Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Dear Pek Chin, Happy Birthday

Wishes you many many happy returns of the day

Time flies! 

Once again it is time to wish you Happy Birthday. To have a friend like you is a blessing. I may not be by your side celebrating the special day with you but I want let to you know that I am thinking of you and may you be well and happy with your new endeavors in life.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

How many of us still remember this?

Pieces of memories from yesteryears.

Convent girls, how many of us still remember this exam pad and its design or how many of us still keep it as memory? How about other mementos from school days?
I wonder how the new examination pad looks like; after all, it has been 15 years since I left. I am not a hoarder but I do like keeping bits and pieces from here as there as a reminder to the memory of yesteryears. Once upon a time, these examination pads were once pieces of paper that we dread to see during semester trials but these are also the papers that we write beauty essays on, scribble only God knows what sort of Mathematical and Scientific  formulas, put our creativities on work and meanderingly, these papers determined our future paths.
We may have settled down in places far away but Convent is the place where our heart binds.

Friday, 26 July 2013

A bus trip back home with Transnasional

This afternoon I did something which I’ve not done for years – I took a bus back to Teluk Intan. It all started when mom and dad decided not to come back to KL for the weekend, so I thought since I’m having a long weekend and I am not going to Singapore, I might as well go back. It is time to start packing my stuffs, especially my books for the new house.
The initial plan was have Azman chauffeuring me home and in return he takes a bus trip back to KL, with that I can bring Baron with me. But on the thought that I will have to drive back to KL alone on Sunday as not to disturb Azman’s rest day, dad suggested that why not I take a bus ride home. Baron can come back during the Raya break.
I was skeptical if I can get a bus ticket since today is a Friday. Friday in my mind was always associated with traffic jams surrounding Puduraya, packed buses, delays, tickets sold out and sometimes, two bus trips combined into one but those were during my student days. Doesn’t matter, I will just drive to Jalan Duta in the morning to check out about the ticket. If I can’t get one home, then I will drive home. Not a big deal.
Last night, while enjoying our cups of Chinese tea, my god sister Linda asked if I can purchase the tickets online. It didn’t come across my mind at all that the bus company is so advanced now that online ticketing is available. Yes, I can purchase my ticket online at Transnasional website and have my ticket complete with the seat number available with just a few clicks.
Instead of the old, stuffy, dirty, smelly and all too polluted Puduraya, the Jalan Duta station which is designated for north bound journeys offers clean, comfortable and air-conditioned waiting area for passengers. The buses those days were a far cry from what I experienced today. The bus itself was punctual, clean and the seats were comfortable. There are even single seats at the back. No more cranky busses that might break down halfway, seats that were so archaic or having to travel without air-condition throughout the journey. Surprisingly, the journey now only takes 2 hours instead of the old dragging three.
For once I am very impressed with the public transport system in Malaysia. I’ll definitely take more bus trips back to Teluk Intan in future.

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

Artist’s impression of my new bedroom

Recently daddy and mummy bought a house in Teluk Intan which is going to be our new family home. After 15 years in the present house, they’ve decided that it is time to move to a bigger house to accommodate our soon to be enlarged family, with Lip Yann’s upcoming wedding in December.
I am glad and very fortunate that even though I only go back once a while, daddy and mummy still want to make sure that I am going to have my own room even though I insist initially that I am fine with the guest roomI. Of course, the design of the room is not what I wanted, I appreciate it very much. I’d wanted a bedroom with traditional Chinese design but that theme wouldn’t mix with the modernist design of the rest of the house.
This is how my new room going to look like:

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

The "brilliant mastermind" from SK Seri Pristana should go to jail like Alvivi

After the incident of Alvivi and their temporary incarceration, Malaysians are again shocked to see the pictures of some students from Sekolah Kebangsaan Seri Pristana in Sungai Buloh eating in changing room with toilets next to it so that they do not offend Muslims who are fasting.
Whoever’s idea is that, the “brilliant mastermind” does not fit to be an educator at the first place. Our society does have a place for such a brainless person to be in schools to fool around with the future of our kids.
Are there no other areas in the school for the pupils to eat? Why it have to be in the changing room next to the toilet

