Wednesday, November 22, 2006


That's another of Da Vinci's Code for you... hehehe...

My church friend uncle Danny has been blogging about Personality Types these days. Reminded me of my initial excitement when doing one of those tests so so long ago, and the surprise in finding out that some of those descriptions about my Personality Type were pretty accurate, even those that I never gave any thought about.

According to Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, I am an INFJ.

A snapshot of an INFJ...

Seek meaning and connection in ideas, relationships, and material possessions. Want to understand what motivates people and are insightful about others. Conscientious and committed to their firm values. Develop a clear vision about how best to serve the common good. Organized and decisive in implementing their vision.

Ahhh... no wonder Michael is so wierd. I hear you say that!

Shall blog more about INFJ another time.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Some feedbacks to the recent "Amok" General Assembly.

*quoted from the articles by their original authors.

Feedback 1

The MCA Youth leader’s statement that even the opposition has not been as poisonous with their words compared to the racist remarks spewed by the Umno delegates, sums it all. The noticeable difference was in the Wanita and Puteri Wings, both focusing their attention on more relevant issues, displaying a characteristic level of maturity sorely lacking in the men.

The various scenes played out at the Umno general assembly at least confirmed that the non-Malays have been duped for a very long time. The delegates did not show a shred of evidence that the government’s figure of 21.8 percent for the bumi equity share in Bursa Malaysia is right. To the contrary, their sarcasm and racial overtones seemed to mean ‘Yes, we have achieved it, so what?’ Even more arrogant was Khairy Jamalludin’s remarks in saying the bumi equity share should be raised to 70 percent and dared the non-Malays to question it.

Feedback 2

I realise that while many of the delegates have good oratory skills, none of them was a true Malaysian at heart, one who cares for the country more then individual pursuits. A rational, sensible and one who is a Malaysian at heart is what is needed in this country. One who fights for all, who eradicates poverty amongst all Malaysians, who uplifts Malaysians of all colours and creed and who makes this country a safe haven for all Malaysians.

Honestly, should we still support the "Amok" Party after all the humiliation hurled at us? I just wonder what is wrong with their upbringing that made them harbour such hatred towards their very own countrymen. Imagine these people becoming policy makers... we seriously need to pray for this country.

Mr A used to be one of them. Now he has spoken more sensibly, since he's out of the "Amok" Party. Just hope that he is really sincere.

Feedback 3

The Umno general assembly was supposed to be an arena to raise issues that would help develop good economic polices. That did not happen. Granted, the economy is sluggish. But instead of debating on the matter, racial sentiments are blown as though our economic problems are caused by the non-Malays, in particular the Chinese.

I believe, the vast majority of Malays now begin to understand that the New Economic Policy is now becoming a gimmick for those in power in Umno to virtually rob wealth opportunities for themselves, their families and their cronies.

We also here to defend the rights of the Chinese, the Indians, the Ibans and the Kadazans as Malaysians.

I would openly challenge them to rationally debate this issue based on facts. Not based on racist propaganda. If anyone were to come and tell me, ‘Anwar, we are not ready to talk about a Malaysian agenda’, I would tell them that we have been independent for the last half a century. If you are not ready, you are not competent, you have to resign.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

And so I travel

If you who know me personally, you would know of my love for travelling.

If you are trying to picture me nicely dressed, lugging a big luggage and a flashing a shiny compact digicam, in the company of a big group of middle-age uncles and aunties, listening to the tour-leader announcing well-rehearsed lines over the loudspeaker... gosh you're dead wrong. Those folks are tourists, not travellers.

By travelling I mean roughing it out: donning light-weight used cloths meant for getting dirtied, carrying all my entire provisions in a haversack upon my back and a daypack in front, flipping through a Lonely Planet travel guide, glancing at the train/bus schedule and making choices, brushing shoulders with the locals, savouring a local dish in a not-so-savoury roadside stall, chosing backpackers' lodges over nice hotels... that's more like it.

I have 'done' 8 weeks in Nepal (a dream came true!), 6 weeks trans-China, 1 week in Laos/North Thailand. Read about those old stories in My Old n Dusty Website if you are interested. I've had the opportunity to step foot in every state in Malaysia; I've explored the highlands of Sarawak and trekked the Kalimantan forests. I think I've travelled more of Sabah/Sarawak than most Sabahans/Sarawakians. That may not sound much to you, but given my circumstances I would say that's quite OK.

