Category: Favourite Entries

Weight Loss Ads Are Ridiculous

Am I the only one finding this whole thing absurd?

Flip open the papers, walk down the stores. Everywhere we go these days we’re constantly being bombarded by hundreds and thousands of weight loss ads. Marie France, Mayfair Bodyline, Slimming Sanctuary, Unisense.

You seen them once, you seen them all:
1. All of them claim the EASIEST way to weight loss
2. All of them cost TOO BLOODY EXPENSIVE
3. All of them feature endorsements by perfect-looking celebrities WHO PROBABLY HAVE NEVER EVER BEEN FAT BEFORE IN THEIR ENTIRE LIFE!

It’s damn illogical ok. These celebrities are not even human ok, they’re freaking GODDESSES. They don’t NEED those weight loss products to look good. Why are they the one endorsing it? It doesn’t make sense.
The latest culprit in this relentless assault of celebrity-endorsed weight loss ads seems to be massager-manufacturing giant Osim. In Singapore, it’s Mediacorp star Fiona Xie. Here in Malaysia, it’s 8TV hottie Marion Caunter.

It was horrible. It’s like everywhere I go I see cardboard cutouts of Marion Caunter doing THAT pose. It’s like she plugged herself into The Matrix and asked Agent Smith to clone multiple versions of herself. Not that I’m complaning really, though personally I would prefer a real-life Marion Caunter than a cardboard Marion Caunter.

Feeling irritated, I decided to pen a letter to Osim International demanding an explaination.

I mailed out the letter this afternoon. Here’s the content.

Mr Ron Sim
Chief Executive Officer
Osim International Pte Ltd
65 Ubi Ave 1
#07-00 Singapore
Dear Sir,
Re: Spokespersons For Osim uZap
I am writing to you to express my extreme disappointment at Osim International’s decision to use Fiona Xie and Marion Caunter as spokespersons for Osim uZap in Singapore and Malaysia respectively.
My disappointment has nothing to do with Fiona and Marion personally, as I’m fan of them both and I enjoy their work in the media industry tremendously.
My disappointment has more to do with the fact that Osim uZap is a slimming product, and the fact that Fiona and Marion have perfect bodies all their lives. In that sense, they are unfit (pardon the pun) to tell people that Osim uZap has a positive effect on their bodies because it is illogical to make a perfect body… even more perfect.
I think Osim International should not use Fiona and Marion as spokepersons, but instead you should use a less-than-perfect spokesperson for Osim uZap. That way, you would sound more credible and believable when you tell people that uZap works, and people will not just anyhow say that Osim is talking cock.
Where to find a less-than-perfect spokesperson you ask?
Not to worry, as I have already found the perfect candidate to be the less-than-perfect spokesperson for Osim uZap. That person is… me!
Hereby enclosing two photos of myself for your kind consideration.

Please make me your uZap spokesperson.
Yours faithfully,
Kenny Sia
im@kennysia com

I wonder if they’re even gonna reply.

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“Merry Christmas” Is Another Way Of Saying Screw You

This is ridiculous.
Do you know that in the United States right now, there’s this huge debate going on about the use of the word “Christmas”?

Apparently some people thought it’s offensive and inappropriate to say “Merry Christmas” in public. See, the USA is a multicultural society so there’s a lot of Americans who do not celebrate Christmas by default. Initially, their government bodies and major shopping complexes decided to start using the more politically-correct and all-encompassing “Happy Holidays” or “Seasons Greetings”, which I thought was fine.
And then it happened. Some donkeys came along and said “NO! It is not OK to use the word ‘Christmas’ at all! Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. It has the word ‘Christ’ in it. If you use that you’ll be isolating all the Buddhists, Muslims, Jewish, etc who do not celebrate Christmas at all!”

