Sunday, January 23, 2011

life as a work of art

life as a work of art


life as a work of art

Posted: 23 Jan 2011 09:42 AM PST

we had the conversation once,

only once,

that was the last time,

no more said, nothing more done,

     what do you do,

     when face with the unimagined,

     and the unseen,

     and fear comes a visiting,

cowed into docility,

passivity, and hopelessness,

if you know, you go nowhere,

one goes furthest, in times of darkness

     and the cycle continues,

     the wheel of madness,

     the turn of insanity,

     perpetuated, perpetuating,

when will it end,

there is no end,

     the hope for tomorrow,

     for a better today,

     escapes our grasp,

     descending, falling, dying

madness! insanity!

pitiful shame to the man of today!

how you partake in this mediocrity of everyday life,

wake up!

     look among you,

     is it not he, they, who told you?

     becoming! becoming!

     life is but on a canvass,

invent, fashion, care!


Clegg ready to back banks breakup

Posted: 23 Jan 2011 07:01 AM PST


Warisnya Kalbu

Posted: 23 Jan 2011 06:54 AM PST


Saya sentiasa - dan akan terus percaya bahawa sesebuah novel yang baik mampu memberikan rasa dan juga pengetahuan kepada si pembacanya. Dan tanggapan saya selari dengan novel Warisnya Kalbu. Ia merupakan naskhah yang menepati keduanya malah berupaya pula menimbulkan tanggapan-tanggapan lain.

Sungguh, saya cukup gemar dengan corak penceritaan merentas zaman. Sri Rahayu memilih untuk memisahkan cerita ini kepada dua; semasa dan masa lalu. Secara tak langsung, menjadikannya seperti satu cerita silang tetapi membawa kepada satu subjek yang serupa - pantun Melayu. Isinya cukup padu dengan pengenalan pantun, ciri-ciri pantun dan yang paling penting - bagaimana pantun mengambil tempat dalam proses pembentukan jati diri dan bertindak sebagai sistem nilai yang memugar kesantunan.

Shamsuddin Othman pernah berkongsi kisah bersama saya bagaimana SN Muhammad Haji Salleh mengembara di serata dunia untuk mencari puisi yang terbaik. Setelah hampir seluruh hayatnya dibelanjakan; dia pulang ke tanah air membawa jawapan yang tak pernah disangkanya. Pantun merupakan puisi yang terbaik di dunia. Seakan-akan menjurus kepada situasi tersebut; Warisnya Kalbu menjawab dan memberikan segala-galanya. 

Saya cukup terkesan dan kagum dengan terjemahan pantun yang terdapat di dalam perbualan antara Tun Hassan Perwira dan Katherine. Meski makna dan rimanya sama; secara peribadi saya lebih menyukai pantun dalam bahasa Melayu. Ianya lebih asli dan menggugah.

Warisnya Kalbu merupakan satu naskhah memaknakan pantun yang wajib dibaca.


Di India, Pemilik Ayam Sabung Dibunuh Ayamnya

Posted: 22 Jan 2011 08:15 AM PST

Seekor ayam sabung 'membalas dendam' kepada tuannya kerana selalu memaksanya bertarung dalam perjudian sabung ayam. Tuannya terbunuh di kaki ayam.

Laman web Daily Mail, 21 Januari 2011, menyatakan ayam sabung tersebut menyerang tuannya, Singrai Soren, dengan cara melibas pisau kecil yang terpasang di kakinya. Kejadian ini berlaku semasa ayam itu dipaksa bertarung. Si ayam memberontak sehingga pisau kecil itu terkena leher Soren dan terkapar disimbahi darah.

Salah seorang rakan Soren bernama Dasai mengatakan ayam sabung 'pembunuh' itu selama ini sudah tidak mahu bertarung tetapi Soren terus memaksa ayamnya bertarung. Itulah yang menyebabkan Soren diserang.

Kebiasaannya ayam sabung akan berehat sekurang-kurangnya satu jam sebelum bertarung kembali tetapi Soren inginkannya bertarung beberapa minit selepas itu, ayam itu seperti kesal, tambah Dasai.

Selepas kejadian itu dilapor polis, polis memburu ayam tersebut tetapi tidak yakin dapat menemuinya. Pihak polis kemudiannya mengingatkan penduduk tentang ayam 'pembunuh' yang berbulu hitam dan merah itu.

Sebahagian warga Mohanpur, Bengal Barat, India selama ini memang sangat dikenali suka menyabung ayam untuk berjudi. Untuk meningkatkan semangat pertarungan, ayam tersebut diikatkan dengan pisau kecil sebagai tambahan di susuhnya. Ayam-ayam itu akan dipaksa bertarung dengan senjata tambahan itu.


here… another proof of double standard from the poice

Posted: 23 Jan 2011 09:22 AM PST

only 9 people demonstrated and they were all indians, and they were arrested.

these people, from the malaysia tamil students group, were arrested when they demonstrated against the novel 'interlok' as a malay literature textbook in school in taman desa puri, in tasek gelugor, penang.

Seberang Perai Utara police chief ACP Zulkifli Illias said those arrested for defying the police order to disperse were taken to the Tasek Gelugor police station for their statements to be recorded.

why were they asked to disperse? yes, the had no police permit but look at all the after friday prayer protestors, they too had no permit but they were not asked to disperse?

read my post here - in penang too, a group of mamak, much more than these 9 (about 40) demonstrated at komtar, penang.

He said police also seized several posters brought by the protesters to the demonstration, and the case was being investigated under Section 186 of the Penal Code for obstructing public servants in the discharge of their public functions.

read the same post – the same protest in penang – they were also carrying so many banners (and condemning the CM too!) – why weren't the posters seized??

then at the same previous post, this time about the after friday prayer protestors in KL. they burned effgies – why were they not stop? why were not the effigies seized?

Zulkifli hoped their arrest would not be politicised as police had acted in accordance with the law.

podah!! ahem!! $$@(!*) cough! cough! )!*%#$#!($)!!

the police only act when it suit them!! yes, this time they act in accordance with the law… but why when it was the after friday prayers group, the police close an eye and did not act in accordance with the law??? what the hell is the meaning of this??? DOUBLE STANDARD FOR SURE! DOUBLE STANDARD!

of course this was no the first time we heard/read about the double standard of police (or the fed govt). it happened so many thousand times already. in fact so often that years back i had said i had better open a category 'double standard' for my blog.  googling for 'double standard' in my blog also brought forward lots of posts!  then when i started to be active in facebook, i started a group 2malaysia which is basically for people to post anything they see as double standard.

and oh, i had also started composing a 'double standard' song, to the tune of the nursery rhyme song 'are you sleeping'.  all together now, let's sing……..

double standard, double standard
here it comes! here it comes!
what do you expect? what do you expect?
its malaysia!



