Monthly Archives: July 2007

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows sold 231 copies every second in first 24 hours

Released a minute past midnight 21st July 2007, probably it will become the greatest selling fiction (non-political/non-religious) book of all time. In contrast “Da Vinci Code” *only* sold 65 million copies. Also, according to Daily Express on Sunday, about 300 copies of Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat’s book “My Rewards” had been sold in a few hours. I mentioned this because Tan Sri Chong reportedly said: “On 21st July two very special books are launched: The seventh book in the Harry Potter series… and my book.”

Will it outsell the top-selling book of all time: The Holy Bible itself (so far sold about 6 billion copies)? Well, only time will tell…

And probably it will be the most pirated book of all time, the full version of which is available freely on the web (i.e. all 36 chapters excluding epilogue) at least 24 hours before the book launch.

More trivia:

The Independent (UK newspaper) said the book sold 20 million worldwide in 24 hours. That works out to be a staggering 231 books SOLD PER SECOND for the first 24 hours of launch. Mary Chin described Tan Sri Chong’s book as “selling like hot cakes.” Well, if 300 copies in a few hours is deemed selling like hot cakes, how do you describe 231 copies in one second?

Probably will outsell the best selling Harry Potter book so far (the 1st in the series): 107 million copies sold so far.

Discounting the earliest birds, officially the first person on the planet to read the published novel from cover to cover is Anne Jones, 55, the 6-time world speed-reading champion. She finished all 600+ pages in 47 minutes and 1 second: that’s 4,251 words per minute: 4,000 faster than the average adult, and an unofficial world record. Asked what happens at the end of the novel, she said “Oh, I don’t want to spoil the ending for people.”

Christianity-wise, reaction is mixed on the series as a whole. I read that Pope Benedict XVI warned of the occult themes in the book. But the Archbishop of Canterbury (leader of the Anglican church [the biggest Christian body in the United Kingdom]) had declared himself a fan.

The British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, reduced author JK Rowling to tears with his praise.

In the US alone, 12 million copies had been ordered in advance. Absolutely amazing, that’s like you know you will strike the jackpot, it’s just money waiting to drop from the sky!!!

By Monday (2 days since launch), it reportedly has sold 72 million copies worldwide.

Released in 93 countries simultaneously.

But is it the greatest novel of all time? I think not yet, there’s a book (forgot title) that won either the Booker or the Pulitzer prize, then got its author the Nobel prize for literature some time ago.

….I wonder how the audio book version did…


The only place in Kota Kinabalu where obscenity is allowed

Question: Where in Kota Kinabalu can you find a place where obscenity is displayed out there in the open, in full view of the general public including children, has been going on for years, and nobody ever does anything about it?

Answer: KFC Tanjung Aru

On the walls are illustrations of hand signs for each letter of the alphabet.


For the letter “T”, the illustration says you have to do it like this:


But….isn’t inserting the thumb between the fore and middle fingers of a closed fist is considered an offensive / obscene hand sign in Malaysian culture?

Someone told me it should be done this way instead: Continue reading

Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat’s book “My Rewards” will be on sale this Sunday at Ground Floor, Wisma Merdeka, Kota Kinabalu

Apparently (I have no absolute confirmation on this though) it will tell his side of the story of the reasons for his abrupt resignation as Deputy Chief Minister and State Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment which he announced on 13th April 2007, which took effect on 16th April 2007. Then, he stated “matters of principle” for his reason.

RM80. Get your copy before it’s sold out. Let your friends know.

Thanks little bird for the info.

Exclusive expose: illegal construction on Tanjung Aru beach

I discovered, and had photographic evidence of unlicensed sandmoving right on Tanjung Aru Beach in broad daylight last month which happened in full view of the general public, right under the noses of the authorities.

A huge mound of sand ready to be illegally transferred on lorries. Note the proximity to the sea:


Witness the sheer destruction of our precious beach. What an outrage!


