Monday, 29 February 2016

Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin is just bullsh**ting around

Since the sacking of Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin the position of Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia last year, I have been getting a lot of questions from friends and strangers regarding the truth of his sacking. Almost everyone believe that he was sacked from the position because he have got “tonnes of explosives” regarding the wrongdoings of Prime Minister Najib Razak to be thrown out so he must be silenced. 1MDB, SRC International, 2.6 billion, KWAP, Tabung Haji, Jho Low, Altantuya……and still counting, must have sound like an explosive much stronger than the most talked about C4. 

My answer to the questions posed was to wait for the rabbit(s) that Muhyiddin can pull out of the hat. Didn’t all politicians that were sack from their posts throw a circus or two in town to defend themselves? After all, Muhyiddin Yassin was the Deputy Prime Minister who are not shy to be drawn into controversy by declaring himself a Malay first and Malaysian second. He surely must have a lot of controversial matters to disclose to fellow Malaysians and to say that his sacking was done so Najib won't need to run for his life. 

However, in the 7 months since his sacking as the Deputy Prime Minister to his eventual suspension as UMNO’s Deputy President, Muhyiddin Yassin not only fail to produce any damming evidence against the Prime Minister, he didn’t even say anything substantial that can nail his former boss. All that he did was to hint on this and that. No rabbits, no so called boxes of documents that everyone is still waiting to be released by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, nothing!

Plainly speaking, Muhyiddin Yassin is just bullsh**ting around to confuse fellow Malaysians. Now that he is no longer holding any important position, he is calling for reform in Malaysia. But, dare I ask, to reform only when it suits you? Why didn’t you call for whatever reform that you wanted when you was still in power and use that power to make the reform a reality?

Tan Sri, it will be beneficial for fellow Malaysians and yourself if you stop bullsh**ting around. If you have a solid hard evidence, just put it out. You were sacked from the position of Deputy Prime Minister because you behave like a bull in a china shop. You were suspended as the Deputy President of UMNO because you bulls*t too much after you was sacked. We are tired of your talk without evidence and action antics. We just want to move forward. It is not because we love Najib or Zahid but because we love Malaysia. 

P/s: I challenge Muhyiddin to follow Tun Dr. Mahathir's footsteps and resign from UMNO too.

Sunday, 28 February 2016

The mythical bonsai

primus inter pares tree.
Can you guess the mythical creature that this bonsai bear a resemblance to?*

Initially, I do not have any intention to “share” this special pot of bonsai that ended up in my garden two weeks ago but after much begging and pleading from my dear colleague, Aloysious Ng, I have a change of mind. After much to and fro between us, he is right that a rare and beautiful pot of bonsai should be shared for everyone's viewing pleasure. 

Originally trained as for twisted trunk shape, this Juniperus Chinesis tree was later reshaped to become a literati tree before ending in its current semi cascade form. This tree also encompass other elements in styling a bonsai such as exposed root, the jin and sharimiki. It is one of its kind among the many Juniperus Chinesis that I have. What a rare pot of bonsai! 

If you like this pot of bonsai, please thank Aloysious Ng for his insistence to “kepo” (be a busybody) about this tree and the bonsai master for his wonderful creation.

*answer: the Chinese zodiac of Aloysious's and mine’s big boss the pharaoh  

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

My wish on Jade Emperor’s Birthday

The Jade Emperor's altar at home.
Today, the 9th day of the lunar calendar is Jade Emperor’s Birthday as well as the universally self-proclaimed “Hokkien New Year”. The Hokkiens or people from Fujian Province in China regard today as the most important date of the year and the prayer to the Jade Emperor, pronounced as Ti Kong in Hokkien is the highlight of the day.

There are many versions of history that points to today being regarded as the Hokkien New Year and why grand prayers to Jade Emperor must be conducted. There are also many set of rules and regulations that dictate how the prayers should be conducted; an example being the compulsory pair of sugar cane and sweet pagodas (ngor siew). Being no expert myself, it is best to leave the narration of history to the experts. 

My family do not celebrate the Jade Emperor Birthday this year and we will not be celebrating till 2018 to observe the 3 years mourning after daddy’s passing. However, when the clock struck at 12 am, I lighted nine joss sticks and prayed at the Jade Emperor altar at home. I pray to Jade Emperor to bless Malaysia with prosperity and peace, and to continue his wonderful blessings to myself and my family members.

