Friday, June 30, 2006

Who Is The Pacifier?

Who is the pacifier? Or mediator? No, not Vin Diesel! I'm talking about this:

"I suggested several names to Abdullah and he agreed to one of the names proposed. I contacted the person who said he has no qualms to contribute towards creating a harmonious environment in the interests of the country and race," he said.

"This person as far as I know is dear to Dr Mahathir and respected by Abdullah. He can help restore ties between them," said Zainuddin, without naming the person.

Any clues?

'Professional Footballer' Seeking Help From Me?

Just got this from my junk mail:

Hi,

My is Abel Idu and I am a professional footballer. Am looking for a relaible manager/club. I do have a great talent and I want to be able to reach the greatest high in the file of soccer. (hence i need your assistance if you can) If you have any idea or any asistance to render, please do let me know and I will send you my profile.

Thank you.

Sincerely

Abel Idu.

Spam? Real? Can somebody help him?

"Now, everyone can be a professional footballer."©

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Two Article 11-related 'Tensions' You Might Have Missed Out Today

News 1: The Lina Joy Murtad Case



News 2: 'Body-snatching' : The Sequel





And what's Article 11 again?

Article 11: Freedom of Religion

11. (1) Every person has the right to profess and practice his religion and, subject to Clause (4), to propagate it.

(2) No person shall be compelled to pay any tax the proceeds of which are specially allocated in whole or in part for the purposes of a religion other than his own.

(3) Every religious group has the right —

(a)to manage its own religious affairs;

(b)to establish and maintain institutions for religious or charitable purposes; and

(c)to acquire and own property and hold and administer it in accordance with law.

(4) State law and in respect of the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur, Labuan and Putrajaya, federal law may control or restrict the propagation of any religious doctrine or belief among persons professing the religion of Islam.

(5) This Article does not authorize any act contrary to any general law relating to public order, public health or morality.

Related post: 'Badai' Group Disrupts 'Forum Agama' ('Religious Forum')

and read also: Masuk Islam: No U-turn.

Are University Students and Lecturers Living Under The Coconut Shell?

Are university students and lecturers reading only academically-related stuff (mostly printed material), that they are living under the coconut shell in the dark of what is happening currently?

If yes, this is so pathetic! They are supposed to be of the intellectually-privileged kind! Or perhaps they are too occupied with reality TV shows and MLMs?

If not, why the need of this? Lu ingat kiter ini orang bodoh ker? Even if they are not in the dark, does it even matter? Universities are supposed to be free of any political control in the first place!

Note: This is the second calling already.

Keyword of the day: Informed choice. "Let it all hang out, warts and all. It's good for Malaysia."

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Of "The Tuxedo 2: DBKL" and "We're To Blame For Our Fear"...

You don't need no Jackie Chan or Jeniffer Love Hewitt to star in the sequel of The Tuxedo. Here, we have our star players already in our homeland. Not another local government's public funds abuse, from theSun pg 8.

Guess who's paying for dinner

PETALING JAYA: A course on table manners and etiquette can be easily obtained at a price of only RM40 per person, so why then did the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) have to spend a hefty sum for it?

Responding to the recent exposé of Mayor Datuk Ruslin Hassan's RM94,000 splurge on grooming and etiquette for 31 DBKL officers, Transparency International president Tan Sri Ramon Navaratnam said: "It was unheard of during my time in the civil service."

Bearing in mind that the mayor "might have meant well," Ramon said, giving a treat is not a bad idea ... " but not at that level in scale, which is an absolute waste."

"You can hold a kenduri (feast) at much less in terms of money and, in Malaysian style with good muhibbah food and without a lavish spread at a fivestar hotel.

"Furthermore, manners can be taught anywhere, not necessarily at an istana (palace)," he said, when contacted on Monday.

Ramon said civil servants, during induction courses, were taught very well at National Institute of Public Administration (Intan).

"The expenditure is redundant and wasteful and can go towards a scholarship fund for the City Hall employees as well as improve DBKL's service.

"I dread to think how other decisions of scarce allocation have been made ... I hope this is not the tip of the iceberg.

"If the current mindset can approve or condone such lavish expenditures, what might the same mindset apply to other decisions?"

"There are floods everywhere because drains are not cleaned up and uneven grounds. It is almost criminal," he said.

If, however, a lesson is learnt, he said, it is a blessing in disguise. Otherwise, independent watchdogs must be set up to monitor local authorities, state and federal government agencies as well.

Ruslin was reported to have taken City Hall advisers, heads of department and their spouses on a fine-dining outing at a luxury restaurant and a karaoke session on June 19. When contacted, Intan which provides training for the government bodies, told theSun that protocol and etiquette sessions can be obtained at RM30 to RM40 per person.

Ruslin was also reported to have spent on tuxedos, worth RM2,500 each for the officers.

Fashion stylist Peter Lum says a basic jacket and pants can cost RM2,000.

"However, the price would usually depend on the material as well as brand and the accessories that go with the tuxedo ... but the sky is the limit." "They also wear them at the Tattler Ball which is a major season when tuxedos fly off the racks," he said, adding that a Batik shirt would usually suffice in an event involving the King or a minister in Malaysia.

"Wearing a full tuxedo at such events might make you look overdressed," Lum added.

When contacted, a DBKL media relations officer declined to comment and asked that questions be directed to the respective minister or the Chief Secretary to the government.

