30 January 2011

Working M'sians Live on Borrowed Cash While the Elite Splurge

Written by J. D. Lovrenciear

Malaysians - all working rakyat are living on borrowed cash. Education on loan; car loan; housing loan; credit card repayment; and personal loans to even wed - Period.

The monthly salary is hardly enough to plug all the monthly re-payments. Just check the wallets of all those going to work every day. There is just enough Ringgit to pay for transport and cheap meals. And do we call this progressive and developing world-class rated nationhood?

If one has traveled all through the neighbouring countries, he / she would notice that although the people in these countries may to our eyes appear poor, they are a lot far better off than us. Their citizens do not live on borrowed money. They eat better. They go to sleep with less financial nightmares. They live a comparatively simple but abundant life.

We, despite all the trappings are saddled with the burdens of borrowed money month after month. And with the escalating price of consumer goods, the cracks are appearing rapidly on our social fabric. Here when the government says the prices have been checked and kept at previous levels, it begs explanation.

The rakyat know that the same bowl of noodle that they eat today is not the same with that of last month. The quantity has reduced significantly. Likewise for a whole lot of other daily food items. How long can Malaysians live through these make-believe 'developing and progressive' labels that politicians are ever too quick to proclaim?

On that same token, just take a look at how the family members of cabinet members for example live. Pay a courtesy call to their homes (if only that is so easy to do). Take a look at the expensive and opulent wealth oozing from their cupboards and armchairs. Never mind the stable of dream cars though. Look at the jewels that choke the necks and arms of the ministers' wives. Examine the holidays their families are basking in.

And let us not be hoodwinked by the defence that that it is their benefit owing to their spouses' service to the nation.

These are very troubling moments in the history of the world. We are today witnessing new chapters being written in several countries already, like Tunisia, Egypt, and perhaps many more would follow.

For us Malaysia can avoid the rough road to freedom if only we can have a government that repents in time and a rakyat that works with a resolute will to bazooka the widespread corruption. Otherwise, when a global financial disaster goes out of control, we may all wake up with an empty kitchen minus a roof over our heads, while the wealthy take flight.

Read more here.

P/S: Then who should be faulted? Isn't it include us who put them up there and worst, we look up, praise or idolise these so called elites who only think for their own comfort and live in luxury as we owe them with the little we all have. Elections come and go but still we pick these elites to rule over us, hoping for the empty promises that situation be better but they continue accumulating wealth and splash it to the amazement of most of us, again hoping they will pour a bit of their wealth to us at least by lowering some of the burden we are facing in our daily life. Blame it to our psycho of contentment and afraid for a change and big hope for a better tomorrow with the same set of elites who we have complained do not serve us better.

Final analysis, blame it to us, really!

23 January 2011

Wahai Guru-Guru Semua, Jangan Lawan Tapi Elok Setia Pada Kerajaan!

Kerajaan tidak pernah mempersoalkan kesetiaan guru-guru di negara ini tetapi selain kesetiaan kepada negara, Timbalan Perdana Menteri Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin hari ini berkata, adalah elok bagi guru juga supaya setia kepada kerajaan.

Baca lagi di sini.

Raja Muda Perlis: Budaya Simbiosis Cina Patut Dikongsi

Budaya niaga masyarakat Cina yang menggalakkan persaingan berkonsepkan simbiosis atau saling melengkapi sewajarnya turut dikongsi oleh peniaga kaum lain, titah Raja Muda Perlis Tuanku Syed Faizuddin Putra Jamalullail.

Menurut baginda konsep itu akan meningkatkan kecekapan, produktiviti, kemahiran dan kreativiti serta mewujudkan situasi 'menang-menang' di kalangan mereka dan pelanggan.

Baginda bertitah para peniaga Cina juga tidak takut pada risiko persaingan dan tidak mengamalkan budaya berniaga 'atas angin'.

"Para peniaga juga perlu mengutamakan perniagaan yang boleh memberi keuntungan berterusan dan jangka panjang dan bukan mengambil jalan mudah untuk mendapatkan keuntungan yang tidak bertahan lama," titah baginda.

Baca lagi di sini.

22 January 2011

Shaking Hands Is Not A Chinese Culture?

A trivial issue was brought up by a Chinese Malaysian leader who claim to represent the Chinese Malaysian community. It was about shaking hands between a man and woman, more so between a Muslim woman with a man who is mahram (unmarriageable kin).

I have watched many Chinese movies especially those about the stories of Chinese emperors or those related to the Chinese culture and Chinese kungfu movies. And I never see even a single time of hand shaking in those movies.

