Friday, December 09, 2005

Nell Bares All!!!

(photo courtesy Christina and Isma)

That's right Nell takes it all off. All her inhibitions. Her fears. She lays bare on stage... her immense comic talent.

That got your attention? With a babe like Nell and the kings of comedy, Afdlin Shauki, Harith Iskander and Jit Murad PLUS Rashid Salleh, Ida Nerina and Gavin Yap how can you not want to buy a ticket and be part of the fun......

End the year with a blast! For an evening of comedy improv from Malaysia's best entertainers, comes Actorlympics! at the Actors Studio@BSC - Malaysia's version of "Whose Line Is It Anyway?"

Actorlympics! is a test of skills for the players, all of whom rely on the wit and demands of the audience to push themselves to the limits of Improvisational performance!

Watch crusty old veterans pitch their talents against newbie upstarts, playing theatresports games - inluding old favourites like the freeze game, censorship game and line in a bucket, as well as new games like the ting game, bocelli, music video and the like.

Audience members stand a chance to win prizes every night! Look out for our special ticket offer for two and special time of 5pm for the new year weekend shows (sat/sun). Hope to see you there! Book early to avoid disappointment!

Call for ticket promotions.
Date: 28 to 30 December 2005 @ 8.30PM
31 Dec 2005 & 1 Jan 2006 @ 5PM
Price: RM45 RM40 RM80 RM70,
RM20 (Students)

Friday, December 02, 2005

William Shakespeare's "Julius Caesar"

(Photo of Patrick Teoh as Cassius and Amsalan Dooraisingam as Messala....."Caesar, thou art revenged; even with the sword that killed thee."_Photo courtesy of Isma

"Julius Caesar" opens tonight at the Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre at 8.30 p.m. The play will run until December 11 nightly at 8.30 p.m. except for Sundays when it starts at 3 p.m. Come and see it. There is no show on Monday.

The show on December 6 is for students and there are limited FREE tickets available for 'deserving' students.

If you scored 27 A1's in your last exam....
If you're dyslexic....
If you can prove that the pocket money your dad gives you does not amount to RM40 per annum....
If you can convince us that you will fail your Literature paper if you don't see this show....
If you can still fit into your primary school uniform....
If you can describe in vivid details your last wet dream about Gavin Yap....

Give Faridah Merican (Executive Producer) a call at the KLPAC ( 03 4047 9010).
Or leave a note here.

Yesterday, a deejay on Lite N' Easy while promoting Julius Caesar and giving away tickets to the show refered to Julius Caesar as a CONCERT at the KLPAC! So maybe if you exercise your imagination real hard you can even hear some rap when Gavin Yap as Antony speechifies....."Friends, Romans, countrymen.....


Monday, November 21, 2005

Julius Caesar

(Photo of Patrick Teoh as Cassius - the bad guy. Courtesy of Living Arts Malaysia

"Hail Caesar!"....."Beware the Ides of March"...."Friends, Romans, countrymen; lend me your ears..."......"Upon what meat doth this our Caesar feed that he is grown so great?"....."Et Tu Brute?"...........

That's some of the stuff that's been keeping me busy the past few weeks without time to blog. Trying to remember lines from Shakespeare at my age is getting increasingly difficult:-)

Yes, it has been a long time since this blog has been updated. But I trust that some of us have been having some fun reminiscing of the good old days. And from the number of comments received it is obvious there were quite a few of those good old days to remember. Thank you for the memories.

The reason for my forced blog silence is "Julius Caesar", the play. I have been busy rehearsing for the play which opens December 2 at the KLPAC (Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre for you flers less informed).

This production of one of William Shakespeare most well known tragedies is being staged as the KLPAC end of year production and promises to be a jolly good show. Damn good and enjoyable la in other words.

I am playing my dream role of Cassius, one of the conspirators....."...yon Cassius has a lean and hungry look..." Okay, okay, I can hear some of you laughing already. "Patrick Teoh lean and hungry look ah? Where got?". But this is theatre ma. So sometimes you have to suspend your disbelief a bit la:-) Since my secondary school days I have dreamed of playing the role of Cassius which I think is the most interesting character in the play. Okay lah so most people remember Antony's "Friends, Romans, countrymen....lend me your ears" speech most of all. But it is Cassius who has the most juicy lines in the play. And it is always more interesting to play the 'bad guy' than the hero.

Okay, okay, the plain truth is that I am using this blog to do some unashamed promoting of the play la.

Please help to spread the word to all your friends.

Come and watch a damn good show.

I know it is Shakespeare. And some of you baargers will be scared. Aiyoh! Cannot understand la. The Engrand very deep la. I got tickets for Harry Potter la. Thousand and one excuses la. But it is only going to be 90 minutes long and I promise that you won't have a dull moment.

Then ah....also can see the beautiful Samantha Schubert as Portia.

The recurring wet dream of Malaysian teenaged girls, Gavin Yap.

The ever delightful Ari Ratos.

And other new faces never before seen on the Malaysian stage. Some of you have been complaining about seeing the same old baargers on stage, right? So this time you can see some new ones. So no excuses ya? Come lah. Dates and ticket information can be found below.

(Poster courtesy of Living Arts Malaysia)


Ari Ratos as Brutus
Patrick Teoh as Cassius
Gavin Yap as Marc Antony
Kennie Dowle as Caesar
Clare Dedic as Calphurnia
Samantha Schubert as Portia
Kurt Crocker as Casca


Colin Kirton, Pavanjeet Singh, Roshan Narayan, Calvyn Wong, Michael Chen and Amsalan Doraisingam.

William Shakespeare's 'JULIUS CAESAR' has intrigued audiences for centuries. It is a no-holds-barred scathing commentary on the ruthlessness, deceit and hypocrisy surrounding the eternal struggles of politics and power. Caesar is the quintessential play pitting perceived good against perceived evil. Its main characters can be likened to any leaders of the modern world and their desire to rule. Autocracy or democracy?

Julius Caesar is a tale of conspiracy, power, death and destruction.

When Caesar returns victorious to Rome, he is offered the crown by the populace and unwillingly he rejects it, three times. Cassius, wary of Caesar's foibles and ambitions conspires to have Caesar assassinated; but for his conspiracy to be accepted by the populace he must, and does, win the noble Brutus over to his side.