So they began renaming everything Christmas. The transformation begun from the White House, to schools, to streets, to major department stores like Macy’s etc.
Christian symbols were removed from nativity scenes.
The symbolic Christmas Tree became the Holiday Tree.
If you’re Jewish, it’s called the Hannukah Bush.

If you’re Muslim, it’s called the Allah Plant. (joke by right-wing Conservatives.)

[No. Sorry but I will not remove this picture.
ONE, I am obviously against the Christmas Tree being called anything else other than the ‘Christmas Tree’. ‘Hannukah Bush’ and ‘Allah Plant’ are examples I used to illustrate the ridiculous names people came up with in the name of political correctness.
TWO, the whole point of this politically-incorrect entry is to ask people to stop being so anal about political-correctness.]
You put Christmas Holiday Decorations on your Holiday Tree. You give out Christmas Holiday Cards to friends and families. You make a fool out of yourself during your company’s Christmas Holiday Dinner.
You go to the city to watch Christmas Holiday Lights. You splurge on your credit card doing Christmas Holiday Shopping.
This whole renaming thing is so ludicrous, I’m surprised they haven’t changed Jesus Christ into Bob Holiday.

This is a pair of Christmas balls

Then the inevitable came. Far right religious groups including that blabbermouth Bill O’Reilly began to lambast left right and center anyone who won’t use the word ‘Christmas’. They wrote angry letters, boycotted products, and in true American fashion, threatened to lay the smackdown and sue the candy ass off anyone who disagreed with them.
If you say “Happy Holidays” to a conservative American, don’t be surprised to hear “That’s Merry Christmas to you, bitch!” in return.
What a spectacular way to ruin the Christmas mood.

Come to think about it, living in the United States is like writing for You can’t say anything these days without offending people.
I’m not Christian so I don’t feel obligated to protect the religion. I’m all for accomodating everyone’s beliefs as much as possible and even I can tell that this whole debacle is absurd. It’s amazing to see everyone is trying to ram their beliefs down the opposing camp’s throats with no room for tolerance at all.

If a Christian wishes a Jew “Merry Christmas”, it is an act of goodwill, not a scorn because of conflicting ideas on Jesus Christ. If someone chooses to say “Happy Holidays”, it is still an act of goodwill despite the choice of words. Why are these people getting so worked up? And dammit, gimme back my goddamn Christmas Tree!
The most ironic thing is that even a Muslim country like Malaysia is more tolerant towards the other people’s cultures and beliefs. [2 days after I put up this entry, sadly I no longer feel that way anymore. The commenters pretty much proved that Malaysia is just as intolerant and politically-correct as the USA.]
Till then, Merry Christmas to ALL!

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Reader Contributed Engrish!

Immediately after I published my last entry on Shanghai Engrish, a couple of people have e-mailed me photos of Engrish they’ve spotted around China.

Spotted on the box of a massage chair:

Instead of helping you relieve the fatigue, this massage chair wants you to RELIVE the fatigue!

(Submitted by Sim Teong Chuan)
From a hotel toilet in HangZhou, China:

Be careful of wet floor!

(via Leonard Png, who got it from an e-mail)
From a restaurant menu in a Chinese three-star hotel:

“Picks” = chop

“Three texts cure” = sandwich
God knows what the hell they meant by “many privates”.
(More Engrish at Leonard Png’s Flickr set)

Of all the Engrish restaurant menus I came across, this one really takes the cake.
(via Weddy’s War Zone)

(More Engrish at brendyweddy)

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Everiday Shanghai Engrish

A correction collection of Engrish spotted during my last trip to Shanghai.
Outside Xiang Yang Market:

Golf equipment specialty store

At the Maglev train station:

Entrance To Train Rides

They obviously don’t like you here. Good riddance!

I’m supposed to walk through the wall?
Who do you think I am? The Incredible Hulk?

Shanghai train stations are not like Singapore MRT stations. You are allowed to take photos here, as long as you are shot in good manner.

