Friday, 29 February 2008

London cooking adventure and a blog break

Went for drinks with my colleagues 2 days ago to celebrate the end of our peak period and it was really a fun time. Truly, everyone drinks here, man or woman. And you know what? We talked about football and there were only 2 Man Utd supporters, me and another regional manager. And we have to defend the fort against West Ham, Spurs, Man City and a horde of Arsenal fans who are all… women! Someone called me a scum when she knew I am a Man Utd supporter. Hey… it was fun, I was not complaining.

I will be off to Italy for about 2 weeks and will be off from the blogosphere. After a week of entries with serious tone, let me share with you some of the stuff I have cooking…

Have a good weekend everyone and I hope that when I return, our nation will have a brighter future…

Italy… here I come!

Some general modern slavery comparison

It is something I have never felt before in a very long time. When I woke up in the morning in the last few weeks… I actually look forward to going to work! But as soon as my assignment here is complete (yes, work here can actually finish!!), the e-mails from Malaysia began to flow in… I am brought back to reality that… work sucks.

This is probably stating the obvious but here are some of the general comparisons between here and back home…

Work here also starts at 9am. If you walk in 9.30am, you can still shout ‘good morning’ across the room and everyone shouts back to you in a happy mood.
Work starts at 9am back home. If you walk in at 9.20am, you will get ‘the stare’. If you do it frequently, you will get ‘the lecture’.

On one occasion here, one of my colleagues has to catch an early flight for her holiday and she was allowed to leave at 3pm.
On many occasions back home, one of my colleagues has to “ask for permission” to send her daughter to see the doctor at 7pm… and was denied on several occasions.
On a few occasion here, people can go on leave in the middle of a peak period. If you have to go, you have to go…
Back home, the only reason why you cannot work during peak period is when you’re dead.

Here, when I am given a week to do something, it means the work requires about 35 - 40 hours to be completed.
Back home, when I am given a week to do something, it really means… ‘a week’. Go figure.

Here, meetings are always scheduled latest 3 hours before office hour ends. There are people who will walk out of meetings as they ‘really need to leave on time’.
Back home, meetings can be scheduled as late as 1.5 hour after office hour. And you are ‘expected’ to go.

Here, having lunch with bosses is extremely enjoyable. Conversation usually comprises of 5% work, 10% holiday and 85% about English football.
Back home, you just try not to have lunch with your boss.

Here, the weekends belong to you.
Back home, the weekends belong to you only if your company give it to you… occasionally.

Here, work ends at 5pm and you are free to leave. No one will say a thing. They will even gleefully say ‘goodbye’ to you.
Back home, work ends at 5.45pm. The boss will think you are very free if you leave at 6.45pm. Do that regularly and you are deemed not committed to your work and not a team player.

Here, you can safely say ‘bye-bye’ to your boss and go home.
Back home, you can not say ‘bye-bye’ to anyone until your boss go home.

Here, the days I worked until 6.30pm, my boss here call them ‘late nights’… and we all hate it.
Back home, working till 7 – 8pm is considered normal… and we are supposed to be proud of it.

Here, the boss sometimes asked me to go home early… at about 4.45pm.
Back home, the boss also sometimes ask me to go home early… 7pm.

There are many more other differences which I will blog in details in the very near future. When I am back in Malaysia, I can only dream of such working culture. And I know a lot of Malaysians will conveniently brand those in the west as ‘lazy’. Well, is it a case of them being lazy? Or us being stupid?


Thursday, 28 February 2008

One last take

I just finished viewing a few video clips from Malaysiakini.tv and I strongly encourage that you will also have a peep. The interview with Azmi Sharom and a talk by Harris Ibrahim are the top picks. As I will be without internet access for 2 weeks beginning Saturday, I am going to miss all these updates. I will even miss the election results.

Anyway… a lot of my friends (those who are voting) believe that BN will be denied a 2/3 majority. Harris Ibrahim, in his talk said we should think positive. He believes the opposition can form the next government! However, Azmi Sharom, in his interview with Malaysiakini thinks otherwise. The same view is shared by Tricia Yeoh, the Director of CPPS.

What do I think? Sad to say, I share the same sentiment as Azmi and Tricia.

If you have been wondering around the blogosphere, you must have read about all sorts of dirty tricks done by u-know-who to ensure that u-know-who will continue to stay in power. Using
phantom voter is the most preferred strategy. Others include moving voters to other voting area in the very last minute and sudden disappearing act for genuine voters. I don’t need to link the articles. If you have been reading, you will know.

I just heard that a lot of opposition candidates are also dropping out. My friend suggested that they may have been threatened or being offered some ‘sweets’. Oh well, everyone has a price. Some are just more expensive.

