Friday, May 29, 2009

Kok Kee Wanton Noodles

It was my first time at Lavender Food Square, not sure what to eat, I usually go for stalls that have a decent or long queqe. If it's a long queqe, it better be good. So the stall that caught my eye was Kok Kee Wanton Noodle. So first look for me was the price. I am kinda in a dilemma to choose between $3.50 or $4.50 serving. Looking at the other patrons in front of me having their $3.50 portion, I am dead set for the $4.50 portion.

Whats special? Its different from other wanton noodles. First of all, the auntie will pour the gravy (soup based) into the wanton noodle. Rather than being the conventional dark sauce wanton noodle, this one is more clear based. And boh oh boy, the gravy is nice. Plus with the chilli, and the spongy noodles, this wanton noodles pack a killer punch. But cant say the same for the char siew. Its just so so for me. The same goes for the soup that comes along. But don’t let that take away the fact that this wanton noodle is unique and nice.

And by the way, I think it’s expensive for a wanton noodle serving. But I think once in a while, I am allowed to spoil myself with something nice.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Koon Yew Yin

Who is Koon Yew Yin? Beats me. And I am sure many out there are also in the dark of this person. But those who are abuzz in the internet might have caught his names here and there in the various articles and commentaries he wrote in some of the well known news portals.

Why Koon Yew Yin? Well, to my surprise Koon Yew Yin handed a cheque worth $200,000 to DAP on behalf of Pakatan Rakyat.This is to support PR election fund according to YB Lim Kit Siang. To many, Koon Yew Yin is a retired chartered engineer. But I don’t buy that. So I did more snooping on who is Koon Yew Yin.

Koon Yew Yin is a 76-year-old chartered civil engineer and was one of the founders of IJM Corp Bhd. He was also secretary-general of Master Builders Malaysia for nine years and a member of the Board of Engineers Malaysia and Sirim. Now he is proclaimed to be fully retired. And there is even a scholarship for higher education students setup under his name Koon Yew Yin Scholarship.

This brings to mind, how many corporate figures out there who is giving back to society? DAP's biggest coup when it comes to a corporate figure is Tony Pua. PKR has Khalid Ibrahim. How many corporate figures out there who are willing to stick out their necks and "berkhidmat" to the people? I sincerely hope more will step forward and make Malaysia a truly better place to live in.


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Home List

Above is the shopping list that broke a hole in my pocket recently hahaha. But it was worth a one time spending to built up my home. Some of the items above might be cheaper now since most of those buys were made in Apr. I was already scouting then for items I wanted and those which fits into my budget and also my requirements.

A word of caution though. Some of the prices might be nett price or gross price depending on the 7% GST. I was too lazy to recalculate some of the items.

Hope the list serves as a good guide.


Monday, May 25, 2009

Star Trek

I wanted to catch Star Trek, 3 wks back when it was first released. Suffice to say, I always try to avoid 1st week of release especially for a box office hit like Star Trek. On the 2nd week, I tried going to 2 cinemas on a Sat and all the good seats were unavailable. And thanked God in the 3rd week of its release, I finally got to watch Star Trek given a breath of new life by JJ Abrams.

Verdict is, it hits me sprawling on the floor gasping for more. Its that good! I get goosebumps watching Star Trek reboot. I wouldn’t call it a prequel because JJ Abrams had changed the storyline as a vengeful Nero, a renegade Romulan was sucked into a black hole thus reversing the past and altering the future.Its good to see the crew back again in USS Enterprise.Its kinda weird seeing the younger Spock played by Zachary Quinto meeting up with the older Spock played by Leonard Nimoy. Now can someone please bring William Shatner back in the upcoming sequel rumoured for release in 2011.

I only have one complain in the movie though. I still cant get over the fact that the character Sulu is played by James Cho, the guy from Harold & Kumar. I still think he is too comical for the role and he is better off getting burgers from White Castle. For the rest of the crew, Abrams had solidified each characters in their positions. Captain James Kirk had always been brash, arrogant and the kind of leader that gets his hands dirty. As opposed to Captain Jean Luc Picard who is more of a diplomat.

I am a Trekkie / Trekker, and to see the movie comes alive again is simply a feeling which is hard for me to describe. I still remember spending hours alone in the Star Trek exhibition when it was here in Singapore. Or when I was still studying, staying up late at night waiting for Star Trek Enterprise to come up on air after the midnight news ended on TV3. Star Trek theme had always been acknowledging the diversity of the many species in the universe (cue, take a look at the crew), that human spirits always prevail in the face of adversity, and no matter how superior our opponents are, with a little bit of courage and brains, human will prevail. Maybe its just what we need in the world today.

