Monthly Archives: December 2004

Put your right foot in…

As we close the chapter on 2004, let us all approach 2005 on the right footing!

How?

I guess we can all learn some valuable lessons from three young superstar athletes who will not start off the year in a happy mood.

1. Be sober! US swimming teen sensation Michael Phelps was put on a 18-month probation for driving drunk and recklessly on the road. As most people would spend their New Year’s eve drinking, this piece of news is a welcome warning to all!

2. Be disciplined! England and Man United’s temperamental teenage striker Wayne Rooney was slapped a three match suspension today after his costly slap against Bolton’s Tal Ben Haim last Sunday. Another reminder for all of us to control our temper and stay disciplined throughout the raucous celebrations. We don’t want to get caught in any unwanted mess now, would we?..;-)

3. Be alert! The latest NBA phenom, LeBron James turned (only) 20 yesterday with Dikembe Mutombo hand (or elbow rather) delivering a birthday present (during a Cleveland vs Houston match) which sent James to the hospital. So, during the eve celebrations and partying, stay alert and be wary of your surroundings.

Personally, I felt our Malaysian PM made a splendid announcement for everyone to tone down on the New Year 2005 celebrations and mark 1 Jan 2005 as a day or mourning, reflection and prayer in respect of the tsunami tragedy of 26 Dec 2004. It would also be a good time to review what the year has been and ponder on the journeys to be taken in 2005.

Have a great New Year’s Eve everyone, and a greater year ahead! And remember: stay sober, disciplined and alert!

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Number of the Day:

118,000 – Tsunami Death Toll estimate (as of today) after Indonesia clocked in about 80,000 deaths.

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

Tsunami TIDE-ings

Since last Sunday, the whole world has been overtaken by shock and grief over the tsunami catastrophe that hit some major parts of South East Asia, with effects reaching India, Sri Lanka and even the coastlines of Northern Africa. Imagine an earthquake at the sea bed of Sumatra setting off a ripple of tsunamis which has claimed more than 26,000 lives to date. Indeed a sad note to end the year. ;-(

Just wanted to blog down some of my personal observations with regards to these deadly tsunamis:

1. Reading Habits: ВЂSuddenly, newspapers are disappearing off newsstands like never before. I wonder, does it actually take disasters such as these to cultivate good reading habits among the public? Hmmm.

2. Acheh Opens: ВЂPreviously closed to outside aid, the tsunami disaster actually was a blessing in some way as Acheh is now welcoming UN aid for victims.

3. Early Warning: ВЂDoes it actually take 30,000 deaths to alert someone to set up those early warning systems (similar to the ones in the Pacfic) in the Indian Ocean?

4. Water Kills: ВЂShortly after the flood situation in our East Coast, another water disaster in the form of tsunami claims more lives and things. Like in the days of Noah, water once again enhanced its resume as a dangerous killer.

5. Curiosity Kills: ВЂI happened to be in Penang from last Sunday to Tuesday, and it was just an incredible sight in front of Gurney Drive where curious people would just stand along the beachfront, as if awaiting to welcome the next tsunami wave into Penang. Do people take warnings lightly these days?

6. Stocks Tumble: ВЂAlmost every where in the Asia Pacific region. Nuff said.

7. Generous Aids: ВЂDisasters always seem to bring out the biggest giving hearts from all peoples. Hmmm, after all we are still in the season of giving!

8. Rumors: Why do some people like to take advantage of an already sad state to spread more rumors (eg. Bridge closed, tsunami dating!, etc.) and cause more havoc and panic. Sigh.

9. Love Proximities: Suddenly, amidst the tsunami disaster, loved ones, relatives and friends are indirectly brought closer through phone calls of concern parties all over the world. I wonder, does it actually take a worldwide disaster for us to keep in touch or make contact with our loved ones again?

10. Technological Advances: Updates, news, video clips, and pictures are spread all over the world through satellite TV, Internet, e-mails. Wow.

11. New Life: В Lastly, for most of the survivors, the tsunami would have simply forced them to start a new life.

A special prayer goes out from me,
To all the victims of the tsunami,
May God rest your souls peacefully,
Whilst granting strength to your families.

And to the survivors of this experience,
Praise God for his merciful deliverance,
May you all be granted courage to carry on living,
And friends to carry on encouraging and supporting.

