Tadau Kaamatan & Gawai Dayak

This weekend marks a double celebration :)

To my Kadazan-Dusun buddies, I'm wishing you a Happy Kaamatan (May 30-31). May the harvest festival bring you more prosperity, happiness and good luck.

Also, best wishes to all Sarawakians celebrating Gawai on the 1st and 2nd June. I wish for the happiness and joy of this festival to be yours forever.

For the rest of you all, it's wonderful for us to be blessed with many different cultures and occasions side by side. Let's learn and enjoy the cultural diversities and uniqueness of them which make Malaysia what it is - a land of many colorful festivals and celebrations.

Happy holidays and have a great weekend :)

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A short update..

I am done with my exams. Now, left with a presentation for next week before i can wave goodbye to my undergraduate university life.

Nothing much to do. I got so bored doing the same thing again and again - sleeping and eating. So, I decided to change my banner. It's now a new one up there with a dark blue background. And, check out the nuffnang polls on your right :) Hmmm.. It's always nice to know your own visitors.

What's next? No..no..no! I am not gonna touch the blog's theme. I love the way it is now. May be a google reader might pop up soon :) I'm still figuring out how to fit it in here. :|

Meanwhile, lotsa things happened in the past few days - Tun M's game plans, funny parliament stories up to the Batu Puteh issue which we only managed to get some pebbles while Singapore grabbed the the whole Pedra Branca lighthouse.

And, this is the latest bombshell dropped in MIC.. while MIC's president claims the party to be the sole representative of M'sian Indians, the vice president Tan Sri
Karnail Singh Nijhar, the highest ranking Sikh in the Tamil-dominated party announced his resignation from MIC today. I wonder if MIC's political play is going towards UMNO's way! Bolehland got more of the story.

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Unity, Here In My Home!

Mahen shared it with me and it's about time for me to spread the love and unity to more and more Malaysians.

The Malaysian artistes have came with an anti-racism song and music video. There’s about 120 people was involved in this video directed by Yasmin Ahmad and Ho Yuhang. It features filmmakers, dancers, singers, producers, musicians, actors, entrepreneurs, designers, footballers, activists, celebrities, students and a florist.

free download

This wonderful piece of work was inspired by Pete Teo as the project founder, song co-founder & song composer. Most of us tend to get inspiring ideas when we are so damn bored, busy doing nothing and got no one to disturb around. Pete is no exception:
Pete was juggling tomatoes. bored. so he telephoned a few friends instead. “how about getting together to make an anti-racism song and music video?” all said yes without hesitation.
So, they teamed up together and came up with this music video, "Here In My Home"

I just love every single bit of it - the lyrics, singers' voice, the catchy chorus, the one-spot camera angle, the way Datuk Tony Fernandes dances around like a happy school kid and nothing beats the cute actions by Harith Iskandar; he's damn funny lah! And, of course the most important thing of all - the message itself.

Here's my favorite lines of the lyrics which explain what the message is all about.

Here in my home.. I'll tell you what it's all about..
There's just one hope here in my heart,
One love undivided, That's what it's all about..
Please won't you fall in one by one?
Hmm.. Wei Zhu has compiled the full lyrics of the song. And, you can download the movie and song clips from the official website. There is no copyright infringement, as they are meant for all Malaysians of all races. You may download them absolutely free as long as you promise to behave yourselves and keep your hands off the damn guava.

Listening to the song, I feel more Malaysian now, Here In My Home. woohoo~ I hope you to enjoy the clip as much as I did :)

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LOL Mondays 18

Presenting any technical elements with practical approach and humorous manner help people to understand them better. When a lady asked her boss for an explanation of marketing strategies, he answered her with some analogical examples:

You see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and say, “I’m fantastic in bed.That’s Direct Marketing.

You’re at a party with a bunch of friends and see a handsome guy. One of your friends goes up to him and pointing at you says, “She’s fantastic in bed.” That’s Advertising.

You see a handsome guy at a party. You go up to him and get his telephone number. The next day you call and say, “Hi, I’m fantastic in bed.” That’s Telemarketing.

You’re at a party and see a handsome guy. You get up and straighten your dress. You walk up to him and pour him a drink. You say, “May I?” and reach up to straighten his tie brushing your breast lightly against his arm, and then say, “By the way, I’m fantastic in bed.” That’s Public Relations.

