Monthly Archives: April 2008

In pictures: Floods in Penampang,25th April 2008

There are usually two major floods here in a year – by major I mean floodwaters would be at least knee-high downstairs.

Floods here are most unpredictable. Where most people would sleep soundly at night when it’s raining heavily, it’s the total opposite here. We’d look out for the 3-step alarm; if it’s the 3rd alarm, that means it’s the final warning – you’d better be ready to move your cars out to higher ground, clear things downstairs etc.

Last night was one of them. It was a very hot afternoon and some rain only started around 3pm. But by the time I arrived home at almost 7pm, it was already almost chest-high. Bear in mind that the waters did not reach its highest point around 10pm or 11pm, which I’d say was about 1 or 2 feet more. Mercifully the rate was increase was slowing down by then.

Here are some pics taken around 7pm. To give you a general idea, I attach non-flood pics as well.

BEFORE

AFTER

Click to see more pictures

My Chronology of Events: The Worst Power Failure in the History of Sabah, 21st April 2008

Well, at least since the commissioning of the East-West power grid last November, but has there ever been a case of 90% of the state experiencing electrical power failure at the same time?

Here’s my experience, all times are approximate.

21 April 2008

1840 – was looking forward to a well-earned restful evening at home in Penampang after a hard day’s work when the lights suddenly flickered, then dimmed, then died. Experience told me that this usually means bad news, i.e. it could take a very long time to fix.

2000 – apparently the time when power failure first started at the data centre.

2045 – my brother in Tamparuli is listening to the radio and said many complaints can be heard. RTM calls SESB but can’t get through.

2100 – the lights lit up for about 1 second, then died again.

2105 – it’s been more than 2 hours of darkness at my house, and I’m starting to get worried about my place of work – where computers are supposed to be on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year forever. The diesel generators will only last a certain number of hours before they run out of fuel. And the magnetic doors, backup batteries… I was sure I would not be able to sleep if I didn’t sort this one out.

2109 – informed my 3 lieutenants to drop by at the server room and if necessary shut down the equipments.

2156 – informed by a member of the media that there was a power trip at the 132KV Inanam-Karambunai transmission line that caused all power stations in Sabah to stop functioning. This caused an electrical power loss of 500 Megawatts (that’s a mind-blowing 500,000,000 watts!) i.e. 90% of the electricity needs of 2 million Sabahans. The whole of Sabah are in darkness, except the lucky five (they have their own power supply): Keningau, Beaufort, Sipitang, Ranau, Telupid. Power restored in stages by SESB starting 7.30pm. As at 2138, 50% of Sabah has had power restored including Sandakan and Tawau. All other areas should have power restored shortly.

2227 – received report from my guys that electrical supply had been restored at the datacentre building, and that they’re not going to shutdown the equipments just yet, but going to hang around a bit just to be sure. Tamparuli also OK already.

2245 – apparently, by this time 90% of those experiencing outage have had power restored.

2300 – power failed again at the data centre. The guys set scheduled shutdown for 0300, which later turned out to be unnecessary, as power remained stable after 0130.

2340 – i was informed that by now, power was restored in some parts of Penampang.

22nd April 2008

0030 – the engineers went home, leaving the graveyard shift guys on the lookout. The generators still had enough fuel to last quite a few more hours, so further check will be done after daybreak.

0130 – power fully restored at the data centre.

0230 – the apparent time that electricity at my part of Penampang was restored.

1112 – my brother in Tamparuli reported that there was a brief power outage.

1152 – contact in the media informed that the actual cause of the incident is the collapse of a 132KV transmission tower at Kg Numbak, Inanam, where a scrap metal thief took steel pieces holding together the tower. In other words, because of one person, the whole state was affected! Could this be the work of a syabu addict squatter in Inanam?

