Wednesday, 24 September 2008

Job Hazzards

Actually, I am quite ashamed about writing this and I didn't even share it with my boss (who is a very open and friendly person btw). But since zewt wrote about a very interesting blog on hypocrisy, I thought I might as well spill it.

A few months back, I was sent on an overseas trip alone to our neighbouring country to do a site visit as we are exploring whether to consider viability of a project there. I was worried of course because I have only met the client once in a coffee lounge of a certain hotel somewhere and I was taking notes (like a quiet secretary writing down notes).

So anyway, I was very scared because I represent my boss. If it boils down to making a call on the viability (every client would like to know our "feel" on it there and then), how am I empowered to discuss about it? Anyway, things went smoothly and it was all over before I knew it. And yes, he popped the question and I replied by telling the facts. It somehow worked and he was pleased.

Anyway, the next thing I am most worried about is the entertainment aspect. For those who knows me personally, I am sure you can vouch I am like a prune when it comes to strangers. Anyway, again, being alone, I somehow managed to summon courage to talk to them (and quite enjoyed it as well surprisingly).


What I didn't expect next was to go to a massage parlour. Seriously, what can I say? I am tired? At 10 pm? I am at least 5 to 10 years younger. Though my client told his buddy he is tired and he wants to retire, his buddy kept bugging him to go. So, being a passenger, I could only say, "Yeah, ok..." Big mistake.

So he drove us to a stand alone building somewhere and the first sign I noticed at the door is:

"Men only"


I was like thinking in my head, "OH NO! Lord help me! I don't want to do anything stupid which I will regret for the rest of my life."

Anyway, I walked in, looked around and guess what I saw? A row of girls on display and the mama-san (a transvestite btw) came round and welcome us. I client's buddy must be a regular here. So, I just look around, pretend to be interested when I am not. But the girls are very pretty and I wondered, "the boobs, wow, are they real?"

This buddy friend then whispered to my ear, "Eh, the girl numbered XX (can't remember), isn't she pretty?" I innocently said yes. Seriously, it was strictly a reply to a question and not an affirmation to choose her. I didn't know the yes means... I have to go to the room upstairs with that girl. He could see my rather panicky face and he said something along the line, don't worry, just follow her and she will give you a good massage. The stupid me actually said, "oh really? ok...."

She was quite pretty really and friendly. She held my hands and I walked with her nervously into the lift. I was smiling and nervously look around. Hey, why is there a big naked seductive woman picture on the lift doors?

From thereon, we went to a room and she began to take off her clothes. I was so shocked! Seriously! So I asked, "You are just going to do massage right? Why are you taking your clothes off?" She laughed and said, "We shower" and pointed to the bathtub (there are no windows or doors to separate the in-build bathtub and the bed).

Dumbfounded, I asked, am I supposed to take off my clothes? Needless to say, we are both naked and in the bathtub not too long after. She basically showered and scrubbed me and I thought, "This is only a massage. Even during massage we take off clothes."

Anyway, after the shower, we went to the bed. I dried myself and I covered myself with a towel. She then took out what I noticed unmistakably is a condom and KY jelly!

The panicking me quickly said,"No sex! no sex! no sex!"


She was shocked. She asked why? She wanted to know if there is something wrong with her. I told her it is not, I am only here because I am accompanying my client.

To be impartial, she is very beautiful and young (ok la, not too young around early 20s?). Quite physically well endowed. As a matter of comparison, she is indeed more beautiful and seductive than my wife (I hope she is not reading this...:P).
Anyway, I told her I am only here for massage. Sex is out of my mind. Then she asked why? I then took out my ring (which I usually takes off before shower) and showed her. I told her, "I am married. There is nothing wrong with you. In fact, you are a beautiful and friendly girl and I am sure many men are attracted to you."

After many assurances and about 10 minutes later, I told her we should go down. She was quite downcast. I told her she shouldn't be so sad as physically, there is nothing wrong with her. Anyway, she gave me a kiss on the cheek and thanked me (I gave her a small tip, about RM50 for her bathing service and no massage).