An aerial view of what appears to be a huge open-air mine:


Upon closer checking, I managed to apprehend two workers who at first did not even notice my presence. Note the heavy equipment being utilised right in front of STAR! Continue reading

Engrish at Cempaka Square signage

Cempaka Square is a well-known nightspot at Towering, Penampang. Unfortunately the recent renovation did not include verifying the message conveyed by this sign prominently displayed at the back. Spotted the afternoon of 23rd June 2007:

I believe it should simply read as follows: “To prevent accidents, please follow traffic instructions from our security personnel.”

Malaysia’s AFC Asian Cup 2007: the worst ever debacle?

Update 18th July 2007

Malaysia 0-2 Iran, hence finishing dead last in the group, with a goal difference of -11.

Update 16th July 2007

I will do a “general overhaul” of the FAM. I will personally conduct an inquiry into the team’s inept performances. Who does not want the national team to do well at international matches? This is my responsibility … we will not run away … we are fighters. I would lead a team comprising a few FAM exco members to find answers. I demand a full report of the matches against China and Uzbekistan from the manager and coach. I cannot take it. There will be changes.

I thought I’ve heard the same thing being said many times already every time the national team did badly – still no improvements.


Other teams’ target is at least to qualify for the next round. Our target: avoid finishing last in our group. After 2 matches, goal difference is -9. Last match is against Iran, the 3-time Asian champions, 3-time World Cup qualifier (including the last WC), and the highest ranked team in our group at #47 (yes, ranked even higher than Uzbekistan or China).

Some people might think our target is too high; it should rather be: concede less than 5 goals against Iran.

Tengku Abdullah resigned too early, or too late, depending on your point of view.

On the match against Uzbekistan, The Star reported:

Coach Norizan Bakar included K. Nanthakumar, V. Thirumurugan, Mohd Ivan Yussof and striker Indra Putra Mahayiddin in the starting lineup but it barely troubled the physically bigger Uzbeks who raced to a comfortable 3-0 lead at half-time. In fact, they pierced open the defence with the opening goal through Shatskikh in the 10th minute.

The Malaysians failed to check Server Djeparov’s free-kick which landed perfectly for the Dynamo Kiev striker to nod the ball in from close range.

At the half-hour mark, Malaysia were in for more misery when the Uzbeks punished the disorganised defence with their neat one-touch passes to score the second goal.

Timur Kapadze picked up Victor Karpenko’s through ball and left three defenders in his wake before beating keeper Azizon Kadir with a low shot.

Uzbekistan further punished a fast tiring Malaysian side when unmarked Ibragimov easily slot in the fourth goal in the 85th minute.

National coach Norizan Bakar was optimistic before the start of the tournament, but 3 days before meeting Iran, during a press conference on Saturday, he said

We do not have the quality to compete in the Asian Cup Finals. Our team are not of the same standard as others in this championship… we understand that we are playing at a different level. (Our) players are still trying to do something but … you have to talk about the level. We lost to a better team. We tried to make corrections from our first match … but whatever changes we made did not work

Before the match against 1994 Asian Games champions Uzbekistan, the coach said:

In the opening match against China we were criticised for poor tactical discipline especially in defence. We have been humiliated, hurt and criticised…. we don’t want to go through that agony again … the boys need to respond positively. The humiliating defeat was a bitter pill to swallow for me and my charges and we are all hurt by the outcome of the match and also by the heavy criticisms thrown at us by the media, including degrading remarks from FAM top officials.

In the game against the Uzbeks, centreback K. Nanthakumar, rightback V. Thirumurugan and striker Indra Putra Mahayuddin were in the starting lineup, but it did not make any difference – in fact, the scoreline was worse than the match against China.

In the match against China, the starting defence included Rosdi Talib (left back), Norhafiz Zamani Misbah (central), Kaironissam Sahabuddin (captain, central), Fauzie Nan (right back).

