Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Police Abuse MMS: Get Out!

Another twist to the scandal that is plaguing the Malaysian Royal Police Force. A blunder on the part of the Deputy Internal Security Minister has added spice to the already colourful ongoings. Yesterday, outside the Parliament, he made the audacious call for foreigners to go home and not come to Malaysia if they think the police force here is brutal. WTF?!?

As if Malaysia is not generating enough bad publicity at the moment that this smart-ass politician had to sour relations even further by making such insensitive comments. Tourism contributes a huge chunk of our country's revenue and our economy will be crippled if tourists stop visiting us. Does he have the brains to think before he opens that pie-hole of his? This is totally in contrast of what the Prime Minister is trying to do, restore the confidence of foreigners and put Malaysia back in good light! This Deputy Minister should be given a good ticking off and even suspended (if not sacked) for this faux pas. Here we are trying to make things better and he comes along to complicate things further. Idiot! I would like to remind the Deputy Minister that it is not only the foreigners that think the police are brutal/cruel as Malaysians share the same opinion as them. Is he asking us to move out also? Or is he labelling us as foreigners now?

This matter is not highlighted in the local media but there's always the foreign media and in this age of technology, information flows freely. You may read more here and here.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Police Abuse MMS: Special Inquiry Formed

The Prime Minister has acted swiftly in trying to at least restore a little respect for Malaysia by setting up an independent body to investigate the incident of a Chinese national woman ordered to strip and perform ear squats.

Special inquiry to probe ear squat issue

SUBANG: An independent body will be set up immediately to investigate the recent case of a woman, believed to be a Chinese national, ordered to perform ear squats in the nude in a police lockup.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said he had been briefed on the case and decided that an independent inquiry must be carried out.

Speaking to reporters on returning from Malta at the Royal Malaysia Air Force (RMAF) base here, Abdullah said the names of the people to sit in the proposed body had been shortlisted.

"I will speak to them to find out whether they are willing to be members of the body," Bernama quoted Abdullah, who had been in Malta for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM), as saying.

On who would be heading the body, the Prime Minister said he was still considering it as "there are many (people) in (my) mind" at the moment. [...]

Looks like there's some bright light at the end of the tunnel after all.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Police Abuse MMS: Breaking It Down

Malaysians were shocked to hear the police were changing the focus of their investigations from the inappropriate 'routine' check of stripping down and performing ear squats to the person who took the infamous video clip and exposed the injustice, once again making whistle-blowers the scapegoat. Malaysians from all walks of life were united in condemning the move.

It has been shown that the stripping and the ear squats are illegal as there is no provision in the law of the land sanctioning those actions. Is the police force trying to act above the law? Calls for an independent body to continue in the investigations grows louder by the hour. If our prayers are answered and an independent body is formed for this matter, what do we want from them? Let's take a step back and reanalyse the situation.

1) The police points to the Standard Operation Procedure (SOP) to defend the strip-search and ear squats. The question is, does the SOP supercede the law of the land? Is it legal? If proven legal, is it appropriate?

2) The female police constable might have been following 'routine' procedure and cannot be faulted but who gave her the green-light? Who gave her the order? The problem here is that these actions are still demeaning and inappropriate, and some reform is needed to correct it.

3) Who recorded the video clip? Was it a civilian or a police officer? Why was the video clip made? Was it for personal pleasure or to expose the wrongdoings? Why is he/she the focus of the investigations when the whole fiasco is equally wrong? If it was someone filming for his own personal pleasure, will he hide behind the protective cloak of intending to expose the wrongdoings?

4) Is this really an isolated case like what they are trying to tell us? Were there really no profiling at all?

5) What action will be taken after the end of the investigations? Will those involved be punished appropriately or just receive a slap on the wrist? Will the police force be finally reformed for the benefit of all Malaysians?

We will see what happens if the independent enquiry ever materialises. If not, we can only sit and pray it will be an impartial and effective investigation.

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Police Abuse MMS: Change Focus?

Have investigations into the alleged police abuse ala Abu Ghraib that made headlines just a couple of days ago with the help of technology changed its focus? Is the policewoman in the infamous MMS clip now exonerated from any wrongdoing? Will the police now hunt only for the person who recorded the video clip? The Malaysian Police Force once again shows its 'amazing 'abilities in solving crimes.

Police to go after person who filmed naked woman

KUALA LUMPUR: Who shot the scenes? This is the crux of police investigations into the controversial video clip showing a naked Chinese woman doing ear squats while in police custody.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Musa Hassan said whoever took the video clip - whether from the force or a civilian – would be charged under the Penal Code with insulting the modesty of a person or intruding into the privacy of a woman.

The offender can be fined or jailed up to five years or both.

The 70-second video had made the rounds via the multimedia messaging service (MMS) over the past week.

The clip, depicting the nude woman doing ear squats in front of a policewoman at the Petaling Jaya district police headquarters, caused national outrage and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has called for an immediate probe into the incident, with no cover-ups.

"It is the perpetrator behind the video clip whom we are after and not the policewoman, who was carrying out a routine check," said Musa. (emphasis mine)

"We will not be lenient, especially if it involves police personnel," he added, declining to comment on the woman who was forced to do ear squats.

Musa also said a special team under his supervision had interviewed a number of people regarding the incident.

In Kepala Batas, DERRICK VINESH reported that North Seberang Perai OCPD Asst Comm Mazlan Lazim as saying that the police should continue strip-searching suspects.

