Friday, September 29, 2006

MCA leaders reduced to pom-pom girls for UMNO

Grant the Chinese community 2 measly SJK(C) schools under the 9MP and MCA leaders virtually dropped on their knees in gratefulness for the most gracious act of kindness on the part of our keris-wielding Education Minister aka UMNO Youth chief.

MCA sec-gen Datuk Ong Ka Chuan even goes the extra mile to promote Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein as a "far-sighted leader of all races".

In making this observation, MCA secretary-general Datuk Ong Ka Chuan said the move was further testimony of the Barisan Nasional’s way of taking care of all Malaysians. “We will be celebrating our 50th National Day next year. This move is among the many things that reflect the positive Barisan spirit that has prevailed all this while,” he said yesterday.

My, my. The things some people say and do in the name of politics.

Let us remind ourselves once again that the partnership between UMNO & MCA truly reflect the "positive" Barisan spirit which is much understood by them but nevertheless are confusing to the rest of us not in the know.

For example, one of the things that confused us is when Mr Khairy Jamaluddin, who also happens to be Mr Hishamuddin's deputy in UMNO youth, made this most enlightening speech at the Selayang Umno Youth meeting on 27th August. He said:-

“I am not afraid or worried although Wanita MCA yesterday asked for an apology. Why? Because we need not apologise to anyone in our struggle for our religion, race and country.” He added, “We don’t want to hurt our component parties, we value them, but believe me, we have to defend the interests of the Malays or we cannot claim to be Umno Youth of Malaysia.”

So, this "far-sighted leader of all races" happens to also endorse a racist deputy whenever it suits him to do so.

And most shamelessly, our MCA leaders have forgotten how this very same "far-sighted leader of all races" have lambasted their very own vice-president Datuk Ong Tee Keat.

They would not even work up enough courage to speak up for their own member who had done nothing wrong to justify the outrageous attack against him by UMNO members and yet, ... and yet ...

I echo Mave's disgust when he also wrote about this subject earlier:-

MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting has welcomed the Education Ministry’s approval to build two Chinese primary schools under the Ninth Malaysia Plan. He also thanked Education Minister Hishammuddin for the move that could help cater to the wishes of the majority of Malaysian Chinese.

OKT said: “I know Datuk Seri Hishammuddin has very good and long-term plans for our Malaysian education system. He is taking care of our multi-ethnic society.”

I don't know what's there to cheer about? Two schools and the trumpet is blared! MCA? Malaysian Chinese Association? Do they represents the Chinese in Malaysia? I doubt!

This is what MCA is all about. Let us all remember this come next General Election.

Now, excuse me while I go and puke.


Thursday, September 28, 2006

A case for natural birth - it's NATURAL!

Of all the frivolous reasons I could think of when I hear about first-time mothers opting to give birth by caesarean section, the one that takes the cake is the doctor playing up to the fears of the pregnant lady by suggesting the option of going under the knife to bypass the so-called "risks" and pain of natural birth.

This is more common than you'd think.

I have come across many healthy expectant first-time moms who, because of ignorance and undue pressure from their doctors, have been persuaded to go for a C-section so that they do not have to deal with the unexpected arrival of their baby at odd hours, the pain of labour and yes, the horrifying thought of a stretched and loose vagina. We need not go further to discuss the real motives behind such unscrupulous doctors.

I am all for C-sections if there are VALID medical reasons whereby natural birth would be a great risk to the lives of the unborn child and mother.

But other than that, consider the fact that for thousands of years, women have given birth naturally, they have survived the process and that is how it is meant to be.

And please, do not fall for the stupid rumour that your husband will notice how "loose" you have become once the baby has pushed through the birth canal. Nature has a wonderful way of healing and there are in fact Kegel exercises that a new mom can do, not just to tighten up but also to maintain the muscles that will prevent problems like incontinence when you start to age.

Giving birth naturally is really not as scary as some people make it out to be. Yes, it is painful but bear in mind that pain is not going to last forever and ever. It'll be over soon enough and when you hold your baby in your arms, all the pain will be erased from your mind. If you don't believe me, ask the majority of women who continue to go through the same process again and again. If it was THAT bad, would they have willingly gone through it again?

Most people are just crippled by the thought of it, instead of thinking that well, it's all in a day's work, isn't it? That would have made things easier - at least, that was how I overcome my own fears by adopting a rational approach to dealing with the unknown. I went into the labour room thinking I have a job to do and I'd just get on with it, sweat it out if I have to and try not to cause too much fuss if I can help it. Half the battle was already won before I even step into the labour room because I figured it would be pointless and ridiculous to allow myself to be reduced to a total wreck out of fear for something which is part of the natural process of evolution.

I feel that women are sometimes bullied into a magnified state of fear whereby they are already defeated and gave up the whole idea before even giving it a chance. They probably did not factor in the likelihood that once they have a C-section birth, all future pregnancies would most likely end up the same way.

And in this matter, I think private doctors could play a more proactive part in encouraging natural births in first-time mothers and thereby reducing unnecessary c-sections than the numbers we are seeing today, especially in urban areas.


Because there are inherent risks with caesarean section births that a lot of doctors are not telling you.

One of them is as reported in theSUN's frontpage today.

Madam S. Amutha Devi, 28, was expecting her third child and because of placenta complications, she was admitted for one and a half months to Bukit Mertajam Hospital before being sent to Penang Hospital on Sept 11 for close observation.

