31 January 2009

Of being 22 years old!

I can't really remember what I did or where I was at 22! Geez! It seems like a lifetime ago. I even had to dig some records to double-check the dates.

Anyway, here are 10 things about me, when I was 22!

1. I was probably only 50 kg
2. I worked at Goon Institution Sdn Bhd as a secretary.
3. I got my full LCCI "Private Secretary's Certificate".
4. I was still living with my parents.
5. I took the bus to work.
6. I had a steady boyfriend.
7. I got the first place in Malaysia for Shorthand 100 wpm (LCCI).
8. I didn't know how to drive.
9. I learnt that usually there is more month at the end of money.
10. I didn't really care about politics or world affairs!

Whatever I remember or don't, the only point is that, I was young. So young and maybe, innocent in so many ways! So idealistic and impressionable still!
I don't want to be 22 again. I'm really comfortable at my age now. There are so many things that I didn't know at 22, that I do now. Everything that I’ve been through has led me to where I am today and I have little or no regrets.
A friend told me this, and I'm not sure if she got it from her own life's experience or she read it somewhere: "I don't really know all that I want in life, but I already know what I don't want".

Knowing what I don't want, has so clearly defined and decluttered many aspects of my life! Now if only I could narrow down the things that I want!!!

Of what is felt by the heart

In the last 2 weeks, most Malaysians talked, read or wrote about and participated in something related to Kugan a/l Ananthan. That also included me! Of course, I read whatever I could to follow the story.
In life, what makes us relate to events is also what is personal to us.
What drew me to Kugan’s story was that he was 22 years old. 

My son is 22. 

What tugged at my heart was also Kugan’s mom and how the death of her son was so publicised. The horror of losing her child must have been compounded by the rumours that abounded as well as all the speculations about the cause of his death. 

Having known only the pain of losing a child, I can only guess how the other emotions would have been for her. It would probably have been so difficult for her to fully understand the gamut of emotions she felt. Probably it would have been, just, shock first. Then very quickly, it would have been followed by the bombardment of information from all sources. It would have been so hard to reconcile all that.
I hope that, in the midst of it all, she was surrounded by people who looked out for her. I mean, really for her. It’s what I would have wanted, no, needed, if I were her. I pray that she’ll be well.

26 January 2009

PJ Vigil 04/2009 (16th) Hand-in-Hand & Side-by-Side

The 16th Anti-ISA Vigil was held on 25 January 2009 at MBPJ Civic Centre, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, in which DSAI and the MB of Selangor lent their support to protest the ISA and the persecution of Palestinians.

The night of 25th of January 2009, being the eve of the Lunar New Year meant that most chinese families gather for their reunion dinner. Co-incidentally, the anti-I.S.A. supporters gathered at the Civic Centre together with the Coalition of Malaysian NGOs against Persecution of Palestinians (COMPLETE).

I arrived quite late, owing to a mini reunion dinner of my own. There were some policemen on the main road. Walking past them, I saw canopies and stalls set up, to sell an assortment of interesting stuff. I gave them my support and bought 2 tee-shirts and a badge!

A little further, I saw the familiar faces of the "vigil family" that I've come to know and love. Immediately, I smile because it is a reunion of sorts to meet and greet fellow Malaysians on such an auspicious day for the Chinese. It's a feel good moment!

This is a picture I took just after my dinner, I loved the combination of the neatly-arranged lights and lanterns. Although the shop was closed, it lit up that street so beautifully. It added to the aura of Chinese New Year to those who dined nearby.
Then when I reached the MBPJ, I saw these candlelights! Simple yet symbolic and sends a message of hope to those detained without trial.

Here are some of the "vigil family" together with recognisable personalities who were there!
I said hello to Puchong MP Gobind Singh, who I met some 10 years ago and he surprised me with his superb recollection of how and why our paths crossed. Amazing!

This collage of the other event, which is a mixture of pictures taken by pahlawan.volunteer and me!

Took this from a tee-shirt of a Rakyat Malaysia!

After the arrival of DSAI, I left to go "fishing" and now you know why this post is so late! I usually make it a point to put up a post immediately on the same night but had to break that routine, this one time! For those of you who came to check, sorry lah!

