Friday, February 29, 2008

Super Granny

On my off-days, melodramatic songs like "On Bended Knees" or any of Celine Dion's heart-wrenching number can really mess me up (it may not necessarily involve mascara smudging tears). Men tears are different. Trust me la.

But this week, there is nothing more heart-wrenching than the story of a 89-year-old grandmother feeling compelled to run for Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat in the coming election.

What have the younger politicians done to upset her? Why haven't our more youthful politicians delivered?

I hope she can teach those young ones a good lesson.

(pic from the Star)

All the best Tok Mun!

The gem that is Malaysian (2)

Remember Ana Raffali?

I don't think I can forgive myself for missing her acoustic performance on 15 February. Aargh. (Ana, when is your next show?)

A month or so ago, a little known band was doing their promo on a local radio station. They did an acoustic version of Pada Senyummu. It was one of the sweetest Malay songs I've heard, ever. I remember driving straight to the nearest music store in Ampang and asked for their CD. The store didn't have it.

That same evening I googled and wiki-ed them, nothing found.

The band was Radiostar.

But thanks to Ana's blog, she had a link to Radiostar's myspace. Now I know why I could not find them on google (then), because this was their myspace url:


But their music is seriously glorious! Listen to Pada Senyummu. (also check out Ana's colla with them... fantastic stuff)

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Guinness Day (and a sexy French)

Technically, you cannot call this gate-crashing. Kenny was just nice enough to extend "bring a friend" invitation to me. We were at Malaysia's Guinness Saint Patrick's Day launch held in Grand Millennium KL last night.

For those of you who are familiar with Irish festivities, yes, it was a little premature to celebrate Paddy's Day. But like any festivities these days, the earlier you celebrate, the more you'll sell. That is why Christmas in Europe starts in August (Selfridges London start selling Christmas decorations right after Summer!).

Every other guest I met at the launch was a media person. I was in a chatty mood, because it is not often a doctor-turned-broker gets to meet this group of people. I must say mixing work with parties is not a bad way to make a living. The only more interesting work is perhaps a dolphin saver (that's a personal opinion).

I was introduced to two young lads in the publishing industry, Wen Shern and Suri. I'm pretty sure these two guys have been invited to numerous parties and events, and if they do, they did pretty well to disguise their "worn-out, been there done that look". They were delightfully enthusiastic about their work and this event. I wish I could appear that way at 8am in my office every morning.

There, me drinking sarsi, Suri (middle) drinking Irish sarsi, Wern Shen (left) also drinking Irish sarsi.

The party has a celebratory ambiance to it despite the heavy marketing process underlying it. Guinness was free-flowing last night. The only other time I got to experience free-flowing Guinness was in a dream. So it did feel like a dream, just minus the leprechauns and talking shamrocks. Half way through the celebration, some dancers donning silly hats broke into some wild riverdance moves. Everybody in front started cheering, a handful were mystified. Suddenly everyone got teleported to Ireland. Well, it felt that way for a few seconds.

And of course, they had to play the obligatory Irish national anthem. U2's Beautiful Day.

The organisers really did a brilliant job. Not only was the guests treated to bottomless Guinness, we were also served karipap, sushi and nachos. Now this is what I call eclectic.

But the organisers went a step further. They brought Emmanuel Stroobant (Asian Food Channel's Chef in Black) to KL to show us what miracles Guinness could do to some dishes. Alright, weren't exactly miracles. Emmanuel was given the unenviable task to concoct dishes using Guinness as the ingredient.

He attempted.

He showed us the "moves".

Okay, Emmanuel, you did fine.

"Now Emmanuel, you be my chef, and I'll be the manager. I promise I won't put you through the agony of cooking anything containing stout again."

And this is Kenny trying the Guinness ice-cream and politely finishing it.

But the highlight of the evening, was meeting Nuffnang supremo, Tim (below, the one glowing with happiness abundance!). I hope he remembered our conversation, I am going to the Nuffnang Pajama Party! (see you all there)

“I Sleep Better With Chipster”

Not too long ago, Kenny wrote how advertisements and competition prizes associated with them can cause seemingly reasonable people to perform dumb things. Well, I got sucked into this... real big.

Timothy of Nuffnang offered me a free pass as Kenny's guest, but I wanna bring another person along to the pajama party... so I am doing this for her. Willingly. :)

I am going to reveal some of my bedtime habits... (damn you Nuffnang and Chipster for making Sisuahlai behaving sisuahlai!)

After seeing the tempting invitation...

How could I possibly deny taking a Chipster to bed...

I normally sleep with teddy, but tonight...

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Because they care?

