Monthly Archives: September 2012

First visit of an aircraft carrier to Kota Kinabalu

Update 7 October 2012

Looks like it’s supercarrier season in Malaysia: 3 days after USS John C Stennis (CVN-74) left Sabah, now it’s the turn of another, virtually identical supercarrier, the USS George Washington (CVN-73) to visit: this time at Port Klang.

Update 1 October 2012

There’s a big reception onboard tonight hosted by the Americans, apparently on the lower deck, the place where the aircrafts are kept – 3 floors down from the flight deck.

Judging from photos tweeted by Sabah Tourism, I suppose tonight was the first time Sabahan traditional dances including the sumazau were performed on a US supercarrier.

Tweeted 9.20pm:

Continue reading

Worst road name in Malaysia?

Lorong Muntahan in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Lorong Muntahan
[Photo credit: gypsyinborneo]

Literally “Lane of Vomit”, and to make it worse, there’s a series of them: Muntahan 1, Muntahan 2, Muntahan 3 and so on. It’s as if the whole neighbourhood’s filled with vomit.

Location on wikimapia

Yes, it’s truly a stomach-churning name, although not as bad as a common road name in English towns and cities during the Middle Ages.

Malaysia road tax sticker protector

As I mentioned last year, Malaysia’s road tax sticker is indeed very flimsy, and guaranteed to pitifully disintegrate before its time is up after being exposed to our tropical sun for a few months.

Year after year the the story remains the same, and seemingly no effort made by JPJ to enhance the durability of the material used.

Therfore, I think people would simply apply one of those plasticky stickers onto the back of the road tax sticker without bothering to remove the covers (see top of the photo below):

Malaysia road tax cert sticker very fragile

Malaysians who have topped an Asian level singing contest or award

Updated 9 Dec 2012

Shila Amzah has been nominated for World’s Best Female Artist Award at the 2012 World Music Awards, competing against the likes of Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Adele, Jennifer Lopez, Madonna, Shakira, Rhianna & Britney Spears – is this unprecedented? Have even Sudirman & Siti Nurhaliza reached ever this level?


24 Sept 2012

How do you win a continental-level reality singing contest held in Shanghai, where most of the audience and judges are Chinese?

On ‎20th September 2012, Shila Amzah, 22 (from Malaysia of course) won Asian Wave 2012, billed as the first Asian level (continental level) reality singing contest.

She sang her first 2 songs in Bahasa Malaysia and English competently enough, but to finally clinch it, her final song just had to be in Mandarin, and had to be sung well. What happened next is history.

YouTube Preview Image

The panel of judges, comprising some of the region’s top artistes, gave her a standing ovation.

At the end, I suppose Jamal Abdillah’s 1979 Bintang RTM Final winning kneel just had to be copied.

Cantopop legend Alan Tam handed her the trophy.

Has any other Malaysian topped an Asian level popular singing contest or award, apart from Shila Amzah, Sudirman and Siti Nurhaliza?

If I remember correctly, like many nowadays, Shila started off at youtube – she’s truly someone who has purchased things like Ashdown Amplifiers at musicians friend.

Still, I wonder why the competition didn’t have representative from the Philippines or Indonesia – these 2 countries have fantastic singers.

Of course we won’t go as far as Asians at world level, because Freddie Mercury’s waiting there.

My 20+ year old 3M floppy disk still works

While sorting through my stuff recently I rediscovered the floppy disk that I used to store my final year undergraduate project.

Luckily I managed to find a computer which still has a floppy disk to test it out with.

Petri Net project 3.5" diskette / floppy disk

Yes, it still works.

I wasted no time copying the files to the hard disk and then to the cloud – for keepsake.

Some files had difficulty being copied, but that issue was overcome.

Definitely I haven’t used that diskette much over the years – and it was away from sunlight and dust, but it was stored at tropical room temperature & humidity.

3M, you’re good maker of floppy disks.

Woman in Malaysia takes Taking Kids To Work concept to the extreme

The Star reported on 25th August 2012 that Ina is a hooker that plies her trade along the notorious Lorong Haji Taib in Kuala Lumpur.

And she brings her daughter, 6 and son, 3 along.

A reporter told of how she brought him to a room and undressed while her son, who was inside the same room, watched, and her daughter waited outside.

She then said: “Don’t worry. They won’t see and even if they do, they won’t understand what we’re doing.”

She has 5 other children: 3 are now with foster families, one has died, and another, and there’s another one, a 9 year old boy.

She said her husband had left her, and she makes ends meet by selling herself, and that she’ll stop if she meets a nice man who can provide for the family.