Outside a restaurant serving western food:

Tan Ah Beng went to Shanghai and opened a Westerngstyle restaurant


They also serve special food for special people like you and me!

Carrefour Shanghai’s Price Guarantee:

Let’s go Carrefour buy some bang products!
(The word ‘bang’ in this case is the direct translation of the Chinese word °ô (bang4), which means ‘good quality’)

This Mr Brown dunno how to zhng his car, so he became a coffee milk mascot instead.

Mobile phone charging station:

Shanghai people don’t charge their phones. They electrify it.

And my personal favourite:

Third Annual Liang Yang Community Friendly Soccer Match.

Dunno why suddenly got antithetical couplet ocean coming up.

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Cannot Take Photos Inside MRT Stations

You know, as much as I like Singapore and its people, there are things about the city state that I find annoying. Like how anal some MRT officials are.

See, I’ve been travelling a lot lately, and when I travel, I take a lot of photos.
I don’t usually get into trouble for doing that. While I tend to push my limits a little, I do have my own set of principles when it comes to photography. If people were to get upset at me if I took photos of them without permission, I can understand. What I don’t understand is why people would get upset at me for taking photos of something as innocuous as an empty MRT station.
What happened was this.
It was early Sunday morning. I was just about to get back to my hotel after pretty much partying my whole Saturday night away, which included hanging out with the former Miss Malaysia and having cold milk poured onto me by the Incredible Hulk.
The City Hall MRT station at 6am in the morning was hauntingly quiet, a huge contrast to the way it was during peak hours.

I found the scene strangely beautiful, so I primed my camera and took two shots at the almost empty MRT station.
Just as I finished my second shot, a middle-aged SMRT officer sauntered out from his booth with a pissed-off look on his face and slowly walked towards me, cowboy style.
SMRTO: What are you doing?
Kenny: Taking photos?
SMRTO: Why are you taking photos here?
Kenny: For artistic reasons.
SMRTO: You cannot take pictures in here!
Kenny: Oh ok. Sorry I didn’t realise that.
SMRTO: You have to delete the photos.
Kenny: Err… no, I’m not deleting my photos.
SMRTO: No… you have to delete them or I will have to take action.
Kenny: Well, there’s no signage around the place saying I cannot take photos in here, so I’m not deleting them. And it’s just two photos anyway.
SMRTO: We don’t put it on the signage, but it is against the regulation to take photos in here.
Kenny: Alright then, may I see the regulation?
SMRTO: Do you want me to call the police?
Kenny: No, I’m asking you to show me the regulation saying I can’t take photos in here.
SMRTO: We don’t have the regulation book in here. Our regulations you can find on our website.
Kenny: Don’t you have a hard copy of it?
SMRTO: No, there’s so many of them so we cannot list out every single thing in our book.
Kenny: Do you have Internet access?
SMRTO: No, sorry you cannot go into our booth!
Kenny: Then I’m keeping my photos.
SMRTO: If you want to do that, I have no choice but to call the police now.

With that, the SMRT Officer pulled out this big ass walkie talkie from his belt and paged someone, presumably not the police but his tai kor. As he stood aside, hundreds of thoughts went through my head simulteanously.
Kenny Kenny Kenny, what have you done? All these trouble just for those two pathetic photos? What if the police came for you? What if you went to jail for this? What if they locked you away with all hardcore rape criminals? What if those criminals got desperate and decided to poke your backside deep deep?
Your bright future ahead of you, gone, just like that.
Imagine if I went to jail. I’m gonna sit beside my cellmate and asked him “Hey buddy, what are you here for?”
“I killed me wife” he’d reply with a grunt. “And what are you here for?”
What am I gonna say?
“Oh uhh… I took some photos at the MRT station?”