Thankfully, the colder temperature in Malaysia and political fatigue have also cooled down political sentiments on Jade Emperor’s birthday. In 2013, the use of social media to pray to Jade Emperor for Barisan Nasional (BN) to lose in GE13 was rampant. That year too, I saw Kong Ming lanterns written with anti BN messages flying around my neighbourhood. I do not see any Kong Ming lantern this year and if I do, I muse if I will see “2.6 billion” being written somewhere but the use of social media to convey political message to Jade Emperor is still popular. 

Nevertheless, it is very shallow minded to politicalise religious celebration and places of worship. Lastly, “It is not your father’s Jade Emperor”, to borrow the famous “not your father’s land”, popularised thanks to another lousy attempt to politicalised Jade Emperor’s birthday. 

Monday, 15 February 2016

Dr Mahathir wish for his own arrest

There is nothing a wily old fox like Tun Dr. Mahathir will do to achieve his long list of wishes including daring the government to put him to jail. He had recently said that there is a wish among his long list of nemesis to put him in jail. Truth to be told, it is not others that wish to jail him but his own wish to be sharing the same jail complex as his old foe, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim. 

He know that his incarceration will create another chaotic situation in Malaysia like what we had witnessed in 1998 which will possibly pave way for the overthrowing of the government of the day via undemocratic means. He know that his standing among Malaysians and UMNO members is at its lowest point now and he need a catalyst to shot himself up again. What can be better than making himself the “victim” of the so called “Dictator Najib”?

Let’s not forget that Dr. Mahathir is a famous raconteur but this wily old fox often pretend forget his own narration that suits his end. He had once said that:

“Saya tidak mempunyai bantahan apa apa terhadap para pengkritik. Tetapi mereka yang berbohong, banyak cerita palsu, yang menyelewengkan setiap kenyataan mereka, yang mengunakan akhbar untuk menimbulkan rasa tidak yakin dan ketegangan - orang begini harus dihapuskan, atau tidak harus diberi muka…atau masa…oleh sesiapa."

(I have no objection to critics. However, to liars, spinners, to twisters of their statements, who use the press to create tensions – these type of people should be destroyed, should not be given face or time by anyone. Translation mine)

Dr. Mahathir had repeatedly challenge the government, fanning seditious sentiments among the people and when all these fail to topple Prime Minister Najib Razak but got his son Mukhriz booted out instead, he is going for broke. I think the time have come for people, especially the authority not to give face to this wily old man anymore. The more that the time and face given to this wily old man, I am in the opinion that Malaysia is really doomed to fail. Malaysia fail not because of the wrongdoings of others but from the ultimate products and ills created by Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. 

Somehow, I strongly believe that in Dr. Mahathir’s maxim, there is a solidly anchored believe that the ends justified all and many means, including lying, challenging the government of the day to put him in jail and many more.

Gajah sama gajah bertarung, pelanduk mati ditengah - janganlah dibuat rakyat menjadi pelanduk.  Adalah lebih baik kalau yang seekor gajah yang bukan diundi oleh rakyat didiamkan. Biarlah rakyat menentukan kalah menang Datuk Seri Najib dan BN pada PRU 14, bukan Dr. Mahathir seorang yang nak tentukan.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

The many views of a bonsai tree

According to Alex Kerr in Lost Japan, a master is said to meditate for years before deciding on how a bonsai tree should be shaped. It would then take many more years of continuous meditation before deciding where should the tree be placed. In all, ten years would have easily passed before a beautiful pot of bonsai tree be presented for viewing. However, the it does not end there for a tree must be viewed with equal satisfaction of beauty from multiple angles.

Thankfully, over the years, with invention of many modern tools, the shaping of a bonsai tree do not have to go through the many stages of perfection that an ancient Japanese master went through. Nevertheless, shaping of a bonsai tree still requires maximum amount of patience and the ability to envision mother nature’s dictation.

It isn’t easy to play God with the bonsai trees. Too much and too little of everything that is needed to shape the plant will only result in its the premature death. I am still learning the many curves of bonsai shaping and caring from Uncle Eng Hooi but today I am proud to present a cascading Juniperus Chinesis that both of us created and its various view from different angle.