1615 – The Star reported that 300,000 consumers were affected. SESB MD Baharin Din told a PC that:
- vandals removed 20 steel pieces at Suang Parai, valued at RM40.
- a tower costs RM400K; located between Kayu Madang and UMS.
- collapse led to a power trip & caused domino effect: tripped all SESB and IPP plants connected to the various grids.
- domino effect cannot be stopped cos a mechanism to do so can only be done if there is an excess of power supply; now we have just enough power to meet demand.
- power fully restored 0015.
- temporary tower to be erected within 3 weeks by parent company TNB and help from the army.
- permanent tower will take a further 4 months.
- now situation is fragile: alternative underground 66kV cable.
- 83,000 consumers in Beaufort, Keningau, Tambunan, Tenom, Telupid and Ranau not affected; they are not connected to the grid system; have their own power generation.

I tried to read up on “load shedding” and “power drag” but still don’t get it. Anybody can explain in layman language?

Source
The Star, Daily Express, New Straits Times

… OK enough about that, now time to look up irresistible laptop deals

Live vocal performance masterclass for Malaysia’s top vocalists

On 13th April 2008 in Kuala Lumpur, some of Malaysia’s top vocalists were gathered at one place.

And they were not there to perform, but rather part of the audience.

Amy Search, Malaysia’s top rock vocalist and one of Asia’s best rock vocalist was there:

Datuk Siti Nurhaliza, who in many people’s opinion, is Malaysia’s undisputed number one vocalist was there:

Jacqueline Victor, in my opinion, Malaysia’s best vocalist was there:

Why? There could be only one reason: they’re there to see someone better than them perform.

Celine Dion did a one-night-only show in KL that night, as part of her Taking Chances World Tour 2008:

In my humble opinion, Celine Dion is the number one active pop singer alive in the world today, better than Mariah Carey, better than Whitney Houston. With over 200 million records sold worldwide, many people would attest to that.

I couldn’t make it due to the distance and cost (the local artistes’ pics above must’ve been the RM1,000 seats!), but some videos were taken and uploaded to youtube by those who attended, like this one of her signature song, “My Heart Will Go On”, which drove the crowd wild, and probably will be the first and only time ever sung live by Celine Dion on Malaysian soil:

Click here to see the video

The greatest ever “version” of Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child o’ Mine”, period

This has been around for quite some time, but I stumbled upon it on youtube while looking for a video of that fabled Yehudi Menuhin – Ravi Shankar collaboration: when the greatest violinist of the 20th century played with the leading Indian musician of the modern era.

This is undisputably one of hard rock’s greatest ever songs, which means it’s severely overplayed, and even classic songs get on one’s nerves after non-stop listening. There have been many covers but none could hold a candle to the original.

Until several nights ago when I saw this, apparently just an ad on Channel V, but still I’m wondering: is there a full length version of this?

Click here to see the video

Flashback: Chronology of Events leading to Anwar Ibrahim’s sacking on 2nd September 1998

On 14th April 2008, around 8.50pm, deafening shouts of reformasi from the 20,000-strong (some say 40,000) crowd welcomed Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim arrival at Kampung Baru, central Kuala Lumpur, the venue for the Black 14 gathering held to welcome the expiry on his five-year ban from contesting in elections.

Time really flies. I still remember the bold headlines on all newspapers on the 3rd of September 1998, declaring “ANWAR SACKED”. Not many national headlines could top that, ever or since!

Noting the historic proportions of what was unveiling, I was completely engrossed and noted the minutest details from any source that I could find, at least for the first few weeks since the news broke.

One result of my efforts then was this chronology of events leading to the date of sacking and onwards to a few months later – I am not sure if this is available anywhere else. It must be noted that I did not jot down the exact sources of information then, so the authenticity of the following cannot be 100% ascertained.

—————————————————–

Chronology of events

1974

Detained under ISA until 1976 (22 months).

1982

Joined UMNO

1997

Poison pen letter

The book “50 Dalil Kenapa Anwar Tidak Boleh Jadi PM” hastily released.

7th June 1998

Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim urges Umno members to stop the practice of cronyism, corruption and nepotism in the party. Umno Youth chief Datuk Zahid Hamidi echoed his call and said it was a serious problem in awarding of government contracts to bumiputra giant companies.

