I have written this post in Bahasa Malaysia in conjunction with Malaysia's 50th Independence day. Wish all my fellow Malaysians, Happy Merdeka!!! Let's hope and pray for our country to be blessed with peace, harmony, corruption-free governance, great leaderships and racial unity.

Dalam membuka lembaran sejarah silam Malaysia, yakni selepas genap lima dasawarsa suara Merdeka bergema, pelbagai kejayaan telah menjadi maskot kebanggaan Negara, sekaligus memahatkan nama Malaysia di arena antarabangsa. Kini semuanya diagungi dengan detik kegemilangan yang sedang menandakan sambuatan 50 tahun kemerdekaan Malaysia daripada jajahan British. Pada tahun 1957, inilah saat-saat bendera Union Jack diturunkan, inilah waktu lagu 'God Save the Queen' dinyayikan buat kali terakhirnya di tanah merdeka ini, dan inilah hari mulia yang menandakan permulaan perjalan rakyat Malaya menuju gerbang kejayaan. Pada hari ini, sudah pun kita sampai di pertengahan abad pertama. Saat ini, kegemilangan dan semangat kemerdekaan kelihatan bersinar bagai mentari dan sedang merebakkan sayap-ruyupnya ke setiap pelosok negara, menerajui minda anak-anak Malaysia yang bakal membentuk imej Swarnabumi di kaca mata dunia. Hari ini, seruan keramat Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra Al-Haj akan kembali bergema lagi. Kali ini, kita akan mendengar laungan yang lebih kuat, kita akan melihat jalur gemilang berdiri lebih megah, berkibar lebih tinggi dan kita akan menyaksikan limpahan cahaya yang terang-benderang menandakan saat-saat ulangtahun kemerdekaan Malaysia yang ke lima puluh. Hari ini bukan sekadar menyambut hari kemerdekaan negara. Kita juga memperingati semangat memperjuangkan kebebasan dan kecekalan untuk terus mara ke hadapan biarpun rintangan dan dugaan menunggu menghalang. Marilah kita merayakan segala yang menyumbang ke arah tercapainya impian kita di hari ini. Selamat Hari Kebangsaan!

-Puvanan Nadaraja

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Merdeka Memories

Merdeka! The time has come for us to celebrate the birth of our glorious nation, and for this year the cheer will be louder, the fireworks will be brighter, the countdown will be more thrilling than ever and the crowd is going to get bigger. The joy and happiness will be double as Malaysia is celebrating 50 years of nationhood. There will grand musical fireworks over Putrajaya on Merdeka eve and light shows all around the place to mark the 50th anniversary of independance.

As we are enjoying today's fascinating moments and celebrations, it is also the right time for us to look back with fond memories at the period right after the war, when the fires of patriotism were burning bright - one of the most vibrant, exciting times in this nation’s history. Let's take a walk down the memory lane on how we started half a century ago, when our much-loved first Prime Minister Tunku Abdul Rahman shouted “Merdeka” seven times at Dataran Merdeka in Kuala Lumpur. It was a fabulous moment for sure. Here are some of the rare pictures from Muzium Negara that potrays the most memorable moment of the Nation, 50 years ago. It was on that fateful day, 31 Aug. 1957, when Malaysia entered a new era - a time of independence, of new spirit and hope, of freedom.

"I am indeed proud on this, the greatest day in Malaya's history it falls to my lot to proclaim the formal independence of this country. Today a new page is turned," Tunku Abdul Rahman, 31 Aug. 1957

Picture : (L-R) Leong Yew Koh, Dato' Abdul Razak, V.T Sambanthan, Tuan Haji Mustapha Albakri, Tengku Ismail and Encik Samsudin Naim upon returning from negotiations in London

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LOL Mondays 2

Two little kids are in a hospital, lying on stretchers next to each other outside an operating room. The first kid leans over and asks, “What are you in here for?” The second kid says, “I’m in here to get my tonsils out, and I’m a little nervous.”

The first kid says, “You’ve got nothing to worry about. I had that done when I was four. They put you to sleep, and when you wake up, they give you lots of Jelly and ice cream. It’s a breeze.”

