Friday, June 29, 2007

Deliberate Ruckus In Society

Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang had posted a very interesting issue in his blog today.

It is actually an account by an Indian man, who witnessed 10 religious officers under the Islamic Affairs Department raiding 4 Indian food shops this morning at Bangsar.

A very notable extract from the mail written by MS:

They spent a good 20 minutes going through the place (and it is a small place!) and finally one officer writes out a writ and gives it to the cashier. They then left. Curious, I asked the cashier what that was all about and he replied that they were not allowed to have their little altars and pictures of their deities in their shop “because otherwise, Muslims cannot come into their shops” .

Malaysia is one of the countries that has various cultural food. There is no harm for anybody of racial creed to try food of other cultures, as long you observe the very core principals of the religion. However reading this has irk me much, for:

1) Non-general law authorities but instead religious law authorities created an issue that should be avoided to prevent further cracks to a multi-racial society that our forefathers had set foundation upon.

2) We did nothing wrong against the law, but some misuse their power for the reason of law or religion.

The scenario of authorities using law to their own devices are also mentioned in the account:

Better yet, I discovered as I was leaving , that the JAWI personnel had targetted the other 3 banana leaf shops along that row of old shops (near the vets office - off Jalan Maarof). There were at least 4 nos of vans for the officers , ALL double parked on the main road and causing an inconvenience to the other road users. Is there a separate set of laws that govern these people? Notwithstanding the fact that they are trampling all over the definition of religious tolerance in this country , they also flaunt the general laws of the land. This makes me really angry and sad about the state of our country.

This is not the only scenario that we usually come upon. A common scenario that we use to see is the traffic police. They will at times book us for offenses that we might not commit at all. Is this for the purpose of finding quick cash? They use the purpose of 'routine duty' or 'it's the law' as excuses to look for trouble.

In the past, the fanatics of Christianity would use religion as the purpose and prejudice against the Muslims, particularly during the Holy Crusade. They would pillage property, rape women, and do variety of things that is actually against the teachings of God for the sake of religion. That's why to this day there is no Kingdom of Heaven.

The account has also raised a number of observations, concerns and questions from this blogger:

1) If every policy in this country is subjected to religion sub-policy, then the country can never prosper or be in the competition as one of the best countries in the world in overall aspects of life.

2) The crime rate in this country is getting higher and higher. Perhaps it is time to focus more on tackling those issues rather than looking into religious affairs. There are things and restrictions that I find that it does not have logic and making sense at all. For what reason is it there? We still have corruption to handle and deal with. This religious thing should be placed as low priority.

3) Does the statement implies that those idiots want people of each race to eat only their own food? People have right to try other food. What matters is that food is one of mankind's basic needs and that need does not take into account of food that is subjected to policies.

4) With this case, is Malaysia starting to become another Saudi Arabia? Non-Muslim people being forced against things that they do not want or need to? A friend of mine told me that there are cases in Johor were non-Muslim students are required to dress as a Muslim - (songkok, tudung and etc..) during school days.

5) The shop guys should forward this matter to the MIC guys (Indian branch of the National Alliance) over this matter. This matter is deemed breaching the basic rights of Malaysian citizens. The raid considers infringing article 8 of the Constitution: religion freedom.

6) Are those Indian shops sell pork-free food? If yes, then it is not a problem for our Malay friends to enjoy the Indian food. After all, our Indian friends do produce good food for breakfast, right? Judging from the shop where it got raided, the shop must be selling pork-free food.

7) Are those little Napoleons running around wild to show us how great they are?

In summary, should this problem is not solved, the inter-racial society that we've held quite long will crumble as the amount of respect between races diminished the more of this kind of situations will happen.

Black Magic Maid!?

My friend Edmund told me of a close-call disaster that happened to his family. Yesterday morning, his elder sister had spotted the family maid running around Giant unknowingly taking his second sand Bert around there. They brought her back and it was later discovered that much of the items - valuables were stolen by her -

Among the items stolen were passports, $2K of cash and some credit cards. The worst thing of all, was that the police - investigating the maid's room - discovered lots of black magic stuff that was used secretly. He told me of some mysterious symptoms, like him getting ill, May - his wife - injuring her knee, and her younger sister Regina appearing as pale as a zombie. I feel that this is her acts late at night. It was taken and destroyed elsewhere.

When such incident was discovered - he actually noticed it at around 11 p.m. Wednesday, he went to make a police report until 2.a.m. The next morning, they went searching for the maid and Bert. Everyone was on emergency leave. They found her in the morning and it's the second round at the police station. Until then, the maid's room would be sealed off for further investigation by the police. As of now, the maid is in the police cell and since it is clear crime and caught red-handed, there will be court sentence.

Thankfully, the contract with the maid agency has a conduct clause which means that the family has the right to throw and replace one or terminate their services without compensation if there is a report of conduct of the maid.

Never before I've heard an account that such maids, brought in to do their jobs would turn against their masters despite being treated as a human. There are many but not all would do that. I had a hunch that there are such cases like this would happen. That's why my Aunt Helen and I would oppose to the idea of getting a maid for my grandpa.

The Calderon That Brews Mistakes

Current Real Madrid president Ramon Calderon is like a kind of guy that is above the law. No, it's not like the typical 'hand me down judgements type' but he has the right to decide who gets promoted up and down in the club's middle and lower hierarchy.

Yesterday's sacking of Fabio Capello, who also had a spell here in 1997 and also despite winning the primera Liga title would be the umpteenth time where he decides the fate of coaches in a split second. However, his decision sometimes would backfire and sadly, he makes bad decisions.

Take the instances of the following:

1. Jupp Heynckes was sacked in 1998 despite winning the European Cup, with current sporting director Predrag Mijatovic scoring the winner against Juventus. It was Calderon who would be the first man to speak out and seconded by former president Lorenzo Sanz. John Toshack was briefly brought in but he walked out of the club less than a month after that with a spat with Sanz and Calderon.

