Monthly Archives: June 2009

How I helped one of the world’s top bloggers

Full-time technology blogger Amit Agarwal of is surely one of the world’s top bloggers, with more than 50,000 feed subscribers and more than 2,000 fans on Facebook.

Back in 2006, he mentioned that his blog gets 1.25 million hits a month.

He’s has never explicitly revealed his income from blogging, but some people have mentioned USD20,000 a month, and some even said it’s more than USD1 million a year.

So it was an honour to provide a little assistance to him:

Popimasi to be featured on Astro’s Channel 180

Update 2/2/14: Popimasi was formerly known as Papier Mache.


UPDATE 29th June 2009

Shooting starts 4th July. The program airs every Sunday at 3pm. Popimasi will appear on the 11th episode. This week episode 1 will be aired.

Had a “discussion” session on Saturday 27th June at Firehouse, with a surprise guest making an appearance.


I was informed just now that fledgling Tamparuli-based rock band Popimasi will be featured in Astro’s Channel 180 (Muzik Aktif), the nation’s first TV channel to feature 100% Malaysian content and one of its first digital channels. It was launched in March.

For that purpose, that channel’s videography team will be coming over here end of this month or early next month to shoot a videoclip for their arguably most well-known song “Nung Olingan Oku Dia“.

That song has been played in SabahVfm and SuriaFM since last year, and recently added to PONet and Sabahan.FM’s repertoire.

First H1N1 case in Sabah

It’s probably just a matter of time before this happened, and something that will make a lot of people in this part of the world start scrambling to find out as much as the virus instead of reading colon cleanse reviews.

There was a false alarm in Sabah on 13th May 2009, but just after noon on 15th May 2009, Malaysia confirmed its first case of the A(H1N1) flu: a 21-year-old student who returned from New York in the United States 2 days earlier.

Then, a month later, on 15th June, Sabah confirmed its first case, the 16th case in the country: a 15-year-old (some reports say 14) Sandakan girl who arrived in Kota Kinabalu at 6.10pm on a flight from the United States 2 days earlier.

The girl and her mother departed the US on the 9th and had a stopover in Hong Kong before continuing their journey home.

She is a PR in the US and came back for a holiday.

The thermal cameras installed at the airport detected that her body temperature was above 38 C.

Health ministry staff immediately brought her to the Lingzhi quarantine centre in Kepayan for further tests.

Fortunately, she’s doing well and on the way to a full recovery.


As of 23rd June 2009:
- total of 69 cases in Malaysia
- total of 56,865 cases worldwide, with 272 deaths.
- most cases in US: 22,847
- most deaths in Mexico (115) and the US (113). The country with the 3rd most number of deaths is Canada with 16.

Recommendations from the Health Ministry:
- DO postpone travel to countries with Influenza A (H1N1) outbreaks unless it is really unavoidable, to curb its spread.

- Those exhibiting symptoms of the virus should:
(i) seek treatment immediately
(ii) refrain from social activities and public places

Relevant phone numbers:
The Health Ministry: 03-88810200 / 03-88810300

Daily Express, 16th June 2009

Kurutut: traditional Sabahan luge / sled

There are 2 types of kurutut, the first one is simple, made of the bases of coconut fronds or of the areca-nut plant.

The second is more complex, its components are:
(i) frame constructed from the wood of the “biabas” tree (chosen due to its durability)
(ii) wheels made from “pakuh” tree (some people mentioned papaya tree too)
(iii) nails

There is the 2-wheel variant for beginners and 3-wheel variant for the “pros” [all photos taken in Bundu Tuhan, courtesy of Johnny Ghani]:

One would ride it like so:

Note the “brake”.

Preparing for a race:

A race in progress:

Apparently this was very popular among youngsters in the 1960s in Bundu Tuhan, located along the Kota Kinabalu – Ranau road. Where now every kid wants a PS3, back then possession of a kurutut was mandatory. Sure beats spending long hours in front of televisions!

Warning: players are advised to wear durable pants!

There are so many possibilities from this. Can patent it, promote to tourists, run a clinic on kurutut-making then organise an annual race. For a start, perhaps include as one of the traditional games in the Kiulu 4M!

Coca-Cola: Sabah’s most (in)famous dog?