10th June

Zahid says Umno Youth will, at the the Umno General Assembly on June 18, reveal instances of nepotism in the awarding of mega projects.

13th June

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad denies foreign media reports of a rift between him and Anwar.

17th June

Anwar obtains an injunction against Khalid Jafri, author of 50 Dalil Mengapa Anwar Tidak Boleh Menjadi PM (50 Reasons why Anwar cannot become PM).

19th June

Dr Mahathir says he will support Anwar if there is a contest for the number two post. He also says that Umno will investigate whether Khalid’s book had any basis.

21st June

Anwar reiterates his loyalty to Dr Mahathir.

26th June

Police receives four reports in connection with Khalid’s book, including a report from former Malacca Chief Minister Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Thamby Chik.

30th June

Anwar refutes speculation that his position as Finance Minister will be undermined by the appointment of Tun Daim Zainuddin as Special Functions Minister.

1st July

Anwar says there is an attempt to topple him and claims that Khalid’s book is the tool used to achieve this. He also denies Bank Negara Governor Tan Sri Ahmad Mohd Dom would resign.

4th July

Anwar obtains fresh injunction on Khalid Jafri’s book.

11th July

Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Rahim Noor says police are making detail investigations into the book.

20th July

Anwar denies reports of policy differences with Dr Mahathir following the resignation of group editors of Berita Harian and Utusan Melayu.

31st July

Anwar succeeds in getting an interim injuction to stop distribution of Khalid’s book.

1st August

A businessman implicated in the Khalid’s book is detained for questioning.

7th August

Anwar again denies rumours that he will resign because of differences with Dr Mahathir.

11th August

Anwar, as Penang Umno liaison chief, along with the state’s 11 divisions, again pledges his loyalty to Dr Mahathir, reiterating his promise that he will not challenge Dr Mahathir in the next party’s elections.

12th August

* Khalid Jafri is charged in court and in connection with the case, Magnum Corporation Berhad’s executive director Datuk Nallakaruppan Solaiman, is charged with possessing 125 rounds of ammunition without permit.
* Anwar again denies rumours of him resigning.

15th August

Anwar calls on people to rally behind Dr Mahathir for the country’s economic recovery.

19th August

A Sessions Court fixes Khalid’s hearing for Dec 7.

22nd August

Attorney-General Tan Sri Mokhtar Abdullah does not rule out the possibility of more arrests in connection with Khalid’s book.

27th August

Bank Negara governor Tan Sri Ahmad Dom and his deputy Datuk Fong Weng Phak resign. No reasons given. Later it was reported that they quit in protest of the economic measures put forward by Mahathir.

31st August

Tension can be seen between the wives of the PM and DPM. According to Dr Wan Azizah, Dr Siti Hasmah adopted a regal pose and brushed her hand aside when Dr Wan tried to shake hands with her during the National Day celebrations in Penang. “In politics, you’ve got to have a thick skin”: Dr Wan Azizah. (source: Borneo Post (Sabah))

1st September

Evening: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad meets Mentris Besar at Sri Perdana while Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim meets Penang Umno division leaders at his official residence. Apparently, the PM wanted to show the MBs the “evidence” of Anwar’s “problem”, and to ask their opinion.

