Thanks for the picture Nancy!!!
Friday, December 29, 2006
Wednesday, December 27, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
The Star Newspaper
A matter of tolerance
MUSINGS by MARINA MAHATHIR
HO HUM, here we go again. Is there no end to this ceaseless blaming of all forms of evil on women, just because they may not want to cover their heads? But I am really heartened by the many sensible retorts by various people, mostly ordinary citizens, who rightly pointed out that we really should get past the habit of blaming women for the bad things that happen to them, and letting perpetrators get away.
I’m sure that the Majlis Perbandaran Kota Baru values all of its citizens and doesn’t really intend to discriminate just against women, no matter how natural the impulse might be. I’m sure given half the chance, besides dreaming up more and more rules for women, those MPKB wise men can also come up with rules for their male denizens just to show that they can be fair.
Here therefore are some rules I would suggest that the MPKB (and in fact all other local authorities) implement for men:
1. Men who do not use deodorant will be fined RM500. Body odour can cause offense to other people, of both sexes. Furthermore, some people find the musky sweaty fragrance that some men give off quite, um, arousing. Therefore this can be considered a hazard to public morality. Hence, stiff fines should be imposed to prevent any untoward incidents. Perhaps a deodorant company can be roped in to sponsor a campaign for the prevention of offensive odours.
2. Men who do not have clean fingernails will be fined RM500. Our religion exhorts us to always keep ourselves clean. Hands should always be washed especially before eating. Hence, it stands to reason that blackened fingernails imply a clear distance between soap and hands. Perhaps the MPKB could hand out free nail brushes and have classes on how to use them. No woman should be expected to handle anything that has been touched by any male with dirty fingernails.
3. Men must dress decently or be fined a minimum of RM500. Decently means clean clothes, pants that are not about to drop off and shoes, not slippers. We might even consider unmatched clothes and dirty sarongs as indecent. And oh yes, the Visible Panty Line rule should extend to those who insist on wearing white robes too.
4. Men who look at women up and down, up and down, regardless of how the women are dressed should be fined RM10,000 or 10 strokes of the cane. This should apply to any man, regardless of race, religion or rank, as the Quran clearly exhorts men to “lower their gaze”. Extra fines and extra strokes should also be imposed for those who, besides leering, also make weird noises and um, ungentlemanly remarks. No exemptions will be given for remarks made in Arabic.
5. Men with greasy hair, overlong nose and ear hairs and unkempt beards will be reprimanded for being aesthetically offensive. Perhaps a campaign sponsored by shampoo and shaving cream companies might be useful. Overlong untrimmed beards may harbour all manner of cooties, and are therefore just as unhygienic as dirty fingernails (sometimes all of these are found on the same person). Therefore these types of men can be deemed public health hazards. Women should be allowed to carry disinfecting sprays to protect themselves from such dangers.
6. Men may not wear makeup, such as black eyeliner, and overbearing fragrances, especially those meant to cover the pungency of unwashed bodies. Only the smell of soap will be tolerated.
I’m sure the MPKB really can’t argue with these simple rules. Wouldn’t it be nice if they set the example for all the other towns and cities in Malaysia if they could boast the cleanest and best-smelling men in the country?
While we are on the subject of dress, I want to congratulate that Bahraini woman who won the 200-metre gold medal at the Asian Games. It just goes to show that women can do anything, if they put their heart and soul into it. But before anyone gets too excited about how wearing the hijab somehow contributed to her medal, let us not forget the training that she obviously put in, not to mention the sheer dedication and commitment to her sport that would also have been required. If all it takes is a hijab to win races, then we should get all the men to cover up as well and see how they do.
And let me nominate for the Breath of Fresh Air Award, the new Mufti of Perlis, for his courage in saying the right thing, and in restoring our faith in the justice and equality inherent in Islam. May he always stand his ground, and be the vanguard of change that we so badly need.
I wish everybody a Happy 2007!