The Tuxedo 2: DBKL.

News like these are becoming like a daily norm in Malaysia equivalent to daily deaths in Iraq. So, should we live with it and as someone always say 'We owe no one for a living'?

Here's a very inspiring letter which hits all the right spots in my brain of what my thoughts are now. From Malaysiakini's mailbox:

We’re to blame for our fear
Melissa Yoong
Jun 27, 06 3:45pm


I read Concerned Malaysian Indian's letter, What has old boy Dr M to gain with interest.

As the saying goes, a man can get used to anything, even hanging, if he hangs long enough. And I think that's the problem with many Malaysians, myself included. Nothing shocks or disgusts us anymore. Dirty politicians and businessmen are as common in this country as snatch thieves.

We almost expect our MPs to be corrupt and would be amazed if one wasn't. Just throw a stone in a crowd and you're quite likely to hit someone who's been approached for a "back scratch" by a policeman unabashedly bearing a "Saya Anti-Rasuah" badge on his chest. Things in this country are not getting any better, but let's face it - we have only ourselves to blame.

Our expectations of our national leaders and their moral culpability is below sea level. It's okay for our ministers to steal from the very people who elected them as long as our economy is booming and the West gives us the damn respect we deserve! After all, they too have families to feed and sons to bail out. We seem to be richer than many of our Asean neighbours. So, we should consider ourselves very blessed and be grateful.

But is that all we are entitled to?

I have many bones to pick with the powers-that-be but if I had to choose only one, it would be the issue of safety, or the lack of it. I want to be able to walk down a street without having to worry that a motorcyclist is going to snatch my handbag and injure me in the process.

I want to be able to park my car opposite my church on Sundays and not return to find it vandalised or stolen. I want to be able to live in my own home without having to turn it into a jail, with metal grills installed at all possible points of entry. I want to be able to enter my car in a basement parking lot without the fear of being hijacked, kidnaped, robbed and raped.

I want to be able to help a stranger who's having car trouble on the highway without doubting his sincerity. I don't have any children yet, but if I did, I would like to have the peace of mind that my little girl will return from school safely everyday and not be attacked by some pervert. Relatively ‘minor’ things to some, maybe, but according to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, everyone has a right to the security of person.

We need to raise our expectations of our leaders beyond making more money and building skyscrapers. If we continue to make excuses for them, where's their motivation to change and how will we ever get out of this mess?

So, the question is, "Should we just live with it?"

Unfortunately, most of the young middle- and working-class urbanites (including majority of my friends as well) have that sort of thinking and mentality now. I mean, to them, they are not living in a deplorable, famined condition like in some parts of Africa. They have a 9-5 job, they have a decent (or indecent for some) earning, they have friends and families, and they are lucky enough to be able to watch the World Cup. So, should they be content with life? "Haiya, jo yan dou hai wan liong chan pau jek mah (Sigh, our existence in this world is to make two meals a day to keep us full). Should they embrace what is happening in this country? Spoil the child and spare the rod; just for the sake of chest-thumping 'I love Malaysia as what she is now as she is my country'?

Although some might not even bother about it, we have a choice. The sacred cross. And I'm NOT even talking about religion here.

Finally, here's a picture for the day, found in some forwarded e-mails that I got:

FOR ALL THE COMPLAINING I HEAR ABOUT THE GOVERNMENT,
BECAUSE IT MEANS WE HAVE FREEDOM OF SPEECH.


Tuesday, June 27, 2006

"Blogs are either a fantastic liberation, a self-indulgent waste of time, or a complete mystery"

Some C&P from Beebs for the day. Interesting read indeed.

Down with blogs... so here's another
By Giles Wilson
BBC News


Depending on your take, blogs are either a fantastic liberation, a self-indulgent waste of time, or a complete mystery. So is it really necessary for the BBC to launch another one?

Perfect. Just what the world needs - another hungry blog to feed.

Some estimates say that a new weblog is being created somewhere in the world every second of every day. So why should the BBC add yet another to the list?

If you believe the hype, blogs are as significant as the invention of the printing press for their ability to change the way the world will be seen. If on the other hand you believe the counter-hype, blogs are a self-indulgence which pander to dull people's misguided beliefs that they have something interesting to say.

Journalists have their own takes on blogs - broadcaster Mark Lawson, for one, says that "although the word blog suggests attitude and subversion, it's really just a hi-tech kind of diary and carries the identical risk of Pooterism".

Some believe that only journalists should really be allowed to write endlessly about themselves. Others believe blogs soar to beautiful new interactive heights. A third group don't understand blogs, but are terrified of being left behind.

Happily there is yet another group, including the BBC's political editor Nick Robinson, who don't think blogs will necessarily change the world, but do believe they offer a fresh way of turning the traditional roles of writer and reader into those of people having a conversation.

Blogs can be many things - trouble-making, independent, cool, nerdy, peppered with annoying links, even full of kittens who look like Hitler. They can also be abused for attention-seeking headlines (eg "Down with Blogs"). But one thing they have in common is that they work best when they go both ways - when they are a true exchange.

That's why the editors across BBC News have got together to start their own blog. Called "The Editors", it launches on Monday. The hope is that it will become a discussion forum for all sorts of issues and dilemmas surrounding our news programmes.

Each day, The Editors will include a round-up of where the BBC has been in the news, what members of the audience have told us in the previous 24 hours, our responses to that feedback, and the resulting discussion.

