Monday, March 31, 2008

Another Monday

What a good day to start the week, a picturesque of a man sprawling on a flight of stairs on my level's elevator.
I have had always had a bad feeling about the type of people that stays around my area. Dont mean to belittle people with low education level or blue collar workers but one fact holds true is that social problem is a norm here in where I stay.

Keeping my fingers crossed, will find another place soon to move out.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

On a lighter note........

In solitary confinement for a few minutes

Getting my ass whipped by a total stranger
Kim is nuts about donuts
A very unique store, notice the "genuine" railway tracks that leads to the front door?

Trying very hard to lift this sucker up

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Movies in Korea

Watched 10,000 BC in Korea. In a nutshell, it was an entertaining movie with a relatively unknown cast spearheading the movie. But if you ask me whether how true it depicted the Stone Age, on a scale of 1 to 10, I give it a zero. Alas, the cinema I went to had superb seats. The seats are actually designed to fit the contour of your body. Plus it reclines to the back when you just slouched your body. The seat is wide, alot of leg space and the cinema hall is well insulated when it comes to the surround sound system. But its a bit pricey, as 1 movie ticket will cost you about 8000 won.

Before I went to Korea, I heard of this underdog movie that caught Korea by storm. So good that, Warner Bros decided to snap the rights for remake for this movie and the last I heard, Leonardo De Caprio is interested to collobarate with Martin Scorsese again after The Departed to redo this one Hollywood style. Lets see how will this turn out to be. Back to this serial killer flick, its loosely based on a true story of a serial killer in Korea. I caught this one at my girlfriend's father cinema. He is helping to manage the cinema. So it was free. Yes, best things in life are free.Dialogue was In Korean and no English subtitles. So I had only visual and very minimal intepretation to understand the movie. Despite this setbacks, I finally realised why this movie was such a big hit. Chaser is indeed one of the must watch movies for me. In the genre of Seven, the movie also brought forth how inept the police force can be and how different class of people are treated. Its an ugly truth but its the truth of the world we are living today. Again I must remind everyone, a must watch. And the killer according to my girlfriend's Dad is still doing time in prison.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Food in Korea

My 1st taste of Korean food just simple blew me away. When I arrived there, there was already a long queqe forming. So we had to wait in the line to taste their famous chicken soup Korean style. The rice is covered inside the chicken. You can choose either normal white chicken or the black chicken. I chose the black chicken soup. I guarantee, one sip of this soup, you will never forget its taste. Its so creamy and sweet that it melts in your mouth. Take more sips, and it just warm your body. I can only imagine that should be served only to the Kings in medieval times. Simply ravishing.

Located just near my girlfriend's house, this restaurant only specializes in meat parts. You can order various meaty parts. But I went for their "sundeh". Korean style sausage. They packed so much vege into the meat, the sausage simple just explode in your mouth when you take a bite. Perfect with soju or any kind of liquors, I actually went to the store twice before I left Korea. In fact, during my last night stay in Korea, this was my parting food. And the soup that they served along with it, its so heavenly rich with the sweetness of the pork, you just want to gulp everything at once cause its that damn good.

Located inside Namdaemun market, I was told by my girlfriend, this shop was featured before in Dymanic Korea shown every Sun at 8.30pm on ChannelNews Asia. Think I vaguely remember this shop where they interviewed the lady and how her hands were all roughed up because of the hard work of handling the hot pots thats used to boil the food. Again we were also made to wait as there was a long queqe. We made our way to the 3rd floor of the shop where we were huddled to a small room to enjoy our food. The spicy fish is nice, but I like the egg better, I like the feeling of bouncing eggs in my mouth

This was one of my girfriend's favourite shop. And it was her Mum's favourite shop too. So if I have the vote of 2 Koreans, then what the heck. I must make this store a must visit store. True enough it lives up to its expectation. They are famous for its kimchi. Of course, it came in its full original form of a rounded cabbage. The picture shown here, is when the waitress is actually doing the cutting. I believe based on the size of the kimchi, it should be perfect for the consumption of 3-4 persons. But the 2 of us ravaged through almost the whole kimchi. Cause its nice thats why. I had stewed pork. And look at that big piece of ginseng lying there. I have never seen a big size ginseng in my food in my whole life before. And the pork is soft, marinated and boiled so well, you can taste the juice oozing into the soup and blend the herbal ingredients used in it and not forgetting the ginseng. End result. You have a soup so sweet, that begs you screaming for more. My girlfriend had cold noodle. I had a sip of the soup. Amazing, why cant we find good Korean food like this in this part of the world?

