Sunday, September 28, 2008

Kids' Play

Little boy playing with his little uncles and aunties.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Joke of the day

Egg heads?

Report lodged against Teresa Kok for insulting egg.

So... if people say UMNO folks are stupid like pigs, you're gonna lodge a police report against them for insulting pigs?

Oh no, I forgot. You use ISA to lock them up, coz they raise sensitive issues that threaten national security and insult the religion of Peace.

Thanks for the good laugh folks. Hahaha...

Foochow food for chow

Based on recommendations of Auntie Liz, I seached out for this stall since I happen to be in town.

The stall is tucked in a hawker center right in the middle of Asia City. It's the only stall still in business in the area, while it's neighbours have all bungkus. A testament of good food and strong Foochow support? Well, it was about 1.30 pm, and they have sold out their ko-lo-mee 干捞面 and ding-bian-hu 鼎边糊. What a shame, they've been around for 2 years and only now I found them. So I came, I saw, I ate.

An elderly couple runs the stall. Nice people. REAL Foochow folks, proudly showed me their authentic Foochow rice noodles flown in all the way from Sibu. Oh yes, Sibu, the land of Tings and Lings, Methodist pastors and shrewd businessmen.

Have you seen or eaten rice noodles like this before? Hehehe... it's called bai-kuo-gan 白果干. I once bought a dry pack but didn't know how to cook it. Real good stuff. Thick and tasty broth, made even better with pig liver slices.

They also serve traditional Foochow delicacies like the red wine mee-sua 红酒面线, pig trotters, kam-pua 干拌面 etc. Rest assured that I will be back to savour them.


4 generations.
"'Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may go well with you in the land that the LORD your God is giving you.
Deu 5:16


Little boy buying vegetables in Kundasang.

Naughty boy with 2 other naughty boys, at a hilltop somewhere in Kinabatangan.

Correct thy son, and he shall give thee rest; yea, he shall give delight unto thy soul.
Pro 29:17

Thursday, September 18, 2008

My torches

I am letting go of my diving torches. They have joined me in the trip to Sipadan in 2003, and that was it. Since then they have not seen daylight, till now.

We had a great trip to Sipadan then, led by the O&G Boss Dr. Soon Ruey. After that I've been working in the interior, far away from the sea. Now that I am back, and Dr. Soon is still organizing diving trips, the temptation to do SCUBA struck again. The deep blue sea, the schools of fish, the mesmerizing corals, the camaraderie...

Nah, I am not going back to SCUBA. It's too expensive a hobby for my small salary. A dive trip easily goes above RM 1000. I would prefer to save that money to get a dSLR and into photography, where I may actually make some money out of it, ehem ehem.

The main problem is, when I go for diving trips, I enjoy the food more than the dives. Those humongous and succulent prawns and squids that we ate in Sipadan still bring back great memories. So much so that when I dive, besides admiring the sea creatures' beauty, I imagine how delicious they would taste on the dinner plate.

So, I am letting go of my dive torches, the only diving stuffs that I've accumulated.

Any takers?

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Back from Biro Tatanegara

I am back from the BTN.

The 5-day-4-night course was called Kursus Kenegaraan. It was held at the Kem Bina Negara in Kundasang.

Before I elaborate any furthur, let me ask you, which resort in Kundasang has the BEST view of Mount Kinabalu and its surroundings? I hear you say Perkasa Hotel? NOOOooo... it's the Kem Bina Negara! Whatever said about the government, they got the best piece of hilltop land in Kundasang. It is a shame that our handphones/cameras were kept away during the camp. Otherwise I could've shown you the breathtaking sunrise which still have me in awe.

Here's the KBN from far. My first impression was: wow what a resort!

As you approach the front gate, you will say, dang why have I been staying in Perkasa, Pine Resort, Zen Garden etc all this while.

You will see the Malaysia and Sabah flags everywhere in it's compound, flapping away with the mountain breeze.

Parking space is very limited. So we had to park along half of the road. The building on the right, is the...

Mosque. And staff quarters furthur down the road.

The first afternoon we had camp registration. There were altogether 109 participants. We were divided into 11 groups. Mostly teachers, some senior ones but mainly fresh grads from teaching colleges; and a handful of nurses. In the night, we were given an overview of the programme, and the first lecture. 3 more lectures on the following day, and it's group activities each morning, afternoon and night. Latihan Dalam Kumpulan, or LDK in short.

"Yeh yeh I am done with BTN."

The KBN complex. On the left is the admin office, in the middle is the marching ground, and on the right is the main hall.

