Dec 30, 2005

Happy New Year

Since I'll be away for New Year celebration, I'm going to take this opportunity to wish all bloggers a "Happy New Year". Hope 2006 will be a better year for all of us.

Dec 29, 2005

the ebay effect on me

On Monday there was this programme on CNBC called The Ebay Effect (if I'm not wrong). The show was not bad. The interviewer did not just talk about the positive things about ebay but also criticize them particularly on the way they handle fraud cases.

After that show, I started to beria-ia to sell again (I did sell and buy once). I tried to search around and see if there's anything that I can sell. Not many. Perhaps what I should do is to go out more and see if there's any potential products at flea markets or during warehouse sales.

Dec 27, 2005

jaclyn victor da bomb

It's no big deal when Jaclyn won Malaysian Idol last year.

However, I am more impressed when she won the golden prize in the recent 8th Asian New Talent in Shanghai. I did not know she won until I watched 8tv last week. She gave a flawless performance with her song, Gemilang (the other song was When I Fall in Love and it was rather boring). I believe this song plays an important part in her winning.

Now, I wonder when there will be another World Idol. I think it will be a waste for our country if she doesn't have a chance to showcase her talent in the international level. I really believe she will be able to create an impact (especially with the song, Gemilang).

surname Ma

If you speak Cantonese or Mandarin, you will definitely find a comment on Sunday Star's Education pullout rather hilarious. A reader commented on the accuracy of a History book on Let's Hear It: Books should give accurate facts

"The book seems to assume that people with the surname Ma were all Muslims and that the surname Ma derived from Muslim names such as Muhammad."

If you are a Chinese you know what it means. If we do not want Malays know that we are talking about them, we refer them as "sing Ma" (which the word sing means surname) instead of calling them "Malay yan" (Malay people). Those with surname Ma might not be necessarily Muslims in China but in Malaysia, "sing Ma" are definitely Muslims.

If you still do not understand, please don't misunderstand. This is not a joke on the Malays or their religion.

Dec 25, 2005

declining standard of Bahasa Malaysia or improvement in English?

In the recent PMR results, we are already witnessing the decreased of passes in Bahasa Melayu. Compared to 2004, the percentage of passing rate dropped 0.9% to 92.3% in 2005. As for English subject, the percentage increased by 3.7% to 73.8% this year.

However, the statistics is not convincing enough to prove the declining standard of Bahasa Malaysia or improvement in English language. This is because 73% of students still answered Mathematics exam questions in Bahasa Malaysia while 67% did so for Science. It is not a surprise because this batch of students has strong foundation in Bahasa Malaysia.

On the other hand, I foresee that the quality of Bahasa Malaysia among the primary students, especially non-native speakers, will continue to decline in the near future. This batch of students has no exposure to Science and Mathematics in Bahasa Malaysia in both primary and secondary levels. Hence, this is a disadvantage to them especially when it comes to understanding and writing science-related topics.

Like any other languages, students need continuous exposure and practices to improve their skills in Bahasa Malaysia, too. Therefore, parents need to encourage their children to read more, constantly monitor their progresses and seek help if their children are weak in the subject.

Related post:
non-Malay students must take bahasa Melayu seriously

Dec 24, 2005

Merry X'mas

and a Happy New Year!

A Dilbert X'mas riddle:
What do you call a FAT GUY who works only ONE DAY of the YEAR?

Answer: The BOSS

my postbox, the dumping site

I did not clear my postbox for one day
this was the implication, sad to say.

Perhaps my postbox is rather small
should get a big one to fit them all.

My postbox is not the dumping site
stuffed with junk mails, no it ain't right!

Dec 21, 2005

if you have a kid or sibling in Year 4...

I have three copies of Science Year 4 revision books to be given away.

The title of the book is called New Vision Science Year 4 (published by SNP Panpac or better known as Eastview) and it is based on the latest syllabus.

The book comes with a free CD-ROM. I wrote the book but the CD-ROM is not my idea. In this book, there are easy to understand notes and the questions are pretty much UPSR-oriented.

I only have three copies to be given away. You don't have to pay a single sen (shipping is free as well). Just send me your name and address to my e-mail address.

angelina jolie should be TIME person of the year

I was wondering what are the criteria for a person to be chosen as TIME magazine 'Person of the Year'.

Personally, I think Angelina Jolie should be the one instead of Mr. Bill Gates & wife and Bono U2. Yes, they have done a lot to help the unfortunates but so did Jolie. Jolie did a good job as the goodwill ambassador for UN. She has contributed a lot in terms of financial support and relief effort. She visited quake victims and refugee camps. And she is a good mother of two kids, Maddox and Zahara.

A lot of celebrities or influential people contribute back to the society too. I think Oprah and Bob Geldof did a pretty good job as well in year 2005. But Angelina Jolie grabbed more headlines than anyone else throughout the year. With her humanitarian effort, the attention she gets in movies, her role as a mother and relationship with Brad Pitt, she is the 'Person of the Year'. Unless the TIME magazine is on the Aniston camp.

Dec 19, 2005

prof helped hundreds of internet-hooked youths kick the habit

Last night, my Dad asked me to watch a programme on CCTV channel called Up Close because he thought I might be interested (not because I'm addicted to the Internet but because I'm interested in education-related topics).

The guest of the show was Prof Tao Hongkai, a guest professor in Huazhong Normal University. His effort in helping youths who are addicted to the Internet particularly online gaming had made him a household name in China.

In one case, in her last resort, a mother had to contact the media and asked for help. Her daughter, who was once a top student in her class, started skipping school to get to her daily fix of online gaming. Prof Tao who read the paper contacted the family. Several days later, after a nine-hour consultation, the 17-year agreed to skip the Internet cafe instead of classes. She kept her promise and today she is a top student again.

Under the China government support, Prof Tao gives talks and consultations for free. So far he helped over 300 teenagers. According to him, his skills of persuasion is not enough to help these Internet-hooked youths. Parents also need to change in order to help their children. In fact, the most crucial part in changing a teenager's addiction to the Internet is to build/enhance the relationship between parents and the child.

Dec 16, 2005

never trust an IT guy: part II

It seems that I finally know what is wrong with my pc now. The amount of money which I spent is not worth it at all because the problem is not with the power supply or the hardisk.

I came across a
website which provide me with the solution.

pci.sys and ntfs.sys error messages when booting

"Recently I ran into an issue with a WinXP box booting up. I kept getting "pci.sys" errors…and if, after cold booting a few times, I was lucky enough to get past that error, I would get the "ntfs.sys" error. Turns out I had a bad memory card. Dropping in a new card resolved ALL issues."

So I'm going to get a new memory card and see if it works. Now, how much is the memory card...

Lesson learnt: In some cases, it is better to learn to solve the problem yourself rather than depending on people who make you pay extra for nothing.

never trust an IT guy

Recently my home PC broke down after I've installed Sims 2 game. When I restarted the computer, an error message came out as something like this: system32/drivers/pci.exe missing or corrupt file. It says that I have to restart the computer with the original Window Setup CD (which I don't have the original) and press 'r' to repair. I tried with the pirated ones but it just couldn't work.

