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.....

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


In our daily life as mere mortals, we are often faced with temptations -  huge ones and itsy bitsy ones. That has proven to provide some of the more colorful characters you see walking on earth. People doing anything to try to  fulfill their temptations.

Working in an engineering company means that I am used to crunching numbers and reviewing nitty gritty details. What with the current trend of miniaturization and cost efficiency - this sometimes translated to hours of discussion on how to reduce 2mm of the height of your product.

Where are you going with this, you ask? Well, this just means that I appreciate the work that engineers do - the (brilliant and tedious) work of innovations that goes behind a function.  Try getting your Magnesium chassis to pass 48 hours salt fog test and pressure cooker test. and you'll know what I mean. So it is normal that I am awed by products that is ATEX and IPX compliant, a product that is so tough - it is nicknamed 'gorilla glass'. 

Which brings me back to the temptation thingy. I see a new gadget with gorilla glass, is water and dust resistant, and flips and back-flips - temptation flocks in. Whether or not I succumbed to the temptation, well that is my lil secret....

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The spate of suicides reported in our local dailies is indeed alarming. Not sure whether this is just a recent trend, or it has been around for some time - just without the intense highlights.

There's the case of the high school girl, supposedly posting out her intent online - only to be chided by her friends. This sound all too familiar. Haven't we heard of this tragedy over and over before. 

But the tragedy that really tugs into my heart is when is involves innocent life. The hapless. Children and babies who deserve to a chance in this world. Being a mother myself, I could never imagined throwing my babies off the 4th floor or feeding them rat poison. But then what do I know. They might have something terrible that drove them to this unfortunate act.

Let's just pray that we are spared from whatever misery that could cloud our judgement....and let our children have a glimmer of hope in this world that we are living.....

Friday, February 11, 2011

Worst Driver?

It was in the Sunday Times recently - sms mentioning that Penangites are Malaysian's worst driver. This is followed by similar nod the next week. Hhhmmm....really? But I have to admit that I've heard similar complaints myself - from people who commutes in KL - on the Penangites worst (driving) attitude.

I have witnessed some as well. From Kancil to CLS 320. Instead of queuing like everybody else - especially near traffic light junctions - they will drive all the way to the junction, and then squeeze their way in front of you. In some instances, we had to literally make a sudden stop - to avoid collision with them! What a p****! And this is not confined to the male species...

Whenever there is a small space (say emergency lane), you bet somebody is going to squeeze in - though they are well aware that the lane is only 10m - as they will then incessantly squeeze their way back in (the main lane).

Just the other day, I say a super expensive CLS trying to maneuver others. He refused to queue and instead opted to drive his expensive car on the gravel and when the grave ends, pushed his way back to the main road! Probably it is just me. I mean when you see somebody driving a gleaming car, you have certain expectations -  the person to be of a very good upbringing, is reserved and polished - and when they act like some thugs on the road well, it simply doesn't jive!

I was in my hometown recently. During a stop at a traffic light - I saw a local driver who suddenly maneuvered from the right most lane to the left most lane - way over the yellow line (on a 3 lane road) - 3 seconds before the light turned green. I was shocked. ' they are wrong after's Kuantan and not Penang - who has the worst driver' was my comment to dearest hubby. Then we headed to  a well known nasi lemak restaurant, where we parked near the roadside in front of the place. 

When it was time to leave, guess what we saw? A car conveniently parked beside a van in front of the restaurant. Basically double parking in front of the jammed packed eating place. There was just a small space to squeeze through. And since our ride that day equals a big-sized van - it took a while and  and  sheer patience to slowly trudged through. Hubby reminded me 'Take a look at the car plate'. Sure enough it starts with P**. Guess that re-claims the award which not one hour ago awarded to Kuantan drivers!

Hmmm...but seriously speaking - is that really the case? I have seen fair share of reckless driving in Klang Valley. And about road rage and thugs in KL and Johor and other states. It is all up to the individual - and not from which states he/she comes from....

Friday, January 7, 2011

Amazing Lil Gray Matter

The Lil' Gray Matter is simply amazing.

Case to point - I had the opportunity to use a software that I have not used for years - make that 7 years. Previously I used to work with the software (albeit an older version) - for engineering design.
Anyway, I was forced to reconnect with the software recently.  I was apprehensive at first. Mind you in the last 7 years I have not  used it - not even once!  Hence,  it was a (nice) surprised to discover that within hours it all automatically comes back! All the tricks - the software uses action shortcut commands via left button mouse - were like in the tip of my fingers.

Amazing, doesn't it???? A friend noted that it is possibly because when I used the software, I know all the 'behind the scenes' logic- unlike those who are just pure users. Anyway - it was a a very good feeling, to know that I still 'got it'!

Well, the truth is that  I have this problem with names and at times faces. And matching names to faces or faces to names....Typical scenario : a person comes to my side and greeted me - by my name. I'll smile and start scrambling for a name and recognition - is this person from my primary school, or secondary school (2 schools!) or during my brief stint in SMART or a friend from ITM or from university or from work or acquaintances....I'll end up mumbling something generic - which can be depressingly embarasing.

I can't blame it on age, as I have always been like - for as long as I can remember. I am not the person who will light up a party. Never the one to initiate a small talk - unless cornered. And I just pray that others will not notice how uncomfortable I am. Personal space is important to me - probably part of the mild OCD (yeah, blame that!).

Well, I still got the flair of the software, that's good enough, right? Ha..ha.ha...