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.)

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

With the international spotlight on us, we should have been more open and transparent

There is no doubt we are lacking in sophisticated equipment in Search and Rescue operations. Even if we do possess the latest equipment, we are likely to lack the necessary trained personnel to man them.

For the MH370 search, we are relying on 25 other countries' equipment and personnel in the hope it can help bring us closer to finding the missing plane which mystery in the almost total loss in communication can be described as unprecedented. Yet, there were reports of Malaysia's reluctance in sharing vital information. Even under such dire circumstances, our old habits of holding back information for the purpose of spinning later seem to die hard. I believe our lack of credibility stems from being opaque and vague in dissemination of information, despite having daily press conferences.

The following reports suggest so:

According to The Sun:

'A transcript of the radio telephony conversation between the co-pilot and Malaysian air traffic controllers that was published in a UK-based news portal is untrue.

Department of Civil Aviation's (DCA) director-general Datuk Azharuddin Abdul Rahman said today that.the transcript of the cockpit communications published by The Telegraph ( is inaccurate.

He declined to say if it was partially or fully inaccurate when asked.

"We are unable to give details as the transcript is part of the investigations and cannot be revealed." he said.

It is learnt that investigators found nothing suspicious in the contents of the original transcript and the flow of conversation throughout the duration of communications was normal.


According to Hussein Hamid:

MH370 : Another reason why the world no longer believes what the Malaysian Government says.

'There have been criticism made of Malaysia's handling of the MH370 incident by China and many others as evident from the unfavorable comments in medias overseas. Following are two articles regarding the final cockpit communication from MH370. The first article is from Yahoo!7 and Agencies and the second one from FMT in Malaysia.

All Malaysia had to do to tell the world that what Malaysian authorities are saying is the truth is to release the transcript of the final cockpit communication but instead what Hishamuddin said was:
“The original transcript is with the investigation team. They need to analyse it, however, the details cannot be published to the media,”

“I can confirm to you that there was nothing abnormal in it,”

It would be more credible if Hishamuddin just release the transcript and end the speculation!

Does he not understand that his words are no longer believed by those inside and outside Malaysia?'

'Secondly, it appears that the loss of communication and subsequent change of MH370's direction occurred at the point where the air traffic control in Kuala Lumpur were to handover to those in Ho Chi Minh City.

"If I was going to steal the aeroplane, that would be the point I would do it," said Stephen Buzdygan, a former British Airways pilot.

"There might be a bit of dead space between the air traffic controllers. It was the only time during the flight they would maybe not have been able to be seen from the ground."

The development was reported in London's Telegraph, which claimed to have received no confirmation from authorities.

The Daily Telegraph has repeatedly asked Malaysia Airlines, Malaysia's Civil Aviation Authority and the office of Najib Razak, the Malaysian prime minister, to confirm the communications record; only the prime minister's office responded, saying it would not release this data.'


According to Jeffrey FK Phang:

'In the MH370 case, the many answers given at the official press conferences border on misinformation.
No clear facts were stated as many were “still subject to official investigations”. No clear statement about the carriage of hazardous cargo – were they mangosteens or highly inflammable batteries?
If they were dangerous cargo, an elaboration of the security precautions taken in compliance with international requirements would be pacifying to the public.
This accumulation of unanswered and partly answered questions give rise to unhealthy speculations and rumours.
International press coverage on MH370 is forced to speculate even as we now hesitate to reveal our cargo manifest to aid the Australians in the SAR operation.'



Tuesday, March 25, 2014

PM Confirmed: MH370 lost in Indian Ocean

"After 17 days of extensive search for the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370, authorities have finally concluded that the aircraft can only be in the southern region of the Indian Ocean.

Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak revealed this tonight in a hastily convened press conference at Putra World Trade Centre, Kuala Lumpur.

Najib said the confirmation is based on "a type of analysis never before used" on Immarsat's satellite data."


