Saturday, December 19, 2015

Putting the Genie Back

It's been quite a while since I saw Robert De Niro in a good movie. About a year or so ago, the movie he acted in was so slow moving that I actually fell asleep. No offence meant as by now I should know that having a good cast does not mean a good movie. The story, the directing, the line, the cinematography, and many more contribute to the make of a good production. Let's not forget the twist and turns - however painful some maybe - which makes the audience sit up just as the they thought it was predictable. And it does not have to be an action movie at all. No sirree, it does not. One fine example is the latest De Niro movie 'The Intern'. That, by my reckoning, is a gem and a must watch. Oh OK, I've watched it so it is now listed as a 'must watch again'.


Now, before I continue, I think I should state that I am not a film critic. However since this is my blog, I can pretty much write my opinion on what I think is good or bad (smile), hoping that in no way at all the words I write or have written, can be considered seditious. Speaking of which: Prof, do hang in there, buddy. Now that more academicians have begun voicing their concern particularly about your freedom, you may yet walk free. OK, so I'm not one of those academicians. In fact, I'm not even an academician but who gives a shit, right? But I'm with you just as I believe many more academicians, and not, are. And Prof, just think this episode as one of the twist in movies (easy for me to say, huh?).


With a fine cast which include the hot Anne Hathaway, the twist in the movie may not be as profound as I mentioned above. In fact, one can describe it more as subtle even to the point of not noticeable. But it is there and one just have to follow the dialogues pretty close to catch it. That. however,  can be somewhat difficult when one's eyes are glued to that Ms Hathaway who  is in a role far different from those sci-fi/action movies I've seen her in. In 'T.I', she play a precious almost innocent-looking young mother and wife who heads her own on-line sales company.


De Niro, meanwhile, has a role which is not of a toughie, but one I love best. It may not win him the Oscar, but to me, it was simply the best I've seen of one of the best actors around. In a scene where he and Ms Hathaway had a snack late at night, Ms Hathaway said a line which became part of the title of this entry: Can't put the genie back in the bottle. Oh babe, you looked so darling precious! Oops! Want to know more the scene and movie? Watch it. Honestly, I am anticipating a sequel. But just as in real life, somethings are better left as it is. The same, sadly, cannot be said about the situation in this country of ours.


Of late, the news are splattered with stories about the rebels within that political party, a name that not only I, but many loathe even to mention. A hideous, heinous, party with a 4letter(word) acronym where members think of nothing but themselves and their party. To date, only one - and he is actually walking the plank now - had the brains to think about the nation first before that party. Even then, it was uttered only once and since then, never again.  I pray that there'll come a day when the party and all its members, most especially the office bearers and all affiliated with them, will come to and end soon. We may not be able to put the Genie back in the bottle, we can then start looking for a better future. Till then, we just have to accept their presence and menace as another twist in the history of this beloved country of ours.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

A Future Beckons

The man walked out of the mamak restaurant towards his car and decided to head back home. He glanced at his watch and the time read half-past 2 in the morning and called his wife to tell her he'll be arriving shortly. He had been with a few friends discussing their dissatisfaction in matters of the nation where each of them voiced their opinion on ways that might help. With rising living cost which many can no longer afford, more than a few have no other recourse but to borrow from Money-Lenders, licensed and not, having pawned (and lost) many of their possessions in the early days of the regime. Soon, there will be nothing left but their very soul.

During the course of the discussion, the man had stood and raised his voice, roaring above the din of the TV sound system to emphasise his point: "This next election, we must vote the regime out!", expecting a euphoria of agreement but was instead, greeted by a deadly silence not only from his friends, but the entire shop. Suddenly, everyone stopped talking and pretended to look the other way. Even his friends. Except Guy.

Guy pulled Man's right hand and asked him to sit down them whispered in his ear "You should not have said that! It's dangerous and they could have heard you".

Shaken by Guy's words, Man looked around at the crowd in the restaurant, paying special attention to anyone who did not look familiar but could not make anything about them: the elderly couple looked too thin and frail; the young man, more of the hip-hop kind and with the hat on his head, he did looked like the Gestapo, one from the many World War II movies he had seen; and the young lady, pretty and innocent looking, was coyishly talking on her cell phone and in all probability with her boyfriend. No, Man deduced. There's no one here that may be a member of the regime's intelligence.

"We are supposed to be a democratic nation..." Man said in a voice far different than when he was standing.
"Democratic nation, my foot!" whispered Guy. "They've been rigging the elections from Day One and this moment we are in now, is the penultimate to it all. Just one more is all it takes and we'll be their slaves".
"No! I'll not let my children be slaves to anyone! And not to them certainly, not them!". Man stood up and walked towards his car.

As he reached his car, four figures suddenly appeared from a van parked next to car. What happened next, no one really know. But Man must have felt electric shocks from a single shot of a Taser Gun and was already in spasms when he fell to the ground. As his conscious begin to fade, he must have caught the sight of the pretty and innocent looking young lady he saw earlier and heard the words "We are from the Love Squad! Nobody! Nobody dare challenge our beloved leaders!", even as he felt the front of a boot cracking one of his rib bones. Such was the standard procedure told by the lucky few that managed to crawl away. Man's wife, will spend a very long morning waiting.

/-



One good thing about being a Sit-Down Comedian is that I can write just about anything so long as I keep within socio-boundary of respect for my fellow human. Leeches and Jackasses, along with bootlickers, are way another story.

Anyway, one take the fiction above anyway one wants to. But to several Malaysians, the ending part is already a reality. Maybe not to the letter, but it has happened in form. Ops Lalang, BERSIH 1 - 3, Memali, ISA detainees, are the ones we know of. What about the ones we do not now of? Could Ahmad Sharbani, Ong Beng Hock and perhaps many more make up the list of Serial Victims? A few of them are ladies, I should remind you. Dare you with utmost certainty be certain that you or your kins will not be in the list? Even if you can, dare you watch your friends or neighbour being carted away for a wrong they do not even know of? If you want to stand up for the country you love, then please, sign the petition below:

NO TO NEW SECURITY BILL!

or go: https://www.change.org/p/yb-senator-tan-sri-abu-zahar-ujang-ahli-dewan-negara-summarily-reject-the-d-r-38-2015-majlis-keselamatan-negara-2015-bill


We may win, we may not. But if you do not do anything at all, the we will surely fail. Then, only the Sound of Silence will accompany you.












Thursday, November 26, 2015

A Leter To Myself

Way before broadband and even dial-up internet services came into existence, I read somewhere about writing to oneself if any, just to give a pat on the back or, at other times, to be self-critical of one's work or accomplishment. I tried it several times, writing to myself, that is. But I got nowhere as each time I reach half a page, I would just crumple the paper and either mumble or smile at myself. This time though, I hope to be able to finish it.

To do so, I would need a new pseudo identity in hope that no one will recognise me except for the bloggers and friends I met. Otherwise, it will certainly be embarrassing with all the mistakes I am prone to make when writing. So, here goes nothing...or everything.


Dear Iddin,

I hope you are in high spirits when this letter reaches you. Coming at a time which I hope you do not find it an inconvenience at the very least. Having read the position you have been put in, I do have to admit I sort of understand the tumultuous moments and anxiety you are going through. Permit me then to part some words which perhaps could put you to ease even for short while, or help you in the direction which only you can make, but one that would definitely affect many.

Iddin, I think you still remember a mutual friend of ours. Having landed a position in a small organisation, he thought his luck had changed for the better and did try his level best to bring some changes that would propel the organisation to greater heights. But somewhere along the line there he made several wrong,,,shall we say, turns? And let's not use the word 'wrong' too. Rather, let's just use 'misguided'. For in truth, many of use, if not all, are misguided fools who stray from a path. Who knows why we do it. Sometimes it's due to greed, sometimes ego, and yet sometimes, it maybe due to sheer foolishness. And still, with all the misguided turns we took, there are some things to be gained. Oh, I do not mean ill-gotten wealth or worldly pleasures, for those would be far too obvious.

A cliche now as it may be, but someone once said "To defeat your enemy, you must know them".  I could not understand it before but our dear mutual friend brought me into the light. Just as he did with me, and so I hope to be with you. But by now, I am very sure you already have grasp the idea. Wily fox that you are, how can you not, eh?

