Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Not a Resolution

Dear Friends,

I know that I have not been blogging as frequently as I should this month. December has always been a busy month for me. The closing of the year, the Christmas festivities and the endless rush of running errands for the coming New Year. Tomorrow is a HISTORIC day. The last day of 2009 before we usher in another year. I know it is going to be another busy day tomorrow, so I decided to pen down my New Year thoughts today.
2009 has been a year that zoomed in and zoomed out for me; in a flash of an eye. It was a year of the impossibles. Just reflecting, it has been a 'coloured' year. A first black President of the United States was inaugurated in January, a much adored black but 'bleached' Michael Jackson died in June and a once respected black golf legend, Tiger Woods who fell from grace because of his many 'holes in one'. I would equate this to a BLACKENED year. The sluggish economy, high inflation, the H1N1 epidemic; has pitched tremendous darkness to our once clear horizons.

Throughout the years, I have not taken long breaks and decided to do so this year. All in all, I would have rested for eleven days before returning to the salt mine again this Monday, in a New Year that is. It was nice waking up in the morning and just sitting serene in my garden. I can't remember the last time I did that. I just realised that I now have squirrels as inhabitants. I never saw them there before. As I was sitting, I realised that LIFE for me has always been a RUSH. I talk fast, I eat fast, I work fast and I like taking the shortest cuts possible; All I cared about was results. I started pondering on what was I grateful and thankful for in 2009.

I am one who do not believe in setting New Year resolutions. Why set them when I am not going to attain them. For me, not having resolutions are fine but what is important is to set aside a time for REFLECTIONS. I believe that if I do not reflect, I am almost sure of repeating the same mistakes in the coming New Year. I have always not planned in making big changes or improvements at any one go. My belief has always been making small improvements monthly and accumulative, a major improvement in twelve months. This will be my New Year's belief and not a RESOLUTION.

For 2010, I am not going to underestimate myself. The way trends are moving, I believe it is going to be an exhilarating year. I am aspiring to make changes albeit RADICAL ones; in both my personal and professional life. I want to BELIEVE big and achieving bigger. My challenge will be paced against Mother Theresa. A poor unknown nun who believed in that change for the impossible. When she died, her native Albania and her home India fought for her body's custody. She made a living impact that led to a bigger impact in her death. Good changes will impact lives better. That is what I would want. In all that I do, I would also do it out of LOVE. By so doing, I believe that I would influence and impact the people and the environment around me. This will be my New Year's belief and not a RESOLUTION.

For 2010, I am going to take time to count my BLESSINGS. I am going to expect less and to appreciate every goodness in people around me. How often in our busy lives, we have learned to make a living but not a life? We have added years to life and not life to years. I am going to learn to wait and not rush.
When 'Auld Lang Syne' is sung tomorrow night, I am no longer going to keep anything for that special occasion because everyday I live will be a special occasion. Life is a chain of moments of enjoyment and not only about survival. Don't save your best perfume for that 'special occasion'; go ahead and spray it on everyday. I challenge all of us to not delay anything that adds laughter and joy to our lives in 2010. FORGIVE that person and FORGET that bad deed. Let's start on a clean slate, as the saying goes. I will sit in my garden more and admire the view without paying much attention to my needs.

THANK YOU for visiting my blog this year. I will continue to write on topics that are dear to me and I will aim to be as prolific as I can. I am grateful for your encouragement and criticism shared.

"CARPE DIEM" Rejoice while you are alive; enjoy the day; and live it to the fullest. On that parting note for 2009, I wish you and your family much blessings for 2010. GOD BLESS!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

We Were The Reason

Dear Friends,

I have just returned from Christmas Eve Dinner with the family. This year was a little out of normalcy. Almost every year, we would be feasting on a Christmas turkey and the other accompaniments. We normally would gather as a FAMILY at home and the children would be opening their presents at the stroke of midnight. This year, we broke TRADITION. We decided that Christmas is family time even if we had rib eye, pork belly, lamb, chicken with a lot of Kimchi. We decided to go Korean this time.

The kids are now all downstairs, with much EXCITEMENT as I am blogging this. Charmaine was especially excited clicking away during dinner. She wanted pictures with everyone at dinner. Looking at her and Eugene now, I realised how fast they have grown and matured. They are no longer the little babies I once knew. I remember the time fifteen years ago when Eugene was born. I was in the delivery room with my wife, watching the BIRTH of a life.

CHRISTMAS is the same. It is a reason for celebration, for a baby born 2000 years ago in a manger. In a town called Bethlehem (it still exist today, near Jerusalem, at the West Bank), the baby was named Jesus. The Lord JESUS CHRIST is the real reason why we celebrate Christmas. I have come to know him as my SAVIOUR and HE is my reason for living.

During this celebration, I have always loved the carols sung, the glowing lights on the Christmas tree and all the other pretty decorations. I can hear Eugene playing 'Felix Navidad' on the piano now and I want to go join in the sing along. We would be going to church for the Christmas service tomorrow. In breaking tradition again, I am DEDICATING this song and not a traditional carol for your viewing and enjoyment. I know this song for over 25 years and it holds much meaning to my heart. For indeed, HE is our reason for living.

I take this opportunity in wishing YOU and your loved ones a very "BLESSED CHRISTMAS". Have a wonderful time of celebration and may you be blessed with much PEACE, LOVE AND JOY.


Saturday, December 12, 2009

Who is Santa Claus?

Dear Friends,

Time has passed on so quickly this year that I did not even realised that we are already into December. Over dinner a few nights ago, I casually asked the family, "Where is the Christmas Tree?" Excuses after excuses were flung across the table with Charmaine reluctantly admitting, "Dad, EASY to put up but LAZY to tear down". My Mum added, "Everybody is BUSY this year". Even though she is retired, she went 'back to work' in the family's online florist business this year; which explains her reason. Nobody pursued the matter in their 'busyness'.
I guess unanimously the family has agreed that there will NOT BE a tree this year. The putting up of the tree only started with my family the last ten years. When I was young, I remember how my Dad would have a Christmas party every year in the house. It was more a night of gathering for his Mason brothers at that time. After his passing, Mum would not put a tree up because it was like a reminder of those GOOD TIMES when Dad was around. I must agree with Charmaine that setting the tree up, decorating it and lighting it was exciting. However, dismantling it after the New Year was another story all together.

