April 28, 2011

Old People Say the Darndest Things!

This is going to be short post. It's a version of the show, Kids Say the Darndest Things :P. It's too priceless not to post even if it's short.

Today my 66 year old mom said she wanted to tag along to the farm. So I said ok but I told her to get ready early because I need to reach there early as I have a lot of chores to do. I told her that we would go in around 2:30 pm.

So she got ready early but I suddenly had stomach ache. I drank some herbal tea the night before, I guess besides helping to keep my blood pressure low, it's also an anti-oxidant. I made few visits to the 'bank'. While waiting for me, she decided to take a nap in her room.

So I'm ready now and I went to her room. I said, "Mom? Mom? Ready to go?". She woke up from her nap and she had this puzzled look on her face. She said, "I thought we're in the farm already?".

The first thing that popped into my mind then was "Huh?". I felt like a fly that just hit a windshield LOL. Blur blur. I didn't know you could dream your way to a destination LOL.

April 24, 2011

Granpa's World War II Experience

Been meaning to blog this; wanted to share this, especially to my family members who might not know this side of my late maternal grandfather's experience.

As far as I know, hitherto, I'm the only one in the family who knows this story. When asked, even my mom  conceded that my grandfather did not tell her this story.

I can't remember the exact details of the story as it was told to me more than 20 years ago and I was struggling to follow the story as my grandfather was reminiscing to himself more than he was 'telling' the story to me! He would pause and revisit earlier part of the story to add additional details which only confused me more. However, I do remember the gist of it. 

One afternoon, more than 20 years ago, my grandfather beckoned me to his side. He was resting on a reclining chair in the main living room of his home at Kampung Takuli. I remembered that we were the only two at home then. He told me to get a chair and sit next to him. I obediently did as I was told. 