[Bergambar] Pencalonan Cikgu Mala Bangkitkan Semangat Kaum Hawa

Posted: 23 Jan 2011 09:07 AM PST

Normala 'kejut' pengundi hawa

ALOR SETAR - Strategi Pas meletakkan calon wanitanya, Normala Sudirman, 38, bertanding di Pilihan Raya Kecil (PRK) Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Tenang adalah sebahagian daripada usaha parti itu untuk menyedarkan kaum wanita bahawa sokongan mereka juga penting kepada parti.

Pengarah Pilihan Raya Pas Kedah, Datuk Ir Phahrolrazi Zawawi berkata, langkah ini juga dibuat supaya berlakunya kebangkitan semula pengundi wanita untuk sama-sama menyumbang kepada parti.

"Saya harap wujud satu perubahan besar apabila kita meletakkan calon wanita kali ini. Selama ini pun kita tak pernah pinggirkan calon wanita. Seingat saya, pada tahun 1969 calon wanita Pas ada bertanding, dan selepas era 90an, semakin ramai calon wanita diletakkan," katanya.

Ir Phahrolrazi yang juga Exco Kerajaan Negeri dan Timbalan Pesuruhjaya I Pas Kedah berkata, Pas tiada masalah untuk menentang calon Barisan Nasional (BN), Mohd Azahar Ibrahim, 39, walaupun sebelum ini calon lelaki lebih menjadi pilihan.

"Perbezaan jantina bukan ukurannya, yang penting calon Pas mampu tarik keyakinan pengundi dan memang layak. Semua akar umbi parti harus yakin pada kebolehan Normala dan tak perlulah pihak lawan memperlekeh kemampuannya hanya kerana dia seorang wanita," katanya.

Menurutnya, potensi untuk Pas menang dalam pilihan raya kecil ini agak cerah memandangkan jumlah pengundi wanita yang keluar mengundi adalah besar.

"Kita kotakan janji bila cakap akan letak calon wanita," katanya.

Ir Phahrolrazi berkata, kontinjen pilihan raya Pas Kedah turut hadir pada hari penamaan calon semalam, dengan menghantar 100 petugas untuk berkhidmat di peti undi Labis.

"Semua peringkat turun padang daripada Pemuda hinggalah Muslimat untuk sama-sama berkempen di Labis. Kita juga mengadakan syif bertugas bermula awal pagi hingga malam bagi memastikan calon wanita kali ini dapat mewakili penduduk di situ sebagai wakil rakyat," katanya. -SH

Foto-foto ini menyebabkan UMNO tak tenang di Tenang.

Sebaik saja selesai proses penamaan calon semalam, Muhyiddin Yassin mengingatkan jentera Barisan Nasional (BN) supaya tidak memandang ringan dan memperlekehkan calon parti lawan dalam pilihan raya kecil Dewan Undangan Negeri (DUN) Tenang.

YB Dr Siti Mariah merakamkan foto-foto ini.





















Lotus Wang – BOBEE music video

Posted: 23 Jan 2011 06:43 AM PST

Taiwanese music video of BOBEE by 41-year-old comedian Lotus Wang, title track of her Sing & Blessed (有唱有保庇, loose translation) album, which bizarrely is one of the best selling albums for the past few weeks in Taiwan

BOBEE is a remake of Korean song Bo Peep Bo Peep by girl group T-ara which is on average about 20 years younger than Wang. Not a bad song to begin with, but it's not something you would expect from a 40+ lady.

One of the major factors for BOBEE's popularity is that the pronunciation for "bo-bee" actually sounds like "blessed" (保庇) in Taiwanese-Hokkien language, which is quite fitting for the approaching Lunar New Year.

I wonder if the company could have predicted the immense success though. They probably did it for the lulz instead of genuine market sense.

Lotus Wang – BOBEE music video from YeinJee's Asian Blog


Look Back 2010: APRIL

Posted: 23 Jan 2011 06:08 AM PST

Wow, It's still January, the year is still new and I still want to Look Back to what's happened on my blog last year during April. Hehe.

Actually during the month, April, May and June, my blog was on a automatic posting mode. All the post were pre-written but there's some good read too! =)

Another post about Miao Hui 2010.

SPM 2009′s result release day! OMG. I got 2A+, 5A, 1A-, 1B+ and 1C. Sucks.

Super old photos of me. Very young and childish.

Ker Ying's birthday celebration at RED! And since then, I always go to RED Karaoke, thank's to Ker Ying. Haha.

Big class 5SA1 of 2009 farewell at steamboat house (Part 1).

Penang Chines Girls High School Food Fair.

Big class 5SA1 of 2009 farewell at steamboat house (Part 2).

Hahahaha.


RM888 Billion Lesap. UMNO BN Menunggu Masa Dihalau Oleh Rakyat

Posted: 23 Jan 2011 07:11 AM PST

Putrajaya perlu siasat aliran keluar wang haram RM888b, kata DAP

Lim kecewa "lanun darat" dibiarkan bergerak bebas di Malaysia. — gambar fail

KUALA LUMPUR, 23 Jan — DAP menggesa kerajaan Barisan Nasional (BN) tampil memberi penjelasan berhubung skandal aliran keluar wang haram berjumlah RM888 bilion (AS$291 bilion) yang direkodkan sepanjang tahun 2000 dan 2008.

Berdasarkan laporan badan pengawas kewangan yang berpangkalan di AS, Global Financial Integrity (GFI) baru-baru ini, Malaysia berada di tempat kelima dalam senarai negara yang terlibat dalam aliran keluar wang haram sepanjang tempoh tersebut.

Sehubungan itu, Setiausaha Agung DAP Lim Guan Eng berkata, pihaknya kecewa kerana "lanun darat" dibenarkan bergerak bebas di negara ini, sekali gus menyebabkan wang sejumlah dibawa keluar secara tidak sah.

"Mana-mana kerajaan yang bersih dan bertanggungjawab, yang berintegriti akan dengan segera menubuhkan suruhanjaya diraja untuk menyiasat skandal aliran keluar wang RM888 bilion secara haram ini," kata beliau dalam satu kenyataan dikeluarkan hari ini.

Pada Jumaat lalu, Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Razak berkata Bank Negara Malaysia akan membuat ulasan khas tentang laporan berita yang mengatakan Malaysia menduduki tempat kelima di kalangan negara-negara yang mencatatkan pengaliran keluar wang haram paling banyak.

