Monday, February 27, 2006

Petrol Price Increased Yet Again

I knew something was up when I saw so many cars queueing up at the petrol stations on my way home. I immediately guessed that the Government decided to increase the petrol prices again and didn't bother getting in line although my tank was half empty (or half full...don't you dare start with that positive thinking crap with me now). How much can the increase be, right? Another 10 sen? 20sen? Hopefully not an arm and a leg!

(click to enlarge)

I came home, switched on the computer and logged onto Bernama to check on the latest petrol price hike. To my utmost horror, petrol and diesel will cost a whopping 30 sen per Liter extra from tomorrow! Yikes! Now that was unexpected! With such a 'generous' increase, the full tank for my SLK would probably now exceed RM50!!! *faints* The only supposedly 'good news' to the latest price hike is the Government's assurance there will be no further price hikes for the rest of the year and the savings from the reduced subsidy will go towards improving public transport. *phew*

Petrol Price Up Again

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 27 (Bernama) -- The retail price for petroleum products including diesel will be raised by another 30 sen effective Tuesday.

"The government has decided to raise the retail price of petrol and diesel by 30 sen per litre and the price of LPG by 30 sen per kilogram effective tomorrow (Tuesday)," said a statement from the Prime Minister's Office Monday night.

The increase was to tackle the impact from the increase in the price of crude petroleum in the world market and to curb the increase in subsidy which had to be borne by the government, the statement said.

However, the statement said that the government gave an assurance that there would be no further raise in the retail price of petroleum products this year.

The last time the government raised the retail price of petroleum products was on July 31, 2005 where the price of petrol went up by 10 sen per litre, diesel by 20 sen per litre and LPG by five sen per kilogram.

The new price of RON 97 petrol is now 192 sen per litre, RON 92 Petrol -- 188 sen per litre, Diesel -- 158.1 sen per litre and LPG -- 175 sen per kilogram.

In Sabah, RON 97 Petrol will cost 190 sen per litre, RON 92 Petrol -- 188 sen per litre, Diesel -- 158.4 sen per litre and LPG -- 183 sen per kilogram.

In Sarawak, RON 97 Petrol will cost 191 sen per litre, RON 92 Petrol -- 188 sen per litre, Diesel 157.8 sen per litre and LPG -- 183 sen per kilogram. All the new prices are higher by 30 sen.

"The retail price for petroleum products is being raised because in 2005 the amount of subsidy borne by the government was RM7.41 billion. Whereas tax exemption stood at RM7.85 billion.

"The burden of subsidy and tax exemption borne by the government from January to February 2006 was RM1.19 billion and RM1.44 billion respectively," the statement said.

The statement said that without subsidy and tax exemption provided by the government, the retail price of these products in March 2006 would be higher.

Without the subsidy and tax exemption, the price of RON 97 in the peninsula would have been RM2.46 per litre, RON 92 -- RM2.37 per litre, Diesel -- RM1.98 per litre and LPG -- RM3.21 per kilogram.

In Sabah, RON 97 petrol without subsidy and tax exemption would have been RM2.45 per litre, RON 92 -- RM2.37 per litre, Diesel -- RM1.97 per litre and LPG -- RM3.35 per kilogram.

In Sarawak, the price of RON 97 petrol without subsidy and tax exemption would have been RM2.45 per litre, RON 92 -- RM2.36 per litre, Diesel -- RM1.97 per litre and LPG -- RM3.34 per kilogram.

"Although the government is raising the price of petroleum products, diesel and LPG, the price of petrol and diesel in Malaysia is still cheaper compared to the price of most of these products in the Asean countries except for Brunei Darussalam," the statement said.

The statement also said the price of petroleum products in several other countries, including Asean countries, was higher than in Malaysia.

In Thailand, the price of RON 97 petrol is RM2.52 per litre, RON 92 (RM2.45 per litre), diesel (RM2.28 per litre) and LPG (RM1.65 per kilogram).

The price in the Philippines is RM2.21 per litre for RON 97 petrol, RON 92 (RM2.20 per litre), diesel (RM1.95 per litre) and LPG (RM4.90 per kilogram).

In Singapore, it is RM4.15 per litre for RON 97 petrol, RON92 (RM3.89 per litre), diesel (RM2.39 per litre) and LPG (RM5.32 per kilogram) while in Brunei the price for RON 97 petrol is RM1.22 per litre, RON 92 (RM1.19 per litre), diesel (RM0.71 per litre) and LPG (RM1.40 per kilogram).

In Indonesia, it is RM2.30 per litre for RON 97 petrol, RON 92 (RM2.20 per litre), diesel (RM1.68 per litre) and LPG (RM1.89 per kilogram).

The statement said the government had also introduced a diesel subsidy system for 84 per cent of vehicles in the land transport sector comprising public transport operators and consumer goods services through the use of fleetcards.

"With the use of fleetcards, they are able to buy diesel at a subsidised price of 15 sen lower than the fixed price," it said, adding that the Domestic and Consumer Affairs Ministry had issued a letter to inform the eligible operators of the matter.

The Prime Minister's Office also said the financial savings from the increase in the price of petroleum products would be used to finance development projects and improve the public transport system for the benefit of the people.

Although this round of petrol price hike is quite steep (I'm still stumped, by the way), I still hold steadfast that it is the right move by the Government. Don't get me wrong, I'm also feeling the pinch here but this is the only way for us Malaysians to learn that there isn't an infinite supply of petroleum in the world and the billions of ringgit of subsidy used every year so we can enjoy insanely cheap petrol is not doing us any good.

Isn't it ironic that only this very afternoon I was discussing with my friends about how cheap our petrol prices are compared to other nations and still we are complaining about it. You have got to admit we Malaysians are seriously a pampered lot. So many times have I seen people turning on their car ignition just to travel that 50 meters to grab something from the sundry shop. For goodness sake, God didn't provide you those legs just so you can work the gas pedal!

(click to enlarge)

People should seriously start walking again for those short distances. It will do us all plenty of good. We don't exercise enough anyway! The recent hike will put the petrol prices very much closer to the unsubsidised prices, resulting in huge savings for the Government. I truly hope the Government will deliver on their promise that the funds saved will go to improving the public transportation system. It is the only viable solution to all the traffic jams and over-reliance on petroleum as an energy source we currently face. The Government should also step up efforts to promote the use of hybrid cars which will help reduce the over-reliance on petroleum as an energy source and help reduce the adverse impact on the environment. When will Penang get it's monorail and integrated transportation system? What happened to the good news the Prime Minister promised for Penangites not so long ago? Start delivering already!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Change Look

(click to enlarge)

Some of you might have realised by now my blog looks very much different from previously. No, you've not gone to the wrong blog. Yes, I've changed the layout again. I just got bored of the old look. :P Until I have the time to come up with my own layout, I'll stick to this first as the old one doesn't serve its purpose anymore. I've wanted a white minimalist layout for a long time now so it's great to have it finally. Tell me what you think of the new layout compared to the old (shown above)...good or bad. ;)

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Copycats Should Burn In Hell

I hate plagiarism. I hate it even more when the thief (yes, THIEF) gets fame/glory/recognition/money from it! That's probably why I understand how Kenny Sia (Malaysia's very own top blogger) can be feeling so 'tulan' at the moment. A reader of his by the name of 'Vivian Chew' stole a picture (which Kenny personally took with his own camera, watermarked it and posted it on his blog many months ago), submitted it to The Star Online's Citizen's Blog and won RM50! Now, if it was me, I will be equally 'tulan' if not more!!!

As an academician, I truly believe that one should respect someone else's ideas and work. It's only fair and ethical, right? You don't want to see someone else profiting from your own sweat and blood, no? If you want to use someone else's work, at least have the courtesy to acknowledge that the work belongs to them and obviously don't go winning a prize or something like that!