April 16, 2011

The situation now in Malaysia

This was posted in UBF's Facebook page by one Mr Barry Gapang. I got his permission to reproduce it here. 
Sarawakians, vote wisely....Read this! (Where is our direction for our next generation...? 
Greetings to all,
For those who started work around 1973, a 1.3 Litre Japaness car was RM 7000
Today the equivalent is..... let's say RM 60000...........8.5 times
In 1973 a double storey house was about RM 45,000..or less Today it is about RM 300,000............6.6 times(It was advertised in a school magazine at 37,000, Taman Lumba Kuda)
This makes it 8.1 times
In 1973 an Engineer's pay was RM 1000 Today it is about RM 2000 +/-..............2 times.....
From 1973 to 2008........35 years......what is the Trend.? Bearish !!!!
In a stock market when the trend is bearish , what do we do?...Exit !!!
When a country's trend is bearish what do we do?
This Bearish trend is more difficult to turn around as compared to the stock market.
I have used these 3 items House, Car & Salary as a measurement of the country' s performance for the past 35 years......
Foreigners also ask about these 3 items to gauge our standard of living.
There is a book I saw in MPH bookshop entitled :
Malaysia : The Failed Nation some of you may be interested to read it.
I agreed with the writer.....
This morning I was having Coffee at McDonald ( now the coffee..100 % Arabica beans..is quite good@ RM 2.90......free refill!! I asked how much per hour is their pay?RM 3.00 ! x 8 hours = RM 24 per day... x 25 days = RM 600 per month
In Australia my daughter works part-time during her University days..she worked at Gloria Jeans Coffee.... the pay? A$ 14.00 ( @ 3.15 = RM 44 per hour......x 8 = RM 352 per day !!! x 25 days = RM 8800
13.3 times more !!!!! ......Price of houses in Perth is about the same in KL
Price of cars are about 23 % cheaper...in Perth.( Australia )
I think more and more people are becoming aware of this Bearish trend.
Developed country by 2020?...means High income country
Let's look at some as of year 2005 ( Financial Times )
USA GNP per capita US$ 35400
UK GNP per capita US$ 25510
Australia GNP per capita US$ 19530
Singapore GNP per capita US $ 20690
These are developed countries by income measurement
Malaysia's GNP per capita US$ 3540 ( STILL 4 FIGURES - RIGHT ??? )
Year 2020..developed country?Really...a sad story.
Worrying Trends, isn't it??
Ringgit sliding further and further under BN
Gan | Jul 8, 08 4:03pm
Recently, I interviewed some fresh graduates applying for jobs with my engineering company. I accepted two applicants on a starting salary of RM1600. It struck me as odd that 15 years ago, I myself started work as a fresh graduate engineer for the same pay.
Indeed, if you compare the salaries of graduates now and 15 or even 20 years ago, you'll find little difference but that their purchasing power is vastly different. It's the same story when you compare salaries of shop assistants, office staff, factory workers and others.
To compound the effect of inflation, the ringgit has depreciatedgreatly against all major currencies. The real income of mostMalaysians has moved backwards.
This is why many Malaysians suffer under the petrol hike. The root of the problem is that our real incomes have shrunk in the face of inflation and depreciated currency.. Malaysians have not been spoiled by subsidy but are unable to move out of the time lock of stagnated and depreciated incomes..
If you compare the per capita incomes of Singapore , Hong Kong , Taiwan and South Korea , they are a few multiples of ours although at independence all these countries were the on the same economic level as Malaysia .
What has gone wrong? We were the rising star of East Asia , a country rich in natural resources with the most promising potential.
The reason is massive corruption, plundering of resources, wastage of funds for huge non- economic projects, anti-public interest deals with politically-linked companies and passing-of-the -buck to the man in the street..
Four decades of NEP where education, economic and employment policies are defined by race ensured that meritocracy took a back seat.
Our university standard has declined and the today best and brightest of our youths emigrate to escape the racial inequility only to contribute to the economies of foreign lands.
The reputation of our judiciary which was held in high esteem worldwide has sunk so low that foreign investors now insist on arbitration in Singapore in case of any dispute.
We also have a slew of oppressive laws such as the ISA, OSA, Uuca and PPPA which stifle free speech and are designed to keep the ruling parties in power..
We have become less attractive to foreign investors and now lag behind our neighbours in Asean for foreign direct investment. Even some corporations who have established themselves here are moving out.
All the economic and social malaise cannot help but affect the value of our currency. The strength of a country's currency is after all, a reflection of its fundamentals.
Furthermore, Bank Negara has a policy of weak ringgit to helpexporters, never mind the burden on the common folk. The government is pro-corporation, not pro-rakyat. (no different from singapore which is also pro foreign talent!)
While the poor and middle-class are squeezed, an elite group getsbreathtakingly rich. We have the distinction of having the worseincome disparity in Asean. A re-distribution of wealth is under way from the poor and middle-class to a select group of politically-connected elite.
The end result of this re-distribution will be a small group of super-rich while the majority are pushed into poverty and the middle-class shrinks. This is what happens when the rich gets richer and the poor get poorer.
There is much that is wrong with Malaysia . The responsibility forpulling the country backwards can be laid squarely at the door of the ruling regime. It is BN's mis-governance, racial politics and culture of patronage which has seen the country regress economically and socially..
We seem to be sliding down a slippery slope, further down with each passing year of BN's rule. Another five years of BN rule and we'll be at Indonesia 's standard under Suharto. Another 10 years and we'll be touching the African standard.. What a way to greet 2020.
Is there any hope for Malaysia ?
Faced with the reality that BN will never change, many Malaysians desperate for change turn their lonely eyes to Anwar Ibrahim.
Pakatan Raykat has promised to treat all races fairly, to plug wastage, fight corruption, reform the judiciary and make Malaysia more competitive.
But some have questioned whether we can trust Anwar and his loose coalition of disparate parties..
The question is not whether we can trust Anwar and Pakatan Rakyat but whether we can afford not to.
Can we afford another ten years of BN's misrule?  

April 13, 2011

Muslim Albanians praying to The Virgin Mary?

AFP reported a miracle of sort that itself is a result of another miracle. 

I'm sure the Mufti of Perak will frown upon what is happening at a Serb Orthodox monastery and to be honest, I have my reservations about it too but we can't deny that what is going on there is heartening and encouraging.