Recently I've been trying to figure out what is it in travelling that got me so passionate and excited about.

I think, it's the challenge to stretch my abilities that made travelling so attractive.

In planning a travel itinerary, I learn to access to information and travel tips, via guidebooks, online travel forums and word of mouth. I learn to establish contacts and set up a networking of some sort. I need to set priorities in terms of time spent in each place, to budget my expenditure, to compare the lodging options, modes of transports...

I learn to categorise my stuffs into essentials (that I must bring along no matter what), nice-to-haves, might-needs (that I can get on the field), and will-not-needs (don't bring!). Well you too would need to think like that if your haversack has only that much capacity and your shoulders could only manage that much weight.

On field, I enjoy the feeling of having full control over my itinerary; while having little control over unexpected change of events, be it a cancelled flight, bus break-downs, illnesses, getting lost... I find exhilaration in taking such surprises head-on, working out solutions within limited time-frame and resources, and enjoying the new discoveries that come along. Call me a last-minute person if you like. The traveller's mantra is: Expected the Unexpected.

I enjoy being among the local people in their natural setting. I love immersing myself in a new culture foreign to mine. My style of travelling enables, or rather forces me to communicate and seek help from locals and fellow travellers. I love to see the surprised/impressed looks of the locals when I speak in their native tongue. In fact, I spoke pretty decent Nepali during my 8-week stint there. Those were the days. :-) I learn to blend into cross cultural settings, to observe and admire things that make those cultures unique.

Encounters with kind people are often the most memorable highlights in all my adventures. I remember the kind peasant girl that offered me a jug of cool water when I was on the brink of heatstroke and lost in the Nepali mountains... I remember the gracious new-found-friends in Xinjiang China that opened their homes to me and my travel partner...

The many lessons I gained through travelling enables me to adapt to whatever surroundings or situations I am in, and to draw upon whatever resources available, to modify to innovate to recreate... whatever it takes to be efficient and effective.

It teaches me to differentiate my needs from my wants; and to realise that one does not need lots of possessions to get on with life. I learn to live with little, and be content with it.

In my meeting with people from different cultures and backgrounds, I learn to appreciate what we have in common rather than harping on our differences. I learn to look beyond nationality, race, religion and social status... to find a person, a human being just like me.

Even while I am all alone in a foreign setting, far away from friends and family, I find comfort in knowing that I have my God as company.

I learn to live outside my comfort zone; I learn to explore, to discover, and to enjoy the new things I come across while taking the less travelled route.

And so, I travel.

Where's next?

What is God preparing me for?

Friday, November 17, 2006

Money no enough

Many people that I know of are finding more ways to make $$$ these days.

I've got some friends in the hospital playing SwissCash, a high-risk high-yield internet investment scheme. Not too long ago, it was direct sales for XKL SkyFruit, Moringa, Cosway and Avon.

A very bright ex-classmate of mine, an electrical engineer, is now becoming an investment guru. He has set up a blog to provide financial/investment tips for newbies. Visit his Kaching (Not a Hokkien word. It's the sweet sound of the cash register) blog HERE if you are looking for something like Finance/Investment for Dummies.

The hospital has not been paying my allowances for the past few months already. Next month I'll be eating sand.


Interrogated by Special Branch

I was called for interrogation by the Special Branch police!

They wanted to send me for summer camp in Kamunting !!!


No la. Just joking. I don't qualify for Kamunting la.

It was a friendly chat with the Special Branch guys in Keningau. A cordial get-to-know-you meeting with a smartly dressed officer with necktie in the local Balai. He wanted to know more about the Christmas Dinner (Feast would be a better word) that we are organising next month, a joint effort by the Anglican, Basel and Methodist churches.

Large group meetings are treated with much caution nowadays. Has to clear the CID (the officer asked 'nothing about politics hor?') first, then the SB, then the OCPD, then only they issue the permit.

Last year I got it through with just a simple letter.

Like the Old Man said, Malaysia turning into a police state? Hehehe...

LifeStrings from Singapore

We rushed back from KK after the meeting, coz... the LifeStrings are in town!

The 8 members from LifeStrings Singapore partnered a Taiwanese singer and they are on a musical outreach tour in Sabah.

