Saturday, July 31, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
Whoever has had the great fortune
To be a friend's friend,
Whoever has won a devoted wife
Join in our jubilation!
Indeed, whoever can call even one soul
His own on this earth!
And whoever was never able to, must creep
Tearfully away from this band!
Mak thought dashing, friendly Diego Buñuel is of Arab origin, so I shared with her about him.
"Sugar, ah honey honey
You are my candy girl
And you've got me wanting you.
Honey, ah sugar sugar
You are my candy girl
And you've got me wanting you.
I just can't believe the loveliness of loving you
(I just can't believe it's true)"
Recent hike of sugar prices, to the delightful glee of powers-that-be (after departure of Sugar King), makes me wonder why only here in Malaysia, we have to face sugar shortage too often I reckon it better be highly priced like spot gold and steel. Sadly, it is not highly priced like those metals, saffron (the most expensive spice) or vanilla (my favourite spice, spice baby). It is just another scam, from my point of view.
To be comforted by Najib that he's concerned about the wellbeing of us, common people, I dashed to the washroom and puked. Please, is that all you could justify such huge increase in price?
To be told to consume less sugar, I feel like protesting in front of those factories that manufacture super-sweet beverages to quench our thirst and curse our girth! Shouldn't they be strictly penalised for producing such unreasonable products? After all, they are the main consumer to our highly politicised sugar industry!
Outraged, I google-d for alternative sweeteners. Apparently, there is a natural sweetener that has been consumed for hundreds of years by the Guarani Indians of Paraguay, both as a sweetener and as medicine. It was "discovered" by Dr. Moises Santiago Bertoni, the director of the College of Agriculture in Asuncion, who was exploring the jungles of Paraguay in 1903.
This herb, Stevia rebaudiana, is about 300 times sweeter than sugar in its natural state, and much more so when processed. Its medicinal uses include regulating blood sugar, preventing hypertension, treatment of skin disorders, and prevention of tooth decay. Other studies show that it is a natural antibacterial and antiviral agent apart from being calorie and carbohydrate free.
However, due to devilish capitalism all over the world, Stevia couldn't make it big worldwide as it sets to disrupt the lucrative sugar business. As it is now, Stevia's potential grows side way, hitting the market on the shelf of organic food shops or sold over the internet.
In Malaysia, there have been earnest efforts by modern farmers in cultivating Stevia, which easily grows in our mild, tropic climate, but they can't do it commercially - not because they cannot but they were not permitted to do. Again, the government is not happy if their lucrative sugar business now has a more appealing competitor.
So, what am I trying to say here by promoting Stevia?
If you read about sugarcane plantation, here and abroad, you'd wonder why we have to cause so much health problems to those who work in the plantations, and to consume too much sugar that would cause much more health problems to us the consumers? I believe, what goes around, comes around. You hurt someone and one day, you'll be hurt too. What a sugary curse!
If you read further, you'd know our genius ideas are not that genius after all. We started consuming sugarcanes as raw materials to our biodiesel plants. Why on earth we allow that to happen? It is even more cruel to know that such cheap energy generated are being consumed in those power-hungry countries, leaving behind those who put their lives on stakes just to harvest the sugarcanes! How could we allow such source of food be depleted to ensure sufficient supply of cheap energy to ever-hungry target markets?
I am all for the idea of profitable business ventures but definitely not at costs of people's lives, safety, frailty and insanity, that's just evil!
In addition to the fact that sugar industry is highly politicised and deeply brutalised, I just hope that we won't go into panic mode unnecessarily when we are faced with scarcity of what we normally have. God is Great - He gives us powerful mind, body and spirit that could think, adapt and accept changes in life. The answer lies in alternatives, options, solutions and breaking the monopoly of the industry. Look at growing renewable energy market but then, in Malaysia, business monopoly is the flavour of the government, better ideas and enterprises won't see the light.