In this case, what is the difference between this stupidity and insult with those done by Alvin Tan and Vivian Lee? One is clearly insulting to Muslims and Islam while the other one is an insult to non-Muslims in Malaysia. If Alvivi deserve a slap under Section 298A (1) (a) of the Penal Code, then the person who authorized the so call meal by the toilet should be charge under the law too for inciting racial hatred.
 I am not going to speculate who ordered the pupils to have meal by the toilet but I hope that the authority will charge this person under the law to serve as a lesson to all Malaysians to be sensitive to other races and region. To be fair to all, I do not wish to see that the authority let this person off easily. Merely uttering a word of “sorry” is not enough to compensate for the damage done!
Why not this person tries having his or her meal near the toilet in the jail and share with the world how it feels?

Thursday, 18 July 2013

An encounter with an evil disguised as human

Recently, I’ve come across a man with the evilness that is so complicated that I can’t find a precise word to name him other that an evil. However, this kind of person is aplenty and they are everywhere.
To start with, he has great resentment to everything good about another human being. He has unappeasable greed and lust for money that he does not know what are integrity and loyalty. Whatever little things that he does, it is all about money at the back of his mind.
He also loves to wear different masks as a human. He loves to hobnob with the rich and famous and those in powerful positions. He is good at pretending to be flattering you but at your back, he loves to badmouth you. Besides that, his other modus operandi is to act stupid and ask questions that when you takes the initiative to answer his questions, he claims that you are showing off your talent. He has the habit of checking and enquiring about your background but when he knew of the flashy car that you drive and the nice house that you stay in, the level of his enviousness increased beyond description.
Given the opportunity to prove himself, this man will produce nothing workable because his whole brain is just full of evil thoughts about others but he will assert the claim that his ideas are the best in the world. When you stand up to challenge him, you will instantly become his enemy for he can never tolerate other people’s better ideas. With that, you can be assured that your name will be associated with bossy, showing off, clueless, stupid until he is satisfied that you are beaten.
His greatest talent among the evilness in his mind of all is probably in creating disunity among colleagues by manipulating unsuspecting colleagues against the other. He loves to see factions being created so that he can come in to be mediating among the factions. Unity means he has no role to play in an organization. This kind of mediation gave him to level of satisfaction only one notch below the satisfaction that money gave him.
It takes all sorts to make a world. There are people that we will like immediately, some that we think we think we might learn to like in the fullness of time and some that we might simply just want to have nothing to do with them.
Well, it is just a waste of time to deal with such a person and the best way to go around him is to have nothing to do with him but when it is unavoidable, the best ways are to keep one’s silence, act stupid in front of him, guard one’s privacy and double check whatever that he has to say. Above all, always be on guard when dealing with this kind of person for you may not want to fall into the traps that he laid. Be thankful too, that these kinds of people help to make us stronger and appreciate more of other good people around us.  And there is no answer to the philosophical question of why such people exist or how to get rid of them. You get rid of one today, there may be ten tomorrow.
多见不怪, 少见才怪.

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Promise Yourself

Character is best manifest through tribulation. - Su Dongpo

“Promise Yourself

To be so strong that nothing
can disturb your peace of mind.
To talk health, happiness, and prosperity
to every person you meet.

To make all your friends feel
that there is something in them
To look at the sunny side of everything
and make your optimism come true.

To think only the best, to work only for the best,
and to expect only the best.
To be just as enthusiastic about the success of others
as you are about your own.

To forget the mistakes of the past
and press on to the greater achievements of the future.
To wear a cheerful countenance at all times
and give every living creature you meet a smile.

To give so much time to the improvement of yourself
that you have no time to criticize others.
To be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear,
and too happy to permit the presence of trouble.

To think well of yourself and to proclaim this fact to the world,
not in loud words but great deeds.
To live in faith that the whole world is on your side
so long as you are true to the best that is in you.”

