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Monday, June 29, 2009

And now for something completely different...

On my last day in the little red dot I thought I would share with you some photo memories of Singapore............

On the weekend that I was there, Orchard Road, the city's main drag was celebrating the SHINE - Youth Festival. A celebration of youth and all that is good and healthy. Their way of dealing with their Mat Rempits I suppose. Arguably, more interesting than reading statements from policemen and politicians and dodging whining kap-cai's.

Orchard Road. 40-ft wide sidewalks. Shady trees. Clinically lively.

Music and arts for free.

Where you can meet out-of-work Storm Troopers.

...and heroes from the land of the Rising Sun.

Un-smiling jokers and sweaty rodents in rubber suits looking menacing.

And cute miniature bad guys.

Away from the glitz of Orchard Road a step into a world of manufactured "old style" Chinatown.

...with shops that have a distinctively Chinese look. And not a single Bangla or Nepalese in sight.

Where if you look closely enough you might find remnants of another age like this printed card weighing scale. And get told you're fat for just 20 cents.

...and tourists staring in amazement at the Singapore Tourism Promotion Board's version of exotic ASIA. I wonder if it is the same one that we promote as being truly Asia?

A benevolent government's effort perhaps for the Republic's toothless seniors...

...who prefer to gum their Hainanese chicken rice washed down with a plastic glass of barley water.

Hope you've enjoyed the photo memories. I rest in the comforting knowledge that tomorrow I shall return to the land that is barely.....errr...I mean TRULY Asia.


The irony

Najib on a tour of the school that "had provided him the sound grounding which eventually made him the prime minister of Malaysia."

He is the Prime Minister of a country. I am not. I am the product of a mission school, St. Michael's Institution, Ipoh. Back in the days when I was taught by dedicated, qualified Christian teaching brothers of the order of De La Salle. They came from Ireland, England, Scotland, Burma. Dressed in their white cotton robes. With only 1 mission. To teach and educate. Malaysians of all colours and creeds went to mission schools. Nobody was afraid of being converted or robbed of their faith because the teaching brothers had, in the words of our prime minister, "...a special ethos which promote(d) unity...". But not at the expense of education standards. Sadly, in my opinion the heydays of the mission schools role in Malaysian education are long over. Dismantled by an over-zealous administration on the pretext of nationalism, patriotism and the unshackling of colonial ties and tempered by the irrational heat of discrimination. When I re-visit my alma mater I cannot help but feel a sadness as I witness an almost complete transformation of S.M.I. into ... just another sekolah jenis kebangsaan. A national-type school. Just like any other although allowed to retain a name that is sooooo un-Malaysian!

And so it was not with a tinge of sadness and irony that I laughed upon reading the recent story of Najib Razak on his visit to his alma mater, St. John's Institution, Kuala Lumpur. Where he acknowledged that his alma mater "had provided him the sound grounding which eventually made him the prime minister of Malaysia". He might indeed have been the last of the lucky Malaysians to have benefitted from an education provided by the then mission schools.

“The ethos of mission schools shaped the values and beliefs of students which is in line with 1 Malaysia", he said. And so even used his visit to his alma mater to continue to sell his mystifying concept of 1Malaysia.

And I presume that after the handshakes, the speeches and the march past by the school band it is back to business as usual.......Whether it is English or BM to teach Math and Science......Whether Umno is more Islamic than PAS or not? Not much time left to cultivate the ethos that shaped values and beliefs that are in line with whatever, is there? Anyway, by his own admission he only spent 3 years of secondary school in St. John's. So I guess most of his values and beliefs were shaped somewhere else.


Saturday, June 27, 2009

1Malaysia split already ah?

Prime Minister Najib Razak tried again to 'sell' his concept of 1Malaysia which since its launch no Malaysian has understood. What does it mean? Dunno. Nothing new in this story except that I spotted this photo in The Malaysian Insider's report on this morning's song and dance sales pitch for 1Malaysia at Dataran Merdeka where the PM and assorted VIP's gathered to make a speech and do an exercise routine. See? 1Malaysia what. Even the Prime Minister and his First Lady come out and join all of you for some exercise. On a Saturday morning some more you know. If not 1Malaysia where got like this?