The boys have feelings and they don’t want to lose. We have worked on the tactical changes and the physical aspect of the team for the high tempo match against Uzbekistan. The players want to raise their game and show a positive approach to do something different against Uzbekistan. There will be changes in the team. Of course, after the humiliating defeat we have to make the necessary corrections.

Hairuddin Omar, who sounded confident before the tournament started proved ineffective in the match against China.

I am glad they are showing the willingness to learn and come out to redeem themselves.

On Friday the 13th, the coach told reporters:

We don’t want to be humiliated day by day. Nobody wants to be associated with a losing team. We just have to forget about China now and concentrate on the Uzbeks. We need to rise to the occasion. The changes were meant to help Malaysia play at “a high tempo.”

What a shameful display. I apologise to all the spectators and want to shake their hands. I am truly disappointed with their inept display. The coach has the power to choose the players and he should know better. Only the coach and players will be able to say what happened that night. I was also a spectator. I hope there will not be a repeat of what happened that night but I am still wary of conceding more goals.

Well, on-form K. Nanthakumar and Indra Putra Mahayuddin was fielded in the match against Uzbekistan, but that didn’t improve anything, in fact we lost by a bigger margin.

In the match against China, The Star reported:

There was nothing much Malaysia could do against the tactically sound Chinese players. The Malaysians had no answer to the Chinese onslaught and paid dearly for their poor tactical discipline, especially in defence. Former PSV Eindhoven’s Sun Xiang and Charlton Athletic’s Zheng Zhi were commanding in providing the crosses from the flanks, which the Malaysian defence had difficulty coping with throughout the match.

On 10th July 2007, before the match against China, the coach said:

My players are ready for the challenge even though we have been tagged the “whipping boys”. Malaysian football is not going well at the moment… Our biggest worry is without doubt the defence, going by the team’s performance in the run-in to the Finals.

In 6 warm-up matches, only one was won: Cambodia (6-0). All the others were lost: Sydney FC (0-2), Central Coast Mariners (0-3) and Bankstown (0-1); United Arab Emirates (1-3); and Jamaica (0-2).

They even had a cake-cutting session after a training session before the first match:

I guess the smiles are gone now.

One day before the match against China, on 9th July 2007, striker Hairuddin Omar said:

I am highly confident of bringing down the Great Wall of China. I am confident of breaching China’s back line just as I have done during the match against Cambodia in the friendly 2 weeks ago. We will prove that Malaysia can take on any Asian football giant.

In the same press conference, the coach said:

I am optimistic that we would not disappoint the fans. First choice keeper Azizon and midfield maestro Muhammad Shukor Adan have fully recovered from injuries and will be fielded.

Well, we all know what happened next.

Tintin in the Congo: controversy sells

Tintin in the Congo, originally published in French in 1930-31 gained extensive media coverage in mid-July 2007 as the Commission for Racial Equality (CRE), an equal rights organisation in the UK called on bookshops to stop selling them.

Tintin in the Congo is a comic book which depicts a young, white journalist’s adventures in Congo, Africa while portraying the native population as less than intelligent and monkey-like in nature, who in the end worship Tintin (and his dog, no less), as gods.

However, this has only enhanced its popularity. As on 14th July, its sales had gone up almost 4,000%, the book climbing from 4,343rd to 5th in a mere 4 days on Amazon UK’s bestseller list.

Summary of what is depicted in the book:

  • Black person says: “White man, very great… White mister is big juju man.”
  • Black people are referred to as “disposed to violence” and that they are capable only of being “led, guided and commanded by white people and even dogs.”

The book is controversial not only for its racist tones, but also on how animal mistreatment is depicted. I am not sure if one of the most infamous scenes in the book, the scene in page 56 is even depicted in the latest edition. That is where Tintin drills a hole into a rhinoceros, sticks dynamite into it, then blows it up.

A screen shot of that page is as follows: Continue reading