This Vivian fella probably thought it was innocent enough to crop the photos to get rid of the watermark and hope to get away with her crime but unfortunately for her, she discounted the fact that Kenny has many loyal readers and one of them is bound to spot the picture however old the post may be. She as a supposedly avid reader should know better! We are talking about a few thousand eyeballs here! No joke! Take a closer look for yourselves.

(the submission by one Vivian Chew)

(the original work by Kenny Sia)

Let's give her the benefit of the doubt for a moment. Maybe she didn't expect to win. Maybe she just thought it was a good picture that more people should see. Maybe she did acknowledge Kenny for the picture but The Star didn't print it. Maybe she really didn't have an ulterior motive. However, when you crop away the watermark, it only means one thing - you conscienciously know what you were doing and there's no excuse at all. You knew what you were knew what you were getting yourself into.

There are even people suggesting that it was not plagiarism and that it was her own work. Oh please, don't you guys have eyes to see that it is exactly the same picture? Unless someone else (this being the said Vivian Chew) was standing with Kenny to take the photo at the same time, you wouldn't have the same motorbike and car at the same location with the building on the left still under the same stage of construction!!! It is obvious where the picture originated from and it's definitely not from one Vivian Chew's camera!

So please learn to acknowledge the work of others however minor or innocent you think it may be. Put yourself in their shoes - how would you like it if someone benefited from your own hardwork? Worse still, they earned some cash and fame along the way, and you get nothing! Just be original and always acknowledge the work to person you took it from. It's only fair, it's only right.

(pictures from

Seeking Death

I've been coughing my lungs off for the past few weeks and only these few days have I been on the road to recovery. It was an excruciating experience really. The cycle is always the same. It always starts with fever, continues on with flu (not bird flu, mind you) and tails off with coughs. The coughing part will always take the longest to recover from. If only with every round of coughing, tonnes of dough comes out like shown in the cartoon below. :P

Now that the coughing is getting much better (meaning just occasional coughing now and then), I did something crazy thing that people might actually think I'm seeking death...looking for the highway to end my life. What am I trying to say? I did something that someone sick should not be doing...I gave in to my temptations...I ate ice-cream. :P

Not just any ice-cream, ok...Haagen-Dazs ice-cream!!! Not just any Haagen-Dazs ice-cream, ok...FREE Haagen-Dazs ice-cream!!! Now tell me how is it you will not be tempted to indulge yourself? You look at these pictures and tell me...

Will you be able to resist this?

Remember it's Haagen-Dazs!

Remember it is FREE!!!

So rich and creamy!!!!!

You know you want one!!!!!!! :P

So now that I've made you realise how irresistable they can be, don't even think of judging me! I couldn't help myself. Pint after pint of these FREE ice-cream is sitting in my freezer so what am I to do but indulge myself? As I write this, I'm starting to cough again more frequently. You guessed it. I had another serving of ice-cream. Sigh...they are just calling out to me...what am I to do, right? Chocolates and ice-creams are like the few things that I find very hard to resist! :P

Well, there's still a whole bunch of them sitting in the freezer. Wish me luck. If I'm not feeling any better next week and still coughing my lungs off, you know what I've been doing during the weekend Remember, don't judge me! :P

(pictures from Haagen-Dazs and Kansai Gaidai University)

Friday, February 24, 2006

Principal Playing The Race Card?

I received some really disturbing news a few days back from a fellow Old Free. It seems that the current principal in Penang Free School made some very very very racial comments quite recently. If this is true, PFS is really going down the gutters faster that we think! Before I proceed, I would like to stress that this has not been substantiated with hard evidence as yet, so we don't know if this really happened.

It is alleged that the principal made a pledge to limit the enrolment of Chinese students to the school in the future and he's ready to implement it as soon as the next intake. How the people at the Old Frees Association in Penang came to know about this personal pledge of his I really do not know but it is really down-right disgusting. As if the school is not in a bad enough state that he must compound the situation further with such insensitive and uncalled for comments!

In recent years, people realise the ongoing Malaynisation of PFS (making it more Malay) but this has been threatening to happen for some while now and bound to happen sooner rather than later. I truly do not mind that happening if all those accepted to the school are really qualified candidates thus, ensuring the school will only have the cream of the crop and maintain its position as a premier school. However, if someone has a sinister motive to limit the number of non-bumiputeras entering the school, whatever his agenda may be is totally unacceptable.

The last I know, the State Education Department is responsible for making such decisions, not the principal. The principal may have a say in things but definitely not the last word. How is it then that he's so confident of delivering such a pledge unless he's already part of a dark plot that if true, must be stopped at all cost. I'm amazed at how daring he is to make such a pledge or even think of such a thing. Isn't this the principal that is more like a ghost in the school? The principal that is hardly around? The principal that is virtually non-existent? What happened? Trying to make a grand entry now?

The controversial senior assistant went too far recently with the no parking in school policy for student cars. It's paying dividends now for his detractors (including me) as the once dormant students that he and the rest of his merry-men have taken for granted and trampled over them time and again have finally woken up. They have finally grown some balls and are taking affirmative action to fight back. You see, when push comes to shove, something is bound to give way and this time, the students' patience gave way. I wish to convey my utmost appreciation to the controversial senior assistant for helping wake the students up from the dreamy state they were in.

The same effect will happen if this controversial pledge was really made. I hear that the Old Frees are already up in arms regarding this remark of his and are ready to do anything in their power to stop it from happening. Again, when an animal is surrounded, he is bound to fight back and the Old Frees have now woken from their constant slumber and hibernation, thanks to the remarks made by the principal. I'm not sure if they will succeed or not but at least they are doing something about it. Finally, the Old Frees will do something that I can be proud of.

I truly pray that the principal didn't make such an insensitive remark even if he did imply such a thing in jest or maybe something similar to that. I pray not for PFS but I pray for him since if it is true, his fate will definitely be sealed if it comes out in the open. He has helped us give each and everyone related to the school a big tight slap on the face and help all of us realise that the school is not exactly a proud institution to be associated with anymore and things have to be done to rectify the situation fast. I truly thank him for giving us a helping hand in our efforts to turn the school around. I guess that will be his best contribution to the school.

Anyway, for his sake I truly hope this is not true and just some sick rumour. If not, I'm sure it will cause a major uproar which will not only be unstoppable but unbearable. This I promise him.

Related articles:

Thursday, February 23, 2006


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How cartoons can be classified as offensive and used as 'weapons of mass hyseria' I truly cannot and probably will never understand. I like cartoons. Like they say, a picture speaks a thousand words and to me, cartoons speak extra volume. It's meant to be looked at the lighter side of things and works by putting a smile on your face, not hatred. I feel that cartoons teach us a lot of things and the most important thing that it can teach us is not to take things too literally.

It's downright scary how petty people can be nowadays. The mass demonstrations (some peaceful but mostly violent) and the destruction of public (and private) properties seen around the world for so long now is really mind-boggling. The Pakistani Muslim cleric offering a bounty for the death of the Danish cartoonists is totally unacceptable. The Iranian paper organising a competition for the best Holocaust cartoons only adds fuel to the already tense situation and does not help in any way. Like what the wise Mahatma Gandhi said, "an eye for an eye, makes the whole world blind." Till today, so many months after the printing of the controversial cartoons, the end to this sad situation is nowhere to be seen.

Malaysians have also fallen victim to the poison that is plaguing the world at the moment. The 61 year-old Sarawak Tribune was suspended indefinitely for reproducing the controversial cartoons here in Malaysia. Guang Ming Daily was suspended two weeks just because they printed a picture of a someone holding a newspaper with the controversial cartoons! And this week, another newspaper finds itself in hot soup for allowing to go to print a somewhat insensitive cartoon in its comics section and (stupidly and/or arrogantly) reproducing it again a few days later. The New Straits Times has been issued a show cause letter for its actions so far and a suspension is likely to follow, be it the newspaper or just the editor, if recent developments are anything to go by.

