Thursday, June 29, 2006

One of those days....

I am in Malacca, been here since last week.. It is late afternoon, the sun is at forty five degree on the horizon, so the weather is not that humid and hot..It is getting to be a bit cooler.. The sea look tempting and as usual luring me toward it. I put on my cotton track suit and a t-shirt. With my snicker on I locked the apartment. I put the keys in my pocket together with the cell phone and walk toward the beach which is just two hundred meters away across the road, in front of the condominium..The beach is clean.. I took my time and walk slowly under the shade of the Casuarina trees and whilst the time away day dreams, letting my thought run wild as I walk along. I found a stick and took it and make it as a walking stick. Funny, holding a stick make you feel different and there seem to be a connection somewhere when you walk with a stick. Poking the sand as I walk by, I began to notice many things, like the small plants that try very hard to grow on this sandy beach.. The one that had grown trying to spread itself like the tentacle of a giant squids.. Where there are shade especially under the Casuarina and the Ketapang trees, there are no undergrowth at all. The sand were fine and great for walking. I play around with the walking stick, like a child trying to draw some words on the soft fine sand.. Well I did managed to draw this word as in the image above. Sayang mean love... Sayang or Love always seem to appear in my mind all the time. They say that God invented Love... Surely He would not mind if we borrow and use it always....For what is life without Love.

My thoughts run wild with all sorts of memories of my past especially of that when I was growing up on the East coast of Peninsular Malaysia.. At that time the sea beaches was my weekend play ground. Swimming and hiking around the beach care less of the danger around us at that time... Now, today in my golden age, I walk at the beach, not the one on the east coast but on the west coast.. It look and feel the same although the beach differ. The beach on the east coast which is swept by the China sea is filled with golden sand, the sea is deep and the water is crystal clear...Here in Malacca it is different, the sand of the beach is different, it is slightly white and the sea is not deep, the water a bit grayish.. The sea is not that open like on the East Coast, for this is part of the narrow straits of Malacca, with Sumatra in Indonesia just about fifty kilometer away on the other side.. Many ships for all regions of the world ply this narrow straits and because of that the sea is not as clean as that of the east coast. I wonder along and saw a fisherman's shack. I walks toward it and smell the stank of decaying fish that were left to rots on the sand. Ants were everywhere enjoying the feast care less of what happen in its surroundings.. There were benches made of discarded planks where the fishermen would sit to chat before leaving to do their daily catch in the sea nearby..They went on small boats and at time spend the whole day to get their daily catch of fish. The shack is empty now, so I just walk by and look around this simple structure that served its purpose perfect. A place to sit and rest after a hard day at the sea. I sat down on the bench and enjoy the scene, that I would normally would not see in other places. I took my cell phone and snap some photo of the place, thus the image above.

I continue to walk with the walking stick and watch the waves smack against the shore making a sort of rhythm and creating sound that only the sea could make.. I did not see any Sand Piper today but could hear other birds chirping about the branch of the Ketapang tree.. Scattered on the wet part of the beach are loose shell of shell fish and drift wood that found it way here...I just watch and enjoy it and felt the peace and tranquility of the afternoon. The sun is beginning to dip further toward the horizon. The scene look great with the reflection of the sun glowing on the surface of the sea. I always love to watch this period of the setting sun. The Sun disappearing act is rather fast, at time before you know it, it disappears leaving an amber glow about the horizon.. Leaving a picturesque sight to watch and wonder....

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Words of wisdom....

A friend send me this. So here I am sharing it with anyone who visit my blog.:-

"Do not believe in anything (simply) because you have heard it. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. Do not believe in anything because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything (simply) because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. But after observation and analysis when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conductive to the good and benefit of one and all then accept it and live up to it." - Lord Buddha, Kalama Sutta (Anguttara Nikaya Vol. 1, 188-193 P.T.S. Ed.)

Have a nice Day. Take care.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

The Red Crystal...