A candle I light to mark the horrifying tsunami,
Shining hope amidst this worldwide tragedy…

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Numbers of the Day:

2 – Goals scored by Malaysia in their stunning 2-1 win over Indonesia in the 1st leg of the Tiger Cup semi-finals. Malaysia Boleh!

49 – Touchdown passes by Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts vs San Diego breaks the 20-year old NFL record of 48 TD passes in a single season by Dolphin’s Dan Marino.

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

The Given Meaning

As Christmas comes along tomorrow, many people annually question about:

.. which mall has the best bargains?
.. why do people exchange gifts?
.. what’s with the carols playing in the malls?
.. what’s Santa (anagram of Satan..ha ha..thanks to a fellow Multiplier..) got to do with it anyway?
.. where’s the best place to have a nice family Christmas dinner?
.. what’s the meaning of Christmas?

Perhaps amidst the hustle and bustle of the festivities, we tend to overlook the true meaning of Christmas. In one of Johnny Hart’s BC cartoon strips, he describes and explains the meaning of Christmas in a subtle and simple yet thought-provoking manner.

“For to us a child is born,В to us a son is given,В and the government will be on his shoulders.В And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,В Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.”В (Isa 9:6)

Have a Blessed Christmas and a smashing New Year everyone! For those going ho-ho-home for the holidays, do drive safely and observe all traffic rules!
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Number of the Day:

9 – Days I’ll be on leave starting tomorrow! Whooopeeeeeeeee!! See y’all next year!

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

Re-candle the Flame

What is it with Christians and chilly late night services all brightly lit up with glowing candles anyway? Especially around this time of the year, you’ll get the typical Christmas candlelight services, New Year watch night services, Christmas Mass services, etc. Here are a few reasons and observations..

– Hundreds of glowing candles illuminating the dark of the night is to put it simply, a beautiful sight.

– There is just something almost magical that rekindles the spirit in your heart when one participates in lighting a candle during these services.

– Christmas carols seem to sound more melodious and in congruent with the brightly lit atmosphere.

– There is something peaceful and almost romantic about this type of setting. Silent Night, Holy Night seems just so appropriate during these Candlelight Services.

– Some of us just love to play with fire…hmmm.

But are there other meanings to it?

Would the brightly lit candles somehow remind us of the brightly lit star that pointed the way to the birth of Jesus that first Christmas night?

Would the candles that we lit and hold remind us to let our light shine before men, illuminating a world living in darkness?

Would the peaceful atmosphere that surrounds the candle lit service remind us to be still and calm in His presence as we focus on the real meaning of Christmas?

If you anyone of you are free this Christmas eve, do join me at KL Wesley Methodist Church to experience the splendor of a candlelight service, sounds of delightful carols that are guaranteed to stir your hearts and of course, discover the true meaning of Christmas again.

KLWMC Candlelight Service:

Date: 24 Dec 2004 (Friday)
Time: 8.00pm
Venue: KL Wesley Methodist Church

“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”ВЂВќ
(Matt 5:15-17)

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Number of the Day:

42 – points scored by Richard Jefferson in the Nets’ 92-90 victory over LeBron James’ Cleveland Cavs. It was a career high for RJ and the last second buzzer beater alley-oop made sure New Jersey had won two in a row. With Vince Carter scheduled to suit up for the next game, things are certainly looking candle-bright in the Meadowloands.

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

Minor Sat-EAST-factions..

Came back last night from my two-day East Coast trip with a smug grin on my face. No, it wasn’t because the flood has completely disappeared. (In fact, it was roasting HOT in Kota Bahru!) It was another mini milestone in my life that brought a good portion of personal satisfaction. My trip to Terengganu and Kelantan represented the last two remaining states in Malaysia I had yet to visit. Finally! Although the trip was brief, I managed to indulge myself in their famed Keropok Lekurs and Nasi Dagangs before I came back to KL. Yup. The accomplishment was indeed a moment for me to savour.

Suddenly memories of sipping Earl Grey at Ikano, rejuvenated in its sweet jasmine like aroma, feeling like Captain Jean-Luc Picard relishing the accomplishment of facilitating a successful peace talk negotiation, comes to mind. Ahhhhh. *snap! wake up!*

Some other accomplishments of others blog-worthy for the past few days:
– Accomplishment of Man United crushing Palace 5-2 over the weekend in a high octane roller-coaster match.The win secured their 4th position and a wee bit closer to the current 3 pacesetters at the top.