I also had a taste how Korean porridge taste like. This is from a franchised store which you probably find all over Korea.Not too different from Chinese porridge, I like Korean porridge as well. Probably the only difference is that Korean dishes usually come with generous side dishes which you dont find in Chinese food.

Before I left for Korea, my girlfriend told me I simply must try this cocoon caterpillar snack. I said no way. So when I was there, I changed my mind. Yeah, what the heck. I might as well try it. Took one bite, can feel the juice oozing out, splashing in my mouth. Amazing, it taste better than i expected. In fact, I love it! Why we dont have this snack in Spore as well? I can envisioned, this snack replacing popcorn or kacang putih. So when I am in Korea again, I will definately have another go at this snack.

This shop I must admit was hard to find. My girlfriend wasnt that confident she can find this shop. We walked throught small alleys. Still no sign of the shop. As we were about to give up, we managed to find this shop tucked inside a dark alley. My girlfriend says its shop for the poor. Why? Cause just look at the gigantic portion they served. Picture on the right, are the shells from both of our serving. The serving is so damn big, I couldnt finish it. And guess what. This shop hasnt increase the price since Day One they started the business more than 20 years ago. I wonder how many shops out there can still achieve this feat? Any takers?

Conclusion: Korea is indeed a food paradise. And it helps as well, my girlfriend brought me to this fabulous places to sample all these good nice food. Gonna miss Korean food.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Malaysia Bridge in South Korea

I was on a one week hiatus as I was away for holiday in South Korea. And to my suprise when I was away, so many had happened in Malaysia political scene. You hardly get any Malaysian news on tv or dailies in South Korea. So I had to rely on occasional quick checks on the internet.

I think I would like to blog on whats happening right now in the state of Terengganu but think I will start of with what I observed in Korea.

And let me start of with this old run down bridge that was built in 1966 in Korea across Gosancheon River in Paju province. My girlfriend has told me before of an existence of a bridge called Malaysian Bridge. But I brushed it off. How can it be possible that the Korean govt named a bridge after Malaysia? Right?

I stand corrected and dead wrong. The bridge as you can see was constructed in 1966 and seems like it was officiated about 6 days before 9th Merdeka celebrations. I told myself, no matter how tight my scheduele was, I would need to go to this Malaysia bridge and stand right there. So we did exactly that. me and my girlfriend went there, snapped some pictures and suck in the feeling.

So was this bridge named after Malaysia because of our troops contribution in the Korean War 1950-1953? Why here in the outskirt of Korea? We are talking about a small bridge about 1hour outside Seoul on the way to my girlfriend's small hometown. So many questions without any answers.

I hope someone from Muzium Negara do some digging on the history behind this small old bridge. Isnt it nice to find a bridge named after your country? A nostalgic past of contributions of our countrymen and to name a bridge after another country, means Malaysia did something damn righteous to earn this respect back then.
UPDATE: A good friend of mine, Victor has found out from another Korean who did some digging and found that Malaysian govt helped fund the building of the bridge as during that time, Korea was poor. Well kudos to the Malaysian administration then for doing something right.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Mee Kering

One of my all time favourite. Mee Kering/Dry Noodle/Tar Mee, from my hometown. Managed to tugged into this tasty meal where the dry noodle just blend with a little sprinkling of the gravy with soy sauce.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Congrats to DAP

I would like to pause a moment here to congratulate DAP, and also Guan Eng, my constituency MP Chong Eng and also this nice lady I met during the dinner, Ong Kok Fooi for winning the state seat Berapit.