Without the tree, will this year's Christmas be any different? In my family, we are all Christians. I was born into a CHRISTIAN family and I attended Sunday School at a very young age. I was never exposed to any other beliefs and I grew up knowing the TRUE MEANING of Christmas. It is a day to commemorate the birth of Jesus Christ. However, historians somehow told us that Christ was not actually born on the 25 December. So, I guess it is just like an 'Official Birthday'. In church, we always refer HIS birth to be 2000 years ago. Year after year, it is still 2000 years ago. I chuckle at that fact sometimes.
The BIRTH of Christ is the real meaning of Christmas. Besides that, it is also a time to spread good tidings and joy as the Christmas carol goes. It is also a time of extending compassion and goodwill to all mankind. But, today however, the world has TWISTED this Christmas fact. I find the world using this season as purely commercial. It is largely based on MATERIALISM with no more compassion and goodwill. Children are 'taught' that the bigger their presents the better.

These days, in everybody's busyness; the shorter things are, the better. How can this season be now also known as X'MAS? How can CHRIST be removed from the true meaning of Christ-mas? Ever thought how Santa Claus is now the substitute of 'Christ'-mas? I never taught my children Santa Claus. What does a burly old man in a fur trimmed red suit, who supposedly lives in the North Pole, got to do with the birth of Christ? I never told them how this FICTITIOUS character would come down the chimney at night and leave them presents. They wouldn't believe me either because we have no chimneys in our house. What I have taught them was GRATITUDE. That they should celebrate this season with appreciation for all that they do have.
As for me, I am FOREVER GRATEFUL for:

GOD's love and how he allows me to be successful in all that I do.
My FAMILY's support and how they stand by me and bring joy whenever I am home.
My good HEALTH for I know what stress and depression can bring.
My few good close FRIENDS who are by my side whenever I need them.
My TEAM at work for striving hard with me to ensure that our business objectives are met.
My BOSSES who constantly allows me the chance to prove my worth to be better.
This blog piece is not meant to be religious or judgemental. It is written to stress my belief that Christmas is not about GREED and fiction. Please spell CHRIST-MAS in it's entirety and not take the real meaning out of it. I will now go speak to the kids to reconsider putting up our Christmas tree.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

80s Nostalgia

Dear Friends,

Last Thursday, I was invited to attend EARTH WIND AND FIRE's 40th Anniversary World Tour Concert at Sunway Lagoon. The weather has been unpredictable lately with the monsoon season. It has been raining and on concert night itself it was drizzling. It was a case of, what if the rain continues to pour down on EARTH with great nautical WINDs that would really put out the FIRE that everyone has come to watch. This American R&B group founded in 1969 still has the three original founding members; percussionist Maurice White, falsetto Philip Bailey and funny long haired expressive bassist Verdine White. I had the pleasure of receiving them upon their arrival from Singapore. We had a little conversation that surrounded around their repertoire and I told them I GREW UP listening to them. Maurice jokingly said, "That makes us in the same age group".

Growing up in the EIGHTIES was fun. I never knew the PlayStation nor the Internet. When entertainment was sourced, it was a gathering among friends playing MARBLES or flying kites. I remember how I would crush fluorescent light tubes into pounded powder and soaking them into starch. I would then soak the many feet of kite string into it and put them to dry. I would always emerge winner when my kite string would 'cut' my opponent's and literally sending them 'flying kites'. WHAT INTERNET? If information was needed, the only source were the ENCYCLOPEDIAS. Volumes and volumes that would stand in line on a book rack. I presume it is not cool to purchase encyclopedias today. To improve my command of the language, I read the Reader's Digest.

There were no flat screen plasma televisions then. The bigger and bulkier the TV set signified better social status. We had a BLACK AND WHITE set then. I was excited whenever I went to the granny's because of her coloured set. I still remember watching the wedding of Prince Charles and Diana Spencer that was telecast live in 1981. Cool TV brands at that time were Graetz and Telefunken. The only 'cool' thing we possessed was a Sanyo VINYL player. It was cool because it had a cassette player built with it too. It was in 1980, when the world stood still literally, eager to know who actually shot JR EWING. If you know what I am talking about, you are either a Baby Boomer or a Gen X like me. If not, JR was a character out of the series 'DALLAS' whom you either hate or love. Remember; the High Chaparral, Starsky and Hutch, The Man from Atlantis, what about Little House on the Prairie?
As teenagers in the 80s, I detested my mum driving me in her Datsun 120Y to gallivant. I found it more cool to borrow a friend's MOTORCYCLE to ride around. I was caught numerous times riding without a license in my neighbourhood. Even during those years, it was normal for 'them' to ask for a 'kautim', whenever I was stopped. They are happy to literally 'extort' five ringgit from me. And, I would happily ride off. Until today, I can visualise the Dark Blue Mitsubishi Sigma patrol car bearing registration WB* 9402. I never forget bad things that happened to me.

When I needed to go further, the 'SRI JAYA' bus was reliable. Fifty cents would take me from my enclave in SS2 to the Klang bus station. I love frequenting PERTAMA COMPLEX in Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman because it had my favorite shops. One was 'WEST POINT 'and the other was 'VICTORIA MUSIC'. If you don't know West Point, what about Edmund Ser, familiar now? It was really cool to wear tailored apparels by Edmund Ser who has just returned from learning fashion design in London. How I would walk around in my fifty ringgit BAGGY PANTS, with the West Point logo prominently sewn to the back of the trousers. I also loved those shirts studded with RING BUTTONS.
BRITISH POP was the way to go then. Victoria Music was the hippest music store. There were no CDs then. I would write the title of the songs that I favorite on a piece of paper, purchase a TDK cassette from them, they would record them for me and I picked it up in five days. Now, I have my own selected compilation of songs from UK's Top of the Pops. My favorite bands were all British. Heard of Adam and the Ants, Culture Club, Duran Duran, Haircut 100, Bronski Beat, Madness, Spandau Ballet or Ultravox? Nobody listened to American stuff unlike now. Earth Wind and Fire was then. Songs like 'Let's Groove', 'Fantasy' and 'After the Love has Gone' are now all CLASSICS. Songs like these were never spun at clubs because there weren't any. They were played at house parties, where teenagers like us were GROOVING away with fruit punches mixed with a little Anchor beer. Not because we couldn't consume the alcohol, it was more the case that we could not afford it with our MENIAL weekly allowance.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Don't Be So Emo-Lah!