Back to our mutual friend, when the clouds descended upon him, blotting out the sun and put him in mental and emotional disarray, he fought back with all he had. Oh, those clouds were not brought down by angels, but the devils who were angry with him for not toeing the line. He thought he was alone in his battle but surprisingly received support from unexpected quarters. To bring the story short, with their help, Alhamdulillah, he won. Those devils had to turn tail and their names tarnished forever. And can you guess what our mutual friend did when he was standing triumph? Even before the dust settled and smoke dissipates, he tendered his resignation. Yes, he quit. For he knew he was as guilty as the devils themselves. Apart from those misguided turns, he chose to keep quiet  about the evil deeds he knew committed. That's right Iddin, having knowledge of a wrong and not doing anything about it makes one an accomplice. Hmm....think I heard that in a TV show. 'Law and Order', perhaps.

It is still not too late Iddin. If you do not make a bold move now, it might though. And if that do happen, it might be too late for many too. Think carefully, Iddin. No, don't! Don't think at all! Act on it! Now! Do not let the list of Serial Victims grow longer.



Your Otherself,
Iddin.



ps.

Oh Iddin, do not cry over spilt milk. If it's any consolation to you, everyone makes mistake. Perhaps this old video and song may cheer you up a bit. And yes, Iddin, I know a few might laugh at the props and dressing but like I mentioned, it is an old video.







PS PS.

Horrors! Iddin, I was drifting into slumber land when it occurred to me that some might think our mutual friend is that Doctor Guy. No, no, it can't be. While our mutual friend may have been slightly wayward, he tried his best to be a good law abiding person as opposed to that Doctor Guy who did as he pleased. Some even said he initiated the Serial Victims list. So I hope, Iddin, you do not get more confused as you already are now.




Monday, November 23, 2015

Hold Your Horses, Hombre.

"On whose authority?" asked the motorcyclist (not verbatim).
After trying to get the man's cooperation nicely, the resident felt that the question was more of a challenge and shouted back "I'm trying to be nice and polite and you want to pick a fight?"
The motorcyclist clearly taken aback at the reply showed signs of backing down and the resident pointed to the main street and said "Go, get out of here!", ignoring the motorcyclist subtle plea for calmness.

.
Sometimes, people are so strangely stupid and arrogant. I'm sorry to be writing this but that seem to be the way of the world now. In a place where there's a Police Traffic Headquarters and a law that require motorcyclist use safety helmet, minors are riding not only without helmets but without licence too. Worse still, many times, 3 riders on a single bike. For a place with a name that means a city or fort, this place surely does seem like a kampung area. Mind you, I have no disrespect for any kampungs but this is the situation. Added to the 'insult' the Police conduct roadblocks on monthly basis looking out for errant drivers and guess what...motorcyclist without valid permits! What a laugh! But that's life here when even the ruling regime does not understand the meaning of law...or order. What more it it's Law and Order.

Some many years ago, I had the opportunity to interview the illustrious RPK. Yes, I do know he's fallen out of favour with many but back then, his, was a writing many could not give a miss. I don't think I can be a judge to a man who had given almost everything but would like recount 2 interesting episodes with him. One, as mentioned, was the interview. Well, not exactly, but a few moments after the interview was over.

On the way out, I asked him about the 1987 Team A and Team B fiasco: "Was not the ruling regime illegal already as that party was banned by the judge (who was later disgraced and replaced)".
"It was", replied RPK, "but no one in the opposition took the legal course (of forcing a snap GE)".
 This, simply show why we have no law and certainly no order here.

The other episode is a bit hazy for me. No, not the episode itself but the time and place it took place. Anyway, RPK said, much to my shock, I admit "Even when the opposition takes over the mantle, we will always be the opposition" - not verbatim.

The shock I had was simply because I was being politically naive and very much supporting an opposition party as evident in the layout of this blog. But that was then. Now - with the strong exception of the Putrajayan regime - I give support to the man or party who is doing what is right for the people and the country.

The above is especially with regards to the recent event in Penang about the reclamation law. You do have to excuse me for I did not follow the matter from the beginning but when I read the sole DAP stand on the matter and his citation of the late Karpal Singh "In politics, there is no friend or enemy; only principles..." - not verbatim (I can't trace the news at this point of writing); I give him my support. The phrase by the late Karpal is also in line with a hadith which states "There'll come a time when holding on to your belief will be like holding on to (the embers) of coal". Simply put: A man has got to stand on his principles...ta da. (Whoever is reading this, please remember I am just sit-down comedian wannabe ya).

So dearly esteemed CM of Penang, kindly hold your horses, work around the perimeter and enjoy democracy as is should be. In truth, I respect you for all you have fought for in the past and hope to continue respecting you in the future.

Now, back to the idiot motorcyclist at the beginning of this entry:Except for the Sikhs who wears the turban, you people of other belief, why can't you set an example to the young of the nation? There is no law in your religion saying that you should not wear a safety helmet and in fact, all religion encourage safe practice in our daily affairs. So do be a good fella before a green monster appear before you and...whatever.


ps. The Resident Association decided to ban motorcyclist without helmets from using our road here to deter non-residents using it as a short-cut to other places. In the morning rush hour, residents find difficulties going out of their house simply because of the long queue to the junction caused by non-residents.



Thursday, November 19, 2015

On Short Fuse

The man had just lain on the sofa hoping to catch a morning nap. It was 10am and it was a really lazy morning. As his mind begins to drift into an unconscious state, he hear voices from outside. As the doors and windows were closed and the curtains drawn, whoever is speaking out there must be speaking out loudly and the man deduced that someone must have not been happy with the new security arrangements the Residential Association has put up; venting it out towards the security guards on duty - nothing really to be alarmed about as such commotion is expected and should last only a while. But then the man begin to hear horns from several cars and several messages came through the phone and the man read each. Forcing himself up, he heads towards the front door and later the gate, stopping a moment to pick up a large piece of wood about the length of a baseball bat.

As he walks out the gate he notice a long queue of cars and the cause for it: a stranger had parked across the road, blocking the passage of traffic. With the wood firmly in his right hand, the man walk towards the stranger. The stranger, upon seeing the man approaching, ended the blockade by driving off. The man continue his walk towards the Guard House, ignoring the alarmed looks of drivers, passengers and a resident or two. Perhaps it was the blaze in the man's eyes, perhaps it was the sight of the wood; whatever it was, the guards felt relief that the stranger is gone.


When several toll concessionaires announced that they are enforcing electronic payment only on their highways, I was riled up and sent text to several people including politicians. Though I hardly used the highways involved on the matter, I was really angry that the bastard managers were allowed to do so bearing in mind that there are thousands of road users who still eke a daily living and now forced to make payment upfront for the use of those highways. The only reason I can think of those bastard-ly people is that they want to make a quicker profit and be damned to the users, forgetting that their very existance - those bastad-ly cronies and all - are there for the convenience of the users and not vice-versa. Damn to you too, you bastard-ly authorities for approving this. May any inconvenience and suffering the users face make all of you poorer and the users richer. May your greed lead to the fall of this lecherous and treacherous  people in Putrajaya and huge triumph for the people who seek a just and righteous government.

This curse and prayer extends too to the Plus Management. Though they issued a statement they will not enforce electronic payment, they actually are heading towards it if the toll gate of one in Damansara is to go by. There, they have squeezed the cash gate and 'tambah nilai' into one. This has led to a longer queue if it is not already. Damn all of you but the users and the people. Oh, this is not the only matter which I'm pissed off at and I'm very sure Malaysians well know about the whole shitty situation of our country.

There was a report that a terror group plans to assassinate and kidnap the Putrajayans. I strongly believe many Malaysians would welcome the latter and even laud such a move. As for the assassination part, don't bother as those Putrajayans are not worth a single bullet, believe me.




