Thursday, December 29, 2005

2006 New Year's Resolutions

Two more days, 2005 will be gone in the passage of time ! I guess I need to look back and reflect upon events during the previous 12 months. More importantly, I need to look forward to the next 12 months and resolve to adopt changes in certain aspect of my life. Here goes my dozen RESOLUTIONS for 2006.

  1. QUIT smoking
  2. REDUCE coffee intake
  3. MORE TIME with family
  4. MORE TIME for reflections
  5. ADOPT healthy diets
  6. REVITALIZE my network of friends
  7. LOSE some weights
  8. INCREASE my investments
  9. REDUCE my debts
  10. VOLUNTEER in charitable works
  11. RELAX more and WORRY less
  12. MORE faiths in God

Good luck to me....... ?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

The Brokened Promise

I knew not your name nor your face,
but you are my son's classmate and friends.
Christmas is a day of reunion,
cerebration, and merry makings,
but cruel fate has dealt otherwise.
God has fated you to be at his side.
At 19 years old,
you are just too young to say good bye.....

As my son conveyed the news to me,
I can sense from his body language,
that he is sad and felt a sense of lost.
For the first time in his life,
he has lost a friend in such a painful manner,
he has lost a friend forever.
In aimless desperations,
he bought all local newspapers from the news stands,
trying to find news reports on that cruel accident,
trying to understand
how this tragedy can happened to his best friends.
Your death has made a colossal hole in his young heart.
He is saddened,
he will remember you for the rest of his life...

I feel the pains of your parents,
such youthfulness, talents, and so much to offer !
This fated short journey of life,
a shining soul has been recalled to be with God.
You have gone to the land of no griefs and sorrows,
you are now in the promised land.

Life must go on in this tormented world.
I pray to God, to heal the pains and sorrows of your parents.
In death, you shall live forever in our hearts.
Yong man, Goodbye. May you rest in peace.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Digital Drugs For Teenagers ?

What is wrong with society nowadays ? Lately, there are too many incidents of rapes, kidnaps, murders, assaults, and various socially unacceptable acts committed by youths. In a very definitive stand, these unacceptable acts are caused by breakdowns of family institutions and decaying of moral values. But what causes the breakdowns of family units and decaying of moral values ? There are many factors, but one of the factors that we overlooked is, the addiction and over indulgence in inappropriate online games !

Walking into any home, you will not be surprised to see teenagers or youth locking themselves in the room indulging in hours of serious online games. Some parents have the misconceptions that their teenage children are IT savvy, nodded their approval, and in the process, unknowingly assisting teenagers to slowly acquire addictions from unbalanced exposure to online games. Are these “tech savvy” teenagers psychotically invulnerable to the never ending fantasy cleverly crafted by the online games providers?

Should parents take comforts to know that their teenage children are at home playing online games and not loitering in pubs, cyber cafés, night clubs, etc. ? Would the home then be a safe place for teenagers characters development ? The safest place is the most dangerous place ! With the availability of broadband Internet connections, digital poisons are being delivered right into the rooms of our teenagers – pornography, dangerous liaisons, online games, etc. 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

As a parent, looking back, reflecting on my childhood days, and drawing analogy to the present, I believed I am not wrong to state that the process of parenting has not changed much, However, the environment has changed drastically over the past twenty years. Teenagers nowadays spend a significant proportion of their time on the Internet playing some sort of online games or others, at the cyber cafes or at homes. At that tender age, do these teenagers has the right mental strength and emotional stability to withstand misinformation, pornography, violence, propagandas, and addictions ? Are parents in this “Digital Age” equipped with the awareness and knowledge to assist these teenagers to made balance use of the Internet ?

Computers and Internet are necessary tools to assist teenager to acquired knowledge. However, with these tools, teenagers are also expose to undesirable online games especially Massively Multi player Role Playing games. Some of these online games are addictive, violent, and its contents are inappropriate. Consequently, addiction and social ills are natural manifestations. Within this digitally polluted environment as a background, there is no stopping for teenagers or youth to be uncounciously influenced and seeking avenue to act out their criminal fantasy in the REAL world ! When these unfortunate incidents happened, the simple minded and the biased interest groups with ulterior objectives will quick to jump to the conclusions of bad parenting skills and hypothesized lack of love and weak family foundation as the cause. However, are we being fair to blame the parents for this new form of digital illness ? Do parents in this digital age has the capability to fight the onslaught of these digital poisons that constantly negate the fundamental moral values ?

In our relentless pursuit to develop and establish world class ICT infrastructure and encourage its citizens to be Internet savvy, we have unknowingly failed to assess our own mental maturity and psychological readiness to embrace the Internet technology. Has our planners seriously look into the social impacts resulting from the abuse and unbalance use of the Internet technology ? Is there a cyber wellness program being developed in parallel to ensure knowledges gained are supplemented by conventionalisms ?

In the early seventies, drug abuse and addiction was a serious social illness, and it has left a trail of social destructions. The authorities introduced firm measures such as death penalties to curb drug abuse and illegal trafficking. In certain extend, these problems has been controlled. In these modern digital age, teenagers’ and youths’ minds are constantly being poison by certain online games – the digital drugs that let you fantasize, acquired virtual strength, virtual friendships, mass killings, violent, etc. We have people in business attires, paid online games reviewers, online games subscription outlets, and people with vested interest constantly pushing online games in various media and physical locations to teenagers. They have a very simple objective - the more people are addicted to online games means more profitability. Do these people actually realize these selfish profit motivations caused miseries and sufferings to many families ? Do they care about the wellbeing of our youth ?

I read an online article by a woman game magazine editor encouraging young girls to involve in a new online games without proper researching on the background, appropriateness, and motives of the online games. Enticing them with the advise that they can make more friends and built camaraderie thru this game. But, a quick research of reference also shows that the game epitomize the the pursuit of self satisfactions through negativism. Leaving aside my over sensitive unqualified judgment, I must emphasize that, it doesn’t matter how many online friends you have and how good you feel. They are not real friends ! but a beginning of a journey of fantasy that eventually leads you to addictions and social isolation. In a letter to an Editor of a local news daily, a writer claimed that cyber cafés are actually a good daycare centre. I have also read articles by people claiming to be a “serious gamers” excelling in academic and work performance. The truth is, we have yet to come across an addict that can perform these achievements. These are typical examples of absurdities by people with vested interest to mislead parents into helping teenagers or youths to acquire online games addiction. It is these type of constant bombardments of false claims that attract teenagers to escape into the world of cyber fantasy.

We also heard of severe cases of on-line game addictions that leads to fatal ends. For example, “In April 2003, a 21-year-old Hudson youth who was addicted to online games killed himself. His mother said the youth would sacrificed everything so he could play for hours, ignoring his family, and losing himself in a the virtual world where millions of people worldwide adventure in a never-ending fantasy. “It is like any other addiction, “ said the mother. “ either you died, go insane or you quit. My son died. “, In another example, “ A Korean youth, who was also addicted to online games was found dead after long hours of playing online games.” There is also an infamous Snipper in United State few years ago who randomly shoot people to death purely because he wanted to act out his fantasy ! And recently, there is also a reported case in Malaysia of a 16 years old teenager who committed sucide due to alleged over indulgence in online games. There are also many reported serious incidents resulting from online games addictions in various part of the world.

Parents and Schools by themselves are powerless to prevent youth from acquiring online games addiction. Online games is a multi billions dollars industry. As a result, the online games companies are equipped with arsenal of direct and indirect marketing tools to launch multi faceted campaigns to attack the young minds of teenagers. If the teenagers are addicted to the games and suffered the consequences, the online companies through their biased interest agents will be quick to disclaim responsibilities, but point their fingers to blame the parents for not controlling and monitoring the teenagers activities.

I have yet to come across an online game company publishing health statement to warn the public of the potential risk of addiction. We have government agencies to review, monitor, and regulate movies and publications to protect public interests. But we have yet to see the same being applied to the online games industry.
For healthy embracement of Internet technologies, the government must adopt and roll out an Internet wellness program to regulate and control online games in a very discipline manner. I would like to suggest the government look into the following aspects seriously :
  • Ensure All online games are reviewed and classified by appointed agencies ( such as Censorship board ) prior to its release to the general public.
  • Ensure online games companies labeled the games according to the classifications and release it with attached warning messages.
  • Make it illegal for online games companies to sell the games or subscription to those under the age of 21 years old.
  • Blocked all online game ports at the ISP from 10:00 midnight to next morning 10:00AM to ensure that teenagers can not access the game and have proper sleep and rest.
  • Ensure online games companies contribute a percentage of their revenue to fund an independent Internet wellness program to care for online games addicts, and to conduct educational program to assist the public on the balance use of Internet
  • Conduct talks and public awareness campaign to warn teenagers and parents on how to identify unsuitable online games, and the dangers of online games addictions.

