Sunday, April 30, 2006

What Prawn Is That Again?

I was totally flabbergasted after reading The Star Metro article above yesterday. Newspapers always publish articles full of wrong information like the one above and get away with it without their readers knowing the truth. I find that it usually happens to articles containing scientific terms or something new or too complex for the layman to understand and the journalist do not bother to check their facts in their articles are indeed facts.

Big plans for tiger prawn hatchery


MAJUIKAN Sdn Bhd (Majuikan) which runs a tiger prawn hatchery in Pantai Merdeka, near Sungai Petani, plans to sell two million tiger prawn fry to the domestic market this year.

Its operation manager Mohd Zaini Baharudin said the hatchery was now supplying some 500,000 fry to the local market.

"We use the latest technology within a clean and hygienic environment to ensure a high survival rate," he told The Star.

He said Majuikan was also getting consultancy services from the Fisheries Department's tiger prawn culture farm in Pulau Sayak near here.

Majuikan now had 22 breeding tanks with a good oxidation system at its feed mill, he said.

Mohd Zain said each tank had a capacity to hold 25,000 fry.

Each 45-day old fry is sold at between 4sen to 5.5sen.

He said the fry was highly sought after in the local market, particularly by tiger prawn culture operators from Perak, Negri Sembilan and Kedah.

He said locals who wished to buy the fry could contact him at the prawn feed mill in Pantai Merdeka, telephone 04-4375039 or e-mail

After reading the heading, I was expecting an article on tiger prawns. After looking at the photo however, I knew it was going to be one of those articles that contains incorrect facts. The photo clearly showed a man holding a Malaysian giant freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii), not a tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon). I thought maybe they just simply took a photo of any prawn to accompany the photo, so I checked the caption. I was expecting it to say the man was holding a Malaysian giant freshwater prawn but it stated tiger prawn instead! Going through the article, the mistakes became more glaring.

Usually, I find scientific names in newspaper articles not italicised or the first character of both words to be either capitalised or non-capitalised. By right, only the first character of the first word should be capitalised. Read more about the Binomial nomenclature to understand how scientific names should be written. This article however, had no such errors since the journalist didn't mention the scientific names. The problem was that they got the wrong prawn!

What gave the mistake away immediately was the prawn in the photo. See the long arms of the prawn that the man is holding to? In the case of tiger prawns, they do not have such long arms or pereiopods. The Malaysian giant freshwater prawn or better known as udang galah however is very well-known for having such long arms. Please do not mistaken lobsters (udang karang) with udang galah. One is freshwater and another is marine. They look entirely different too. The understand the anatomy of a decapod, refer to this article.

Macrobrachium rosenbergii
The Malaysian Giant Freshwater Prawn (udang galah)

Penaeus monodon
The Giant Tiger Prawn (udang harimau)

After reading the article, it was clear they were referring to the Malaysian giant freshwater prawn and not the tiger prawn. You see, the larvae cycle of the tiger prawn is only 10-12 days. This means that they can be sold after just about 12 days. Why then would they want to hold on to the fry (the right term being post-larvae) until it is 45 days old before being sold? That would be totally silly! The Malaysian giant freshwater prawn however requires 30-45 days to reach the stage of post-larvae (PL). The price of each fry also gave away their mistake. Tiger prawn PLs cost about 1 to 2 sen compared to 4 to 5.5 sen stated in the article which is about the right price for udang galah PLs. I should know since I worked with prawns for my first degree.

Can you identify which one is the tiger prawn?

Apart from the scientific point of view, the wrong information in this article not only misinforms the public about the prawns but will also have a grave economic implications. How so, you ask? Well, the article is clearly meant to promote the operations of the hatchery and to market their PL to interested farmers. If they have promoted the wrong prawn, how will it attract the right target group? Those who wish to acquire udang galah fries fry might not call up and those looking for udang harimau fries fry will call up and be disappointed that they contacted the wrong place. Just imagine the poor guy having to answer calls and reply emails regarding tiger prawns when he was marketing the Malaysian giant freshwater prawn! All this due to the article stating the wrong prawn.

Of course, this mistake could really be due to many various reasons. It could be that the journalist didn't do his/her job when writing up the article. It could be that the operations manager was feeding the journalist wrong information. It could be that the editor didn't bother to check the article properly. Whatever the reason is, the information in the article is wrong and the person that wrote the article along with the editor that gave the green light for the article to go to print are both guilty of misinforming the public. This mistake could have been avoided if everyone did their homework. This is the reason why newspapers should seriously consider hiring Scientific Editors to go through these type of articles.

