Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Life's reflections...

Sometimes, I do wonder, whether there is a higher being up there dictating our state of being and the path we take. Looking back, I survived two major life threatening disasters. The road I took has been less travelled by many. This course of direction, was it my unconscious respond to these disasters, or was it my humanistic journey driven by by natural state of being ?

In September 1983, I was supposed to leave Canada's beautiful autumn on Korean Air Lines Flight 007 to come back to Malaysia. My girl friend, who is now my wife, persuaded me to stay back for another week to do some sight seeing in Toronto. I changed my ticket reservation to Singapore Air lines. I was momentarily shocked to learn later that Flight 007 was shot down by the Russian military. All 200 over passengers and crew will killed. I survived because I was not on the flight.

In the evening of July 31 1988, I was supposed to be travelling from Taiping to Penang Island using the ferry terminal. This has been my habitual weekly weekend travel back to Penang Island so that I can start work on the following monday. On that evening, I decided to give a ride to my wife to Ipoh, stay overnight there, and travelled back to Penang in early Monday morning. That out of norm decision has temporary diverted my course. On the evening of July 31st 1988, the ferry bridge collapsed, killing many people and injured thousands. I survived because I was not at the place.

Escaped death two times ? How lucky can a man be ? Whatever it is, the secret law of attractions is on my side. I will continued to be lucky......

In l993, at the peak of my career, I suffered severe work related stress. I quit my job, rested for about a month, and started a hobby business, and subsequently went into IT and Real Estate business. I survive the stress and made my money, because I choose to walk out from it and have the courage to take the road less travelled.

During the previous 15 years in running my own business, I encountered many betrayals and setbacks. But immediately after every crisis, my business improved tremendously. My business survived because, somehow, my natural instincts dictated that I confront the situations and toughened myself to remove parasitic elements from my business ventures.

Looking back, I survived many life threatening situations, and I also encountered many challenges that threatened my livelihood. I am in fact living on borrowed times. But life as it is, is a many splendor things. It treats me well, it grants me with abundances. In a way, I count my blessing for being lucky all the times. The only thing left for me to do is, come what may, make the best of today and move forward.

Whatever it is and whatever it may, my passion to confront challenges will never die inside me as long as I still have my last breath. I will never be a prisoner of pessimism and self destructive mentality, it is my destiny to be the conqueror of challenges and adversity. Throw me any challenge, I know, I shall rise above the challenge, overcome the adversity, and I shall always prevail.

Om Mani Pedme hum...........................

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Life after death ?

After life,
there is death.
is there life
after death ?

In the remaining few minutes of your last breath,
what will your mind be preoccupied with ?

Fears the eventuality of death ?
Worries for the loved one you left behind ?
Happy of your successes and accomplishments ?
Contented to know that you left behind a last will ?
In the remaining few minutes,
would you be able to let go ?
And, venture into the final rest of uncertainties ?
What would death be ?
When death become us,
would there be a God,
to guide you to the promised eternal paradise ?

Humans are funny creatures.
We believed in life after death,
but forgotten how to live life.
We indulge in imaginary God,
and the illogical science of religions.
With stronger faiths in religion,
does it make your life better,
living your life
based on false premise of religiosity,
and false hope of eternity
promised by your illusionary God ?

Life is a philosophy in motion.
Have enough for today,
live life as it is,
and, look forward to tomorrow.
when a man died,
he should not
have more than five dollars in his pocket !

Live life as a philosophy,
and live a life of no regret.
I shall live today as if it is my last.
When I do died, my angels shall take care of me !
This, for the time being, shall be my eternal destiny.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Breasts of Mass Destruction !

At times, I do go crazy with the sight of beautiful breasts, but beautiful as it may, some breasts can be also very destructive !

According to a news report in Daily Telegraph, a 31 years old Australian barmaid, Luana De Favani was fined A$1000 for crushing beer cans with her bare breasts, and for hanging spoons from her nipples. She was guilty of breaching the Liquor Control Act. Favani's colleague, Tracey Leslie, was also fined A$500 for helping to hang spoons on Favani's nipples. For failing to stop the pair from performing the macro gravitation act, the hotel manager was fined A$1000. The local police, Supt David Parkinson, said: "It sends a clear message to all licensees in Peel that we will not tolerate this type of behavior in our licensed premises."

Hmmm... I wish they can re-enact the act again. This is probably the 8th wonder of the world. I would definite love to see this act being perform again. Just name the place, I will be there ! Come to think of it, all the humsup men out there, beware and be warned not to plunge you face between a woman's breasts again. If those boobs can crush beer can, I bet your lump of protoplasm wouldn't stand a chance of getting out in good shape. You may end up having your brain squeeze out from your cranial cavity.

Women, women,...... don't under estimate the power of a woman !

Of race and ethnicity......

I chanced upon an old news article dated June 10th 2007 which was published on Sabah's Daily Express. I know not so much about constitutionality of Malaysia or sociological interpretation of race and ethnicity. But I found the definition of “Malay” by the Malacca's Chief Minister, Mohd Ali Rustam, very interesting.

According to the news article ( Please read HERE), Mohd Ali Rustam said :

  • “a person who is a Muslim, converses in Malay and follows the Malay traditions is considered a Malay. "It is easy to become a Malay, "
  • "Even if that person is Chinese or Indian or Kadazan if they are Muslim or have converted, converse in Malay and follow the Malay tradition, then they are Malays.”
  • "The Kadazans if they are a Muslim, we considered them as Malays, and if they have not embraced Islam, they are Bumiputeras. It is easy to become a Malay."

Interesting indeed. Honestly, I am a bit confuse here, if I converted to Christianity, speak English, and regularly eat pork chop, ham, bacon, and sandwich for breakfast, does that qualified me to be an Englishman ? If an Englishman or Italian migrated to Malaysia, converted to Islam, and speak Bahasa Malaysia, does that make him a Malay ?