On Sept 14, Madam Amutha was wheeled into the operating theatre of Penang Maternity Hospital for a caesarean section.

When the doctors brought her son out after the operation, her husband M. Muthukumar saw to his horror a deep cut measuring almost 7cm running down the right side of the baby's face. The doctors told him that the cut would be stitched up and the baby was sent to the plastics surgeon.

A gynaecologist, who did not want to be named, said such cases happen but doctors need to be careful and must know when to stop.

"The doctor usually has to cut through the outer, middle and then inner layer before going through the uterus wall. Sometimes the amniotic fluid is still around the baby, so there is some space. However, when there is no fluid left, and the baby's head is pressed against the inner uterine wall, and if the cut is too deep, the scalpel may nick the baby," he added.

It is most unfortunate and certainly traumatic for the parents and the baby that such a thing had happened. But we have to also bear in mind that this is just ONE of the risks of caesarian births that many may not be aware of.

Whether it was accidental or due to negligence, there was nothing much that Madam Amutha and her husband could do now as they could not have avoided the caesarian section birth nor could they have foreseen such a thing happening to them.

But, what IF Madam Amutha could have given birth naturally but CHOSE to go for the c-section due to non-medical reasons?

Would it be something she and her husband will regret for a long time?


Wednesday, September 27, 2006

New circus could feature talented YB clowns & monkeys

This sounds interesting:-

FIRST IN ASIA: RM30 mil circus academy for Johor Baru (NST, 27 Sep 2006)
Chuah Bee Kim

JOHOR BARU, JOHOR: NOVEL Showcase Company Sdn Bhd, the owner of the Royal London Circus (RLC), is planning to set up a RM30 million circus academy at Danga Bay in Johor Baru, which will be the first of its kind in Asia.

Its president Paul Lee said talks are under way with Danga Bay Sdn Bhd (DBSB) to build the modern training facility to train circus acts such as juggling and acrobatics, among others.

Lee said the facility could also serve as a theatre for the staging of plays as there is a lack of such venues in Johor.


I think some of our MPs in our esteemed Dewan Rakyat would make great trainers for this new circus academy should they ever need to find themselves another job after the next General Election.

After all, it takes a monkey to train another monkey, no? Heck, they have the whole set up there with clowns, actors, jugglers, tongue-twisters, fire-breathers, etc ...

There's just no lack of talents, after all they have been doing a fine job entertaining us for umpteen years.


Sunday, September 24, 2006

Remembering Dad

This post is dedicated to my beloved dad who passed away in 1996.


In Chinese literature, the Tang period (618-907) is considered the golden age of Chinese poetry

Tang Shi San Bai Shou [300 Tang Poems] is a compilation of poems from this period made around 1763 by Heng-tang-tui-shi [Sun Zhu] of the Qing dynasty.

Sun's motivation for compiling the collection sprang from his dissatisfaction with the then popular textbook, the Qian Jia Shi [Poems by A Thousand Poets], an earlier collection from the Tang and Sung (960-1279) periods .

Sun made his own selection of Tang poems based on their popularity and effectiveness in cultivating character. Because it represented equally well each of the classical poetic forms and because it represented the best works by the most prominent Tang poets, Sun's collection became a "best seller" soon after its publication. It has been used for centuries since to teach elementary students to read and write, and also in cultivating character.

Sun's collection is still a classic today, its popularity undiminished. Nearly every Chinese household owns a copy of Tang Shi and poems from it are still included in textbooks and to be memorized by students.

We would like to make this World Wide Web version of the poems as a testimony to its compiler's intent :

" Learning Tang poems three hundred by heart, you can chant poems though you know not the art ."




花間一壺酒, 獨酌無相親;
舉杯邀明月, 對影成三人。
月既不解飲, 影徒隨我身;
暫伴月將影, 行樂須及春。
我歌月徘徊, 我舞影零亂;
醒時同交歡, 醉後各分散。
永結無情遊, 相期邈雲漢。

Li Bai


From a pot of wine among the flowers
I drank alone. There was no one with me --
Till, raising my cup, I asked the bright moon
To bring me my shadow and make us three.
Alas, the moon was unable to drink
And my shadow tagged me vacantly;
But still for a while I had these friends
To cheer me through the end of spring ...
I sang. The moon encouraged me.
I danced. My shadow tumbled after.
As long as I knew, we were boon companions.
And then I was drunk, and we lost one another.
... Shall goodwill ever be secure?
I watch the long road of the River of Stars.


Acknowledgment: The Chinese version of this Tang Shi is edited by UVa based on Mr. Wei-chang Shan's electronic version. English translations are primarily from Witter Bynner's Jade Mountain: A Chinese Anthology, New York : Alfred A. Knopf, 1929.


Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Spot the Pizza Hut Combo Ripoff

This is the latest Pizza Hut Dine-In Lunch Express promotion. Have a look and see if you can spot something which is not quite right with one of the Express Combo.