And I would like to mention about the bunch of people who not too long ago were very gung-ho about creating awareness and sending petition, etc. etc. I wonder what is the update of that thing? And this is really the time we can really make a difference, wonder what they are doing? I guess they have gone to their respective ‘Malaysian’ way already. Jlshyang, sorry I have to take a bite at this… you know me.

Of course, those who are not bothered to register to vote because they just don’t want to get involved or they think casting a vote means they are involved in politics or for whatsoever reasons. Whatever it is, I just think they are contributing to the downfall of this country, indirectly.

Also deserves a mention are those who will vote BN believing that BN is the only party capable of leading the country. I think I spoke to someone of that nature this morning. He said he prefer to place his bet on the winning horse. What he doesn’t know is that the owner of the horse will take all the winnings and just say thank you to him. Worse, the winnings are probably his money.

With so many shit happening, I seriously doubt that BN will lose a 2/3 majority. So yeah, they will be in power again and they will have the right to amend the constitution as and when they like. The shit will continue. But then again, I think another 5 dismal years will really send the country into abyss.

Oh well, I am going to migrate anyway so what the heck… to hell with this country.

Vote wisely… err… I mean… no need to vote la cause we are all doomed anyway… and we all probably deserve it…

Wednesday, 27 February 2008

What if this election impacts your rice bowl?

Anyway, it is an undeniable fact that most Malaysians, Chinese in particular, are only concern about their rice bowl when it comes to life. So, it doesn’t matter who win in the coming poll, as long as you can have 3 meals a day, drive a non-proton car and have a decent apartment, you’re fine. Or… you are just not interested in all these dirty stuff; you just want to make a living, right?

But what if… just what if… this coming election will have a significant impact on your pocket… on your rice bowl… on your $$RM££?

I think it does… and this is why…

It has been in the speculation for some time now. It is supposed to be here, but it’s not here yet. Some say it will never come, but a lot of analysts are saying that it will come… with a vengeance. I am talking about the dreaded… global recession.

If you are sitting there reading AZAIG right now, there is a 70% chance that you belong to the group of people who did not feel the full impact of the 1997 financial crisis. I am one of them. If you are in this group, then there is a 70% chance that you will feel the pain in the next version of the recession.

Statistics have shown that recession is a 10 year cycle, with the last being in 1987 and 1997. Since we are already in 2008, the statistics are either wrong, or the recession is already here. A quick look at the results announcement of all major corporations, you will note a very common statement, that 2008 will be a very challenging year. Though this is quite an annual common statement, this year; it brings about a different tone.

I will not go into the details as it will probably bore you to the maximum…

All I remember is that a few of my friends suffered immensely in the last 1997 recession. One lost his chance to further his studies overseas at that time while the other, his father sold a corner-lot property in Bangsar for a huge discount just to make ends meet. Entering the modern slavery world in late 2000, I remember hearing my then seniors telling me about the hardship they had to go through. It was bad, a lot of us were just lucky enough not to feel it.

So… if… just if… the recession is to happen, what do you think will happen to you?

I strongly believe that if the recession is to land on Malaysian shores, all the more we need capable leaders; all the more we need qualified individuals to lead this country. When the going gets tough, and if our country still has leaders who can't even speak proper English, we are in for some really deep shit.

There were also rumours and speculation (which means I am not sure if you should believe) that our country’s oil rigs will run dry in the year 2011, which effectively put a big dent on the country’s revenue source. What do you think will happen to us if we have incapable leaders?

And all you care about is your rice bowl and not voting huh…?

P/S: Comments count has been going downhill since I went uphill on election related entries while traffic hit thousands in 3 days running. Sigh… Malaysians…

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

The significance of the non-voters

If you have been doing blog hopping, you will find that election is the theme of the game at the moment. Besides what the ministers branded as ‘govt bashing’ type of entries, you will also see another type bashing… non-voter bashing.

Truly, I am amazed at the amount of people who are eligible to vote but never bother to even register. The kind of reasons they give you can sometimes be so ridiculous, you just feel like slapping some sense into them. One that tops my list is “Aiyah, BN sure win one la”. Of course, there are those who repeatedly complain about things and repeatedly reiterate that they will register but in the end, never got around doing it.

Anyway, someone was telling me that talking about these non-voters is a total waste of time; they are insignificant now. Instead, we should blog about more prominent issues. Well, I have to disagree.

According to Malaysia today, there are 26m Malaysians where 11m are registered voters and only 8m will come out to vote. Some of the balance 3m registered voters are out of the country who probably wants to vote but unable to do so; one being here in London who will be in Italy during election day.

Much has been said about the 8m voters out there. But what about the 15m who are not voting? And how many are eligible? If 50% of that 15m are eligible voters; that means there are 7.5m out there who can vote but are not voting! Heck, that is as much as the amount of sure-to-vote voters out there!

