent housing loan to buyer to go with it! Though this was an exceptional case, it disproved the notion that the bank always try to lend as low as possible based on the value of the house. In fact, recent examples seem to suggest willingness of the banks to lend, depending on the credit-worthiness of the borrower.)

Your appraiser...
(here again, there are a few varying examples like whether the appraiser is acting for the buyer or banker, and the perceived 'nudge nudge wink wink' type of arrangement. Valuation is so subjective that different valuers will have different valuation figures, though they would try their best to base them on most recent transactions of similar type of property in the same locality. Here again, I cannot help thinking of cases of over- or under- statement of price for different reasons like tax or stamping fee.)

And... your council's rates appraiser...

(and political opponents? Anyway, I believe there are certain acceptable reasons which could help reduce the value for rating purposes, after valuation is done by the council appraiser. In many cases, house owners added extensions without approval and escape enforcement as well as increased assessment.)
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Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hands-on perspective

Imagine an oil palm estate sold, awaiting completion of sale. During the expected wait of a few months, seller would even apply fertilizers to the palm trees with a view of harvesting every 2 weeks. The attractive price of fresh fruit bunch meant close supervision during harvest because once the fruits have been cut, even motorcyclists are tempted to steal one bunch at a time which is valued at Rm20-30 each. It is therefore important that owner has someone to ensure the fruits are all transported to the harvester's store to be weighed and a receipt given.

Close to completion date, the purchaser of the estate questioned the seller's representative, 'Why after selling the land, you are not willing to give up on the fruits even for the last few days?'

Now, the question should be directed back to him as, 'Why, if it is not of value, are you particular about those fruits?' Further to that could be another good question, 'Why do you think we continue applying fertilizers after signing the S&P Agreement if not for the harvest?'

It is important to note that if the last harvest was done on the day which coincides with the completion date, then the new owner would have to wait for another fortnight before the fruits can be harvested.

It all has to do with the value involved and whether it is worth the trouble. An absentee owner would not have bothered with applying more fertilizers after signing off, and forget about getting back anything while waiting for completion.

The moral of this story is that by extension, we can imagine the responsibilities of those in charge of giant plantations like Sime Darby and Felda. There are so many avenues for leakages involving purchase and delivery of fertilizers and weed-killers, harvesting, road maintenance and so on. Then there are purchases or sales of land which even commissions (overtly or covertly) can be substantial. If the officers are corrupt, then deals can be arranged to be favourable to the outside party at the expense of the company!

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Marion Caunter: quotes and unquotes

From The Star:


MARION Caunter does not believe in love at first sight.

“Some people say they are in love after a few days but I think true love is something that needs to be built on,”

“There are so many good qualities about him,” she gushed. “He has a great heart. He’s also romantic all the time.

“Girls love gifts but sometimes, little things like calling me every day just to make sure I’m fine means more than a grand gift,”

“He put together a collage of all our pictures from the time we started dating (in 2005) to the present day. That really solidified the fact that we both want to spend our lives together.”

Unquotes? Some clues:

ferrarilamborghiniporschelexusbmwjaguardaimlermercedesrollsroycebentley...

Sorry, with a company name like Naza, I cannot help thinking of those exotic cars which many a sweet young thing would enjoy going out in too! No?

Monday, September 27, 2010

The most important criterion

We have heard of 'Location, location and location' when we consider choice of property.What good is a cheap property in terms of price or rental when it does not attract buyers (no demand means no appreciation and likely further depreciation) or tenants because its location does not attract customers.

One evening we parked our car in front of a back row of shops behind the popular hawker centre '777' which enjoys excellent road frontage in Sitiawan. We were surprised to see a sign at a coffee shop advertising for a stall operator and actually offers 'free rental'! How desperate can one be!

I would venture to state that for bankers, it should be 'Honesty, honesty and honesty'. I know banks require all kinds of knowledge and talents but ultimately, honesty is the key to the safeguarding of a bank's assets which comprise mainly customers' deposits and cash.

In the case of political leaders, ultimately it should be 'Loyalty, loyalty and loyalty'. What good is a capable leader whose mind is always on whether it is better to move to another party. But I would qualify loyalty with the exclusion of blind loyalty because it would suggest mindlessness.
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A booboob

What appeared to be a designer dress...


was actually a poorly designed dress...
causing Royal embarrassment!
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Let's compare some cases of alleged nepotism

I am prompted by The Star's report: Nepotism talk grows louder with Nurul's decision:


Najib Tun Razak

"He was first elected to the Dewan Rakyat, representing the parliamentary constituency of Pekan, at the age of 23 in an uncontested election after the death of his father. In his career, Najib has held a variety of ministerial portfolios (the first at the age of 32), culminating in the post of Minister of Defence before being chosen as the deputy PM by Abdullah Badawi."

According to Wikipedia (excerpts) with my comments in italics:

"Dato' Sri Haji Mohd. Najib bin Tun Haji Abdul Razak (born 23 July 1953) is the sixth and current Prime Minister of Malaysia. He previously held the post of Deputy Prime Minister from January 7, 2004 until he succeeded Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Prime Minister on April 3, 2009. Najib is President of the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO). He is the son of Malaysia's second prime minister, Tun Abdul Razak."

"Chua Tee Yong is a Malaysian politician and is currently the Member of theParliament of Malaysia for the Labis constituency in the State of Johor. He is a member of the Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA) party in the governing Barisan Nasional coalition.
Chua was elected to federal Parliament in the 2008 election, succeeding his father Chua Soi Lek in the seat of Labis. In June 2010, he was appointed Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister in a Cabinet reshuffle.
Chua is an accountant and was Chief Financial Officer of a government-linked company."

"Nurul Izzah binti Anwar (born November 19, 1980) is a Malaysian politician from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), and is the current Member of Parliament for Lembah Pantai. She is the daughter of Anwar Ibrahim, a former Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister and the currentde facto opposition leader and of the PKR. Her mother, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, is the President of PKR.
(Because Nurul was pushed into politics at 18 when her dad was arrested and jailed and which included the infamous 'black eye' despite what then PM, Dr. Mahathir had said that he was 'safe and sound', we should know something about her dad too):

"Dato' Seri Anwar bin Ibrahim (born 10 August 1947) is a Malaysian politician who served as Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister from 1993 to 1998. Early in his career, Anwar was a close ally of Prime Minister Mahathir bin Mohamad but subsequently emerged as the most prominent critic of Mahathir's government."