I'm scared to death to see the effects of overindulgence of sugar. Tok Keno passed away due to blood infection as a result of diabetes complications. During our visits, he often felt thirsty yet he couldn't drink too much as his kidneys were failing him. His toe started to blacken and he wailed in pain whenever we tried to move him as his flesh had sored underneath his dry skin. Health is priceless that we should guard it with all our might.
Wouldn't it be great if one fine day, our awareness to alternative sweeteners could cause 'lambakan gula' in the hypermarkets that keep telling us that we can only buy 2 kilos of sugar! So, recently i had my cousin to queue on another counter so we could buy the third kilo of sugar required for our kenduri. Gee, I feel stupid!
So, where can we get Stevia , the natural sweeterner. Well, you could actually buy Stevia from SteviaSugar Corp and Herbal Shoppes around town (which I won't advise you to do so because i hardly see these shops opened after working hours - shish!).
I am in contact now with Kamal for a free sample of Stevia. I will definitely will write about it when I have tasted the sweetener. Kamal, I found out, is an enterprising meds student in USM. Having a soft spot for pilots and medical doctors, he passed my Trust Test with flying colours :)
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
“Women cannot complain about men anymore until they start getting better taste in them” ~ Bill Maher
“Be to her virtues very kind, Be to her faults a little blind” ~ Matthew Prior
Mak says I should hold my tongue, my hands and my thoughts a little longer to calm down my emotions. If I have children in tow, I should never never ever show my skill of throwing-tantrum with my spouse (touch wood). A woman is a human but God has created her so strong, for her to sort things out and be “a woman [who] should soften but not weaken a man (Sigmund Freud)”.
Mak lets me know that marriage isn’t about power grabbing, attention seeking, winning or making a woman a weakling. It should make one as good as one could be but a bad marriage can make one as bad as one dares to be (Elbert Hubbard).
If I needed to cry, Mak tells, cry as hard as I can but "Stop all shame, blame, and criticism. Instead ask for what you want in a clear, specific, and positive manner, and express appreciation for your partner. To elaborate: Men need to feel competent—that they make a contribution and that it is noticed. They like to be told what 'behavior' makes you happy. Since men tend to express affection by doing things, you should interpret their actions as love. When men know what to do and are acknowledged for it, they tend to keep doing it (Harville Hendrix, PhD, author of Getting the Love You Want)”.
Monday, July 26, 2010
Nature works in mysterious ways and Science cracks the codes. That's why I think we should produce more scientists!
While men ogle women’s hips, I Google-d them up and found out why they are such worthy assets to mankind. Interestingly, those small waists and large hips symbolise fecundity, health and intelligence. I hope you men out there see the real reasons behind them, instead of mere instant gratification.
Studies by William D. Lassek and Steven J.C. Gaulin show that, “upper-body fat has negative effects and lower-body fat has positive effects on the supply of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential for neurodevelopment. Thus, waist-hip ratio (WHR), a useful proxy for the ratio of upper-body fat to lower-body fat, should predict cognitive ability in women and their offspring”.
Results gathered from High-Income European countries appear to askew from the above studies when most of their men tend to be attracted to high WHR women as those large waists (Read: Spare Tyre) signify economic abundance. Intriguingly, such geographic preference has transcended boundaries now that some Asian men are found to be fascinated to these apple-shaped women. This further explains why more and more Asian men have changed tremendously in their marital and paternal behavioral patterns, where these men ‘abandon’ their women so easily as the latter are more independent, they assume. In addition, such behavioral patterns also denote a distorted opinion on marriage, where more people are seeing it as an association of convenience between 2 people.
Another research works posit that post-menopausal women with big hips would suffer from low memory when the fats deposited on the hips would hamper their brain function.
Intelligence, life's union and brain function, hips definitely don't lie!
