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!!!'

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Taxpayer's Money

According to the Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop (in an interview published in NST online), "...of the 11 million people working, 10 million don’t pay tax."

Wow, if you take into account the whole Malaysian population of 27million, only 3.7% of Malaysians contribute directly to the government coffers.

So the next time you hear the term 'taxpayer's money'... it refers significantly to the $$ contributed by the privileged 1million Malaysians.

I wonder if this could be the reason why money not well spent hardly raises an eye-brow. For every taxpayer that complains, there will be 26 who might not care.

So, if you are in the elite team-of-1-million, congratulations!!
But if you are expecting more perks, join the club... I'm also waiting in line.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Peace to the world, It's my birthday.

Well, well, well... I'm officially one year older. And supposedly, one year wiser.

How do I feel?
Happy, thankful and grateful.

Happy that I've made is so/this far.

Thankful for all the blessings and great things happening to me thus far.

And very grateful for the all the frens and family that celebrated my birthday with me. And grateful too for all the Birthday wishes as well.

The celebration started with dinner with my family when i was back in Ipoh last weekend. Went for a nice chinese dinner in Palace Restaurant at Excelsior Hotel. The food was good (although slightly pricey). But the best part was the family gathering. I got to play and tease my nieces and nephew, especially the youngest one who is just 2 years old.

When I was back at work, first my engineers treated me to lunch at Tao (in E-gate). It was a eat-all-you-can sort of deal. So we ate and ate and ate.... Thanks guys!!!
Then towards the end of the working day, we had a mini-celebration at the break area. (With a cake and all)...

Posing with the cake

With the whole gang

Later that night I had a simple Ikan Bakar dinner with two close frens. The fish was good, as expected. The Sotong tepung was very tasty as well.

I even had a small, delicious tiramisu cake. Yummy!!!

And thus was how the day ended.
Happy and contented.

Oh yeah, what was my Birthday wish this year?
Easy... world peace. Do you believe me??? ;p

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Modernized, But Still Polarized???

Spent a long 4-day weekend back home in Ipoh. It was a truly refreshing change from Penang... Driving was a breeze; wider roads, not much jam... and no problem finding a parking space.

But most importantly, I felt relaxed and happy as I walked around different areas of the town running my errands. I could understand what everyone was talking about!!! No need to fire up the Hokkien-Cantonese translation engine in my brain. A blessed feeling it was. (And my tummy benefited from Ipoh food as well).

Other than meeting up and catching up with a fren or two, i spent the break just lazing around at home, watching TV, playing with my niece and nephews etc.

But on Monday, i managed to accomplished a most important mission of my trip back to Ipoh: Registering as a Voter! Yes, yes... i know, it is long long overdue.. In fact, i hv missed the last two elections. But better late than never, right? :)

I first went to the Ipoh Main Post Office, but the queue was quite long. Plus I was under the impression that i had to fill in some forms (more on that later) but the information counter was closed (I guess coz it was lunch time). So I left the Main Post office and drove myself to the Canning Garden Post Office.

I realized my first error judgement when I took a number. The queue was just as long as that in the Main Post Office. But with just two counters open (compared to >5 in the Main Post Office), the processing was quite slow. Plus the information counter was closed as well.

So I waited patiently for my turn. My number was called after ~20minutes of waiting. I passed my MyKad to the lady in the counter and mentioned to her that i want to register as a voter. I fully expected her to pass me a form and ask me to step aside to fill it up as she calls up the next number. But she just took my MyKad and started typing away at her terminal. Stopping only to ask "Sekarang apa agama kamu?" I was a bit surprised by that. Firstly, what did she mean by 'Sekarang'? Is it that often that people change their religion? Secondly, i was registering as a voter. Why does she need what religion i profess?

Nevertheless i answered her, and she typed it in. The she took an empty form and fed it into the printer. Voila... all my info was printed neatly on the form. I just had to double check that all the details was correct and sign it. No need to fill anything up manually. And it was fast. All done in less than 5 minutes. I was pleasantly surprised.

As I left the Post Office, the fact that we had to declare our religion in the form still annoyed me. I could understand it if the National Registration Department collects these sort of information for demographic study purposes. But why the Election Commission? Aren't they responsible to ensure 'fair elections'? My notion of fairness in election means that we recognize the right of all eligible Malaysians as just Malaysian that are eligible to vote. Wouldn't asking for these what i would term additional and irrelevant information give rise to some doubt that racial and/or religious profiling is being undertaken?

I looked at the form and below are some of the items asked:

While they were at it, why didn't they ask about education level, or something along those lines?
If the intention for obtaining these additional information was to analyze the demographics of a certain area, don't you think social and education aspects matters as well, if not more????