Anyway, a few moments later the officer got off his walkie talkie. His superior (or the phantom “police force” or whoever it was that he’s paging) obviously thought he’s damn bo liao to bring this up and basically told him to sod off and play with his Barbie, because when he came back the horns had disappeared from his head and his voice had turned helluva lot softer.
SMRTO: I still advise you not to take any photos inside the MRT station.
Kenny: Look, you still haven’t answered my question. And all I’m asking for is a question. Not a threat, not a challenge, but a question. “May I see the regulation saying I cannot take photos in the MRT station?”
SMRTO: No… that’s why I said our regulation is on the website.
Kenny: I don’t have Internet access right now. And you have no hardcopy of the regulations, you cannot show me the regulations on screen. In other words, if myself or anyone else want to take photos in the MRT station you can do nothing about it because you cannot show them that it’s against the regulations.
SMRTO: That’s why I told you. The regulation is like whatever law in the country, there’s so many law, you don’t expect the government to put up everything you know?
Kenny: In other words, I assume the regulation do not exist and I get to keep whatever photos that I took.
SMRTO: Can you just show it to me? Fine, let’s say I find that it’s nothing then OK.
Kenny: Alright I’ll show you the photos but I refuse to delete it unless you show me the regulation.
Listen to part of the conversation (WMA, 1m56s, 297KB)

So I showed him the two bloody photos I took that started this whole brouhaha. Only then did I convince him that I’m no terrorist and I don’t plan to use the photos to plan where to hide my bombs.
When I flew back to Kuching that night, the first thing I did was logged on to the SMRT website to check if their mysterious anti-photography regulation exists. Even up till this day, I find nothing of that sort.
Thinking back, it’s kinda stupid to argue with the authority over two useless photos. But hey, I don’t like to be told what I cannot do and I guess the deadly combination of alcohol and fatigue has made me bolder that morning.
Somehow, I’m just glad I wasn’t sent to jail for taking photos. Would be interesting though. I wonder if Singaporean police also make detainees do naked ear squats like in Malaysia?

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Foot In Mouth

It was great meeting up with Cynthia, Nadia, and The Great Swifty last evening in an impromptu bloggers meet of sorts.

I thought I was freak walking around with my digicam, until I met “Swifty” Edmund Yeo who walked around with his GODDAMN VIDEO CAMERA.

One of the highlights of the night has gotta be my conversation with Lena, one of Cynthia’s friends who tagged along to Farrell’s cafe in Victoria Park. I don’t know who the heck Lena is and I’m pretty sure she doesn’t read or even know much about blogs at all.
What’s strange is that as soon as pulled a seat next to her, she started to quiz, grill and interview me CNN-style.

With Cynthia (who reads my blog) and Lena (who tagged along for the meet).

Lena : What do you hope to achieve in the world today?
Kenny : *giving her the wtf-are-you-nuts look* Err… world peace?

Lena : What do you think of the current Malaysian prime minister?
Kenny : What is this? Some sort of beauty pageant interview?
Lena : No, I heard you’re a blogger so you must have lots of thoughts. That’s why I’m asking you what you think.
Kenny : Well, I reckon Badawi is doing a great job. I certainly like him better than Mahathir for sure. Mahathir’s burnt too many bridges with the Western world for my liking.

Lena : What do you think of beauty pageants?
Kenny : Why are you asking me this?
Lena : Just now you said something about ‘world peace’, so I thought about beauty pageants lor.
Kenny : Err… It’s great opportunity for us to cuci mata (feast the eyes) lor.
Lena : What do you think of this year’s winner?
Kenny : Gloria Ting? Other than her elvish ears I think she looks pretty good. Certainly better than (Miss Universe Malaysia 2004) Andrea Fonseka.

Lena : What do you think of Andrea Fonseka?
Kenny : Gee… I don’t have much nice things to say about Andrea Fonseka. Don’t wanna risk offending people in case some of you guys know her.
Lena : It’s ok. You can just tell us what you think.
Kenny : Look, I’m pretty sure she’s a nice person, smart and all that. But looks-wise, I don’t think she’s ready for it. First and foremost, she looks horrible in a swimsuit. She looks as good as I do in a bikini! This is a BEAUTY pageant and you have to expect to be judged on your body. I think irregardless of how smart you are, you gotta at least look a certain standard before you sign up for it.