"In 1999, he was sentenced to six years in prison for corruption, and in 2000, to another nine years for sodomy. In 2004, the Federal Court reversed the second conviction and he was released."
(It should be noted that the first conviction did not involve money but misuse of government power in directing a police officer which, in my humble opinion, is still often practised in much more serious situations without anyone batting an eyelid.)

"Lim Guan Eng is the 4th Chief Minister of the State of Penang and Secretary-General of the Malaysian Democratic Action Party (DAP). He is the son of Lim Kit Siang, Leader of the Opposition in the Dewan Rakyat from 1973 to 1999 and 2004 to 2008."

"In the Democratic Action Party, he was appointed as the DAP Socialist Youth Chairman in 1989 and was elected to that post in 1992. In 1995, he was elected as the DAP Deputy Secretary-General. Lim was elected as the party Secretary-General in 2004, and has held the position since."

"Jailed under Sedition Act
Lim was arrested by Malaysian police in 1994, following his criticism of the government's handling of allegations of statutory rape of one of his constituents by former Chief Minister of the state of Melaka, Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik."

(After a series of appeals, Lim was sentenced to 18 months imprisonment. He was, however, released after 12 months on August 25, 1999. Due to his incarceration he was disallowed from standing for election to public office for a period of 5 years, and he was therefore ineligible to contest in the 2004 Malaysian General Election.)

If we cannot see the difference between nepotism under favourable conditions and those under stressful situations and continuous struggle with no promise of anything, then so be it.

Yet another 'outside the box' example

A Malaysiakini's headline caught my attention:

Hishammuddin: Umno must endear itself to rakyat


It was also an 'outside the mind' example when we consider he was responsible for the arrest of cartoonist Zunar and the questioning of MP Teo Nie Ching by police for... being in a mosque... how endearing of him! I shudder to think when he is not in an endearing mood, what he is capable of!
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Another 'think out of the box' story

An old man lived alone in Idaho. He wanted to spade his potato garden, but it was very hard work. His only son, who used to help him, was in prison.

The old man wrote a letter to his son and described his predicament:

'Dear Son,

I am feeling pretty bad because it looks like I won't be able to plant my potato garden this year.
I'm just getting too old to be digging up the garden plot. If you were here, all my troubles would be over. I know you would dig the plot for me.

Love
Dad'



A few days later, he received a letter from his son:

'Dear Dad,

For Heaven's sake, Dad, don't dig up that garden. That's where I buried the bodies.

Love
Son'


At 4:00am the next morning, F.B.I. agents and local police showed up and dug up the entire area without finding any bodies.

They apologized to the old man and left. That same day, the old man received another letter from his son:

'Dear Dad,

Go ahead and plant the potatoes now. That's the best I could do under the circumstances.

Love
Son'



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Danish Lars Bak developed Google Chrome

in an environment which is a far cry from Multimedia Super Corridor...

"About five miles outside Aarhus in Denmark – the country’s second- biggest city and the unofficial capital of Jutland – sits a converted farmhouse. Inside, in a large wood-floored space with vaulted ceilings – once part of the stables – a big brown leather sofa is positioned a few feet from a DVD player. From the outside, with its rough cobbles and small, recessed windows, the farmhouse still seems steeped in the past; yet this is the place where a key part of the future of the internet first took shape.The drive from Copenhagen has taken longer than expected, and the farmhouse is hard to find. Lars Bak, its owner and a programming genius to his peers, made his home here for a reason – he doesn’t particularly want to be found. His Alsatian, Mickey, isn’t pleased to see us either: the dog has to be restrained before I even think about stepping out of the car."

The rest of the article 'The genius behind Google's web browser'

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

MCA1 for President... why MCA?

I am sure it occurred to many when they came across registration letters like BN, DAP, PAS and so on, that those could have been chosen by their respective party faithfuls. But to actually consider booking the whole 9,999 numbers for a political party's initials, in this case MCA, shows the frivolity of the person who suggested it, and suggests the arrogance and presumptuousness of a party used to using power of positions for their own ends. In this case, an MCA leader happens to be holding the Transport Ministry portfolio.

PPP would have a long wait before it gets to those registration letters in Penang while Umno could easily have a special one like those for Proton, Bambee and so on.

Incidentally, I have just read about the reason why registration letter 'A' went to Perak (because of it being the richest then and had the first vehicle), and 'B' went to Selangor, and 'C' to Pahang! But I still cannot get over Kelantan having 'D' over so many other richer states.

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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Maybe we need the kitchen cabinet...

to make the necessary decision...

Nobody would believe an Education Minister has no power over a school principal. On top of that, he is also our Deputy Prime Minister!

It shows how our Umno politicians are beholden to their race politics, and our laws enforced differently. Using velvet gloves for some and high-handedness for others.

P.S.: There is a general consensus that though the matter is bound by rules to be followed, the least he could have done was to admonish the first principal in strong enough terms to reflect his seriousness (if indeed he was), while letting the investigation takes its course. By not doing so, he appeared to have condoned the first which led to the second case. Now it appears as if school principals are untouchable by even a DPM!

The general opinion of the public that 'a civil servant cannot be sacked, only transferred' is now confirmed by our powerless DPM. Khoo Kay Peng's take:

Even a real shark is capable of love...

shame on our human kind...

Everything can be explained...

A woman was having a daytime affair while her husband was at work.

One rainy day she was in bed with her boyfriend when, to her horror, she heard her husband's car pull into the driveway.

'Oh my God - Hurry! Grab your clothes and jump out the window. My husband's home early!'

'I can't jump out the window. It's raining out there!'

'If my husband catches us in here, he'll kill us both!' she replied. 'He's got a hot temper and a gun, so the rain is the least of your problems!'

So the boyfriend scoots out of bed, grabs his clothes and jumps out the window! As he ran down the street in the pouring rain, he quickly discovered he had run right into the middle of the town's annual marathon, so he started running along beside the others, about 300 of them.

Being naked, with his clothes tucked under his arm, he tried to blend in as best he could. After a little while a small group of runners who had been watching him with some curiosity, jogged closer.

Do you always run in the nude?' one asked.

'Oh yes!' he replied, gasping in air. 'It feels so wonderfully free!'

Another runner moved along side. 'Do you always run carrying your clothes with you under your arm?'