Online games is a multi billions dollars industry. The online games companies must have the social responsibilities to conduct self regulation to develop the industry as an healthy entertainment industry. It is also the responsibility of online games companies to ensure addictive games are removed from the shelves. The authorities must also initiate steps now to introduce legislations to regulate the online games industry. This is basic human rights.

One less teenager addicted to online game is one more soul saved !

In the spirits of Christmas & Chinese New Year

While we look forward in anticipation for Christmas and Chinese New Year, please give some thoughts to those who are not so fortunate. Allocate a little bit of your spendings to charities. If you are not able to decide which charitable organizations to donate, the followings are some suggestions :

Shepherd’s Centre Foundation
(home for orphans and the terminally ill)
Address: 23 Jln Besar, Tmn Hiew Piew, Semenyih (main foster home)
Contact person: Founders Pastor Jacop and Pastor Bridget, 03-8723 1213/6770
Needs: 120 sets of bed sheets, blankets, pillowcases; cutlery, crockery; refrigerator, washing machine (10kg).

Rumah Sayangan
(home for underprivileged, abused and orphaned children)
Address: 14 & 16 Jalan Siput 3, Taman Billion, Cheras, Kuala Lumpur.
Contact person: Susan Looi, 03-9131 4339 or 019-258 3747.
The home, set up in 1989, has six girls and 11 boys between five and 21 years old.
Needs: A small car or van to send the children to school, fruit blender, water filter, food freezer, wall or table fans, schoolbags, writing materials and exercise books, sandals and slippers as well as milk and canned food.

Phillys Caring Home
(home for the old folks)
Address: 19 Jalan 12/12, 46200 Petaling Jaya.
Contact person: Home founder and manager Phyllis Nathan, 03-7956 0799.
Needs: Mosquito netting for its rooms, cushion covers, curtains, stove, adult diapers and daily provisions like rice, sugar and foodstuff.

Terlipok Hostel, Sabah
Run by the Good Sheperd Sisters for poor students from the interior. Needs donations of 10 beds costing RM5,000 and a RM800 dining table. Interested donors please contact Sister Sandra at 019-811 1673.
( source : the Star December 19, 2005 )

Monday, December 19, 2005

Human Rights or Human Wrongs ?

Bernama, the national news agency of Malaysia, reported on December 15th 2005 that several Senators have called for actions against the Member parliament for Seputeh, Teresa Kok. Apparently, the group of Senator are unhappy that the honorable MP has expose the infamous “stripped and ear-squat” video clips and also brough up the case of four Chinese women who alleged mistreatment by the Police.

I admired the courage of Teresa Kok for bringing up to the attention of parliament of the alleged conducts unbecoming of the Malaysian Police and the violations of human rights. As a result of her courage, an Independent Commission was set up by the honorable Prime Minister to investigate the allegations. Yang Berhormat Teresa Kok, I salute you for your selflessness and courage in public service. History shall remembered you on your righteousness and the difference you have made to make Malaysia a better place.

As a result of this allegations, the facts has established that the infamous incident of “stripped and ear squat” did happened in a Police station in Petaling Jaya. However, instead of debating on (1) whether forced “stripped and ear-squat” is within the legal power of police, (2) whether forced “stripped and ear-squat” violate human rights, and (3) if forced “stripped and ear-squat” is a normal practice of the Police, is it still relevant today, and should it be abolished ? However, objectivity has been sidelined, The senators now chose to accuse the honorable MP of ulterior motives. These senators also now trying to shift the attention to racial lines by pointing to the fact that the woman depicted in the video clip is a Malay woman. My dear Senators, do we as a concerned citizen really care about the nationalities of the woman depicted in the video clip ? A violation of human rights is a violations. Please be sensible to avoid using racial parameters to justify human rights violations. The Senators has also claimed that the honorable MP has ulterior motive in exposing the issues. What ulterior motives are these Senators talking about ? I would like to suggest these Senators stop fanning conspiracy theories because there are none. The outpouring of public outcries in this case is not about racial issues. It is about whether the actions taken by the Police violated basic human rights ! Malaysian has expressed their disapproval, loud and clear! Dear senators, are you hearing without listening ? Go and re-educate the wrong doers ! Don't bring down the good men and woman.

Let us all honestly dig deep into our hearts, let us all evaluate our appreciation for humanity in totalities. Let us all not be blinded by our personal and emotional preferences, let us all not be champions along communal lines, let us all look at humanity with fair eyes and righteousness. Let us all appreciate and cultivate the respect for human rights.

Lest we forget, we aspired to be Global Malaysians with Global mentalities in this global village. Be open minded and be fair to all irregardless of whether they are Malaysians or foreigners. Our words in international arenas must be consistent with our local actions in Malaysia.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Private Security Services or Gangsterism Incorporated ?

I live in a working class neighborhood in USJ, Selangor Malaysia since 1993. It is a very peaceful and friendly neighborhood with mixed racial compositions. Most of the residents here are fairly well educated and law abiding citizens. For the past 10 years or so, I have hardly seen any uniformed police patrolling in this neighborhood, because it is a very safe neighborhood. Of course, on and off, there are some small incidents of isolated break-ins and some petty crimes, but relatively speaking, the neighborhood is still relatively peaceful and safe.
About 2 weeks ago, a group of Indian youths approached every house in this peaceful neighborhood to collect “monthly security fees”. The psychology employed by these youth is every simple - “ We know where you live. If you don't pay us. You may have security problems”. While washing my car in he car porch. I was approached by 2 Indian youths telling me that they are “authorized” to collect “security fees”. They also claimed that “their company” is authorized by the local police station and the “Jawatankuasa Penduduk” ( resident committee ). I politely informed them that there is no Jawatankuasa Penduduk in my neighborhood, and that I need to verify with the local police station first before making payment. The two Indian youth left, but 10 minutes later, four Indian youths on motorcycles came and park their motorcycles in front of my house with the engines running and at the same time shouting Indian languages at each others. I believed they are trying to intimidate me into paying. As far as I am concerned, these Indian youths are probably gangsters trying to establish territorial control. I was left with no choice but to politely asked them to leave and threatened them that I will contact the police station as their actions are disturbing the peace of the neighborhood
The left reluctantly. But before they left, one of the Indian youth told me that if I don't pay, I may have masalah keselamatan ( security problems). These Indian youths actions remind me of old die hard gangster who go around collecting “protection monies”. But what disturbed me is, these Indian youths are now one class above the rest, they incorporated a company, and go around the neighborhood issuing “receipts” and put up marking on your front gate for “security fees” collected.
The next day, I contacted the Jawatankuasa Penduduk of the local town council ( the MPSJ ) regarding the incident. I was advised by one of the officer not to make any payment to these Indian youths. I guess, maybe his fear is, if everybody start paying, other gangsters may also imitate to incorporate a company to start collecting “security fees”.
Since that day, the Indian youths has been coming around after mid night daily on their motorcycles riding pass the front and back of my house and intentionally step on the accelerator to generate loud noises to disturb the quietness of the night. As far as I am concerned, petroleum is pretty expensive nowadays, it doesn't really hurt me if these idiots want to burn holes in their pockets. Or perhaps, they are trying to irritate me for standing up and say “NO” to them. But whatever it is, I have this little message to them - “ YOU CAN GO TO HELL !”
To these Indian youth, I still have confident in the local police to safeguard and protect the peace and security of my neighborhoods. Indirect gangster's strategy is not going to work. For the sake of peaceful co-habitation, please go look for another job or another business to do. It is people like you wanting to live like a parasite, are making the society sick. My advise is, no matter how much your attempts to legitimize a morally illegitimate business, at the end of the day, it is still an illegitimate business. By perpetuating your intimidations and harassment, you will have to live with your guilts for the rest of your life.
Hmmm...I love sipping coffee and at the same time enjoying the acrobatic and dramatically eloquent shows put up by these Indian youths. Perhaps, they are send by GOD to entertain me in my otherwise very dull and boring life ! Thank you very much for the shows.

Friday, December 16, 2005

How many more lives must be destroyed.........

I read with sadness a news report in today's New Straits Time ( 15th December 2005) regarding a 16 years old teenage boy who committed suicide - Computer loving teen electrocuted. The probable cause as highlighted in the news report was over indulgence in computer games.

Few years ago, I was unlucky to have the personal experience of having my son addicted to online computer games. I was lucky to have the computer knowledge and awareness to detect his games addictions. By the grace of God, I was able to initiate early intervention actions to help my son control and kic his addictions. Believe me, It was a very painful process. And I sincerely hope no parents should go through these experiences.

