Saturday, December 29, 2007

Shoplifting HeadMasters and Teachers

This was in The Star Online today...
{What the h*ll is going on???}

The Star Online > Nation

Saturday December 29, 2007
MYT 5:21:51 PM

HMs, teachers among shoplifters at hypermarket

PENANG: They are supposed to instil moral values in their students but some headmasters and teachers here have been caught red-handed for shoplifting.

Sunshine Wholesale Mart Sdn Bhd general manager Yee Kam Ming said there had been cases where schoolteachers and headmasters were caught stealing shampoo, drinks, batteries, milk powder and coffee powder from their stores.

“A teacher even had the cheek to say she shoplifted after watching others do it,” he said, adding that the teachers were let off with a warning.

Yee also cited the case of an undergraduate caught stealing cosmetics worth more than RM100 recently.

She refused to admit her wrongdoing at first but later confessed she needed to apply make-up to look pretty in university,” he told reporters after the launching of a crime prevention campaign at Sunshine Farlim Hypermarket Saturday.

He said the offenders often gave absurd excuses for their behaviour.

“A couple who failed in their bid to steal condoms claimed they were too embarrassed to pay at the counter,” said Yee.

He said it was vital to educate and create awareness among shoppers on the seriousness of committing crimes like shoplifting and theft. During the launch, over 1,000 flyers were distributed to shoppers at the hypermarket.

Air Itam police stations officer-in-charge Chief Insp Jamaluddin Ismail, who launched the event, said offenders would always come out with new tricks to avoid arrest.

“Some would bring along old receipts and plastic bags to keep all the stolen items to avoid detection by the security personnel.

“In one case, a woman even pretended to be pregnant and kept the stolen items in her ‘bloated’ stomach.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Season's Greetings... The Odd One Out

As with any festive season in Malaysia, it is very common and even expected that our leaders and VIPs will send out greetings to the masses.
But there is something peculiar about this year's Christmas greetings.

Below are some excerpts of the season's wishes extracted from NST:

We must all believe that Malaysia is truly greater than the sum of her parts. We must always put the country's interest before any other narrowly defined demands.....
I wish my fellow Malaysians of the Christian faith a very happy Christmas.
- Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi

The message of tolerance, mutual respect and love at Christmas time needs to be spread, especially in view of recent events that have threatened the peace and harmony of our nation....
Whatever religious divides may exist elsewhere in the world, in Malaysia, Christians live in harmony with their neighbours of other faiths.
- Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting

Malaysians can count their blessings. The spirit of cooperation between our diverse communities remains high in spite of challenges along the way.
- Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik

Malaysians, while celebrating Christmas, must respect Islam as the country's official religion.
- Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon

Trust, mutual respect and sincerity are the positive traits that we have managed to foster among the people, allowing us to live in harmony.
- Datuk Seri Musa Aman (Sabah CM)

Can you spot the odd one out?

I personally feel that not only is that particular comment irrelevant, it is highly inappropriate as well. Reading between the lines, it may even sound like an accusation that Christmas celebrations will jeopardize the particular religion's status. This is not in tune at all with Christmas which is a season of reflection, a season of celebration and a time for forgiveness.

Whatever the reason for that comment, it is beyond my comprehension. I only know that I am annoyed by it.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Back In Ipoh for Christmas...

I'm back in Ipoh for the holidays... So far so good, doing the usual. Sleep late, have good food, etc.

As today was still a working day, I took advantage of it to get my passbook updated in CIMB Bank, Tasek. The last entry on my passbook is dated Feb2007. Ha ha.

Once done, I had my lunch at the famous Mee Rebus Ramli nearby. There was a huge lunch crowd and I had to wait a while for a table.
But I noticed one thing, despite the full house, I was the only non-Malay in the restaurant. Wonder why...

The Shop

The lunch crowd...

The famous Mee Rebus. Yummy!!!

Plates of Nasi Ayam waiting to be served

For those who have not tasted it before, give it a try. Highly recommended.
The tastes is quite similar to the usual mee rebus, but what sets it apart is the thick gravy. It tastes superb, with a strong hint of potatoes. I think they must have blended potatoes into the gravy to make so thick and tastes so good.

Another plus point is that although the lunch crowd was huge, the taste of the mee rebus is just as great. This differs very much from some of the laksa shops in Penang that i had the misfortune to try. The taste and thickness of the laska soup is in inverse proportion of the demand. For those not technically inclined, it means the soup gets diluted as demand outpaces supply laa.