How British satellite company Inmarsat tracked down MH370:

"Inmarsat’s role in the search for Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 began immediately after the aircraft disappeared. Although the main aircraft communications addressing and reporting system (which would usually transmit the plane's position) was switched off, one of Inmarsat’s satellites continued to pick up a series of automated hourly 'pings' from a terminal on the plane, which would normally be used to synchronise timing information.

By analysing these pings, Inmarsat was able to establish that MH370 continued to fly for at least five hours after the aircraft left Malaysian airspace, and that it had flown along one of two 'corridors' – one arcing north and the other south. The plane was reportedly flying at a cruising height above 30,000 feet.

"We looked at the Doppler effect, which is the change in frequency due to the movement of a satellite in its orbit. What that then gave us was a predicted path for the northerly route and a predicted path the southerly route," explained Chris McLaughlin, senior vice president of external affairs at Inmarsat. "That’s never been done before; our engineers came up with it as a unique contribution."


We have yet to retrieve any item which can be identified conclusively to MH370.

It is vital to find the black box in order to know more about what actually happened. With today's technology, the information in the black box can be used to reconstruct in 3-D form what could have happened. Here's an example:


Monday, March 24, 2014

Congratulations to Kak Wan!

PKR - 16,741
BN - 11,362

Majority - 5,379

Malaysiakini's report...

Lim Kit Siang suggested she could be our first female PM. Zahid Hamidi replied that he should not be day-dreaming. Someone commented that if someone like Zahid can be a minister, then Dr Wan Azizah can be PM.

Anyway, we shall see whether the eye doctor can help Malaysia achieve perfect vision of 20/20 by the year 2020.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Kajang by-election: That Wan Azizah shall win is just a formality?

Sakmongkol AK47: On Political Platforms in the Kajang by-Election. Manifesto vs MONEYfesto


"Last night, I attended the launching of Reformasi 2 at Kajang stadium. The stadium was filled to the brim. It was a huge crowd. As usual this morning, after waking up with arithmetitis, mainstream media will downplay the size of the huge crowd. Maybe 232 attnded.
There were so many speakers. So we end up mostly making rallying calls. The political platform has been explained widely throughout  the campaign period.
That Wan Azizah shall go on to win this by-election is just a formality. The question is how big will her majority be."

"The non-Malays will come out in big numbers to vote Wan Azizah. They are motivated by one reason only. The UMNO people can challenge them to explain their conduct and ask once again what do the Chinese want- that will be an irrelevant question. The question will be simply ignored. The basic desire and motivation is just to see BN get its butt kicked. They don’t like BN and its a subjective choice. Nothing much to explain."

"...The Malays who did not vote Pakatan the last time because they didn’t want to vote a CC Lee will  come out to vote this time. They will vote Wan Azizah."

Rest of the article:

This is no ordinary by-election. That Anwar created it so that he could be Menteri Besar of Selangor was known. That BN hastily put an end to his ambition is also generally accepted by the public, despite BN's denial. That Wan Azizah has to take Anwar's place as candidate is a reaction to BN's malicious scheme of things, not of her choice. Could it be a blessing in disguise that Wan Azizah shall benefit from sympathy votes, and as a result, become MB of Selangor? Highly possible, given the turnout of Reformasi 2. It is also possible that we might get to have Wan Azizah as first woman PM of Malaysia at the next GE.

Sodomy I was unprecedented in its aim of denying Anwar a chance to be PM. That Sodomy II was used again seems so lacking in ideas and certainly malicious in intention. We should let the powers be know that whether a person is fit to be PM should be left to the people to decide, not anyone else under the pretext of protecting the country. The Kajang by-election is now like a referendum which the voters shall decide on behalf of the rest of the country's voters. The margin of majority is vital in this context.

Friday, March 21, 2014

We have learned quite a bit from the ill-fated MH370

With the constant inflow of information from all and sundry, about plausible or probable causes or likely scenarios, we now know about primary and secondary transponders; black box (actually orange in colour) and its uses; satellite images and their limitations; flight simulators and their uses and abuses; capabilities as well as limitations (mainly to safeguard national security) of radar monitors; and so on.