Let us attempt to analyse these 7.5m Malaysians who are not registered for whatever reasons…

I don’t know about you but I can say that 99% of the people who are not registered to vote are not exactly supporting the current establishment. To be prudent, say out of the 7.5m, probably 5m (or more) will probably vote for the opposition IF they are registered voters and vote. Now imagine… what kind of impact these 5m will make if they were to come out and make a difference.

In a game where a winner has to be established; and if your vote is for candidate A, a non-vote from you is indirectly a vote for candidate B. With talks about
gerrymandering and phantom voters and certain voters being ‘transferred’ to other areas without them knowing it, I can’t help but to think of the significance of the 5m would be opposition voters.

I once mentioned before that “those who refuse to do anything because they rather not be part of the mess… by virtue of not doing anything… is
part of the mess”. This statement cannot be anymore real than now.

Indeed, those who said “Aiyah, BN sure win one la”… they are actually right. What they don’t know is that they are reason why BN won and will probably win again. It is indeed an unfortunate truth that the future of the nation will not only be decided by those who are voting, but also by those who aren’t.

Monday, 25 February 2008

An election song that cracks me up...

Someone left a comment which led me to this video. It's too cool and I just have to share it.
Whoever made it, they sure can turn some serious issues into humour. My hats off to them.

Anyway, I went to Peterborough and Cambridge over the weekend and I must say, I really love the countryside, no doubt about it. Perhaps some pics later.

Friday, 22 February 2008

A piece of humour in the current light

I went for a haircut today as I just can't stand not having short hair. Got ripped of £20! But you know what? The saloon I went to was owned by a Malaysian and all the stylists there are Malaysians. Gee… and I thought the brain-drain problem is only confined to professionals. Even hair stylists are moving away!

I got this from a forwarded mail and in the light of the recent “heat”, I reckon I should share this with you guys…

While walking down a street one day, a minister got hit by a truck and dies. His soul arrives in heaven and is met by St. Peter at the entrance.

“Welcome to heaven” says St. Peter. “Before you settle in, it seems there is a problem. We seldom see a high official around these parts, so we are not sure what to do with you”.

“No problem, just let me in” says the minister.

“Well, I have orders from higher up. What we’ll do is to have you spend one day in hell and one day in heaven. Then you can choose where you can spend eternity”.

“Really, I have made up my mind, I want to stay in heaven” says the minister.

“I’m sorry, we have rules” says St. Peter. Thereafter, St. Peter escorts the man to the elevator and they go down, down, down to hell. At the destination, they find themselves in a green golf course. In the distance is a clubhouse and standing in front of it are all his friends and politicians who had worked with him.

Everyone is happy and they run to greet the minister, shake his hands and all. They play a game of golf and then indulge themselves in lobsters, caviar and the most expensive stuff there is.

Also present is the devil himself who is really quite a friendly guy and they all had a good time dancing and telling jokes. They are having such a good time and before he realises it, it is already time to go. Everyone gives him a hearty farewell and waves as the elevator rises.

The elevator reaches heaven and the door opens where St. Peter is waiting for him and says “Now is the time to visit heaven”

So, 24 hours pass with the minister joining a group of contended souls playing harps and singing and jumping from one cloud to another. Time passes by and after a day, St. Peter returns and asks the minister to choose where he wants to spend eternity.

Without any hesitation he replies “Well, I never thought I will say it, I mean heaven has been great, but I think I am better off in hell”

So St. Peter escorts him to the elevator and he goes down, down, down to hell. Now the doors open to a barren land covered with waste and garbage. He sees all his best friends all dressed in rags picking up trash everywhere.

The devil comes to the minister and naturally, the minister asked, “I don’t understand. Yesterday I was here and we were having such a good time playing golf, eating lobster and caviar and dance. Now this is just a wasteland full of garbage. What happened?”

The devil looks at him and said with a cheeky smile…

“Yesterday we were campaigning. Today, you voted”

I am off to Peterborough this weekend. You guy have a good time too ya!

P/S: Kenny Mah said his name has been misspelled in the electoral check. I think we should all check and make sure the spelling is correct. What if they deny you your right to vote because of this “spelling error”?

Thursday, 21 February 2008

A matter of un-proven record?

Yes, I won’t deny it. The opposition is in a somewhat disarray state. The withdrawal of a certain influential MP does not help either. Further, there was also news on how opposition will be opposing one another in certain constituencies. Very disappointing indeed, and it certainly did not augur well for their reputation.

For those who never had much confidence in the opposition parties, this is like a confirmation of that gut feeling, isn’t it? For those who think that only the present government is capable of leading the country, this certainly strengthen your believes, isn’t it?

Not for me though.

Yes, all of them are probably selfish and have personal agendas. But I have more respect for men who have been to jail and upon release, still go back into politics and made themselves heard than those who blatantly do wrong things and yet, refuse to admit. That is on top of the fact they will never pay for what they have done.