Now that we have a new symbol in addition to the Red Cross and the Red Crescent, in the Red Crystal.. Why not every countries just use One Symbol.. It would harmonize this very important institution with just one symbol...The Red Crystal.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Just another week....

I am in Malacca since last Sunday. The weather has been great, with sunshine all throughout the week with some intermittent rain in the evening... The scene from my window is great as usual, the sea, the horizon, the setting sun, the white clouds, the palm trees, the casuarinas tree has grown tall and all this make a picture perfect postcard like scene that changes as the day goes by.. This is one advantage of having a house beside the sea, you get to see the setting sun always except when it rain and even that you can still see the amber light of the setting sun as it goes down the horizon....

I am alone here for the whole week. The reason has been that our apartment here is going on a renovation of sorts. We are getting the floor change, from the original wall to wall carpet to a complete tile floor... The carpeting came when we bought this condo some thirteen years ago and it has shown its wear and tear for the uses all the time. Moreover we know now that in the tropic carpet is not really suitable because of its humid condition. It has become a breeding ground of million of dust mite which are rather difficult to get rid of. I am told that the only way of getting rid of these mites is to dry it in the sun. If it a small carpet then it would be easy but with fixed wall to wall carpet it is just impossible. Vacuuming it would be just impossible, so the best way is to change it with something that is more easily clean. We had a choice of either using laminated wood flooring or tiles but because this apartment is not always in use, it would not be wise to use laminated wood since limited wood would be damage if cover with water for a period of time. The front part of our apartment is facing the sea and it is only about two hundred meters away, so when it rain and together with strong wind, water sometime leak into the front part of the house and in that part our carpet get wet and dry by its self, leaving patches of dried up are in all shapes and sizes.. If it had been laminated wood flooring it would have been completely damages by water... So for that reason we choose ceramic tiles for our new floor...

It would take almost a week for this renovation job to be done. For them to carried our the works, I had to removed all the furniture and for this I was lucky that the adjacent apartment that belong to an American owner is vacant and with permission from management I used it to put my furniture for the time being of the renovation works.. The American who owns this apartment at this resort has since left for the States and we are in the process of getting in touch with him and hope that we would be able to deliver good news to him, in that this resort in Malacca is starting to be operating like before again.

After four days of works, the skilled craftsmen finish the jobs of laying the tile, each tile is two by two feet and it is rather heavy.. The workman did an excellent job and now I have a new floor gleaming with a clean look.. With the helps of the resorts workers I move the furniture back... I then spend the next two days redecorating the apartment and voila!! I finished it with a reward of a better looking apartment.. The new tiles floor actually enhance the look and its now look more spacious then before... Well I am indeed happy that this job was well done...Our species never seem to satisfied with same living environment and continue to do changes from time to time, so these changes we continue to enjoy living,as usual until another time when we makes the next changes... Well Life is like that....

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Taiping the past and present.....

In my previous posting I mentioned Taiping. Well.. A lady in Boston says that Taiping in the state of Perak, Malaysia is her hometown and proud of it. Indeed it is an interesting city with a very colorful history of its own.. Here are some images that I took while visiting it sometimes ago with my spouse and another couple... These images tell stories of its own, a colorful stories indeed...Enjoy...[ Images above shows the Taiping Lake Garden, The War memorial, The colonial Telephone Boot and The colonial building that house the Larut & Matang [Taiping] District Office ]

Monday, June 12, 2006

A trip north....

Let me divert to another interesting event that happen as I journey on... A few weeks ago a couple invited us to take a trip north of the country, to the state of Perak. Since we had not been to that part of the country for sometime already, we decided to accept the offer. Taiping is interesting because it is among the city with lots and lots of green. Situated in the Kinta Valley, an area where there are lots of Tin Ore, it is among the areas where the British colonial authority make lots of money mining the Tin ore..Because of the presence of many British enterprises, towns in these area are built with lush garden and Taiping is one of the many well develop town in this part of the country, with great well planned garden that still in use today. Visit this lush green garden and you would be amazed as to how this greens were in its hay days during the colonial are. Today the Taiping Lake Garden is a must visit place if you happen to be there. It is known as the Taiping Lake Garden..