'Oh, yes' our friend answered breathlessly. 'That way I can get dressed right at the end of the run and get in my car to go home!'

Then a third runner cast his eyes a little lower and asked, 'Do you always wear a condom when you run?'

'Nope...just when it's raining.'

(borrowed pic from fotosearch.com, seems near enough to fit description in the joke)
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Friday, September 24, 2010

Things we had to put up with... for good food...

We thought we experienced horrible service from this plumb waitress in this shop known for its beef noodles and its queue systemusing number-bearing cards. It is a Chinese shop with a Malay name like 'Mahkota' and it is near the site which used to be Yau Tet Shin market.

Just imagine getting stared at when we asked about the system of ordering. I could not help feeling sheepish under the circumstances, reminiscent of what Oliver got when he asked for 'more'. The crowd has dwindled since its heyday and I bet it was because of its unusual system which seems presumptuous of expecting large crowds, and its unfriendly service. That was one night when in Ipoh when the restaurant we wanted to go to happened to be closed.

Today, before noon, my wife suggested that we try this famous Indian shop which was featured in The Star (I think) and that it has opened a branch in another part of Ipoh. I was to wait for her while she did her rounds of errand somewhere in Tronoh. It was past 2.00 pm when she got back, giving excuses like the dressmaker must be lonely, got chatting with a friend who asked about her vintage car, and chatted with another when she returned her recipe book.

The Indian stall within a Chinese coffee shop (Yong Suan) is at Jalan Yang Kalsom, near the police station. To be sure of a parking space, where better than where people shun - near where there were a few funeral parlours! A fleet of vehicles bearing the same 2223 got me wondering why the need for the figure '3' when dealing with dead people.

Anyway, despite almost 3.00 pm when we reached the stall, the shop was still crowded and there was a queue at the food counter. Again, typical of a shop which is popular, there is no service to speak of. A glum looking Indian man who would not answer my question of 'Is that chicken curry?' When my wife asked about vegetables (there was none in sight), he used his plastic covered hand to grab a few pieces of cucumber and dump on her dish! Not a word was uttered. Again, we felt sheepish like Oliver.

Earlier I had suggested an Indian restaurant in Batu Gajah, but my wife said she wish to try out this one featured in the papers. Well, I would not go there again on purpose. I still prefer comfort and friendly service over much hyped delicious food with indifferent service. We chose to go there supposedly at a time when it was off peak, yet the crowd was there and the service sucked.
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One way of looking at inflation...


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Tests for Lateral Thinking

Check out your lateral thinking power!

The first 4 images are the questions and the answers are given at the end.

Please do not look at the answers first, these are really good, try it out.





ANSWERS

* 1. The last person took the basket with the egg in it.

* 2. All the other cardplayers were women.

* 3. Pour the juice from the second glass into the fifth.

* 4. The recluse lived in a lighthouse.

HOW WAS YOUR LATERAL THINKING??


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Some basic differences between Winner and Loser

The Winner is always part of the answer;
The Loser is always part of the problem.

The Winner always has a program;
The Loser always has an excuse.

The Winner says, "Let me do it for you";
The Loser says, "That is not my job."

The Winner sees an answer for every problem;
The Loser sees a problem for every answer.

The Winner says, "It may be difficult but it is possible";
The Loser says, "It may be possible but it is too difficult."

When a Winner makes a mistake, he says, "I was wrong";
When a Loser makes a mistake, he says, "It wasn't my fault."

A Winner makes commitments;
A Loser makes promises.

Winners have dreams;
Losers have schemes.

Winners say, "I must do something";
Losers say, "Something must be done."

Winners are a part of the team;
Losers are apart from the team.

Winners see the gain;
Losers see the pain.

Winners see possibilities;
Losers see problems.

Winners believe in win-win;
Losers believe for them to win someone has to lose.

Winners see the potential;
Losers see the past.

Winners are like a thermostat;
Losers are like thermometers.

Winners choose what they say;
Losers say what they choose.

Winners use hard arguments but soft words;
Losers use soft arguments but hard words.

Winners stand firm on values but compromise on petty things;
Losers stand firm on petty things but compromise on values.

Winners follow the philosophy of empathy: "Don't do to others what you would not want them to do to you";
Losers follow the philosophy, "Do it to others before they do it to you."

Winners make it happen;
Losers let it happen.

Winners plan and prepare to win.
The key word is preparation.



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Empowering the already empowered?

How could Ketuanan Melayu compare with Black Empowerment in South Africa?

From Rocky Bru: a quote from Rashid Yusof in NST:

"The term "ketuanan Melayu" has had the misfortune of attracting the English translation of "Malay supremacy".

Malay supremacy tends to be loosely and harshly associated at some levels with white supremacy and that of right-wing movements across the world.

Really, the overarching, unifying theme of ketuanan Melayu had been "empowerment" or, as an inspiring writer from a different time defined it, Malay sovereignty -- chronicling the self-determination of a people brought under colonial rule for four centuries.

Perhaps the equal of ketuanan Melayu is Black Empowerment that greeted the end of apartheid in South Africa."

Being racist by any name is just as bad, no matter how it is being spinned.

From Masterwordsmith (excerpts):

"The Malaysian Insider reported HERE that while declaring he was not a racist, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad appeared to play the race card for Umno today by warning Malays that they would lose power if Pakatan Rakyat (PR) came to power. He also implied that a Chinese or an Indian could become prime minister if PR took federal power because there was no constitutional restriction on race for the position.

The former prime minister claimed the political marginalisation of the Malays had already become a reality in PR-controlled states even though those administrations were led by Malays."


"Finally, this is the tour de force of the article: The former PM claimed that his remarks were not racial in nature but were being made for the sake of restoring stability.

Stability? Saying such statements after ruling a country for 26 years can restore stability?"

For a racist to claim he is not is even worse!

Seriously, I don't see why TDM should worry so much about something that is almost impossible to happen in his lifetime nor mine. If ever it could happen, the maturity of the people of Malaysia would have accepted it by democratic means, just like what happened to USA.
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

If you need to ask, you can't afford it...

Not sure how the recent incident in Singapore compares with the above list...

Man shocked by $1,200 bill for fish at Resorts World

Yeo Sam Jo | The New Paper | Thu Jul 1 2010

Singapore, June 30, 2010- THEY feasted on a fish named sultan – and were made to pay a king’s ransom for it. Well, not quite a king’s ransom, but a whopping $1,224 for that single steamed fish dish. And the bill left a sour aftertaste.