It's really amazing how this has spun out of control and Malaysia is not spared from this vertigo. True, the Danish newspaper should have known better than to publish the controversial caricatures of Prophet Muhammad which the Muslims consider as blasphemous since they do not condone any drawings whatsoever of Allah or the Prophet. To rub salt to injury, the caricatures were outright insulting to Muslims. However, that does not give you license to vent your anger in such a manner that buildings are destroyed and lives lost. How is it that these actions are any better than the publishing of the insensitive cartoons? In fact, it's much worse!

If everything has to be politically correct, we would probably end up not being able to do anything at all! We would probably have nothing interesting to read. We would have nothing funny to laugh about. Seriously, when that time comes, I will feel very offended!

UPDATE: NST escaped punishment which is a good thing but this action just screams double-standards. Lift the suspension of the other dailies too to be fair. Stop the witch-hunt! It's so simple for anyone resourceful enough to source out the controversial cartoons from the internet if they really want to find them! We are living in an age which we should be able to tell right from wrong. Freedom comes with a price yes but let us be the judge of that. (updated 25/02/2006)

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Tammy NYP Sex Video

Sex sells and oh boy, how people are profiteering from someone's plight at the moment. The now widely sought after sex video of 17-year-old Tammy and her boyfriend engaging in sexual intercourse on school grounds is probably the hottest stuff on the internet at the moment, at least for this part of the region.

This Singaporean girl who's from Nanyang Polytechnic had apparently left the school due to her sudden shot to fame (infamy?). The 10 minutes or so video clip was shot using her handphone probably for future viewing or something. I truly do not understand why someone would do such a thing. The pre-marital sex part I can still understand but why do you want to record your sex exploits? My friend did mention that he might consider that option in the later stages of his life when you would probably need that extra help to ignite that 'flame' between you and your lover. Hmmm....I'm actually wondering if he already has a stash of his own personal video recordings hidden somewhere. *ahem* :P

Apparently, the not-so-bad-looking cheerleader's handphone where that particular video clip was stored was stolen by her enemy out of jealousy for her popularity. The video clip was supposedly downloaded onto a computer and mass-emailed to lecturers and students of the school. The rest, as they say is history. A group of hackers even managed to retrive her personal details from the NYP database but it seems that the details exposed to the world were not actually hers (fortunately for her and her family).

It is rumoured to be a four part 'series' but I've personally seen only two. To be frank, there's really nothing to it and it was indeed very boring. If you are resourceful enough, you're sure to be able to find the video clip(s) on the internet but seriously, you'll probably be disappointed. I guess people are just curious when it comes to these things. I wouldn't say that all of those who sought for the video are perverts but more of those who are busybody and curious (including me :P).

I just cannot imagine how her family is taking this. Obviously she's distraught but I guess she can't complain much since she did consent to having sex and also recording of the video. If she's trying to portray herself as a victim, she should realise that she has only herself to blame. She made herself the victim. The problem for the guy however is if he will be prosecuted for having sex with a minor. Don't forget that she's only 17-years-old and that is definitely not the legal age for having sex, definitely not in iron-fist Singapore.

There's a rumour circulating that this whole thing was a plot hatched by none other than her boyfriend who has in his possession a 90-minute porno flick ready to hit the streets at the word go and they are using the handphone controversy and the ferocity of the blogosphere as a promotional tool to generate publicity that they could only dream of. that person who came up with such a wild conspiracy theory on crack or what? We are talking about someone going to jail for what he has done here. How then is he suppose to profit from this kind of exposure when he's behind bars? Truly outrageous!

Well, anyway I hope everyone will finally learn from this episode. It is as if the Paris Hilton incident was not enough to teach everyone how technology can be a friend and also an enemy to us and only we can ensure if it is our friend or an enemy. Please keep your private life....PRIVATE!!!

UPDATE: It seems that the girl in the homemade sex video is considered an adult and two adults having consenting sex is not wrong at all even if they wish to record their acts for future viewing. Her 21-year-old boyfriend in the video just finished his stint in the National Service and they have lodged a police report against the person who stole the handphone and upload the sex video to the internet. Under the Films Act, it is illegal to distribute, show, import, or possess any obscene video recording, whether made on a conventional camera or a mobile phone. (updated 24/02/2006)

Apparently, the video clip was not mass-emailed to the polytechnic staff or students and the acts depicted had not taken place on the school grounds as claimed earlier. (updated 28/02/2006)

Avian Flu in Gombak

There's been another occurrence of the deadly avian flu (H5N1 strain) in Malaysia. Fourty kampung (free-range) chickens have died since last week and the Veterinary Services Department was quick to cull over a hundred of the remaining birds in the affected Gombak area to keep things in check.

Bird flu in Gombak

KUALA LUMPUR: The Government confirmed last night that the deaths of 40 kampung (free range) chicken at four villages along Jalan Genting-Klang here last week were caused by the H5N1 strain of the avian influenza.

Agriculture and Agro-Based Industry Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said the case was an isolated one and that the people need not worry as there was no human fatality.

"Tests by the Veterinary Laboratory in Petaling Jaya and the Veterinary Research Institute in Ipoh confirmed the cause of death was due to the H5N1 strain," he said in a statement to the Bernama news agency yesterday.

News of the avian flu in Malaysia sent stocks of poultry companies on the Bursa Malaysia plummeting, with a few counters falling by as much as 20% (see StarBiz for the full report).

Muhyiddin, who is in Dubai where he is heading a trade mission, said all 110 chickens in Kampung Pasir Wardieburn, Taman Danau Kota, Pekan Danau Kota and Kampung Belakang JPJ had been culled.

"The Veterinary Services Department, Kuala Lumpur City Hall, and the Health Ministry had initiated an immediate and integrated action to control the disease from spreading," he added.

Besides culling the chicken, the integrated action also included setting up checkpoints and patrolling the roads in the affected areas to prevent chickens from being moved out, he added.

He said all chicken coops in the area would be disinfected, and urged the public to contact the department if there were any large-scale deaths of any types of birds.

Selangor and Federal Territory Poultry Traders Association adviser Datuk Dr Lee Chong Meng said the public should not be unduly alarmed as the Government had acted swiftly to deal with the affected chickens in Gombak.

Dr Lee said it was possible that the villagers smuggled in fighting roosters from Thailand and that these birds might have infected the kampung chickens.

He stressed that the public should not overreact and that chickens were still safe for consumption as no commercial chickens were involved.

Meanwhile, Singapore is suspending poultry and egg imports from Selangor with immediate effect, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority said in a statement yesterday.

The current suspension will not affect poultry imports from Johor, Malacca, Perak and Negri Sembilan, which are free from the deadly avian flu virus.

The Singaporean authority said that although five chicken broiler farms in Selangor were permitted to supply poultry to Singapore, there had been no exports from these farms since August 2004.

This is the second time there had been H5N1 cases reported in the country in the past three years. The last case was in Kota Baru in 2004, when several fighting roosters smuggled in from Thailand died of the disease.

This news came as a surprise to many Malaysians when it made front-page news in most of the national dailies yesterday. The night before that, I've read from several blogs concerning the possibility of bird flu in the Selangor region after Singapore announced they will stop importing chickens from the Selangor region indefinitely.

Teams from the Health Ministry have screened 916 people for bird flu symptoms today. Seven people, including five children have been warded, with their test results to be known on tomorrow. The Veterinary Services Dept has set up a bird flu operations centre for the public to report the deaths of birds in their areas. The centre's hotline is 03-88702041.

It is normal to expect that many Malaysians will shun chickens, ducks and all birds for the time-being due to this development. Even eating eggs will also be a cause for concern since the shell will likely have faeces on it. Fortunately, cooking food at over 70 degrees Celcius will kill the H5N1 virus. Runny yolk lovers would have to switch to properly cooked eggs for the time-being just to be safe. During food preparation, it's advisable to wear gloves and wash your hands, equipment and surrounding areas thoroughly after that. I seriously hope it will be contained and will not become some outbreak as it will definitely have many drastic implications on our country's economy if it does develop into an outbreak.