ACP Mazlan said it was an effective way to ensure that no foreign object is brought into the police lock-up, adding that in the past, some suspects had tried to hide cigarettes, pills, matchsticks and razor blades in their private parts.

"The video clip should not stop police officers from carrying out their duties," he said at a police DeepaRaya open house at the Taman Bakti children's home here yesterday.

He added, however, that the strip search must be done in an "appropriately and holistic" manner.

On the ear squats, ACP Mazlan said, in some cases, simple exercise steps and corporal punishment were carried out to ensure the suspects stretched out their arms and legs to ascertain there were no hidden items.

He said women officers usually strip-searched female suspects while the men did the same to male suspects.

Is the police trying to tell us their 'routine' (of ordering suspects to strip naked and do ear squats) absolutely right and not wrong in anyway at all? Is the police trying to tell us the only person who is guilty in this whole scandal is the person who recorded the video clip and no one else? Will we continue to live in fear of wrongful prosecution and abuse either physically, emotionally or even both? Will this matter just be swept under the carpet and die of a premature death since the local media is slowly but surely pushing this story further away from the front few pages of the newspapers? A friend of mine who is a Chinese national tells me his countrymen are already boycotting Malaysia. It is about time an independent body is formed to investigate this matter. It is obvious the police cannot be trusted in continuing this investigation. Will justice prevail in the end? My hopes of seeing a brighter Malaysia is fading fast. Let's pray something constructive is done before I lose all hope.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Abuse Culprit Identified

The policewoman in the infamous MMS videoclip has been identified as a police constable from the district headquarters in Petaling Jaya. It has also been confirmed that the incident occurred at the headquarters.

Video clip taken at a PJ police station

PETALING JAYA: The uniformed woman captured on a cellular phone video ordering a naked female Chinese national to do ear squats has been identified as a police constable from the district headquarters here.

It has also been confirmed that the incident occurred at the headquarters.

Deputy Inspector-General of Police Datuk Seri Musa Hassan said police had recorded the constable's statement and he had directed a no cover-up investigation into the incident.

"There will not be any cover-up, and anyone involved in any illegal activity, like recording or even using a phone in a restricted area, will be brought to book. We will not hesitate to dismiss them.

"The Prime Minister himself personally contacted me to ensure a thorough investigation is carried out, and that those involved are taken to task," he said when contacted yesterday.

The Deputy IGP, who visited the district police headquarters yesterday, vowed to get to the bottom of the matter, and appealed to the public to allow him and his officers to investigate the matter.

He said police needed to find out who took the video clip, as there were a number of people, including civilians, at the place at the time of the incident.

Musa also clarified that all detainees were required to strip and be searched before being sent to the lock-up.

This is to ensure that they do not have any prohibited items, like sharp objects or drugs.

"It is a requirement that all detainees are thoroughly checked by police personnel of their gender, and checks must be done in a closed-up area," he said, adding that police could ask detainees to do squats. [...]

The Deputy Inspector-General of Police has directed a no cover-up investigation but one wonders if this is totally true especially when they've received information of this incident as far back as last Saturday!

Police already probing video clip before public exposure

KUALA LUMPUR: Police were already investigating the video clip showing a naked woman doing ear squats in front of another woman in uniform before it was exposed in Parliament.

MCA head of Public Service and Complaints Department Datuk Michael Chong said he received the video clip via MMS last Saturday.

"I immediately called Selangor police chief Deputy Comm Datuk Yahaya Udin.

'We met on Tuesday (Nov 22) and I showed him the clip and discussed what action should be taken," Chong said at his office yesterday. [...]

I truly doubt the police constable is the only person involved. Will they investigate further to dig up more dirt? Will they set up an independent enquiry on this issue? Will the Government finally take the right initiatives to reform the police force? Time will only tell. Let's see how this story develops further.

(picture from The Telegraph)

Friday, November 25, 2005

George Best 1946-2005

The mercurial footballing genius George Best has died aged 59 after a long battle with alcohol problem. Undoubtedly the most talented footballer Britain has produced, the Manchester United legend and former European Footballer of the Year helped United to their first ever European Cup glory back in 1968. Never to have graced the World Cup, he earned 37 caps for Northern Ireland and scored 9 goals. Retiring at a tender age of 28, it makes you think what else he could have achieved if he continued playing through his prime years. I've never had the chance to see him work his genius apart from some short video clips now and then, but I could understand why he was regarded as pure genius. The footballing world will today mourn the loss of one of its prodigal sons.

(picture from

Malaysian Police Walk The Abu Ghraib Way

We laughed and ridiculed the Americans when the Abu Ghraib abuse story broke out. Now, they and the whole world will be returning us the favour, all because of some 'clever act' by some of our idiotic men and women in blue. If you've not heard about the biggest news in Malaysia at the moment, your excuse better be that you were lost in some thick and dark jungle, or you were in some faraway planet, cos this is some serious shit and very few will beat this as one of the most humiliating and distasteful events to plague us Malaysians. Absolutely shameful!

Nude woman ordered to ear squat

KUALA LUMPUR: A controversial video footage showing a woman in uniform instructing a Chinese-looking naked woman to do ear squats caused an uproar after it was made public yesterday.

Police have now started investigations and have lodged a report on their own.

Ministers and MPs expressed disgust with the way the naked woman was treated after they were shown the clip by Seputeh MP Teresa Kok at Parliament House yesterday.

The video clearly shows the woman standing naked in a room with some lockers to her right. The woman in uniform can be heard telling the woman in Bahasa Malaysia to pull her ears, squat and stand up. The naked woman did 10 ear squats.

