Tuesday, August 26, 2008
I, and perhaps the rest of the nation too, have been complaining about the price increase in tandem with the price of crude oil per barrel - even roti canai and telur tiga suku masak dented my shallow pocket.
On the way to the office, half awake I stopped by the stall behind TMC where I normally get my regular dose of Kari Kepala Ikan (underneath a big tree) and Sweet Appam.
Typically, solo breakfasts are very productive. Oblivious about my surrounding, I made phone calls and listed down things to do and ate a plate of roti kosong banjir and a glass of teh tarik.
Done with the meal I asked:
U apa makan?
Roti kosong sama teh tarik.
Teh lima puluh sen, Roti lima puluh sen.
Oh. Thank you boss!
I walked to my car and felt a bit richer today.....
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
One Morning with JD the Blonde
I was still cuddling my pillows underneath my soft warm quilt. I could vaguely hear CNN’s coverage on Musharraf’s resignation.
The jazz tone from my phone went off.
JD was on the line.
With my sleepy voice:
Hello (while stretching myself).
Can you hear me?
Can you hear me?
Can you hear me or not?
Yessss!!!! Yes! Yes!!!! I am still in bed lah!
Awwwww.. when I grow up I want to be like you.
What’s up? Mana kau?
(Am I really interested here?)
Ohhh which type?
The one macam earphone.
(Suddenly I felt so awake, dang!)
You mean like those that covers the whole ears…?
No! The one that looks like ear plug.
(ah but then???)
So, all these while you have been talking without hands free?
Did you just buy it?
No, it came with the phone that YI gave me.
And why didn’t you use it before?
I just found out the hands free kit is included and it was in the box
(I am totally awake now!) - (BLONDE MOMENT NO. 1)
(I rolled my eyes 360 degrees and change CNN to BBC on stubborn Russians in Georgia)
I am still trying to figure out how to use the volume of this phone – you know how to make my voice louder or how to make the person on the other side louder.
Oh that’s easy. You can just take the piss out of the people you call then their voice will be louder.
Hang on ahhh, let me figure out how to do that. I think it this button here. Hang on ahhh…
And then the phone went…toooooot tooooooot toooooot
(BLONDE MOMENT NO. 2)
I sighed a little, rolled my eyes went back into slumber land.
Classic! JD at his BEST!
Monday, August 18, 2008
by Charles Ramendran
newsd firstname.lastname@example.orgKUALA LUMPUR (aug 17, 2008) : A band manager is crying foul over the high-handed and rude manner in which the Selangor Religious Affairs department (Jais) raided a five-star hotel pub in Glenmarie, Shah Alam early yesterday.
K.Selvaraj, the manager of eight-piece veteran pop band NRG who were performing at The Pub at the Holiday Inn Glenmarie, said about 15 Jais personnel who arrived in several cars and vans barged into the place at about 1am and began yelling at everyone about their presence.
He said the patrons, staff and band members were ordered by the Jais men to hand over their identity cards, and about an hour later the non-Muslims on the premises were released.
“Several foreigners who were guests of the hotel were visibly upset and asked why such a thing occurred and why they, as non-Muslims, were held for almost an hour when all they wanted to do was to unwind by having a drink,” Selva said.
He said during the two-hour raid, members of the band were posed ridiculous questions about their work as musicians.
“They shouted and warned those behind that they never want to see their faces in the place again. One officer asked band leader and vocalist Jasminor if his wife knew what he did for a living. What is wrong with what he was doing, is he not making an honest living?” he said.
He said about 100 patrons, band members and pub staff, all of whom are Muslims, were served with notices to present themselves at the Jais office in 10 days or face up to two months imprisonment or a RM3,000 fine. He said the notice did not state the offence they are being hauled up for.
“I understand if Jais wants to apprehend Muslims for consuming alcohol as they may have the authority to do so but my band members do not drink alcohol,” he said.