Related article:

(pictures from FAO and various sources of the Internet)

Monday, April 24, 2006

PC Fair - Still Worth Going?

With the recent round of PIKOM PC Fair out of the way, it's time for me to make a comment or two. Is PC Fair worth going anymore? The parking problems you face, being sandwiched by sweaty human bodies, having to squeeze through jam-packed exhibition halls, the not so cheap products compared to non-PC Fair periods...the list goes on and on. This year's first installment of PIKOM's PC Fair was just like the rest. I just couldn't find anything interesting about it, although my friend did find the Samsung promoters very attractive. :P

Although I walk the whole exhibition area, I usually target only a few booths which I'm comfortable with. Comfortable meaning they are friendly, prices are relatively cheaper than the rest, products are reliable and good after-sales support. I reject all other fliers except from these select few. Also, I look out for the Apple booth to feast my eyes on the really eye-candy machines. Just can't wait to get my hands on one of those babies especially the upcoming MacBook that will be replacing the iBook line of notebooks. It will probably cost an arm and a leg, probably even two and with holes in my pocket at the moment, it will remain a distant dream. :(

I was somewhat disappointed that my trusted booths failed to meet my expectations this time around. Prices weren't really cheap and Apple only had one small measly booth (that I could find)! They didn't even bring the new MacBook Pro!!! How can? I wanted to see how fast the Intel Core Duo processors were! Oh well.....

I also brought together with me two used toner cartridges from my lab to be recycled. Either my boss is thinking of refilling it or he's very environmentally friendly. I approached the Canon booth to enquire what I should do with these cartridges. I was immediately told off very rudely by one of their representatives that they do not recycle cartridges. I was bemused by his answer especially when he was wearing those silly looking glasses thinking he looks so cool in them. L-A-M-E!!! I told him of the directive in their toner cartridge boxes to send the cartridges back for recycling. He said the recycling was meant for the box not the cartridge. How dumb is this idiot? I questioned the use of his company inserting that directive in the box if they didn't provide such a service in the first place when he told me all they will do is accept the cartridge and discard of it! WTF?!? Of course I didn't expect Canon to refill the cartridge and give me a refund or something but for them to contradict what their company set up to do in the first place by discarding the cartridges instead of recycling them is totalling baffling. If they weren't going to recycle/reuse the cartridges but just to throw them away, I could have done that myself! I do not enjoy carrying two used toner cartridges walking around the whole PISA exhibition hall, you know.

Anyway, there's not much updating I can do nowadays from PC Fairs and the prices are not cheap either. I could get cheaper computer parts at PC Depot and they do not impose a surcharge on credit card purchases. Furthermore, I do not have to struggle for parking (be it finding a spot or paying for it), get sandwiched by sweaty bodies and getting touched all over by strangers. If only the legendary Microfair was still around and PIKOM didn't flood the calendar year with so many PC Fairs. Just a few products that I want to list here for future reference that I find reasonably priced:

DDR 400 RAM 512MB / 1GB = RM 155 / 315
SD Card 1GB = RM 128
Samsung Syncmaster 713N = RM 755
40GB Mobile HDD + Case = RM 260
DVD Writer = M 169
Canon LBP 2900 = RM4 59
Canon Toner = RM 175 / 190

Well, maybe I might still visit future PC Fairs but little by little, the need or urge to make a trip is diminishing. Do you still think PC Fairs are still worth going?

Related Articles:


Sunday, April 23, 2006

Tun Ghafar Baba Passes On

Former Deputy Prime Minister Tun Ghafar Baba has passed away this morning of heart, lung and kidney complications at the Gleneagles Intan Medical Centre in Jalan Ampang at the age of 81. His remains will be taken to the National Mosque after Zohor prayers for the leaders and the public to pay their last respects from 2pm to 3pm. Tun Ghafar will be accorded a state funeral in appreciation of his immense contributions to the nation and the people.

As a sign of respect, there will be no more posts for today. My condolences to the family. Malaysians will mourn the lost of a true grassroots statesman.