The diner, who only wanted to be known as Mr Liu, 35, had taken his four friends to Resorts World Sentosa’s (RWS) Feng Shui Inn restaurant on June 12.

The group had initially wanted marble goby, better known locally as soon hock, but the waiter said there was no stock for the fish.

The waiter suggested the white sultan fish instead. The group agreed, without asking how much the dish would cost.

They were stunned when the bill arrived. The single sultan fish, which weighed 1.8kg, set them back by $1,224.

Mr Liu, an assistant manager at a shipping company who migrated from Hong Kong to Singapore four years ago, was entertaining his former classmates from Hong Kong.

After trying their luck at the casino, they proceeded to the restaurant for lunch.

Mr Liu told Lianhe Wanbao that his friends, here on a four-day visit, wanted to give him a treat.
He didn’t want them to spend too much so he ordered a few dishes and a marble goby.

Mr Liu added: “(The waiter) didn’t mention the price (of the sultan fish), and we also didn’t think too much about it and just said okay.”

But they got a shock when the bill arrived. Mr Liu insisted on paying because he was embarrassed by the pricey tab.

He added that he complained about the price during payment. As a gesture of goodwill, the restaurant gave him a 15 per cent discount.

Said Mr Liu: “The customer has the right to know and the restaurant should have made clear its price so we could decide whether it was worth it.”

On the last day of their trip, Mr Liu’s friends, who felt bad for Mr Liu, gave him HK$8,000 (S$1,440) for the meal.

An RWS spokesman told The New Paper that staff at the restaurant have been trained to recommend and brief guests about the dishes.

“It is not always appropriate to state menu prices to high-end customers who have come to expect certain discretion when they entertain high-level guests."

“This is a practice shared by most high-end restaurants.”

RWS conceded that what happened could have been a “lapse of judgement” which was promptly mitigated with an immediate goodwill gesture of an on-the-spot discount.

But is the price of the sultan fish, at $68 per 100g, too steep?

Capital Restaurant manager Cheong Weng Kee said his establishment sells the sultan fish for $6 per 100g – less than a tenth of Fengshui Inn’s price per 100g. Mr Cheong said his restaurant has been selling sultan fish since 1974.

Chef Huang Ching Biao, 58, kitchen operations director at Jin Shan restaurant at Marina Bay Sands, said the fish is known for its fragrance and flesh.

“The flesh is tender and snow white. It’s a wild river fish, so it eats fruits that drop from trees and bears the fragrance of fruit,” MrHuang said in Mandarin.

Chef Pung Lu Tin, 50, of Seafood International Market and Restaurant, described its meat as “very smooth” and added that it was not easy to catch.

Both chefs said they have never come across a sultan fish commanding such a high price.

Fish from Malaysia

The RWS spokesman said: “The sultan fish that was served at Feng Shui Inn is known as the white sultan fish from Malaysia.

“It is classified as the second most sought-after river fish in Malaysia.

“The commonly farmed sultan fish can cost as low as $20 per kg but if the sultan fish is wild-caught, the value increases many-fold.”

Most seafood distributors that The New Paper spoke to do not deal in sultan fish.
One seafood distributor who wanted to be known only as Mr Lee described the price of the sultan fish at Fengshui Inn as “outrageous”.

Mr Christopher Ong, 46, who owns Ong Seafood Marketing, added that while the fish is known to be expensive in Malaysia, he has never heard of such a high price before.

The most expensive fish they could name were the paradin, or soo mei, and mouse garoupa, both of which can cost up to $15 per 100g.

In comparison, Fengshui Inn sells paradin at $43 per 100g and mouse garoupa at $35.


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Refresh our knowledge in Geography






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Too much politicking in our country...

and nitpicking over minor issues, overlooking major problems at hand.

In reality, the situation is likely to be such...


In the process, the main issues can be lost... and we cannot see the wood from the trees...

A Christian story

This is a story written by a doctor who worked in Africa .

One night I had worked hard to help a mother in the labor ward; but in spite of all we could do, she died, leaving us with a tiny, premature baby and a crying two-year-old daughter. We would have difficulty keeping the baby alive; as we had no incubator (we had no electricity to run an incubator).

We also had no special feeding facilities.

Although we lived on the equator, nights were often chilly with treacherous drafts. One student midwife went for the box we had for such babies and the cotton wool that the baby would be wrapped in.

Another went to stoke up the fire and fill a hot water bottle. She came back shortly in distress to tell me that in filling the bottle, it had burst (rubber perishes easily in tropical climates)..

'And it is our last hot water bottle!' she exclaimed. As in the West, it is no good crying over spilled milk, so in Central Africa
it might be considered no good crying over burst water bottles.

They do not grow on trees, and there are no drugstores down forest pathways.

'All right,' I said, 'put the baby as near the fire as you safely can, and sleep between the baby and the door to keep it free from drafts Your job is to keep the baby warm.'

The following noon, as I did most days, I went to have prayers with any of the orphanage children who chose to gather with me. I gave the youngsters various suggestions of things to pray about and told them about the tiny baby. I explained our problem about keeping the baby warm enough,mentioning the hot water bottle, and that the baby could so easily die if it got chills. I also told them of the two-year-old sister, crying because her mother had died.

During prayer time, one ten -year-old girl, Ruth, prayed with the usual blunt conciseness of our African children. 'Please, God' she prayed, 'Send us a hot water bottle today It'll be no good tomorrow, God, as the baby will be dead, so please send it this afternoon.'

While I gasped inwardly at the audacity of the prayer, she added, 'And while You are about it, would You please send a dolly for the little girl so she'll know You really love her?'

As often with children's prayers, I was put on the spot. Could I honestly say 'Amen?' I just did not believe that God could do this.

Oh, yes, I know that He can do everything; the Bible says so. But there are limits, aren't there? The only way God could answer this particular prayer would be by sending me a parcel from the homeland. I had been in Africa for almost four years at that time, and I had never, ever, received a parcel from home.

Anyway, if anyone did send me a parcel, who would put in a hot water bottle? I lived on the equator!