Sunday, December 17, 2006
Michele's cousin Eugene is here in Buffalo from England to spend quality time with us lot this holiday season. So, the thing with new people visiting us - they are somewhat deemed lucky (Malaysian-Chinese thing!). Therefore, we think that if they were to buy a lotto (lottery) ticket, they may be lucky enough to hit the jackpot!! On our way home from dinner, I stopped by the gas station at the corner of our street to fuel up the car as well as urging Eugene to go buy a $1 dollar lotto ticket. He does not have to pick any numbers... I just told him for to get for $1 dollar - ask for Quick Pick (the machine automatically picks numbers for you).Eugene enters the Sunoco store for a lotto ticket...
Eugene: Can I have a Quick Dip?
Store clerk: What?!?
Eugene: A lotto (British accent)
Store clerk: What??!!!
Eugene: A LOT-TOE (attempted Americanized pronunciation)
Store Clerk: (figured what Eugene wanted and went to get the Quick Pick)
* * *FYI... the QUICK PICK in the UK is known as the LUCKY DIP!
Saturday, December 16, 2006
Christmas shopping.... AAaaAaahHHH!! What to get for everyone?!? We vowed the previous year to skip Christmas but, here we are... back to square one trying to figure out what to get for everyone and trying to hide the pressies till you have time to wrap it up and continue hiding their existence! How is your Christmas shopping going? Beware the malls on the second last weekend to Christmas!!
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
I was definitely happy to see Alex again and while it may be a short reunion, it was well worth it to meet up with my Texas cowboy! :P
Pete was happy to be in Texas alrite, he had his Texas barbeque, a proper Tex-Mex platter and most importantly, being with the love of his life - ME!!
Monday, December 11, 2006
Tuesday, December 05, 2006
deep in the heart of Texas,
The prairie sky is wide and high,
deep in the heart of Texas.
Leaving for Dallas/Forth Worth in a couple of hours. A lot of exciting news, happenings and events happening all at once. While it continues to snow here in Western New York, all I can hope and pray now is that my flight please be on schedule. I can't wait for 50 something degree weather than the current 20's.
Will try to blog any chance I get. Till then, bye y'all!!
The Star Newspaper
Tuesday December 5, 2006
PETALING JAYA: Several women's organisations are up in arms over the decision of the Kota Baru Municipal Council (MPKB) to fine women working in retail outlets and restaurants who wear clothes deemed to be revealing.
The offending items include tight fitting blouses, pants, jeans and mini-skirts.
Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO) executive director Ivy Josiah said the ruling was unacceptable and ridiculous, as women were always blamed for rape, sexual harassment and molest due their attire, while the men were never blamed for their behaviour.
She said the ruling was a reflection of a narrow mindset and she was wondering if they would stop their nonsense only when the women became invisible.
Josiah said everyone had the freedom to wear clothes of their choice, and that no one should dictate what a person should wear, certainly not the MPKB.
“I would like to know what is the (acceptable) level of tightness of a pair of pants or jeans, and what happens to those of us who have larger buttocks? Is the MPKB saying that we cannot wear pants or jeans as it will emphasise the buttocks?'' she asked when contacted yesterday.
Josiah said the MPKB should instead concentrate on cleaning the drains and parks, collecting rubbish and providing child care centres.
MPKB public relations officer Mohd Azman Daham said that under the local council by-law, those caught wearing outfits deemed indecent or sexy could be fined RM500.
He said the ruling was enforced due to complaints about retail assistants and waitresses wearing sexy outfits to woo male customers to their outlets and restaurants.
Wanita MCA chief Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen said once again Kelantan has come out with a policy to target the women.
“If men wear tight fitting jeans, is that not deemed sexy? Why is it only the women are targeted, so much so that the ruling covers non-Muslim women as well?'' she asked.