I am sure it was unintentional but if you look closely at the big 1 behind the all the YB's you will notice a distinct crack. Prophetic you think? Doomed before it starts? Of course la some people will make some millions first doing all the posters, banners, TV commercials and what not. Good eh? Malaysia Boleh!!! Actually, not so boleh la. Making a plywood prop like that also cannot do properly. What la!


Friday, June 26, 2009

So what is it?

Now say after me, slowly.....SOOO...WAI....

The World Health Organisation has long declared it a pandemic. Most countries in South East Asia and East Asia have put in place stringent measures to contain the spread of the disease. Thermal scans at entry points...temperature checks at schools...voluntary home quarantines and so on. But in Malaysia our attitude seems to be..."Eh leh! What's the problem? Won't affect us too much la." And the perenial favorite, "How many mati (die)? 2 ah? Naer mine la." And we continue on our happy ways.

And our honourable (and I use this word rather loosely) ministers instead treat us to a debate on what to call the damned bug that causes the damned disease!!! The world calls it Influenza A (H1N1) And the Malaysian Minister of Health says that we should follow suit. And then...I suppose also because Malaysian politics recently has become a tad boring for the YB's...our Minister of Information jumps in and says, Cannot! That would confuse people. We call it Swine Flu! The original name ma.

Then he said that his reason was so that people (I suppose he means only Malaysians) would realise the danger of the disease and to get the message across to them more accurately.

Firstly, I am quite confused already at the first part of that statement. Realise the danger? If the disease kicks your stupid ass and you die I guess that's pretty damn dangerous isn't it? Even if you call the bug Cik Siti.

Secondly, what's the second part of that statement trying to say? Get the message across more accurately by calling it Swine Flu. What is the YB trying to say? That only pork-eaters will die ah? Or worse, it's all the pork-eaters fault ah? That kind of reasoning is more dangerous than any flu virus will ever be.

Our YB then proceeded to (he is in charge of RTM radio and television ma) inform us that Swine Flu or in Bahasa Malaysia, Sel-se-ma Babi, is easier for radio and TV announcers to say compared to In-flu-en-za A (H1N1). Proves what I have always suspected. RTM radio and TV announcers have problems pronouncing words with more than 3 syllables.

I've always thought our minister of information an intelligent man. But he's increasingly proving that he is just .............



Sunday, June 07, 2009


"Them" and "Us"
He started it? He ends it?

I am a happy Malaysian today!!!

After 52 years of independence a Prime Minister of Malaysia finally gets it right! For decades Malaysians have lived with, accepted and embraced each other's differences. And gotten on with it. "It" being the gotong-royong way of building and developing the country we love. And doing it for ALL Malaysians.

Then the politicians began to highlight our differences and startied calling on Malaysians to "TOLERATE" each other. When before it was understand and accept it suddenly became tolerate. Even without my Engrand being very good I know that to tolerate implied superiority of one over another. And of course that ripened into the 'them and us' attitude which festered into the 'we are masters and you are the tolerated immigrants' and other superiority complexes.

But now a Malaysian Prime Minister has announced that it is "......Time for all races to embrace, and not just tolerate, each other". And I am a happy Malaysian today. Now to try and understand fully what he really means by his 1Malaysia concept


Wednesday, June 03, 2009

It's not haze. It's just.........hazy!

We Malaysians appear to lack originality when coming up with explanations or making up excuses. Remember not so long ago there was this Indian fler who said something may sound like him, look like him but actually is not him?

Today, I read on The Malaysian Insider that the Director-General of the Department of Environment (DOE), Datuk Rosnani Ibarahim said that the shitty air that we've been experiencing for the past few days in Kuala Lumpur ...... "may look like haze but it is not haze! It is just....HAZY!"

I am laughing now as I make my way to the bar to pour myself a stiff whiskey. Goodnight!