2. No less than one year after Guus Hiddink was brought in to replace, he was sacked despite leading the team to the Intercontinental Cup victory. Who was behind it? Calderon.

3. Despite leading the club to Primera Liga titles and two European Cup titles between 2000-2003, Vicente del Bosque was asked to leave when his three year contract expired. Despite the success achieved. Who was behind the idea? Calderon, seconded by Fiorentino Perez.
4. From that on, the club mired into problems where they could not win a league title since 2003. Number of coaches go in and out including Wanderley Luxemburgo, Juan Lopez Caro and etc.. But the fact is that Fiorentino Perez sacked coaches based on the influence of Calderon, not by himself.

Parallel Scenario

The problem right now is there are cases where the management never understands the mechanics of the lower echelon. Movie-making business is also a case that falls into this. Ridley Scott' s film Kingdom of Heaven would get better ratings had they release the complete 194 minute cut. However, Fox co-chairmen, Tom Rothman and Jim Gianapolous insisted on having a butchered 150 minute cut. Their decisions backfired though as the film had mixed reviews
and earned $211 worldwide - considered a flop despite recouping the film's cost.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Corridors of Power: USA

The CIA had released a declassified 693 page document today whereby part of it details a hit ordered on Cuban president Fidel Castro in the 60s.

The new documents showed that the CIA had violated its charter for the first time in 25 years.

The title is called as CIA Family Jewels.

Numerous mob figures were brought in and promised of pardon in exchange of undertaking an assignment of killing Castro in the 60s. The reward is a sum of at $150K at that time. Notable figures hired were Johnny Roselli and Salvatore Giancana also known under the pseudonym of Sam Gold.

Seeing that Castro's forces were responsible of overthrowing the US-favored Batista regime in New Year's Day 1959, the US was desperate to recapture the territory and would do anything to achieve their hegemony. According to Chomsky's Hegemony or Survival, CIA head Allen Dulles urged Britain not to supply Cuba with arms knowing that they would go to the Russians for help.

After the Bay of Pigs disaster, they would try again. CIA head Arthur Schlesinger suggested various efforts to trap Castro in some action that can be used as pretext for invasion. The main objective is to put a regime that favors true interests in the Cuban people - yes of course - and most importantly, acceptable to the U.S. with no direct appearance of US Intervention.

Other notable things mentioned in the document are:

1) Journalist surveillance with Operation CELOTEX I-II:
2) Ex-CIA man Howard Hunt requested a lock-picker for the bungled Watergate burglary job.
3) Beatles man John Lennon was allegedly funding the anti-war activists.
4) A plot to poison Congo's Patrice Lumumba.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Will COLA do enough?

I know that I need to catch up my everyday policy of posting at least once a day but there are cases such as engagements and other things that prompted me to make up for the days lost.

Yesterday, the MTUC, Malaysian Trade Union Council has launched a picket in K.L, P.J, J.B and Penang to appeal to the government to enforce the minimum wage rule of $900 per private sector worker and an additional $300 for COLA - Cost of Living Allowance.

The Human Resources Ministry responded to the matter and urged them to drop the matter, taking into the account that non-local workers would also be accounted to that proposal. Which means, if you hire a cleaning maid, you may have to end up paying her monthly of at least $900. Currently, if you are hiring her on a twice a week basis, you would only need to pay up to $400 only, according to the present market rate.

However the ministry suggested the idea of allowing the wages for dock workers or cargo handlers.

Personally, I think COLA will do enough. Not all companies give a COLA to workers alike. I am fortunate though that my organization is paying an additional $200 presently for the COLA - still subjected to EPF, but somehow, it is better than having none.

It will do better than having asking for the wage thing. But private sector workers do deserve a pay rise like those in the public sector.

It Clearly Says No, But...

On Sunday, I went out for dinner with my family to a restaurant that my grandfather fell in love and recommended me to go to.

It was my first time, but their 8th time there. It was the sense of curiosity that got him there.

But my dining experience was soured near the end when numerous people, men and women clearly smoked red-handed even though the signs at the premise warns of absolute no-smoking rule.

These fools are totally ignorant of what they are aware and should do. The worst was as days goes by the number of female smokers are getting higher and higher. No matter where I'd go for food after work, I can notice no less than three female smokers.

It that is part of the way to show off to other people that smoking is cool, then you are getting the wrong message to the people. I realized that the non-smokers are the ones that tend to suffer more. I witnessed the scar of the past - my late granny was used to be a smoker before she quit many years ago and I feel that it's the reason of what killed her.

Better wake up before that kills you.

The Black Lagoon

I haven't been writing for many days already - today the fourth day if you keep counting.

When I went back home to Ipoh, I was introduced to a new Japanese animation series that my brother is currently watching - called The Black Lagoon.

Didn't show me the whole thing though, but he wanted to show me the best bits of the first season.

It is an adaptation of one of the manga comics that is well known in Japan.

Now don't brand me as an anime freak because of this incident. I watched one of the episodes that he said it as "must watch" and after that I found it kind of funny.

The Black Lagoon is actually a crack team of mercenaries for hire to the highest bidder. The team is led by a black man - Dutch the Boss. He is accompanied by Revy Two Hands - the only female of the posse with Benny the Mechanic and Rock the ex-businessman.

Okajima Rokuro is a poor limp=ass salaryman who was ordered to carry a special disc around for a top secret errand. Unfortunately, he was captured by the mercenaries and winds up being part of the team as Rock. Most of the time, their employers would be Hotel Moscow - a cell of ex-Russian military led by Balailaka.

Unfortunately, this is the only group picture that I managed to get my hands on. So:

From L-R: Benny the Mechanic, Rock, Dutch the Boss and Revy Two Hands.