Dear Friends,

I have just returned from dinner at the newly opened, Happy Days Diner located in USJ, Taipan. The entrance at the restaurant is impressive with a RM 70K classic car hanging in mid-air giving it an aura of the old Fonzie days. Food served here is typically American with sections of entrees, pastas, burgers etc. Portioning of food is NOT fantastic as price clearly does not commensurate value. Chips as an accompaniment is plentiful, to enhance the space of the over sized serving plates. The service was kind of IRRITATING as the staff was eagerly trying hard to impress. Every twenty seconds or so, I was constantly being harassed with, "Sir, can I take your orders?" I was not even given a chance to look at the offerings and had to practically tell them, to LEAVE ME ALONE to call them when I was ready.

When I was working part time, to support my expenses as a student abroad, I was taught to always check with my customers, to ensure that their dining experience was PLEASANT. I have always had a passion with food and beverage hospitality. I never dreamt that I was going to be a doctor like how every parent would envision their children to be when they grew up. While abroad, I have tried my hands grilling burger patties, waiting on tables in Oriental restaurants and also as a petrol pump attendant. Unlike here in Malaysia, TIPPING is almost mandatory in restaurants where I was studying overseas. Those days, I had to constantly go, "I hope everything is pleasant, please call me if I can do anything better"; that is said to the diners every fifteen minutes or so, by me deliberately 'walking pass' their tables. The reason is; I am inadvertently reminding them to leave me a tip. During their dining experience, if they did not call me at anytime means that all has been well. If all is well, LEAVE ME A TIP. Tips accumulated in a four day work week is able to feed me my meals and also pay my bus fares to college and around town. I always ensured tip-topped service.

When tipping is 'mandatory', it certainly does not mean a right to bad service? How about services that do not require tipping? My twitter account was 'spammed' by twits of Nuffnang's Timothy Tiah yesterday. He purchased a ticket on Firefly for Penang to depart at 11.40am. In today's Star, Firefly apologised 'nationwide' for their delay yesterday attributing it to one of their aircraft's being temporarily out of service. And because of that, it caused a domino effect on all scheduled flights, resulting in multiple delays. The flight to Penang finally departed at 7.40pm. After eight hours, for crying out loud! If Timothy had driven, he would have arrived Penang, made a turn-around and could also be back in Kuala Lumpur in that time. Operating a BUDGET airline like Firefly, does that mean a right to 'COMPROMISED' service because as the maxim goes, 'You pay peanuts, you get monkeys'?

Gone are those days when you would see individuals saying grace before their meals. I still do till today. I still thank 'My Father' for providing food on the table for me and asking for HIS blessings for the nourishment of my body. But these days, there is another NEW 'religion' that has emerged. A 'religion' where they actually SWEEP their cameras out and start snapping pictures of their food before partaking them. This 'religion' is called the 'VIRAL EFFECTS' of the social media. I seriously took pity on Firefly yesterday. The worst thing that can happen to any bad service providers these days, is when a dissatisfied customer takes a mobile phone and 'social media out' the news fast about their experience. Once that is out, service providers have no choice but to learn their lessons hard. It takes a long while to rebuild a customer's EMOTIONAL BONDING all over again. With Timothy's, #fu*kfirefly on Twitter yesterday, I could only think that Firefly has further reinforced the branding of Air Asia.

'DON'T PLAY-PLAY' with the power of the Social Media. And to the 'TEH TARIK GROUP'; please get real and understand, in order to be effective and competitive globally, we must be able to stand tall and accept all sorts of criticisms, be they good or bad. Our infamous, NAMEWEE is at it again. The previous time, I could not agree with his 'Negarakuku' controversy as I am a proud Malaysian. However this time, I am in full agreement with his latest CURSINGS on TNB. Why should we be sympathetic with bad service providers? This is a REAL world. Consumers expects nothing less than the best for what we pay for. So, Mr. Exco Member, 'Rise Yet Steam', don't overreact by saying that the 'Teh Tarik Group' would examine NameWee's doing of poking fun at TNB. 'PUNISHING' him would not change things when it came to TNB's bad services.


Thursday, November 19, 2009

Forever Grateful

Dear Friends,

A little out of the paradigm today. I am feeling poetic out of gratefulness.

"Be thankful that you don't already have everything you desire.
If you did, what would there be for you to look forward to?
Be thankful when you don't know something.
For it gives you the opportunity to learn.

Be thankful for the difficult times.
During those times you grow.
Be thankful for your limitations.
Because they give you opportunities for improvement.

Be thankful for each new challenge.
Because it will build your strength and character.

Be thankful for your mistakes.
For they will teach you valuable lessons.

Be thankful when you are tired and weary.
Because it means you have made a difference.

It is easy to be thankful for the good things.
A life of rich fulfillment comes to those who
are also thankful for the setbacks.
Gratitude can turn a negative to a positive.

Find a way to be thankful for your troubles.
And they become your blessings".

I am blessed with both Eugene and Charmaine.

Pictured when they were younger

I am thankful for Eugene
Who is on the sofa being a couch potato
Because he is home with me
And not at the Mall

I am thankful for Charmaine
Who is complaining about practising the piano
Because it means she is at home
And not on the streets

I am thankful for the mess to clean
After Charmaine's farewell party last week
Because it means she has friends

I am thankful for Eugene's shadow
That watches him play
Because it means he is out healthy physically
In the sunshine with his basketball


I am thankful for Charmaine's SIX As and ONE B

In today's UPSR results

Because it means


Sunday, November 15, 2009

Want Me to ONE You

Dear Friends,

Have you ever wondered what the number ONE truly signifies? Did you know that if you multiply any number with the number one, it is itself? Being number one simply means being the BEST. Consider our local surroundings, wouldn't it sound funny if the renowned mall was named Two Utama instead of One Utama or the other, Jaya Three instead of Jaya One. Near where I work, the popular One Academy is indeed a famous Communication Design institution.

I had a 'wicked' neighbour while growing up. How she would boast to my mum how her daughter was always number ONE in class. Pressurising you know? Our neighbours across our southern border has always inculcated amongst their citizens, that a city state as small as theirs; to stay SIGNIFICANT, they have to always be number One and the best. Thus rising the spirit of 'Kiasu-ism'. Must always win, losing was not an option. Supremacy, it is.