Penangites deserved a 1st class governance and we got it on 08-Mar-08. Please work hard DAP with the other coalition members to serve the rakyat. We look forward in seeing the best for us all.

P/S: Picture was from last year DAP Anniversary dinner in Penang

The Anwar Factor

Anwar a formidable force, says Musa

KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is a force that has to be reckoned with, said former deputy prime minister Tun Musa Hitam.
That's why he won, even though he did not stand,” he said after chairing a session in an Isis Forum on the outcome and implications of the general election here yesterday.
“People might say a lot of nasty things, but he managed to get the DAP, PAS and PKR together. It was a coup for him.”

Asked whether he agreed with former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's call to Prime Minister and Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi to step down, Musa said he was “indifferent about this”.

“It's up to him (Abdullah), if he so decides. I'm not going to demonstrate to say 'No, he should not'. But if he does, I'm sure he would have thought it through.”

Musa also said that while Abdullah was accountable for the election outcome, it was a collective responsibility that had to be shared by the party.

Asked if the election results showed that the people had lost confidence in Barisan, he quickly replied: “It had been drastically reduced, not lost. It's not a loss of confidence, as that would have meant they lost the elections.”

Comments: Dr M has dismissed Anwar as daydreaming if he wanted to be next Malaysia PM. Pak Lah has ruled out Anwar as a factor in deciding when to hold the elections. Chandra Muzzafar said it will be an unmitigating disaster if Anwar becomes PM, Nallakurapan joined the bandwagon too and other BN leaders dismissed Anwar as a chameleon, attacking his track record when he was in BN.

Did they do it out of ignorance, or fear of his growing popularity? I will place my bets on the latter. Finally someone came out to confirm Anwar's strength in pulling the voters including the Malay voters into his camp.

Anwar will a permanent fixture in Malaysia political scene. Whether he is inside the Parliment or outside the Parliment, it doesnt matter. Anwar can make a difference in anywhere he wants to. It will not be too far fetched if I call him the Tiger Woods of Malaysian politics.

My Election Journey - Part 2

After finished voting, we stopped by to chat on how the GE will turn out this time round. I must admit that I was a tad sceptical about the coalition chances especially receiving unconfirmed sms'es on the emergence of phantom voters in several hot constituencies.

Anyway I went back to a short nap, woke up at about 6pm and tune the TV to see if any results will be streaming in soon. Then my neighbout relayed the 1st good news. Zulkifli Nordin, candidate for Kulim Bandar Baharu, won in Saluran 1 (Stream 1). This sounded so surreal. He already bagged Saluran 1 on a BN stronghold.3 more Saluran to go. Previous candidates never even bothered to visit us showing how arrogant this chaps were and how confident they can win.

I decided I should be checking MalaysiaKini for more updates. Indeed MalaysiaKini got wide live coverage on many of the hotly contested seats. It was indeed very suprising that almost all the opposition candidates if not all were leading in their respective seats. I expected a nail bitting finish. A photo finish. But what turned out to be an evenly contested slugfest now turns out to be a one sided affair in favour of the Oppostion camp.

My phone rang non stop, my handphone rang and sms'es streaming in with news that Opposition was gaining ground as every minutes go by. Gerakan has fallen, totally wiped out. I told myself this couldnt be true. But when news was out that Dr Koh was beaten by Prof Ramasamy in Batu Kawan, I know that Gerakan's fate had been re written by the rakyat.By 8pm plus, Penang has fallen to the coalition alliance. Followed by Kelantan. Then Selangor and finally at 4am plus, confirmed news was that Perak received a similar fate too.

I slept at about 3am plus, so the news of Perak state fallen into the hands of the Opposition was still impending. Before that we all celebrated. I lost my voice. Congratulations messages and calls start to came in. Felt like a winning candidate although I am not. Everyone was happy.