So I called up an IT guy, Kee, whom I came to know about through an advertisement in The Star newspaper. As I need the PC urgently to do my work and I don't have time to do research and fix it on my own, I leave it to his expertise. He convinced me that something is wrong with my hardisk and I agreed to change a new one. He brought back the PC to his office to fix it. When my PC came back, he told me he changed the power supply as well (which he haven't even ask my permission or explain to me about the faulty yet). End up I have to forked out RM320.

I thought the PC was ok until today. About two weeks after the repair, it seems that my problem is back to square one. I'm facing the same problem again. I think I've been duped. I called the IT guy just now and told him the problem. I was patient (after a few classes of meditation) enough and in fact I was surprised I did not curse at him. I just told him that I'll look for somebody else to fix it instead of paying him another RM90 (could be more!) to come over and doing nothing.

I wonder if most IT guys are unethical and look for fast money...

Dec 15, 2005

Amazing Race 8: where are the family values?

The winning family has been predicted correctly. The Linz family won the eighth season. No surprise at all because the result leaked several months ago.

The Amazing Race 8 is a Family Edition. However, very sad to say, I don't see any good American family values in this show. Gone are the Brady Bunch or Growing Pains days. What I saw was a bunch of young people (and even parents) who doesn't know how to respect their family members and other people. In fact, parents never try to do anything to educate the young ones to show respect to one another.

While we Asians can still be proud of our family values, the American are living the nightmares of sarcastic families like the Paolos and Godlewskies.

If you have been catching up with AR8, you know what I mean. The Linzes have been continuously calling Linda Weaver names which I think is totally rude. Yesterday, we saw the Linzes and Bransens completely alienated the Weaver family during lunch (this is not the first time). I was surprised because Dad Bransen did nothing to advise his daughters and the young Linzes. If I'm not wrong, one of his daughter was calling Linda Weaver wacky. Instead of advising her to be more polite, Dad Bransen joined the crowd to sabotage the Weaver family.

I must give credit to Linda Weaver for keeping her family together and race until the finishing line. Despite being sidelined by other teams she was strong, protective and did her best to encourage her kids. She is definitely the Mom of the Year. I have a lot for respect for her.

Can't wait for the next AR in February. I need a good dosage of AR9 to make up for this season which is a complete disaster.

Dec 9, 2005

Classical Tones Modern Touch: in UM

Orchestra's enthusiasts can look forward for a free performance in University of Malaya tomorrow night. I don't have the name of the orchestra performing tomorrow night. All I know is they are going to perform some of the famous numbers such as the Phantom of the Opera and Hijau.

Venue: Dewan Tunku Chanselor, University of Malaya
Date: December 10, 2005
Time: 8.30 p.m.

There's a lot of free performances and movies going on in UM this weekend. Don't waste these opportunities. You don't always get free entertainment in KL nowadays.

film schedule: UNHCR & ICRC film showcase in UM

Probably you have heard and read about the film showcase, themed "War and Flight: The Need for Humanitarian Action" which will feature three movies and documentaries beginning from today to Sunday.

It is organised by UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross). The movies and documentaries will be screened at the Asia Europe Institute, University of Malaya (click for map). Admission is free.

Friday (Dec 9, 2005)
8.30 p.m. Hotel Rwanda (Refreshment and performances after the movie)

Saturday (Dec 10, 2005)
11.00 a.m. Women Facing War: Palestine
11.10 a.m. To Be a Refugee
11.20 a.m. Children of Ibdaa
2.00 p.m. The Killing Fields
5.00 p.m. Moderated discussion with ICRC
8.30 p.m. Women Facing War: Yugoslavia
8.35 p.m. Refugee Women: Don't Look Back
8.40 p.m. Molly and Mobarak

Sunday (Dec 11, 2005)
11.00 a.m. Women Facing War: Afghanistan
11.05 p.m. The Boy Who Played on the Buddhas of Bamiyan
2.00 p.m. A Safe Place
2.15 p.m. The Lost Boys of Sudan
3.45 p.m. Moderated discussion with UNHCR
8.30 p.m. War and Dignity
8.35 p.m. Marooned in Iraq

Dec 8, 2005

non-Malay students must take Bahasa Melayu seriously

If you are a parent and your kids are among the batches of students studying Math and Science in English, I suggest you take my advice seriously.

Most students particularly non-Malays who spend limited hours learning in Bahasa Melayu, are seeing their standard dropping drastically compared to students before the implementation. My observations are based on the writing skills of urban kids in areas such as Petaling Jaya and Subang Jaya. The standard of Bahasa Melayu for primary level is in fact more critical than the secondary level (because students in secondary level gained more exposure when they were in primary level).

Many parents and students might not take this seriously and think that Bahasa Melayu is not an important subject. But let's not forget that Bahasa Melayu is a compulsory subject in the SPM level. It is useless if you get As in other compulsory subjects and elective papers but do not pass in Bahasa Melayu.

I urge students especially the non-Malays to start looking for tutors to improve their writing and reading skills in Bahasa Melayu. Or at least start reading Utusan or Berita Harian to enhance their language ability.

Dec 6, 2005

six perfections to achieve an extraordinary life

After two months, I finally had the opportunity to rejoin the usual meditation class in Manjushri Kadampa Buddhist Centre, Damansara Jaya. The drop in class starts at 8 to 10p.m. and it is free of charge.

Yesterday's topic was about How to Live a Less Ordinary Life. The topic alone is already very catchy. Before the dhamma talk, we usually meditate first. I must admit that I'm a beginner when it comes to meditation although I've been practising Buddhism all my life. The teacher who is known as geshe shared with us that in order to achieve an extraordinary life, we have to practice six disciplines:

1. perfection of giving
2. perfection of moral disciplines
3. perfection of effort
4. perfection of patience
5. perfection of mental stability
6. perfection of wisdom

Next Monday will be the last drop in class for the year before the centre is closed for break. The topic for next week is The Ultimate Truth.

For more info, click:

Daniel MI2 latest album a hit in pasar malam

I've never supported Daniel in Malaysian Idol 2 nor I like the songs from his latest album which is frequently broadcasted over the airwaves.

However there is one thing that I will support him, anti-piracy. I was at the pasar malam in SS2 last night and saw his pirated album in every CD stalls. Poor Daniel. Just like Mawi, he should steps up and make a public call to discourage his fans or 'curious Malaysians' (who wants to listen to his album) from buying pirated Cds.

Dec 2, 2005

The Emperor's Journey: a must-see

I've never had interest for animals documentary. But The Emperor's Journey is no ordinary ducumentary. In fact, I think it is more like a love story. Such an extraordinary and touching story by the French director Luc Jacquet.

I've just watched the Mandarin version and I really enjoy every minute of it. Go watch it with your loved ones!

Highly recommended.

Dec 1, 2005

amazing race 8: support the Weaver family!

During the first and second episodes of Amazing Race 8, I thought this family edition will not be as exciting as the previous seasons. I thought it is not wise to sell American history and watching the families spending most of their time racing within their homeland.