It's not an easy process, but there's a lot to gain - because of the unique way the BBC is funded, we want to be the most open and accountable news organisation in the world.

Audience involvement is nothing new for the BBC. As long ago as 1950, the Light Programme had a show called, rather quaintly, Dear Sir: The Correspondence Column of the Air, which discussed a range of subjects which actually wouldn't be out of place on Five Live today. And then in 1960, BBC TV introduced a five-minute show called Points of View. Hosted by Robert Robinson, it found a place in the schedule between Ask Mr Pastry and the BBC Inter-Regional Dancing Contest.

Nowadays, we still have Points of View on BBC One, and also Newswatch on News 24, and Feedback on Radio 4.

So what makes blogs any different? Well, an important thing to note is that the changes which have led us to launch this blog are not localised around Television Centre - they are happening all over the world. And even though Pete Clifton, the former editor of the BBC News website, made early in-roads into this territory with a blog-style column, this BBC editors' blog is by no means a UK first. The Guardian, the Daily Telegraph, and the Daily Mail are among those represented to differing degrees.

American media have been pioneers in this area. US journalist Jeff Jarvis, who has experience of a huge variety of different media and now travels the world evangelising about what blogs can achieve if done properly, says it's not a matter of self indulgence.

"The lesson we in the media have learned from the web and blogs is that the highest virtue of the media is transparency," he says. "We used to think it was objectivity, even though being objective is a really hard thing to prove because we're all humans. But we thought in journalism that it was our job to deliver the truth, when in fact it's our job to let the audience decide what's true.

"Part of that is that the public has a perfect right to see the process and that's why transparency is important."

In the past, he says, it was always possible to write a letter to a newspaper's editor. But only a handful of letters ever got printed. Even inviting people to send pictures and other forms of content only goes so far, he says. "We, the journalists, are still in charge."

The adoption of a transparent attitude, of which an editors' blog is just a part, is a statement that journalism isn't made silently behind the walls of a castle, he says. "It says 'We're going to share the process.' And in return, people can say 'We disagree' or 'We agree', or 'I thought that was the wrong decision but I see why you made it.'

"The news isn't finished when the product goes to air. That's just a part of the process."

So you are formally invited to go to The Editors, at www.bbc.co.uk/editors, and see what you think. Hopefully you'll tell us, too.

In the past? It is the clear and present (danger) in Malaysia, mate!

Keyword of the day: "Transparency" (which is never ever in the dictionary of some).

So This Is What The Meeting Was About...

So this is what the meeting was about...

Chinese New Year comes early [AM knows that ;)]! Triple Wongs! Wong! Wong! Wong!

The front page...

"Aku ada kerja buat"

Ader kerjo buat? Looks like one of my (incomplete) 'Top 10 To-do List' is kaput liao...

These people are soooooo bloody predictable, aren't they?

Oh, some team also just Scored-More. Cheer up Penang-kia!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Fight Club in Schools?

Apparently, school kids are getting smarter and smarter in ICT nowadays that besides voyeuring, they start filming fight scenes with their mobile phones now, as reported by China Press. Here is the piece of news from TheStar (hopefully they will not erase this later).



And when I Youtubed 'fight malaysia' (it came out with some very interesting results, do check it out), I got this video...



But when I clicked the link for the video, it was removed...



Kids nowadays...

The Only Mainstream Paper To Report M's 'Third Party: Budak Hingusan'?

Should I say 'bravo' or 'oopsie' this time? They were on leave on last weekend, but today, peekaboo!

theSun's page 11 25th June 2006:

Oh, the budak hingusan was not directly mentioned. Only 'the group of special young assistants working for Abdullah' and 'SIL' were mentioned.

Were you in the picture, Uncle Desi? Tell us more!

A mainstream paper becoming not so mainstream anymore? Hmmm...interesting. Unlike some gutless ones.

When You're 'Full', It's Time To Go...

Chiak buey liao or chiak pau liao (Ate not enough or ate full already), it's time to go?

Aww...what a matching and loving couple, oh...I mean Nicole (Desi's a secret admirer) and Keith...

Hey, what about the third one...you know The Ladeee...

Awww...she wants more seats...

Winds of change soon?

Are Silent Malaysians Beginning To Speak Up?

About 3 months ago, Jonathan Kent of BBC had a few good words for Malaysia by writing an article: The changing face of Malaysian politics. Here's the point which interests me:

There is a nation of quiet Malaysians out there.

Recently I recorded five from very different ethnic, religious and political backgrounds debating police reform, something I think they may have been too scared to do under the old premier, Mahathir Mohamad.

But these last two years the quiet Malaysians have started to speak up.

And though the braying benches of parliamentarians who call one another monkeys or racists warn that public debate will lead to race war, disorder and strife, the Malaysians I meet can thrash out the issues and get along with one another just fine.

And with a quiet Malaysian like Abdullah Badawi at the helm perhaps their time has come.

My question is : "Are we really beginning to speak up, after 22 years of silence?" Mouse coming out to play when the cat is not around and the Guardian of the House is elegantly silent?

I guess so. While MPs can brawl like nobody's business in the Parliament, we are never short of debates and opinions like Jacqueline Ann Surin's Open Letter to the PM, support for the ban on Lelaki Komunis Terakhir to be revoked and even relatively sensitive religious matters such as Kongsi Raya, Article 11, Moorthy's body snatching were freed to be opinioned by the mainstream media without another round of Ops Lalang.