There I said it. As a guy (yes I am one and straight for that matter), I might be perceived by my peers as a "failure". But you know what? I was and still am glad. I always wondered if I can be faithful to my wife if I was ever tempted by someone more beautiful and seductive. I fear committing the sin of adultery and I for one, don't want to fall into this temptation. To realise I manage to resist it is to me a blessing from God.

When I am back in the hotel, all I could do was send a SMS to my boss stating I was almost raped by woman. He replied with laughter. Till today, I have not shared with him what was this all about but he didn't ask so let's just keep it that way (Btw, I didn't share with my wife either. Weird huh? I should be triumphantly telling her I manage to resist because she always tease me that I will commit adultery if a beautiful girl seduces me).

Sunday, 21 September 2008

Some Pics From Manila

When I was told by my boss we were going to Manila, I was worried. After all, I have to do a presentation there with him. Also, I was quite reluctant to leave the country at this moment as I was expecting momentous political changes that might be taking place right before my very eyes.

Aerial shot taken from the plane

However, at the same time, I was excited to travel to a country where a number of my cell members call home. I didn't take much pictures though since we were rushing from one place to another and most of the time, we were stuck in our client's cars as we zipped across Manila. But I am amazed by the number of billboards displayed in Manila.

I saw plenty of beautifully painted jeepneys driving pass our car but I couldn't manage to get good shots of the creativity spirit shown on these cars. So instead, I took this from a shopping mall...:P

Didn't have much opportunity to try many types of food but remembering hearing about Jollibee, I decided to try out their value meal.

Not bad really. The beef patty tasted different from our McD and somehow, more beef-like. Hmmm, I wonder if we will have one franchise chain here soon...:) Oh yeah and I managed to try this in Manila:

which cost PhP22 from a certain stall in a cafeteria located in Ayala Mall.

Overall, I think this trip was really short and I would want to make another private visit in the near future (provided my cell buddies are there to take me around). Oh yeah, if any of you are reading this, here's an ad from Jollibee for you...:)

Monday, 15 September 2008

D-Day tomorrow?

Life is kind of strange.

When we set our minds to achieve that one goal and when we are near it, we know we have to keep pushing ourselves until we reach it. In fact, many a time, some encouragement and will power would be needed for the last leg as fatigue tend to set in. I for one, am prone to just giving up at the last minute, perhaps because I am satisfied to be at where I am. Which is kind of sad really as I will always wonder about "what ifs".

At other times, when I actually achieve that one goal, I always look around and can't help but observe the faces of people around me, trying to read their facial expression, wishing silently that there are no disapproval and if any should arise, I would instantly run off to that person and ask for feedbacks.


These past few weeks, a few of my buddies asked if I think 916 is achievable since I kept telling them not to panic and we should patiently wait for 916 event to come to pass. I kept telling them that my gut feel tells me it is close and it is achievable. Of course, to some, I always ask them, if not, what else do we have but what we see before us?

Many then said DSAI credibility would be at stake if 916 don't happen. He will receive unlimited amount of ridicule from BN and that would affect his credibility as some wisely said.

But for those who placed hope in DSAI, in the past few weeks, months or years, is DSAI merely DSAI? I for once look upon him not just as a mere human with flaws like each and every one of us but rather as symbolism of change itself even if he is not the perfect model leader than most would like.

Afterall, what option do we have between the devil or the deep dark abyss?

I have a friend who has dreams of what she would like to achieve in life. Because of some unforeseen circumstances, she has to settle for what she may see as 2nd best and often, when I spoke to her, it would appear to me that she longs for the "what ifs" she inevitably gave up.

As a person with high expectations in life, she often picks the best of each and everything she had before and compares with the present what she has. From the way she spoke, it would appear her ideal life would remain as what it is, a dream, because to be honest, I am skeptical such a life exists in the first place. But she seemed pragmatic in accepting the reality of living. She makes the best she could out of what she has and she seemed somewhat accepting to the reality of the situation (though she spoke much of the "what ifs" during our conversations).