2nd September

* morning: rumours of Anwar resigning circulate among the press
* 10am: Anwar meets PM. PM asks him to resign. Anwar refuses. PM gives him until 3pm to relent.
* 4pm: Four journalists arrive at Anwar’s residence at 47, Jalan Damansara. A policeman on duty inside Anwar’s house asks them to stay outside. A number of cars believed to be of his supporters are seen parked inside the compound.
* 4.30pm: The group of journalists grows bigger and a few policemen are now seen inside the compound watching the gate.
* 5pm: More of Anwar’s friends and supporters begin arriving.
* 5.30pm: Two police cars and Land Rovers arrive to control rush hour traffic outside the house and the number of pressmen swells to about 50. They seal off part of the road leading to the homes of Anwar and Dr Mahathir.
* 6pm: More supporters arrive, including some who claim they are university students. By this time the crowd inside the house is estimated at 100.
* 7pm: Anwar’s sacking letter reaches him. A white Volvo with several people inside is seen leaving the house.
* 7.45pm: Three FRU trucks carrying personnel and one police Land Rover are seen passing by Anwar’s place and park in the area around the Prime Minister’s house, 100m away.
* 7.50pm: Anwar’s wife Datin Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail comes out of the house alone, and drives off in a Mitsubishi Pajero. She looks calm. According to Anwar’s supporters, she drove to the Prime Minister’s official residence, 100m away. And according to some sources, Wan Azizah drove to say goodbye to the PM and Dr Siti Hasmah. There is some information saying that Dr Siti Hasmah was so touched that she wept.
* 8.30pm: One of the reporters calls Anwar’s press secretary Adlin M. Sabri, who is inside the house. When asked, Adlin says Anwar will not issue a statement and neither will he (Adlin). Asked what they are doing inside, he says they are praying.
* 8.45pm: One of Anwar’s lawyers, Sulaiman Abdullah, arrives at his house.
* 9.40pm: IGP Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor is seen passing by Anwar’s house in a Mercedes.
* 10.10pm: Two women place two candles at the driveway of the house, after being refused entry by the police.
* 11.30pm: IGP Tan Sri Rahim Noor tells reporters at Bukit Aman that Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim is under investigation for allegations made in book “50 reasons why Anwar cannot become Prime Minister.” He said police was monitoring the security situation in the country.

3rd September (Thursday)

* 1am: Anwar’s press secretary Adlin M. Zabri informs the media near his Jalan Damansara residence that the former Deputy Prime Minister has no statement to make.
* 1.15am: Anwar’s political secretary Anuar Shaari assures supporters that everything will be okay and tells them to go home.
* 5am: Journalists camp outside Sri Perdana and Anwar’s home while armed police patrol the area, keeping journalists and supporters about 100m away.
* 8.45am: Magnum public affairs director Datuk S. Nallakaruppan, who is detained under the ISA, is brought to the High Court at Jalan Raja for hearing of application to transfer him from the Bukit Aman lock-up to Sungai Buloh prison.
* 9.25am: Some 30 General Operations Force personnel armed with M-16s in two trucks stop outside Anwar’s residence. They get down and walk towards Sri Perdana.
* 9.40am: The hearing of Nalla’s case begins before Justice Abdul Wahab Patail and the contents of four affidavits are later made public.
* 10.35am: Nalla’s lawyers Manjeet Singh Dhillon and Balwant Singh Sidhu arrive at Anwar’s residence.
* 11.15am: The lawyers leave after declining to say if they briefed Anwar on Nalla’s case.
* 11.55am: A four-wheel drive vehicle carrying Anwar’s and his family’s belongings leaves the residence and heads for Anwar’s own house at Bukit Damansara.
* 12.15pm: Umno Youth chief Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi goes into Anwar’s residence.
* 2.35pm: Zahid with Umno Youth secretary Saifuddin Nasution Ismail drive out of Anwar’s house.
* 2.57pm: A Mercedes Benz believed to be driven by Anwar’s father leaves the house.
* 3pm: Anwar moves out of the house with his wife and children in a four-wheel drive vehicle after telling reporters that he will hold a press conference at his Bukit Damansara home. Halfway, his entourage passes the Prime Minister’s entourage of cars, which was heading for the city.
* 3.08pm: Anwar denies allegations in the affidavit and tells a press conference at his house that there is a political conspiracy against him at the highest level.
* 4.25pm: Minister in PM’s Department Datuk Dr Ibrahim Saad, Umno Youth chief Zahid Hamidi, PAS president Fadzil Noor, are seen with Anwar in the house.
* 5.05pm: Manjeet Singh arrives at Anwar’s house in a Mercedes Benz. He leaves 40 minutes later.
* 6.05pm: Two Astro technicians arrive to install a satellite dish.
* 7.15pm: Anwar goes live on CNBC in a telephone interview, saying that he hopes for the best but is prepared for the worst. Some 50 Anwar supporters, including former Deputy Health Minister Datuk Farid Ariffin watch the broadcast in the living room.
* 7.25pm: Anwar concludes the CNBC interview, comes downstairs and hugs Farid. They then perform the maghrib prayers.
* 7.35pm: Anwar holds discussions with supporters.
* 8.07pm: Dr Mahathir arrives at PWTC to chair the Umno Supreme Council meeting. Present at PWTC are some 500 Umno supporters.
* 8.15pm: Anwar leaves his home in a Pajero heading for PWTC. His wife and two aides accompany him.
* 8.30pm: Anwar arrives to cheers.
* 8.45pm: Dr Mahathir chairs Umno supreme council meeting.
* 10.20pm: Anwar’s supporters who number 1,000 start chanting and singing.
* 10.30pm: Anwar’s supporters distribute two private and confidential letters from Anwar to the Prime Minister dated Aug 25 and Aug 28 defending himself against all allegations.