It seems that there's hardly any food safe for consumption nowadays. There's the Mad Cow disease for beef, Nipah virus for pork, mercury poisoning for captured fisheries and now the bird flu for poultry products. Should we all become vegetarians then? Sigh...I'll definitely miss my meat. :(

(picture from The Star)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Simple Observations

from an email:


Smart man + smart woman = romance
Smart man + dumb woman = affair
Dumb man + smart woman = marriage
Dumb man + dumb woman = pregnancy


Smart boss + smart employee = profit
Smart boss + dumb employee = production
Dumb boss + smart employee = promotion
Dumb boss + dumb employee = overtime


A man will pay $20 for a $10 item he needs.
A woman will pay $10 for a $20 item that she doesn't need.


A woman worries about the future until she gets a husband.
A man never worries about the future until he gets a wife.
A successful man is one who makes more money than his wife can spend .
A successful woman is one who can find such a man.


To be happy with a man, you must understand him a lot and love him a little.
To be happy with a woman, you must love her a lot and not try to understand her at all.


Married men live longer than single men do, but married men are a lot more willing to die.


A woman marries a man expecting he will change, but he doesn't.
A man marries a woman expecting that she won't change, and she does .


A woman has the last word in any argument.
Anything a man says after that is the beginning of a new argument.


Old aunts used to come up to me at weddings, poking me in the ribs and cackling, telling me, "You're next." They stopped after I started doing the same thing to them at funerals.

(picture from

Monday, February 20, 2006

Mungkin Nanti

by peterpan

"Mungkin Nanti" music video by peterpan

Bahasa Indonesia Lyrics

Saatnya ku berkata mungkin yang terakhir kalinya
Sudahlah lepaskan semua kuyakin inilah waktunya
Mungkin saja kau bukan yang dulu lagi
Mungkin saja rasa itu telah pergi

Dan mungkin bila nanti kita kan bertemu lagi
Satu pintaku jangan kau coba tanyakan kembali
Rasa yang kutinggal mati
Seperti hari kemarin saat semua disini

Dan bila hatimu termenung bangun dari mimpi-mimpimu
Membuka hatimu yang dulu cerita saat bersamaku
Mungkin saja kau bukan yang dulu lagi
Mungkin saja rasa itu telah pergi

Dan mungkin bila nanti kita kan bertemu lagi
Satu pintaku jangan kau coba tanyakan kembali
Rasa yang kutinggal mati
Seperti hari kemarin saat semua disini

Tak usah kau tanyakan lagi simpan untukmu sendiri
Semua sesal yang kau cari semua rasa yang kau beri

English Translation

I would just like to say maybe for the very last time
Just let go of everything I'm sure this is the time
Maybe you're just not the person you were anymore
Maybe the feeling's just not there anymore

And maybe in the future when we do meet again
I've only one favour to ask that you do not try to bring up
These feelings that I've left behind
Like the one yesterday from this moment on

And when your heart ponders and wakes up from this dream of yours
Reminiscing the moments we had together
Maybe you're just not the person you were anymore
Maybe the feeling's just not there anymore

And maybe in the future when we meet again
I've only one favour to ask that you do not try to bring up
These feelings that I've left behind
Like the one yesterday from this moment on

Don't bother asking anymore just keep it all to yourself
All the regrets that you're experiencing were all your doing

My friend introduced this song to me a few days back. Ever since, it has been played over and over again on my iTunes (over 50 times and counting). Well, actually it's looping with some other Malay songs that I have in my music collection or the play count would probably have reached a much higher number!!! There's not many Malay songs in my playlist to start with (only twelve to be precise) but that's all that my speakers were playing for the past few days. :P

'Mungkin Nanti' is a really beautiful song and the lyrics quite unique. The piano, guitars and drums complements so well in the song and let's not even get started with how suited that guy's vocals are for this type of jiwang songs. I probably like the beginning the best especially the part beginning with that sudden pause continued by the chorus. OooooOOooooohhhh, I can just listen to that part over and over again! It's so orgasmic! :P

I didn't realise that 'Mungkin Nanti' was actually a break-up song. I had initially thought that it was about a couple being seperated temporarily for some reasons like one of them having to move house or migrating to another country or furthering his/her studies or going off for National Service or something like that and that they were looking forward to meeting each other again in the future, hence the title 'Mungkin Nanti' meaning maybe later or maybe sometime in the future. My interpretation could be wrong though. :P

There are a few other wonderful songs by peterpan. This band from Indonesia is truly making a name for themselves with their artistic work. They are more of a rock band than anything but I prefer their more jiwang songs like 'Mungkin Nanti' and 'Ku Katakan Dengan Indah'. It's amazing how more successful the Indonesian artistes are compared to their Malaysian counterparts.

I feel that I've to take a page from the lyrics of this song. I admit that I'm still hurting from that episode (especially when you are reminded of it time and again) but what's there to do but to move on and probably take the same stance portrayed by this song. Just leave everything behind. No regrets. Any regrets will only be on her part, not mine. Time to truly close this chapter in my life once and for all. Empty pages are waiting for my pen, white canvases ready for my brush. All that is missing is the master to fill them up with his masterpiece. It's time.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Things To Come In The Future?

from an email:

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Makings Of A True Champion

Yesterday, I saw with my very own eyes why our national squash sensation Nicol David is the reigning World Champion and current World No. 1. It is without a doubt a performance that warrants a standing ovation, not only by the Malaysians who were at the shopping mall to cheer her on, not only by the squash community who already knows how good she is but by each and every single individual who knows of her existence for being so blessed to see a true champion in action.

Not once have I doubted her talents but too many times have I seen her steamroll over opponents that it seems she didn't even need to break a sweat to defeat her challengers. I truly wanted to see her real skills of fending off opponents even when she's not at her best, to rise to the challenge when she's trailing behind and staring at the face of defeat, to show what she's tryly made of. I was shown all of that yesterday during the CIMB KL Open semi-finals between Natalie Grinham of Australia and her at Berjaya Times Square which was shown LIVE on Astro SuperSport.

I have seen her play in person before but no disrespect to her opponents, they were just not up to her standards. I couldn't see any magic in her play though at that time. She wasn't put under any pressure at all. Yesterday's match was a totally different story. When I switched on the TV, it was already the third game. She had lost the first two games 4-9, 3-9 to Natalie and had to win this game at all cost to advance to the final! She might have the advantage of home ground but it is always a double-edged sword. You might have the support of the spectators but their expectations will also be weighting down on your shoulders. Failure at home soil is not an option especially with the VIPs present!

She fought back hard in the third and fourth games, showing off her true skills by killing off her opponent fast and furious. In the final tie-breaking game, she sped off to a 5-0 lead only for her opponent to claw back the deficit and ensure it was a nerve-wrecking end to the hotly contested match. Anyone watching the match would probably have been at the edge of their seats the same way I was. My heart was thumping so fast but I could see the drive and determination in her eyes, so I knew we would still have a chance even when she lost the serve to her opponent.

In the end, she showed what a class-act she was by clinching the game even after Natalie had five match point opportunies. I was truly entertained throughout the three games I watched. Finally I had the chance to see how good she truly is. Having lost the first two games and staring at defeat, carrying an injury and not performing at her usual best, she still managed to defeat her opponent and book her place in the final. These are all the makings of a true champion. I was truly at awe with how she played yesterday. I will surely be rooting for her when she faces second seed Vanessa Atkinson of Holland today. Go Nicol! Whatever the outcome, you have already earned the respect and adoration of all Malaysians!

(pictures from various sources on the Internet)

Friday, February 17, 2006

Of Dots And Dashes

Some of you might have realised the weird looking dots and dashes I've put up on the three instant messaging clients I currently use namely Google Talk, Yahoo! Messenger and MSN Messenger. It's not like I've somehow forgotten how to write using Latin text and now can only speak incoherently through dots and dashes. It's just that I've rediscovered my passion for codes and the most common and popular code in the world is Morse Code.

