Tuesday, October 31, 2006
posted by PabloPabla at 3:53 pm

Our elder daughter is now 3 years old. She is more aware of her surroundings and learns fast from what she sees. You'll be amazed how she is able to copy how adults talk and act though she is only 3 years old.

Most new parents have reached a consensus that nowadays, children are much brighter and smarter than when the parents were at their age. The grandparents lend support to this theory. In fact, my mum did exclaim that when I was 3 years old, I could quietly sit by myself in a playpen to play with just a handful of toys for the day. Not so with my daughter. Give her a new toy and it will probably just keep her amused for 30 minutes at the most.

I wonder if the being brighter or smarter has got to do with the milk formulas today. All those D.H.A, A.H.A., S.A., Taurine etc laden milk formulas must have done something to these kids' brains. Even milk powder for mothers-to-be and lactating mothers are packed with these nutrients which supposedly gives the babies an advantage. Mind you, milk powder is not cheap nowadays and we usually scout for the best bargains we can find especially through the hypermarket price wars.

Anyway, back to these smart and intelligent kids. It is becoming a real challenge to discipline them nowadays. Sometimes, they are able to respond in such an intelligent manner that you become dumbfounded and speechless! My mum and dad, who takes care of my daughters in the day time, have documented a couple of times when they "lost out" in the battle of words with my elder daughter. Whilst feeling exasperated, they can't stop feeling amused at the same time.

So, how then do you discipline kids nowadays? Do we follow what the latest scientific research tells us to do? The popular method nowadays is to be a friend of the child. No more corporal punishment less it scars the child mentally. And is it so that we see so many children misbehaving or rather, run around the place uncontrolled? Sometimes I feel sad to see parents having no control over their child. Whenever the child cries, the parents will try to appease the child with something or anything which will make the child stop crying. Toys, food, funny faces etc. Usually, when asked, the parents will say that the child is still too young to understand. Probably. But I personally do not think so. A baby is able to communicate with the parents by making known his needs by crying. A toddler can point at things he wants or push away things he does not want. So, why are they too young to learn a little bit about discipline? Such as keeping quiet when the occasion demands it? Or not running around when it could pose dangers?

I believe that children, once accustomed to getting their own ways in matters, will use these to manipulate the parents as they get older. I know for a fact that my daughter will try to take advantage of my parents when I am not around. It's like she uses psychological manipulation to get what she wants knowing that my parents, especially dad, usually gives in. It then becomes a further challenge to convince my parents that they are being manipulated by my daughter for my daughter's needs!

Taking heed of the Bible, these are some of the examples of how to discipline a child found on the Net which I find most relevant and useful indeed. The principles are universal and applicable whether one is a Christian or not.


1. REALIZE THAT GOD GIVES PARENTS THE AUTHORITY TO DISCIPLINE THEIR CHILDREN. Yes, the family is the only institution that God gives such authority. No state, no school, no church has this right to usurp this authority except and unless the children are in some physical or extremely emotional danger of abuse (Col 3:30; Matt. 15:4; Exo. 21:15,17; Prov 30:17).

2. PARENTS ARE TO USE CORPORAL DISCIPLINE ON UNRULY, REBELLIOUS CHILDREN. The Bible's call and commands are evident as I read before. However, this is always to be the last measure, not the first. Learn to vary the forms of discipline. Use things such as "time out," loss of privileges, extra chores, monetary fines, etc., for these are valid means of disciplines that can be effective training procedures too (Prov 13:24; 19:18;23:13-14; 29:15,17).

3. WHEN USING CORPORAL DISCIPLINE, IT MUST NEVER BE DONE EXCEPT IN LOVE. We must remember the definition of discipline. It is loving correction and training for the good of the child. We must never discipline in anger, or when we have lost our temper and control. The Bible says in Hebrews 12:5-6 (NLT) "… "My child, don't ignore it when the Lord disciplines you, and don't be discouraged when he corrects you. 6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he punishes those he accepts as his children."" Thus, a lack of Biblical discipline is really evidence of a lack of true care and love.

4. BEFORE USING CORPORAL DISCIPLINE BE SURE THE CHILD KNOWS THE RULES! Often a child disobeys simply because he or she does not clearly know the rules. Many homes have none established. Sit down with your children and pre-establish a set of infractions and disciplines for them. Let the child know before hand, what they will get if they disobey. Consistency of discipline is vital for a child to learn thereby (Prov 13:24).

5. PARENTS ARE TO EQUALLY SHARE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF DISCIPLINING A CHILD. It is not always mom's job or dad's either. Never say, "wait till your father gets home." The most effective disciplines are carried out swiftly upon discovery of the infraction. However, when Dad is home God appoints him the deputy of the home and it is his responsibility to carry out loving discipline ( Joshua 24:15; 1 Tim 3:4-5).

6. VARY DISCIPLINE ACCORDING TO THE AGE OF YOUR CHILDREN. Now its not to early to swat a child's behind even in the first few months of life. A gentle but firm swat when a child display a temper tantrum sets the beginning understanding of training and limits of personal freedom. However, corporal discipline I believe is ineffective an inappropriate for a child who reaches the teen years. By then it is too late. The child stage of life that is from birth to the preteen years is when most behavioral patterns are established for life. These are the years parents maintain external controls until internal controls are established. Corrective and other disciplines establish them. By the teen years a child should have learned respect for authority, the rights of others, honesty, harmony, patience, self-control, the value of study and work, concern for others, personal contentment and the need to surrender to God's will for the ultimate happiness of life.

7. WHEN DISCIPLINING A CHILD, NEVER USE YOUR HAND. God gave us our hands to do good and bring joy into others lives. All physical discipline should be an external object such as a flat rounded edged paddle or a fine switch from a tree. Also, all physical discipline should always be on the "derrière," and no where else! Slapping a face, hitting above the belt, or on the legs are inappropriate and can cause deep and intense humiliation and even injury. We must never injure a child by discipline, never!! However the Bible does say, Proverbs 23:13-14 (NLT) "Don't fail to correct your children. They won't die if you spank them. 14 Physical discipline may well save them from death."

