Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy ID31

Today marks the 50th anniversary of Malaysia's Independence. Although back then it was known as Malaya. As part of this festive ocassion, I've taken 4 days off work to relax back in my hometown.

The drive back from Penang was smooth, with suprisingly less traffic than I expected. The express buses were behaving unusually nice these days as a result of more stringent patrolling and roadblocks by the Transport Department and the traffic police.

A few days of R&R with friends, family, and relatives in the Klang Valley in the next few days... before its back to the electronic salt mines for me. I better get back to making my plans for the next few days too. Enjoy your long Merdeka weekend!



Saturday, August 25, 2007

WWJD: What Would Jesus Drink?

Certainly not Budweiser, Busch Lite, or Tiger Draft. Those are terrible beers not fit for a king or the King of Kings. And not fit for human consumption either.

I just found
our ever effective Malaysian Government just temporarily banninated a Tamil language newspaper. Reason? The newsroom dudes at Makkal Osai printed a picture of Jesus holding a cigarette and beer on front page. It wasn't supposed to be a Danish-cartoons-Mohammad-thing... but more for their "Thought Of The Day" feature which puts in selected quotes and sayings of famous leaders, philosophers, and other wise folks. Today's thought was from Jesus, so some smart guy (probably an intern) Googled for a picture of Jesus and downloaded the first picture he got... thus beating his deadline. Then next, it was off to the printing presses.

Naturally, Christians were not amused with Makkal Osai's picture of Jesus having a puff and a swig. After some complaints, the paper quickly apologized. Apology accepted, by the Catholics, the Christian representative from the
Malaysian Consultative Council of Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism (whew, that was long)
... and other Christian denominations.

Case closed, eh?

Nope. The government came in and smacked
Makkal Osai with a one month suspension. That means for the next 30 days, no reporting, no printing, and no morning paper for your next door Indian neighbour Mr. Doraisamy. Less work for the paperboy...

They've said sorry and that should be it. Forgiven, but not forgotten (well, until this issue blows away). Anyway, its not like they had Jesus shooting heroin while banging a hooker with the words "LOL, yr Xtian god sux!" as a caption.

Ironically, the quote below the smokin' drinkin' Jesus was "
If someone repents for his mistakes, then heaven awaits them".

Geez, people just tend to overreact to silly little pictures/cartoons in newspapers. Its ok to protest the paper's blunder, alright. Now that they've apologized for their mistake, there's no need to press it further. Don't we have other stuff to take care of? Like government corruption for instance?

Another blogger's take on this mountain on a molehill
And another blogger's opinion, with some dissenting comments...

Friday, August 24, 2007

Q: What's the most common answer to questions in Malaysia?

A: Tak tau.

Yep, thats it. 95% of the time when you ask someone, you'll get a "tak tau" (I don't know) in reply. However, since Malaysia is a diverse country,
sometimes you'll get a different answer than the standard "tak tau". These range from "donno" to "wa em chai", and... errr... hm... does anyone know what 'I don't know' is in Tamil, Punjabi, and Dyak? Anyway, its a little better than the generic "tak tau", no?

Or perhaps not...

That's the answer I got from the staff at a bookstore, where I went to get meself a sticker of a Malaysian flag for my car window. As you know, this 31st would be Malaysia's 50th year of independence (its debatable with the other States of Sabah & Sarawak). I didn't want those cloth flags with that plastic mast you stick on the outside of your car. Those eventually break off at freeway speeds... thanks to the cheap plastic and weathering of the sun and rain. Any unlucky motorcyclist or pedestrian will then get a Jalur Gemilang smack in his face at 100kph.

The flag stickers on the other hand are supposed to be placed on your back winscreen, very much like your Road Tax sticker. Those last much longer, and the color doesn't turn from Red, White, Yellow, & Blue into Diesel Exhaust Grey.

The bookstore didn't have any on sale, so I asked if they knew any other place that did.

"Tak tau", came the reply.

Now, this bookstore was in the same building complex as 'Giant', which is a massive megastore like Wal-Mart, Makro, or Tesco. Just like Wal-Mart, 'Giant' sells almost anything, although unlike Wal-Mart they don't seem to have firearms and ammunition in stock. Surely they could've asked me to check out Giant to see if they have what I wanted...

But all I got was a "tak tau". Ah well...

Anyway, Giant didn't have those stickers, although I saw tons of those small car-flags for sale at RM3.50. I guess I have to improvise then...

A small cloth flag 5X7 inches, a penknife, and a roll of cellotape. Pasted to the back of my rear windscreen... and... problem solved.

But did I desecrate the flag by using my penknife to remove it from the mast?

I tak tau.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

In Less Than 2 weeks, Its Happy 50th B'Day Malaysia

Work commitments and big projects mean I haven't been updating this site with essays, reviews, and other stuff as often as I should. Engineering pays the bills, and I'm not gonna be placing adverts all over this site for additional income.

This 31Aug weekend I'll be back in Klang and KL for a little celebration & hangout with some pals. And yea, a visit to the family, which the last was back in early June. It will be our 50th year of Independence for our country, but not for the Federation of Malaysia. Perhaps I should write an essay about where we are as a nation, but i'm gonna leave that to other socio-political bloggers like Walski, Jeff, and KTemoc...

In 2 days time, one of my favourite musical groups will be releasing their 4th album (click on the string to turn on the bulb!). I've heard the preview and its VERY different than their previous albums. Well, every Rilo Kiley album is always different than the previous anyways. I'm not sure if it'll be good, or it'll suck this time, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I know for sure that Perry, my old Wisconsin pal will dislike it, as he did with the third one...

Hopefully Borders or Disc N' Dat will have a copy in stock.

And the car will need a major service soon...

Friday, August 10, 2007

What is it about some owners of Celicas' and Skylines'?

They have a nice car and ruin it with a rear spoiler that looks like its made from construction scaffolding and a picnic bench?