Tuesday, 24 December 2013

Evolution Of Luis Suarez

Liverpool FC goal scoring phenom Luis Suarez seems to have evolved from a Hannibal Lecter wannabe into...

















...this Suarez in whose mouth butter will not melt

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Arrow And Partridges

Have been watching a downloaded TV series called "Arrow" lately:



A star in the series is one, Katie Cassidy which made me wonder about another Cassidy whom she slightly resembled; David Cassidy of popular 70s TV series, The Partridge Family. As it turns out, Katie Cassidy is the daughter. Back in the day, David Cassidy was a rave with teenage girls and a favorite pin-up boy. The following that Google found makes me feel real old!

David Cassidy:


Partridge Family Pilot (1970):


David Cassidy today:



Thursday, 5 December 2013

Kari Ayam Sempalit...Try It

Kari Ayam Sempalit at Restoran Do Re Mi in Ara Damansara. Mild but spice infused curries for the fainthearted.

A post by Tiger Mike Naser (who did not mention the excellent 4 bottles of sauvignon blanc he brought that rainy afternoon) in the Edwardian Tigers eGroup:




           












Our Lunch spread ordered by Tiger Cheah 


                           







The curries exposed for your geram.
Yesterday, 2nd Dec 2013, Tiger Cheah initiated a curry lunch at Do Re Mi Building @ Jln PJU 1A/20b, Dataran Ara Damansara, which has many excellent stalls. Tiger Cheah arrived early to book hard-to-get table near The Kari Ayam Sempalit.  The curries made by this stall were really outstanding. The secrets are held by the mother of En. Dinesh who manages the stall with efficiency. We could not get the recipes. Will try again.
I sincerely recommend this place if you need excellent curries. Car Parking is difficult. Please come early. Prices are very reasonable. Cold beers are available !!

TQ a mil to Tiger Cheah

Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Why The All Blacks?

8 reasons you wish you were a New Zealand All Blacks fan



THE NEW ZEALAND All Blacks — if you’re from New Zealand, you probably need no encouragement whatsoever to stand behind them. But as for everyone else, well, you might think about whose side of the fence you’re standing on the next time you find yourself in a discussion of sporting excellence.

For over 130 years, this has been the club to measure athletic success against — and here’s some evidence why.

1. They’re arguably the most successful professional sports team in history. They’ve won an astonishing 85% of every match they’ve ever played, and hold a 75% win rate in tested matches (officially sanctioned matches). By comparison, the New York Yankees have a winning percentage of just 53%.

2. They’re one of the oldest professional teams still in existence. The New Zealand national rugby team was founded in 1884. So…make sure you wish them a happy 130th birthday next year. (Oh, they also went undefeated in their first year.)




3. They’ve won the Tri Nations / Rugby Championship 12 times. This is an elite tournament in which New Zealand competes against Argentina, Australia, and South Africa. The championship has only existed for 18 years.

4. The population of New Zealand is 4.4 million. The All Blacks Facebook fan page has 2.1 million followers. You do the math. (Or don’t, and just realize that All Blacks fans pretty much make up their own nation.)

5. They’ve had 17 sets of father-son player combinations, and 34 sets of brothers. Needless to say…rugby’s kind of in their blood.

6. They competed in what’s considered the greatest game of rugby ever played, a ridiculous come-from-behind victory against Australia. And they won.

7. Rugby has been argued as the “surrogate religion” of New Zealand. Multiple professors have written theses on rugby’s prominent place in Kiwi life — and the conflicts that can arise out of what happens when a rugby fixture is played on a Sunday. Which, thinking about it, kind of makes the All Blacks the country’s unofficial spiritual leader.



8. And, of course, the haka. Probably the most badass pre-game warmup ritual in the history of competitive sports, it’s the same ancient war cry that Maori have done for hundreds and hundreds of years. And exactly the kind of thing that makes opponents think, “I’ve just made a huge mistake…”

Haka Tribute

Monday, 25 November 2013

Ireland 22 All Blacks 24

This was a game the All Blacks did not deserve to win. Alas, the Gods of Rugby ordained that this would be a perfect season for the All Blacks as the luck of the Irish ran out at the end. The Irish forwards outplayed their NZ counterparts and there were just too many handling errors from the men in black.

The last play of the match was cruel for Ireland.

Saturday, 9 November 2013

Making Waves Down Under



It appears that Haris made waves down under with the ladies too. The following comment in Malaysiakini was written by his new found admirer, Mary O'Donovan but the way she writes about him makes her sound like the PR handlers of Najib. Nevertheless, I agree with most of what she said about Haris. Keep it up bro!


A dangerous man called Haris

COMMENT I've just spent the last five days staying with Haris Ibrahim in Melbourne and from the moment I met him, I became aware of how dangerous he could become for the Malaysian government.          

Yes, in the world of activism, I am the greatest cynic. I don't trust anyone on face value. I don't believe most of what I hear and even less of what I see. 

I've interacted with many activists both in Australia and overseas, and there are those of which I am quickly dismissive. They are the ones who are just angry with their lot in life and wave a banner for social reform irrespective of the cause. I say that these people would even turn up for the opening of a paper bag.

There are also those who are driven by ego. They just love being in the spotlight and if offered a chance for change, they won't accept it because it removes their platform. I am always bemused by the altruism derived from an ulterior motive. 

Then there are those whose motives are real, they have the backing of the public and they have the composure, nous and the ability to convey the social reforms to the people and consequently, see it happen. They are always highly intelligent, extremely affable, have attained much in life both professionally and personally, but have decided that the cause isn't about them, it is about the people.