Halfway through the afternoon, while I was teaching in the nurses' training school, a message was sent that there was a car at my front door. By the time I reached home, the car had gone, but there on the verandah was a large 22-pound parcel. I felt tears pricking my eyes. I could not open the parcel alone, so I sent for the orphanage children.. Together we pulled off the string, carefully undoing each knot. We folded the paper, taking care not to tear it unduly Excitement was mounting. Some thirty or forty pairs of eyes were focused on the large cardboard box. >From the top, I lifted out brightly-colored, knitted jerseys. Eyes sparkled as I gave them out. Then there were the knitted bandages for the leprosy patients, and the children looked a little bored.. Then came a box of mixed raisins and sultanas - that would make a batch of buns for the weekend.

Then, as I put my hand in again, I felt the.....could it really be?

I grasped it and pulled it out. Yes, a brand new, rubber hot water bottle. I cried.

I had not asked God to send it; I had not truly believed that He could.

Ruth was in the front row of the children. She rushed forward, crying out, 'If God has sent the bottle, He must have sent the dolly, too!'

Rummaging down to the bottom of the box, she pulled out the small, beautifully-dressed dolly. Her eyes shone! She had never doubted!

Looking up at me, she asked, 'Can I go over with you and give this dolly to that little girl, so she'll know that Jesus really loves her?'

'Of course,' I replied!

That parcel had been on the way for five whole months, packed up by my former Sunday school class, whose leader had heard and obeyed God's prompting to send a hot water bottle, even to the equator.

And one of the girls had put in a dolly for an African child - five months before, in answer to the believing prayer of a ten-year-old to bring it 'that afternoon.'

'Before they call, I will answer.' (Isaiah 65:24)


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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Some actual notices...

with added introduction in italics:

For dumb asses...

Advertisement for donkey rides in Thailand:
Would you like to ride on your own ass?

Nothing is also one of our specialty...
In a Swiss mountain inn:
Special today -- no ice cream.

Ladies in general deserve more attention...

Ladies, why walk around Rome with your clothes on?
In a Rome laundry:
Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.

We have specific rules on how you treat a woman...
In a Bangkok temple:
It is forbidden to enter a woman even a foreigner if dressed as a man.

We treat some ladies specially...
In a Tokyo bar:
Special cocktails for the ladies with nuts.

Something which we are particularly good at...
In a Copenhagen airline ticket office:
We take your bags and send them in all directions.

We look after pregnant ladies with care...
In a Czechoslovakian tourist agency:
Take one of our horse-driven city tours - we guarantee no miscarriages.

If you are in labour anytime now...
In a Norwegian cocktail lounge:
Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar.

On the other hand, women is like a form of disease...
In the office of a Roman doctor:
Specialist in women and other diseases.

Advice to give your food to the needy...
In a Budapest zoo:
Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty.

Before we forget, just in case you notice the water tastes funny...
In an Acapulco hotel:
The manager has personally passed all the water served here.

If you are feeling the heat, self control is still the best...
From a Japanese information booklet about using a hotel air conditioner:
Cooles and Heates: If you want just condition of warm in your room, please control yourself.

By the way, in case you need a religious extraction...
In an advertisement by a Hong Kong dentist:
Teeth extracted by the latest Methodists.

And finally for those in a hurry to be executed...
In a Rhodes tailor shop:
Order your summers suit. Because is big rush we will execute customers in strict rotation.


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Fair fight?

It depends very much on the contestants, not the rules.

Dog fight

The Israelis and Arabs finally realized that if they continued fighting, they would someday end up destroying each other.

So they sat down and decided to settle the whole dispute with a dogfight. The negotiators agreed that each country would take five years to develop the best fighting dog they could. The dog that won the fight would earn its country the right to rule the disputed areas. The losing side would have to lay down its arms.

The Arabs found the biggest, meanest Dobermans and Rottweilers in the world. They bred them together and then crossed their offspring with the meanest Siberian wolves. They selected only the biggest, strongest puppy from each litter, fed them the best food and killed all the other puppies. They used steroids and trainers in their quest for the perfect killing machine.

After the five years were up, they had a dog that needed iron prison bars on its cage. Only the trainers could handle this beast.

When the day of the big fight arrived, the Israelis showed up with a strange animal. It was a nine-foot-long Dachshund.

Everyone felt sorry for the Israelis. No one else thought this weird animal stood a chance against the growling beast in the Arab camp. The bookies predicted the Arabs would win in less than a minute.

The cages were opened. The Dachshund waddled toward the center of the ring.

The Arab dog leaped from his cage and charged the giant wiener-dog. As he got to within an inch of the Israeli dog, the Dachshund opened its jaws and swallowed the Arab beast in one bite. There was nothing left but a small bit of fur from the killer dog's tail.

The Arabs approached the Israelis, shaking their heads in disbelief. 'We do not understand,' said their leader, 'Our top scientists and breeders worked for five years with the meanest, biggest Dobermans and Rottweilers. They developed a killing machine.'

'Really?' the Israeli General replied. 'For five years, we've had a team of Jewish plastic surgeons in Beverly Hills working to make an alligator look like a Dachshund.'

While on the conflict in the Middle East, remember the quiz...?
142 Israelis, 154 Arabs and 69 Americans, fighting for 5 days, who lost?
Using a calculator: key in 14215469 x 5 and you would get 71077345. If you look at the numbers upside down, it would look like Shelloil! Collateral damage?

PLUS minus some useful signs...

equals confusion among expressway users.

Last Sunday night, while having Bah Kut Teh dinner in KL, my daughter mentioned that I might be able to save 10% on tolls if we reached exit past midnight. It was past 9.00pm in Jalan Ipoh and I took note of that. My son had to send us back to PJ to take the car.

While on the expressway, as usual, wife was fast asleep in no time while I drove in no hurry, listening to a Laura Fygi cd. I even travelled at 90 kmph at certain stretches and checking on the time now and again. When I reached Tapah Rest & Service Area, I decided to take a break to go to the toilet. Normally I would not, as a precaution because of cases of robbery and so on. Tapah R&SA had undergone upgrade quite recently, with expansion in terms of more toilets and other essential amenities. I followed the sign with a male and female figures, then I was unable to find anymore male toilet sign, just another female and another for nappy change. I looked around again, still could not find any. I saw a Malay man walked out, then he walked back again and I asked him, 'Mana lelaki?' or 'where is the gents?' His answer was telling and reassuring (that it wasn't me alone), 'Saya pun cari' or 'I'm looking for it too.'