Reading the Star this morning, I was amused how we Malaysians, aka 'advertisers' in this instance, are using the 'ONE MALAYSIA' term much to their advantage. So much so, it is beginning to sound vulgar. Today is World Diabetes Day. Can you explain what 'One Malaysia Brings Diabetes to Light Campaign' means in terms of ONENESS? Other crossings I came about the past week were, 'My One Malaysia Expo', 'One Malaysia Book Fair', 'One Malaysia Formula One Team', 'One Malaysia Holidays'? Suddenly, we Malaysians are all so 'fired' up with the number ONE?
I respect my Prime Minister's vision on 'ONE MALAYSIA'. He stressed that this vision will embark on EQUALITY, HARMONY and PROSPERITY for our nation. Finally, a true vision for all Malaysians. This means my beloved PM will represent all Malaysians and not just a particular; this means that he believes in meritocracy and he will also not be bias; this means that he will have every Malaysian blend together in one melting pot instead of being factioned. He will also ensure that the nation's wealth be sustained for all. My Prime Minister's vision cannot be realised by him alone. It must be a vision PRACTICED by all.
I dislike being a pessimist. As much as I am giving 'One Malaysia' a true chance, I don't think it will work 'ONE' hundred percent. HOW-LAH to succeed when there are morons who do not even try practising it. My PM said that One Malaysia is for all. If that is the case, then WHY a learned institution such as this is challenging what my PM is tirelessly preaching. You think what? Living and governing your own mini territorial kingdom ka?

Today, a major GLC placed an advertisement in the Star. Publishing names of their so called educational loan defaulters. I am not condoning to "borrow my money, study - graduate and now don't want to pay me back". What was puzzling; out of all the 122 names published, only 10% reflected not the 'majority' that loans were given to, this is SO NOT One Malaysia.

My true One Malaysia idol is the late Yasmin Ahmad. If you watch all her work, you will understand that she truly understood the 'ONE' concept much earlier than anybody else. As for me, I want a One Malaysia that will OVERCOME racism and all prejudices. "So funny right?", when overseas and being asked, I always say I am Malaysian; but when I am here back home, I am always known to be a Chinese; I am still trying to comprehend that. Let us as ONE realise the real meaning of ONE MALAYSIA. I am hoping that we will take many steps forward and not ONE step forward and two steps backwards. You play your role and I will play mine. IT IS REALLY FOR YOU TO WANT ME TO ONE YOU.

I think it was mentioned that EQUALITY was a One Malaysia trait? Means all are equal right? Means LAWS are applicable and justified for all?

Aiyoh, then this One, HOW -LAH?

Uncle Dee Pee Am, you TAK PAKAI topi keledar. So how, KENA SAMAN ka?

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Fat Lard

Dear Friends,

Writer's block this week. Since my last post, I couldn't find a topic to blog on. For those who follow me on Twitter, ,you would know that I spent my Sunday today at the gym. My twits were mainly on my 'step by step' workouts and what I accomplished. I frequent the gym at least three times weekly. When there, besides the 'eye cleansing', I spend time on cardiovascular exercises and also train on weights. Exercising to me now is LIFESTYLE.

I love cycling as an exercise. A particular group exercise class that I do at least three times a week is 'SPINNING'. At today's class, a 'regular' fella that I recognise who weighs at least 250lbs was exhibiting his Casanova charms on the ladies in class. He was telling Amy, the instructor that he was expecting her to not 'bore' him with slow paced numbers but to 'excite' him with heavy pumping beats. I am enclosing a Spinning video here for you to understand what is Spinning.

To cut a long story short, our 'Fat Man' could not even last through half the class and was panting away. It was 90 minutes of vigorous cycling up and down different terrains. I could see his 'multiple orgasms' despite needing to hold on as not to injure his MACHOISM. Not wanting to die on the ladies literally, 'Fat Man' relented and walked out. Without the initial ego, we would have understood.

It is terrible being fat. Where I gym, for crying out loud, I have seen FAT LADIES with the most minimum amount of clothes on. Don't they realise that by dressing like that, they symbolise an exercise ball that is ready to be sat on? I try to mind my own business; but in the male locker room, a really GROTESQUE sight, is to have a 'Fat Man' stand beside me in only his big parachute brief with no shirt on. Worst still, he actually looked like he had breasts. While smiling at me with heavy breathing, I wish somebody would tell him that it is not the exercises that is wearing him out but the inches of LARD around his waist that is making him overheat.
Please don't get me wrong. I have NOTHING AGAINST fat people. I was once fat myself. I loved my beers and pizzas. I had a beer gut and a face of an 8" Domino's Hawaiian Delight. Honestly, in a world like this, who would like a fat and overweight person? At a job interview down to the hedge, both with similar qualifications and experience, who will get the job; the fat or the thin? Fat people are normally POKED and made fun at. Heard of this one? A rather fat and overweight lady was boarding a flight and gave the flight steward two boarding passes. "Where is your companion?" asked the steward. She said in a blush, "Well, you see, one seat is too small and uncomfortable for me, so I decided to get two. But, they are both really for me". The flight steward replied, "Fine with me Ma'am, there is just a slight problem. You see, your seats are numbers 32 and 43".

I work out because at 'mid - life' I need to be HEALTHY. Consistent exercising and the releasing of endorphins would ENERGISE me, make me LESS stressed and LIVE life better. If ever I am fat again, I would probably:
* Scare children when they see me as some big ugly OGRE from Shrek.
* Take too much space in pictures even with wide angled lens.
* Be liked by only fat people and detested by the rest.
* Breathe with a loud Darth Vader echoing sound in the background.
* Smell terrible like some Hokkien Mee lard.
* Confining to only the missionary position when making love.
Worst still, she has to be on top all the time to avoid me crushing her.

I don't want to be fat ever again. I don't want a piece of lard wrapped around so big that I can't see 'HIM' while I am taking a PEE. If temptation is great when supper, chocolates, sweet Coke comes a calling, say this prayer:

Lord, my soul is ripped with riot,
Incited by my wicked diet,
We are what we eat, said a wise old man,
And Lord, if that is true, I am a garbage can,
I want to rise on Judgement Day, that's plain,
But at my present weight, I'll need a crane.


Sunday, November 1, 2009

Hot Male

Dear Friends,

The last time I was in London was many years back. I remember it vaguely. What comes to mind is the freezing cold weather in NOVEMBER staying in an area called Putney. Taking a black cab to Shaftesbury Avenue where Chinatown begins was expensive. I remember strolling down Oxford Street shopping and renting a tuxedo for a dinner in Kensington. Piccadilly Circus rings a bell but I can't remember what I did there.I enjoyed watching Sunset Boulevard, Starlight Express and Cats the Musical. That was the LONGEST time ago. Yesterday also marked the 1000 days before the 2012 London Olympics begin.
Yesterday morning, I was woken up from bed with a phone call. It was my sister in law. Grace spoke to me and asked if I was in town. In anticipation, she said that there was news that I have been 'KIDNAPPED'. She said her brother received an e-mail a few hours ago which was forwarded to her. The e-mail read:

To: klz**
Date: Oct 31, 2009 at 12.57am
Subject: Hello
Hello. How you doing? Hope all is well with you. I'm sorry that I didn't inform you of my travelling to England for a conference. I need a favour from you as soon as you receive this
e-mail because I misplaced my wallet while on the way to my hotel where my money and other valuable things are kept. I will like you to assist me with a loan urgently. I will be needing the sum of $2500 to sort out my hotel bills and to get myself back home. I will appreciate whatever sum you can help me with. I'll pay you back as soon as I return. Kindly let me know if you can be of help? So that I can send you the details to use when sending the money through Western Union money transfer. Your help would be greatly appreciated.