(Recommended for 1 person)
• 1 Personal Pan Pizza (Super Supremes /
Hawaiian Chicken / Island Supreme only)
• 1 Soup-of-the-Day
• 4pcs Breadstix
• 1 Glass of Pepsi
(Save up to RM8.70)

(Recommended for 1 person)
• 1 Golden Fish Fillets
• 1 Soup-of-the-Day
• 4pcs Breadstix
• 1 Glass of Pepsi
(Save up to RM6.20)

(Recommended for 2 persons)
• 1 Regular Pan Pizza (Super Supreme/
Hawaiian Chicken / Island Supreme only)
• 2 Soup-of-the-Day
• 1 Garlic Bread
• 2 Glasses of Pepsi
(Save up to RM14.80)
(Recommended for 1 person)
• 1 Regular Pasta Perfetto (Meatball Bolognaise / Creamy Carbonara /
Prawn Olio / Spicy Arrabbiata)
• 1 Soup-of-the-Day
• 4 pcs Breadstix
• 1 Glass of Pepsi
(Save up to RM7.20)
(Recommended for 2 person)
• 1 Personal Pan Pizza (Super Supreme/
Hawaiian Chicken / Island Supreme only)
• 1 Regular Pasta Perfetto (Meatball Bolognaise / Creamy Carbonara /
Prawn Olio / Spicy Arrabbiata)
• 2 Soup-of-the-Day
• 4pcs Breadstix
• 2 Glasses of Pepsi
(Save up to RM13.90)


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Is 9MP going to offer only "water & grass" to low-rank govt servants?

Today's headline news in the Star is mind-boggling.

It mentioned that the poverty line in Klang Valley is RM1,500.

Lans Korporal Mohd Izwan Abdullah, 34, who has served the police force for 10 years and diligently upgraded his qualifications by studying part-time and obtaining a degree in HRD from UPM is currently being paid RM1,050 per month.

Detective L/Kpl K. Ganesh, 40, who has a law degree from London and currently serving in the Selangor Commercial Crime Division earns about the same amount.

According to the IGP, 20% of his lower-rank men are diploma and degree holders and yet some of them even earn as little as RM650!

I wonder if L/Kpl Mohd Izwan and L/Kpl K. Ganesh are married with wife & kids? And what about those who are currently earning less than RM1,000 per month? Are they all bachelors? Or do their families survive mostly on a good helping of polluted air, tap water and grass? Where do they live? Do they have to pay rent? Do they have any form of personal transport like motorbikes or cars? How do they upkeep their vehicles? How much do they need to pay for basic utilities like electricity, water, gas, school supplies and attire for their kids? What is left at the end of the month to feed the family? What is left at all to save for a rainy day?

An 18-year old receptionist clerk with a basic SPM qualification and no experience is paid RM800 starting pay in a private engineering firm in Serdang working 5 days a week. By the time she is 20, and with the 2 years experience she had, she can easily ask for RM1,000 starting salary in any private company around Klang valley. If she continues working, we can safely assume that she can earn no less than RM1,200 per month with 7 years of working experience by age 25. If she takes the initiative to upgrade herself with diploma in secretarial studies or some other relevant courses, her salary scale can even go up to above RM2,000 per month.

This is not fictional. This is a real-life example of someone I personally know of. She is currently contented in her job, in air-conditioned comfort and working 8:30am to 5:30pm from Monday to Friday with 2 days off on Saturday and Sunday to enjoy with her family. And yet, she is struggling to meet with the high cost of living in Klang valley. She had to pay her babysitter RM350 a month, her older son's kindergarten fees of RM200 a month, loan repayment on her Kancil, rental on her apartment and other unavoidable expenses. She is lucky that her husband is also gainfully employed as a technician at about the same wages as her. According to her, they are barely managing on their joint take-home pay of about RM2,000.

If the example above shows that even families earning RM2,000 are struggling to live a comfortable life, what more of those who are earning much less than that?

As the Chinese saying goes, do they fill their stomachs with "water and cow-grass"?

The next time our government wants to approve increases in basic utility charges like electricity, water and gas, please consider these group of people.

The next time our government allow petrol prices to go up again, please also consider them. For those who do regular marketing for food and household items, they already know that the same basket of items cost at least 10% more today than what it did same time last year.

Do they not understand the logic that with prices going steadily up over the years, the cost of living has gone beyond what some of our government servants are earning in order to survive above the poverty line?

Until our government develops compassion for this low-income group, we will continue to see various social ills arising out of this conundrum.

For the oppressed will fail to understand how with all the country's riches and grandiose policies formulated at Federal level, it has not made an iota of difference to their lives. They continue to plod on, "kais pagi makan pagi, kais petang makan petang" while their favoured brethren continue to live the good life, unashamed to flout their excesses and privileged positions.

So, please don't talk cock about marginalised Malays in Penang. Go and take a look at some of the poor Malays living in Kelantan, Terengganu and Selangor Maju. Go and take a look at how our government had marginalised our low-ranking police personnel, teachers and other government servants.

And then, tell us how the 9MP can eliminate some of their sufferings.


Monday, September 18, 2006

Pride before the fall

"We live and work and dream,
Each has his little scheme,
Sometimes we laugh,
Sometimes we cry,
And thus the days go by."


There once was a beetle which came upon a lump of cowdung.

He worked himself into it and liking what he saw, he invited his friends to join him in building a city in it. After working feverishly for a few days they built a magnificent "city" in the dung and feeling very proud of their achievements they decided to elect the first beetle as their king.

Now to honour their new "king" they organised a grand parade through their "city".

While these impressive proceedings were taking place, an elephant happened to pass by and seeing the lump of cow dung he lifted his foot to avoid stepping on it.

The king beetle saw the elephant and angrily shouted at the huge beast. "Hey you! Don't you have any respect for royalty? Don't you know it is rude to lift your leg over my majestic head? Apologise at once or I'll have you punished."

The elephant looked down and said, "Your most gracious majesty, I humbly crave your pardon."