A Stork moves out of the way of an approaching Monitor Lizard. Though ML are generally carrion eaters, they have been known not to miss a live prey when available.
Location: Sungai Damansara
Theme: Nature/Birds
Exif: F8 / ISO100 / Telephoto Lens 70/200







Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Kindergarten RA

There were 13 people seated around 3 tables arranged in a row. Each man and woman present did not have the bored look on their face and nor were they busy with their smartphones communicating with other people on perhaps the other side of the world. In fact all of them either showed eager anticipation of something or were serious with their looks. This was a meeting, after all. And as they waited for it to begin, one guy started his coffeeshop talk.

The guy, Nigel, is well-liked by many simply because he loves being a comic. As he went on he was suddenly stopped by another when he mentioned '...kindergarten in Kota Bharu.
'No way! The Lady Fatima Kindergarten?' interrupted the other man.
'Yes way. Back in late '60s and early '70s, that was the only kindergarten in Kota Bharu' quipped Chong, one of the two practicing lawyers in the group and also the youngest of the trio by about 10years.

Having graduated from the kindergarten to Primary School, it took more than 35years and the forming of a new Residential Association for the three to know each other - a kindergarten that's more than 500 miles away!

There's a big oaf in town. One who is more talkative to strangers than he is with his friends. One who walks with a limp but walks the distance if it's needed, and sometimes when it's not too. Normally quiet in a group, this big oaf has been known to shoot from his hips when prodded only to bite his lips after that. Perhaps that was what dragged him into a new Residential Association Security Commitee. He also blogs in Talkonly.Blogspot. Oops!


Finally, after more than 7years in the waiting, the new Residential Association for this area looks all set to take off after the old one withered rather mysteriously. The Pro tem committee appointed several residents to steer the Security Committee and together, the 2 groups went along their merry ways along the streets of the area in an attempt to recruit more residents in.

The launch of the RA more than a month ago managed to get slightly more than a third of the 300houses in the area known as Phase1. Along with the SecCom members, the membership reached a more satisfactory number of 180, alhamdulillah. InsyAllah, we will continue the drive to reach at least more than 3/4. What is inspiring is that the people of both committees are made up of different background, race and belief. More than that, we even have a member walking with us, one who is currently seeking treatment for Stage4 Rectum cancer. I am unable to mention his name but how I wish I could, especially to the other residents who expects the best from this community but contribute the least, I'm sure you know what I mean.


"We can be like Kindergarten Cops!" the second of the three laughed quietly to himself.











Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Just a Sit-Down Comedian Wannabe

Now, how shall I begin this? OK, got it!

Do watch the video below. Many may have while many more may have not. It's one of the best vids I've seen in recent times and it made me laughed silly all by myself.


video


That guy up there, his name is Trevor Owens and he's one good Stand-Up Comedian. We have our own too with the likes of Harith Iskandar, Jit Murad and a host of other names I can't place for now. Apart from those well known S-UCs, we also have our Cabinet Ministers who, many would are more like clowns than not. Anyway, all of them are well opposite to what I am. Yes, unlike all of them, I am what is known as a Sit-Down Comedian Wannabe: I sit in front of my Laptop, and try to be funny to an empty audience.  Now, don't get me wrong, please.

Reason for this almost cynical opening is that I do notice still a fair amount of visitors coming via Pak Bakaq Blogspot and it makes me feel guilty as hell. Really guys, I do not know why this nonsensical blog of mine is listed there but I really do hope Pak Bakaq would take it down. I, am not a politician nor a political analyst. Not even a soothsayer. Just a Sit-Down Comedian Wannabe. And I do hate to disappoint visitors who drop over from there only to say :Oh no! Not this comic!

So there, it's done. All of you have been warned and I should feel less guilt after this and I can continue being the loco here.  Till next.


UPDATE: It seems the video did not come out right, I was told. Due apologies to Malaysians as it seems it is under BBC Copyright and we are not allowed to watch it here. How ironic, when you consider the content. Look it up under 'Trevor Owens at the John Bishop Show'.




Tuesday, September 29, 2015

On To Serious Matter

A few weeks back I woke up thinking I was in London. Looking out the front window, I could see the (in)famous London Fog. After years of reading novels relating 19th Century stories of the city and watching countless movies on the same period, I really did want to see and experience London Fog. It looked like fun and somewhat romantic to be walking through it. Then all of a sudden, my eczema went into overdrive and had me searching the drawers for some medication.

So, I was and am not in London. Who cares? I mean, hey! Minus the heat, this haze could very well be a good tourist attraction. I can imagine our Spin Doctors extolling to the world about the goodness of the haze. They might just come out with line like this "Better than volcanic ash!", or "If it can be good for the plants, then it must be good for you!". Then the body copy would probably start off with "Ashes of plants that had lived nearly a million years. For several months a year, the ashes of this once beautiful jungle rain down on South East Asia, bringing with them untold treasures of the wild. Come and experience this unique time in Malaysia and collect as many ashes you can."

Seriously guys, in light of the bad image we've been getting from some asses recently, this could be just the thing for our tourism industry, no? You better hurry up before our neighbours catch on the idea. But between the haze and the last rowdy walk some people did in KL recently, I would prefer the former. Really! I mean, using the eczema as an excuse to just about anything is a wonderful idea. It, however, has a downside which really irritates.

Regarding that last walk, it really had me down. I mean, I was getting agitated and real serious about it. And that serious part, is something I really do not like. Let me borrow a line from Bill Bixby in a famous TV series of the late '70s: "You won't like me when I am serious".
Oh, he used the word 'angry', did he? Well, he must have misquoted me.

Seriously, that last walk, we should do something constructive about it. I was thinking in line of a town in Spain where they let loose bulls down a street. Seeing how bulls go after anything in red, they would really love it here. And I also believe many Malaysians would love to have the bulls around that time. Oh yes! I can just imagine the red becomes redder.

By the way, Tour Operators, you can't use any of the above ideas, you know. Once I publish this entry, the Intellectual Property belongs to me. Even if it does not take much intelligence to write it.

OK, most of my friends know I normally have meals only once a day,  And since I had a very early lunch at a time when many are sitting for their breakfast, I'm beginning to feel somewhat hungry now. The thing I fear is that should I do have another meal today, I might begin to enjoy it and continue henceforth. So do excuse me while I ponder on this deadly serious matter.









Tuesday, September 08, 2015

It's All in the Minds

Ghaf walked slowly toward the front door of his small house. He remember his wife telling him to expect visitors today but he has forgotten who they are. At 84, his mind is no longer at its best. 

As soon as he opened the door, a voice greeted him with the Salam. Ghaf sees a man, many years younger than him and replied with a smile. The younger man took Ghaf's right hand and kissed it gently. He then put his arms around Ghaf and Ghaf reciprocate and they hugged each other tightly for a long moment. Ghaf then, held the man's shoulder and looked at his face. The words that came out of Ghaf was shaky but not at all unexpected.


It was sometime last month that I came across an online article about one of Malaysia's Great Names in Hockey. In between browsing I somehow lost the link but recently found a similar report on Poon Fook Loke, that was first published in 2007. Now, with the title of a Datuk, he recalled the heartache he and his team mates faced when they were defeated by India in the semi-finals of the 1975 World Cup Hockey that was held in Stadium Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur. The heartache was bitter as the team had earlier edged the defending champions then, The Netherlands, and everyone was in high spirits. But by the end of the Malaysia-India match, there were tears all around including those Malaysians on the spectators stands. I remember it well as I was one of the spectators there, along with Siva, Low Yuen Weng, Kwee Tat, Izhar, and many more schoolboys from the surrounding area who were given the day off from their respective schools to attend, and give moral support to our National Hockey Team. It was a great match.

Somehow, reading the report, I have a feeling the younger generations might not even know of the event in whole, nor what is perhaps, the greatest day in Malaysian Hockey history. Though the team lost the match that day, they won the hearts of millions of Malaysians for their determined spirit.

It is not only in Hockey for we had a great run in soccer too. With names such as Ghani Minhat, Soh Chin Aun, Arumugam, and the legendary Mokhtar Dahari, we use to rule the roost this corner of the planet, beating Japan and South Korea on our way to glory. The pinnacle of our soccer history was qualifying for the Moscow Olympics, only to be met with a quiet disappointment of Malaysia joining many other nations in boycotting the games for the host's invasion of Afghanistan. Although they said sports and politics should not be mixed, it was. And it was from then, a few believe, began the decline of our shine in sports. No, it was not the matter of the boycott for that was merely a bookmarker and not the reasons which is far too many and has since become complicated with myriads of issues thrown in; chief among them is politics. And no, I will not dwell into it. As I have mentioned, it is now complicated.

