Kampua Talk: December 2006

Kampua Talk

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Au revoir 2006. Happy New Year everyone!

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And auld Lang syne

For auld lang syne, my jo
For auld lang syne
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

Bidding farewell to the old year with the song called Auld Lang Syne is a universal custom. Auld Lang Syne has become the international song of departure. I guess Robert Burns never thought that the lines he transcribed from an old Scottish ballad would still be echoed by people worldwide evert New Year's Eve.

At the stroke of midnight tonight, the Earth will successfully complete its 365th spin on the axis with one complete orbit around the sun.

Apart from partying, drinking, merry-making, New Year is a time to count our blessings through the year before and be glad that we are still alive and kicking. For some people, it is equally important to make a new year resolution.

Well, I don't think so. And I don't make one. Because I know that even if I make one, it will not make it past January 2. So, why bother?

Most of us do not have a clue on how to make a reasonable new year resolution - which is why we fail to keep them. We set high goals for ourselves and then wonder why we never attain them. So we either stop setting goals or make resolutions that are ridiculously easy to keep.

Even so, we are all very good at breaking new year resolutions. Lose weight, exercise, relax more, be good, save more, etc. We never did anything about keeping our new year resolutions because we did not have a plan and we were not sincere when we made them.

With the dawn of 2007 fast approaching, what resolutions will you make for the new year?


Oh, really?

Hahaha! They are lowering the road tax starting tomorrow. Or so I read.

Road tax lowered on private vehicles from Jan 1

PEKAN: Vehicle owners will have something to celebrate this New Year - lower road tax.

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced yesterday that road tax for all privately-owned cars would be reduced by between 4% and 33%, effective tomorrow..
.(Read more)
Source: The Star
Be prepared. They are going to hike the petrol price AGAIN!
Nothing to be celebrated, really. Because people want reduction in petrol price.
Public wants to see lower petrol prices instead

PENANG: Reduction in road tax may be good news but some people prefer petrol prices to be lowered instead.

“It is useless to reduce the road tax but increase fuel prices. It’s better to bring down fuel prices since we use petrol every day while we pay road tax only once or twice a year,” said retired driver Shaik Ibrahim Shaik Jee, 72.

Shaik Ibrahim said he was worried that the road tax reduction was just a reprieve before another petrol price hike...(Read more)
Source: The Star
See what I mean?


Saturday, December 30, 2006

Teaching People to Be Mindless Parrots

I'm not finished with the PMR thingy. Well, not just PMR alone. Rather education system in general.
This is what I overheard when people are discussing our education system...
Scenario 1:
Uncle A: I think the educational system is great. I enjoyed school and did well. My son is just like me. He loves it and is at the top of his class. Some university is going to be lucky to get him. His future is very bright. I don't understand why people are complaining so much. I think the education system is doing an excellent job.
Uncle B: But what about the kids who are not doing well in school? What about those who drop out? They are not smart theoretically but they are good at technical skills. They will not have your son's opportunity.
Uncle A: That's not my problem.
Scenario 2:
Uncle C: Leave the system alone. I did well and my kids are doing just fine. The teachers in our school are the best.
Scenario 3:
Auntie D: That is just the way things are. I can't help it if there are kids who are not as smart as mine. What do you expect me to do about it?
Sometimes when you heard comments like that, you felt like want to choke that person! But most of the times, as the society has been adopting the kiasi syndrome, most people will just agree, nodding and just go with the flow. No opinions are made. What is wrong here?
Memorization and knowledge are NOT the same! People know that it is true, and that there is something important about making this distinction. They also know that our educational system puts a great deal of emphasis on rote learning aka memorization. In fact, diplomas and bachelor degrees are awarded on the basis of how good we are at memorizing.
Teaching only by memorizing leaves people walking one of the two roads, both of them dead ends. If they were good at memorization and did well on tests, they left school believing they were educated and smart, even thought the only thing their good grades really measured was their ability to memorize.
The other road is the one taken by people who do not memorize very well (like me) and are categorized as "not-so-smart". School disminished their self-esteem early on. They believed the labels that were put on them. They deem themselves stupid and accept that they are incapable of going very far. These people hate making mistakes because each mistake only reinforces their belief that they are stupid. Many give up because they are unaware that the inability to memorize has no bearing on their potential for success.
Our fear of making mistakes is so ingrained in us that we habitually react to our errors in ways that blind us to the real learning in them.
One of the chief reasons our educational system is in chaos is that it is still closed-minded, archaic and slow to respond to new ideas, new styles, and new ways of being. The worst part is that laws forced kids to attend school and to conform to one-right-answer thinking. Often the only choice kids have is to rebel.
This topic is endless and if I seriously blogged about it, 1 week would not be enough for me. Hence, I conclude this post with a quote:
"Learning to learn is the key. And if your kids have forgotten how, it's only because their knowledge of these primal processes has been chased into hiding by you or too much public schooling."
-Hal Zina Bennett (1972)