Kit Siang called it a political tsunami in his blog that night. The Star picked up that term in the following day morning edition. Anwar Ibrahim was very confident of denying BN a 2/3 majority and he echoed it again in Spore when he was here. He was spot on.

Anwar factor, Pak Lah inability to lead, Khairy's arrogance, Umno's racist policies, HINDRAF rally,corruption, gross abuse of power, the power of internet and last but not least YouTube. All these ingredients were the perfect concoction for a disaster.

Ceramah now can be enjoyed at the comfort of one's home. Its easier for anyone to reach the masses. Indeed time has changed. In the last election, TV was my only guide. This time, Internet was my faithful guide.As I made my way to airport on Sunday, there were many passengers, just like me who came back to vote. Many were glad but still stunned by the results.

I was at Spore customs checkpoint about 3.30pm. The crowd was larger than usual. So I chatted with the custom officer. On a normal day, there would only be 50k PRs crossing over into Spore. Today as of 3.30pm, there was already 150k ppl that crossed over. Mostly with the intention to vote. The People's Power knows no boundaries. And on 08-Mar-08, the people has proven their point.

Monday, March 10, 2008

My Election Journey Part I

I was in the coach on my way back to vote with 2 of my friends. Thanks to Mas Selamat, we were caught in a massive traffic jam for 2 hours at Tuas checkpoint. But I believe thats a little price to pay to go back and fulfill our duties as good citizens of Malaysia.

Look at this picture of this worn off, torn flag flying at Butterworth Bus Terminal. This was the first sight that caught my attention when I reached Butterworth in the morning. Talk about billion dollars worth of project when the Gerakan govt is not even respectful of the Malaysia and Penang flag. Talk about patriotism.

When I reached home I was greeted with the PKR flag flying at the front gate of my house. Well it s my neighbour's flag anyway but I am gonna take half of the credit as its flown between my house and his.

Me and my family went to the polling center about 2pm. We stopped by at our uncle's home so that we call all go together to vote. I must say that this has been my 3rd time voting. After voting, it rained heavily.

I told myself that this is "suara keramat" from the skies. Little did I know, there was a political tsunami coming that evening that will sweep away all the evils and cancers in the country. For the 1st time in over 50 years, the weather and the political reality on the ground spoke in tandem. A storm/tsunami to blow the evils away.

To be continued.......

Friday, March 7, 2008

Rocket Kid

D Day is tomorrow. Eligible Msian voters will decide once more if BN deserved to be back with a better or lesser majority. I will not dream the impossible seeing them losing this GE. Not until hell freezes over.

That brings me to another issue I am having. My sister called me up and start singing the DAP theme song last night over the phone. Mocking me saying she has the Rocket Kid. This Rocket Kid I swear is hotter than Hello Kitty craze we had several yrs back in McDonalds. My aunt tried to get one for me. But it was out of stock. Then when she was back again to get it, the new stock was also out. And heard each walk in customer can only buy 1 Rocket Kid at RM10. I want a Rocket Kid too, but not for any kids though, I want it for myself. So here is the pic my Sis sent to me, again mocking me that she has a Rocket Kid and I dont.

My girlfriend, a Korean dont understand whats the big fuss about this election. After countless days of explaining to her, and seeing with her own eyes how BN is abusing the tv to the fullest, she has only thing to say. Msia propoganda machine mirrors Kim Jong Il's propoganda machine in North Korea. I have a friend who is a fence sitter, not a registered voter, getting all heat up with this election fever too. And from my conversation with him, if he is an eligible voter today, I can bet his votes are going to BN's opposite camp.