What I would like to say is simple: Let's call a spade by its name. For instance, the August29th Walk is - among the 5 demands - a call for a clean and fair elections. There is nothing in the demands made which has the word 'race' or 'racism' in it. That fact that the last walk had many more Malaysians other than Malays should be a shining example what we Malaysians can be, if we put our hearts together. There have been many walks before and there will be many more in the future. In all the previous walks (and not just the colour Yellow) the matter of skin colour never arise. So, let's keep it that way. But if ever a colour we would want to keep away from, oh please, let there be no red-skinned Malaysians. The colour, that colour, is so blind, and blinding.

Let us also remember that even before the formation of Malaysia, and even Malaya, we've had so many people from all walks of life and races, that stood their ground against not only the enemies of this land, but enemies of the people.

The para above is in light of an old man's praise for a young lady who, in her struggle for her organisation (read: not nation), decided on a legal platform and found herself expelled. The old man in his tribute to this young lady, wants all or more Malaysians to be like her. Have we not? Or has the old man simply choose to forget of the lives incarcerated and lost?

Many, have not.


"Who...who are you?" asked Ghaf in an apologetic voice.
There was nothing the younger man could do but smile and said "I'm your son".




Title: Fiza, IR-ish
Edited to Infra-Red

*My sifu asserts that any photograph that has been edited shall become an image only and no longer a photograph.
A spade should always be a spade.















Monday, August 24, 2015

Are We Not, Already?

There was a village in the east coast. The population was growing strong and the people happy as many of them then, had no house nor land of their own. The then newly elected State Government awarded the land to them. It was like a small fairy tale. Small and rarely heard as it was, all fairy tale must have evil creatures and the village was no exception. That, the evil creature came soon after the next General Election where a new State Government was put in place via some dubious vote count.

The people of the village who were mainly Malays tried to put up resistance. But against baton-wielding enforcement officers and at least one bulldozer, they were badly outnumbered. Their new homes were demolished without consideration and care.  The only empathy shown that day was by the driver of the bulldozer as he was about to demolish the village surau. The engine died and he failed to restart it and after several attempts, he just broke down and cried. And of the mercy shown by the villagers towards him - they helped him down and even gave him water. But for the villagers, there were none given. They were, in the words of a popular lawyer, 'bastardised' in a land they were born.

The exact date I cannot remember but it was in May 2005, and that village was not a solitary incident.

In Selangor, many villages fell too as the then State Government had a new slogan: Zero Squatters Colony. The fact that most of the 'squatters colony' were awarded 'Pioneer Status' mattered little to them as the land where once stood such villages became the property of property developers. Of the many, only Kampung Berembang stood defiant and victorious but only after their homes were demolished and the subsequent battles in and out of court. The hero for the villagers there is none other than YB Tien Chua.

It was Tien Chua who stood defiant against the enforcement officers and their machinery. But hey. isn't he a Chinese who stood alongside the Malays, when the Malay MPs of the ruling party were notably absent and worse, silent throughout the tragedies that occurred then? "Bastardised', the people were.

In Islam, a bastard - those people born out of wedlock - are never guilty for their being. Rather, it is their parents who are. In the world today, the word is almost akin to a 4letter word. However, a more hideous, heinous 4letter word that has yet to make as an entry in many dictionaries is a word that begins with the letter 'u' and ends with an 'o'.



*Updated:


Title: Behind Bars / A Possible Future: A Self Portrait
Self Time, Long Exposure
Pudu Jail












Saturday, August 22, 2015

Forgetful, We Can Be.





I was in the mood for something loud the other day. That day, the anniversary of the date my beautiful Emak gave birth to me, but the moment I sat in front of this laptop, everything I wanted to do and write disappeared like the wisp of smoke. But no, I am not going senile but there were too many things on the block up there. Oh yes, we hermits do think quite a bit, mind you. Maybe not as much as 2.6 billion times but of matters relating to the number, and how despicable, dishonourable and thick skin a person and his minions can be. Correction: 2 persons.

I don't have to justify nor explain on the matter above as many would have read about it. What I would like to do however, is provide another view from 2 people, one of them I know and respect. Their views were published on Malaymail Online and can be found at :

http://www.themalaymailonline.com/what-you-think/article/political-funding-and-transparency--an-islamic-perpective-dr-maszlee-malik .

Do accept my apologies for not putting up the link proper as I would not like my blog to be tracked by certain quarters associated with any of the minions mentioned above for reasons  as stated in the heading of my blog. In any case, I have also learned that many people hate to go to links provided. Thus, I'll try to give a summary in a story from one of the pages in Islamic History.

"Bahlool, a pious and honest man, once walked into the palace of the Khalifah Harun Ar-Rashid. When he reached the throne room, he saw not a single soul around and took the opportunity to sit on the throne, wondering what it was like. 

The moment he sat himself, a guard walked in and immediately asked Bahlool to get up. Not waiting for a reply nor action, the guard pulled Bahlool from the throne and began beating until Bahlul was heard crying. At the very same time too, the Khalifah walked in and put a stop to the beating.

As the Khalifah knows Bahlool personally, he commanded the guard to apologise for the pain caused. On hearing this, Bahlool said "I was not crying because of the pain. I had sat on your throne but only for a brief moment and received a torment while you have been sitting there much longer; I wonder how you will feel (later)".

 *Bahlool is not to be confused with the Malay word/slang 'Bahlul' which means stupid.

In short, being a leader is not a matter of grandeur. Instead, it wears heavy on the shoulder and leaders should not only be honest, but also transparent on affairs related to the nation.


The song below I dedicate to the minions of the 2 persons as well as minions of any corrupt leaders worldwide.



The translation below is my adaptation of the lyrics and I dedicate to Muslims who support any corrupt and evil regime. Oh, I am very well aware that none I wrote will change anything much but I will keep on trying. And if you Malaysians would like to give it a try too, why not join the walk on the 29th?.


Theme From Mahagony Pt1,

Do you know where you're going to
Dunia semakin tua. Pelbagai kekotoran meracuninya. Dan hari demi hari
ianya terus diracuni dan di cemari oleh durjana durjana bernama manusia,
bersama syaiton dan sekutunya. Kemanakah arah tujuan kita?



Do you like the things that life is showing you?
Korupsi, maksiat, jenayah minda dan fisikal berluasa tanpa batasan.
Adakah ini yang dinamakan kehidupan?Dan adakah ini kehidupan yang dicari?



Where are you going to?
Bukankah arah tujuan kita untuk kembali?



Do you know?
Tapi tahukah kita walau sekadar membaca kompas untuk arah tujuan?



Do you get what you're hoping for
Jauh di dalam hati, ramai yang bermohon dan berdoa untuk, walau sekadar
kedamaian, ketenteraman, namun kesemua itu akan sia belaka



When you look around you there's no open door
Kesejahteraan abadi tiada lain jalan nya melainkan Ad-Deen.



What are you hoping for?
Atau adakah kita meminta perkara yang sementara, yang bathil



Do you know?
Tahukah kita di mana yang bathil dan yang Haq?


By: Lekaran.



***

Abu Hurayrah (radhiallahu anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allah
(sallallahu alaihe wa-sallam) said: "Whoever believes in Allah and the
Last Day, let him say what is righteous or keep silent. Whoever believes
in Allah and the Last Day, let him be kind to his neighbor. And whoever
believes in Allah and the Last Day, let him be generous to his guest."

[Saheeh Muslim]

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Shoes For Men

From previous posting.