It is not everyday that you get international artistes performing in this little town of Keningau.

Here they are.

The turnout was a bit disappointing though. Maybe we did not do enough publicity.

Here's the Taiwanese singer.

In contrast to the secular music industry where gorgeous looks and great figures outweight everything else (with rare exceptions of emmmm Sharifah Aini), I find this chubby lady really cute. Gosh she was smiling from ear to ear throughout the concert! And she was so enthusiastic in her singing and her moves that you feel like wanting to join her on stage. I suspect she is full of joy inside her.

This guy told us that he is suffering from liver cirrhosis (pronounced as sea-roses). Far from a bed of roses, it means a disease of progressive hardening of the liver with much increased risk of becoming liver cancer. You would think that somebody like this would be living in fear of death, blaming the world, and grumpy and demanding while counting his final days. Goodness NO! He was on stage sharing his life story, encouraging us to make our living days worthwhile, and singing the message of the love of God!

It was an amazing concert. The songs were great, the testimonies were touching, and their passion was infectious.

If only they would come again next year, we would gather a bigger crowd.

I bought 4 CDs (original leh)... and burned a big hole in my wallet. Emm... once in a while ma.

The meeting

We were in KK for the Sabah Methodist Church AGM.

Here's the very beautiful meeting location. But the seats ah... well, imagine sitting on those benches from morning till evening.

Bishop Hwa Yung gave the opening address. I think he flew all the way from West Malaysia for this meeting. He gave an inspiring sermon, setting the right mood for the AGM.

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
John 13:34,35

Some salient points...

  1. Loving one another is not a new command. What is new is the second part... "as I have loved you".
  2. How does Jesus loves? Here are two examples:
    He showed servanthood and utmost humility. After that he poureth water into a basin, and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel wherewith he was girded. John 13:5
    He died for the ones he loved, and that includes you and me. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13
  3. The most effective way of evangelism is when people see the genuine love among Christians, and find it much more attractive than what the world offers.
  4. Such love is always costly. It cost Jesus his life.
  5. Servanthood means doing things that nobody wants to do, but needs to be done.
  6. Christians should focus more on "being" (the right kind of person) rather than just "doing" (the right things).
  7. Love among Christians and unity in the church is something very close to Jesus' heart, so much so that he was praying for that even when approaching his death. That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us...John 17:21

Before you point your fingers at me, I shall confess myself that I am way way far from that ideal.

The AGM was also an important day for the many Methodist pastors in Sabah. It was their day of ordination!

Junior and senior pastors singing a hymn. Do you recognise anybody there?

The pastor from Keningau also received his naik pangkat. According to the Methodist hierarchy, one has to accumulate a certain years of experience to rise in rank, and in doing so gets a new title and more areas of empowerment.

Pastor Ai Hua became a Reverend Pastor Ai Hua.

In closing, the Bishop gave the pastors some words of wisdom...

"Being a pastor does not mean that you are perfect, or even near perfection. You have made mistakes in the past, and you will continue to make mistakes in the future. However, the church members will be willing to forgive you and overlook your mistakes, if you do these three things... Firstly, you must live a good spiritual life with much emphasis on reading the Bible and praying. Secondly, you must work hard. Thirdly, you must show that you truly love your church members."

One thing that I am really impressed with the Methodist people, is that they are so systematic in their administration. There are precise rules and protocols for almost everything. Even the words to pray are printed in full text to be read together as a congregation, wow! Some may say it's too rigid, lacking room for creativity and "as the Holy Spirit leads" thingy. Well, if you look at the bright side, it saves the trouble of learning from mistakes which can sometimes be disastrous. It certainly saves lots of time, money and energy coz one does not have to start from scratch to reinvent the wheel all the time.

A trip to Kota Kinabalu

Immediately after my 3 EODs (I believe you have learned that terminology by now) in-a-row, I made a trip to Kota Kinabalu with two friends. We had to leave Keningau at 5.30 am, coz we need to catch a meeting at 8.30 am in KK. Well my usual record time is 2 hours, but our driver was going at 60 kph... so, had to leave early la. Not to mention the traffic jam in KK (hey, KK also got jam one la).

Why didn't you guys leave a day earlier, you may ask. I was still working la... how?

Since I didn't have to drive, and I could not sleep in the van, I took the rare opportunity to admire the scenery as dawn unfolds. And yes, capture a couple of pics along the way.

