Monthly Archives: September 2009

Bizarre Sabah news for 27th September 2009: 13-month wait for resurrection

Ching Chi Vui (Daily Express said the surname is Tsang) a.k.a Ivan, 37 of Tawau was the leader/prophet of a cult named Benevolent Missionary Association, Sabah branch presumably. It’s believed to be linked to a Philippines-rooted movement.

Another report said he belonged to a “Church Without Walls.”

Before he died 13 months ago, he told his followers not to bury him, but instead pray for him, as he would “come back to life.”

Upon his death, his followers wrapped his body in 13 layers of plastic and a blanket, put it in the middle of the living room of a house in Taman Kobusak Villa, Penampang, then started praying.

Ching had rented the house from a Tawau-based doctor for RM1,000 a month (another report said he rented it from a businessman who bought the house from a doctor). Now there’s RM20K rent outstanding and the house had no electricity or water.

They would’ve kept at it if police did not visit the house on Friday the 25th of September 2009.

They had received a report from a neighbour of weird chanting late into the night in total darkness.

There, police found:
- 3 women from Tawau, including twin sisters praying in another room. One of the women was a Ms Chu, 44. The twin sisters are aged 26.
- Ching’s dried-up, decomposed body clad only in shorts.
- walls plastered with Chinese-written religious words, at least one of them bearing an image of a cross.

The Daily Express said the women told police not to move the body or they would die. Ms Chu chanted prayers before the police took the body away.

Strangely, neighbours had not detect any foul smell all this time.

The cause of death is yet to be determined, but police did not detect any visible signs of injury to the body.

After the police recorded their statements, the women were released.

I think this piece of news should be listed in ghoulish web directories of the intarwebs.

By the way, is this the same Ivan Tsang who was charged with criminal intimidation in 2004?

Regarding the Philippine Benevolent Missionaries Association (PBMA), apparently it is a pseudo-Christian cult founded by Ruben Ecleo, Sr. (1934-1987) in 1965 on Dinagat, an island off Mindanao. Upon his death, he was succeeded by son Ruben Ecleo, Jr, whose followers consider him to be “a reincarnation of Jesus Christ,” and has a million-strong following in central and southern Philippines.

Someone wrote that the organisation has a “horrible reputation of being a murderous cult.”

Ching’s case draws a parallel to another PBMA related case, when the leader of a PBMA splinter group Tomas Eugenio died on 26th September 2004 asked that he not be buried but rather to pray for his resurrection. He was earlier arrested for illegally having in his possession high-power guns and bullets.

And as Quirina Flores said quoted to have said in 2003, it’s possible to be a Roman Catholic and member of the PBMA at the same time.

The Star, 27 Sep 2009
The Star, 28th Sep 2009
Daily Express, 27th Sept 2009

Gary Cao (Chaw): Sabah-born popular singer in Hong Kong public brawl

Gary Cao (also known as Gary Chaw or Cao Ge), 30 was born in Kota Belud, Sabah. He’s based in Taiwan and has achieved success as a singer-songwriter in Taiwan, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

In 2008, he won the Best Male Mandarin Singer award at the prestigious 19th Golden Melody Awards, which has been called the Chinese-language Grammys.

Then, on 23 September 2009 he made the headlines for the wrong reasons: being involved in a roadside brawl with best friend and Hong Kong artiste Justin Lo after drinks at a pub there, in full view of the public.

Of course the paparazzi had a field day:

“Round 1″

YouTube Preview Image

“Round 2″

YouTube Preview Image

Of course, there’s the possiblity that it’s all staged. Anyhow, Asian pop stars are expected to be squeaky clean, and this kind of behaviour could cause Mr Chaw to move out and launch a Las Vegas Job Search instead. That is, unless he manages to pull off an Edision Chen.

More photos and discussion.

The Star, 25 Sep 2009

Popimasi in Carta Lagu Dusun (Dusun Song Chart)

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


Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri!

When Popimasi’s “Matai Patai Do Masi” first appeared in the local charts, I was as pleasantly surprised as the bandmembers themselves. As with all new experience, it felt rather unreal at first, like finding a Blue Cross Blue Shield NC agency right here in Kota Kinabalu!

Still, time goes on: it has been there for more than a month now.

As of 13th September 2009, the chart looks like this:

Song preview:

YouTube Preview Image

Please support them by voting by way of SMS: send JLD PAP to 32776. Charges: 50 sen per SMS.

Thank you!

Sabah VFM

A(H1N1) situation in Malaysia (Part 3)

Ministry of Health Hotline (8am – 9pm): 03-88810200 / 0300, 03-88834414 / 4415. Email: Website.

27th November 2009: The WHO reports that the global number of swine flu deaths jumped >1,000 in one week.

28th October 2009: Health Director-General Tan Sri Dr Mohd Ismail Merican said the number of cases of A(H1N1) is on the rise in North America, Western Europe and East Asia while in the Southern Hemisphere, it’s the opposite.