But I was wrong. AR8 is different from its predecessors but just as exciting and watchable. I must say that they have an amazing combination of families. Personally I support the Weaver family since the first episode. I particularly love the part when the Weaver family was in the last place in Utah, (they took the wrong route and later yielded (again!) this time by the evil Linz family) enjoying their ice-creams to ease their frustrations thinking that they would be eliminated. I admire Linda for her courage and perseverance in protecting her kids and keeping her family together.

On the other hand, the Linz family is a bunch of pathetic and rude people. They simply don't have respect for others particularly Linda Weaver by calling her names. I don't understand why they hate the Weaver family so much. Rumour says that the Linz family won AR8. That's going to be a very sad ending because bad guys never win the Amazing Race before. Colin, Jonathan and Rob are very good examples.

Nov 18, 2005

angelina vs aniston: who won the biggest feud of 2005?

Definitely Angelina Jolie! Not because she has won the heart of our Mr. Pitt. It is Aniston who had made the wrong decision by going public with the divorce and doing things that bring her self image down.

I don't really hate Aniston. In fact I love to watch Aniston in Friends (although Rachel is not my favourite character). I was a bit annoyed by her recent appearance on Oprah. I was pretty sure that she tried to gain sympathy from viewers (and Oprah). And the fact that she recently appear topless on the cover of a magazine simply shows her desperation for attention.

With her talent I believe she can make it in Holllywood even without Pitt (and Friends). She does not need to resort to cheap publicity like what she is getting now. Aniston should get some tips from Nicole Kidman.

Nov 15, 2005

angelina jolie could be the next bond girl

Angelina Jolie is said to have loved the script for "Casino Royale" (the latest Bond movie starring Daniel Craig as agent 007, who coincidently Jolie's co-star in Tomb Raider) but hasn't sign the deal yet. The producers are said to have considered Jolie as the perfect choice for the part of Vesper Lynd, a Russian double agent who beds agent 007.

Although it's great to see her being so successful in commercial flicks, I would love to see her starring in heavy and meaty roles again just like what she did in her past movies like Gia, Foxfire and Girl, Interrupted.

Nov 11, 2005

it's Rain-ing...

Recently I finally get to watch Rain on mtv. Man, this guy is really cool in the video "I Do". He's like Asia's very own Usher (they are both good looking, can sing so well and dance so smooth). If he's in the Korean Idol (if there's any), the judges would probably say he has the whole package.

Watch the "I Do" here (you'll definitely gonna love it):

Other videos are listed below (including the hit song "It's Raining"):
mms:// (It's raining)

Nov 10, 2005

the million dolar homepage mania

In today's NST, there's a success story about a 21 year old boy, Alex, who came up with a million dollar idea which turns out to be a hit. He eventually set up a website called the Million Dollar Homepage which contained exactly one million pixels (the tiny dots that make up an image on a screen). He uses that page as an advertising noticeboard where advertisers could buy space at $1 per pixel. This boy made half of a million dollar already!

raya movies: tentang dia (thumbs up), gol & gincu (thumbs down)

This Raya holiday was the perfect time for me to catch up with some of the local movies (and Indonesian as well) on tv. I'm glad I was able to watch Sepet (again after attending the screening & conversation with the director, Yasmin Ahmad in UM), Tentang Dia and Gol & Gincu.

No doubt Sepet is a great movie (no need further mention). So does Tentang Dia. I wanted to watch this Indonesian movie but couldn't find any friend who is interested when it was in the local cinema. I particularly love the songs and the storyline. Not to mention the creative and emotionally-driven scenes. I especially like the scene when Rudi was on the other side of the busy street trying to tell Gadis that she loves her as a sister. There was also countless raining scenes which added to the emotion of the movie. And I love the rooftop scene as well, the place where Rudi and Gadis always meet up and share their thoughts and feelings. However, I find the poetry written by Rudi was a bit lame though.

Then there was this latest movie, Gol & Gincu, by the same producer who brings us the successful 3R infotainment show. Gol & Gincu is not so successful though. It was badly-scripted (the attempt to tackle the various social issues is definitely not working), mediocre performance by the actors (except Sharifah Amani and J's mother) and for one very obvious reason, it was very local MTV-styled (if I'm not wrong, the director Bernard Chauly is the one who directed one of Siti Nurhaliza's mtv Debaran Cinta). On the positive side, I love the diversity in this movie. So, I'm looking forward for more movies from the producer.

Nov 9, 2005

desperate housewives: a good show with bad moral

I thought Desperate Housewives was a good show. After all, they received good ratings and publicities (including the interviews on Oprah and even the First Lady Laura Bush said she watched the show). No doubt the show was well-scripted and not to mentioned the amazing casts especially Teri Hatcher (Susan) and Felicity Huffman (Lynette).

However, the recent episodes made me realized why Desperate Housewives was knocked out by Everybody Loves Raymond in the 2005 Emmy Awards. It was simple. Everybody Loves Raymond is a good show with good moral values while Desperate Housewives doesn't.

Not enough with murders, suicide, infidelity, abuse and various taboo issues (s&m and homosexuality) at Wisteria Lane, I found that the most disturbing character in this show is Andrew (Bree and Rex's evil son). This boy not only escaped (thanks to the parents) from the law after knocking down Carlos' mother, he hates his own mother so much that he would kick and spit on her. This evil kid, who confessed to Reverend Sikes that he doesn't believe in god, said he will be good and one day when his mother is least expected, he's going to do something really bad and rock her world. For godsake!

I hope this show is only watched by adults and not young kids. This is definitely a bad show for them. Bad bad show....

Nov 8, 2005

should I pay for the token of appreciation every end of the semester?

Currently I'm pursuing my master in educational management and by the end of each semester, the leader of each class will ask us to pay between RM5-10 to buy gifts for the lecturers. I'm not sure if this is a norm in other faculties or universities. It's not that I'm a cheapskate but I really believe that this is not really a good practice. I'll tell you why.

There are these class 'leaders' who are usually government officers or teachers who collect money from between 20 to 100+ students in each class. The money collected will be used to buy expensive stuff like branded accessories, batik shirt and even gold bracelets. Imagine, I'm attending one particular class of about 120 students and we are asked to pay RM10 for a gift and dinner (just outside the classroom). Okay, let alone the dinner and the token of appreciation. What I'm really dissappointed was when the leader announced to us about the collection, he mentioned, "Bayar RM10, mana tahu, kita dapat A ke..."

Some government officers and teachers bring along their negative habits into the university. For example, there's one senior officer who is about to retire. Instead of bringing his assignment, he brought in duku and langsat for the lecturer. However the lecturer was smart. The lecturer did not accept it but instead asked him to share the fruits with all of us and reminded him to pass up his assignment on the following day.

Sometimes we just blame entirely on the management or lecturers for the poor standard of our local universities. Perhaps, it's the attitude of its students that should change as well.

Oct 26, 2005

working freelance

Oprah Winfrey Show keeps me awake until 6 a.m. when I'm rushing deadlines.

Lately I'm missing my working days. I miss the normal working environment whereby you have friendly colleagues and cruel or nice boss. I miss the free lunch and training sessions. I miss drinking milo-kaw three times a day and making free phone calls back to my family in Kuantan.