After 50 years of Independence ( or Merdeka ), why are all these pariahs still resorting to split Malaysians along the line of religions and languages ? Why can't we just call ourselves Malaysians and move forward ?

If a parrot can imitate a dog's bark, at the end of the day, do we call the parrot a dog, a parrot, or a paradox ?

The above does reminds me of the following jokes :

A young couple left the church and arrived at the hotel where they were spending the first night of their honeymoon. They opened the champagne and began undressing. When the bridegroom removed his socks, his new wife asked, "Ewwww---what's wrong with your feet? "Your toes look all mangled and weird. Why are your feet so gross?"
"I had Tolio as a child, " he answered.
"You mean polio?" she asked.
"No, tolio. The disease only affected my toes."
The bride was satisfied with this explanation, and they continued undressing. When the groom took off is pants, his bride once again wrinkled up her nose.
"What's wrong with your knees?" she asked. "They're all lumpy and deformed!"
"As a child, I also had kneasles, "he explained.
"You mean measles?" she asked.
"No, kneasles. It was a strange illness that only affected my knees."
The new bride had to be satisfied with this answer. As the undressing continued, her husband at last removed his underwear.
"Don't tell me," she said. "Let me guess.....Small Cox?"

That's all for today, lunch break is over, back to work........

Of Loan Sharking and social responsibilities.....

“ Having financial difficulty ? Want to take loan but not qualified ?
Don't worry,
we are also not qualified ! Call 011 – 11581169
( Sunshines Credits Co.).
Fast processing of loan application and disbursement.... “

I would not be surprised to see advertisements by loan sharks similar to the above. As it is, my mailboxes are filled with name cards from loan sharks. The entrance of my office are defaced by the loan sharks' photograph size stickers. Occasionally, the loan sharks even placed pamphlets on the windscreen of my car. Over the past few years, there have been a very visible increase of loan sharks in town. I do wonder where did all these loan sharks came from and why are they so flush with money ?

A Loan Shark is a person or body who lends money at exorbitant interest rates, the loan, usually unsecured, is often backed by blackmail or threats. The loan shark usually target the credit facility to those who are not able to obtain loan from mainstream lenders. In Malaysia, the local Chinese nicknamed loan shark as “Tai Yee Loong (大耳窿)”. The local Malay having problem pronouncing “Tai Yee”, so they called the loan shark “Ah Loong (阿窿)”. I don't know what is the terminology in Tamil, could it be R'ler Ombedeh ?

The interest rate for loan secured from a loan shark can be as high as more than 100%. When a borrower failed to repay the loan, the loan sharks are usually very creative in convincing the borrower to pay up. Some of the tactic include splashing red paints or graffiti at the house of borrower, harassing and intimidating family members of borrower, physical violences, etc. So, for your own sake and physical well being, if possible, don't take any loan from any illegal money lenders. If you have some financial difficulties, please pray hard to God, because it is God's responsibility to take care of you. If your God failed to deliver his responsibilities, please convert to other religions. Yep, it is safer to blame your financial difficulties on God than taking the loan and be sorry later.

Well, I guess the loan shark is also doing his part of social responsibilities by offering loans to all those people who are not qualified to obtain loans from our reputable financial institutions. Let us accept the reality that, banks and finance companies are only interested to offer loans to “well off” people. For poor people, at least the loan sharks offer them a fighting chance to breakout from the financial difficulties. So until such times when all the banks and finance companies are willing to offer unsecured loans to poor people, perhaps, in the mean times, our caring government should look into the possibilities of licensing all illegal money lenders and made them legal. By licensing and legalizing the illegal money lenders, more monies will be available to the poor, and a standard code of conducts can be implemented to ensure the borrowers are not abused.

It would be interesting to see all the loan sharks shed their perceived hooligan image, and gang up to put up a public relation campaign to improve their image. May be they should start gotong royong to clean up clogged drains, donating to welfare homes, help the housing estates to fight petty crimes, etc. Or perhaps, a public campaign of “ I Love my Loan Shark$ “ ? And a campaign of “When you run out of money and desperate, where do you go ? LOOOOAN SHAAAAAARRRRRKKKKKKKKS”.

Good NiteZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.....

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Origin of Kites

Do you know that kite originated from China ? Kite was invented in China a few thousand years ago using bamboo to build the frame and silk to make the sail. According to the “Biography of Mr Hanfei", About 2300 years ago, Mo Di (468-376 BC), a philosopher residing in the Lo Mountain of Shandong province made the fisrt kite in the shape of a Eagle. Around the year 200BC, the Chinese military flown kites over the enemy's fort and use the length of the line as the estimated distant for them to dig tunnel underground into the enemy territory. The famous adventurer, Marco Polo, also documented how kites were built and flown in China.

So, it is undisputable that, China is the birthplace of all kites. As a matter of fact, the Chinese make the best and the most beautiful kites in the world. For your information, Weifang, located in east China's Shandong province, is currently the "international kite capital” of the world.

While we are enjoying flying our Wau in Malaysia, let us be reminded of its origin and be thankful to the Chinese for passing this little pleasurable amusements for some of us to fly kites.

Friday, October 19, 2007

From piles of stolen phones, opportunity rises....

It is encouraging to know that Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and the Energy, Water and Communications Ministry are putting a joint initiative to put all stolen phones out of circulation. Techically speaking, the process involved the setting up of a common database for tracking the unque Electronic Identification Number (EIN) of all the handphones in the country. And in the event that a handphone is stolen, the EIN central database will broadcast alert to all telcos to blocked the stolen phone from being used with new or other existing SIM card. This will effectively discourage ard arrest the arising rate of mobile phone being stolen.