I put up over here two opinions (edited) from two readers which I excerpted from here, and I tend to agree with their opinions.

Shaking hands is not a Chinese custom. It is a Western custom. Refined Chinese culture does not encourage the shaking of hands even between man and man, much less between man and woman, Chinese greetings uses clasped hands in paying obeisance or bows to an elder, and ladies use a form of courtesy in a charming manner. Chinese accepts very well the Muslim custom of not shaking hands between man and woman. The Chinese Muslim women in Sinkiang China 10 times more in number than Muslim women in Malaysia do not shake the hands of man in greetings.

Shaking of hands is never an oriental culture.
They don't do it in China, India, Japan or Korea.
Its a hangover of the orang putehs.
Why are we so keen to keep this not so clean habit?
During SARS crisis, even the orang putehs don't shake hands.

Why such trivial issue was brought up? Perhaps this is the better way to poke into our mind to degrade others and to highlight the differences that consciously or unconsciously let us to be less tolerance and what else want to say of accepting others way of life. As such, what is the point of greeting each others with Salam 1Malaysia! Mere slogan shouting without genuine sincerity.

Read from the following links to know more about shake hands in Chinese culture.

17 January 2011

Enter the 13th Constellation - A New Zodiac

To those who are crazy about zodiac signs, perhaps the revelation of a new zodiac sign last Sunday may disturb their mood and spark their anger, disbelief, shock and confuse.

The new zodiac sign, the 13th constellation named Ophiuchus (Ooh-fee-yew-kus) -- Greek for "serpent-bearer" spans from Nov 30 to Dec 17, and it alters the dates of other zodiac signs in the 12-month year.


According to Parke Kunkle, a Minneapolis astronomy instructor, the moon's gravitational pull has made the Earth "wobble" around its axis which shifts the stars' alignment by about a month.

However for astronomers, this is not new.

Associate Prof Dr Chong Hon Yew a lecturer in the Universiti Sains Malaysia Astronomy and Atmospheric Science Research Unit said, "Ophiuchus is not a new constellation. It has been there for thousands of years. The sun actually passes through 13 constellations, not just 12 in the traditional zodiac list.

"It is just that the ancients who discovered the constellations left out one constellation to fit the months in the calendar."

Chong said the "wobble" of the axis was known as "the precession of equinoxes".

"The 12 zodiac signs were created thousands of years ago. People born under the Ophiuchus sign were put under Scorpio or Sagittarius. Since then, there have shifts on the Earth's axis causing some days of Ophiuchus' neighbouring months to be squeezed out."

With the inclusion of Ophiuchus, the number of days under the Scorpio sign will be reduced to six from Nov 24 to 29.

So, what is your new zodiac sign now? Mine, from the bull Taurus to the ram Aries. However I do not bother much about this as I am not a believer to this sort of signs, inclusive the Chinese Zodiac of Animals.

Read more here the article by Lydia Gomez.

Tunisians React to the Luxury of the Ousted President

Tunisian long time president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali was ousted and fled to Saudi Arabia on the night of 16th January 2010 after more than 23 years as president.

The following are the feelings and reactions of Tunisians when they took the opportunity to swamp to one of the ousted president nephew's mansion two days after the former president was driven away by a popular revolt and fled the country for safety.

Many Tunisians believe Ben Ali’s family stole much of the country’s wealth, and at his nephew’s Mediterranean beach side mansion, they were taking it back yesterday.

Crowds of people, some in family groups, filed through the villa in the resort of Hammamet, 60km from the capital, to take pictures and remove what some called “souvenirs”.

Visitors helped themselves to an air conditioner, pulled up an underground sprinkler system from the lawn, and tore electricity cables from the wall.

“The people’s money went into the garden,” said one man as he held up two large decorative quartz rocks.

“It makes me sad because he (Ben Ali and his family) stole all the money to build this house from the people of Tunisia,” said Priska Nufar, who was taking a look around the mansion. “He lives in luxury and the people do not have money for food.”

Read more here.

12 January 2011

Watch the 2010 Shanghai World Expo Opening Ceremony

And Watch This Piece of The 2010 Shanghai World Expo Closing Ceremony Concert

10 January 2011

Non-Muslim Rights Promised By Allah

“Islam not only teaches us to respect Muslims but also non-Muslims and their places of worship. This is not a promise from PAS or PKR but from Allah."

Read more here.