(picture from Bernama)

A Tale Of Two Policies

I am sometimes baffled at the inconsistencies of our country's leaders and still they do not realise they are screwing up our country time and again. From February 28, the Government took a very unpopular move by increasing petrol prices by a whopping 30 sen per Liter. The aftermath of this price hike was felt even weeks after the announcement was made.

The only consolation from the price hike was the assurance by the Government that there will not be further price hikes in petrol products for the rest of the year and the expected RM4.4 billion savings from petrol subsidies will be channeled to developing the country's atrocious public transportation system. I was seriously skeptical of the plan from the very beginning but supportive that they are finally improving the country's public transportation system. The nagging question was if they are able to efficiently manage the money to fully benefit the rakyat. With the promise of no further price hikes this year to soften the blow of such an unpopular move, how will the Government be able to handle any significant increase in world crude oil prices when they have to cough up more money to pay for petrol subsidies? Less than two months down the road, the whole plan is seriously falling apart.

A month after the petrol price increase, the Government unveiled the much awaited National Automotive Policy. Car prices were reduced (or increased in the cases of MPVs) to reflect the new tax and tariff structure. This move was in preparation for compliance with ASEAN free trade agreements. This we have no choice but to accept but what I cannot accept is the call by the Deputy Prime Minister for car prices to be reduced further as if in an attempt to win some support from the rakyat especially after the damaging petrol price increase. I can understand the Government trying to show sympathy to the rakyat by lobbying for cars to be more affordable for the rakyat but is this right? Shouldn't they be encouraging the use of public transportation instead of private vehicle ownership? On one hand the Government is trying to reduce the amount of petrol subsidy to be paid. On the other hand, we have here the Deputy Prime Minister demanding for car prices to be reduced further which will eventually cause a higher petrol subsidy bill when more cars hit the roads! Is the Government moving in opposite directions here?

I realised immediately that there was no way Malaysians will be able to enjoy the reduced car prices for long even if the Deputy Prime Minister kept lobbying for cheaper cars as financial institutions will surely increase their hire purchase loans especially when the Base Lending Rate (BLR) has been climbing steadily for the past few months. Sure enough, a week after coming up with that postulation, reports of the higher hire purchase loans made it to the mainstream newspapers. Will the Deputy Prime Minister again demand for further reductions in car prices after this development? I seriously wonder if they do think of all possibilities first before they start talking and make a fool of themselves.

Recently, global crude oil prices shot up to a historic high of US75.15 per barrel and looks to head even higher after the stand-off between US and Iran on the latter's nuclear ambitions. The situation was not helped with the Iranian President being vocal that current oil prices are still below its real value. I do not foresee oil prices to fall to previous levels when it was just a third of what it is now. In fact, I can see it climbing even higher to US100 per barrel or higher! How is it then that the advisers to our country's leaders do not have the foresight of seeing such a situation developing?

With oil prices at current levels, 25% higher than when the Government made that infamous announcement less than two months ago, the Government finds itself in an awkward situation. RM3.5 billion from the expected savings of RM4.4 billion from petrol subsidies have been wiped out due to the rise in global oil prices. Please remember that we still have at least eight long months to go before the Government will be able to increase petrol prices again and during that period of time, global oil prices is likely to creep higher. Where will the Government find the funds to pay for the increased petrol subsidies? What about funds to develop the public transportation system? Where will they come from now that the expected savings have now been used up to pay for petrol subsidies, the very area which we were looking to save from?

The Government asks us not to worry as they have a few avenues to raise the money for paying both the increasing petrol subsidy bill and public transportation development projects. Is the Government talking about utilising public funds meant for infrastructure development? If so, they have decided on the wrong move. There are some ways I can think of that the Government can come up with the money without having to depend on public funds meant for development since they have ruled out a further increase in petrol prices for the rest of the year. The rising ringgit seems to me to be one of the best ways to tackle rising global oil prices which is quoted in US dollars. Another would be to get Petronas to contribute more in royalties or taxes since they are in a position to profit from any increase in global oil price. In fact, Petronas is a cash-rich company and this shouldn't pose a problem at all, especially when the word on the street is that its employees are receiving three to six months bonuses (if not more)! Issuing Government bonds is also feasible but will it be able to attract sufficient interest? Of course the Government can take up a loan but that is very undesirable and totally in contrast of the Government's efforts in recent years.