More comments:

* Anwar expelled from UMNO during Supreme Exco meeting at PWTC. A few ministers were jeered when they made their way to PWTC, including Daim Zainuddin, Sabaruddin Chik and Najib Tun Razak. When Dr Mahathir emerged at 1.30 am (Friday morning), he was booed, jeered and pelted with plastic bottles and cans. Apparently, Zahid also raised his hand during the “consensus”. He was asked a few times whether he’s sure, and he said yes. “Sources close to Dato Zahid” explains that the so called consensus decision of the UMNO supreme council to expel Anwar never was a consensus. The meeting began with Mahathir simply saying that Anwar is a womanizer and must be expelled. He said that Sanusi Junid, Megat Junid and Daim showed him all the evidence. The “evidence” was the in form of prostitutes and transvetites brougth to see him. Anwar then swore in the name of Allah that he never commited any of the sexual misconducts and that he will not resign. The attack on Anwar was then lead by Ibrahim Ali and Sulaiman Mohd. Four members stood to defend Anwar. They were Dato Khalid Yunus, Dato’ Ibrahim Saad, Dato Afifuddin Omar and Dato’ Zahid Hamidi. Zahid objected because Mahathir was basically making the Supreme Council into a court where he himself is the police, judge, prosecutor and executioner. Mahathir continued rambling that Anwar is immoral and must be expelled. Mahathir insisted and the other Supreme Council members played along with him. He then announced to the media the so call “unanimous decision”. No show cause letter was ever issued to Anwar, no discplinary proceeding was initiated and he was just summarily dismissed.
* Electric supply to Anwar’s former official resident was cut off the very night he was expelled.

4th September (Friday)

* 12.35am: Anwar emerges from meeting and tells his supporters that he has been sacked. He vows to fight against all the charges levelled at him.
* 12.45am: Anwar leaves PWTC to shouts of Hidup Anwar.
* 12.50am: Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad tells a press conference that the supreme council has decided to expel Anwar from the party.
* 1am: Supreme Council members start leaving.
* 1.05am: Dr Mahathir walks out. Crowd gets unruly and starts hurling objects in his direction. He is escorted by his bodyguards and driven away. The crowd continues shouting.
* Afternoon: Anwar performed Friday prayers at the Bukit Damansara mosque. He gave a speech after the prayers and the congregation was shouting “Allahuakbar”. They then carried him around the compound. Even the non-Malays in the surrounding offices came out to cheer him and shouted their support for him.
* Evening: According to one eyewitness who went to Anwar’s personal residence this evening, the following persons were there giving support and speeches: Chandra Muzafar, Samad Ismail, YB Ruhani Ahmad (Chairman of MARA and leader of the govt backbenchers club), Marina Yusoff, Dato Idris Jusoh, Dato Khalid Ibrahim (chairman of Guthrie), Prof Syed Naqib Al Attas, Dato Zahid Hamidi (there most of the time).

5th September

* Officially launches reform movement to “stand firm for justice, fight corruption and cronyism”.
* Several state governments have directed religious leaders not to allow mosques to be used for political purposes.