Back to Rocket Kid, I am happy that its selling like hot cake as this shows how succesful DAP has been in marketing their brand name. Plus the DAP theme song certainly brings back memories. Go West was made famous by Pet Shop Boys. When I was in my teenage years, I used to envisioned that this song would be made as an Olympic song. Cause it brings so much passion and power into me. I get very energetic after listening to it. Fast forward to present, with Tony Pua giving his touch to the lyrics, its a DAP theme song now. How approriate it is. It certainly spiked my emotions yet again. And I am sure, the song also give the extra "semangat" we all need in this tough times to deny BN a handsome victory.
Happy voting tomorrow, let us deny BN a 2/3 majority and bring back the glory days of Malaysia.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Barisan launches counter-attack at Penang’s Rifle Range

Barisan launches counter-attack at Penang’s Rifle Range

PENANG: The battle for Penang has intensified as polling day draws nearer.
Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi was joined at the Rifle Range flats here last night by top guns from the MCA and Gerakan to win over Chinese voters.
Abdullah, MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting, Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon and Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik were greeted by thousands of people when they arrived at the flats.

Rifle Range, which has about 8,000 votes at stake, is in the heart of the Bukit Bendera parliamentary seat and was the first high-rise project built some 40 years ago.
PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng became the main targets of the four Barisan leaders who in turn fired salvo after salvo at them.

Huge turnout: Thousands at the Rifle Range flats in Penang listening to Barisan Nasional leaders campaign for their candidates on Wednesday.Abdullah revealed that Anwar tried to come back to Umno “but we don't want him.”

The Barisan chief said the opposition's loose coalition was a marriage of convenience for the sake of Anwar's benefit.

While Ong and Dr Koh spoke about the problems Anwar had created for the Chinese schools when he was in power, Dr Lim warned that Anwar said different things to different audiences.
As for Guan Eng, Ong warned that the DAP leader would not be able to serve the needs of Penangites because “his heart and family were in Malacca” while Dr Lim called him a “stupid boy” for working with Anwar.

Abdullah said Penangites were not so stupid as to vote for Lim.

Leading the charge were Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting (left) and Gerakan acting president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.The mammoth Barisan gathering last night came a week after Anwar campaigned at the same area.

Anwar was also recently criticised by two former political allies, Dr Chandra Muzaffar and Datuk K.S. Nallakaruppan, recently over his leadership qualities.

Comments: Abdullah said Penangites were not so stupid as to vote for Lim. Yes, dont worry Pak Lah if you're reffering to Lim Keng Yaik who is not contesting this GE. Remember this Pak Lah, Penangites will not be so stupid as well to vote for Lim's Gerakan stooges. Anwar has been through hell and came back a transformed man. Yes call Guan Eng a stupid boy, but Keng Yaik you're a silly old man that has outlived your usefulness. Ever since you took the helms in Gerakan, your only forte is to shoot your mouth, spitting in all directions incl your own comrades in BN.

A Chinese Penang Chief Minister, should I be feeling proud for having a loser as my leader? A leader who failed miserably and kowtow to every wishes of UMNO? I would prefer a leader of any races that fights for Penangites, again BN component parties are very fond of playing the racial cards. It doesnt matter from what race a leader comes from, a just leader is a leader for all races irregardless of race.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

ELECTION 2008: How the Chinese pay when DAP wins more than MCA

ELECTION 2008: How the Chinese pay when DAP wins more than MCA

KUALA LUMPUR: Chinese voters have a simple choice: a bigger say in parliament and government or a louder voice in parliament and outside the corridors of power.
This was the challenge posed by MCA strategist Datuk Wong Mook Leong at Wisma MCA here yesterday.The party veteran, who has been working behind the scenes for more than 31 years, said the reality was that whenever the DAP did better than MCA, it was a major setback for the community."In 1986, DAP won 24 seats while MCA got 18. In 1990, DAP continued to lead MCA by two parliamentary seats. "DAP claims that in those two terms, it was a major step for democracy. But the truth is, it was two terms of major setbacks for the Chinese community."
He said that in 1986, for every 10 Umno parliamentary representatives, MCA had two. As a result, Chinese access to education and economy suffered a major blow as there were not enough Chinese politicians to protect those interests."Back then, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim was education minister and because there was insufficient Chinese resistance in the government, we all know what a mess he made out of Chinese education."