No doubt the Government has many ways to tackle this problem they find themselves in but it's worrying that they weren't able to foresee such a thing happening in the first place. Sometimes I wish our country's leaders is able to foresee things the way I can or at least have capable and qualified people around them to come up with solid advices. Maybe then, just maybe they will be able to lead our country better. Maybe then, just maybe they will not contradict themselves so much. Maybe then, just maybe we will be able to live in a better Malaysia.

(pictures from Shagadelica and WTRG Economics)

Friday, April 21, 2006


Forgive me if I've not blog for awhile now. I've not been able to blog as frequently as I would like to eventhough Blogger has lifted the 'ban' on my blog recently, very much due to various commitments and time constraints. Believe me, I have lots to say and many entries have been lined up for me to finish writing them but I just couldn't find the time or energy to complete them. This might go on for awhile more and maybe even much longer (or permanent even, God forbid!). I'm hoping to get back on track soon enough. Anyhow, I would like to share with you the comic strip below. :)

(click to enlarge)

(picture from Seattle Post-Intelligencer)

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Da Vinci Code Quest On Google

(click to enlarge)

Yehhh!!! Another Da Vinci Code Quest and this time Google's part of it! Better still, they are giving away a whole load of wonderful prizes!!! Yippee! But wait...what's that you say? The competition is ONLY open to residents of the United States, United Kingdom and Australia? WTF?!? Where can?!?!? I want to participate!!!

This just sucks. Here I was thinking I could go on another Da Vinci Quest but now I'm just disappointed as hell. This quest will begin on the 17th of April 2006 (or 18th depending on your location). For 24 days, you will encounter unique challenges and these daily puzzles will pull you deeper into the world of The Da Vinci Code.

You would need a Google Personalized Homepage to get in the action since the puzzles will only be accessible through that channel. If you already have a Google Account (be it Gmail or other Google services), you are fine. Phase 1 will consist of 24 daily skill based, time-sensitive puzzles. You can solve the puzzles in whichever sequence you prefer before the 11th May 2006 dateline. I'm not going into details for the Final Phase or essay writing tie-breaker since I'm totally not eligible to participate! :(

Well, I should be satisfied that at least I'm able to solve the 24 daily puzzles. It's a good prelude to the launch of the movie worldwide on 19th May 2006 (18th May for Malaysia and some countries). The second trailer is already available online and the first trailer can be accessed through here. Really looking forward to the movie.


I've been waiting for this day for way too long now. Finally, Blogger Support has verified that all my affected blogs are indeed not splogs and I don't need to go through the annoying captcha word verification anymore everytime I want to update my blog! I feel so vindicated! Cue song from Dashboard Confessional! (Yes, I do feel like swinging from building to building like Spiderman!!!)

"Vindicated" music video by Dashboard Confessional

You can imagine my expression when I received this email below from Blogger Support.

I quickly login to my Blogger account to check and indeed the annoying captcha verification thingy is gone! Yippee!!!

See the highlighted area? No more nonsensical words! Compare that to the screenshot of when my blogs were affected below.

I never want to see you again anymore, you hear me? This is a genuine blog and I'm a serious and genuine blogger! Go get the real splogs out there!

Thank you Blogger Support.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Blogger Admits Faulty Algorithm

Finally, Blogger has admitted their spam blog detection system is faulty! This is a good first step since you can only rectify a problem IF you admit having the problem. They term their new splog detection algorithm the "automatic spam classifier". Hmmm, can't they come up with a name that is not so lame?

In the announcement on Blogger Buzz regarding this issue, they claim that false positives is very low and they are working on reducing such incidents by improving their systems. Hmmm, why didn't they think of that in the first place before implementing?!? Low percentage of false positives? Have they seen the extend of the problem highlighted on Google Groups?!?

It seems that the spam classifier will automatically delete blogs after a certain time. Now, this is a very serious matter! Looks like the captcha verification problems faced by genuine blogs is related to the disappearing blogs problem that is popping up like wild mushrooms at Google Groups! I do hope my affected blogs will not end up in some Blog Heaven (or Hell) because of their incompetence. I'm already pissed that I've been inconvenienced with the captcha verification thingy. I'm be DAMN pissed if they deleted my blogs.

(click to enlarge)

They claim they will delete the blogs if they do not receive a response from the user after a significant amount of time but how do we contact them when you always get the error page above when you try to contact them? Worse, they do not respond to or acknowledge your emails to their support email, how is it that you know you are considered among those that have responded to them? Blogger has the worst support system among all Google's services I've written to. Just horrible! They give Google such a bad name.