26th October 2009: Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai said Malaysia will receive the first batch of anti-H1N1 vaccines at the end of October ordered from Great Britain. Amount to arrive: 78,000 doses. Amount ordered: 400,000 doses. Meant for: front-liners in healthcare and high-risk groups. Balance to arrive January 2010.

24th October 2009: the US declares H1N1 a national emergency.

19th September 2009: on 77 deaths: a 15-year-old asthmatic schoolgirl in Kedah, who died 11th September. She received outpatient treatment for influenza-like illness on 7th September, then admitted 4 days later to the ICU when she did not recover. Antiviral drugs were given, but she died 6 hours later. Cause of death: severe pneumonia with H1N1 infection and secondary bacterial infection. A throat swab later confirmed it.

16th September 2009: on 76 deaths:

(i) a 45-year-old woman from Tambunan, Sabah who died 26th August. She was admitted 17th August at Tambunan Hospital for fever, cough and flu which she’d been suffering from for 3 days. Later she was referred to Keningau Hospital’s ICU and antiviral treatment was started. However, she died 10 days later. Cause was recorded as “severe bronchopneumonia with Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome” and was confirmed to be due to H1N1 on 19th August. This is the 4th death in Sabah due to the virus.

(ii) a 19-year-old girl from Bentong, Pahang who died 1st September. She was admitted to Bentong Hospital on 30th August for a 5-day-old cough and 1-day-old fever. Antiviral treatment was started the same day. She died due to “severe pneumonia with H1N1 infection”. Case was confirmed 3rd September.

15th September 2009: Michael Worobey of the University of Arizona told a meeting of flu experts sponsored by the U.S. Institute of Medicine that the virus circulated undetected in pigs for about 10 years before it jumped to people and probably circulated for months under the radar.

So as anybody can see, the effect has been such that people have even postponed checking out oahu hotels for their overseas vacation.

Part 2 of the chronology.
Part 1 of the chronology.

The first Sabahan crew of Malaysia’s first submarine

Malaysia’s first submarine arrived at Sepanggar Bay, the nation’s only submarine base at 9am today, after a 54-day, 8,000-mile journey from France, of which 32 days were underwater.

Among the 32-member crew [some reports say 35], there’s chief petty officer Jerry Koyoh, 34, a Dusun from Kampung Mandap, Kota Belud. He’s a safety diving officer: assists with the diving and stabilising of the sub, rotates shift with 2 other crew members every 4 hours.

There’s another Dusun, Luis from Kg Tombongon, Kiulu who’s a crew member of the second submarine, KD Tun Razak that’s due April 2010.

Submarines are no place for chubbies, if one is interested to be a crew, there’s a need to embark on a lose belly fat program first!

About the sub:

Cost: reputedly RM1.7 billion, hence 2 submarines = RM3.4 billion.
Cost of submarine base: RM320 million.
Class: Scorpene
Name: KD Tunku Abdul Rahman
Commanding Officer: Captain Zulhelmy Ithnain
Builders: French DCNS & Spanish Navantia
Place of assembly: Cherbourg, France.
Runs on: diesel-electric [i.e. not nuclear]
Length: 67.5m
Range: 45 days
Dive depth: up to 200m
Port calls before reaching Sabah: Jeddah, Djibouti, Cochin (India), Lumut, Port Klang

A video of the moment the sub arrived at Port Klang:

YouTube Preview Image

If you’re a defendant in a court case, hire a bad lawyer!

This could open the floodgates and make top lawyers go out of business.

If you are a defendant in a court case with all probabilities pointing to you being convicted, instead of hiring people like Karpal Singh and Sugumar Balakrishnan as your defense counsel, go for totally incompetent lawyers instead.

Well, that seems to be the message being sent out by a landmark ruling by the Malaysian Federal Court today, which consisted of a 3-man panel led by the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, with the 2 others being Justices Datuk Hashim Yusoff and Datuk Gopal Sri Ram.

The lawyer must be so bad that it was “flagrant in the circumstances of the case, and had deprived the accused of a fair trial, thus occassioning a miscarriage of justice, and must also have regard to the conduct of a counsel as a whole, and not merely to his or her failure in one or two departments.”

So, as you can see, hiring bad lawyers could, instead of landing you in jail, enable you to send photo holiday cards instead!

Bernama, 15th Sep 2009

Unbelieveable Malaysian news for 999 (9th September 2009)

This news is just so classic, starting with the headlines:
(i) the English one in The Star reads “veterinarian’s service that really sucks”;
(ii) the original article in Harian Metro [Malay language] is “rawat tupai dalam coli“, literally “treating squirrel inside bra.”

I think it’s the undisputed champion of news reports for the day.

A kindergarten teacher, 27 has a pet squirrel. It was feverish, so she took it to the vet in Taman Melawati, Ampang, Kuala Lumpur.