"Boleh ada banyak sebab, tetapi biarlah Bank Negara yang membuat komen khas tentang itu," kata Najib yang juga Menteri Kewangan.

Menurut laporan GFI, aliran keluar wang haram dari Malaysia pada 2000 berjumlah RM67.7 bilion (AS$22.2 bilion) yang, lapan tahun kemudian, melonjak kepada RM208 bilion (AS$68.2 bilion).

GFI mendefinisikan aliran keluar wang haram sebagai pemindahan wang yang dijana menerusi aktiviti-aktiviti tidak sah seperti rasuah, aktiviti jenayah dan usaha mengelak cukai ke atas kejayaan diperoleh.

GFI menyenaraikan China berada di tangga teratas di kalangan 125 negara membangun manakala Filipina pula di tangga ke-12.

Dalam kenyataannya, Lim berkata perkembangan itu memperlihatkan kurangnya penguatkuasaan dan usaha menegakkan lunas perundangan dan mengatasi budaya rasuah, yang sekali gus menghakis keyakinan dalam pasaran modal.

"Yang jelas, bukan sahaja Petronas malah BN juga mesti tampil bersih dalam skandal aliran keluar wang haram dalam jumlah yang besar," kata Lim yang juga Ahli Parlimen Bagan MP.

Malah laporan itu berkata, diskriminasi dalam pasaran pekerjaan juga faktor menyebabkan migrasi dan aliran keluar wang haram.

"Yang menyedihkan, kehilangan bakat modal insan Malaysia bukan sahaja memalapkan masa depan kita, tetapi juga menjadikan kita miskin," kata Lim.

Kini terdapat kira-kira 700,000 rakyat Malaysia yang tinggal dan bekerja di negara lain, dengan separuh daripada mereka di Singapura.

Malah GFI juga berkata, peningkatan tahap ketelusan dalam sistem kewangan global juga penting demi mengurangkan aliran keluar wang haram.

Lim, yang juga Ketua Menteri Pulau Pinang menekankan bahawa pentadbiran kerajaan negerinya yang berlandaskan slogan cekap, akauntabiliti dan telus telah membawa kepada pengiktirafan Ketua Audit Negara menerusi laporan 2009.

Oleh itu kata beliau, keengganan BN untuk menjelaskan skandal aliran keluar wang haram kemungkinan boleh menyebabkan Malaysia muflis menjelang 2019.

Katanya, jika RM888 bilion disalurkan kepada 27 juta penduduk negara ini, bermakna setiap rakyat dapat memperoleh RM33,000 sepanjang sembilan tahun 2000 dan 2008. -TMI

Ulasan GB

RM888 Ribu Juta hilang begitu sahaja tanpa ada sebarang siasatan.
Ketara kerajaan UMNO BN sudah tidak wajar dibiarkan memegang tampuk pemerintahan negara.

Anda mahu menjadi regim Ben Ali di Tunisia? Dihalau oleh rakyat sendiri nanti?


More of this and that…

Posted: 23 Jan 2011 06:27 AM PST

It has been more than a week since Sofie was hospitalised. Although I did tell her to call me once she's discharged, until today I did not get any calls from her. Initially she was hospitalised (on Thursday 13th Feb) so she could be put on drips to enable her to get her energy back after the allergies caused by her ARV caused her to vomit every time she ate anything. She was supposed to be warded at the most for 4 days only.

But on Sunday, she fainted at the toilet in the ward, so the doctors decided to keep her at the hospital for another day.

I waited for her call, it never came. In the meantime I was busy with other matters so I didn't call her to ask. But's it's already Sunday again, and so today I decided to send her a text message to ask if she was already home. Who knows, maybe she didn't want to trouble me and decided to go back on her own.

It turned out that Sofie is still at the hospital. Last Monday she started getting feverish. The doctors decided to do further tests on her. The results of the tests are still pending.

Thank goodness Sofie's sister is at home looking after the kids. But I think if Sofie doesn't get discharged anytime soon, I may just drop by their house to see how they are doing.

********************************

I was KL yesterday, attending a cousin's wedding. Quite a number of SMS came in, mostly my FB notifications. But one SMS came from Aina. Remember Aina and her husband Ali, the poor family I visited recently? Aina informed me that Ali had to be hospitalised at Taiping Hospital because "doktor suspek kuman masuk ke otak". I told her I'll be going to Taiping Hospital this coming Tuesday for my clinic duty.

This afternoon as I was about to have my lunch, a call came in from Aina. She was sobbing, telling me that Ali "dah nazak". I wasn't about to go all the way to Taiping Hospital to visit. Thank goodness we have a volunteer in Taiping Hospital and so after lunch I sent a message to the Taiping volunteer and asked her to check on Ali if she had the time.

The volunteer did go to see them and gave her number to Aina just in case. At least Aina knows who to contact in case she needed help or support.

********************************

I thought I had settled all the fees/workbooks for the children under our sponsorship programme. Apparently Fuzi herself  thought her children's school payments had all been settled. I have to say I was quite impressed that her children's fees seemed the lowest compared to all the other children under the sponsorship programme. Well, it turned out, the earlier payment was only for exercise books etc they needed to buy from the school co-op before school reopened. Now the fees are all known and the total needed to pay for her 4 children's schooling comes out to more than RM400.

So their fees aren't the lowest after all…


Islamaphobia jeopardize tolerance instead of garnering Mutual Respects and causes Clash of Civilizations

Posted: 23 Jan 2011 06:18 AM PST

Source_ :Islamaphobia, Clash of Civilizations, and Social Acceptance Written by Steve Royston in MIDEASTPOSTS

Saudi Arabia's Arab News has a number of columnists whom I, as a blogger and occasional columnist, admire for their humane and balanced views, and for the eloquence with which they express them. Tariq Al-Maeena, Dr Khalid Alnowaiser and Iman Kurdi are three who stand out. I have quoted the first two in previous posts on social issues in the Middle East.

Iman Kurdi, in today's edition of the paper, has written a commentary on Baroness Warsi's speech earlier this week. Warsi's assertion that Islamophobia has passed the "dinner party acceptance test" in the UK has garnered widespread attention. Iman Kurdi's article is called Islam and Dinner Party Test. Here's an extract:

Warsi's comments have received widespread backing among Muslims in Britain and elsewhere in Europe. What you hear most is that Muslims are being seen as different from the rest of society, that Islam is somehow incompatible with Western values, that Islam is under attack, all the thoughts that emanate from that good old phrase we've not heard in a while: Conflict of civilizations.