Final verdict: It was a wonderful night to be hand-in-hand, side-by-side with fellow Malaysians, sharing one space, sharing one night, sharing convictions and the peaceful gathering.

To be a member of the "vigil family", please note the following:
*No registration fee.
*No age limit.
*No sexual discrimination.
*No race discrimination.
*Just come as you are!

Note: some pics courtesy of pahlawan.volunteer. Thanks, dear!

23 January 2009

Gong Xi Fa Cai

It's early but everyone is putting their wishes up. It's probably because many are already making their way back home or going away for the long weekend. So I'm jumping on the bandwagon and putting this up tonight.

Happy Chinese New Year 2009 especially to all my Chinese family and friends in Malaysia and abroad.

Of especial mention are Mom Rose and Ivy Low-Yap. The first stood by me with her special kind of love and the second stands by me even when she sometimes can't stand me!!!

In Malaysia, one doesn't need to be Chinese to celebrate. One only needs to be a part of a Chinese family to do so!

For those not celebrating this Chinese festivity, Happy Holidays!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For those reading my blogs, I realised that I've never said how much I appreciate the visits, even when there are no comments! So THANK YOU!

Have a super duper weekend, folks!

21 January 2009

Obama's Inauguration - 20 January 2009

I chanced upon this image of a painting of President Obama in the famous Kennedy pose here! I'd never heard of Dan Lacey before but after seeing these two pictures, I'm a fan now! I'd never heard of de minimis either, but after reading that particular post, I'm a fan now!

Barack Obama's inauguration was a much-awaited event both in the U.S. and abroad. Being a fan, albeit from afar, I watched the live telecast of his inaugural speech. It was well worth staying up for. It was watching history in the making.

I don't really know why I like him.

It could be that he represents a shift in what was once perceived as unacceptable! He's the epitome of a dynamic leader. At 47, he probably is young enough to remember his youth and old enough to be concerned about growing older.

I followed his campaigning and watched him closely. I was rarely disappointed by what I read or what I saw.

So much has been written about President Obama that there is nothing much to add. Every detail of his life, his wife and two girls have been analysed, dissected, commented on and published.

I guess I just wanted to add my tiny grain of sand to the heaps that are already circulating in the virtual world. Just for me to read this post, at some point in the distant future and to remember the pleasure it gave me that he made it to the White House.

A remarkable journey by an incredibly remarkable person!

May God guide him every day and every way.

18 January 2009

PJ Vigil 03/2009 (15th) Vigil Interruptus

I've just come back from Singapore! It is always a welcome break for me to travel down south for a weekend. Although I always look forward to being there, I do feel happy returning because Malaysia is my home.

This isn't the scene at the Tuas Checkpoint at the Second Link! I wouldn't blame you if you thought it was!
It's a scene from PJ New Town when the police blocked the road because they deemed the Pot Luck Vigil an illegal gathering. They probably consider the people there a menace to society! What a laugh!

There were already many people when I arrived. I only had time to greet about three friendly faces. These are people who I've come to recognise and who I now consider to be part of a fraternity of like- and right-minded souls.

Then the police came to inform us that we had to disperse or they would do so by force!

I walked away. I am one of those, by nature, convent-schooled to boot, who finds it hard to defy authority. Yeah, I'm a wimp! :(

This is a picture taken from behind the police who were having a discussion with the organisers.
These people, like me, were very reluctant to leave. We do not really understand the reasons for the police to show up! No points for guessing why!

Then the announced, that in 30 seconds, they would break up the gathering and people began to leave.
This truck was at the entrance to MBPJ.

People gathered outside the entrance, across the road.

The police moved out to the main road.
Eventually, everyone got together and organised the potluck at a nearby restaurant. We were being forced to move on and on and on.

At the restaurant, I greeted more friends! Congratulated them on the incredible job they did in KT. Shooks hands with them! Hugged them! Wished them well!

I was tired. So I left, still feeling the remnants of the euphoric win in KT in my bones! As we drove off, I could only think of the I.S.A. detainees and I could only hope that they know and they understand that we are keeping the vigils going for them. All hope is not lost. Many are standing up for them.

We may
give in,
give out,
or give way
but we will not give up!

Lest the bigger picture is forgotten, we need to remember that a candle burns, every Sunday, until the I.S.A. is abolished!
This is the only candle picture I captured tonight! Its light burns brightly in my mind as I write this post. It belongs to Angie, a brave soul!