Dr Ng urged the PAS-led government not to introduce ridiculous policies. Dr Ng said that she had confidence that the women working in the retail outlets and restaurants had the appropriate sense of dress and do not need anyone telling or controlling them on what to wear.
Women's Development Collective executive director Maria Chin Abdullah wondered whether the council planned to impose the same ruling on men dressed in singlets and shorts that exposed their thighs, arms and even armpits.
“Firstly, are these gatal (lecherous) men intending to buy products or eat at the restaurants, or are they there to see how the women are dressed? If that is their purpose, then it is an insult to the mentality of Malaysian men.''
The All-Women’s Action Society (Awam) executive director Honey Tan said that Awam was totally opposed to the move, if it was intended to improve moral standards.
Forcing women to bear the burden of morality is discriminatory and a violation of their rights, said Tan.
“It is not the job of the council to become the 'moral police', and if it is concerned about the community it serves, it should encourage men and women to respect each other regardless of their dressing,'' she added.
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MPKB: Cover up or else
The Star Newspaper
Tuesday December 5, 2006
By C.A. ZULKIFLE and IAN MCINTYRE
KOTA BARU: Women working in retail outlets and restaurants in Kelantan have been warned to mind their dressing or be prepared to face a fine.
The Kota Baru Municipal Council (MPKB) has announced that it would “no longer tolerate indecent dressing” by women, both Muslim and non-Muslim.
Public relations officer Mohd Azman Daham said that under local council by-laws women who “dressed sexily or indecently” could be fined up to RM500.
“Such outfits are prohibited here as it smears the reputation of Kota Baru and affects its status as an Islamic City,” he said in an interview.
He added that although punishment for indecent dressing was in place under the by-laws, it had not been totally enforced.
“But now, MPKB will no longer tolerate skimpy outfits, following mounting complaints from the public,” Mohd Azman said, adding that under the by-laws, women working in retail outlets should wear decent clothes. Council enforcement officers, he added, would step up checks in various localities.
Mohd Azman said MPKB would focus on “suspicious areas”, especially the shopping malls in Taman Hijau, Taman Uda and Taman Tengku Anis here.
The council had received complaints from ratepayers that certain shop assistants and waitresses here donned sexy outfits, supposedly to woo more male customers.
Under the standard dress code here, a Muslim women has to be covered until the ankles and wear a tudung. Non-Muslim women are required to wear decent clothes.
Tight-fitting tops and pants were not allowed, even for non-Muslims, Mohd Azman said. Mohd Azman said under the council by-laws, the owners of retail outlets who employed indecently dressed workers could also be fined.
If the offence was repeated, the council could suspend the business permit of the outlet, he added.
State Local Government Committee chairman Takiyuddin Hassan said the state had not taken any tough action yet as, the MPKB had been more involved in generating awareness about proper attire.
“We define proper attire as wearing respectful clothing,” he said. “We apologise to non-Muslims if this comes across as harsh but we must respect our Asian culture and religion in public.”
He noted that “eye-popping” outfits invited undesirable attention. He urged the people to co-operate, especially those in the retail and restaurant businesses. Trader Che Suraya Hulaimi Sulaiman, 32, supported the council's move, saying: “Almost everywhere there are retail assistants or waitresses wearing sexy clothes.
“This is an insult to Islam.”
Outrage over fine for ‘revealing clothes’
Monday, December 04, 2006
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Our own superhero
By Mumtaj Begum, The Star Online
In three days' time, Cicak-Man will hit theatres nationwide, giving Malaysians a taste of our own superhero who has his own cool superpowers, super-outfit and exaggerated villains.
Like most superheroes, however, Cicak-Man's other personality is somewhat of a nerd who fumbles in real life. Top comedy actor Saiful Apek plays our hero, Hairi, who is a lab technician at Klon Technologies, which is a leading pharmaceutical company in the city of Metrofulus.
Far from being the smartest and best looking guy in the lab – that honour goes to Hairi's best pal Danny (Yusry Abdul Halim) – he goes through the daily motions without too much concern.
