Wednesday, June 1, 2011


It's the first day of June, but already the spins does not seem to end. One after another. First was the brouhaha over the rare earth refinery due to start operation in September this year. Funny thing is, the residents staying near to the plant was not made aware of its existence - in fact Malaysians did not have a clue - until an expose made by a foreign news - which awaken us. 

And then somebody has the gut to tell us not to be too emotional. Not to politicize the issue. But looking a the pictures and information from the news - looks like the plant was in construction for more than a year. So why the secrecy? The plant is so near to a residential area - isn't the residents there deserved to be noted of its existence - considering this is not your typical palm oil factory or textile factory (though there are numerous cases of toxic waste dumped in our sewerage system  well, that's story for different time). 

Then off course the 'hottest' news around. The so-called subsidy rationalization. Is it a coincidence that no MSM carries the word 'price hike' - though that is what it is all about. You can camouflage however you want it - but is still boils down to an increase in prices - which will definitely affect all. First was the rationalization of the sugar subsidy which increases the price by 20 cents. The justification is that it is still among the cheapest among the region (comparison being made in RM, though a Singaporean who earns in RM). The currency conversion is driving me crazy!

Then the anticipated price increase in the RON95 petrol. A couple of years ago, the price was increased by 70 cents - as the petrol was USD140 per barrel. Now it is hovering around USD120 per barrel and still no price reduction, instead just increase and increase. Guess the saying is right  in Malaysia, what goes up NEVER comes down.

I am in danger of sounding like a broken record here. But then if we really are serious about the removal of subsidies, then please make sure that the market is really free. Not controlled by some chosen cronies. If we are to pay heavily for our petrol, then please make sure that there is no protectionism which resulted in certain brand of cars being shoved in our throat. The tax structures currently meant that it cost and arm and a leg to buy CBU cars...or even CKD of foreign brand. 

Just hoping that I do have to see my doctor with elevated (blood) pressure....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Lovely Bones

I watched the movie 'Lovely Bones' on HBO a few nights ago  - and was deeply touched. Well, okay okay - more than touched - I was actually weeping throughout the movie!

The movie - directed by Peter Jackson - tells the story of a free spirited teenager who was unfortunate to be a victim of a ruthless serial killer. Susie Salmon, that's her name. She aspired to be a photographer, never without a small camera by her side and was starting to develop a crush. On that fateful date, she met her crush who turned out to be as smitten to her as she was to him. They were about to kiss, when interrupted by the HM. They instead made a date to see each other over the weekend in their favorite mall. 

On her way back from school, she was lured to an underground den, by her neighbor who happens to be a serial killer. She was brutally murdered. She did not realized that she was dead until she found her surrounding to be different - she was in fact neither here nor there. From there she watched her loved ones - unable to let go.

It was heart wrenching. Seeing the family struggled to cope with the lost of their loved ones. And seeing somebody so young to be a victim of something like a serial killer is really devastating.

And I was reminded of the news a few weeks ago. Of a mother, who was recently divorced and lost all her 3 girls due to an accident near a water fall. The girls were with their father and his new lady friend. Imagine how the mother must have felt -  to be told that her 3 girls vanished just like that. They found the body of her 2 girls within 24 hours.....and she joined the rescue team looking for the body of her youngest girl - as she was adamant to find her, to give her a proper burial - so that she can visit her grave.....Oh, my heart goes to her. There is a saying that a parent should never bury their child - imagine, having to bury all your 3 kids in one time.......

I pray that Allah gives her strength and his blessing to go through this.....

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Reality Check

It's already May, and I am exhibiting more and more signs of the diminishing art of blogging - especially since I'm immersed in tweeter world. I mean with tweeter you can mumble immediately on current events or anything that crossed your mind.