I could remember Morse Code like the back of my hand. Maybe not all the letters of the alphabet but enough to decipher any message in Morse Code. I actually have a system of how to remember the code which is quite simple actually. That's why I feel that it's not impossible to actually master Morse Code. Ask anyone on the street nowadays and nine out of ten will tell you they don't know Morse Code. Even scouts do not know Morse Code nowadays. Well, Morse Code has come a long way. Even technology has made deciphering Morse Code easy. You can now use this tool for your Morse Code deciphering needs. No need to memorise all the dots and dashes combinations. Now you'll be able understand what I'm saying! :P

Well, Morse Code is not the only code that I know of actually. I know a handful of other codes and cyphers when I was younger. Hmmm, that didn't sound right. It makes me sound as if I'm 50 or some middle-aged person now. I am only 25, no? But I know that I'm definitely not young anymore so I guess I am old. :P I guess, it's just in my nature to figure things out. I'm one curious wreck. I just need to understand things and solve them. I just can't resist the temptation of figuring out puzzles and the like. I guess I just get the thrill of using my grey matter and experience the adrenaline rush while working them out. I suppose that's why I enjoy Dan Brown's The Da Vinci Code so much and now stuck with Sudoku. Haha....

Maybe I will just start digging for my notes on codes and ciphers and start going through them again. ;)

(picture from Wikipedia)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Parking Woes At PFS

Things have gone really out of hand in Penang Free School lately, no thanks to one certain overzealous senior assistant who's trying so hard to make a name for himself. Doing it for the school? Doing it for the students? Oh please, save all that crap for someone dumb enough to believe you. We definitely don't. Take a look at his most recent handywork:

Students' parking irks residents

Indiscriminate parking by Penang Free School students on both sides of the Halaman Free School road in Penang is driving residents in the area up the wall.

They claimed that the road had become narrow since the students parked their cars there.

Mohd Sultan, 37, said the stu- dents began parking there after the school banned them from parking inside the school compound effective Feb 6.

"With them parking on both sides of the road, only one car can pass at a time although it is a two-way road," he said.

Mohd said he did not under- stand the school's decision to ban students from parking in the school compound when there was ample space inside.

"We were told by the school that the ban was enforced as some students hid inside their cars to smoke," he added.

A Penang Free School senior assistant who refused to be named declined to comment on the complaints.

Just a few days back the students had a rude shock when they found a Chap Goh Meh/Valentine's Day gift on their car windshields. They were issued police summons for parking their cars at that residential area. It was alleged that the senior assistant in question was the person who called the traffic police to issue the summons but my bet would be on the disgruntled residents instead. They were probably in the wrong to park there in the first place but can we truly blame them? Where are they expected to park then when their own school disallow them to park within the school premises? It's as if that bozo is discouraging students from coming to school!

Of course there are other means to go to school but what if that is the only way? In a time where the students have tuition classes practically everyday and quite a number of them straight after school, how can we expect the students to depend on the unreliable public transport or even car-pooling with friends that have stay-at-home parents? Are they forced to ride bikes then? Who is this fat shit to decide how the students should come to school?

Initially I thought the reason for banning student cars in the school premises was due to the lack of parking for staff (which is always a grievance even here in USM). However, after reading the papers today, I was totally flabbergasted that the reason behind the ruling was to stop students from smoking in the car! Oh come on, what kind of lame excuse is that?

As a prefect during my time in the school, I know that there are plenty more places that the students will light up the cancer sticks which are more popular compared to their cars. We've caught people smoking in the toilets before. Should we then tear down all the toilets in the school to stop the smoking menace? We've found people smoking in the hostel which is also the den of so many things evil and wrong. Should we then close the hostel altogether and turn it into a library? We've also found people smoking in the surau among other things! Now then, tell we what we should do to the surau?

If he is serious in combating the smoking issue, he should start with the teachers first who light up in the school ever so often. He should also empower the school prefects to tackle this problem instead of making them useless and powerless. He should stop coming up with all these nonsense and start working on the real issues instead.

It's amazing how this dimwit can come up with such half-baked ideas at such a consistent rate. Why did he refuse to be named? Why did he refuse to comment on the complaints? What's wrong? Cat caught your tongue? I remember very clearly people telling me he was very vocal during the school assembly about not being afraid of any objections and would face them all upfront. Why the sudden change of heart? Has his tiny little balls shrunk even further along with his waistline as he went from an oversized potato to the ghastly looking figure he is now? Is that even physically possible considering raisins can be considered a giant when compared to his nuts?

He has ripped up the school traditions one by one and boasting his so-called accomplishments and his service to the school while insulting all the things about the school that we are proud of. I can't entirely blame him for feeling high and mightly in the school. After all, the Frees that are studying in the school today frankly speaking, have no balls to go against him! They are nothing compared to the Frees of yesteryears. We wouldn't have allowed a moron like him desecrating the good name of our school in such a manner.

His actions so far have really left a bad taste in my mouth. It would be so simple to compile a dossier of all his wrongdoings and get him out of the school or at least just stop him from destroying the school even more. Why aren't the current Frees doing anything about it? You can't expect Old Frees to do something when the current Frees are willing to just go through with it without even a squeak! The onus is on the current Frees to start standing their ground and show this joker what true Frees are made of.

This clown wants to make a name for himself in the school. He wants to leave a legacy behind. Well, I've good news for him. He has definitely achieved his goals. He shall forever be remembered as the person that disgraced the good name of the school, destroyed it's traditions and brought the downfall of Penang Free School. Good work! For the residents that would like to thank him for the grievances he has caused, you can always just walk across the street since he's staying right at the Government quarters within the school.

UPDATE: I've been pointed to a similar article found in the New Straits Times to whom the questionable senior assistant was willing to give an interview and mentioned the reasons behind the ban.

Residents irked over parking

A decision by the Penang Free School to bar its students from parking their cars in the school compound has kicked up a storm of protest from some residents nearby.

Some of the residents in the vicinity of Jalan Halaman Free School claim students are parking their cars along the road, causing them much inconvenience.

Students were told they would not be allowed to park their cars in the school compound in a letter signed by the principal, Mohd Yusuf Omar. The ban has been in effect since Feb 6.

Those riding motorcycles or bicycles are now only allowed to park in the compound if they buy stickers costing RM3 each.

According to the school's senior assistant (students affairs), Abdul Latif Mohd Yusoff, the directive was issued with the consent of the parent-teacher association.

"We decided to ban students from driving their cars into the school compound to prevent accidents and untoward incidents. There were cases of students making out in their cars."

A resident, Mohammed Sultan, 37, said the Jalan Halaman Free School road was now reduced to a single lane because both sides of the road were used for parking.

"We have complained to the city council but no action has been taken."

"We have also spoken about the matter to the school principal but they have washed their hands of it, saying they have no control over where students park their cars."

Mohammed claimed 30 to 40 cars were usually parked along the road on most days.

Oh come on! The ban was "to prevent accidents" and due to "cases of students making out in their cars"? You think the car is the only place they can make out? There are so many other places in the school that are available to the them which are suitable! What is he going to do about those other places then? How many accidents occured in the school premises then that warranted such an action? Accidents will happen anywhere. That's why it's called an accident! Do you see the Government closing down roads or banning the ownership of vehicles due to road accidents?!? I guess next they'll ask the students to glue their school ties to their necks so they won't forget to wear them! Preposterous!

He's so smart in pushing the blame to others. This is not the first time he has done so when he finds himself in deep shit. Trying to wash your hands clean by pointing out the principal issued the orders and approval was gained by the parents-teachers association? Who was the mastermind behind all of these? Who was the devil pulling all the strings? Please, you can't fool everyone. In the end, the truth will prevail. He must remember that he's the senior assistant for student affairs and his priority is to protect the welfare of the students, not make their schooling life a living hell! Way to go for putting the school in the national dailies for all the wrong reasons. You should be proud of yourself!!!