Proverbs 20:30 (NLT) "Physical punishment cleanses away evil; such discipline purifies the heart."

8. ALWAYS WHEN DISCIPLINING, BE SURE TO PHYSICALLY SHOW YOUR LOVE AND ACCEPTANCE FOR YOUR CHILD. After a discipline session is over, be sure to hug your child, pray with them and together, ask God to bless your relationship. A child needs to know that you loved him or her, before you disciplined them, and you disciplined them because you loved them, and now that it is over, you will love them always and forever. This is the message of the Bible to all fallen sinners. God never stops loving us ( Heb.12:5-6).

How are kids disciplined around you? In whatever circumstances, children are God's gift to us and we have a responsibility to bring them up properly and with the right perspective. I don't claim to be an expert in child care and I confess that it is a very big challenge for me and my wife. It is also a very humbling experience. For it is when one disciplines a child that one realises how God has been so patient with us despite our errors, stubborness and rebellious ways.

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Monday, October 30, 2006
posted by PabloPabla at 3:06 pm

Oh My Kennysia!

Would you say that when you are shocked or distressed or surprised? Or how about "Oh my Minishorts!" or "Oh my Chanlilian!"? Probably not. But many would not flinch an eye or think for a split second when they utter "Oh my God!" or "Jesus Christ!" or "Mother Mary!" or even "Oh my goodness!". Have you heard people exclaiming "Kuan Yin" or "Lord Murugan" similar to the way the name "Jesus Christ" is uttered in conversations? Rarely or even never.

I don't mean to criticise anyone here nor offend anyone. Just a thought in reflection.

People usually respond to calls. What more, God. When one utters "Oh my God!", I believe that God will wonder what is it that we are calling Him for. Imagine His dismay when we are not actually calling Him but rather just using His name in exclamation. His name has been made so trivial, no thanks to some directors of movies and television series. Sometimes, His name is mixed together with profanities and words such as "damn". That is, if you believe in God in the first place.

But if one does not believe in God, then why do they call "Oh my God"? Might as well call "Oh my mother!" or "Oh my father!". But we wouldn't. Because it just does not sound right, does it? And we would not want to call our parent's name or even our spouses' name in vain. But it seems cool and okay to call God's name or even somebody else's God.

For Christians, the 3rd of the Ten Commandments read "7You shall not make wrongful use of the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not acquit anyone who misuses his name." (Exodus 20:7). Clearly, it is prohibited for Christians or Jews or Muslims for that matter to misuse God's name. And I would even extend to say that "goodness" is deemed to be another word or form for "God" when used in the above context.

How about those who are not Jews, Christians or Muslims or even Atheists? Well, just because one does not believe, it is gently advised that it is best not to utter "Oh my God" or "Jesus Christ" in vain. Why take the chance? I suppose they would not be too happy if others exclaim their God's name in vain.

I don't think Kennysia, Minishorts or even Chanlilian would like it if their name is used in vain or mixed with profanities. Would they?

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Friday, October 27, 2006
posted by PabloPabla at 11:35 am

Selected photos taken at Zoo Negara Malaysia on the 1st day of Hari Raya.

Squaring off

Seeing Double


Looking Regal

Jumbo Cane

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Thursday, October 26, 2006
posted by PabloPabla at 11:19 am

Football is perhaps the world's most watched sport. Erm...soccer, for those who thought I was talking about American Football. It's the game with the round ball. In some parts of the world, children in alleys or even grass-less fields substitute the ball with some other object - tin can, is quite a favourite.

The passion from a football game can be one of great contrast. At one end of the spectrum, you can see emotionless spectators gazing at the game with bags of chips in their hands. As if in automatic feeding mode, their hands will dig into their bags of chips, nip a couple of chips and tuck it into their mouths in one deft move. Their mouths move in unison whilst chewing the chips rather than in cheering for their teams. On the other end of the spectrum, you will see fans with painted-faces and sometimes, upper bodies shouting themselves silly on the terraces. As if men possessed, they will dance, jump, curse, rant, rave, cry, laugh and wave flags just like the Chingay Festival. And these are grown up men, mind you. Somehow or rather, the passion they evoke in a football match sometimes bring out the real person in them. They could very well be the nerdy looking clerk you meet at the office but once on the stadium terrace, all is let loose.

Let's now go over to the Rubgy game. Always known to be a rough sport, many spectators enjoy the games over a couple of cans of beer and burgers. Some of the spectators are as burly as the rugby players themselves. Must be the beer. Tries are often greeted with loud cheers for the successful team and groans of despair come from the fans of the team which allowed the try. The "Haka" by the New Zealand team (also known as the All-Blacks) is one of the most famous dance / battle-cry in the sporting arena. It gives a real dose of motivation to the team and a big dose of goose-bumps to the other team. But it has always been known as the rougher sport compared to football.

But really?

I have watched many football matches and a couple of rugby matches. In football matches, when players fall, you need to see the replay whether they were tripped or purposely fell or they fell on their own accord. In rugby matches, they fell because they were tackled by the other players. You don't need a replay. It is so obvious.

It is as if, football players are so fragile that a slight pull on their jerseys will cause them to fall and roll over the pitch. You will also notice sometimes that when one part of their body is "touched" - say the ankle, the player will roll on the pitch clasping their knee whilst howling in pain. For a moment, some might be forgiven for thinking that the player just broke his kneecap. His team-mates will then run across the field to surround the referee, demanding that the perpetrator be given a card or be sent off. No, the number of players rushing to the player "injured" to show their concern is usually lesser than the number of players rushing to see the man in black. The interesting thing is, once the referee gives a card to the opponent, the injured player will be up and running and sometimes, will take the freekick himself. Talk about fast healing!

Talking or shouting back at the referee is a cool thing in football. Some even blow their nose to show their disgust at the referee for not deciding in their way. You don't really see this with the 6 to 7 feet guys playing rugby. They might surround the referee but usually, they get an earful from the referee and will quickly disperse without any protest at whatever decision the referee makes.