I also recall people who screamed about how great our local universities are and how quality if top notch and results are fantastic only to know for a fact that none of their children attended local universities. Heck, I don’t think they even attend local public schools. I don’t even want to go into how the funds which sent them overseas come from.

I think I am more comfortable placing my trust on people who have proper qualification and have been writing political blogs in decent English than to have people who speak like that that that that that that on international T.V. being a minister. It’s not a matter of bringing disgrace to the country, which is also true of course. It’s a matter of who is more qualified.

I am also reminded of how I have to pay excessively for a non-proton car due to high taxes imposed to protect the already failed local automobile industries. Thereafter, me and other non-proton owners are branded as non-patriotic by the same people who have been driving around in Mercedez and BMWs; purchased by the taxes deducted from our salaries.

While some people travel in expensive Mercedez and BMWs, I remember how a friend of mine died because he had to fly
an expired helicopter called Nuri. They said those junks will be replaced but till today, they are still in the air. I wonder if ever one will come crashing to my house while I am blogging. And what about those bus and ferry crashes reports promised?

Yes, religious freedom is still in the air. But the fact that temples and churches are being demolished quietly (and some in broad day-light), I can only ponder whether this self proclaimed freedom will end one day. With the way things are, it’s not looking good.

And despite the somewhat state of disarray of the alternative parties, I don't recall any of them asking me to "... keluar dari Malaysia..."

I am not a lawyer but I know if you have material evidence and witness testifying against you, you are as good as dead. But I am reminded of a system when a man being recorded going ‘correct, correct, correct’ with people testifying against him can just say “… it’s not me” and… that’s it! What if one day one of my family member is killed by a connected individual? All he needs to say is … “it’s not me”?

It is still very fresh in my memory on how the number 1 man in the country (by title at least) can make a statement one minute and make a 180 degrees turn on that same statement within 24 hours. Forget how some blogs are claiming that he had totally forgotten about it (which could be true of course); but such thing just put me in a speechless state.

When I think of all the above and a whole load of other things which I didn’t or can’t mention, the state of disarray in the alternative parties and how a MP walks out of a party becomes rather relative, if at all material. While the alternative parties are not exactly doing a fantastic job in trying to convince me that they are they way forward, the current ruling power has certainly done a fantastic job in convincing me that they are… not the way forward.

And most importantly, the very reason why I think we should all still give the alternative parties a chance is because… you read the above and you agree with it.

Updated: For those who are voting, please do an online check to see if you are voting at the right area. Fellow blogger Albert Yap foung out he is supposed to vote in some god forsaken land he has never step foot on.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Thoughts from government talk

Over the last 1 month or so, I have been having lunch with a Korean, a naturalised Australian and 2 Indians. Naturally, after a month of eating together and with the recently announced General Election in Malaysia, I can't help but to bring up the topic of govt in our respective country during our lunches.

The Korean didn’t really talk much about his govt as he has been out of his country for the last 7 years or so. It is a well known fact that
India has a very corrupted government, something my Indian friends openly admitted. When it comes to the Australian, that’s when the talk became interesting.

With 4 of her cities in the top 10 most liveable cities in the world list, it is an undeniable fact that Australia is the number 1 migration destination for most Malaysians. Australia also carries with it a ‘clean’ govt image. But is Australia really that great?

If you think close tender is a trademark of our BN-led government, think again. Apparently, there are disputes in Australia too, where tender for govt projects were also made behind closed door --- with the tender amount not made known to public. There are also incidents where there were mismanagement of public funds where hundreds of thousands of AU$ were squandered or used for personal gain. Are you astonished?

Of course, I too shared about our beautiful country and how we have policies such as NEP, universities quota, govt projects, institutionalised racism, etc. etc. I managed to make all of their jaws dropped with my contribution in this govt-comparison conversation. Seriously, I let is all out; and it’s good to be able to practise absolute ‘freedom of speech’ without having to look over my shoulder here.

There is somewhat a conclusion that things are pretty much the same everywhere; to which I only partially agree. I know a lot of people out there share the same sentiment; thus the I’m-not-voting-cause-it’s-not-going-to-make-any-difference attitude amongst many of us.

Why I disagree?

Well, I do not deny that things are not exactly fantastic overseas, I do not deny that things can be somewhat quite the same everywhere… but…I strongly believe that things can be very much better here. Worse, our Malaysian govt is not only not doing those things, but openly deny that they do not need to do it… or… they put up some show and publish some nonsense in the press and make us look like fools. Tragically, most of us accept it, which really make us fools. Are you a fool?