I sprung out of bed in disbelief and turned on my laptop immediately. I tried logging onto my MSN but it wouldn't. My Blackberry messenger had a 'chat' appear from another concerned Ken, "Wil, are you in town?" I just realised that my e-mail account had been HACKED and that 'Bus-Third' had send all my contacts this note hoping to strike richness.

You stupid good for nothing retarded 'Ask-Whole', first of all; I do not write e-mails like that. I choose to think that I have better writing skills. Secondly, do your homework. If I was stranded in England, I have a neurosurgeon uncle living in London and another anaesthetist uncle in Birmingham. Thirdly, the English currency is the POUND STERLING. Why the heck should I be asking for American dollars and later having to convert, if I really was in dire-straits. Fourthly, with technology these days, I would have used my mobile to call home and asked for help and ignore the inconvenience of sending e-mails. Lastly, there is a place called 'MALAYSIA HALL' in London. Worst case is, I could ask to spend nights there and feed on expired lemangs from the recent Hari Raya Open House. You dumb pea-brain, I wish upon you now; that you will have haemorrhoid starting today, for the rest of your life and die when the 'LONDON BRIDGE IS FALLING DOWN'.

I am sure you have experienced receiving mails telling you how rich you have become. How a wealthy uncle had died in Africa and the coincidence of you sharing the same family name, you are now an heir to estates and riches. I really wonder how people actually fall into these scams. Out of ignorance, greed or STUPIDITY?

The issue really pissed me off yesterday, not so much the 'tragedy that befell me in England' but the agony of losing pertinent contacts and information stored in my hotmail account. To my dismay, I realised that there are web pages on the net, that actually TEACHES you how to hack into personal e-mail accounts.

I guess out of all the billions in the world, I have been the 'ONE IN A MILLION'. To have me selected as a 'HOT MALE' victim out of all is 'gratifying'. "GOOD LUCK, BAD LUCK, WHO CARES?". Now that I have been so 'lucky', I should go punt for numbers today being a Sunday, buy a lottery and maybe WIN some real money. The 'England Trip' is within reach after all. And, November has approached, how ironic. Don't worry friends, if I really misplace my wallet, I will CALL you, by phone that is.

If I can't get you or if both my uncles are out of town, the other Malaysian that I could think of will be;

"Hello, can I speak to 'UNCLE' JIMMY CHOO?

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Charisma or Dilemma?

Dear Friends,

I don't normally blog on politics. After all the 'ruckus' and comedy that has been going around recently, I thought I would just jab the clowns a little.

This is after all BOLEHLAND politics. It is funny how we are driving the "ONE MALAYSIA" concept with a "TWO PERAK" 'legality' of government. Today, was the second assembly sitting of the Perak Legislative Assembly. Surely parliamentary behaviour must be expected of leaders elected into public office. But, not today. It was a day of, "You don't play-play with me ar !", "Your face like 'Lanun Pirate'-lah, better go die", "Give me back my speaker's robe, don't tear it - lah". The best of it all was, "Get out - Get out, You don't get out I squeeze your BALLS!" For crying out loud, an assemblyman had his private part fondled and squeezed in the august house today.

All is not well in current politics. In the, "M ust C hange A ll", one would never expect the reconciliation of Ah Keat and Ah Lek. For their survival, Ah Lai from HERO is now ZERO. A real CHANGE in the cards. In the, "P lease K autow R epeatedly"; charismatic Zai Zaid is suffering 'exhaustion' and has gone on leave; better still in Sabah, Jeff KittyCat has quit citing lost of confidence. Who lost confidence in who - lah? I guess he will be 'KATAK-ING' again looking for a bigger pond. The Talibanias didn't want to be left out either. Out of boredom, they have joined in the game of "Let's call an EGM" like their 'friends' in "M ust C hange A ll" to wallop fellow Talibanias who are pro - "U M ust N ot O bject".

So, HOW-LAH? Is our political situation reflecting a "Charisma or Dilemma ?"



Saturday, October 24, 2009

No Money No Talk

Dear Friends,

There were some differences. When we had that fella that was sleeping in the 'TEH TARIK GROUP', we had a sleepy budget. He was imaging that every Malaysian will be laid back. With a 'Serunai' in our hands, blowing to the tunes of 'Lanchang Kuning' and sipping 'Kopi Tongkat Ali' in the opened padi fields. Much importance was put into the agriculture sector in last year's budget.

This time around; from a SLEEPING economy, we are hopefully going to emerge number "ONE". Everything converge around the numeric number "1". From "1 Malaysia", "1 Malaysia- 1 Voice", "1 Malaysia Fund", "1 Malaysia Unit Trust" and yesterday, "1 Malaysia, Together We Prosper"- Budget 2010.

It reasoned to be a budget for the 'RAKYAT' aiming to make it a high income economy. In simple words, Ah Jeep was saying, "I will not be able to do this alone, to transform this economy, every ONE of us had better work our ASS OFF and sacrifice". Reflecting the budget, nothing clear was mentioned on how are we going to arrive at a SERVICE economy from the previous sleeping 'serunai blowing' economy. When I learned Economics during my tertiary years, I was taught that a human's want is never satisfied. Thus, only a few proposals; either PERSONAL or PROFESSIONAL struck me in the budget that was tabled yesterday.

I was ELATED to learn that RM899 million had been allocated for tourism spending, which in return will secure 24 million proposed visitors to Malaysia. I trust Ah Yen will spend the money wisely and not have another 'PEMPENA' which only prospered a few individuals instead of '1 Malaysia'.

I was NEUTRAL when sin taxes remained. Not that I condone to burning Samy's lungs and stoning his head out. But, if we are really serious about visitors to our shores, we have to be 'human' and know what the world wants instead of hiding behind our so PIOUS beliefs. "We have really ARRIVED", the day Beyonce is allowed on stage sexily and the Talibanias not having to worry, that their 'skull heads' wetting their beds in their dreams.