So, what is my gut feel if DSAI 916 event fails to materialise tomorrow? Like my friend with dreams, I will be pragmatic about it. DSAI, as a human, may fail to deliver the message but it is already written in our hearts and minds anyway. It is the same song played in our heads and a feeling we just can't suppress.

Who doesn't want a better future for their children and loved ones? Who doesn't want to have harmony, peace and stability? Who doesn't want justice and fairness where everyone has a go under the same sun and soil?


Will I give up on dreaming that someday the Federal Government will be ruled by a different party? I don't think so. It was an impossible dream to begin with, to see the erosion of 2/3 majority held by BN and 5 states ruled by the opposition. For it all started from a dream anyway born out of the sea of unrighteousness, unfairness, discontent and unhappiness. For so long as such a sea keep raging in us, the winds and waves of change would surely work in us, nudging us to sit up and move from the comfort of sitting on our laurels to do something about it.

All it takes is merely someone to be brave enough to lead the pack for change. Today it is DSAI, but who knows, who it will be tomorrow? But until then, DSAI it is then and if 916 turns to 920 or the 13th general election, I will wait, I will write and I will most certainly speak.

Saturday, 13 September 2008

Protecting the world...

I am so glad last week when myrrkat lent me volume 7 of Genju no Seiza, a very interesting manga. This is what I gotten from wikipedia:

In a distant country of Dhalashar, they have found their leader of fifteen years of age. He is the 42nd High Priest of Dhalashar, and is supposed to be a reincarnation of the first spiritual leader. But he isn't. The high priest is actually an impostor appointed by the Chinese government and the snake god Nāga so the Chinese can claim the scared country. The real ruler is in Japan.

You see, the hero of this manga, Kamishina Fuuto is an ordinary teenager with extraordinary powers. He was discovered by his favourite guardian beast, Garuda, a bird god. Anyway, Naga, worried that his bid for power may be foiled, sends out the guardian beasts to kill Fuuto.


From volume 1 to 6, I always have the impression that the guardian beasts are meant to accompany and protect Fuuto or Atisha (as Naga contends as the real king). But what was revealed in volume 7 is very interesting. Sohki, the unicorn god reminded the guardian beasts their roles are not to protect the king but to protect the world from the king.

The 12 guardian beasts must help the king to learn and control his powers as untrained and uncontrolled, the world may be destroyed if he unleashes its full power on it. Meanwhile this is what wikipedia aptly added:

Throughout the story, though Fuuto refuses to take on his role as the Holy King, he learns almost the same lessons as the King should have. In his experiences with more Guardian Beasts and the Supernatural world, he grows to learn of mortality, and the roads people make for themselves and others.

Luckily, because this is fictional and at the control of the artist, Fuuto is a good natured person and his actions are restrained by his ethics and morals.

In reality, we may not have kings with supernatural powers but having absolute political powers are not too far off from such supernatural powers. In fact, throughout history, kings and emperors are revered as gods / sons of heaven simply because they have the powers "to grant life and death" to anyone. The populance would not dare to speak ill of the kings and emperors for fear of death while a mere word from the kings and emperors would turn people in rags to riches.

In this postmodern era, can we still afford this system of governance where our liberty is at the whim and fancy of the few political elite? But what we have is concentration of powers into 1 house of representatives and this one house dominates all aspect of our lives. The same house then elevates much powers into the Executive branch (just pick up various Malaysian Acts and you will notice the minister is granted much powers to decide on matters) while places the Judiciary as a subset to it.

But surely, MPs are free to vote right? Afterall, they are elected as representatives of the rakyat? Yes, as long as the Party Whip says it is ok.

So are we surprised that oppressive laws like ISA are still in existence until today? To who afterall ISA is meant to protect? National security as often cited by the Home Minister? What about the concept of innocence until proven guilty where specific charges are raised, evidence given and judged?

I wonder if we feel safer now with yesterday's ISA arrests where we are once again reminded that we live under the "benevolence" of the Executive regardless of our creed, colour or religion.

As for me, I lit a candle earlier and placed it on the ledge of the window, in remembrance of all who have been and are still being detained by ISA while I pray that real political changes would come soon. Surely, protesting and demonstrating in the streets now would mean nothing...