6th September

* Anwar cancels planned nationwide tour at last minute, due to fear of a backlash from the police.
* The New Straits Times quoted the country’s deputy police chief Norian Mai as confirming the arrest of Anwar’s adopted brother Siukam Sukma Darmawam, a businessman based in Kuala Lumpur.

7th September

* Anwar announces 2nd plan to go on nationwide tour. Scheduled to begin on 9th, 2 days before start of Commonwealth Games. Zahid pressured by some of his members to resign.
* Mahathir appoints Mustapa Mohamad, Entrepreneur Development Minister as Second Finance Minister with immediate effect. Mahathir will be First Finance Minister. Mustapa will continue to handle his current ministerial position, Bernama added. Some people are not pleased with this choice because allegedly, he made a mess while in charge of MARA.
* Mahathir gives official reason for Anwar’s sacking as: “doubts on his moral and personal integrity”.

8th September

Anwar cancels plans for a nationwide tour for the second time and will instead receive supporters at his home in the capital.

20th September

* Anwar arrested under ISA at 8.30pm at his home

21th September

* Zahid arrested under ISA at Kota Kinabalu
* Kamaruddin Mohd Nor detained under ISA

28th September

* Tian Chua arrested (from the Voice of the Malaysian People rights group, who chairs the Coalition for People’s Democracy)

28th September

* Sukma and Dr Munawar file appeal

29th September

* After 10 days in detention, Anwar finally emerges with a black eye and injured hand at the sessions court. His case is referred to the High Court and bail request was denied.

30th September

* Umno Youth Chief Zahid released from ISA, as well as 4 leaders of ABIM.
* Dr Mahathir hints that Anwar’s injuries in detention may be self-inflicted

2nd October

* Zahid announces his resignation as Umno Youth Chief. “The decision to resign is not due to any particular party or UMNO leader,” he told a news conference. “It is due to the realisation of the importance of party unity and the sacrifice I had to make as leader of the youth wing.”

“As a leader with responsibility, I thought resigning was something I had to do,” he said. “I will continue to work for the party as a member and I will remain in UMNO. I hope my descision is respected by all parties.” (source: AFP)

3rd October

* Kamaruddin Mohd Nor released from ISA detention
* Seven Malaysian women’s groups protests against alleged police violence and in support of Anwar and his associates who have been detained without trial. The groups are All Women’s Action Society, the Partners of Community Organisation, Sabah Women’s Resource Group, Women’s Development Collective, Tenaganita, the Women’s Friendship Association and the women’s wing of the committee in support of city exploration.

4th October

* Anwar taken to University Hospital for medical checkup

5th October

* KL Police refuse permit for pro-government rally at Bukit Jalil on security grounds

8th October

* Anwar allowed to see his family after several requests
* Wan Azizah files High Court application for Anwar’s release

13th October

* Anwar’s eldest daughter, Nurul Izzah, an 18-year-old chemical engineering student meets Indonesian president, BJ Habibie

15th October

* Nurul Izzah meets Phillipines president, Joseph Estrada who expressed his continued support for her father – though he stressed this was his personal position and not that

of the Philippine government.

2nd November

* Anwar’s scheduled High Court hearing date

EOF

Exclusive photos of the Padas River, Tenom train plunge, 9th April 2008

On Wednesday the 9th of April, 2.50pm, a Sabah Railway train (locomotive and 2 coaches) with 41 passengers and 3 staff, including driver Jividol Thaddeus, 49 left the Tenom station for Beaufort, a 49 km journey. About 15 minutes later, with Tenom 3km behind, the soil holding the track gave way, and the train plunged 20m (some say 20ft, some say 10m) into the Padas river, famous for whitewater rafting.

It had been raining continuously in that area for days.

As a result, two were killed and 39 injured. Those killed was Taminah Sikin, 51 who was believed to have drowned and Tukiman Misapan, 60 who was pinned underneath the wreckage. Taminah was found quickly but the Tukiman’s body was only extricated 3 hours after the incident. As for the other passengers, 3 were seriously injured, 17 had minor injuries and 19 were unhurt.