Thus saying he knelt down on the lump of cow dung and crushed king, city, citizens and pride in one act of obeisance.

(Extract from the book "How to live without Fear & Worry by K. Sri Dhammananda, 1989.)


Sunday, September 17, 2006

The charm of Neka Art Museum in Bali

If you are visiting Bali for the first time, do try to go to the Neka Art Museum located in Ubud. Even if you are not an art afficionado, you will find much to enjoy here.

The museum is located in a beautiful garden setting overlooking a scenic river valley. The Neka Art Museum's large collection is displayed in several buildings patterned after Balinese architecture. Entrance fee is Rp20,000 per person and it is free for children 12 and below.

An excerpt from their website sums up what this place is all about:-

"The Neka Art Museum, previously known as the Neka Museum, is unique because its collection of foreign artworks by Balinese, other Indonesian, and foreign artists all were inspired by the natural beauty, life, and culture of Bali. The high quality of the Neka Art Museum's collection serves as a source of inspiration, information, research, and education for many people in Indonesia and from abroad. In this way, future generations of artists, especially in Bali, can benefit from it and develop their place in the national and global communities, while visitors gain a better understanding and appreciation of Balinese art and culture. The Neka Art Museum now is recognized as an institute of international standing."

I spent half a day there and thoroughly enjoyed myself and will not hesitate to return when I next visit Bali again, which I believe I will.

There are many more interesting sites around the island, and you ought to see and do much more than just shopping, which is doubtless another one of Bali's major attractions. You just have to experience it to be totally charmed off your socks!

Galleries housing artworks within the lush compound of Neka Museum

Beautiful Balinese maidens and painting of a happy Balinese family.


Saturday, September 16, 2006

Chicken & cock tok

Chicken talk:-

There are proper and effective ways to resolve problems without needing to make them public, said MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting.

He said it was the responsibility of MCA leaders to expose any case of corruption, the abuse of power and malpractice but there were proper channels to do so.

“This is about the coordination and cooperation between government officers in solving problems and implementing national policies,” he said yesterday after attending the Chang Ming Thien Foundation's study loan presentation ceremony.

He said this when responding to questions on the spat between Deputy Higher Education Minister Datuk Ong Tee Keat and Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein.

Cock talk:-

The decision to reprimand Deputy Higher Education Datuk Ong Tee Keat for his statement directed at the Education Ministry was made based on government principle.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said the decision was made at the Cabinet level in the presence of all Barisan Nasional component party heads.

“When it comes to the Government, the principle is very clear that you can't transcend another ministry's responsibility,” he told reporters after launching and presenting the DRB-Hicom-Deftech special scholarship fund at the Defence Ministry here yesterday.

He was asked to comment on some Barisan leaders questioning the Cabinet's move to reprimand Ong for alleging misuse of funds meant for Chinese schools' refurbishment, when Umno Youth leaders were allowed to hurl criticism at Penang Chief Minister Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon alleging him to have neglected issues concerning the Malays in the state.

“That's all, that's enough. It is a matter of principle. One is politics; the other is the Government,” he said when pressed further by reporters.

Bull talk:-

Controversial issues that might cause racial disunity will be left out of the new Ethnic Relations module. ...

“I’m confident it will be a contribution towards the building of racial unity in Malaysia,” he said. ...

On his deputy Datuk Ong Tee Keat’s response to his apology to Education Ministry officials, Mustapa said he would discuss the matter with MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting next week.

Toad talk:-

Sungai Siput: Shouts of happiness turned into screams for help when a brick wall collapsed over a dozen Year 6 pupils of SRK Methodist here while they were in the midst of their Children’s Day celebration yesterday. ...

Teachers and gardeners rushed to help the pupils, who were pinned beneath the wall which was 9m long, 1.2m high and 22cm thick. Two of the pupils were warded with bone fractures while the other 10 received outpatient treatment at Sungai Siput Hospital. ...

Works Minister Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, who visited the children as well as the site yesterday, was angry when he saw the condition of the wall and the school.

“How can you hold a Children’s Day celebration here when the school is in such a bad condition?” he asked school headmaster Mohd Nor Azam. Samy Vellu said the wall’s foundation was not strong enough to hold the pupils’ weight. He also expressed anger that the area had not been cleared immediately.

Samy Vellu added that he would call Education Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein to get an allocation to build a new retaining wall for the school.


Friday, September 15, 2006

BN a bunch of Backstabbing Nincompoops

It's Friday - again! Time sure flies. Another 15 more weekends to go before we bid 2006 goodbye.

What is it about the fengshui for 2006 in Bolehland anyway? I mean, this is the year when we see our politicians drop their sarongs and all factions coming out with keris, swords and daggers drawn on all sides within the BN family.

If our economic situation isn't so depressing for the rakyat biasa, it could actually be funny to see these powerful people all fighting each other for a little bit more gravy on their plate.

Truly, someone has gone on a long vacation, took a nap and forgotten to wake up to check on his household.

Like Tengku Razaleigh said in Parliament recently, whatever bad perception the world has about the political & economic situation in Malaysia can only be eliminated if "government leaders are tougher, more courageous, and have stronger political will." (theSUN page 21, Friday 15 September 2006)

Obviously, it hasn't worked out that way. Almost three years on the job - is he going to wake up when September ends? Or is the hat just too too big for his small head?