Anyway, today's rambling is more towards reality - not the heavy reality of life - but the lighter version that graced the idiot box  day in and out.
My first rendezvous with reality TV started almost 11 years ago, yep - I am referring to the inaugural Survivor: Pulau Tiga. Maybe it's because of the fact that it was filmed on our shores (Pulau Tiga is in Sabah) or because Richard Hatch was such a slime (an eventual winner)  but it managed to stir my curiosity  - and was I hooked! I followed through - whichever season aired on public TV. 

Then there's Amazing Race (and it's Asia version  which is equally entertaining). And then Project Runaway which sees me enjoying the creative juices of those designers coming out with amazing pieces in 12 hours  out of anything (albeit garbage liners).

Then came paid TV which meant more reality offering, including from channels such as MTV. Remember Pimp My Ride? And then came High Definition - which meant more channel to spoil your reality appetite. But I have to admit, I do feel that the reality offering is kinda getting out of control. They have almost every reality show for anything that you can think of.

Some are good - American Idol, Deadliest Catch, Biggest Loser - to name a few, but some really left a sour note. I mean Kim is made famous just for being in the Kardashians - which is just a show about over hyped (and also over 'made') spoilt family. And don't get me started with Snooki and The Situation. And what about those Housewives of Beverly Hills, New Jersey or what not.

HD consist of a few more channel with reality shows - my favorite being 'Top Chef''. The series offers mere mortal like us to feast our eyes on the food couture. Being professional chef (well some of them does not have a formal cordon blue certs) meant they are simply amazing. Cooking up a storm in the 30 mins of the Quickfire challenge. Currently that latest season that has just wrapped up - Season 6 - see 2 brothers making it to the top 3, and eventually crowned winner and 1st runner up. And they are eye-candy themselves...

                                   The Finalist of Top Chef Season 6

Reality Bites!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Colorful April

It is only the 4th month of the year but 2011 promises to be an explosive year. Just flip through the main stream medias or alternative online ones and you'll know what I mean. Splashed in the headlines - bold fonts to boot - some of the news you'll never expected to to be the see the light of the day.

Is it a coincidence that when an impending state election was announced, a porno tape surfaced? A tape which was initially shrouded in mystery and was the talk of time in less than 48 hours. The many (colorful) characters involved - the fanfare it created. One thing popped in the mind of most Malaysian - gutter politics.

Where is the Malay culture and spirit we cherished? Respect for others. Where is our Muslim belief? The truth is, the average citizen, the man on the street is already sick and tired of all this. Why can't the powers that be, concentrates on the things that matters, instead of desperately trying to cling onto power, come what may.

Look how our society has disintegrated. The racial harmony is stirred by malicious-intended quarters. People are becoming more intolerant of each other. Seeds of suspicion are slowly but surely grown into our hearts and minds.

Our sacred institutions like the Parliament are turning into circus, thanks to the unruly behaviors of some of the elected reps. Sexist remarks were uttered without being backed by statistics - just for the sake of sensational statement (and maybe 15 mins of fame).

What about public service? Somehow, public transport concerns are only confined to Klang Valley - and others in high density urban areas like Penang and JB are conveniently ignored - as if they do not contribute to the massive taxes!

Are we genuinely surprised at the billions siphoned out by the Customs department - via kickbacks and what not? Some were found with gold bullions and bags of cash stashed in their home. Some with millions of dollar spread over a few accounts in different banks. Some of the junior execs daringly (or shall I say, stupidly) driving posh cars to work.

There are simply too many leaks, millions of tax payer money flushed down the drain - or in most cases, into some select cronies. These monies could hae been used to help the poor, upgrade infrastructure and ward off inflation....but no, instead we dwell in gutter politics, while the countrys wealth continues to be raided.

Just the other day, dear hubby went to the Immigration office to renew a permit - only to be told that it needs to be done in Kuantan (where it was done previously). Are you kidding me? You mean that in this borderless world that we live in - the simple permit is not connected and available online? Lucky about a month earlier hubby was there and was told by the big boss that the it indeed can be done here. When the point was highlighted - the counter staff mumbled something and proceed with the task. Is it my fault if I assume the fella was plain lazy????