The 70-second video clip is said to have been taken using a cellphone and has been widely circulated through the multimedia messaging service (MMS) over the past few days.

The person who recorded the incident did it through a grilled window.

However, the identity of the uniformed person or location where the incident took place could not be ascertained at present. It is also not known when the incident took place.

The footage has led people to link the scenes shown in it to the ordeal of four women from China at a police station recently.

The four alleged that a policewoman asked them to strip and perform ear squats in a room at a station while in police custody.

They were arrested on suspicion of having invalid travel documents in Sungai Buloh here on Nov 3.

However, the four women have denied being the naked woman shown in the video clip, saying they were on the first floor of a building without windows.

This is the latest scandal to hit the Royal Malaysian Police Force and some balls (and breasts?) better be shaking now. If those responsible think they can get away with it, they must be joking. They probably thought they were immune to the law then but how awful their stomach must be feeling now that they have been exposed. It is as if the Abu Ghraib incident had not taught these idiots that such acts are inhumane, totally unacceptable and the perpetrators will eventually face the music. Did they really think they could get away with it? I would be damn pissed if they weren't handed a heavy and deterrent punishment.

Those involved in any way to this fiasco, directly and indirectly, must be accountable for their actions (or inaction). Not only should they be charged in the court of law and put in a lockup straight away pending a trial, they should lose their jobs and pensions and never to be employed by anyone ever again. Come to think of it, why should they even bother about employment when they should be spending the rest of their lives behind bars? There should be no leniency at all irregardless if they have kids or the like. They should have thought of that before disgracing Malaysia, in general and the police force, in particular. What they have done is totally unacceptable and should not be tolerated.

If anyone still doubts it, technology has definitely given us a way to expose the dark secrets that would never have seen the light of day. The MMS clip has not only helped highlight the plight of the Chinese national but also bring to the public's attention the abuse of power that is plaguing the police force. Technology can help make sure they will always be on their toes and think twice before they break the law that they were entrusted to uphold in the first place. It is about time we feel safe living in our own country.

This is definitely not the first case that has tarnished the name of the police force and most likely, it will not be the last if affirmative action is not taken. Just recently, a blog was created to highlight the ordeal of 22 innocent Malaysians who were wrongly accused and charged for taking drugs during a raid. The police force definitely needs reform quick. Too much hanky-panky have been going on and this must now come to an end. The integrity of the force must be restored and action must be taken immediately to arrest this decline. It's good that the powers that be have expressed their shock and disgust over this episode, and support an all out investigation. I just hope it will not end as yet another NATO (No Action, Talk Only).

(picture from The Star)

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Listening To Podcasts

While surfing the internet and updating my blog, apart from listening to my music collection on iTunes, I also follow some podcasts available on the internet. I subscribe to a couple of these interesting podcasts and I would like to share a little of what I think of them.

One that I find VERY entertaining and interesting is the mrbrown show. Actually, I'm a very new listener to this show and I've only started listening this week after downloading all the episodes. It's just hilarious. I came to know of this podcast through who was a guest of the show recently, a blog that I follow quite closely. I do not follow at the moment but maybe I will in the near future. The hosts in this show sounds really professional and natural. They sound as if they have been in this business like forever! Impressive really. They have this series called 'Zhng My Car', a Singapore remake of MTV's Pimp My Ride. The show is really good, so do give it a try.

The first podcast I listened to was This Week In Tech (TWIT) which consisted of mostly former crew members of The Screen Savers. It's a technology podcast and is one of the most popular podcasts out there. It was very interesting in the beginning but it's getting a bit dull now. In my opinion, the show's just too long (over one hour). I prefer listening to Diggnation now which is much more interesting and short. Of course, the hosts really know how to spice it up a lot but at least they keep the show short and still able to highlight and discuss the top technology news of the week. I'm also subscribed to Security Now!, a security podcast but it's getting a bit dull like TWIT but I still listen to it because I still want to know more about computer security.

Penang Hokkien Podcast is another podcast I follow closely due to my roots in Penang. Some of the episodes can be really very interesting but some are a bit slow but I guess it's fair to have both good and bad episodes. We can't expect good episodes every single week right? My mom is totally hooked on the show and so are the other people who I've introduced to the show. The show can be very addictive and would be very nice to follow especially if you understand the Hokkien dialect since it is done totally using Penang Hokkien. However, it's getting a bit irritating that the host keeps on 'highlighting' that I make copies of the show to my family members. Why lah....stop it ok! Anyway, you can check out the show here.

I'm coming to grips with PPS Review now, a podcast I used to listen to. It's a Malaysian podcast highlighting the blogs that ping Project Petaling Street. I wasn't much interested in the beginning but since I was quite bored recently, I continued listening to the other episodes that I skipped. Come to think of it, it's not that bad especially when Errolyn (the female co-host) is on, so I'm following this podcast again. :)

In my opinion, podcasting is becoming more mainstream now, the same way blogs did. Actually, I'm thinking of giving podcasting a try, maybe for my other blog which is a group blog. Some podcasters have even made a living from podcasting. For example, the hosts for the popular podcast The Dawn And Drew Show!, which command a substantial amount of listeners, have stopped working and are doing podcasting full-time. They've recorded close to 200 episodes now, so I've not been able to listen to all of the episodes but I quite enjoy listening to the few episodes I chose and understand why it commands such a big following.