Our Zoohouse at the Dewan Rakyat notwithstanding, Barisan Nasional is fast turning into Backstabbing Nincompoops. See the way the ex-PM attacks the current PM, UMNO attacks MCA, UMNO attacks Gerakan, UMNO trying to pit MCA against Gerakan ... wait a minute ... are we missing something in this equation?

Ah ... MIC is missing in action! But of course. We all know why MIC don't figure in this mess. Heck, the Backstabbers' Club knows very well where to pick their fights, where it mattered.

Look, amidst all these madness, what is the relevance of Barisan Nasional under the leadership of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi? Like what Datuk Zaid Ibrahim said, is there any difference between him and Dr Mahathir given that the present PM has yet to make any real reforms? And I don't mean to insult Dr M by comparing Pak Lah with him.

What a foul mess! The spirit of give & take within the Barisan Nasional component parties have been flushed down the drain. It's a mad scramble for one-upmanship these days. It's a shameless display of might over right to remind everyone that there is only one big brother here, and you better get that right if you know what's good for you.

As usual.

There's another Malaysia Day coming up this weekend. Perhaps the political parties in Sabah and Sarawak want to take a closer look at what is happening in the Peninsular, after all the sugary words have been dispensed with.

It's so easy to be lured into a blissful slumber only to wake up to an endless nightmare of having to dance to someone else's tune all the time.

Just ask MCA & Gerakan if you need some advice.


Thursday, September 14, 2006

Who says KL traffic is bad? Not Mat VIP!

This is a filler post 'coz I'm too lethargic to write anything original. Maybe I ought to take up some form of energetic activity like Helen, who's taken a short hiatus to go aerobic dancing. She got me thinking that I'm probably spending too much time on my bum, whether at the desk working/blogging or in my car stuck in traffic.

Which brings to mind I've still to put up Kam Raslan's witty take on the suffering of non-VIP motorists in KL. Well, this is as good a time.

(From Talking Edge, September 11, 2006 issue of The Edge Malaysia).


KL's traffic is very bad.

It might not be as bad as Bangkok but it's still bad.

And parking can be difficult too. But I've noticed that one group of people don't seem to suffer as much as the rest of us, and those are our VIPs.

For this special group, all traffic problems disappear.

Therefore, instead of building new roads or transport systems that don't connect with each other, the simplest solution would be to elevate everybody to VIP status, complete with out-riders.

Because of the numbers involved it might be impractical but if there was at least a time-share system where for one day a week or a month we could enjoy VIP status, then it would make things more bearable.

Our present VIPs could be elevated to VVIPs or, if they are already VVIPs, they could become VVVIPs.

Malaysia loves the VIP culture and it's only fair that everybody gets a chance to experience the lifestyle.


Boleh ka??

I think if YB Datuk Raja Ahmad Zainuddin Raja Omar (BN-Larut) is the PM, sure boleh, kan?
After all, he's the one who suggested in Parliament that repayment of loans disbursed by the National Higher Education Loan Fund be abolished because "(the Ministry) is facing difficulty in recovering the loans." (theSUN, page 8, September 14, 2006).


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Dr M's game for the game

From theSUN at page 2 today.

Dr M: Only jail can stop me

PUTRAJAYA: Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad yesterday declared that his defeat in Kubang Pasu was not the end of the road for him and that the government will have to throw him in jail to stop him from continuing with his criticisms.

Mahathir blamed money politics for his failure to be elected as a Kubang Pasu delegate to the Umno general assembly in November and vowed to continue his confrontation with the party and government.

At a press conference yesterday, he provided what he alleged was evidence of money politics - a brown envelope that contained RM200 and a piece of paper asking delegates who received it to vote only for certain people.

... Mahathir admitted the evidence may not stand up in a court of law, but he would not report to the Umno disciplinary committee as he did not trust it and witnesses would also not come forward as they had been threatened.

... He reiterated that he would continue to expose what the government was doing.

"You can't try to shut my mouth ... because I have a big mouth and I am going to use my big mouth to expose the misdeeds of this present government, including their lies," he said.

"The truth will prevail one day and we have to pay for it, including for changing the Malaysian government into a family government. (The) only way they can stop me is by putting me in jail. They are afraid of me and if they are not in the wrong, there was no need for them to be afraid of me."

Asked if he wanted Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to step down, Mahathir said, "Either he changes or he steps down."

Asked if this meant he wanted to see a change of government, he said: "Change of policies or government is for Umno to decide."


Points to ponder:-

  1. He did not trust the Umno disciplinary committee.
  2. He has a big mouth.
  3. The present government is telling lies and he is telling the truth because they are afraid of him.
  4. We are being governed by a family government.
  5. Change of policies and government is for Umno to decide.

I'm wondering:-

  1. Can any BN party disciplinary committees be trusted at all, including MCA? Can ANY disciplinary committees formed by the government be trusted AT ALL?
  2. Jail him for opening his big mouth? Or possibly write him off as an insane old man to be pitied?
  3. Have we ever been fed any truths by the ruling government, even during the 22 years under his iron rule? Can we have some truth now about our past? and present?
  4. This is quite a convincing argument. I'd like to hear a good rebuttal.
  5. Umno? Does this mean when you vote for any party under the BN ticket, in reality you have just cast your vote for Umno? This confirms a lot of things long held under suspicion.


Sunday, September 10, 2006

Kam's latest take on local politics

I enjoy the witty writings of Kam Raslan and whenever he appears in the Talking Edge column (Options pullout, The Edge Malaysia), it becomes a bonus read for me.