The admin office.

The marching ground, which overlooks Mount Kinabalu with all its magnificence. At sunrise, you get a clear view of the peaks, before the clouds move in and hide them away for the rest of the day.

Our typical time table is: Muslims wake up at 4am for sahur followed by some talks in the mosque, the rest wake up at about 5.30 am. 6.15 am, a brief session of singing the national anthem, marching and some morning exercise. Breakfast after that. 2 slots in the morning for lecture or LDK; then lunch for the non-Muslims and uzur Muslims; another 2 slots in the afternoon. More activities in the evening, e.g. 2 km run, fitness tests, rappeling, aerobics... Dinner at about 7 pm. The night slot at 8.30 pm. Oh i forgot to mention morning and evening tea breaks. Overall the spacing of programs is just right, lots of spare time in between.

On the final morning, we had an exam. Then we had Kembara, which is usually a 2 hour walk thru the jungle. But it was toned down due to the fasting month. So we had just some light activities, and my Adidas Kampung was not called for duty.

This big hall is where we had the lectures and exam.

Nice LDK meeting rooms.

Some groups had their LDKs in glass huts like this, which is really cool. It converts into a gas chamber when smokers congregate to have their puffs.

Here's the makan place.

Have to wash your own stuffs after each meal. But since they're using metal trays, the cleaning is easy. And what is there to complain when you have such a great view to feast your eyes with while doing the chore.

Did I mentioned that they kept our handphones and cameras away? Here's why.

Makes you wonder why. But, as you can see, with all the photos splashing over this blog entry, rules are meant to be bent, with good reasons. Actually they allowed us to take photos on the last day, when our stuffs were returned. Must take some gambar kenangan ma.

They even built a tower for rappeling activity. Thank you folks for all your tax money.

OK now we move on to the accomodation.

Wonderful landscaping everywhere.

Even comes with a rock garden.

Bad thing is, rooms are very cramped. No choice, if you intend to house up to 200 hundred people in such a premier piece of land.

Sometimes they organise courses for people in high positions. In the likes of Badawi and Musa Aman. Even the TYT stayed here before. Can you imagine them sleeping on those double decker blues? Neither can I.

They get to stay in VIP apartments like these.

There are 4 of them. The better ones come with a garden...
... and a stunning view.

You still with me?

Officially, the BTN's role is to "explain the truth about our country, its history, government and policies to the people". "Many people are ignorant about the country's founding history and the Social Contract, that's why so many problems these days". The final aim is to promote national unity and maintain the country's peace and sovereignity.

They say, the Malacca Malay Sultanate was a great kingdom to the envy of the Western world. So, they came, they saw, and they conquered. And we fell into the hands of oppressors for 446 years, and suffered under the Portuguese, the Dutch, the British, the Japanese, and the British again. During those times, the Malays lost their maruah and their land. Then we were reminded of Malay heroes who fought the British colonials. After the Japanese occupation, the country, under the leadership of Tunku Abdul Rahman, formed a pact with the MCA Chinese and MIC Indians to form Parti Perikatan and convinced the British to give us independance. The pact, so-called Social Contract, is that the Malays give the Chinese and Indians citizenship, getting in return 4 items: Islam as the official religion, Malay language as the official language, Malay special rights (the actual word in the Constitution is "position"), and power of the Rulers. The Social Contract is not a document but we can believe that it exists by deducing from what is written in the Constitution about the above 4 items.

And all will be well if we follow the Social Contract, then there will be peace and harmony. Equal rights is unconstitutional. Our country is doing fine, see how we are better than other SEA nations and Islamic countries.

The country is facing many threats from within and abroad. These include the Jemaah Islamiah, Kumpulan Militan Malaysia, deviant teachings (Malays), Suqiu (Chinese), and HINDRAF (Indians). Threats from outside are: the bad Americans who staged 9-11 by having a CIA agent appearing as Osama BinLaden, the bad Singaporeans who are in fact America's tools, the bad Zionists who controls the world economy and kill Muslims in Palestine, the bad Chinese with their Communism, and the bad terrorists from the Phillipines.

The country is in chaos now due to the above, in addition to Anwar being an American agent influenced by the Zionist, politicians like Lim Kit Siang and Karpal Singh who want to abolish Malay rights, bloggers, racial extremists like the Chinese Education Movement and some MCA leaders, who may be Communist agents; and street trouble-makers HINDRAF, BERSIH who allow themselves to be tools of the American and Zionist agenda.