Not that I'm not working now. I've been working on freelance basis for 6 months already. I enjoy the total freedom and I do not need to wake up early in the morning. I can work at my own pace (not really when you have deadlines to catch). Every week I get to meet up with publishers and editors but the feeling is not the same (not as good as meeting up with friendly colleagues unless you meet them to receive your paycheck).

It's not just about the lonely bugs. There are also a lot of time whereby I have to continue to work without sleeps for days. Things is even more challenging when you are studying: assignments, exams and work projects all in one at the same time! Thanks to Astro I manage to keep myself awake every night to work on my projects and assignments.

Sep 30, 2005

any MPs or MCA leaders with a blog?

I've been a regular reader of Kit Siang's blog ever since he started one in August. Although I'm a pro-government, I think his blog is very informative and sometimes rather controversial. In fact I do buy some of his ideas and comments based on his intelligent arguments. However there are also times when I felt his arguments are merely his own propaganda.

Whatever it is, there is no doubt that the blogosphere is a good place for politicians to buy votes and gain support from the public. How I wish local MPs or MCA leaders will start their own blogs too so that I can slam them back with complaints. Maybe they don't need a blog because there is nothing to mention about.

Sep 25, 2005

please, no more Malaysian Idol 3

I beg 8TV, please, no more Malaysian Idol if you can't produce a winner with good quality singing and performance. Ahmad Izham and the judges said Daniel's winning is healthy for the music industry as he has a large followers to vote for him (1.2 million votes for the grand final to be exact).

I thought he sings 'Mimpi' awfully until the level I have to switch to other channel because I was so worried and embarassed for him. One of the caller during the press conference asked, how is he going to represent Malaysia in the World Idol? I certainly believe he doesn't have the voice to represent Malaysia in the international level. Poor Daniel.

Instead Nita did a great performance. I am certainly proud of her. She is elegant and she definitely has that 'diva' look. She's going to be a successful singer if she can come up with a great album that suits her personality. Too bad that most of her fans are in the 20s and above. We love her but we don't waste our money to buy votes (it is religiously and politically incorrect).

8TV must understand that 50 sen per vote is expensive (nowadays sms only 1 sen) and rational adults don't vote. Those who vote are especially young girls aged below 18. This again proved that last night result doesn't represent the 'Malaysians voice'.

I believe soon Malaysian Idol is going to end up like Akademi Fantasia whereby guys win every season. And not to mention the rise of fanatic fans who only vote based on looks and not talent. If this is the case, I urge 8TV to come up with other reality shows instead.

Sep 20, 2005

vlog: juggling for bloggers

Video credit:

  • Background song: Matchbox 20 - 3 a.m. (acoustic version)
  • Juggling tool: 3 pair of socks

The one and only trick I ever know is to juggle with 3 balls. I learned from a tv programme when I was a kid and practiced for about an hour before I got the trick.

I've drawn the above manual to show you the simple steps in juggling. Learn it and show it to your friends and family. Or just juggle after a long hour on the computer. It's fun.

Sep 15, 2005

my first attempt to vlog

Finally I've edited the video of a recent trip to Cameron Highlands. It's embarassing but I only went there for the first time in the recent Merdeka holiday.

The video is in Cantonese and the background song is by Z-Chen called Kwai Le (Happy). The lady in this video is my good friend Shuh Yong and the interviewer in the background is me.

Sep 14, 2005

can't wait for Amazing Race 8!

I rate Amazing Race as the best reality tv show ever. I simply love the format of the show. The adventures and conflicts are always unpredictable which make this reality series so watchable. And now they are coming back with the 8th season: The Family Edition!

I've checked the schedule and it's going to be on AXN channel on the 28th September with a 2-hour premier show. This time there will be 10 teams comprised of 4 family members! I'm sure this is going to be exciting and fun. I can imagine the parents nagging their kids, wives yelling at their husbands or kids getting impatient because their parents are so slow.

Sep 13, 2005

8tv is gr8!

I must say that 8tv is doing a really great job in providing entertaining shows. I found myself watching more shows on 8tv despite the existence of popular programmes on astro channels. Below are some of the most watchable shows on 8tv everyday from Monday to Sunday:

Boss Swap is quite a good show. If you are a fan of The Apprentice or simply like reality shows on business and leadership, this is a recommended show for you. The only turn off is this is a British production.


Queer Eye for the Straight Guy is definitely one of my favourite reality shows. Last week, 8tv screened the British version of this highly popular show. Although I really miss the flamboyant Fab Five of the US version, I don't mind watching the latest one. The British Fab Five are hotter (outlook wise)!

Of course the most watchable show on Wed is Desperate Housewives. However I've missed the show for a couple of weeks already (even the repeats on Star World). Instead I find myself staying very loyal to Joey (although the scripts are predictable).

The Swan is my favourite show of all! This is the mother of all extreme make over shows. Nothing is more enjoyable than to watch ugly ducklings turning into beautiful swans. It's definitely painful to be beautiful! This show is even better than I Want A Famous Face shows on MTV channel. Highly recommended!

Malaysian Idol-lar! I'm crossing my fingers and pray that Nita will win in the final (I'm not going to vote though). I don't want to see Daniel in the top two. His rendition of Rasmus's In the Shadow haunts me till today. Please, Malaysians, please listen properly and vote wisely (leaving this responsibility to you guys who have the money to vote)!

The best shows are always shown on 8tv first. One Tree Hill is a very good example. This is definitely one of my favourite. The casts are so cun and each have their very unique characters. Good music too. The show that has the whole the package.

Sunday is a bit disappointing. The only show that I watch is Eve. This sitcom is really funny. Give it a try!

There are many other good shows on 8tv (especially the Korean dramas) but the above are the best. Local productions like Homegrown and Latte @8 (bring back this show) are not bad either. Not to mention they have great personalities like Marion and Adam. With all the latest and popular shows on 8tv, I hope this is not only temporary. I mean, all the latest shows are not cheap (and there are not many advertisement on 8tv).

Aug 22, 2005

the real picture of orientation programme in local university

I refer to the letter Respect Freshmen, too by Malaysian in Foreign Land (StarEducation, Aug 21).

I would like to clarify that when I stated that all orientation programmes are similar in my previous letter, I am positively aware that local universities do organise their formal orientation activities similarly to the experience Malaysian in Foreign Land had in his university.

I will share the kind of experience I had when I was studying in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM). When I arrived in UKM, seniors were the ones that greeted all freshmen and parents. After registration at our hostel (college), we were equipped with a case full of necessary information we needed for the one-week programme. Then the seniors directed us to our respected rooms and ensured we were happy with our new living spaces.

During the first day of orientation, we were introduced to the seniors whom we addressed as facilitators. We went through proper ice-breaking activities which were all indoor activities. We formed groups of multi-racial members and each group was lead by a facilitator who shared with us about the life in university. We were constantly reminded by the facilitators to be grateful to our parents and not to take things for granted after all our hard work to enter the university.