I still remembered I wrote an opinion letter in a local daily to warn parents to observe and take precautionary measures to prevent teenagers from falling into the trap of games addictions. To my surprise, I was ridiculed and insulted by several people verbally and in prints. Some even call my handphone ( I wonder how they got my handphone numbers ) asking me to shut my mouth and call me stupid man. I forgive them, because I know they are not aware of the pains I went through trying to help my son coping with the game addictions. I believed these people who ridiculed me are probably people with vested interests in online games businesses.

Since then, I have gone on my personal crusade of advising parents and to make them aware of the need to control and limit the hours their teenaged children spend on online/internet games. It doesn't really matter to me whether these parents take my advise. As far as I am concern, If I can help a teenager to control his gaming habit, then it is a soul saved.

Parent beware. Internet / online games are multi billion dollars industry. Therefore, it is not surprising the online games companies have all the indirect resources to preach the "wholesomeness" of online games through various mass media and means. They will quote unsubstantiated research to hookwinked us into believing that on-line games promote racial integrations, team works, computer skills, etc. They will also conveyed subtle message to you that it is better to keep your teenaged children at home playing on-line games then letting them roaming in the shopping complexes, etc. I would like to put forward to you that these claims are all fallacies. They are all claims with purported objectives of protecting their profits motivations without any concern for the negative social impact.
Let me share with you one very disturbing observation in my little crusade against games addictions. I have encountered several parents who proudly announced to me that their children are very good with computers because their teenaged children seem to be able to tap the keybaord with furious coordinated speed and precision. On closer observation, these teenagers are actually playing computer games. Very sad indeed. My opinion is, ability to tap keyboard is not an indication that you are good in computers.

It is my sincere hope that, the relevant regulaotory agencies can take the initiatives to at least seriously look into the possibilities of implementing the following suggestions to help teenager control their gaming habits :

  • Regulate cyber cafes with regards to minimum entry age, Operating hours, and limit the availability of online games.
  • Implement rating system ( similar to movie rating categories ) for all online games to help parents identifying suitable games for their children.
  • Maling it an offence for online games company who sell violence and addictive games to teenager under the age of 21.
  • Impose curfew hours by blocking all game ports and game servers from 10:00pm to 10:00am the next morning

It is also my sincere hope that the relevant regulatory agencies start looking into the possibility of developing an internet wellness program to help the general public adopt a more healthy and hoslistic approach in embracing the internet technologies. In Malaysia, perhaps, the Kementerian Pembagunan Wanita, Keluarga, dan Masyarakat should take the lead role to champion this Internet Wellness Program.

To the Yap family who lost his teenage son. I shared with you your grief and pain. May God with his almighty grace bless the soul of your son. May God forgive those who make a living out of other people's miseries.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Monday, December 12, 2005

Honour Thy Monkeys ?

The term, MP, stands for Member of Parliment. But of late, some of the members of Parliament in Malaysia would like to define themselves as Monkeys of Parliament ! Maybe the parliament should allocated some funds to hire monkey trainers from the circus to train these monkeys on human culture. On second thought, forget it. It would be a sheer waste of public funds resorting to train monkeys to behave like humans.

How can a nation gain respect when the elected MP's resort to hitting each other with crude languages and foul manners to degrade the dignity of the Parliament. As a citizen of this beloved Malaysia, I watched in embarrassment the crude languages used by some of these monkeys. Derogatory terms are being used such as calling the opposition leader as “Ah Pek”, calling the Malaysian of Indian origin as “Keling”, calling another MP as “monkey”, etc… All these languages are being used in the highest legislative Parliment by some MP without shame and decorum. Such disrespects to the institution of parliament has been demonstrated by these elected legislators. What else can be expected from the regulatory agencies enacted by the parliament ? monkeys see monkeys do. When these doctrines are filtered down to the grass roots, what we get is the mentalities of See no evil, Hear no evil, speak no evil, and do no evil.

Maybe Charles Darwin was right. Some humans do evolved from monkeys. And due to environmental influences, some have retarded evolution – their brains evolutions stopped at the monkey’s level. Putting these monkeys back into the jungle, you will see them enjoying themselves swinging from tree to tree shouting at each others.

Maybe we should pay these MP allowances in kinds rather than cash – banana and peanuts. Sometimes, when I visit the zoo looking at the monkeys I do get very confused wondering whether these monkeys are actually monkeys or legislative monkeys. Because they do walk upright on two legs.

I need to go for my coffee break now. Any monkeys out there know how to appreciate really black coffee ? Never mind, I doubt the monkeys are cultured enough to sip coffee. Nevertheless, if some monkeys insist on coming along, they can have my banana….

Sunday, December 11, 2005

Coming Home.....

Time flies…..

While doing some mental preparations to mark my father death anniversary. I realized I have not been keeping in touch with my younger sister for quite sometime. The last time I met her and her husband was more than 10 years ago. My son was probably 9 – 10 years old then. Now my son is approaching 20 years old. It was just like yesterday. Time does flies and it indeed just slip through the passage of life just like that ! Ten years ago, my son was just a little boy. Now, he is a young man. Ten years later, I probably will be a grandfather.

I search through my backup files for my younger sister’s email address and found it. Send a short email to her with the hope that she has not changed her email address. Local time here was around 1:00AM in the morning. I was so happy that within 10 minutes my brother-in-law reply my mail and followed by my sister few hours later. I read the emails a few times to make sure I understand the contents and don’t miss any words. I am glad both of them are doing ok in United States. I hope God will continue to bless them with good health and happiness.

I guess it is part and parcel of life where family members parted way in search of better life. In our busy schedule of daily routines, we conveniently de-prioritized the needs to keep in touch. Technologies ( email, web cam, skype, etc. ) has make it easier for people to communicate with each other from various part of the world. But technology has also make us strangers to each other. I do sincerely hope to see my younger sister again in the immediate near future. I definitely do not wish to wait ‘til I am a grandfather.

Hal & Gaik Sim, if you read this… See the Chinese character in the above picture ? That is our family name. I believe it is time now for you to come back to Malaysia for a visit. You still have nine brothers and sisters, 15 nieces and nephews, 7 brother/sister-in-laws, and many cousins in Malaysia. You are always welcome to stay in my house.

Protect this little boy....

I received this email today.
Dear God,
I promised I will never wate my food no matter how bad it taste and how full I may be. I pray that he will protect this little boy, guide and deliver him away from his misery. I pray that we will be more sensitive toward the world around us and not be blinded by our own selfish nature and interests.
I hope this picture will always serve as a reminder to us that how fortunate we are and that we must never take things for granted.
Dear friends,
Please don't break. Keep on forwarding to our friends on this good day. Let's us make a prayer for the suffering in anywhere any place around the globe and send this friendly reminder to others. Think and look at this..... when you complain about your food and the food you wasted daily.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

A Racist's Human Wrongs

The other day, I was asked to comment on an article INTERMISSION: Let’s not miss the wood for the trees which was published on NST on December 8 2005. I have read the article. My God, some Malaysians do have very sick mentality and have total disrespect for human rights. My realization is, I did not know maggot do have small pea brain between their legs, and indeed can also do noisy and smelly farts. Well, what else can I say ? Fagots do think and act alike, fools seldom differ.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Malaysian Stocks Market

The local punters and retail investors of Malaysia's KLSE. Notice the black & red color underwear ? I think it is refering to Taiping Edwardians.

( cartoon from )

What a Beautiful World......

As a middle age man, you thought you have seen and experienced everything. But let me put forward to you, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Like Charles Dickens said “It is the best of times, it is the worst of times” . Be a bit more observance and look around you. What has happened will continued to happen. What is going to happen shall become realities… The best that has happened is only a temporary moment that lapsed into memory, the worst is yet to come…

The destructive talents of man knows no limit !

Somewhere along the line, environment maketh the man. As we gained more knowledge, we gained more confident. We becomes a product of evolution rather than creation. Some of us believe we are greater than God ! We make fun of religious people. We have our own selfish interpretation of God’s words. We kill each other in the name God. We declared “holy war” in the name of God. Since when man is given the priviledge to make decisions on behalf of God ? What else are man not capable of ?

The clever shall continues to manipulate the stupid and the ignorant. The greedy shall continues to steal. The corrupt shall continue to be dishonest. The deceiveful shall continue to manipulate. The strong shall continue to bully the weak. The majority shall continue to impose their collective wills on the minority. The might shall continue to be right. Rules are meant to be broken. Promises are meant to be unkept. For mismatch of ideological, political, economical, and religious beliefs, man will continue to declared war on each other. Man will continue to kill other…… the vicious cycles shall continues. What dignity does mankind have anymore? Will mankind ever have a happy season under the sun ?