Setting up the framework for database is a simple process, but the acqusition of EIN into the central database remained an implementation consideration. Do we capture the EIN at point of import or at point of registration at the telcos ? Would the telcos be willing to provide the additional value added service of registering the EIN ? Would all telcos agreed to submit the EIN to a central database transparently and willingly ? In the event of notification of stolen phone being used in the individual telco's network, would the telco willingly block the stolen phone and provide details such as the mobile number and subscriber name to the central EIN database ?

The MCMC is the right coordinating body to implement legal compliance and technological infrastructure to ensure the means and mechanisms for all telcos to submit registered EIN, mobile phone number, user names, etc. to the central database. But, it has been reported that, a local company, Nuemera Malaysia, will be appointed to implement this central database. The question is, when the MCMC can perform this technical and legal exercise, why adding another administrative layer by appointing another company to do the job ? At the end of the day, how much will it cost for MCMC to appoint Nuemera Malaysia to do the Job, and how will end users of mobile phone service be affected by this arrangement ? I accept the fact that nothing is free in this world, at the end of the day, it is our own pockets that will eventual feel the pinches. I just don't fancy the idea of my pocket being pinched arrogantly and unneccessarily by irrelevant people.

The setting up of central EIN database as an enforcement tool will significantly reduce the theft of mobile phones. However, taking into consideration of current sentiments, it is inappropriate for MCMC or the Energy, Water and Communications Ministry to appoint third parties to implement and maintain this exercise. MCMC should and always be the sole regulatory and technical custodian of the central EIN database to ensure the interests of mobile phone users and telcos are protected fairly and transparently. The best solution is for the respective telco to implement and share their EIN databases as additional regulatory compliance to protect the cunsumer rights of mobile phone users. If it is unavoidable for MCMC to appoint third parties, then an open tender should be called to ensure the most cost effective solution are adopted.

No offense intended. I know cigarettes are not good for health. Likewise, unneccesary privatisations and private funding initiatives are also not good for our financial health. As it is, we are already bombarded with too many e-this and i-that. Already, there are too many people driving fancy cars on the road with empty pockets in the name of bolihism. Sooner or later, reality bites ! It is about time we all learn how to say “TAK NAK”.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Of dreams and realities....

Today is not really a good day mentally and physically. I woke up feeling a bit cloggy due to disturbed sleep caused by some minor gum infections. I had been having this problem over the previous few days. I decided to skip office, go to visit the dentist, and after that, work from home. No big issue, this is the internet age, with CDMA phone, mobile phone, broadband internet connection, PDA, and notebook, I can work from anywhere without any loss of productivity. But for today, I think it is advisable for me to do my work in a more relax manner,

The dentist gave me a prescription of antibiotic, anti-swelling, and pain killer medications. Another appointment was made to visit the dentist a week later for follow-up. After taking the medications, I felt sleepy and dozed off to sleep. Like Martin Luther King said, “I had a dream”, but I had a different type of dream.

In my dream, I saw the big fat Buddha sitting in meditation posture smiling at me, he points his finger to a tree beside the rivers against the backdrop of rising sun in the eastern skies. My vision was directed to the tree. It is a beautiful tree with beautiful flowers and fruits. I saw a bird happily chirping the nicest lullaby while pecking at the sweet fruits. It was a serene, scenic, and beautiful sight. I can even smell the fresh fragrance air ! This bird of paradise showing me how to be merry and enjoying the life as it is ? The eternal snapshot of dreamy illusion radiates such a wonderful feelings of peace and calmness within me – life is indeed full of beauty. How I wish this dream can go on a little bit longer........

I woke up later feeling much more relaxed and energized. Such a beautiful dream. But I do wonder, in my awaken state, whether I am Buddha dreaming of a man having a dream in his sleep watching the little bird pecking and enjoying the fruits, or am I the bird dreaming of Buddha practicing Vipassana meditation and a man having dream in his sleep. Or in reality, am I still in my dream or awaken in another dimension ?

Aiyayahhhhhh... the medication is playing tricks in my mind...... Namo Amithaba Buddha.

Monday, October 15, 2007

In the name of God....

Is there God ? or was it they mistaken satan for God ?

THE three convicted Indonesian murderers who detonated bombs in Bali expressed their delight of murdering innocent people. They said the more pain they caused, their GOD will give greater reward in heaven. The three criminals will be executed soon for their roles in the 2002 Bali Bombing where 202 people were killed.

Read's 'We can't wait for our execution' Can't wait for their execution ? Well, so is the rest of the civilized world ! While waiting for their execution, do sincerely hope these three criminals can give a full list of their brothers who participate in the bombings, because the rest of the civilized world is waiting eagerly to also do them a favour by sending them to their "heaven".

No insensitivity intended to any group of religions, but I find it amusing that these criminals are so desperate to claim justification using the name of their God to live a life of barbarity. As a Buddhist, I do not believe in the existence of God, it is scientifically too far fetched and mathematically illogical. So the claimed of getting reward from God for murdering innocent people of other religions is a desperate attempt to come to terms with unrealized fantasies. Unless someone can prove to me conclusively with hard evidence on the existence of God, it is legally wrong and morally sinful to divert attention to the non existence God to commit criminal acts. These three perverted idiots committed a barbaric crime, they are convicted by the Indonesian courts, now they should be humanely put to death like similar to the treatment we rendered to strayed and diseased dogs to preserve peace and order. What heaven are these three sicked perverts talking about, as long as their crimes are not forgiven by the victims' family, they will enter a repeated cycle of burning hells and later reincarnated as pigs to be slaughtered as roast pork.