3 MUST-HAVE SHOES FOR MEN

Men are simple but men also share the same love towards shoes as the ladies do. Although men hardly buy shoes compared to women, they still find nice shoes to match with their outfits every time they go shopping. Whether you are a man who follows the fashion or not, there are three must-have shoes that is compulsory for every men to own. For the individuals who hardly have a clue what types of shoes for men to own, check out these three suggestions.
  1. Leather shoes
Leather shoes are perfect for men who work in a professional corporate setting. However, leathers shoes also come in handy when you are busy job hunting, attending multiple interview sessions, formal events or even dinner invites. Match a classic black or brown leather shoes with your trousers and step out in confidence.
  1. Loafers
Men can also add loafers into their fashion wish list as the footwear serves a perfect combination of casual and sophistication. Besides that, loafers are versatile to be worn to any occasion without looking out of place. Mix match the loafers with jeans or casual shorts and still appear dashingly handsome. It is also easy to slip on and you can rock in style without wearing socks.



  1. Sandals / Flip flops

Men always prefer simplicity but never forget looking stylish at the same time. Spend your casual days during the weekends or days off work wearing a pair of sandals. Some men prefer flip flops as it lets their feet breathe and affordable. No matter what you choose, the sandals or flip flops definitely gives you the comfort after a long day. There are many trendy designs of sandals and flip flops you can opt for which can show off your fashion taste without making you appear sloppy.

Shoes For Men aka Footwears

 *This post has been edited and reposted new. Sigh...suits and creative, when will they stop fighting.

Beside being a jackass, I am also a romantic fool; I can't deny both. A lady reader stumbled across my blog and requested I put up her article and link. Don't know why she chose my blog or perhaps a few others but being both of the above I readily agree. Hmm...a Marc Anthony in the making? I think not. The subject matter in which this lady requested to put up however, is rather important. Well, at least for someone like me, who, when in need of a new pair, is all blanks when he's at the store.

Picking the right footwear is very important, which is why I am grateful for having been in the Military Cadet during my schooldays. Well, at least for the tip one Army Sergeant told us: pick a tight-fit boot to avoid bruises. He, however, never touched on matters relating to fashion nor casual wear. For him, the footwear must always be black and hard. Much like the safety shoes many heavy industries used, I guess. And many of us who were there. followed his words. Even to this day.

But honestly, picking the right shoes is as important as the other wears. I mean, imagine a guy wearing something fancy on top and at the same time put on a shiny golden pair where the tips curl inwards like some Jinni's shoes. OK, the fact he was heading towards a fancy dress party is irrelevant but can you imagine yourself wearing something like that to an important meet? I'm exaggerating, as usual but there's some truth there. I think.

 OK, here's what the nice lady wants me to put up:

3 MUST-HAVE SHOES FOR MEN

Men are simple but men also share the same love towards shoes as the ladies do. Although men hardly buy shoes compared to women, they still find nice shoes to match with their outfits every time they go shopping. Whether you are a man who follows the fashion or not, there are three must-have shoes that is compulsory for every men to own. For the individuals who hardly have a clue what types of shoes for men to own, check out these three suggestions.
  1. Leather shoes
Leather shoes are perfect for men who work in a professional corporate setting. However, leathers shoes also come in handy when you are busy job hunting, attending multiple interview sessions, formal events or even dinner invites. Match a classic black or brown leather shoes with your trousers and step out in confidence.
  1. Loafers
Men can also add loafers into their fashion wish list as the footwear serves a perfect combination of casual and sophistication. Besides that, loafers are versatile to be worn to any occasion without looking out of place. Mix match the loafers with jeans or casual shorts and still appear dashingly handsome. It is also easy to slip on and you can rock in style without wearing socks.



  1. Sandals / Flip flops

Men always prefer simplicity but never forget looking stylish at the same time. Spend your casual days during the weekends or days off work wearing a pair of sandals. Some men prefer flip flops as it lets their feet breathe and affordable. No matter what you choose, the sandals or flip flops definitely gives you the comfort after a long day. There are many trendy designs of sandals and flip flops you can opt for which can show off your fashion taste without making you appear sloppy.



/-

So now that it's up, guys like me can always use this as a guideline. Just one thing though: Do not ever start throwing shoes at people. But if you have to, throw them at those I do not like ya :)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

A Strain

There's a line in a trailer of a TV series which haunts me. In the trailer, a girl said "I use to keep fish. Then, one got sick and the other ate him". The first thing that came to my mind when I heard it the first time was "Oh no! Not the Swimming Dead!".

Comical as it may sound, these Swimmers as I call them - in line with 'Walkers' of a horror/drama TV series - have been around for a very long time. But instead of feeding on the flesh of a human, they feed on the wealth of our nation. Sadly, not unbeknownst to the population who at one point of time, just could not care less. Now that the people do, the Swimmers are changing tune quite like rats jumping ship. More so as the ship is listing at the bow.

Never before today, all throughout this ordeal our nation, which if one were to look back, stretched right to Day One, had these Swimmers thought of anything but themselves. All these while and especially the latest, the only thing they worry about is their stupid organisation and how to save it. "Save our organisation! Save our orgaisation!" they yell from one meet to another. Never "Save our nation!"...till today. But don't put your hopes up high.

The Swimmer who finally did utter what may have been taboo, was thrown overboard sometime recently. He's got nowehere to go and nothing else to lose.  A last ditch effort perhaps, but not quite like the Ardennes. That, the Ardennes here, will be the organisation last desperate attempt to save themselves. Pity we don't have The Hague here.

As have been said by many before, this strain of mutated human has to go. Their shell may well look human but that is about all that can be said. Would there be a need for me to write what I feel about them?




Monday, August 03, 2015

And So, I Met Thor

Just before this past Ramadhan, sometime late June, my siblings and I had to make a trip to Kota Bharu. Since it was intended to be a day trip, we took an early flight from Subang Airport. Now, I've not been traveling by air these past 8years or so but thought nothing much has changed. I mean, the Stratosphere-Jump Flight envisioned more than 2 decades ago my many in the aviation industry seem to have stalled. The theory, if I remember right, was to shoot a commercial liner up like a rocket and then glide down to the scheduled destination taking advantage of the Earth's rotation. Something like those rockets they send out, and that's all I know. Back to the story, and to my horror, the plane we got on was a propeller! I mean, hello! Can't say much but soon as I found my seat, I closed my eyes the entire short flight. But it was not the flight nor the plane that had me in shock, rather, it was the security. 

As per norm, there's the x-ray machine where you put everything you have on your body for it to scan. Now, I was wearing one of my yesteryear's pants which needs a belt to hold it up. I like wearing them as it gives me more room in my pocket as well as easier to move, But at the security check, one security officer suddenly said out loud "Belts off, please!" Double hello! 

Reluctantly I did as he said and walked through the metal-scanner with one hand holding the pants up. Just as I stepped nearer to a security officer on the other side, he said "Raise your hands, please!" 
 My mind goes "I need a Hero!". 


Growing up with a father who is an avid reader helped my siblings and I to become readers too. While they poured themselves onto school books, one though, found more reading pleasure with comics and uh, comics. Having graduated from British publications such as Beano and Dandy, Great Battle Library and War Battle Library as well as my favourite to this date, the presently unavailable 2000AD, I soon found DC and Marvel publications. And boy, what great reads they were for a boy who was always looking for an adventure.

 The small library of comics I had included the entire X-Men stable (Uncanny, Classic, X-Factor and single issues) Conan The King and Conan Barbarian as well as a new found hero in the name of Dare Devil. Thor, was not to my liking. But as the years rolled by and with the price spiraling up, I soon outgrew them, or so I thought...

Now, before I get to how I did meet Thor, let me just reminisce about the Thor I read as a child.

Just like in the movies, Thor is from Asgard, But when he's not fighting some villains somewhere in the universe, he would assume his alter ego here on Earth as a doctor who limps and walks with the assistance of a cane. Hmm...sounds like House, doesn't he? Anyway, that was the Thor I remember.

 So on that particular day, I was pacing the with of a hall in a hospital while waiting for my number to be called. The pace was tiring, I don't mind telling you but it was kind of worth it for what was to happen soon. As per normal with us Pacers, when we get tired of pacing we find the nearest available seat to rest a while. And as per normal when we do put ourselves at ease, the number miraculously comes up.