The second kid then asks, “What are you here for?”
“A circumcision,” the first kid answers.

“Whoa!” the second kid says. “Good luck, buddy.
I had that done when I was born. I couldn’t walk for a year.”

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Ethnic Relation : After 50 years of Merdeka

The Ethnic relation and mutual respect among all the races is the innate part of Malaysian society and the one that had contributed to half a century of successful nationhood. The ethnic factor is hardly discussed openly as it is considered a sensitive subject and often triggers off unnecessary emotional outburst. Most of us might share the same thought that Malaysia has achieved great heights in many aspects for the past 50 years, but not in ethnic unity. In fact, the racial division seems to be sharper after 50 years of Independence.

Today, after 50 years of Merdeka, the ethnic relations issue needs attention. It's time for us to strengthen solidarity that is the backbone in attaining glory for the nation in all spheres. Malaysians should learn to tolerate one another better, without discriminating ethnicity, language, religion, gender or culture. Wherever we bring ourselves, bare in mind that we should bring forth our identity as Malaysian before we acknowledge ourselves as Malay, Chinese, Indian or any any other race we belong to. I always feel, diversity and inclusiveness are the two most beautiful elements of Malaysia. Our forefathers have proven to us that all the communities can share the same goals and visions to build a nation that is occupied by a multicultural society.

Despite this great diversity, we can always shape a colorful and unique Bangsa Malaysia rich with all the elements that are capable of making Malaysia a truly Asia. We don't have to stay away from the uniqueness and neglect various types of cultures and religions we have in Malaysia in order for us to be under one roof. But, treasure them, avoid discriminations and have the heart to sincerely respect other races, different beliefs, various ways of life, religions and unique cultures that we have on this land. With such mindset and strong spirit, we can always shape up a Malaysia that belongs to all - One legacy, One destiny!

We are first and foremost, Malaysians!
Everything else comes second.
-Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra al-Haj

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BBQ @ Sitiawan

I went for a BBQ party at my friend's place over the weekend. The lighting at the outdoor was so pretty, and the food table feels very warm and welcoming. There we around 15 of us and we had lotsa fun cooking and eating together. The evening followed by a few more activities and interesting games that I really enjoyed very much. Long story short, last Saturday was a blast. Thnx to Nisha for organizing it. Can't help not to put some of the pictures here. ;p

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LOL Mondays 1

A guy burned two ears...
so they were asking him at the hospital how it happened.

He said, ''I was ironing my clothing and the phone rang...
So, instead of the phone I picked up the iron and burned my ear...''

''But how the heck did you burn the other ear?'' The doctor asked.
He answered, ''They called back!''

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The Paradox

This essay appeared under the title "The Paradox of Our Age" in Words Aptly Spoken, Dr. Moorehead's 1995 collection of prayers, homilies, and monologues used in his sermons and radio broadcasts. Dr. Bob Moorehead is former pastor of Seattle's Overlake Christian Church. (He retired in 1998 after 29 years in that post).

We have taller buildings but shorter tempers; wider freeways but narrower viewpoints; we spend more but have less; we buy more but enjoy it less; we have bigger houses and smaller families; more conveniences, yet less time; we have more degrees but less sense; more knowledge but less judgement; more experts, yet more problems; we have more gadgets but less satisfaction; more medicine, yet less wellness; we take more vitamins but see fewer results. We drink too much; smoke too much; spend too recklessly; laugh too little; drive too fast; get too angry quickly; stay up too late; get up too tired; read too seldom; watch TV too much and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values; we fly in faster planes to arrive there quicker, to do less and return sooner; we sign more contracts only to realize fewer profits; we talk too much; love too seldom and lie too often. We've learned how to make a living, but not a life; we've added years to life, not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet the new neighbor. We've conquered outer space, but not inner space; we've done larger things, but not better things; we've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul; we've split the atom, but not our prejudice; we write more, but learn less; plan more, but accomplish less; we make faster planes, but longer lines; we learned to rush, but not to wait; we have more weapons, but less peace; higher incomes, but lower morals; more parties, but less fun; more food, but less appeasement; more acquaintances, but fewer friends; more effort, but less success. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but have less communication; drive smaller cars that have bigger problems; build larger factories that produce less. We've become long on quantity, but short on quality.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion; tall men, but short character; steep in profits, but shallow relationships. These are times of world peace, but domestic warfare; more leisure and less fun; higher postage, but slower mail; more kinds of food, but less nutrition. These are days of two incomes, but more divorces; these are times of fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, cartridge living, thow-away morality, one-night stands, overweight bodies and pills that do everything from cheer, to prevent, quiet or kill. It is a time when there is much in the show window and nothing in the stock room. Indeed, these are the times! Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