My Chocolate Devil cake. Deliciously evil.

Lena : *Unimpressed* It’s sad how society thinks that women have to have an hour glass figure in order to be beautiful. The other contestants in the competition can’t even string a proper sentence in English! By winning Miss Malaysia, Andrea is the ambassador for Malaysia. And you gotta have someone smart for that position.
Kenny : I know, I’m not saying it’s her fault she won the competition. All the contestants that year were pretty bad anyway. But still, brains shouldn’t the only thing you need to have to win the competition. If that’s the case, anyone can just pick the smartest professors off the University, put them in a beauty pageant and expect them to win Miss Universe.
Lena : Hmm ok. You gotta admit that she has a lot of guts going for that beauty pageant.
Lena calmly took a sip from her vodka orange. I was still puzzled why she seemed so passionate during the conversation, so I asked “Why are you asking me all these? Are you related to Andrea Fonseka or something?”
That’s when she put her glass down, looked at me dead in the eyes and said “She’s my sister.”

I just wanna crawl my ass into a box, lock myself up and throw the key far far away.

Living In Denial

Somewhere in the quaint small town of Saratok…

Tau Keh Nio: Darlinggggggggggggg
Tau Keh: Whatttttttttttttttt
Tau Keh Nio: I got something to tell you.
Tau Keh: What is it, my dear?
Tau Keh Nio: My birthday is coming soon, right?
Tau Keh: Yeahhhh.
Tau Keh Nio: You really really love me a lot, right?
Tau Keh: Yeahhhh.
Tau Keh Nio: That means you should do whatever you can to make me happy, right?
Tau Keh: Errr…. yeahhhh?
Tau Keh Nio: Ok. 🙂 I want to open a restaurant.
Tau Keh: Har?
Tau Keh Nio: Not just any restaurant. I want to open a big big 5-star restaurant.
Tau Keh: Lao puo, what cock you talking?

Tau Keh Nio: I want to open a luxurious restaurant. I want Chow Yun Fatt to do the opening ceremony. And then I want to invite Brad Pitt for dinner, Angelina Jolie as MC, and Gwen Stefani to sing on stage.
Oh ya I also want Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes to have their wedding here. And I want Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher to come here for honeymoon too.

Tau Keh: Siao. What the hell are you smoking, woman? Excuse me miss but we live in Saratok, not New York. We’re 5 hours away from the nearest international airport and most residents here wouldn’t even spend the kind of money to eat in a 1-star restaurant let alone a 5-star one. Who the hell goes to a 5-star restaurant in the middle of nowhere anyway?
Tau Keh Nio: You don’t want to help me achieve my dream is it? 🙁
Tau Keh: No lah. But at least be realistic with your dreams darling? What freaking luxurious restaurant? Please lah. We only have enough money to start a small kedai runcit (convenience shop) ok?
Tau Keh Nio: YOU AND YOUR KEDAI RUNCIT AGAIN! I’m SO sick and tired of hearing your stupid kedai runcit ok!? Everything is always about YOU YOU YOU YOU YOU! What about ME? I married you for 5 years and I gave you everything! See I gave you Ah Boy and Ah Girl, have dinner ready everytime you come home the palm oil estate and ALL YOU CAN THINK OF IS YOURSELF?! I sacrifice a lot for you already ok!? I always think of you first. WHAT ABOUT MY GOALS?
Tau Keh: But a restaurant is really…. aiya lao puo don’t like that. Come here I give you hug hug. Relax relax lah.
Tau Keh: Tsk. Say how many times we only have enough money to start a small convenience shop onlyyyyy.
Tau Keh: Aiya darling… how can…? Aiii… ok lah ok lah, I give you your restaurant lah. *sigh*

Tau Keh Nio: Cheebye husband.