You’re at a party and see a handsome guy. He walks up to you and says, “I hear you’re fantastic in bed.”
That’s Brand Recognition.

You’re at a party and see a handsome guy. You talk him into going home with your friend. That’s a Sales Rep.

Your friend can’t satisfy him so he calls you. That’s Tech Support.

You’re on your way to a party when you realize that there could be handsome men in all these houses you’re passing. So you climb onto the roof of one situated toward the center and shout at the top of your lungs, “I’m fantastic in bed!” That’s Spam.

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May 17 : Global Day of Action for Burma

Tomorrow, May 17th is a Global Action Day for Burma's Cyclone Victims. Thousands of people will gather across the world to call for the international community to intervene in the humanitarian crisis in Burma. Demonstrations and vigils will be held to urge world governments and the United Nations to intervene by supplying aid to the 2.5 million people displaced by Cyclone Nargis.

International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies estimated the death toll was between 68,833 and 127,990. The U.N. and the Red Cross say between 1.6 and 2.5 million people are in urgent need of food, water and shelter. Hundreds of thousands of people are at risk of death through starvation, dehydration and preventable diseases such as malaria and diarrhea.

Nearly half of those killed in the Myanmar cyclone were children. UNICEF says 3,000 schools were wiped out by the cyclone, leaving 500,000 children without classrooms.UNICEF says with people desperately in need after Cyclone Nargis, children are now at risk of abuse and trafficking.

It's a calling for an Urgent Response to Burma’s Humanitarian Disaster. This is a situation that the country has not dealt with before and the scale of the needs is clearly massive. Casualty figures continue to rise and something need to be done NOW! Every minute of delay is costing lives.

It's time to reach out and do something to support the relief efforts . You may donate monetary needs to the victims via International Relief Friendship Foundation or through any of the bodies listed HERE.

Tomorrow is the day, May 17th.. Mark your support - Spread the word, Light up a candle and show solidarity in spirit, participate in any Glodal Day of Action Events in your areas or simply change your social network profile pictures to SOS Burma.

I'll be going RED tomorrow. So as The Blank Page.

ps : On the other hand, within 72 hours after the quake rattled central China more than 50,000 people may have died in it. What a disaster!

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Raja Nazrin : The Challenges of Human Capital Development

This piece of sharing might come a little late but, it warrants this space. In the past four years. I have always made sure that I attend the public and adjunct lecture series organized by the university. It has been a routine for the university to arrange such sessions and they have invited many prominent speakers including Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Prof Emeritus Dato’ Dr Khoo Kay Kim and Tan Sri Mohd Ghazali Shafie to provide the students with better insights on national and global issues.

And this semester on the 5th of May we had a very special guest speaker - His Royal Highness, Raja Dr Nazrin Shah, the erudite, urbane Regent of Perak who has won the support of many with his common touch and willingness to speak candidly on a range of delicate issues. It was my first time witnessing a function or rather a lecture full of royal protocols. The presence of orchestra, huge yellow chair on stage, beautiful flower decorations, yellow carpets all the way, the traditional and musical welcome, thousands of people including lecturers, students, teachers, professionals, school kids, and not forgetting the protocols and police officers, all gave a real different aura to the ceremony. And, since I left my primary school years ago, I had never actually heard some of the rarely used array of Malay words such as patik, hamba, mencemar duli, titah, beta and baginda. May be that's what made the real difference in the hall this time, despite the presence of a royal figure on the stage. And, those words were for real instead of some examples on books. The way the MC conducted the ceremony with full blast royal protocols and the style of Raja Nazrin addressed himself as Beta was something totally strange for me to witness. Well, I have only seen those words on blackboards and school books and never heard it for real until then.

Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah has shared his views many times before on topics related to The Constitution, race relation, good governance, and role model, in the absence of any other leaders speaking on these topics so passionately. And this time, Raja Dr. Nazrin Shah delivered his text on "The Challenges of Human Capital Development". Raja Nazrin opines that the challenges of human capital development lie in enhancing knowledge, skills and abilities and in imbibing sound values, beliefs and attitudes.