Take the close-tender and mismanagement funds in Australia I mentioned above for example. Those perpetrators were prosecuted and brought to justice. What do you think will happen if it is in Malaysia? (Think Zakaria) Worse, perpetrators in Malaysia could also turn around and prosecute you if you dare bring them to justice.

We can go on and on doing comparison and defending our points on why we think the present govt should not take office again or otherwise and it will go on forever. And in the heat of the current election fever, I am sure we all can talk about a whole crap-load of things.

But… I just want to make one point, if you don’t mind.

I believe Malaysia’s worst woe at the moment is not corruption or racism or NEP-ism or whatever not. I believe Malaysia’s worst woe at the moment is “a total state of lawlessness”. It is frightening fact to me, and I think it should be frightening to you too.

10 years ago, this state of lawlessness caused the nation a lot of money but we are fine with it because most of us can still put 3 meals on the table and life as it is then, was still rosy. Now however, the state of lawlessness is causing not only the lost of money, but the lost of lives… a lot of lives… and it is frightening. Speaking of being frightened, how many of us live in fear?

I am terrified that there are people above the law, though they deny it. I am terrified that as a citizen, I can just be put in jail for no reason whatsoever (think ISA). It’s an absolutely state of lawlessness, though it’s ironic that ISA is a law.

As the nation walks towards the next polling date, I want to remind you that this fear which have gripped you so ever tightly in the past… is real! But I think there are bigger things to be afraid of, and it ain’t your rice bowl.

The question is; what are you going to do about it?

P/S: A big thank you to Kenny who gave me the “
excellent blog award”.
P/S/S: Thank you to Sooi2 who highlighted to me that my article has been plagiarised. A site by the name of more4u(dot)wordpress has been copying articles from all over the place without giving credit to the rightful author.

Friday, 15 February 2008

A take at the Edison scandal

Someone sent me a mail asking me if I am going to blog about the most talked about sex scandal in the world at the moment. I am sure you all know what I am talking about. Otherwise, all I can say is that you’re missing out on one of the juiciest stories of the decade. Seriously, this news is big. It’s reported not only in the Asian region, but it’s also in the papers in Australia, America and here in the UK.

First and foremost, I think Gillian Chung is such a hypocrite. It was only months ago when she was photographed while changing her clothes in Genting and she reacted by crying and acting like a pure innocent girl next door and now… her woo-lala is paraded proudly for the world to see.

She made a statement 2 days ago saying that she “was na├»ve in the past and she is grown up now”. Oh yeah, I certainly agree… looking at her woo-lala… errr… I mean looking her, there has been much growing going on.

As for Edison, he also made a press statement saying he was “filled with pain, hurt and frustration”… hmmm… I wonder if those girls bit him when they were blowing him. That probably explains the pain and hurt. Frustration? Hmmm….
Anyway; for those who have had a very good look at the series of juicy pics released, did you notice something? No, I am not saying about the authenticity of those pics, we’ve established that already. Well, if you look closely at those pics, which I am sure all of you would have done… closely… you will notice that those pics are actually still caption from a video. And it’s not just one video… a series of videos…

At the time of writing, videos have not been released yet. They are still in the hands of the currently most wanted man on earth after Osama; someone going with the name of ‘Kira’. Apparently (and this is only a rumour), one very famous and important male figure in the HK entertainment world was heard talking in one of the video. If this is true, it explains why the entire HK is going after this Kira dude.

Me and my colleagues had a long interesting chat about this issue today. One of my colleagues here is a native Hong Kong-ian but has since taken up Australian citizenship. Being a native from HK, she certainly had fair share of knowledge of the HK entertainment world.

Many of us will know that the HK entertainment industry is heavily controlled by the triads. We certainly do not need to be reminded of what happened to Carina Lau. My colleague said that it was rumoured (note = rumour) that if you’re well connected enough to the triads, you can actually ‘order’ a celebrity for a night.

Interesting huh… so who would you want if you can order? 2 nights enough for you?

And… I am sure those who have seen the pics will agree with me… if at any time in your life you want to do a sex-video… for goodness sake…trim your bush.

Off to Paris for the weekend… You guys have a good one!

P/S: Those who heard about this news for the first time can begin to scramble for the pics now.

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Absolute boleh-ness

It is frightening when at the beginning of the day, our PM strongly denied that parliament will be dissolved today (13 February 2008)…



… only to make a press conference on the day itself saying the total opposite!!!

My fellow Malaysians; and friends from all around the world… perhaps I should not use the word ‘lie’ here; but making a statement only to reverse it within 24 hours is certainly not funny thing. It is a very serious matter.

Lest we forget, the man himself also denied finding new love only to announce his marriage soon after that. That piece of information may be irrelevant for all of us, but stating one thing and doing another in relation to the General Election is certainly very relevant to us.