Since the Highway was built we often bypassed most towns like taping and Kuala Kangsar on our way north especially to the city of Penang, the Pearl of the Orient. We left just after nine in the morning with the friend spouse taking the wheel. She happen to be the few spouse that love to drive. She is younger then my spouse and as such have more vigor. To me it is an interesting event, as for once I would have the opportunity to sit and enjoy the ride. In a word I would just play tourist for a change. When you drive you have to put full concentration on the road and would not have the pleasure and the leisure of times to enjoy the trip. So on this occasion I would enjoy the trip care less of how we get to the destination. I have confidence on this lady driving the Mercedes, so I sat and enjoy the trip intercept from time to time in small talk with her spouse and my spouse. In this country it is not always you get a lady to drive. Quite so often it is the man that do the driving when one is with one's spouse or the family. Of course many ladies do drive in this country but more often when they drive alone. When they are with the family, it is the man that normally do the driving. I believe this is a cultural thing and it seem to be fine with us but things are changing with times. So today being driven by a lady driver especially on a long trip, is indeed something special for me.. I just relax and enjoy the drive. She is indeed a good driver. Once before when we went on a trip to the National Park, she drove a four wheels drive and we all did enjoy that trip...

Today we took the Highway toward Ipoh the capital of the state of Perak. Malaysian Highway is just like those in the US or Europe except that we drive on the left side of the road. Both side of the highway were lush greens that of Rubber Plantation or Palm Oil Plantation and near the town areas on both side were housing estate, makes up of apartments, condos or luxury houses. An indicator of the prosperity of the country. The highway as usual were throng with cars going on both direction. We drive on and just before arriving at Ipoh we took the country road to Kampar, since my friend had a business to do there. We stop at this once thriving mining town while my friend get going with his business. After that we proceed on and had lunch at one of the food court. We tried the local dishes and really enjoy that lunch, which were rather cheap compare to the price we had to pay for the same food in Kuala Lumpur...

Since we had not been to this part of the country for some time already, we decided to stop at a few places on the way and take a walk at the old streets. At the town of Kampar I took to walk the pathway of the old street and saw a few shop lots that floods my memories back to the time of my youth in Kuantan. I saw a few Cheetiers shops, once a main feature in most towns. Cheetier are actually Indian money lender, a licensed one that had a flourishing business lending money before modern banking became an economic institution and makes it presence nowadays. All such shops that I saw are abandoned and left to rot with weed growing in the crevice of the neglected buildings. I also saw one old Chinese shop that had that traditional sign board. This one that I passed by still has some activities going on, run by old folks. I stop by to chat and seek permission to take photo of the sign board. There are so many things to see here, things out of the past, parts of our history. It would be interesting to spend a few days here and walk the streets and take picture of what's left of it former glorious days, especially when it was the main town during the Tin boom of the colonial era....Well that would do for today.[images above shows what's left of the Cheetier's shop, ceramic on wall and the traditional signboard of a tailor shop in Kampar]

Friday, June 09, 2006

An open letter to the former Prime Minister....

Yesterday the former Prime Minister Dr.Mahathir Mohamad criticised the present PM Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on the development of this country... Personally I am happy with the way the present Prime Minister is doing his job..Not the way the former PM did but in a different style... Well, different people have different style of working... Lets give Abdullah Ahmad Badawi the present PM a chance to do his work.. Remember in the last election the people gave Him and his Political Party, the National Front a overwhelming majority to rule this country for the next five years... We are a democracy, so this is how thing should works... Read on...
[ I have copy and paste this article as it appear in the NST today...New Straits Times]
An open letter to Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad: Not going gentle into that good night
09 Jun 2006
By Rehman Rashid

WHY, Tun?
That’s what we — the products, inhabitants, stewards and legatees of the country you designed and built — need to know. Why have you become so harsh a critic of your successor’s administration?