So what did our typical randy 52-year-old vet ask her to do? He asked her to “place the squirrel inside her blouse to keep it warm given its erratic body temperature”!!!

However, the squirrel played along, so when the vet asked her to take it out, the animal found itself stuck on her bra strap.

So the pretty lady and vet worked together to help the poor squirrel, not that he wanted to get out sooner I suppose.

Then things started to get interesting. In the midst of all that hard work, the vet somehow had a downblouse view and could not help but blurt out that she had a “good figure,” and to please “take care of her body and beautiful breasts.”

After that it’s firmly twilight zone territory. The vet then allegedly began to demonstrate to her how to massage her breasts. Then, as they say, one thing led to another, and he then could not stop himself from “groping and sucking the woman’s breasts.”

After a struggle, the doctor came to his senses, and let her go, but not before cheekily saying: “no need to pay for the treatment, thanks and please do come again.”

Wow, what a doctor eh? But she must’ve been an outstanding specimen of the female gender without the need for glucomannan.

Instead of saying you’re welcome, she made a police report.

The vet was later arrested, but the story’s ending is sad: the squirrel died shortly after returning home :-(

The Star, 9 Sep 2009
Harian Metro

Crimes committed by the disabled in Malaysia

On 29th November 2006, someone wrote to the The Star regarding a lady friend of his that had her handbag stolen while watching a movie at Cineleisure Mutiara Damansara, Kuala Lumpur. The male thief was caught by security who was revealed to be a disabled holding an OKU (Orang Kurang Upaya) card [a card which verifies his disability].

Apparently, the disabled-status thief was also “mentally challenged”, but still could go, by himself, to the cinema, buy a discounted ticket using his OKU card, waited while everybody was engrossed by the movie being shown, then proceeded to quietly steal from the unsuspecting woman.

At the police station, the police officer in charge tried to talk her out of pressing charges, instead to “take pity on the thief because he was a disabled person.”

Then today, it was reported that a 27-year old wheelchair-bound man in George Town, Penang was caught red-handed using a rock to smash the side windows of two cars and stealing items inside them.

The single man, who receives a RM150 monthly allowance from the Social Welfare Department also has two previous thefts to his name.

What do you think? Is disability a ticket for symphathy which can encourage disabled criminals to repeat their deeds? Everybody wants to make ends meet, disabled or not, and it’s not as if they’re aiming to finance their orlando vacations this way.

Malaysian better than the English at English

After Manny Pacquiao and Liu Xiang proved that Asians can be the best in the world at sports than their West African-descent counterparts, now it’s the turn of Adelina Raisa Sufian, 21 to show that non-native English speakers can indeed be better at the language than the English themselves.

Recently, she became the top student in English at the University of London’s Queen Mary College.

She obtained a BA (English) degree with 1st class honours and won the coveted 2009 Westfield Trust Prize.

In her own words, she succeeded because:

I set a target throughout my study. Most importantly, we must have the determination and confidence to succeed.

Some people might argue that this could make her more English than the English, more comfortable in tuxedo pants than a sarong. What do you think?

Anyhow, I think she’s truly an inspiration to fellow Malaysians, especially students of the English language.

The Star, 8 Sep 2009

The day I saw a Guarnieri violin

In 1997 a close friend who happened to be president of the Perak Arts
Society asked me to help be an usher to a classical concert featuring
violin prodigy Lee Huei Min, 14 and the world’s best chamber
orchestra, the Prague Chamber Orchestra.

Somehow or rather I ended up at the rehearsals and there was this one violin lying on a chair a mere few feet from me.

My friend whispered: that’s her violin, it costs a million dollars, I can’t remember whether it was in RM or US dollars.

Some people might be so used to seeing expensive violins that it’s like looking at mere ceramic tiles, but to me it was like witnessing an apparition of the Virgin Mary.

Apparently made by Bartolomeo Giuseppe Guarneri (1698 – 1744), who has been called the greatest violinmaker of all time. Guarnieri violins are considered second in quality only to those of Stradivari and argued by some to be superior. Probably the greatest violin virtuoso who ever lived, Niccolò Paganini’s favorite instrument Il Cannone Guarnerius was a Guarneri del Gesù violin, made in 1743. Yehudi Menuhin, one of the 20th century’s greatest violin virtuosi owned a Guarnieri. Other 20th century “del Gesù” players include Isaac Stern.

Gulp…. lucky I did not accidentaly SIT on it.

The Sultan of Perak also attended the performance. And yes, of course
I DID try sit on the royal chair during the rehearsals, it’s not
everyday one gets a chance to do that.

During the performance, I can only say she’s Malmsteen on the violin!!

And until this day, I have never ever heard anybody make Negaraku
sound as good as the Prague Chamber Orchestra did that night. Those
sweet violin harmonies shall stay in my head forever.