Friday, September 29, 2006
Left early morning to KL the next day by train. Went to The School of Acts in KL to visit Jastin... actually it's an excuse to check out what the school is all about la. Jastin is an alumni of TSOA, he did a 6-month intensive course 6 years ago. Now he comes back to his alma mater to get some 'recharging' and 'refreshing' before going back to pastor a church.
The School of Acts is located in an apartment along Jalan Syed Putra. It's a small bible school, offering an intensive 6-month course covering various topics on Christianity, taught by local and overseas speakers. Despite its humble settings, the school attracts students from all over the world! At the moment, there are about 20 students. Jastin said there will be more at night, when the part-time students join in. That morning's session was by Pastor Eiji Mandai of Japan. He spoke wonderful English! He taught an encouraging lesson based on the story of David vs Goliath. After that, the students had song practice for their graduation which is about a month away.
We left in the afternoon. Jastin stayed at the Wisma Belia about 10 minutes walk away. He needed the afternoon to get some rest. I took the Monorail to go walk-walk in Bukit Bintang area and Low Yat Plaza. Checked out the dSLR cameras (my next ahemm... camera upgrade, when got enough $$$) and IT stuffs, bought some ahemm VCDs and DVDs from Low Yat. Soaked an afternoon in the metropolitan lifestyle which I've lost touch with.
Went to Petaling Jaya later in the evening to meet up with my old coursemate Edwin. He and many others are in back in University Malaya for 2 weeks to attend Masters Programme lessons. Yes we're talking about future Surgeons, Physicians, Orthopaedic Surgeons, Anaesthetist, Opthalmologist (so difficult to spell la) here. They are the enviable ones who got through the red tapes and are now in first year Masters Programme. Well, it was only 4 years ago we left uni, people haven't changed much, though some have added a bit to their waistlines.
We went to Paramount Garden for a reunion dinner. Here are the guys, and girl.
We updated each other with the latest gossips and exchanged reminiscence of good old uni days. Had a wonderful 8-course dinner (or was it 7?), with a complete roast-duck included. Didn't have picture of the food though, coz I was busy eating. Hehehe.
Later at night, took a train back to Seremban. Was quite surprised to see the train rather full, considering that it was already 10.30 pm. Ah, people in the city finish work late.
Friday... lepak at home. Went to watch a movie... Miami Vice. Lousy movie, sooooo boring.
Will be going up to PJ again on Saturday morning to attend LensaMalaysia's 1st anniversary celebration. Will be meeting up other online photographers there.
Friday, September 22, 2006
I read with amazement the recent outcry about certain people being 'marginalised' in the state of Penang. And the irony is, those who are leading the calls of 'marginalised' are probably living in big houses and driving luxury cars that most ordinary folks can only dream about.
OK, lets do a quick comparison...
Which people in Malaysia:
- Have a economic policy that gives them huge advantages (if not monopoly) in almost all areas, with all the goodies and handouts legitimised?
- Have the liberty of producing as many offsprings as they want, knowing well that the children will be well taken care of by government (tax payers') money... boarding school, matriculation, college, scholarships?
- Get big discounts on purchasing of properties, regardless whether they are poor or filthy rich?
- Are monopolising top positions of most government agencies and departments, institutions of higher learnings, GLC companies?
- Form the majority of the country's leadership and policy makers?
- Although being the true natives in this country, are still living in jungle huts and left out by the mainstream development?
- Are denied university places and scholarships despite getting top scores in their exams?
- Have to raise their own funds to maintain their schools, due to pathetic funding from the government, and a large portion of those funds being embezzled along the way?
- Work hard but are denied promotions, coz those places are reserved for certain people?
- Most often mentioned when it comes to alcohol addiction, suicide rates, broken families, crimes of desperation?
- Despite being good citizens and diligently paying their taxes, are constantly reminded that they are less rightful than others?