And the solution to the above problems is: do not question the Social Contract, do not touch the Malay rights. The Malays have sacrificed a lot, and the non-Malays are forever indebted to the Malays. The Malays are tuan of this land, they have allowed the Chinese and Indians to tumpang here and do bisnes, and who eventually became more greedy and powerful, and wanting to sideline the tuan. Believe that the government is doing the right thing, support whatever government policies, and reject the trouble makers. Otherwise we will ruled again by oppressors, like in Iraq and Palestine. Or the May 13 bloodshed will repeat itself.

There you got it. 5 days of course content in 5 paragraphs.

What have I learned? The most important lesson is, I am actually a PBS member. Persatuan Bini Sabah.


The most important lesson is, I see the mentality of our UMNO government today. Seriously, you believe we have a Barisan Nasional government? (Our facilitator said: "the Malays as tuans have allocated electorate seats to the non-Malays, when in fact they don't need the non-Malay MPs to win the election. See how kind are the Malays"). BTN is under the Prime Minister's Department (of which Bernard Dompok is a minister), therefore its content and publications are endorsed by the Big Boss.

Secondly, I learned that to do good propaganda, you need to be trained in mind-manipulating skills. These include: conquering the mind by eloquent rhetorics, telling only one side of the story and overwhelming your audience with lots of appropriate "facts", "statistics", and photos, and whatever supporting arguments. Then reinforce it by keep repeating it, as if it is the only thing that matters. Then capture their emotion by having a touching video clip, and songs to go along. And while doing all these, impress your audience that you are a nice and harmless fella, a learned guy just wanting to tell the truth and save the lost. Hey, have you watched Wag the Dog?

Thirdly, what you see and believe to be truth may not be truth actually. We may all be victims of expert mind-manipulators who work so subtly that we do not even realise it. So "believe the government is great and doing all the right things for the country's benefit."

Each group was assigned a facilitator, a.k.a. "fasi", who conducts the 2-hour LDK slots. The fasi will start the session with a game, which will then lead to him summarising the lessons learned from the game, and then reinforcing the Social Contract theme, and how-much-the-Malays-have-sacrificed, the-non-Malays-invading-Malay-rights, be-grateful, nation-under-threat, you get the flow.

Some group had lively sessions with their fasi. Our group had a fasi who spoke very softly and slowly. He had his opinions, but we were given time to ask question, since his role is "to explain the truth". I find that his opinions are often biased and lop-sided, sometimes downright stereotyping and making sweeping statements. And I told him so. My group members are mostly bored; being peace-loving Sabahans, not participating much in political talks. Heard that other groups had more fiery exchanges.

"Orang Melayu dan Bumiputera adalah tuan tanah. Orang Cina dan India yang dibenarkan tinggal dan bisnes, telah menjadi kuat dan mahu meminta macam-macam hak tuan tanah." My take: That irresponsible statement will only result in the races being suspicious of one another. The society today does not fit into his Malay vs Chinese/Indian mould. We have mix parentage children, and many more imported races. The scenario today is more like the elite Malay/Chinese/Indians robbing from the poor folks of all races.

"Orang Melayu dan Bumiputera sama saja." Malaysian Malay is defined by Articla 160 of the Malaysian Constitution as someone born to a Malaysian citizen who professes to be a Muslim, habitually speaks the Malay language, adheres to Malay custom, and is domiciled in Malaysia or Singapore. So you have wrongly lumped the non-Muslim Bumis into the Malay group.

"Melayu adalah orang yang keturunan dari Malay Archipelago." Going by that reasoning, it is easy to rationalise that offsprings to immigrants of Phillipine and Indonesia deserve more rights than the Chinese and Indians who toiled here all these years. Patut lah.

"Perkara-perkara dalam Perlembagaan tidak boleh dibincangkan. Ini termasuk hak orang Melayu." The Constitution states Malay "position", not rights. The Constitution only gives an outline, and there is need for more discussion to determine the specifics of what constitutes Malay rights. Don't forget that Mahathir initiated amendments to the Malay Ruler's rights through Parliament.

"UNITAR membawa masuk ramai pensyarah dari China, yang membawa dengan mereka fahaman Komunis. Apa tujuannya? Apa gunanya belajar sejarah China?"

"Malaysia adalah sebuah negara Islam."

"DAP mahu menghapuskan hak istimewa orang Melayu. Suqiu adalah tuntutan orang Cina untuk merampas hak orang Melayu."

"Kerajaan tidak dapat menggubal dasar kerana tiada 2/3 majoriti. Rakyat yang susah juga." So we should blame the rakyat for supporting the Opposition?