As an individual, we can make a difference however small our effort. Let us put our right palm onto the left of our chest to feel our heart beats. For a moment, listen to our heart beats… There are long pulse, and there are short pulse. There are soft beats, and there are hard beats. There are unity and harmony in the diversities of beats. This is the essence of life – unity and harmony in diversity. Let us follow the call of our hearts. Take a small step forward now to begin the thousand miles journey of promoting human dignity.

I just wonder why my coffee taste so bitter this morning………

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Judging a Man's Personality by the Color of His Underwear

From the color of a man’s underwear, we can actually predict his personality ! The followings are my analysis :

White - A very conservative man. He prefer status quo.
Yellow - A very loyal man. He is loyal to his family and a patriot
RED - A vary aggressive and compulsive man. He knows no limit.
Purple - A very poetic man. He loves art & literatures.
Green - An environmentalist. He like natures and love outdoor activities
Black - A very fashionable man.
Orange - A very kinky man
Blue - A very honest man
Mixture of Colors - A very confused man.
Silver or Gray - A very materialistic man.
Gold - A very insecure man

What if the man doesn’t wear any underwear ? My advise is, be very afraid, and ask your daughter to stay very far away, I mean really very far away, from this man. This man is an animal !

Monday, December 05, 2005

Barking Dogs' and Meowing Cats' proxy War !

Recently the local Town Councils in Malaysia attempted to implement the control of pets ownership in their municipalities. Dogs has been singled out as the major nuisance. One of the local town council, Majlis Perbadaran Subang Jaya ( MPSJ) annouced the possible implementation of making it mandatory for Dog owners to obtain certification of dog training before dog ownership license can be issued. The annoucement met with substantial pouring of opinions against this new rullings. They are also questioning why cats owners are not subject to this new rullings. My opinion is, both the cats and dogs are equally annoyings when they are not properly taken care of !
In malaysia, most people own pets for the sake of owning it ! When comes to resposible mangement of the pets, most pet owners are guilty of abuses. Taking into considerations that most Malaysian live in terrace house with a land area of 22’ x 75’, I am not a health expert, but my feeling is, it is not healthy at all for human beings and pets competing for the small limited space.
I live in a neighbourhood where everyday I am subject to enviromental abused caused by the pets. Sometimes I do get migrane caused by the constant barking of dogs and meowings of cats on heats. For evening walks, I do occassionally stepping on to the droppings of dogs and cats. With the cats, they also dropped smelly droppings in my small patch of gardens and balcony, and scavanged my garbage compartment no matter how secured it is. Of course, we can not blamed the cats or the dogs. These are the works of selfish irresponsible pet owners.
In a multi-racial Malaysia. It is predicatable that, for pet ownership, the Malaysian Chinese keeps dogs as pets, the Malaysian Malays keep cats as pets, and the Malaysian Indian keeps both cats and dogs as pets. The pets ownership issue can be potentially a very sensitive issue. Isn’t it fun living in Malaysia ?
I would like to suggest to the local town council to consider the following reccomendations when formulating their policies on pet ownership :
  • Before issuing pets ( dogs & cats ) licenses to pets owners, the town council must ensure not only the pets need to have certifications of trainings, but the pet owners must also have certificate of competency in responsible management of pets.
  • Allocate “pit stop” in public park to allow pet ( maybe the owner also) a proper place to answer the call of nature. The “pit stop” must also have simple instructions to teach the pet owner how to dispose those droppings.
  • When qualified pet owner apply for pet ownership license, the town council must advise the pet owner not to keep dog if the neighbour is a Muslim, likewise, not to keep cats if the neighbour is a non muslim.

When comes to pet ownership control, I am puzzled why most of the local town councils seemed to have “dislikings” for dogs. After all, dogs are men best friends. To me, the pet owners ( for both dogs and cats ) are a nuisance when they do not give proper management of the pets under their custody. Go, go, go… go after the pet owners, not the pets !

Another irrational self mumblings from lack of coffee! I need black coffee to make me think straight….

Saturday, December 03, 2005

Racisms or Venting of Frustrations ?

I accept the fact that racism is the worst crime against humanity. As far as I am concerned, people who practices racisms, whether intentionally or untintentionally, in words, thoughts, and deeds are the most despicable maggots on earth. But before we point fingers, we must be able to have the courage to conduct self criticisms and see humanity as a whole with fair eyes.

I remembered, once upon a time, my office, which is predominantly consists of Malaysian of Chinese origin, are doing well. I decided to increase head counts, so potential candidates are called in, interviews and selections were conducted. The whole process was a very fair process. After all, we are only interested in hiring the most suitable candidate for the business. The end result is, We selected a young Malaysian of non-Chinese origin. To me race was never used as a selection criteria. What impressed me about this young man is, he is motivated, very optimistics, willing to take on the challenge, and he has the academic qualifications to back him up. So he was hired.

The first day this young man reported to work, my nighmare begins. Unknown to me, some of the existing personnel I have in the office started a “silent” protest. They are unhappy I hired a personnel of another racial origin. They start go slow in their work, reported to office late, badmouth the company at customers’ premise, and all nonsense you can think of, they did it ! A customer even call me up and angrily accused me of being anti-chinese! I am a Malaysian of Chinese origin, how can I be anti-Chinese ? After more than 6 months of antagonizing indecision trying to deal with these monsters, I decided to call up the 4 personnel and encouraged their voluntary resignation. Another fresh recruitments was conducted and new personnel recruited. Again, racial parameters was never used as a factor for hiring. After slightly more than 6 months, the company business are back to normal, and infact improved substantially.

The question I like to asked myself is, was racism at play here ? Am I a racist for not hiring a Chinese ? I don’t think also. I have done things in a very fair manner, and yet I was called a racist !

I read a lot, especially articles in the internet and opinion expressed in community forums. I encountered a community forum participated mainly by a few Malaysian Chinese, it is sad to note that, there are misguided opinions claiming that the non malay in this country are being discriminated, indirect insinuations and racial slurs expressed by the forumites to make fun and degrade the Malays. Is it fairs ? Every action attract a reaction. If you want to be treated fairly, you need to initiate the actions to give fair treatments to others also.

These small group of misguided individuals claimed that they are being discriminated. But at the same times, through their words, actions, thoughts, and deeds, they are also discriminating others. These are the people who made life difficult for all Malaysians. Their actions have indirectly tarnished the credibility of the majority of the Chinese in Malaysia. Frankly speaking, majority of the Malaysian Chinese are very hardworking people, the work 7 days a week, they never seek or expect government handouts, they are flexible, some even ventured outside malaysia and almost every corner of the world to seek better opportunities. They have sacrificed the most to bring Malaysia to economic prosperities and yet they have never uttered a word of complaints. It is very sad that there exists a small group of Chinese waiting idlely for opportunities and expected to be given VIP treatments, when things doesn’t work out on the favour, they eagerly shout racisms and discriminations to make known their frustrations. Eventually, I would not be surprised if they are marginalized.

It may be true that some Chinese in this country are discriminated. But those are isolated cases. It doesn’t means that all Malays are racists. And it definitely doen’t means that all Chinese are being discriminated in these country.

As a Malaysian, I would like to advise these small group of people that, sometimes, discriminations and racisms are actually in our own state of mind ! If we always felt that we are being discriminated, no amount of reasonable explanations is going to alter our state of minds. But in our eagerness to seek justice, we need to be fair to others. Asked ourself, what justice we are seeking ? and we are seeking justice for who ? But whatever we do, we must remember the social contract that was forged by our forefathers prior to independent more than 45 years ago. As Malaysian, we must honour that commitment for the sake of our future generations.

I want to state that I am not anti-Chinese nor am I pro Malay. I have rooted myself in Malaysia and accepted Malaysian way of life. I accept the shortcomings of the constitution of Malaysia. I know, in times to come, the constitutionalities shall improved. I am also grateful to Malaysia for giving me a place where I can relate to, which I call it HOME.

Honestly, through my years of working experiences, I have worked with many Malaysian Malays and other ethnic origins. Malaysian are the most friendly people, well mannered, and cooperative. I have only encountered small incidences of racisms, but those are isolated incidences. But then, if we understand the situation correctly, these racist incidences are actually perpectuated by a small group of misguided maggots. Why make it a big issues ?

For my stand and principle, sometimes, I have been ridiculed. I take it. I accept it. I move on with life. I believed I have made bigger sacrifices to the positive nationhood of Malaysian than these small group of of misguided souls fantasizing and shouting racisms and discriminations. Should I feel guilty ? No ! While I see a table full of delicious sea food dishes on the table, these small gourp of disruntled and misguided souls see only fish bones in left over foods in the garbage can. Of course, when you swallow bones, the naturally tendecy is, you will vomit blood ! Who can you blamed ?