Selvaraj said he intends to sue Jais for insulting, causing embarrassment and treating his band members like criminals.
“I understand if Jais wants to apprehend Muslims for consuming alcohol as they may have the authority to do so but my band members do not drink alcohol,” he said.
JAIS can get the latest Malaysian Taler and Le Prestige. JAIS can have pictorial evidence of alcohol being consumed by Muslims (in high positions).
JAIS tak tahu ke, zaman sekarang kat hotel-hotel 5 bintang kat KL tu, Malay wedding pun ada free flow of champaign and wine?
Sunday, August 17, 2008
An afternoon with Razak Abdullah
TT introduced me to an artist who I should have already known.
The fact that Razak Abdullah is from Terengganu, already gave a dose of excitement.
After attending the launch of his Potraits of Bidong at Galeri Chandan, Bukit Damansara, I requested TT to arrange to meet Razak personally, to find out more about the Red Box series.
As unfortunate as always I have this tendency to fall in love with a piece that is NOT for sale. (I didn’t even know it was not for sale in the first place).
It happened again.
I am not hunting for anything, but, if there is an affordable piece of Terengganu worth collecting, I would go for it!
I met Uncle Razak today in the comfort of his apartment surrounded by wonderful pieces kept by the family. We spend more than 2 hours and Iafter several Q&A’s we found out, we are related and he termed me as “anak beranak”.
Now in his 50’s, a scuba diver, Razak explained to me passionately about each of his work in great detail. He can still remember vividly the days when he painted those pieces like the smell of the place, the humidity of Terengganu beaches and rivers, the texture of the sand and the whole ambience absorbed by all his senses translated into beautiful impressions.
I was told by an artist in Bangkok before that if I like a painting, and if I can afford it – take it. With that in mind I have collected several and they are on my walls now. I still love them everyday, everyday.
I know I can love one of Razak’s Red Box series everyday, everyday.
The Red Box that I want is not for sale.
He offered me one of the old family collections, the Monsoon Series, which he does not offer to anybody just for “anak beranak”.
A beautiful piece depicting a Terengganu fishing boat (a subject I love even in photography) at a location I am quite familiar with (Kuala Ibai).
I love the piece, almost vivid under soft spotlight. I am still thinking about it.
Next week, one of his painting will be acquired by the National Art Gallery as national treasure – after which the price of his collections will be appreciated significantly.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
One of my external hard disk drives was totally wiped out.
I lost a lot of old files and thousands of pictures.
Luckily I have important files backed up in series of DVDs.
Thank God for that.
There were some pictures of the past that I didn't back up.
They are now gone forever.
Thank God for that too!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
I was having lunch alone on Sunday at Berjaya, Bangsar.
Alone, because my regular Sunday Berjaya company either still in bed, or recuperating from their Saturday night out.
Reading the Sunday Star mining my own business, enjoying the food, not the news.
Bumped into a couple of friends.
Quite embarrassing as I was scruffy, messy, smelly after 30 minutes on the treadmill – and obviously no shower of the day yet…. (hey it’s Sunday!).
Toward the end, a guy, mid 40’s with a baseball cap with French flag on it - French cap?
Is that your car?
It’s nicely done.
Thanks! Have you got one too? Are you into vintages as well?
I am driving the 122s (Volvo) today. I have 6 other cars - Austin-Healey, MG, Volvo. All stored in Hulu Langat.(while showing the photos of his car from the hand phone).
We exchanged some restoration tips.
6 classic cars?
I wonder how he maintains them. The cost is one thing, but how do you keep up warming up or have regular runs of all the cars???
RECENTLY, VERY RECENTLY (inter alia…)
Probe into RM100 million logistics supply contracts to the police force. The procurement of low quality boots, pillow, mattresses etc..
In Johor, RM1 million worth of syabu got stolen from the police station.
In Seremban, 3kg of ketamine from the district police headquarters was stolen by a detainee being held in a cell at the station who then distributed it among the cellmates who consumed the evidence. (what a party!)