We have learned more about geography, especially where the oceans are and how deep they could be.

We have also learned how unprepared we are in case of hostile aircrafts entering our airspace. This is not unexpected when dealing with security: when nothing happens, it can be boring for those in charge to be constantly on the alert.

Though the incident has shown how cooperative the 25 countries can be in their joint efforts to locate the missing plane, it also highlighted the reluctance to divulge certain information which could undermine each country's national defence capability.

With the daily press conferences given by acting Transport Minister, DCA chief, MAS CEO, and occasionally, by some other ministers or relevant officers, the importance of English as an international language of communication has also been highlighted. Those with foreign education like Hishamuddin and Najib had confidence in putting across their points, though they are hampered by the lack of information to offer and the latter was known to have avoided answering any questions from the floor.

One thing I noticed is that we had been fooled by some TV films and series which gave us the wrong impression that the latest technologies on satellites and the cyberworld could do wonders within seconds. Recently, I watched an episode of Hawaii 5 'O' which showed how easy it was for someone with the right knowledge to hijack a plane using a notebook remotely. It was also easy for someone from 5 'O' to counter the hijack and arrest the culprit in time. Though it is not impossible for such things to happen, the fast-tracking of the scenes in an episode gave us the wrong impression that almost anything could be done with the timely press of the right buttons!

The reality of MH370 is such that the latest satellite images from Australia could not be confirmed immediately, and to get to the right location would take at least 2 to 3 days! A couple of planes tried but could not locate the debris. We were told that planes or ships have to make sure they have sufficient fuel to search and to return back to base! A warship using nuclear power is more helpful where this is concerned.

So far, no cost is spared in the efforts to locate the missing plane. But finance is something which will crop up later. The big brothers like US, Australia and China (almost two thirds of passengers are from China) are obliged to help, in the hope that they can show off their capability if any search is proven positive. In comparison, host country Malaysia is seen as lacking in assets as well as reluctance to use its own submarine, for instance, for this vital search and rescue mission to locate its own plane.

By the way, we taught the world how to be more specific in describing family ties:
Christianne Amanpour, quoting from Anwar’s press secretary, had asked Anwar to confirm if Zaharie was indeed his "son’s wife’s mother’s father’s brother’s son".

We can't be more specific than that, can we? In other words, Zaharie was Anwar's daughter-in-law's uncle, or her mother's cousin, descriptions of which are rather vague to us, Asians.


Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Liew Chin Tong: Can Kak Wan become PM?

'Umno strategists believe that jailing Anwar would lead to Pakatan’s downfall, repeating the disintegration of Barisan Alternatif in 2001. Of course, that is what Umno-BN wants, so that it could continue in power forever.

But there could be other scenarios arising if Anwar is jailed...'

'An accidental, reluctant PM

Umno may not have anticipated that barring Anwar from running in elections would mean releasing Kak Wan to realise her full potential.

For the past 16 years, Anwar’s image has been constantly been subjected to vicious attack by the media - from his personal integrity, to allegations against his party. Little by little, the smear campaign has taken effect, particularly among women in semi-rural areas.

On the other hand, Kak Wan’s image is unscathed. For the second time, she steps in to contest on behalf of Anwar, to seek justice. It is a symbolic political image with a strong message.

Her timely ascension could be Pakatan’s hidden weapon. Even more so, in contrast to the vastly different image attributed to Najib’s wife, Rosmah Mansor. As Umno scrambles for “bullets” to take down Kak Wan, the worst that Khairy Jamaluddin could think of is to accuse her of being Anwar’s “puppet”, an allegation easily answered.

I have reason to believe that Kak Wan could become an accidental, reluctant prime minister, inadvertently aided by BN. That reluctance itself is a sign of sincerity and honesty.'

Rest of article in Malaysiakini:

LIEW CHIN TONG is DAP national political education director and MP for Kluang.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Kim Quek's banned 'The March to Putrajaya' will be heard in The Palace of Justice in Putrajaya soon

'The Court of Appeal will hear the appeal against a High Court judgment upholding the seizure and banning of Kim Quek’s book ‘The March to Putrajaya’ at 9am on March 17, Monday, at Court No 2, Second Floor, Palace of Justice, Putrajaya.