Now that they have acknowledged this problem, they should seriously start looking into enabling the genuine blogs that were affected by their faulty spam classifier. They claim to fix the problems that are reported to them in one business day. I've been compounded with this problem for way over THREE WEEKS! You tell me that's not more that one business day. Contacting them seems to be useless since they don't bother at all. I've contacted them uncountable times already! Are you asking me to do it one more time just for the fun of it?

This problem has seriously hampered my blogging for the past few weeks and I'm seriously considering migrating to Wordpress. Maybe I should just give Blogger one last chance but my instincts tell me it's just useless and my instincts are more than often right. Maybe I'll go against my instincts this time. One last time, Blogger....ONE LAST TIME!!! Give me back my blog! Go get the real splogs out there and leave us genuine blogs be!

PSD Scholarship: Disabled Not Worthy?

It seems like a yearly affair that the PSD Scholarship fiasco will be highlighted in the mainstream newspapers. It's no different this year. This time however, the focus is on the eligibility of disabled persons to receive this very much sought scholarship and it's seriously leaving a bad taste in my mouth.

I've always wondered why do they have that section in the application forms questioning if you are disabled or not. Is it meant to be some sort of discrimination? Now I know why! It is meant to discriminate however way they are trying to spin it.

Albert's plight has even caught the attention of the Cabinet who is determined to assist him in getting the right scholarship and assistance required to pursue his tertiary education. It's the same every year that the top guns of the country must get involved before the situation can be resolved.
12-A Wong can't get scholarship

PETALING JAYA: He was a straight-A scorer all through his student days, topping his school with 12 1As in his SPM exam last year. While others did well with the help of tuition classes, wheelchair-bound Albert Wong concentrated on his lessons in class.

As the country's top special-needs student, he was exhilarated that he was one step closer to achieving his ambition of being a lawyer for people with disabilities.

And he was looking forward to sharing his hopes and vision at the short-listing interview for the Public Services Department (PSD) scholarships. But he received a letter of rejection instead.

Deeply disappointed that he was not even called for the interview, he is, however, more concerned about the lack of opportunities for academically-successful special students.

"I am supposedly the top disabled-student in the country. If I don't get a shot at the PSD scholarship, then what are the chances of other special students?" said Wong, 18, who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dsytrophy, characterised by progressive muscle weakness, and thus requires assistance with physical activities.

Despite his immobility, he participated in inter-school quizzes and competitions, public-speaking activities and school runs on his wheelchair.

Although Wong, who has applied for other scholarships, does not intend to appeal PSD's decision, he wants the Government and society to take note of his rejection.

"The Government does not have special provisions for excellent disabled students," said Wong, who is now taking his A-Levels at a private college.

"I want to open their eyes so that other disabled students who do well academically will have a chance at the scholarships in the future."

Wong noted that even on the application form, applicants had to tick if they were able or disabled, and questioned the purpose of this.

PSD corporate communications chief Hasniah Rashid said the department had to consider whether or not the course applied for by a disabled was suitable.

"For example, we can't accept a blind student for medicine, as he will not be able to do some of the practical work.

"We also have to see if the necessary facilities are available in the local preparatory colleges where they will undergo the first stage of the programme (pre-university studies)," she said.

She told The Star that there were disabled students who had been called for the scholarship interviews but was unable to provide the exact number.

In Wong's case, Hasniah said, he might have been disadvantaged because he was a pure-science student but had applied for an economics degree for which applicants need at least a 2A in Basic Economics and either Principles of Accounts, Commerce or Entrepreneurship Studies – subjects that he did not take in his SPM exam.

Albert, who was planning to apply to change his option to law if he had been successful in getting the scholarship, said pursuing the sciences at the tertiary level would have been a problem.

"I wouldn't be able to do all the practical work. I would have appreciated the opportunity to explain this if I had been called for an interview," he said.
To be frank, I was actually very disappointed about his inability to be called for an interview for the scholarship purely because he was disabled. However, after getting the full extent of the story, I feel less sorry for him. Seriously, if you don't even know how to fill up an application form correctly, even if you Einstein, you do not deserve to receive the scholarship. If you wanted to do law (which is obviously suitable for a disabled person), then you should have noted in the application form that you wanted to do law. You don't put economics when you know you are not qualified to do economics. That's just digging your own grave.