Anyway, let's see if I can pull something off here. ;)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

School Toilet Clubs

Looks like one of our smart-ass politicians came up with another 'brilliant' idea - setting up toilet clubs in schools. Sometimes I just do not understand how these people can come up with such bad ideas. Don't they realise how foolish they are to even think of such ideas let alone come out in public and say it?

Lau: School toilet clubs can nurture good habits

KUALA LUMPUR: The 10,000 schools in the country can lead the way in nurturing good toilet habits among Malaysians by setting up toilet clubs.

Proposing this, Deputy Housing and Local Government Minister Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew said the role of teachers and students was vital and they formed a good network to reach out to society.

"I hope the Education Ministry can consider this and get the education departments to implement the proposal," he said yesterday.

Lau, who heads the ministry's nationwide clean toilet campaign - a joint exercise with the 145 local authorities in the country - said help and support from the Education and other ministries, including Health and Tourism, as well as related government agencies and the private sector, was vital for the success of the campaign.

Lau, who also chairs the newly set-up Quality Restrooms Association of Malaysia (QRAM), said there must be on-going and concerted efforts towards cleaner public toilets and nurturing good and clean toilet habits among Malaysians.

The country observed World Toilet Day on Nov 19, with Lau launching the national level celebrations at Taman Tasik Shah Alam. [...]

I agree that something should be done regarding the disgraceful conditions of our public toilets. I usually try not to use them unless it's really an emergency. In Malaysia, you have to pay to use the toilets in most places and it's still so damn dirty. In Singapore, you don't have to pay to use the toilets but it's like walking into a five-star hotel. Clearly, it's the mentality we have to change (and also imposing insanely high fines like our neighbours down south).

I agree that teachers play an important role in helping to nurture the future of Malaysia but come on, toilet training? These kids should have already been potty-trained a long time ago! What, parents don't potty-train their kids anymore?

And what do you do in these 'toilet clubs'? Stand in line at urinals while they tell you if you are standing too far or too close while taking a piss? How to wipe your ass after each shitting session? Will they have toilet flushing competitions or even a 'best decorated toilet' award? Or will there be toilet police/cadets monitoring you while you take a leak to ensure the cleanliness of the toilets? And what silly names will we call these 'clubs'?

Can you imagine the uproar the mere suggestion of such an idea would have caused in the United States or Western countries? Only in countries like Malaysia do we tolerate with politicians coming up with such lame ideas. Have they come to a stage where they must come out with an idea every now and then, regardless of how stupid it is, just to show that they are 'working' and deserves to be paid using the the taxpayer's money?

I did have a good laugh reading the article but if this suggestion is in any way put into motion for implementation, not only will I be very surprised, I will be damn pissed! We will be so ridiculed if word gets out!

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Another Internet Explorer Vulnerability

Another VERY good reason why you should not be using Internet Explorer and should instead move on over to Mozilla Firefox. When will you all learn that Internet Explorer has more holes than a piece of swiss cheese?

Exploit code for a new flaw in Internet Explorer could put systems at risk of remote attack, security experts warned Monday.

The exploit code, made public Monday, aims to take advantage of the "extremely critical" vulnerabilities in IE 5.5 and IE 6 running on XP Service Pack 2 (SP2), and IE 6 running on Windows 2000 SP4, security researcher Secunia said in advisory.

Once a PC user is tricked into visiting a malicious Web site, the exploit can be triggered automatically, without the user doing anything.

"An attacker could use the exploit to run any code they want to on a person's system," said Thomas Kristensen, Secunia's chief technology officer. "It could be they want to launch some really nasty code on a user's system."

The flaw lies in a Javascript component of IE used for loading Web pages onto a computer, according to an advisory from SANS Internet Storm Center.

Microsoft has not released a patch for the hole exploited by the code. People can attempt to work around the problem by either shutting off Javascript or using another type of browser, security companies advised.

Security researchers said the IE vulnerability has been known for the past six months, but had previously been seen as a conduit for denial-of-service attacks rather than the remote execution of code. DOS attacks, which attempt to crash a system by flooding it with data, are typically considered less-severe security risks.

"The vulnerability itself has been known about for a while, but it was only a problem for a denial-of-service attack that would sometimes cause IE to crash," said Johannes Ullrich, chief research officer for the Sans Institute. "Up until now, no one knew how to mark the code and find it in memory to execute a remote code attack."

The exploit code was published by an organization called Computer Terrorism.

Because the flaw was initially believed to involve only a potential DOS attack, Microsoft never issued a patch for the problem, Ullrich said. He added it is not yet known whether Microsoft will spin out a patch for the flaw immediately or wait for its monthly patch cycle.

A Microsoft representative was not able to comment early Monday on the flaw or the exploit, but did say that the company is investigating reports of the possible vulnerability for customers using Internet Explorer while running Windows 2000 SP4 and Windows XP SP2.

"We have also been made aware of proof-of-concept code that could seek to exploit the reported vulnerability but are not aware of any customer impact at this time," the representative said.

Microsoft, upon completion of its investigation, will take appropriate action to protect its customers by providing a patch as part of its monthly security bulletin program or in a separate security advisory, the representative added.

Monday, November 21, 2005

Fish Pond

Fish Pond

I've neglected the fish ponds in my house for a very long time now. I've even put away the glass aquariums which used to be home to many types of ornamental fishes in the past. I think it's about time to pay some attention to them now.

It's not like I'm going to bring out the glass aquariums and intensively stock them up with fishes again along with water plants and the like. I'm however going to at least do something about the fish ponds in the garden (just a little bit) like stock up with more fishes, change the water, seperate the old and the new plants...something like that.