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Friday, December 29, 2006

The HOO-HAAs of PMR results

Congratulations to all those who got excellent results in their PMR examinations!!!

The boy in the pic on the right is from my former school, a boys' school in Sibu

Picture courtesy of The Borneo Post

To those who had done their very best but did not get what was expected, do not feel bad. You know you have done your best. Nobody will blame you. Nothing to be worried about.

Family tradition eh?

Picture courtesy of The Borneo Post

And to those getting straight As, well done. Of course you can celebrate all you want and eat all you can. Your journey and battle have not ended YET. This is just the beginning. Yeah, it did feel good in the ass when you see yourself in the newspaper like that family tradition guy in the bottom right pic.

This is something the blardy gahmen supposed to be very proud of, huh!

Picture courtesy of The Borneo Post

Ya, ya...it does indeed feel really good seeing yourself in the newspaper. Some students feel good to the extend that they walk around the school with their noses stuck in the air above their head. When you happen to walk past such students, you could literally feel the strong typhoon passing through you. Well, these were some feedbacks from teachers, not me.


Biggest book, then what?

Living here in Malaysia is never boring. Malaysia has never failed to amuse me!

"Malaysian book vying for place in Guinness book of records

KUCHING: Malaysia's biggest pictorial book, which features tourism attractions in the Land of the Hornbill, is vying for a place in the Guinness World Book Of Records.

Produced by former freelance tour guide Francesca Ang Beng Ling, the 50-page full-colour book measures 3m by 4.4m when open and weighs 250kg.

Titled simply as ``Biggest Pictorial Book'' and entering the Malaysia Book of Records as the country's biggest pictorial book three months ago, it left here on a Malaysia Airline aircraft on Friday on its way to Dubai.

It will be put on display at the Dubai Shopping Festival to promote Visit Malaysia Year (VMY) 2007 and showcase Sarawak's unique tourism assets.

The book will then be exhibited in other provinces in ther United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Malaysia Airlines Cargo Sdn Bhd (MASkargo) sponsors the special air freight handling to transport the book..." (MORE)
Source: The Star Online
See what I mean? Now Malaysia is dreaming for a place in the Guiness World Book of Records. Biggest Pictorial Book, eh??? This is what you can come up with after the playing batu seremban, making teh tarik and eat roti canai in outer space huh?
What's next? Eating the most number of durians underwater???
Well, Malaysia just never fail to amuse me...


Thursday, December 28, 2006


Movie: Cicak Man
Genre: Action comedy
Language: Malay
Director: Yusry Abd Halim
Cast: Saiful Apek, Fasha Sandha, Yusry KRU, Aznil Nawawi, Jalaluddin Hassan, Yasmin Hani, AC Mizal, Adlin Aman Ramlie

Cicak Man has not make it to our shore yet. I mean Sibu lah, of course! But I managed to catch a glimpse of the movie (don't ask me how when I'm practically living in ciplak paradise) When I first heard of the movie, I laughed my ass off! LOL!!! After all, it comes from the side of Malaysian film industry that I normally would not go near.