There are always prerequisites to a certain course and that should always be observed. You don't expect people to bend the rules just for you, do you? No one is entitled that privilege, abled or disabled, smart or intellectually challenged, tall or vertically challenged and what nots. If filling up a simple application form is such a challenge, what more a professional course in law, medicine or economics?!?

Like I've said before, scholarships are not god-sent. It's not a reward. You have to EARN it. Getting the grades alone is not enough to justify you getting the scholarship. You have to make a case for yourself and convince the selection committee why they should award the scholarship to you instead of the others competing with you for the same scholarship.

Don't get me wrong, I'm all for our nation's best students to be helped to achieve all that they can and for our disabled students to be given some special attention but the onus is still on yourself. If you can't even help yourself to fill up the application forms correctly, how do you expect people to help you? It's totally wrong to discriminate someone just for his disabilities but if that's not the case here, then we do not have a case to debate at all.

I hope this will not lead to a can of worms being opened when the list of receipients for the scholarship which will be announced soon. Our education system definitely needs a respite from all this bad publicity and concentrate on what matters most, providing first-class education for all Malaysians.

(picture from The Star)

Related articles:

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Flippers Banned In Terengganu Waters

This is wonderful news indeed. The destruction of corals by people who do not know how to use flippers but insist on using them had gone on for far too long. Kudos to the Terengganu Government for finally implementing this ruling.

Terengganu bans flippers

KUALA TERENGGANU: Forget about using flippers when swimming or snorkelling at beach resorts here.

State authorities have banned the use of flippers in a bid to protect corals especially in the coastal waters off Pulau Redang and Pulau Perhentian.

Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh said the state exco decided on the ban, which applies in coastal waters off all islands in the state.

However, it would not cover divers, he said.

"People who use flippers sometimes trample on the corals," Idris told newsmen after chairing the exco meeting at Wisma Darul Iman here yesterday.

"This is especially true for those learning how to swim and staying afloat."

Speaking from personal experience, Idris said he faced difficulties in balancing in the water when he first took up the activity two years ago.

He hoped resort operators would abide by the directive, which would be issued in about a week.

"I know some of them earn money by renting out flippers to tourists, but we have to protect the corals," he said.

Idris said the state government had not decided on the action to be taken against those who flout the ruling.

Malaysia Nature Society Parks and Special projects head Andrew Sebastian said it was a good move.

However, he hoped there would be stricter enforcement on regulations in marine parks against the gathering of corals and shells.

"Although this is banned, tourists are still doing it," he said.

Flippers should only be used in deeper waters and not at shallow waters where most people who visits Pulang Redang or Pulau Perhentian usually dwell when they go snorkelling. Most of the people who do not swim into deeper waters are usually those who do not know how to swim well enough thus also falling into the category of those who do not know how to use flippers.

I've seen with my own eyes so many times people trampling over the corals and sweeping them with their flippers. Hello?!? Flippers are meant to help you swim, so don't use them to walk around! If you want to be Donald Duck, do it in your own backyard!

I've approached and pointed out to some people before that they were standing on corals and not to do so but all I get is, "I where got stand on corals? This is rock-lah!". Simpletons. There are two types of corals in this world; soft and hard. Corals are not just the soft ones you always see on television or books, dumbass!

I've even seen people catching the marine fishes with their bare hands and holding them up in the air, proudly showing them to their family and friends! When I pointed out to them that they should not do that and it's lawfully wrong to do that, this is the reply I got - "Don't worry, I no harm the fish. I just hold it, not squeeze. It's not your fish also, why you care?". WTF?!? If you had not hold on to it tightly, it would have slipped out of your hands already, so yeah, you are squeezing it and hurting it. Why don't I hold you down underwater for a few minutes without any breathing gear and see how you feel? Anyway, you can refer to the Fisheries Act 1985 (Revised 1993) under Part IX Article 43 to judge if what he did was an offence or not.

Many people do not realise the cause of the dead corals washed up the shores of these beautiful islands with clear blue waters. They think it's a natural process. People not knowing how to use flippers but insist on using them is one of the main reasons. Over commercialisation of the islands is another reason. The affluents discharged from the chalets has reached a point where it is too much for the corals and other living marine creatures to take (yes, corals are living creatures!).