The pre-determined day for the assassination, the Ides of March (15th March), is prophesised by a soothsayer. On that day, Caesar is mercilessly stabbed to death on his way to the Senate House. One by one the conspirators, in the form of a ritualistic sacrifice, thrust their daggers into Caesar's body. The final thrust is delivered by Caesar's beloved Brutus... 'Et tu Brute'.

What follows is a disastrous series of events, culminating in the double suicides of Cassius and Brutus.

Kuala Lumpur Performing Arts Centre (KLPAC)
Date: 2-11 December 2005
All days @ 8.30 PM except Sundays @ 3 PM
Monday no show
Price: RM60 & RM40, 50% off for students below 18

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Those Were The Days, my friends. We thought they'd never end...

Photo of Mary Hopkin who sang the hit Those Were The Days.....source

What started as my grumble about not being able to buy a simple bar of SOAP became a torrent of memories. So many recollections of those 'good old days' were triggered that I decided that some of those tales should become a blog on their own. Ya, I know that most of you who come visit regularly would have read them. But for future visitors who might otherwise not go into the comments section they would miss all your sharing of days gone by. Good memories should be shared and marked in books (blogs) so that they are never lost.

So sing along to the tune of Those Were The Days as we share times that are forever part of our lives....

...................................Actually, these days you just can't buy JUST an egg anymore. They've got to be cholesterol free, antibiotic free etc. Same thing goes for stuff which you use everyday. Try looking for an ordinary bar of SOAP. You won't find any. There are lots of beauty treatments, facial washes, cleansers but no SOAP. Right?....Patrick Teoh

Talking about soap, I yearn for the Popinjoy (green colour with a parrot sign)that I can no longer find in my local kedai runcit....soowm

Was that Popinjay or Popinjoy? I remember that soap. Green packaging with the picture of a bright colored macaw.......................Patrick Teoh

Popinjay soap is still around. Getting nostalgic? I remembered

1. Fung Keong school shoes;
2. ice bola from canteen;
3. 3 ladies brand cologne;
4. kickapoo (I think still got)
5. Green Spot
6. 555 cigarettes;
7. Amami(talcum).............................Helen

.... does anyone remember Huntley & Palmers Gems and Marie biscuits when they were sold in those rectangular tins which came with a little metal cutter to open?


Lucozade before it became a trendy soft drink?


Woodward's Gripe Water before they discovered that it contained alcohol. GASP GASP GASP.....How could they do that? Fed to babies somemore....string them up. But then generations of us grew up having taken our regular tablespoons of Woodward's and we seem none the worse none the worse none the worse none the worse.




Darkie Toothpaste before political correctness killed it

Bata Badminton Master shoes

4711 Eau De Cologne

555 notebook to record credit at sundry shops

Players Gold Leaf and Craven A cigarettes and Abdullah 37 cigarettes with that silly TV commercial and song...........Abdullah Sarm Sup Chut

Rock groups used to advertise petrol. Remember Caltex Boron?......................Patrick Teoh

My daddy used to tell me about about sinful BB Park, strip queen Rose Chan and screening of x-rated movies in public cinemas
..........................................TV Smith

Those political rallies were great. Back then we didn't have Malays, Chinese or Indians here. Only Malayan/sians. So everybody got fucked. In the speeches I mean. When it was deserved and relevant lah. Ahhh...the good old days...................................Patrick Teoh

I've always thought I'd live and die in Malaysia. Now, I'm not so sure any more. I live in North America at the moment and while I don't think I'll give up Malaysian nationality, that isn't a decision carved in stone...................................Anonymous

I think u can still buy Popinjoy soap in TESCO. Anyway,I remember some of these old stuff:

the pre-printed song requests dedication cards that we sent to get our dedications and
messages on the radio and the times when it was cool to have weird names like James Collin Wong,Ronny Atkinson Khoo, Robert Vincent Lim, Sally Serina Tan etc. etc...

Rough Rider's cigarettes that my grandma used to smoke.

The Straits Echo newspapers

40 sen third class cinema tickets...............................................JasonL

(Oh yes, those names....William Elvis Honda Tan (anyone remember him? His other claim to fame apart from his name was that he got married on a Honda motorcycle. Made the pages of The Malay Mail.), Rocky Alison Teoh, Rickson Lim, Theresa Elvise Liew (who went on to become a psychologist). Anyone remember any more of those names from that period?

Popular cigarettes during a time when smoking was the coolest thing...

Rothmans King Size; Benson & Hedges King Size; Player's Gold Leaf; Consulate Menthol (Cool as a mountain stream); Matterhorn Menthol...........................................................Patrick Teoh

my late grandma use to have a kind of soap what we called sabun cap kapak. u can purchase it at any kedai runcit and u can decide how much do u want to buy. 30 cent means slighly small, 60 cent a bit bigger. it has strong smell too.... some call it sabun potong............................Sherinna

Does anybody remember drinking NAAFI beer at 80 sen for a large bottle of Anchor?
When you could buy a brand new Mercedes Benz 190D for RM18,000?
When you could safely drink water from the tap?...........................................Patrick Teoh

What about the "pak yow" man who came to the house and my Mum would get me to go out with empty bottles to buy kicap which he pumped from this metal container................Anonymous

bringing eggs from home to the char loay teow man to fry with the koay teow. In my days, char koay teow with egg cost 50 sen but if your brought your own you pay only 30 sen......................Patrick Teoh

....the little girls and boys peeing in the cinema aisles - I've seen it many times, even my mum asked me to do it cos' she's doesn't want to miss any part of the movie by taking me to the restroom.........................................JasonL

.....does anyone remember Arthur's Cave in the Merlin Hotel? Jackie's Bowl which was the first ever disco in the country? Time Tunnel?....................................Patrick Teoh

.....Tikam-tikam; a game of chance where for 5 sen, you choose a piece of folded square stuck on a board. Prizes range from a stamp to RM10 cash.
Cut-off paper dolls which comes with two sets of clothes. For variety, we design our own cut-out clothes complete with hats, shoes and handbags. And house then between the pages of the school books............................................kathrina

My favourite childhood games were playing "bak gu li"(marbles), seven stones, "Pepsi-Cola one two three", Police & Thief, "Kali-toi", "One Leg", "high jump" over a long rope strung together with rubber bands........................................arkane

