Monthly Archives: June 2008

Ferrari-sponsored car in Penampang

Spotted this on the afternoon of the 9th of June 2008.

Now I am not sure if Ferrari paid the owner of the car to display its name on the car, but I think the answer is most likely no.

Of course there are quite a lot of people who like to “decorate” their cars like this.

Perhaps without us realising it, we’re giving the relevant companies free advertising. And in many cases, we even bought the stickers to be stuck on our cars. So not only are we giving free advertising, we are paying for it!

Shouldn’t it be the other way round?

If Ferrari pays me money to advertise for them via my car, I would gladly envelope it with their stickers.

The most interesting urinal in Kota Kinabalu

Grace Point, or perhaps more popularly known as Double Six, is an open air eatery in Kota Kinabalu with a difference, which some people have described as “a high-end hawker centre.” It’s also located a stone’s throw away from the Double Six memorial.

There are many varieties of food to try, and the place is very clean and parking is free as at the time of writing. There’s a playground for the kids too.

This eatery also probably has the city’s most high-end free-to-enter washroom, boasting undisputably the city’s most interesting urinal:

Yes, it’s the infamous urinal with a garden, and that’s right, you can see through from the other side of the glass, it’s not one-way :-)

A common sight in Western countries perhaps, but in conservative Malaysia?

This urinal has taken at least one person aback.

20 days later, it’s petrol station fill-up party again [stations closing a mere rumour?]

1947: I read in The Star online, posted 1727 that it’s all mere rumour. However, it’s true that stations will not be accepting credit cards “for the time being,” due to the service charge issue. Well, if that’s really true then there’s no point of getting a new card and doing a balance transfer. Anyway, according to the paper, rumour has it that gas kiosks are closing for 3 days from Wednesday because “kiosk dealers nationwide were demanding higher commissions following the recent fuel hike.” The paper further said that officials from Shell Malaysia and the Sabah Petroleum Dealers Association has confirmed that no such closure will happen and that a Sabah Shell spokesman said that their retail stations nationwide will continue with normal operating hours. However, it seems that people were not taking any risks, with even Keningau seeing queues as long as 2 kilometres! Well, if it really is, news sure travels quickly these days, doesn’t it?

1920: Got a forwarded email from a friend that said: “Just got the news that the Petrol Dealers Association has asked all petrol station across Malaysia to stop selling petrol/diesel on Thursday
(6/26) – close their station. The Ministry has called them for a meeting today to avoid all this but so far no news yet. So if possible fill up the tank on Wed.” So probably it’s best to avoid the madness now, and fill up tomorrow if necessary. Most likely the association and the relevant ministry will come to a compromise and everything will be back to normal come tomorrow.

1818: A senior member of the local media informed that gas stations owners are asking for additional commission. If not ALL gas stations in Malaysia are going to close for 8 hours on 26th June (Thursday).

1755: A brother informed that there are long queues at all gas stations in Tuaran and Tamparuli.

1702: A friend informed that he’s been queuing for 45 minutes at a station in Kota Kinabalu: rumour has it that gas stations are not going to sell any fuel starting tomorrow, for reasons as yet unknown.

1629: A brother informed that he heard many are filling up: rumours are making the rounds that gas station workers are going to stage a boycott. 4th of June 2008, déjà vu?

1438: first of countless blog entries on this matter featured on appears

Nobody has heard of these people, but they wrote some of the world’s biggest ever pop hits

Do the names Max Martin or Jorgen Elofsson ring any bells to you? If you want to make it big in music, but away from the limelight, learn from these people. They are truly reference standards in pop songwriting today. And perhaps by sheer coincidence, they are all Swedish.

Martin Karl “Max Martin” Sandberg (above), 37 wrote, or co-wrote, the following worldwide smash hits:
- Britney Spears – …Baby One More Time
- Backstreet Boys – Shape of My Heart
- “Oops!… I Did It Again” by Britney Spears
- Backstreet Boys – I Want It That Way
- Bon Jovi – It’s My Life
- Backstreet Boys – Show Me the Meaning of Being Lonely
- Backstreet Boys – Quit playing games with my heart
- Backstreet Boys – As long as you love me [one of their signature songs and to me the undisputed pop song of the year in 1997]

Click here to read more

Has this ever made the news in Malaysia?

As reported in The Star on 19th June 2008:

Sex VCD exposes wife’s lesbian affair

A HUSBAND suspected his wife was having an affair with another man. He was wrong. To his shock, he discovered a VCD with explicit scenes of his wife having sex with a woman.

Harian Metro reported that the woman was the wife’s office colleague and the affair had been going on for the past few months.

The paper said the man grew suspicious when his wife came home from work with love bites on her body. He thought she might be fooling around with a male colleague.

He confronted his wife, who denied having an affair with any man.

A whole new light was thrown on the affair when the husband found the hidden VCD and discovered that his rival was a woman.

…I guess some of the hanky panky were also performed on office chairs


Have you seen or taken a more beautiful Kota Kinabalu sunset photo?

TV Smith went to Sabah recently and took breathtaking photographs, then published them in his website, including a stunning photograph of Kota Kinabalu’s sunset, taken from his hotel room.

Being a fan of sunsets, I don’t think I have seen one better captured on camera. Talking about sunsets, I think we need to slow down more and appreciate these amazing, huge “paintings” in the sky that lasts only a few minutes every day; I don’t think even Michelangelo could match these great frescoes of the heavens. In fact, on Sunday around 6.30pm while at Grace Point I saw this on the sky:

OK back to TV Smith: he also took some street photography that ranks among the very best I have ever seen, including a photograph of whitewater rafting in Kiulu while being watched by a buffalo.