09 January 2011

Unnecessary to Have Must-Pass

This is another piece of views from Mr. Liong Kam Chong which was published in The Star, 9 January, 2011, page N34, Views.

If the recent comments on the contents of our History textbooks are true, I am worried for our young ones. The Education Ministry must act fast to correct the wrongs.

While I agree that History should be a core subject, I have my reservations about it being made a must-pass subject for Sijil Pelajaran Malaysia (SPM).

First, a compulsory pass in History, or for that matter any other subject except the languages, is making a mockery of the open certificate system proclaimed for SPM.

I can remember the pain that the Education Ministry had to go through years ago when explaining the scrapping of the then closed SPM certificate system and expounding the merits of the new open system of certification.

Does all that effort not mean anything anymore? Today, you add History; tomorrow you may want to add religious or moral studies and then Science or mathematics.

Second, do we have enough History major teachers to teach the subject competently at Form 4 and 5? The demand for quality and specialised teachers will be much more crucial and critical if the subject is made a must-pass in SPM.

Besides classroom teachers, we will need experienced and qualified question setters and answer script examiners.

Third, the thinking that making History a must-pass in SPM will raise the patriotism of our young ones is too simplistic. And we are not even talking of how patriotism can be measured.

If the contents of the History textbooks remain as they are, dissatisfaction may rise among knowledgeable parents. It will elicit exactly the opposite sentiment that the ministry hopes for.

Also, do not forget that children spend more time at home than in school. Patriotic values, whatever they may be, taught in school can easily be negated by parental opinion and influence.

If students force themselves to learn the subject just to get an SPM certificate, I do not see how that will bring about true patriotism.

Fourth, it may be interesting to know if there is another country or another education system in the world that has made a compulsory pass in History a condition for securing a public examination certificate or qualification.

The Education Ministry must do a rethink on making History a compulsory pass in SPM

08 January 2011

10 Foods That Can Help You Sleep

By Sarah Jio
Source: Here

Trying to get more shut-eye? Take a look at your diet. Eating the right foods in the hours before you hit the hay may help you fall asleep faster, say experts, and even improve the quality of your sleep. Keep reading for your get-sleepy grocery list, and remember to stop noshing two hours before bedtime to give your body enough time to properly digest.


“Almonds are a winner,” says Jacob Teitelbaum, MD, medical director of the Fibromyalgia and Fatigue Centers, and author of the bestselling book From Fatigued to Fantastic! “They contain magnesium which promotes both sleep and muscle relaxation,” he says. “And they have the added benefit of supplying proteins that can help maintain a stable blood sugar level while sleeping, and help promote sleep by switching you from your alert adrenaline cycle to your rest-and-digest cycle.” Try this bedtime snack: Have a tablespoon of almond butter or a 1-ounce portion of almonds to help your body relax. Photo: Shutterstock


Yes, avoiding all caffeine in the evening hours is key, but some decaf varieties can help get you into sleep mode, says Dr. Teitelbaum. “Chamomile tea is a very helpful and safe sleep aid,” he says, adding that green tea is another good choice. “Green tea contains theanine, which helps promote sleep. Just be sure you get a decaf green tea if drinking it at bedtime.” Experts recommend trying a 1-cup serving of the hot stuff. Photo: Thinkstock

Miso Soup

You love to order this comforting, broth-based soup in Japanese restaurants, but keeping a few 8-ounce packs of instant miso soup at home may be key when you’re having trouble falling asleep, says Stella Metsovas, CN, a nutritionist in Laguna Beach, California. Here’s why: Miso contains amino acids that may boost the production of melatonin, a natural hormone that can help induce the yawns. Bonus: Research shows that warm liquids like soup and tea may also relieve cold symptoms, helping you sleep better when you're feeling under the weather. Photo: Shutterstock


Worried about falling asleep tonight? Have a banana before bed, says Saundra Dalton-Smith, MD, an internist and the author of Set Free to Live Free: Breaking Through the 7 Lies Women Tell Themselves. “Bananas are an excellent source of magnesium and potassium, which help to relax overstressed muscles. They also contain tryptophan, which convert to serotonin and melatonin, the brain’s key calming hormones." Try this tasty and incredibly simple bedtime smoothie: Blend one banana with one cup of milk or soy milk (and ice, if desired). Pour and enjoy! Photo: Shutterstock


Yogurt, milk and cheese do contain tryptophan, notes Dr. Dalton-Smith, but also have a surprising sleep-inducing nutrient: “Calcium is effective in stress reduction and stabilization of nerve fibers, including those in the brain." That means a serving of your favorite Greek yogurt before bed can not only help you sleep, but also help you stop worrying about the weird thing your boss said earlier at work. Photo: Thinkstock