We were asked to wake up at 5.30 a.m. every day. Before morning exercise, we were given speeches by facilitators who sounded tough and serious. The real challenge throughout the orientation programme was that we needed to be physically fit to jog in the morning and to go through tough activities in the evening. We also had to walk to the library, faculty or main hall to attend seminars or social meetings. We were told the places around the university that we can go and the transportation service available. These facilitators sacrificed their time and energy to guide us throughout the week. They had to be tough to jog along with us too. Every day we would sleep at 1 or 2 a.m. As for the facilitators, we knew some of them never sleep at all just to prepare for the orientation on the next day.

The problems occurred when some freshmen ignored to instructions or show no respect. They overslept, lack of cooperation among the freshmen, did not greet the seniors, forgot to wear their nametags, played truant, etc. Hence seniors will resolve to scolding or humiliating them in front of everyone. The worst punishment would be from facilitators who were in the Palapes (Reserve Officers Training Unit).

I have family member and friends who studied in UM and USM and they never complain about their orientation programmes. Instead, the UM friends and my brother who studied in USM said they were pampered by their seniors throughout their first year in university. Everything were nicely planned and prepared for them, from second-hand textbooks and notes to assisting them in the PTPTN loan applications.

In my opinion, whether it is orientation programme or even regular motivational activities, there are always some participants who are not interested to get involve and often end up labelling the activities as silly. Some of the activities carried out by the seniors might not be as creative as we want it to be. Perhaps when these freshmen become seniors they can reinforce creativity in the orientation programme. It is more proper to show their leadership skills and pro-activeness to change for the better rather than just complaining and painting the wrong pictures to their parents and public about local universities. Let us not forget that orientation programme is run by students themselves.

Aug 13, 2005

hugging issue and what we can learn from AF

Najib created a big fuss about the hugging trend on our local reality tv show which I believe is referring to Malaysian Idol (particularly last week when Azzam was voted out).

Now I begin to see the positive side of Akademi Fantasia whereby the contestants would salam or kiss each other hands instead of hugging like what we normally see on Malaysian Idol. AF is no doubt more localised in terms of values.

Perhaps Najib himself is a big fan of AF3 (and Mawi who is a religious model) and wants Malaysian Idol to take the show as a role model.

Aug 12, 2005

wear mask, please........

I was lucky to avoid the worst haze in PJ a couple of days ago. When I came back from Penang this evening, I expected a lot of people to wear masks (as seen on newspaper) in KL and PJ. However, a lot of people are still ignorant and avoid wearing one. I presume these are the reasons why people still have not get a mask for themselves.

1. Wearing mask is not cool and embarassing.
2. Still have not decide which mask is better, the conical mask or the surgical mask. (Perhaps the SDU mask is even better, but where to get?)
3. It's out of stock!
4. Waiting for Malaysian Crescent Society or health ministry to distribute free mask rather than buying the pricey mask at pharmacy or 7-Eleven.
5. There's not much difference between the normal (polluted) days and the hazy days in KL.
6. Smoking is more hazardous because it kills. That's why our government campaigning for anti-smoking but not anti-haze although we suffered from it every year since 1997.
7. ONLY two districts are in the state of emergency. So, we are still safe.
8. We do not receive any wide coverage from the international media or support from WHO. It means our condition is not that bad.

Aug 7, 2005

nightmare orientation? come on!

I laughed when I read in The Star, a comment by a worried parent about her son's "nightmarish" orientation in UM.

The funniest part was her rather sarcastic bout the seniors in the medical faculty.

Life in UM is not what he thought it would be – it's been rather like living together with a group of gangsters or in a secret society. Medical faculty students are future doctors.

I did not do my undergraduate programme in UM but I can guarantee you that almost all universities have the same kind of orientation. Come on, there is no big deal with about seniors trying to intimidate the freshies just to show them what respect and the real life away from parents might be. The one-week orientation week is just a small challenge to the mostly pampered freshies.

I've been through humiliation as well during my orientation week; I was asked to sing in the public, then being laughed because of my 'Kuantan-Cantonese' (which is slightly different from KL and Ipoh. Not to mentioned the torture of wearing the same orientation t-shirt for days, waking up at 5 am having to jog for hours, having swollen feet, and lecturing from the seniors who never failed to remind us not to be cocky. And yes, we only went to bed at 2 am. And for the guys, there were room service waiting for them every night.

When I looked back or chat with my friends about our uni experience, we loved to talked about the funny and intimidating moments during our orientation. We laughed the fact that we were so naive and weak.

To the worried parents, she just need to let her son to be on his own and learn to be independent. If she wants her son to be involved in motivational activities, asked him to join camps or society. Orientation week is definitely not similar to national service.

Aug 3, 2005

Ministry of Higher Education vs Vice Chancellor

I supposed our Minister of Higher Education, Datuk Dr. Shafie Salleh agreed to retain the continued service of Prof Dr. Mohamad Zohadie as Vice Chancellor of Universiti Putra Malaysia despite the controversial poem issue and his objection to the transfer of UPM’s Aerospace Engineering programme to Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia

And let's not forget the involvement of Dr. Shafie to recall the resignation of Dr. Terence Gomez of the University of Malaya, who was initially rejected of a two-year leave application to be based in Geneva after being appointed by the United Nations Research Institute for Social Development (UNRISD) as the Project Manager for the research area on Identity, Conflict and Social Cohesion.

However I question the constant interference and involvement of the Ministry of Higher Education which seems to contradict with the decisions made by the VC. I somehow believe this will indirectly threatening the position and the credibility of not only the VC but also the universities themselves.

Aug 1, 2005

Malaysian Idol no difference from Akademi Fantasia

First, I was disappointed with Akademi Fantasia and gave up watching the show. Then I thought there was still hope with Malaysian Idol. However after the result show last night, I really believe that Malaysian do not vote based on talent.

The voting system might work in countries with large population like the US whereby the chances of fanatic votes are low. I don't see this system works in our country. I'm not sure how many percentage of Malaysians are going to spend 65 sen per vote (which is darn expensive!). I don't even spend on a single vote for anybody and none of my friends did.

Since our judges are not powerful and influential enough to convince the viewers (who are the best and who should be out from the competition), I say we should allocate a certain percentage of votes to the judges and the rest to the voters.

Jul 22, 2005

UMNO has a plan for the malays, what does MCA have for the chinese?

I rarely follow up closely with the UMNO general assembly. But this year is slightly different. No, not because of Rafidah Aziz and her AP issue that I'm interested in but rather on the educational issues often debated by UMNO delegates. However, I have nothing to comment about education as I am very satisfy that our PM strongly support meritocracy.

I admire the spirit in UMNO leaders who fight effortlessly for the betterment of their people. While they are chanting Hidup Melayu and Pak Lah addresses his speech, A Giant Step for the Malays, I am asking what can MCA do for the chinese community.

I do not see any convincing action plans by the MCA leaders. I don't even see where is our direction and where the chinese community is 15 years from now. When I read the papers, all I see was their concern in winning election.

Where do the chinese community should go from here? I doubt I can get the answer.

Jul 19, 2005

reasons to be a teacher

When I read today's paper (The Star), I came across a comment by a teacher's child who complained her dad sacrificing too much time in his job, as a teacher.

It is pretty sad because she doesn't understand the meaning of being a teacher. A teacher doesn't work from 9 to 5. A teacher must be ready to sacrifice their time for his students; to assist his students in curriculum and co-curriculum. Probably the job doesn't end there. A teacher needs to be a responsible mentor, advisor and counsellor.