I don’t know about you but when I look at statements made such as I-will-be-fair-to-all… I-will-stop-corruption (ok, this one has gone bust)… I-have-rakyats’-interest-at-heart… inflation-will-be-controlled… I-will-do-this…I-will-do-that and all the nice promises mentioned, I can’t help but wonder how easy it is to reverse all these statements, if they have not been reversed already. And just to take it a note further… are all those lies? I guess we already know the answer.

A quick note to those who have been complaining and wanting to vote but failed to find time to register; you’ve missed the boat and you have probably miss one of the most significant election ever.

Some of us may see the bright side of it, i.e. this is truly the Malaysia boleh spirit. If you are one of them, you’re truly a moron. It is frightening beyond words living in an environment where anything is possible. I am sure we all want some certainty in some quarters; particularly in our future.

Being away, many have said that home is where the heart is. But if you think a step further, is home where your future is? Judging by what happened today, I can't really see it.

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Making an election prophecy

All the wonderful promises are out. Looks like it’s full speed ahead towards a snap election which could happen in the next month or so. Based on the website Malaysia Today, the election could happen as early as 1st March. If that is true, I will be very sad; simply because I am going to miss it.

Some friends have inquired and found out that it is not possible to vote from the embassy here. Isn’t it ridiculously stupid amazing that Malaysians abroad are not able to vote through embassies but qualified JPA students will be voting. At least that’s what I understand. Apparently students and military personnel are allowed to vote; but not us. We are not Malaysians if we are abroad, so it seems.

Anyway, the area which I am supposed to vote in is quite an opposition stronghold. My father used to say… “This is a rocket area”. True enough, this area has been a rocket launching site for quite a number of terms now.

However, I have an interesting point to make here……

Through my observation, I noticed that there has a massive influx of foreign workers into my area in the last few years. Once a place dominated by the Chinese, it is now heavily infested with Indons and Banglas. And trust me, when I said it’s huge… it’s HUGE! There are even some stores and a few mini-markets opened by them here.

Now, back to my area being a rocket stronghold… The rocket has always been winning here by a comfortable majority in previous terms. If… and I said ‘IF’… somehow… the rocket can no longer take flight in the coming term… it will seriously puzzle me.

And…

If the rocket suffers a total white-wash… I can’t help but think that the Indons and Banglas here made the difference. What does that mean? It simply means these people who are not Malaysians have been given the right to vote. I am not saying that they have been illegally given MyKad to vote and certainly not making any accusation. But I certainly can’t help but think that way if the unfortunate happens.

Well, it will be interesting to see.

And… it will be such a mockery to Malaysians who refuse to vote.

P/S: Dear God. If possible, put the election to a date where I can make it. Amen.

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

London Chinese New Year discovery

I was invited to a Chinese New Year dinner gathering last Saturday by KT. It was held on a Saturday as all of us Malaysian Chinese here had to work during CNY, no holiday for us poor souls.
It was held in a nice double storey house, rent by 4 Malaysians currently working in London. As more and more guests arrived, I realised it is more like a gathering for Malaysian accountants!

One of the hosts is the brother of my ex-schoolmate. I also bumped into some of my former colleagues and my former classmates, all currently working in London… all accountants. There was also this junior from my

By the 9pm or so, the whole house was swamped with Malaysians… all accountants… all wishing each other ‘xing nian kuai le’, subtly moving our feet and head to the CNY tunes playing from the hi-fi system.

I believe one of the main reasons
why Malaysians still choose to remain in Malaysia is the presence of families and close friends; and of course the food. But when I sat at one corner and observed all that was going on in the house that day; I realised that those reasons and slowly but surely diminishing.

If Malaysians think moving overseas will result in loneliness, think again. There is really a very closely knitted Malaysians community here and I understand that gathering in this particular house is quite common. There was really a very lively buzz amongst everyone. Loneliness in a foreign land is slowly becoming a myth; at least here in London.

After telling people there that I am only here for a short stint, I was constantly asked whether I plan to work here permanently. Everyone was just so enthusiastic about working here and earning £, you just know that they will all be here for a really long time. I also know for a fact that a lot of Malaysians are in the process of getting jobs here.

Of course, there is the regular chat about the political scene in Malaysia. As expected, everyone there is utterly pissed about things back in Malaysia and there is a general consensus that things will only get worse. Personally, I feel it is such a sad fact that all these talented accountants are plying their trade in a foreign land and only have bad things to say about home. But then again, the phrase “I love my country but my country does not love me” again comes into play…

Besides good food, enlightening fellowship amongst Malaysians, a CNY gathering will never be complete without a good gambling session. Gambling in £, though not my first time; it is certainly very nervous looking at the cards in your hand. I made £11 and went home happy…

Last not but least… guess who I found amidst the CNY celebration in London?