If those who are given so much handouts still have the cheek to say they are being marginalised, it's either they are lazy, ungrateful, incapable... or unendingly greedy... or the lucky ones who have pocketted the handouts are not helping their own needy people.
This is not about race or politics. It's a matter of calling a fact a fact, and calling a lie a lie. Something is seriously wrong, somewhere.
Indonesia and Malaysia "want Singapore, to put it simply, to be like their Chinese -- compliant", said Lee, who was Singapore's prime minister from 1965 to 1990.
"Our neighbours both have problems with their Chinese. They are successful. they are hard-working and therefore they are systemically marginalised," Lee said. [...]
Najib said Malaysia did not marginalise ethnic Chinese or Indians in favour of majority ethnic Malays, who are known as bumiputras (sons of the soil).
"Malaysia does not practise a policy of blocking opportunities for non-bumiputras to progress further," he said.
Just ask anybody with some integrity, it's obvious who is lying. Just makes me amaze how leaders can tell such obvious big lies on newspaper. Hopefully they can refrain a bit during fasting month.
I recall the sad annual scene where high-scoring STPM students are 'rewarded' by rejection from local universities, denied scholarships; while watching undeserving Matric students filling up the uni places, or getting scholarships to go study-cum-travel overseas... and don't need to pay back, don't need to come back lagi.
Read more about it HERE.
Sunday, September 03, 2006
A friend passed away in a horrible car accident two Tuesdays ago. He and two colleagues were travelling in a Land Cruiser wagon towards Nabawan when it hit a truck. Mr Lau, the front passenger was killed on the spot. The two others sustained serious injuries.
Mr Lau leaves behind a wife and 3 schooling children. Both his parents are still around. A brief funeral was held on Thursday early morning, and then the body was sent to KK for burial. Church members held a memorial service at their home on Sunday.
Think of it, life is pretty fragile, isn't it. One can't tell when is his time to move on. There's a saying, 'Coffins are not made for the elderly; they're made for the dead'.
During the memorial service, I asked an uncle (who sells chicken in the market) "so... today didn't open stall ka?". He said, "Got. Closed early. Nowadays just do a bit of business, enough la. Do a lot also, can just go like that anytime". I suppose he meant he would rather spend time doing things he enjoyed or spending time with his family. By the way, he likes to trap birds, go hunting, and cooking roti canai and chicken curry.
Actually I enjoy going to funerals. It makes me face of the reality of life: that no matter how great is one's achievements in this world, the day will come when he lies motionless in a coffin and leaves everything behind. Poor or rich, weak or powerful, they end the same way. Attending a funeral is a humbling experience, reminding me of the vulnerability of life, and that day will come when all things will go to pass.
People buy insurance for many things that MIGHT happen: accidents, loss of income, critical illnesses, permanent disabilities etc, life insurance too. But there's one thing that will DEFINITELY happen, which many people don't consider much about: death. I don't mean the amount of wealth we leave to our loved ones if we say 'goodbye' prematurely. I mean, the finding out of what happens after our death, whether there's judgement day or not, how to opt to go to heaven or hell, how is life after death... things like that. Aren't those too worth spending time to seriously consider and take care of?
As for Mr Lau's family, though mourning over his sudden demise, is rest assured that he has gone to a much better place. There is no need for monks to chant mystical prayers for his safe passage in the after-life, or to burn hell bank notes (as if assuming he's in hell?) to bribe the hell-guards, or whatsoever. Mr Lau has his assurance of heaven well taken care of.
The testimony is this: God has given us eternal life, and this life has its source in his Son. Whoever has the Son has this life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I am writing this to you so that you may know that you have eternal life---you that believe in the Son of God.
Friday, September 01, 2006
If I get good comments over there, I will post them here also la, shy la. Still need to delete the 'not-so-nice-ones' my online gallery, and I haven't uploaded my travel partner (Pstr) Jun's photos. Pretty busy these days, hospital is going for AKREDITASI a week from now.