On Aug 19, 2010, the police swooped on bookshops across the country to confiscate my said book, which is a collection of my articles on current politics written over the period from 2005 to 2010. A month later, then-home minister Hishammuddin Hussein signed an order to ban the book on the grounds of it being “prejudicial to public order” and had the order gazetted on Sept 27, 2010.'


Will it get a fair hearing? I wonder.

The Palace of Justice in Putrajaya is where the top echelons of our Malaysian judiciary hear appeals against decisions of the High Court. It should be a paragon of justice where Malaysians seek, in cases where they think they had been unfairly treated or when they are unhappy with the lower courts' decisions. But besides the paradox of the different translation of the name into Malay ('Istana Kehakiman' instead of 'Istana Keadilan', which many people believe, for obvious political reasons), many Malaysians do not have full confidence in getting justice served here. Why?

As a layman, I was perturbed when an Umno lawyer was 'parachuted' into the judiciary and shortly made Chief Justice, a few years ago. It was obvious the powers that be could not be bothered about the possible adverse perception of the people nor worry over 'justice must be seen to be fair'. We are supposed to believe then CJ's promise that he will be fair. The Perak power grab hearings were under his watch and we all know most people in Perak were unhappy with what happened as well as the final court verdict.

Recently, Anwar Ibrahim was convicted in Sodomy II by the Court of Appeal; followed by Karpal Singh's conviction under the Sedition Act, for what he said relating to the Perak case. Both face possible disqualification as MPs, and we are being told that both cases were not politically motivated! In Anwar's case, the timing of the hearings, the speed at arriving at the verdict, and the unusual haste in sentencing which affected Anwar's candidacy at the Kajang by-election, had proven to all and sundry that it was politically motivated. Yet, we are being told otherwise, and we are supposed to accept it as the truth and should not be questioned. We actually can't question without flouting the laws.

I am also worried that the specially appointed lead prosecutor in Sodomy II, Shafee Abdullah, a high profile Umno lawyer, might be appointed the next Attorney General. Why? Because he was quoted to have boasted that he needed just 2 to 3 hours to nail Anwar. Is that becoming of someone who can be entrusted to be our next AG?

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Daily Mail: Has MH370 finally been found?

'Search teams flock to spot of suspected crash site after China releases satellite image of debris in the South China Sea... where rescuers first started looking
Chinese government satellite imagery has been released which shows the 'suspected crash site' of Malaysian Airlines Flight 370
The blurry images appear to show three large pieces of debris - the largest of which is 78-feet by 72-feet
Discovered near to the aircraft's original flight plan
The satellite captured the images on March 9 at 11am - the day after the crash - but they were only released on Wednesday
The images were published on Wednesday evening local time in Beijing around 11 hours ago
Oil rig worker claims to have witnessed a burning plane flying near to the co-ordinates of the satellite images
The distance between the last known location of MH370 and new Chinese satellite image is 141 miles northeastwards
The Chinese confirmed they have deployed aircraft and vessels to verify the debris
Malaysian search aircraft have also been sent
The US Navy will be deploying two navy vessels to the area'

Read more: 

Update: To be fair, since my posting, Acting Transport Minister had refuted this claim, and quoted China's Ambassador to Malaysia who said the release of the satellite image was unofficial and a mistake.

Unrelated to the above controversy, but relevant to our continued interest in the still missing plane, I find the following graphics from AFP, informative and helpful in our understanding of the equipment involved in tracking jetliners:


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

When we are kept in the dark, we can't help speculating

We are into the fifth day since the ill-fated plane MH370 went missing without a trace. While we can understand the enormous tasks being handled by all those responsible in finding the missing plane, inconsistent reports by different authorities, inaccurate reports with some being refuted and corrected later could only lead to more confusion.

Foreign reports help us in understanding more about the equipment being used and their efficacy under such circumstances.