You eat it for breakfast, but could a bowl of warm oatmeal help you get more rest? Yes, says Stephan Dorlandt, a clinical nutritionist based in Southern California. “Think about it,” he says. “Oatmeal is warm,soft, soothing, easy to prepare, inexpensive and nourishing. It’s rich in calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and potassium—the who's who of nutrients known to support sleep.” But go easy on the sweeteners; too much sugar before bed can have an anti-calming effect. Instead, consider topping your bowl with fruit, like bananas (see above). Photo: Shutterstock

Hard-Cooked Egg

If you have trouble staying asleep at night, it may be because you didn’t eat a pre-bedtime snack high in protein, or perhaps your snack was too high in simple, high-sugar carbohydrates, like cake and candy. “The problem with simple carbs is that they can put you on a ‘sugar roller coaster’ and drop your blood sugar while you're sleeping, causing you to wake at 2 or 3 in the morning,” says Dr. Teitelbaum. A better bet? “Eat an egg, cheese, nuts or other protein-rich snack instead,” he says, “so you can not only fall asleep, but stay asleep.” Photo: Shutterstock


Craving a salty snack before bed? Turn to lightly salted edamame, says Dr. Dalton-Smith—especially if you’re dealing with menopause-related symptoms. “The natural estrogen-like compounds found in soy-based products can be very beneficial in controlling those nighttime hot flashes that can disturb your sleep,” she says. If it’s crackers and dip you’re craving, try making this easy edamame recipe: In a food processor, blend together 2 cups of shelled, cooked edamame with 1 tsp salt, a drizzle of olive oil and 1 clove garlic (optional) until smooth. Photo: Thinkstock


Oddly, a glass of cherry juice may be an effective way to fall asleep faster, says a team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania and University of Rochester. In their study, they found that cherries, particularly tart cherries, naturally boosted the body’s supply of melatonin, which helped people with insomnia. While the jury is still out on how much juice or how many cherries are needed to make you sleepy, experts say sipping a glass of cherry juice (available at most natural foods stores) or having a serving of fresh, frozen or dried cherries before bedtime couldn’t hurt. Photo: Thinkstock


There’s no need to feel guilty about having a small bowl of cereal before bed, especially if it’s a low-sugar, whole-grain cereal. Not only is it a healthy snack (make sure you top it with milk to give your body the protein it needs), but it may also help you snooze. “Complex carbohydrate–rich foods increase the availability of tryptophan in the bloodstream, increasing the sleep-inducing effects,” says Dr. Dalton-Smith. Bonus: Top your bowl with a sprinkling of dried cherries (see above) for extra help catching your zzz's. Photo: Thinkstock

02 January 2011

PMR Results Prove Success of PPSMI

PMR results prove success of PPSMI policy — Noor Azimah Abdul Rahim, PAGE

January 02, 2011

Kudos to students, teachers and schools for yet another stunning performance in the PMR. These students had learnt science and mathematics in Bahasa Malaysia for six years in primary school followed by three years in English, enduring a difficult transition period in Form 1.

The Parent Action Group for Education Malaysia (Page) is elated that highlights of the above results included significant improvements, not only in narrowing the gap between the rural-urban schools but also in Bahasa Malaysia, English language, science and mathematics.

Kudos, too, to the Ministry of Education.

This implies that after teaching science and mathematics in English for eight years to date, these teachers are now more confident and proficient in these subjects, further growing from strength to strength.

It further proves the point that the policy has not relegated Bahasa Malaysia as our national language as claimed by the detractors, and as a bonus, the application and usage of the English language through these very subjects has not only benefited the teachers but also the students in leaps and bounds.

Read more here.

01 January 2011

Got Money With You Afraid To Get Rob, Got No Money With You Get Chop! Which Way To Do?

Man’s hand chopped off by angry robbers

Excerpted from The Star online. Read more here.

A gang of three armed robbers chopped off the left arm of a car repairman in Johor Baru because he did not have enough money on him.

They only managed to get RM300 cash and a mobile phone from the victim, reported SinChew Daily.

At about midnight on Wednes­day, Wang Kai Yin, 28, from Kulai was driving home alone but stopped his car at a parking lot in a park after hearing an unusual noise.

When he got down to check, three men on two motorcycles demanded he hand over all his cash and valuables.

Wang surrendered his wallet, but when he told them he had no more money, one of the robbers got angry and cut off his arm.

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