For those pretender wanting to be hero of the community along racial lines. They are actually the worst racists and rebels without a cause. The late Tunku Abdul Rahman, the late Dr Tan Chee Koon, the Honourable Prime Ministr Abdullah Badawi, the honorable Lim Kit Sian, etc. These are the true Malaysians who had sacrificed for Malaysia. Let us emulate these true Malaysians. Let us give and take, let us all work together as Malaysians to make Malaysia a better place for the world.

Is there Racisms and Discriminations in Malaysia ? As a Malaysian, I would like to put forward to you that there are no discriminations in this country. Living in a multi-racial country like Malaysia do have occasional teething problems, but overall it is a peaceful country where the all races lived in harmony. We should all stop harping on isolated incidences and move forward. Let us all work harder and complaint less......

Friday, December 02, 2005

Remembering Rosa Parks - Racism

50 years ago on Decemebr 1st 1955, Rosa Parks stand-up to her rights by refusing to vacate her seat on a public bus for a white man. Her steely determination, courage, and “civil disobedience” to make a difference galvanized America’s civil rights movement, and gave momentum to the awareness of the evils of racism. She fought for justice and she changed the World !!! Rosa Parks died on Oct 25, 2005 at the age of 92.
Her contributions to make this world a better place is inmeasurable. I have my greatest respect for this “little” women. She is the icon of human dignity of our times. May her legacy lives on. Let us all make a little extra efforts to mark her death as a new beginning of greater awareness and eradication of this crime against humanity – Racisms.
On our part, to make a personal difference in this world, only takes a little efforts from all of us. We should make that efforts to understand what is “racisms”, having understand that, take the initiative to respect people of different faiths and ethnicities. We should also refrain from making fun, incite hatred, discriminates, whether directly or indirectly, in words, thoughts, and deeds against people of other faiths and ethnicities.

Wikipedia, the free encyclodia, defines racisms as :
Racism refers to the beliefs and practices that assume inherent and significant differences exist between the genetics of various groups of human beings, that assume these differences can be measured on a ranked, hierarchical scale, and that result in the social, political, and economic advantage of one group in relation to others. Racism as a term is usually applied to actions by a dominant group in a society on others. Weaker groups are unlikely to practice racism publicly on a more dominant or powerful group, as they would effectively be unable to. This highlights the difference between oppression and repression.
In general, racism separates groups of people on the basis of race with the intent of viewing one race as more valuable and others as less valuable. The belief that the character and abilities of individuals are correlated with their race is not necessarily racism, since this can be asserted without implying an inequality in value, though whether or not all racialism implies racism is a matter of some dispute. But the application of this belief in dealing with members of that race, especially with little regard for variations within "races", is known as racial prejudice. Granting or withholding rights or privileges based on race or refusing to associate with persons based on race is racial discrimination.
Sometimes racism refers to beliefs, practices, and institutions that discriminate against people based on their perceived or ascribed race. There is a growing, but somewhat controversial, opinion that racism is a system of oppression — a nexus of racist beliefs, whether explicit, tacit or unconscious; practices; organizations and institutions that combine to discriminate against and societally marginalize a class of people who share a common racial designation, based on that designation.
In some countries, accusations of racism are alleged to be used by supporters of cultural relativism and political correctness to stigmatise their adversaries due to the association between racism and extreme violence in parts of the twentieth century.
Since the last quarter of the 20th century, there have been few in developed nations who describe themselves as racist, so that identification of a group or person as racist is nearly always controversial. Racism is regarded by many as an affront to basic human dignity and a violation of human rights. A number of international treaties have sought to end racism.

As I look Back (3) - University Of Guelph

I came to University Of Guelph in the Fall of 1980 at the age of 20 years old, about my son age now. I graduated in 1983 from the College of Physical Science with a degree in Computing & Information Science and Business Administration. If my memory served me right, the Prime Minister during that time was Pierre Trudeux, Bronco Billy just won the presidency of USA, and Gas (petrol) sometimes go as low as 4 cents per gallon! I remembered attending the Queen’s concert in CN Tower and came out dizzy with my body smell like marijuana. More than 20 years has passed, my recollections of places in Guelph is fadings..

I still remember the lush green lawn of the campus, probably more than 400 hectares large, the “rowdy” pubs in the campus, the old Scottish building architecture, the university centre, the arboretum, the computer labs where we used to punch card doing JCL, Cobol, etc… The academic population then was about 20,000.

I most appreciate the helpful professors and local Canadian students who go all out to help foreign students like me to adapt to the local surroundings. Canadians indeed are the most friendly and peaceful people in the world.

Overall, my three years spend in Guelph is the most memorial experience of my life time where I learn to be independent, managing my life away from home, and appreciate the diversities of cultural backgrounds. It is also in Guelph where I learn to appreciate simple food like donuts, muffin, pizza, bread with maple syrup, etc.. One thing worth mention here, Johnston Hall served the best barbeque ribs….

Needless to say, I went in to Guelph as a naïve young man but came out three years later equip with knowledge and confident, a sense of direction, and the motivation to confront uncertainties. Thank you very much, University Of Guelph.

Any University Of Guelph’s graduate out there in world ?

Thursday, December 01, 2005

As I look back (2)

December month is the most dreadful month of the year ! Business is slow ! Sign of bad times ahead ? No. It has been like this for the past 10 years. On the cheerful side, it give me lot of times to let my mind wonders around….

I remembered, many years ago, probably 15 years ago. I was promoted to become a Sales Manager for an IT company. The Company decided to hire a young Junior Secretary for me….

On the first few weeks, she was very diligent in screening all incoming calls before transferring the calls to me. However, after the first few weeks, one day, I notice the incoming telephone calls was left unattended. At the same time, I presumed she was busy typing documents…. So, I picked up the calls personally. However, after probably more than 10 calls during the day, the curiosity got the better of me. I walked out from my room, and asked her in a very stern manner “ Why are you not picking the calls ?”

Guess what, she replied “ Boss, all the calls are for you ! Why can’t you pick it up yourself ? “

Life sometimes can be humorous if you look at slightly different perspective. Hmmm…. I think I need a coffee break now.

Online Games Addictions

About two years ago, I discover my teenage son was spending too much time playing online game. The game was distributed “free for trial” by a online game company outside the school gate. Which I later found out that his over indulgence in online game is what we now commonly called “game addictions”.

To help my son gain back control, I did a lot of research on the net, talking to gaming companies, seeking spiritual guidance, etc. The bottom line is, you end-up receiving contradicting advises! you end up in a state of perpectual confusions and indecisions. It was the most painful period of my life as a parent.

I am not against online games. Online games is basically a form of cheap and fun entertainment if the player is in control of the time spend. But the reality is, how many teenager can have that kind of self control given the fact that they are easily led to believe that they can made lots of friends and gain more respect as the climb to higher ( and higher, and higher ) levels of the fantasy world. Whether we like it or not, playing online games for teenager can be addictive.

Just to share my experience, if your children are having the following behaviors, you need to watch out and intervene early :

  • Sleeping in class, not attentive in schools, and not doing homework, skipping classes
  • Feeling restless when not in front of computer,
  • Neglecting family member and friends,
  • Take quick meals and always rush back to the room
  • Unable to stop playing the game and craving for more time
  • Always look tired, sleepy, and disorganized

I have tried all soft approaches including diplomatic talks, negotiations, cut short my work hours to be at home early, etc. It just doesn’t work. Finally, I took the hard approach to disconnect the internet connections. But the problem is, his friend’s father took side with him and telling him that what he do is not wrong. Out of frustrations, I prohibit him from going to his friend’s house, withdraw him from the college, and curfewed him at home for three months. I believe he was very disappointed and shocked. Later I enrolled him into another college, put him up at the college’s hostel, and set my limits. This hard approach seem to work. For a start, he become more responsive and socialable.

I hope he will not go back to the online game habits. I am not an emotionally expressive person, but I do hope my son know how much I love him. I know it is impossible to know what he is doing all the time without being intrusive. Even if he does, I hope he is able to exercise control of his gaming habits. On my part, as a parent, I just have to keep up with times, to be in control and consistently firm with my actions. The rest, I leave it to God.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Digital Drugs for Cyber Generation ?

Digital Drugs for Cyber Generation ?

Welcome to the Digital World !

Online games are here to stay. We have online games companies promoting computer/internet games as the “fun games” to attract teenagers to acquired ICT knowledge, some even goes as far as claiming online games’ ability to promote team building spirits and body neuron coordination skills.