Much of the premise can be found here and here.

Saturday, June 23, 2007

If You Call Them Stupid, What About You?

Malaysia has signaled its intention to clean its image by intensifying efforts to beat crime and corruption. However, some MPs (Parliament Members) questioned the government's efforts and its current standing in its fight.

In this video, Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang's criticism and questioning - which by right he has the right to know were immediately quashed by "poster boy" PM Dept Minister Nazri Aziz.

These were what was said by Nazri as quoted by Malaysia Today:


“Malaysia will never develop as long as we have people like (Parliamentary Opposition Leader) Lim (Kit Siang). All these (corruption allegations) are lies. Why are you so stupid? Where are the allegations? You have no brains. Stupid, stupid, stupid!... "


“Singapore is not a real country, it is a small island. Singapore’s population is just three to four million and there are no opportunities for corruption, unlike in our country.


“We have a freer media now that allows many voices to be heard. That is why we have many people making unfounded allegations in the media,” responded Nazri.

Citing the Johari Baharum case (for allegedly receiving RM5.5 million in bribes to free several criminal suspects held under the Emergency Ordinance (EO) as an example, Nazri said the allegations had appeared on blogs and anybody could create a blog.

Opinions from the debate are:

1) Most Malaysian MPs in the Pro Alliance faction have an education foundation of up to Form 6. Interestingly though, the majority of PAP MPs in Singapore are well educated and do have university degrees. Thus explains the better mentality and insight compared to Malaysia.

2) From #1 we can attribute to #2 - whereby awareness of corruption and the capability of solving problems much efficiently is proven in Singapore.

3) The case of Johari Baharum is actually a reverse of what is reported in papers. An article by political / social writer Raja Petra Kamaruddin revealed that there is an alleged conspiracy involving at the Malaysian Corridors of Power that involves top government officials and the underworld.

4) The freer media reply by Nazri was bullshit. Much freedom of media was allowed during the Mahathir administration, unlike the now whereby there is a ruckus against media by old-school government officials like Uncle Zam and Shaziman.

A Block of Bad Events

The last few days was very stressful particularly at work. I found myself in a position where I had to deal many fronts. Finally as Friday approaches, I decided to take a leave on Monday to have a break from stress at work. Hopefully, a good day's break is enough to put things back at normal.

The first part of the events started last Thursday night. It was raining and I was on the way back home after a routine period of exercise. I was just after Armada Hotel when the cars in front brake abruptly. I braked quite hard, but the car was skidding and I by the time I braked hard enough I hit the back of a Proton car.

Shit...seems to be a long talk about fixing it in the rain.

Thankfully, the guy's is working in Low Yat, makes it easy for me to find him the next round to settle the damage. It all happened because of some fool's in front of both of us braking abruptly. This was not the only accident occurred that night. Less than 15 minutes after mine, another happened just behind us.

Okay, the guy was kind of a nice Indian whom is willing to show me the details of the fix, damages and etc..the next round I am in town. He called twice yesterday to see how am I doing and telling me that he couldn't go to work because he injured his left wrist - twisted so badly as his was on the steering wheel.

The car's bonnet got slightly dented except that I cannot close it completely. The impact has left the thing slightly out of shape and to fix it, some parts had to be removed before it can be fixed prior to reattachment. I am planning to do it next Saturday with a friend who knows some mechanics in a workshop in K.L.

That was only the first part of it.

The next day, I had a talk with my manager over such problems that I am facing and it seems that my answers are all there. He finally cleared things up, except for the ending which I am not that quite happy about. We admit that we didn't have much of the understanding and the line was not drawn for me to know. All those things happened while I am busy working on things to finish up by end of next month. Remember the fear which I told about in a few posts ago? There it goes...except for one last piece of the puzzle be known by next week. He asked me a question...what can I get from you if I solve your problems? I have no answer to it except to tell him what does he really want. We also agreed to meet often as on a fortnight basis to make sure that we are on the right track.

By the end of the day, I was slightly relieved but the aftermath of the last few days was affecting me so much that I decided to take a one day break and going back to work on Tuesday.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Comics Galore For September

Saw the Marvel solicitations today. Contains very impressive TPBs coming that I will need to get those:

1. Captain America Omnibus HC:
This is one hell of a big book. It collects Winter Soldier, Red Menace, Civil War tie-in and ends with The Death of a Dream. It also includes the 65th anniversary special and the Winter Kills one-shot. Altogether 25-arc type issues and one-shots. But the catch is that the price is at about $75 USD! Sometimes it's worthwhile to buy the big collection here. But the story is well written by Ed Brubaker -who also writes Daredevil as well!

2. Daredevil: Hell To Pay Part 1

I don't know why the story inside is being labeled as part of the big story title. Hell To Pay Part 1 is about To Devil With His Due. This time, Melvin Potter - Gladiator is back in Hell's Kitchen, and he holds Matt's wife Milla hostage. To what end? I owe you something? This arc marks the start of Ed Brubaker and Michael Lark's second year in DD. They never fail and the successfully captured the spirit left off by Bendis and Mack.

3. The Punisher MAX: The Widowmaker

This is the # 1 one book on my want list for September. 5 women seeking revenge for the death of their husbands has one goal in common - to whack Frank -. What they didn't expect is that Jenny Cesare is joining the game and she has the score to settle with big sister Annabelle, Lorraine Barrucci, and the gangster princess Shauna Toomey. Why? Simple: Shauna cut her *breasts* out!
September 19: That's what they say this will be out.

4. Punisher Presents Barracuda

Our lovely black baddie that has a very good sense of humor is now starring in a mini-series following the events of Barracuda. Not even a buckshot from Frank can stop him and surprisingly, he was able to escape from the clutches of a shark. This time, our lovable "Wizard 2006 Best New Character" is playing bodyguard to a hemophiliac Oswald - guarding him against rivals attempting to cash the kid's father out. More humor....yeah! And this is the prelude to Round 2 of Frank vs Barracuda - The Long Cold Dark (50-54)

We'll be sailing....we'll be *muthafucking* sailing home again!!!!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

If They Can, Why Can't We?