Nobody got fired?
If you have NOT watched the movie above, please make a point to.
You'll get the drift.
Friday, August 08, 2008
For those of you who care about our country and our future, try to read the wisdoms in Dr M's words.
Years ago, when I was still in the corporate, I looked forward to attend functions officiated by Dr. M. I miss the anxious and almost nervous feeling when waiting for him to arrive (always punctual!) and delivered his speech.
Concise with clear directions.
I would later find my way to get a copy of his speech - for project / proposal direction. (I also did this after Rafidah's functions)
I do not agree with everything he did when he was in power, but still, I think he is a great man for Malaysia.
We ALL do!
2. I have been abroad hundreds of times but I never fail to look forward to returning home. And as I step off the plane I would feel that sense of belonging that almost move me to tears. I am quite sure that every Malaysian feels this way upon returning to this, our very own homeland.
I can related to this. It's always good to be home (except for the taxi service at the airport). That's why I always put on my Facebook status update: M is Home SWEETS Home.
3. As Malaysia we are not an old country for we came into being only slightly more than 50 years ago. But it had been a very eventful half a century.
5. But our wise founding fathers, our Tunku Abdul Rahman, our Tan Cheng Lock and our Tun Sambanthan worked out a unique form of racial cooperation that staved off any violent confrontation between the races.
6. That cooperation, embodied in the coalition of racial parties and the Alliance/National Front Governments enabled the country to remain peaceful, bar one or two hiccups for 50 years.
7. Those were glorious years. The country grew and prospered. It became the model of the development of a developing country, a model of racial cooperation. It became known throughout the world where once no one could even pronounce its name. It was the envy of other developing countries.
Those days, outsiders gave remarks Malaysians live on trees!
8. Malaysians abroad felt proud because the moment they identified themselves as Malaysians, immediately people talked of F1 in Sepang and the twin towers.
I was in Germany (business trip) during Sepang F1 debut. It made my life a lot easier to introduce myself and my country at intros of meetings. They said: Malaysia.. ahhh Formula 1.
9. There seemed to be nothing to stop us from achieving our goal of becoming a developed country by 2020.
We were all work hard hand in hand, different races but a common 2020 goal. It was 20/20 clear to the public and private sector. People proud of it. The bidded number 2020 for their cars. We feel a sense of direction.
Unlike Islam Hadhari. Most of us haven't a tiny clue what it's all about. We don't even know which is the correct way to pronounce hadhari or had-ha-ri? But the billboards - which cost hundreds of thousands per year at least - are all over the place.
10. Now all these dreams seem to have faded away. We are involved in political wrangling of all kinds, our leaders seem to be uncertain about what to do, our foreign policy is in disarray etc etc.
11. We have lost our direction. And we get no guidance.
12. We can withdraw into ourselves and merely wish our problems would go away or would solve themselves.
13. But that is wishful thinking. They will not solve themselves, they will not go away. If at all they will become worse, become much more difficult to resolve, as our people become more deeply divided.
Depressing fact, rather.
14. The organizations created by our founding leaders which we were once confident could handle every problem have now deteriorated. Everything is about what is in it for me. Even the ordinary members of once respected political parties want something for themselves. Jobs, posts, titles, contracts and filthy lucre are the only things which matter.
I am sicked of this already, for a long time. Dah TEPU!
15. Sacrifice? What sacrifice?
Yeah, what sacrifice? What?
16. Who cares to sacrifice whatever. For most of the people we put our trust in to steer this beloved country to greater heights, the only sacrifice is to give up the Mercedes Benz for Proton Perdana, and that too very reluctantly.
I can't find anymore words to express my disgust in this issue.
17. I wasn't the best of leaders when I was in the hot seat.
18. But I did try my best. If my best is not good enough I am sorry.
19. But Dato Onn Jaafar, Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak, Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Tan Siew Sin, Tun V.T. Sambanthan cannot be faulted in terms of the sacrifices they made, their contributions to building racial harmony, peace and stability for their country.