NONESo, I asked Haris many, many questions, because I just didn't trust him. I had no reason to. I didn't know him. Sure, I'd read his blog. I'd seen his videos. I knew his ideology. But I wanted to test him. I wanted to know why. I wanted to know why this man calls himself an activist, what motivates him, if there was there a contributory factor that made him choose this path, and I also wanted to know who he was. Haris, the person.

Thus, what did I deduce from our time spent together? This man is dangerous for the Malaysian government and there isn't a thing the government can do to stop him. Haris has them in a corner. If they put him in jail or have him killed, ABU and the people now have their martyr, further inciting anger; but if they don't stop him, they now have a revolution.

Being Malay made him different I went in search for the very essence of why he is an activist. To me, there is always one defining factor as to why people are activists and in response to my question, Haris said there wasn't one. But in fact, there is. It is the fact that he was born Malay of interracial parents in Malaysia. Just by being born, Haris was already an outcast, and this has defined him over the years.

Haris grew up in a government house with a Malay father and Ceylonese mother. As a child, he would sit on the steps listening to tales from family members about law and his passion for social justice was fostered. He told me that although these stories were possibly embellished, the seed had been planted. 

The first time Haris realised that being Malay made him different to his friends was after an incident with his closest childhood friend. His friend was Chinese and although he received a higher mark than Haris, he was not eligible to further his education, whereas, Haris was. As a consequence to this, his closest friend never spoke to him again, leaving an indelible imprint on his psyche. 

As such, the inequalities within Malaysia led him to turn his back on his beloved country to become educated in England. He hoped that his law degree would now mean something to his fellow Malaysians. He told me about the client who initially refused to see him as soon as he saw the Malay surname. He also told me why he eventually walked away from his beloved career as a lawyer.

Haris had a very successful career as a lawyer, working many pro bono cases regarding religion, but eventually, his conscience wouldn't allow him to continue. 

"In 2010, there was an increasing sense that the judiciary, which in every jurisdiction is supposed to be final bastion that preserves the fundamental rights of the citizenry, no longer served the purpose. I could no longer, in all good conscience, bow and say, 'Oh, wise one'." He consequently deduced that change had to be a political process.

Naturally, Haris is angry. The government and their policies have encroached on every aspect of his life. They have violated his dreams, his friendships, his character and his career. He has the anger, but does he have the ability to be powerful within Malaysia? Anger will only go so far to stir up trouble, for someone to become really powerful, they must have the ability to convey the message and more importantly, have that message heard by the people.

Witty and intelligent
Haris does. I watched him interact with the people. He is affable, he is witty, he is intelligent and people were drawn to him. As he spoke at the forum in Melbourne, people were leaning forward in their seats, hanging on to his every word and he left the people hungry for more. Someone said the next day that they were yet to sleep, as they had spent the night in deep thought.

Another quality of Haris is his ability to listen. He wasn't constantly telling people his views, he wanted to hear what other people thought and as he sat and listened, I could see him thinking and digesting what they said. He was never dismissive of a person, he made the people feel like they were heard and it didn't matter what was said, they were made to feel important. 

And as I said, this man is dangerous. He is dangerous due to a myriad of reasons. He won't stop until he sees the change he wants and the more the government attempts to stop him, the more passionate he will become. 

He is dangerous because this isn't a man aimlessly running amok. This is a man whom I would consider to be a genius, carefully strategising change. He has decided that Bersih is no longer conducive to his cause. "What does one mean by being non-partisan? They say that ABU is pro-opposition, this is not true. I am partisan, but I am pro people and it is for that reason, when the need arises, to slam the opposition if the position they take does not auger for the interest of the people."

He is dangerous because he has a soul. He spoke to me about walking from the law courts to lunch one day and seeing a woman without any limbs, begging on the streets of Kuala Lumpur and as he sat in the restaurant, he realised that the ringgit he had given her, were useless. So, he bought her some food and sat beside her, feeding her. As he spoke, his voice broke with emotion. He told me that she gave him more than he had given her. 

He is dangerous because he isn't ego driven and he has the ability to articulate what people are thinking, on a grand scale. He is giving the people a voice. People want change. They are angry at the lack of democracy in Malaysia. They are angry with the inequality found within the races. They are angry at the crime and corruption which is rife within Malaysia. They are angry at so many things, especially with the outcome of GE13. 

Will he just walk away disheartened? I have no doubt that his unwavering conviction won't allow this. He has already given up his lucrative law degree and sold his family farm to dedicate his life to change. He has already turned down a copious amount of money to just go away. So, he isn't going to stop now. 

He wants change implemented and he has the means to do it. He has a lot of support and ironically, each time he was arrested, the donations to ABU came flooding in. Unwittingly, each time the government attempted to stop him, they have actually created a situation far worse than imaginable. 

Are his strategies plausible? Definitely! He is working with a team who are doing their research and they have realised the areas which need to be addressed and have started to go out and educate these people about their rights. With every lie proffered by the government, he counteracts them with an educated response filled with facts and figures. He wants accountability.

Ironically, the man is only dangerous to the government because the government has created the need for change. If so many people weren't looking for change, they wouldn't be looking for someone to lead them to the answers and as I said, Haris has the intelligence, the passion, the unwavering conviction and the strategies to do it. 

Paradoxically, as the government attempts to silence him, they are only creating a greater platform for him to be heard, both in Malaysia and internationally. His visit to Australia is proof of this. By charging him with sedition resulting in his first visa to Australia being declined, they actually created a greater platform for him to be heard internationally. 