You made them, too. They have cleaved to your vision of what this country needs to be, and they are moving forward — or at least attempting to, as best they can, given the way forward as they see it.

It wasn’t necessarily their way forward; it was yours. No one has argued with the road map you drafted for this country, nor the direction you determined, nor even with the pace you set to get where you wanted us to go.

Nothing of your legacy as prime minister has been dismantled. Such restructuring as is happening in the corporate Malaysia Inc you established — Proton and MAS in particular — is for companies in desperate trouble, needing to be re-engineered to new and more businesslike specifications. Whether this will turn them around remains to be seen, but it needed to be done.

On the fuel price hike, your suggestion that fuel subsidies could have been maintained by allowing the exchange rate to float was, well, radical. Certainly, so was your decision to peg the ringgit to the US dollar during the Asian financial meltdown in 1998. By that time the claws of the crisis had sunk deep, and there was no lack of popular and political support for your soon-to-be famously successful move.

But the present administration, in reducing fuel subsidies, was responding to imperatives of long-term prudence, and that too has been by-and-large accepted and supported by the people. Times have changed, Tun. You should know: You changed them.

In the case of the Tebrau bridge, you seemed beside yourself with irritation. But it was precisely with respect to national sovereignty that the idea was scrapped; it’s hard to understand how you could have implied otherwise.

We know it’s a gamble, but for this term at least, the electorate have fallen behind the present administration with a greater mandate than you received even at the record-breaking height of your popularity.

But that was in 1982. For the ensuing 21 years, you charged forward with stupendous resolve, damning the torpedoes, brooking scant dissent, building this city on rock and roll.

Your successor is more graceful at the waltz, it seems — and so far the people have responded fondly enough to that, too.

How has Malaysia changed in the first half-term of Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s administration? It’s quieter. More circumspect. There’s more introspection at the top; a need, as much as a willingness, to listen, perhaps even more than to speak.

There’s greater inclusion, more accommodation. Necessarily in these circumstances, and yet so easily depicted as indecisiveness, there’s less unilateralism. And certainly, less of a hell-for-leather, gung-ho, we’ll-do-it-our-way charge at the future.

Yes, there’s less money sloshing around the system; there are fewer big buckets to draw from. This Government has turned away from top-down economic development through megaprojects towards those grassroots sectors where but a fistful of ringgit might mean as much as thousands in other palms.

It’s a necessary attention, somewhat sidelined in your time, and quite cost-effective in terms of improving the lives of those Malaysians who could most do with it (and being recognised for it at the ballot box).

The present administration is not to be criticised for this. Which is by no means to say it is not to be criticised at all — even in the most strident, sneering or contemptuous terms, if that helps get a valid point across.

Just, please Tun, not by you. Our nation’s history should not have to deal again with the bitter irony of a revered leader leaving office honourably — indeed, covered in glory — only to henceforth speak for the far fringes of the Opposition.

It’s time to let us go, Tun. For better or worse, we owe our character as a modern nation to you. This is what we are now. This is the way we’re going. God knows, we may stumble or fall, stray off-track or derail entirely. We may reveal ourselves to be not as you had hoped but as you feared: effete, incompetent, mediocre; a polity of petty concerns, narrow minds and limited abilities.

But we’ll struggle along as best we can, for better or worse, as who and what we are. We have to. You taught us that.

It’s your choice, of course; you still have the keys to the kingdom granted you by a grateful populace for having carried them from the past to the future in a single generation. The respect accorded you will last forever; there would be no way to discredit what you did for Malaysia without virtually negating Malaysia itself.

But you of all men should know there are only three choices for the rare few: Lead, follow, or step aside.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Yet another day .....