Six important facts you're not being told about lost Malaysia Airlines Flight 370

Malaysia is handling MH370 incompetently

Sunday, March 09, 2014

MH370 MAS's passenger manifest

As I am posting this (9.10 am), I am watching TV3 live telecast, with no news yet about the missing plane.

We can only pray for the safety of the crew and passengers on that fateful flight, as listed in MAS's official passenger manifest:

More about the passengers:

'The flight was carrying a total number of 239 passengers and crew – comprising 227 passengers (including 2 infants), 12 crew members. The passengers were of 14 different nationalities - citizens from:-
1. China – 152 plus 1 infant
2. Malaysia - 38
3. Indonesia - 12
4. Australia - 6
5. France - 3
6. United States of America – 3 plus 1 infant
7. New Zealand - 2
8. Ukraine - 2
9. Canada - 2
10. Russia - 1
11. Italy - 1
12. Taiwan - 1
13. Netherlands - 1
14. Austria - 1
This flight was a code share with China Southern Airlines.'

The passports of two passengers listed: No.63 Kozel/Christian, Austrian, aged 30 and No.101 Maraldi/Luigi, Italian, aged 37, were reported to have been stolen in Thailand, and it is believed they did not travel on the flight.
Update on these two impostors:
'Two people who boarded the missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 using the stolen passports of an Italian and an Austrian appear to have bought their tickets together, adding to the mystery...'

A total of 50 Malaysians (38 passengers and 12 crew members) were on board...

'The flight was piloted by Captain Zaharie Ahmad Shah, a Malaysian aged 53. He has a total flying hours of 18,365hours. He joined Malaysia Airlines in 1981. First officer, Fariq Ab.Hamid, a Malaysian, is aged 27. He has a total flying hours of 2,763 hours. He joined Malaysia Airlines in 2007.'

Out of the 227 passengers, 20 were from one company:
'A Texas semiconductor firm said Saturday that 20 of its employees were confirmed passengers aboard a missing Malaysia Airlines jet that has abruptly vanished.
Among the Freescale Semiconductor employees aboard Flight MH370 were 12 people from Malaysia and another eight from China, president and CEO Gregg Lowe said.'

'The 19 artists from China who were on MH370 were part of the 35-strong delegation who attended an art exhibition themed Chinese Dream: Red and Green Painting in Kuala Lumpur from Tuesday to Thursday.
Daniel Liau, who is the director of Art Peninsular Enterprise, the exhibition organiser, said he last contacted the delegation head Hou Bo when they boarded the plane on Friday midnight.'

'On Friday evening I rushed home from the theantdaily office in Petaling Jaya at 6pm.
I had promised my younger sister, Hajah Suhaili Mustafa, 30, that I would send her to KLIA as she had to catch the MH370 Boeing 777-200 flight to Beijing.' Lokman Mustafa, The AntDaily

'One of the Malaysian passengers on board the missing MH370 is Singapore scholarship holder Tony Tan Wei Chew, 19, a recent graduate of the republic's St Andrew's Junior College.
Tan was on the way to Beijing for a vacation with his parents, according to his former roommate of two years and compatriot Aaron Quek, reported The Straits Times.'

'I have a cousin (Tan Ah Meng) who was on board of that plane with his wife and son (Tan Wei Chew).' Chin-Huat Wong mentioned in FB.

'Choi Tat Sang, a 74-year-old Malaysian, said his family is still holding out hope that the plane and all on board are safe.
His 45-year-old daughter-in-law, Goh Sock Lay, was the chief flight attendant. Her 14-year-old daughter, an only child, has been crying every day since the plane's disappearance.'


Friday, March 07, 2014

Anwar found guilty of sodomy by Court of Appeal

As is widely expected, though no less shocking, the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court's verdict which acquitted Anwar Ibrahim.

Lead prosecutor M. Shafee, appointed specifically for this appeal, must have felt great for winning this important case. How much was due to his prowess is debatable in this politically motivated manoeuvre to scuttle Anwar's plan to become Menteri Besar of Selangor.