– Accomplishment of a lady who actually won a lawsuit for about RM 600 against a book publisher (and the author, I guess) of a cookbook. It seems that this lady had tried 23 of the 70 recipes in the book so far and NONE of them turned out as depicted in the accompanying pictures! Wow! Zany stories are starting to appear in Malaysia! Malaysia Boleh!

– Accomplishment of an unemployed guy who actually offered (auctioned actually) his blogging services as a job online. Don’t remember the amount but he’s hired now with a pretty fat paycheck. Hmmm, there’s hope in blogging for a living still…

– Accomplishment of ailing New Jersey Nets in acquiring All-Star Vince Carter (by trading off 3 front men and two first round draft picks) in an effort to bolster its offensive options up front. Exciting times foreseen ahead with J-Kidd running the floor with explosive RJ and high-soaring Air Canada.

– Accomplishment of Ronaldinho of getting the vote of Footballer of the Year 2004. Thanks for denying that Arsenal striker any accolades this year..hee hee..;p

Made me reflect on a movie (Antwone Fisher) I watched on Astro when I was in the East Coast. It was quite a dramatic performance about this kid who was abused when he was young, and how he overcame all odds to accomplish greatness in the navy, etc. But deep down inside, he was still hurting from a torrid past which still haunts him. A shrink tells him to go look for his family and also confronting his past (eg. People who abused him), and telling them that he has found it in him to forgive them. By finding the courage to forgive the people who shaped his past, he was then able to move on to a better future.

Are you holding on to any grudges on people who need your forgiveness today?

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Number of the Day:
3 – months of blogging on Multiply accomplished with the anniversary passing by yesterday. 😉

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

Toil on Tolls

Yup!В More woes for Malaysian motorists as toll prices have been confirmed to increase 10% for the North-South Highway effective 1 Jan 2005!
Like theВ water issue, many questions are raised as in are they using the NS tolls to collect extra dough to cover up the debts accumulated by other non-so-profitable highways in the Malaysia?

Hmmm, speaking of water issues, I wonder if the water carnivale in the east coast has subsided or not? Gosh! Several things come to mind whilst I’m there for my two day East Coast trip next week:

– Water sports
– Seafood…obviously!
– Practice my origami paper boats

Anyway, back to the toll issue. The public has been asked to be more considerate and remember that the Government has been compensating a lot on highway fares for years.. my pick of Samy Vellu’s quote of the day:

“If the Government keeps on trying to make other people happy because of their own popularity, the Government will eventually pay RM38bil in compensation”ВЂВќ

I guess when we look at the petrol, water and toll increases (among other things), one can sum up that these look to be the beginning of tough times in Malaysia. On one end, it may seem that the public is being victimized by the increases and lack of improvement of quality in return. On the other hand, have we Malaysians been sooooooo pampered all this while that we fail to see the blessings of our Government’s compensation on many of our living necessities?…

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Number of the Day:

26.45 – RM; the price of a one way toll back to Ipoh using the North-South for next year. An increase equivalent to one plate of yummy Stadium wan tan mee. Sigh.

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

Water Flows Up

For those who haven’t heard, all water consumers (meaning everyone lah!)) in the Klang Valley had better be prepared for at least a 15% tariff increase from next year onwards. Our current water boys, PUAS would be taken over by SYABAS (Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor). Damn! We Malaysians are just So good at coming up with these wonderful acronyms, eh?!..;D

Reasons given for the price hike was to cover some RM11.73bil in expenditure on new water supply facilities and to replace old ones over the next 30 years. Or is it some subtle way to collect more moo-lah from the public to settle the tons of debts accumulated by PUAS to date? Hmmmmm.

And why increase the prices now when:

– the quality of our water supply hasn’t really improved over the years?
– water cuts have been a constant feature in our lifestyle?

Well, I guess at the end of the day, it is yet another reminder for us not to take water for granted eh? Remember to Save Water!

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Numbers of the Day:

4 – am yesterday, Malaysia’s most wanted criminal (Mohd Yusof Abu Bakar), gang leader of the infamous Mamak Gang was captured in an ambush set up near Puchong Perdana..finally!