Thursday, November 09, 2006


What is that? Another of Da Vinci's Code?

Na... I would much rather have an EOS than an EOD anytime.

First, you need to know what on-call means. It means, besides doing my day-to-day 8-to-5 job (finish seeing patients in the ward, finish seeing patients in the clinic, finish the surgeries on an operating day), I shall ensure that my handphone is turned on at all times (24 hours and beyond) to receive phone calls for referrals from health clinics, peripheral hospitals, my own hospital, the wards, anywhere. And yes that include meal times, bath and s*it times, sleep times...

Recently a colleague went back to India for one-month's leave, and another colleague took 2 weeks Cuti Raya, we were left with 2 people doing 4 people's job. And helloooo, ladies here do not stop giving birth just because you have 2 people, and they ain't gonna wait till Hari Raya is over. They will give birth, or get into trouble, NOW.

So, EOD becomes the in-thing. It means... (drum roll)... Every Other Day on call.

My schedule is like... seeing all the patients in the ward, sit in the Labour Room and getting referrals for ladies with problems, while keeping a watchful eye on screaming ladies enduring the beranak routine, in case someone needs a cut to speed up the process. And also, anticipating (sic) calls from health clinic or peripheral hospitals saying "hi we wanna send to you so and so, she's having so and so problem, thanks and bye.". Roger and out.

The merciless ladies don't spare you even in the wee hours. Silent Night is truly a luxury to be yearned for, even though Christmas is still a month away. I am quite sure The Beatles sang "It's been a hard... day's... night..., and I've been working... like a doc..."

Enough talk about having interupted sleep and getting up and about (measured in speed of regaining consciousnous and sanity, i.e. 0-100 in x seconds) a few times over the night. And while you give a breath of relieve that dawn has finally arrived (remember the oldie Morning Has Broken...), another day of work begins. Well, it's either seeing patients in the clinic, or doing surgeries in the OT. Things just start to get more interesting... ever seen surgeons operating with blurry eyes and cloudy minds? Hehe, just be glad that he's rightfully cutting the umbilical cord and not the baby boy's ahem... ahem... ahem... pride. They're located quite close together you know.

And the vicious cycle repeats itself the following day.
And another cycle the following day.
And the following day.

We show off our stamina by boasting to our colleagues... "wa, you EOD only 4 times ah, I kena 5 times in a row leh! Geng or not!".

Did I mention about the guilt of not spending enough time with your loupo or gf, not spending enough time with your parents, not drinking enough teh-tarik with your buddies; the pastor wondering why you are ponteng-ing church, the Boss waiting for you to spend quiet time with Him.

Probably that explains why medical staffs have a shorter life span, besides the higher suicide rate thingy.

I didn't kena too bad la. Only 4 times during Hari Raya, and 3 times this week. Cannot boast yet.

Hmmm... how on earth did I enrol myself into such hard labour in the first place.

Monday, November 06, 2006

A great speech

I find THIS speech truly great. Really.

Some quotes:

Although the EPU methodologies impacted the lives of every Malaysians in every walk of life, none knows what the methodologies are. Are they fair? Are they outdated? Are they flawed? Nobody knows as it is shrouded in secrecy by the Official Secrets Act. They are told to accept it without question as the EPU is the wise know-all and be-all!

No other country in the world has a policy or would want to associate with a policy which is unchanged for almost two decades which can still claim to be relevant to its citizenry today.

They see a flawed system totally ineffective in redressing the widening disparity between wealth and poverty in the country! They see the rich gets richer while the poor gets poorer!

They see a flawed system encouraging corruption and wastage! They see a flawed system where their hard earned monies go to help the politically connected and not put to good use like education, building roads, subsidizing the cost of petrol!

They see a flawed system devoid of check and balance – a system so porous that it sprung widespread leakages!

They see racial discrimination in everyday life – the award of scholarships, examinations, jobs in Government departments, promotions, Government contracts and myriads of others!

They see more squabbling and jealousy on of the awarding of lucrative contracts to the politically connected and their off-springs. And for them, more is never seem to be enough!

They see a flawed system doomed for globalization. They see a system where Malaysia will be left behind!

They see a flawed system which retards the economic growth of the country!

Do you see too?

Pass this on. And please vote wisely.