Thursday, June 30, 2005

Petrol Price Increase Again?!?

There had been murmurs going around today that the Government will be announcing another price hike in petrol and diesel prices starting midnight tonight. The rumoured price increase ranged from 2sen to a whopping 20sen! If this is true, the move by the Government will definitely not go down easy with the rakyat since it's not even two months after the last increase in May. Petrol stations were jammed with motorists rushing to save a few ringgit before the rumoured increase takes effect at midnight. Looking at the crowd and since the rumours have not been substantiated so far, I'll pass.

UPDATE: It's all just a rumour. There's no price hike at all, yet! (01/07/2006)

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

They're Already Here

Today, Earth goes to war. The much anticipated sci-fi adventure thriller staring Tom Cruise and directed by Steven Spielberg, War of the Worlds premieres worldwide today. A compelling retelling of H.G. Wells' seminal classic, the movie reveals the extraordinary battle for the future of humankind through the eyes of one American family fighting to survive it.

Personally, I'm not too keen to watch this movie as I feel it would most likely not be worth my while. Hey, unless my friend who cancelled on me last week intends to organise another movie outing this weekend, I guess I'll be catching this through my usual channels. ;)

(picture from Paramount Pictures)

Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Money Politics ≠ Corruption ?!?

Recently, the nation (especially among the political circles) have been talking about the crackdown on corruption in UMNO, the largest political party in Malaysia. With the six year suspension of Tan Sri Mohamed Isa Abdul Samad (who won the Umno vice-presidency with the highest number of votes) confirmed by the party's disciplinary board today for abuse of power and money politics, UMNO is trying to project an image that it will not tolerate its members indulging in money politics and will not be afraid to punish those involved in such activities, even those from the higher echelons (Isa being considered No. 3 in the party after the president and deputy president). The PM has even called on the Federal Territories Minister to resign from all his party positions after this debacle. Many have concluded that the suspension reaffirms UMNO's commitment in fighting graft and the party may even have passed a critical milestone. However, there are still concerns that the fast nature of the punishment being metted out was hastily done although the disciplinary board has stated that investigations began eight months ago and both sides of the story was taken into consideration before the length of the suspension was decided. His political secretary (who is suspended for three years in connection to this case) claims Isa was unfairly treated and the charges were not proven and contained many loopholes. Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, a veteran in the party, claims the crackdown on money politics by the UMNO disciplinary board is ineffective and will not resolve the problem. He also questioned the rationale of taking action against Isa only while other 'big fishes' continue to swim freely. He claims the majority of members will still see the board's action as selective prosecution and Isa is the unfortunate sacrificial lamb in the party's pursuit to clean-up money politics. He has however proposed direct elections to curb money politics in the party.

What really bugs me regarding this issue is that money politics doesn't seem to mean corruption the way it has been played out. Why only suspension from the party? Why not just hand it over to the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA) to handle in the first place? If the party is really serious in curbing money politics which in my book is corruption (no two ways about it), ACA should have been brought in too. Although the ACA claims that they will investigate any UMNO leader found to have been involved in money politics, even without an official report from the party, what are they waiting for and are we to seriously believe it will ever happen? Isa is planning to appeal against the suspension but frankly speaking, if you are really innocent, just challenge them to charge you in the court of law, why hide under the protective cloak of UMNO? Unless you are truly guilty, no? Stand up and say money politics is corruption...only then will we truly be in the same class as Singapore and Hong Kong.

Money Politics = Corruption !!!

The Future Is Bright

The search for a cheap and inexhaustible way to meet global energy needs took a major step forward today with the announcement by the 30-nation consortium of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project deciding on France to host the world's first nuclear fusion reactor. With the price of crude oil reaching a record price of USD60.95 a barrel this week, the significance of the decision (which was between France and Japan) couldn't have been more apparent. The 10 billion euro experimental reactor that should now begin taking shape in Cadarache, southern France, will seek to turn seawater into fuel by mimicking the way the sun produces energy. We have truly been looking forward to this development for a long, long time. This can only be a good sign although critics argue it could be at least 50 years before a commercially viable reactor is built, if at all. Hey, Rome wasn't built in a day, so I suppose we could cut some slack on this since we are trying to recreate how the sun produces energy here and that's no small matter! Fusion power, here we come!!!

AMD Sues Intel

AMD has filed an wide-ranging antitrust suit against Intel, accusing it of maintaining its monopoly in the PC processor market by illegally coercing customers around the world into using its products. The battlelines have been drawn. Today will be remembered as the beginning of what could be a long and tough legal fight. Let the games begin!

Monday, June 27, 2005

Reveal Your Subconscious Mind

KS, your subconscious mind is driven most by Kindness

This means you have a deep desire to be kind and fair to others. You may even be preoccupied with finding kindness in the world around you, far more than you realize on a conscious level.

It is possible that the underlying reason you seek kindness in the world around you, is that you fear cruelty, the opposite of kindness. That could drive you to unconsciously project kindness wherever possible into your world. Regardless of its origin, your steadfast adherence to being kind to others is felt by people you are close to.

You are probably more susceptible than others to being overwhelmed by emotions — both yours and others'. It is possible that your unusually empathic nature is a result of your natural sensitivity to others' pain, and your desire to help them avoid it. For this reason, things might affect you more than they affect your friends and family. To protect yourself from too much emotional intensity, you might want to keep an eye out so you can recognize it when it starts. That will allow you to slow things down until you feel grounded again.

