Monthly Archives: May 2010

Martha Stewart in Sabah, May 2010

Martha Stewart spent 3 days in Sabah (from 24-26th May 2010?) and visited Danum Valley.

On the 25th, she attended a dinner in Kota Kinabalu hosted by the state Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment.

There’s a photo of her during that dinner, in which she apparently mentioned that she had not combed her hair for 2 days, but what caught my attention was the fact that here’s Martha Stewart – lifestyle guru, domestic doyenne, former 3rd most powerful woman in the US (2001), a woman worth almost RM2 billion, someone who knows everything from recycling broken chairs to back acne treatments – has committed a basic, universal faux pas: putting one’s elbow on the table:

The first Malaysian to be a referee at the World Cup

Subkhiddin Mohd Salleh, 44 a teacher at SM Vokasional Nibong Tebal, Penang has been selected to be a referee at the 2010 World Cup. He is apparently one of only 5 from Asia selected to be full referees.

He is the first ever Malaysian to be a full referee (not merely an assistant referee) at the World Cup, the world’s top football tournament and the world’s most widely-viewed sporting event: more than 715 million people watched the 2006 final.

He followed in the footsteps of Halim Abdul Hami and Mat Lazim Awang Hamad who were assistant referees during France 1998 and South Korea-Japan 2002.

Subkhiddin tried, but failed to make Germany 2006, instead Singaporean Shamsul Maidin was selected.

Apart from the obvious experience, he also needed to prove that he’s fit enough to:
(i) run 40m 6 times below 6.20 seconds;
(ii) run 10 rounds of 150m;
(iii) walk 50m 20 times.

He has been a FIFA-accredited referee since 2000. Before this, he has refereed at the 2007 Under-20 World Cup and the Asian Cup.

Look how he handled this U-20 Youth World Cup match between Portugal and Chile on 12th July 2007, when Zequinha, 20 of Portugal “stole” his red card, and was tearful in the resulting sending off. He was subsequently suspended for a year by the Portuguese Football Federation.

YouTube Preview Image

For the record, Chile beat Portugal 1-0 in the round of 16 match, and Chile ended up in 3rd place, when they lost 0-3 to eventual champions Argentina in the semis, and defeated Austria 1-0 in the 3rd place playoff.

Well handled, sir, and congratulations!

By the way, I wonder if life insurance rates for football referees are any higher than the rest of us?

Inul Daratista live in Sabah, end of May 2010

UPDATE 25th May 2010

A little bird informed that the concerts in Magellan Sutera and Tawau have all been cancelled, but that there’s one that’s supposed to be on in Keningau on the 31st of May 2010.


It’s one of those concerts where you’d never be sure it’ll ever take place as planned.

Ainur Rokhimah, 31, better known as Inul Daratista, probably Indonesia’s most controversial singer is scheduled to perform 4 concerts in Sabah in the near future:

1) Kota Kinabalu: The Magellan Sutera’s Grand Ballroom, 26th May 2010, 7.30pm
2) Tawau: The Promenade Hotel’s Grand Ballroom, 28th May 2010, 7.30pm
3) Tawau: Indoor Hall, Tawau Sports Complex, 29th May, 7.30pm
4) Tawau: Indoor Hall, Tawau Sports Complex, 30th May, 7.30pm

So those into the “suggestive hyrating hip motions” called Goyang Inul, Ngebor, Gerudi (literally “drilling”) could hope for the best and go see for themselves.

Then she’d be off to Kuala Lumpur at the Grand Lagoon Ballroom, Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa on the 4th of June 2010, 7.30pm. Probably that’s her first concert in 3 years in the peninsula, since her dates in several cities were cancelled at the eleventh hour in 2008 due to “security reasons.”

She’d been featured in no less than TIME and the Wall Street Journal.