The media in Australia wanted to know why he had been denied entry over here and although there was nothing sinister about this, it gave him the podium to speak about the corruption within the government, the gerrymander which is in place, the 40 percent poverty that exists, the indelible ink which wiped off within 10 minutes and the list continued, and as he spoke, I'd glance across to the people listening to him and I could see how much they liked him and the effect he had on them. 

I almost laughed when I saw Jim Middleton, a reporter for the esteemed ABC, inadvertently smile as Haris spoke. I could see that even as a seasoned reporter, Middleton liked what he was hearing. Haris is a brilliant orator and people want to hear him speak.

Right man for the job
Although finding himself inadvertently at the forefront of the movement, to me, he is the right man for the job. Malaysians want change, and with his intelligence and his unwavering conviction, he has the passion and the heart to get it done.

Upon telling him that many would see him as some sort of idol, he dismissed this by saying that this isn't what he desired; Malaysians need to believe that they themselves can do it. He wants to empower the people, not lead them and I believe that change is imminent and the only people who should be afraid is the government and anyone else involved in the corruption within the Malaysian society.

Malaysia, Haris wants a revolution. "I don't want a Bersih rally with grandparents and young children all going home at six, I want people who are ready to never leave until we get what we want." Malaysians are becoming increasingly frustrated. They have tried the court system to initiate change, but to no avail. They have demanded through rallies a democratic system and weren't heard. 

As Haris said, "They won't give us the demands, because if they do, the government will lose." The people have finally had enough and through Haris and ABU, they won't stop until they are heard.

Malaysia created Haris and now the government wants to silence what they created. It won't happen.

MARY O'DONOVAN is law graduate from Australia who is well versed in Malaysian politics. She has recently completed an internship at the Malaysian Centre for Constitutionalism and Human Rights. Her passion is human rights

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

The Pathan Wars?


This article in today's Malaysian Insider is interesting as it may seem that things are boiling to the surface in the very convoluted and complicated world of seedy Malaysian politics. If it is agreed that there is no smoke without a fire, then this MI article is not mere smoke but the first flames that are appearing on the surface of what is covering a conflagration raging below. It has been smoking for some time now. Though not mentioned in the MI article as yet, it probably will impact Sabah UMNO politics with the pathan at the helm. It appears "The Land Beneath The Wind" holds much history and many conspiracies. Please read: 

Attorney General’s position under threat? Reportedly in Dr M camp’s sights

BY ZULKIFLI SULONG AND V. ANBALAGAN

NOVEMBER 06, 2013
LATEST UPDATE: NOVEMBER 06, 2013 04:01 PM




Abdul Gani Patail's alleged misconducts were reportedly discussed in the meeting attended by Dr Mahathir, Mat Zain and Shafee. - The Malaysian Insider pic, November 6, 2013.Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail's position as the Attorney General appears under threat as reports and sources say former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has met several people to discuss the top government lawyer's misdeeds.

The speculation is based on a meeting attended by Dr Mahathir, former Kuala Lumpur Criminal Investigations Department director Datuk Mat Zain Ibrahim and prominent lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah.

News portal Malaysiakini reported that three months ago, Mat Zain received a surprise phone call from Shafee to attend the meeting.

The report revealed that Mat Zain met Shafee at the lawyer's office-cum-residence in Bukit Tunku on August 10, three days after Hari Raya.

The two was said to have discussed Gani's alleged “misconducts”, as well as the highly-publicised case on Pulau Batu Puteh - the island off Johor which the International Court of Justice awarded to Singapore following a legal dispute in 2008.

The news portal said Mat Zain and Shafee later met Dr Mahathir at his residence in Country Heights, Kajang, on the same day.

Present at the meeting were Dr Mahathir's former political secretary Matthias Chang and former Commercial Crimes Investigation Department director, Datuk Ramli Yusoff, who briefed the former premier over his run-ins with Gani.

Their discussion also touched on other alleged wrongdoings by the AG, including fabrication of evidence in the famous "black eye" case of 1998 involving former deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

Mat Zain, who was the investigating officer in that case, had informed Dr Mahathir of fabrication of evidence allegedly committed by Gani, then a senior deputy public prosecutor handling Anwar's first sodomy and power abuse case, following his dismissal from the government.

The alleged fabrication took place when Gani was said to have brought in pathologist Dr Abdul Rahman Yusoff to accuse Anwar in court of self-inflicting his injuries, contradicting medical reports.

As a result, a Royal Commission of Inquiry was set up to investigate the black-eye incident, resulting in the admission by former inspector-general of police Tan Sri Abdul Rahim Noor that he had beaten Anwar hours after his arrest on September 20, 1998.

In 2008, Anwar filed a police report against Gani and former police chief Tan Sri Musa Hassan, who was involved in the first sodomy case thrown at Anwar.

The accusations of fabrication and misconduct on the part of Gani and Musa were however dismissed by a three-member committee comprising retired judges formed by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC).


It was reported that in the meeting with Mahathir, Shafee (pic, right) agreed that the appointment of the MACC committee to clear Gani and Musa was illegal.

Two months after the meeting, Mat Zain on October 7 made a statutory declaration on the matter, with copies sent to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, solicitor-general Datuk Idris Harun and Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar.

In August, Gani appointed Shafee to lead the prosecution team in its appeal against Anwar's acquittal in the Sodomy II charge.

Gani, 58, joined the Attorney General's Chambers in 1980 and was appointed AG in 2002.

He had come under heavy criticism from the opposition and non-governmental organisations over his handling of several high profile cases, including the Altantuya Shaariibuu murder and the cheating case involving former transport minister Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik.