In the spiritual world, there is no God, but angels. There are good angels, and there are bad angels. The question is, which angel are these three criminals has been praying to ? So, for heaven sake ( if there is a heaven), they should stop stop using the name of God (if there is a God), to commit criminal acts. Behave and act like a real man, they committed a murder, they shall be put to death by the legally constituted man made law. There is no heaven for convicted criminals, so, to these murderers, rest assured that all three of you are inching your way to joined your dead gang of criminals in burning hells. Stop being so deluded to think that there is an after-life of paradize but burning hells.

May “God” bless and lift the souls of those 202 innocent victims. May “God” condemed those criminal involved in the bombings to hell.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Ramzi Yousef Converts to Christianity?

The mastermind of the 1993 terror attack on World Trade Centre is now a Christian.

This morning, while watching the CNN news, there was a brief news on a convicted terrorist, Yousef Ramsi. In an interview with C.B.S Television Network, Yousef Ramsi claims that he has converted to Christianity. The interview is scheduled to be aired on Sunday, October 2007. A convicted criminal who glorify death and violence in the name of his old religion, now glorify life and peace in the name of his new religion ? Does it really matter whether Yousef Ramsi is a Muslim or Christian ? He once adopt a life of barbarity, called others infidels, but now enlightened to embrace infidels' God. Sincerely, good for him, I do hope he see the lights and find peace in his new religion and at peace with himself. The world now has one less terrorist and hopefully more peace ?

Read “Did Ramzi Yousef Really Convert to Christianity?

Everyday, we have all sort of people converted in and out of each other's religions. We have Muslim becoming Christians, Christians becoming Buddhist, Hindu becoming Christians, etc. etc. These sporadic conversions doesn't indicate whether a particular religion is better than another religion. What probably happen is, more and more people are getting disillusion with their own religions. Based on my observation, people usually switch religion during personal crisis or for certain economic and financial reasons.

Everybody claims that his or her religion is the fastest growing religion in the world. No big deal ! Since when spirituality became a contest of political popularity? It really doesn't matter what religion you professed. You are what you are. If there is a God, and if you claimed that he is all merciful and loving, then, does God care what religion you belonged to ? God is not a racist or a cultural moron. As far as he is concern, you can be an atheist, Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, or whatever, he will continue to love you as long as you are kind hearted, compassionate, reasonable, and mindful.

If somebody comes to you to say that his religion is the only true religion, his God is the only true God, and you must embrace his religion to enjoy the attention, blessing, and love from God, I can assured you that you are dealing with a liar. He may be very persistent with his misplaced religiousity, but repeatedly stating a lie is not going to make the lie a truth. You are probably dealing with a freaked up asshole from a farting religion. Perhaps, you should compassionately advise him to seek mental treatments and confine his closeness to God in a mental institution.

No wonder this world is in such a mess....

Mortgage & remortgage

Taking and maintaining a mortgage loan in Malaysia is an interesting affairs. Seven years years ago, I took a mortgage loan of RM450K to part finance the purchase of a building. At that time, with an interest rate of 1.5% above Base Lending Rate (BLR), I though that was the best package offered by the lending bank.

Recently, I re-assess my loan position against existing mortgage packages offered by the local banks. I noticed most of the banks offer loans at an interest rate of BLR minus 1%. The question I find it difficult to comprehend is, why my existing lending bank still charge me at the old interest rate which is higher ? I called up the bank loan centre, and was informed by the bank employee that, the rate will not be revised downward because it is a contractual commitment on my part.

Somehow, the borrowers are always at the losing end, because when the BLR is revised upward, automatically, we are asked to pay higher rate. How often is the BLR being revised downward ? Why can't the banks just fixed the BLR over the whole tenure of the mortgage loan ? Why can't the bank just automatically revised the interest rate downward whenever they published new and lower mortgage interest rate to secure new customers ? I find it difficult to comprehend why the bank always take better care of new customers than their old customers.

Anyway, between BLR + 1.5% and BLR -1%, it is a huge difference of more than two percentage points. Taking into consideration of the loan sum and tenure of the loan, I would probably be having a saving of more than RM 100K if I switch my mortgage loan to another bank.

So, I contacted two banks, one came back with a offer letter within the week, while the other bank delivered the offer letter the following week. Both the loan package are quite attractive with the so called “zero moving costs” loan at BLR – 1% and BLR – 1.25% respectively. My only concern now is, both banks physical locations are not quite convenient for me to make monthly payments. So I decided to call a bank nearby my office, indicated to them I wish to take a new loan to redeem my existing loan, provided that the interest rate is comparable to the offers I received. The bank Sales Officer reverted to me a day later that they are able to provide the mortgage loan at BLR – 1.25% and collected my documents for application of loan.

About the same time, I contact my existing lending bank to enquire about the procedure to cancel the existing loan and informed them my desire to migrate loan to another bank, giving them the reason that the existing interest rate is too high. The funny part is, the bank personnel told me that they have no problem revising the interest rate downward if only I had told them earlier I am planning to migrate my loan to another bank ! And I was advised to write an official letter to inform them that I wish to have my loan interest rate revised downward to BLR – 1.25% as a formality. I felt uncomfortable with this sort of Pasar Malam approach by the bank and never bother to revert to them.

More than 2 weeks had passed, I still have not received any confirmation from the bank near my office regarding my loan application. So, I called up the bank to enquire, but was told that the application is still under “processing at the HQ” and they will revert to me “ASAP”. I indicated to them that it is almost THREE weeks already, but I was asked to understand their position and be patient. Yesterday, I called the bank again, and was given the same replies. Honestly, my opinion is, the bank is too busy to render service to me because my small loan is insignificant to them. So, I politely told them that I no longer need the mortgage loan and requested them to return all my submitted documents. I called the other bank that i accepted their offer and made appointment to execute the loan agreement the following Friday. After that, I will have to rellook into my other outstanding mortgage loans to maximize my savings.