Somehow, somewhat, I ended up checking out the movie after reading my coursemate Foo Kiat's blog. Don't ask to much. Now I go around mimicking Cicak Man's battle cry at anyone who makes the mistake of bringing up the topic. Don't say that I did not gain anything from the movie.

Now, back to the movie. Our unlikely super hero Hairi (Saiful Apek) is a lab drone at a leading pharmaceutical company in the city of Metrofulus. He is the standard mat rock stereotype who does not look like he would have made it into a research lab. His best friend and flatmate is the standard nice guy Danny (Yusry KRU). Hairi is interested in his pretty colleague Tania (Fasha Sandha), who is a secretary to Professor Klon (Aznil Nawawi).

One of Hairi's experimented-on house lizards escapes and falls into his mug of hot coffee, which Hairi proceeds to quaff down. Soon, he starts exhibiting strange behaviour like waking up on the ceiling, making chirping lizard noises and snapping up bugs with his tongue.

Meanwhile, Professor Klon and his henchman the Ginger Boys (AC Mizal and Adlin Aman Ramlie) are up to something big. Hairi and Danny discover this when searching Klon's office for an explanation of Hairi's sudden powers. After also discovering that the powers will eventually kill him, Hairi begs Danny to find a cure while he dashes off to save Metrofulus from Professor Klon's diabolical scheme.

I suppose KRU films deserves some credit for being the first to take on such an effects-loaded genre. 40 percent of the movie was rendered in CGI and it's very obvious because the movie looks like a computer game in some scenes.

They have created an alternate universe version of Malaysia, where buildings are large, brooding and Gothic, it's cold enough for winter wear, and the leading name that cures all your ills is headed by this clown in bright yellow plaid. They are obviously trying to bring a Gotham City look and feel to the movie.

Saiful is perfectly cast. I mean, it's Cicak Man for goodness sake. I certainly can not see Pierre Andre or Harith Iskandar in the role of the unassuming and nearly slapstick superhero.

Fasha and Yusry supplied the requisite eye candy as love interest and best friend respectively. Not surprisingly, their characters end up falling for each other much to Hairi's dismay. *Yawn*

Ironically, it is the flamboyant Professor Klon that I like the best in this flick. If a movie is full of stereotypes, you might as well go all the way and pick the crazy one who breaks into diabolical laughter after every 10 words.

AC Mizal and Adlin supply the requisite villain muscle and additional comic relief as Ginger One and Ginger Two. Don't ask me which is which: One is dumb and communicates through sign language. The other has a high screech of a voice that would have sounded more natural coming from Cicak Man himself.

Watch it if you want to see a major city in Malaysia reinvented in a sci-fi world. It is probably going to be that 'first' we will all cite in the future. Like my friend Foo Kiat said, it was a good try for a Malaysian movie.


Some really stupid happenings in Malaysia which showed the world how idiotic we are

Since every other bloggers are blogging about the Taiwan quake and the affected dotcoms etc, I am not going to blog about that. If you want to read about that you can go here, here and here. Inter-faith issues have been hogging the limelight in 2006 following a widely debated question as to whether they fell under the jurisdiction of the Civil or Syariah courts.

Here are some of the cases, not in particular orders:
1. The Lina Joy case became the talk of the town and created tension in this multi-racial country. Lina, whose real name is Azlina Jailani, sought a court order to have the word 'Islam' deleted from her identity card to enable her to register her marriage at the civil registry after renouncing the Islamic faith.

She managed to get her name changed in her identity card but her religion remained as Islam in her identity card.

2. The conflict on the Article 121(A) of the Federal Constitution also surfaced in the case of Mount Everest climber Sgt M Moorthy or Muhammad Abdullah when his widow S Kaliammal and the Federal Territories Religious Department (Jawi) were enganged in a tussle over his burial which created dissatisfaction among certain groups.

Moorthy, who died on Dec 20, was finally buried by Jawi on Dec 28 following the Syariah High Court's decision that he was a Muslim, while the High Court ruled that it had no power to intervene in the decision. The case has yet to come up for review in the Court of Appeal.