My observation is simple, online games provide an adventure into a virtual world of fantasy to escape from reality and also gave the player to have a sense of achievement not attainable in real life. I have seen teenagers and even working adults indulging in the so called massively multiplayer role playing game (MMORPG), with eyes focusing intensely on the fast changing images on the display console, fingers tapping furiously at the keyboard, and body twitching spontaneously as in trance….

Opium, an addictive poison of the mind, was brought into China during the later part of Qing Dynasty, as we all know, opium was also part of causes for the downfall of Qing dynasty and colonization of China by foreigners. Online games available in the market now is quite different from computer games of the past. These games are addictive – it is a new form of digital drugs. Drugs that poisoned and controlled the mind! Drugs that causes addiction.

Surprisingly most of the addicted online games players are bright college students. But the sad fact is, most them are also having very low EQ – inability to speak fluently and interact with people. They can spends hours playing the games without realization of the surroundings and their physical limits. Was it a mean of self expressions and to release pressure ? I have a insecure feelings on how the excessive violence can be translated into real life scenario. What if the teenager decided to act out his fantasy ?

Online games by itself is harmless and entertaining. But for the teenager to control the time spend and selection of the contents is the problems. Most of the games contents are quite violent in nature. I have yet to come across a online game company that rate its game content ( as in rating of movies ) and limit the playing hours for the players.

My real life experiences is, teenagers with online games addictions usually do not admit they are addicted. These teenagers usually spend hours ( I mean most of the time you will see them in front of the computers, at home or in cyber cafe ) indulging in online games and displayed negative motional behaviors such as easily irritated, inability to mixed around ( maybe antisocial), inability to control time schedule and delinquency, dishonesty ( cheat codes, hackings, etc), sleep disorder, looked tired and lacked of interest in responsibilities.

As a parent, it is my sincere hope that greater awareness be generated by the regulatory agencies, internet game companies, and special interest group to educate the masses on positive and negative effects of online games in particular and “internet wellness” is general.

Obsession of having greater broadband penetrations resulting in online / internet games addictions is not the way to the way to catapult Malaysia into the new era of digital economy. There need to be a wellness program introduce and running in parallel to minimized the negative social implications. I would prefer a new generation of hardworking youth with social and human values, then a new generation of nerds hiding in remote corner launching and conducting warfares.

Monday, November 28, 2005

You are not born a Racist

All human beings and places on earth are creations of God,
So, it doesn’t really matter what races you belong to,
or which country you originated from ?

We are all creations of God.

Does it really matter whether you are black, white, yellow, red, or brown ?
Does it really matter if you are a Hindu, Taoist, Christian, or Muslim ?
Does it really matter if you have different political beliefs ?

In this beautiful earthly garden of God,

as creations of God,
we are all born equal.

Let us all not be blinded by prejudice,
emotional preferences, misinterpretations of God’s words,
political beliefs, and ill intents
Let us treat each other with respect and love.

If you believe in God,
You shall appreciate the diversities of races and places.
When you appreciate this intended diversities,
the earth shall be a wonderful world and a beautiful place.

Help your fellow human to nurture harmony in diversities.
When the world you live in is in harmony,
You shall prosper and you shall be at peace with yourself.

Deep down in you, you are a kind person.
God has a greater purpose for you,
God wants you to make this world a better place.

Put aside the misguided hatred and prejudice,
God still love you.
God wants you to repent.
Seek the guidance of God now,
Seek his forgiveness…..

Because you are not born a racist.

( Another mumbling from coffee intoxications. But honestly, I am still sad over the recent shameful events happening in Malaysia )

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Light In The Soul

If there is light in the soul,
There will be beauty in the person.
If there is beauty in the person,
There will be harmony in the house.
If there is harmony in the house,
There will be order in the nation.
If there is order in the nation,
There will be peace in the world..

( A Chinese Proverb )

The Pot Calling The Kettle Black ?

The Pot Calling the Kettle Black ?

I read the Editorial comment by Johan Jaafar in New Straits Time’s POINT BLANK: Condoning torture in war against terror. Johan should look at how foreigners are being treated in this country first rather than adopting the double standard of commenting on human rights issues in other countries thousands of miles away. I sincerely doubt he has the facts to understand the issues correctly. The world will be a better place if we can learn how to keep our mouth shut when we do not have thorough understanding of the situation. Speculative comments based on emotional preferences create dangerous polarizations and biased profiling. So, the decent things to do now is to refrain from indirectly incite anti-Americans sentiments here in Malaysia.

I have read news reporting from major newspapers in Malaysia during the past few days regarding how foreign women are being humiliated and mentally torture by our own Malaysians. And yet we still felt that we have the moral rights to comment on other countries’ human rights records. Are we not ashamed of our own conducts ? My conclusion is, Malaysian has lost all decency and moral credibility to comment on other countries human rights issues. As far I am concerned, whatever Malaysians said and tried to champion in the international arena, are merely fartings in the wind. It is smelly !!!

With humiliated pride and sadness, the best thing for me to do now as a Malaysian, is to make a cup of Black Coffee, add more sugar to dilute the bitterness, smell its aroma, and emphatically watching the clouds move and feel the breeze of the bitter winds.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The meaning of life is ?

In life, most of us have gone through our fair shares of financial obstacles and setbacks, and sometimes, more “downs” than “ups”. As the saying goes, “money is the root to all evils”. But in practicality, we have to come to term with the reality that money is the best commodity in the world and financial wealth should be handled with financial discipline to take care of the possibility of future rainy days. But the process of accumulating and managing financial weath is a tiring process. We subject ourselves to a regimented routine, We take on stress and pressure, and we keep moving on in search of better life,…… At one point or another, we may question ourselves why we subject ourselves to this kind of “hardships”, given the fact that life is short., and we should enjoy life to the fullest.

However, taking the current as point of reference, looking back, all of us remembered the difficult years we may have encountered, and projecting forward, we definitely do not wish our children to relive them. It is not about what we should deserved and enjoy now. It is not about taking life too seriously. It is about delivering our future responsibilities to our family now, It is about the purpose of our life rather than personal fulfillment. We need to work harder to accumulate legitimate financial reserves to built better foundations towards better tomorrow for our children, This, to me is the basic instinct of civilized society. At the end of the day, we may not achieve our intention, but we are all answerable to God. The important thing is, prior to this final call, we have made our best efforts to take the financial well-beings of the family as the paramount priority. It is God’s intention for all human kinds to live in a wealthy world !!!

Delivering financial responsibilities to family is not a burden, it never was, and it never should. It is a real joy to see your family enjoy the fruits of your labour. This is what motivate me in life.

Hmmm….. another mumblings from coffee intoxications! Can I have another cup of hot black coffee as a complementary motivator ?

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Never Question A Drunk

This is an Oldie...
A woman was shopping at her local supermarket where she selected: A Litre of 2% milk, A carton of eggs, A Litre of orange juice, A head of lettuce, A can of coffee, And one pack of bacon. As she was unloading her items on the conveyor belt to check out, a drunk standing behind her watched as she placed the items in front of the cashier. While the cashier was ringing up her purchases, the drunk calmly stated,"You must be single." The woman was a bit startled by this proclamation, but she was intriguedby the derelict's intuition, since she was indeed single. She looked at her six items on the belt and saw nothing particularly unusual about her selections that could have tipped off the drunk to her marital status. Curiosity getting the better of her, she said "Well, you know what, you're absolutely correct. But how on earth did you know that?"
The drunk replied, "'Cause you're ugly. "

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

In Memory of My father

I stared at the computer screen aimlessly, trying to figure out where and how I can get financing for my IT project. Accidentally I reloaded my late father picture on the screen. My father passed away in 1994. After more than 10 years and 3 notebooks later, I still have a copy of my father picture in my computer. Ah Pa, you try to tell me something ? Father, I know, Next month will be the 11th years anniversary of your passing away.

A few days before my father passed away, he has asked me to be strong for the family and to take care of the family. I was too dumb then to be aware of the eventuality. I just brush his request aside asked him not to worry and take a good rest. My father was admitted to the hospital a day later. I went to the hospital to visit him, he was in unconscious state with tubes plugging into the mouth, nose, and hand. I doubted that he knew my presence. I did not knew the gravity of his illness, and I never have the opportunity to say a final goodbye to him. Now, whenever, I think of my father, I felt nauseated and my heart aching with grief and regret for not giving him the best medical care. In the earthly garden of God, I was not able to take good care of my father. I pray that God will take good care of my father in the promised land.

As redemption, I have tried my very best to complied to my father’s instruction, not merely as an act of obedience, but also as an act of due respect and indebtness to him. I have promised my father I will be strong, and I have never shed a tear in front of my family no matter how much I am overcome with emotion and grief. I have promised my father I will take good care of the family, I have never disregard my responsibilities no matter how difficult the situation is.