Related articles:

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Do You Sudoku?

I've jumped on the Sudoku bandwagon recently and have not looked back since. Is it addictive, maybe. Is it fun, so-so. Is it challenging, most of the times yes. The reason why I'm into it now is so I can let my brain focus on something else other than the daily routine stuff that I'm going through.

It's actually quite easy and there's only one rule to it. Fill in the grid so that every row, every column and every 3x3 box contains the digits 1 through 9. Each row, column, and region must contain only one instance of each numeral. Completing the puzzle definitely requires patience and logical ability. I had initially thought that some math was involved and wasn't interested in frying my brains by trying to figure out the solution even for one box let alone NINE! However, when I finally got to trying it out (due to boredom), I got stuck ever since.

In the beginning, it was quite difficult. Maybe the puzzles at the time were more difficult but I just had to crack my head so much it hurt so bad! Nowadays though, it's more of a breeze. However, sometimes I get so confused due to the pencil markings I make for the possibilities for each square, I have to erase them and figure them out again. Everytime I start to see stars or my head starts to hurt, I continue reading the newspaper and come back later. It's getting easier by the day anyways (due to practice I suppose).

I know people compete for the best times and all but I'm not going for that (yet). I'm doing this for just for leisure. Of course I cannot rule out the possibility of the competitive side of me walking down that path in the future but for the time-being and the foreseeable future, it's going to be just for fun. I only limit myself to one puzzle a day (the one found in the papers) but if that's not enough, I can always go here for more puzzles.

So, do you Sudoku? You should give it a try! :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Valentine's Day Craze

This teddy was delivered to a woman in her office today at about lunchtime. This little teddy costs only RM960. This red teddy is the only Lusciana Bear in the country. 'Little' red one-of-a-kind teddy, I wonder who's the (un)lucky woman that was given this teddy in her office in front of her colleagues and probably her bosses too!

Yes, it's the time of the year again when people just go nuts, spend way over what they would normally do and do things they would usually not do. Everything is overpriced from flowers to chocolates, holiday destinations to dining places, even the jaga kereta would probably hike their prices. Yes,'s Valentine's Day once again. There's bound to be a mass wedding where loads of people get married. Get real people, what's so special about that? Shouldn't weddings be something special?

Back to the (un)lucky woman. I really pity her. If I were a woman, I would be so afraid to have read such news in the papers. Who in their right mind would humiliate their significant other this way? I don't see how is this showing your affection to her. And to spend silly money like this?!? Can you count the number of Char Koay Teow or slices of cheesecake you could buy with that amount of money?!? Crazy really. Please people, take her to a movie. Treat her to a good meal (I'll prefer if you cooked). Pamper her with ice-cream and chocolates. Please don't spend close to RM1,000 for an ugly bear and to humiliate her at her workplace like that! It's so lame. Think of something more original and romantic please. For her sake at least....and also for all the males in the world!!!

Happy Valentine's to all singles and couples out there!

(picture from The Star)

Chat Away In Gmail

I'm so ecstatic, no words can describe how I feel now. I finally can chat in Gmail! Seeing that screenshot above (click to enlarge) when I logged on to my Gmail, it was like.... it was like.... haiz....I already told you no words can describe already ma! :P

For those worried about privacy, hear not. You can just log out from the chat function and continue using your Gmail as normal. Of course, you can also block them if you are not in the mood to talk to them or probably hiding from your boss. :P

Actually, I'm talking to a few friends now through this chat function and liking it every bit. A couple of days back, I was chatting with my friend with the help of this new feature in Gmail. I was on Google Talk and he was on Gmail. I was so envious he already had the feature while I was still waiting so eagerly to have it integrated into my Gmail. He was quite shocked that there was even such a feature. The integration between Google Talk and Gmail makes so much sense. I've found myself doing small talk so many times using Gmail and it gets quite cumbersome sometimes sending each conversation through email. Now, here's an alternative that makes lots of sense. :)

I'll probably still continue using Google Talk especially for voice calls functionality but at least I know I can go around any computer and just login to my Gmail to chat to any of my online friends using Gmail without having to install Google Talk on any system at all. Simple, no?

One of the most asked for feature was the saving of chat history. Personally, I don't like the idea of my chats being saved but it can come in pretty handy especially when you are discussing some important matters that you might want to refer back later. I like it that Google allows you to control if your chats are being saved or not. In other IMs, you don't even know if the other person is saving your chat history. I just feel more comfortable chatting freely without the knowledge that whatever I say is being recorded down. Of course many will point that the ISPs and the internet content providers are also archiving everything we do online but I guess there's a line to be drawn for paranoia as well.

Anyway, I really am loving this feature and I know I will enjoy and benefit from using it. I'm sure you would too. :)

UPDATE: Found a page listing all the cute emoticons available on Google Chat. Enjoy!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Chap Goh Meh

A night for throwing tangerines, eating bubur chacha and the final day of Chinese New Year. It's a night of romance, the Chinese version of Valentine's Day. In Hokkien, it litterally means the 15th night of Chinese New Year. It has become customary here in Penang that unmarried women will gather at Gurney Drive to toss tangerines into the sea, in hope that their future spouse will pick it up. While women use tangerines to find a good husband, the drum is meant for men to find good wives. Please don't ask me why but it was probably chosen because in Hokkien, it rhymes with wife. Another variation that makes more sense is the apple.

Time does fly. In just a few blinks of the eye, Chinese New Year is over. I hope you all had a great time! Dahvid, maybe you could try throwing your guitar in the Klang river in hope your future spouse finds it? ;)

(picture from TourismPenang)

Friendster - Keep Or Delete?

I'm seriously thinking of terminating my Friendster account. I've been toying around with the idea for some time now but never got to executing it but my hand may be forced now. The reason why I had an account in the first place was due to the incessant email reminders that was flooding my mailbox asking me to join Friendster. The same was with hi5 which is also a social networking site similar to Friendster. I just couldn't take the annoying emails anymore that I gave in and open accounts at both just so I could be left in peace.

The reason why I say my hand may be forced in the issue of terminating my Friendster account is due to the recent revelation that one of my friends is probably gay. Now, again I would like to stress that I'm fine with whatever sexual preference you have chosen and I'm not homophobic. The reason I'm quitting Friendster is not due to my friend's sexual preference but the type of people I'm attracting due to me being on his list of friends. I've been getting numerous visits by gays recently (probably due to my silliness of not satisfying my curiosity about my friend's sexual preference by viewing profiles found on his list of friends anonymously....DUH!!!). Ever since, I've been getting such visits quite frequently. Worse still, someone even sent me a 'smile' just a few days back and he's like a 51 year old man!!! *puke*

I actually have no use of either Friendster or hi5 or such social networking sites. I don't utilise them to be frank. I've always received complaints that I do not update my profile, upload pictures and all that. Heck, I have a blog that I can do all that! Why do I need Friendster? Just recently, I created a Multiply account just so I can read my friend's blog which she's not comfortable sharing with the world yet. Make no mistake, I've received numerous invitations to join in the past but I was able to resist everytime. This time though, I don't know why but I caved in to her invitation, albeit a few reminders. :P Maybe I'll have to keep the Multiply account for awhile longer until I'm able to convince my friend to take that brave step into the open blogosphere.

I'm still quite undecided since I might just get flooded again with email invitations and reminders to join these sites in the future. Do I really want to go through the hassle of registering again if and when I cave in yet again? Worse still, do I really want to go through explaining to the friends in my network why I'm no longer their 'friend' when they find out and bombard me with questions? Sigh...please give me some pointers here.

Importance Of Friendship

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Understanding The Pak Guard Mentality

I've had countless altercations with security guards, so much so that I could have mistaken their sole purpose of being appointed to those positions is not to ensure our safety but to annoy us and make our lives a living hell. How else do you explain them always giving you a hard time for no apparent reasons?