Sokalica monastery in Kosovo
It's only slightly more than a decade ago, 1998 to 1999, that Christian Serbians and Muslim Albanians were slaughtering each other in what is now known infamously as the Kosovo Conflict. If you are too young to remember that, it was one of the darkest moment of humanity. Massacre and genocide. Many heart wrenching stories of family lost and atrocities done on civilians because of their race. 

Today, peace has returned to Kosovo, or at least a semblance of peace has returned (Kosovo has declared its independence from Serbia in 2008).  

April 12, 2011

Election Commission bungled up?!

I successfully registered myself as a voter last year. Someone told me it would take 13 months for the Election Commission(EC) to get my name listed. Not wanting to miss my opportunity to cast my vote in the next Sabah general election, I rushed down to our Post Office in Beaufort and registered myself.

Three or four months later, I went to EC’s official portal and checked online whether my name was in! Entered my MyKad number and voila! To my pleasant surprise, my name is in and it didn’t take 13 months.Pleasantly surprised until I checked my details!   

This is the source of my consternation:


Locality 178 / 28 / 05 / 010 – KG CINA
Polling District 178 / 28 / 05 – MESAPOL
State Assemblies 178 / 28 – SINDUMIN
Parliamentary 178 – SIPITANG

You may check your polling details here.

Kampung Cina is a residential area right smack in the town of Beaufort! Why on earth would I be relegated as a voter in Sindumin, 75 KM away?!

Is it because Beaufort is not a polling district? Wait, let me google that. Oh! Here we are! Says here, for parliament seat, I should be voting at P.177 Beaufort and for state assemblies, it would either be N.25 Klias or N.26 Kuala Penyu.

How on earth could Kampung Cina, which is geographically located in the heart of Beaufort town, be part of Mesapol, Sindumin and Sipitang?

April 10, 2011

The Apple of my Eye's BIRTHDAY!

My son, Elijah, turned 7 on 30 March 2011! I had planned to go back to Singapore to celebrate his birthday with him but was unable to at the last minute because I had to finish replanting my chillis :(. 

My all grown up and too old for Daddy to kiss me son
My wife called me on March 1st and told me that when she asked Jaja (that's what we call him) what he had wanted for his birthday, he said all he wanted was a birthday card and my wife told me to send him one. I must admit that since he was a baby, my wife and I (especially me) have been pampering him with expensive toys! I know it's bad but he's our only son, what can you do? :P 

I remember one early morning when my wife was bathing him, he was like 2.5 year old then, I sneaked out of our home and went to Compass Point, a shopping mall near where we lived. I waited for Kiddy Palace to open and then the minute they did, I made my way to where they displayed their battery powered motorized kid size cars and bought one for about SGD400/-. 

April 8, 2011

Army just got more comfortable?

I got these posters via email from my wife. She knows I've reservations about my son being able to serve his National Service. All Singaporean males are required to serve 2 years of National Service. Most of the able bodied males serve in the nation's army, air force and navy while the rest serve in the police, coastguard and civil defense force.

Unlike the training that our boys and girls get while doing their national service here in Malaysia, these boys train with real guns and very very real bullets. My son hates loud noises, not hate, he's terrified of loud noises. So I'm worried for him, how is he going to cope with his phobia when they are firing live shells? And then the hardships that comes with their training! The long distance hikes carrying heavy equipment on his back!

Now that I've seen these posters, I'm relieved!! Now I only have to work harder so that I can hire a maid in the future!

April 6, 2011

My heart ache for you little Saiful Syazani

Pic credit : www.asiaone.com

Little Saiful Syazani Saiful Sopfidee, was only 7 years old when he returned to his maker on 3 April 2011. In the evening of 31 March 2011, while most children of his age were perhaps watching TV, playing their playstations or doing their homeworks under the watchful and loving eyes of their parents; Little Saiful Syazani was allegedly tied up to a window in a religious school in Jejawi, Arau, Perlis. 

He was accused of stealing and allegedly, severely punished by a 26 year old Uztaz for 2 hours. The Uztaz (religious teacher) was the hostel warden of Sekolah Rendah Islam Al Furqanm in Jejawi.

From other sources, it was allegedly that Little Saiful Syazani cried and pleaded for the Uztaz to stop the punishment. Little Saiful Syazani pleaded his innocence, only to be met with more beating. 

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