Dr Mahathir is also said to have pressured Gani and called Home Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi for a discussion. During the meeting, Dr Mahathir claimed that the AG's Chambers employed two CIA agents. Ahmad Zahid had agreed to probe into the claim. - November 6, 2013.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Is Religion About Its Followers Or Are Followers About Their Religions?

UPDATE; 5th November 2013

That Effing Show replies Perkasa:




**************************************
ORIGINAL POST:

The following are followers of the same religion:

Ezzra Zaid and the "That Effing Show" Gang



Dr Reza Azlan, Islamic Theologian. BFM interview:

...compared to *ahem*. Decide for yourself.

UPDATE 3rd November 2013. The following was in Malaysiakini:


Perkasa finds no humour in YouTube parody, calls cops
12:44PM Nov 3, 2013
There was no humour for Selangor Perkasa in a parody video on the ‘Allah' issue - it was so offended it lodged a series of police reports against the makers.

NONEAccording to Utusan Malaysia, Selangor Perkasa chief Abu Bakar Yahya (right) said the YouTubevideo entitled: ‘That Effing Show #95: Allah, Apa Lagi?' was an insult to a Court of Appeal ruling which banned a Christian publication from using the word 'Allah'.

"This matter must be scrutinised to avoid discontent and disharmony in the country," he was quoted as saying.

Abu Bakar, whose movement had made nine police reports throughout Selangor, added that the relevant authorities should take action against the video makers.

The six minutes and 31 seconds video uploaded on the PopTeeVee channel featured two separate groups with one claiming the word ‘Allah' for themselves.

Subsequently, the other group then began claiming various Malay language words originating from Sanskrit such as ‘bumiputera'. ‘raja' and ‘negara'.

Producers to cooperate with cops

They cited that this was to avoid people from being "confused" by Hindu influences, to which the other group became offended and said they would call for Perkasa to aid them.

Perkasa spoof popTVHowever, it was pointed out that the word ‘Perkasa' was also from Sanskrit, causing one of the group members to react in rage and imitating Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali's infamous reaction on international TV: "Don't talk S**t!".

The video was hosted by Ezra Zaid (left in photo), who previously had a run in with religious authorities over the publication of a book entitled ‘Allah, Liberty & Love' by liberal Muslim author Irshad Manji.

Meanwhile, the company responsible for the producing 'That Effing Show' said that it will cooperate with the authorities.

"With regards to Perkasa's comments on our videos, we believe we share an equal passion in building a better Malaysia: which is further proof that there is even more in common between PopTeeVee and Perkasa besides the four points already raised in Episode 96

"Perkasa works for what they believe makes for a better Malaysia. We believe in following the footsteps of our experienced and passionate leaders in doing the same," said Hardesh Singh, the company's founder and executive producer.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

A Typical Jeannie And J.J. Moment

Camping with the usual gang of families in Port Dickson, 2000. I am glad that they shared this type of mother and son relationship right to the end...

J.J. Evolution

How did this
























...become this?
























Must have started with this:
























Or is it because of Prince Cheah?



Friday, 1 November 2013

Taiping Mali

When Taipingnites visit Taiping with non-Taiping spouses and children. The following video clip was in the Panorama Hotel suite in 1998.

Thursday, 31 October 2013

Friendship More Than Skin Deep...

In the last years of her life Jeannie had a group of younger friends whom she mainly met initially on the Net. Some of them still figure in our lives today and we take it as part of Jeannie's legacy. This video clip is from a short trip to Port Dickson in 2003 and it shows some of them discussing skincare with her. 

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

The Art Of Vulgarity

This video clip must be from about 12 years ago when Paul/Chris got married. The clip shows how Jeannie and Paul got along so well. Kevin Lim was the cameraman and narrator; he used night vision mode. Kevin, this post is for you.


Sunday, 27 October 2013

An English Tea

In keeping with the current top English TV series, Downton Abbey we are watching, just had cranberry scones with mixed berries jam and cream by Krystyn Cheah...typically English tea fare. The first time she had scones, strawberry jam and clotted cream was in Windsor 1997. Time has flown and Krystyn has grown.




Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Paris In Fall - Louvre 99

Mona Lisa...
It was a tiring trip and Jeannie had not rested enough. Yet she could not resist a photo with the famed  La Joconde. More than words, this video and picture show it...right down to their tired eyes!
  

Monday, 21 October 2013

In Defense Of Hinduism

Courtesy of Mariyappan Munian Pappan. 

The difference is that they are comfortable in their own skin; extending their arguments in their own rationale. No need to defend their religion by violent means nor at the bottom line, do they see their religion needing to be defended. To each his own.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Dinner At Auntie Aini's Garden Cafe

Last night Mimi hosted dinner...again. This time it was at Auntie Aini's Garden Cafe in Nilai; a place introduced to her by a client and serves wonderfully authentic Negeri Sembilan malay cuisine. 

I shall not go into detail of the location or how difficult it can be to locate the place at night nor its description; there are enough articles on the internet including GPS coordinates (here, here, here, here, here and many more). It was Mimi's second visit and she being also from Negeri Sembilan I trust her taste buds when she waxed lyrical about her first culinary experience there. As for me, I was more interested in the various masak lemak cili padi.

We arrived late as usual but Mimi had already pre-ordered the food and we were ushered to a table that could accommodate the 6 of us. Nothing to complain about the service.