An example of why I find him interesting is in the agony guru role he took on in the September 11 issue of this weekly. This is his take on the state of local politics and the quandary that's before us. (I have highlighted my favourite part!)


A reader asks:

Dear Kam, What are the important issues facing our country and why aren't they being addressed? Citizen Lee.

Kam answered thus:

I have nine questions that I want to ask. I don't know who to address these to so you lot will have to do.

  1. Do we want a continuation of the old ways or do we want a continuation of the old ways but with some new faces?
  2. Do we want a meritocracy or shall we have a tea break?
  3. Is our present education system good enough for a globalised 21st centure and why not?
  4. What do the letters MCA stand for? Seriously, what do they stand for? I've forgotten. Can anyone remember? Reading what some people are saying about MCA, I get the distinct impression that it must be an opposition party although I have a vague memory that it was once part of BN.
  5. Who is Khairy? Seriously, who is he? In the words of Monty Python, I didn't vote for him.
  6. Can anybody think of anything that won't make Umno members angry?
  7. Taliban, Saudi Arabia or Iran? They're all such tempting economic and social models.
  8. Who will speak for all those (particularly those inside the Malay community) who are not especially thrilled by the abovementioned choice, and why not?
  9. Australia, New Zealand, UK or America? Choices, choices.
But don't worry because Umno will take care of everything because, well, because.


Saturday, September 09, 2006

A weekend joke for Howsy's roses

It's Saturday, and since I've got no rotiboy for you Howsy, I hope this one will do. Thanks again for the roses, I so appreciate your thoughtfulness. (Btw, I actually C&P this from somewhere in the Networld, not very original but it's the time spent that counts, eh??)


Five surgeons are discussing who makes the best patients to operate on.

The first surgeon says, "I like to see accountants on my operating table, because when you open them up, everything inside is numbered."

The second responds, "Yeah, but you should try electricians! Everything inside them is color coded."

The third surgeon says, "No, I really think librarians are the best; everything inside them is in alphabetical order."

The fourth surgeon chimes in: "You know, I like construction workers ... those guys always understand when you have a few parts left over at the end, and when the job takes longer than you said it would."

But the fifth surgeon shut them all up when he observed: "You're all wrong. Politicians are the easiest to operate on. There's no guts, no heart, and no spine, and the head and butt are interchangeable."


I wonder why they left out the lawyer in this joke? Maybe Lokter/Loyar Mave might help, 'coz he's got one original tickler here which I really enjoyed.

Go on, read it. That one is for real and is much funnier than mine. Have a nice weekend folks!


Friday, September 08, 2006

I don't think Jiminy Cricket tapped his shoulder

That the Transparency International president Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam subtly and sarcastically praised the Selangor MB for finally opening up his eyes to see the merit of rejecting the pest control consortium system by Sepang & Subang Jaya Municipal Councils is noteworthy (theSUN at page 6 today) :-

The move by Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohd Khir Toyo is "most welcome" ... He has seen the merit of the good, solid investigative reports of theSUN newspaper and its editors, which have revealed lack of integrity and transparency at the lower levels of government ...

Ramon said the developments and revelations by theSUN might lead to opening a can of worms, and it may only be the tip of the iceberg. ...

Specifically on pest control, it is not only important to solve problems but to examine what went wrong, how it went wrong, and what systems need to be put in place to prevent mismanagement, lack of integrity and transparency in the future ...

Well, we all KNOW don't we, that it has got nothing to do with Jiminy Cricket finally knocking some conscientious sense into the head of you-kn0w-who.

Kudos to the team who did a great job at theSUN. You guys have indeed set the wheel of change in motion, all for the better. If you can't beat them, pressure them!

That is what makes theSUN such a great read and what makes the people behind it so deserving of respect. They have brought truth and integrity back into the English mainstream news media. CONGRATULATIONS.

If the people at the STAR and the NST have enough guts about them to stand up and do the right thing for MALAYSIA our beloved country, they do not have to look far to see the kind of reporting that is sorely missing in their papers. But then again, what is THEIR definition of PATRIOTISM?


Thursday, September 07, 2006

Bali enchanted

Bali is truly an enchanting place.

Or maybe there’s a certain enchantment that charms visitors travelling to this fabled island and sets a longing in their hearts to come back for more.

That’s what I told my husband. Ever since we came back from our short trip last month, he’s been talking about when we should go back again. Bali has cast her magical charms on my man and he is besotted. But I’m not complaining because I wouldn’t mind going back again soon.

Getting there was easy and affordable with AIRASIA. We stayed in the more tranquil area of Sanur, about 20 minutes away from Denpasar airport. We went to most of the recommended places of interest (thanks to Tony Pua for the great tips and driver recommendation!) and enjoyed them all, especially Neka Art Museum and our al fresco dinner by the beach in Jimbaran. There’s really a lot to see and do in Bali and even during quiet moments of pure relaxation, doing nothing feels just as wonderful.

I love Sanur beach, especially in the morning right after a lovely breakfast. Not for swimming, but I do so enjoy lying on the cushioned deck chair under a canopy of trees, just soaking in the cool ocean breeze while watching the angmohs bake in the sun. My little boy played happily & quietly for hours in the sand, building little pyramid structures with twigs and leaves he picked up around him. People watching could be so interesting in the right kind of setting.

Yes, we would definitely go back again. If only to spend long lazy hours at the beach watching the waves roll in and out, feeling the soft breeze against our faces and drifting in and out of our blissful stupor.