After my father passed away, I suddenly realized an irreplaceable loss. An emotional vacuum has been created in my heart. This sense of loss is something that beyond the description of words. You feel the guilt for everything you have not done for your father. I wished my father have a father like mine. I shall try my very best to be a good father to my children.

The funny thing is, at the age of 45, I am still emotionally attached to my father. I still felt the lost. I still need a father. But God has decided that my father deserved better treatment than what I am capable of, he took away my father. For those of you who still have parents around, please take good care of them before God make the decision for you.

Global Malaysian, Tempurong Mentality ?

There was huge cries over the lower ranking of local universities by a British based THES. We have a group of people shouting their opinions on the inaccuracies of THES ranking, and championing why THES ranking is not valid and irrelevant in Malaysia. Some may even suggest to established our own ranking system. What for ? So that we can rank ourselves higher and have a false sense of achievement ?

Some people do have funny mentalities. If the same system ranks our local universities higher, I would not surprise, these people will be quick to shout “Malaysia Bolih” and indirectly claiming credits. They will praise and sing the credibility of THES statistics. But when our universities are ranked lower, we created all sort of excuse, making insensible and illogical remarks, trying to attack the credibility of THES’ statistic indirectly.

The bottom line is, THES is an accepted international standard. Our local universities are willing participants in this ranking exercise. If it rank them lower, the university administrators must have the courage to accept the FACT, seriously relook into the administrative policies and strategic directions, formulate new policies, and put up action plan to reposition the university back to an acceptable international standard.

Malaysian must be humble and honest to accept finality of the THES statistics - Statistics are Facts. The universities administrators and higher education policies formulators must take note of our current deficiencies and improve on our higher education’s facilities and environments to ensure young Malaysians can continue to pursue academic excellence in local universities.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Home Town Blues

I like this poem by Lee Bai, a famous poet from Tang Dynasty. It rekindles my sentimental recollections of my home town - Taiping.

( Mandarin Version )
Chuang Cheam Ming Yat Kuang,
Yee shi tee xang shuang,
Chee tou wang ming yat,
Dee tou shi ku xiang.

( English Translations )
The bright moonlight lits the bed's front,
I mistaken it as frost on the ground.
Raisng my head and looking at the bright moon,
Bowing my head, I think of my home town.

God's Gracious Gift

Twenty years has passed,
we were young then,
the bond of love has brought us together.
They said, marriage was made in heaven,
but you made it work on earth.
Together, through thicks and thins,
you help me to overcome life’s adversaries and challenges…

Is my love to you
still as solid as it was in the beginning ?
This much I have to say…..
You are always a special flower in a corner of my heart.
You have endured unconditional sacrifices
to be a good mother and a good wife.
I commit to you, I shall love you ‘till death do us part.

In bad times, you are my candle,
ever bright to help me see end of the tunnel’s lights.
In good times, you are the pillar of my strengths,
and the companion of my efforts.
we shall always overcome life’s uncertain rides.

You are the special person in my life. You are my best friend.
I thank God for his gracious gift to me – you, as my wife.
I love you.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Daddy's Girl

You came to my heart 6 years ago as a teenage girl frightened of the new environment. I understand, relocating from the comforts in Ipoh to live in a new environment in Subang Jaya is a difficult thing for a teenage girl. I understand your fears, and I understand your anxieties. I tried to make you feel comfortable and to adjust to the new surroundings and to feel at home. I accepted you as my god-daughter.

You have shared with me your hopes and aspirations. I see in you a determined person wanting to achieve success. I am confident, you shall be a successful woman in your own right in times to come. Over the years, I watched you grow, you have bloomed from an insecured teenager to a confident young woman. God has been very kind to me, he has given me the opportunity to experience father – daughter relationship.

When you went through failed relationships, I seen in you your hidden teary eyes. I shared your pain in silence. When you are out there having late nights funs or gathering with friends, I have sleepless night worried about your safety. When your body language radiates joys, I am in happy moods. When you are sad, I felt restless….. But no matter what, you have enriched my life, you have brought joys and laughters to this house, your smiles are my brightest sunshines, and you are always my lovely daughter.

At times, you may think that I am grumpy, “outdated”, “old fashioned”, too authoritative, or makes life difficult for you. But I want you know, It is just my way of conditioning you to be strong, and teaching you to differentiate what is Right and Wrong. And most important of all, I want you to develop into an adult with confident, pride, self esteem, love, and compassion.

I like to share this poem ( I can not remember the author’s name) with you :
Today you become our daughter
Our family is now complete.
God blessed us with your angel eyes
And your dancing, busy feet!
Together forever, our lives intertwined
This we do solemnly vow.
What pride we feel, as our joy we share
You're our daughter now!

So, in your eyes, am I your “Daddy” or am I your “Kai Yeh”?

Friday, November 18, 2005

You are now taller than me.......

When you were born 19 years ago, I was so overtaken with emotions….. the sensation of becoming a father and the uncertainty of how I should handle the new responsibilities.

When I first look at you, you were so cute and lovable. I am so proud I am your father. I promised myself I shall never shortchanged you. I will protect you, I will defend you, and I will give you the best…….. I actually went around all the book shops hoping to get the best “user guide” in parenting ! But I guess I don’t really need one. You are always a good son.

I send you to the Kindergarten on your first day… I love watching you from a distant how you take instruction from the teacher, how you interact with your new found friends.. I was so amazed how brave you are in adapting to new environment….

When you are 17, you want to break free from the emotional attachment to your parents, you want to be independent, you want to be with your friends, you find it difficult to accept my house rules, and you want to constantly challenge my limits. I find it difficult to convince you that you are still too young to face the real world. Those are the difficult periods of father-son relationship. But somehow, along the way, we have modified each other expectations – and we get along fine!

When you first get your Driving License, I feel so proud to be a passenger in a car driven by you. Finally, I have a “Free Driver”.

When you first go to college, I felt a sense of relief – you have taken the first step into another new environment and adulthood. I begin to realized that you are now a young man capable of making rational decision, and I am getting old. I am counting the days of your graduation and my retirements !

During this college breaks, you start your first job working part time in a company in Petaling Jaya. With your formal attire, I suddenly realized, you are actually taller than me physically. With your first smile coming back from work, I also realized, emotionally and mentally you are even taller than me!

Ivan, you are my son. For better or for worse, and no matter what. I accept you for what you are. You are now a man of your own. But, I still want to remind you that you are an Asian. You must never forget our Asian’s roots and our Asian’s values. I am always very proud of you !!

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Stupid is as stupid does ?

While flipping through some photographs, I recalled an unpleasant incident during a gathering many months ago. A young lady declared that “Vegetable seller” has “no class” and is a disgrace. I am not very sure whether the comment is directed at me, because my father is a vegetable seller. Frankly I don’t feel angry but felt very sad. I felt sad because suddenly I realized her questionable upbringings. I sincerely do not wish to question her upbringings. As far as I am concerned, I was brought up by a vegetable seller and vegetable selling is a noble profession. As an educated man, I accept that every professions are honorable professions. There must be mutual respects for each other profession. Only a person with low self esteem resorts to attack other people’s profession in the hope of masking his or her inferiority complex.

It is despicable and ill mannered for anybody to degrade another person purely on a person’s parent personality or profession. I do not go around degrading a person because his or her father is a gay, a heterosexual, a potatoes farmer, or a fish monger ! As a vegetable seller, my father don’t go around seeking donations or sponsorship to finance my education. He beams with pride that he gave good educations to all his children with the monies he earned from vegetable selling. I am a cultured man because I appreciate the fact that I am a vegetable seller’s son. To gain respect, I don’t need to act like a wealthy man, I don’t need branded label tagged on my clothes, and certainly I don’t need to parade myself like a monkey with branded clothes, shoes, bag, and accessories. After all, what is there to prove ?

“Class” is not defined by the clothes you wear or how good you are at pretending to be or imitating successful people. “Class” radiates from a person thoughts, words, deeds, and actions. Empty vessel always makes the loudest and most noise, but the bottom line is, we all know it is not music !! Stupid is as stupid does…….

Now, leave me alone in my little corner to sip my cup of aromatic hot black coffee… Hhhmmmm, a vegetable seller’s son also know how drink coffee ? Do I need to parade myself in San Francisco Coffee’s or Starbuck’s outlet drinking American’s coffee to show others I have class ? All I want is my simple black coffee from Taiping ! Life is as simple as that. Don't make it complicated for me !

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Hypocrisies Blown Away ?