The main courses that Mimi ordered (shown here in portions for 3): 


(L-R) Pucuk paku masak kerang, sambal kupang, ayam kampung goreng, kangkung belacan, and signature dishes, daging salai masak lemak cili padi, telur itek masak lemak cili padi and the udang galah masak lemak tempoyak. There were of course many other dishes on the menu and the must try later would be the asam pedas and rendang offerings.  

How do I rate the food that we had? The masak lemak cili api dishes were of course exquisite with the rich santan flavor cut with the sourness of belimbing and probably asam keping. I think they reduced the hotness for us with less cili api. The poached telur itek would have been better underdone with the yoke still able to ooze out. Tempoyak aficionados would call me an idiot (I am not a tempoyak fan) for having just tried a bit of the udang galah masak lemak tempoyak for taste. The gulai daging salai to me was just perfect and the ayam kampung goreng was well marinated (a tinge of asam or lime sourness) and fried the way most Malaysians like; crispy on the outside, tender and juicy on the inside.  

I suspect vegetables may not be Auntie Aini's cup of tea. The kangkung belacan and pucuk paku goreng kerang although not over-fried, lacked more distinct flavor normally associated with the two dishes. Being a masak lemak place a kerabu pucuk paku with santan would have been a better choice. The kupang masak sambal was nice but rather ordinary.


However, this dessert was by no means ordinary. Homemade tapai with vanilla ice cream!

Auntie Aini? Well, she is both a personality and a character. Go meet her for yourself as Auntie Aini's Garden Cafe is a must visit destination on the Malaysian culinary map.  

To Mimi, a big thank you.

Here's a preview:

  


Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Nice Touch From Pepe Reina


Goodbye letter for Liverpool’s fans: “Thanks for everything, I will see you soon”




It is a strange feeling for me to think that next season I will not be a Liverpool player. For the past eight years, that is all I have known. The club, the staff, the city, the people and the supporters have played a massive part in my life. Liverpool is special in a way that only those who are lucky enough to experience the club close up can understand. It has given me memories that will live with me forever and friendships that will last just as long.

But more than anything else, it has given me an understanding of what it is like to play for the most wonderful English club. I may not have won as many trophies and medals as I would have liked since joining in 2005 but the experiences I have been a part of are as important as any silverware. I now understand how supporters can lift a team and inspire them to do special things. I appreciate that there is something unique about Anfield and the atmosphere it creates. I believe that anything is possible no matter what the situation is because at Liverpool there is no such thing as a lost cause. And I have been humbled by the fight for justice for the 96 which showed me that the Liverpool people will always fight for what they believe in.

I know that I have been blessed to be part of a Club like that and I hope that in return I have always given my best and represented Liverpool in the right way. There have been good times and bad times but no matter what the situation has been I hope that my passion has been clear. I have been asked what my favourite Liverpool moment was and if I had to pick one it wouldn’t be a save or winning a trophy. It would be my celebration against Manchester United when David Ngog scored a late goal. That is probably the quickest I have ever run in my life! It shows what playing for Liverpool meant to me and also that there was nothing better than winning a big game at Anfield. I used to look at the Kop when we scored those kind of goals in big games and I would be jealous of the supporters going crazy. If the closest I will get to that is running the length of the pitch and jumping on my team mates backs then that will do for me.

Obviously, I won’t be able to do that next season but I hope that the supporters and my team mates will be able to enjoy many more moments like that. They deserve the best of times and it would give me so much pleasure to see Liverpool back where they belong, challenging for trophies and getting back into the top four. That was where the club was when I first arrived and although I am leaving a different club, one with new owners, a new manager, new players and new challenges, I honestly believe that Liverpool can reach those levels again.

I am disappointed that I will not be part of that and although it was not my decision to leave I will accept it just like I have always accepted any decision that Liverpool have taken for me. They signed me, picked me, gave me some of the best experiences of my life and looked after me. If they feel that the best thing for me and for them is for me to go on loan to Napoli for a season then so be it. Napoli is a new challenge for me and I know that the fans are just as passionate about their team as the Liverpool fans, so I am really looking forward to playing for them this season and I will give my all.

But if I have one regret, it is the way that I am leaving. It is only natural that I would be disappointed that the Liverpool management agreed to loan me to Napoli without telling me first, I thought that I deserved better than that even though I understand that difficult decisions have to be taken in football. A lot has been made about me informing the club that if an offer came in from Barcelona that I would have liked them to consider it. But I had also spoken to the club about the possibility of extending my contract if the offer was not made. I told the manager that I wanted to play for Liverpool and that Barcelona would only become an option for me if the opportunity arrived, like the rumours said it would, as it would be a chance for me to go back home. When it didn’t come I was happy to fight for my place so I was surprised that Liverpool decided it was in the club´s interests to send me to Napoli instead.

None of this will change my feelings for the club or the people in any way and now I have to look forward to a new challenge with Rafa Benitez, who I consider to be the best manager I have worked with, and I am fortunate to be going from one great club to another. Napoli remind me in many ways of the Liverpool I found in 2005, in all the affection they have shown me on my arrival, in having an ambitious project, even in coinciding and working with Benitez again…This memory which in part unites me with you, makes me happy and feel very motivated to begin this new project.

This is my chance to say thank you to everyone for everything that you have given to me and to my family. My children consider Liverpool to be their home and hopefully their love for the city and also for the club will only grow while we are away. I would have liked to have been able to say goodbye in a different way but because of the way the move came about this was not possible.

Maybe in the near future I can do it properly so that I can show my appreciation to you but all I would ask now is that you keep on inspiring the manager and the players just like you always have done and help Liverpool to become the club that you deserve once again. I would like nothing better than to come back at the end of my year away and for Liverpool to be back where they belong.