Monday, 11 February 2008

2 true remarks

Heck… why should I change my style and my way? I would rather you hate me for who I am, than to love me for who I am not… ain’t that right?
Anyway, I went to Hillsong again today and the pastor made 2 remarks which made quite an impact on me. Simple but yet so true, I think a lot of Christians in Malaysia (or anywhere around the world), should take notice.

Most Christians call it ‘the wisest thing you can do’. I call it “the Christians’ great escape”. It is when Christians say… “I will pray about it”. It’s a time when Christians are confused as to whether they should do what is right or do what they want. Ya’ see, rather than admitting that they want to do what they want; or refuse to do what is right… Christians carve their own escape route by saying… “I will pray about it”.

The pastor was talking about sponsoring a child in Uganda today and asked the congregation to think about it and serious consider it as it has immense impact but whatever they do… Don’t pray about it. Why? Because he already knows what God’s answer is. And he knows if Christians are to pray about it, chances are nothing will be done.

So next time you’re thinking of praying about something… think again…

The second remark is something I believe a lot of Christians in the Klang valley should listen to. He said Christians should exalt the message, and not the deliverer of the message. I think it is so true for though I hate to judge, I strongly believe that a lot of Christians in the Klang valley exalt not the church, not the message, but the deliverer of the message. Yes, I am referring to Christians being “follower of pastors”.

If you are a Christians, ask yourself. Who are the speakers that you really like and you have really enjoyed listening to? And then ask yourself… what is the message that he/she spoke of that you remember?

I will remember these 2 points for a long time, I think you should too.

Anyway, 2 weeks from now; on the 24th of February, Hillsong London will be doing “live album recording” during church service. No wonder I’ve never heard of the songs sung during service before. Wonder if my face will be captured in the DVD… gonna be so cool!

Wednesday, 6 February 2008

Some blogging thoughts and CNY greetings

Blogging is getting increasingly tough. First you make friends, but somehow, you will also make enemies along the way. Some will love you, some will be neutral, but some may also hate you.

Perhaps it is time to take a breather. I am very sure Jules will be happy that I am considering this.

It will be a good time to ponder and re-assess things during this festive period. Let’s see how things go…

To all Chinese AZAIG readers… Gong Hey Fatt Choy and have a prosperous new year. Stay safe on the roads! To the rest… happy holidays!

An enlightening beer-less encounter

I met someone for dinner just a few hours ago. He is an AZAIG reader has been asking if we could meet up for dinner of coffee. We arranged the time and venue and the place to meet was High Street Kensington. I had no clue what is in store for me.

As soon as I walked out from the station, I saw someone standing by the exit and as soon as he looked up, he asked… “Zewt?”. After a brief introduction, we left for dinner. The place to go was “Whole Food Market”. It’s a supermarket plus a food court, and the food here is mainly organic.

After we ordered our food and drinks, he generously paid for me as well and we found a place to have our meal and thus began a very enlightening conversation…

The man in question is freelance photographer and producer of the book “Malaysians”. Besides being a freelance photographer, he also runs an art gallery here in London, a venue for art students to parade their artistic talents. I think he is a man who appreciates art very much

Blogging under the nick
svllee, he is a Malaysian who has been living in London for almost 30 years now. Despite being away from Malaysia for most part of his life, he calls himself a patriot; and I can't help but agree with him, totally. I know a lot of people out there perceive those who leave the country as people who have abandoned their roots. If you meet svllee, you think have to think again.

Being in London for 30 years now, I asked why he has not given up his Malaysian citizenship and apply for a British passport? By the way, his wife is a British too. His answer was plain, simple; but yet profound. To him, Malaysia is still his home and he would like to hold on to his root. How many of us will be like him?

Not only that, he is also very up-to-date with the happenings in Malaysia. From the Bersih rally to the parliamentary leakage to the body snatching saga to the bus crash to the Lingam saga… he knows it all. Honestly speaking, I am astonished. Here is a man who probably spent perhaps only a quarter of life in Malaysia but yet still so patriotic is still so well-aware of things in the country; I am astonished. How many of us will forget about things in Malaysia after being a year away?

He sees Malaysian as a very unique ‘race’. It is not just Malay, Chinese or Indians who fascinates him; it is the “dan lain-lain lagi” (so he claimed) who fascinates him deeply. This brought about the book ‘
Malaysians’; which is a portrait of Malaysians faces, artistically snapped with caption from a professional journalist. Marina Mahathir wrote the foreword of the book. No, this is not a sponsored post.
I briefly browse through the book and indeed, there are many Malaysian faces whom I never thought will be Malaysians. We are indeed a very diversely wonderful race. Be proud of it we should.

The book is a project initiated for Malaysians. He is currently looking at producing another one, also about Malaysians. I wonder if I will have the privilege to appear or pen some thoughts there.