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Naana Neeya soundtrack review

Finally, after a hectic week I am back again! I have manage to take a pause from all the piled up works and projects to review about something cool enough for you guys to know. Well, this time I am going to talk about a local album that is making its name out there in the market right now! Well, I am a music person. I don't play music but I love listening to one. And, I am kind of fussy when comes to songs and music. I do not only pay attention to the tune and music but also the lyrics and its meaning. So, it really takes lines of nice lyrics and captivating music for a song to make me listen to it again and again. Lately, only a few songs made it up to that level and I was really surprised when knew that some of them are from our local album which was released recently at the Global Indian Shopping Festival at Midvalley.

Exactly! I am talking about the audio album of the movie, Naana Neeya. I do not know about the movie, but, all I can say is the songs are really worth listening again and again. I was quite impressed with the songs, Yennanggal Neeya and Silir Katahal Pani sung by Dharma in the album. I am listening to them right know, in fact I am listening to both the songs since morning, again and again, and I personally feel this album the has lift up the standard of local music as I find the songs in it much better than some of the Tamil movie songs out there. The lyrics of the two above mentioned songs are really good and I have to salute Dharma for her fantastic voice and real good Tamil pronunciation throughout her songs. It has been very long since I listen to such vocal especially when it comes to local albums. Without any doubt, she’s my favorite singer in the album.

Vizz Da Blizz

Besides that, the album also has a good mixture of hip hop and rock songs which I guess already caught the attention of lots of hip hop fans. If you are n hip hop lover, then you are going to blast your speakers with the title song, Naana Neeya. This song has three different versions - Tamil, Malay and English. It’s really cool to listen to a song in three different languages. The Tamil version of Naana Neeya song sung by a 12 years old young man, Vizz da blizz. The Malay and English versions are by MC Loga and DJ Hazel. MC loga and DJ Hazel together with our youngest Malaysian Indian talent to have sung for an album as a solo vocalist (Read= Vizz Da Blizz) has really done a great job and I think it is part of the team's effort to establish this album among all the races in Malaysia. And, I heard that an independent producer is working on to have the same in Chinese version! Hmm.. Now I can sea true racial integration in practice. Well, that gives us a hint that the movie might have the elements of Muhibah spirit and describes the uniqueness of Bangsa Malaysia. May be! We shall wait and see then.

Okay, I am not gonna talk about rest of the tracks in the album. It’s now your turn to get a copy and find out more yourself. There are all together 8 tracks in the album covering all types of music from Hip Hop, melody to rock. I managed to get the preview songs courtesy on Cresendo production. Perhaps, you may want to listen to the full promo at The album is out in the stores now. Make sure you get your original copy. You can contact the team at incase you guys have any queries. For people around KL, you can ring Mr.Pralobhanan at 016-3905439 as he provide door to door delivery service for the album. If you are in Cyberjaya / Puchong / Kelana Jaya area, you may contact Mr.Novinthen at 01257 44227 for the album to reach your doorsteps.

There will be a live interview with the crews of the Naan Neeya movie in our local radio stations very soon. Check out the official website for more info on that and to watch the trailer of the Naana Neeya movie. They even have the lyrics published there and lots of pictures at the gallery. Owh yeah, there are also attractive special gift to be given away by producers of Naana Neeya to best commentators. The winners will be chosen by IndianVibez and Cresendo productions So, what are you waiting for? Go and get your fingers typing!

This blog review is sponsored by and Cresendo Productions. And, here is a friendly reminder from TheBlankPage : Get your ORIGINAL copies and support our local artists. Say NO to piracy.

