Monthly Archives: April 2010

The first non-Muslim Malaysian with a PhD in Islam

Dr Patricia A. Martinez of the University of Malaya (UM) is the first non-Muslim Malaysian with a Ph.D. in Religion, specializing in Islam, having studied in both the US and Middle East.

She has done extensive fieldwork in Indonesia, the country with the most Muslims in the world, and predominantly Muslim Mindanao, the Philippines.

She’s on the International Board of Directors of the Islam and Pluralism Project, Indonesia.

Some time ago Dr Dinesh Nair told of how someone impersonated her and wrote a piece critical of the national religion. So the job’s not without its risks; affordable life insurance quotes might be hard to come by.

What if you get enquiries like this from tourists wanting to visit Sabah?

You, being virtual ambassadors for the Land Below the Wind are eager to do anything within your capacity to promote your beautiful state.

Any type of visitors, as long as they are not going to do anything illegal, are welcome.

But what if you get an email from a friendly prospective-visitor-to-Sabah that sounds something like what CowboyCaleb received recently:

hi there,

I came across your blog while i was doing a search last night and was hoping that you could help me. My Dom and I will be visiting Singapore soon and are looking for a well equipped, clean dungeon to hire for a few hours while we’re there. Was just wondering if you could point me in the right direction, if they do indeed exist in Singapore.

Thanks and looking forward to hearing from you.
M

What is the legal status of this in Malaysia?

A cursory google told me that:

- there are almost 300 females based in Malaysia who’re listed in a BDSM personals online directory.
- in a list, a 30-year old woman from Melaka who goes by the pseudonym hollygoodgirl explained that:

start from a spankee, i mean only interest in spanking, then lately I learn that I like to be dominated, I am a newbie, still really new in BDSM, but seriously willing to learn. I like in receiving total domination, being punish and being discipline, being restraint, hmm what else, actually I willing to try anything except anything that include bodily fluid. Currently I am owned by my dom. But I am open for friendship. And yes, I am searching for a life partner.

- there’s a thriving BDSM Malaysia community, of which a BDSM blogger wrote that:

people say Malaysia is a strict country and yes… i do agree but if we follow the right way then there will be no problems at all.

- according to a Malaysian BDSM-themed blog, there are 3 dungeons (a.k.a Station) in Malaysia, located in the “northern, central and southern region,” and they can even be rented by non members.

Now a tantalizing question: are there any “dungeons” in Kota Kinabalu?

So how about a study tour of these kind of places – load them photos on that mac memory.

More than 100 new species found in Borneo since 2007

The Star reported on 23rd April 2010 that according to The World Wildlife Fund, in its report entitled Borneo’s New World: Newly Discovered Species in the Heart of Borneo, there are 123 new species discovered since the Heart of Borneo (HoB) conservation plan started in February 2007.

Jointly implemented by the governments of Malaysia, Brunei & Indonesia, it covers an area of 220,000 square kilometers of tropical rainforest spanning the said 3 countries.

Amongst the most interesting species discovered are:

The lungless frog (Barbourula kalimantanensis)

The 7cm-long Bornean Flat-headed Frog was discovered in 2008 and is the world’s first frog without any lungs. Instead of lungs, it breathes through its skin. Other organs occupy the space where the lungs are expected to be, hence making it appear flatter the other frogs.

The ninja slug (Ibycus rachelae)

This colourful long-tailed slug was discovered on leaves at altitudes of up to 1,900m on Mount Kinabalu, Sabah. The tail is 3 times longer than it’s head. Total length is 4cm. This unusual animal uses harpoon-like “love darts” made of calcium carbonate during courtship, which sticks to and injects a hormone into a chosen mate.

The world’s longest insect (Phobaeticus chani)

That looks dangerously close to the guy’s eyes – still, whatever shoots out of the thing’s mouth is probably better than the best anti wrinkle eye cream the western world could offer…

This was found near Kinabalu Park, Sabah and is 56.7cm long. Only 3 specimens have ever been found.