I think, however, that we need to be careful and to be weary of being oversensitive to criticism. Discussing Islam has passed the dinner party test. It has become a topical subject of conversation. Whereas once religion was considered unacceptable polite conversation, recent events have propelled it onto the world stage. People are naturally more interested in Islam and Muslims. Also Islamist terrorism is a reality and we cannot be surprised that it has dominated the agenda.

I would rather have people express their views openly and allow healthy argument, even if some of these views may be offensive to me, than the subject become so taboo that people don't dare discuss it. 

Most of all, a distinction has to be made between criticism of Islam and Islamophobia.

The two are not the same.

  1. People have a right to disagree with Muslim thinking,
  2. to be at odds with some of our beliefs and practices,
  3. to hold diagonally opposite views to ours.
  4. It is not their religion after all.

That does not make them Islamophobes.

  1. When they discriminate against Muslims
  2. or label Muslims terrorists
  3. or blame Islam as a religion for acts of terrorism,
  4. that is Islamophobia.

It exists,

  • it is on the rise,
  • but has it really become socially acceptable?

I would argue that in some circles the answer is yes.

  • Particularly among supporters of the British National Party in the UK,
  • and other far right European groups like Marine Le Pen's National Front in France.  
  • But remember that for these political parties xenophobia is the staple diet.
  • Islamophobia happens to be the the most convenient ingredient in the xenophobic recipe.
  • In the past "blacks" and Jews have been the targets in the UK. 
  • In France, North African Arabs, Vietnamese and other immigrants from France's former colonies have been the mutton in the pie.
  • These days they're still in the mixture, but take second place to Muslims.

Within the UK population in general, my perception is that_

  1. people tend to focus on behaviour
  2.  rather than faith itself.
  3. Behaviour associated with faith, such as
    • dress,
    • protective (many would say restrictive) attitudes towards women, 
    • is often as much to do with traditional cultures in countries from which ethnic groups originated.

Look for example, at old ladies dressed in black in staunchly Christian countries such as Greece and Italy – traditional attitudes towards women in some areas of Southern Europe are not so different from those in many parts of the Middle East. Also consider homophobia in many African countries, which has been such a point of controversy within the Church of England.

An alternative test to Baroness Warsi's dinner party construct is_

  1. internet jokes about Muslims.
  2. I get lots of jokes from people of all social, political and religious hues.
  3. I don't block the sources, because I find them to be an interesting social barometer.
  4. Jokes I receive about Muslims tend to bear out the distinction between faith and behaviour.
  5. Islamist terrorists are the most frequent subject,
  6. followed closely by burqas and niqabs.

But I very rarely see offensive jokes about, say, Jews, Pakistanis or people of afro-caribbean descent.

This is only a personal impression. Some academic looking for a research project might find an analysis of internet jokes to be a fertile subject. If the internet had existed thirty years ago, I suspect that the joke traffic would have been very different.

  1. What's to do?
  2. Well, speaking of Britain, we're a long way from latent or overt Islamophobia translating into repressive legislation specifically targetting Muslims.
  3. Yes, since 9/11, we have anti-terrorism laws that some would argue are used to suppress opinion.
  4. We have also introduced laws prohibiting incitement of religious hatred.
  5.  But these laws are not just a weapon against radical Isamists they can also be used to protect Muslims from the effects of Islamophobia.

In recent history, I would argue that Britain has a good record in dealing with extremism.

In the 1930s Sir Oswald Mosley's Nazi-inspired National Party failed to gain widespread traction.

The more recent IRA terrorist campaign did not result in persecution of the Irish community in the UK mainland.

And the current British National Party's recent election results have not gained significantly from the noise they have generated.

So long as the threat of terrorism remains, fear will remain.

If I was advising the UK government on a strategy to contain Islamophobia, it would be to fund and morally support efforts to communicate_

  1. the distinction between faith and behaviour,
  2. and between religious observance and culture.
  3. To help Muslims explain the core of their faith rather than defend external manifestations seen by many as diversive.
  4. And to hold up role models who translate their core beliefs into actions that benefit society in general.

Am I being complacent when I say that a weary acceptance that terrorism is a fact of life in British society has entered the DNA of present generations?

That the bombing of Britain in the Second World War, successive IRA campaigns and now atrocities such as the 2006 tube bombings have made us better able to cope than some other Western countries – the United States for example?

That we try to get on with our lives despite the threats around us, and trust our govenments to deal with the threats as best they can? That in Britain at least, the tradition of tolerance will survive the current stress test? Maybe. (InsyaAllah)

 

Cover of "The Clash of Civilizations and ...

Cover via Amazon

I just fear that we British will have many more compelling issues on our plates in years to come.

Here in the Middle East, I hope that the common humanity expressed in the voices of Tariq Al-Maeena, Khalid Alnowaiser and Iman Kurdi will find a wider audience both within and outside the region.

Related Articles


Faye Wong casually on L’Officiel

Posted: 23 Jan 2011 05:52 AM PST

Chinese pop singer Faye Wong posed rather casually on L'Officiel magazine. The diva is making headlines one after another since making her comeback in 2010…

Faye Wong on L Officiel magazine

There's more, read the full post »

Faye Wong casually on L'Officiel from YeinJee's Asian Blog


Temiar, a BN vote bank is aided by PR: Kudos to MP Dr Jeyakumar & PAS

Posted: 23 Jan 2011 05:48 AM PST

The Temiar of Sungai Siput have long been a reliable vote bank for the BN, something like 9,000 of them domiciled on the banks of tributaries of the Sungai Perak that crisscross the constituency, giving the ruling coalition 99 percent of the vote in the general election of 1999, 96 percent in 2004, and 90 percent in 2008.

Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj of the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM), who was elected on a PKR ticket because PSM was not yet a registered political party in March 2008, asked help from his Pakatan Rakyat cohort in Sungai Siput.

Popularly known as 'Dr Kumar', Dr Jeyakumar Devaraj of the Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) had made forays into Orang Asli villages deep in the interior of Sungai Siput even when he was not their elected MP prior to 2008, to see what could done for them. 

NONEReason being the Orang Asli are a terribly marginalised group and they needed all the help they can get, Dr Jeyakumar rationalized.

So when Pos Legap's Temiar wanted new cables for a dilapidated bridge, Dr Kumar and his crew of PSM stalwarts in Sungai Siput decided that it would be better to build a new bridge a kilometer away from the site of the old one but financial funding was  a problem given that opposition MPs are deprived by the federal government of constituency allocations rendered to the tune of RM2 million a year to BN legislators.

NONEWhen 
Dr Kumar, who was elected on a PKR ticket because PSM was not yet a registered political party in March 2008, asked help from his Pakatan Rakyat cohort in Sungai Siput, the PAS leader in the constituency, Ahmad Mazlan Othman, a retired army engineer who had been a candidate for the Lintang state seat in the 1999 and 2004 elections, responded to Dr Kumar's call for help.