The Barisan Nasional 2008 election tagline is because we care. Now, now... let's pause and think for a moment.

Because they care? Don't you just love irony?

Salvador Dali (a blogger who also writes in the The Star financial column) let slip his political colour on his blog. He wrote:

Have you seen the full page ad (The Star 11) yesterday.

It reads:"PROVEN: Stretching the ringgit. RM43.4 billion - the amount of subsidy spent on essential items so that all Malaysian enjoy lower prices and have more money in their pockets - Because we care".

Which is the mf advertising firm to think of such an ad? First of all, IT'S OUR MONEY, not the government or any political party, IT'S OUR MONEY. Second of all, IT'S STILL OUR MONEY. It's like you deposit into your bank account, and when you withdraw money, the bank announces over the loudspeaker: You've got money, cause we care, please thank us and don't forget it.

Well said Salvador.

Ok, I also manage to unearth more rubbish from our local dailies. This time, it came from THE EDGE financial daily, also published yesterday. Read the centre paragraph under the heading P50 Jelutong. (click image to enlarge)

It states that if Jeff Ooi (the popular socio-political blogger now turning to full-time politics) wins, "it will be a watershed for blogger and the internet community".


Whether we like Mr Ooi or otherwise, since when is a single blogger representative of the entire blogger and internet community??

EDGE goes on: "if he loses it will show that blogging and the internet are not a powerful political tool in Malaysia yet".

Ok, I give it to the EDGE. It is beginning to make some sense. But is the EDGE actually suggesting that the other two Jelutong candidates never write an e-mail, read from the internet and uses it to communicate their ideas?

Monday, February 25, 2008 (oysters galore)

I had the privilege to enjoy KL's freshest (and probably cheapest) oysters at Carlos, Pavilion with Nicole, Dom, Kenny Sia, Samantha and Thomas last Friday. Half way through our private gathering we were joined by the brains behind PacMee. Guys, thanks for the treat again, I honestly would have signed up to your services but I am with Digi (any solution?).

The oysters were fabu-tastic. Nicole can really recommend good eating places! I just wish my stomach could hold more of them.
Burp! (Tabasco smell and all...)

This year, I am planning on joining more bloggers' meet (I have yet to pose with a keropok brand so not yet qualify for the Nuffnang Pajama Party). Perhaps it is time for me come out from this anonymity. As I am no longer a doctor, there is little need now for being so Private & Confidential about myself....

Last night saw me on TV, specifically ntv7. If you, like 99% of my friends, missed it you can always catch it again and enjoy my crinch-worthy performance on ntv7 website. Yes, I appeared on Deal or No Deal and won enough money to enjoy a lot-a-lot of oysters. :) Since I am in such happy mood this evening, I will treat five blog-readers* to a round of one dozen oysters in Carlos Pavillion (sometime in March, so make sure you are in KL)!

Just comment on this entry. Say something amusing to make us all smile. It's Monday so please try. Something like "I am a blogger and I will eat oysters because Sisuahlai asks me to." Or "oyster are for pretentious woose, I want to be one, so please pick me Sisuahlai." Or better.

And Nicole, Dom, Thomas, Kenny and Sam are invited again of course.

Have a nice week.

*The 5 most amusing, most Sisuahlai entries/comments get to sit through a 12-raw oysters binge with me

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The real winner of the general election

JENG-HU n. the one who decides when to hold election and set the election ground rules

Let me give you some ballpark figures. Malaysia have close to 30 million population. Approximately 10 million of these are registered to vote. Assuming 10 million are below the voting age, where are the other 10 million? All overseas? Cannot be.

From the 10 million who have registered to vote, the government expects about a 2/3rd turn-out. So about 6.6 million will eventually vote. Now from the 6.6 million, let's assume the majority will vote for the ruling party... let's be generous, say another 2/3rd of that, so 4.4 million will vote for them, the Barisan Nasional coalition.

So if my maths are correct, only 14.6% of Malaysia want the current government to rule. Chilling?

Even it my maths are wrong, I think I already know who the real winner is....

Parti Apathy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Eligible Malaysian voters are switching off... here is why

SINJIA n. new year (and new government?)

Somehow this is sexier, more interesting and more fascinating....

than this...

Voters apathy is a real problem in Malaysia, but our politicians don't see it so. They seem to be doing the bare minimum just to get them back to power.

With the election only weeks away, RTM and the other terrestrial TV channels are feeding us with a one-sided political propanganda. No wonder we are not interested. We need more interesting, intelligent political debates on TV. We need to hear from the other side also. Even if the Opposition parties are considered weak (according to the ruling power), please, do give them some air-time and chance to speak up also.