So, yes. We are beginning to speak up but we are speaking up pseudo-artificially. To quote from RPK:

The press under the control of Kali had been dressed up to appear more open in preparation for the day when they could, like a self-fulfilling prophecy, declare that they were freer and more critical now than they ever had been under M. Even so, when the attack finally came, the KJ-controlled press scrambled to vilify M. Some of the attempts were actually quite comical. For example, Datuk K of TV3 went so far as to interview ketua kampungs and penghulus to voice their support for AAB. Even the often-erudite RR could do no more than write a so-called open letter to M, nauseatingly praising AAB’s so-called ‘open press policy’ without declaring of course that this policy gave him back the job from which Abdullah Ahmad had dismissed him before. In other words, the small bit players came out with their little pen-knives to scratch M’s skin and laugh gleefully as it bled a little. The truth was that the efforts to undermine M began from day one of AAB’s administration. It was a deliberate and cohesive strategy devised by KJ, presented many months before the handover to the team he had formed to play the role of AAB’s crutches.

Want some example for RPK's quote? Here's a letter to theSun for a start...

Another 'little pen-knife'?

So now you wonder why the (bloody) fuel hike protests and the most recent Missing Piece of News were blackened out? They concerned the current administration directly and not implicating back to the predecessor!

So, finally again, it comes back to this question:

Is the deafening silence of The Wise Man a 'blessing in disguise' or a 'wolf in a sheep's skin'?


Think deep.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Missing Piece of News

Kali: Hey, you got report the old man's story today har?
Wong: No. Kenapa, tak percaya kah? I tot we all agreed on that?
Kali: Eh, I surfed your website around 8 a.m. something, it was there wat!
Wong: Haiya, remove liao lor. You also never put, I go and put har? Takut lar!
Kali: Eh, got peeple managed to capture the story or not. Nanti you big trouble!
Wong: Haiya, you mean blogger pricks har. Nobody will read their blogs one har. They all 'gomen bashing' and 'unpatriotic' only.
Kali: Ok har, this story, you know, I know, enough lar...

And here's the 'gomen bashing' and 'unpatriotic blogger' who managed to capture the screenshot. Note: The link provided below came out as "Story file not found" as of now.

The news which was not listed today anymore...

Verdict: "Nagging, harping, old man again"

The paper where the budak sits: Zilch.

Bernama: Zero.

UM: None.

BH: ? Elek.

theSun: On leave today.

Only available exclusively....?

Verdict: "Third Party: Oxford-ed Street-Smart Kid"

Interesting read on that budak hingusan.

Wishing you a Happy Sunday. Good day and good luck.

Friday, June 23, 2006

KL As Third Rudest City: Are We Too Thin-Skinned?

Well, like the undecisive Mazeni bloke, the answer is yes and no. When I first saw the headline, thanks to attention-deficit NST, my first thought was "Aww...not again...must be some pen-dropping courtesy survey again". Had a glance through that article, then Googled for the full list and saw only 35 cities and thought "Bah, what a lame survey. They must have nothing better to do" and moved on with my life.

But no. The reaction was great. Just look at the Google News and see which country of the 'rude cities' covered had the most number of news. While some other 'politer' cities suprisingly dispute this (instead of syiok sendiri like putting billboards and banners all around), Mumbai is equally as displeased as us. But please find whether they have any leaders or ministers coming out to mention anything to 'jaga hati' tourists or not.

The Reader's Digest Asia's editor, Jim Plouffe, was also surprised with the Malaysian reaction. He said:

Singaporeans were not bothered. Hong Kong residents shrugged it off. Laughing, Plouffe described the attitude of people in Singapore and Hong Kong as: "Tell us something new".

And to make things worse, ministers come out one by one in denial and in defiant of course, to jaga hati the tourists. Have they lost touch with the common people? Do they even bother to cermin-cermin (mirror) themselves first?

For the sake of all, here's the reproduction of the original Reader's Digest survey.

Politeness Put to the Test

A woman heads into a popular New York City coffee shop on a chilly winter morning. Just ahead of her, a man drops a file full of documents. The woman pauses, and stoops to help gather the papers.

Six blocks away, a different man enters another shop, but not before politely holding the door for the person behind him. A clerk at another busy store thanks a customer who's just made a purchase. "Enjoy," the young woman says, smiling widely. "Have a nice day." She sounds like she really means it.

Whoa. Common courtesy on the mean streets of a city known for its in-your-face style? Have New Yorkers suddenly gone soft?

In her international bestselling death-of-manners manifesto Talk to the Hand, author Lynne Truss argues that common courtesies such as saying "Excuse me" are practically extinct. There are certainly plenty who would agree with her. Consider that in one recent survey, 70 percent of U.S. adults said people are ruder now than they were 20 years ago.

Is it really true? Reader's Digest decided to find out if courtesy truly is kaput. RD sent reporters to major cities in 35 countries where the magazine is published -- from Auckland, New Zealand, to Zagreb, Croatia. In the United States, that meant targeting New York, where looking out for No. 1 -- the heck with the other guy -- has always been a basic survival skill.