Those Were The Days was one of the most requested songs but at the top of the request list was Patches by Dickie Lee......................................Patrick Teoh

One was a man with his bike and cart who sold "tok tok mee". He hit two sticks to make the "tok tok tok tok" sound, to announce he was in the vicinity. An elderly lady used to carry two baskets on a yoke to sell a local kuih called "faan shue taan" made with sweet potato; .....and stood by the roadside to eat "lok lok". Fishball, seafood, quail eggs on skewers dipped into boiling soup to cook, then dipped into chili or sweet sauce.................................................Min

Grab a picture card each (usually Ultraman) and slam it against one another's palm. High Five style. Then the winner is decided the 'closed' or 'open' card on the floor...........The other craze was to stack up those cards and knock them down from a distance, bowling style. Using a Japanese slipper, of course. Each fella would hone his skill to perfection yet with his own terrror stance and special method of holding the slipper before it was thrown. Much like a Samurai........... Are those metal box Oxford Instrument set still being used in schools these days?...................Then there was also this bizarre 'watch fight' where we will lock the crown of our spring winding watches against one another, and see which one dies (stop ticking) first.................TV Smith

........yeah, i also remembered the kites flown on glass coated strings. Used to cook the glass shards in "kongkong" tins at the back lane......we used to play a game where we stab the thing (compasses) between our fingers (while the palm is flat on the table) at fast speeds to prove that you are not chicken....................................................Arkane

....reminds me of the Central Market where every stall owner knew what the man of the house would buy daily on his way back home and then on Sunday buy for the weekend lunch and dinner. Those guys, the stall owners knew each of us like we were all from the same kampung. They knew what each of us wanted in what combination from the type of fish to the spices which would be mixed for you on the spot.....AnakKL

These memory lane tidbits are priceless! Should be a blog by itself :) .............................TV Smith

So now they are. Thank you for visiting.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Swallow A Couple Of Eggs And Call Me In The Morning

This sign outside the Isetan supermarket at KLCC made me spin on my heels. Chewable vitamins, cherry flavoured paracetamol, oral vaccines....what will they think of next? I know those billion $$$ drug barons are creative but this was just out of sight man. Now instead of swallowing tablets or capsules you can fry, poach, steam or scramble your medication. And have it with a bit of salt and pepper to "make the medicine go down". And for only RM3.29 a dozen. Sure beats what I pay for antibiotics at my GP's. Cool.

But it was not to be. Turns out that the sign was written by an English language challenged SPM graduate. What the sign meant to say was that the eggs were anti-biotic free!

Actually, these days you just can't buy JUST an egg anymore. They've got to be cholesterol free, antibiotic free etc. The only thing not free are the eggs you buy. Same thing goes for stuff which you use everyday. Try looking for an ordinary bar of SOAP. You won't find any. There are lots of beauty treatments, facial washes, cleansers but no SOAP. Right?

This is the blog I got for visiting KLCC yesterday. Oh yes. I also got myself a cool pouch for my Nokia 6630 phone. I'm a happy man.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Did You Feel The Pain?

(Photo of Malaysian consumer who's been screwed so many times he's decided to take it lying down)

If you didn't feel any pain up your rear end but have been reading the papers over the last few days you might just have been awake enough to know that you've been screwed yet again. This time by the petrol companies and the retail petrol stations. After some hoohah about not wanting to accept credit cards for petrol purchases the usual committees were set up to "discuss" the matter. Then the government stepped in and made the mandatory statement about how things should not affect the poor raayat in a negative way. Those of us 'older' flers were expecting the next step to be announced which was "Screw the blaardy consumer. Again." And so they did. It was announced yesterday that the petrol companies and the petrol station owners had come to a mutually beneficial agreement. And notice I picked the word "mutually" very carefully. It's just between them and them. You and I have no say in this. Read this...

"Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal said the agreement was reached on Oct 19 at a meeting attended by petrol dealers, petroleum firms, banks, credit card issuers and representatives from Bank Negara.".......New Straits Times, Tueday, October 26 2005. Do you see you and me in that equation? Of course not.

Drum roll please......................From November 1, all petrol purchases with credit cards will no longer be eligible for reward points.

Now do you feel a little fire in your rear end? Well, maybe a little pinch. During good times we don't get anything special from these big businesses and when things go soft we are the ones paying to bail THEM out of their problems? I can hear some of you saying that it's nothing what. Just don't get a few points toward getting a free bar of soap or a free bottle of mineral water only what. That's true. With the system it will take some years of fill-ups before I become eligible for something as valuable as a box of chocolates. But that's not the point is it? If petrol companies need loyalty programmes it means that there is keen competition among them and they NEED our custom. So why are we letting them get away with it when it comes to losing a few sen profit per litre? And when you think about it what do credit card companies do for charging you a couple of hundred Ringgit a year in subscription fees? Ya, what? It makes it more convenient for us, the consumer to spend money and so we do and they make profits out of that. And we need to pay them for that???!!! What do petrol stations offer us other than a facility to get fuel? Their toilets are still filthy. Their so-called convenience shops sell crap at inflated prices and now they don't even offer to wipe your windscreens or inflate your tires. Service at service stations has become a privilege. Which you pay for.

Doesn't sit well with me I'll tell you. So what am I going to do?

Sigh. I must admit that I am also going to submit and hang my head in defeat. What to do? Don't buy petrol and don't drive ah? Take LRT and bus ah? Cannot lah. Inconvenient lah. I am ashamed of myself but I will still drive and buy petrol with my credit card and be F***ed up the ass. Cash? No I don't fancy carrying a thick wad of Ringgits just so I can add "mug victim" to my list of 'screw'-ups. If you know what I mean.

This is merely the latest in our long history of getting the shitty end of the stick as consumers. Think about it. How many times has this happened just in the last 6 months. No make that the last 6 years! Of course, it is no longer a surprise that the Malaysian consumer is another apathetic creature that is not going to become extinct in a hurry. And big businesses have learned this and are using it to great advantage in swelling their annual bottom lines.

Now I am going to do something gross. If you're squeamish or if you're under 18 please leave now. I shall not be responsible if you throw up all over your Imbi Plaza keyboard.

