Saturday, January 28, 2006
Here's the Teoh's, Min, Laura, Adam and me, wishing all of you and yours a happy new year. May the Year of The Dog bring much joy, good health, much prosperity to the citizens of Planet Earth.
Here's my wish list for the Year Of The Dog...
That all Malaysians will be just that. Not Malay, Chinese, Indian. Muslim, Christian, Buddhist or Hindu.
That we stop just tolerating each other and instead understanding, accept and cherish each other's diversity.
That we halt our headlong dive into mediocrity and rise to the nation's call to raise truly towering Malaysians. And oh yes, that we finally understand what a towering Malaysian should be.
That we become truly proud of our work, our communities, our country, ourselves.
That we stop breaking dubious records which make us the butt of jokes in the world community.
That we finally learn how to keep public toilets clean.
That we learn to stop driving like we have spare lives in our bedside drawers.
That our politicians and law makers stop treating us like little children not able to think for ourselves.
That we realise that the "Malaysia" in the slogan Kerana Mu Malaysia is not Pak Lah, Najib, Samy Vellu, Ong Ka Ting or anybody else but US.
That we shall finally try to make a difference in the place we call home, Malaysia.
Friday, January 27, 2006
On page 5 of today's STAR there is a story which sent shivers down my spine when I read it. What is this? Ths Star is becoming more scary than a Stephen King novel la.
The story is headlined "Green light for scenic bridge". It has been announced that RM2billion is going to be spent on building this scenic bridge. But the most frightening revelation came from the mouth of our Deputy Prime Minister when he was quoted as saying, “If the negotiations are not successful, the bridge will become a half-bridge or scenic bridge".
Spend RM2 billion on building a half-bridge or scenic bridge???!!! Why? A scenic bridge? What the F**K is that? People will drive on it to take in the view and take photographs?
Maybe there is some good political or economic reason for doing this but we the tax-payers would appreciate knowing what the reasons are for spending 2 billion Ringgit.
Wait a minute, the DPM made this announcement when he was at the ground breaking ceremony for a bio-diesel factory. Remember, this was the same guy who sanctioned the Malaysian 'expedition' to drape a giant Malaysian flag over the Great Pyramid of Giza.
So perhaps it was just gas.
(Poster courtesy of lecram sinun)
Do you think Blogging is an art form? My friend, Marcel thinks it is or can be. And he's doing something interesting to explore and raise awareness to this addictive online phenomenon. This will happen at The Rogue an annual festival celebrating independent performance and art in Fresno, California. Go check out the website or go check out The Rogue in person if you're in Fresno or anywhere near. Wouldn't it be great if our National Art Gallery flers can do something like this? Ah well.
For a full explanation of how Marcel and his blogger friends put this together go here... HNT@The Rogue
Maybe someone here in Malaysia would like to start something similiar too? Boleh!
Thursday, January 26, 2006
Five-day week for banks
KUALA LUMPUR: Banks will implement a five-day working week from Feb 1 in a bid to encourage electronic banking and give bank employees more time off.
Did this headline story in today's Star newspaper scare you? If you're a consumer it should have frightened the shit out of you. I am very scared. It's not so much the 5-day work week but the line that says this action is to 'encourage electronic banking...' . Remember when they told us that ATM machines were put out there so that banking would be made more convenient for us? What happened later? They began charging us for transactions made using ATM's!!! Did we ask for ATM's? So now banks pay us shit for interest on our hard earned money which we give them to safeguard and use for investments. Soon they are going to want us to pay THEM money to keep OUR money. What is it coming to? So with this 5-day work week, which they say is also so that their staff can have more time off, is going to save them money. No offices open so save on power bills and overtime pay, right? Great. Just don't charge me money when I am "encouraged" to do my banking using ATM's because Saturdays are the only days that my work will allow me to do my banking chores.
Another similiar thing happened when Selangor declared itself a developed state HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA...oh sorry ah, I couldn't help laughing. Now folks in parts of Petaling Jaya, which surely must be the jewel in the developed state's crown, are being asked to pay hugely increased rates for their properties. For what?
Hello! You don't read the papers issit? You're paying for the privilege of living in a developed state ma.
The way things are happening if you didn't get more than the usual 5-8% increment in your salary this year I am so sorry for you la. It ain't going to be a very Fa Cai Year of the Dog for you la.