Everything is falling down, falling down falling down...

Somebody's going to face some music for this la.
(photos taken from The Star June 03, 2009)
Yes, and we are all eager to know who it is going to be.

The roof of the RM300million Stadium Sultan Mizan Zainal Abidin in Terengganu collapsed yesterday. Fortunately, nobody was killed or injured. Thank God for that. The stadium was barely a year old.

"Contractor to face music if negligence involved, says DPM"

Wah! DPM upset you know. Contractor to face music man! How about that?

Hello, this is not a clogged drain but the whole roof of a stadium collapsing. And some more the state of our ruling Yang Dipertuan Agung. And somebody is going to face the music. I think a little stronger language is needed here. I am hoping that the DPM didn't actually say that but that it was just some sub-editor's dry sense of humour.

And then the Menteri Besar of Terengganu was quoted as saying, "We are eager to know the cause of such massive destruction".

Eager to know? What's this results of Akademi Fantasia ah? Eager to know? What does that tell us? WE ARE DAMNED ANGRY! WE WANT ANSWERS! WE WILL GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THIS! HEADS WILL ROLL! Any one of those also can use isn't it? Eager to know wor. What la!

But actually quite laughable la the way things happen here hor?


This is funny!

The man who will do the penultimate 'settling' I guess. For now anyway.
(My sincere apologies for posting the wrong YB's photo earlier)

Some weeks ago I posted a link to the Immigration Department's website and its FAQ page which I found rather amusing. And some of you found good laughs there as well. Today my friend, U-En pointed out something that I would have loved to have highlighted when I posted the blog.

Right at the bottom of the FAQ page is this paragraph...

"My friend from China came to Malaysia and was given a Social Pass Visit (SPV) for 30 days. (What the f*** is a social pass visit???) The problem is she has overstayed. I don't know what to do. Please help."

Okay, that's the question. And now the official answer from the Immigration Department of Malaysia...

"Chinese citizens are allowed to stay for 30 days only with the Social Pass Visit. For Chinese citizens who are given the Business Pass Visit, the duration of stay in Malaysia is only 30 days. (So there is absolutely NO difference between a Social Pass Visit and a Business Pass visit la.)Please come to the Enforcement Division, Immigration Department Malaysia to settle the matter."(Italics and highlights are mine)

Funny? Read the last 4 words in the paragraph aloud. Sooooooooooooo Malaysian, right?


Tuesday, June 02, 2009

So farrniiii one?

Come, come we all fren-fren now. What is past is past lor. Heh heh heh...

The ironic hypocrisies of politics sometimes defies logic. Don't you think so. Recently, that old Communist Party of Malaya fler Chin Peng has been a lot in the news. He wants to come back to his home country. Just to die la cos the baarger damn old already, right? Wah! When he said that, all SHIT hit all the fans la. A whole bunch of people jumped on the bandwagon and shouted CANNOT! How can anyone be so insensitive to all the people who've suffered as a result of the communist's terrorist activities? It will open old wounds. It will definitely make 'us' unhappy. CANNOT! And the government echoed CANNOT! It is the PEOPLE's wish and we must listen to the people.

Let bygones be bygones la said some other groups of Malaysians. After all other former members of the MCP were allowed to come back to live out their winter years in the motherland. So why can't the Chin Peng fler be accorded the same treatment? And then the media make a big deal about the PM's visit to China. Damn big milestone event la. Following in his fathers footsteps la. Will be damn good for the country la. Etc. etc. etc. But like some people pointed out, China was behind the MCP all those years of the Emergency what. They presumably supplied some of the bombs and guns and strategies and ideologies that caused such misery and tragedies to those Malayans who are against allowing Chin Peng back to die. So how come our prime minister makes a much-publicised visit to China to woo these old enemies to come to our shores? I mean, I am not against one or the other. But what's with this hypocrisy la.

And oh I just read from my friend, Mob's Crib (the blog) that some minister wants to prosecute blogs that 'promote' Communism. Well, I guess I'm on that list now. At least for investigation.