I am going to pull the shitty end of the stick out of my behind and read the ringed history of how I have been screwed. Ready? This is your last chance. Okay, here we go...........NGMMMGPH! There it is. Let's see........

1. I pay taxes, cukai pintu etc. but the water that comes out of my tap is not fit for drinking. And so I spend more money buying those water filters. Now that's become a "keeping up with the Jones' "fad too. My filter is better, shinier than yours. Mine costs more than yours. And big business is laughing all the way to the bank.

2. I go to see a movie. Pay the ticket price and then get screwed by scratched prints, bad sound and censor's butchering. But that has been the subject of another bellyaching session here. (Go to "Pay Money Orso Cannot Get Ah? Niamah!" below)

3. I pay good money to park in a parking lot so that I can patronise and spend more money in some shopping mall. Then I get accosted by signs that tell me the management is not responsible for anything that happens to my car while in that parking lot.

4. I pay tolls so that I can drive smoothly from one place to another. Then I get stuck in a traffic jam just to pay my toll.

5. I pay good money to get hooked up to a satellite TV network. Then I get out-of-date programmes that my Singaporean friends keep reminding me are so "last season" leh. Of course these satellite TV flers are constantly coming up with new "packages" which means that you need to pay more and more money for programmes that you don't want to watch. Simply because the programmes you want to watch will packaged with those that you don't.

I can go on with more examples but I think the smell is getting a little too much to bear. But I'm sure you get the picture.

I think we're so used to being screwed that we don't even feel the pain anymore and I swear that some of us really are beginning to enjoy it.

My prayer is that one day the Malaysian consumer will stand up and scream, "I'm mad as hell and I won't take it anymore!!!"

Errrrr...but no lah. Too inconvenient lah. Too much trouble lah. Hiyah! Waffor make trouble. Can make money enough lor. Or as my friend Jit Murad would say, "At least we're better off than Ghana."

Sigh. Kerana Mu Malaysia. Boleh.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A Very Expensive Look At Seafood

(Photo of Adam's look of concern at the ticket counter. "Is my struggling actor papa really going to be able to afford this trip?")

This morning I made my maiden visit to the spanking new KL Aquaria in the monolithic Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre (the other KLCC). Now the reason why I decided to do something which I would not normally attempt was that my daughter's kindergarten had arranged a field trip there. And since only one parent could accompany her, my wife went and I decided to take my son, Adam separately so he wouldn't feel left out.

Sad to say, the KL Aquaria is yet another Malaysian rip-off. First, it costs RM76.00 with taxes for 2 adults, me and our helper. Adam got in free cos he is only 2. Second, the price roughly translates into more than RM1.00 per minute per person for a visit. 30 minutes is approximately how long it takes to tour the place at a leisurely pace. It is small.

If you factor in parking and lunch a visit to the Aquaria can easily cost a family of 4 or 5 upwards of Rm200.00!!! And who has that kind of money to spend these days?

Now for the positive side of things. The KL Aquaria is bright and new and is actually quite well done. The exhibits, although very limited are well designed. Even for a short fler like Adam. Quite un-Malaysian, all the staff were well dressed, polite, cheerful (and this is the fasting month remember). And very eager to assist with information about the exhibits which they all seemed to be very knowledgeable about. But the most surprising thing for me meeting them this morning was that they all spoke English willingly! And spoke it very well too. Certainly much better than newsreaders on RTM and some radio deejays we all know. Sorry, couldn't resist that. Whatever the management did here with the training of their staff they should sell their system to Pak Lah's gormen departments.

All in all I guess it was a good morning for little Adam. He enjoyed looking at the seafood. He enjoyed petting a starfish. He loved moving along on the walk-a-lator through the 'undersea' tunnel. He had a good time.

When I did my sums this is how it went...

Tickets for 2 adults RM76.00
Parking FREE
(I know the owner of Top Hat restaurant across the street. So I begged and she let me park there at no charge)
Lunch RM36.00
(We escaped the souvenir shop but I couldn't fight the bright lights and colors of the food court. Adam made a beeline for the Kenny Rogers restaurant cos he loves eating chicken)

And so, for a 2.5 hour visit on a Tuesday morning I spent RM112.00

Okay that's it for this blog. Got to go figure out how I am going to feed my children the rest of the week.

Oh yes, some useful advise. Maybe. If you're planning to visit the Aquaria do not park in the KL Convention Centre. It costs RM3.50 EVERY hour or part thereof you park. There is a tunnel that links the Suria KLCC to the KLCC (confused?) and that leads you straight into the fish show. Parking at Suria KLCC is cheaper. I think. I am assuming that not many of you are fond of begging lah.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Niahmah! Missed By One Number lah!

(Photo of Adam......."Niahmah! Missed by 1 number!)

TV Smith called yesterday and said he was away from his pc and wanted to know what my nombor giliran was that I got from the JPN at Maju Junction. He was at the 4D betting shop. I told him, 2047 and tumpang the fler for RM5.00 SMALL on the draw.

The first prize last night was 2147! NIAAAAAAAAAAAAMAAAAAAAAA! Missed by one number.
Okay, okay I know it is a hundred numbers ahead ok? Don't try to get smart on me.

This is one time I didn't appreciate efficiency in a government deparment. Come to think of it if I had not listened to all the smart comments, "Got to go early one, I tell you", "Must go in the morning and line up as early as possible".....etc. I might have arrived a hundred numbers later.


Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Some Things Take 2 Trips To Work Out

(Photo of Adam impersonating the guy behind the Warga Emas counter)

Since my friend TV Smith likes photographing ghost towns like Putrajaya, I bought 2 Air Asia Tickets from a travel agent in Shah Alam after losing my way looking for the deserted JPN office that is supposedly there and asked him to accompany me to Labuan to get my Mykad renewed. Halfway to KL Sentral, we figured we could use the money for the KLIA train for a few more jugs of beer. So off I went to Maju Function for another go. He went home to continue his sleep

I went to Maju Junction. Got there at 1030 hrs. Went to the nombor giliran counter. The same guy there. He saw me me, "MyKad?" I nodded. He handed me a number. 2047 (any of you flers buy this number and it comes out you know what to do lah:-). He mumbled something which I didn't quite catch. But I thought he said that I should just go sit down and wait.