 I knocked on the door and peered in. "Come in, come in" the doctor said. I did and took the seat across the desk.
"Give me a minute while I read your blood report" she said. That was it it, the cue I needed.
"I'm sorry Doc" I said, looking down at the floor and putting up a sad face.
"Huh? What's wrong?" and she put down the file and sat erect.
"I did my best but all the places I know, even the wholesalers said it was out of stock"
"Wh...what is out of stock?" she asked with a more sincere inquisitive mind.
"The wholesalers said as it was approaching mid February, everything's gone" I said, ignoring her question.
"Wha,,,what's gone?" with a serious look on her face.
"Mosquito Heart" I said softly.
"Mos.,..what?"
"Mosquito Heart" I repeated and continued "The Lady of Mount Ophir said it was a prerequisite to win a woman's heart".
"Who?" she had the confused look on her face and so I said "Puteri Gunung Ledang".
Whack! She hit me on my left hand with the nearest long medical equipment she could get her hands on. Then she laughed and we became friendlier.

My best bet is that it must be difficult for a doctor to do her duty while trying not to laugh and at the same time be friendly with a patient. She got on the phone and asked another doctor to come in and assist.

The new doctor walked in tall and erect and while the 2 doctors were talking about something medical not relating to my case, I noticed the name tag.
"No! It can't be!" my mouth must have been opened wide and I must have said it loudly for both the doctors looked at me. There was no cane and the walk was without any limp.
"You can't be Thor" I said pointing my fingers at the name tag. But the doctor is.

Thor, to my surprise is real! The greatest shock is that Thor, is a lady doctor! She is, and she's currently serving in a hospital bordering KL and Petaling Jaya. And while she admit to not being a superhero, she is rather attractive.

/-


To all my Muslim friends, brothers and sisters, I do apologise for not doing this sooner but Eid Mubarak! May we meet the month of Ramadhan next year.




"First Encounter"
Theme: Nature, Flowers
Exposure: 25seconds
Lighting: Torchlight.
*Cropped - I do not own macro lens.












Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Surprisng Watch

Many a times it has been said 'There's nothing like a good read'. This may hold true especially for fiction novels made into movies where the latter would have a hard time to stay true to the story. While one or two movies may have been said to even surpassed the mark of the writer, purist would vehemently argue and even deny such statements. The illiterate that I am, I do have the tendency to lean slightly with the purist. However...

Before I get to my story, I do have a confession to make: Ever since I left my last position and later, as a volunteer with webtv8, I have not been on the move to capture or write new topics, personal problems aside. Living more like a hermit although, surprisingly, hermit crabs are more sociable than thought to be, I've had very few good reads left, relying more on old ones which can, and does, give a deeper insight with each turn of the worn-out pages. As such, my writings on this blog, is getting to be more of an open diary of my life which I am pretty sure more than a soul or two would akin it to being illegible were the tapping of the keyboard a pen, and the electronic scriptures which visualise my thoughts, the ink. But a write is still a write even if it is a form of release. Reading this para again, I now feel lost. Don't take me too seriously.

'One Hundred Foot Journey' was a beautiful movie. I say this because I have yet to get hold of the hard copy, and reading online anything more than a few pages long is not my idea of a good time. So until I get my hands on the real thing, I will continue to say that 'OHFJ' was a good movie. Of course, just like anything else in this world, there were some flaws. For one, the character Helen Mirren played, crumbled too easily. The director should have focused and captured her bitterness a tad more so that when she does crumble, it would be a scene of humility that would evoke more compassion towards her by the viewers. The rest, you'll have to see or read it yourself.

Then from a trawl of good movies, some good, some bad...and yes, I think I'm watching just a wee bit more than I should, suddenly, come a movie with an unexpected storyline and one  that was not based on a book, but the idea from one. But before that, if you're into scifi drama, do watch 'Predestination'. I may be giving away too much but I find it to be good tkough somewhat in line with 'Source Code', 'Deja Vu',  'Edge of Tomorrow' and the entire 'Twilight Zone' series, and yet, standing on its own. My apology to anyone noticing the slight tease there but... no buts.

'A Man From Earth' is about 5 friends wanting to wish farewell to one but found themselves stuck in a mesmerising but provocative tale of a man who has been living for 14,000 years. It is not a film for scifi or action movie viewers. In fact, a quarter way through, I would imagine this film turned into a stunning play. Not that I am a fan of stage-plays but yes, it could. The dialogue was great and some lines found me laughing all by myself. Sadly no, it is not a comedy, not the way you think. But it can be viewed as one in a loony way simply because it affronts Judaism and Christianity - revealed halfway though. And what affronts the core belief of the 2 religions, affronts Islam, my religion. But watching the movie just made my belief stronger. I will not go on about the movie and leave it up to you to decide yourself. Enough said.








Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Meoweh

"When a stranger gets a thorn in his foot, he is wise to pluck it out. He is a fool to leave it and say 'I will keep this thorn to remind me the road upon which I have traveled' ", said Mbjene.
- When The Lions Feed / Wilbur Smith.


It was near noon. Even with the sun has yet to reach it's apex  the heat seemed higher than normal. Standing at the edge of a small field which is hemmed between a trunk road and a housing area, a man stood with his head bowed, his eyes looking at the ground yet seeing nothing. In his hands, he holds a black plastic bag - a trash bag, to be exact - the only thing he could find on a moment's notice.

I was still recovering from a bout of a vicious virus attack which forced me to sleep more than 20hours a day. It was not the best of times but it was certainly better than a week or two before when I could open my eyes for mere minutes and when all sense of time was lost as the body and mind seek the solace of the unconscious state. But the noise from the porch kept waking me and I forced myself to have a peek. At that point of time, I had stopped giving food to the stray cats; I couldn't.

A month prior, I had seen him at the rear of my neighbour's house and thought he was a fine tabby with a bushy tail. I even 'accidentally' sprayed water at him just to see his reaction. Just like any other cats who dislike water, he fled. That, was the end of it, I remember thinking. Now, he stand outside with his sister, I presume. From then on, the porch and him are almost inseparable.

Clad only in his sarong and white t-shirt, the man seemed numbed, looking at the ground where an elderly lady was digging a hole. The lady, had been digging at several places but found this patch to be the softest spot, in a field where concrete, bricks and even iron pipes lay strewn beneath the thin layer of earth and grass.

From the row of shop-houses, a stranger walked across the road to have a closer look. Perhaps the sight of an elderly Chinese lady with a middle-aged Malay man in the field under the hot sun aroused the stranger's curiosity.
.

One of the best thing I I loved about watching him is when each time I return home. Even as I slowly reverse the car into the porch, he would be prancing the width with his bushy tail wagging; the sight which somehow warms my inside.

Early in the acquaintance, with my mind still fuzzy and the walk shaky, I did not know what to call him. To his insistent mewing, I somehow said 'meoweh', sort of a mix between a Chinese word  'mew-ah' meaning 'what do you want?' or 'what is it?', and the cat language 'meow'. The latter, since I am not a Cat Whisperer, I am as clueless just as I am with the dialect of the Chinese word.

"Dia tangan pecah" the lady said to the stranger who now stand in the shadow of the nearest tree. The man looked up, opened one of his hands and said "Eczema". His fingers, clearly showed the ravages of eczema, with bruises and cuts all over.

[Eczema is a skin ailment which is caused by allergens which differs from one person to another, in form and the allergen itself. A 5yr old boy in Kuala Selangor, is unable to withstand the heat of the sun and has to constantly stay within an air-conditioned-cooled temperature, while a cook in Sg Buloh Hospital cannot stay long in the heat of the kitchen where she's working. Both, otherwise, would find their skin peeling. The middle-aged man here, however, has to watch his food just as I too.

Having first suffered my first bout some 30years ago, I was left without a skin on both my palms as well as my fingers. Sleep, would mean having to bandage each finger and palms separately and keeping them far apart to avoid my very own body heat which can become unbearable].


Nights would sometime see me sitting on the long bench near the porch where Meoweh would climb up to cuddle up on my lap. Like many cats, he loved being stroked and scratched under the chin.  Like many cats too, he dislike having his tail pulled or played with, something which I like to do with that tail being bushy and all. Sadly, with the current bout of eczema, I was unable to give him the loving he wants.

A fussy eater, he sometimes get on my nerves when he refuse the kibbles offered, even on occasions when I buy premium brands. Strangely, he would prefer the lower-end brands. It goes without saying, his favourites are fried fish and those sold in sachets.