அசலான இசைவட்டுகளை வாங்கிக் கேளுங்கள். நமது தரமான உள்ளூர் கலைஞர்களுக்கு ஆதரவு கொடுங்கள் :)

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Wise words from Prince

Raja Muda of Perak, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah outlined five traits needed for a decent social order which would produce social norms and behavior that were fundamentally efficient, productive and just in his recent lecture entitled "Towards a Decent Social Order for All Malaysians" at the Islamic Arts Museum. They were:

• A social order that led to cohesion within and among communities and called for horizontal equity whereby all Malaysians in equal circumstances were treated in exactly the same way;

Malaysians of all races and religions engaging one another with absolute civility and respect;

• Malaysians feeling a deep-seated sense of ownership over the problems of the country and being motivated to take decisive action and make whatever sacrifices necessary for the good of the country;

• Only Malaysians who were capable, hard working, bold and scrupulously honest being allowed to serve in positions of responsibility; and,

• The public having a high degree of trust in the pillars of state, the executive, judiciary and legislature, as well as the civil service and police.

Raja Nazrin further added that "figures in authority must be chosen for their integrity first and qualification second." Here's part of the Bernama story :

Raja Nazrin said corruption was mankind's most deadly social disease, as it could undermine good governance, weaken institutional foundations, distort public policy, compromise the rule of law and constrain the economy. He said corruption curbed competitiveness to the detriment of economic and social development, led to tremendous misallocation of resources, and made the cost of doing business become unacceptably high. "Corruption exists because of man's enduring desire for personal gain. Once corruption becomes widespread, it will no longer seem immoral and unlawful - just business as usual," he said.

He said there must be concrete anti-corruption measures and management practices based on efficiency, transparency and accountability. Unnecessary or complex regulations and licensing requirements should be discarded or simplified to discourage `under-the-table' deals, he said.

The points Raja Nazrin has put forward are social norms that need to be reflected in daily routine and action of every single Malaysian citizen. Only if we can have everyone to practice what Raja Nazrin is preaching, we would be able to create a big positive change in this multi-racial nationhood.

Related Links : TheStar, NST

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Last attempt to save temple failed

Real sad thing when Malaysiakini reported two days back that Sri Maha Periachiamman Temple in Tambak Paya was demolished by an enforcement team from the Malacca City Council (MBMB), which disregarded a ‘stay order’ signed by two top state officials. The temple was demolished on 30th July at 11.00am leaving behind poor Malaysians who were only asking that their place of worship be spared. It's a puzzle why a temple on a private land with the owners consent is demolished when similar neighboring houses or buildings without building approval were not demolished.

I had the chance to take part in a prayer ceremony organized at the temple two weeks ago. As I can recall, that was also the day the front-page headline of the local newspaper reads our PM's humble message to fellow Malaysians - “Malaysians of all races and religions must be involved in every aspect of our life. They must be together in politics, in government, in schools. That’s the way it was and that’s the way it should be, The tenet is, never Malay, Chinese or Indian affair, the emphasis is, whatever the endeavor, They must involve all races"

Exactly! The same goes to the prayer ceremony organized. There were people from various races and religions turned up to show their support for the event. It was 15th of July 2007 when Mahen, Tony, Haris and myself started our Sunday morning with a journey all the way down to Melaka, heading to Sri Maha Peiachiamman in Tambak Paya to participate in Acara Mesra Rakyat, organized by the temple committee and devotees as their last attempt to save the temple which was facing a big threat of demolition by the Town Council (MBMB- Majlis Bandaraya Melaka Bersejarah - Town Council of Historic Malacca).

The very first moment, we reached Tambak Paya early in the morning, we caught the glimpse of a banner inciting racial tension nearby the temple compound which directly contrary to the Governments’ call for national unity, national integration, racial and religious co-existence and the Prime Minister’s declaration immediately upon taking office that “Malaysia is for all ethnic Communities”

When reached the temple ground, I noticed that the preparations for the prayer ceremony already underway. The prayers started around 8.30 am and there were roughly 100-150 devotees participated in it. The session followed by a mini press conference explaining the whole scenario. Perhaps you may want to read the details here and here.

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