I'll be meeting up with some old Carsem colleagues later tonite. Till then i will probably take a afternoon nap. :p

Thursday, December 20, 2007

What's For Dinner???

It's a holiday today... So naturally, I woke up quite late.
The long long sleep is most welcome. It has been a long and hectic week at work. Plus I came back last nite from the Christmas gathering at Chiang Mei's new place.

Waking up late, I had a very late breakfast. So by about 4pm i was quite hungry already. Since it was a bit too early invite anyone out to have dinner, I decided to whip up something simple for myself. So I went out to get a piece of Salmon from Tesco.

Half and hour later... Behold!!!
Cajun Pan Fried Salmon... Doesn't it look inviting? (Or maybe it's just me coz i was starving!)












Five minutes later....


Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Healthy Pads...

This popped up in my mailbox yesterday...

Hello everyone!,

How're you? I have something very good to benefit you as side income.
I've just joined our good fren in direct sales in sanitary pads.He was XXX college mate working as an Engineer in Penang.
And he is doing very well in this sanitary pads biz bcos its not like any other ordinary sanitary pads.Its something which men and women can use to cure deseases.Do feel free to let me know if you're interested to meet my fren for a briefing and demonstration.


Sanitary pads for men and women that can cure disease??
Other than the smile on my face, i don't really know what to make of it

Monday, December 17, 2007

Makings of an Instant Superstar...

Alas, it was the underdog Hady Mirza from Singapore that won the Asian Idol challenge...
As much as everyone expected that either Mike Mohede (with the home ground advantage and all) or Jaclyn Victor would win, it was the previously unknown Hady Mirza that won in the end.

I guess it jives with the twon main items that one would expect from the public these days...

1) People like new/fresh things or looks. Hady was a fresh face. Mike and Jaclyn is already well known in Indonesia. {Add the fact that the female population makes up most of the voter.}

2) People connect better to things that they can relate to. Hady sang a Malay song. Out goes Phuong Vy (Vietnam), Mau Marcelo (Phillipines) and Abhijeet Sawant (India).

But to be fair, Hady is a good singer and performer. The better than average good looks and being an underdog just made him an Asian superstar overnight...

From YouTube...

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Hoan Hô Vietnam - Hurray Vietnam!!!

Turned on my TV just now, and managed to catch the last bits of Asian Idol on 8TV.
I glad I did, as the winner of Vietnam Idol, representing Vietnam of course, was about to perform her second song.

Boy, I must admit that I was smitten by her looks and her sweet sweet smile. :p

Phuong Vy (that's her name) performed a simple Vietnamese song that really suited her demeanour. She catches her audience (at least the male population), every time she shows how sweet her smile is, with a suggestively flirtatious look in her eyes.

But I guess I do agree with the comment of one of the judges that she was a sweet girl performing a sweet song. But the song was not really what one would expect in a competition whereby contestants have to shine through their competitors, showing off their voice and showmanship. So, would Ms. Phuong Vy win the title of Asian Idol? We'll have to wait till tomorrow to find out.

Here's the Phuong Vy's performance from YouTube (catch the second song...):

I found another of her performance on YouTube as well... It's one of the song she sang at the final of Vietnam Idol:

How did our Malaysian Idol Jaclyn Victor do? (Thankfully someone had the infinite wisdom of not sending Daniel as the rep.) IMHO, not one of Jaclyn's better performances. I guess she must have performed here namesake song 'Gemilang' so many times that the boredom and jadedness just shows in her performance.
Her voice was just as powerful, but the performance seemed too routine and lacks excitement...

So, who would I be cheering for???
Do you really need to ask? ;)

Thursday, December 13, 2007

All ready to be a good citizen

If you remember, a while back, I finally registered myself as a voter.

Well, after waiting for a few months, i finally got the confirmation through the Election Commision's website.

So it looks like I'll be heading home for the next general election.
Really looking forward to it... :)

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Getting there is half the fun...

Just got back from a week in US...

As far as jet-lag goes, I got off easy this time. I had not much problem sleeping on the plane, or adjusting to the different time zone. In fact, I slept like a baby most of the nights while I was there. Of course, I do wake up in very early in the morning (~4am) each night. But after rolling around on the bed for a while, I managed to get back to sleep only to be awakened by the alarm each morning. The joys and pleasure of sleep. :)

As usual, we took Singapore Airlines. On good thing about SQ flights is that they have a reasonably large collection (of good variety) of in-flight, on-demand entertainment. Lately instead of watching blockbuster movies on the plane, i have taken up watching unique movies; usually foreign, that I would not have watched back here either at the cinema or buying DVDs of them.