There should be a limit to how many visitors are allowed on these islands every year to help conserve the beauty of these islands and surrounding waters. Public awareness and educating the visitors of the island would really help a lot. The banning of flippers is a good first step but there's still much to do to improve the situation.

Corals take ages to form but seconds to destroy. Please be more educated the next time you go to a marine park. This is our natural heritage. Everyone is equally responsible for them. There's nothing wrong in admitting you do not know how to use flippers. In fact, it's a very noble thing indeed since you are helping to conserve the corals by not sweeping them away.

(pictures from various Internet sources)

American Idol 5: Mandisa Eliminated

It has happened. It was bound to happen sooner or later and now has. Mandisa Hundley has been eliminated from American Idol 5 on Country Week. This is very shocking news to me. She might not exactly be the best looking contestant on American Idol 5 but she's definitely one very talented singer and one who is highly rated by the Idol judges (yes, even Simon Cowell whom earlier made a snide comment on her weight issues).

I had initially thought Paris Bennett will be given the boot this week with her lacklustre performance of "How Do I Live", a song I'm very fond of and her rendition was definitely nowhere near acceptable although Simon Cowell said her performance was excellent! *roll eyes* Hmmm, I think Country music is definitely not his forte. At least my judgement was somehow substantiated with Paris being one of three contestants with the lowest number of votes. ;)

I had actually wanted to blog on the commendable performance of two contestants chosing Keith Urban's songs on a difficult Country Challenge Week with Ace Young performing "Tonight I Wanna Cry" and Chris Daughtry with "Making Memories of Us" but this news definitely warrants some highlighting.

The rumour-mill has started with allegations of racism being the cause of Mandisa (affectionately referred to as Man-diva by her fans) being eliminated and Paris Bennett will be the next victim. This is not the first time American Idol has been blighted with such accusations though. It's likely that popularity plays a bigger role than talent since it is based on a public voting system but let's face it, if that was true, girls (and gays alike :P) would have voted in a frenzy for Ace Young just based on his looks but he has been in the bottom three twice already! I truly believe this year will be a guy's year with so many truly talented male contestants (and three female contestants already eliminated from the Top 12). I just hope it's not Taylor Hicks. :P

Looks like American Idol 5 will again be highly unpredictable. Let's hope the truly talented contestants will remain on the show and those who deserve to go do go. America, get your act together!

(pictures from American Idol)

Lakme India Fashion Week: Wardrobe Malfunction Galore

If you think Janet Jackson's wardrobe malfunction during the Super Bowl halftime show back in February 2004 was bad, there's something to top that now. Cue Lakme India Fashion Week. Look at this video below and see if you can spot anything wrong with the wardrobe of this model doing the catwalk.

You can see at the end of the video that Gauhar Khan, the model in the video, has a zipper malfunction and that caused her wardrobe to be undone. That must have been an awful blooper, no? If you think that was bad, look at the next video.

Now, THAT is one major blooper! Poor Carol Gracias. You can see how shocked she was from her facial expression after her top was undone on the ramp during her catwalk!!! You can see why the authorities had thought the wardrobe malfunctions were intentional especially when there were TWO instances with one as glaring as in Carol Gracias' case! Fortunately, the authorities cleared them of any wrongdoing but gave a stern warning against any such behaviour in the future.

I dread the day that such a thing would to happen in Malaysia. It would cause such an uproar and will be exploited by various parties for their own personal gain. I pray that day never comes.

(picture from MSNBC)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

A Malaysian Movie: Gubra (A Sequel to Sepet)

I'm really looking forward to this movie which opens in cinemas nationwide tomorrow. I'm not sure if I will be able to find the time (or motivation) to see this show in the cinema though. Maybe I'll end up waiting for it to appear on television instead like Sepet.

Gubra is the much anticipated sequel to Sepet, one that I was quite skeptical about (if you read through my comments here). I mean you can't exactly blame me right? The story for Sepet was about the love of those two individuals and when one of them dies, part of the story goes with it, no? I didn't think there was a possibility of a sequel (or a working one, at least) at all at that time. That has all changed, after viewing the trailer below.

From the trailer, I could somehow see how the story will pan out and I foresee it to be really interesting indeed. It's not exactly the best trailer ever been made but it does show how the movie will be like (even if it can be quite confusing). Anyway, I'll put up a review of the movie when I get a chance of watching it. Hope it will be another award-winning movie from Yasmin Ahmad.