In the HoB, there can be found 10 primate species, 350+ birds, 150+ reptiles and amphibians and more than 10,000 endemic plants. And the numbers keep growing: 3 new species are found every month.

Farmville in Sabah, Malaysia

Paival posted the following photo on twitpic on 29th March 2010:

On 21st April 2010, Victor took the following photo:

Looks like it construction is still going on – it hasn’t opened for business yet.

Location: along old Papar Road, Penampang/Lok Kawi, next to the main road.

Probably the owner’s a Farmville fanatic, one of reputedy more than 30 million people who play the game daily. I wouldn’t be surprised if Farmville regulars make this their regular haunt – well as long as one doesn’t play it so much that an oximeter becomes an accessory, it should be harmless.

Someone commented that the impending lawsuit will make this place very famous!

St Veronica’s Hill, Tamparuli on fire, 20th March 2010

During the height of the 2-month drought there was fire everywhere, although mercifully not nearly as bad as the drought of 1997-8.

On 20th March 2010 around 10.20pm, I was driving from Kota Kinabalu towards Kiulu and as I approached Jambatan Tamparuli I could see something in the distance: St Veronica’s Hill / Bukit Perahu / Bukit Ruhiang, that spectacular, almost perfectly conical hill synonymous with Tamparuli was on fire!

So braving several menacingly barking dogs I jumped onto the hanging bridge and took several photos of the hill which was about a kilometer or so away, its silhouette clearly defined by the flames:

I thought: that’s it, by tomorrow the whole thing’s going to be a big black mess, because how on earth are we going to put out a fire that far up?

The next day, as I drove down from the direction of Kiulu, I was surprised to see that the hill suffered a mere graze:

Closeup:

Good old Bukit Perahu, looks like Tamparulians’ spa filters are going to last a little bit longer…

Village life is not for the faint-hearted (part 4)

Back in January 2010 I wrote about creations of God that can be found just outside and quite often INSIDE my house in the village.

The whole idea of taking photos of these things started with my first post in April 2009.

So we are now at part 4.

On 21st February 2010, around 6pm, I walked into the upstairs toilet, and when I was about to place my left foot inside the small room, I was greeted by this skinny, hairy critter:

A few minutes later, it had become:

So as you can see, I am not that fond of spiders, especially when they suddenly appear as you’re doing your business. Blame it on my experience years ago when I was chased around in near-darkness by a big one after I killed its mate. That was a real scary experience.

Not that there’s a shortage of spiders in the house. At any one time, I could see literally dozens of them, but they don’t really bother me as they are all quietly waiting for their victims in their web.

Still, exactly a month later, the following medium-sized beauty was close enough to be photographed with my dying-to-be-upgraded-PnS camera:

I had to take a few shots, with flash to get an acceptable result – luckily the arachnid didn’t get startled and jumped ON me.

Well, after reading through all 4 parts, do you think my life insurance premium should be increased due to the enormous hazards living in a village entails?

Most unbelieveable question ever asked in a Malaysian newspaper

This is an old one, but a classic nonetheless. It apparently was really published in Harian Metro on 15th July 2007 (Malay language tabloid).

I wonder if the person who wrote the reply managed to keep a straight face throughout.

I would’ve merely raised an eyebrow if he’d mentioned an SD card somewhere in his reply, but I couldn’t contain myself any longer when he mentioned a rugby ball!

What was Rahman thinking? Perhaps this is a joke, or we really need to have such education at schools now.

RIP Din Beramboi (1967-2010)

The nation has lost someone who could brighten up a dark day in funnyman Mior Ahmad Fuad Mior Badri, more popularly known as Din Beramboi, who died of haemorrhagic dengue fever at 12.30am today.

He was 43.

A skit that will always live on my mind is the following song about loan sharks, done with Afdlin Shauki back in 2005 (?).

YouTube Preview Image

Now that’s what I call funny! If there’s anything that’s a natural wrinkle treatment, it’s laughter to chase away the blues.

Rest In Peace.