Monday, April 4, 2011

Celebration Part 1

It has been a while since my family organized a wedding. The last  one was almost 10 years ago!  This year we just had one, and there will be another one in July! 

My sister's wedding was about 2 weeks ago. She decided to hold her reception in a private hall, unlike mine (and another sis) which held ours at home. 

Let me does not seemed that long ago...I can still remember that joyous occasion - well, who wouldn't? I mean it's a special occasion...the Malay even has a special term for it 'Raja Sehari' - literally meaning 'King of the Day. Well, not all of us is privileged enough to be born to a blue blood family, so this is the only occasion where you are treated like royalty - though there were some incidents which I wish not to remember or dwell on. 

Since yours truly is not from a well off family, this meant that every cents came from me. By everything I mean the whole 'kenduri' and related expenses. The cows (yes, we slaughtered cows - since it was a 'kenduri kampung'), the canopy, and even the cigarettes for those helping with the cleaningof the pots and pans. That also explains why I was engaged for a year - I had to scrape  every cents- buying the 'hantaran' bit by bit, month by month.   

The good thing about that is that (I guess) me and hubby appreciates our reunion....we sacrificed a lot for it.

Coming back to my sis reception - it was a truly joyous occasion.  The whole family had fun...especially the kids. That was the first time, that they were involved in a wedding ceremony of a close family. The 3 younger kids were officially assigned as 'flower girl' - as task which they were so anxious - especially when they were not sure of the actual task. I had fun, messing with them!

As for me, I welcome a new brother in law, and wishes my sister a great new life.....enjoy the adventure....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Tsunami Strikes Again

It just seems like yesterday that the country was rocked by the news of the tsunami disaster that stroke the coast of Acheh, Thailand, Sri Lanka and a few others. To be frank, at that time I was in a shopping mall in KL - unaware on what was happening in the neighboring country and even my own state!

And now the disaster again reared its ugly head. I was in my home town this time around. We were busy with preparation for my sister''s wedding, when hubby stumbled upon the news and immediately switched to the news channel. We were glued - could not believe our eyes - looking at the wrath of nature. How terrifying.

It has been more than a week now. More than 8000 lives has been lost with many more still unaccounted for. The tragedy also exposes the risk of having nuclear plants. The old nuclear plants in the area were affected, raising concerns over radiation. Food stuff from Japan is currently on stringent checks for radiation - and indeed some has been found to be of excessive level. I am a wee bit curious, how this news will affect Malaysian diners - will they still patron their favorite Japan restaurant???

The frequent natural disaster lead many to believe that the earth is getting old, very very old. Remind me of the movie 2012.....hmmmm....

May we be given the strength to go through it all.....

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Little Things

In most days, we are too occupied in our life, that there is hardly time to stop and smell the roses. We are obsessed over the kids, pressured at work , worried over deadlines, frustrated of personal problems and health issues.....Always distracted by one thing or the other.

In our quest to be a great mom (or dad), a dedicated employee (or employer) coupled with trying to have a superb personal live, we sometimes forget about the small things in life. We always look for the big things - the luxury house, the super cars, the shiny jewelery - that sometimes it derailed us.

We forgot about the little things - to be thankful that we are still given another day to live, to be able to wake up in the morning with our loved ones on our side, to be thankful that we still have a job, that we can still financially takes care of ourselves and our loved ones. 

And in our busy schedule, we sometimes forget about the things that matters the most - our family, friends and loved ones. People who are there though thick and thin, through our ups and downs. 

Let's enjoy life more, strive to give more. Surprise your loved ones with little things - a home made card, a home-made cookie or just buy some ice-cream or chocolates. Nobody can resist chocolates, right? And do the same to your friends. Bake some cake and bring to the office. It's contagious - how your colleague feel - will be reflected back to you.

And the next time you see a stranger or a small kids in a grocery store, pay for his newspaper, or for his/her ice-cream. Their infectious smile will be attached to our face as well.....