Sunday, 7 February 2016

Happy Chinese New Year 恭贺新禧

May the year of Monkey bring you abundance of prosperity, eternal happiness and best of health.

Happy Chinese New Year!!


Thursday, 4 February 2016

Lap Chun 2016 丙申年立春

Welcoming the year of fire monkey. 
4th February, the 立春 or Lap Chun, is the day Chinese all across the globe welcome the first day of spring regardless of their domicile. Today also mark the start of the year of Fire Monkey (丙申). As I’ve explained previously, the start of the zodiac of the year is on the first day of spring, which in Gregorian calendar, for some miraculous reason, is always on the 4th February.

It is a common misconception that the first day of Chinese New Year is the start of a new zodiac year. However, the Chinese calendar have its own way of determining spring, summer, autumn and winter based on the solar system. This method was said to be laid by the Yellow Emperor and have been in practice for thousands of years. Hence, once every three years, the Chinese will celebrate the first day of Chinese New Year before Lap Chun.

Different family have different ways of celebrating Lap Chun. Some will mark it by pasting a word of (full) on their rice bucket as a signification for an abundance year ahead. Others will paste the word (spring) on their main door to usher in spring which marks a new beginning and sending away the ills of the past year.

I used to welcome the spring by changing the Chinese New Year Couplet on the doors, replacing the old lanterns and red cloth on my door and by doing an elaborate prayer but since daddy’s passing in 2014, there is a set of mourning rules to be observed for three years. By 2018, everything will be back to normal. Thus, I mark Lap Chun by doing the “full offering” (满供) to Lord Buddha and the deities at home as a way to express my gratitude for their blessing and years of prosperity. I was first taught of full offering by a senior monk during my Auckland days. For some years, I’ve followed his version of “full offering” – read here.

However, since last year, at the advice of a medium with access to the Jade Emperor, I’ve changed one of the items mentioned due to the difficulties in obtaining the miniature monk robes. As a replacement, I was told to put the pumpkin. I do not know the significance of pumpkin because I never have the habit of asking “why” with regards to prayers. I was also told to reduce to number of 9, for example 9 oranges, 9 cups of tea to 5 because the way of offering in a house is different from that of temples.

This year, I am not in my Kuala Lumpur house to personally do all the preparations and prayer for Lap Chun but I am glad that Yong did all the preparations perfectly. At 5.46pm, the exact time of Lap Chun in 2016, I did my prayers in mom’s house and Yong did his. 

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

Chef Wong Wing Yuek’s ice carving

Carving is just one among Chef Wong's many talents.
Slightly more than a week ago, when I was in Shanghai Restaurant for dinner, Sous Chef Wong Wing Yuek surprised me with this beautiful ice carving of JW Marriott Hotel’s logo. My dear chef spent an entire afternoon working of this piece of art for the viewing pleasure of myself and my guest. On top of this, I was also surprised to find that Chef Wong took the trouble to carve a flower on the abalone served to us. I wonder, how many chefs out there that will go this distance for their guests and I am deeply touched. 
Delicious abalone.
Words are inadequate to describe my enormous gratitude to Chef Wong, restaurant manager, Alice Chan and the team from JW Marriott's Shanghai Restaurant for taking good care of me all these years but nevertheless, I still want to say: 感谢, 感恩

Tuesday, 2 February 2016


只从那晚和他一起同唱 沉默是金,我爱上了之歌深意的词。在短短的时间里也把歌词念在脑海中,把歌作者的心意及教训找出来。但,原来想找的东西不出现。不知不觉,得到的是命理载天意的挑战。此歌变成我两的相应。到回来还是沉默是金。。。。我无法回答。

沉默是金        歌词,曲:  张国荣/许冠杰

夜风凛凛 独回望旧事前尘
诬告与指责 积压着满肚气不愤
受了教训 得了书经的指引
是非有公理 慎言莫冒犯别人
自信满心里 休理会讽刺与质问
笑骂由人 洒脱地做人
受了教训 得了书经的指引
是非有公理 慎言莫冒犯别人
自信满心里 休理会讽刺与质问
笑骂由人 洒脱地做人
少年行 洒脱地做人