Overall, your strong orientation towards kindness gives you an optimistic nature, which translates into you seeing the best in the people around you. Because you're not one to be overly judgmental, others may seek out your company when they need a friend to talk to. People close to you likely know that you care deeply about the inner lives of others and can listen to what they have to say without imposing your views on them.


Geez...I'm driven by kindness subconsciously? Take the test yourself to know what drives you....subconsciously. Reveal your subconscious mind through Tickle's Original Inkblot Test. Hmmm...kindness?!? Is this true?

Sunday, June 26, 2005

24: Day One

After watching the first season of 24, I really admire how these people could still carry out their duties proficiently although they've been awake and tiring themselves out non-stop for the past 24 hours (or more considering they continued working from the day before!).

Previously, I've not been able to follow this series and from the few episodes I watched now and then (which made me very confused), I knew it would be a good series and after discovering the wonders of BitTorrent, I knew I had to watch it from the very first episode (Season 5 will be screened in January 2006). What I really like about the show is that everything is happening in realtime. However, it just amazes me how the interesting/major events would almost always happen at the turn of the hour or just before! Of course, what I meant was the cliffhangers at the end of each episodes! Undeniably, that is how they have to write each and every episode to keep viewers at the edge of their seats and come back for more! Also, it just seems magical that a particular event will only happen after another non-related event ends. Everything seems to happen so seamlessly and falls perfectly in the timeline without any clashes!

Also, I realised they forgot to link up some episodes which in actual case, would have made the whole story crumble! Take for example at the end of episode 9 when they discovered Jamey had allegedly slit her wrist. Ira Gaines was calling her and the episode ended, leaving viewers wondering how the agents will handle the situation. However, at the start of episode 10, there was no indication that they handled the call. Medics were patching Jamey up and sent her to the clinic. Now, wouldn't Ira Gaines have suspected something was wrong since she wasn't responding, and actually done something about the situation especially since the first assassination attempt has failed? I guess that's scriptwriting for you. :P

The special feature of the show is the multiple screens to show what is happening to different people at different places at the same time. It can get very irritating when there are just too many (and too small), and you just don't know which one to look at! Also, sometimes they make the camera shake or look as if an amateur was taking the shots but it made me dizzy watching these scenes! Well, all in all, this is definitely a good series and I can't wait to catch Season 2 (oh, I've made a mistake...they refer seasons as I meant Day 2). Viewing experience will be enhanced if watched on a HDTV, though. Hmmm...where can I get my hands on RM30k? :P

(picture from BBC)

PSD Crisis: Results Not Sole Indicator of Potential

It's just difficult to find parents nowadays that don't just go to the extremes for their children. Who is to blame them, anyway? They are only wanting the best for their children and rightly so. During the recent PSD crisis, we saw many parents voicing out their displeasure at the failure of awarding scholarships to the nation's top scorers to further their studies overseas. Unfortunately, only a few were able to think rationally and comment with impartiality such as this parent here who wrote in a very balanced letter that looks at the whole situation from a different perspective, pointing out that results is not the sole indicator of potential. I can't agree more since I've been saying this over and over again for so many years now. Unfortunately, not many agree with me on this and we remain being judged firstly and solely by our results (although I've benefited through this process before). Until Malaysians change their mindset from expecting stuff from the government and being kiasu all the time, we can never truly escape from the shackles of the Third World mentality. Are you ready to change?

Related articles:

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Freaking Haze

I woke up today to the sickening smell of haze. Yes, my nose can detect haze. Even the slightest of haze, I will know it is there. I was told by my smoking friends that the smell of haze is similar to that of Dunhill cigarettes. If that is so, I can't understand why they smoke them in the first place?!? Sheeesshh!!!

I had plans to catch a movie in the afternoon but I received an SMS from the 'outing organiser' informing me it was cancelled 'due to the lack of response from invitees'. Man, who writes those stuff, anyway? I mean, it's just a social outing...not some formal banquet or something like that! Well, too bad his other friends didn't respond to him then. Maybe the fun factor just flew out the window by the way he organised it. Well, I was thinking of going to Pantai Kerachut instead but then, with the haze condition like this, it would be better to stay indoors.

Haze has never affected me before, except for the smell. Today, it was so bad, I had a parched throat (although I drank more water than the average day), watery and irritated eyes, and even headaches! I ended up wearing a mask indoors! The world leaders should do something with those hotspots in Indonesia. Too often have these hotspots originated from Sumatera and frankly speaking, everyone knows it ain't no accidental forest fire or whatever they are claiming it to be. Someone is just clearing the area by torching the forest down so they can develop the place. Wake up! Not only are we losing out forests, we are also losing our health!

Well, the haze is definitely not going to stop me from watching the first season of 24! :P

Friday, June 24, 2005

Surrounded by Myvi

In my recent post, I've speculated that the Perodua Myvi will just bring bad luck whenever we're together. Today, I was totally swamped by Myvi. At every turn, there was a Myvi. It was as if they were surrounding me!'s the Attack of the Myvi!!!