Ah...so much theatrics on the football field. So much so that one Professor Jiri Dvorak conducted a study on the recent June-July Football World Cup in Germany which revealed that 58 percent of the players who were treated on the football pitch during the World Cup turned out to be not injured. His findings revealed a clear pattern that players feign injuries to mislead the referees to get an opponent booked or gain tactical advantage. How gentleman are the footballers compared to the rugby players?

For me, I would like to think that Football is a Gentleman's Game played by Hooligans whilst Rugby is a Hooligans' Game played by Gentlemen. And of, in case you are wondering, I am a fan of Manchester United FC.

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Thursday, October 19, 2006
posted by PabloPabla at 3:28 pm

Office is closed tomorrow for the long holidays and I will only be back in office next Thursday.

What's in store this holidays? I will be spending 3 days 2 nights at Fraser's Hill with other members of my church beginning tomorrow. Family will come along as well and this will be another good test for our Toyota Avanza to show its hill climbing calibre!

Happy Deepavali and Selamat Hari Raya to all Hindu and Muslim readers out there! For the rest of Malaysians, happy holidays and for the others, thanks for dropping by!



posted by PabloPabla at 2:46 pm

Hi! Thanks for dropping by. I have since moved this review to Restoran Soong Kee Beef Noodles @ Kuala Lumpur at Hochiak! Delicious Asian Food. Read my review there.


posted by PabloPabla at 10:59 am

I have been using this template ever since I started blogging a couple of months back.

I have sought some comments on the readability of this blog eg. colour, font, placement of items etc. and so far, I received two comments that the white coloured text against the dark background colour makes reading difficult. I think there are many other nice templates out there especially the ones from Wordpress but I have no idea how to import it into blogger.

Yesterday, after much trial and error, I changed the template of my food blog - Hochiak! Delicious Asian Food. Am still not satisfied with it though. But I am waiting to see if people like the new look. If they do, I will just let it continue.

And then, if you might have noticed, I do review some nice food places once in a while and have the reviews posted up here. Since the reviews are based on Malaysian food, I wonder if I should put these reviews in my food blog instead.

What say you?


Wednesday, October 18, 2006
posted by PabloPabla at 9:50 am

Let me tell you a story which goes like this:-

There once was a man called Mr. X. His best friend is Mr. Y. Both of them have been best friends for a long long time. One day, Mr. X stumbled upon a Nasi Kandar stall in Jln TAR. It was the most delicious Nasi Kandar he had ever tried. So good that even as he was eating the Nasi Kandar, he was thinking of all the people that he wanted to tell about this new found Nasi Kandar stall. Next day, he met up with Mr. Y. This is their conversation.

Mr. X : Y, you know what? Yesterday I found the best Nasi Kandar stall in KL!

Mr. Y : Yes ar? Which one?

Mr. X : The one at Jln TAR. Absolutely the best in town! You MUST try it!

Mr. Y : Sure or not? I heard some people say it isn't that great.

Mr. X : Sure wan! Those people don't know what they talking. You MUST try it!

Mr. Y : I got my favourite Nasi Kandar lah. The one at Jln Peel. That one is very the good wan! I am sure better than yours.

Mr. X : No lah. The Jln Peel Nasi Kandar cannot compare to this Jln TAR Nasi Kandar. The Jln TAR Nasi Kandar is more flavourful.

Mr. Y : I think the Jln TAR wan is oily-lah. Some say it has too much oil. Some more, the chicken fried until like a piece of wood liao! My dentures sure cannot withstand that kind of chewing.

Mr. X : Who say? Jln TAR Nasi Kandar better than your Jln Peel one lah! Yours taste like curry from the tin can. Lousy lah. I wonder why you like it so much. Your wife's choice is it?

Mr. Y : Eh, you keep my wife out of this picture okay? Or is it because your mistress told you the Jln TAR Nasi Kandar is her favourite and you have to follow her choice, har?

Mr. X : I knowlah, you always kowtow to your wife. You are a chicken at home lah you. Can't even make your own decisions. Typical of your kind.

Mr. Y : Who is saying what? Your mistress is the blood sucking type. Can't even leave you alone and you are so compliant to her. You don't use your brain ar?

And so, the ridicule and name calling continues. Needless to say, their friendship deteriorated. Mr. X does not trust Mr. Y anymore and vice versa. Whatever Mr. X says, Mr. Y will retaliate whether there is any truth in what was said. Vice versa again. Name calling, ridiculing, criticising, you name it, they have it. This goes from generations to generations.

Do we identify ourselves with the above situation? No? Sure about that? Recently, there has been a lot of controversies and upsetting episodes in Malaysia regarding inter-faith matters. A search through the blogs will find a lot of name callings, ridiculing, criticisms and hatred. In the defence of one's belief, one finds no qualms derogating the beliefs of others. If you think office politics are vicious enough, you should read some of the comments made in so-called self-professed religious blogs. The amount of hatred the commentors have towards those who do not subscribe to their views are plain to see. Words reveal the inner hearts of these people. This is probably not just a Malaysian situation but I am sure, exists everywhere else on this planet of ours.

If Mr. Y had responded by saying "Oh really? I shall try it one day when I am free and see for myself" or "No thanks. I have my favourite Nasi Kandar and am currently not keen to try out other Nasi Kandars", things may have been different. And if Mr. X had not been so pushy and start ridiculing Mr. Y's choice or decision-making skills, things may have not deteriorate to that extent.

And all these deterioration of relationship arose because Mr. X wanted to share his new found Nasi Kandar with Mr. Y but they fail to accept or respect each other's reason to disagree.

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posted by PabloPabla at 8:37 am

It may soon be necessary for Malaysian Undergraduates to complete golfing lessons as part of their study modules prior to graduation. This will ensure that our undergraduates have the necessary skills to play golf, which is widely known to be the sport that clinches many a business deal. In fact, a report today states that Xiamen University in China has made it compulsory for law and business students to take golf lessons with the aim to help the students find good jobs.