The moral of the story is, if your properties is currently under a mortgage, on periodic basis, you need to monitor the existing mortgage loan interest rate offered by the banks against the mortgage interest rates your currently paying. If at anyone time, the prevailing mortgage loan interest rate is much lower than your current interest rate, immediately write to your lending bank to asked them to revised the rate downward. I think the other important consideration is, a bank may offer you the lowest mortgage loan interest rate and has a physical address nearest to you, but if the bank is so bogged down by formality, hierarchy, and indifference, they will not be able to provide you the necessary customer service in the future. You will be better off taking a mortgage loan with slightly higher interest rate elsewhere.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Forget not.......

Between 1915 and 1918, religious, cultural, economic and political differences between Turks and Armenians were exploited by the dying Ottoman Empire at the expense of the minority Armenians in Turkey. As a result, more than two million Armenians living in Turkey were either murdered or forced out from their historic homeland and their properties looted. Not less than 1,500,000 Armenians were massacred.

The United Nations' definition states that any “act intended to destroy in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group” is considered as Genocide. France, Canada, European countries, and more than 20 other countries in the world had officially recognized the killings of the Armenians as genocide. The United States' House committee passed the Armenian genocide resolution on October 10th 2007. Angered by the USA initiative to relook into this sad episode of humanity, Turkey recalled its ambassador to Washington on October 11th 2007.

I presumed most of the instigators of the massacres and lootings are already dead burning in hell. Looking forward, may the merciful God soften the hearts of their descendants to be remorseful of their ancestors past actions and take steps not to repeat those atrocities. Hopefully, may the descendants of those looters and murderers has the decency, righteousness, and religiousity to return the loots and compensate the victims meaningfully. Sad to note that, until today, there are still countries, out of political convenient, immorally refused to recognized uncivilized treatments and genocide committed on the Armenians. What pride and credibility does a nation has when it refused to acknowledge the past, apologize for her past misdeeds, and take appropriate actions to heal the wounds of the past ?

"Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?" With that chilling quote, Hitler was inspired by the inactions of the world to commit another genocide during the second world war.

May those criminals and instigators of hate crimes repent for their sinful deeds, be remorseful of their uncivilized actions, not be blinded by immoral pursuits of wealth and unsustainable political power, and their hearts be graced to appreciate God's created cultural diversities.

For more information on the Armenian Genocide, visit HERE and HERE.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

We are now in cloud 9 ?

The Expedition 16 crew members pose for a portrait at the Johnson Space Center. From the left (front row) are Russia's Federal Space Agency cosmonaut Yuri Malenchenko, flight engineer and Soyuz commander; astronaut Peggy Whitson, commander; and Malaysian spaceflight participant Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor. From the left (back row) are European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Léopold Eyharts, astronaut Garrett Reisman and astronaut Dan Tani, all flight engineers. Source : NASA Website

Ooh, now I know, the correct translated word for Spaceflight Participant in Bahasa Melayu is called Angkasawan. Can Anybody tell me what is the Bahasa Melayu word for Astronaut and Cosmonaut ? Bolih-or-not ?

Tonight at 9:22pm, all Malaysians will be very proud to have our first Malaysian, Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, to participate in “Expedition 16” into space on board the Russian's Soyuz TMA-11 spacecraft. The spacecraft is expected to dock at the International Space Station (ISS) for 8 days, and hopefully return to mother earth safely on October 21st 2007.

For a Malaysian to qualify as a space participant in the Russian's space expedition, Malaysian government need to pay for the trip. How much ? I don't know. Maybe RM 20 Millions ? And, made billion dollars purchase of Russian fighter jets. How many billions dollars ? I don't know ? Whatever it is, we are a rich country with lots of money to spend. I think it is worth our pride to invest and finance the Russian's space expeditions. We already have our longest bridge and longest bridge. We also had our countrymen scaled the highest mountain the world, now we are putting up a Malaysian into space, I guess the next one is to plunge Malaysians into the deepest blue seas.

“It's a small step for me, but a great leap for the Malaysian people” said Dr Sheikh. Well, I do hope these words will not be abused by party-hopping politicians as votes seeking slogan for the cumming general erections. According to local news report, Dr Sheikh will host a Hari Raya party to treat the cosmonaut , astronaut, and whatnot on board the spacecraft on the first day of Syawal with Satay and Raya cookies. Not bad, a Kenduri near the realms of God. We should seek Guinness World Records recognition as being the first country to celebrate Hari Raya in space.

On a serious note, beside celebrating Hari Raya in space, it is a working trip for Dr Sheikh. He is to conduct study on microgravity and space radiation on cells and microbes. He will be also conducting experiments with proteins to discover cure for HIV. Let's hope the government can publish the results of the studies and experiments. I really hope it benefits all Malaysians, otherwise, it is sinful to waste tax payers hard earned money. Whatever it is, Malaysia has earned the recognition as being the first country in the world to publish a guideline on how to pray to God in space.

Whatever it is, let us all wish Dr Sheikh a successful voyage into space and a safe journey home.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

In the name of God, heaven awaits sinners ?

This little blue marble called earth has a population of approximately 7 billion people. Of these 7 billions people, approximately 6 billion people belonged to the four major religions of Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, and Hinduism. The balance 1 billion people embraced not less than 30 type of different religions. And within each religion, there are also various sects or groupings.

With the exception of Christianity, no one single religion command more than 30 percent of the population. So, who are we to say that only our religion deserved the merits of God as the TRUE religion ? In this perspective, why are some of us willingly allowed ourselves to be misguided to commit misdeeds against followers of other religions in the name of God. What perverted pleasures can we derived by dominating and wiping out other religions ?