Fellow top blogger Rocky has found out that Indonesia has three ministers blogging as part of their efforts to reach the attention of the public online. It serves as an alternative channel besides the prime media - (e-mail, letters, newspapers, etc..). The latest minister blogging online is the Agricultural Minister of Indonesia himself.

It is now 3-0 between the blogging government men of Indonesia vs Malaysia.

Does ministers having sites are being considered as part of the count or statistic? Is the problem of no Malaysian ministers blogging part of Uncle Zam's must-follow principal that everyone must follow? (don't blog as most of we bloggers tell lies?)

  1. If the ministers are not keen to blog - then they are outdated.
  2. If they are keen but do not know how - they should get people to help them. Open your mouth.
  3. If the ministers want to listen more to the people - this would be a good place to expand your base of listening. Seriously, this one of the good example to improve the bridge between the leader - people and its relationship.

Monday, June 18, 2007

World War Hulk Snips

Remember that day on Civil War review that I've mentioned that those people behind the Civil War that tore the Marvel Universe apart?

Well, those people responsible are going to pay for it.

Since May, Marvel has kicked-off the event of the year. If last year's main event is Civil War, then this year's event is:


The Illuminati sent Bruce Banner away to a remote planet called Sakaar and there, he survived for six years, becoming a gladiator in arena combat, ascending his way to the throne of Sakaar. He was called the prophesied Green King.

He returns to earth seeking the revenge of the members like Iron Man, Mr. Fantastic and Dr. Strange who jettisoned him -while on board of a SHIELD repair pod.

The one thing that people never expect is the Hulk's intellect. For the first time, he was able to think and behave like a real man. This was one thing that Iron Man will never anticipate. When he gave the warning:

"Now..this city will fall. You have 24 hours to evacuate. When I return, I want to see Mr. Fantastic, Iron Man and Dr. Strange. And if they're not there..I'll do this to your whole STINKING PLANET."

The first victim was Black Bolt.

Planet Hulk is a must-read before going to here.

An article of review of issue one is here:

Sunday, June 17, 2007

One Sucker Punch But Answers Shown

In the afternoon, I decided to beat the city blues by going to Genting Highlands and spend the entire night up there. Wait..will explain more. Genting Highlands was hosting the Guinness 9-Ball Tour with numerous top players including 2001 World Champion - Chao Fong Pang and 2006 World Champion Ronnie Alcato.

I met them briefly when they are taking breaks from their playing sessions. Also, there was also a speed ball challenge where the winner of challenge gets $2000 and a 3D/2N stay at Bali. I met the southern region champion, Richard and the night's winner, Tony Chong.

I was killing time as part to ease stress by playing pool on a winner-stay basis. So it was by coincidence that I met Richard, who was in need to practice for the challenge, that we let him spar against anybody at the two tables that anyone interested can play.

There were pints of Guinness malt all around and there was Asia's top speed pool female player, Cerie Chang. Other players too were there where I managed to document the accounts there.

I had some food that night and I was planning to return back to P.J in the morning at around 7 a.m. Late night, I met Richard again unexpectedly at KFC, whom he invited me for a meal that he could not finish it up. Tony then joined us and we talked about the speed pool thing.

I had a nap twice in the car, one while I was in the parking bay for about two hours. I got up and walk again around the big hotels. The other time was when I was at the rest house near Gombak. I took a nap for one hour.

So I went to have a cup of coffee while waiting for the guys from the company to show up at the futsal center. They had practice, warm-up sessions and various matches. However, despite scoring about five goals, I ended up having a bruised knee and palm as well as getting suckered punch (an accidental football shot hitting my eye. Thankfully, it was not severe.

What is interesting about today was that my new colleague engaged me with a conversation about knowing more of me and then about the career retrospective at the company. He's already been there in his second month. But it was through the talk that I managed to get some answers that I've been asking God through prayer. At least some answers are there, but more will show up. Still, it has yet to answer my main question in mind.

I felt that it is best to talk about this right after I finish my current work assignment.

Saturday, June 16, 2007

#100 Post And Civil War

MY #100 POST!!!!!

This post is my #100 post or shall I say that this is the 100th day I've posting since I started blogging a few months ago.

I met Edmund for breakfast earlier in the morning. I just got a call from him reminding me of the appointment. I was too sleepy after coming back from an outing late night to get stuff for Captain America #25 - a significant event that will rock the core of Marvel universe later - which I will elaborate later on.

So, Edmund helped me to do a financial review plan - something that will help me later on. I really need to make extra money already. The money that I had - active money - will not help much particularly in the medium term. So I started to think of online marketing, options trading and etc.. but the model starting cost is too much for me to start with - that's why I am unable to do so.

Civil War

Just read the entire story to understand the whole premise behind this. Civil War is Mark Millar's dig at the current George Bush administration. The events in the book, the Stamford disaster and the enforcement of the Superhero Registration Act is much a less a parallel of the 9/11 disaster and the pursuit of the enforcement of the 2002 Patriot Act by Bush. Many debated the pros and cons of the disaster and the enforcement.

Tony Stark has seen many incidents of the past - evils of the past - he sees the future and the consequences if actions were not taken. In his early life, Stark Enterprises was a point of munitions manufacturing and events like the 1999 Columbine incident -that endangers civilians prompted him to introduce the act to alleviate the fears and doubts of normal citizens living together with superheroes.