Friday, 12 September 2008

RPK Arrested under ISA!


RPK arrested under ISA at 1.10 pm! The 916/920 countdown has begun!

So much for freeing the access to Malaysia Today. The government is not going to earn brownie points for this in the eyes of the international community.

Pakatan Rakyat must surely take over the helms of power soon to reverse this fate. If DSAI manages to secure it by 916, RPK would not need to languish in the Kamunting detention centre for more than 5 days.

The fate of the nation now awaits this crucial and defining moment.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Why We Must...

I have read a couple of articles of late which touches on again, the morality of forming a government based on defecting MPs. It would seem that the way most argue, using democracy and the rakyat choice, these MPs, in no uncertain terms, defect as it betrays the interests of the electorate.

So, I wonder, why do we elect MPs to the Parliament in the first place?

Unlike in US and the Philippines, we don't directly elect the head of the executive i.e. the President/Prime Minister where they are free to appoint anyone to be secretaries/ministers. He/she need not get the confidence of the majority and only if he/she has grave misconducts, he/she stands to be impeached (remember Bill Clinton almost got it?). Here, we can see that the Executive branch are clearly separated from the Legislative branch.

But in this country, where the lines are blurred, we don't have this. So our MPs don't just sit in Dewan Rakyat to pass laws. They too have the power to decide who should be our PM.

Is it fair to the Rakyat that we don't have a choice to directly elect our Prime Minister who can form the government based on our direct votes and need not fear interference from the Dewan Rakyat?

Some would argue that by electing the MPs, it is a proxy of who we will vote. Well, we will never know. If we dare to experiment, there may be many permutations. Imagine if Anwar competes against Abdullah, who will win the PM seat? Will BN still lose its' 2/3 majority during March 8 election?

But the fact remains that since we are deprived of the ability to directly elect our Senators and PM, with all powers concentrated in Dewan Rakyat (don't forget te issue of gerrymandering), how then can we ask for change when we can clearly see where this country is heading under the present weak leadership? I for one voted for BN in 2004 because of the promise of change. It is now 4 years since then and I don't see any real change under BN-led government.

Anyway, I wonder, if you join a company and your noticed that the company is doing illegal stuff, what would you do? The ethics I learn in school requires that I stand up for the greater good eventhough it may result in adverse impact to my employment with that company. Similarly, if MPs have the good conscience to see where the country is heading under the present leadership, by defection for the greater good, is it such a morally wrong move?

P.S. Whether it is 916 or 920, it doesn't matter. But a day wasted is a day gone. So, if you ask me, I would prefer 916...:)

Sunday, 7 September 2008

Another Sandiwara...

Look, I am bored and anxious. Yes, yes it is an oxymoron but what am I to do?

Let me explain why am I bored. You see, these sandiwaras continuously being played out by BN component parties are tiring.

It always start with either some racial and/or religious related issues. What follows would be some component parties getting all upset and start making press statements. This of course followed by some defense from the first offender citing reasoning along the line of "demi bangsa, agama dan negara" or unsupported historical interpretation such as "British siding the Chinese by building schools in mining towns" (afterall, if that is the case, why should the Chinese build Chinese schools for their own community?).


And in the middle towards the end, there must always be someone high up who say things along the line, "race and religion issues are very sensitive and may result in violence and we need to calm down and work towards national intergration". All's "well and good" but for a few questions which I would like them to answer:

i) What happened to the so-called BN Supreme Council and/or Cabinet meetings which are supposed to be held regularly and issues such as this trashed out? Why do they need to resort to making press statements?

ii) Why don't the component parties ever carry out their civil threats i.e. withdraw from BN? (Perhaps the clues lie in this article?)

iii) Why are only component parties members being reprimanded with suspension from the parliament (remember S.Sothinathan being suspended for 3 months when he complained about the government de-recognition of Crimea State University medical degree) or forced to apologise (like that Cameron MP, K Dewamany over his comments relating to Hindraf) lest they face suspension but the likes of members of UMNO being left untouched (like how Abdullah said he accepted what Ahmad has to say?)