This is Malaysia Boleh with signposting, be it road signs, and now signs to the toilets. You are very likely to see a sign, say to the airport. Then halfway, you will be wondering because there are no more reassuring signs until you are already on the right road nearer the airport. There is always a stretch of 'missing link' as if put in by some mischievous minds.

In the case of Tapah R&SA, all that money on upgrade, yet a cheap but more important user friendly sign is missing. I believe there must have been thousands of males who had wanted to use the toilet for the first time and faced this silly problem. Over to you PLUS.

I almost forgot writing about the exit! I should have stayed a wee bit longer at the rest area because when I reached Gopeng exit, it was just 7 minutes before midnight! I missed saving Rm2.30 which worked out at almost Rm20 an hour work. Just my idle mind working the figures at the time.

(Note: When I needed the delay, there were no traffic jams instead! Otherwise, from Jalan Ipoh to PJ itself could have taken longer. In other words, it took me less than 3 hours from Jalan Ipoh to PJ Section 14, then to join the NSE at Jalan Duta and exit at Gopeng!)
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I'm off the watchlist?

By some strange coincidence or maybe, I (or more likely one or more of my links) have been taken off the radar screen of cyber-troopers. The warning sign about malware does not appear since my previous post. It could have been already in my system and undetected by my free (and therefore low protection) anti-virus and anti-spyware programs.

Anyway, the current trend of bloggers seem to be trying to outdo each other on the most exciting or shocking news or allegation. Anything else is considered so mild that the sheer number of bloggers means any attempt at control would be futile.

The tactics of mainstream media seem to be to attack, regardless of lack of credibility bordering on ludicrousness, so long as it damages the reputation of opposition leaders or party. Any police report and action or legal suit can be delayed at will, with no real punitive effect.

Now there is such a lack of credibility in news reports that we have become a nation of cynics who need other sources of information before believing what is or isn't true.

Even the Constitution, written in black on white, can be deliberately misinterpreted, what else can we believe?

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

I'm being watched?

Got this email this morning:

"Hi KS,

Went into your blogsite this morning and got the same malware attack warning (see attachment) similar to those highlighted by the other popular news websites. Hmm, you're being watched... Finally, recognition from the Govt., such honor.

Damn Indian IT-mercenaries are good. Cheap, but good.


Rgds,

KC"

I'm honoured indeed, if true. I believe all sopo bloggers who have touched on local politics, especially critical of BN, are being watched by the cyber-troopers. They would be looking for anything that could implicate them in terms of sensitive issues like race and religion, mainly under the Sedition Act. Being mercenaries, any positive results in terms of evidence and preferably conviction would have made their pay worthwhile to the powers that be. Just imagine using our taxpayers' money to keep an eye on us!

The most obvious signs of their work recently are the malwares found in more and more sites. In my case, in my humble opinion, it had to do with the many pro-opposition links to my site, not what I have posted. I have nothing to lose, being Kosong, but would in fact, gain fame if hauled up for anything which they think is worth their while. I seem to own many things, like Tanah Kosong, Kedai Kosong, Pejabat Kosong, Jawatan Kosong and so on (which my Dutch friend had taken some pictures of) but none really belong to me!

From a Greek word 'paraprosdokian'

Greek must be a very difficult language to learn because we were taught to say, 'sounds like Greek to me' for anything we did not understand. Yet, how many of us know or bother to find out what some of the wise statements we have been using are actually known as? Thanks to Bayi's pointer, we are now wiser...

A paraprosdokian (from Greek "παρα-", meaning "beyond" and "προσδοκία",meaning "expectation") is a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe or reinterpret the first part. It is frequently used for humorous or dramatic effect, sometimes producing an anticlimax. For this reason, it is extremely popular among comedians and satirists.

Some paraprosdokians not only change the meaning of an early phrase, but also play on the double meaning of a particular word, creating a syllepsis.

Examples :

With a bit of sarcasm:

Hospitality: making your guests feel like they're at home, even if you wish they were.
Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.
There's a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can't get away.
You're never too old to learn something stupid.
Some people hear voices. Some see invisible people. Others have no imagination whatsoever.

... and truism?:

Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
Money can't buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted pay checks.
A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don't need it.
A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.
The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
Evening news is where they begin with 'Good evening', and then proceed to tell you why it isn't.
Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?

... Clever play on words and almost like definitions:

War does not determine who is right - only who is left.
Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won't expect it back.
I used to be indecisive. Now I'm not sure.
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.
A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station.

... last but not least, a clever way of looking at things :

I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
Dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish.

(Some examples re-arranged, with my itchy hands on keyboard)
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A Cantonese spin on Carrefour

How to pronounce "Carrefour"

An interesting explanation posted on the net, discussing how to pronounce: Carrefour.

You're all wrong. Carrefour is owned by a French of Chinese descent - Cantonese to be precise. He started the successful business with money provided by his maternal uncle. In order to thank and honour his uncle for the start-up assistance, he decided to name it after his uncle.

Out of sheer respect, he could not bring himself to use his uncle's common name. So he called it the way he would always call his favourite uncle in the Cantonese dialect and i.e. --- Cow-Foo ---

Note: This is a joke. Carrefour in French refers to a crossroad, a public square or a plaza.

'Cow-foo' in Cantonese means uncle as in mother's brother.
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Just do good... sincerely... it will come back to you!

A woman baked chapati for members of her family and an extra one for a hungry passerby. She kept the extra chapati on the window sill, for whosoever would take it away.

Everyday, a hunchback came and took away the chapati. Instead of expressing gratitude, he muttered the following words as he went his way: "The evil you do remains with you: The good you do, comes back to you!"

This went on, day after day. Everyday, the hunchback came, picked up the chapati and uttered the words: "The evil you do, remains with you: The good you do, comes back to you!"

The woman felt irritated. "Not a word of gratitude," she said to herself... "Everyday this hunchback utters this jingle! What does he mean?"

One day, exasperated, she decided to do away with him. "I shall get rid of this hunchback," she said. And what did she do? She added poison to the chapatti she prepared for him! As she was about to keep it on the window sill, her hands trembled. "What is this I am doing?" she said. Immediately, she threw the chapati into the fire, prepared another one and kept it on the window sill.

As usual, the hunchback came, picked up the chapati and muttered the words: "The evil you do, remains with you: The good you do, comes back to you!" The hunchback proceeded on his way, blissfully unaware of the war raging in the mind of the woman.