Update 17th June 2009

It’s been pointed out to me that the larger dog is Coca-Cola and the smaller one, its daughter, is Pepsi-Cola.


It became infamous when it was paraded by its owner at KDCA Hall at the height of the Kaamatan celebrations (end of May 2005) dressed in what looked like Kadazan/Dusun traditional attire. In local culture, that is taboo.

The incident was furiously debated in a top local newspaper for some time.

Someone took a video of it then:

Click here to see the video

Winner and runnerup of Miss Malaysia/Universe 2009 are both from Sabah

Now who said all the pretty girls are from Ipoh or KL?

While we were busy with Kaamatan over here, full-time model JoannaBelle Ng, 20 of Penampang was crowned Miss Malaysia/Universe 2009 in Kuala Lumpur on 30th May. She also won two subsidiary titles: “Audience Favourite” and “Miss Friendship”.

Another Sabahan and full-time model, 5′ 10″ Cassandra Patrick, 24 emerged runnerup. She is also the Miss Malaysia/World 2006 1st Runner-up.

Cassandra, JoannaBelle and 3rd placed Claudia Sibert of KL

The 5′ 8″ lass won RM50,000 and will compete in next month’s Miss Universe pageant in The Bahamas.

She was also 1st runner up in the 2008 Miss Cheong Sam Malaysia competition.

This is quite a long way from her background, which she explains:

I come from a very simple and poor family. My father is a mechanic and my mother (of Chinese and Indian descent), a housewife. She tends a small chicken farm and vegetable patch outside our home. Sometimes, she sells egg and beef rolls and other foodstuff at the market. I am not embarrassed about my family at all. I am really proud of them and where I’m from. Why shouldn’t I be? They are the reason for who I am today. My parents have always encouraged me to fulfill my dreams because they don’t want me to have a hard life and struggle like they did. I love them very much and can’t wait to go back to spend time at home.

Now all those hours on the treadmill had been worth it.

The Star’s video of the event, including the moment when the winner was announced

Click here to see the video

Popimasi to launch a music house in Tuaran, July 2009

Update 2/2/14: Popimasi was formerly known as Papier Mache.


UPDATE 16th July 2009


All rates are per month in Malaysian Ringgit (Ringgit Malaysia)

Violin, classical/acoustic/electric guitar, keyboards, electric bass: Students: RM65; Non-students (i.e. employed): RM70. Free: music theory book.

Drums & piano: Students: RM65; Non-students (i.e. employed): RM80.

Vocals: Students: RM75; Non-students (i.e. employed): RM80.

Other services

Audio recording services: single, album, demo etc. Please contact us for more information and rates.

Songwriting & song arrangement services for organisations, schools, etc. Please contact us for more information and rates.

Musical instruments sales & purchase: you can pay in instalments – the instrument(s) will be handed over once full payment is made. Please contact us for more information and rates.

We also help to set you up for examinations on theory & practicals for grades 1-5 for ABRSM certificate, Trinity College, London & Guild, Australia.


We will issue certificates to students who have completed levels 1-3.

First 50 students to register will get a free book and theory as well as automatically becoming members. Privileges of becoming a members include discounts in purchasing musical instruments.

We target music enthusiasts in and around Tuaran, Tamparuli, Kiulu, Tenghilan, Telipok, Menggatal and Inanam.

For enquiries, please contact Ezbon (handphone: 0138674262) or Damian a.k.a Paling (handphone: 0148602083).

Terima kasih!


Popimasi Music House & Education is officially launched 13th July 2009


UPDATE 12th June 2009

Renovation starts 15th June.


Violin / guitars: classical, acoustic, electric / electric bass / keyboards.

Piano / drums / vocals.

Special package: a combined violin, classical guitar and acoustic guitar lessons for 3 persons in a group.

All lessons lasts 45 minutes.

Rental available for karaoke, full band, sound system, recording studio.

They also sell modern and traditional music instruments.

Tutors are all qualified (diploma and degree in music) and experienced musicians.

All registrants automatically become members and will enjoy special discounts and promotions.

For more info, please contact Mr James “Inson” Juanis: 016-8195330


Fledgling musicians of Tamparuli, Popimasi is set to embark on another venture, set up a music school / musical instruments shop / recording studio in Tuaran town on the first week of July.

Address: 1st floor, Lot 5, Teo Ee Teh Shopping Complex, Tuaran.