There were a lot of people there. I sat down in front of a counter that had a big sign, "Kaunter Khas Untuk Warga Emas (nice name, right? Much better than Senior Citizen) Dan Orang Kurang Upaya." I qualified on both counts:-) If you have to ask why.......never mind lah.

Thing was that the two counters were serving people who obviously didn't fit into either category. I sat for 3 minutes and decided to go up and ask about my number and if I should wait in front of this counter. The guy behind the counter looked like he needed Colema Therapy, had his eyes fixed firmly on his computer monitor said, "Ya, itu nombor VIP." What? Have I been upgraded. Found out later that VIP and Warga Emas and Orang Kurang Upaya same thing.

Waited another couple of minutes and heard my number being called. Went up to the counter and was served by this lady who looked like she was days away from retirement. She had this typical government officer attitude. Which is to make you feel like you don't exist and they're there to tolerate you until their next tea break. I handed over my IC and the nomber giliran and my change of address form. She punched some keys on her computer. Asked me to place my left and right thumbs on the scanner. All the while joking with colleagues at other counters and making me feel really unwelcome. She handed me back a receipt type piece of paper and mumbled something, pointed me to some other counters. I dechipered the mumbles to mean I should go wait in front of counters 1,2,3 or 4. I went.

Those counters had contraptions with two lights shining out and a round thing which I guessed was the camera and its lighting. After a minute this young lady waved me over, asked me to put my left thumb on this scanner. Then she waved me to go sit on this chair in front of her. Directed me to turn left a bit, turn right a bit, tilt my head a bit. And then, "Datang lepas 3 bulan." That was it. Of course, the piece of paper I held in my hand clearly stated that I had to wait 6 months. But then continuity in a government system would make it.......well not a government system. Right?

I looked at my watch as I walked through the door. It read 1040 hrs. I was lost. Didn't know what to do. I had planned at least 2 hours there. Paused for a smoke. This rather desperate looking Chinese guy comes up to me and asked if I was one the guys who helps fill up forms for a fee. I said no. "Then where are they?", he asked me in Cantonese sweat beginning to trickle down his face because his nomber giliran was running. I told him that they are now not allowed to solicit business outside government offices. "So you are one of them lah", he asked. No....I am here to....never mind what form you want to fill? Turns out he just needed to fill up a simple form asking for his name, address and NRIC number. The same one I filled in. So I did it for him and he was grateful.

I left the building. My faith in government departments temporarily restored and feeling good for having done a good deed for a fellow nomber giliran fler in need.

But me being me, I had to go kay-po a bit more la. So I went back inside the place and walked over to the half of the office which is the place you go to pick up your new MyKad. Yes, you have to take a nombor giliran here too.

Okay, okay, the JPN facility in Maju Junction is divided into these two sections by a large wooden reception desk type thing. This morning there were 3 young guys there. One sitting rather casually ON the counter top. But what made me notice the counter was 3 pieces of A-4 size paper cello taped to the edge of the counter to inform people that this was where to register for Undi something or other. Nothing wrong with that except that the "signs", hand written on white A-4 which were dog-eared, stained and torn were flapping in the air-con breeze just like so much trash. Incidentally the A-4 sized hand written sign is a Malaysian icon. Look out for it wherever you go. I caught the eye of the counter top balancing guy and showed him the tattered signs. "Oh itu sudah lama lah." Then he gave me a dirty look that said, "Why don't you piss off and let me and my colleagues here continue our day of fun and frolic at you tax-payers expense."

I sighed and left the building to meet my wife for an early lunch and a game of 10-pin bowling. Good day in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Pay Money Orso Cannot Get Ah? Niamah!

Photo of Adam. "You lookin' at me?"

I get very upset when I pay good money for goods and services and I don’t get my money’s worth. Don’t you? It’s just natural. Case in point. A few weeks ago I went to watch a movie in one of the cineplexes in a shopping mall in KL. The film was the then local hit movie and the hall was packed. The big budget film was advertised as a milestone in Malaysian film history. The film boasted Dolby Digital Surround Sound. And being always interested in good sound in films I bought my ticket and went in with great anticipation. Imagine my disappointment when the film played with one channel of the sound distorted and with a loud irritating hum coming from the screen. Not only was there no surround sound effect the film was also shown through what must have been a projector whose light source was a nearly dead 60 watt incandescent lamp. I found out later from a reasonably reliable source that it was common practise for cineplex operators to run projectors at less than optimum light intensity to save costs. It was not a good movie experience. Certainly not worth the RM10.00 ticket and the RM6.00 parking fee. I could have bought a pirated DVD version of the same film and had a much better viewing in the comfort of my home. And still have change left for a packet of kua chee and a beer. Later when I complained to the management of the cineplex the response was some plastic smiles and tired nods and I was told, “It’s like that one lah. Local film what.” WHAT???!!! So much for the Malaysia Boleh spirit and being proud of our achievements.

So where is this leading to? A few days later at a Hari Raya open house I met the marketing manager of the film’s distribution company and related to her my less than satisfying experience at the screening of one of her company’s films. She was politely apologetic and then offered me a reason which totally had me in hysterics. She said that bad quality sound and picture quality in Malaysian cinema halls were the results of movie piracy. Her reason was that because of piracy the exhibitors could not make enough money to maintain their equipment and had to resort to cost cutting measures. She then proceeded to urge me to join the fight against pirated movies and also to encourage everyone I knew not to buy pirated movies. If there was no piracy we would then get the quality expected when we visit the cinemas. Wait a minute. Isn’t there something wrong with that equation? Maybe I’m old fashioned but I always thought that the equation worked the other way around. It is the producer’s duty to the consumer to provide the best quality product and the consumer’s decision on whether to buy. Has the rule changed? So now we give you our money first to buy your inferior quality products, then you use our money to develop the product that we should have had in the first place issit?

When I finished laughing and left the company of the by then pissed off marketing manager, I thought further about what had just been said. Then I got really scared. I think I’m the one who’s out of touch with reality. That’s the way things have been done around here for quite a long time now. Look around. I’m sure you will see many examples of this pay first, receive later formula at work.

You interview someone for a position in your company. The first thing the applicant asks is how much money you’re going to pay and what benefits you have for him. Not what he can do for you. I remember a time when job applicants would try to impress you with their abilities and potential contributions to the organisation first before YOU decide what they’re worth. Sure, if at the end of it they don’t think your offer is up to their expectations they have the option to tell you to **** off.