The routine in New York was similar to the one followed elsewhere: Two reporters -- one woman and one man -- fanned out across the city, homing in on neighborhoods where street life and retail shops thrive. They performed three experiments: "door tests" (would anyone hold one open for them?); "document drops" (who would help them retrieve a pile of "accidentally" dropped papers?); and "service tests" (which salesclerks would thank them for a purchase?). For consistency, the New York tests were conducted at Starbucks coffee shops, by now almost as common in the Big Apple as streetlights. In all, 60 tests (20 of each type) were done.

Along the way, the reporters encountered all types: men and women of different races, ages, professions, and income levels. They met an aspiring actress, a high school student, a hedge-fund analyst and two New York City police officers. And guess what? In the end, four out of every five people they encountered passed RD's courtesy test -- making New York the most courteous city in the world. Imagine that.

A for Effort

While 90 percent of New Yorkers passed the door test, only 55 percent aced the document drop. Are people less likely to help others when doing so takes extra effort or time? Not always, the reporters found. Take the pregnant woman who thought nothing of bending down to help us with our papers. Or the Queens woman named Liz who precariously balanced two coffees, her keys and her wallet on a takeout tray with one hand, while picking up papers off the wet pavement with the other. Her reason for helping? "I was there," she said matter-of-factly.

Part of the Job

Nineteen of the 20 clerks who were subjected to service tests passed. Roger Benjamin, the manager and coffee master at a Manhattan Starbucks, acknowledged that the chain trains its employees to be courteous. And some baristas the RD reporters encountered went beyond basic niceties. "You have to feed off people's vibes," said one clerk. "You go out of your way to show customers they did us a favor by coming here." At another store, a green-apron-clad attendant said that while courtesy was part of his job, he sought respect in return: "It's contagious."

Chivalry -- Not Dead Yet

Overall, men were the most willing to help, especially when it came to document drops. In those, men offered aid 63 percent of the time, compared to 47 percent among women. Of course, men weren't entirely democratic about whom they'd help. All of them held the door for RD's female reporter, and were more than twice as likely to help her pick up fallen papers than they were to help our male reporter. "I'll hold the door for whoever's behind me," said Pete Muller, 27, an account executive from Brooklyn. "But I'm definitely more conscious of women!" he added with a smile.

Mother Knows Best

By far, the most common reason people cited for being willing to go out of their way to help others was their upbringing. "It's the way I was raised," said one young woman who held a door open despite struggling with her umbrella on a frigid, sleety day in Brooklyn.

Her sentiment was echoed by Christine DuBois, a 49-year-old sales manager from Bayside, Queens. DuBois was headed to the gym when she stopped to retrieve a pile of scattered papers. "It's something that's taught to you when you're young," she said.

A few people, including Frederick Martin, 29, credited their mothers' influence specifically. "My mom brought me up like that," Martin said. "It's pure manners."

What Goes Around...

Another reason people are quick to be courteous: "You do what you'd want other people to do if it happened to you," said Christine Rossi, who pitched in on an early-morning document drop. Dennis Kleinman, a 57-year-old doctor and writer, used one word to sum up what drove his impulse to help: "Empathy." He came to the aid of an RD reporter when a middle-aged woman ignored a pile of papers in front of a shop on Manhattan's East Side. "The same thing happens to me, and I appreciate it when someone takes 10 to 15 seconds of their valuable time to help," he said.

Excuses, Excuses

The reporters did run into a few courtesy clods. In one case, while an RD staffer was inside a Starbucks interviewing a woman who'd passed the door test, a dozen oblivious people stepped over a second staffer's fallen papers. Another time, a wise guy offered only a snarky comment on our clumsiness: "That guy had too much coffee!" he cracked.

And just when we thought we'd heard every excuse in the book for not helping, along came Margot Zimmerman. The 44-year-old computer saleswoman was on her way into a Queens Starbucks when a reporter dropped his folder of papers right at her feet. Looking down, Zimmerman stepped gingerly around the papers, then entered the shop. "I'm probably one of the most courteous people," she insisted later. "I pick up every other person's dog poop. I help old ladies across the street. But when he dropped his papers, he made such a face."

Thankfully, such responses were the exception, not the rule. Which makes New York City a pretty darn polite place -- the most polite major city in the entire world, in case you missed it before. We realize this isn't a rigorous scientific study, but we believe it is a reasonable real-world test of good manners around the globe. And it's comforting to know that in a place where millions of people jostle one another each day in a relentless push to get ahead, they're able to do it with a smile and a thank-you. Hey, if they can make nice here, they can make nice anywhere.

I'm not sure whether they have different versions of the article for different editions in other parts of the world. But did you notice it? The whole article was bragging about New York and that New York was used as a stepping stone and a yardstick to do the American ego-satisfying survey anyway! After all, as Dave Letterman's show always say "New York is the greatest city in the world".

Final question: "Are we really that thin-skinned?" as Jon once posed it.

Top 10 'To Do' List. Now.

Since people accuse me of not being constructive, here's something for them. Inspired by 22 Questions, here's my attempt Top 10 'To Do' List for The Medicine Man to do. Now.

1. Stop making anymore slogans.
We are really sick. Then I'll discard 'The Medicine Man' tag.

2. Responsible Press Freedom.
This does not mean doing things like stalking other people and making irrelevant comments just for the sake of 'freedom of speech'. What I mean are things like breaking the Prime Media conglomerate for a start, remove any politico-presso linkage and drop draconian press laws. And no more brainwashing from the mainstream media.