From my observation, more and more teachers are spending their time not only conducting their own tuition classes but also attending undergraduate (mostly in primary levels) and postgraduate studies after working hours and on weekend. (Related blog: 8 reasons why teachers are not overburdened)

If you are thinking of becoming an educator or teacher just because you believe this is the last choice of career you have (many jobless graduates resorted to this job, if you read the forum in cikgunet), you better wait for other job opportunity instead. For existing teachers, hold on to your mission and belief when you first chose to dedicate your life in teaching.

Every Monday night, I try not to miss the show Boston Public. Each week, this gritty drama will look into the personal and professional lives of dedicated teachers in Winslow High School. Principal, Steven Harper, together with his vice principal, Scott Guber, will tackle all the issues that revolves around their school, from confronting bullies to handling irate parents and of course solving disputes between their own staff.

This show is highly recommended for teachers, teacher-wannabes, parents and students. These are the teachers that we all are looking for.

Jul 14, 2005

get real coaches instead of training sports teachers

I am totally disagree with Datuk Azalina suggestion that sports teachers should go for training in order to be qualify enough to coach students.

Last week, Datuk Hishamuddin just raised a big issue that teachers are already overburdened and spent 38 days of training per year. Don't forget that most of these sports teachers do teach other subjects as well.

Isn't it the responsibility of the government to find ways to lessen their burden instead of adding more work and expectations on them? Sports teachers are not ironmen or women.

We have a lot of sportsmen in our country that the ministry can train and turn them into qualified coaches in schools. Although our sportsmen are not competitive internationally but at least they are good and comfortable at home.

Jul 10, 2005

Islamic world leaders' responsibility in fighting terrorism

The barbaric act of terrorism happened in the western world last week and the Islamic world leaders do nothing except sending condolences to Blair and the Londoners and condemn the sinful act. That's it!

Perhaps the Islamic world think that this is not happening at their own backyard and it is better for them to mind their own internal issues.

However, I believe it is the time for the Islamic world leaders to own the responsibility. They should stand up, unveil the root cause and fight against terrorism that tarnish the image of Islam. Yes, terrorism has no nothing to do with religion but the world is not seeing it that way. Islamic world leaders should list terrorism as their top agenda, create a strong action plan and start to educate the world that terrorism is the no. 1 enemy of Islam.

Don't wait for Bush or Blair to take the matter into their own hands as it will only create more conflicts and prejudices against Islam.

Jul 8, 2005

8 reasons why teachers are not overburdened

Recently the Ministry of Education and National Union of the Teaching Profession (NUTP) claimed that teachers from four states (Selangor, Kuala Lumpur, Johor and Malacca) are overburdened in their job particularly with the addition of new subjects and extra duties related to co-curricular and curricular activities. Here are the reasons why I don't think so.

1. Science and Mathematics are not new subjects. Teachers are paid extra incentives under the program ETeMS (English for Teaching Mathematics and Science).

2. Co-curricular activities are compulsory. Stop complaining or quit being a teacher.

3. Teachers spend extra hours after school to give tuition under the tuition voucher scheme (Skim Baucer Tuisyen) which financially benefited them.

4. Teachers spending 74 hours per week? That's 12.33 hours per day for 6 days? You mean they are working in school from 7.30 a.m. -8.00 p.m. on Saturday as well?

5. Teachers are spending 38 days feasting instead of training.

6. Teachers filled in 108 types of forms. For example, annual leave form, emergency leave form, cuti bersalin form, etc.

7. Teachers complain so that the ministry will sympathize and agree to shortened the time spent in school. This will allow them to have extra hours for tuition business.

8. The complaining teachers are teachers who do not have passion in teaching. (Don't they watch Boston Public?. Mr Harper and his teachers works from day to night and they never complain.)

5 questionable assumptions about schooling in Malaysia

1. The aim of schooling is to get all students to the same place at about the same time.

The education system expects students at the age of 15 to sit for PMR and by 17 or 18 to complete SPM. Hence below average students who were automatically promoted to Form 4 (although they didn't do well in PMR) struggle in SPM.

I once encountered a Year 6 student who can't even write a proper sentence in English nor Bahasa Melayu. Her parents asked permission from school to allow their daughter to study Year 6 for another year. However the school principal objected as it will affected the school track record. The girl failed in UPSR and continued to struggle in secondary school.

2. A teacher should work with 30-40 students for an academic year, and then students should move to another teacher.

Usually teachers resist working with the same group of students for two or three years period. It is understandable that teachers want to teach the same level or subjects as it makes their job easier.

By the time teacher get to know the students and their parents better, the students move on to another teacher.

3. The best form of school organization is age-grading.
This assumption is related to the previous two. The idea is very simply whereby children of the same age should be grouped together. The age-graded school system is an administrative convenience but has very little to do with what we know about child development.

4. The best way to identify schools that work well is to examine their students' test scores.

Principal, teachers, students, parents and the society judges a school through test scores. However, the function of school is broader and deeper. There is more in life than exams like co-curriculum, school's contributions, etc.

With the recent cheerleading competition at the national level, at least I see some good sign that schools are being honoured for something else besides tests.

5. The primary content that students learn in school is what their teachers intend to teach them.

Some proactive students tend to crave for more information than what the teachers intend to teach them. While teachers will teach according to the national syllabus, some teachers only teach what's in the book without further explanation or giving any good examples.

Instead of being textbook- or workbook- based, teachers should encourage students to find more information through research of certain topics that interest them.

Jul 7, 2005

reasons not to hold the 2016 Olympic Games in Kuala Lumpur

Since Ivan gave his reasons to hold the 2016 Olympic Games in KL, here's my own version of why not to hold it in KL.

1. We don't have good track records in campaigning. Look at the failed Budi Bahasa and Tak Nak campaigns.

2. We don't have superstar footballers like Beckham and Raul.

3. We don't rule in badminton anymore.

4. We don't want to make into the history book by being the first Olympic host that didn't win any medals.

5. We have high possibility of not having a chance to sing our National Anthem.

6. Our PM prefers localise events rather than international recognition.

7. Malaysians are not patriotic. We only idolise western teams.

8. We have already retired since the Commonwealth Games in 1998.

Jul 6, 2005

thinking of deleting your Hotmail account?

I have been using Hotmail for almost a decade now. But once you start using Gmail for your personal emails you don't want to use Hotmail anymore. Besides YahooMail and Yahoo Messenger are more user friendly than Hotmail and MSN Messenger. So I was thinking of deleting that account instead. I came across this website called Ask Leo which explain how to delete Hotmail account.

1. Click Help on any Hotmail page.

2. Type Close Account in the keyword search section of the Help screen.

3. Click the Close Your Hotmail Account tip within the Help screen.

4. Click the Close Account link that is highlighted in blue.

5. Read the instructions. When you are satisfied that you understand the terms associated with an account closure, click Close Account.

As I read on, I begin to think that it is quite true that if I close the account, someone else could open a new one, using my old account name. So maybe I should just leave my Hotmail account as it is and simply just don't use it (perhaps just check it once in awhile to make sure it is active).

orientation week - the nightmare

It's orientation week (or rather registration week) in University of Malaya.