On the other hand, Steve Rogers, was part of the American Dream age. He witnessed World War 2, the events and actions that the U.S government would do - hegemony, secret empires and etc. Many people were angered by the fact that the bad side of Patriot Act is that agencies such as the FBI, CIA and the Justice Department misused the right of the Act to eavesdrop on normal average US citizens just to catch and prosecute people for alleged involvement in terrorism.

How ironic it is in the world where there is hegemony and evil around.

The debate of Civil War still rages on but a one shot called The Confession shows the debates and arguments as well as examines the perspectives from Cap and Iron Man.

Civil War was not the only story that comic fans should read. First of all, get the checklist to see what is the essential ones to cover. The next one, Frontline is more of the latest coverage of the events of Civil War through the eyes of Ben Urich and Sally Lloyd. It is more of a detective, news front story. It is not superheroes vs superheroes but the media perspective story.

Frontline is indeed much better than the main arc but it also fills up the missing gaps not included in Millar's arc. I won't go much into revealing the story except to advise you to pick up and enjoy reading it yourself.

The final part of Civil War is written by Captain America writer Ed Brubaker. This was in Captain America #25. I'm sure that the comic world was rocked to the core with the assassination of Captain America himself. About to be taken to the court of law but shot by Crossbones and a hypnotized Sharon Carter (Agent 13) - all part of the Red Skull's plan to humiliate Cap in front of the world - with his death - Death of a Dream is a nod to the JFK assassination. The aftermath of the event is disastrous - Sharon quit SHIELD, Bucky and Frank Castle took over Cap's role...Tony faces backlash, Spider-man quit the pro-Registration team...well the event marks the start of the punishment for ignorance and the evils of the world - with the return of Hulk in World War Hulk!

Friday, June 15, 2007

I Just Can't Laugh Much!! Why?

Last week, I went watching Shrek 3. I watched because of one reason: I expected more laughs from Shrek and Artie (Justin Timberlake). Apparently, it was co-star Cameron Diaz, who was dating Timberlake at that time recommended the studio for him to play Artie - some sort of funny for Arthur.

Though it is another chapter of Shrek's life, I just simply can't laugh as much as comparing to watching the first two movies. I vividly remembered great moments in the first movie, including the cue cards, Fiona fighting Monsieur Hood's gang and as well as Shrek's tag-team wrestling match the evil lord's men for the right to rescue Fiona.

For some reason I cannot explain, the magic wanes in this installment. Maybe it's because it is in a different hands that the tone of the feature is a little different. Were Andrew Adamson who helmed the first two installments return for this, we might expect something different.

But I find those Arthur segments interesting but some were cut for instance Arthur asking lessons from Shrek of dating Guin - Guinevere or even asking something to hit Lancelot back.

You also find Charlie's Angels spoofs, and the Captain Hook thing...but I still just can't laugh at all. I just can't find it as funny (level of fun) as the first two. Shit...I'm repeating the line again!

Feeling A Little Better

I felt a little more better than before. Got work cut out throughout this week and next week as I will be conducting some sort of training, Q&A of the bug tool to be used by people in the office. We're now in running in a live simulation of using in the environment.

But the concern is about the license expiring next week.

A colleague of mine is getting wed end of the month, and I've been invited to go over. Likely to book a room downtown as to avoid driving back home. Save a big trip and avoid driving under heavy drinks just in case.

Will be meeting Edmund tomorrow to talk about Civil War. I guess he is really looking forward into watching those events unfold. About 18 issues or 21, if you count all to wade through and read the entire saga of Civil War.

Sigh...while I am trying to download extra stuff..this I kept repeating in SMS messages, I am doing a little more XML work - try to cover as much as possible. I also thought of going to Genting either tomorrow for a day or spending a night in July - want to see the MLTR concert there.

Then on Sunday, it's futsal time! Company club activity. Were it held last week, I could have celebrated Father's Day back home.

I guess I have to do without that.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Bad Boy Samy

Interestingly, in the midst of the leak incidents in Kuala Lumpur including the Parliament building, fellow blogger Bernard (Zorro) posted an interesting spoof of Works Minister Samy Vellu.

An interesting note that caught attention of some people is that Samy plagiarized a poem which he claimed to be original and penned to PM Abdullah Badawi in conjunction with his second marriage with Jeanne Abdullah.

However, the kind of plagiarism committed by a minister is not as severe as a newspaper professional. It was noted that former NST editor Brendan John Pereira - one of the members of the NST who sued Jeff and Ahiruddin - who was alleged to do the same thing but it is more severe as he is a media professional - not an amateur.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

A Hit and Miss

There will be a revision to the drivers learning curricular which will be implemented in stages coming a few months time. The curricular was jointly developed by the MIROS - the Malaysian Institute of Road Safety. The main focus of the curricular would be:

  • Creating an all-round driver that knows understands road ethics and proper driving skills.
  • Awareness of the road laws.
  • Exposure to driving in various environments covering urban and rural areas
  • More on applying what is learned in class on the field driving.

Presently, a student driver is required to seat for three hours of videos talking the basics of driving either cars or motorcycles before they are allowed to start learning. A problem behind this is that a lot of people find it dull - and so there is a word of keeping things fresh and exciting that will make people focused.

What is also interesting about the planned revamped curricular is that learners will learn the reasons of doing this and example would be that a driver should consider lower the car gear when descending a hill. The reason of this action being performed was never explained at all by the driving instructors. Another good example is the importance of spacing between the car ceiling and your head - its reason was never explained at all.

The number of accidents that happened in Malaysia remains high and one of the main reasons behind this is that not all skills are learned from driving schools. One of the most important skills missed out is the ability and what is to be done in a very emergency situation. For instance, if suddenly your care tires got punctured, how will you stop the car safely without causing much trouble and inconvenience to other drivers?

It would be a better idea if say BMW or Honda who do hold advanced driving courses to work together with MIROS to equip drivers of the essential emergency handling skills that would be worthwhile in future. Sometimes, these skills can save a driver's or the lives of passengers in the car. However, with the cost of having this is roughly $1500 per session, MIROS and the government will have to figure something out to get this.