Most (if not all) of my experiences actually involves security guards manning the entry points. They seem bent on making our lives miserable. I admit that some can be really nice but they are a scarce minority. It makes no difference if they are male or female security guards. In fact, the female ones can be so much more bitchy! I've even come up with a hypothesis that the reason they are so grouchy is due to them not getting any 'action' the previous night. How else can you explain their change of expression which can be a drastic 180 degrees turn? Suddenly out of the blue, they can be so nice and pleasant to you! Hmmm....they were probably 'busy' the night before! :P Hey, it has been scientifically proven that sex makes you happy!

I've had a few problems with the guards at N-Park where I will go twice a week to give tuition. Security is tight, which is good but if only they made it convenient for visitors who obviously do not have access cards to enter the compound. When you register yourself as a visitor and mention that the purpose of your visit is to give tuition, you don't need to be a rocket scientist to figure out that a visitor's parking space is needed. The visitor's parking lots are inaccessible unless they unlock the space for you and it's at the other end of the property. They would ever so frequently let you in and not unlock the visitor's parking space for you thus forcing you to park in someone else's designated parking space.

I was fortunate not to face any problems for the first few weeks but my luck ran out one day when the owner of the parking space complained to the guards and they locked the wheel of my car. I was shocked when I came down three hours later to find my car wheel locked. After approaching a guard who was stationed nearby, he demanded I pay a fine ammounting to RM30 before he would unlock the wheel of my car. What irks me even more is that on that very particular day, I insisted at the security post for the guards to open a visitor's parking space for me but they just asked me to drive in and wait there. I waited for half an hour but no one came to unlock the parking space for me. Since it was already time for my tuition class, I had no choice but to park at somebody else's lot, hoping they wouldn't mind and/or I would be gone before they realised.

Fortunately, I didn't have any money on me at the time. Yes, not even one ringgit and I shoved my wallet to him as proof. He didn't have any other choice but to reluctantly unlock my car wheel and released me. What else could he do? Sit there the whole night and drink tea with me under the moonlight? During our 15-30 minutes 'discussion', it was so convenient of him to flash his expensive clamshell handphone. It was this very same pak guard that enquired about me giving his children tuition lessons just a few days before the incident and asking for a huge discout because he's 'poor'. Yeah, he's so poor that his children is starving and wearing rags but he's capable of owning a mobile phone that's probably twice his monthly wage! Unbelievable!

I faced many instances after that which the security guards were just too lazy to unlock the visitor's parking space for me that I had to walk to the security post several times to 'remind' them until they finally open a spot for me. I grew tired of this charade and decided to park outside instead nowadays. This was probably what they set out to do right from the beginning! Their ploy is probably to make you so annoyed that you decide to park outside and not bother them at all. Lazy assholes!!!

Just the other day, a USM guard stopped me at the security post at the Bukit Gambier gate. I was already nearly through the security post when suddenly he jumped in front of my car demanding I moved my car to the side of the road. Geez, what's with these people pushing my car to the side of the road?!? He enquired the purpose of my 'visit'. DUH?!? I'm a student here and this is not even the first time you've seen me! There's even a sticker on my car, albeit last year's sticker. I showed him my student card and the excuse he came up for stopping me was that I was driving fast. Huh?!? You do realise there's a bump that I've to get over, right? You didn't think I flew past the bump, did you? Of course I slowed down but what else did you expect me to do? Stop altogether?

Of course some would point to me not having a car sticker and deserved being stopped but hey, if they had decided to give me a sticker in the first place, the problem wouldn't have existed. I don't see a reason for getting a car sticker either. I've seen cars with stickers getting reprimanded anyway so what's the use? There's definitely double-standards. Ever so often I see cars without stickers being allowed entry without a single peep from these people. Bikes however have a free run in and out the campus since they are not in direct competition to the staff for parking space.

The problem lies with the issuance of stickers to undergraduate students. They should not be allowed to drive into campus at all. I don't see the rationale of blocking some graduate students (who obviously needs a car in campus more than an undergraduate) from driving within campus and allowing undergraduates to roam freely. I don't understand why they have not fully implemented the access card entry to the campus. What's the use of spending so much money on changing our student cards to the new chip-based smart cards when they are not fully utilised? The card can be used to control entry and limit the access of vehicles. The card already contains information such as the status of students and staff. As such, if it's an undergraduate, deny entry! It can be so easily programmed and manipulated in whatever way the university deems fit. This way, the undergraduates will not take up the parking space which is so evidently empty during semester breaks and get the graduate students blamed instead.

There seems to be a certain attitude that security guards possess (at least the bad-ass ones). They probably have to be tough and all that shit but as long as they are considerate and understanding, I don't think anyone would mind them being tough. I mean, who wants a sissy as a security guard, right? They definitely do not need to annoy people and make their lives miserable. No disrespect to them but their mindset is stuck at feeling sorry for themselves and finding it their priority to make everyone else feel as miserable as them. They must remember that it is not us that put them in whatever sorry state they are in. It's themselves that make the situation so. We definitely do not owe them a living. It's not like we achieved where we are today by trampling all over them. Being a security guard is a very noble occupation and they do not need to tarnish it by their disgraceful actions. This is possibly the reason why they will find it hard to climb higher up the ranks of society. It's all in the mindset.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Breathe In, Breathe Out

I have this student that has such incredible mood swings, she's worse than a woman going through a bad case of menopause. Yes, seriously. She can be in such a good mood one minute and sink into really awful mood the next minute...and she's only 11.

I've always found it hard to manage the so-called fairer sex. I find them to be very volatile and extreme care must be taken when handling them at all times. Trust me, they are more volatile that the chemicals that I use ever so frequently in my labs! At least with chemicals, all I need to do is follow procedure and I know all will be fine. As for them women, you could do the same thing over and over again but get a different reaction every single time.

This girl really got on my nerves a few days back. I spent the whole two hours doing just a small part of fractions with her and she just didn't want to put in effort to figure out the solution. It's not like she doesn't know how to solve the problems, it's just she wasn't in the mood to think! Can you imagine how frustrating it is when you are giving her the same type of problems and she can do it one time and not the other just because she's just not in the mood to think? She can even give you that blank emotion-less face!

I forgot to mention that she can be a real pain in the ass sometimes due to her having an attitude problem. The situation is not helped by the parents conceeding that the child is slow or that she has decided to turn off her brain or she's tired and what-nots! I do not agree when parents sort of condemn their kids in front of them. I feel that it will only demoralise them further or even worse, encourage them to continue being like that since you have accepted them to be so. I definitely do not agree when parents give in to their kids' weaknesses and saying things like they're tired or slow or something like that. I feel you are only encouraging them to remain stagnant by acknowledging but not doing something about it positively.

She's probably very fortunate as I'm VERY zen now compared to let's say, ten years back. I'm learnt to keep my temper at bay but probably at the expense of me developing peptic ulcers. Things still do get to me but not as easily as before. Due to this change in me, I've realised that I've lost that competitive edge in me and other traits that I used to possess that made me succeed ever so often. I'm not sure yet if it's a fair trade-off but friends have told me although they like the new zen me, they hate seeing me lose my competitive edge and those traits that had worked so flawlessly for me since that's the best way they remember me.

I guess I just have to work on finding the right balance. For the meantime, more breathing exercises...breathe in, breathe out...breathe in, breathe out...

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Police Outrider Out Of His Mind

Just went through a really mind-boggling experience with a totally arrogant police outrider with a massive superiority complex. He was escorting, if I'm not mistaken, the Penang Governor from USM and I was so 'fortunate' to be using the same road as him along Bukit Gambier.

I was at the traffic lights outside the USM Bukit Gambier Gate when suddenly, I heard sirens blaring behind me. Now then, which dignitary could it be? Who gives a damn anyway? After some police outriders zoomed to the middle of the road intersection stopping traffic from all directions, we were asked to move although the light was still red so that we could make way for the motorcade to pass. I was thinking that it was the King and/or Queen (who is the Chancellor of USM) that were in the motorcade since they seem to be in such a rush and/or of importance that they must pass through immediately.