By: Christian D. Larson (1874-1954)

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Little gestures and words of encouragements

It is almost two months that members of New Movement and I have been going around the country to meet grassroots MCA members who are willing to spend their precious time to listen to us explaining to them about the need for MCA to change and why change is crucial to the survival of MCA.

We have been received with very warm welcome by grassroots leaders. Before any scheduled speaking engagement, a visit to the restaurant is a ritual. I have to confess that I am putting on weight thanks to the generosity of the grassroots MCA leaders everywhere that New Movement made a roadshow. On a roadshow to Kuala Selangor yesterday, the vice chairman of the Kuala Selangor division even gave each of us a souvenir with the word “” (luck) and wishes all us best of luck on our journey to reform the party.

Besides that, we have also received words of encouragements from many members of the grassroots. One phrase that I could hardly forget is from a local leader in Segamat, Johor, who wishes that New Movement will not be just the twinkle stars in the sky but diminishes later. He urged us to move on, to create a prairie fire that can truly reform our party. Whenever I recall his word, I would recall that Chairman Mao, in 1930 said that “a single spark can start a prairie fire”, urging his comrades to forge ahead with the revolution in China.

No doubt we do received our fair share of challenging questions from the grassroots with regards to how far we can go to reform the party and some cynical remarks. However, all these only made us even more eager to move ahead and work harder to see a reformed and successful MCA. As mortal beings, there are times that I can feel the tiredness of crisscrossing the country but all the little gestures and words of encouragements made me feel touched and humbled. Thank you everyone. Together, we can see change in MCA and we can make sure that MCA returns to its glory. 

P/S: There are people who claimed that "Change" is the English version of "Ubah" and that we are copycats. Be it "change" or "ubah", these two words are not the monopoly of any single organisation or entity. Pakatan Rakyat can have their "ubah" and MCA can have our own "change". Neither side can claim any copyright to it. 

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

New Movement's Theme Song (真心英雄)

The New Movement, which initiated the “MCA Change” campaign on which I am one of its core members, had decided to adopt this song as its theme song. The opening bars of this song remind me very much of Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream…..” Yes, we all have a dream and New Movement would like to turn this dream into a reality  for all of us and a Better Nation.  

Monday, 8 July 2013

Matchmaking by Chinese parents goes global

Late last night, I received a call from my tailor in Shanghai telling me that the few Mandarin collared silk shirts that I’d asked her to custom made is ready for collection. After exchanging some pleasantries, she asked if she can have my email address which I duly gave without second thought. Aha…then came the real reason she wanted my email address - my favor is needed by her to be the matchmaker for her 27 years old daughter.
I have no met her daughter, not a problem, she replied. Less than 15 minutes later, an email came in with the full biography and two attached pictures of her daughter. This girl has a nice feature and a degree from the prestigious Jiaotong University in Shanghai, I was telling myself before the phone rang again. I asked why the daughter is finding it hard to find a boyfriend.
“She is an introvert; she seldom mixes around with people, not even with co-workers. This is giving me and uncle headache and sleepless night.” Then she added: “As you know, uncle and I are already old; we longed to see her marry off well, have children and we can take care of our grandchildren when she goes to work.” Well, Mrs. Chen is in her early 50s and it is not old by any standard. “On Sunday, we even go to matchmaking market at the People’s Park with her biography to see if we can find a suitor for her but none of the guys are suitable. Some have very good education background but they don’t own an apartment. Some comes from other provinces.” I promise that I’ll see how I can help.
The dilemma of Mrs. Chen is shared by millions of parents in China who are having sleepless nights over their unmarried sons or daughters. What went wrong again with the Chinese society 35 years after the end of the Cultural Revolution?
At Zhongshan Park in Beijing.