Initially I didn't realise it eventhough I saw a huge number of students (freshies) in their uniforms (some wearing black t-shirts, some in pink and some in yellow). I thought there was an expo or a PMR seminar going on in the campus. These freshies look very young (or in another word childish) and you won't deny that most of them are being treated like secondary school kids by their facilitators.

It reminds me of my orientation week many many years ago. It was a dream come true for me to go to the university of my choice (I went to UKM during one educational trip and immediately had a good image of the university). However, the orientation itself was a nightmare. The facilitators and seniors were so mean that I never seek help from them throughout my entire years there.

The overused word by the seniors which I will remember for the rest of my life was "cocky" (we, the innocent freshies were already scared to death to be away from our family for the first time and this was the word used to address us in their every sentence).

Nevertheless, one thing good about the orientation was I shed a lot of weights due to heavy exercises and torturing. Then of course I didn't get used to the food and I lost appetite to eat. I easily lost 15kg after the orientation week. Pretty amazing, huh?

Coming back to the orientation week here in UM, I realised that a huge percentage of these undergraduates are female. We are aware of the gap between female and male in universities even few years back but somehow I think the issue is getting out of hand now. So, where are the guys?

Jul 5, 2005

say "yes" to London for Olympic 2012

Tony Blair is very popular these days. Three days ago he gave his support to Live 8 to "make poverty history". Now the British Prime Minister is in Singapore to back the London team in the crucial vote to elect the Host City for the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games.

London never host the biggest sports event since 1948. However, one poll showed 52% of Londoners didn't want the games. On the other hand, Blair wanted so badly to succeed judging from the attention given to him in most of the headlines as he undertook a hectic series of meetings.

Should London fail to win this bid, blame it on Blair, Bush and Iraq. Since London failure would also means New York's failure, then the winning bid should go to Paris.

Let's see the results tomorrow.

Jul 4, 2005

angelina jolie's speech on live 8 was axed

Music makes the people come together ...

Really enjoy the effortless performance by Green Day, Madonna and Snoop Dogg. Too bad that we didn't get to watch the speech by Angelina Jolie which was axed at Astro Channel 88. Don't get me wrong. Jolie didn't swear in her speech (but a number of musicians did during their performance). Insider told me that they didn't managed to squeeze in her part, that's all.

No doubt Live 8 is the biggest concert ever. It was like all of a sudden we have forgotten about war and terrorism. Instead Sir Bob Geldof makes us realised that we still have an unfinished business, poverty.

I don't care if some extremists think that this is a propaganda of the West.

Hopefully when the G8 leaders meet this month, they won't disappoint all the people around the world.

Jun 30, 2005

when was the last time you read local sports section?

So what is going on with our local sports scene? It has been extremely quiet ever since Datuk Azalina Othman takes over the top post in the Ministry of Youth and Sports.

Everyday, foreign sports updates monopolize our sports section. We are fed with Youth World Cup and Confederation Cup results and pages of full reports on foreign teams and star footballers. Even the less popular Wimbledon Championship takes up a page or two although tennis is not Malaysians favourite sports.

We read about the retirement of the great former Chelsea star, Gianfranco Zola and yet we don't really bother when Wong Choon Hann lost to Ronald Susilo in the Singapore Open last night.

Can anyone tell me how far does our football scene changes because I don't have a clue. It is really a shame. Back in the 80s until the late 90s, I was a strong supporter of the Pahang Football Association. No doubt I was a big fan of the local sports scene. From Zainal Abidin Hassan, M. Kumaresan and Misbun Sidek to Jeffery Ong, you name them and I can tell you that I have great respect for them.

We had our gloriest moment in the previous decades. I hope we did not retire after the Commonwealth Games in 1998. Or did we?

Jun 29, 2005

malays are lazy - from the movie Sepet

I was supposed to post this blog last Saturday but had been busy with other stuff.

Yasmin Ahmad, a reputable director, was in UM for the screening of the movie Sepet. Actress Sharifah Amani was present as well. It was my first time watching the movie and I would say that it's just mediocre. Perhaps I had a high expectation on this movie. After all the movie did win at the International Festival of Women’s Films in France and a couple of other special mention at international film festivals.

It's not really the movie that I want to talk about but rather the reaction from the audiences. As quoted from the movie itself, the character Orked (played by Sharifah Amani) said that Malays are lazy. Of course, it puts the Malay audiences into a very uncomfortable situation during the show. Even myself as a Chinese was a bit shock and I was hoping there was no big reaction from a couple of Malays sitting in front of me. To be honest, it is pretty normal for other races to label Malays that way but we definitely won't say that in front of them.

After the show, the Malay girls sitting in front of me left and did not came back for the conversation between Dr. Wan Zawawi and Yasmin Ahmad. So, there was this Malay guy taking over the seat. During the Q&A session, this Malay guy was so fired up and he expressed his dissatisfaction about the remark that Malays are lazy to Yasmin.

Dr Wan Zawawi mentioned that the movie was debated in the Dewan Negara and was labelled as unpatriotic. From my perspective, I believe this movie can be improved through better scriptwriting. The racism issue in this movie was not well addressed and tackled. However, I hope to see more of her movies in the future.

Jun 28, 2005

finally I've decided to give up AF3 for Malaysian Idol

I have made up my mind! I'm going to stop watching Akademi Fantasia 3 and go for the real talents instead. Yes, despite all the bad things I've said about the judges and hosts on Malaysian Idol, I promise to spend my Friday night watching the idol wannabes on 8TV.

It is sad because AF3 has a better format compare to MI. However the fanatic fans on AF doesn't believe in real talents. Contestant like Idayu was kicked out from the competition although she has proven herself as the best singer among her peers. Chatters in Astro Channel @15 even said AF is not a place for talented people like her and she should have join MI instead.

The judges on AF make no difference at all. Despite all the sincere and wise comments, even Shafinaz (no doubt, one of the best judges on AF) got booed by Mawi's fanatic fans last week. What a shame!

Hopefully things will be different on Malaysian Idol. We definitely don't want to see contestants being vote for nothing. We want to see real talents. We want the real deal! Please, no tv shows that suck money from voters and certainly not fanatic fans that monopolize the whole show.

Jun 27, 2005

even Prince William studied geography

So, why geography is not made a compulsory subject in the SPM level?

In the Chinese education, geography is said to be one of the most important subject. It teaches you about the relationship and impact between people and its environment.

Now we see Prince William graduated with a master of arts degree in geography. Then I came to know this quote by Albert Einstein, the greatest scientist ever. Here's what he said about geography:

"As a young man, my fondest dream was to become a geographer. However, ... I thought deeply about the matter and concluded it was too difficult a subject. With some reluctance I then turned to physics as a substitute." ~ Albert Einstein

He must be kidding, wasn't he? Perhaps this is the reason why our ministry of education only make it an elective subject in the SPM level.

Jun 25, 2005

so, all the top scorers are doctors?

It seems that all our top scorers only see medicine as the only choice for them. I really don't understand why they have to limit the sky and opportunity in other fields other than medicine?