Bali crossings, anyone?


Of Nik Aziz, Umno & MCA

I found a good joke on page 4 of theSUN today. The heading reads:-

Umno man: We're not being racist

Of course not, brother! You are just being GREEDY.

And then I found another one on the same page:-

Act of political cowardice, says MCA Youth.
Kuala Lumpur: MCA Youth has labelled Umno Youth's behaviour at the opening of Tanjung Umno building as "an act of political cowardice".


This is even funnier. A case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Please - spare us your childish games. I'd rather join Mave and hear Nik Aziz's sermons. He literally stripped these jokers off their sarongs and lay their hides bare.


Wednesday, September 06, 2006

From prime to pariah

Well, he did said that when he was the prime minister of Malaysia, practically everyone was lining up to kiss his hand. Nowadays, he claimed that the very same people are avoiding him like he’s got an infectious skin disease, and that they have cast him out like a pariah.

Well, the fall from grace continues in more ways than one for the poor old man.

The STAR reported on page N10 (6 Sep 2006) that even Galeria Perdana (a public gallery which showcases items given to the former premier and his wife by world leaders) was not spared the fall from grace.

Gallery had no plan for years

Kuala Lumpur: Between 2003 and last year, the Langkawi Development Authority (Lada) had no strategic plan for Galeria Perdana, which houses souvenirs and awards given to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his wife during his tenure as Prime Minister.

... (The Auditor-General) said the audit showed that there was no written manual for the management of the collection by the gallery officers. ... He said the items had been stored without being registered first or without considering factors that could damage the collection.

An inspection by the audit team showed paintings left leaning against a wall and not properly wrapped in the store, leaks in the ceiling of one of the store rooms, and some items affected by dust and mould but left untreated.

... The A-G’s report added that the operation cost was way above the gallery’s income. He also recommended that consideration be given to Lada’s long-term plan to surrender Galeria Perdana to the Museums and Antiquities Department if it could not find expert and skilled people to manage the gallery.”

If the above is not insulting enough to him, our Parliamentary backbenchers found it fit to boo at a suggestion to honour him as reported on page N16 of the same paper:-

Name KLIA after Dr M rep booed

An opposition MP was booed by backbenchers in the House after he suggested that the KL International Airport be named after former prime ministe Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

The backbenchers started murmuring that Kamaruddin Jaffar (PAS-Tumpat), who proposed the idea, had a hidden agenda.

Kamaruddin had asked if KLIA could be named after Dr Mahathir, as other countries named their buildings after their icons. “The name KL International Airport is inappropriate because the airport is not located in Kuala Lumpur. Why don’t we rename the building after our former prime minister who had contributed to the building of the airport?” he asked Housing and Local Government parliamentary secretary Dr S. Subramaniam.

At this juncture, all the backbenchers booed and told him to sit down.


Regrets, regrets.

"Melayu mudah lupa", kan Tun? I almost felt sorry for him.


The critter's back!

Hey! Watcha looking at?

Not this original bugger, probably it's cucu or cicit.

Hmm ... how many more are they lurking around the bushes? I should have bagged the old fella' back in October last year. Now, these critters are having a field day gobbling up my lovely garden plants.

Did I bag this one? Nah - this spidey-eyed bug is not actually doing me any great harm. I was also thinking of the Reverend who passed away last week. And I remembered this lovely verse too (also titles of books by my favourite writer/vet James Herriot) :-

"All things wise and wonderful,
All creatures great and small,
All things bright and beautiful,
the Lord God made them all."

Live and let live, eh?


Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Something for Tok Cemerlangs

Maybe it's the weather - a bit wet in the morning, then a dreary cloudy afternoon and right now, I'm beginning to hear the distant rumble of a thunderstorm coming. The sun couldn't make it's sunny appearance today and that has somewhat dampened my mood.

Maybe not.

But I'm still rather put off by the antics of both the people in Umno and MCA, specifically those demonstrated by the clowns masquerading as deputies of both the youth arms. Such abang-adik types, the sort of cemerlang, gemilang dan terbilang personalities our ruling party glorify. Sheesshh...

And I remembered something else.

I've been saving this little treat I brought back from Chiangmai last year for the consumption of those who truly deserve it. Time to bring it out.

Here it is. This one's for you, KJ & Ling Jr. Enjoy.


Monday, September 04, 2006

MCA should close shop

Look who’s talking.

UMNO Youth Chief Datuk Seri Hishamuddin Tun Hussein Onn was quoted on page N4 of The Star (Sun, 3 Sep 2006) giving the following warning to MPs:-

Young party leaders, regardless of party, race or religion, must not gamble away the country’s future for temporary political gain. He said those who create racial and religious issues, even when there was not an iota of truth in them, would find themselves having to explain later. “They will have to keep defending themselves and because the public and the leadership will not forget, they will not be able to move forward,” ...

If you think he is referring to Khairy’s infamous racist speech at the Jerlun Umno Youth meeting last month, you are dead wrong.

Apparently, this sort of warning is only meant for the ears of non-Umno members.

Should we then be surprised that Khairy could openly trumpet his racist tendencies as demonstrated by his arrogant remark at the Selayang Umno Youth meeting on 27th August? He said:-

“I am not afraid or worried although Wanita MCA yesterday asked for an apology. Why? Because we need not apologise to anyone in our struggle for our religion, race and country.” He added, “We don’t want to hurt our component parties, we value them, but believe me, we have to defend the interests of the Malays or we cannot claim to be Umno Youth of Malaysia.”