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Swee Mei Beauty Saloon Review

Swee Mei Beauty Saloon is this very old barber shop along Jalan Sekama that’s been in operation for as long as I could remember. I’ve been getting my haircut there since I was a young enough to have to sit on an elevated wooden plank. Almost 20 years later they’re still cutting my hair.

I kept going back there not because I like them, but because its becoming such a habit I didn’t bother going anywhere else. It wasn’t until much recently that I decided to get my hair done at other hair salons and I’ve neglected Swee Mei since then. In fact, my last visit was probably around 12 months ago.
Feeling a little nostalgic, I dropped by one day to pay them a visit.

This is the inside of the barber shop – the messy desk, the stench of lubricant, the mat on the chairs, Aaron Kwok on the radio singing ‘Dui Ni Ai Bu Wan’. Waliew, its like stepping back into the same barber shop 20 years ago.

Check out their tools. Screw those shit they use in modern hair salons. Swee Mei uses brushes and talcum powders and freaking BRYLCREEM! That’s 100% old school, baby. I don’t know what Loreal what Schwarzkopf wtf lah.
Swee Mei is too cool for that crap. They use Brylcreem and Brylcreem only, just like David Beckham. Until he went botak.

Heck, they are so old school, even their prices are the same as they were 20 years ago. How they manage to survive in this day and age of inflation and rising petrol cost, I have no idea.

Here’s a shot of me desperately in need of a haircut. My apologies for the bad lighting indoors. The Canon dSLR camera isn’t mine, but its the same one I borrowed to gatecrash the Miss Tourism Pageant. Note the Bloggercon T-shirt I was wearing, compliments of the Tomorrow.SG crew. 😉

Meet my barber. He’s still my favourite among the usual three in the shop. I’d like to introduce him, but 20 years of having my hair cut by him and I still have no idea what his name is. I just know him as the Ah Pek on the second chair in the barber shop.
Ah Pek is a genuinely nice guy alright. Every year, for 8 years, I’d returned from Australia and he’d attempt to strike up a conversation with me in Hokkien. And every year, for 8 years, our conversations would be the exact same topic.

Ah Pek: “Lu ding Orh Jiu tak chek hor?” (You’re studying in Australia right?)
Kenny: “Si lor.” (Yeah.)
Ah Pek: “Tak hamik?” (What course are you doing?)
Kenny: “Tak kar ji peng eh gao hor siang eh.” (I’m doing the equivalent of level 9 over here.)
Ah Pek: “Oh… Orh jiu ji zhong eh ti si jing leng hor?” (Oh… it must be very cold now in Australia isn’t it?)
Kenny: “Bo lah. Ji zhong jing juak leh.” (No lah, its damn hot right now leh.)
Ah Pek: “OH! Si ar hor. Orh Jiu ga Tiong Kok si toh peng eh!” (OH! That’s right. The seasons in Australia and China are opposites of each other!)
Kenny: “Mmm… tiok loh” (Mmmm… Correct.)
*awkward silence*

Anyway, I always tell my hairdressers to “Feel free to do whatever you want to do with my hair. Be creative.” But there’s no need for me to tell him to do that. As soon as my ass touch the seat, Ah Pek would start the session by spraying excessive water all over my head like I’m a potted plant.
After trimming most of my hair with an electric trimmer that smells like its been soaked overnight in motor oil, he picked up a huge pair of scissors and began cropping my hair slowly and carefully. His modus operandi was once again, the same as it was 20 years ago, except now the scissors is becoming blunt and squeaky, and his hands are shaking uncontrollably like he has Parkinson’s.

I requested for a shampoo like I always do at modern hair salons. Ah Pek politely declined, informing me that the shampoo girl grandma has gone home so I decided to let it go. Aiya, I don’t think I want to let him to shampoo my head lest he breaks his finger bones when he massaged my scalp.
I was getting my hair happily when suddenly Ah Pek stepped on a pedal on my chair and made me fall on my back. Skarly he pulled a knife out no where and held it against to my neck. I got so scared my balls almost shrank.