His speech was short and sweet; right to the points. Let me give you some of his inputs from my notepad:

The process of human capital development works best where policies are strongly encouraging and supportive and not dispiriting and coercive. We must also be strongly oriented towards achievement. It is imperative that its linkage with advancement be an unshakable one.

Human Capital Development lies in active participation of individual themselves. Developing human Capital is also about building characters. It's the DNA of success, protocol and basis of establishing interpersonal relationships. And the value transformation towards human capital can be from family, colleagues, school, face-to-face and cyberspace. The Government and Monarch are also responsible in playing important roles in value transformation - The government must increase it degree of transparency and accountability should be demanded in public offices.

Money alone is not enough but, skillful human professionals. These concrete changes require more than concepts and we must give our knowledge institutions the critically needed space to work for it. In order to meet the challenges of Human Capital Development, we must empower Knowledge institutes or we may need to suffer the consequences. It's important to raise the number of knowledge institutes and increase the standards of local universities to match the foreign education institutes. We must close the gaps between them if the nation's vision is to increase size and standards.

Raja Nazrin suggested three goals -- learning culture, analytical culture and intellectual culture -- that we as a nation have to achieve in facing the challenges of human capital development.

  • People need to look at ways to instill values and beliefs that promote learning among Malaysians. A true learning culture includes overeating sense of questioning, welcoming new perspectives or different ideas and the ability to actively debate all kind of topics' Learning makes us change and changes make us learn - this is the whole cycle that could contribute to human capital development. Once knowledge is acquired, it motivates people to take action. With such we can improve the present and make the future better.
  • Malaysians needed also to develop an analytical culture so that they could be vastly more reflective and to understand the "what", the "how" and the "why" of the things they did. With such culture, people will consider methods with objective and will be able to draw a logical conclusion on anything the venture in. By developing analytical culture, it's important for us to review, debate and critic on issues and minimizes weaknesses
  • People needed to develop an intellectual culture though intellectuals were no longer highly regarded in most societies and even many rich countries were seemingly reluctant to support their work. If a nation is not intellectual, then the blossoming of knowledge would never occur in it. By acquiring knowledge we could create and creations are often come from those who ready to push their boundaries and limits. Also, learn to question, challenge and think. It is out of a sense of wonder or doubt with the conventional wisdom that new paths of knowledge emerge.

He concluded,

Providing the Knowledge institutes the needed space to meet the above goals will make Malaysians developed with their fullest capacity to benefit the nation and world.

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Happy Mother's Day!

Today is the day to honor all mothers and express gratitude for the hardships they bear in bringing up a child. Walking down the memory lane of early childhood days, we'll find out that all our moms had a favorite quote and a special tone to scold us. We might hate this scoldings as a kid but we all so much miss them when we grow up. Here's some of mothers' perfect one liners which used to irritate all of us :

You know? Money does not grow on trees!
How can you be bored? I was never bored at your age
If I talked to my mother like you talk to me....
What if everyone jumped off a cliff? Would you do it, too?
Hmm.. Just wait till your father gets home.
Because I'm your mother that's why.
I've got eyes in the back of my head, that's how!
Pet? who'll end up walking, bathing and feeding it...?

Blessed be all mothers who have come into our lives,
Whose kindness, care and loving; remain with us to guide.


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Is National Service a death trap? (2)

Guess what the government's take on this issue? The National Service programme will not be scrapped despite another death among the 18-year-old trainees. And, below are the words from NS Training Department director-general Datuk Abdul Hadi Awang Kecil :
"It is our policy that the NS camps go on. What we are doing now is to rectify the problem. The training programme will not be scrapped, just because of one or two deaths (this year)"
Hmm... Does that mean, it's okay for them to have one or two deaths every time during the NS training? I wonder how the parents are going to response to his silly words. When I was previously attached to a Multi National Oil and Gas company, I was actually preety amazed to experience the emphasis the company provided to create a Healthy, Secure and Safety Environment for their employees. They take employees welfare and safety very seriously until more than 2 million accident free man hours were made possible at the time I left the organization, a year ago. Why can't this national level programme under the MOD emulate such an industrial practice to increase the quality of the NS programme rather than giving a typical third class response to cover up their mistakes?