Friday, May 22, 2009


Recently I got myself a 40 inch LCD tv. I was tossing between either getting Sharp, Samsung or Sony. I am impressed with Sharp mainly due to the price and I am so so satisfied with my Ipod Touch since its using Sharp panels as well.

I was eyeing on the A63, 37 inch model from Sharp, but ultimately Sharp did not bring it down to a price I am willing to pay. Though they had offer for their A53 series, it was not a Full HD tv but only a HD ready tv. Since LED tv had enter into the fray, I was thinking if I were to get a HD ready, I would be like 2 generations back. Though sheepishly I do admit that I doubt I will use the full functionality of the Full HD features.

So, in the end, I purchased my LCD tv at Harvey Norman warehouse sale on 03-May.I was quite impressed with Samsung Series 5, 40 inch but in the end I didn’t get it as I was kinda pissed with the salesman lacklustre of integrity. First of all I ask him, "Does this model have a USB port?", he said "yes". And he proceeded to turn the tv to show me the so called USB port. Either my eyes are playing tricks on me but I couldn’t find the port at all. So nevermind, I asked him again, "Can I have that brochure over there so that I can evalute the specs?", he replied, "don’t bother, this model is not featured in the brochure". But I was adamant, and I took the brochure and surprise surprise, this model was featured inside. Okay, this is already Lie #2 from him. I asked him, "Hey, can I see what kind of mini hi fi set this LCD is giving out for free?". He said, "Sorry, the set is not here." As I turned the other way, I saw the set featured there.Lie #3. So I told myself, screw him. I don’t feel like even buying a pen from him.

Next stop was Sharp booth, they were throwing some freebies in the form of a $100 NTUC voucher to early birds for the 42 inch A53 series, HD Ready model. So deduct $100, you basically are just paying $1,099 for the tv. But then again, Sharp warranty for its panels is only 1 year. Kinda odd and not per industry standard if you ask me.

Finally, Sony's booth. I was actually here in the warehouse sale 2 days ago. So it was my second time here, and I already sort of know what I wanted to get. Of all the LCD series Sony has, I decided to settle for their low range model, the S series. So I got myself S Series - KLV-40S400A. Purchased it at $1,799, but they are giving out $250 High Choice voucher from Sony, $100 High Choice voucher from Harvey Norman themselves plus a HDMI cable which I think the retail price should be on average at around $80. On a rough count, I am paying about $1,369 before GST.

The TV came about 6 days later, and I had been watching it since. Next stop is to subscribe Starhub cable to get a more crystal clear resolution. The S Series above comes with features below
· Full HD 1080
Sadly, I don’t have a Blu Ray player yet and also I am not so sure which tv channel comes with HD resolution, so I guess it be a long time to come before I can utilize the full potential of this feature.
· BRAVIA Engine 2
This is a feature where apparently Sony claims its intelligent enough to adjust contrast and eliminate noises in the background. How true is it? Beats me. I have so far not realised anything yet.
· Improved Advanced Contrast Enhancer (ACE)
This feature is mainly focus on dark scenes, so if you're watching horror movies, or movies with dark background such as Sin City, or a Batman movie where Gotham City is always gloomy and rainy, this feature I believe will come in handy.
· MPEG Noise Reduction
I tried this feature last night, but kinda weird, it seems like the sound sounds same to me. Maybe I should use it when ChannelNews Asia is covering some protest in some parts of the world.
· Intelligent Picture
This feature claims it can boost weak broadcast signals (RF). Does it work? Again I wouldn’t know. I am currently tapping into my flat antenna, so I really don’t know if it works and if I subscribe to Starhub cable, I doubt I need this feature ever again.
· S-Force Front Surround
It says there it boost virtual surround sound. Whats virtual sound? What the heck is that? Plus I am not expecting much from TV speakers, no matter how surround it is, hahahaha.
It says I can control all my other devices hooked to this tv with a single touch of the button, what I am not so sure is that can it sync with a non Sony product? We all know Sony make their products compatible with each other, but not really friendly to non Sony brands. I don’t blame them for having this strategy, but to me its kinda like shooting their own foot strategy.
· 24P True Cinema & Theatre Mode
Again, I think I will not be using this feature anytime soon as long as I don’t have a blueray player.
· Ambient Light Sensor for Energy Conservation & Reduce Eye Fatigue
Okay, I admit this is a smart feature. I can see the tv trying its best to adjust the contrast and brightness each time I switch channels.
· 1 Tuner PAP
I think I should be using this feature when I am greedy and I want to watch telly and my DVD movies.
When watching a video from an external source, a TV program can also be viewed as a smaller window (Picture and Picture) and can be moved around the screen’s four corners. Interesting, I will try it one fine day just to see how it works.
· Swivel
I am dissapointed with this frankly. It can swivel at a 20 degrees angle only. I sometimes watch tv while eating. Although 20 degrees is basically good enough, but it be great if it can do a 40 degrees turn.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Maid Mate Made...?