Everyday, as the woman placed the chapati on the window sill, she offered a prayer for her son who had gone to a distant place to seek his fortune. For many months, she had no news of him.. She prayed for his safe return.

That evening, there was a knock on the door. As she opened it, she was surprised to find her son standing in the doorway. He had grown thin and lean. His garments were tattered and torn. He was hungry, starved and weak. As he saw his mother, he said, "Mom, it's a miracle I'm here. While I was but a mile away, I was so famished that I collapsed. I would have died, but just then an old hunchback passed by. I begged of him for a morsel of food, and he was kind enough to give me a whole chapati. As he gave it to me, he said, "This is what I eat everyday: today, I shall give it to you, for your need is greater than mine!"

As the mother heard those words, her face turned pale. She leaned against the door for support. She remembered the poisoned chapati that she had made that morning. Had she not burnt it in the fire, it would have been eaten by her own son, and he would have lost his life! It was then that she realized the significance of the words: "The evil you do remains with you: The good you do, comes back to you!"

Do good and Don't ever stop doing good, even if it’s not appreciated at that time.

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Throwing caution to the wind

... why some accidents were created:

Inconsiderate mums

Mummy, mummy, please don't fart!




Say 'cheese'...

aaaaarrrrhhh!

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Think out of the Box

Many years ago in a small Indian village, a farmer had the misfortune of owing a large sum of money to a female village moneylender. The female village moneylender was old, fat and ugly, fancied the farmer's handsome son, Cliff.

So she proposed a bargain. She said she would forgo the farmer's debt if she could marry his son. Both the farmer and his son were horrified by the proposal.

The cunning female moneylender suggested that they let Providence decide the matter. She told them that she would put a black pebble and a white pebble into an empty moneybag. Then the son would have to pick one pebble from the bag.

If he picked the black pebble he would become her husband and his father's debt would be forgiven. If he picked the white pebble he need not marry her and his father's debt would still be forgiven. But if he refused to pick a pebble, his father would be thrown into jail.

They were standing on a pebble-strewn path in the farmer's field. As they talked, the moneylender bent over to pick up two pebbles. As she picked them up, the sharp-eyed son noticed that she had picked up two black pebbles and put them into the bag. She then asked the son to pick a pebble from the bag.

What would you have done if you were the son? If you were to advise him, what would you have told him?

Careful analysis would produce three possibilities:

The son should refuse to take a pebble.
The son should show that there were two black pebbles in the bag and expose the moneylender as a lying, backstabbing female cheat.
The son should pick a black pebble and sacrifice himself in order to save his father from his debt and imprisonment.

Take a moment to ponder over the story. The above story is used with the hope that it will make us appreciate the difference between lateral and logical thinking.

The son's dilemma cannot be solved with traditional logical thinking. Think of the consequences if he chooses the above logical answers.

Well, here is what he did...

The son put his hand into the moneybag and drew out a pebble. Without looking at it, he fumbled and let it fall onto the pebble-strewn path where it immediately became lost among all the other pebbles.

"Oh, how clumsy of me," he said. "But never mind, if you look into the bag for the one that is left. you will be able to tell which pebble I picked."

Since the remaining pebble is black, it must be assumed that he had picked the white one. And since the moneylender dared not admit her dishonesty, the son changed what seemed an impossible situation into an extremely advantageous one.

Moral of the story:

Most complex problems do have solutions. It is only that we don't attempt to think. A man is but a product of his thoughts.

(Story by M.K. Gandhi)

I have heard of local moneylenders who prefer to waive debts lent to pretty women for sex. Just one of many unscrupulous practices by people who tasted the power of money.
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Looking for a wife?

Just imagine a matchmaker approaches a young man and suggests some introductions. Among the many photos she has, were those below.

I am sure he would be put off with the description, 'a Korean soldier' or 'an Italian soldier' but attracted by 'daddy's little girl'. Imagine what he could have missed and what shock he would have got, had he went along for the first date without checking the photos!

I am reminded of some school jokes of my time, with the following phrases:

I am looking for this:

I don't mind this:
But what is this?

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

A grand re-union at my grand nephew's wedding dinner

My son estimated at least 10 tables were occupied by our extended families, despite some absentees who were away overseas, at work or on holiday. Not all in each family attended, for obvious or various reasons. Cheng missed it by just 3 days because she mistook the date my nephew (host) booked for his holidays in Malaysia.

Host's elder brother is already a grandfather since 6 months ago, elevating my status to great grand uncle, even though not yet a grandfather, not even a father-in-law. It is always nice to meet close relatives and catch up on news. Most do not know exactly how many children each family has, let alone their names. This dinner reinforces my view that a wedding dinner should only include immediate and extended families of bridegroom and bride, and friends of the newly-weds. Especially with our large extended families, the inclusion of parents' friends would make it too numerous to have a cosy event. What good is it to have a very large crowd who treat it as a subscription dinner, without any real connection to the people involved?

The dinner was held in Kepong Baru, at the Regal House Restaurant which provided just the right space for the number of people. Its interior decoration was good enough for us, the food suited us, and the MC was a nice young man with a good sense of humour. The karaoke facility was not used at all and this must have been a relief for those who are sick of it, though I believe there were those who wished to sing but were too shy to make the first move. The location amidst some makeshift market and hawker stalls leaves much to be desired but I had no problem finding free parking within walking distance.

To go there, I took the route which was familiar to me, from Section 14: via Hartamas, Jalan Segambut, then towards Bukit Maluri but before that, took a turn to the right to get into Kepong Baru. Thanks to the traffic light junction and the lighted red Denso sign on one of the shophouses to help my navigation at night.

At the end of the dinner, the relatives catching up on news took a long time before they said goodbye to the newlyweds waiting at the entrance. It was past 11.00 pm when we left the restaurant feeling glad.
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Tired of litigation

People are fond of saying, 'You can always sue him for that...', in connection with any serious complaint about someone, or an outstanding debt. Don't count on taking someone to court unless you are aware of the delay expected and the time it will take from commencement to conclusion.

Many people tend to assume that everything is very clearcut, like taking security in a condominium or a gated housing area, for granted.