Considering the high number of unemployed graduates in the country, the Higher Education Ministry should seriously look into the Chinese approach. After all, many of the universities in China are ranked higher than our local universities and what better way than to learn from those who are "better" than us?

Besides being equipped with an added "business negotiation skill" and being able to enhance one's networking vide golf buddies, who knows? We might be able to unearth some hidden talents amongst our undergraduates whom we can send to tournaments to represent Malaysia. We have not much glory in the golfing arena todate. Moreover, this compulsory classes will ensure that our numerous golf courses be utilised to the maximum rather than stare at the sun in waste. More jobs would be created and this should stir up the economy a bit. And of course, our undergraduates will have a healthy sport to indulge into rather than spend time, er....blogging?

Practical? Impractical? Serious? Joke? You may your own conclusions.

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Tuesday, October 17, 2006
posted by PabloPabla at 10:14 am

I forgot to bring my season parking card to work yesterday. At least I was in Court in the morning and only got into office around noon. I only realised I forgot to bring the season parking card when I approached the car park.

It is going to be expensive. Very expensive indeed.

Boy it was! RM18.00 for half a day. My hands were trembling when I fed the RM10 notes into the machine.

Thou shall not forget thy season parking card when thou leave thy home!

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Monday, October 16, 2006
posted by PabloPabla at 3:21 pm

Fiery action

I have heard so much about this Hokkien Mee stall in Kuala Lumpur but did not get a chance to try it until last Wednesday evening. Many people have told me about how good the Hokkien Mee is and how the flames from the charcoal stove will capture your attention. I tried taking a photo of the cook in action but turned out quite poor using the night shot function on my digital camera. Can't blame an amateur, can you?

The Chef

Anyway, for insurance purposes, I took another shot using the normal settings. If you look at the stall closely, it may turn you off. This stall has been in existence for 60 years or so (according to the proprietor) and is now managed by the children of the original cook. They sell nothing but Hokkien Mee. If they have been selling nothing but Hokkien Mee for the past 60 years and survived, it must be good. Else, how to survive?

This stall is located at the backlane of Lai Foong Restaurant which is situated along Jalan Tun Tan Cheng Lock. Other landmarks include Petaling Street (facing S & M Plaza / Kotaraya Complex) and EON Bank Berhad. It is only open from 4pm till 11pm at night.

Awesome Hokkien Mee

The Hokkien Mee is smooth yet, unoily. I tell you, you won't notice a layer of oil on the plate after you have finished the whole plate. This despite the cook using pork lard in the cooking. Pork lard is an essential ingredient in cooking Hokkien Mee and many Hokkien Mee lovers will insist on extra pork lard (also known as "Chu Yau Char" in cantonese) bits to add some crunch to the bite whilst tasting the smooth and semi-soft noodles.

The Hokkien Mee also comes with generous portions of lean pork and chinese mustard leaves. There was one piece of pork liver in my plate...wished there were more but perhaps, the chef did not distribute the ingredients evenly. You see, when he cooked my portion, he also cooked for another 2 customers at the same time.

What I liked about this Hokkien Mee is the texture and taste of the noodles / mee. The balance of saltiness and sweetness is just nice and the lack of visible oil gives one a sense of healthiness. Hah! I like that phrase. We all know how unhealthy Hokkien Mee can be considering pork lard is also used but well....an indulgence once in a blue moon is okay, right?

The fact that this Hokkien Mee is cooked using a charcoal stove gives the Hokkien Mee an added fragrance and "kick" unlike those churned out from gas stoves. Personally, I have a fondness for food cooked using charcoal fire and this gets my thumbs up!

My plate of Hokkien Mee together with a glass of iced chinese herbal tea costs me RM6.00. Definitely a most satisfying meal. Do check it out if you are in the vicinity of Petaling Street or Kota Raya.

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Thursday, October 12, 2006
posted by PabloPabla at 3:24 pm

Latest news update!

Taxi commuters will soon be flagging down the Toyota Camry in Malaysia. It represents another laudable improvement in the battle by the Government of Malaysia to boost its public transportation which has come under intense criticism in recent months.

You think the above news is real? Get real. But down south, our neighbour Singapore is doing it for real. According to a recent report dated 10th october, 2006, the Toyota Camry - arguably Singapore's most popular Japanese executive saloon will be used as taxis in the island republic. The taxi companies are searching for suitable cars so that they do not run foul of the stricter Euro IV emission standard for diesel vehicles there. Oh by the way, it only costs S$40,000.00 to buy a Camry running on Compressed Natural Gas.

Which brings to us our taxi fleets in Malaysia.

We all like to compare Malaysia with Singapore, don't we? Sibling rivalries some say. After all, Singapore was part of Malaysia before it sought its own independence. So, in a way, Singapore is a younger sibling. And what has our younger sibling achieved over the years? No, we shall not comment on their sporting prowess (not that we have much to shout about save for perhaps, Nicol David) but let us just talk about taxis for today.

Have you taken a taxi in Singapore? Just wave your hand and the taxi will stop for you. I used the word "will" because they actually WILL stop for you. No ifs no buts. And you will be greeted by a nice clean taxi...most likely, a roomy Toyota Crown or Nissan Cedric with clean upholstery and smells decent. The air-conditioning works and the stereo is kept to civil volume. Wherever you want to go on the island, the driver will take you. No ifs no buts. Your destination is not dependant on the traffic condition. In fact, Singaporeans have no qualms taking taxis as a form of public transport. They find it efficient (isn't Singapore?). Using meters for the ride is almost as natural as releasing the parking brake prior to driving. Check out the rates here.

Let's just cross over the causeway to our Malaysia Boleh. Right to KL, shall we? We can't be comparing Singapore with say, Kota Bahru. Let's give ourselves our best shot and see where we fare. Afterall, the tallest building in KL is taller than the tallest building in Singapore. So, at least KL can compete in some ways or another.