Brian Walsh wrote for TIME in March 2003:

Trying to get into an Inul Daratista show is like trying to storm the ramparts of Helm’s Deep: it’s musty, dark, smoky, crowded and the mob seems possessed by a demonic, or at least lascivious, force. … They’re rowdy, they’re eager and, in clear defiance of the laws of physics, all 10,000 of them want in, now, through the soccer stadium’s single narrow entrance. The snarling soldiers posted as security are helpless against this crush of sweating humanity. … Then Inul swaggers on stage, packed in tight red jeans and a glittering crimson tank top. She turns her back to the audience. The guitars crunch, Inul’s hips swing low and hard, and I realize why we labored to breech this gate. … her singing would make Simon Cowell cringe, but she regularly packs concerts and performs on national television. She hasn’t released a single recording, but one critic estimates that some 3 million pirated VCDs of her performances have been sold in Indonesia.

Whoa, that sounds like a major crowd control operation, where stanchions and velvet rope probably won’t be enough; you’d need barricades just to keep those hot-blooded males from tearing down the doors!

Bret Stephens wrote for the Wall Street Journal in April 2007:

In 1992, a 13-year-old provincial Javanese girl shook her hips to the tune of the 1980s Western chart-topper “The Final Countdown.” Onlookers noticed. The rest, as they say, is history–and a potentially violent culture war in the world’s most populous Muslim state.

She was quoted as a reason why the Indonesian government drafted a national anti-pornography bill in 2003.

Even the godfather of dangdut, Rhoma Irama has criticised her dancing style.

As people say, controversy sells, her popularity is still right up there.

One can only suppose that one could get her to autograph anything, perhaps even on say, personalized basketballs?!

Beware where you get your advice from

When you get advice, look at the whole picture.

Some advice are good. Like so:

Yes, definitely, as the Malay proverb says “berdikit-dikit, lama-lama menjadi bukit.” Keep a few cents a day, keep at it, one day it will become a fortune.

Or perhaps I can put it another way: keeping at it on the treadmill is better than selling out to apidexin?!

But… when you look at the whole poster, it says:

i.e. keep gambling, never miss a draw, for one day you will surely strike it big. Yeah, like you’ll strike a million ringgit, after spending 2 million ringgit over 50 years.

… then such advice is not really good to repeat to your kids, does it?

Ladies, beware of mediums

Before you go to any so-called medium to solve your problems, consider these 3 cases:

Case study I

Date of crime: April 2009
Date reported in the papers: 2nd December 2009
Victim: 20-year old female college student
Issue: unending bad luck
Name & age of perpetrator: “Master Choy”, 50
Reported “perscription”: have sex with a married man, like who else, “Master Choy” lah. But for good measure, he told her to pose for nude photos!
Result: not only had her luck not changed for the better, she’d contracted an STD from him!! Complaining to the medium, he slapped her, threatened to post her photos on the net, and threatened to kill her should she decide to expose her.

Case study II

Date of crime: 2003
Date reported in the papers: February 2007
Victim: Ms Chang, 40-year old tuition teacher
Issue: her body has bad aura & the need to retain good energy in her body
Name and age of perpetrator: 50+ year old man
Reported “perscription”: a tap on the head which made the woman unable to resist his sexual advances, and RM15,000 cash.
Result: Man denied he’d committed rape.

Case study III

Date of crime: 2008?
Date reported in the papers: January 2008
Victim: Ms Lai, 32-year old businesswoman
Issue: toxins in body caused by evil spirits
Name and age of perpetrator: [not mentioned]
Reported “perscription”: Told to strip in order for acupuncture to be performed, drank “holy water” that put her in a daze and unable to resist his amorous advances, and RM8,300 cash for “special prayers.”

You wouldn’t want to see birth announcements saying “fathered by a bogus Chinese medium,” do you?

The world’s first female MiG fighter pilot is a Sabahan

The MiG-29 is a world-renowned jet fighter aircraft designed in the former Soviet Union. Some would say it’s the world’s greatest dogfighting plane. Pilots are subjected to 5G forces or worse.