Ahmad was instrumental in getting his party to contribute RM5,000 to the overall cost of the new bridge which was estimated at RM70,000 while the rest of the budget was raised from the MP allowances for Dr Kumar (RM35,000), from sundry friends of his (RM20,000) and from two Catholic groups (RM10,000).

This joint effort by PSM and PAS will see the completion of the new bridge by this weekend or over the next.


Awesome Hindu’s Thaipusam Festival At Batu Caves

Posted: 23 Jan 2011 05:23 AM PST


Jam at MRR2 near to Batu Caves.

Thaipusam o Thaipusam. Last time, friends always invited me to go photoshoot at Thaipusam but I always didn't go with them. Last year, I got to see a little part of Thaipusam happened at Dato Keramat of Penang where people throw coconut for praying and I got to join in with my friend Arron and Chien Chern.

When I was back in Penang few weeks ago, I thought "OMG, I am gonna miss Thaipusam this year because I will not be in Penang at that time". Then I thought again, "I can celebrate and check it out in KL!".


Parking by the roadside like 2KM before Batu Caves. Really crazy man. Clap for us as we parked close. Hehe.

Yeah, KL, Kuala Lumpur is one of the place that celebrate Thaipusam too, besides Penang. So on the day itself, I didn't go there as early as those photography enthusiast does, I went there after lunch in the afternoon with Arron again, but this time not Chien Chern, instead is a girl, Carmen from Penang too! Both of them residing far at Sepang and only get to come down to town during holidays and went to check out the Thaipusam festival at Batu Caves.

At first we thought of not going there because was afraid of traffic congestion and hard to find parking but after checking through the net about the traffic, it was just all clear only until near to Batu Caves. Really surprise that the traffic was super duper smooth all the way from Bandar Sunway to MRR2 near Batu Caves, there's not even a little jam, really weird. LDP is an expressway that is always jam or slow but that day was just an exception.

While our vehicle getting close to Batu Caves, there's already vehicle parking by the roadside as far as 2KM from Batu Caves. We didn't want to park there as it was hot and we kept on believe that there will be parking space for us at a nearer spot.

There's even illegal parking collector collecting a fee of RM10. Being a stingy person, we didn't want to park there and we got moving and we found a nice place, just less than 500m from Batu Caves, according to the GPS. Haha.


Me, Arron and Carmen. All Penang-kia.


We should have take the KTM to Batu Caves as the station was just right beside it. But one thing, KTM sucks! Slow and dirty.

Yay, we reached Batu Caves safely and I was pretty excited because I got to take photos. I should have bring my DSLR with me but then this trip to Batu Caves was quite spontaneous as we didn't really plan the trip. Luckily I have my Panasonic with me and it served me well all the time.

The weather was pretty hot and sunny. Perhaps it's Thaipusam. Anyway, since we were here, so it's nothing good of hiding under the shade, so we just keep walking where everyone was walking to, the cave, the Batu Caves.


Well, Tzu-Chi went there to remind people not to throw rubbish on the floor but…

In case you don't know, Thaipusam is a religious festival of the Hindu. According to Wikipedia, Thaipusam is a Hindu festival celebrated mostly by the Tamil community on the full moon in the Tamil month of Thai (January/February).

Rocks is that Malaysia is a multi-racial country where I can join the fun too! =)


Outside the famous Sri Subramaniar Swamy temple.

Frankly, I felt I was in Indian when I was there. Haha. It's Indian anywhere! And they are friendly too. =)


Your current Prime Minister of Malaysia, Najib. Haha. He is real big.


I say peace as it's awesome. =)


Red Air Asia clowns. Cute.

Saw many sponsor booths at there and one of which is Air Asia which attracted me as the booth had the most crowds. Though, I didn't get close because I didn't know what was speaking on the speaker, it's all tamil and I knew nothing, except "nan-de-ri" or something which means thank you.


Slums of Batu Caves.

Well, what you see is Malaysia, not India. It's just not good with the trash management where trash are everywhere. I was actually keen to see Indian poking mouths and body but instead, I only saw them carrying the heavy kawadee up hill to the cave. As for poking stuff, I saw it in Penang last time.


Us before going out and was trying to capture the statue behind but failed.


Well, I have no idea what the people standing by the rail were looking at, it sounds as if we were superstar, just without the red carpet.


Awesome art craft.

The cave wasn't very tall or high after all, like about 5-6 storeys high but then the stairs up there was very steep. I really salute the people who carry the kawadee up, and kawadee is the thing that they carry on the back with their god statue on it.


Here we go. Up and down.

Another thing I saw was, the Indian devotees went up the stairs barefooted! It was a hot day and they walked barefooted. Really power.

Since there's so many people on the stairs, we walked slowly and carefully, about 15 minutes, we reached the top. Many medical helpers were on standby there as some were almost fainted due to the heat.


Beautiful huge cave. I like it.

It was my first time being a nature cave and it is pretty. I love caves now. It's not just a hole in the hill but it's really a big caves which can house many people in there and there's also a hole on top overlooking the sky. It would be creepy during full moon where moon shines in and a werewolf or vampire turned up. Haha.


Monkeys!


Smiling Indian kid.


Can you see the crowds? They just keep flowing in the cave.

Spent about 10 minutes in there, walking around and take a little photos then we went back down. It was just too crowded in there and a little bit smelly, no idea what smell was that..


It wasn't that traffic jam when we was there, it was after we came. Really powerful.


And again, they were standing by the rail and looking at us. Hmm. Superstar?


Yummy juicy coconut!

The weather turned a little bit hotter after we came down and it was just burning all over our skins. How I wish I could get into an air-conditioned place as soon as possible and then we found coconut stalls. Bought a coconut for each of us then we drank, really quenching and the coconut meat was so awesome, young and juicy. Rocks. Only downside was that it's not cold. It's warm!

And so, I concluded my trip to Batu Caves and we all said it was real awesome. Another place is visited in Kuala Lumpur, time to go for the next place. =D Any recommendation of place to go in Selangor area?


'Wakil rakyat' nominees must undergo IQ test too!

Posted: 23 Jan 2011 05:38 AM PST

A week before Tenang nomination day (Jan 22), I was talking to blogger Jebat Berkokok about covering the 14th by-election. On the 20th, Merlimau state seat also fell vacant when its assemblyman died, making it (possibly) the 15th by-election in about less than three years.

I told him the government should regulate that all nominees for the general election should undergo a thorough medical test to ensure they are fit to be called State Assemblymen or Members of Parliament.