I just kept moving ahead with one outrider right in front of me. The motorcade was moving really very slow and was way,way, way behind. There were hardly any cars on the road at the time (none in fact) and the lanes were practically empty. I kept on the left lane all the time allowing the motorcade to pass on the right if and when it chooses to. I continued driving normally and as I approached the hill I obviously accelerated to gain momentum like what any sane and good driver would do. Considering that my car is a SLK and not some petrol-guzzling SUV or 4WD, I definitely had to accelerate to gain momentum or I might face problems halfway up the hill.

Then suddenly when I was halfway up the hill, the outrider in front of me not only started to flag me down to the side of the road but forcefully caused my car to stop abruptly! What? It's not good enough that I was already on the left lane struggling to climb the hill and not speeding in anyway, leaving such a big space on the right lane for the motorcade to pass? It's not good enough that I've slowed down after you started to flag me that you had to snarl at me and force me to bring my car to a total stop? He must be out of his mind! May I know what crime I committed to deserve such treatment? Even if I was truly doing something wrong by not stopping my car, why didn't he stop me earlier? Why become such an ass on the hill and suddenly decide to push my car off the road? His actions were just plain rude and utterly incomprehensible! If there were other vehicles around, I would understand the need to bring my car to a stop but there were no other vehicles on the road AT ALL!!! Incredible!

I don't recall learning in driving school that I must move aside for royalty or VVIPs to pass through, let alone come to a total stop. However, it has now become a norm for Malaysian road users to move aside for their motorcade to pass. It doesn't help when they choose to ply the roads that are already experiencing heavy traffic and choose to travel at peak hours. How do you expect cars to move aside when there's no room to move aside to? How considerate then of a police outrider to majestically and authoritatively demand that you make way IMMEDIATELY by whatever means possible or impossible in such a situation? Even worse, they act like road bullies by 'tapping ever so softly' on your car body if you are slow in moving aside your car even when there's no way you could move aside. It's silly and outright disgusting that we allow them to act this way towards us.

If it was the ambulance or fire engine or some other civil defence vehicles, I can see the rationale in needing to let them through first. However, I do not see why is it so important for such VVIPs to be given such a privilege. The only VVIPs I feel warrants such a privilege would be the Prime Minister and the King. They are the only people that are of high enough standing and importance for us not to get in their way. They are the only people critical enough to the nation that would need such protection of not being exposed to security threats by being held up in such situations. The rest can wait in line for all I care and experience the problems of the ordinary people that put them into office and pay them with our tax money and start serving us better by eleviating the simple problems that we face each and everyday. How would they know how bad a problem is unless they experience for themselves? How can they solve these problems if they do not know the extent of the problems? How can they find a solution if they do not see the problems for themselves and find the right remedies?

I truly do not understand. How is it that the Governor's time is any more important than ours? What task is so crucial that needs his immediate attention that will rock the foundations of this nation and so damaging to the nation's economy if he does not attend to it immediately that his outriders must bully the other road users in such a manner? In fact, he is a public servant receiving allowance made available through taxes that we pay! We definitely did not pay him or the other VVIPs to push us around on the roads! Even if it was for security reasons, what do we lose anyway if he was assasinated? Let's face it. The only impact that we will feel is if either the Prime Minister or the King were to be assasinated and would warrant such protection. I mean, who cares if the Works Minister (for example) was kidnapped? Even if it was the Prime Minister or the King, how is it that slowing down our cars is not enough and we must bring our cars to a stop?

I truly respect the ministers and other public servants of high office from other countries. Instead of travelling in a motorcade, they choose to use the public transport instead. Even when they need to use their official cars, they choose not to use police escorts. When the need of police escorts do arise, they make it as least inconvenient to the public as possible.

I've seen the arrogance and bullying ways of these police outriders way too many times for this to be just a one-off incident. Make no mistake - this is NOT an isolated event! Something must seriously be done to improve the disgraceful situation. I'm sure every road user is willing to give way but we definitely do not appreciate being treated in such manner. It's time they get their act together!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

88 Free SMS Angpow

To commemorate the Chinese New Year, Maxis gave me 88 free SMS (012/017) angpow that is valid from the 31st January to the 12th of February 2006. Since I only need to pay 1 sen to send an SMS to any 012/017 numbers, that would mean Maxis gave me an angpow equivalent to 88 sen. How generous of Maxis! :P

The thing is, I might not even send that many SMS during the designated period thus making my angpow from Maxis even smaller! By the time the offer starts, I would have sent all my Chinese New Year greetings and have not much use of the free SMS. It's like just another 5 days away and still I'm sure I've not utilised even 1/4 of my allocation.

If they are seriously sincere in giving an angpow, they should do something like allowing us to use the allocation from Chinese New Year eve! They could also offer maybe 88 free MMS instead to promote the use of the new messaging format. How about RM8.88 worth of free credit and it's up to you how you want to utilise the free credit? But frankly, the best angpow would be a permanent reduction in rates. Wouldn't that be great?

Please excuse me now as I try to figure how I will fully utilise my angpow from Maxis.


I just had one of the most creepy nightmares a few nights back. Really scary...really creepy! I'll have to say it's a 'wet' dream since I was sweating all over when I woke up (except that part of my body which was dry, fortunately)! I was totally drenched in sweat all over and if anyone would to have seen my face at the time, I would probably look really pale.

So here's what happened. I can't exactly remember what happened before 'that incident', most likely due to the shocking nature of 'the incident' but I was happily talking to some old friends when friend of mine suddenly came from behind and bear-hugged me. That act itself was already shocking enough but what happened after that was even more shocking! Get this...he started necking me! WTF?!? I tried my best to break free but just couldn't escape from his surprisingly strong grip! Seriously, I never remembered him to be a strong person during our schooling days. He's considered to be more of a weakling cuttlefish. Big backside -yes, strong arms - NO! :P After that, I immediately woke up and found myself sitting in my bed totally shocked! What kind of shitty dream is that?!? Don't you think that's some scary shit?

Actually, just recently I accidentally discovered that he's gay through Friendster (it's a long story and I just don't want to go into details about how I made that discovery). Maybe that's why I was haunted by that dream (nightmare more like it!). Actually I've been avoiding him for awhile now even before my recent discovery. I just find it awkward being with him and what I just found out doesn't help the situation one bit. I mean, I'm ok with gays and all, and it's not like we didn't know that he might be gay but knowing it for sure now somehow changes things a little (OK, A LOT!). I've also discovered that some of my other friends are indeed gay recently but the reaction is just different. Yes, it might be a little awkward at first but it's only for a short while and everything goes back to normal after that. As for this fella, I think it might just be a little more difficult, especially after that dream I had! Maybe it's because they told me about their sexual orientation and they are just open about it, which is a different case for this fella.

I don't know if I'm being mean but I'm really quite shaken by the dream and I just have to continue avoiding him for quite some time until I recover from it. I can still remember that part of the dream so vividly! OMG, please help me!!!

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Double Lap Chun

Lap Chun is the first day of spring in the Chinese Lunar Calendar. There are two lap chuns (Feb 4 or the beginning of spring) in the Year of the Fire Dog. The Chinese always welcome a year that has a double lap chun because this means greater prosperity and additional wealth luck.

According to feng shui, the Fire Dog Year is productive because fire produces earth. The element of the stem is fire and the element of the dog, the branch of the year, is earth. So 2006 should be a productive year.

As for me, 2006 won't be a good year for the Monkey due to a clashing of elements. Reading my horoscope for the year, it looks like it's going to be a challenging year ahead. I truly hope that is not exactly the case. I'm not exactly superstitious or anything but I really do not need the 'elements' making my problems any more difficult than it already is.

Since there are two lap chuns this year, will there be double joy for me or will the double seventh lunar month bring double misery for me instead? I still believe that it's up to yourself for anything to happen. Anyway, nothing wrong to check these things out and be a little more aware, no? You should too. :)