Heck, he even managed to make Kampung Likas look beautiful!

Why I like wedding receptions in the kampung

By kampung I mean places so remote that it’s more than likely you had to spend the night sleeping on the floor or in a car.

I’ve had a few encounters like this over the years, in places like Kg Morodobou (Kota Marudu), Kg Libang Laut (Tambunan-Ranau border) and Kg Talantang (deep in the jungles of Kiulu).

One of my most memorable experiences is helping to carry musical equipment, including heavy amplifiers, guitars and loudspeakers through miles of muddy and mountainous jungle paths to a relative’s wedding reception in a remote village. Yes, people who live there definitely don’t need to purchase any strength equipment at all: you’d get your weight training whether you like it or not. Definitely no electricity there, had to use a generator. The “stage” was a bamboo floor simply put onto the ground. To top it off, it was raining heavily throughout the reception, the tarpaulin cover was leaking (rainwater was dripping onto the instruments!) and I slipped and fell at least once on the slippery ground, ruining my clothes. Truly Woodstock stuff.

Then at another reception several years later, I gingerly made my way downstairs after trying to sleep through all the chatter, only to find the stairs almost impossible to go through.

The latest kampung wedding reception I attended was last month, although it was not as extreme as my previous experiences.

At the usual receptions held in halls, restaurants or hotels, you probably won’t find the following:

The JKKK Chairman himself barbecueing wild boar:

Extremely loud band playing right next to the newlyweds’ bedroom, but this boy couldn’t care less:

Then I witnessed, for the first time ever at a wedding reception, the band performing Metallica’s “Enter Sandman”. I only had a mobile phone to video the momentous event, but you get the idea:

Click here to see the video

Bad start to the week: Penampang floods for second time in 3 days

Oh no, not again! Talk about Monday blues and the the amazing speed at which Penampang gets flooded these days.

I was at the office when my son called around 4pm saying water from the river has reached downstairs. Never mind I thought – relatively, it’s usually a mere puddle the 2nd time.

How wrong I was.

When I finally left the office at 5.20pm after receiving a frantic phonecall from the wife a few minutes earlier saying the flood has returned, it was already raining … you guessed it right … cats and dogs.

It was a big mistake leaving the office at that time – I should left the office much earlier – it took me 90 minutes to reach my wife’s office on the other side of the city, where it should’ve taken 30 minutes at most, and during the best of times, less than 10 minutes.

Another tip is to switch on the radio to the local channel – they usually give updates on flood situations – I was in front of Sutera Harbour when the police went on the radio saying the road in front of Airport View Hotel was flooded – no wonder it’s jam packed on both roads from Kota Kinabalu city centre leading there!

Predictably, due to the delay caused by the traffic gridlock, I could not even reach my house – Inobong road was severely flooded – I think up to waist level at its peak sometime in the evening.

So we spent the night at my wife’s sister’s house near the river but on a hill.

I woke up early the next morning to survey the damage, and this among what I saw:

FRIGHTENING SIGHT: 6.13am: view of Moyog river from Penampang Proper near the bridge -it’s the same level as the road

WITHIN TOUCHING DISTANCE: 6.20am: the Moyog a mere few feet from the bridge

EXPENSIVE CARS ARE NOT EXEMPT: 7.44am: An upmarket SUV stranded on the roadside, Jalan Inobong

INSTANT CAMEL TROPHY TRACK: 7.50am: A Mitsubishi Pajero gingerly making its way in knee-high water on Jalan Inobong. I think last night it was at least waist-level at this spot.

IS THIS A ROAD OR A RIVER: 8.11am: partial view of a flooded 400m stretch of Jalan Inobong

FORCED TO TAKE NATURAL DISASTER LEAVE: 7.46am – yours truly giving thumbs-down while braving Jalan Inobong clad in office wear

To make the thrashing of my day complete, a colleague SMSed around midday to inform that a few rooms at the office were leaking. I think we really need to stock up on a used cisco or two, just in case…

7th June 2008: Bad weekend: working, Penampang floods again, skipped: company family day, friend’s wedding

If I have ever done live blogging when floodwaters downstairs are rising, now would be it.

In Penampang, not-so-heavy rain started 4 something pm, but by 6pm the Moyog river was already threateningly swollen. So, it’s 25th April all over again.

Thank God, it was not as bad as the last time.

The meter-high barrier around the house was swamped just after 7pm:

As at 7.18pm it was chest-level…

…which of course would again showcase the disappearing staircase:

Here are how the above pictures would look like during flood-free times, respectively:

Monitoring the water level every 15 minutes, it peaked at a few inches more, around 8.30pm.

So this latest event seems to have summed up my weekend so far.

First, it was a full-day working Saturday from 7am, when we had a statewide network and applications disaster recovery drill.

This drill had already caused some of us to skip the company family day in Kundasang which so happened to fall on the same day. Never mind, I thought, I still have a friend’s wedding in Tamparuli to look forward to. But no, by the time I left the office in Likas around 4, it was already raining cats and dogs.

I had to double up shopping at Central Plaza because the wife said the river’s going to spill over anytime.

Sabah Medical Centre customers do not understand English?

Sorry, title of post is not entirely accurate – as you can see clearly, the notice was not only in English but the other main languages of the country too, so definitely there’s no excuse of not understanding it. Quite mind boggling, especially as I could see that some of them are even wearing luxury watches.


Spotted earlier today near the cashier counter on the 5th floor.

Instead of the expected pieces of paper / envelopes containing suggestions, you can see other things instead:

Perhaps any transparent locked box with a hole on top immediately means donation box to some people?