That’s near Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara, Tuaran.

More details coming soon.

International artiste Jolin Tsai in Sabah, 5th June 2009

I don’t know any of her songs, and for sure I am not a fan of her kind of music, but I have heard of the name – that’s a testament to her sheer popularity.

Apparently one of, if not currently the world’s most popular “Mandopop” singer in the world came to 1Borneo on Friday the 5th of June in a program called “Jolin Butterfly Promo Tour in Malaysia 2009″.

From her wikipedia page, it seems the 28-year old has sold more than 7 million albums worldwide (mainly Taiwan and Asia). Her other fanbases are in China, Hong Kong, Thailand, Singapore and of course Malaysia.

It was her first time ever in Sabah.

There were only 2 legs of that tour, the other one in KL the very next day. Both legs featured 90 minute shows.

Someone said that the crowd in 1Borneo numbered 2,000.

Even if you don’t know her, it would’ve been good to see what the fuss is about the pint-sized (5′ 2″) pop star, even if only to learn a thing or two about showmanship and how to sing live. There are already several videos of that show in 1Borneo uploaded to youtube, including this one:

Click here to see the video

3 Sabahans made Tan Sri in 2009: the most ever?

In conjunction with the birthday of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin this year, 1,849 people received awards and medals.

2 persons got the Seri Setia Mahkota Malaysia (SSM) which carries the title “Tun”, the most senior (although not the highest) federal award, including a posthumous Tunship for Datin Seri Endon Mahmood, the late wife of former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. With his present wife already having a Tunship, that means “everybody in the family” got it.

The title is so prestigious that only 25 living persons at one time may hold it.

3 people got a “Tan Sri” (Panglima Mangku Negara – PMN).

41 other people also got a “Tan Sri”, although a lower ranked one (Panglima Setia Mahkota – PSM): 3 of them from Sabah:

(i) Datuk Seri Panglima Ampong Puyon (Sandakan Umno Division Chief)
(ii) Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Herman Luping (Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah – PBRS Advisor)
(iii) Brig. Jen Datuk Liew Yun Fah (Wawasan Gunung Emas Sdn Bhd Chairman)

Has there ever been so many people from Sabah bestowed a Tan Sri in a year?

On another note, please help me complete the following list of living Sabahan Tan Sris:

Tan Sri Dr Mohan Swami
Tan Sri Joseph Kurup
Tan Sri Simon Sipaun
Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat
Tan Sri Bernard Dompok
Tan Sri Dr Herman Luping
Tan Sri Ampong Puyon
Tan Sri Liew Yun Fah
Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Hj Mulia (Parliament Speaker)
Tan Sri Suffian Koroh
Tan Sri Thomas Jayasuriya
Tan Sri Abdul Ghani Gilong
Tan Sri Steve Shim Lip Kiong (former Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak)
Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Egoh
Tan Sri Richard Malanjun (Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak)
Tan Sri Khalil Jamalul (ex State Secretary)
Tan Sri Kasitah Gaddam (former federal minister)
Tan Sri Richard Lind (ex State Secretary)
Tan Sri Peter Lo (ex Chief Minister)

If I remember correctly, there can’t be more than 75 living Malaysian Tan Sris.

Daily Express, 6th June 2009

Felix Agus’ album launching, 1Borneo, 30th May 2009

After that encounter with the Bee Gees the day before, my Kaamatan long weekend music fest continued the next day at Courtyard Hotel, 1Borneo, where Felix Agus (of AF3 fame) launched his second album entitled “Aku Juga Iya”.

His first album “Warkah Berlagu Pilu” released in 2005 while he was under Maestro did not do too well, Felix himself acknowledged. Hence, he said he spent a year identifying and rectifying weaknesses, looking for and writing new songs. His contract with Maestro expired last year.

Several members of Papier Mache were invited by Felix for the launching, so I tagged along.

It was my first time witnessing an album launching, so it was a very interesting learning experience.

After the official launching followed a relatively hard-hitting speech by the state Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment, we were treated to Felix singing a few songs off that album via minus one.

While he was singing his lead single “Aku Juga Iya”, suddenly Marsha Londoh (AF3) appeared and joined him onstage.

This is a video of him singing “Aku Juga Iya” in Kuala Lumpur on 2nd May:

Click here to see the video