What do we have for taxis? You are most likely to find Proton Iswaras and Wiras on the road. I think they also cost around RM40,000.00 (on the average) which, if you ask me on a dollar-to-dollar comparison, the Singaporean taxis and commuters are getting a better deal for their money. Some of these taxis have artificial / synthetic leather seats which are so thick and plush, you'll be begging for extra legroom if you happen to be a little on the tall side. If the air-conditioning works, great! If it doesn't, just ignore the cigarette smoke the driver is puffing or the haze outside.

Wave your hand for a taxi! You should count yourself blessed if a taxi stops for you in the first place. The general rule of thumb is "the taxi may stop for you if you wave". If they decide to drive you to your destination, you should count yourself doubly blessed that day. Otherwise, it will be usual replies like "Sana jam lah, tak mau". Thirdly, give yourself a big hug for being triple blessed if they reset the meter for your journey. At least, that saves you from having to use your negotiation skills to haggle the price for the journey. When you reach your destination though, make sure that the meter wasn't even tampered in the first place! And of course, you must make sure that you also know how to get to your destination as some of these taxi drivers will ask you for the directions to get to your destination!

If you are at places like KLCC or certain KTM Komuter stations like Serdang, you will be at the mercy of the taxi drivers there. They prefer flat rates a.k.a. meter is for aesthetic purposes only. The commuters know it and have cried foul many times such that it is no more worth its piece of news already. Every now and then, you will hear the authorities making threats to come down hard on these errand cabbies. But somehow, the taxi drivers and taxi companies in Singapore are more law abiding than their elder siblings in Malaysia.

Why is that so? I will give a simple analogy which goes like this.

Child slaps younger sibling.
Mother : "Why did you do that? I will cane you the next time you hit your younger sibling!"
Child : "I won't do it mummy. I will be good".

Next day, child slaps younger sibling again.

Mother : "Didn't I tell you not to hit your younger sibling? This is the last warning!"
Child : I promise I will not do it again.

Two days later, the younger sibling gets another slap.

Mother : "I am warning you!"
Child : *immune already to all these empty threats and thinks aloud* Next time you don't see, I will continue my slaps.

Younger sibling also gets immune to these slaps already and takes it as a fact of life.

In Singapore, you give a slap, you get two or three in return and let's see if you dare to slap again! In Malaysia, you give a slap, you get a few earfuls followed by an indirect assurance that semuanya ok!

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posted by PabloPabla at 12:37 pm

The Place
(updated 16102006)

Yesterday, I went further down Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman to see my tailor. It was around lunch time and it started to pour heavily. The tailor I go to, Astor Tailor is located in the same block of building as K.S. Gill (speciality shop selling all kinds of pen) and I was basically stuck due to the rain. I then noticed that the end shoplot is a Penang Nasi Kandar Restaurant. Since I could not go anywhere else, I decided to check it out.

Choose your pick

The first thing I noticed was a newpaper review done on this restaurant. It must be good. Why else is it recommended as one of the top 5 places to have your Nasi Kandar in Malaysia? Let's get started then, shall we?

Fried stuffs

This is Nasi Kandar Kudu bin Abdul. It is run by an Indian Muslim lady and appears to be a family business. Apparently, this family also runs the famous Nasi Kandars in Penang, the home of Nasi Kandar. Nasi Kandar is essentially white rice which comes with your selection of meat - chicken, fish, mutton, parts of chicken (neck, gizzard etc), crabs, prawns, fish roe, sotong and if I am not mistaken, beef lungs. What sets this Nasi Kandar apart from most other white rice dish is that upon placing the meat on the rice, the waiter / cook will pour a variety of curries over the rice so that the rice will have a most unique curry taste.

My superb lunch

I had the Nasi Kandar Ayam Kicap (Chicken in Dark Soya Sauce). The chicken drumstick / thigh is quite big in portion and tastes great. Has a nice hint of spice to it and not overpowering. It must be the family's secret recipe. The meat is well-cooked though I would have prefered it slightly juicier. My Nasi Kandar Ayam Kicap comes with three pieces of steamed / boiled ladies fingers which were really tender, yet crisp to the bite. A couple of slices of cucumber and papadoms completes the dish.

Fried Sotong Nasi Kandar
(updated 16102006)

A plate of Nasi Kandar Ayam Kicap costs RM5.00 and is money well spent. You can always ask them to go easy on the curry but let me tell you, the mixture of the curries is the highlight! By the way, the curries are kept warm by the warmer underneath. Nothing beats warm curried rice on a rainy day!

Fried Pandan Chicken Nasi Kandar
(Updated 16102006)

Nasi Kandar Kudu bin Abdul is located at No. 335, Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman, 50100 Kuala Lumpur. They are open everyday till about 8.30pm.

To get there, go to Maju Junction Shopping Centre along Jalan Tuanku Abdul Rahman. You will see a traffic-light cross-junction and Centrepoint Hotel across the junction. Walk across to Centrepoint Hotel and walk further down till you see Commerce Assurance Berhad. Nasi Kandar Kudu bin Abdul is across the street.

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006
posted by PabloPabla at 2:28 pm

Who is Maya Karin?

Well, she is a famous actress / singer in Malaysia who has acted in 4 movies todate (according to the Internet Movie Database). The movies she has acted in are Seri Dewi Malam, No Problem, Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam and Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam 2. She even won the Best Actress Award in the Asia-Pacific Film Festival for her role in the movie "Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam". I have not watched any of them. I only know all these facts because I searched them from the internet.

Her pictures are everywhere in Malaysia. Those I have seen. Recently, she was appointed the newest face of L'Oreal Paris. According to this report, she was chosen because of her confidence. Born in Germany, Maya is beautiful and exotic looking.

Even recently, she was rumoured to have married UMNO Youth Deputy Head Khairy Jamaluddin as the second wife. Khairy is the son-in-law of the current Prime Minister of Malaysia. Probably the most famous son-in-law in the world right now considering the various issues that are linked or attributed to him. Anyway, Khairy swore that he is only married to one woman i.e. Nori Abdullah and he challenged anyone to produce a marriage certificate between him and Maya.