So far, I've truly enjoyed the experience. Well for one, there is not much to lose at all. If the movie is not great, you don't have to endure it like you do in a cinema, or regret spending the $$ if you have bought the DVD. In the worst case, you will probably be just bored to sleep watching them. Which, actually is a good thing as anyone on a long flight would easily attest.

But thankfully, for the past few flights the movies I chose to watch have not been disappointing at all. I have lately taken a strong liking for east Asian (Japanese, Korean, Chinese...) movies.

A few that I thoroughly enjoyed on the plane include:
1) "Tempting Heart" starring Takeshi Kaneshiro and Gigi Leong. The movie is about young love, told in an autobiographic style. You can check out the following websites to find out more:

2) "Bizan: The Mountain Of Mother's Love" is a Japanese movie regarding a mother-daughter relationship. I just love the script and the flow as the story is told. Even though the gist of the story is quite simple, the scenes and storyline makes it a very good and emotional watch.

3) "The Longest Night In Shanghai" is a bilingual (Japanese and Chinese) movie set in Shanghai. It follows how a Japanese stylist wanders around Shanghai, getting lost and bumping into a young female taxi driver. The movie practically follows the events that unfurl that night.

I've also discovered a great Korean singer by the name of Kang Chul. He sings ballads, and have a great voice. The songs are very good as well. Although i have no idea what the songs are about, but i enjoyed it nonetheless. This will be one of the albums that i will be looking out for... (In addition to Josh Groban's Noel Christmas album)...

Friday, November 30, 2007

Buy One Free One...

Coffee Bean is running a 'Buy One, Free One' promotion for it's Ice Blended drinks, exclusively for Citibank credit card holders till end of the year.

But as i found out first hand, instead of Buy One Free One, it should be called Buy One Free 'One'.

The same? Not at all, as i shall explain.

Apparently, Coffee Bean has fixed what type of Ice Blended drink they are giving out each week. You will get that free for every Ice Blended drink that you purchase. This week, the free drink is a Green Tea Ice Blended. So, when i bought a mocha Ice Blended drink for Hun Kwang, I did not get another mocha for free, but the green tea one instead.

While I wasn't too thrilled about it, I'm not complaining much either. After all, a free drink is always welcome. :)

So it just brings to mind that English is indeed a funny language. Same phrase, but different meaning and interpretation.

I guess that's why English is probably the favourite language or medium for marketeers. And quite possibly politicians as well....

So, why the many complaints on using English as the medium of instruction in our schools? I am still clueless on why the debate rages on and on.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Relaxing Hot Spring in Taiwan

I've finally found time to post pictures from a visit to a hot spring hotel/retreat in Taiwan.
Soo Sean had been pestering me for more than a couple of months now. Especially since she had been bragging about completing her posts on her trip to Bali.

Hopefully I'd get a break now. :p

The hotel room is quite large, with a modern setting.
And I was pleasantly surprised that it comes with a huge private hot tub!

A twin bed room. Behind the glass wall is the bathroom.

And that's the private hot tub towards the end.

An a LCD TV to complement the room.

View from the hot tub.

All set for the hot tub!!! (Skinny dip, of course!) ;)

The next morning, i woke up early to catch a glimpse of the view from my room. There was a river running right behind the hotel and my room had a full view of it.
It was drizzling, and slightly misty but that only added to the serenity and beauty of the scene. It was truly breathtaking.

We had wanted to go have a quick dip in the common hot spring before breakfast. But unfortunately there was a typhoon predicted and the hotel did not allow anyone into the pool for safety reasons as the pool was partly outdoors.
So we were diverted to private rooms with a hot tub. I chose the room with a 'traditional' setting rather that one with a more modern (with a stone bathtub).

My very own, private tub...

Waiting for the tub to fill...

Aaah... so relaxing!

Anyway, if you are interested to find out more about the hotel or the place, you can visit this website:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Many Firsts in Japan

My trip to Japan is coming to an end. I am now in the hotel, just finished clearing my email.
Will be flying back home tomorrow morning.

Although this trip was tiring and packed, but it was interesting for me. Despite this being my 4th trip to Tokyo, this trip has many 'firsts' for me, especially food-wise.

This trip, I had my first shabu shabu, my first fugu fish, my first Korean BBQ, and my first Teppanyaki in Japan. All very very yummy!!!!

I also had the good fortune to witness first hand the most beautiful koyo (autumn leaves) in the hills... The scenery was truly out of this world. The hills were filled with patches of green, yellow and red in many shades.

Below are picture dumps from my trip...