Hypocrisies Blown Away by Dato' Dzulkifli Abd Razak, NST – 23 Oct. 2005
"..... In short, take away the hype and niceties and what is left are "holier-than-thou" attitudes based on double standards. In fact, among us are those who are behaving like George Orwell’s pigs (especially Napoleon and Squealer) in the satirical Animal Farm of 1945. This can also explain their pig-headed attitude based on the commandment "some are more equal than others" which are cleverly disguised as values of democracy, freedom and equality. Could this be yet another version of Orwell’s allegorical imagination, except that this time the politicians- cum-actors are from the "free" world? ..."
He criticised the american about inequality and double standards. The question is, are we any better than the American ? We shouldn't critisize other countries becasuse of our preferences. What happened ( or did not happened ) in America is none of our business !

Chinese Poem ?

English Version :
Wind blows at willow tree
Big twigs swirl, small twigs swirl
Twigs swirl, twigs swirl
Sitting under the willow tree
Watching big twigs swirl, small twigs swirl
Twigs swirl, twigs swirl..

Cantonese Version
Fong chooy chung see
Tai chi bai, sai chi bai
Chi bai, chi bai
Chor hai chung see
Thye tai chi bai, sai chi bai
Chi bai, chi bai

Malay version
Angin kencang tiup ke arah pokok keseronokan
Batang besar goncang, batang kecil pun goncang
Batang goncang, bantang goncang
Duduk bawah pokok keseronokan
Tengok batang besar goncang, batang kecil goncang
Batang goncang, batang goncang….

As I Look Back.......

As a young boy living in a small village in Taiping, I have seen the hardships faced by my parents – the needs to make enough money to feed a family of 12. As I grow older into my teenage years, I realized how tough life is for my father, having to get up at 4 o’clock in the morning, and have to worked past 12 o’clock midnight everyday, 7 days a weeks without any rest day. He never pampered himself with any luxury, but he make sure his children live in a comfortable environment. My mother, who has never had a single day of formal education, was a very determined lady. It still amazed me until today how my mother single handedly defended us and hold the family together against all odds. Life was tough then, but it conditioned us to be more determined to be a better man.

As a youngster. I felt the frustrations and angers to realize how “educated” people shortchanged my father into parting away his hard earned money. I am not a revengeful person, but my early childhood’s experiences has caused me to hold contempt of those group of people.

At the age of 17 or probably 18, I realized that, life is never fair. You have to make something out of nothing. No body owed you a living….. You have to stand up on your own and work very hard to achieve what you want. At that age, I have the funny feeling that God is a sadist. He love to tortured you into frustrations and despairs to make you submit to him……

Life back then during the late sixties and seventies was not a bed of roses……

But on the optimistic side, those early childhood’s environment has toughened all of us. It made us a survivor – A survivor in the street of 21st century.

To my beloved father and mother, I shall never forget your sacrifices and unselfish love. I promise you I shall take good care of my family. Rest in peace. May God with his amazing grace bless your souls. Namo Amithaba…

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Taiping Oh Taiping

Taiping is a place I called home until the age of 18. It used to be a tin mining town. As a young boy, I still remember cycling to the edge of the village ( Pokok Assam ) to observe the “Iron Ship” mining tin. Or occasionally, sneaking to the river bank behind my house to observe middleage ladies using “dulang” to harvest tin ores. I also remember the famous “white bridge (pek keo)” and “hunchback bridge (keow ku keo)” in the small village I lived.
The word “Tai Peng” brings nostalgic memories of those younger years of jogging at the lake garden, charkoayteow at the market, camping at Kem Maju, hiking at Maxwell Hills, etc. Those were days.....
Taiping is also a place where I learn street negotiation skills. I still vividly remember, as a young boy of probably 11 years old, I used to get up at 5 o'clock in morning, cycle about 10KM to the town centre to help my father sell vegetables at the wet market - I meet all sort of aunties and uncles trying to out negotiate me to knock down 5 cents from a kati ( about half Kg) of vegetables. I also learn how to maximize profit margin for my father.

As a teenage boy, my mother, who has not attended a single year of schooling, and with her limited analogies, always advised me to “Ai xian Kopisun une yeong ( As tough as the Maxwell hill ”, “Ai xian Taipeng Ooh une xubuan (as gracious as the Taiping Lake Garden)”, and “Sim Ai xian Sebatang Hai Une Quote ( my heart must be as generous as the horizon of the Sebatang sea)”. All her advises are related to the various facets of Taiping! My mother has passed away more than 10 years ago, but whenever I think of Taiping, I always think of my mother’s advises. In fact, whenever I am faced with obstacles and difficulties, the word “Taiping” and my mother advises always gave me the motivational inspirations to overcome whatever adversaries.

I have lived in KL for the past 20 years and I have traveled to many parts of the world. But deep down within me, my root is always in Taiping. There is no place like Taiping. Taiping is always my home. I am always a Taiping-Lang.

Taiping is about an hour drive from Ipoh and Penang, and about 3 hours drive from Kuala Lumpur. It is one of the oldest town in Malaysia with splendid historical beauties, rich zoological habitats, a melting pot of cultures, and many places of interests.

Taiping derived her name from the treaty of two warring triad societies trying to control the thriving tin mining business. In Hokkien dialect, it is pronounced as “Tai Peng”, which means everlasting or eternal peace. Taiping also holds the record as one of the wettest place in the world with an average annual rainfalls of 400 inches !!

If you have not been to Taiping, you must made an efforts to visit this historical city in Malaysia. The followings are some of the places of interest you should visit to have sense of the rich and proud traditions of Taiping.

(1) Bukit Larut ( Formerly known as Maxwell Hills, named after the British Asst Resident in Perak, William Edward Maxwell), located approximately 10KM from the town centre, stands majestically at approximately 1200 metre above sea level, it is one of the oldest hill resort in Malaysia. The hills is spectacularly evergreen and have wide varieties of colourful floral and fauna. It gives you the most scenic view of the entire Taiping town and the west coast of Peninsular.

(2) Taiping Lake Garden, located at the foothill of Bukit Larut, is one of the oldest parks in Malaysia. It is carved from disused mining ponds with beautiful landscape and prominent “rain trees” along the roads. The Taiping Lake Garden is one of the most tranquil and peaceful place in the world for relaxations.

(3) The Burmese Pool, located at the foothill of Bukit Larut, is one of the best and unpolluted river streams in Malaysia. It is an idea place for swimming in natural environment and picnics.

(4) Taiping Town Rest House, built in 1870, is a historical building and probably one of the most well kept colonial architectural landmarks in Malaysia. The majestic rest house is situated on a high ground overlooking the scenic Taiping Lake Garden.

(5) The Oldest State Museum in Malaysia - Taiping Museum

(6) Taiping Railway Station – Built in 1885, the station is one of the most significant historical railway station in Malaysia.

(7) Commonwealth War Cemetery, this is a well kept “city in the heaven” and the resting place for the fallen heroes and defenders of Taiping town.

(8) King Edward VII Secondary School, is the first English school in Perak, and one of the oldest school in Malaysia.

(9) Taiping Zoo, is one of the oldest and best managed zoo in Malaysia

To Continues…….

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Unemployed graduates - What is the real problems ?

It has been widely reported that thousand of graduates are unable to secure employments. Two of the main speculated reasons given are :

Mismatch of Skills - Universities are not producing talents that meet industry requirements.
Attitude problems of Graduate – Graduate are too choosy, lazy, etc.

While it is true that these 2 reasons are the most probable causes of graduates dilemmas. However, we also need to seriously look into other contributive aspects of this problem.

As a IT professional involving in business development. My perspective of ICT industry in Malaysia is, we are dealing with an increasingly hostile business environment. My gut feeling is, our economy is no longer able to sustain the pool of fresh graduates from the degree mills. The government may make noble attempts to retrain these graduates, but it is going to be a waste of economic resources. No amount of retraining is going to make significant impact in term of reducing the unemployment statistics if there are not enough job vacancies being created.

What is seriously needed to be done by the government is to relook into its macro economic policies. Business environment needed to be more friendly and condusive. More business opportunities need to be created and implementation policies need to be relook to create a more vibrant economy.

My observation is, on one hand the government want to promote the ICT industry in Malaysia by setting up government linked companies. These GLC are supposed to be the “payung” to help small ICT companies to grow. But at the implementation level, this GLC are set-up with unfair advantages to compete with small local ICT companies resulting in a “not level playing ground”. I am not sure of the role of GLC in other industries. But I strongly believe, to tackle the unemployment issues, more resources need to be focus on creating vibrant economic activities to sustain business activities. And, along the way, some of the problematic GLC need to be removed to ensure level playing ground for all businesses to grow and to encourage more new busineses to be set-up.