Thankfully, no bad luck today. Phew! I have to accept it that from now on, there will be more and more Myvi hitting the roads and it was just coincidental that those two days I saw the Myvi were blighted with bad luck. Well, I was actually tailing a green one today! ;)

Anyways, I was fooling around with my Yahoo! Messenger today by setting weird away statuses. Hehehe...I had a few enquiries on what they actually meant! :P I also just realise I've completed downloading the first season of 24! Time for another marathon!

Thursday, June 23, 2005


It has been three days now...THREE days without water during the day. What is the PBA doing?!? Not even a notice regarding this matter!

For the first time after many years, I took a cold shower today (hot water bath won't work without water...DUH!). Brrrr.....was it cold! I guess I've been so used to having relaxing warm showers, I forgot how 'awakening' and fun cold showers can be. Well, I kinda enjoyed it. After all, it wasn't exactly a cool day outside. It actually reminded me of my undergraduate years or scout camps when I had to take such cold showers at 5 or 6 in the morning! Don't bother going for face-lifts. Taking cold showers at that time of the day will just pull all your skin tight again! I have to take another cold shower tomorrow? I wonder....

Follow the Leader

Once again, 'democracy' seems to have prevailed. Yeah, right!

In another example of Barisan Nasional's version of practising democracy, whoever is seen to have broken ranks with the Government will be dealt with harshly. Datuk S. Sothinathan has been suspended as Deputy Natural Resources and Environment Minister for three months effective yesterday for breaking ranks with the Government in Parliament over the de-recognition of Crimea State Medical University in Ukraine. Sothinathan would however remain an MP (of Teluk Kemang) and resume his duties as deputy minister when the suspension ends. The deputy minister accepts the decision and has decided to concentrate more on party matters and constituency work during the suspension.

Not so long ago, two state assemblymen from Penang were suspended just because they abstained from voting. They were not even agreeing with the opposition on the vote, they just chose to abstain from voting and for that, they received suspensions because they supposedly broke ranks with the State Government for not voting against the resolution brought forward by the opposition, which for me is just silly and bad for democracy.

If standing up for the rakyat by voicing such issues is a crime, then I don't see the purpose of having Members of Parliament or State Assemblymen in the first place. I don't recall democracy working this way. May I remind everyone that they are firstly responsible to the rakyat, then only to their various political parties. Everyone has a right to agree and disagree. Everyone has a right to voice their concerns. Everyone of them has the right to protect the rights of the rakyat. No one should take that away from them. No one has the right to do so. I guess it's safe to say UMNO does really mean U Must Never Object.

Answer to PSD Crisis?

After a short break, a columnist decided to comment on the recent PSD scholarship crisis and even put forward a credible suggestion, in my opinion. What he has written seems to reflect very accurately on how the majority of learned and informed rakyat feel regarding the issue, unlike all the hype and overzealous comments that made it to the newspapers during the peak of the crisis.

Related articles:

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Myvi + Me = BAD LUCK?!?

Spotted another Perodua Myvi today and guess what....more things didn't work out for me today after the sighting. I'm coming to think that the Myvi and I are just not meant to be together! We seem to generate bad luck whenever together!!! :P

Reached the lab and there were so many of my labmates around (that's surprising) so it was kinda crowded. Didn't get to use the lab computer, didn't have place to be around at the lab, so I proceeded straight to my reading room. Fortunately, I was able to use the internet and do my stuff here without interruption. Then I realised it was nearly 4pm and I intended to draw $$$ from the bank since I'm kinda broke! I rushed over to the bank which is undergoing renovation and hoped they were able to process my transaction. Thinking it was today that the university put my money in, I was really hoping to get some of the money out. Unfortunately, the teller tells me there's no money in my account! Oh dear...that's horrible! Nevermind, I am still able to survive with whatever I have left at the moment. :(

Drove all the way to Pulau Tikus to get my haircut (yeah, it's kinda long already). Good, no customers. Since I felt a bit tensed and I had a slight headache, I was really looking forward to the massage while they shampooed my hair. However, I didn't get any! What?!? Alright, maybe he will do it while rinsing my hair and applying the conditioner. Rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse, conditioner, rinse, rinse, towel, dry. Huh? That's all?!? I can't believe I didn't get the head message when I so badly needed it! Oh, man! Even the bad luck is spreading to my haircut?!? NOT GOOD...this is just not good!

Since I was in town getting my hair done and I had time to kill before my engagement later in the evening (which was just nearby), I thought I should take up the offer of meeting-up with a very old friend who has been quite eager to do so for sometime now. Unfortunately, I was turned down in favour of a wedding ceremony on a Wednesday night and a vegetarian menu at that! What luck! Just imagine, my plan was foiled because of a wedding on a Wednesday night! Wednesday night!!! Who does wedding dinners on Wednesday nights, anyway?!?