Actually, you'll soon start feeling like a dog though. And as you know Malaysia has never been a dog friendly country.
Tuesday, January 24, 2006
How many of you have done the change over to MyKad? If you're a typical Malaysian I would say not many:-) Actually, those flers who went to queue up to beat the December 31 deadline must have really kicked themselves hard afterwards. Waffor ah? Especially since the fee chargeable after the deadline was only RM10 which in itself is something that we should ask somebody about. Why is something mandatory chargeable? We didn't ask for the change. And we all need to do the change over eventually or face some sort of action from the kerajaan. So why should we have to pay for it? I mean a passport is optional so having to pay makes sense. But pay for a mandatory ID card? Will they eventually charge someone for death certificates? Hey man, I didn't ask to die. Also have to pay ah?
Anyway, the conclusion to my MyKad experience. I went to collect my new card on December 19 although the receipt I was given when I made the application in November clearly stated that it would be 3 months before the new card would be ready. But one day out of boredom I visited the JPN website to do a check. Lo and behold my number was there! Meaning that I could collect my card. If I had adhered to the instructions on the receipt I would have waited and by the time I went to collect I would have missed the collection deadline and had to pay a fine! Ah...Malaysian efficiency again! And so I went to Maju Junction and the first thing that confronted me at the front door was this.....
This sign told me 2 things. 1) that I was indeed at a Malaysian government office. Why? A4 size paper notice stuck up with Cello tape, slightly dog-eared. 2) Niamah! What the hell is a MAYKAD??? 3) HABIS!!!!! Habis, tutup, tea break they all mean the same thing at a Malaysian government office. "We're not interested in serving you so F*** off."
If you still have geographical problems identifying Malaysian government offices here are more clues to look out for next time....
The perpetual state of the "reception counter"- un-manned, unwelcoming. Selamat Datang to Bolehland.
The state of most government office reception counters.
"Jangan menulis Di Sini!!! Buang sampah boleh."
And what visit to a Malaysian government office would be complete without admiring the high level of maintenance practised at these facilities....
Anyway, I digress. Collection of my MyKad was a fairly painless process. Got my nombor giliran from the counter for collecting nombors for collection of MyKad's. There is a different counter for nombors for applications for MyKad. Dunno know why. This time there is no distinction between the warga emas/kurang upaya folks and the ordinary people. Same stand up queue. Thankfully the wait was short and in no more than 20 minutes I was the proud owner of the new hi-tech MyKad. That it was already slightly warped I overlooked. Because after all this is Malaysia. What? Want perfection issit? Emigrate la. MY cynicism got the better of me and I just had to find the card reading machine and see for myself what this hi-tech piece of plastic with the 'smart' chip really contained. Found the machine, in a sorry state of disrepair hung on a corner of the Pemohonan section. Stuck the card in and got a replica image on the monitor. 3 clicks of the mouse showed me that the smart chip contained all the information that was on my old NRIC. Name, address, date of birth etc. In addition it had images of the info page of my passport and an image of my driving licence. That was it! I stood wondering what the purpose of the change over was since there was nothing much new that wasn't in the old NRIC. Never mind la. It was free what.
And then ah...those government flers sure place a high priority on courtesy in their work. High priority that is if you're no taller than an ant la...at the Maju Junction JPN when they wish you Selamat Jalan it is a warning.
On the way out, I noticed a great example of ingenius Malaysian entrepreneurial innovation. There was a 'stall' set up in the car park to sell......CONDOMINIUMS!!!
Got your new MyKad already. Want to buy a condo?
Do Malaysians shop for real estate in car parks and in supermarket lobbies? There must be Malaysians with RMmillions to burn because these instant sales offices are sprouting all over the place.
Oh, the couple manning the condo sales stand didn't give me a second glance. I guess experience has taught how them to identify the baargers with no money. Niamah!
Here's another story. I recently travelled to Singapore with my family. While there we enjoyed most of all the efficiency and admired the pride that those island flers have in themselves, their work and their tiny little city state. But as soon as we got back across the 2nd Link to Bolehland...Bang! It just hits one straight in the face. Pride? What is that?
Patriotism? Treason? What would you call using the National Flag as a notice board? I'd just call it "Aiyah! Never mind lah"-ism.