More here:
SANJIUN (in Mandarin)

Year of the Bull

Yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Kuala Terengganu bulldozes to victory with the help of so many caring Malaysians who went out of their comfort zones to help with the campaign.

What an excellent prelude to the Chinese New Year!!!

16 January 2009


Thank God for the internet and for being able to keep abreast of the latest updates about anything, anytime, anywhere!

I am told that I will be able to get news about Kuala Terengganu, from this blog site, which is new and which will carry live updates.

(to kick off at 11.30 am)

Physically, I am in Singapore!

Spiritually, I am in Kuala Terengganu!

Emotionally, I am with all the Barisan Rakyat Bloggers there!

11 January 2009

PJ Vigil 02/2009 (14th) Full Moon & Full Force

Tonight, in the astrological world, is the "full moon in Capricorn". I am not a believer of astrology so for me, it is just a beautiful moonlit Sunday night! I did grow up with stories of the werewolf (a person who changes into a wolf in mythology, when the moon is full). So yeah, I did feel a little scared when I was little but not anymore!!!!!

Sorry about going off on a tangent there! Let me start again.
Tonight, in the real world, as has been happening for the last 14 Sundays, a gathering of peace-loving Malaysians met, to say “hello”, to shake hands, to give bear hugs, to exchange ideas, to champion a cause they believe in and finally, to proudly sing the national anthem before dispersing to another venue or home or a “teh tarik” or whatever. Sad to say, this gathering had been deemed an illegal gathering for reasons quite vague to me.
It seems to me that there is an unmistakeable shadow of fear, known only to the “powers that be”, with regard to our Sunday gatherings. What exactly are we doing that frightens them so? I’d really like to know!
(pic taken from kkitsam)
Although I will have to give them credit for not charging in, their sheer numbers do resurrect loads of questions about why they see us as their enemies. I believe that we are only doing what our conscience tells us to do. Is that a crime these days? I really need to know.
Sorry that some of the pictures are so blurred tonight. My HP camera is only good for close-up shots. But what was there to take when the vigil lasted less than half an hour. However, I am glad that I did manage to get a few pictures of tonight’s vigil!
A very special credit must go to Blogger delCapo for rising up to the challenge of leading tonight’s vigil with much aplomb. Also to James N for being second chair!
Extra special recognition to the rakyat, who were present tonight, who came from near and far, who stood proud together and who adhered to the police warning to leave and who bravely sang the national anthem before dispersing peacefully.
Finally, it would be remiss of me not to mention “what looked like the entire PJ Balai Polis” who apparently walked to MBPJ to advise us that we had five minutes to disperse, failing which, they would have to take further action. I cannot depend totally on my knowledge of Bahasa Malaysia but this is what I gathered from his warning. I did appreciate the fact that we were permitted to leave without undue harassment. Kudos also to the FRU who came out in full-force, on the main road, with their batons and their shields, and who were, just as quickly, sent away when it was obvious they were no longer needed.
(pic taken from kkitsam)

Whatever their reasons are, we do not know. We only have our reason for being there. It's clear to all of us. We pray and hope that the I.S.A. will be abolished. No hidden agenda, just plain and simple.

As it is not illegal to gather in a coffee shop, we met in smaller groups after watching the police parade returning to the Balai. Although they all looked quite spiffy in their uniforms, it appeared they were all dressed up with nowhere to go!

I am so glad that the night ended without any untoward incident. Before I end this post, I want to share this very interesting quotation:
We can believe what we choose. We are answerable for what we choose to believe.
John Henry Newman (1801-1890)Cleric and theologian

Read more here:

10 January 2009

Just to remind!

We will meet, as always, at the same time, same place, same cause. Hope to meet some of the readers who drop by to this blog! :)

04 January 2009

PJ Candlelight Vigil 01/2009 - Happening

There are three classes of people:
Those who make things happen
Those who watch things happen
Those who say "what happened?".

The caring Malaysians, who get out of their comfort zones each Sunday and who gather together in support of the Abolishment of I.S.A. probably consider this a small sacrifice to make, when we take into account the Malaysia that we want for our children and grandchildren. It's why I am there. You have to come and see how "happening" the gatherings are. You'll never feel alone again! We are a family, a Malaysian family.