We go around the world crusading prevention of cruelty to animals and to protect endangered species, but are illogically incapable of appreciating and respecting each other cultures and religions. We glorify death over life, and violence over peace in the name of religion, Is human life of lesser worth compared to animals ? Some of us fellow human beings are indeed a bunch of monkeys swinging from tree to tree shouting incoherent languages demanding to be respected with our demented religious upbringings.

Almost all religion believe in the existence of a single universal God. All religions claimed to preach love and respect, but in practise, religions had been the main causes of all major violences and instabilities in the world. Looking at the various religiously inspired conflicts, it does gave an impression that, religions have lost its spiritual sense of morality, and had been consistently degraded into political movements to achieve satanic agenda.

In my adult life, I do encountered many senseless religious preaching in the name of the so called all merciful God. There are always religious people of various religions trying very genuinely to preach the wholesome goodness of their religions, and with all sincerity trying convert people into theirs. For they single heartedly believed that their religion is the only TRUE religion, and their GOD the only TRUE God. But, when their religious values are not accepted or when they failed to convert people from other religions, they became irrational animals with misplaced angers and hatreds violently venting their frustrations and wanting non believers to die in hell.

There are also times, I had been directly or indirectly preached by followers of other religions and enticed with the concept of heaven and hell. I was told, if I convert out from my religion, salvations awaits me, and I will be rewarded with an after life of paradise in heaven. The beautiful part is, I will be given many beautiful virgins, tasty wine, succulent fruits, and good foods. Whatever I do in the name of my new found God, be it a criminal intent, barbaric act, or otherwise, I shall gain credit points on my way to heaven. The sad part is, if I do not convert, no matter how many good deeds I performed, an unbearable after-life of burning hell awaits me. So much about the peaceful and forgiving natures of some religions with actions inconsistent with the preached words.

As far as I am concerned, religion should always be remained as a private and individual matter. Individual rights to embrace religions of their own choice should be respected and protected at all costs. Each and everyone of us has our own spiritual and material path to pursue. For that matter, be as religious and as spiritual as the good book dictated, but in the best interest of humanity, have the right mindfulness to keep our belief to ourself and in the privacy of our own homes. Most religions are formed many hundreds or perhaps thousands of years ago, what worked then as a political movement to unite people does not necessarily works now in this modern age. We are now in the 21st century, it would be better for the sake of humanity if all of those so called religious people and the followers of all religions appreciate and respect the diversities of other religions. Wouldn't it be better to live a peaceful and material life ethically and respectful of other people's religions ?

Would we be able to go to heaven with lots of credit points to redeem virgins, wine, and good foods by over jealously imposing our religious values on others ? For that matter, would we be able to have a good after life by trespassing and transgressing the religious rights of other people through intimidations, violences, harassments, and threats ? Well, I don't really know whether there is a promised heaven, we will only know after we are dead, and dead man tells no tales. Religion is after all an illogical science of promised illusions and delibrate confusions. A piece of sincere advise, if your religion dictate you to disrespect other religions and encourage you to commit criminal and wrongful acts in the name of your God, perhaps you should seriously assess the teaching of your religions logically and ethically. Let us not get confused by preachings of misguided hatreds and intolerances, or be deluded by the promise of pleasurable heaven to cause harms on others.

So, the next time some body come to you with the statement beginning with “in the name of God....”, please avoid them at all cost ! Let's be practical, do you think God actually commissioned these harlots to spread the messages of narrow-mindedness and ignorance ? If God has a message for you, he will communicate to you directly. The all powerful and almighty God does not need misguided sinners to spread his messages.

Like it or not, religion can be manipulated into a poweful weapon of mass deception. In the name of God, what deceits are human beings incapable of ? In the name of God, evil has become us !

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Remembering her.....

How time flies, it has been 13 years since my beloved mother passed away. Tomorrow is my mother's 13th death anniversary. Since tomorrow is a working day, I brought forward the Taoist's prayer ritual to today to pray for her soul. May the all knowing Buddha and merciful Kuanyim lift her soul in the paradise of the Almighty.

Typical of woman of her times, my late mother never attended a single day of formal education. She was born in China. When she was a young girl, my maternal grandparents brought her to Malaysia, and resettled in the small fishing village of Kuala Sebatang near Taiping. After the second world war, my maternal grand parents went back to China leaving behind my mother. Today, I still have relatives from my mother side living in China and Hong Kong, but I had lost contact with them.

During my childhood years, we do not have telephone, email, yahoo messenger, or skype. Communications are done through physical letters. I still remember how my mother used to ask me to read out to her letters from her parents, brothers, and sisters from China. She will sat there quietly and attentively as I read out the contents of the letters. Occasionally she shed tears, displayed joys, and some times laugh out heartily as I read out and translated the letters to her in Hokkien dialect. It must be tough for her to be illiterate. Not able to write and read, always need to depend on third party to communicate with her loved ones. I recalled she always reminded my father to ensure all my brothers and sister have good education. In her words to my father, “no matter how poor we are, we must not be poor in educating our children. Our children life will be better if they have good education.......”.

Remembering my late mother, for what I am today, I am forever grateful to her. I am a very blessed person because I once had a mother who loved me unselfishly and unconditionally. For better or for worst, she stood by me. When I was down, she lifted me up. When I am weak, she held me, nursed me, and gave me strength to be able to stand up again. For whatever wrong that I made, somehow, she had her own way of making it right for me. When I am down and everybody seemed to gave up on me, she was able to see the best in me, gave me words of encouragement, gave me hope and faith to shoulder on. She let me made my own decisions, and supported me in every which way she can. No matter how difficult the situation is, she was always there for me.