Our poor showing in sports is a fine example of this screwed-up system too. It’s no longer about passion and achievement before rewards. It’s what do I get now and IF I should achieve something.

Malaysian theatre seems to have adopted this mentality as well. We hear or read all the time about practitioners bellyaching about how their efforts are hampered because they can’t sell enough tickets and therefore make enough money to do what they want to do. They are asking for support so that they can achieve what they promise us will be quite worthwhile. Again, give me the money first, then I will show you lah. You make something first that we want to buy. We will buy. Then you will get money to do something else. Then you see if we buy that or not and so on. No ah?

A friend told me the other day that all this is the result of the growing of the current “Y” generation. Another friend called it the MTV generation. A whole generation of people who’ve been brought up expecting to be given everything NOW. Forget effort, forget passion, forget achievements. We want everything NOW. Faster lah. A generation with a kind of thinking that perpetuates a culture of mediocrity.

And all the deaths on Malaysian roads. Isn’t that another scary example? To me, it’s like someone sitting up waiting to see how many people will die before he decides to improve the quality of the roads or the highway system. Or the killer mudslides, landslides etc. “Errrr…wait ah….how many people have been killed ah? Oh that’s all ah? Okay we’ll approve a few more housing projects on hill slopes then.”

Scary isn’t it? Okay, I’m going out to my pirate DVD dealer. See you at the movies.

This article first appeared in The Edge's Options 2 in January 2005. I think.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Buka Puasa Contest

Keep your eyes open for the funniest, strangest, most laughable Buka Puasa advertisements that have sprouted all over the country. In the newspapers, billboards, TV, radio, flyers etc.

Take a photo, write a short report, send in a recording. Whatever. The best and most interesting entry sent to us WINS ........drum roll).............3 bowls of Hokkein Mee at Champ's @ Centre Point, Bandar Utama. Sorry lah, outstation flers have to arrange your own transport to come here lah.

Will try and get TV Smith and Jeff Ooi to be judges if we get enough entries. If they don't want, then it will be Patrick Teoh's final decision. It's good to be a dictator:-)

This contest is open to all Malaysians. However, the prize is non halal but can be substituted for 3 servings of Nasi Kandar at the mamak fler's place just downstairs of Champ's lah.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Some things just take a long time to change

(Photo of Adam Teoh practising for when he has to be on the lookout for his nombor giliran at a government department)

The MyKad, the government multi purpose card that is set to replace Malaysia's NRIC - National Registration Identity Card, has been in the news again. Prizes for changing over. Road shows to encourage changing over. Deadlines. Yesterday I decided that I would go do it since it is inevitable that it will have to be done. I happened to be chatting with my friend TV Smith ( and he told me that the registration department has a website and that I would find useful information there. I went there and lo and behold a working website by a government department! Very informative site indeed. Listed all the locations for MyKad application and collection, phone numbers, documents required to effect the changeover, etc. I was impressed. I called one of the phone numbers listed and after getting no answer on one attempt and a couple of engaged tones I spoke to a polite and helpful person. She told me what I had to bring for the application which was my passport if I had one, my current NRIC. What about photos I asked. No need. You get here and we will take them for you. Huh? Really ah? much money will it cost and should I bring cash? No need. It's FREE! Ha!!!??? Really one ah? Yes, I was assured by this very helpful lady on the other end of the line. Just come over and we will take care of everything for you. Hey, what do you know man? Pak Lah kicks ass man!

And so armed with a renewed confidence in government efficiency and a swelling pride of being part of the new Bolehland I drove to the nearest location, Maju Junction. Right in the middle of the city. Easy parking. Spanking new building. After getting lost a couple of times I found the JPN. There were quite a lot of people there already. The moment I walked through the door my heart sank. Most of the counters were manned by the dreaded TUTUP sign. The faces of all the MyKad applicant hopefuls had this look that you see at all government department queues. Resignation. I found the counter where I was to get my queue number but didn't see the sign that was sitting on it. I asked the man behind the counter for a number. He pointed at the sign. It read "NOMBOR GILIRAN UNTUK HARI INI SUDAH HABIS". Okay I paraphrase but that was what it meant. The rather disinterested man behind the counter said that I should come back the next day and......try again! Someone standing close by offered an unsolicited piece of advice. "You have to come early in the morning one." So after all the hoohah it does still cost the Malaysian raakyat one full day off school/work/business to do something simple involving a government department. No wonder response to the MyKad changeover has been lukewarm despite enticements of attractive prizes. Including a Proton Savvy I'm told. Maybe I will just forget about it and join the ranks of the millions of apathetic Malaysians and not bother with MyKad. Until they tell us that they will fine us shitloads of money or throw us in jail if we don't change. And then I will wait for them to announce discounts for the fines before I get off my butt and go get a nombor giliran. SIGH.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Ramadhan and Some East Coast Comedy

When I read the Sunday papers this morning I almost fell off my chair. Laughing. Kelantan's big chief has announced that the state intends to stage a reality show of its own. Well sort of. They apparently want to hold a singing/composition contest. Open only to mothers. It will be a lullaby composition contest to sing husbands to sleep. The rationale is that when husbands come home tired the wives should sing lullabies to them. This will then cause them to have a good night's sleep. And when they awake in the morning they will feel refreshed and happy and this will "help build a great relationship between husband and wife." In the statement he also said that the contest is in line with singing allowed by Islam, which was to strengthen family ties.

No this is not a fairy tale. It is true and it is happening right here in Bolehland.

And now I need some clarification. Isn't the month of Ramadhan about abstinence and fasting? Then how come each year when the fasting month rolls around we see all those banners/billboards/media ads showing people new and innovative ways of gorging out on food? The fasting month hasn't begun but the Ramadhan buffet ads are out all over the place. Watch out soon for the billboard to appear outside our Istana Budaya, our palace of culture advertising break fast buffet at low low prices. A multi million Ringgit edifice supposedly to develope and show Malaysian performing arts reduced each year to being just a very expensively built gerai makan.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

DVD Reality

Here's an example of how technology destroys memories.