3. Revamp the iKabinet 40Gb and make them more accountable.
Remove. Dead. Woods. Self-explanatory. Period.

4. Oh, set up IPCMC. Immediately.
This will shut up the Opposition, the main agenda of your party coalition anyway.

5. Set up the Ombudsman System.
No point for Cabinet Committees if the MPs are more occupied with their personal agenda not accountable to the rakyat. Some urgent ones- Anti-corruption, Local Government and Judiciary Ombudsman.

6. Revamp the education system.
Another Opposition's favourite, do this and they will shut up.

7. Do something with the GLCs lar.
If you can't make Petronas' profits transparent, why not do something crazy like this.

8. Address the multi-faith pressure appropriately.
Tired of the same phrases 'avoid sensitivities', 'follow procedure' and 'for the sake of uniformity' already. Sell your Hadhari properly.

.
.
.
.

Hmm...what else? I'm going to stop here already. It is really fatiguing, if you know what I mean.

Do these and who will give a f**k about MM, the Son and the SIL.

4.4 Billion, 4 Months Later, 4Gotten?

4.4 Billion? Gone.

4 Months Later. Has it improved?

4Gotten? Now they are only talking.

p.s. Sorry to disappoint those who label this as 'gomen bashing'. Exposé posts on the bad gomen governance will continue as usual. Click the red cross button immediately if you do not like this post and blog in general.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

KL As Third Rudest City: Ignorant and Defiant Ministers

So it seems that KL is the third rudest city. Not sure whether it is as 'third in the world' as not every city in every nook and corner of the world was covered.

And the ministers, led by the 'change your lifestyle' bloke came out one by one denying and defying the survey.

"We can question the tests used in the survey because I understand one of our attractions to foreign tourists is the friendliness of our people... we are very tourist friendly," he said, adding that the survey gave a negative impression of the country.


"Malaysians are known to be very friendly, accommodating and outgoing in helping others. I just do not know which part of courtesy this survey was referring to"


So, it's all about jaga muka for the tourists again, eh? And if I'm not mistaken, ministers and MPs are also categorised as 'Malaysians' mentioned in the quote above. Here, let's see how 'friendly', 'accomodating' and 'outgoing in helping others' these Malaysians are:


Soooo 'friendly'...


Sooo 'outgoing in helping others'...

And my fave,


Soooo 'accomodating'....

Read also: "Ni Pu Xi Huan, Ni Li Khai Ma Lai Si Ya!"

theSun's Very Unamazing and Unconvincing Jacqueline Ann-Surin - MPF Interview

Well, after she wrote an open letter to The Medicine Man over at theSun, Jacqueline Ann-Surin together with its EIC Zainon Ahmad did a follow-up by setting up an interview with the so-called Muslims Professional Forum (MPF)'s Chairman, Dr. Mazeni Alwi.

It is worth to give it a read to see how unamazing the interview was. Get your free copy of theSun or just simply login for the free online subscription.

Personally, the interview was not at all amazing and questions raised were not answered fully. It was not the interviewers' fault though. The questions raised basically covered all the aspects of the 'multifaith pressure' as Beebs would like to call it- the latest Kongsiraya controversy, tudung regulations for IIUM and Your Royally Force, the Moorty/Nyonya Tahir burial saga, the Badai mob group disruption, the Zouk abuse (not the liver sakit case one) and the Mat Skodengs, among others.

However, when it comes to the interviewee's turn, it is better for him to have kept the 'elegant silence' rather than to answer the questions. I am not talking about whether his views were right or wrong but the way the interviewee did the twisting and turning of the answers and not hitting the right spots for the questions raised just irked me a lot.

Here, I have captured some screenshots for you to see for yourselves how unconvincing and unamazing the interview was.

Tell me what's wrong with this part?

Interviews (including job ones) are meant to be narcissistical, where you, the interviewee, should talk more and brag about yourself, rather than the interviewer asking all the questions for you (and to some extent answering for you) and then you, giving single answers or just blindly nod on them.

And towards the end of the interview, things get a little bit tensioned out. And read the final part. Very pathetic attempt indeed.

"Depends lar", "See how lar", " Yes, yes" "No, no".

For the sake of all, I've typed out the last part:

But, I think a lot of people see that as provocative, bringing up those issues and from what I heard, I think the way the forum conducted may not be, may have upset some of the protestors. So, those things need must be looked into.

From what I heard also, the mobs already started being rebellious even before the forum speakers had started talking. Just how could you be upset even before you have listened to anything? Do they have psychic powers? They could read minds? Tell me how convincing this 'from what I heard' bloke is.

Poor interview (by the interviewee part). Even some 'professional' wannabe bloggers could do better than him. Period.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Wah! Money Falling From The Sky! Literally!

Crazy Brits! Well, more precisely, crazy Welsh! C&P from Beebs:



Why, oh, why, do I have to stay in pathetic Engrund (which drew in yesterday's match which I did not bother to watch...). Sigh!

"Oi, You Ingat Lu Bapak Punya Jalan Kah": KL Is Third Rudest City

From NST:

Rude cities: KL ranks third

KUALA LUMPUR: It wouldn’t surprise anyone who drives, parks, shops or uses public transport here, but Malaysia’s capital city has emerged the third-worst in the world for sheer rudeness.

Only Bucharest and Mumbai are worse when it comes to common courtesy, a Reader’s Digest survey of 35 of the world’s capitals has found.