And that was just what I did. I changed the water for both the ponds (the smell was horrible!), clean up the sides just a bit (too lazy to scrub everything off), stock up with fishies (just a bit), rearranged the plants and landscaping (make it a bit nicer) and calibrate the pumps and filters (sounds so scientific... :P). It looks more appealing now. Let's see how long until I start neglecting them again. :P

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Eighth Level of Hell

Since I'm sure as hell going to hell, I guess it's only right that I find out which level of hell I will finally end up in. I couldn't really understand the interpretations but this I know - my results are horrible! Haiya, why all my online quiz/survey/whatever results always so terrible one?!? :P

The Dante's Inferno Test has banished you to the Eighth Level of Hell - the Malebolge!
Here is how you matched up against all the levels:
Purgatory (Repenting Believers)Low
Level 1 - Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers)Moderate
Level 2 (Lustful)Low
Level 3 (Gluttonous)Moderate
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious)High
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy)High
Level 6 - The City of Dis (Heretics)Very Low
Level 7 (Violent)Very High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers)Very High
Level 9 - Cocytus (Treacherous)Low

Take the Dante's Divine Comedy Inferno Test

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Tangram Game

Do you remember playing the tangram when you were young? Well, maybe you don't remember or maybe you've never seen/heard/played with a tangram. Let me tell you just a little bit about tangrams. Tangrams are Chinese puzzles. It consists of seven pieces which fits together to form a perfect square. The objective is to use all the pieces of different shapes and sizes to form objects but the pieces must not overlap each other. Well, I've always liked puzzles so my brain really enjoys my playing with the tangram. Nowadays, you can find almost anything online. It's no different for the tangram either. Now you can also play it online.

Check out this game. Let's see how rusty your brain is. :P I had a lowly score of 1073 but I'm still trying to better that score. Everytime you replay the game, they will provide a different set of shapes for you to construct, so what you get will most likely not be the same as what I get but let's see who gets a higher score anyway. So what's your score? ;)

P/S Try not using the PAUSE button...that's cheating! :P

(picture from Wikipedia)

Friday, November 18, 2005

No More Keane

I just couldn't believe my eyes when I read the news. Has the world gone mad? What's happening at Old Trafford? What will the future hold? I've wanted to blog something else today but I just don't have the heart to do that now. Also, I'm a tad tired. :P

Alright, so what am I crapping about here. Manchester United's inspirational skipper Roy Keane has mutually agreed to leave the club with immediate effect! I nearly fainted when I read the news. What happened? Is this the outcome from his public criticism of some United players? Why did he decide to leave? Why did he want to leave? Who will officially step up to the plate and take over as United skipper? Who, what, when, where, how, why?!? So many questions!

I've actually prepared myself for him to leave at the end of this season but I was shocked to see him leave now, mid-season! Why not leave with a bang? Why not leave after lifting the Premiership trophy one more time, especially when it was two years back since United was last crowned champions? Why not leave after finally, officially....lifting the Champions League trophy in May 2006? Why not leave on a high? Why leave when the club is in such a state? Is there something more dark and sinister happening in the club that we do not know? Is the club in such a deep crisis that he felt going somewhere else, anywhere else will actually be an improvement? Is there anything for us to be worried about?

On the very same day that I was rejoicing the contract extension of Cristiano Ronaldo, my heart sank so fast and so deep just less than a couple of hours later. Astonishing really. He has been the heart and soul of the team for so many years, it's really unthinkable that he has left the club so unceremoniously, although he will be awarded a testimonial match. And here I was thinking that things could be looking up for United, this thing had to happen.

Maybe it could be something good for both the team and the player too. Remember, United won the Treble after Cantona retired. Maybe this could bring the same result! Wait a minute, Cantona retired from professional football for good! Keane is still pondering on playing for another club! Will him leaving the club now do any good especially when the team is crying out for experienced players?!?

I really do not know what is going on at the moment and the news is still sinking in. Meanwhile, acolades are pouring in less than an hour after the news broke. I guess in time, we will know the true reasons behind this sudden separation of ways and will it benefit both parties. He's no Cantona but there will always be only one Keano.

(pictures from Soccernet and

Thursday, November 17, 2005

MyKad Key Ring Reader

7-Eleven advertised in The Star today that the 'much sought after' MyKad key ring readers are now available at their Peninsular Malaysia outlets. The readers enable you to check and verify your IC particulars, driving license info and passport info anytime, anywhere.

Now, apart from the corny advertisement and bad grammar, I still have a bone to pick regarding this advertisement. It states in large bold letters that "Everyone needs ONE!". Now this I really don't understand. Pray tell why would EVERYONE need one? That freaking MyKad reader is not that cheap, mind you. I could feast on a few plates of Char Koay Teow with that kind of money for something that (if I would to use) I would only use once. Why would someone spend that amount of money for something that they can do for free at the National Registration Departments? Why would someone want to purchase that thing just to check on information that is non-volatile? It's not like the information in the MyKad chip will somehow change overnight! Even if you are that paranoid and have to check the contents of the MyKad chip everyday, why would EVERYONE need one? Every household owning one of these readers is already one too many. Haven't heard of sharing? It's not like the reader will be stuck to your MyKad or only authorised to read just your MyKad. Even if you are just trying to sell a product, your advertisement must still make sense. Your marketing must cater to the needs of the consumers. Only then can you connect with them and convince them to buy your products. Please don't insult our intelligence. We deserve at least that much.