Of course, our lives are in His hands but we need to ensure our health condition enables us to shoulder such a big responsibility for the rakyat. If we cant attend any meeting or assembly due to health reason, we cannot expedite our duty well to the rakyat who voted for us.

So, when Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker Datuk Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said on Saturday that MPs should not only go for annual medical check-ups (here) but should also be trained on stress management, I feel glad. At least, I have similar view.

However, I am of the opinion that the reps should undergo medical test NOT after winning the polls but before contesting. At least, they should get 'a certificate of fitness' to stand in general election of any by-election. Diseases such as diabetes, cancer, leukemia and others should stand as a 'deterrence', depending on its level.

By the way, do you happen to know a rep with epileptic problem? Better find it out yourself!

Anyway, I also did tell Jebat that all potential election candidates should undergo another check-up - IQ test!

Why? Some assemblymen and MPs are only fit to be called 'the dumb and dumber'!


Wakil Rakyat Dilarang Mati

Posted: 23 Jan 2011 06:14 AM PST

Wakil rakyat ramai mati, Umno susah hati

SHAH ALAM 22 Jan. : Tindakan kementerian kesihatan mengarahkan semua wakil rakyat agar menjalani ujian kesihatan secara berkala berikutan fenomena kematian mengejut dikalangan wakil rakyat semakin menjadi- jadi disambut baik oleh ahli majlis pimpinan pusat, Fariz Musa.

Namun beliau berpandangan arahan sedimikian mencerminkan Umno Barisan Nasional berdepan dengan tekanan dan keresahan kerana setiap kali pilihan raya diadakan, mereka perlu bermati- matian mempertahankan kerusi wakil rakyat yang ditawan mereka.

"Sebenarnya Umno-BN takut dengan pilihanraya kecil, kerana dia tahu bahawa mood rakyat dan juga gerak kerja selama ini tidak diberi perhatian oleh rakyat. Sebab itu setiap kali pilihanraya kecil mereka berdepan dengan tekanan," katanya.

Beliau berkata, cadangan tersebut seharusnya dilaksanakan lebih awal dan bukannya hanya sibuk mengisi kantong demi kepentingan peribadi serta kroni masing-masing.

Malah jelasnya lagi, pendekatan yang dicadangkan itu sudah digunapakai oleh parti Islam Se-malaysia (PAS) sebelum ini.

"Selama ini mereka tidak pernah menghiraukan isu-isu yang berkaitan dengan perkara ini dan lebih mengutamakan pada gerak kerja untuk membesarkan kantong mereka.

Beberapa tindakan telah diambil oleh pakatan sendiri, sebelum ini PAS misalnya, calon merokok tidak boleh dan sebagainya. ini membuktikan pakatan menitik beratkan masalah kesihatan sebagai perkara utama berbanding umno-bn yang mengambik penekatanb semberono kepada wakil rakyatnya," katanya.

Menteri Kesihatan Liow Tiong Lai mengumumkan arahan kepada semua wakil rakyat agar menjalani ujian kesihatan bagi memastikan tahap kesihatan mereka berada pada tahap yang baik.

Tahap kesihatan wakil rakyat adalah penting berikutan setiap kerah keringat mereka dituntut untuk membantu membela nasib rakyat yang berada dibawah seliian seseorang wakil rakyat.

Cadangan ini adalah bersifat pencegahan iaitu bagi mengenal pasti lebih awal tahap kesihatan masing-masing dan jika terhadap masalah, langkah perubatan boleh diambil sebelum keadaan makin parah.

PRK DUN Tenang merupakan pilihan raya ke 14 yang berlangsung setelah Pilihan Raya Umum ke 12 pada tahun 2008 dan Malaysia bakal menghadapi sekurang- kurangnya dua lagi pilihan raya kecil setelah kerusi Merlimau, Melaka, dan Pelabuhan Klang, Selangor,disahkan kosong.

ADUN Merlimau Datuk Moh'amad Hidhir Abu Hasan meninggal dunia minggu lalu kerana serangan sakit jantung, sementara kerusi DUN Pelabuhan Klang dikosongkan setelah adunnya Badrul Hisham Abdullah gagal menghadiri sidang DUN selama 60 hari tanpa sebab.

Ulasan GB

Mungkin selepas ini, SPR akan membuat peraturan baru, bahawa semua calon yang ingin bertanding di dalam pilihanraya DILARANG MATI jika menang sebagai wakil rakyat.


Novel "Ku Bawa Hati Ini" Dihasilkan Untuk Dapatkan Semula Anak Yang Dilakan Suami

Posted: 23 Jan 2011 04:58 AM PST

Ejen asing dalang

KUALA LUMPUR: Ibu malang, Elis Syuhaila Mokhtar, 35, mendakwa bekas suami melarikan anaknya, Ferris Mokhtar Ven De Ven, 8, keluar dari Malaysia hampir dua tahun lalu dengan bantuan seorang ejen luar negara.

Menurutnya, perkara itu diberitahu kepadanya oleh wartawan Belgium yang menghubunginya untuk mendapatkan perkembangan mengenai perpisahannya dengan Ferris, sebelum ini.

Katanya, dia dimaklumkan oleh wartawan itu bahawa ejen berkenaan sentiasa memberi bantuan kepada pasangan berlainan negara yang menghadapi masalah dalam soal penjagaan anak mereka.

"Saya diberitahu, ejen berkenaan membantu pasangan bermasalah dengan 'menculik' anak mereka. Sebab itu, sampai sekarang saya masih musykil bagaimana Ferris boleh dibawa lari bapanya yang juga warga asing keluar dari Malaysia tanpa sebarang dokumen.

"Sampai sekarang juga saya tidak dengar sebarang kenyataan daripada Jabatan Imigresen mengenai kes itu, saya tidak tahu bagaimana kawalan di sempadan negara kita," katanya.

Elis Syuhaila berkata demikian selepas majlis pelancaran novel karyanya berdasarkan pengalaman hidupnya bertajuk 'Ku Bawa Hati Ini' terbitan Alaf 21, di sini, semalam.

Menurutnya, penghasilan novel menjadi usaha terbarunya untuk mendapatkan anaknya semula selepas dilarikan bekas suami, Firdaus @ Frank Theodorus Van De Ven, 40, ke Belgium.

"Sudah puas saya menangis, sudah puas saya menagih simpati atau bantuan, saya perlu bangkit dengan mengumpul dana bagi mendapatkan pembiayaan kos guaman untuk menuntut semula hak saya sebagai ibu kepada Ferris.