He said DAP claims to want to weaken Umno's hold in the government was illogical as 38 of its 47 parliamentary seat candidates were lined up against either the MCA, Gerakan or SUPP (Sarawak United People's Party).Wong said if DAP wanted to fight Umno, then it should contest against Umno."They claim to want to bring change, but what DAP is doing is splitting the community and negating the progress MCA has been fighting for since making its comeback in the 1999 election." Acknowledging that ceramah and debates were not the candidates' forte, MCA had mobilised members of its think tank, Insaf, to go to the ground to explain the dilemma facing the Chinese community, and what MCA had done for them.If DAP won big in the polls, Wong said, the biggest loser would be the Chinese community, as cabinet posts would be lost as well."MCA used to hold the Finance Ministry and International Trade and Industry Ministry posts. But it was all lost in the 1969 election and it's now gone forever."MCA has four ministerial posts, while Gerakan and SUPP hold one each.

Comments: From which planet did this guy landed? The lost of MCA ministerial posts are evident of UMNO political hegemony that Kit Siang has been explaining all along. Dont blame the Chinese voters for MCA's own weakness playing to UMNO's will. Yes its gone forever. Thanks to MCA's weakness. And yes, you guys are weak in debates and ceramah, cause you find it hard to lie to yourself and then lie to the public when championing your points and issues in contention. Face the fact. For DAP to break into Parliment, it must fight with UMNO's lackeys first. So MCA and Gerakan fits the bill. A defeat for MCA and Gerakan in sweeter than defeating UMNO because defeating a traitor sounds like justice to me.

Indelible Ink

Ink washout
PUTRAJAYA: The use of indelible ink on polling day has been scrapped after police received reports of a plan to “sabotage” the election process in Perlis, Kedah and Kelantan.
Election Commission (EC) chairman Tan Sri Abdul Rashid Abdul Rahman said police investigations revealed that people had smuggled the ink in and had planned to go to rural and remote areas to trick village folk into believing that their fingernails had to be marked before they can go to vote.
“They are out to create confusion and suspicion by persuading those not familiar with the procedure to have the ink applied (to a voter’s forefinger or nail) before polling day.
“The EC views these issues seriously as the election process and public order and security cannot be compromised,” he said during a press conference here yesterday.
Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail were also present.
The use of indelible ink was first proposed last June to safeguard against multiple or phantom voting. Abdul Rashid then said the system would be subject to amendments to the Election (Conduct of Election) Regulation 1981.
Police yesterday said they were investigating four reports of the sabotage plan – two from Perlis and one each from Kedah and Kelantan – and have classified the cases as attempted cheating.
Abdul Rashid said the EC deeply regretted its decision but was obliged to make a firm and final decision yesterday to ensure the smooth conduct of the polls.
He denied that political pressure had been exerted on the EC to cancel the use of the ink
When asked whether a proper study was done before introducing the ink, Abdul Rashid said a study was done on how it was used in other countries.
“In the beginning, we thought it was just an ordinary process that we could just introduce but then we realised, after getting all the necessary advice from the legal experts, that we would have to take a look at the (Federal) Constitution,” he said.
He added that the EC had to examine the other laws and regulations first.
He said Article 119 of the Federal Constitution guaranteed the right of a registered elector to vote and laws providing otherwise should be ultra vires the Constitution.
Abdul Rashid said he was disappointed as he had wanted to continue with the use of the indelible ink.
“There are many things that need to be done which we cannot do.
So do not accuse the EC of not doing anything.
“We know that there is no cheating but still people insist it exists. I have never found any proof of this,” he said.
Abdul Rashid said the EC would be informing the political parties accordingly and urged them to accept the decision with an open heart and mind.
Abdul Gani said for the ink to be used, amendments must be made to Article 119 of the Federal Constitution, which protected a person’s right to vote, as well as provisions relating to the Election Act and the regulations relating to the conduct of the elections.

Comments: Come on EC, whats with all the pictures on tv and mass print media showing you marking the indelible ink on your finger. Now the U turn citing security and Constitution. I dont know but this sounds absurd. With 4 days to go from the date of the annoucement, this is a slap on transparency.