Thank you for everything. Good luck. I will see you soon.

Pepe Reina.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Prince The King (er...Scumbag)

J.J. endearingly calls Prince "Scumbag" and sometimes the word fits Prince to the "T". There are so many things that Prince does, the list is endless:

  • he will wipe his mouth on the nearest person after drinking water
  • wipes his ass on you as he pretends to be playing with you
  • wakes you up in the morning by covering your nostrils with his tongue or he licks your eyelids open
  • if the above failed, he would bark incessantly into your ears till you get up and take him outside to do his "business".
  • piss in the house as you tell him not to and while he is doing it stares at you as if to say, "come clean it up"
  • ...and on and on
The best part is, he never dared do it to Jeannie. For example, he would never have his backside at her face when he slept on the bed. Indeed he would even be in "reverse gear" when he moved away. He also did not dare wake her up in the morning and would only get up when she did...no matter how late. At about 10.30 at night when Jeannie was at her computer below the staircase Prince would climb the stairs to her eye-level and softly bark at her as if to remind her of bed time. When she was unwell we once saw him pull her blanket to cover her. Not many people will believe what we say.

Domination? Took this photo at 3.30 am yesterday.




Sunday, 6 October 2013

All Blacks First Five Eights

Not a bad evening of sports. Liverpool are top of the BPL after a 3-1 victory over Crystal Palace and the All Blacks put up a solid performance at Ellis Park to beat the Boks 27-38. A real stand out All Blacks player today was substitute fly half, Beauden Barrett who came in to replace Aaron Cruden who together with Colin Slade are appearing to be pretenders to the fly half throne. It looks like New Zealand has found a natural successor to Dan Carter who himself replaced the great Andrew Mehrtens. Mehrtens was the successor to the legendary Grant Fox.

A Tribute to Andrew Mehrtens:


Tribute to Dan Carter:


Grant Fox: All Blacks Hall of Fame:


The gentlemen's game played by ruffians.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

Pumas Vs All Blacks (Return Match) - La Plata

The match to watch will be the Championship decider this weekend between the Boks and All Blacks in Johannesburg. Anything can happen.

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Wrong Number?

Found this on Facebook:















Interestingly, for as long as we carried mobile phones (which was pretty much as long as we were together) my entry in the phone book was the same; "Jeannie". By the way, I still maintain her phone number and every once in a while the kids get funked when "Mummy" shows up as "caller" on their phones!

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Better To Have Tried And Failed Than Never To Have Tried At All...

The man has passed on and the hullabaloo about his ashes, a subject of heated political and social debate. The question is simply whether to allow his ashes to be brought back to Malaysia; yes or no? For me, the many who shout their views label themselves into only two categories. Magnanimous or otherwise. Their opinion on the matter profiles them. Forget about legal issues; there are none. 

I have blogged at length about Chin Peng at least thrice ("I Remember...", "They Remember..." and "He Remembered...") before. History belongs to the victor and no matter how big or small a mark we leave behind, in the end we are each just making our own journey in this world as individual mortal beings. Chin Peng was the same and it is evidenced by his farewell message below. He took comfort in his children and his parting words were, "... I wish to be remembered simply as a good man who could tell the world that he had dared to spend his entire life in pursuit of his own ideals...".


Chin Peng's Farewell Letter:

“My dear Comrades, my dear Compatriots,

When you read this letter, I am no more in this world.

It was my original intention to pass away quietly and let my relatives handle the funeral matters in private. However, the repercussions of erroneous media reports of me in critical condition during October 2011, had persuaded me that leaving behind such a letter is desirable.

Ever since I joined the Communist Party of Malaya and eventually became its secretary-general, I have given both my spiritual and physical self in the service of the cause that my party represented, that is, to fight for a fairer and better society based on socialist ideals. Now with my passing away, it is time that my body be returned to my family.

I draw immense comfort in the fact that my two children are willing to take care of me, a father who could not give them family love, warmth and protection ever since their birth. I could only return my love to them after I had relinquished my political and public duties, ironically only at a time when I have no more life left to give to them as a father.

It was regrettable that I had to be introduced to them well advanced in their adulthood as a stranger. I have no right to ask them to understand, nor to forgive. They have no choice but to face this harsh reality. Like families of many martyrs and comrades, they too have to endure hardship and suffering not out of their own doing, but out of a consequence of our decision to challenge the cruel forces in the society which we sought to change.

It is most unfortunate that I couldn't, after all, pay my last respects to my parents buried in hometown of Sitiawan (in Perak), nor could I set foot on the beloved motherland that my comrades and I had fought so hard for against the aggressors and colonialists.

My comrades and I had dedicated our lives to a political cause that we believed in and had to pay whatever price there was as a result. Whatever consequences on ourselves, our family and the society, we would accept with serenity.

In the final analysis, I wish to be remembered simply as a good man who could tell the world that he had dared to spend his entire life in pursuit of his own ideals to create a better world for his people.

It is irrelevant whether I succeeded or failed, at least I did what I did. Hopefully the path I had walked on would be followed and improved upon by the young after me. It is my conviction that the flames of social justice and humanity will never die.

Farewell, my dear Comrades!

Farewell, my dear Compatriots!

Farewell, my dear Motherland!”

Thursday, 19 September 2013

It's A Dog's Life? Or Is It A Dog's Soul?