On 12th April 2008, Sabah Railway Department director James Wong was reported to have revealed that his department’s technicians had done their daily routine maintenance checks along the rail tracks between 2.35pm and 2.50pm that fateful day and found nothing amiss: no warning signs of instability etc. Still, half an hour later, the worst happened.

Sabah’s 134km railway track is unique in that it is the only railway service operating in Borneo.

Here are some photos – courtesy of a Little Bird.

I suppose it’s not really appropriate to say this now, but the sight of those railcars in action immediately makes me visualise them as perfect supplements to a weight loss program.

Source
Newsreports in the Daily Express, New Straits Times & The Star

Blatant display of power wastage on Kota Kinabalu streetlights

The following pictures were taken on 6th April 2008 (Sunday) about 10.50am. I was driving towards Lido from Inanam on the bypass. I had just passed by City Mall when I noticed that alternate streetlights still had their lights on. I waited until I reached the Bukit Padang-Luyang intersection before taking the following pictures.

In case you missed it, here’s a close-up, intended to show the contrast between a bright blue sky (associated with daylight) and a bright street light (associated with the night), which electricity bills are paid for by the people.

Having said that, of course us consumers must also do our part to minimise any wastage of resources, like ensuring our bathroom faucets are properly turned off after use.

How many Ferraris with Sabahan plate numbers are there? (Part 3)

Back in February I mentioned about a real Ferrari F430 roaming Kota Kinabalu streets.

Then one fine day a month later, filling up petrol I saw that Shell was doing what it did the year before: selling models of Ferraris. And true enough, a model of a F430 Challenge was there, as well as the other Ferrari I saw years back, 360 Challenge Stradale.

Last year, Shell Malaysia Trading Sdn Bhd MD Mohzani Wahab was reported to have said, “This is a chance for every one to own a Ferrari at an affordable price.”

Quite true sir.

So, instead of having to pay upwards of RM1 million, I only need to pay RM8 RM8.90[thanks snow for the correction] for my F430.

My verdict: it’s still overpriced! Not worth the price: another money spinning idea by Shell-Ferrari.

Certified Ethical Hacker

After taking the CEH exam in February, I finally received the certificate on the 26th of March, more than a month later.

Having said that, I’d like to reiterate that at a certain stage of one’s life, one can never reach as high level a hacker as one would like anymore, due to other commitments, especially time.

The other, followup course is coming up in June.

Still, doing well in any exam, especially a relatively expensive one like this is an achievement to be savoured. The last time I took an exam which cost a few hundred ringgit was on 24th June 2006 when I sat for the IELTS exam. I scored an average of 8.6 out of a possible 9 then, but surprisingly did worst on a topic I thought I’d get a 9: writing.

Akademi Fantasia 6: Mama Rina brings the house down

Ever since the end of AF3, the franchise has basically been under my radar, not helped by some forgettable performances by the so-called champions of the top reality show of the nation, one mosquito-slapping throughout the entire performance and the other’s vocal control getting worse and worse as the song went on.

But since last night’s theme was rock, my favourite genre, I thought I’d break a record of sorts and sit through the entire 90 minutes.

It was surprisingly worth it, as I was treated to two extremes: one whose performance could be the worst ever dished out by an AF student, a tone deaf monstrosity. Perhaps one could even say it’s a drug rehab type of performance. Is it any coincidence that his name is very similar to the name of AF4′s champion? This is not to say that anybody bearing that name can’t sing, as very well proven by the champion of OIAM in 2006.

And the other one is of course Mama Rina’s cover of Metallica’s magnum opus, Enter Sandman. It was not a perfect performance, but still it was so good that it brought the house down, and definitely made me dig up Metallica’s black album right after, and brought back memories of 17th August, 1991 when, a mere 5 days after the release of the black album, I saw Metallica in front of my eyes performing that song.

As for Mama Rina, how I wish she performed the real version and not the truncated 2:30 version, but I’m sure that ditty is going to be her signature song once AF6 ends.

In conclusion, at last a performance that restored, if only a little bit, my faith in AF.