Mother, thank you very much for all your love, support, care, and faith in me. May the almighty continues to bless your soul. Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, ............

Om Namo Amithaba Buddha.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

World's Shortest Couple

Of late, the people from the central kingdom have been flooding the Guinness World Records with applications for inclusion into the list of highest, shortest, longest, etc. With their insatiation to be recognized as unique, and with more than 1 billion people in mainland China, sooner or later the Guinness World Record book will have to be rewritten in Chinese language.

Now, here is the latest application to Guiness World Record for “shortest couple to get married". Chen Guilan (the bride) is 0.7 m (2.3 ft) tall. Li Tangyong (the groom) is 1.1 m (3.6 ft) tall. They were married in Shunde, Guangdong Province, China on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2007. Read HERE for further details.

Maybe China as a country should also apply to the Guinness World Record for inclusion as “the country that continued to back the military government of Burma”.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Rasa Sayng eh ?

rasa sayang eh..... rasa sayang sayang eh....... eh lihat nona jauh..... rasa sayang sayang eh..... buah cempedak di luar pagar.... ambil galah tolong jolokkan...... saya budak baru belajar..... kalau salah tolong tunjukkan......

Remember this familiar song ? All these while I thought it is a authentic local Malay song. But according to lawmakers of Indonesia, Malaysia's Rasa Sayang is a pirated version of Indonesia's “Rasa Sayange”. Rasa Sayange is originated from the Indonesia's island of Maluku, where the song has been sung for generations. The lawmakers are seeking the Indonesian government to sue Malaysia for royalty payment. The Indonesia's lawmakers also also said Batik and Wayang Kulit are Indonesia's cultural heritage. Read HERE for further details.

According to Malaysia Culture, Arts, and Heritage Minister, Wayang Kulit originated from Hinduism. Ahhh... now I see the reasons why the Islamic party, PAS, has been very vocal to ban Wayang Kulit in Malaysia. With regards to the song “Rasa Sayang”, I guess the song has been brought in by immigrants from Pulau Maluku, and along the way, the descendants of the immigrants who later became Malaysians adapted the song to become traditional Malay's cultural songs.

Malaysia is basically a land where our ancestors are from various parts of Asia. With the exception of the Orang Asli, majority of our grand fathers and grand grand fathers are immigrants who made Malaysia their home away from home. So, a lot of our foods and cultural heritage are adapted from other countries in Asia. For example, our Nasi Lemak are actually brought in by the Sri Lankan, Roti Canai are brought in by the Indian, Noodle is from China, Assam Pedas is from Thailand, Batik is originated from Indonesia, Balacan is from Portugal, etc. For Indonesia to sue Malaysia claiming that the songs and certain cultural heritage belong to them is like having the Japanese suing every country in the world claiming they own the proprietary rights to see the sun rises from the East.

There is a popular Chinese saying that “When you drink the water, please remember the source”, we should be proud of our cultural diversities and our abilities to integrate these diverse differences into a harmonized national identity. The important thing for Malaysia to do is, we must acknowledge, appreciate, and be grateful to, the source of our cultural heritage. People who are ignorance and disrespectful of the past are incapable to progress into the future. Stupid prides only demostrate our ungratefulness, and will bring us no where.

Saya budak baru belajar..... kalau salah tolong tunjukkan......

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Back into the future.......

Hypothetically speaking, if you need to invest now for future income, what business is safe for you to bet your money on ? I am no oracle, but looking at current technology development, I would be probably be financially safer if I avoid investing in the following type of businesses :

  1. Telephone company : Traditionally, telephone company makes profits from long distant and oversea calls. But with the internet and voice over internet protocols, we can now unlimited free calls to anywhere in the world. Looking back the past one year, ALL my long distant call are made through Yahoo messenger or Skype. So, investing in telephone company for future income doen't sound quite right for me.
  2. TV Station and Pay TV – At the moment, how many households actually tuned into RTM 1, RTM2, TV 3, etc. ? I presumed probably more than 90% of the TV are tuned into Astro. Assuming that in 10 years time, which is quite likely, the bandwidth of broadband internet connection will hit 1 gigabit as compared to the present 1 megabit per second. Who would want to pay RM100 per month to Astro to subscribe to the TV program when one can have free streaming of TV program from all over the world via internet ? Hmmm... should I invest in this businesses that promised future extinctions ?
  3. Local Newspapers – Would you still pay to get a hardcopy news when you can get much more credible and varieties of news from the internet ? Would you still advertise in the newspapers when the circulations is limited as compared to global coverage of internet 7/24 ? So, why bother investing in a dying industry ?
  4. IT Companies – Globally and locally, most of the big IT companies are downsizing due to competitions and significantly reduced profit margins. What used to be highly priced value added services are now becoming low price commodity. Computers nowadays don't need high paid “IT professionals” to operate anymore. A primary school students can operate the computer as good as those IT professionals. An MRP or ERP software used to costs more than RM 1 million, but now, for RM 25K, you can get an equally impressive MRP or ERP system. So, for all those Mesdaq based IT companies, it is Game Over !

In 10 years time, I do hope some genius can invent a portable and cheap gadget for us to convert energy from the sun or magnetic forces of the earth into electricity for residential and commercial premises. When that happened, we will be free from paying through our nose to the national electricity company. I still confidently believe this miracle will happen in my life time. So, investing my hard earned money in Tenaga Nasional Bhd is, for the time being, not my favorite yet.

Let's also hope those short fellas from the land of the rising sun can come up with automobiles fully powered by hydrogen derived from water. Honestly, I still naively believe this innovation can also come about in my life time. So, investing in companies with petroleum related businesses are still considered high risks for me.