And it doesn't stop there either. Right next to the Jalur Gemilang notice board are the mandatory bad photos of the Agung and Permaisuri Agung. And just to give it a touch of 'class' someone in his bushjacketed wisdom has approved a RM2.00 polystyrene cut-out sign attached to the wall with double sided tape. To tell the world how proud we are of our country. Look at the picture and weep. Yes, we are still very much a 3rd World country.
Okay lah. Just to end this blog on a lighter note. While in Singapore I did discover something really gross that no Malaysian would ever allow.
Pre-packed, clinically clean TV dinners of Hainanese Chicken Rice. With soup some more. You just tear off the plastic cover, stick it in the microwave for 3 minutes and it's ready to eat! It tasted like ...... well really bad lah. I guess some things are better in a 3rd World country.
"I love Malaysia because the food here is the best"...Malaysian teenager in Sungai Wang Plaza.
GONG XI FA CAI to all my friends and visitors to Tokkok. Have a safe, healthy, productive and prosperous year ahead.
Friday, January 20, 2006
Special preview of BULI BALIK for kodoks and blog readers
25th January, 2006
The screening will be at 10:00 am (that's the only time that has been made available to us by the cinemas, so DO WHAT U HAVE TO DO) at TGV One Utama (OLD WING)
There are VERY LIMITED SEATS for the SNEAK PREVIEW (220 to be exact) and you must send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your seats. The ticket price is 10 ringgit and there will be a bunch of BULIBALIK and KODOK goodies to snap up there as well.
Tuesday, January 17, 2006
(Adam contemplating what's to come in 2006)
Wow! It’s been more than a month since I last updated this blog. Aiyoh! So sorry lah all those of you who have been visiting regularly despite that fact. Thank you so much for being so supportive. Why have I neglected to update the blog? Well, it is a combination of so many reasons la. I have been a busy boy the last few months of 2005. Also I have been laughing so hard at so many tragically funny things happening in Bolehland that it was hard to stop and come sit in front of the pc. The last big laugh of 2005 of course was the unashamedly stupid ‘expedition’ to drape a giant Malaysian flag over the Great Pyramid at Giza! Did you all remember to send thank you cards to the Deputy Prime Minister, the Selangor State Government and the ex-servicemen’s association for their valiant attempts to continuously provide us Malaysians with egg on our faces?
Oh before I forget, Happy New Year to everyone. Here’s wishing all of you a happy, safe, productive, healthy and prosperous 2006. There are so many things to look forward to in the Year Of The Dog.
The independent inquiry into the nude ear squat incident has been presented to the King and the Prime Minister. Now to see if we ordinary people get to find out what actually happened in that cell. But I would suggest that we don’t hold our breath la. As usual, I think if there was indeed any controversy the report would not be made public. And the usual reason would be doled out. It would pose a danger to public security or racial harmony or any one of dozens of stock reasons in the home ministry’s libraries. And if it was released we would probably find it to be some edited and boring document which would pale in comparison to what we can read on the Internet.
(Photo from The Star 17-01-2006)
In K.L. the spanking new Rapid KL (don’t you just love it when they really rub it in eh?) are quite a sight to behold on city streets. There are promises of regular and efficient services for the long suffering commuters of the capital city. And at RM2 for a whole day pass it seems like a real bargain. Now we shall wait and see if Rapid KL lives up to its name. Or wait for the day, which may not be too long coming, when we shall begin to see those new busses belching black smoke, bearing marks of disrepair and poor maintenance. In other words looking the way any old Malaysian busses should look. And eventually going back to being irregular and inefficient. We can only live in hope.
(Update: Today, January 18, 2006 I spotted the first NEW rapid KL bus that’s been Malaysianised. It had the rapid KL brochure and bus route map stuck up next to the entry and exit doors. Just 2 brochures that were not meant for that purpose stuck to the glass with strips of sticky tape. Very Malaysian.)
Okay, okay……Patrick please stop griping.
(BULI Balik poster courtesy of Afdlin Shauki’s blog)
Okay some better things to talk about. Afdlin Shauki’s sequel to his box office hit of 2005, BULI, titled BULI BALIK hits the screens on January 26, 2006. I had the privilege to see the preview of the movie with members of the media last week and all I can say is that you should go see it when it opens. It is a film that’s funny, provocative, intelligent. And it is SOOOOOOOOOO different from Malaysian mainstream movies that have been churned out over the years like so much popcorn. Afdlin is a genius.