Thursday, July 22, 2010
Whenever I tell people that I take public transport to move around, it's natural to see them shocked. Some pity, some tease, some mock, some just couldn't understand why I want to go through the kind of public transport this Ibut Pertiwi offers. Even my parents, at times, think I am being unreasonable exposing myself to possible security risks, especially when I have to stay late working or attending to my personal arrangements in town. Pak Busu bought me a pepper spray so I could fend off unwanted 'objects'. My sister suggested I stay at her house, instead of getting myself sexually harassed (mildly put forward to the idea of getting raped). Still, where I stay is my home sweet home - a place i sleep under the same roof with my beloved parents. Besidea, I put my trust in those drivers, conductors and security guards (at commuter stations) - mere strangers - who are very kind indeed to make sure I would get home safe and sound. Most of the time, these people are non-Malays and non-Malaysians. I postulate that their kindness to strangers stem from their belief that no one should experience any difficulties, which they have endured before. Their selflessness is Class Act!
How I wish more people will put their trust in our public transport. Taking one has more economical benefits than trying very hard to be in the League of High-Income Economies because in this country, the richer you get, the poorer you will be, unless you are protected by racial and corrupt 'armours'.
I know you'd think ours isn't convenient enough compared to us driving our own cars but who say it should be that convenient? Plus, tell me if driving around these days is easy enough. If you read En Moaz Yusuf Ahmad's "Good Public Transport System Needs Reliability, Availability", you'd know more about the recipe to a viable public transport system.
I could see that we Malaysians believe that our cars are symbol of prosperity and prestige in life and thus making public transport a system that only fits those of low 'caste' - 'the untouchables' of the society. It is even worse that our government tells us that having a car is a necessity. Indeed, a necessity to them to get more out of our pockets through increasing petrol prices and toll fares, excessive tax on reliable imported cars, overpriced lousy local cars, higher interest rate for Hire-Purchase and Insurances and not forgetting, the gem of denying accessible public transport - that is building more highways. Josh Hong's "Better Public Transport: A Local Fairy Tale" ought to enlighten us about people in Loew Joachim's country, Germany - the birthplace of BMW, Audi, VW, Porsche, Opel, Mercs and countless more cars.
No matter how much moneys we have been told that the Government has put aside to improve our public transport system, for me, our woes are artificially created for the purpose of self-interest of selected people in our society (read: greed).
They will never cease to be the stumbling blocks until we change our perception about the system. Come to think of it, we shout to the high heavens that this government should be changed but have we changed ourselves?
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
So material a marriage sounds like, it is rare to find those who fall for each other into the depth of their hearts, minds and values, which are priceless.
Love story between Timmy The Tortoise and his 'plastic toy' girlfriend, Tanya, touches my heart because he taught me that love is indeed the binding agent and not the blinding light that makes us go disarrayed.
You may think he is so damn stupid falling for a toy, which does not react to his affections. You may feel sorry for him being so desperate that he had to live with that toy to feel contented.
But, I hope you may see the fact that love is universal, undemanding and selfless. Love will only poison us when we associate love to acquiring, conquering and winning even at the expense of lying, masquerading and dilly dallying. Love will only save us when we love for the sake of love, with no Return of Investment attached.
Timmy The Tortoise is blissfully happy, being together with Tanya - her presence comforts him and makes his life more meaningful. For me, that's the best price a true love could give. When one appreciates that, one would do anything for love without being asked to do so because love is natural and magical - everyone will know how to love and be loved.
So, was this article purely my intention to romanticise, again, such simple act of true love between Timmy and Tanya, to tell the whole world how pathetic love could be seen?
Well, as usual, it is not just that. I was thinking - would Timmy's true love exemplify the sefless acts of some people who promote human welfare and social reforms? Some suffer unfairly from our bad media and bad mouth. Some lose everything to achieve so little a meaningful thing. Some live a basic life one wonders how could we burden them with such Goliath wish-list to make things right fast for the
These are the fighters that would continue to walk this road less travelled along with those people who have been marginalised - so unfortunate a crountry like this having so many people being marginalised in all aspects of life. It is for not power, position, perempuan and projects - it is all because they care. And they care because they are human enough to feel the pains that troubles other beings - "Cubit peha kiri, peha kanan terasa sakit" (Pinch your left thigh, even your right thigh feels the pain).