Wake up to a beautiful Sunday morning with the sun shining bright through the window.. Sunday had always been special. It is a day of rest for most people on the planet..Surely there are people who works on Sunday. Well someone had to keep the world going, for without these good people life would be at a standstill on Sunday or on Holidays.. When I was working I do works on days of rest like Saturday and Sunday or on Friday where it is their official holiday especially in those states on the east coast.. At that period of my working life I enjoy working and do not matter working on my days of rest. For to meet people I could only meet them when they are not working, especially on Saturday or Sunday or in the evening when most people are not working. I was then working with young people, to get them organized into Youth Clubs and then get them into activities for their benefit and the society at large. It was a sorts of a social engineering programs..

The main idea of this government programs with the youth is to harnessed their potential for the country's development.. Remember that youth could be a liability or asset as well.. So the country choose to harnessed these million of youth and channel their valuable energies into asset for the country...This is one reason why Malaysia had managed to be one of the most developed nation in this part of the world in such a short period of time.. We made our youth an asset, thus its contributes as a great human resources for the development of the country...In countries where Youth with all its energies had become liabilities, one could see it do no good to the country. It was the pioneering program in the early part of our independence that we from the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports developed and organized. Like any social engineering programs it is not that easy to see the success in one generation but as we Malaysian could see now after been an independent country for almost fifty years, the hard works we all put in this social engineering program do became successful. So now we see that the youth who are now in their forties are taking over the leaderships in all fields of the country developments, thus the success you see now in Malaysia.

Monday, June 05, 2006

A helping hand in humanity....

Disaster struck twice at the end of last month, the first one in Timor Leste,is man made. There was anarchy there and Malaysia was one of the country approached by the government to help them bring peace to this trouble island...Timor Leste, once Timor Timor gained their independence about two years ago and at that time Malaysia help under the banner of the United Nation..After independence and peace prevail Malaysian forces left the country and then continue to help this new nation in various fields..And just a few days ago Malaysian Forces were among the first to arrived in Deli to help quelled the uprising. Together with the Australian force who had arrived earlier have managed to bring a little bit of calm to the trouble area..Well since our Arm Forces are professional soldiers, we were able to help in a professional way...I believe that is why Timor Leste ask us for help in their time of need...I am indeed glad that our government did help in this instance and did it quickly....And then another disaster struck Jokjakarta in Indonesia, this time it is a natural disaster, an earthquake..So again our government and Malaysian NGO went to help..They were again the first to be at the scene of the disaster.....

Well it had been like that for us Malaysian..We would give a helping hand whenever and wherever they are needed.. One great thing about be a prosperous country we could help others in their time of need...The time is now for those two regions that are in trouble..One man made and one a natural happening...

Saturday, June 03, 2006

The Seremban R & R...

It look like that the authority concern have started to upgrade the R & R at Seremban on both side of the Highway...These stopover recreation center are our favorite place to take a break on our journey to and fro from Kuala Lumpur and Malacca.. At least once in a month we would be on this highway..It normally would take us just two hours to get to Pantai Putri in Malacca where we have our second home at the Merak Melaka Beach Resort..This time on the way we stop at the R & R and had our lunch at the Shalala Cafe and while there met a couple and their son and daughter in law having lunch as well. They are on they way to Johor Bahru to attend a Wedding and I believe after that they would proceed to Singapore which is just a brisk away from Johor Bahru.. You have to bring along your Passport to get into Singapore.. So to friends this is just a reminder. Do check that you have your Passport with you when parting for Johor Bahru. Who knows you might want to visit this city state, Singapore... A great place to shop..

And on our way back to KL we stop at the other R & R and as usual went to have our drink and snack at the Shalala.. Since it is afternoon, this time we had tea and some snack of local food...I had the Ice tea and Popia or Spring roll..It is done hot here and great as a snack..My spouse had some Malay cake and hot tea... We sat to enjoy the tea in the cool comfort of the cafe.. The weather outside is about 35% Celsius. A hot and humid day indeed... Well we take a rest and then proceed on with our journey to KL, back to our home in Ampang Jaya...It was indeed a great weekend... Have a nice day. [images above show the ice tea and the Popia]