The so-called “matchmaking market” mentioned by Mrs. Chen is blooming in Chinese cities across the country. I’ve not been to the one mentioned by her at Shanghai’s People’s Square which is next to the Bund but I’ve had a personal encounter at Zhongshan Park, near  the Forbidden City in the heart of Beijing during one of my visits there. On weekends, the park becomes a sort of an open air bazaar with parents armed with pictures all necessary information about their offspring, including medical histories, gather to find them spouses. The sales pitch is straightforward marketing. Standing there watching the dramas unfolded before my eyes, I am thankful that this kind of craziness are yet to happen in Malaysia or will never.
My friend whispered to me that the children are usually not there while being auctioned off. When a suitable match is made, the parents will discreetly arrange for their offspring to meet at a determined location while the parents decide on the wedding date. My friend said aloud that he would not know where he would hide if he happen to witness the bartering and he would skulk away dying of embarrassment. “You may not want to come here often for you may bump into your parents”, I teased my friend. “Then nobody will accompany you to tour the Forbidden City for whole day”, he shot back.
Well, now the parents are taking another leap, they goes global.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Who among your friends had made a reservation in hell?

The darkest place in hell are reserved for those who maintain their neutrality in times of a moral crisis – Dante Allghieri
In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends – Martin Luther King

A very good friend of mine living across the Causeway is recently facing a moral crisis erupted out partly due her own doing during her wild younger days and another half of it from the intrigue of office politics involving her husband. As the matter is currently under investigation by the authority, I am not going to comment about the issue.
Nevertheless, I felt nauseated when she revealed to me how those whom previously called themselves her “close friends, best friends, sisters and whatever close honorific that they can attest to prove their friendship” are keeping their distance away from her. Her calls to them went unanswered and their silences are obvious. On another obvious front, overnight, she lost hundreds of friends on Facebook.
In between sobs, she confessed that she was dumb folded by the acts of her “friends”. Even in her wildest dream, she will never ever imagined that majority of her friends will treat her this way. There was no party that she was not invited. Everyone enjoyed her company so much that her social calendar is full to the max. She is always true and nice to all her friends. Her mobile phone that once rang almost non-stop is now completely silence except for calls from a few who still cares.
But alas, who can predict human nature? Her downfall serves as a good reminder to us not to be blind folded by the sweet words of our friends or act of kindness by them during good times. Some of us are lucky that we know who we can count on in times of trouble but most of the time; we only get to see who they are when misfortune struck.
Seeing her suffering, I suddenly remember that not too long ago, someone asked me in this blogosphere if I believe in karma. I replied that I do. Yes, I do. My principle is that, I do not care how others will come to my rescue one day when I need them but to my friends out there, you can be assured that you can count on me when you need me. Even knowingly that you are making use of me, I will still be there for I believe in karma.
The first lessons of the story here is that we should not abandon our friend when they are in trouble and the second is that, do not blindly believe that those who treat you well during sunny days will be there for you during raining days. Don’t be surprised that a friend who has constant fight and argument with you will be there for you. True friendship is a plant of slow growth that has to go through different seasons.

So, do you know who among your friends that has made a reservation at the place as said by Dante?

Saturday, 6 July 2013


The blackout area.

I am a frequent user of Penchala Link since its inception back in 2004 as it gives me a convenience connection from my house in Mutiara Damansara to Jalan Duta without having to go through the hassle of traffic jam along Jalan Damansara. I was happy to pay the RM 2.00 toll each time I use the link until recently when I felt that the maintenance work done by the SPRINT authority is endangering road users despite numerous phone calls to their HOTLINE number at 03 – 7494 7333.

The lamp posts on the ramp on the exit of Penchala Link to Mutiara Damansara as well as from Mutiara Damansara to Penchala Link have been out of service for more than a year now. I’ve seen numerous accidents happened because of adequate lighting, especially involving cars ramping into the back of motorcycles, cars and even the divider itself. I’ve personally called the HOTLINE number a few times to complain about the malfunction lamp posts but no action has been taken to date despite being promised that they will look into it!
I am pissed off with this “tidak apa” attitude demonstrated by them. The management of Lebuh Raya SPRINT which takes care of privatization of the improvement, upgrading, design, construction, maintenance, operations and management of Penchala Link is sleeping on their job and failed to take action on complaints made by road users.  It is as if the safeties of the road users are not their responsibility. What is the point of having lamp posts if it only serves as a decoration? As the road user, do we have the right to refuse to pay our toll if the maintenance by them does not meet the safety standard ?

P/S: The lamp posts are functioning now.