"Saya berharap penghasilan dan penjualan novel ini dapat membantu saya mengumpul wang secukupnya dalam usaha membawa pulang semula Ferris ke Malaysia," katanya.

Novel yang dihasilkan daripada pengalaman hidupnya menjadi isteri kepada lelaki bangsa asing dan tindakannya meninggalkan bekas suaminya selepas hampir 10 tahun hidup bersama serta pengorbanannya mengikut lelaki berkenaan tinggal di luar negara.

Menurut Elis Syuhaila, banyak idea menghasilkan novelnya adalah daripada catatan dirinya ketika masih menjadi isteri Firdaus dan mula timbul idea untuk menghasilkan novel kisah hidupnya sejak pulang ke Malaysia pada 2007.

"Mengingati semula detik awal saya untuk menghasilkan novel ini menyebabkan saya berasa sungguh sedih kerana ketika itu, Ferris sentiasa di sisi pada waktu saya menaipnya.

"Apabila dia dibawa lari oleh bekas suami, saya buntu dan tidak dapat menyiapkannya walaupun sebenarnya ia hampir siap sepenuhnya.

"Dengan terhasilnya novel ini diharap mampu membantu saya memperjuangkan usaha mendapatkan Ferris semula," katanya yang kini bertugas sebagai pensyarah kolej swasta di ibu negara.

Kisah perpisahan Elis Syuhaila dan Ferris pernah mendapat perhatian perhatian Menteri Pembangunan Wanita, Keluarga dan Masyarakat, Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil, yang kemudian meminta bantuan Peguam Negara, Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Patail, melihat kaedah perundangan bersesuaian untuk tindakan membawa pulang semula kanak-kanak terbabit.

Bagaimanapun, harapan Elis Syuhaila pudar apabila Jabatan Peguam Negara dikatakan tidak dapat meneruskan tindakan membuat permintaan kepada kerajaan Belgium bagi membolehkannya bertemu Ferris.

Pengalaman pahit Elis Syuhaila akibat pergolakan rumah tangga dengan suaminya yang menyebabkan wanita terbabit tidak membawa anak mereka pulang ke Belgium, selepas kembali ke negara ini pada Oktober 2007.

Tindakannya menyebabkan suaminya datang ke Malaysia secara rahsia dan memfailkan kes mengenai penjagaan anak mereka di Mahkamah Syariah pada Disember 2007.

Kemudian, Firdaus berjaya mendapat perintah dari Mahkamah Tinggi Syariah Shah Alam untuk membenarkannya melawat Ferris pada Februari 2009.

Bagaimanapun pada Mac 2009, peluang itu diambil oleh Firdaus untuk melarikan anaknya melalui Rantau Panjang, Kelantan dan mendapatkan dokumen perjalanan kecemasan untuk anak dari Kedutaan Belanda di Thailand disebabkan pasport Ferris berada di tangan Elis Syuhaila.

Sebelum ini Elis Syuhaila pernah mendapat sokongan pencipta lagu, Aesar Mustafa menghasilkan lagu khas bertajuk 'Lagu Untuk Ferris - Buaian Rindu' untuk album single nyanyian pendatang baru, Arrora Salwa.

Melalui usaha itu, 50 peratus hasil jualan album single berkenaan dimasukkan ke tabung 'Bring Back Ferris To Malaysia' yang dibentuk untuk mengumpul dana membiayai pemergian Elis Syuhaila ke Belgium dan membiayai kos guaman.


Hindus help Muslims restore mosque in Karnataka

Posted: 23 Jan 2011 04:22 AM PST

Hindus help Muslims restore mosque in Karnataka

Source_ IBN live 5:Hindus help Muslims restore mosque in Karnataka

Purtageri: A small village in North Karnataka has showed the way to communal harmony. In Purtageri near Gadag in North Karnataka, it's Hindus who've come forward to help their Muslim brethren restore a mosque that was on the brink of collapse. It's a century old mosque that's been crying for attention since last October. It's roofs started leaking and a portion of it was badly damaged in the heavy rains that lashed many parts of north Karnataka last year.

But the rains set off a lesson — a rare show of communal harmony. Hindus taking the lead to pitch in with donations and construction material to re-build the damaged mosque in remote Purtageri, a village near Gadag in north Karnataka, about 400 kms from Bangalore

There are about 150 households in Purtageri, of which only about ten families are Muslim who are daily wagers or agricultural labourers. So they couldn't afford the renovation of their only place of worship.

But Hindus from the neighbouring historic town of Gajendraghada donated willingly and work is now on in full swing with donations to the tune of about Rs 1 lakh that has come in. In fact, some Hindus who couldn't donate in cash or kind, have volunteered to help with the masonry and labour.

The mosque is likely to get ready by December this year — the month that's known for the demolition of the Babri Masjid that these villagers hope will now be known for their efforts at communal unity.

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Chinese Muslims’ legacy Najiahu Mosque

Posted: 23 Jan 2011 04:15 AM PST

Source_Star:Najiahu Mosque: A lasting legacy

ONE of Ningxia province's most famous mosques, Najiahu Mosque, is probably the only mosque to reflect the colourful past of the Muslim community in China.

It was built by the descendants of renowned Muslim statesman Sayyid Ajjal Shams al-Din Omar (1211 to 1279) as a religious centre for their family.

Shams al-Din, who was of Turkic origin from Bukhara in Uzbekistan, was sent to Yunnan province by Yuan Dynasty's Mongol emperor Kublai Khan after rendering excellent service throughout his life.

 

top of Great Mosque of Xi'an, cropped by me fr...

Image via Wikipedia

He became Yunnan's first governor, and made great contributions to its economic and social development. Following his death, his son Nasruddin succeeded his governorship before he was transfered to Shaanxi province.

 The Najiahu Mosque was built by the descendants of Sayyid Ajjal Shams al-Din Omar in 1524.

Nasruddin brought along his children, grandchildren and relatives, and en route to Shaanxi, stopped at Ningxia where his son Hasain stayed on. Some of his descendants then settled in Najiahu village, which literally means "the village of the family surnamed Na".

It is believed that the descendants who carried the Han surname Na from Nasruddin went to the village some 700 years ago, but it was only in 1524 that the mosque was built.

Although many descendants changed theirs to the Han surname, they still retained their religion and practices, said the mosque's administrative committee director Lü (pronounced as lu-ee or Lv) Zhongming.

When the Na family settled in the village in the late 13th century, initially they did not build any mosques even though there was a need for one. After gaining much wealth over 300 years, the residents decided to build the mosque with a large prayer hall, he explained.