(Most of them are taken within the time span of about an hour that i had to walk about. Good thing the sun rises early in Japan. I had to wake up at 6am to make time to go walk walk before the day begins.)

View outside one of the hotels i stayed in

Shrubs in the park changing colour:

Another shot of the park:

Trees along the pathway turning red:

A nice willow tree:

Shot of some branches:

Outside a temple:

With a Yellow Tree:

A beautiful, multi-coloured tree:

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Shopping spree....

I've been in the San Jose office since last wed. Will be here till mid of next week.

The flight from Pen-Sin-ICN-SFO was uneventful. Getting through the immigration in the US was the usual hassle... having to go through secondary inspection ever since i hv been 'marked' during my first trip here.

Except that i have been given a new INS number, as i am now tagged as a frequent INS traveller. I guess that's what you get when you get into the US three times within the last 12months.

Anyway, since i didn't have much places to go last weekend, i went on a shopping spree.
I went to the usual places... Fry's, Great Mall, Gilroy, etc.

I bought myself a pair of Timberland shoes (again!) which was on sale. Only 19.99 before tax.

I still have more shopping to do, as i still have the list from Wei Ye, Soo Sean, Chiang Mei, Wai Lee, and Shan Chong to fill. Not sure if i have enough luggage space. If not, i will hv to buy a new luggage and then divide up the cost of the luggage to each of them based on the space utilized. Good idea, huh?

I also have to take Yat Kheng around as he also has a long shopping list from his wife. Yat Kheng just arrived. I picked him up from the airport last nite.

p.s. In case you get funny ideas, my trip here is not not all play and shopping. I have serious work to do but i won't divulge any of it here due to confidentiality reasons. :p

Monday, October 15, 2007

Two weddings and a farewell...

Yup, that's what I'll be missing: Two weddings and a farewell.
I'm flying off to US tomorrow, to our office in San Jose. Will be there for ~2 weeks for a project.

While I'm there, I'll miss Soo Fung and Hock Aun's wedding in the first weekend and Yee Thung's wedding the second. From the very bottom of my heart, i wish both couples all the best.
Here's a poem to make up for me not being able to make it for your big day...

May a house of love be always yours,
May you heed each others’ wishes
May pleasures come in twos and fours
And quarrels end in kisses.

May your hearts be open with patience and love.
May your lives be filled with blessings from above.
May you always share the best that life can provide.
As you spend your lifetime together side by side.


Another event that I'll miss will be Siah's farewell. Siah's leaving the company to pursue/expand his career in Singapore.

Siah had been one of the consistent member in our out-of-office activities such as the 'makan-makan' sessions, our spur of the moment trip to Cameron Highlands, the Langkawi Treasure Hunt, Penang World Music Festival, etc...

Siah's quiet demeanour, interlaced with his sudden outburst sometimes will be missed. I for one will remember his sudden outburst; accusing us of spending time shopping for local products while he was sweating it out in the hot hot car during the Langkawi Treasure Hunt. I'm sure Chiang Mei won't forget it either. :)

Anyway last Friday nite, Soo Sean, Chiang Mei, Wei Ye and myself hosted an 'early' farewell dinner for Siah in TGIF. We really had a good time. The food was great, but the company was even better. We had good laughs over almost everything. We even got the folks at TGIF to get together and gave Siah a boisterous farewell jingle. Siah obliged us and got up onto the chair and gave an impromptu heart-felt farewell speech.. sob sob....
(Soo Sean caught a video of it... i guess we will have a good laugh over it in time to come)

For all the fun and laughter we always had when the gang gets together, I guess i would probably miss the fella...

Here's wishing Siah all the very best in his new environment.
(And as I mentioned to Siah during the dinner, we hope he'll find a gang as fun as us in Singapore. Or he'll have to find jobs for all four of us in Singapore so that we can accompany him there... ha ha ha)

Monday, September 10, 2007

Cameron Highlands

Picture dumps from a trip to Cameron Highlands some while back...

'The Tea Plantation'

'Happy and contented at the Tea Farm'

'A photographer hard at work.'

'Vegetable Farm'

"Wat r you doing?!!"

Picking baby carrots...

'Hard work harvesting the cabbage'

'Success!!! What a huge cabbage!'

'A cute wittle wabbit...'

'Lot's of lettuce'

'Close-up of lettuce'

'So much strawberries!'


'So sweet... :p'

'Green Spider'

'Spider Web'

'Bunches of pretty flowers'

'Bird of Paradise'

'Rows and rows of cauliflowers'

'Posing and acting cool for the camera'

'Dig in!!!'