20. Could it be that we forgot to teach this generation of leaders about the sacrifices made by our founding fathers.
21. Could it be that we cannot handle wealth as we did poverty?
Makes me think. Could it be Orang Kaya Baru syndrome?
22. Could it be that our leaders lack honour and the sense to accept responsibility and to retire gracefully?
That's bloody obvious, ain't it?
23. Some simply cannot accept the realities, the role they had played in the destruction of a near perfect system which had done so much for our country.
24. Yes we should "Cry the Beloved Country" as Alan Payton said of his South Africa of the Apartheid past.
25. But crying would take us nowhere.
26. It is time the silent majority stop being silent.
27. It is time to speak up and be counted.
28. If we love our country we must not allow crooks and charlatans to rape and steal it from us.
29. It is ours, this country of many races and religions.
30. We must stand together, we the concerned Malaysians, and defend our heritage.
New Delhi, Aug 7 (Press Trust of India) You do not need to be a numerologist to find the date - 08.08.08 interesting.
Although astrologers, numerologists and Feng Shui experts differ on the 'auspiciousness' of the date, yet they agree it is a special one. Even the Chinese are kicking off the Olympics on 08.08.08.
"In India, we believe that the number 8 is an unlucky number. However, the Chinese believe it to be a very lucky number. It has also proved to be lucky for them," says Bejan Daruwalla, famous astrologer.
Numerologist Swetta Jhumani believes, "The date is special. Although the number 8 is not a very auspicious number in numerology, yet the presence of three 8 takes the total to 24 (8+8+8=24), which is considered a good number in numerology." Mumbai-based numerologist Niraj Mancchanda agrees, "Three 8's together offset the negative vibes of the number 8 as the total is 24. Otherwise, disasters could have happened. Many disasters have occurred on the 8th or on a date, the total of which comes to 8.
The number 8 is not a very auspicious number. It brings hardship and bad luck." PTI
Thursday, August 07, 2008
I hate incidents:
Man, I wish I had my camera with me.
I still do have those moments once in a while, but camera phone can be handy.
Between meetings in Kuala Terengganu last week, I drove around Seberang Takir – a fishing village. We used to come here before to visit one of my uncles who has a grocery shop.
I always wanted to go on the fishing boats but my parents never allowed us. Actually I told my mom once that I want to follow the fishermen to the open sea – of course she didn’t allow me.
Last week I was in Seberang Takir again, to kill some time between meetings and to get keropok lekor for some friends in KL.
This time I went to the fishing jetty, on to the fishing boat.
A fisherman, (fisherboy?) volunteered to show me around from one boat to another.
I now know where they cook, what they eat, where they pray, different parts and compartments of a fishing boat. Very self sustained for days at sea. One thing missing – the toilet. I guess they have the biggest toilet in the world – the open sea. How they do it? I didn’t ask.
Friendly bunch of people.
Why aren’t they fishing?
Is it because it’s Friday?
Not because it’s Friday.
Angin Tenggara (North East or South East – I wonder as my Geography is rather rusty) is blowing wild. It's unsafe to be out there in the open sea.
A couple of the fishermen were just chatting and smoking and eating some watermelon (timung cine). They actually offered me some. I politely declined.
A couple of guys were sleeping.
Another guy was praying on the rooftop of the boat.
Another one was chatting on a handphone.
There were kittens and ever a seagull.
I jokingly said to the fisherboy – Ini macam kapal Nabi Noh! (It like Noah Arc!)
He looked clueless. Obviously he didn’t get my joke.
After snapping away some pics (the sun was too strong to my liking, but the experience was fantastic!), I politely dismiss myself and thank the fisherboy for showing me around, answered my curiosity since I was small.