On the other had: Outlaw of Xenon?

The RTD is considering of outlawing the use of Xenon lights used by cars.

The Xenon lights is three times brighter than a standard car light and it is white in color. The proposal of outlawing is being mulled following many complaints from other road users when during night driving.

Despite being economical - bright, and uses the same voltage as the standard light but performs three times faster, the lights are too glaring to many drivers particularly at night. Secondly, not many drivers know that there is a drawback of using Xenon lights. These lights do not work well particularly during rainy times as the amount of light penetration is far too great than standard lights and may blur the vision of a driver in that kind of situation.

Perhaps it is a high time for the idea to come out, but it is advisable to give them a period of one month to do so before action is taken.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Swimming Pool Night

It was raining quite heavily on Sunday night.

I parked my car at St. John's for a change, thinking that I can walk nearer to the LRT station down the hill. I never like to park at KLCC for the parking fee there is the most expensive ever in town.

So I spent the entire day getting the necessary torrent stuff from Starbucks' broadband network.
It was 8.30 p.m. when it's still heavy rain outside. From what I was told, the rain started at around 6 in the evening. I was back at the LRT station in Masjid Jamek, adjacent to Royal Selangor Club.

Fortunately, I did carry my umbrella along just in case. I had a hunch that it's going to rain in the evening. But I didn't know that it would rain so heavily. The picture above is the mud mess in Jalan Melaka. That night, I had to stop and shelter at two places. A restaurant along the road was the first stop. I had to have my dinner there, in case if I could not move out back to the car due to the prolonged heavy rain. There was thunder and lightning so I had to wait for the right time to go. I dashed across the road ignoring my shoes and pants in the big puddles of water and ran all the way to the church to dry myself again.

I was made to wait for another 30 minutes or so before I moved. At that time, the rain was not as heavy as before. I heard that after I left, the windows of McDonald's or Burger King was broken due to the excessive vibration from the bus driving down the flooded road.

The next day - would you look at that. The same place where I came out yesterday evening back to my car.

Immediately I thought of a accidental swimming pool made from the graces of Mother Nature.

I met my friend who was working at the Star during lunch hour. We talked about the flood thing. Told him of the 6-person injury that night. And what I got was that he told me that I was lucky not to park at Merdeka Square. At least the parking lots at St. John's is at the higher ground.

Development Authorities Rapped

Today, PM Abdullah Badawi rapped the DID - Department of Irrigation and Drainage for not implementing sufficient measures to combat such disasters as the flood. And look at how the department director Ahmad Fuad Embi fumbled in replying to the PM's criticism.

Frankly the SMART tunnel isn't totally complete yet. I talked to some people including Jeff Ooi and I concurred that the the car tunnel was completed first ahead of the flood alleviation component which is the foremost component of the project. See, this shows that some development authorities lack the foresight. If there is one reason I am asked to give of why the tunnel ahead, it's probably the urgency to recoup the money needed for the development and concessionaire of the project.

So far only half of the planned water retention ponds are completed. The rest of the ponds that were not finished was due to design conflicts, costs, unexpected delays and worst of all - procrastination.

See, procrastination is still a bad habit in Malaysia, and haven't we learn from Sunday's disaster or last year's Johor flood disaster that we should go ahead and do more things if we have extra time available from the time we saved? It is indeed worth to do more rather than nothing. I think that until this thing is solved, we should at least consider holding the toll collection thing off until July. Yesterday, there are some angry people, for the first time ever threw stuff like bottles - real anger - at the development authorities.

This is the government that we choose and we face.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Some Cheers Up

I decided to go out and have a break by going to town to enjoy myself.

Well, I didn't know that there are people, including Edmund who showed concern over me. At least, it did help a bit to lift up my spirits. Edmund, was posting a few comments over my last two posts was asking the same thing over a phone message. The last two posts contain about three replies from some unknown whom i wish they could identify themselves.

Actually, I did finished the recent work, but it was the previous one before this I was talking about. Tried searching for some answers, tried to understand and put myself to figure out how to move to there. But it is the fear of reprimand by those who can never understand the difference between a honest unintentional mistake and a deliberate intentional mistake. I just don't want to end up behind the 8-ball and forcing me to give up on what I've done and tried! The time demanded for the work to be done against the time waited for answers was not in my side.

On the way to KLCC to enjoy my time, there, I stopped by St. John's Church - where I parked my car - also near Edmund's office. I remembered my dad sending me a mail saying something entitled "A Fax From God":

"Today I will be handling All of your problems for you.
I do Not need your help. So, have a nice day.

P.S. remember...
If life happens to deliver a situation to you that you cannot handle, do
Not attempt to resolve it yourself !! Kindly put it in the SFGTD (something
for God to do) box. I will get to it in MY TIME. All situations will be
resolved, but in My time, not yours.

Once the matter is placed into the box, do not hold onto it by worrying
about it. Instead, focus on all the wonderful things that are present in
your life now."

I think the mail helps I prayed - told Him of the problems, asked him to take my fear and depression into his bosom and turned it into something that will propel me forward. I did say that I need to pass one of the obstacles in order for me to move on the path to enjoy life. It is my desire to see my efforts to reach a part of my life's objectives does not end in vain. Only the devil those evil would do that, wouldn't they?

Fortunately, there's something around me which is called the computer. That is helping to keep me company at this time of writing. Jeez, I just wish for an answer to my sorrows...a favorable answer. :-|

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Unexpected Times

I always insist that my blog is part diary, part commentary, and part reviews. It depends on what I really want to say and my current mood.