I was not IMPRESSED with the imposition of service tax on credit cards. The truth of the matter is, if the 'teh tarik group' really wants to encourage prudent spending, it is education that is needed. If Ahmad has already maxed out his credit limit, do you really think RM50 is going to deter him from spending? Sufferers in the end, both Ahmad and the 'teh tarik group'.

I say THANK YOU for the SLIGHT cut in personal income tax. A 'ONE' percent cut from 27 - 26%? I hope this is not due again to the "1 Malaysia" conceptual numeric campaign. I felt that the cut should be applicable to all instead of only those in the higher income bracket. With calculations done, an estimated RM 150 - 200 per month is 'earned'. Enough for two extra bowling nights.

I am RELIEVED for the RM500 on broadband services. Now, I pledge to BLOG more frequently and TWEET at every minute that I can. If Streamyx continues with their crap service, I will 'SUNAT' them off with P1 Wimax ("1" again?). Their "You CUT already ar?", struck me in amusement.

I am INTIMIDATED these days with the lack of security. Crimes are similar to a full time job, especially so with the many permanent residencies approved for the 'boat arrivals' at our borders. The budget has allocated a BILLION ringgit for the police coffers.

I am IMPRESSED with our ROBOCOP, he mentioned today in the Star; that he is going on a spending spree to purchase more police vehicles, to combat crime besides ensuring that crime rates will be reduced. Mr. RoboCop, allow me to demonstrate to you:

As a proud Malaysian, we now have this:







While 'shopping' please be bold in your spending. But, spend wisely ok? Buy something that is reliable, fast and furious. While you boys are at it, please SCRAP THIS BLARDY METAL.








It may help improve the economy with the price of steel rising.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Tell Tale Signs

Dear Friends,

While reading the newspapers these few weeks, I have concluded that there are more BAD than good news daily. In today's Star headlines, a 'Millionaire' Director of a government agency was arrested for accepting a bribe of more than a hundred thousand ringgit. The trial of the death of political aide Teoh Beng Hock took a new twist; now there is a 80% chance the death could be classified homicide instead of suicide. With the ongoing MCA crisis, President OTK is feeling 'hurt' that his once comrades had now turn their backs on him. The recent strong Padang earthquake has caused mass destruction killing at least a thousand people.

A tell-tale is a sign that clearly signals that something is true or is about to happen. The BIBLE affirms that wars, food shortages, earthquakes, hatred, crime, a lack of love, would all be markings of the time of the end. Are these TELL TALE SIGNS of the end times in comparison to the above headlines?

With age catching up, I respond to the slightest tell tale sign. Call me a hypochondriac if you want. I was at lunch today and for no obvious reason, I felt like blacking out. Could it be the weather, hunger, the 'teh-see' that I drank? I don't know. I am always 'over-reacting' because I had scores of friends who have DIED from various causes. Chris Oh was 44 years old and died in his sleep due to heart failure. Another friend was Ace. We had dinner a night before his death and he was only 29 years old. In my previous 'Scarlet Sheets' blog posting; my gym friend Sam, died cycling next to me in a group exercise class and he was only 47 years old, also due to heart failure.

Back in the year 2000, I was managing a business as a co-partner. It was an Italian restaurant and a bistroteque in Melaka. Food and drinks were in abundance. The hours were long and the daily lifestyle of wining and dining took a TOLL on me. I could still connect with that evening; I had dinner with a friend, DSP Baldev Singh from the district Police. We also had the friendly 'Johnnie Walker' for company. Baldev was alone on secondment in Melaka while his family was in Johor. It was similar in my case with my family in KL. We were accompanying buddies by default. Going into the night with our conversation, I suddenly felt that I had breathing difficulties. There was a tingling feeling from my ankles, later gripping my knees and tightening up at my thighs. My feet became WOBBLY, I felt nausea and I let off a scream amidst Kenny G's Song Bird, saxophonist Din was serenading. Baldev a trained policeman wasted no time and with the help of my staff assisted me to his official vehicle (my first time in a police car with sirens blaring :D) to be sent to the medical center. The feeling was horrendous. I buckled under to a panic attack because I thought it was a heart FAILURE. At Accidents and Emergencies, I was wheel chaired and they hurriedly took my pulse and blood pressure readings. It was a 170/115, remembering vaguely now. Nearly a stroke, I think. They vaccinated me with muscle relaxant and the numbness eased. The attending doctor recommended that I take various tests the following morning. That night, I had my blood pressure monitored every hour by the nurse and I was wondering if it was a tell tale sign. Morning came; I did the ECG, heart scan and some other tests. I met with the cardiologist and he was DUMB STRUCKED that they could not diagnose a cause to my admission. Despite some high readings, there was nothing abnormal. I was discharged after being given a clean bill of health. What actually happened? Clueless.
Since then, it is approaching ten years now. What were the TELL TALE SIGNS telling me then? Was it stress or was it over exhaustion? Was it loneliness or was it sacrifice chasing after my entrepreneurial dreams? CLUELESS again. I guess the body always has a way of telling us enough is enough. There is only so much a worn out body can take. Our human problem is we tend to think that we are smarter than our CREATOR, when we choose to ignore the signs.

My last medical check up in August was reassuring. My heart is strong and I EXCELLED in the stress test. My lungs are at its optimum coupled with a very positive 120/80 blood pressure. Since then, I told myself to be forever GRATEFUL, to APPRECIATE life and to live it HAPPILY. My three times a week to the gym; exercising and releasing endorphins accelerates this happy process.

Please remember to be MINDFUL of how much our body can take. Every part of our body has an 'expiry date'. The more we use it, the earlier it will 'EXPIRE'. Now, when did I lose my virginity?

I came across this video recently. Is this really the end times? Now, you INTERPRET the tell tale signs.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Jekyll & Hyde

Dear Friends,

Today is DIWALI, the Festival of Lights celebrated by Hindus around the world. I woke up today thinking of my Indian friends both celebrating near and far. One of them that came to mind was my ex-hotel General Manager whom I worked with in the late eighties. He is Mr. NSP. We shall call him 'Jekyll'. He is an Indian national who has now recognized Malaysia as home. Jekyll was every hotel owner's dream. He produced the numbers, turned around difficult situations and was every customers' gem.