Anyway, I did have a good laugh looking through that advertisement and realising how gullible and lame some advertisers can be. At least they managed to attract my attention to the advertisement, no? ;)

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Connection Back To Normal?

It seems that my Streamyx connection is back to normal now. Things load up much faster and I'm able to upload files now. I've been having connectivity problems for a while now and it really feels great to have back my flying connection. Can you imagine that I've been experiencing dialup speeds while paying broadband rates? And to think they blamed the connectivity problems on my system when I've known from the start the problem was on their end, not mine. Unbelievable! Ahhh....the wonders of broadband connectivity. I just love the feeling when anything appears instantaneously when you click on it. Wonderful! :)

I hope this is not just a temporary bliss...

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Conversations With A Doctor

Every now and then, I have these conversations with my mom's boss (at his request). Since I'm fetching my mom from work nowadays, these talks are getting more frequent. You see, he's a smart man who just likes to share his thoughts with others. Hmmm....maybe I should recommend he start a blog of his own....or maybe not! :P

Today, he was more frank and direct compared to our previous talks. Immediately, he laid it down to me that I must leave USM immediately, as soon as possible, pronto! I was a bit shocked at first but later realised it was probably due to the recent criticism Malaysian universities (particularly UM and USM) were receiving due to the drastic fall in the world university rankings. Specifically, he was trying to tell me not to find employment in the Malaysian universities and to get out fast. Generally, he was trying to tell me the public sector has no future due to the policy he calls "The Malaynisation of Malaysia" (making Malaysia more Malay). As a non-bumiputera, he sees that my potential and interest will be best served in the private sector where I will flourish. Practically every person on the street knows this 'fact' from young but nevertheless, it was truly a stark reminder.

I've to admit I did think of going into the academic field in the local public universities (one of my last options, though) but I agree with him that I see myself more of a private sector person (even an entrepreneur). I might not learn new things with every conversation I have with him but every conversation has its special value to me.

Monday, November 14, 2005


I've just finished reading (finally) Dan Brown's Angels and Demons. It took me much longer to finish this novel compared to The Da Vinci Code. If The Da Vinci Code was more about art vs religion, this one was more about science vs religion. It's also Robert Langdon's 'big adventure story' before The Da Vinci Code. The reason I took so long with this one is its inability to keep hold on me after every chapter! It was practically a drag for the beginning chapters, up to a third of the novel. The Da Vinci Code was more interesting and enticing. Although the whole novel revolves around the 24 hour timeframe, it didn't really feel like time was running out when you read the novel. The novel was also quiet predictable but nevertheless, it was well-written. The novel only got interesting nearer the end of the book but the whole book was a good read, nonetheless. Recommended reading. I would like to thank delphynus and her sister for lending me the book and being patient with me taking so long to finish the book.

(picture from

Sunday, November 13, 2005

HIV Cure Around The Corner?

This is interesting news indeed. A British man who was diagnosed as HIV-positive in 2002 was 'miraculously' cured in October 2003 without undergoing any treatment or taking medication! HIV experts say his case could help reveal more about the disease. There have been anecdotal accounts before from Africa of people shaking off the HIV virus but this is the first well-documented case. Have we finally found a way to combat this deadly disease? What will this man's immune system reveal to the medical research labs? Interesting times indeed...

Saturday, November 12, 2005

A Quarter Century

So how does it feel like to have lived a quarter of a century? Hmmm....I've mixed feelings, actually. At a time when my peers are happily employed, carving a career for themselves and laying the foundations for their future, I'm still stuck with my postgraduate degree, unemployed, unpaid, unappreciated. I've yet to achieve anything in my life while everyone else have pulled ahead. I'm grateful however for the life experiences I've gone through so far and the 25 years of memories be it good or bad that no money can buy. I don't know how many more quarter centuries I will achieve in this lifetime but I hope that the next quarter(s) will be as good, if not better than this one. Obviously, I plan to outperform in the next quarter but bring on the peaks and the valleys...I'm prepared to face them all. I've been in many valleys before and I'm sure get out and reach the peak again.

I would like to thank all who were nice enough to remember my birthday with all their well-wishes. It's good to know that there are still people out there that actually cherish my existence. Cheers to you all. :)

Friday, November 11, 2005

Hairy Issue

I was wondering if it was such a good idea for me to leave my hair long. There are a few reasons behind it (monetary, image change, fear of drastic image change) but the main 'motivation' was trying to save a few bucks. I'm having second thoughts now but it's probably too late. Do I really save by not going for a haircut? How about the extra shampoo and conditioner I have to use daily to keep them clean and shiny? Also, there's this irritation of the hair getting in the way and keeping you extra warm when the weather's already so warm. How about the higher probability of hair dropping? (Yes, if you don't already know, you lose more hair when you have long hair). I think I've just got to bear with it now, at least until next month before I get my hair done for the upcoming Chinese New Year. Lesson learnt: if want to save money, don't skip haircut...go for RM10 haircut instead. You will thank yourself later... :P

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Got My Digicam Back

Woohoo...finally, I've got my digicam back! It took them two months to get it fixed but I'm not complaining much since it's free. Actually, the repairs should be free since it was clearly a manufacturing defect! When I was testing out the camera, the technician came out and he said "Oh, so you are Mr........" Hmmmm, looks like I've made a name for myself at the Canon Service Centre with my kicking up a fuss and all. :P Anyway, it's good to have it back. Now I can start snapping again! creative juices are just bursting to come out... ;)