3. Another case of almost similar nature involved van driver A Rayappan. The MAIS claimed he embraced Islam in 1990 and that his body must be buried according to Islamic rites. However, his family protested, claiming that Rayappan renounced Islam nine years later and had returned to Christianity. MAIS brought the issue before the Syariah Court but later decided to withdraw its case, and Rayappan's body was returned to his family who quickly cremated it and his ashes were buried at the Catholic cemetry in Cheras according to Christian rites.

4. Another case that stirred public interest involved three pupils - Meor Atiqulrahman Ishak and brothers Syed Abdullah Khaliq Aslamy Syed Ahmad Johari and Syed Ahmad Syakur - who were expelled from school for refusing to take off their turban.

*So much for the 'kebebasan beragama' rights in Malaysia. Like what I studied in Tamadun Islam dan Tamadun Asia, I thought they always banggakan "Agama Islam tidak memaksa" here.
Now the question is, does the court has the right to judge a person's religion?

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Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas!


First of all, to all who is celebrating Christmas, Have A Merry, Happy and Joyful Christmas!!! To those who are not celebrating, Merry Christmas to you too and have a nice day! For those who are not in Sibu, especially my best friend Belinda, Merry Christmas and COME BACK FOR CHINESE NEW YEAR WE'RE GOING TO HAVE CRAB ATTACK!!!

Christmas is not about Christmas tree, Santa Clause and sweets! Those are the sesat version already, too commercialized. If you ask any kid on the street about the meaning of Christmas, they'll automatically say presents, Santa Clause, turkey, Christmas Tree and Jinggle Bells...that's all they know. Well, then what is the real meaning of Christmas? The answer is in the picture above. They say a picture tells a thousand words.

Michelle the Sunsilk Girl, Cheryl, Su Yiu (Dr Chieng soon-to-be) and yours truly

Bumped into Michelle 'tangkai' Jering at Sanyan yesterday morning. Haven't seen her for ages. I just gave her my hp number as I was in a hurry. Then later last night, I received an SMS from her inviting me and other friends to her house today. There are only a few people I know who are in Sibu for Christmas: Cheryl, Su Yiu, Anne, Michelle herself and yours truly. So there were only those in the picture present at Michelle's Christmas open house. Well, at least better than the Hari Raya Puasa open house at sesat's house 2 months ago. For those who missed this, siapa suruh balik tapi sorok kat rumah? Ada kari, ada rendang (rendang ke tu, Michelle?), ada kek, ada biscuit, ada kacang, macam-macam ada...Last but not least KARAOKE but Cheryl said she's too shy to sing (kononnya lah!)

Due to last minute agreement from the members of my family, relatives included, we ordered a Christmas turkey to feast our stomach instead of roasting one ourselves. The large birdy was ordered from the new Everly Hotel, Sibu.

It's brown, it's crispy, it's tender, it's juicy, it's nice, it's aromatic, it's HUGE! And it's a BIRD!

It costs about RM150++ (I wonder why they always put a ++) but if you ordered before 22nd Dec, you'll get 15 percent discount! That means they won't charge service tax and government tax. Because their flyers stated that 'Price does not include 10% service tax and 5% government tax' (or is it the other way round?). If you want the turkey delivered to your door you have to pay a delivery charge of RM20.

I ordered before 22nd Dec and got the whole 5kg birdy for RM146.63. I asked the turkey to be delivered but I was not charged the RM20...Hehehe! Well, due to some technical problems they couldn't have the bird ready when I went to get it so they delivered the whole thing FOC! Hohoho!

It's a huge one. EIGHT of us, all adults, couldn't even finish half of the turkey! My coursemate said I need at least 12 people to swallow the whole thing!

I'll open the bottle of red wine mum bought from Australia tonight. Plus some fresh black berries from Aussie. And chocolates too!