It was reported in the papers at the end of March 2010 that Patricia Yapp, 32 of Sandakan, Sabah, Malaysia is the world’s first qualified female pilot of that machine.

That is quite an achievement: I wonder why Soviet ladies back then, or of other communist nations didn’t achieve the feat first?

Major Yapp drives the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) MiGs since 2006.

And she wants more: to drive the even more advanced craft, the Sukhoi SU-30MKM.

Don’t say she’s stopping there: long term, she also wants to be the nation’s first female astronaut: make sure nobody can say “space tourist” this time.

Ms Yapp certainly seems like someone with boundless enthusiasim for life and all its challenges. Potential suitors would need to undergo energy auditing first, to ensure they can catch up!


Mahsuri’s seventh generation

The legend of Mahsuri is well known in Malaysia.

She was a young woman who lived on the island of Langkawi in the early 19th century, the most beautiful woman on that island. She was married to Wan Darus, a warrior. One day, he had to go away on military duties and she was left alone. During that time, she became an acquaintance of Deraman, a young man. Later Mahsuri was accused of committing adultery, tied to a tree and stabbed to death. It’s then that the story took on a paranormal tone. Instead of red blood, white blood supposedly flowed out – proving her innocence. Before she died, she cursed Langkawi bad luck lasting seven generations.

A portrait of Mahsuri

And did bad luck befall Langkawi – the Siamese invaded the island in 1821 and crops failed for decades.

The curse apparently ended at the tail-end of the 20th century when Langkawi prospered as a tourist attraction – that includes her tomb (Makan Mahsuri) of course.

The first seventh-generation descendant of Mahsuri, and certainly the most famous, is Sirintra Yayee (Wan Aishah Wan Nawawi), born 1985, who’s said to have inherited Mahsuri’s legendary beauty.

In fact there are some rival claimants to the title of “the first seventh-generation descendant of Mahsuri” that one could make slideshows out of all of them.

Sirintra lives in Phuket and is a Thai citizen.

She visited Kedah (where Langkawi is) in May 2000 to mark the lifting of the curse.

She got married to Alee Tongyun in April 2010

Kahar Zaitun: the Malay Ip Man

The Malay community in Malaysia has its very own Ip Man.

Kahar Zaitun, 36, the son of a silat master has been practising Wing Chun 17 years before the movie starring Donnie Yen as the master of the legendary Bruce Lee was released in 2008.

Kahar and his master Yip Fook Choy, 67

His father had told him that “Wing Chun is the most comprehensive of all exercises.” Whoa, plus point!

He’s so good that he’s been sifu Yip’s assistant coach since 2001 and they have 50 students in Petaling Jaya, Kuala Lumpur and Kuantan.

Yip was quoted to have said:

Kahar is one of my most faithful students in all my years of teaching martial arts. Even though he is from a different race, he truly respects me as his sifu. I do not treat him differently. I just accept him for who he is and teach him all that I know.

If you need another example of 1Malaysia in action, this is it.

Perhaps those skills include juggling with used golf balls?

Kahar is a Mechanical Engineering graduate of Nottingham Trent University, and works as a translator with Perodua.

The Star, 7th May 2010

Unbelieveable reasons for divorce in Malaysia

At the end of February 2010, Utusan Malaysia reported that reasons for divorce in Malaysia are getting more and more trivial.

There’s the case of a woman who’d been married for only 3 days: apparently she’d asked her husband to purchase some food, the husband forgot, the wife got mad and declared she wanted out of the marriage!

Then there’s the man who divorced his wife because she was slow in making him a drink.

Other petty reason included a spouse spending too long to wake up in the morning, so one shouldn’t be too surprised if there’s a case of a couple divorcing over refusal to undergo eczema treatment.

Among Muslim couples, there were more than 20,000 divorces in 2007 and even more in 2008. One third of those were married less than 5 years.

Certainly worrying figures in a country of less than 30 million people.

Utusan Malaysia, 28th Feb 2010