This picture could very well be mistaken for an al Qaeda hostage video in iRaq.

Actually I’m just getting an old-fashioned shave lah. Before Gillette comes along, this is how real men shave.
Ah Pek didn’t use any shaving foam, just some soap water to lubricate my chin with a bristle. He shaved everything he could shave too – my chins, sideburns, my face, my neck, monobrow. No lah not my chest hair. No aftershave afterwards either, just Vicks Vaporub to soothe the burns. He even trimmed the hair inside my nose and cleaned my ears with a cotton bud. So nice.
I know all these sounds very gay lah, but Ah Pek is so fatherly you wouldn’t even think about it. Anyway, 30 minutes later and this is how I look like.

Ya, I’m very shocked too. Nabeh, like I’m wearing a helmet right? I think I’m just a pussy moustache away from looking like Mr Adolf Hitler. I wonder if Desperate Addict is still gonna like me after this.
Still, at RM8.00, cannot complain lah. Its just an old-fashioned barber shop. How to compare right?

So, what do you think?

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For some strange reasons, I woke up yesterday morning with bumpy red spots all over my arms.

See? Like love bites liddat.

I took off my shirt and discovered a lot more of them on my body. Man, those babes last night were wild!

Stop staring at my tits or they’re gonna shoot lasers at you.

Initially I suspected I might be allergic to the dusty environment where I’ve been working at these past few days, but that couldn’t be the case since I was fully clothed at work (duh) and I’ve got rashes all over my body. Then I went to see the doctor and he said he suspected virus. But I scanned myself with Norton Antivirus and I turned out clean leh. Stupid doctor.
The rashes aren’t particularly itchy or anything. They’re just ugly as hell.

If you look really closely you might be able to see the world map on my back.

I wish I could tell you red polka-dotted skin is the latest fashion statement right now, but the fact remains that I got some weird ass skin disease. 🙁

Patriotism Misunderstood

(continued from last entry. I took a lot of time editting this entry before I publish it because I have to particularly careful with what I say and how I say it. The end result is not exactly what I wanted but I’ve copped enough shit already and I don’t need more.)

This post today is not about me joining in on some childish mudslinging match between Singapore and Malaysia. I was just inspired to write this entry after observing how my fellow Malaysians react when negative aspects about our own country are being highlighted.
I’m grateful that Malaysia is a peaceful nation and, when compared to the many war and famine strickened countries around the world, we should really feel happy with what we got. There’s been all these talk about racism in Malaysia, but I’m appreciative of the fact that I keep my Chinese last name, practise our own religion and celebrate Chinese New Year. In addition, I think Badawi is doing a fantastic job so far (not being sarcastic here) though I’m afraid I cannot say the same things for our other leaders in the parliament.
That said, Malaysia is not perfect. I acknowledge the fact that Malaysia is a developing nation, and that it still has a long way to go before it realises Vision 2020 (if ever) and becomes on par with the first world countries.
There are a lot of things not right about our country. ‘Efficient’ government departments, ‘zero’ corruption, ‘excellent’ public transport system, ‘fair’ tertiary education scholarship criteria, ‘not enough’ race-based political parties and so on, being the few of them. And the feeling I got is that majority of Malaysians, the younger ones in particular, either don’t care about it, don’t know about it, or worse, don’t want to hear people talking about it.