(Bold emphasis is mine.)

As if that's not enough to drive home his point, he went one step further yesterday by insinuating publicly that the Malays in Penang had been left behind under the leadership of a Chinese Chief Minister from Gerakan.

Gerakan's outspoken President Dr Lim Keng Yaik has this to say about Khairy as reported in The SUN's frontpage today:-

"No standard politics!" ... (for) "putting on the face of a Chinese chief minister and taking pot shots at him" ... "I can see the opportunistic intentions of those who exploit racial issues a mile away" ... "I do not care who they are. They are not fit to be political leaders." ...



If I am to accept Khairy's reasoning for playing up racial sentiments, I believe I am entitled as much to demand from their BN counterpart who represents Chinese interests to do the same for me.

MCA must now do all it can to defend the interests of the Chinese in Malaysia in terms of protecting our religions, race and country, without the need to be apologetic to anyone else. Otherwise, please do not claim that you are representing the interests of all Chinese Malaysians under the BN banner. Right, Khairy?

In the same context, I demand that the MCA President make a clear stand on this issue. Now.

For too long, we have watched MCA party leaders playing the role of apologists to their racist counterparts who have no qualms backstabbing the Chinese even though they have repeatedly shown strong support to the BN coalition.

If MCA is unwilling to take up Khairy’s challenge, then please SHUT UP and stop deceiving the Chinese.

Believe me, you have absolutely no business representing the Chinese community in Malaysia. Just ask Khairy.


Saturday, September 02, 2006

Domestic goddess wannabee's weekend post

It's a challenge trying to preach to kids about the importance of healthy eating.

Take the example of eating bread.

We are constantly reminded that wholemeal & wholegrain is infinitely superior to white, right? Because the first two have more sources of fibre and nutrients compared to the latter which is made from highly bleached flour which in turn raises your blood sugar way too fast.

So far, I have not been able to convince the kids to give up their white bread. And because I love coarse grained breads, I always ended up with stale hard leftovers because I can hardly finish a whole loaf by myself. And my husband doesn't really like bread - whichever type.

So what I normally do, being the conscientious cost conscious and waste-n0t-good-food woman that I am (!), I use the leftovers to make bread & butter pudding.

Ahem - bear with me, after all it's a weekend, rite? This is another one of my self-indulgent "domestic goddess wannabe" cookery class post.

Oh, did I forget to tell you guys I am actually one of those rare women who, as the Cantonese saying goes, "yap tak chui fong, chut tak tai thong" (can perform in the kitchen and is equally presentable in public.) (tsk tsk ... I'm in the mood for some self-glorification ... kekeke!!)

Back to business before I go off tangent trumpeting my other glorious achievements. (wahahahaha!!!)

Bread puddings are basically very very easy to make. It's fail-proof even for anyone who has never baked anything in their whole life. And the end result is, you get something which does not taste like bread at all. The texture of this pudding is something like our local "kueh".

AMOI's Bread Pudding with Honeycomb Sugar & Real Vanilla

Break 3 eggs into a bowl. Beat briskly with a fork until well-combined.

Add in about 2 cups of low-fat milk (not more than 2 cups!). Beat again to combine them well.

Add in 3 spoonfuls of sugar or whatever, depending on your taste. In my pix, I'm using raw honeycomb sugar which is less sweet, and presumably healthier. But I need to beat the mixture a bit longer in order to blend it in.

Add 1/2 tsp of vanilla extract or in my case, the beans from one vanilla pod.

Oh - never seen real vanilla pods before? There they are, the dried blackish sticks in the jar. They smell wonderfully fragrant and really, there's no substitute for the real thing. I took one pod, slice in down the middle and scrap the beans & pulp out and deposit them into the milky mixture. You can also add a dash of cinnamon if you like the smell of it. And, if you have spare bananas, you can slice one up and mix it in.

Btw, don't throw away the used vanilla pod. Clean it and dry it in the sun. Put two sticks in a glass jar, cover with fine sugar and hey presto! You now have lovely home-made vanilla sugar. They give a lovely fragrance to my cup of tea!

Tear the bread you wish to use into bite-sized pieces. You can use any type of bread that you like, preferably not too fresh/soft.

I'm using half a loaf of wholegrain raisin that's 2 days old. It works out to a big bowl of bread chunks which I add into the egg/milk mixture. Coat the bread thoroughly, making sure each piece is well-soaked. Don't dump in too much bread - make sure you have a layer of liquid just covering the whole thing when mixed.

Let the bread sit in the mixture for about 1/2 hour. Stir it around a few times in between.

Heat your oven to 180 degC. Grease a baking tin. Pour mixture into the tin, and put a few pats of butter on top of it. Bake it bain-marie style, meaning you put the baking tin into another bigger pan half-filled with water (about 1.5cm will do). Put the whole thing into the heated oven and bake for about 45-50 mins until the top is slightly browned.

I was told by a friend that if you don't have an oven, you can actually steam this dish over high heat until it's well done. Just make sure that the water vapours from the pot cover don't trickle back into the pudding pan. Personally, I've never tried this method.

There, it's done! You can dust some icing sugar on top, pour some custard sauce over it or serve it warm with a large scoop of vanilla ice-cream. Delicious, and the kids don't even notice that it's wholemeal stuff.

HAVE A RELAXING WEEKEND FOLKS! Hopefully, I'd be back in active mode next week.


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