18 – hour standoff in Greece finally came to an end when the two bus hijackers who threatened to blow up the bus, released the six remaining hostages and surrendered themselves.

Hooray for the long arm of justice and a salute to our police force and their counterparts in Greece!

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

Malaysia Boleh!!

What is it about Warehouse Sales that attracts hordes of Malaysians to waste a good portion of the day fighting through a football stadium-like crowd to spend, spend, spend anyway? Was at a Hush Puppies Warehouse Clearance Sale over last weekend and several observations came to me as I pondered on why most of us shopping-starved people would want to risk their life and limb in the warehouse jungle when:

– Most of the things on sale are already old stock. Some are so old, I could have sworn the pattern looked at least two generations out-dated!
– We don’t even remember the original prices of these stuff amidst the madnes…meaning, frankly, we don’t even know if it was a good bargain!
– There are plenty of shoving and pushing, coupled with the aroma of body odour and sweat.
– Most of the stuff seem to have gathered much dust in the warehouse!
– Most of these warehouses only accept cash purchases.
– Imagine an apparel warehouse sale where the clothes are touched by millions of other hands before you buy it at a marked down price.
– Imagine trying on a shoe or clothes in a Petaling Street congested-like area.

Ah well…I guess that’s the fun of shopping in crowds eh?

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Number of the Day:

2 – minute goal blitz in the 62nd and 64th minute saw Malaysia fight back from a goal down to beat Thailand 2-1 last night and book themselves a well-earned spot in the semi-finals of the Tiger Cup. Malaysia Boleh!

2 – points also dropped by Liverpool at Anfield when they surrendered an injury time equalizer (1-1) to Portsmouth in EPL action early this morning. Always knew I could count on Liverpool to console our devastating fumble yesterday with their ever consistent fumbles!;p

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

Freedom!!

Freeeeeeeeeeeeeeedom!!!!…Finally finished my department’s last major approval meeting for the year today. No more major or serious meetings (I hope) till the new year! Only need to finish up writing two meeting minutes, prep up some post approval documentations, balance score cards for next year and I’m totally free!

Should probably have more time now to:

– post more stuff on Multiply!
– take a breather after a hectic year!
– watch more footie action, like the crunch match tonight between Malaysia and Thailand in theTiger Cup group match!
– update myself on movies!
– have more time for reading and writing!
– start writing those Christmas cards!…sigh I’m late again this year!!…

Yipeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
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Number of the Day:

87 – th minute screamer by Fulham’s Senegalese Papa Bouba Diop snatches a 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Craven Cottage early this morning. It was yet another case of failing to finish off the opponents in the first half that did us in. Sigh. Another chance wasted to catch up with the leaders.

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)

Tale of Three Blues…

Blue WIN: Everton continued to surprise everyone with a 1-0 victory (yet again!) over Liverpool last Saturday. The win propelled the Toffees to 2nd spot! Are they for real? *shudder*

Blue DRAW: League leaders Chelsea and defending chumps Arsenal both fought to a pulsating 2-2 draw at Highbury last night. Splendid result for neutrals and Man United in particular, who can chalk up 2 more points nearer to both of them tonight when the Red Devils visit Craven Cottage to face Fulham. A Man U win will indeed make in very interesting at the top. Heh heh.

Blue LOSS: Malaysia (in blue jerseys) crashed 0-1 to Myanmar last night in Tiger Cup action. Goal was blamed on a defensive blunder (again?!! Note: when something happens more often than not, it should not be called a ‘blunder’ anymore! sigh) and gifted the thousands of screaming Myanmar fans a moment to savour as their beloved country virtually booked their place in the semis. The defeat leaves Malaysia with an uphill task of beating Thailand in the final group match to qualify or go home. Hmmm…looks like some things don’t change.

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Numbers of the Day:
43 – Years old. The age of Argentine 1986 World Cup winning central defender Jose Luis Cuciuffo who died on Sunday after being shot in a hunting accident. Rest in peace, Jose. Thanks for the wonderful memories of Mexico ’86. *sniff sniff*

66 – 5 under par final round score of Tiger Woods as he held off Padraig Harrington to win the exclusive 16-man Target World Challenge, his second consecutive stroke-play win this year. The tiger’s definitely back to prowl the greens…

(Originally posted on allandog.multiply.com)