She charges RM100 and entertains on average 2 clients a day.

Datuk Dr Sam Abraham (1929 – 2007): a towering Malaysian

The good paediatrician was born in Taiping and died in Kuala Lumpur.

Obituary published in the Adelaidean:

Dr Sam Abraham decided early on to remain in government medical service rather than set up a private practice. He did this for two reasons: first, he felt the need to serve the community and wanted to ensure that he gave something back to the people of Malaysia; and second, he knew that in a government practice he would come into contact with a wide variety of cases, the likes of which he would not see in private work. This added to his depth of experience, and further opened his eyes to the state of the nation’s health. He subsequently worked in the government medical service for 30 years.

The article in full.

Visits to Sabah by members of the British Royal Family

Updated 16 September 2012

After Sabah, Wills and Kate went to the Solomon Islands. Based on newsreports, my observations/comparisons:

- Almost the entire population of the capital of the Solomon Islands (70,000) turned up to line the 8 km route between the airport and the city centre. Kids jumped and screamed from car roofs; the rows of people sometimes went 20 deep. Back in KK, how was the reception from the locals?

- The cathedral, St Barnabas, didn’t look much bigger than Tamparuli’s old church.

As a Sabahan/Malaysian, I was bracing for tabloid reports of things that went wrong during the Royal Couple’s visit here. The fact that I could find none, even in the usually merciless reader comments section, is testament to our level of professionalism.

In the Solomon Islands, the western papers almost gleefully reported that:

- The hosts apparently didn’t prepare a mobile aircon, for Kate was “fanning herself madly” during the church service.

- The power went out 4 times during the church service: 3 times during the Archbishop’s sermon (by his reaction, it’s apparent that this is a common thing).

14 September 2012

Before visiting Sabah, a photo which I’ll call The Pinnacle of Protocol in Malaysia

At least by members of the House of Windsor, which was founded by King George V on 17th July 1917, and whose most prominent member is its head, Queen Elizabeth II. Note: The accuracy of the following list is subject to verification.

1959/1960: The Queen and the Duke visited then-Jesselton.

1965: Prince Philip visited the east coast during the Konfrantasi, 1965
1970: The Duchess of Kent visited Sandakan in 1970
1972: The Queen + Prince Philip visited in Feb or March 1972
2001: Prince Andrew (Duke of York) visited KK on 16th May 2001, and Labuan the day after

So the current visit by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge would be the sixth – they touched down at Kota Kinabalu International Airport (Terminal 2) around 10 minutes before 8pm greeted by the Chief Minister and two of his Deputies, then proceed to Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort (STAR) where they spent 30 minutes mingling before calling it a night. STAR was chosen probably because of its proximity to the airport.

Photos of the moment they arrived at STAR.

The next day, they flew by helicopter to Danum Valley.

On Sunday the 16th September, which incidentally is Malaysia Day, they were given a red carpet send-off around 7am by the CM, 2 DCMs and the SKN, amongst others. They left for the Solomon Islands & Tuvalu.


Goodness knows what went through their minds as they arrived in Sabah:
[1] they only found out about the French tabloid controversy during breakfast in Kuala Lumpur that morning. The topless photos were apparently taken the week before where they went for a short holiday before embarking on their present Far East tour.
[2] the plane apparently had to circle KKIA twice before managing to land due to strong winds

I wonder if anybody discreetly told them as they arrived at STAR: “Your Highness, you’re staying at the same hotel as did the guy who was responsible for the collapse of your country’s oldest investment bank 17 years ago”.

Some more observations:
[1] They must be masters in exchanging pleasantries / polite smalltalk
[2] I wonder how much luggage of clothes the Duchess brought – or do those travel separately and managed by an entire team?

The nearest I ever got to a member of the British Royal Family was when Anne, the Princess Royal (sister of Prince Charles, auntie of Prince William) visited my school in 1989. We all lined up in front of the school as her helicopter landed and she was greeted by the Headmaster and the Head Prefect.

Why my clone BlackBerry is better than the original

Here’s a list of reasons:

- no heating issue

- price so cheap, if problematic, just throw away

- fell down so many times already, including in the middle of the highway last new year’s eve when I forgot that it was on top of the car – and still works fine

- obscure Taiwan OS (MTK): guarantee you wont be distracted by being overconnected: as long as can call and SMS, plus some multimedia functions

- AFAIK, very secure: can’t even go online: that’s what laptops are for… :-)

Sometimes I chuckle at the fact that while it might not be worth as much as a gold krugerrand, unlike many other smartphones, it still serves me well dealing with important work-related calls…