When F (note I said F, not X. They’re two totally different people) wrote a list of Malaysia’s flaws on her blog in an entry titled ‘Negaraku’, I’m surprised she got flakked for it eventhough a lot of what she said is true.
Maybe its to do with the fact that she’s a Malaysian living abroad. Maybe its the way she used another country as an example of “how things are done right”. But among other things, she was called ignorant, superficial, even a traitor for dissing her own country. Someone made an interesting comment on her blog saying Malaysia’s biggest flaw is not teaching its citizens to accept it for its flaws.
Wait a minute, Why should we accept the flaws of this country? Are we saying that we should accept handbag-snatchers, dirty streets and crazy-ass traffic officers seeking a contribution to their retirement fund as the norm? Of course not.
I’m just disappointed that there are people I know who’s saying we should all just shut the fook up and quietly eat all the crap being thrown at us JUST because that’s what we grew up with and that’s the way things work around here. I mean, if I were to follow THAT advice during my fiasco with the Malaysian Customs, I’m probably never ever gonna get my money back.
No, I will not let you screw me in the ass just because that’s the way things work around here. If you’re being unfairly treated because of some stupid policy, stand up and speak up for yourself. Challenge the authority.
What everyone ought to remember is that love for the country is very different from love for the government. A lot of shits we had to put up with are the direct result of both the government’s lack of planning/lack of foresight/lack of common sense and some uncivilised citizens. Keeping our cities clean is everyone’s responsibilities, but how many people actually follow that principle?

We should ALWAYS love our country because patriotism is a virtue. We should ALWAYS be proud of the Malaysian flag because it is our identity. But we should NEVER EVER accept snatch thefts as the norm. We should NEVER condone corruption as part of the Malaysian culture. And above all else, we should NEVER stop challenging the government to work for its people. Each of us citizens have a part to play to make Malaysia a better place. One of the ways we can help is by talking, or as some people put it, ‘complaining’ about the issues.
There’s nothing wrong when other countries are being used for comparison. I’m not saying those who’ve been overseas are holier art thou. Hey, we all learn from other people’s successes and failures – that’s why we study history, that’s how we grow. Don’t be too fast to shoot down someone, especially a fellow Malaysian, and accuse them of dissing our own country just because another country’s name was mentioned. More often than not, it’s after staying overseas and observing the ways things are being done elsewhere that we realise how things could be better done with our own country.
Of course, one has to be reasonable when it comes to this.
I’m not gonna compare Malaysia’s hot, humid and rainy climate to Australia’s clean fresh air across four seasons because we are not Gods and we cannot change the weather. I’m not gonna bitch about how, in an effort to boost birthrate, the Australian government gives AUD3,000 (that’s RM8,500) to the parents for each baby born (it’s true), whereas the Malaysian government gives you nothing more than a pat on the back and a “Well done!” because I know its silly to compare Malaysia’s cash reserves to that of a first world nation.

However, I’m gonna bitch about how in Malaysia ‘courtesy’ was an alien word to people working at the cashier counters before Starbucks came along and taught us how to smile and say ‘Hi’ to our customers, and not just stare and follow them everywhere when a customer walked into their shop like how some shopkeepers do because they’re afraid you’re gonna steal their stuff. I’m going to bitch about how in some countries, people study overseas because their results are too poor to get a scholarship into local universities; whereas in Malaysia, people study overseas because their results are too good to get a scholarship into local universities.
There’s a limit though. I’m all for weeding out the negative aspects of our country but not at the expense of losing our Malaysian culture and identity. I mean, if the VCD seller at Petaling Street starts speaking to me in perfect English I’m probably gonna slap him.

I’m an optimist and I think, with the exception of a sad few, that most Malaysians love their country, including F. Home is where the heart is and so far I haven’t yet met any Malaysians who is so ashamed of our own country they had to introduce themselves as Mongolians.
I think Malaysians in general just don’t like to hear criticisms about their own country. Everytime we hear someone mentioning something remotely negative about our country we automatically go into defensive mode and attack the person making those comments. Frankly, I think that kind of attitude is sad. If that’s our idea of patriotism, then I think we’re pretty much screwed.
So all I’m saying is this, people: Be proud of Malaysia and love your country. Just don’t love it blindly.

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