So, why is it that Maya is so powerful that men are mesmerised by her and her beauty and even the son-in-law of the Prime Minister of Malaysia is said to have taken her as a second wife? What lucky charm might she be using? Could it be the L'Oreal Cosmetics that she applied?

I may have the answer here.....

The secret to Maya Karin's power revealed. Get your Celcom today!

Oh, in case you are wondering, no! I am not a Celcom user. I am with Digi. From day one. No problems. According to Digi, it's the smarter choice!

By the way, prepaid phone users in Malaysia...have you registered with your service provider? Deadline 15th December 2006, you know? Don't be a typical Malaysian lah. Waiting till the last minute! Get registering now!

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Monday, October 09, 2006
posted by PabloPabla at 9:40 am

Recently, there were two competing claims about on-line games. One party claims that on-line games are a threat to youths. It is found that some of these gamers spend countless hours playing games such as Ragnarok and World of Warcraft rather than engaging in more productive activities. Some gamers are known to have spent a lot of monies for internet access in cybercafes to feed their obsession with these cybergames. Some gamers are even known to have skipped meals or feed on a diet of soft drinks, chips, buns and even cigarettes.

Filepic : The Star Online

On the other hand, some gamers and cybercafe operators have poo-poohed the idea and claimed that these on-line games are actually doing more good than harm. Some gamers say they are able to make side-income through these games by accumulating virtual items whilst playing the games and then selling these virtual items to interested gamers. Why not make some money while enjoying a game or two? Better be playing computer games at home or cybercafes than getting involved in drugs or crime activities. A cybercafe owner even went to the extent of questioning parents who doubted the benefits of online games by saying that such online games are probably safer than activities these parents used to do when these parents were youths (he quoted himself as swimming in an ex-mining pool).

When I read the comparison of activities these gamers and cybercafe operators offer on the supposedly better benefits of being involved in online-games than drugs, crime or loitering in shopping malls, I cannot but make a similar comparison as follows:-

"It is better to pay a prostitute and have sex with the prostitute than rape a woman when your hormones are out of control"

Do you really think for a moment that it is better to have sex with a prostitute than rape a woman? Either way, there is no justification for either activities and I do not tolerate these activities.

Call it an extreme comparison if you like but I like these extreme comparisons to put a point across. And my point is this:- Why are the gamers and cybercafe operators not making comparisons of the benefits of the online games with "healthier activities" such as engaging in sports (football, futsal, badminton, squash, swimming, gymnasium exercises etc), volunteering in charitable organisations, Rakan Muda (is it still in existence??), Hash House Harriers etc.? Hey, they should volunteer for Rukun Tetangga if they have insomnia at night and want to bash up some criminals in their midst (which is what they do when they play these online games anyway). Of course, I was joking about the bashing up of criminals but you get the picture.

If side-income or even full-time income is required, there are plenty of job opportunities available. They can always work part-time in hotels as banquet waiters. I used to work part-time on weekends for a food catering restaurant. I get paid RM25 per night excluding tips. The pay is not bad, I would say but the experience invaluable. I get to interact with guests and learn to deal with their needs and complaints. I learn patience and humbleness through waiting. Or how about working as surveyors for companies which compile statistics for their clients? Actually, there are a lot of job opportunities available if one is determined enough to find and humble enough to try out. And I dare say, working in those environment gives you a better learning experience than making money through endless hours of computer gaming with minimal human interaction. Is that any wonder why there are a lot of comments from human resources personnel in companies who lament that recent years' graduates lack proper communication skills?

I would also mention that spending hours on computer games rob the family of precious time for bonding. Or is it that the parents are never around since they are busy working? I must quote what a cybercafe operator, Mr. Andrew Cheah, had said "But as cybercafe operators, this is as much as we can do. In the end, it's up to parents to discipline and curb their children from going overboard with any activity". I agree with him on this point.

Isn't it true? Parents still remain the biggest influence and counsel over the lives of their children. The world today competes with the parents over the attention of the children and youths in the form of entertainment such as MTVs, computer games and perhaps, even blogging! These media take charge in imparting values to the impressionable young. Some blogsites with vulgarities are even considered cool. But is it really? If vulgarities are acceptable in cyberspace, why not teach our young these vulgarities so that they can use vulgarities and be cool about it?

So, what are we doing today to make a real difference to the lives of children and youths? Or are we spending too much time working for that salary (which will never be enough as long as you say it is not enough) whilst neglecting our primary duty to bond and shape our children and youths?

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Friday, October 06, 2006
posted by PabloPabla at 5:53 pm

It's Mooncake Festival today! I just got back from Melaka after attending a hearing in Court there. Don't have much time to blog now. Just wanna wish my readers a Happy Mooncake Festival!

By the way, it's also our 5th Wedding Anniversary today! Woohoo! Time flies and it has been great! Thank God for His planning and giving me such a wonderful wife and a devoted mother to our 2 daughters!


Thursday, October 05, 2006
posted by PabloPabla at 1:41 pm

I frequent Jai Hind Restaurant at Jalan Melayu, Kuala Lumpur at least once a month during my trips to the Kuala Lumpur Courts. In fact, I just had breakfast there 2 days ago and decided to take a couple of pictures of the breakfast fare intending to share it in my blog here. Just as I was to put up this post, I did a quick google search and found out that there are two other reviews done. So, I shall make this quick and fast as I don't want to repeat what others have said about this old restaurant.

Jai Hind Restaurant located at Jalan Melayu

Right, if you are interested in North Indian cuisine, in particular Punjabi cuisine, this is one of the best restaurants in Kuala Lumpur. Don't expect to see a posh looking restaurant though, as most Northern Indian restaurants are. If you do not look close enough, you might even miss it. If you need a landmark to get here, the best would be the Masjid Jamek LRT station. Get off at the station and look for OCBC Building. You will find that a road separates the Masjid Jamek LRT Station and OCBC Building. The name of the road is Jalan Melayu. Jai Hind Restaurant is less than 100 metres away from the Masjid Jamek LRT Station.