You intepret yourself la. There is no mention of the contributions of the other races. Things like integrity, corruption, leaders' wrongdoings, transparency... are not given much attention. No mention of Malaysia Day even on 16th Sep.

To be fair, the BTN facilitators are OK la. They have their opinions which they try to convince you. But they don't force it upon you in a rude manner. The encourage you to do you own research and evaluate things objectively. The staffs at the camp are a great bunch of folks who are very respectful and jovial. They make the camp shine. People like Pak Ramli, Pak Sabar. The unfortunate thing is, the whole team of fasi and staff are from one religion only, which doesn't seem quite in line with their "national unity" agenda.

Food is fine. The place is well-maintained and the ambience is just great.

And all the above is my personal bias opinion only. So don't tangkap me under ISA.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

A didas

GOOD news: the Three Stripes have reached the shores of Sabah. They've opened an outlet in the largest hypermall in Borneo: OneBorneo.

BAD news: my pair of Three Stripes have been killed by the Trans-Kalimantan trek a couple of years ago, where we walked deep into the interiors of Pensiangan, across the Kalimantan border, over into Indonesia, and back.

GOOD news that came out of BAD news: I've got good excuse to get another pair of Three Stripes. Yeah!

And I got them today!!!

I need a new pair to go for BTN. They said got some outdoor activities, which will kill shoes especially with the rainy season in Sabah.

These famous shoes have long adorned the feet of those who trekked the muddy paths of interior Sabah and the hilly terrains of the Kalimantan forests. The are rugged, tough, water-proof, dirt-proof, leech-proof, washable, durable, and in extreme situations, disposable.

And I am proud to own a part of such fine lineage.

They are not easy to find, you know. You won't be able to find them in your regular footwear shops. Coz they're in a totally different class from the Camels, the Hush Puppies, even the Nikes.

My pair comes with a 3-figure price tag, RM 5xx.

Little boy can't wait to try out my new shoes. Jealous ler.

My proud pair of Adidas kampung. Costs me RM 5.80.

All ready to go.

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him who brings good news, who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness, who publishes salvation, who says to Zion, "Your God reigns." Isaiah 52:7

Fists of fury

My sister SMSed to say that it's hot in the Pulau. RPK calls it Mad Cow Disease in Penang.

No wonder. Now you see it.

Now you don't.

Guess it's not too much to say, wherever there is THAT race-based party, there will be racism, arrogance, and hatred.

An isolated incident? Don't think so. All 13 divisions in the Pulau supported the antics. And his flip-flop Big Boss gave silent approval. Now imagine if it's a Cina-kui or India-kui tearing apart a photo of the Big Boss, do you think there will be such good treatment? Man, you can be assured to see the "pantang dicabar" folks going berserk, threatening to wipe off the lain-lain from their Tanah Melayu. Makes you wonder how did the Religion of Peace produce so many rotten apples in one Pulau. Holy month some more.

Padan muka, that specky guy who got torn, and his kuncu-kuncu.

Wonder how come Sabahans still support such people in full force. Sigh. By the way, it's been raining every day in the Land Below the Wind.

1Co 13:13 ... and the greatest of these is love.

Disclamer: photos curi from HERE.

Little boy's Amah

Little boy's grandma came over to see little boy over the weekend. And as usual, he gets lots of toys and new clothings. Too manja already.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


I am going to BTN.

Dunno what's BTN? Well, if you're in the govt sector, you're bound to hear about it sooner or later. Never attend BTN, cannot naik pangkat or naik gaji.

Otherwise, you may read about BTN HERE. It's hot news.

It's gonna be in Kundasang (nice mountain air there yeh yeh). 12th-16th Sep. Got to know about it from the website. The letter was sent on 2nd, yet to reach me. Aren't you amazed at how 'last minute' the govt agencies function?
Not sure whether they're really having it, since it's the fasting month. I heard that Muslims should not be promoting unholy things, e.g. racism, cronysm, corruption, religious hatred... during the holy month of Ramadhan. So I called up to check.

Yes it's on. "Memang ada. Cuma tak ada aktiviti lasak." Good la, can sleep.

But it's public holiday in Sabah la, Malaysia Day lagi. "Memang on jugak". Maybe Malaysia Day is not so important to West Malaysians. For all you know, it may turn out to be "Change Government Day" if the guy wasn't lying.

Fine, I shall offer myself to be indoctrinated. Come take me, folks. I've been brainwashed enough by Malaysia Today and Pakatan Rakyat.