Krystyn was in Singapore/JB on an assignment for a few days. Her two Shih Tzus Fudge and Toffee were visibly pining for her after the first two days. They sleep with her on her bed! Prince, their father on the other hand was his usual "take charge" self trying to call the shots on their food/water replenishment, dinner and sleeping times, morning toilet calls, etc., etc. He sleeps in his own basket beside my bed as he has been doing since he came to Jeannie years ago.





















Since Krystyn was not around we decided to allow her two Shih Tzu to sleep in my room but with the door open so that they were free to loiter around upstairs. 

At 3.40 am on the night before Krystyn was due to return I woke up to find Fudge on the landing looking down the stairway. I took this photo with my phone, WhatsApp it to Krystyn and went back to sleep:


















Then, at about 5.10 am the same night I woke up to find Prince in exactly the same spot and posture as Fudge was earlier. I reached for my phone to take a photo and when I pointed it, Prince had moved. He is canny in very inexplicable ways. The following is the shot taken seconds after I took my phone:


















Notice the wispy figure between the grill and the wicker basket. I know for a fact that it was not Fudge nor Toffee because they were in my room! Sure looks like another Shih Tzu to me! Also, the dogs were behaving unusually earlier and were suddenly barking down the stairs on a few occasions.

Could it have been Chili, the departed mother of Fudge and Toffee? 

Monday, 16 September 2013

All Blacks Vs Springboks

The last Springbok victory over All Blacks in Eden Park was in 1937. Looks like they have to wait a while longer. This match in the 2013 Rugby Championship was brutal; blood and gore stuff!

Friday, 13 September 2013

Sounds About Right...

Familiar?
  1. You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. 
  2. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. 
  3. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. 
  4. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.
  5. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is the beginning of the end of any nation.

When Rina Met Izzah...

Yesterday Mahathir accused Anwar of complicity in the Project IC Debacle. Much has come to pass in the last 16 years since they were working hand in glove. 

After Mahathir retired and when "Sleepy In Putrajaya" Pak Lah was PM, many of us (friends and foe) were united in one common cause...get rid of Pak Lah. This gathering at Bloghouse in July, 2008 attracted a mixed but interesting crowd and personalities. 

I took this historic photo below and apparently it was the first time Marina Mahathir had personally met Nurul Izzah. If only the fathers can be more like their daughters.






Sunday, 25 August 2013

A Shifting Paradigm; Spirituality Vs Religion

Spirituality Vs Religion

Religion is a structured belief system with specific doctrines to guide and govern the masses that depend on it. Structure is good for those beginning their journey to discover "god", one's own subconscious and the role one plays in the grand scheme of things.

However, structure imposed by a religion, can also become very suffocating for those who desire to grow beyond the boundaries of the governing structure. Spiritual growth is limited by and can actually be impeded by structure.

Spirituality has no formal structure, save the governing of one's own developing subconscious and the "spirit" that guides that growth. Boundaries are not set by another human will and decision, but by that "spirit" which governs all things and the developing person's own subconscious. When following a spiritual path, one knows what is right and wrong instinctively through a growing relationship with the spirit that governs all.

Control
The purpose of doctrine being implemented within a religious organization is a means of providing "structure" and guidance, yes, but it is also meant to control the masses. Rules that are established within a religion are designed to keep the masses in line through a reward and punishment mentality.

Followers are rewarded for keeping the rules by being told they will go to heaven, or reincarnate, or even progress to enlightenment. However, if they fail to keep the rules then they are threatened with the fear of punishment by being sent to hell, or imprisoned in a quasi dimension, or failure to reach enlightenment. These rules of punishment are designed to play on the fears of the masses, thus keeping them under control.

Spirituality provides a freedom to explore and experience according to one's own personal journey. Unhindered by learning and following a long list of rules, one can focus on building a deeper relationship with the spirit that is in all things and governs all things. Because there are no man-made rules to keep, one can seek out knowledge, understanding and experience with the spirit anywhere, anytime and with anyone.

Division
This is, by far, the greatest difference between religion and spirituality. All religions divide people into those who believe and follow their set rules and doctrines, and those who don't. The ones who don't are considered enemies to the faith and thus enemies of the "god" of that particular religion. People who believe differently may be tolerated in a superficial way, but the doctrine ingrains the idea into the minds of its masses that these people are "ungodly" and not really a part of their faith.

Practically every war that has produced immeasurable grief, suffering and death has been waged either over religion, or with a very strong underlying religious tone. People across the planet are segregated into their separate religious belief systems and the people of each system are not fully trusted by the others. They might proclaim love for all, but the underlying truth is that if they offend my belief then they will be ostracized and punished.

Spirituality believes and participates in the idea that the energy (or life) of "god" is in all things and, therefore, all things are considered to be precious and valuable assets to one's spiritual growth. Regardless of culture, color, background, or belief system, the encounter one has with another is a learning experience to be cherished.

Spiritual Peace and Oneness

The foundation of spirituality is that all people, and even all things, are filled with a "god" energy that is attempting to propel everything forward in a constant state of spiritual progression. One quickly realizes when following a truly spiritual path that every situation in one's life has a valuable purpose and that one really has no enemies. There are only lower and higher levels of progression, just as there are various levels of classes and learning achievements within a school. All are on the same path to "heaven" or "enlightenment".

Peace on earth will come through the masses throwing off the confining chains of religious doctrine and learning to count all things as precious. When this is truly and deeply believed AND practiced, it will change the world as we will no longer look at others as enemies, but as simply students of "god" at different levels of progression. We will stop fighting and start helping those below us and learning from those above us. All will be one. True love will rule.