"just because of one or two deaths"... I wonder if the DG is having a verbal diarrhea, with his mouth overtaking his brain, uttering words even before they can be processed for release.

Read rest of the rubbish at NST Online

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Is National Service a death trap?

On the 16th April, Afiq Zuhairi Ahmat Rozal - a National Service trainee died, five days after coming down with fever. Afiq Zuhairi Ahmat Rozal had been a trainee at the Kem Sentosa Chenderiang and his case had been classified as a sudden death.

That was last month. Now, another NS trainee, Too Hui Min, 18, died on Wednesday at the Slim River Hospital in Perak for the shock of everyone after complained of an upset stomach.

Are we to expect some one to drop dead in NS camps every single month? How much higher do we want the NS death toll to go to before something is done?

This is what Wikipedia has to say about Malaysia's NS training :
The security and cleanliness at most camps are very poor. In the more rural camps, communal bathing in murky ponds is practiced. The atrocious living conditions are speculated to be lower than announced cost of constructing the camp by the government. Sick trainees are NOT allowed to leave their camp even for treatment. This has been the cause of some trainees' death or illness. Sri Impian Camp, Sungai Bakap trainees suffered food poisoning due to food served on the first day of camp, 30th. December 2007. Investigations are still continuing until today and no results are seen.
In case you are not aware, Semanggol NS Camp that is currently under quarantine for some yet-to be-identified fever. 10 of its 300 trainees have been warded at the Taiping Hospital over the past few days while 80 others are being treated at the camp.

It's better to just scrap off this entire not-well-planned NS. At least, we could save more lives from the ‘deathly sentence’ of the National Service. The main objective of NS training is not to cater for national security but to plant patriotism and to cultivate the spirit of racial harmony among the kids. So, I feel the whole drama of NS is just to compensate what our education system has failed to deliver. The government should just need focus on ways to enhance our education system to suit the nation's needs and scrap this NS bullshit out of the way.

There have been too many casualties - an average of 4 cases per year. People are thinking twice to nod their heads "yes" to NS, as the MOD can't fulfil
l the most basic needs of safety and health in NS camps in order to win the trust of parents to send their children to the camps.

I think no one out there, parents especially, would tolerate a never ending series of death in NS camps caused by total inefficiency and carelessness. I can hear some of them screaming, "Just scrap it off lah!"

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Shit happens; but you can always flush it away!

I've been absent from blogging for past few days. I had to deal with a couple of hectic weeks till I had no choice but to take this blog out from my priority list for a short period of time. These are my final few weeks in university, which means I have to settle everything once and for all before I leave this place for good. I am sprinting my last four weeks of my four years race. The previous two weeks, I have been dealing with tons and tons of works and projects and paper reviews together with more and more counting datelines approaching my way. Looking at my calendar now reminds me of time bombs waiting turns to explode along the next few days. There are too many to handle!

And, to make things from bad to worse, my hard drive decided to crash a few days back, six days to be exact for no reason, on the minute I needed it the most. Too bad, I couldn't recover any single file. All my bits and bytes gone forever leaving me losing some of my recent works. Thank God, I had my important data and documents backed up in my external hard disks. If not, that would have been a real nightmare for me!

Being the only and very last electromagnetic device on computers (I guess no one uses floppy anymore, do you?) the reliability of hard drives is always a big question mark. I learned my lesson from previous damages happened last year when my Maxtor crashed. And, now my Seagate died in less than year - with the warranty is still way too long to expire. Currently I'm surviving on a brand new Western Digital. Reinstalling everything from scratch and customizing my system to suite my need is another headache. I've lost some of my precious downloads and yet to install my engineering soft wares. :( Well, shit happens now and then. We can't run away from it but we can always learn to flush it away.

For now, I need a break. Excuse me for a few more days. But, thanks to all those funky online gadgets - you can now catch me on Twitter even while I'm offline. Cool uh? And.. in case you are not aware, we have another new blogger in town. I think he doesn't need an introduction. Check it out for yourself at http://www.chedet.com.

p/s: Happy Labor Day to all! But, it's not a holiday for me. I had a test this morning and having a presentation right after this :| And, I don't wanna talk about tomorrow! T_T Like I said, too many to handle!

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