When I read Kim Quek's article in Malaysia Chronicle, I was convinced that the High Court judge had made the right decision, and not as put forward by Shafee...

But alas, this is Malaysia, a land of endless possibilities.

I believe the end of Anwar's political life could spark a renewed vigour in Reformasi, and who better to take over than Puteri Reformasi, Nurul Izzah. She has iconic status which is likely to attract wide support cutting across race and religion. If Rafizi or Nurul had to stand for election in Kajang, I believe the voters will ensure a landslide victory for PKR to prove to BN that ultimately, the people are the boss.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Malaysiakini's report on Prosecution's appeal against Anwar's acquittal in Sodomy II aka Fitnah II

As a layman, I am troubled by the appointment of high-profile Umno lawyer Shafee to head the prosecution (as if the Attorney General Chamber does not have anyone good enough), who was reported to have said that he needs only 2-3 hours to nail Anwar.

The long delay in appeal against the earlier court verdict and the impending Kajang by-election which is widely publicised as a step towards appointing Anwar as Menteri Besar of Selangor, seem to suggest political motivation to disqualify him as a candidate or an elected State Assemblyman.

Link to Malaysiakini's report:

Why court's haste in fixing Sodomy II dates?

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Chew has no fun in Kajang by-election

Having lost in her previous attempt at the election, what chance has she when she will be standing against Leader of the Opposition, Anwar Ibrahim, who almost made it as PM of Malaysia? Even current President of MCA is no match against Anwar. Not even Najib, if he dared to. Even before the election, BN can only hope that she could reduce Anwar's majority as compared with Lee, the ADUN who resigned. With support like the following pic suggests, it is not really encouraging is it?

Even this pic which suggests some Umno support is not the kind which could make a difference...

It was estimated that 80% of Chinese supported Pakatan in the last election. Less than 50% of Malays supported BN. How many of them will support a Chinese against a Malay at this by-election?

A bit on Henry the Eighth

I like the lyrics of Henry the Eighth by Herman's Hermits, often reminded by a friend Henry who we used to meet at breakfast. In his case, we have been introduced to Henry's The Second.

Anyway, for those too young to know, here is the first verse...

"I'm Henry the eighth I am
Henry the eighth I am, I am
I got married to the widow next door
She's been married seven times before
And every one was an Henry (Henry)
She wouldn't have a Willy or a Sam (no Sam)
I'm her eighth old man, I'm Henry
Henry the eighth I am

Second verse same as the first..."

Briefly, about King Henry VIII:

"Henry Tudor, son of Henry VII of England and Elizabeth York, was born at the royal residence, Greenwich Palace, on June 28, 1491. Following the death of his brother, Arthur, he became Henry VIII, king of England. He married six times, beheaded two of his wives and was the main instigator of the English Reformation. His only surviving son, Edward VI, succeeded him after his death on January 28, 1547."

Yet, someone showed he had no sense when asked a question on the King, despite knowing there was a Henry the Eighth! Probably because he was too nervous...

James O'Brien: How many kings of England have been called Henry?
Contestant: Er, well, I know there was a Henry the Eighth ... ER. ER ... Three?

As Michael Crawford's famous series would have it, 'Some mothers do have them'.

Here's the original Herman and his Hermits...


When helpful clues meant nothing at all

James O'Brien: How many kings of England have been called Henry?
Contestant: Er, well, I know there was a Henry the Eighth ... ER. ER ... Three?

Chris Searle: In which European country is Mount Etna ?
Caller: Japan.
Chris Searle: I did say which European country, so in case you didn't hear that, I can let you try again.
Caller: Er ........... Mexico ?

Daryl Denham: In which country would you spend shekels?
Contestant: Holland?
Daryl Denham: Try the next letter of the alphabet.
Contestant: Iceland? Ireland ?
Daryl Denham: (helpfully) It's a bad line. Did you say Israel ?
Contestant: No.