The mosque in Najiahu village in Yinchuan's Yongning county, covers an area of more than 8,000sqm and comprises a prayer hall, bathrooms and minarets which are also used for sighting the new moon. With a capacity of 1,500, the prayer hall is one of the largest traditional mosques in the province. It exudes traditional Chinese architectural style with a touch of Islamic decorative art.

"Sometimes, we still use the minaret where we ring the bell to call Muslims to prayers. The imams will go up the tower to observe the moon to determine the date for Eidul-Fitri," Lü said.

The village, which covers an area of about 33ha, has 4,862 residents, of which 98% are Muslims. The residents have 31 surnames with those surnamed Na accounting for 64%.

Lü said everyone in the village is welcomed to perform prayers at the mosque regardless of their surnames.

Many villagers are still running their farms while others are businessmen. The former mayor of the Yinchuan city is also from Najiahu village.

A businessman from this village donated four million yuan (RM1.8mil) to the mosque to build a new prayer hall for women. Previously, women and men prayed in the same hall and were separated by a curtain.

Najiahu Mosque is part of a tourism trail in the county that starts from the newly-built China Hui Cultural Park. The park spans an area of 5,000sqm with one building based on the design of the Taj Mahal, and another by the lake exuding elements of Islamic architecture. By Chow How Ban

     

 

  

      

 

      

A mosque in Yinchuan, China.

Image via Wikipedia

Taizi Mosque in Yinchuan, China.

Image via Wikipedia

Related Stories:
Muslims in China keep their faith

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Renewing Ties That Bind

Posted: 23 Jan 2011 04:03 AM PST

Lately, I have been very busy and really miss catching up with the news. I started my position as a part-time lecturer in a pre-university program where I lecture for two hours a week. It was quite stressful for me as I hate to drive to town and absolutely abhore looking for a place to park. Stepping into the college brought back many fond and yet sad memories. For one, the dedicated security guard named Pak Cik Ishak had passed away and the other lady security guard named Ambiga is now bedridden after a stroke. Life is so short.

Last week, I met up with a former student whom I had not seen for 13 years. A few days ago, I had the chance to meet my dear blogger friend Cat-in-Sydney for the first time! I met her and her husband at a nearby place and had a wonderful time connecting with them over makan and minum. Thanks, Angelina, for the precious moments and you-know-what. I hope that we can connect again soon.



Yesterday, I met up with my former classmates Alice and Lay Heng. Alice was the first friend I made in kindergarten and together with Lay Heng, we were in the same class all the way from Std 1 till Form 5. I had not since Lay Heng since 1976 as she left for UK for her studies and now resides in Singapore. We managed to hook up again, thanks to Facebook.

At the appointed time, I drove to where I thought was Alice's house. To my horror, there was not much petrol in my car. FYI, I do not know how to pump petrol. Serious. Please don't laugh. :-) I had a very nasty accident once many years ago when they started this self-service thingy and developed a phobia. Since then, I have only pumped petrol three times in my life! After picking up Alice, I confessed to her my predicament and to my joy, she also seldom fills up the tank :-). Oh yea, she was overjoyed that I am clueless and said that it would be a pleasure to let her daughter know there is someone worse than her :-).

When we reached the nearest petrol station, I went to the counter to pay and to ask for help. The cashier looked at me as though I was an alien from outer space when I told her that I do not know how to fill up the tank :-(. And she was not in a position to help as there was no one else at that station. After paying 10RM (just a token amount in case we messed up), I walked back to the car. Alice had opened up the tank and inserted the nozzle and pressed and pressed. Hmmm ...nothing came out. She repeated a few times and nothing happened. I walked back to the cashier's window and asked for help. Believe me - she was grinning from ear to ear as she told me we had taken the wrong nozzle. Soon after, Alice filled up the tank and we picked up Lay Heng. We made our way to a coffee shop in Pulau Tikus and chatted over drinks and Chinese pancake (bang chang kuih). We were so amazed and inspired that Lay Heng gave up her very high position to do charity work with Hospice, Tzu Chi and other organizations. Lay Heng's son is a first year medical student while Alice's son is a final year engineering student. Her daughter is waiting for her STPM results.

On the way home, my husband called to say we had to leave soon for Kuala Sepatang where his friends were hosting a seafood dinner. We waited in Seberang Perai for another friend to drive us there. Unfortunately, he did not really know the way there so the journey took longer than usual. Finally, another friend met up with us and guided us to the pier where we took a rickety sampan to cross the river to join the others. It was a night of gaiety, singing, fantastic fresh seafood cooked by one of the guys and wine and other drinks were flowing non-stop. We reached home in the wee hours of the morning.

Today, I met up with my aunt who is back from US for CNY. My family took her for lunch at a quaint Cantonese restaurant along China Street. Soon after, I took her to E & O Hotel where we had the usual English Afternoon Tea.

I am so tired from eating and drinking. :-)

Tomorrow, I am meeting Mr. and Mrs J. Churchman. Mr. John Churchman was the principal of International School of Penang while his wife Mrs Jean Churchman was the principal of St Christopher's International Primary School. Mr. Churchman was also the one who gave me a chance to teach there. It has been more than fifteen years since I last met both of them. I really owe a lot to Mr. Churchman not just because of the teaching opportunity but because of my son.

In 1989, I conceived my older boy and had already selected my gynaecologist. In the third month of my pregnancy, this particular doctor did a scan for me and told me that I had an ectopic pregnancy and would have to abort the baby. I was absolutely devastated as my husband and I had been trying for 1.5 years before I conceived. The gyny scheduled me for admission the next day. I was frantic and drove to the boarding school to tell Mr. Churchman that I would be out of action for a week or so and to give him the work for my classes.

Most calmly, Mr. Churchman advised me to go for a second opinion and to pray. I drove immediately to a nearby hospital and had another scan where the radiologist confirmed my pregnancy was a normal one and that there was no necessity to abort the healthy baby at all.

I called up that gyny to cancel my appointment and he refused to believe I had a normal pregnancy. I was too relieved to scold him or to sue him but just switched to another gynaecologist.

If not for Mr. Churchman, I would have stupidly aborted the baby!!! Indeed, life is precious and I truly believe that people are in our lives for a reason and a season.

Reconnecting with old friends and loved ones is an experience I always treasure. This coming week, I have a cousin returning from Japan, my sister-in-law returning from San Diego, my other dear friends Marcel and Elizabeth who will be back from Auckland and Esther and her family who are coming back from Kuching. Most of all, my beloved older boy will be home again.

The Chinese New Year is round the corner and I hope that this will be a wonderful time for all of you, regardless of your ethnic background, to reconnect and renew ties with friends and loved ones.

Take care and do swing by again later for the next post. Have a lovely evening, everyone!


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