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Sunday, December 24, 2006

Durian Flood

Terengganu, Pahang, Melaka and Johor where Johor being hit the worst! Not by durians like the above picture. Many states in Peninsular Malaysia is badly hit by flood. Real water, not durians! The flooding news had flooded the media for the past flooding week. Haha!
Sarawak is not even spared! Especially Sibu. Sibu has been flooded with durians, lorries of durians and more durians. Haha! I mean, Sibu is flooded with water too but only the longkangs are full. But I think Sibu people will be drowned, literally, eating too much durians rather than by water.
But it is hard to buy good durians, as in D24! Foochow folks here say, "Nii may liulian, ai tanggong hoh, nii choh mui neng, uh tanggong pau sang kiang?" *gasp* I couldn't even pronounce that properly. That Foochow proverb means: When you buy durian, you want a good quality guaranteed but if you are a matchmaker, can you guarantee the bride will bear children?
I have no idea what does buying durian got anything to do with bearing children but maybe in Foochow, they rhymes and thus the so-called connection.

This is DABAI. The olive-like fruit (or vegetable?) that always come together with durian. It is actually a local olive. We Sibu people call buah dabai "karang" (in Foochow) because they look like olive.

Dabai is cooked in boiled water. You have to soak the dabai in boiled water for a few minutes. Then after you drain the water, add a few teaspoons of soy sauce and then sprinkle some sugar evenly onto the dabai. Or just sprinkle some salt only. Either way, the dabai is ready to be eaten.

If you boil the dabai in boiling water, it will not cook. Weird, eh? Well, that is one of the uniqueness of Sarawak.


Are you ready?

16 December 2006

The new Everly Hotel in Sibu will be celebrating its FIRST Christmas tomorrow!

Ready or not, Christmas is coming! How is your preparation for Christmas?

Christmas procession this year people mountain people sea

This is how the Sibu Townsquare looked like after being invaded by Christians in Sibu joining the annual procession. Looked like street party was about to begin.

I had the chance to join this year's Christmas procession. This was taken before the sun set. It was 6.30pm and a lot of kiasu people already arrived here because didn't want to get stuck in road blocks. I'm one of them! Hehehe!

The Band in front of us

Lucky for us, we did not have to sing carols during the whole procession as the band in front of us jingle all the way loudly.

Seemed like everybody in Sibu was in town

The left side was the Sibu town's people. The right side was the Christians joining the procession.

The procession was short. Road had been blocked around town to give way for us to spread the Good News of the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ around the town. But to most people, this is the chance to get out of the house and relax in town. A happy time for the kids because they get to receive sweets from the Santa Clauses and Santarinas from the procession. That was if the kids stand near enough in front to snatch the sweets thrown by the Santas.

Well, this was one of the meaningful things I've done for Christmas after being back for a few days. Peace!


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Taufan Durian

Walao! It has been quite a long time since I last post an entry. I didn't realize it until one of my readers pointed it out last night. Its a long story (and a long journey too) and I'm not going to get into that in this post.

When I was in Langkawi last week, there were news that Taufan Durian will sweep the northern part of Peninsular Malaysia and Langkawi Island will not be spared. People were scared. Would it be something like tsunami? Or worse? *shrugged*

But all I could imagine is this:

Ouch! It would be painful if kena hit by durians though.

I won't mind if being hit by the soft, yellow, aromatic durian minus the hard and spiky shell.

Well, I just reached home yesterday morning and on my way home from the airport, I requested for some D24 and we stopped by the roadside and bought some fresh durian. Yes, the King of Fruit is in the season now! I just couldn't get my hands off those juicy, slimy, yummy, yellowish, aromatic isi. They are cheap also. Approximately RM2-RM3 sebiji only. Bought about 8 biji yesterday.

Practically, I had all nothing but durian for breakfast, lunch and dinner today (and tea breaks as well). Finished all 8 biji one go.

Of course, a big glass of salt water after each durian-eating session. To cool off the heat consumed in the durian, as told by the old folks. It would have a better effect if drink the salt water from the durian shell. This also need some kungfu master's skill as not to hurt your lips drinking from the spiky shell. Haha! Well, no. It's a lot easier than you thought, even a 3-year-old can do it and survived!

PS: Don't drink (alcoholic beverage) and eat durian at the same time! It is FATAL!!!