Anyone had encounter with maids before in Singapore? I think they're a pretty common sight if society had reached an affluent state where people can afford to employ someone to enact daily chores. Or you have a segment of society where they're damn rich and don’t know where to spend their money on. Or it could be a case of having domestic help because you really really in desperate need of one.

I am not at a stage yet where I need a maid, nor do I in a financial position which allows me to hire a maid. But I had my fair share of maid terror, or whatever you want to call it. It happened a few yrs back when I was staying in Choa Chu Kang. Its kinda freaky when I think about it. One morning I noticed there was a letter slotted inside my doorstep. I opened the letter and it was written in Bahasa Indonesia. So that rules out my other housemate who cant read Bahasa Melayu. At least I got an A for Bahasa Melayu in my STPM and I was one of the 3 shortlisted candidates for RSI (Radio Singapore International) for Producer Presenter for their Bahasa Melayu programmes.

The author of the letter said she had been observing a particular somebody going out of the house at a specific time and she wants to be friends with this person. So after checking out the timing of the stated time, the person she was referring to was me!!! Lucky me or unlucky me. Days go by, I wrote back trying to find out her identity but to no avail. Then I was away for about a week, and this stalker maid start to get paranoid, asking me where I been to, why I was not responding to her mails? I was like, huh? I started to get really wary whenever I walked out of the lift, fearing some psycho will come out and take a stab at me behind my back.

I even went to the point of getting 2 of my girl "friends" to pose as my girlfriends on 2 separate occasions. I purposely left my door open and let her see that I have girl guest. Wow, instanteneous reaction, she started to query me on who are the girls, saying she felt sad I have someone special someone in my life. I finally felt that this is all a nuisance and wanted to report to the police. At one point, she even sent chocolates to me which I threw away, and I even got other maid writing letter to me asking me to layoff this maid.

And finally a reprieve. the maid said that his employer found out she was sending letters to me and the wife also not happy that her husband chats up with her. So to end all this, she was send back to the maid agency. Well on a hindsight, I felt abit sorry for her predicament. On the other hand, I find the whole episode too freaking weird.

Anyway, I also saw maids getting a public tongue lashing before by their employers. A lady once scolded her maid in a packed mrt train till tears start flowing down from her eyes. Just last week, I saw a lady scolded her maid for dissapearing with the employer's young daughter. My friend told me that her 2 Filipino maids employed by the employer she is renting the room from, forbids them from turning on the fan during the day.

But on a lighter note, I had seen maid been treated nicely by their employers, for instance sitting on the same table enjoying dim sum breakfast, going for a brisk walk with their employers, or even reading about them in papers where maids are actually sent to pursue courses. Can you believe it? Even my company don’t send me to courses citing a lot of funny excuses for not doing so.

At the end of the day, all of us are humans. I think maids should be treated in a respectful mand humane manner. Put yourself in their shoes, working everyday with only 1 day off every month, being away from your loved ones. Its never easy for them. So let us be more gracious.


Friday, May 8, 2009

You suck!

I had been on a long layoff from blogging because I had been busy with my home move. Thought of blogging about the stuffs I bought , sort of like ala review of things I bought.

But I was called upon to blog about the rape of justice in Perak yesterday. Barbed wires, police high handed presence, samseng in black barging in the State Assembly and dragging out Sivakumar forcefully from his chair. Blatant arrests of the crowd which to me is a dastardly act of a very desperate man.

Yes BN, you have the state apparatus now under your control. You choose to stiffle democracy with force. But just wait, because the rakyat is now more matured. We will exercise our rights in accordance with the law of the country. Why? Because we respect and love the law. Not like BN hooligans and goons who stops at nothing using force to intimidate us.

Your actions yesterday, together with the assistance of the police force makes a mockery to the law of the land. The whole episode in Perak stinks sky high to me.

I spit on the authorities aggresive conduct. I salute the fighters that showed true courage in Perak. And I am just biting time to see the day when justice is served to BN and its stooges. Only then I would say, revenge is sweeter than wine.
Like former judge Datuk NH. Chan said, do we really need a judge to inteprete Article 72(1) of the Federal Constitution which says: “The validity of any proceedings in the Legislative Assembly of any State shall not be questioned in any court”. The English is plain simple and layman for anyone who reads it to understand the implication of the article.