One of my favorite movies when I was little was SHANE with Alan Ladd. Cool hero. Great gunfights. One of my favorite scenes from SHANE was the shoot-out in the saloon. Shane had come into the saloon and shot up the bad guys. He looks around, holsters his pistol and turns around to leave. The hero worshipping boy, played by Brandon De Wilde was hiding under the bar having followed Shane into town against the orders of his father, Van Heflin. The boy looks up and sees another bad guy up on the first floor with a Winchester rifle about to shoot Shane. Boy shouts, "Look out Shane!". The vertically challenged hero whirls around draws his Colt and shoots. The bad guy clutches his chest and falls dramatically through the banisters and crashes to the floor.

That was 1950's memory. And now 21st Century DVD reality.....

Boy shouts, "Look out, Shane!"
Alan Ladd turns around. His eyes are closed! He draws his pistol. He fires. At the floor!!! He brings the smoking pistol up to level at the bad guy. Eyes still closed. Bad guy takes the cue and dies!!!!!


Malaysian Food

Let's start a chat about Malaysian food here. We all know that Malaysians love to eat and they love to talk about food even more. Try starting a conversation and mention that you've had some good char kway teow and before you can say sambal belachan someone else will jump in to challenge your choice. "No lah. That one not the best. I tell you ah last time I had this char kway teow in ....(insert any number of Malaysian towns and street names here)...." When I was little the rule was that certain Malaysian towns are famous for certain types of food. Penang for its assam laksa and nasi kandar. Ipoh for its sar hor fun and ngar choy. Kuala Lumpur for its bak kut teh and Hokkein Mee (the thick black noodly stuff). Seremban for its beef noodles. Malacca for chin cha lok (actually I don't really know what Malacca is famous for foodwise cos I've never eaten out there) Anyway, you get the picture. But these days it tastes to me that all the best food in Malaysia is right here in Kuala Lumpur/Petaling Jaya. I am an Ipoh boy and I balik kampong quite often. And I can tell you that the food in Ipoh these days is much too highly overated and the hawkers there survive on their reputation more than their culinary results. You want good sar hor fun or ngar choy just stay in KL/PJ. No need to go north. You want great assam laksa? Don't go to Penang. Any number of stalls and shops in KL and PJ will sate your craving with 1st class assam laksa better than that which you get in Ayer Itam.

Of course all this could also be due to age. My age that is. I've noticed that as I get older the hawker food I eat never seem to live up to what I remember. Maybe that's it. It's just me. Dimming memory trying to recapture images and tastes of years gone by.

Anyway, the other night Min and I went down memory lane (for me anyway). I drove her to this beef noodle stall which I remembered from the early days of my migration to KL. Days when I earned RM180 a month and eating out there was an awaited event on pay day. The stall sells beef tripe noodles and was called Ngau Kee. It is located in the Jalan Alor area just around the corner from one-way street, Jalan Alor. I can't remember the name of the street. Imagine her surprise when we turned the corner and were confronted by this huge neon sign with the legend NGAU KEE in bright colors of the rainbow. And 24 hour service to boot. For those of you who are not familiar with the place it is nothing more than a stall on the 5-foot way over a longkang. I admit that I was taken aback too. It was just a dingy stall when I last went there. We ordered. We ate. The food tasted very,very so-so lah. Nothing like what I remembered. Min said that I over-sold her on it. And she was right. Baarger. Another memory down the longkang. I'm beginning to see why McD's and BK are so popular. No need to deal with any baggage. Met anyone recently who claims that McD's in one place is better than the other?

Some nonsense

I just went to read lecram's HNT and had a great laugh. Thanks my friend. You the best. But after the visit I feel like I'm never going to attain that level of blogging sophistication lah. So I thought I'd post this silly joke which I received via sms today from my secretary.

President George W. Bush has announced on CNN that the floods in New Orleans are believed to have been the work of an Iraqi suicide plumber.

Okay, okay so shoot me for wasting your time.

Optical Illusions

Since Patrick is having blogger's block today, here is a fascinating site on Optical Illusions & Visual Phenomena by Michael Bach

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

The Rich And Famous

Just came home from attending a launch for a watch. And got a taste of the lifestyle of the rich and famous. This watch is a Swiss watch like the rest of them. Well, except for the Seiko's and Citizens lah. Apparently, there are only 6 pieces in the world. So far. Each one costs RM1.375 million. The one launched tonight is coded #1. So it was a world premier lah. The guy said that they will only make more if people order them. It will take about 6 months for you to get one assuming you already have 1.375 millions in spare cash that is. Strangely, the crowd there weren't the 1.375 million Ringgit bunch as far as I could see. I mean I was invited man! The guest of honor was the Malaysian minister of domestic trade and industry. But I guess with the recent RGT5million farewell party debacle he won't be in a hurry to get one of these timepieces. Wait a while lah. And because YB was the guest of honor it was a dry function. Only got diabetes inducing colorful liquids in champagne flutes. Finger food was from Shrooms which meant it was quite good. Only trouble was that one had to pick up a lot from those fleet-footed waiters if one was inexperienced enough to go to these functions without first having dinner. My wife argued that since it was timed for 7.30 that we would get dinner. But when we arrived and saw the venue I knew it would have to be a grab and bite kind of thing.
All the guests were herded into a claustrophobic enclosure encircled by fake iron bar fences which made the whole thing look like a mini zoo with casual shoppers at the newly renovated Starhill Gallery staring in with immense curiousity. There was entertainment in the form of Mia Palencia. Sheila Majid was the main entertainment event although she sang to an almost disinterested crowd who was a little louder than her sound system. Strangely, at the end of each song she received resounding applause. I suppose fans of hers have heard those songs so often that they didn't really have to pay attention to appreciate her. Some star celebs there included the very beautiful and very tall,Bernie Chan. I requested her to give me a running commentary to what was happening on stage as she was the only one in our group who could look over the tops of people's heads to see something. The delectable Ida Nerina was there. JO Kukathas of Instant Cafe Theatre with her blond locks. A left over from her last role as a South African on the Road To Mecca. The young and the quick Adam Carruthers (TV8). That was all I recognised. I suppose there were also the sprinkling of dato's and Tan Sri's but these are these days becoming very inconspicuous. The event was hosted by FJ Benjamin. The people who continuously bring you new and innovating ways of spending your hard earned money....GUESS, Raoul, Man. U etc. They were nice and even gave me a door gift. Chocolates, facial oil blotting paper, wet wipes....I must ask Paula Malai, Zit Murad, Zahim Albakri, Gavin Yap and people like that what type of functions they attend. They are always showing off new, handphones, watches, cameras and other cool stuff that they claim were their gifts for attending launches and things and just standing around looking cool and famous. Well, I suppose that is the secret. Looking cool and famous. I've got to work on that a bit more. What to do?