Oh ya, BULI BALIK is probably the only chance you will get to see Patrick Teoh singing in a music video. Remember, BULI BALIK. Opening January 26 at a cineplex near you.
*** There is a special preview on January 25 at 10.30 a.m. @ TGV 1 Utama, for Afdlin’s kodoks. Tickets are still RM10 but you get to watch BULI BALIK one day earlier than anyone and you get to meet members of the cast too. BE THERE!
For updates on Afdlin's latest film project Sumo La visit http://afdlinshauki.blogspot.com
2005 Chinese Theatre Awards
The first week of 2006 I received a phone call informing me that I had been nominated for Best Actor in the 2005 Chinese Theatre Awards. The news almost floored me. Me? A Chinese language theatre award? Turned out to be true. The nomination was for a play I did in 2005 titled Chup! Take A Break. We Are Family. The title refers to the latest in a series of plays produced by Need Entertainment and directed by Ling Tang. Actually the show was a compendium of 4 little playlets. I acted in 3 of them. In Cantonese! In the first I played a chauvinistic pig of a husband who’s taught a few lessons by his hitherto submissive wife (Nell Ng) who is magically transformed into a self-confident modern day woman by the neighbour who is a witch. In the second I played a single father sending off his son to university in Singapore and finding it too hard to express what is in his heart. The need to hug is hindered by the need to preserve traditional decorum. In the third, a classic Chinese folk tale about filial piety, I played a son to 2 aging parents. The interesting thing was that my ‘parents’ were played by 2 actors who were young enough to be MY children. I remember that it was great fun working with the production cast and crew and the nomination was a bonus. Ha? Of course I didn’t win la. The award went to a most brilliant actor named Berg Lee who played my son in James Lee’s The Beautiful Washing Machine. My friend, Nell Ng was nominated for the Best Actress Award. It was sort of a first in the Chinese Theatre Awards' 5 year history because I think it was the first time that actors from English language theatre have been nominated. I am honoured.
Going slightly off track now.....
Actually I have never won an award in my life. The best I have always managed is second prize la. It started back in school. The first contest I entered was an inter-school Shakespeare Declamation Contest. This simply meant that we stood on stage and recited speeches from Shakespearean plays. I did fairly well in the contest and managed to reach the inter-school finals. I lost to Mano Maniam of the Anglo Chinese School who recited the Mark Antony speech from Julius Caesar… “Friends, Romans, countrymen…”. I recited the famous Shylock speech from The Merchant Of Venice… “If you prick us do we not bleed?…” So I got Second Prize which was a volume of the complete works of William Shakespeare. Mano's first prize was an English dictionary! Then when I started working as a radio announcer in Rediffusion (the great grandfather of Red 104.9 FM today) I was entered in an international disc jockey contest. It was for DJ’s of the various Rediffusion stations around the world which meant mostly stations in the West Indies, Africa and Singapore and Malaysia. Guess what? I won second place too. No prize though. Didn’t even get a congratulatory message from the management of my own station. Eh? Why and how did the blog turn this way ah? Sorry about that.
(Poster courtesy of Afdlin Shauki)
More good news for movie fans. Baik Punya Cilok written and directed by Afdlin Shauki has taken 2.6 million at the box office. According to Afdlin’s blog the producers think that the film will NOT go far beyond 2.75 million which is Pontianak Harum Sundal 2’s box office record. I saw the first Pontianak film by Suhaimi Baba and I honestly think that it cannot come close to Cilok’s appeal. If you have not seen Baik Punya Cilok go watch it soon. If you have seen it go watch it again. And again. Let’s show the producers and exhibitors of Malaysian films that we know Yusuf Haslam formula films are now totally NOT COOL!
And finally, this is the way I will look for the first quarter of 2006. I am playing Sam in Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming directed by Gavin Yap for the KLPAC in March. Gavin, wants the ‘familiar’ faces in his cast, Thor Kah Hoong, Ben Tan and me, to look ‘different’. So here I am, a Chinaman trying his best to grow some facial hair:-) Hahahahaha.........HAPPY NEW YEAR!