So until then, I will choose to remain bored and indifferent because any stupid reaction bothering on getting my blood boil
over some silly racial remarks will only increase my high blood pressure and causes me to have a stroke.

Meanwhile, I am anxious as well because BN tactics seem to force DSAI to move the deadline a day further i.e. Sept 17. This is what DSAI said:

But Anwar remained confident of toppling the BN by Malaysia Day, saying today he has enough BN MPs to form a government.

"So now maybe it will be the 17th when they return," Anwar told reporters in Jakarta where he attended a regional enterpreneurs conference.

So how am I not to worry? A day further means another day wasted for change.

I realise Malaysia truly have a chance to change for the better (or worse but so long as we don't try it, we sure as hell know where Malaysia is heading with BN in charge). But on the other hand, people like my dad keep saying that the powers-that-be will no relent in relinquishing power. They might resort to use violence if they have to. He afterall lived through May 13 in the heart of KL.

As much as I love living in interesting times, the anxiety is killing me...

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Real Meaningful Bicameral Parliamentary System for Malaysia

This is only an idea but what if we elect our senators?

Considering that we only elect our MPs which occupy the Dewan Rakyat and that any legislative bills approved by the Dewan Rakyat are thereon, out of formality, passes through Dewan Negara and His Majesty the Agong, wouldn't that make Dewan Rakyat rather powerful?


Surely if power concentrate in one house where we only have one chance every five or so years to appoint our MPs and more than 10 million (ever increasing btw) making individual choices, events like March 8 will only happen once in a blue moon.

With the ill-conceived proposed DNA Identification Bill 2008 (lessons from Francis Udayappan case seemed forgotten by this Government) and the "morality" issue related to party hopping, perhaps it is high time our law makers consider amending the Constitution to allow for senators election. Yes, it will be costly and time consuming to have another regular election but this will give voters a chance to consider if the elected makeup of the Dewan Rakyat is what they wanted and also serve as a barometer to approve what the current government is doing.


The lawmakers should also ensure that in the Constitutional amendments, dissolution of Dewan Negara must be at least a year (or two) away from the recent Dewan Rakyat election in order to do so. And with two Houses directly elected, power would certainly be diluted in the legislative where more checks and balances would emerge.

Perhaps passages of bills would be approved slower but at least all consultations are seen to be fully performed. And if it is really against the Constitution, that is where an independent judiciary would be needed to reject such bills.

But considering these ideal situations, one must not leave out for a voter to make a fair and informed decision, we would need to ensure that we have truly free and fair press and institutions like Election Commission, ACA, Police, Attorney General office and such directly accountable to the Parliament.

I know I am only dreaming of a fairer system of governance but I also dreamt before this that someday BN be denied of their 2/3 majority stranglehold over the Dewan Rakyat representation and they get booted out of office.

The first part has been realised on 8th of March 2008. Will the second part be realised on 16th of September 2008? This we will know in less than 2 weeks time. As for the senator appointments, I hope the new Government, if they truly believe in accountability, would consider devolving the powers held in Dewan Rakyat.

Monday, 1 September 2008

A different Merdeka

To be honest, I am actually a very lazy person.

When it comes to weekends and public holidays, I just want to sleep for hours, laze in the house and read my books. Of course, not forgetting surfing the net and reading the news (or watching anime...:P). So, when my wife "volunteered" to send strangers to a sleepy town up north one fine day about a month or two ago, I knew it will fall upon me to drive them up north and back.

"So which weekend would you be free?" she asked.

Apprehensive and realised how my weekends will rush by quickly (but bearing in mind the role of a supportive husband), I could only accept it by telling her, "Oh well, we can go during Merdeka holidays. I don't need to take extra leave." Sigh, I wish I had.

I am not into volunteering but my wife, out of her good heart, wanted to help a stranger and a family (let's call it family X) resolve some outstanding issues that surrounded the death of a beloved member of family X. You see, this person died from suffering a very horrible disease, which in the minds of many, are commonly transmitted via sexual intercourse. And this person came from a very conservative community which frown upon anything that suggest promiscuity.