Situations that I remember of Jekyll:

BEFORE -Dining period at the Swiss restaurant. He was on his rounds and came across a discontented guest. The subject was concerning a bread roll that was too hard to be consumed. He immediately asked the Maitre D' to mobilize the Pastry Chef while he was making small talk with the guest. Before the Chef could even make it to the table, Jekyll FLUNG the roll towards the Chef in the presence of the other guests and cautioned him; "Never-Ever!! serve this piece of shit to any of my guest again" - word for word.
AFTER - He would then move along to the 'back of the house' with the Chef and with EMPATHY apologizing profusely hoping that he didn't hurt him.

BEFORE - As a young Sales Executive, I used to be TERRIFIED by Jekyll. Our work stations were located almost fronting the General Manager's office. 'Judgement Time' was 9.30am SHARP. We needed to exit the office for the marketplace or be exited. I recall that I was caught on the telephone with a client (there were no mobilephones then, sales people carried pagers). Five minutes after 'Judgement Time', I had Jekyll standing in front of his door and screaming at me; "F**k Off, F**k Off, F**k Off!!" Not realising that my brief case was still open, I grabbed it and it further delayed my exit, with all my sales documents sprawled on the floor.
AFTER - He would then approach me while I am 'shitting bricks' with empathy and apologizing repeatedly hoping that he didn't scare me.

I remember of another person today. Let's just call this person Hyde. A person with terrible mood swings. The swings are mostly severe, long lasting and hinders the person’s ability to function normally. This person suffering from this condition, however, would feel intensely elated, energetic, and irritable at most times and then experience painful sadness, negative thinking, and complete indifference.

Similarities on Jeckyll and Hyde? People like that are not in control of their EMOTIONS and their rapid mood change. There could also be complementing indifferent disorders like stealing, perpetual lying and yet they do not realise. Situations as these are called 'BIPOLAR'. My interest in this subject arose when I came across these videos recently, with the spate concerning Ex- Miss Singapore, Ris Low. She is a Bipolar sufferer which has resulted in her losing her crown.

Today is Diwali. It is a celebration of the VICTORY of good over evil; the uplifting of spiritual darkness. I pray that sufferers of this disorder with medication and support would be victorious. During this festival, some empathy on people that we know are Bipolar would be good. Check this blog on empathy, "Have A Meaningful Deepavali" by my friend Anas Zubedy.

To Mr. NSP, you are probably in your seventies now. Despite your stern leadership and erratic mood swings, I have learnt a lot about hotel success from you. I have always thought of you as the 'Last Escaped MAHARAJA' that arrived our shores. To 'HYDE', I wish you well. To my other Indian friends, "HAPPY DIWALI AND MAY YOUR HOUSEHOLD BE BLESSED".

By the way, my current hotel CHIEF, is a Frenchman. He has also started blogging his thoughts and I liked his recent insertion on 'The Law of the Garbage Trucks', which somehow adds value to this posting.

It was said, "So.. LOVE the people who treat you right. FORGET about the ones who don't. BELIEVE that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance , TAKE IT! If it changes your life , LET IT! Nobody said it would be easy".

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Laughter - The Best Medicine

Dear Friends,

'DOCTORS' don't like me very much and that is because I hardly allow them to prosper from me.

I rarely fall ill and if I do, I self medicate. 'Polaramine' for colds, 'Lozenges' for sore throats, 'Xelox' for gastric and 'Paracetamol' for fevers. If I ever need to visit a clinic, I must be in pretty bad shape. I contracted a cold last Thursday and I obviously self medicated. By Friday morning, my nose was running the marathon. Sunday came and I felt hoarse with a bad throat. Lozenges didn't help and I was stubbornly at work yesterday. With the blaring aircondition at my workplace, I knew shit has hit the ceiling.

Reluctantly, I had to go see a doctor. I arrived the clinic at about 4PM and waited. I was dazed and started to lose patience. I asked the nurse why the wait. I was told, "Doktor belum sampai", literally translated as the Doctor has not arrived. WHAT THE GOONIEGOOGOOS?!!
I was fortunate that I was no accident victim or I would have died from profused bleeding.

After a while, a 'witchy' looking Indian lady, probably retired from government service a decade ago walked in. She donned her white coat, took her time releasing herself in the backroom, washed her hands, went in her consultation room and rang a bell. My name was called and I entered.

The same customary questions on what was 'irritating' me that I was at her clinic. I was allured to say, "Besides the throat and my lungs wanting to pop out, it is your LACKADAISICAL attitude in treating sick patients like me!" Clearly remembering that I am a sick man, I applied tolerance. She further said, "You also have a temperature, 37.8 C which means you are having fever". That was probably because I was furious of the service. Being sick, I know that I do not enjoy the prerogative of losing my temper and forgetting my manners. She then asked me, "Are you working today?" I said yes. She was so 'sympathetic' and replied, "Okay, I will give you HALF DAY MC today so you can rest". I was like, 'WHAT THE GOONIEGOOGOOS?' again; it was already four plus in the evening and the day was coming to an end. No MC tomorrow? I am home today recovering from my atrocious body aches, a subsiding fever but I am still coughing my lungs out. The dreadful part is, I am recovering not with an official 'sick leave' but personal annual leave. I must thank the Doctor for her HALF 'GENEROSITY'.
As I was reading the papers today, I came across my favorite 'Doctor'. He is Dr. Mahathir Mohamad. At his age, he is still looking healthy despite his heart bypass history. This old man is still so vocal when it comes to matters of his heart. He was still at it during the recent Bagan Pinang by-elections, UMNO and other national matters. There are still many nagging issues where he is concerned about even though he is now just a commoner. In the article he expressed, "Speaking out is not something I enjoy doing. It is something I must do. If everything is fine, I don't think there is a need for me to OPEN MY MOUTH". My true Statesman :)

During the interview with the journalist, Dr. Mahathir signalled that it was time for his lunch. A HEALTHY spread of curry chicken, stir-fried french beans, salted fish, green salad and rice. It was also known that Dr. Mahathir was specific about not being photographed during his meals when he was the Prime Minister.

Dr. Mahathir does not mind opening his mouth to speak out but he dislikes being photographed with his MOUTH OPEN.



Saturday, October 10, 2009

Sounds of Music

Dear Friends,

As the Swedish band, ABBA would sing in the seventies, "THANK YOU FOR THE MUSIC, THE SONGS I AM SINGING".

I have always been passionate about music and regretted that I was not given the chance to learn it during my childhood. Hempen growing up years, I had to just contend with tuition as 'extra curricular' at that time. When I grew up and with assurance,I would put myself through music classes. As my maxim goes, the spirit was willing but the head was not. It was because I am always 'So Busy' that I 'assured' myself that I DO NOT HAVE THE TIME.