Stewart White: Who had a worldwide hit with, What A Wonderful World?
Contestant: I don't know.
Stewart White: I'll give you some clues: what do you call the part between your hand and your elbow?
Contestant: Arm
Stewart White: Correct. And if you're not weak, you're...?
Contestant: Strong.
Stewart White: Correct - and what was Lord Mountbatten's first name?
Contestant: Louis
Stewart White: Well, there we are then. So who had a worldwide hit with the song, What A Wonderful World?
Contestant: Frank Sinatra?

Phil Wood: What 'K' could be described as the Islamic Bible?
Contestant: Er... ....... ...
Phil Wood: It's got two syllables . . . Kor . .
Contestant: Blimey?
Phil Wood: Ha ha ha ha, no. The past participle of run . . .
Contestant: (Silence)
Phil Wood: OK, try it another way. Today I run, yesterday I . . .
Contestant: Walked?


Tuesday, March 04, 2014

A break it was... an enforced holiday!

That was what happened when my wife's nephew had his wedding at Berjaya Resort in Langkawi. Groom from Ipoh and wife from KL, but wedding in Langkawi. It meant additional costs for hosts and guests alike, but helped in promoting Cuti2 Malaysia.

Guests came from abroad and from other states (including the host parents of groom and bride). Being a keen amateur musician, bride's father arranged for live music entertainment provided by him and his former band members, including a couple of professional musicians from Singapore. Groom happens to be an accomplished pianist, guitarist as well as singer (the last of which most of us did not know until the wedding dinner). His father-in-law proudly announced, 'That's why he is my son-in-law, while his father was quick to add, 'That's why he is my son! ... though I am tone deaf.'

The expected number was 100 guests but actually increased to 180. The hosts were taken by surprise when colleagues of both groom and bride accepted their invitations despite the distance. A number of friends came all the way from Adelaide. Relatives came from US, UK, Hong Kong and Australia. My daughter, Cheng who is groom's cousin, managed to get leave for a week, came from Holland. Another cousin and an uncle came from Sydney.

There was a pre-wedding dinner for relatives and close friends hosted by groom's parents. On wedding day itself, the programme started with Tea Ceremony (groom's relatives, followed by bride's), Wedding Ceremony at the beach followed by Cocktail and then Wedding Dinner. We were serenaded by Singaporean professional acoustic guitarists, the singer sounded like Louis Armstrong. Later, during dinner, bride's father played the drums for most of the night, with his former band members.

Logistics seem to be the main problem, whether the guests came by plane or by ferry. Those who did not rent a vehicle had to depend on the hosts or friends who did. While my son and family took a flight from Subang Airport, my younger daughter took a train to Batu Gajah, to join our car journey early Friday morning to Kuala Kedah to catch a ferry. When we arrived and arranged for overnight parking, we just missed the 9.30 am ferry and had to settle for 10.45 am. Some relatives stayed in Berjaya Hotel itself for the convenience. We stayed in an apartment in Kuah town and my son hired a van instead. The return journey easily takes an hour. We had to depend on him because he is familiar with the routes, having worked in Langkawi occasionally in his former job.

My son managed to arrange for a small birthday party for his son before we left Langkawi.

Most relatives could not make it as expected since it was an impromptu decision. While parking the van, we noticed a parking attendant writing out summons. We asked him and he replied that it is coupon system and that we can buy them at the Fuji shop. While in the shop, I could hear the wife complaining to her husband, 'What are you doing? Reading the papers... we sell coupons, yet we get summoned!' A friend from KL who arrived at the restaurant before us, got a ticket, simply because he didn't even think of it, being on a Sunday. I am sure many visitors got caught for it being a working day.

My daughter's week long holiday this time was spent mainly with us, starting from KLIA when she arrived early Tuesday morning, B.G., then Langkawi, then Kuala Kedah to PJ, then KLIA the next day. Because she missed swimming, I took her to Ipoh's olympic-sized pool. I was surprised she could swim non-stop for about 40 minutes. She enjoyed it so much that she sheepishly asked if she could go again the next morning! She was most surprised at the low ticket price of Rm1, with free parking too! Sometimes, we have to be told that life is good in Malaysia.