Why do we have to turn to internet and foreign news agencies just to get the other view?

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Don't mock my monkey

KAO n. monkey

I thought I had a Tim Burton moment. Were my senses playing tricks on me?

I thought it was a joke when I read the headline that goes Malaysian Scraps Plan to Export Monkeys. Hmm... okay. First, I thought the metaphorical monkeys refer to dissenting Malaysian residents. The ones that march for illusionary justice. The ones that cry foul when the water-gun is deployed. How rude, I say, for an article to refer them/us/you as monkeys.

Ha, ha (in pretend laughing tone). It turned out to be real mung-kee. Apparently we have urban monkey problem. They run rampage in cities, says one report. So far, I have been fortunate cos there ain't no monkey where I work and there ain't no monkey in Kuching either. So where are these pesky monkeys?

Rough guess... Berjaya Times Sq./Pudu/Chow Kit perhaps?

According to the article, our made-in-Malaysia monkeys are not export quality. Our environment Minister confirmed that our monkeys were truly unfit. The minister claimed our monkeys were sick with diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis and AIDS. Malaysia monyet tak boleh punya.

Somehow, I feel strangely mocked by this article.

Choose your favourite real mung-kee stories:
mung-kee story 1
mung-kee story 2 (old story)

Are you making tons of money from your blog?

KHANG n. job

Blogging is more hobby than anything else. It is tough to make money from blogging in Malaysia and Singapore. Advertising pay peanuts (of course this is better than nothing!) and getting financial sponsors for the average blog is like getting your parent pay for your girlfriend/boyfriend's education (pure charity and luck).

I have embarked on an amateurish, arm-chair research into "blogging as a career". The closest a Malaysian (also a friend) gets to such blogging height is probably Kenny Sia. I have not spoken to him since a month or so ago (and our last conversation concerned some random message sent to his Facebook), but judging from his blog entries, he still needs his day job.

Of course, some might argue, this is his family business and it is paying him well, but I am also sure that if blogging offers very serious money here in Malaysia or Singapore, I think I can make a pretty good guess which side of the boat he would prefer to be on. Some may also say that Kenny gets decent deals (probably better than most people's monthly salary, plus a lot of fun) from his blog fame. Agree, but still, nobody would advise blogging as a full-time jobbie unless a more consistent stream of adequate revenues is identified.

How about our local blogosphere advertising agency, Nuffnang? Can they really help bloggers make serious money from advertisement? Possibly, but not yet.

You wouldn't be far wrong if you think that the money generated from Nuffnang ads for most bloggers pretty much serve as an ego-massager (and Sisuahlai is guilty of this!), and it ends as that. By ego massager, I meant bloggers can now claim (usually to parents and non-internet savvy people) that they can now make money from blogging. Technically, such claims are right, as RM0.10 per month for ads is also considered making money.

At best, for blogs that generate crazy amount of hits per day, the money earned from Nuffnang or from any other similar enterprises, can be considered as off-setting allowances. What is that? Well, just like is says on the tin, the money made is probably just about enough to off-set the expense and effort put into hours of blogging, and not much more.

Monetizing your blog is indeed very challenging. Most bloggers don't really see the point of making money from blogs, they blog because they love making friends through such medium, or the very least they enjoy sharing their writings and experiences with others. But for those who contemplate making serious money from blogging, the best time is probably to start now. Meanwhile, please keep the day job.

Why blogging will become bigger one day...

Microsoft predicts income revenue from ads to double in 2-3 years. Hence the recent unsolicited bid to buy over Yahoo!inc for a generous USD$44.6 billion!

Blogosphere is still largely an under-recognised medium for advertisements. Companies (especially Asian companies) are more willing to pay exorbitant fees for magazine advertising rather than popular blog advertising. This will change.

Blogging is the one of the most creative writing avenues around. Soon, you will see people paying good money for blogging consultation and big companies won't be able to ignore this. People will pay (have already paid) seasoned bloggers to speak in their academias and even in corporate meets.

And of course, we bloggers are mostly a shameless bunch. We parade ourselves on our sites and we don't give much thought about circulating our names/brands in any media opportunity. And nothing is more powerful than a group of kids (or adults who think like one) who believe in their own work... (like the story of Hush Puppies as told in the book Tipping Point).

So I urge you all to pick up a keyboard and blog! It's about time people take us more seriously. And we can all turn this hobby into a real pursuit of wealth and notoriety.

From the satan called SSL.

p/s I've recently acquired the domain name I will share some of the pain (and joy of course) of building a blog on Just like a reality series on blogging... more of less. :)

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