When we wanted to evict some long term, but monthly tenants, on temporary premises, the first hearing date fixed was one year ahead! From magistrate court to High Court, then to the then Supreme Court, it took five years! Then with a decision in our favour, it took another three years to collect judgment debts, with the end result of bankruptcies adjudicated on eight former tenants and a write-off of almost Rm500,000 in judgment debts. The long drawn process took a heavy toll on me, in terms of disappointment in human relationships and especially empty promises; as well as questioning whether it is worthwhile pursuing anything based on principles and rights, or better to always compromise to get things done instead.
My in-laws too, had their fair share of litigation, involving specific performance of a sale and purchase agreement relating to a land purchase in Kedah. The case went even to the Privy Council in Britain! My sister-in-law, being a lawyer in a big firm, was gungho about it then. My wife looked after the oil palm estate for 26 years and she is quite emotional at the thought of it being history, now that it is awaiting completion of sale.

My brother-in-law (sister's husband, not to be confused with wife's brother) bought a house at an auction in KL, and it took several years to get vacant possession because the owner was aggrieved over the low price. In the process, the lady lawyer got scolded by him, even though we knew she was not at fault, but the inefficient system in the judiciary.

Now, I am quite amused whenever I come across people promising to take someone to court! I am sure the lawyers are more than amused, and thinking aloud, 'Thank God for these quarrelsome folks!'

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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Introducing...

the kid who could spell but does not know its meaning, or doesn't he?:

I'm sure drinkers will say he is correct.


The ass family:


The cheapest MPV for 9:

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Like Balik Kampung

For last night's family reunion dinner before sending Cheng off, I suggested my favourite Hokien Mee stall in Jalan Ipoh, KL, between the Indian temple and HSBC.

Just to give an idea of how long we had been here, my late father was born somewhere off Jalan Ipoh in 1909! 101 years ago, yet we feel unwelcome as citizens.

My youngest child is my father's youngest grandchild and she is number 35! It occurred to me to contact some relatives who live nearby but the time pressure would make it unsuitable. I contacted a friend for some information but did not ask him in case he felt obliged to treat us. So it was just us, plus my son's girl friend. We left BG before 4.00pm and arrived PJ just after 6.00pm. Nee just got back from work and we rested before setting off for Jalan Ipoh. Son was delayed at work and had to fetch girl friend. We were there early and ordered (as advised) so that we are in queue and could ask to start cooking when everyone arrived.

When my son and friend came, imagine my pleasant surprise to see a nephew and his family members walking in! My daughter said I always meet someone I know in the vicinity. Why not? Even the chef is a grandson of the original 'Ah Lok' whom I knew as a kid!

I have wanted to mention to my nephew that my son is going out with someone he knew as a former colleague but refrained from doing so. I never knew it could be such a coincidence! Without any initiative on my part, they met. It was also uncanny in that my nephew is now based in the Middle East and happened to be on holiday for a few days. The last time I met him was in a coffee shop in Jalan Kuala Kangsar, Ipoh when he was on his way to Langkawi and I was waiting for my car which was being serviced. I always believe we do not need to fix appointment if we have affinity with each other.

As it was still early, I suggested we adjourn to the Old Town Kopitiam in Riverview (Low Yat's project). Cheng noticed I felt uncomfortable and I told her the reason being her bags were in the car, but visible. Even with security guards around, I was worried, as usual.

Cheng's one-month holiday here (except few days in Bali, Indonesia) seems so short and sweet. While driving back at 1.00am, got a text from her that she was boarding the plane and thanked us for the lovely time. She said it was nice to be back. The now rare and occasional immediate family reunions and heart warming feedbacks are encouraging to us as parents. We have to get used to separation, as even our other two children's jobs in Malaysia require international travel.

I cannot help but be reminded of the guy in BG, who commented that people who are educated have no time for their parents. As someone who placed priority on parents and family, even as househusband, it is time for me to think: 'anything different from me is good for them'!

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She who knows not and knows not she knows not, is a fool...

From Malaysia Today:
By Fed-up Employer
We send our children to school to acquire skills ranging from literacy and numeracy to more job specific skills. School also socialize our young people into key cultural values such as equality of opportunity, competition and religious morality. There, we hope they can acquire moral responsibilities that people should have towards each other to avoid a tendency for individualism and self-centredness. With the examination system, people are allocated to their most suited jobs so the more talented ones are given the most functionally important jobs for the society.

Where our country is concerned, the deplorable standard of education goes beyond the poor command of language, poor mathematical skills but also the disgusting attitudes of some young people who think the universe revolves around them.

Today, I received the attached letter which is shocking for the following reasons:

1. The applicant did not understand what is the meaning of IM contact and gave her mobile phone number instead!
2. Neither did she read the job description for the position advertised.
3. Her response was rude, arrogant, brainless, clueless and self-righteous and most condescending in that she lectured the prospective employer!!

This is the exchange:

Hi Ms G****,
You have not provided your IM contact as explicitly requested for in the job description.
Thanks,

Dear [employer],
is that IM contact refers to immediate cnt?? If it so, this is my immediate cnt# 01*-********
regards,
g****

Hi G****,
No - instant messaging. Did you not read the job description? There is a pre-interview via Skype, MSN, Yahoo or Gtalk as clearly stated.
Thanks, [employer]

At this point, the employer must have become irritated and penned:

Anyhow, there is no need for you to reply. Judging from your (1) Poor english in your email and (2) Cannot be bothered to read the job description, you have been rejected anyway.

Thank you for your interest.

The reply:

Dear [employer],
Please do not judge the book by its cover. First of all, do not critise on other english in near future as your's english in you poor email correction as per below:
(1) no need ( actual:not necessary)
(2) cannot be bothered(no phrases) ( actual:not bothered(past).

Please accurate yourself before giving advice to others.Please learn to be professional.Means when we as in corporate recruitment replyed an email the specification must be in manner notifivation such as below:

On behalf of ***** would like to inform you that the processing period for this position has just ended. Unless ***** has contacted you, it would be advisable to consider your application not shortlisted. Please be assured that your application has been given its due consideration by ****.

Secondly, *****didn't attach any job description. Please do not blame others if you didn't do your job properly.

Anyway, Thanks for the previous consideration. Take care.

Regards,

G****

And in an additional email from G****:
did you not read the job description?what english is that?

What will happen to Malaysia if there are other applicants such as this who will scare away potential investors/employers from expanding their base in Malaysia?

What happened to humility and manners? Don't they teach these at school any more?

Think. What will happen to the generation that witnessed the racist attacks by the principals and other incidents? I dread to think of the monsters that could be mutating at this moment!

And who is responsible?


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