Are our top scorers only a bunch of nerds who are only good in memorizing medical terminology but not good enough to make millions of ringgit in the business world?

There are variety of careers out there. Besides being a doctor, wouldn't it be great if we have some of the brainiest people to be the best archeologist who made important and historical discovery to our country or to the world? Or perhaps becoming an economist who win the first Nobel Prize for the country? Or even a geologist who constantly appear in National Geographic to share his expertise?

In the end, it really makes no sense to me that top scorers only wants to be doctors.

Jun 24, 2005

wimbledon 2005 (day 3 and 4)

Rafael Nadal was knocked out from Wimbledon in the second round. I'm not surprised as grass court is not his favourite surface. However, the main reason I'm so into tennis these days is because of him. Watching the flamboyant and charismatic tennage player is better than watching the stone-faced Roger Federer or the hotheaded Marat Safin. Well, better luck next time.

Maria Sharapova continues her campaign to defend her championship title after punishing 15 years old Sesil Karatancheva with the result 6-0, 6-1. Last year runner-up, Serena Williams struggled to survive the second round over Italian, Mara Santangelo.

I was a bit surprised because a lot of publicity has been given to Sania Mirza over the channel Star Sports on Astro. I don't think she played very well especially against last year US Open champion, Svetlana Kutznetsova. In fact, there are a few other Asian players who performed better. For example, Korean Lee Hyung-Taik and Thai, Danai Udomchoke who do not received much tv coverage.

Jun 23, 2005

SPM is not a record-breaking ground

I'm totally agree with V.K. Chin's comment in The Star today. It is definitely the time to give scholarships to those who do well in STPM and who have been offered places at local and foreign universities. It is time for us to recognise STPM instead of focusing and giving all the credits at SPM level.

Each year we generate a long list of students who score strings of As (and not to mention the increase of passing rates in almost all subjects). And each year, we can also expect students breaking records with the most number of As. I was wondering since when we have turned SPM into a record-breaking event. Perhaps early next year, we are going to witness another great story about our SPM 2005 top scorer who strikes 18As or more.

Jun 22, 2005

wimbledon 2005 (day 2)

Justine Henin-Hardenne crashed out in the first round! She's the hot favourite after winning the French Open just a month ago and she lost to a 76 ranked Greek player, Eleni Daniilidou in a tough 3 matches.

Defending champion, Maria Sharapova has no problem in the first round. With an easy win of 6-2, 6-2 against Spaniard Llagostera Vives, Sharapova is going to play against 15 year-old Sesil Karatancheva who beats Mauresmo in the French Open. So, this is going to be an exciting match. It's going to be the battle of the teenagers. However, with the confidence and crowd support, I believe Sharapova is going to pull it off in the second round.

On the other hand, Rafael Nadal is keeping his Wimbledon title dream alive. The grasscourt might not be his best surface but should he win here, he's going to be the first man to take the Roland Garros-Wimbledon double in the same year since tennis great Bjorn Borg. Keep an eye on this guy.

TIm Henman, the crowd favourite, managed to squeeze through the first round after playing five sets in a three and a half hours match against J. Nieminen. With the crowd support, he overcomes the first two sets defeat and ended with a win and standing ovation from his homeground fans.

tak nak wristband ala livestrong wristband

Finally I've got my own LIVESTRONG wristband.

The purpose of the yellow wristbands is to help people around the world who are living with cancer. You constantly see celebrities, sportsmen and even politicians supporting this good cause by wearing the same $1 wristbands.

There are many types of wristbands nowadays. You have the Tsunami Relief, Stand Up Speak Up Anti Racism, Kylie Breast Cancer Awareness, etc.

So I suggest we do the same for Tak Nak campaign as well. Our local celebrities and politicians can support this cause and create awareness to curb smoking. With the price as cheap as RM1 for a red colour silicone wristband (with the words TAK NAK embossed on the wristband), we can make this campaign a success. It's hip and appealing for youngsters.

Then we can create another wristband for patriotism. Perhaps this time a multi-coloured one (yellow, blue, white and red) with the word MALAYSIABOLEH embossed on the wristband. I'm sure we can sell thousands during our Merdeka celebration. At least this way of showing patriotism is more acceptable than singing Negaraku in the cinema.

Jun 21, 2005

wimbledon 2005 (day 1)

I'm all excited! Nothing is better than a Grand Slam Championships on lawn court.

Roger Federer is all up to defend his men's title with the first round win over Paul-Henri Mathieu. Other favourites such as Hewitt, Davydenko, Safin also done pretty well in the first round.

Poor Paradorn Srichaphan, the once highly celebrated Thai player, played so badly against Safin losing in straight sets. It is a bit disappointing because his games completely slumped this year.

On the ladies' singles, favourites like Davenport, Clijsters and Mauresmo played fantastic games to move comfortably into the second round.

The games to watch out today are definitely involving Rafael Nadal (the French Open champ), Maria Sharapova (the defending champion), Andy Roddick, Justine Henin-Hardenne and Serena Williams. Crowd favourite, Tim Henman is going to play his first round today as well later in the evening.

My prediction for today's matches (Round 1): All top favourites will safely go into the second round.

Jun 20, 2005

the propaganda behind Putera UMNO

Yesterday, our PM launched PUTERA UMNO in Malacca. The person behind this idea is none other than the head of PEMUDA himself, Datuk Hishamuddin. So why there is PUTERA when there's already PEMUDA in the first place? Probably it's because these guys doesn't want to lost out to WANITA and PUTERI UMNO.

PUTERA is for young men aged between 18-25. The purpose of PUTERA is to encourage young people to involve themselves in healthy activities through association. Come to think of it again, PUTERA is political based and most of these young men are still studying in in colleges or universities. There are many positive activities these young men can relate themselves to such as PALAPES, Rakan Muda, etc, but why politics? I thought students are not supposed to involve themselves in politics especially with the opposition parties? And now the government is promoting PUTERA. Isn't it contradicting?

(*HCFoo is a supporter of the government, though)

Jun 19, 2005

STPM losing it's value

Recently there's a lot of debates about the transparency and credibility of PSD. So, I'm not going to talk about that issue but rather discuss on the quality of SPM and what is the value of STPM.

Each year the Minister of Education will announce good news on how students improve in almost all the subjects. We all know how the scoring system works. And each year, we will read in the paper how students breaking records by scoring strings of As. I'm not sure if this is only happening in our country. Probably in the coming years, we will have a top SPM scorer achieving 20As. It's not impossible, really.

Although STPM is known as one of the toughest examination in the world, I really believe that it's losing it's value in our very own country. We emphasize too much on SPM and life after that which is going to college or doing matriculation. In the end, STPM is like the last choice.

It is the time for the Ministry of Education to uphold the standard of STPM. Instead of focusing on SPM students and its problems each year, PSD should emphasize on STPM high achievers by increasing their chances of getting scholarships. PSD should make it necessary for their scholars to have a better foundation through STPM before sending them off to overseas. STPM students are more mature thinkers and have better understanding of their dream career. An extra 2 years of studies do make a lot of difference in a person character. After all, PSD is not only looking for high achiever but someone who's a well-rounder with good personality.
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