To kickstart the first vigil of 2009 and in honour of all the 2008 vigils that were held in PJ and also in Seremban, here is a collage of almost all the different candles that were lit between 12 October 2008 until 28 December 2008.We've come a long way since that first vigil. We've got a long way to go but we are certainly on our way there. The passion has not dissipated. Many are still hopeful for change. So many new vigilers came tonight. The regulars, ever faithful also showed up. It is always heartening to be a part of the gathering.We had a slight change to the agenda, with less speeches and more mingling with one another. I think it is nice to be able to shake hands with strangers, make small talk and end up as friends. If we don't do it now, when are we ever going to do it? I think it is a good time to bond with others of different races and feel as one Bangsa Malaysia. A by-product of the anti-I.S.A. gathering has instilled in all of us this feeling of unity and we need it.

The first unique candles of 2009
To those who came tonight and who will not be present next week, we'll hold the torch till you all are back. For the record, the vigil goes on, in the absence of the main organizers, other natural leaders take over and we'll gather to make a stand and to show our support as always.

To those whose picture I didn't get tonight, I'll catch you next time! ;)

Read more here:

01 January 2009

So long 2008 and Welcome to 2009

I'm writing this on the first day of January 2009 and want to put on record my activities during the last week of 2008.

Tuesday, 23 December 2008
Went to work for half a day and then to the Peruvian Residence for a toast and lunch.
The christmas tree there was lovely and we had a bottle of champagne. The table setting and plates were so pretty. The hosts were gracious and the guests were so comfortable and relaxed. Not only was it a picture perfect afternoon, it was a really enjoyable way to end the working year.
We had an interesting salad, a corn and meat pie, some nougat ice-cream and fruits. What a sumptuous meal!!!! All home-made.
After the long lunch, we exchanged gifts and wishes and happily said goodbye until 2009.

Wednesday, 24 December 2008
I took the first coach (also the best coach!) at 7.30 am from Bangsar, KL to Novena Square, Singapore. Watched 5 episodes of Bones Season 2 and reached my destination at about 12.45 pm. Had lunch at Hans. Went home, rested a bit then spent the rest of the afternoon with my mother-in-law. Had dinner at Bali Thai (all you can eat buffet). Forgot to take pictures of the delicious food.

Ushered in Christmas at home with my dearly beloved significant Singapore half! Bliss!

Thursday, 25 December 2008
Stephen and I woke up late. We spent more time with mother-in-law and after that, browsed around Toa Payoh Central.

We had tea at Delifrance. I'm in love with the fruit tarts (millions of calories!).

After a light dinner, we took the 8.30 pm bus, headed for Kuala Lumpur. Nice ride and I watched another 5 episodes of Bones Season 2. Arrived to Bangsar at close to 1.00 am. Jared picked us up. Home sweet home.

Friday, 26 December 2008
Went to the office for awhile to clear some unfinished business. Had lunch at NZ Cafe. Went to Suria KLCC - did some banking. Toyed around with the idea of going to Penang. Went to KL Sentral to check if there were tickets and did find the last two tickets for a private cabin on the train for Penang. Impromptu decision materialised! Rushed home. Decided to travel light and so we took only backpacks, one for each of us. We picked Jared from work so he could leave us at KL Sentral and we boarded the train, ready for some light sleep on the bunks. I slept deeply almost all of the way but Stephen was wakeful and watchful throughout, even with the door bolted. Cabin is air-conditioned and rather comfy with two soft pillows and clean white sheets. Picture only shows one pillow but we had two each. :)
Saturday, 27 December 2008
Woke up at about 5.00 am as arrival time to Butterworth is supposedly 5.45 am. There is a wash basin in the cabin, so it was convenient for us to wash our faces and brush our teeth. Arrived in Butterworth, disembarked, took the walk to the ferry, caught the 6.00am to Penang Island. It was rather deserted at that hour. Got a taxi to Dorsett to have a hearty breakfast and at a more decent hour of the morning, we rang my nieces (Shakunthala and Vayshnavee) to alert them that we were on our way to see them. My elder sister, Esmeralda was all ready for us when we arrived. They took us to visit another sister, Lourdez Faridah, who stays on the other side of Penang, along Tanjung Bungah. Surprised her as she did not know of our trip and spent a bit of time there. Then we went to Swatow Lane for lunch. Went back to Esmeralda's place to chit chat and catch up on news.