Some happy unexpected moments occurred in the last two days. I wonder whether it could be the result of my depression. But I absolutely refuse to believe this kind of theory. Was it that I am rewarded for patience / penitence or maybe something else? Take these two cases:

1.) One of my credit cards got upgraded to a Gold Card but I didn't ask for an upgrade.
2.) There are two guys that I bumped into - saw those two at the cafe that I went on Wednesday.

I was too tired yesterday and I got up at around 2 a.m. That's why I posted something about hegemony theory or something. Then I fell back to sleep and woke up in the afternoon. I just feel like staying back at home whole day starving through until the whole night. But I just had something in mind. So lonely...thought of putting it in the previous post just now.

It's only the computer, the Internet and some work that keeps me company. Otherwise, it would be a different story.

Stressed, Depressed and Lonely

This is more or less a personal issue that I just could not stand any longer. I just simply cannot hold it in my heart anymore. The more I start to hold it, I just start to feel more depressed, anger boiling up and I start to have the bubbles of hate popping out at anytime I just simply press the red button.

Throughout the week I felt very stressful. I was given the kind of work that I could find no way out to finish it. The moment just keeps reminding me of what happened about three weeks ago. And then I just made an honest unintentional mistake that I just keep feeling that I might get an immediate reprimanding from a perfectionist superior who does not understand the term of flexibility at all. All the time I just keep feeling that was no support from anyone - any kind soul or a good Samaritan - that at least can ease my daily pressures. It's like I am cursed not to receive any help from any quarter at all no matter how hard I tried. Alright, I tried to find solutions out to problems, but I felt that shouldn't that problem be solved immediately rather than coming out with the answer two days later?

I just keep feeling that there are many invisible eyes watching around me, waiting to pound on me the moment if I look at somewhere else except myself.

See, from that I just feel depressed every day of this week I come back from work. I just really wanted to go AWOL from work or expect one day I fall ill from fever or something. But I didn't fall ill at all. I don't really know what to say now. It's just that I lack of something - maybe faith? - maybe support, maybe will ?? to propel me past this struggles. It's like struggling when I am alone with no help at all. Am I fated to go into each situation like this? Does this always happen to me every time when June or July happens? Some astronomical event that I don't believe in that always hit me every year?

On the other hand, I was invited to attend my colleague's wedding at the end of the month. Congratulations to them. I just asked my dad's friend how much do I have to put out for the red packet's monetary value. That's alright. But when I looked at them, when do I have the chance to be in that situation? Do I only get when I am after 30+ or maybe not at all? The more I see other people with their partners, the more I start to envy them. I could think of bashing the guy and taking over his place.

But in order to go to that stage, I must complete the first to settle down. But now, I am still not completely reached to that level totally on my own. I can't do everything on my own for God's sake! If there's something bad that's going to hit me so bad, I fear all effort that I've tried hard to put in goes up in the smoke in the flash - something that I should not deserve and should be avoided. It's not easy to rebuild it from scratch. I beseech God's divine assistance to help me through this. Do I see as a tribulation of sorts?

:-( ;-(

The Show of Hegemony

The United States is noted as one of the two nations besides Australia to refuse to ratify the present Kyoto Protocol which will expire in 2012 as part of the initiative to combat global warming.

The media states that the main reason they provide is that it will severely affect their national economy. Days before the start of the just-concluded G8 summit in Germany, the U.S totally opposed to the proposal brought by Germany and the other group members. A leaked document to the press revealed that the Bush administration that the commented notes on the document, marked in red ink revealed that the administration wants to have some of the lines in the proposal to be scrapped off - it was marked as 'serious fundamental concerns' and the most important red mark of the communique: 'the treatment runs counter to our overall position and crosses multiple red lines of terms that we simply cannot agree on.'

Their opposition of the protocol was based on the rule set proposed by Germany:

1) Average temperature rise for this century per year is limited to 2 degrees Celcius.
2) Cut of global emissions by half below the 1990 levels by 2050.
3) Rise in energy efficiency of 20 percent by 2020.

Greenpeace director John Sauven described the US position as criminal. He remarked the U.S as 'ignoring the global scientific consensus and concern of climate change in the country'.

With the facts supported in the book Failed States:

The opposition of the proposal was merely because of their position as the number one superpower in the world, the richest nation in the world and indirectly maintaining their hegemony - or world domination. The Bush administration totally opposes to the protocol which contrasts to the people's opinion that says yes to the protocol. There was a hindsight by the Republicans - right wingers- that the president will support the protocol, alas it is not.

Various analysis of the 2004 elections were conducted and it was discovered that the majority of voters are deluded or having little understanding of the candidates / parties stands. It was deliberately done so by certain groups as sow various contrasting opinions instead of having a single unilateral answer that could possibly used as a propaganda weapon against their own government. Most voters who picked Bush were convinced that he shared the same views as them, however the right-wing Republican party explicitly rejected them as in the case of the Kyoto protocols. What is interesting about this though is that the thing above rang true in the Kerry camp - Kerry hardly responds to concerns of his constituency, international or domestic issues!

Condo Rice's conclusion statement that the World Court jurisdiction is ineffective against them and the U.S not binded to international laws and norms indirectly reflects the opposition to the matter. Bush insists that the U.S has their own methods of combating the global warming, but the fear is that either it ends with empty promises, their methods is ineffective or perhaps other problems that might come out of the opposition. It is this small party that rejects the big consensus by bi-partisans. This small group mostly makes decisions from the elite political culture.

The US citizens actually say yes and agreed that the government should accept international jurisdictions and sign the protocol, allowing the U.N, the world body to take charge of international crises, using diplomatic and economic measures rather than using military might as the U.S does. The opposition to the ICC has elicited ridicules aboard ever since the use of the Holland Invasion Act where the president directly intervenes a World Court case in The Hague.