So, I decided to go home and catch a short nap instead before my night engagement at Coffee Bean, Gurney Plaza. Met up with some people who I've not seen for a very long time; one of them whom have yet to show us the Redang pictures taken during our visit in 2001! My headache was getting worse so I decided to order some chamomile tea. No stock! Another choice...NO STOCK! Man, what do you guys have anyway? I ended up ordering the something-orange-tea or something like that. Maybe the smell of citrus will help ease my headache. Once again, I was guilty of being a chatterbox throughout the night (yeah, the tea did help) and we ended up talking for close to five hours. I really have to work on that soon! I've to stop being a chatterbox and bring my contribution to conversations to around 20-30%!!! :P

Well, all in was a day blighted with bad luck and minor misfortunes but fortunately, not all was lost. However, I will be more cautious whenever I'm with a Myvi from now on. ;)

PTPTN Spring-cleaning

The National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) has admitted that there are weaknesses in its fund management system and pledges to overcome all its problems. The Higher Education Minister admits there are problems pertaining to the records of some borrowers which was resulted in the early days when the updating of accounts was done manually and involved a large number of students. Does this explain why they seem to not receive my correspondence which I've sent over and over again? If you are expecting me to repay the loan after my graduate studies, put your house in order first. I do not intend to put myself in a situation where I've paid and you claim I've not.

FIA Charges Michelin Teams

The FIA has revealed the charges against the seven Michelin teams who pulled out of the US Grand Prix in Indianapolis for breaching the International Sporting Code by committing "one or more acts prejudicial to the interests of a competition, namely the 2005 United States Grand Prix, and/or to the interests of motor sport generally." I guess this move by the FIA headed by Max Mosley should have been expected. Seriously, what would you expect from the people who have destroyed Formula One racing except to push the blame to someone else? I'm just surprised they are digging a bigger hole for themselves. Sayonara, FIA. Thanks for giving everyone more reason to hate you.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Potentiality and Reality

How many of us understands the real meaning of Potentiality & Reality? Not sure? Read this mail I received from a friend and enjoy yourself.

Youngest Son: Tell me Daddy, what is the difference between 'potentiality' and 'reality'?

Dad: I will show you

Dad turns to his wife and asks her: Would you sleep with Robert Redford for 1 million dollars?

Wife: Yes of course! I would never waste such an opportunity!

Then Dad asks his daughter, if she would sleep with Brad Pitt for 1 million dollars?

Daughter: Wow! Yes! He is my fantasy!

So Dad turns to his elder son and asks him: Would you sleep with Tom Cruise for 1 million dollars?

Elder Son: Yeah! Why not? Imagine what I could do with 1 million dollars! I would never hesitate!

So the father turns back to his younger son saying: You see son, potentially we are sitting on 3 million dollars, but in reality we are living with 2 prostitutes and 1 gay.

Virtual March Ulsan 2005

The annual whaling commission meeting in Ulsan, South Korea is underway and it seems the pro-whaling nations, led by Japan have hit a snag in their attempts to overturn a nearly two-decade ban on commercial whale hunts. With the Virtual March organised by Greenpeace putting more pressure on the issue, it looks like the ruling will continue to stay that way. A total of 51,161 thousand people from 122 countries took part in the Virtual March by sending photographs of themselves with a banner expressing their concern about the fate of the world's dwindling populations of whales. Have you submitted your photo yet? Join in the effort to save the whales today! Participate in the Virtual March now! Do your part to save the whales....

Monday, June 20, 2005

Victim of Misplaced Anger

To think the day would proceed flawlessly after having experienced my first sighting of the new Perodua Myvi up-close on the road, I was proven so wrong at the first hurdle to be naive in thinking so...and I had so many stuff planned out for the day.

Arrived at the lab and saw some guys replacing the lights. After putting my stuff down and talked to a labmate of mine, I realised there was a really foul smell in the lab. Investigated and turns out the carcasses of sampled fishes were responsible for the smell. So, knowing how my boss despises such foul smell in the lab, I took it upon myself to rectify the problem before he realises it and makes a big fuss out of it. Fortunately, the cleaner was around and helped to clear the dustbins, so I just opened the windows, the door and the exhaust fan to help clear the air. There were actually a couple of people around in the lab at the time and they realised the foul smell too but it amazes me that they did nothing to improve the situation! I also informed the students from the other side of the lab of the smell and suggested that in future, it would be advisable not to leave the carcasses over the weekend to avoid a similar situation. Unfortunately, I received flak for supposedly making it into a big issue for informing and even suggesting to them regarding the matter.

To cool things off, I decided to stop replying to the SMS and sort out the misunderstanding in person instead, since it looks like the SMS were the source of the misunderstanding. Unfortunately, after the incident of being nearly poisoned by the over-exposure of air freshener, I was pissed as hell. Not only was I not appreciated for what I've done, now I'm the victim of misplaced anger. That's definitely the last straw. Being a person not to solve problems by sweeping them under the rug, I wrote a strong worded email to sort things out. Unfortunately, the server went down just as I was about to send the email. Knowing it is better to handle the problem now rather than let it drag on, I printed the email and handed over the hard-copy. I felt that going head-on would be just a waste of time as rationality obviously has gone out the window. I thought to myself, there goes my plans for the day. I'm in such shitty mood, I'll probably spoil everyone else's day too. So, I decided to cancel all my plans for the day.

While driving home, I thought it over and decided instead to proceed with my plans. It would be very selfish of me to cancel on them all just because I'm having a bad day and some social life could actually do me some good! So I proceeded with my plans for the afternoon. In the evening, had tea with a friend I've not seen for a long time now. As usual, there would be lots to talk about between the two of us and I will always be guilty of forgetting the time and continue talking till very late. It turns out we talked for something like six hours. :P

Well, in the end, I was very glad I proceeded with my plans. At least the day was not totally ruined and I didn't let what happened in the morning destroy my whole day. It turns out my night out was so pleasing. It just shows you what a small misunderstanding can do. What I've learnt today is 1) not to 'jaga tepi kain orang'...don't ever help other people save their arse...let them get fried instead or you would actually be the one in trouble, and 2) don't let disappointments ruin your day, you can always turn the day around and it truly did. Valuable lessons indeed. A day to remember and also a day to forget...