Svlllee is a living testimony of the saying…”you can take a Malaysian out of Malaysia but you can never take Malaysia out of a Malaysian”. 30 years in a foreign land, his most profound statement was …

“I really don’t want my country to go down the dump” (something like that…)

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Another day of work

Today is another day of work. As I check my wallet, I realised I have almost exhausted all of wages for this month. As I placed my wallet back to my pocket, I felt a few sheets of paper. I took them out and have a look. Oh… they are the 2 summons I got last night. That made it a total of 13 I have yet to settle.

I can never settle them. My wages barely feeds my family. My children are all young and though my wife is working, we struggle to make ends meet. My company did not provide me with any allowance to settle my summons. They are just interested to get the route done. And I have no choice but drive beyond the speed limit as I am paid by the amount of route I complete. I need the money to support my family.

This one which I am going to drive today seems to have some problems with the brakes. I have been telling my boss a few times now that this bus needs some servicing done. He will just nod walks away every time I mentioned it. I hope the bus can complete the journey today. I kissed my family goodbye and left for work.





Today is another day of work. There will be 5 buses going up and down the expressway today. I think 2 of the buses are not exactly in tip-top condition. I want to repair them by business has been slow lately. Since the last crackdown on buses, we were all ‘requested’ to make some ‘contributions’. If we refuse, we will be shut down. All the money is gone to them. I have to make enough before I can service those buses properly

Besides, it’s the new year and all the permits and licences will need renewal. It will be another round of application fees, renewal fees and of course, we will again need to give some ‘contributions’. If otherwise, I have a funny feeling the permits and licences will encounter some unforeseen circumstances thus affecting the renewal processes.

The weather seems fine today. I hope the bus can complete the designated route safely. I will tidy up everything when give more wages to the driver when I make enough. That’s provided there will not be any more reasons for ‘contribution’. Today looks like another day of work.





What if today is just another day of work?

Are you doing the right thing to not make this another day of work?


Monday, 4 February 2008

The 3 seeks

After church today (No – this is not a religion related entry); KT, Richard and myself went to Piccadilly for lunch where we found this English restaurant which offers the regular Sunday roast. The food wasn’t that great but what I enjoyed most was the conversation which lasted for almost 2 hours.
We talked about almost everything ranging from economy to politics to religion to holiday to the simply courtesy of asking others if they want a drink if you are buy one for yourself. In the midst of the conversation, Richard made a statement which eventually inspired this entry. He said something to the effect that there are many first generation Christians in Malaysia nowadays after knowing that both mine and KT do not come from Christians family… and we wonder why…

I think I know why…

I think Malaysians have evolved over the last few decades in terms of the things they seek, generally speaking. The generation before me, those who are 40s and above; I believed they were born in a generation who predominantly seeks money. I used the word ‘money’, not ‘wealth’; simply because their intention was for mainly survival.

My father wanted me to find a job and start working as soon as I finished my SPM. He was in shock when I told him I wanted to study further. Get a job and start making money as soon as possible was ‘the motto’ in life for that generation. Survival is the one most important thing in life… one must be able to provide for the family.

How many of our parents are Masters degree holder?... if at all they have a undergraduate degree. No time for education… they seek money.

What about my generation? What do we seek? For those of us born in the 70s and early 80s; I believe we were born into a generation who predominantly seeks knowledge. Not that it is ‘knowledge’, and not ‘wisdom’; I think most of us are rather unwise, myself included.

Anyway, I think my generation is one who pretty much seeks knowledge. No doubt, we want money too, but we also know that we will be able to achieve more if we know more. We are aware that we need to equip ourselves before plunging ourselves into ‘hard labour’. This is why there are less rags-to-riches stories amongst us. Of course, whether knowledge can bring success is another notion altogether.

And just to digress and answer Richard, I think this is why there are quite a number of first generation Christians in my generation. Our knowledge seeking adventure most of us to… Christianity… I think.

What about the new generation now?

I think the new generation, those born in the late 80s and 90s… they are now in a generation who predominantly seeks pleasure; and probably glamour too. They truly know the meaning of ‘enjoying life’, something which the money-seeking-generation failed to appreciate.

They don’t really need to seek money, as most of them come from families where their parents have done enough money seeking thus, have enough supply. They too know knowledge is important, but they carry a heavy load of ‘life-is-short-live-it-to-the-fullest’ mentality.
Gadgets… fashionable clothing… games… looking cool… glamour… the pleasure of life they seek. Money is not a problem, just extend your hands and ask. Knowledge is everywhere, just need to click on the button and everything is readily available. With all these available, it is pleasure they seek. Perhaps this is why there is a clear emergence of ‘
the new breed’ in the modern slavery market.

I think that is how Malaysians have evolved through the last few decades. One would wonder what the next generation will seek. I think I can guess by looking at the trend in other developed countries.

Can you guess it too?