Now, in term of which country to invest in, I think it would be probably safer to invest my money in country like China rather than businesses in Malaysia. We are now in the 21st century, and don't put those political slogan of “Don't ask what the country can do for you, ask what you can do for the country” to question my patriotism. As far as I am concern, these sort of slogans are meant to favour the politicians seeking popularity. It has nothing to do with average men like me. If I am going to invest my hard earned money into the country, I think I have every rights to question what the country can do for me rather then riding the political slogan of the few selected elitist politicians.

What should I invest in to ensure better future incomes to sustain my retirement age ? I think the safest bet for me is, to invest in gambling, vice, and entertainment related businesses. The oldest profession and earliest “sinful” businesses of mankind still exist today, and they are all profitable. Aren't they ? So, is it sinful to derive income from these businesses ? Come on, give me a break. Taxes from this sinful businesses such as your favorite empat ekor, lotteries, cigarettes, liquors, etc. actually do contribute to the building of infrastructure and the comforts of your homes. In fact, some of the favorite sport telecasts are actually sponsored by tobacco companies ! Ask the lawyers whether it is sinful accept fees from criminals in the name of defending the criminals' constitution rights. Aren't you either directly or indirectly enjoying the fruits of other people's sins ? So, let's not be hypocrites but be practical.

Whatever it is, once I have enough assurances of future income for my retirement age, I will quit all my jobs. I will probably rent a small stall in a coffee shop selling wanton mee. I figured, selling 20 bowls of wanton mee will probably keep me busy for in the morning and healthy for the rest of my life.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Looking East with stiff neck......

For more than 2 decades, the previous administration policy is to “Look EAST”. In another word, conducting more business with the Japanese and “learn” from the Japanese culture. With my limited encounters with the Japanese, I do noticed that the Japanese are very loyal to the organization they worked for, punctual for meeting, detailed and meticulate in planning. They are also very good at process reengineering, adding values, and making thing better than before.

But as a nation, what had we learned from the Japanese ? And, what are the positive traits of the Japanese that we imparted into our culture and business practises ? I believe, the single and most fundamental aspect we should learn from the Japanese is, how do we deal with corruption culturally. Eradicating corruptions remained a wish list of the common people. The Director General of Anti Corruption Agency sum it all by saying “there is corruption in society but we are not a corrupted society”. Well, when convincing a customer to buy a product, would it be acceptable to say that there is a minor defect in the product but it does not mean the product is defective ? In order to eliminate corruption, there must be zero tolerances to corrupt practises. As far as the general public is concern, if there is corruption in the society, then morally, we should perceived the whole society as corrupted.

I am not saying that, there are no corruptions in Japan. Corruptions exist in every countries in the world. But when a corrupt practice is detected, how do we deal with the issue shall differentiate us from the rest. Do we allow political decadence and arrogance to continue to redefine morality into accepting corruption as an unavoidable part and parcel of life ?

In Japan, I was told, when a person is implicated or indirectly linked with corruptions, he or she resign, and in some cases, commit suicides to show remorse and shame. Recently in China, corruption is punishable by death. I am not advocating suicides or death sentence. I sincerely believe that life is sacred, and nobody except God is allowed to determine life and death. What I am highlighting here is, the Japanese culture treat corruption as a great shame, and the seriousness of the Chinese government is wanting to eradicate corruptions. Sometimes, I do wonder if we practice the Japanese culture, how many more politicians will be left standing tall in front of our parliament building ? If we will to follow the foot steps of the Chinese government, maybe we might run the risks of shortage of bullets.

As long as the sun continues to rise from the east, there will always be politicians out there seeking ways to carry on with the illegal tradition of corruptions. To these politicians, there is no point shouting prayers to God seeking forgiveness when satiation for illegal wealth and power continue to contaminate the hearts and souls. Some politicians seemed to think that they can fool God and lesser mortal beings with their regular shouting of insincere prayers. But, let's hope God can grace the heart of these corrupt politicians to repent and resign gracefully.

I am sicked and tired of the constant bombarment of political slogans of corrupted politicians in the name of reglion and race to hoodlum their immorality. Would their actions be consistent with their words of righteousness ? Well, what else can I say, no more tears but thorns in my heart. I do sincerely hope that the illegal wealth and power acquired are enough to pay for their future medical treaments, and that of their family members.

Good deed attracts good karma. Om Mani pedme hum....

A dizzy sunday...

Sunday, as usual, is an uneventful day of my life. I started the morning with Bak-Kut-Teh ( Pork stewed in Herbal Soup ). Bought take-away breakfast for my son, and came back home to do some light house chores to keep the home tidy and habitable. As for lunch, I had porridge with stewed duck, fried groundnuts, and deep fried ikan billis.

I felt a bit uncomfortable towards later part of the afternoon, took a nab in an attempt to calm down the sudden bout of palpitations. I did manage to dozed off for the nab, wake up an hour or so later, probably due to some minor stomach discomfort. So, I got up to have a glass of water to quench my thirst, proceeded to the bathroom to conduct my guerilla warfare.

I walked into the bathroom feeling a bit drowsy and dizzy, probable due to the effect of earlier bouts of palpitations. When I was sitting on the toilet bowl, the strange thing is, I got disoriented, thinking that I am in the driver seat of my car ! As a creature of habit, I thought I started the ignition, and instantaneously tried to reach for the car safety belt. After a few attempts failing to locate the seat belt, I got frustrated. I got out and tried to get out of the “Car”. I fell on the floor with my leg caught in my dropped pants. Ahhh... lucky I did not hit my head, and I suddenly became aware and back to reality that I am still in bathroom trying conduct an unfinished business. Hmmm... growing old does have its fair share of senility.

Well, what can I say ? Life, sometimes, is a parallel illusions of what seemingly real and yet realistically unreal. Whatever it is, life does go on......