At the end of the jetty, a Pakcik stopped me and asked me the regulars: what am I doing, working for a magazine, where I am from...... He looked quite surprised when I responded in Terengganu lingo and that warmed up things very easily.
The departing “discussion” was about the price of diesel. How difficult it is nowadays for the fishermen to cari makan.
Sometimes, their catch are too little, they can’t even cover the cost of diesel. With the current price, things are worse. And when the weather is bad, things can be WORSE than WORSE.
I can’t help but to notice the physical contrasts from this side of the river to the other side where in a distance I can see Kelab Teluk Warisan and marina for luxury yacths, a Monsoon Cup yacht passing by and in not far distance a long the same river Masjid Kristal lurking near the bridge….. which cost the taxpayers BILLIONS of RINGGIT.
Wednesday, August 06, 2008
UMNO money politics.
ACA has got its fingers in every pot.
Bla bla bla.
Everybody is just CONFUSED.
The whole nation is KAAANFIUSD!
How depressive is that?
Today I read yesterday’s paper while waiting for dinner.
Managed – surprisingly - to get a nice politically motivated quote – from abroad obviously.
Barrack Obama dismissed McCain’s controversial “celeb” with images of Hilton and Spears:
“I don’t pay attention to John McCain’s ads, although I do notice that he doesn’t seem to have anything very positive to say about himself, does he?”
"... it is the nation who is in distress. We are facing economic uncertainty and the citizens are facing all sorts of difficulties facing it. We are losing our competitive edge and we are losing our territories too." - Sheih Azidi (http://kickdefella.wordpress.com/)
Friday, August 01, 2008
Hari Raya came. Hari Raya gone.
Airport still not complete.
I was in Kuala Terengganu last week and very disappointed with the airport.
The entrance (the main gate) was rather dark.
The road sings were not only small, they were just not properly lit up.
I have been to the airport countless times, since I was small, yet I took a wrong turn due to poor visuals and missed the departure hall.
I thought that was it, until I went into the building and checked in.
The signages within the building are also small - besar semut!
I needed the toilet desperately, followed the sign lead me to the other rather dark end of the hall and the toilets were locked - when I really needed to go! After asking Information, I found the operational WC.
BUT (or course - I am a Kaki Complain!)
The door is small and the whole toilet is small. I have to squeeze my trolley into the toilet. (I can't bloody leave my precious camera gear outside unattended!)
I actually came back out from the wash room to find out whether it was a Ladies or Gents!
There was no urinal in the men's washroom! Just cubicles!
The airport was built last year.
They aimed to complete before election to proof to people the then state government cared and upgraded the infrastructure.
Almost election time it was opened to public but was grossly incomplete and dangerous. I saw electrical cables on the wet floor!
Election came. Election gone.
Airport still not complete.
Then they aimed for Sukma - The national sporting event - like national olympics.
Sukma came. Sukma gone. (Terengganu won - yeay!)
Airport still not completed.
My Japanese and Aussie partners shook their heads - In Japan, this is impossible.
Like I said, I ni kan kaki complain.
I went to Information.
Kak, kenapa airport ni teruk sangat? Macam macam benda tak kena.
Kakak dah tak larat nak dengar dik. Malaysia Airport "dipaksa" untuk menerima "delivery". Malaysa Airport Berhad tak setuju nak terima tapi JKR dah luluskan kerja kontraktor dan ketua kami cakap kita dipaksa menerima bangunan ni.
JKR telah syaratkan pada kita, kita tak boleh merubah apa apa didalam airport ni selama 2 tahun daripada tarikh serahan - which mean they cannot enlarge the signage and other things.
And you know what?
The lift (only 1 located between escalators) is SMALL. Only one trolly can fit in there.
WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?
At the end I ask the kakak.
Macamana nak complain ni?
Adik tulis je kat surat kabar. Kita orang memang sokong kalau orang tulis kat surat khabar. Biar orang semua tahu!
Kesian my Terengganu :-(
MB came. MB gone.
Airport still not completed......