Friday, September 16, 2005

SMS a Malaysian into Space.

Some Malaysians are obviously pissed off that the first Malaysian "astronaut" is going to selected through a vote via SMS. Perhaps before we pump up our blood pressures we should do a reality check on ourselves lah. This is not some "to boldly go where no man has gone before" endeavour. It is just a gloirified joy ride because Malaysia spent some billions of Ringgit and purchased some Russian MIG jet aircraft. A simple gift for purchase promotion. Anyone who is fit and can add two and two and come up with four and who can spend a few millions can go. So the fact that some civil servant has come up with the vote-by-SMS idea augurs well for the development of Bumiputra entrepreneurial skills and should be applauded lah. Don't let's get our knickers into a twist and start believing that we are embarking on a Malaysian space programme here. The best thing about this is that we have have struck upon a great idea for a Malaysian reality TV show that can compete with Academy Fantasia and Malaysian Idol etc. Let's hope that RTM doesn't allow this idea to go to waste and use it to finally get back some audience share. Well maybe that's too much to expect.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

whish wisky is the besh?

So we're having some sort of discussion about which wishky is the best to drink lah. lecram says he likes a single malt when he can afford it. trashed keeps reminding me not to sink to the level of Mahaguru. Actually have never tasted Mahaguru before. Never even seen it before. Where you get ah, trashed? For years I heard about the tragic results of drinking Mekong but when I finally did it tasted quite okay lah. No I didn't drink it when I was already sloshed. Quite sober that time. In Bangkok. With lots of ice and soda Mekong is very drinkable. And at RM12 per litre bottle you can't beat it for value man. I mean look, I spent RM280++ for that MacCallan and although it was good didn't think it was worth the money or the hangover. Oh yes, the crap served as house pouring whiskey at ALEXIS @ GE Mall is something called Lighthouse (if I remember correctly but don't blame me if I don't cos drinking that shit will fuck up your brain cells) That is absolutely the worse spirit of any name that I have ever drunk. Some years ago my Filipina house help got me a bottle of whiskey from the republic called White Castle. It smelled like the stuff my wife uses to remove nail polish. Got it on the bar one night when the staff came over for a piss up. Of course it was the last bottle opened that night lah. After the BL, WL....the next morning my Filipina said she was proposed to by at least 3 members of the staff.
Goes to prove even bad whiskey has its uses.
Years ago I has a taste of a whiskey called Scottish Prince. At the home of this friend who was then rolling in $$$'s. To this day I claim that it is the best I have ever tasted. Could be due to the fact that I sneaked a peek at the price tag (which was left on the bottle for obvious reasons) The Duty Free price was RM780 and this was 10 years ago! Maybe that's why it tasted so good. So how much does snob figure in the taste of a whiskey?

Monday, September 12, 2005


We went to Minnesota, USA in March. Spring. My wife, Min and the kids Laura and Adam had never seen snow before and they wished that they would although it was already spring and the winter snows had melted. The day we arrived in Minneapolis/St. Paul airport it was a chilly spring day but no snow. 20 minutes away from our friend's house in southern Minnesota it started snowing. It snowed and snowed and snowed and didn't stop for the next 26 hours! By the end of the snow storm the town, Albert Lea had recorded a 19 inch snow fall. And according to the folks there it was the worse snow storm they'd had the whole winter! Of course for the next few days the Malaysians didn't get any appreciative looks from the residents of the town. We had wished for snow. Actually they're right. Snow is overrated. Sure it is white and pretty and all. But that lasts for about a day and a half. Even for the kids. It is really no fun when each time you want to go outdoors it would involve at least 20 minutes of suiting up time. And when you're out you can't really stay out that long unless you want to get frozen feet or a frozen bum from sitting in the snow. And let me tell you being cooped up indoors when it's too cold to go outside is not fun at all. And then the snow starts to melt. Water on the sidewalks turn to ice. You fall on your bum a zillion times just getting to your car. Then snow turns to slush. Black, oily, yucky. Snow? Nah. I'd take a sunny day on Batu Ferringhi anytime. Well, maybe if it snowed in Malaysia for a couple of days each year it would be alright. Just for the change.

I also don't know why I wrote all that leh. Must be the nicotine deprivation. It's raining and I have run out. Ah what the heck.....I'm going to go suck on a sweet now.

September 12, 2005

Just read in Afdlin's blog that he got to speak to Pak Lah at the launch of Malaysia's latest TV channel MiTV. It is an eye opening insight into the man who is our Prime Minister and the first politician in a long time with an honest face. Go here and read it. It's worth your time. it's the blog titled....

Friday, September 09, 2005

My chat with Pak Lah... THE PRIME MINISTER! Part 2.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Serendah retreat

In case you're looking for a tranquil retreat from city life but have not been reading the papers or socialising with the right crowd to know, here's something you might like to check out. Sure looks like paradise or something close to it from the photos. Go check it out.

My wife's blog

For all moms and dads here's my wife's blog


Wah! I dinch even know that there were so many responses here man. It took my friend Paula to kick me in the butt and make me come here after such a long hiatus. Well, what she said was, "Hey Patrick! Went to your blogsite and there's shit-all there man." Of course have to recover some face right? So came here today while taking a break from writing some other nonsense for Off The Edge, the magazine I write for once a month. They pay over there but not much lah:-) I was so pleasantly surprised that there were posts here for me. Thank you to all of your for your posts. Especially, Afdlin. You the man, brudder. Ok, ok. before I get carrried away I will send this off and see if I have done the right thing. Talk later.

Saturday, August 20, 2005


I am finally making some headway in this blogging thing. Thanks to my dear friend Afdlin Shauki whose blogsite showed me the light. Nobody will be reading this blogsite for quite a while so I shan't write anymore lah.