If only we have more than 24 hours in a day, many would say. Apart from the eight hours of sleeping time, are we really exploiting the remaining 16 hours of our awaken time? Are we really busy or do we think we are busy doing the wrong things? We tend to flow with the rat race motion that we have forgotten to value LIFE.

Recently, I came across a TRUE STORY.

This happened in Washington DC's Metro Station on a cold January morning in 2007. The man with a violin played six Bach pieces for about 45 minutes. During that time approximately two thousand people went through the station, most of them on their way to work. After 3 minutes, a middle aged man noticed there was a musician playing. He slowed his pace and stopped for a few seconds and then hurried to meet his schedule.

4 Minutes Later:
The violinist received his first dollar. A woman threw the money in the hat and without stopping, continued to walk.

6 Minutes Later:
A young man leaned against the wall to listen to him, then looked at his watch and started to walk again.

10 Minutes Later:
A three year old boy stopped but his mother tugged him along hurriedly. The kid stopped to look at the violinist again, but the mother pushed hard and the child continued to walk, turning his head all the time. This action was repeated by several other children. Every parent without exception forced their children to move on quickly.

45 Minutes Later:
The musician played continuously. Only six people stopped and listened for a short while. About twenty gave a tip but continued to walk at their normal pace. The man collected a total of $32 dollars.

An Hour Later:
He finished playing and silence took over. No one noticed. No one applauded nor was there any recognition.

No one knew this but the violinist was JOSHUA BELL, one of the greatest musicians in the world. He played one of the most intricate pieces ever written, with a violin worth $3.5 million dollars. Two days before, Joshua Bell had a sold out theater in Boston, where the seats averaged a hundred bucks.
This is a true story. Joshua Bell playing incognito in the metro station was organized by the Washington Post as part of a social experiment about PERCEPTION, TASTE and PEOPLE'S PRIORITIES.
The questions raised is this. In a common place environment at an inappropriate hour, do we PERCEIVE beauty? Do we stop to APPRECIATE it? Do we RECOGNIZE talent in an unexpected context? One possible conclusion reached from this experiment could be this; If we do not have a moment to stop and listen to one of the best musicians in the world, playing some of the finest music ever written, with one of the most beautiful instruments ever made; How many other things are we MISSING in life?

Not wanting a repetition of history , my junior is able to play the piano and my princess both the piano and the violin. May I suggest you take some time today to breathe, to smell the flowers and to appreciate a loved one.

And me; NO, I CAN'T PLAY THE VIOLIN. Maybe, a Joshua Bell wannabe?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Eighth Day of October

Dear Friends,

I acquired a real taste for Indonesian cuisine when I was living in Jakarta. In particular, 'NASI PADANG'. My personal favorites were their 'Cabe Ijao' (Green Chilli), 'Sop Buntut' (Oxtail Soup), 'Perkedel' (Potato Patty), 'Ayam Goreng Kalasan' (Fried Chicken) just to name a few. To top it off, I will savour the 'Jus Alpukat' (Avocado Juice with Chocolate Syrup). Nasi Padang is the epitome of Minangkabau cuisine with no less than 20 dishes being offered and served with white rice. The Nasi Padang moniker actually pays tribute to the origin of the food; whereby Padang is in fact a city in West Sumatra of Indonesia.
Last week 30th September, while I was practicing some dance moves to a hip-hop number, I could suddenly hear a Carole King's rendition of "I feel the earth move under my feet, I feel the sky tumbling down". Only to realise later, Padang in West Sumatra was hit by a huge earthquake measuring 7.6 on the Richter scale. Almost immediately, Malaysian relief teams sprung into action. MERCY MALAYSIA sent a surgical and a medical team to treat the earthquake victims, the SMART team was sent to assist in searching for victims and survivors."TOMORROW IS THE EIGHTH DAY OF OCTOBER".
I envision all Air Asia flights into the LCCT from Indonesia will experience full load factors. Why? It is 'GANYANG* MALAYSIA' (Crush*) invasion day. A self vigilante group calling itself 'Bendera' is planning to attack my beloved homeland with sharpened bamboo sticks. I don't know whether should I laugh or cry, should I flee or fear? This is the same group of fellas which set roadblocks in Jakarta some weeks back SWEEPING out Malaysians.

"WHY SO RADICAL-LAH?" You said we stole your folk songs and dances, you said we abused your maids, you said we exported terrorists to you. Please don't forget that we are 'SERUMPUN'. You eat rice, we eat rice; you eat 'Ayam Goreng', we also eat 'Ayam Goreng'. Folk songs like 'Rasa Sayang' and 'Burung Kakak Tua' ; "WE SHARE SHARE - LAH'".
Your country has 'GEMPA' (earthquake), ours do not. Yet, we were compassionate. We sent teams to help in your disasters. Plane loads of food and supplies were sent but yet you said that we sent you expired items. We have also spearheaded donation drives for cash to be dispersed to your country for rebuilding. If this is not help, what is?

"WE GIVE AND TAKE-LAH". You have almost 1.5 million of your citizens 'Cari Makan' in my beloved homeland. Some have stayed here long enough that they have been given permanent residency. You don't 'Salah' you know, I am talking about your construction workers. Year on year, we have many foreign applicants for residency; many of them foreign doctors, engineers and professionals. But, yet 'we feel' your construction citizens deserve them more. It still puzzles me.

My family had Bak Mira, Bak Soli, Bak Uhn, Bak Kampi and many that I now can't remember worked for us. We cared for them, fed them well and treated them like family. We also came across one of them, taking our belongings without permission and keeping it in her bag. I think that is called stealing. I was taught from young that I must FORGIVE & FORGET. Bak Kampi was best of them all; after returning to Indonesia, she sent us a picture of her all 'dolled up' resembling a 'Datin'. She was standing in front of her newly built house with money she earned here. She repeatedly, 'TERIMAKASIH PAK' in her letter to us. We were happy for her.

I really pray that the 'warning' issued to us was just for funs. Both our countries have come a long way. A little GIVE & TAKE and FORGIVE & FORGET would do the trick. Let us loosen up a little. Geographically, we have no choice but to be neighbours.

"TOMORROW IS THE EIGHTH DAY OF OCTOBER", I hope to wake up and know that the sun will still rise from the East. I am planning to have my 'Nasi Padang' for lunch at Sari Ratu with my favorite 'Teh Botol'. So, please - please do not ruin my plans tomorrow.

If you are still really at it, I hope you will at least specify the time you are planning to invade; since I will be quite busy tomorrow.