What A Farce!

The US Grand Prix in Indianapolis turned out to be a farce with only six cars racing after the seven teams employing Michelin tyres opted not to continue racing after Michelin couldn't guarantee the safety of their tyres for the race and the FIA rejected their proposals to ensure a safer race. This resulted in Ferrari finishing one-two, with Michael Schumacher winning his first race of the season, leaping to third spot in the Drivers Championship behing Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen. What a horrible day for Formula One racing.

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Daddy's Day

I just came back from hanging out with a friend who I've not seen for awhile now (not that I was longing to see him anyway). Yeah, at least it can be considered as having 'some' social life (and to think I wanted to turn down the offer initially!). Well, some mingling with others apart from the usual people I see everyday is always good. Actually, I'm feeling a little guilty for not really being a good friend since I wasn't part of the conversation most of the time. Maybe it's the effect from the lack of social activity in my life in recent times that I forgot how to socialise! But I think it has to do more with the topic of conversation because with him, he will always talk about school and the Board of Prefects, and I'm really not interested in those topics, not anymore. Why talk of things which are out of your control, makes you disheartened and spoil the pleasant memories, right? Just let it be! Reminiscing is ok...just leave details of what is happening just kills the mood, no?

Well, we were supposed to meet up with a couple of others too, that's probably the reason why I agreed to come out from my hole. :P One is in Singapore now (will only be back maybe next week) and the other (supposedly the person who suggested for this meet-up) didn't turn up for god-knows-what-reason. Maybe finding a restroom for one of his 'photoshoots'?!? ;)

I was actually wondering why they chose today, Father's Day of all days, to meet-up. Don't they have to spend the evening with their dads? I put the question to my friend (whom I ended up spending the evening with) and he told me he asked the same thing to the 'obsessed guy' who put the question back to him. He told me his answer to Mr. Obsession is that both of us (him and me) don't celebrate Father's Day because we don't have dads! I mean, I have valid reasons for not celebrating because my dad passed on years ago but this guy still has a dad! OK, he has issues with his father and all but I think that's just a mean thing to say. You have a dad and you don't even want to acknowledge him, his one and only dad?!? Sigh, he is always an enigma. It's difficult to know what's in his mind, frankly. He always wants to be shrouded in mystery and only he knows why! Can you blame me now for feeling a bit weird spending the evening with him? I mean, I don't intend to offend but it's kinda strange spending time with him, sometimes. I'm just tired of figuring out what's in his mind (and it changes all the time!). Oh well, I have strange sue me! :P

PSD Crisis: Reverse Brain Drain

The editor of The Star chose to comment on the all-so-familiar issue of brain drain in this country, at a time when the country's education system is in tatters once again with the PSD crisis and all, in his weekly On The Beat column. Readers are still writing in to comment on the issue but I find this letter to be very good and I truly hope it would be considered by the Ministry of Education<. We can either deal with the situation once and for all or just let it come out and haunt us year after year. From the looks of it, we will have to bear with reading such news in the mainstream newspapers for the foreseeable future.

Related articles:

Saturday, June 18, 2005


Yup, that's how I feel now...even hours after what I had for dinner! Today, we celebrated my grandma's birthday which is just around the corner. We went to my aunt's western food outlet and I had Chicken Cordon Bleu since I felt hungry. Actually, I wanted to have the Grilled Fish in Butter and Lemon Sauce but I felt it wouldn't be able to satisfy my hunger. satisfied my hunger alright! We reached home and feasted on a tiramisu ice-cream cake too! Man, the cake was large and everyone had to take large portions! Erghh...have to....erghh...get it...ergh...down!!! Phew! My stomach is not used to such large portions nowadays. Yes, it has shrunk...I don't have the appetite of a teenager anymore! Well, I think it was more of celebrating that my grandma is feeling so much better now since the surgery than her birthday but I guess it's just a double celebration thingy! :)

Oh, today is my friend's birthday too. I have decided to only wish her nearer the end of the day and hope to be the last person to do so. I have this habit of keeping people waiting....hehehehe. Why rush with others to be the first, right? Well, happy birthday to you...that's if you are still reading my blog! :P

Actually, I was kinda bored today but at least I had time to rest. Now, that I can't complain! My cousin bought his first mobile phone a few days back. It's the Motorola C60 and I take pride in knowing I helped him make an informed decision. Well, maybe I'm a little biased against Nokia but Nokia 3220 was still one of the choices I put forward to him since he was so into buying it! I guess it has very much to do with uninformed people and their over-reliance on Nokia phones. They do not seem to realise that there is a mobile world other than Nokia and it's a better world at that! FYI, I'm a supporter of Samsung, Motorola and Sony Ericsson phones. Well, with all the facts laid out to my cousin, he realised what a deal he was getting with better features and at a cheaper price compared to the Nokia 3220! The other phone was Sony Ericsson K508i which was kinda out of his range. Was just helping him to edit and upload MP3s to his phone. Cool huh?!? For a phone less than RM500 and it is also a cameraphone, and all it needed was just a mini-USB cable (which also comes with your digital cameras) and the software (which you are suppose to pay but of course I had my sources...). I might be tempted to borrow his phone but I still like my phone. :)