Aloo Pratha with Special Teh Ais

I had Aloo Pratha that morning with a glass of Special Teh Ais (Iced Special Tea). Aloo Pratha is pratha bread which comes with a thin layer of curried potato filling. It comes accompanied by vegetarian curry (tastes great) and two types of dhall. There is the "large-sized" chickpea dhall as well as the, no guesses for correct answer, the "small-sized" chickpea dhall. All of them tastes great with the Aloo Pratha. Oh yes, apart from Aloo Pratha, you can also order Roti Canai, Thosai or even Poori for breakfast. Fried Meehoon (rice vermicelli) is also sold for breakfast. I was alone that morning so you must forgive me for not being able to take pictures of all the breakfast fare available.

Now, back to the Special Tea Ais. What is so special about this? Notice the picture of the glass of tea above? It looks like two-layered. Indeed. What the tea-maker does is firstly, he fills up about 70 percent of the glass with warm fresh cow's milk and sugar. Then, he proceeds to give it a "tarik" a.k.a. pulling the tea from one glass to a container a couple of times. By then, the milk would be well-mixed with the sugar and have a layer of bubble at the top (not unlike beer). Finally, he will gently pour tea into the milk. Somehow or rather, the tea remains at the upper part of the drink. Looks great and tastes even better! Give it a stir with the teaspoon provided and help yourself to an excellent cuppa. Apart from the Special Tea Ais, you can also order the usual coffee, milo and even, lassi.
Colourful sweets

What I am fascinated with Jai Hind Restaurant is the variety of sweets and candy they sell. These sweets come in all sorts of colours, shape and sizes. I have tasted some of them before and when I say sweets, they ARE sweet! Some have gingery taste. Some come with a hint of spice.

More colourful sweets

I had to rush to Court that morning and did not ask the owner what were the names of the sweets they were selling. Suffice to say, judging by the variety of sweets they sell, I would be late for Court if I had taken notes of the names of each and every sweet they sell.

Choose a box or two

I have seen some ladies making orders for the sweets in trays. I suppose they buy and take them elsewhere to sell. Jai Hind Restaurant is known to have its own "sweets processing factory" in the adjoining shop lot. Now, one look at the menu for sweets will indicate that there are buyers of such sweets in bulk as the pricing is measured per kg.
Mind-boggling array of sweets

Anyway, Jai Hind Restaurant is not just about sweets. They also sell pakoras and samosas. Oh yes, not to mention the Tandooris and Naans. Make it a point to visit Jai Hind Restaurant when you are around this area. And by the way, my breakfast of Aloo Pratha and Special Tea Ais costs me RM4.30.

Samosas and Pakoras?

Jai Hind Restaurant is located at :-

No. 11 and 13,
Jalan Melayu,
50100 Kuala Lumpur.

Tel number : 60-3-26920041

Other reviews : Masak-Masak , Friedchillis

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006
posted by PabloPabla at 4:59 pm

Jakarta confirmed receiving a formal response from Singapore regarding Lee Kuan Yew's controversial remarks on the marginalisation of Chinese ethnic minorities in Indonesia and Malaysia.

In the case of Jakarta, only a note of protest was given to Singapore through the latter's embassy in Jakarta. There was no official letter written by the President of the Republic of Indonesia, Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono compared to the action taken by the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Because there was no official letter written to Lee Kuan Yew, there was no letter in reply from him.

Which is probably for the better...who knows what Annexures might come along this time :)

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posted by PabloPabla at 9:28 am

After much hoo-haa by Malaysian politicians / leaders over the statement made by Minister Mentor of Singapore Mr. Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) over remarks he made about ethnic minority Chinese in Malaysia being marginalised, the Prime Minister of Malaysia officially wrote to the Singapore Government seeking an explanation over the remarks. Some Malaysian politicians went to the extent of demanding an apology.

A letter dated 29th September, 2006 was issued by LKY explaining the remarks he made and expressed his regret that it had caused a great deal of discomfort. This letter was published in the mainstream newspapers such as the NST and The Star. What was mentioned in the reports was the fact that the said letter also has an annexure which records statements made by Malaysian leaders (reported in the media) about Singapore Malays being marginalised. LKY's letter was published but not the annexure. Is there something to hide???

I tried searching for the Annexure to Lee Kuan Yew's letter of "apology" to the Malaysian Government and it took me quite a while till I found AsiaOne News which published the same. According to the Annexure, comments were made by Malaysian leaders on the "marginalisation" of Singaporean Malays over the period of Aug 1998 till as recent as 3rd September, 2006 when the current UMNO Youth Deputy Chief Khairy Jamaluddin was reported in the China Press to have said "...the Malays in Penang faced the same fate of being marginalised as those in Singapore and that many of them were forced to move elsewhere". This is the link to the Annexure which, for reasons best known to our mainstream papers, was not published for all to see.

Despite this slap in the face suffered by our Malaysian leaders for not coming clean when criticising LKY for remarks made by him, I read with disappointment at today's headlines which reads Unimpressed! Response noted, not appreciated and Lee's Statement could have incited feelings of Malaysians wherein it was reported that the Prime Minister merely took note of the contents of the letter, which is short of an acceptance. I must state, however, that some Malaysian leaders are more forgiving as reported here.

The recent spate of publicity does no good to the image of Malaysian leaders as a whole. Our leaders should learn to think carefully before they speak. Here, they have demonstrated to the whole world that they think they have done nothing wrong at all and when criticised, they demand apologies and explanations knowing full well it will back-fire because they have been culprits themselves as shown in the Annexure.

Unless they can search their hearts honestly and be able to stand before God to claim that what was said by LKY are lies, they should strive to prove LKY wrong by ensuring that there will be not facts to show marginalisation of Chinese minority in Malaysia rather than displaying displeasure for the world to see. I cringe at the thought of the world now laughing at our leaders for not practising what they preach.

The other question which begs to be answered is this:- Why was the Annexure not published at all in our local newspaper when it represents part of the official reply given by LKY? Was there a "gag order" issued by the Government to ensure that these records of statements about Singaporean Malays being marginalised be kept away from the public as it represents a slap in the Government's face? Your guess is as good as mine.