Later in the evening, we went to Armenia Street for an exhibition by Ricardo Tovar which was officially opened by the inimitable Antares. It was a real treat meeting him and he didn't disappoint us with his lively and thoroughly interesting ideas. Even in that short time, we already felt like old friends reconnecting after a long break. Or at least I did. We really have to visit him in Magickriver soon.
We left soon after the inauguration of the Exhibition and as we turned out of that street, we saw the loveliest rainbow. I took the picture, with my HP, from the car. Thank God for that "red" light!
After that, we went to see Esmeralda at her "makan" shop in Farlim to have a teh-tarik and to say good-bye.
Shakun and Vayshna dropped us off at the Ferry Terminal and we took the 10.00 pm Ferry back to Butterworth. After which we boarded the "supposed to leave at" 11.00 pm train (finally departed at 12.oo midnight) back to KL.

Sunday, 28 December 2008
Slept all the way back, reached KL Sentral at about 5.15 am. Had breakfast at McDonalds, got a taxi and back home again. Spent a quiet day at home till evening. Got ready for mass, dinner at Strawberry Fields and then for the vigil. See here for that story.

Monday, 29 December 2008
Got up late again. Didn't do much, just enjoyed doing everything and nothing. The three of us (Stephen, Jared and me) had a very late lunch at Genesis. Then we all visited my mom, dad and aunt. From there we went to Ikea to look for a dining table. All three of us chose a different one. No consensus reached so it's still a pending matter. Browsed around Harvey Norman. Each of us chose something for our needs. Jared picked a headphone for his Ipod, Stephen a USB Port adapter and for me, a normal plug adapter. While I was paying for these items, Stephen browsed the flat screen TVs. He's been doing that a lot lately but always waiting for the right moment to get one. That must have been the right moment because before we knew it, we were hauling back a Sharp Flat Screen! It's our New Year Gift to ourselves!
Needless to say, we spent that night watching TV and marvelling at technology.

Tuesday, 30th December
Sent Jared to work in the morning. Had lunch, did some errands. Sent our former 29" TV to my mom/dad/aunt. They were surprised but very happy to receive it. We said our goodbyes to them and went home to pack again. We picked Jared from his office, went straight to Bangsar, had a quick dinner. Our train was scheduled for 8.30 pm from Bangsar to Novena Square . Almost a week since I started my holiday and I am again repeating the journey but this time with Stephen. I watched the last episode of Bones Season 2 and Transformers. I know it's an old show but I never got to see it earlier. So now I know these words: Megatron, Optimus Prime and Decepticons!

Wednesday, 31st December
Arrived at Novena Square at nearly 1.00 am. No more MRTs at this hour. We took a taxi home to Toa Payoh. Checked our mails, read our news and then to bed at nearly 4 am. Such is life during vacation. Routines go flying out the window and all normal times for eating, sleeping, etc is forgotten. Anything goes. We love it.

Lunch was with a wonderful neighbour who made Hawaian chicken and Beef Smore with Sambal Belacan. We ate with our fingers so definitely we can say it was "finger-lickin' good!". How blessed are our lives that we only have to think of food and someone invites us for a lovely spread!!

After that lovely lunch, we went to visit mom-in-law again. She was surprised. She had not expected us at all. We were happy we made it back to Singapore to see her on the last day of 2008. :) Feel good moment there!

We had tea at Delifrance again. I think I'm addicted to those fruit tarts!

We had intended to spend a quiet evening at home but on our way back, we saw a huge tent and heard loud music at a Community Centre just 3 minutes from our flat. There was a Line Dancing/Kickit Countdown and across the street, was another show in conjuction with the New Year Countdown. We just decided to join the fun. We made friends with strangers. It was really entertaining. Most important of all is just spending time together as that seems to be a precious commodity for both of us. Although we were among strangers, it mattered not one bit. We were together and that's what counts most of all.Finally, some pictures of Orchard Road to end this post.
So ended 2008 for us and now we begin 2009 with loads of love, hope and peace in our hearts. For as long as we are together - everyday is Christmas and every night is New Year's eve.