Watched Finding Neverland today. I really liked it. It actually reminded me of a few things about life that I've forgotten! Very few movies can do that to me, so this is definitely a good movie. I so love the park. I can stay there the whole day just doing nothing! Lovely! I also watched Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason which was very disappointing. I preferred the first one so much more. This one was such a drag....ZZZzzzZzZzzzzz..... At least it was better than Son of the Mask which was plain awful! :P

PSD: Criteria Made Known

Responding to calls for the Public Services Department to be more transparent in awarding scholarships from both the public and the political circles, the deparment's public relations officer, Hasniah Rashid informs us that the applicants were informed of the criteria upon they would be judged! This is really getting very interesting! Let's see how this 'drama' unfolds...

Related articles:

Friday, June 17, 2005


How many correspondence does it take for PTPTN to actually get your letter? Obviously more than TWO! Today, I received the 'first reminder/warning' asking me to repay my loan or court action will be taken against me! What?!? Their inefficiency has just gone too far! I called them up and explained that I've already informed them previously of my Masters candidature in USM and demanded an explanation for the 'first reminder/warning'. I'm entitled for a postponement since I'm pursuing my Masters degree now and I've informed them TWICE about this, once in 2003 and another time in 2004, and now they are telling me that from their records, they have not received anything from me?!? That is just outrageous! Fortunately, the ladies attending to my call were quite helpful.

After the telephone conversation, I typed the cover letter to attach with the certified copies of my academic transcript and the offer letter I received from USM for my Masters studies (fortunately I still have a copy of each left!!!), and quickly cycled to the post office to send the letter. Hopefully, this time they will receive my documents and maybe reply just so we will know they have received it! Am I even surprised now how they have not received loan repayments amounting to the billions of ringgit?


OK, I just have to blog this or I'll just go crazy (go figure!). Recently, I saw my friend's Friendster profile and I was shocked!!! I just found out that he was totally obsessed with his body! He takes pictures of himself (half-naked) in washrooms (supposedly when no one is looking) and posts them up on Friendster! Yucks! I mean, I thought he just wanted to show-off his 'well-toned body' and all but when I realised he's been snapping different photos of his half-naked body in different restrooms at different times, I just felt it's getting a little creepy. Hmmm...I wonder does he ever get caught by anyone while doing that. It's a good thing he has finally found a girlfriend or else I would probably think he's gay or something! Well, I guess everyone has their own obsessions and this friend of mine is just obsessed with his body...but please la, just keep it to yourself! Hmmm...I wonder what my obsession is? Anyone?

Education Minister: State Criteria

The Education Minister has urged the Public Services Department to make public the objectives and criteria for awarding PSD scholarships to avoid confusion and uncertainty among applicants in future. I was surprised that this statement came from him, frankly but it just shows what you can do if you put politics aside and put your heart into tackling the problem. I hope to see more progress following this incident. Good job!

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Five-Day Week from July 1

The proposed 5-day week for civil servants will begin from July 1. However, details about the implementation will only be revealed in an official circular issued by the Chief Secretary to the Government Tan Sri Samsuddin Osman. Banks have announced they will very likely follow the ruling too as they already follow the civil service in having breaks on the first and third Saturdays of the month. I guess this can only mean more problems for the rakyat to settle their stuff at banks and government offices but I'm an advocate for a five-day working week for ALL.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Batman Begins

A legend is born. Batman Begins opens in cinemas nationwide today as the origins of Batman, the masked crusader of Gotham City is revisited. Touted as a much better movie than Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith, this movie should turn out to be a really great hit! What makes the Dark Knight uniquely different from other 'superheroes' is that he uses his strength, intellect and an array of high tech deceptions to fight the sinister forces that threaten the city instead of the superpowers that other superheroes possess since he doesn't have any!

Of course I'm more than eager to catch this movie but who am I kidding? It has been awhile since I've caught a newly-screened movie! I don't even know why I'm blogging new releases every week? To remind me what I'm missing?!? Sigh....

(picture from Warner Bros Pictures)

PSD Crisis: Record Interviews

The MCA Youth's education bureau has come up with the idea to record all interviews with the scholarship applicants so that such recordings would be useful evidence should applicants appeal against the department's decisions. It is not a new idea but I'm just worried it will be misused by some parties instead of being more transparent.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2005

How You Doin'?

Yes, it's the phrase our lovable Joey Tribiani uses to flirt with girls. After the comedy series Friends ended, the creators thought it would be a great idea to create a spin-off from the series (and obviously to earn more $$$). The end result? We have Joey in his very own series, Joey! And yes, I've watched the whole Season 1 before one episode has been aired over Malaysian television. :P

Surprisingly, I believe I can count the amount of times he said that phrase in Joey! Joey Tribiani no longer a flirt?!? Well, he did try at the end of the season....(don't want to give too much away now, do we?) Another character I like apart from Joey (who can not like Joey?!?) in the series is his new agent - Bobbie. She's just great! She adds so much flavour into this series! Hmmm...think of it as putting plenty of dumb/ignorant/whatever-you-call-it people together. I think that's a recipe of comical success! Well, I just think they are ignorant people...I don't like to call them dumb but hey, Joey admitted it himself!

