Monthly Archives: July 2008

Emceeing a wedding reception

In all my years of dabbling in emceeing, I had never done weddings receptions, until last Sunday.

I felt a few major differences: the previous functions I handled were generally protocol laden, hence rather stiff, if not sombre. And I did not really feel that all eyes were on me.

Doing a wedding was different. I had to do some coaxing every now and then, little attempts at humour here and there.

Then there was that part where I could easily make a fool of myself: the Grand Entrance, which includes the little march of the most important 8 persons to the stage, the ribbon releasing, the cake cutting, the champagne pouring, and perhaps the most unnerving of all, the three toasts, all in front of around 2,000 persons.

As usual, no matter how meticulous the preparation is, one had to be prepared for any eventualities. I had on hand a 2-page detailed agenda of the day’s program. By the end of it all, around 5.30pm, it had become this:

Click here to see the pages

Wedding weekend, followed by yet another major flood in Penampang

Last weekend was a wedding weekend – my sister in law got married. We had a reception at the house on Saturday afternoon after church, and 24 hours later a major flood hit again (I think for the 5th time this year).

The following photo was taken at 8.42am on the 26th, before the reception in the afternoon. Take note of the swing (I hope you can see it).

There was another reception at KDCA Hall on the afternoon of the 27th, which I emceed. Then in the later afternoon we all went to the groom’s house to have dinner, then arrived home around 8pm. The water level was already rising then. I think it reached its peak at 10pm.

The following photo was taken at 8.25am on the 28th. The swing is half submerged.

Shattered glass sliding door near Imperial Hotel, Warisan Square, Kota Kinabalu

Spotted 14th July, 7:06pm.

Apparently broken only minutes or even seconds before.

I was hurrying back to the car after running an errand at Centre Point.

Only had time to ask the person who happened to be standing next to me, who apparently is a hotel employee. He was equally clueless as to what actually happened.

Kadazandusun-related work of art worth RM117,000 on display at Universiti Malaysia Sabah, 28th July – 1st August 2008

In May 2008, “Huminodun”, a digital art piece by Sabahan artist Yee I-Lann, 37 sold for USD38,000 (RM117,000) at a Christie’s auction in Hong Kong.

It was printed on a Kodak Endura paper measuring around 1 metre by 2 metres.

It’s part of an 8-part combo called “Kinabalu series” which “explores the eroded spiritual power of a Kadazandusun woman and her shifting relationship to her land.”

On the 22nd of July 2008, the Borneo Post reported that for the first time ever, the “Kinabalu Series” will be on show, at least in Sabah. So head over to the library of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS), Kota Kinabalu between 28th July and 1st Aug 2008.


Is a Mercedes-Benz E200 Kompressor really more cost effective than a Proton Perdana V6 in the long run?

If the Menteri Besar of Terengganu is to be believed, yes that is true.

Does that mean that we all, if we can afford it of course, better go out and buy Mercedes-Benzs, instead of the top-of-the range national car, despite the fact that its initial cost is double the national car’s?

Needless to say, this is a big slap to local car manufacturers: if leaders don’t have confidence in the national car, how about the masses?

It was reported that the Terengganu state government has purchased 14 units of the Mercedes E200 Kompressor costing RM245,000 each:

… to replace its fleet of Proton Perdana V6 Executives, which are a mere 4 years old.

Reasons given:

To cut cost in the long run: Proton Perdanas are not robust enough for continuous long-distance journeys, which is the norm for state executive councillors and senior officials. They are expensive to maintain, and the gear boxes are particularly vulnerable. Extensive repairs can cost RM50,000 within less than 2 years. In the long run, the Merc is cheaper to maintain and easier on the fuel. Of course, reading this, we wonder how the Perdana was driven.

High second hand market price: this one I dont think anybody could argue.

Still, this decision did not go down well with the top guns, where the Deputy Prime Minister was quoted to have said, in essence: everybody must use national cars. I use one and the PM uses one too.

Someone commented:

Well, If you really want to save cost, you can buy proton saga or myvi or any cheaper car. Let say, Kancil: really save cost! Why, it must be Mercedes E200 Kompressor??? They can’t sit in any non executive cars? We vote you to serve us with public money. Not to buy luxury cars and enjoy it! Dear public, do you will avoid or say don’t to any MP if they use Kancil or Viva? Than, why they need all this? Please don’t give Status as reason. Well, public is your boss. and we vote you to serve us.

What do you think? Should we all drive our old heap for a little while longer while we save up for that brand new SLK, all in the name of long-term cost savings?

Barack Obama’s link to Sabah

It would seem that Sabah-born persons have a knack for the extraordinary. The latest is that a Sabah-born man’s brother-in-law is none other than Barack Obama, the US presidential hopeful.

Dr Konrad Ng, 34, assistant professor at the University of Hawaii married Obama’s half-sister Dr Maya Soetoro, 38 in 2003. They have a daughter Suhaila, 3.

The Ngs in May 2007

He has a PhD in Political Science, while she has a PhD in Education and teaches social studies at La Pietra Hawaii School for Girls.

Predictably, he’s done quite a few posts at Obama’s community blog.

Maya and Obama have the same mom, Ann Dunham.

Dr Ng’s father was born in Sandakan and his mother in Kudat. They are now Canadian citizens.

Ng said he “tries to visit Malaysia every few years.”

Well, how would Ng describe Obama?

He has a thorough understanding of the challenges we face and sound judgment on how we should address these challenges. Barack is a dedicated family man and cares deeply about transforming the world into a better place so that all families will have the same opportunities to do better. South-East Asia is a place of connection for him and a region that he understands well. It gave him numerous examples of alternative modes of communication and perspective.

Whatever it is, it’s not everyday that one gets to pose for family pictures like this with someone who could very well be America’s next president (Ng is at far right with Suhaila):