Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Childhood Rat Race

It's a fact of life that is hard to ignore. Apart from having more materialistic possessions, it actually sucks to be a child these days.

You are not allowed to roam free around the neighbourhood lest some sicko lurks in a corner waiting to grab you. You have no choice but to join the tuition merry-go-round because mom worries that your future may be doomed if you did not have a string of As in your public exams.

And for added bragging rights, some even had to squeeze in piano, ballet, swimming, art and drama classes into every single available hour over the weekends.

And the rest of the time, relaxation is probably by way of sitting dumbstruck in front of the TV or playing endless mind-numbing computer games.

One mom I knew actually use "money motivation" to get her kids to perform.

A drawing done to her satisfaction earned the 9 year old boy RM5 a piece. An hour of meticulous copying of the text from a Ladybird book in neat handwriting merits RM5 for his 7 year old brother.

And the eldest at 12 get the latest Nokia handphone if he promises to attend all his tuition classes without a word of protest or absentism for a whole month throughout this school holidays!

Is it just me or have I missed some hard facts about preparing my kids early in life for the rat race of the future?

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Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Manglish as they are spoken

And the world thought Manglish is all about punctuating our sentences with "lahs".

" ... Correct, correct, correct, correct, correct. Right, right, right. Correct. Ah. Ah. Right! Susah. You see he has now asked for six Court of Appeal judges, so that he can put his men before he retires.

Correct, correct, correct, ah, and then, ah, ah, correct, correct, correct, correct, correct. ..."

" ... Okay, fine, fine, fine, fine. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Okay. Right, okay, okay. Ah. Ah. Correct, correct. ..." (From the Lingam tape transcript)

"... I commend yo-yo-your journalists trying to project… to exaggerate more than what actually happened. That-that-that-that’s it. We are not the-the and I-I congratulate your journalists behaving like an actor, that-that’s it ..."

"... You-you-you-you are here with the idea, you are trying to project, what is your mind! You think that we Pakistan, we are Burma, we are Myanmar. Everything you-you are thinking! ..."

"... Ya ya we are not like you! ..."

"... People do-do… of course they protest. We are allowing them protest, and they have demonstrated. But we just trying to disperse them, and then later they-they-they don’t wanna disperse, but later our police compromise. ..." (From the Zam-Al Jazeera interview transcript)

Let's repeat ourselves one more time - ya ya ya Malaysia boleh boleh boleh boleh boleh !! *.*


Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Wear something yellow on Saturdays

I was looking forward to this.

BERSIH organizers have started urging Malaysians nationwide to wear "something yellow" every Saturday as a protest against the government for turning a deaf ear to calls for reform.

"It can be a yellow cap, a yellow shirt, a yellow ribbon ... just anything in yellow ..."

I rummaged through my wardrobe and checked at least 10 items in varying shades of yellow or a combination of colours with yellow being rather prominent.

And I suddenly feel like I need a pair of yellow sandals. Maybe a nice lemon coloured tote. And some cute accessories in yellow to dangle from my handphone and carry-alls.

I'm feeling bright and breezy already just thinking about it. Heheh ... this shopaholic is really going to enjoy doing this!


Monday, November 12, 2007

Check this out, Education Minister!

I noticed this CSR print ad on page 7 of the NST today with the caption "Beware of Strangers who pretend to know you."

I think this commendable effort has something to do with the recent spate of horrible crimes against children in our country. The above message appeared on the top left hand side of the advertisement.

On the right hand side is the above message. And right at the bottom is this joint message from our Polis Di Raja Malaysia and RHB Banking Group.

The message reads:

It is easier for strangers to befriend your child if they know their name. Tell your child not to display or write their name on the outside of their bags, books or clothes in public. Assist RHB Banking Group and the Police in reuniting families. Contact the Police at 999 with any information on a missing child. You can help bring a child home.

I wonder if our Education Minister is aware that in Malaysia, ALL school children in national and vernacular schools are required to wear a name tag sewn onto their school uniforms clearly displaying their NAME and school registration number to the public.

Have they not been advised by the police that this particular rule exposes the children, especially those young ones from primary schools, to great danger?

Or is the Education Ministry guilty of being incredibly ignorant of increasing levels of crime against our children?

Either way, this advertisement is a timely reminder for them to wake up and take note!

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Krishna's Homemade Deepavali Delights

As promised, (and in appreciation of her mooncake treats a few months' back), L's school buddy Krishna packed a selection of his mom's homemade Deepavali delights for her today.

My all-time favourite MURUKU and this one really is FIRST CLASS!

This sweet kuih tastes of ginger and spices, and I don't know what it's called!

These milky balls are also sweet with crushed peanuts and other stuff that melts in your mouth.

I've never seen this type of sweet before. I believe it is made with grated coconut.
It's nice, with a chewy texture and not too sweet.

As a tribute to Krishna's mom's excellent cooking skills, the MURUKU was all gone by the time I sat down to do this post. It really was THAT Good!!


One good reason

I don't hate him for not living up to his election promises. Really.

I think he's just not cut out to be a good prime minister. He doesn't have what it takes to be a leader of men. But, all things considered, at least he doesn't give me goosebumps every time he opens his mouth.

Which makes him appear the better choice than a good many other buayas waiting in line to depose him.

On the other hand ...

I can't stand the fact that the longer he sits in office, the more we all have to endure that obnoxious son-in-law of his.

And this singular factor is enough to convince me that I won't be sorry to see him go.