Another good spin-off in my opinion would be about Phoebe. These two characters just crack me up all the time on Friends. The rest, in my opinion, wouldn't be as successful. However, I have to say I hate the set for Joey (meaning his house since most of the time the show is shot there). It just looks so fake! Not one bit like his apartment in Friends. Where's the messy and fun Joey that we know and grew to like? There's only the one-night-stand Joey now! The set for Friends were so real and so much better, IMHO.

Anyway, it really amazes me how he could have afforded to move into such a luxurious apartment when he didn't have a job at the time he reached Hollywood! All the furniture and appliances looked so expensive! Remember how he couldn't even afford to pay bills in his old apartment when Chandler moved out? Hmmm...maybe he dipped into his "Lose-Your-Looks" Fund. Another thing that bugs me is that neither did any of his friends (from Friends) call him up to ask how was his 'big move' to Hollywood or even a short call from Joey to ask his friends how were things going on with the rest, seeing that they were so close in Friends. I understand the creators didn't want Friends to overshadow this show but it just doesn't make much sense close friends not contacting each other. It will be screened on Malaysian TV soon and it is a must watch. I felt so much younger after watching it!!! :)

(pictures from NBC)

Fastest Man Alive

Jamaica's Asafa Powell became the fastest human being on earth by setting a 100 meters world record after clocking a time of 9.77 seconds at the Olympic Stadium in Athens. The previous record of 9.78 seconds, set in Paris in September 2002, was held by Tim Montgomery. And that's not all! He claims he can run even faster!

(picture from BBC)

More Comments on PSD Crisis

More people wrote in concerning the PSD crisis with calls to treat and award students fairly and have automatic scholarships for top scorers. On a related note, a commentary was written about the need for varsities to be more flexible, mainly due to the recent incident involving Universiti Malaya Assoc Prof Dr Terence Gomez. Our education system is going through some rough times at the moment. What will the outcome be - better or worse?

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Tuesday, June 14, 2005

Michael Jackson NOT Guilty

The King of Pop has been acquitted and exonerated of ALL 10 charges against him today including four counts of committing a lewd act with a child, one count of attempting to commit a lewd act on a child younger than 14, one count of conspiracy to commit false imprisonment, extortion and child abduction, and four counts of providing alcohol to a minor to facilitate child molestation.

Santa Barbara County District Attorney Thomas Sneddon, the man believed to have a vandetta against MJ, sat grim-faced as the court clerk read out the verdicts but said he would accept the decision.

The verdict came about after jurors felt that the evidence 'just wasn't there'. The jurors doubted the mother's credibility and were put off by the way she directly addressed jurors and accented her testimony by snapping her fingers. Juror No. 10 was also troubled by the fact the accuser's mother allowed her son to sleep alone with Jackson. Jurors were troubled by the fact that Gavin Arvizo's version of events was inconsistent with testimony offered by other members of his family while they were also troubled by the logic of the prosecution's timeline. It seems the culmination of all these doubts that won MJ his aquittal. However, the jury did not rule out previous abuse.

Honestly, I believe the water is deeper than it seems to be. I can't believe that only NOW has he made up his mind not to share his bed with boys anymore. It just amazes me! I think he's such a silly man.

No End to PSD Crisis

MCA claims that over 400 complaints were received from top scorers who failed to get the PSD scholarships, including over 100 who obtained straight As. Should I even be surprised? I agree transparency has been a major issue in this crisis. A vice-principal of a K-8 school wrote in to urge the PSD to be more transparent over the awarding of scholarships while another reader called on the PSD to reveal the criteria for receiving the scholarships. Unless positive steps are taken soon by the relevant parties, this crisis will keep spiralling down and drag everyone with it.

On a related issue, a commentary was made regarding the issue of colleges, college universities and full-fledged universities. My views on the issue can be found here.

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Monday, June 13, 2005

Kimi Raikkonen Wins Canadian GP

After an amazing race, Kimi Raikkonen grabbed victory at the 2005 Canadian Grand Prix and closed in on Fernando Alonso in the Driver's Championship, with the Ferrari duo completing the podium, clearly Lady Luck favouring the Prancing Horse on the day. McLaren-Mercedes also inched closer to Renault in the Constructor's Championship after both Renault cars didn't finish the race. Juan Pablo Montoya received a black flag for leaving the pit lane when the red light was on. He was leading the race and McLaren-Mercedes was heading for a 1-2 finish until that unfortunate incident happened. The next race will be the United States Grand Prix in Indianapolis. McLaren-Mercedes, don't fail me now! Go Kimi Raikkonen!!!

PSD Scholarship Fiasco Drags On

It doesn't seem to end, does it? Just when we thought another chapter of this education mess had passed, something crops up again. When will the Government realise that they just can't please everyone? More disgruntled top scorers made it to the papers today. Fortunately, a concerned taxpayer made sense by writing in to urge top scorers to consider local varsities instead. A columnist also commented about the situation and chose to reflect on the less highlighted side of the issue. I feel the top scorers and the Government should have some common sense when handling with this issue. Frankly, I blame the public for overplaying the severity of the situation, the mindset of the students and their parents for expecting to be rewarded, and politicians using this issue for their own gains. I just find this disgusting. Do something constructive already for a change!