Sometimes, it is so easy to see the speck in our neighbour's eyes but fail to see the log in our own eyes.

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Monday, October 02, 2006
posted by PabloPabla at 11:19 am

Gated-Communities. Condominiums and Apartments with facilities. Secured environment. Swimming pools. Lush gardens. Gymnasiums. Life-style living. All these words shout out from advertisements in newspapers, magazines and even in radio and television to get one's attention to the latest housing projects in Malaysia especially in the bigger cities like Kuala Lumpur and Petaling Jaya as well as Penang and Johor Bahru. With the increase in crime rate, many housebuyers are opting for housing projects which offer security in the form of security guards and even, closed-circuit television monitoring systems.

With all such facilities that are being promised and having spent hundreds of thousands of ringgit (or even a couple of million), some housebuyers / residents are greeted with nightmares instead. Security is lax. Littering and graffitis aplenty. Management companies are blamed. Residents are blamed.

But really, are we Malaysians actually ready for communal living? Let me share my personal experience.

I bought a medium cost apartment back in 2001 which comes with simple facilities like a gymnasium, swimming pool, common room (for functions) and intercom system. Of course, security guards as engaged to provide security for the apartment. Having enquired on the estimated Management Fee which will be imposed once I move in, I signed the Sale & Purchase Agreement as well as the Deed of Mutual Covenants. My wife and I waited for 3 years with full anticipation. It is our very first home.

We got our keys in 2004 and quickly moved in. We paid our Management Fee promptly and stuck by the House Rules. But then we realised that many were not following the House Rules. Cars were parked indiscriminately. Some residents parked at my car park lot which was allocated to me as per the Sale & Purchase Agreement. Some residents park their second cars in the Visitor's Bay and hoodwinked the security guards that they are visitors. Some residents start displaying "For Sale / To Let" signs outside their balconies or windows though the House Rules strictly prohibits it. Some residents hang their carpets / blankets / towels over the balconies to display their laundry for all to see. Some residents throw their kitchen waste in the trash bins (which is meant for cigarettes and stuffs like sweet wrappers) placed at lift landings as they probably deem it too much of a trouble to walk to the rubbish bins on the ground floor. Some residents like to swim in their full attire - jeans and t-shirts included.

Things were seriously not as rosy as what the phamplets depicted. It is beginning to become a nightmare and the threat of the property losing its value seems real indeed. At the instance of a few like-minded residents, a Resident's Meeting was called after notices were put up at the Notice Boards. Less than 50 turned up and much noise was made. A Resident's Committee was set up. I was appointed the Secretary.

Having had a few meetings with the Management Office, I realised that some Malaysians are just not ready for communal living. I found out recently that one of the biggest culprit is our very own Resident's Committee Chairman who has not been paying his Management Fee for 2 years ever since he moved in!!! Another committee member has not been paying his water bill for about a year whilst another is fond of parking at someone else's car park which is covered as his allocated car park is uncovered.

Various excuses are given :-

You cannot expect Muslims to wear swimsuit to swim in the swimming pool as that will be "mendedahkan aurat". Haven't they heard of the full body swimsuits? Do they not realise that when they and other users of the pool who are wrongly attired cause the colours from their clothings to leach in the pool and thus, contaminate the pool and that they might be drinking the colouring from their clothes??

I paid the Management Fee. What is wrong with me throwing my rubbish (which includes fish bones and what nots) in the trash bins? The cleaners have to do their job anyway. Hello! You might as well ask the cleaners to clean your homes since you paid your precious Management Fees. Why don't you just place the rubbish outside your door and wait for the cleaners to take them away? Is it so smelly that you have to put them at the trash bins at the lift landings so that other residents and visitors can see what you had for dinner last night?

My carpark is uncovered. My carpark is too far. Nobody is using this carpark lot. Yeah, you might as well move into someone else's apartment which is nicer or nearer or unoccupied. Read your Sale & Purchase Agreement and you will see your allocated car park lot clearly designated. By using someone else's car park lot, you are trespassing. Just like an illegal squatter. You are no different from them.

This is my apartment. I can do what I want with it including hanging my laundry and advertisement the way I want. Do you read the House Rules? The drying area in the yard is specifically for drying your laundry and the Notice Board at the ground floor lobby is for advertisements. I do not pay thousands of ringgit to see your laundry and I do not see the practicality of having a teeny-weeny advertisement board placed on the high floors where people from the ground floor can't even read the telephone numbers in display.

I don't stay there. I don't use the gymnasium. I don't swim. Why should I pay the Maintenance Fees? Wah! This one really caps the tolerance limit. If that is the case, please at least pay up for the security rendered for your unit. Don't forget the cleaner's charges for sweeping the corridor outside your door as well as your car park lot.

The Maintenance Fee is too expensive. My friend's apartment only charge so much lesser. First of all, you should blame yourself for not asking about the charges to be incurred. Secondly, if it is too expensive, get into the Residents' Committee and demand an explanation of the charges and seek a reduction (as a committee) if it is manifestly unreasonable. Otherwise, please pack up and move to your friend's apartment.

Notices are put up on the Notice Board asking residents to register their phone numbers for the Intercom System so that visitors can be verified. Do you think all will be bothered to do so? No. They are either of the "tidak-apa" attitude or have a "I don't read Notice Board disease". This attitude and disease will swell to rage and fury at the security guards when something goes wrong such as car-break in or unsolicited salesmen knocking at the door. The security guards will be blamed for letting the people in without proper vetting. Hello! If you co-operate in the first place to have your phone number registered, we would be able to implement the Intercom System effectively.

Unless residents fully fulfill their obligations and remain blameless, they are not in a position to blame others including the Management Office. But then again, who will bother to take action and serve in a Residents' Committee for the benefit of all? Most of the time, those who make the most complaints and noise in a Residents' Meeting will be no where to be seen just before elections or nominations start.

Isn't this so so common?

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