Soon as the lady was done with the digging, the man put the bag gently in the ground.
"Kucing mati" the lady said, answering the stranger's inquisitive mind.
The man then put a fairly large broken concrete slab on top of the mound the lady had piled on the the body of the cat.


Meoweh, the fat, handsome, manja-addict, sometimes I would tease him; a thorn pulled but will always be remembered.





Sunday, May 10, 2015

Keep The Donkey Alive




Unfortunately, there are no real wolves here in Malaysia. Only a particular group of donkeys with a dominant female and male sitting precariously up a minaret. They are there with the assistance of a jackass who is ever so determined to bring them down. How true then the Arab proverb I included several entries ago: He who brings a donkey up a minaret, must he himself bring it down.

Now, before anyone think this has got something to do with the situation in our country, let me just tell you, no, it does not. I am just in one of wicked moods to write a horror-fable, in hope of improving my English. Another, it might help to distract my mind from the going-ons which were I to write my angst, might have this blog of mine certified as triple x on the accounts of the expletives and other nasty words I may use. The writing too, would not go well with my struggle to reform myself from being barbaric against animals, donkeys in particular.

Coming back to my story, the jackass who helped the two donkeys there has admitted that he is a jackass. What, knowing donkeys being donkeys, defecates wherever they please and one of the two mentioned here have a string of records of the places he has done so before ascending the minaret. Yet, the jackass has the audacity to say that he thought this donkey was clean. Hmm...should I use the word 'idiocy' instead? Pardon me for asking out loud as this blog is the only place I can practice English Language.

In a land where humans live side by side with donkeys, the  latter have been known to take hunans in a roller-coaster ride of mole-hills while insisting that they, the donkeys, are there for the sake of humans.  Countless generations believed in them until one day, a group of people decided to look closer at the mole-hills and discovered donkey-manure instead. And try as this group of people did, their telling others were met with disbelief. The disbelief turn into anger, and anger into hatred against their kind till one by one, when they themselves began to lift the veil of lie, the pong of manure hit them hard in the face.

Meanwhile, the two donkeys up the minaret goes on with their merry way and disclaiming anything to do with all the manure, even the recent stench up the minaret. But the donkey population is running thin. Due to inbreeding and deaths, the remaining donkey are feeling the tremors surrounding the minaret and looking for ways to stop it and the barrage of the people who have began to gather together believing the word of the jackass that the two donkeys have to go.

Suddenly, a very small group of people begin voicing their concern. They believe even if the said two donkeys are chased out much like Frankenstein was, there would be other donkeys to replace them. So, it is best, they believe, that the people wait until in one given day, the people can rid the world of these donkeys and build a new one from then on.


* I have to think of the conclusion of the story but do like the way it is going.

By the way, I was thinking of adding a bit of spice. Perhaps the donkeys could have a serial killer squad, killing people who may cause problems for them. Perhaps, 3 ladies and even an entire village.









Tuesday, April 14, 2015

What Next?

For the past 2 years I have been trying minimise the electricity usage in this house. Living alone helps as the only things that are constantly used are the ceiling fan and this laptop I'm using now. At night, around midnight, I switch off the refrigerator, switching them on again in the morning. Occasionally, when it gets too hot, I would switch on the air-conditioner but only for short durations, just enough to keep the heat down. Soon, what began with a 'green' thought, proved fruitful in dollars, and sense

On average, the  electricity bills come to about RM70 per month. But since 3 months or so, it has dropped to half, fluctuating between RM30 and RM40. One would think that would be a normal rate for a single person to pay. True. But I am holding fort in a double-storey terrace house. And I was looking forward for the latest bill to arrive.

With the usage at 169kwh, the new bill reads RM39.40. But that is not all. There is an additional RM14.22, for the GST charge, bringing the total to RM53.62. A small sum to many, but it pissed me off in many ways.

In a news portal yesterday, a minister asked the public to use electricity wisely and those using below 300kwh will not have GST charged against their usage. I'm with him on the first suggestion but that is about all. As for the inclusion of the GST in my bill, I'll have to take it up with TNB.

On the average, a double-storey house would have about 4 to 5 occupants. If my current usage is used a gauge, then that would roughly mean a usage of more than 600kwh, double the figure for non-GST inclusion! I would hate to think the amount a family now has to pay.  Before I go on, you do have to excuse me for being a layman.

Before April 1, the government said GST will help bring the price of goods down. However, when I saw a Public Message Service(PMS) on RTM2, it had me confused. In the PMS, a potential house-buyer was having a conversation with a blonde, presumably a sales representative of the developer. The dialogue goes something like the below:

Blonde: Oh, we might be raising the price in a couple of months.

Buyer: Is it due to the GST?

Blonde: No! House sales and rentals are not subjected to the GST. However, the building materials are and as such blah blah blah.

So, what does that mean to people like me? If I were about to buy a house and suddenly found out that the unit I wanted to purchase has had its price increased to a value no longer attractive to me, I would surely fume, at the very least. Because to me, the bottom line is the developer increased his selling price as there is now extra charges on the materials use for construction due to the introduction of GST. The gist here is, I feel like I am being lied to.

Earlier today, I was at a new diner nearby. Having been there regular enough, the owner and staff are more like friends now, and to this new friend they opened up on how GST is eating into their profits. Just prior to April 1, prices of certain items which is not listed under GST, had been increased, they complaint. I cannot vouch for their complaint simply because eating a heavy meal once a day, I no longer buy sundry items, opting for eateries and diners. But even that may soon change.

En-route to a hospital in Sungai Buloh, I stopped for a meal at the Jejantas on the PLUS highway. Even while I was trying to enjoy my lunch, an operator there was being shown how to use the new cash register which has GST price included. And true enough, the bill I paid has GST included in the receipt. I imagine soon, most if not all the diners and eateries will have to follow suit. So pray tell, how does the GST work to help prices go down?

A news portal reported a minister saying that he has the word of 30 companies who pledged to absorb the GST. I wonder who these companies are. Are they importers? Manufacturers or producers? Wholesalers? Distributors? Are their pledge true, in the first place? Will they honour it? Or would it be, as some quarters informed, the pledge of so many companies wanting to support the KL Commonwealth Games and in the end little was heard from? Better still, as a layman I ask: Do you mean to say if these companies did not pledge to absorb the GST, the prices of their goods would increase? Wasn't it you who said prices would go down?

Back to TNB. Now, that the GST is included in their billings, would not all businesses too have to increase their charges bearing in mind that they are there to do business, which in other words means seeking profit (and not profiteering as accused by a someone or two)? So once when all businesses have raised their prices, what next is left in store for a layman like me?











Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Black, Please

Title: Table For Two, Please.
Location: Sungai Damansara


A prank message received in a whatsap group I am in reads(translated from Malay):

xx1 (a husband): Be careful when posting edited photos of nation's leaders, politicians and VIPs as the Multimedia Commission now monitors communications daily and would take action on violations and whatnot under the Print and Media Act. Several people including civil servants were detained recently.

Attention: on your mobile screen, press *#06#.
If only an image appears, you are safe.
If /01 appears, then your mobile is under the Police watch list.
If /02 appears, then the Multimedia Commission is watching you closely.
If /03 appears, your wife is monitoring you.

xx2(a single): Oooo, I'm safe! I have /01 and /02 on my mobile but not /03!

Less than 5 minutes later another reply came.
xx3: How do I know what my number is? 

/-


Communication tools play a wonderful part in life today. But not too long ago, some people view them with caution and even disdain, citing their presence for the loss of social interaction in their close-knit community. I believe this sentiment was echoed world over, my current neighbourhood included.

Oops! I'm feeling lost here. The topic and words I thought of writing have all disappeared like the wisp of smoke due to constant interruptions by the very thing that my mind wanted to write about. But since I wanted to post today, I'll just publish this regardless, then sit back and enjoy a cup of coffee. You should too. And do watch the video below. Life, I was told, is not like a box of chocolates.








Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Keropok Seller


Tusk, a human-like creature, was stirring in his sleep, making noise which startled Tom and Alice who were sitting not far away.
"Tusk is having a bad dream," said Tom.  "I wonder what nightmares Tusk have?".
"Humans, probably" replied Alice.
 - Seventh Son


Every night since his return he has been occupying a portion of the walkaway near to the entrance of a building, as he has always done in the past. The spot he chose is rather strategic for the building houses a petrol kiosk and a bank, and is the main entrance to the ATM lobby. Even then, the man is humble enough not to let his piles of goods nor his very presence block anyone's path. His absence has gone unnoticed. His presence, some may find disturbing. He acknowledges that by never offering anything to anyone but making sure his goods are displayed well to be noticed.

Occasions have been few but I have had the luck to observed men stopping by, not to buy his keropok (crackers), but just to chat with him. Each time a man does, I notice a big smile on his face. It is as if he values a small conversation as much as he does a sale. Sitting there each night he must have seen or felt  the silent insult of a few of the throng that pass by. A simple wave, a nod, a smile, and especially a small chat, could perhaps mean that he is acknowledged as another human, amongst the sea of humans he see. A sale then, would perhaps bring him delight and deep gratitude - the pittance spared by a stranger, could mean a live-hood for his family back home. On rare occasions, a stranger would slip a large note into his pocket without taking anything in return. "For your meal (or coffee)" the stranger would most probably have said, leaving the man ceasing his small protest and mayhaps, with a tear in his eye.

He is not a beggar, the man. He is plying a small trade, the only one he knows, to make a decent living for himself and his family. But perhaps, the word 'decent' is already luxurious here. From the few trips I have had, many of the houses I have seen, a simple straw mat may serve as the wall of their houses. At best, it work as a flimsy defence against the elements of nature, and that is all they can afford.

That night, I joined the few that have kept him accompanied even for a short spell. I asked about his long absence and was greeted by an almost teary face.

While trying to help a neighbour with their power supply, he was mildly electrocuted. Even so, he has lost sensations of some of his body parts and the medical treatment from at the local government hospital has not improved his condition at all. He was in bed for slightly less than a month. Soon as he was up, he began plying large tins of sands scooped with his bare hands in a riverbank near his village and pedalled to a contractor in a town some 2lm away. Apart from being able to provide some, he was hoping to stimulate his nerves and muscles - both did not worked out as he had wanted. Finally, he contacted his agent again, which soon found him back at his familiar spot. The man, like perhaps the millions as reported in many dailies, is one of the illegal foreign workers(or PATI as they are known) here in Malaysia.

 They come from Myanmar, India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nepal, Indonesia, The Phillippines, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, China, and a few other countries including from Africa. We know them and we see them daily. Sadly, some chose not to.

My writing this is not because of anything but understanding their plight. Many of them due to poverty at home with a few caused by political oppression. It has to be admitted though, yet a few more are taking advantage of the whole situation. While the man above would be listed as a beggar by the authorities. I would prefer to think him as a PATI for he is selling his keropok that is made in Narathiwat. Above all, I would prefer to call him simply by his name.









Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Thousand Paces.

School Break's here again. Not that it concerns the owner of this blog but one does have to appreciate times like this as driving around is more pleasant with less traffic on the road. Sometime I wonder though, do those vehicles ferrying school children really add to the rush hour congestion? I mean, it's not like there more than several schools in one area compared to the hundreds of offices. Yet, the difference between the breaks and not, is something like pitter-patter and a stampede. Traffic-wise, that is.

Apart from the lesser traffic, another thing to look forward to during these breaks is the abundance of food. Yes, food! But no, it's not Raya time, though the whole atmosphere can lead one's mind in that direction. What, with many people wearing their best, especially those in Baju Melayu, how can one not think the season as such? And yes, school breaks are also known as Wedding Seasons...or was. With more and more people getting married these days, almost all the halls have been booked on weekends throughout the year. Sheesh! Don't these people know anything better to do? (Grin).

Now, before anyone think that grin is a prelude to something coming my way, I'd better put things right: No, I'm not getting married. What, with having to book a hall more than a year in advance, I don't see anyway I can be doing so. Well, not in the foreseeable future, that is. Hmm...don't sound good there as it may lead one to think that my foreseeable future is only about a year in advance. So, no. Not in the near future. I think.

Anyway, whether it is the season or not, there I was, together with hundred of invited guests at one of the many receptions. Like the many invited (except for a growing few) and not being family-related  almost everyone was wearing something presentable. Those few who did not, were youngsters who perhaps, do not know that by wearing a simple collarless t-shirt, they are doing a disservice to the wedded couple and the occasion. So let me put it straight: wearing something presentable is not for oneself as a guest, but to honour the occasion for the bride and groom. After all, as we Malays like to say it: the wedded couple are the "Raja Sehari' - royalties for the day. Celebrities in a celebration, if you wish. So please, do give them their due respect.

Back to the invite.

So there that cakapaje bloke was for the day amongst the sea of strangers, in a place that was confining. As per normal, whenever that bloke feels restrained, he would get up and walk about seeking friendly faces. On this occasion, however, he was compelled to do so not because he was feeling suffocated but because of some noise he thought he heard at the back of the stage. Thus there he went like a curious cat and glad he was he did.

Apparently, the noise he heard was of two young men, both dressed in all black attire, in a mock fight. A  meter or 2 away, sat an elderly gentleman whose attention seem to be entirely on the men. Not surprising then he did not notice cakapaje's approach even after several minutes of presence. Soon as the duo stopped, cakapaje took a step closer and gave greetings to the trio which was warmly received by the gentleman. The duo, however, only smiled back while standing erect like in military position. To break the ice further, cakapaje in his usual clownish manner said "Once you've finished performing, can you challenge the groom to a fight? If you can do that, I'll be able to run away with the bride".

Silat Pulut. A small variation of an art of self defence. Once cakapaje thought was extinct is actually alive and well. In fact, according to the gentleman, it is making a come-back as more people are now returning to old tradition of honouring the bride and groom, even at some high-end wedding receptions. It is, as the gentleman puts it, the artistic side of Gayung Pattani and named so as in the older days, the performers would be be paid with Pulut (Glutinous Rice. Once considered a dish for the royalties), while Silat is derived from the Arabic word Solat, which means prayers. Even the stance of a Silat exponent is similar to Solat, with both arms folded at waist height. For someone who knows only one form of self defence, this was certainly an interesting meet.

Two tings I need to clarify before I babble on. One: that cakapaje bloke is actually the owner of this blog here and that owner is also the writer. Have to put it clear for any new visitors here. The other thing is that, no, I am not a master or an expert in the art of self defense. I am, however, an exponent of one of the oldest art of self defence. Still in learning stage, in fact. At the risk of sounding vain, I do have to admit I'm getting good at it.

Oh, there's another thing I need to clarify before I impart my little secret. Before one even think of stepping into the ring, one must understand that the whole idea of the art of self defence is none other but self preservation. I mean, there's no point in getting whacked during training only to have a marker in your name after a real fight. Remember Karate Kid, the movie? Be it Pat Morrita or Jackie Chan, they're living proof of the art; any of the many in town. The first thing they teach their respective student is to take it easy. Be composed. Likewise with my learning.

I first came to be aware of this art when I was a kid. Then, a ferocious looking dog came running out a fence towards me. Instinctively I wanted to hightail but with no trees high enough for me to climb out of the dog's reach, I turned back and charged towards it, throwing my slippers to scare him away. It did. He ran back inside the fence where his master picked him up and cuddle him. For an eight-year old though, even a Pekingese do look vicious..

So I met this guy who took me under his wings. He narrated a lot of philosophical things which opened my eyes real wide. I mentioned narrated, as I couldn't make heads or tails about them and my eyes were bulging in disbelief. Yes, something like that Luke Skywalker guy. Then one day we had an encounter with 5 burly guys, each with a weapon of some sort their hands. Bad dudes, they were and they meant to rob us. But before they could make their move, the guy shouted 'run!'.

I stood looking the five dudes. I turned and looked at the guy running, then I looked back at the dudes. I ran.

Later on even as we were catching our breath, the guy said: "Good! You may well master the art of A Thousand Paces".

A Thousand Paces, by the way, means "Seribu Langkah' in Malay, which in English would simply mean 'running helter skelter'.

I'm still learning.