The SIL has done a good job in making himself one of the most repugnant personalities in Malaysia.

Isn't that a good enough reason to vote him out?


Sunday, November 11, 2007

Why is BN against free and fair elections in Malaysia?

Despite the tear gas, chemical-laced water cannons, baton-wielding FRU personnel and police arrests, in the end the crowd behaved admirably and the Memorandum was peacefully delivered to His Majesty.

It certainly puts to shame our Prime Minister who tried but ultimately failed to invoke fear in the hearts of the rakyat who are no longer besotted by Mr Clean.

What's so clean about a person who does not seem to want free and fair elections in Malaysia?

What's so clean about a government that has thoroughly snuffed out freedom of speech and expression in this country? Did any of us rely on our mainstream newspapers for information on this mammoth peaceful gathering?

And now, we'll just have to wait and see.

Hopefully, something good will come out of this effort to stop the rot that is steadily destroying this country.

In the meantime, I think I'd buy a few more yellow shirts to wear while I wait.


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Do you have a yellow shirt?

BERSIH's attempt to stage a rally from Dataran Merdeka to the Istana Negara today will surely be full of drama, as promised by our Prime Minister.

Wouldn't it be simpler to get the message across if the organisers go to the ground and dedicate a certain day for ALL concerned Malaysians throughout the country to don a yellow shirt plus any other yellow accessories in support of their cause?

I mean, how is the police going to arrest every single yellow attired person scattered across the whole of Malaysia?


Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Happy Deepavali!

Oh, the JOY that this Festival of Lights bring
to the faithful hearts of Hindu men and women all over the world.



Sunday, November 04, 2007

Defining success

Three businessmen were discussing the definition of success and what it would mean for them to feel that they had "arrived".

The first one said, "I'd consider myself a success if I was summoned to 10 Downing Street, London, for a private consultation with the Prime Minister."

The second chipped in, "My definition of success is to be called to Number 10 for a private meeting with the Prime Minister, then the telephone hotline rings during our discussion and the Prime Minister ignores it."

Finally the third one gave his opinion, "No, you've both got it wrong! You're a success when you are in the middle of private talks with the Prime Minister, the hotline rings, he answers it and then says, 'It's for you!'"


Bill of Assertive Rights

Psychologist Manuel J. Smith points out that everyone has certain important rights. He calls them "A Bill of Assertive Rights":

  1. You have the right to judge your own behaviour, thoughts, and emotions, and to take the responsibility for their initiation and consequences upon yourself.
  2. You have the right to offer no reasons or excuses for justifying your behaviour.
  3. You have the right to judge whether you are responsible for finding solutions to other people's problems.
  4. You have the right to change your mind.
  5. You have the right to make mistakes - and be responsible for them.
  6. You have the right to say, "I don't know."
  7. You have the right to be independent of the goodwill of others before coping with them.
  8. You have the right to be illogical in making decisions.
  9. You have the right to say, "I don't understand."
  10. You have the right to say, "I don't care."
You have the right to say no, without feeling guilty.

Manuel J. Smith, When I Say No, I Feel Guilty (New York: Bantam, 1975)


Do you agree with the above?


Saturday, November 03, 2007

Holy smoke!

A monk was walking in the monastery garden during a period of meditation. He encountered another monk who was smoking as he walked slowly along the path.

"Did you get permission to smoke during meditation?" asked the first monk.

"Yes, I was given permission."

"But I asked if I could smoke during meditation and was turned down!"

"You didn't phrase it properly. You asked if you could smoke during meditation. I asked if I could meditate while I smoked."


Friday, November 02, 2007

Fear Factor

Used to be the spectre of "May 13" works like magic in previous election campaigns.

Perhaps this time, they need to increase the fear factor a notch by adding on another favourite bogeyman, this one with the added distinction of being well-understood by everyone from China to India.

From theSUN, page 8 November 2, 2007.

... Muhammad Taib especially asked Chinese voters in Kelantan not to support PAS or be used by the party to gain publicity.

On the ramifications of Kelantan's Chinese supporting PAS again, he said for one, PAS leaders could go to other states and tell the Chinese there not to shun the party as Kelantan's Chinese were not.

"Second, this would increase the pressure on Umno, and to counter PAS' publicity blitz," Umno may be forced to implement more Islamisation measures to retain or get more Malay support.

"If Umno does that, it may cause more dissatisfaction among non-bumiputras, or even BN component parties." (Emphasis in bold are mine.)

Anyone else wants to jump on the Islamophobia bandwagon?

I for one will take up the challenge to vote for PAS anytime just to dispel such silly notions.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Pre-weekend joke

I noticed that some of my blog friends are feeling rather stressed out. They may be going through some personal challenges, in respect of their health, their jobs or relationships.

I hope their burdens will be eased soon and their hearts will be filled with peace and joy.

In the meantime, I dedicate a smile to them in anticipation of a blessed weekend.


A high school boy was going out on his first date. His mother was trying to help him overcome his nervousness before he left. She said,

"John, both you and the young lady may be a little nervous on this first date. Be sure to put her at ease."

"How do I do that, Mom?"

"Compliment her on something. That's always appropriate. It will relieve the tension and make her feel good."

After the dance, as John drove the young lady home, he suddenly realized that he hadn't remembered to compliment her. He racked his brain for something nice to say. Finally, it came:

"Gertrude, for a fat girl you sure don't sweat much."


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