Love and passion are always God's blessings. Blessed are the people who could feel such beautiful emotions.
I am sure there are more than enough blessed people out there to bring back the goodness this Ibu Pertiwi direly need, to extend their humanitarian love and passion beyond their family, friends and loved ones, and to make visible changes.
One step we all could immediately embark on, amongst many others, is to extend our assistance, expertise and time to our elected Yang Berkhidmat (and if your constituency elects YBs of inconsiderate BN, please get in contact with pro-people campaigners). They need these to reach out to more people and make things better for all faster.
Let's spread the love and let love binds us together!
It’s not the opportunity for them to make amend but chiefly about them getting as much financial benefits as could possibly thrown by the Fed(Ex) Government.
This well-accepted theorem explains why Peter Chin had to extort Selangor State Government with off-the-shelf opinions that Klang Valley consumers would experience water ration come 2014 if the PR-led state government further delays the controversial Pahang-Selangor water transfer project.
Yesterday, the much celebrated TSKI (since pro-inconsiderate BN party couldn’t get enough of slandering him, professionally and personally, ever since 2008 Tsunami) lambasted Peter Chin, who not long ago told us that we are building a Nuclear Plant soon, in TMI: -
It is comforting to see that Selangor State Government has supported their response to Peter Chin with convincing and feasible research materials to mitigate future water crisis.
One should overcome problems or crises with aspirations and innovations. Material is immaterial if it is not done with heart and soul.
On Monday, Raden Galoh and Tok Keno passed on to see their Creator.
Two weeks ago, Mak told me she feels like she is going to die. The next day, my sister told that my First Angel told her to bury him next to his sister, Nor Sara, so he could accompany her, when he died.
And I have yet to shed tears (but I feel puffy inside). Surprising enough considering people think I am such a cry baby.
Am I too cruel to not feeling anything?
Frankly, I have been searching deep inside and I have found the answer to death.
Here's why I would look at Death under different shades of perception.
The thought of death is comforting especially when we are given with signals that our time to see our Creator is just around the corner.
The idea of death is enlightening that it makes us see the best in everyone and everything, no matter how small that could be.
Death prepares us to let go of everyone and everything we loved but never let go of any opportunities we have to do our best for them so that by the time we move on to the Afterlife, we know that we have left them with something to cherish, some burning desire to attain our purpose of being alive, making life ticks faster so that we could, one fine day, meet again on the other side of the world.
Death teaches us to be selfless that we would give any goodness in us in God's eyes so that our loved ones on the other side would be in better place.
Death makes us say our prayers without fail because we know we won't be able to do so many things in such short time, under such short notice, that we seek God's mercy to place a wonderful feeling in the heart of those we loved so they feel our love, to evoke a memory in their hearts so they know we are forever in their heart, to plant their faith firmly on God's strength that death makes them stronger and wiser in many ways, and to lift a burden of sorrow from their souls so that they know we once existed in their life to bring contentment.
With that perceptions in mind, I feel like I have changed. I have slowed down so I could take time to do things that matters to my loved ones and myself. I toned down because I don't think I should 'stop the fire with fire' (Donald Lim's idea of Chinese PERKASA to fight PERKASA). I contemplate (do i deserve today for being just me?). I swallow my pride (shouldn't i just improve myself so that they could be proud of my humbleness?). I feel happier (everyday is my last day so why should i hesitate).
I am sorry if I make some of my dear friends out there a little worry of my prolonged silence. It is indeed magical that I could sense your thoughts on me and I am thankful for having your emotional and spiritual company in this life.
I am sorry if I decided not to do anything to some of you out there because God knows better - I am better off letting you go, slipping away through the fingers of time. Definitely not because of I, now, decided to despise you.
I am sorry if you think why I am such a sad being. Sadly, I am not sad for what I am today. I thank God for what I am because I know there's better agenda for me in the future. Well, this isn't wishful thinking. It's my gut feelings.
I hope till death do us part...