The sister of the deceased, couldn't understand why her brother, a very pious and mild mannered person, would turn into that sort of person. To her, she wanted to know more what has caused her brother to transform to something which she never believes he has changed to (as her family, out of shame, left the community in haste because of what has transpired) while for the overseas stranger (let's call him Mr D), he was guilt ridden and felt responsible somewhat for being unable to extend help in his friend's time of need.

My wife told me that Mr D was on anti-depression pills for almost 7 years now, in part caused by this heavy guilt burden. At the suggestion of his physician, Mr D mission is to seek peace and relief by meeting and spending time with the deceased family while visitng the grave of the deceased.

Anyway, things weren't smooth to begin with. The person we were picking up is from overseas and he is old and forgetful. We spent about 1.5 hours in KL Sentral panicking on Thursday night wondering if he was lost. We found out later he had problems getting his luggage.

While I was busy with work on Friday afternoon, it was a tense moment for Mr D, the deceased's sister and my wife (she is a translator of sort). Mr D revealed some shocking revelation about how the deceased was traumatised when he was young and it has affected him much. Uncertain of what to do and in wanting to provide justice to the deceased, his sister wanted to return to the village and ask Mr D to reveal what he knows to all of them (this plan was later aborted as it was too sensitive). But meanwhile, they charted the course to travel and of course, if falls upon me, the driver to drive them back and forth.

On the eve of 51st Merdeka morning, we started our journey up north. It was a hot day and a long drive and by the time we reach Ipoh, dark clouds are seen looming over the horizon. I told Mr D we are only midway and I am worried it might rain. Anyway, it did but that's after we visited the graveyard.

At the graveyard, Mr D took a few photos while the deceased's sister cried She lamented that the plant she planted at her brother's grave was bent. She said it it God's sign that the deceased has sinned greatly. I didn't say much. It is afterall, a tense moment for a person seeking peace while another showing remorse and helplessness. Mr D stayed behind a while longer to perhaps say his peace.

Thereafter, we visited the deceased's ancestral home, now in ruins. The deceased's sister recollected the yesteryears, where the deceased had to walk long distance to school and back and the roads were once dusty (though now it is filled with gravels rather than asphalt). She also showed us the river, where they once bath and sourced for water and their durian trees which produced such good fruits that the local chinese grocer booked their fruits upfront. (We later found out her eldest brother sold their ancestral land and we were then technically trespassing).


On Merdeka day, we decided to visit the deceased's adopted father on our way back. The deceased's sister told us that the deceased spent his last days in that house before being hospitalised. The deceased's sister mentioned that the deceased was adopted when he was 12 because her family couldn't provide the necessary to realise his potential as he is the most intelligent child in the family.

Anyway, Mr D shared how at the last week prior to the deceased entering into coma (which he only woke up for a minute or so before he passed on), he received a call from the deceased to inform Mr D he was dying. Mr D was shocked and he felt helpless because he thought it was rather bazarre things like this could happen. They didn't talk much as the deceased was very ill.

Mr D then said that two days later, the deceased called again, this time, seeking Mr D's help. Mr D was reluctant to help in part because he felt the money spent would be wasted and Mr D was not in a good financial position. Mr D was also in a hurry to drive his parents to another town to attend his brother's wedding. By the time he got back, he had a voice recording informing him that the deceased had passed away. He was devastated and felt remorseful.

As he relates his story, tears began to wallow in his eyes.

The adopted father then said that Mr D shouldn't be too emotionally remorseful because the hour of death is appointed by God. Whether Mr D could have relieved his suffering by sending financial aid is no longer important as the deceased is no longer around. He told Mr D to make peace with this fact and just move on. Mr D then, quite unexpectedly, gave the deceased's sister a hug.

Well with that, it was over. It was time to go back. It is weird really now that I think back. It rained as we left the graveyard, stopped when we trespassed on their former ancetral land and rained when we were just about to get unto the car. Mr D must have found forgiveness that day as he seemed to be in a jovial mood as we slowly drive our way back to KL.

P.S. This is one of those stories where I can't reveal names or places (hence no pics eventhough I took a number of it.)