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Penang Free School In Crisis

I've been urged to highlight the current state of affairs of my alma mater in the newspapers by a group of people who are very passionate about Penang Free School. However, I've not been able to find the time to think clearly and draft a strong letter that would warrant a strong response. Some were too frustrated with the situation that they wrote in themselves which were published recently, albeit a huge chunk of their original messages being edited out, thus becoming a tame affair. The school admin even brushed it aside and labeled it merely as 'outside noise'. I think the time is right for me to submit my letter now especially after reading of a reunion dinner being organised by the school Board of Governors on December 3rd in The Star today. The previous big celebration was held in 1991 for the 175th anniversary but why is it being held this year, the 189th anniversary? I don't see any need or significance in organising one this year and instead of organising a reunion dinner, the Board of Governors should concentrate their effort on helping the school from sinking any deeper than it already has and return it to its former glory before it totally becomes useless to organise the all important 200th anniversary dinner because the school is non-existent anymore. Of course I cannot guarantee my strong-worded letter will get published but rest assured, it will definitely ruffle some feathers.

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

A Malaysian Movie: Gol & Gincu

I was very surprised that they decided to air this movie so soon after it was just screened in the cinemas. Well, that's Malaysian movies for you. Just be a little patient and you'll be able to watch it for free on Malaysian television from the comfort of your home.

I didn't know that Marina Mahathir, the outspoken daughter of former Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad, was the executive producer for this movie but it's not like it changes anything, anyway. It could be a good thing since she might be able to put in some procovative thoughts in the movie.

The first 'provocative issue' I saw that was slipped in the movie was the inter-racial marriage between a Chinese guy and a Malay girl, a supposedly touchy issue in a modern society like ours. I've to say I enjoyed watching this movie more than Sepet in a few ways more than one. For starters, I felt the movie was more comprehensive as it practically had every aspect covered unlike Sepet which left a lot up to your own interpretation. It's not that having it open to your own interpretation is wrong or bad but the reason someone watches your movie is to be lead in a particular path, your path. At least cut down the number of possibilities so at least the moviegoers would be able to see things in your perspective instead of having to make up their own conclusions on things which might eventually be the total opposite of what you were trying to portray.

This is actually a very colourful movie but yet again, the colours seem to be washed-out. It's a real waste though since the producer/director/whoever had such a good idea in bringing the movie to life with a good mix of bright colours. Audio quality was slightly better than Sepet but you would still know it's a Malaysian production. The more the movie progressed, the more I realised that the movie had elements of Legally Blonde! Sigh, tak boleh original sikit ker? (Can't you be a little more original?). So typical of a Malaysian production. :P

The movie was filled with lots of music which I like since music helps to fill up the movie and also helps portray a particular scene in ways words couldn't. One song that caught my attention was 'Bagaikan Puteri' when they were doing a makeover for Zie. Although the one in the movie was performed by Zarina from Akademi Fantasia 2, the version I like is the one by Farra done back in 1996. Ahhhhh...the memories...but I'm not going to dwell into that now. :P

All in all, not too bad but some parts were a little corny. Still, a good watch. Now then, how and when will I watch Puteri Gunung Ledang? ;)

Monday, November 07, 2005

A Malaysian Movie: Sepet

I had the opportunity to catch up with some of the recent offerings of Malaysian movies on ASTRO during the recent Raya festivities. I finally watched the award-winning love story, Sepet and Gol & Gincu but missed out on Puteri Gunung Ledang. Damn!

I was very eager to catch Sepet as I've heard rave reviews about it. However, I was kinda disappointed in the end. The story was very fragmented and I was left confused more than once. I was most confused with the ending! What really happened? Can someone seriously explain what transpired at the end of the movie? How did Jason/Ah Loong die? I know he died in a road accident but what caused it? Listening to the phone call while riding the bike? Riding the bike like a mad man? Too heartbroken about the situation? Relieved that Orked has finally called? Who was Orked talking to on the phone - Jason or his spirit? Did the accident happen before or after the conversation? So many questions and probabilities and interpretations!!! Maybe I'm just too dumb to understand. :P

It was a very typical Malaysian production with some very amateurish performances (especially the Chinese girlfriend). The colours were so washed-out as is in all Malaysian productions and so was the audio quality. There's just no depth with the vocals and a lot of the words were inaudible although I've turned up the volume right from the start. They should take some speech classes or at least learn to speak clearly.

Music (or at least basic background sounds) enhances the movie watching experience quite a bit but unfortunately, this movie had a lot of those 'quiet' moments where you suddenly feel as if you were standing in the middle of a very big hall that was so silent you could hear a pin drop. It's a feeling that your ears are blocked by something suddenly or just wondering if the audio in the movie has gone bad or something. I've seen some interesting photos at the website but couldn't remember watching it in the movie. Did they edit it out? It's truly a waste though especially the part where the mother is being consoled by Jason, the opposite of what we saw close to the end of the movie.