Asian cities generally fared poorly in these rankings, eight of nine of them in the bottom 11, raising the notion that what is considered courtesy in the West — holding doors, helping strangers, service with a smile — is culturally alien in Asia.

The Times of London reported that Reader’s Digest magazine sent reporters into the principal city of each of the 35 countries in which it publishes to conduct a survey of local politeness. Three tests were employed: Dropping papers in a busy street to see if anyone would help; checking how often shop assistants said "thank you"; and counting how often someone held a door open.

London and Paris came a disappointing joint 15th, beaten by such cities as Berlin, Warsaw, Madrid and Prague. New York came top in the survey, with a score of 80 per cent, compared with 57 per cent for London and Paris.

Ed Koch, a former mayor of the city, said: "Since 9/11, New Yorkers are more caring. They understand the shortness of life."

The rudest city in the world, according to the survey, is Mumbai, which is even ruder than Bucharest, judged the rudest city in Europe, where door-holding, paper-picking and thanking the retail customer are not part of the culture. The Romanians are, the results show, much surlier than even the French.

Citizens of Zagreb, in Croatia, are the most willing to help you to pick up a pile of papers; one man insisted on helping despite arthritis and a bad back. The shop assistants of Stockholm are the most polite, unfailingly thanking customers for making a purchase.

In São Paulo, Brazil, even the criminals are civil; the researchers were attempting to buy sunglasses in an illegal market when the police arrived; the stallholder said "thank you" as he fled.

It's all over the net also. Check out from Google News here.

And here's the list:

ROLL OF HONOUR

1 New York (80 per cent)
2 Zurich (77)
3 Toronto (70)
4= Berlin (68)
4= São Paulo (68)
4= Zagreb (68)
7= Auckland (67)
7= Warsaw (67)
9 Mexico City (65)
10 Stockholm (63)
11= Budapest (60)
11= Madrid (60)
11= Prague (60)
11= Vienna (60)
15= Buenos Aires (57)
15= Johannesburg (57)
15= Lisbon (57)
15= London (57)
15= Paris (57)
20 Amsterdam (52)
21= Helsinki (48)
21= Manila (48)
23= Milan (47)
23= Sydney (47)
25= Bangkok (45)
25= Hong Kong (45)
25= Ljubljana (45)
28= Jakarta (43)
28= Taipei (43)
30= Moscow (42)
30= Singapore (42)
32 Seoul (40)
33 Kuala Lumpur (37)
34 Bucharest (35)
35 Bombay (32)

Hehe...it's not too good either over the Causeway...

How rude can Malaysians be? Want examples? Check out TheStar's series of rude Malaysians over at Youtube. Here's my fave:



Here's another very 'polite' video in contrast, uploaded on Youtube courtesy of Rojaks.

Voyeurism At National Service Camp?: "aW3k KhIdM@t Negara"

Move over T@Mmy and Pr@muG@r@ Terl@mp@u, you both have a serious contender, well, much shorter (pun not intended). From theSun:

Five `NS trainees' filmed showering
by Kong See Hoh

A VIDEO clip of five girls, said to be National Service (NS) trainees, bathing and washing up together is being circulated in Teluk Intan, Oriental Daily News reported yesterday.

The 37-second clip, entitled aW3k KhIdM@t Negara believed to have been taken with a camera phone without the girls' knowledge, shows them in the buff in front of a big water tank.

The girls are shown either bathing or brushing their teeth. Two were swaying to some light music, unaware that they were being filmed.

Although the girls had their backs to the camera most of the time, the clip also shows glimpses of some of their faces.

Because of the poor quality of the clip, it is difficult to identify them or determine if it was taken in an NS training camp, the report said.

Nevertheless, the possibility that it could be filmed in a camp has dented the confidence of trainees, their parents and the public in the NS programme.

Asked by the daily to comment on the clip, Perak MCA NS coordinator Datuk Tan Ching Meng said he had no idea what happened.

He did say, however, that it was an invasion of the girls' privacy and should be condemned. He said NS camps had separate toilets and bathing areas for males and females.

He said the female wash areas had big water tanks and the trainees were usually clad in sarong when they bathed.

Tan also said that NS trainees had to surrender their handphones while in the camp as they were not allowed to use them except on Sundays.

A former trainee said that during her three-month stint, the girls were not allowed to bathe in front of the water tank for fear that some trainees might be tempted to take a dip in the tank. She said she was told the water in the tank was meant for washing clothes and the trainees had to take their bath in cubicles.

NS Training Council chairman Tan Sri Lee Lam Thye said he was not aware of the video clip. He doubted that the incident happened in an NS camp as trainees are not allowed to use their handphones.

Yet another reason to cancel the pseudo-National Service?

On another related story, "Malaysians are not having sex", shown by yet another sex survey, this time by Pfizer, the makers of Little Blue Pill.

"Malaysians prefer to have sex with their own hands instead?"

Are we too obsessed with voyeurism and the syiok sendiri(self gratification) syndrome?

Makes me ponder on how people get so easily syiok sendiri with 37 seconds of nudity clips...

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

His 'Deeds' Are Counting and We Are Watching...

'Deed' 1?



'Deed' 2?



Not significant (p>0.05)?

Or are these significant (p<0.005)?








Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting






You tell me!

So Naive, So (Cheaply) Sex-conned...

Photos curi from Loktor Loyar Mave, recently featured in Malay Mail, again...



Read more here.