About the only problem he faces is how to approach – and maybe finally win the heart of his colleague Tania (Fasha Sandha). Unfortunately, his uninteresting life is rudely interrupted when he is bitten by a radioactive, erm, cicak (gecko).
Fasha and Saiful Apek star in Cicak-Man. The producer of the film, Norman Abdul Halim, said: "To be honest, we don't know what to expect from the local audience. It is the first superhero film from Malaysia that uses extensive computer graphics."
However, he conceded that thus far, he has been getting positive feedback from those who have seen the film. "We are very curious to find out how it will do as the success of the film would signify further development of CGI-based films in Malaysia."
Naturally, there are elements in Cicak-Man that set it apart from other superhero films.
It is a comedy – could it be anything else with Saiful Apek headlining the picture? Cicak-Man is meant to be light entertainment with detailed story-telling and action sequences.
"That is why we chose a creature that is not at all deemed frightening or scary. The cicak is a harmless creature," added Norman. According to him, Cicak-Man was never meant to be compared to Hollywood productions but a Malaysian film. "That is why we are not calling it Gecko-Man but Cicak-Man."
What also sets Cicak-man apart from most superheroes is he is kind of, erm, dying. And on top of that, he is not very good with the ladies. And his costume makes him sweat, well at least Saiful Apek did when he donned the costume in our hot weather.
"Unlike say Batman who has millions of dollars, Hairi has to make his own costume. And in the film he goes through a number of costumes including one in which the underwear is on the outside," said Norman with a laugh.
Guess he truly is an ordinary Joe with or without superpowers. As for being unlucky in love, Norman has a theory: "It is to establish that it is lonely being at the top." Whether there is sequel to Cicak-Man or not, it all depends on how the movie is received and how much it grosses. "The ending is in such a way that a sequel can be made. It may have an open ending, but at the same time the issues brought up in the film are resolved."
Cicak-Man opens in cinemas nationwide on Dec 7.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
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Friday December 1, 2006
The Star Newspaper
The Star grabs top awards
The Star swept both the top awards and two merit certificates in the English media category at the Penang Media Awards Night 2006.
Journalists Ng Su-Ann and Ong Yee Ting came out tops in the Best English News Report award while Choong Kwee Kim and Susan Loone won in the Best English Feature category. The winners in each category received RM1,000 and a trophy. Each journalist also received a certificate. Ng, who won the award for her report on RM10mil Facelift for Komtar, said she was elated over the victory.
“This will definitely spur me to improve on my work and strive to make a greater difference,” she said.
SMILING FACES: (From left) Derrick, Choong, Yeng and Tan posing with their certificates.
Ong said she was still on cloud nine and could not believe that she had won the award. Choong, who secured the award for her report on Future of Jerejak Uncertain published in The Star on Dec 28, 29 and 30, 2005, wished to express her gratitude to the primary sources who willingly shared their experiences. “We have the people, our readers, to thank for sharing their views, experiences and oral history of our common heritage that helped make us The People’s paper,” she said.
Three other journalists Derrick Vinesh, Tan Sin Chow and Yeng Ai Chun also tasted success in the Best English Feature category. Derrick won a Jury’s Merit Certificate for his feature titled Banking on BORR while Tan and Yeng won a similar certificate for their report on Hokkien Still Rules in Penang.
Chief Minister Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon said the media should continue to be responsible in serving the nation and strive to publish and disseminate news and information in the fastest, most accurate and responsible manner. “We must continue to serve the better interest of the nation, whatever the constraints,” he said, adding that the media should continue to uphold integrity and quality in their news reports.
RTM's Sinarsuria Zaini, contesting in the electronic media category, clinched the Best Overall Journalism Award for her report on 11 killed in Bus Accident in Nibong Tebal.
The annual event, organised by the state government, saw a total of 256 entries for the print and electronic media categories.