How should we judge a government?

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

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

Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience - Mark Twain

Why we should be against censorship in a court of law: Publicity is the very soul of justice … it keeps the judge himself, while trying, under trial. - Jeremy Bentham

"Our government is like a baby's alimentary canal, with a happy appetite at one end and no
responsibility at the other. " - Ronald Reagan

Government fed by the people

Government fed by the people

Career options

Career options
I suggest government... because nobody has ever been caught.

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?

Corruption so prevalent it affects English language?
Corruption is so prevalent it affects English language?

When there's too much dirt...

When there's too much dirt...
We need better tools... to cover up mega corruptions.

Prevent bullying now!

Prevent bullying now!
If you're not going to speak up, how is the world supposed to know you exist? “Orang boleh pandai setinggi langit, tapi selama ia tidak menulis, ia akan hilang di dalam masyarakat dan dari sejarah.” - Ananta Prameodya Toer (Your intellect may soar to the sky but if you do not write, you will be lost from society and to history.)

Thursday, January 10, 2013

How Slovenian Metka spent her day with us

We were supposed to meet Metka and Cheng when they returned from Koh Lipe, Thailand. To get there, they took a flight from KL to Langkawi and then by ferry to Koh Lipe. On their return trip, they stayed a night in Langkawi, then by ferry to Kuala Kedah, by bus to Alor Setar, to take a coach to Ipoh. Cheng texted me that the bus leaves at 1.30 pm, arrives at 4 pm. We were surprised at the early arrival time given but we were there on time and found out that it should be 5 pm!

Before Cheng booked the coach ticket, I reminded her to find out which bus station in Ipoh, because there is now a brand new, grand one known as Terminal Aman Jaya in Meru, which to me, is another 'development at the expense of public convenience'. But I was informed the bus goes to Medan Gopeng, the old and dilapidated temporary bus station near Rapat Setia. Surprisingly, the car park was full, which was testimony to its continued relevance because of its convenient location when compared with the new one. I actually told Cheng that if the bus stops at TAJ as well, she should choose that one simply because we have yet to visit it!

Metka had been with Cheng for 5 years in Maastricht, yet we have not met before. When introduced, I said, 'finally we met.' Later, I joked about her upside down photo in FB which would require me to do a handstand to recognize her!

While deciding where to go, Cheng suggested taking her round Ipoh first and we ended up at Burps and Giggles, a bistro which is well known for its unusual interior decoration. Much of the old shops' original state was maintained, which is interesting...

We had a drink there, leaving dinner for later. They walked from there to Sinhalese Bar where we met the second generation owner. When I told him Patrick Teoh mentioned about his place, he didn't seem to know. From there they walked to Dataran Ipoh, past Ipoh Club, Court House, Railway Station and so on until I picked them in front of the police station and broke the law at the same time (double-line)!

As it was still bright, I suggested that we look for the Tibetan temple in Tambun, based on the directions I had posted earlier. I almost missed the junction in front of the police station, and again, had to break the rules when I jumped the queue to join vehicles turning right. It was fairly easy to find the narrow road leading to the temple. We passed through a small cattle farm and mainly pomelo orchards before we caught sight of the statue. The dogs in the area were surprisingly tame and the ladies walked and took pictures while I drove the car. The gate to the temple was closed. I must say the temple and statue were old and I could tell the construction was modest in terms of scale and costs. Then my wife remembered what her sister-in-law once described to her the place where she goes for meditation: 'you cannot find it easily'.

Cheng described how expensive it was in Langkawi, to have seafood. So my wife suggested Public Restaurant (Pusing) in Horley Street. As it is a popular restaurant for hosting wedding dinners, she had to check it out before we parked the car. It so happened, the whole of the groundfloor was for walk-in customers and we could find a table. Who was at the next table, but 3-term ex-ADUN, Datuk Lee Kon Yin! We had a short chat while waiting for the food. I am sure the prices in this restaurant were unlikely to be cheaper than Langkawi, but we knew what to expect in terms of taste.

For dessert, we proceeded to 'Tong Sui Kai' where we bought packets of kueh, ais kacang and drinks for later. Among other things discussed, I asked about Slovenia. Briefly, it was one of six states carved out of the old Yugoslavia and has a population of just over 2 million. Its capital is Ljubljana. For more info:

Metka asked what time she should be up the next morning and my wife said, '7 am'. I knew not to take that seriously. Sure enough, we were ready past 9 am! First stop was Indian breakfast at Ganapathi, then the todi place in a coconut estate in Pusing. Metka even attempted to climb a coconut tree for a picture. She tried todi and we bought a small bottle. After that, we visited Papan.

Cheng then visited her uncle at the factory. Then we took a drive through Jalan Changkat, Batu Gajah where all the government premises are: GH, Prison, Court House, Police Station, DO Residence, and so on. She took some pictures in front of  what used to be a kindergarten (to be demolished to make way for a new building) at St. Joseph Church (Cheng's kindergarten days).

As usual, we tried to take in the tin dredge on the way to Tg. Tualang. We were lucky Steven was in. He could still remember her last visit during her HELP college days. We bought some large custard apples (Australian specie) grown next to the dredge. After that, we went to Clearwater Sanctuary Golf Resort. We past a sign with a picture of monitor lizard (but looks like a dinosaur)

and soon after, we saw a young one which appeared unperturbed when Cheng took pictures of it!

For lunch, we went back to Pusing for noodles.

It was back to the house to pack for the trip to KLIA later in the afternoon. Metka's flight was after 10 pm, but we had to allow for 2 hours check in time, 3 hours travelling time. As I mentioned to her, I didn't mind sending her to the airport because it was an opportunity to chat with Cheng during the journey. Cheng's 3 weeks in Malaysia includes few days in Thailand and another few days in Indonesia. She and her mum are now in Jogjakarta. Her former Masters students are hosts to their stay.


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