The accurate metaphor that the world presents to the U.S is literally "They present solutions, I don't like them thing." Sadly those solutions proposed represent the radical opposition to the U.S public policy. It will be in the matter of a two to three years time where the U.S economy faces a period cycle of collapse where they might be coming to other nations begging to her knees that they will start facing the consequences of vanity, arrogance and ignorance.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Photos of Party

Photos of the small party today:

Compensation For Mistakes

My colleagues and I went for lunch today at a new cafe nearby office. Today was the first day and opening so we went in to try their food. We were made to wait for the food to come...took about more than 30 minutes.

We were pushing for them to bring our food in.

And there's some confusion behind the kitchen so some of the food that my colleagues ordered ended up later than mine. But we didn't expect the people there to approach us and ask for our feedback. So we hammered them with complains and suggestions like:

1. Bring a trolley.
2. Self-service for ready made food.
3. Drinks are too expensive
4. Sort out orders more effectively.
5. Food lacks taste.

The fourth complain was the longest part talked out. But we were the last group to leave the cafe by the time it was close to 2 p.m. But given the amount of criticism we gave out, we didn't expect them to compensate with desert and bottles of soy bean milk. The desert was complimentary. I guess they are embarrassed already, maybe it gives the first impression that customers might not be coming back to the premise again.

We bought a cake and celebrate birthdays for those who are born in June, but since the manager's birthday is somewhere around this week together with some others, we threw a small party together at the office pantry at around 3 p.m.

Photos are in the next post.

Man, I feel quite frustrated. I just could not figure out an answer to an assignment. Just no one knew about Access VBA so I tried fiddling around with Access. Finally, I just got an answer: just create a damn bloody sub-form!

Monday, June 4, 2007

The Alleycats....Gone

The Alleycats is one of the top bands from Penang singing hit Malay songs. Founded by the Arumugam brothers, the band produced a massive record of 28 albums since 1979.

Alleycats were old pros on the pub circuit, in their Penang hometown and in KL. Back in the 70’s and 80’s they had dozens of Bahasa Malaysia albums, with evergreen songs like ‘Sampaikan Salam Cintaku’, ‘Kerana’, ‘Sekuntum Mawar Merah’, and many more. Every time David Arumugam finished a song, he will shout his trademark ‘Terima kaSIH!”. Every time, without fail. There was one time I was at my Malay friend’s wedding kenduri, this wedding singer belted an old Alleycats ballad ‘ditujukan khas buat pengantin’, and he ended with the exact same ‘Terima kaSIH!”, to which the crowd cheered vociferously.

Sadly, today, Loga passed away from lung cancer at 10.50 a.m. today at the Mount Miriam cancer hospital. He has been diagnosed of this disease eight months ago.

I think I heard of one of their songs a few years ago. At this time, they are contracted to perform every week until July at the Holiday Villa Subang Jaya. Sadly though, they never finished it.

Condolences to David over Loga's passing.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Raining Cats and Dogs

Today is the second time in row that there's heavy downpour in K.L. Heavy rain, with lightning and thunder. I am stuck in the Starbucks cafe. I just simply had to wait for the rain to subside first before going out. Interestingly though, since this two weeks are school holidays, I saw a big number of Singaporeans or southerners coming up to K.L for the holidays.

I just lazed around the bed for a quite a long time today. So I had brunch a few hours ago. I couldn't think of what to do besides going to town or buy the groceries. Nothing except those two things in mind. I just also thought of finishing my XML work for Project Aon.

I spoke to a few friends online, the one from Sabah, Simon and another one in Australia doing his studies. They are fine really. I just purposely killing time here...I just couldn't think of something interesting to talk for now.

Yesterday at Kino, I saw a big stock of Marvel Civil War. They are offering 20% off for the Civil War related titles as well as Eternals. Simon also mentioned this. To save cost, I am getting Frontline via Torrents. I am really looking forward into reading that stuff. The storyline is just a dig at the Patriot Act enforced by the Bush Administration.

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Would You Look At This!

I just went to town today. I already had in mind of going my with a friend of mine to see notebooks at Lowyat Plaza once he finishes his work at IPK - the K.L police contingent. Thought he would finish in the afternoon but in the end he finished quite late and I decided to go ahead and do things without him.

I spent the entire afternoon doing my work in the cafe and I thought of meeting with Edmund. When he messaged me, he was somewhere in town too. But he had other things and we could only meet some other day.

By the time it was around 5 p.m, it was raining like cats and dogs. Would you look at the skies there...!

At that time the picture was taken, it was around 6 p.m. Once I am sure that my friend couldn't make it for the appointment, I decided to go back home. However, I was surprised to find a lot of people stuck in the underground train. I decided to wait until the crowd thins down by visiting the opposite mall, Avenue K. Look at this shot:

Once I had finished taking a look round the more, I went back to the station. Still too many people. I just had no choice but to queue at one of the counters. While on the way back, I was kind of a little fearful of the lightning and thunder so I had to shelter inside the building and then dashing to some cover. But the last stretch was a little hard, so I just ran like mad to my car which I parked at the Royal Selangor Club. I never liked to park at KLCC for a long period. It costs more than parking at other places.

I could have finish my work there, but I didn't bring my adapter along. But I am surprised to see that Civil War has been restock and been given a 20% discount. I am looking forward to get those important ones...the main story and Front Line. 1602 Fantastic Four is also something to complement. But I need to clear my credit bills first.

"There is no good or evil. There is only DOOM."

Friday, June 1, 2007

One Weekend Work

For the past few days, I have been asking some guys online whether I can take on the assignment of editing the online book of Dawn of The Dragons by Joe Dever. It has been quite close to a year since the previous book was released online. I think that there isn't anyone willing to take up the work of editing, which makes the book unreleased to fans worldwide.

I keep thinking that I am doing them a favor by expediting the process. If things finish as soon as possible and if the project coordinator Jon Blake with the webmaster, the lovely Simon Osborne approves it, then the book is out for everyone to read it!


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