Anyway, it was still quite a good movie with some humour sprinkled all over the movie but you have to be a Malaysian to truly understand and catch all the antics in the movie. It's truly a waste that the movie was not filmed at more locations to showcase to the world how beautiful Perak, specifically and Malaysia, generally can be. Would I still recommend this movie? Yes, of course although not as highly as before. If my previous impression on the movie was an 8 or 9, it's now down to a 5 or 6. I've to admit it's very much down to my high expectations of the movie, though. :P

Sunday, November 06, 2005

New Eyes

No, I'm not getting an eye transplant or something. I've just got myself a new pair of glasses. Some of you might have known of my intent to get a new pair done for somewhile now but due to various reasons (monetary being the prime reason), I've not been able to do so. This all changed last week when I made a trip to England Optical at Gurney Plaza to ask about a special promotion they had advertised in the newspapers recently. My grandma also wanted to make a new pair for herself so I guess that was the push I needed to finally get a new pair for myself (apart from the reasonable price). I've been wearing the same old glasses for many years now especially the frame. I felt it was time to change to something new, something different. After selecting a new frame, I had my eyesight checked since it has been long since the last time I did that. Again my astigmatism numbers increased substantially whereas my myopia numbers continue to drop. Arghh!!! It's very frustrating that my astigmatism continues to climb although my myopia is getting better! Well, the total cost for my new pair of glasses adds up to RM180. I think it's quite a reasonable price. Although it was completed yesterday and I did think of collecting it so I could sport a new look at my friend's wedding dinner, I decided to collect it a few days later when my grandma's glasses were also done. However, I was forced to collect them today because the right lens of my old glasses dropped again but it is now lost once and for all. Usually, I'll be able to recover the lens but I don't know how it got lost this time. Well, I guess I will be sporting a new look, of sorts from now on. :P

Saturday, November 05, 2005


Well, another friend decided to end his bachelorhood and today was the wedding reception. It's held at the posh Shangri-La Pinang Ballroom and comes with everything you would expect from a classy hotel like this. It's another reunion of sorts since I had the opportunity to meet up with old schoolmates whom I've not seen for a while now.

As always, weddings are meant to be fun but like every typical Chinese weddings, the music will more than always be turned up a bit too loud! Just to create that 'lau juak' effect, I suppose. Luckily there wasn't any karaoke singing! Phew! For my own wedding (whenever it is... :P), there will definitely be no loud music blaring into your eardrums. If I fail to uphold this promise of mine, please do come up to me and give me a good tongue-lashing but seriously, I might find it quite difficult to make that decision since it's usually NOT your wedding but that of your parent's/relative's/family's... :P

The guys (and girls) decided to go clubbing at glo and chill-out after the wedding. We were probably the rowdiest group on the night. The place was practically littered with former PFS students (not including us, of course!). The music selection was good but not much dancing in the crowd until very much later (waiting for the alcohol to kick in, probably). Yes, I too would need some alcohol to drown my dignity first before I hit the dance floor. Usually, I'll be the designated driver or chaperone and it was no different today. I've to admit this was the first time I felt a little tipsy from the drinking and dancing that I needed to take a breather outside before I could fulfil my role as a driver.

I always dread police roadblocks since my face will more often than not giveaway that I've been drinking. You see, I have very good circulation *ahem*. :P This night however, my friends referred to me as pale instead of lobster. That's new! Anyway, I was so 'fortunate' in meeting a roadblock at the USM backgate but I managed to get away very quite easily. Hmmm...were they in a festive mood or were they considerate enough to let me through after I told them we just came from a wedding? Anyway, I have to say I was very fortunate not to be pulled over. Will there be a next time? :P

Anyway, congratulations to the bride and groom...may the both of you have a very fulfilling life ahead. :)

Friday, November 04, 2005


I've recovered from my supposedly dengue-like sickness but I'm still having this irritating itch! Why dengue-like? Well, for starters, there was the sudden onset of high fever. Then there were the aching bones and joints along with the pain behind the eyes. And of course, the rash which I'm still suffering from. No loss of appetite or nausea and vomiting however. In fact, I had a better appetite even! Of course there were many calls for me to see a doctor and seek treatment or at least be put under observation but plainly put, I'm just stubborn.

Obviously, I have my reasons. First of all, my fever was only for one day while a dengue fever would last for much longer. The only way dengue fever can be determined is through a blood test. The doctor will only be able to prescribe medication and offer advice on how to lower my temperature which I've successfully done. Also, I'll be put under quarantine because I'm suspected of dengue. I've seen how these quarantines are and I'm just not comfortable to be with other suspected or confirmed cases of dengue fever patients to avoid contracting the fever while being under quarantine! A little paranoid? I don't think so. :P

Anyway, all's left is this itch which I think is resulted from the medication I took. Maybe I'm just allergic to it or something but I'm not sure. Maybe I contracted some type of viral flu or something that is causing me all these distress but who really cares now. Just get this itch off me!

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Maaf Zahir Batin

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri to my Muslim friends and all. The first day of Raya is determined through the sighting of the moon and usually, the Chinese calendar (based on the lunar cycle) will get the date right and it's no different this time. A Muslim friend of mine once told me that only Muslims can wish another Muslim 'Maaf Zahir Batin'. I can't exactly remember why but I'm just going to do it here anyway. ;) I'm looking forward to watch two Malay movies this Raya, Sepet and Gol & Gincu. I guess it's true what my Malay friends say about Malaysian-made Malay movies. You don't need to spend money at a cinema to watch these movies...just wait for Raya and you will be able to watch it for free in the comfort of your own living room. Now, when will I be able to watch Puteri Gunung Ledang? :P

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

A Lesson In Theological Genetics

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Happy Deepavali

Deepavali (or Diwali), also known as the festival of lights, is celebrated by Hindus worldwide and is a public holiday in Malaysia (except for the state of Sarawak and the Federal Territory of Labuan). I wish to take this opportunity to wish all my Hindu friends a Happy Deepavali. The holidays are coming thick and fast! Have a great holiday!!!