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Sunday, June 12, 2005

4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42

If you don't want to spoil your Lost viewing experience, you should look away now. Not that I'm about to reveal spoilers and stuff, it's just that having just watched finish the whole Season 1 last week, some stuff still bugs me about the show. Although the show can be considered officially over, well until Season 2 comes that is, there are still some mysteries left unanswered like those numbers! What are they? I guess we will find out in Season 2.

Alright, my views on the show first. It's a very good show but it started off kinda I lost interest when it was screened on ASTRO but after watching glimpses of the show on and off, I realised it was more interesting than I first thought! So, to catch-up I had to un-Lost myself by watching the whole show right from the beginning again and I truly don't regret that decision. The season finale was the best I've ever seen (or can remember). Well, it's definitely better than Desperate Housewive's season finale, for sure! I don't want to give the ending away like "Did they get off the island or not?" but all I can say is, the final three hours is dedicated to 'The Exodus' with two hours going to the season finale (The Exodus parts 2 and 3). From what I can gather about Season 2, the focus will shift to the other 'residents' on the other side of the island. Intriguing, no?

OK, back to the 'mysteries'. Of course there are plenty more that I didn't bother to list but these are a few that really bugs me. How is it that their batteries can last so long? The batteries for the discman lasted like for weeks before it went dead! The batteries for their torchlights lasted until the very last episode and they were still strong! Didn't Sayid ask for batteries for the transceiver thingy? I would think the discman wasn't a critical device on a deserted island and the batteries powering it would probably be more beneficial powering the transceiver instead! But I guess if he had surrendered the batteries, they wouldn't have a reason to play those songs at the end of some episodes, would they? Another is their fingernails. Did you realise they have manicure-like fingernails? They are also amazingly short after being on the island for weeks! The only person I saw with long fingernails was Sayid (if not mistaken). I was bumped about their beards too. I was wondering how some of them could maintain such clean-shaven faces until I saw Jack shaving. Well, so that I don't give too much away, I better stop here and continue commenting in a different post later on.

Lately, I've also been feasting on the following movies:
I think I've let my computer rest long enough. Time to download Season 1 of 24. I think it is a great show. Again, felt it was boring in the beginning but getting very interesting after watching some of the later episodes. Can't believe they are in Season 4 now! Lots of catching up to do!!!

Patriotism - What Does It Mean?!?

Well, with all the nonsense going around lately, the editor of The Star chose to comment on this topic for his weekly On The Beat column, which I feel truly expresses what Malaysians really feel about the matter. We will stand up for our country and truly show our patriotism when the need arises, not just merely through standing at attention when the national anthem is being played.

Of course, there are still those who truly believe the campaign is very beneficial to the rakyat when unnecessary public funds is being used to promote and carry out this campaign, such as the CM of Penang who said leaflets bearing lyrics of the national and state anthems and other patriotic songs will be distributed during government functions from August. Go figure!

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Singapore Recognises Danger Posed by Aging Drivers

I've always campaigned for the somewhat controversial move for elderly folks to be disallowed from being behind the wheels when they reach a certain age. We have an age limit on how young a person can be allowed to get their driving license. Similarly, we should also impose an age limit on how old a person should be allowed to continue driving on the roads. Having personally avoided near-accidents in numerous occasions involving elderly folks behind the wheels or those riding motorcycles, I believe it is a smart move to safeguard their own safety and also the safety of the other motorists.

Once again, Singapore has the foresight to see the nobility of such an idea. Singapore will soon launch a special testing programme for aging drivers, since 82 percent of the country's traffic deaths in the first quarter of 2005 involved people age 60 or older. The tests will use a simulator to check senior drivers' reflexes and physical abilities, said Ho Peng Kee, senior minister of state for law and home affairs.

At least now I know it is not such a dumb idea after all. I hope the Malaysian Government will have the common sense to implement such an idea soon and not just politicise the whole issue. The safety of the rakyat is paramount! At least I can take comfort in knowing Karpal Singh will be bringing up a related matter to Parliament - the compulsory use of seatbelts for backseat passagers. If the motion is approved, we are moving in the right direction.

Just for 'Love & Respect'

After threatening the rakyat with the National Anthem Act 1965, the Deputy Information Minister Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai has come out to retract on his earlier statements. He explained that the campaign to instil love and respect for the national anthem is aimed at making those feelings part of our culture and merely pointed out that the National Anthem Act 1965 provided for a fine of RM100 or one month’s jail for those who did not stand at attention when the national anthem was played. The fact still remains that 1) he threatened the rakyat with the Act, 2) it's a silly excuse, and 3) the whole thing is just a dumb idea. Get your act together and do something more beneficial for once!

PSD Rejects Finally Accepted

After all that hoo-haa recently and the intervention by the PM, the MCA president and other political figures, the PSD rejects were finally awarded the much sought-after PSD scholarships to pursue their tertiary education overseas in fields such as medicine, pharmacy, dentistry and actuarial science. I guess it is true that a little moaning can get you far. I do hope they appreciate this gesture and will work extra hard towards the development of Malaysia and not just squander the money spent on them.

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