Read more here.

theSun 20th June 2006 pg. 8. Click on image for larger read.

So naive, so (cheaply) sex-conned, so sad... :(

For the adults' series, check it out here.

How More Apt Could This Front Page Be?

Wah, manyak olang kasi sapport har!!!

theSun Front Page Tuesday, 20th June, 2006.

Sapport sampai BeeBeeSee Report! (Hey it rhymes!)

Read more here.

I'm starting to get very very tired of all these. Narcissism is seriously getting out of hand.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Pink For Qu.....?

Pink for qu....?

Photo source.

Photo source.

p.s. The two pictures above are unrelated, unless you want to think otherwise.

Are they trying to tell us something? ;)

His 'Deeds' Are Counting and We Are Watching...

'Deed' 1?



'Deed' 2?



Not significant (p>0.05)?

Or are these significant (p<0.005)?









You tell me!

When Practical Jokes Gone Too Far...

An interesting article from theSun again...

Click on image for larger view.

Thanks to the Americophilic TV Stations, we are 'blessed' with all the junk from U S of A. And you are the ones who seemed to be enjoying it! Here's a video from the TV programme mentioned in the article above, as pointed out by Kit not too long ago.



Media Prima, let me tell you that these are nothing funny at all. Call me a sensintrovert but the pranks in the programme seriously touch on our moral decays of our society and should not be made fun like that at all. And don't start comparing movies with V, H and S as movies are still movies; they are fictitious in nature however 'based on true events' the movies are.

Question of the day: "When Should A Practical Joke Go Too Far?"

Some Heartwarming Videos To Reflect On...

Came across some heartwarming videos to reflect on. Nothing religious at all. Watch for yourselves. Specially dedicated to religious overzealouts, ultras and bigots.



And here's another one for Michael Wong's fans...



Something to reflect on how beautiful our country is but unfortunately, all of these are rather superficial, due to the mismanagement of this country. At present, we have overzealouts trying to Talibanise our country (destroying century-old temples, banning open houses, xenophobic 'you tak suka keluar' attitudes, etc.) destroying the nature (hills, jungles and corals) and of course, the very ugly side of the weak and poor was not shown.

Let's pray for a better future for Malaysia and hope that we will truly live up the slogan of the adverts '50 Years of Nationhood'.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

AP Fahder's Dei!

Presenting two authentic Top 10s from Dave Letterman:





AP Fahder's Dei!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

A Candy Too Hard To Swallow, Jeff?

He is bespectacled.

He loves photography.

He loves the internet.

He has many fans over the internet.

He meets people over the internet.

His name is...... Jeff.


Not Jeff Ooi lah! I'm talking about Jeff Kohlver, the character from Hard Candy, which I saw yesterday.

This Patrick Wilson as Jeff, lar!

Warning: Plot spoilers ahead.

Here's the poster...



And here's the synopsis...

Hard Candy is a 2006 film about Hayley Stark, a 14-year-old girl who meets Jeff, a thirty-two year old photographer/ephebophile. The two first get to know each other on the Internet before meeting in person at a local coffee shop, which results in a trip to Jeff's home. However, Jeff soon learns that Hayley isn't as innocent as she appears. Before he knows it, Hayley is violently coercing Jeff's secrets out, like his particular penchant for young girls, and the mystery behind classmate Donna Mauer's disappearance.

Read a more detailed synopsis from Rotten Tomatoes.

Here's the trailer if you're interested...



The film is rated '18' by BBFC although NO actual sexual organs or sexual acts were shown, unlike in 9 Songs.

Daily Mail called it as 'This year's most controversial thriller'. Rotten Tomotoes' current rating is 65%. They came out with a consensus review of:

Disturbing, controversial, but entirely engrossing, Hard Candy is well written with strong lead performances, especially that of newcomer Ellen Page ( could also be seen in X-Men: The Last Stand playing Shadowcat). A movie that stays with the viewer long after leaving the theater.


"I'm 19 years old now but I am 14 in this film!"

But in 5 words, I would describe the film as:

'Doubtful innocence' with 'excruciating surgery'

Another S&M fair for you all besides the Da Vinci Code flagellation's one.

Yes, as you read from the synopsis, Jeff, the male photographer is allegedly a paedophile, 'pathetically filming and photographing naked innocent teenage girls'. But were the photos shown in the film? Were the acts of photographing shown? And at the same time, Hayley, the lovey-dovey white-innocent teenager in the film, is playing the S&M cat-and-mouse game with Jeff. Why would such an innocent do that to him? Has Jeff harmed her or her friend before this? Why would she want to perform a surgery (which I would do to myself if Malaysians would to believe Elie) on him? And everything seemed to be planned before hand!

I don't want to spoil you by giving you answers for these so see it at your local cinemas (pretty sure it will be banned in Malaysia) or source it from Uncle Ho or Auntie Torrent.

But personally, I think the core of the story (or message) is good there but it was made too soft. But perhaps the hard way was already taken by the Saw series. And the 'paedophile' is way too cute and young to be one. But perhaps again, the makers want to clear the stereotype and that paedophiles do come in all shapes and sizes.

Kids, paedophiles come in all shapes and sizes, including very cute ones like this.

Overall, I would rate the film as '5/10' as the only memorable scene was that 'surgery'.

Now, it all comes back to the controversial question:

Would you date someone way much younger than you, irrespective of gender or sexual preferences?