2013 Bledisloe Cup to All Blacks Again

Friday, 23 August 2013

In The Land Of Endless Possibilities, Altantuya Was A Figment Of Imagination

Can't really say I disagree with the appellate court on this one. It seems to be saying its hands are tied because both the trial judge and the  prosecution fcuked up. Congratulations to those who came up with the whole strategy and on the great coordination and foresight that went into the whole process. Now I have no doubts our troubled economy can be fixed easily too.  

Altantuya did not exist in Malaysia since there is no immigration record of her entry. Therefore, no one could have killed her in Malaysia and no one did. The appellants had no direction nor motive to commit murder. Don't know whether wanna laugh or cry lah!



Read this from the Malaysian Insider:

***************************************************************************
Azilah, Sirul freed of Altantuya murder charge

BY RITA JONG
AUGUST 23, 2013
LATEST UPDATE: AUGUST 23, 2013 01:39 PM



Two former police commandos were freed today after the Court of Appeal allowed their appeal and overturned their conviction for the 2006 murder of Mongolian Altantuya Shaariibuu (pic).

A three-member bench comprising judges Datuk Seri Mohamed Apandi Ali, Datuk Linton Albert and Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat made the unanimous decision to allow the appeal by former chief inspector Azilah Hadri and former corporal Sirul Azhar Umar.

Azilah and Sirul were jointly charged and convicted by the High Court in Shah Alam in 2009 for murdering Altantuya, 28, at a forest reserve in Shah Alam in October, 2006.

Both were then with the Bukit Aman Special Action Squad and were in Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s security team. Najib was then the deputy prime minister and defence minister.

In their brief five-minute judgment read out by Tengku Maimun, she said the trial judge failed to consider the defence of alibi filed by Azilah.

"There was nowhere in the grounds of judgment of the learned trial judge that he had considered whether the station diary showed the presence of the first appellant (Azilah) at Bukit Aman at the material time. He cannot be or is unlikely to be at the crime scene.

"On the call logs and coverage predictions (which were produced by the prosecution to show the movements of Azilah the night of the murder), witnesses from telecommunication companies had put into issue the reliability and accuracy of the call logs and the coverage prediction.

"It is essential for the trial judge to address the challenge raised by the defence on the exhibits and to make a finding whether there was in fact an altercation or tampering of data and whether the authenticity of the data was questionable or otherwise.

"Regrettably, the judge failed to do so and this amounts to serious misdirection, rendering the said exhibits unsafe to be relied upon," she read from the judgment.

She said the judge had also failed to examine whether the contradictions or inconsistencies in the evidence of the prosecution witnesses were material and whether that was information supplied by the appellants or from other sources.

"As regards to the issue of possession and control of the explosives, the trial judge also failed to make a further finding to connect the explosives to the appellants. By not making any finding on possession by the two of the explosives, the judge had failed to address this missing link, resulting in yet another misdirection," said Tengku Maimun.

She concurred with the defence that DSP Musa Safri, who was then Najib's aide-de-camp, should have been called to unfold the narrative which the prosecution's case was based on.


Sirul Azhar's lawyer, Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, speaking to the media outside the court. The Malaysian Insider pic by Nazir Sufari, August 23, 2013.

The court also found that the trial judge made no finding on whether the prosecution had established that there was a pre-arranged plan by the appellants to commit murder.

"Looking at the whole circumstances, it is our judgment that the culmulative effect of the non-directions by the trial judge rendered the convictions unsafe," Tengku Maimun read from the judgment.

Counsel Datuk Hazman Ahmad and J. Kuldeep Kumar represented Azilah, while Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin and Hasnal Redzua Merican represented Sirul.

DPP Datuk Tun Abdul Majid Tun Hamzah, who appeared for the respondent, said he will be filing an appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision today.

In an immediate response, DAP national legal head Gobind Singh Deo said the appeal was allowed because of the failure to call material witnesses.

"The strongest evidence would have been who gave the instructions and to whom it was given. Can the AG now tell us who it was?" Gobind tweeted. - August 23, 2013.

Sunday, 18 August 2013

1st Bledisloe Test 2013

Dan Carter was hardly missed. Aaron Cruden has certainly come into his own since his debut in 2010. Watched this match on Astro yesterday. Better than Liverpool vs Stoke in the EPL season opener later in the day.

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Malaysia XI vs FC Barcelona

Kudos to our Tigers for a spirited performance last nigh against FC Barcelona. Though we lost 1:3 I must say the Malaysian football team has improved tremendously in the last few years due in no small measure to head coach, Dato' K. Rajagopal.



Imagine if Lionel Messi who picked up a training injury had played.

Friday, 12 July 2013

6 Years

It has been exactly 6 years Darling. We all almost forgot today and I take it as a good sign. This rendition of "OUR WAY" is fitting reminder of "US".

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Happy 27th June Darling...

It is 27th June again today. Jeannie's last birthday. This one by Al Stewart for you Darling.




One Stage Before

It seems to me as though I've been upon this stage before
And juggled away the night for the same old crowd
These harlequins you see with me, they too have held the floor
As here once again they strut and they fret their hour

I see those half-familiar faces in the second row
Ghost-like with the footlights in their eyes
But where or when we met like this last time, I just don't know
It's like a chord that rings and never dies for infinity

And now these figures in the wings with all their restless tunes
Are waiting around for someone to call their names
They walk the backstage corridors and prowl the dressing rooms
And vanish to specks of light in the picture-frames

[ From: http://www.metrolyrics.com/one-stage-before-lyrics-al-stewart.html ]
But did they move upon the stage a thousand years ago
In some play in Paris or Madrid
And was I there among them then, in some travelling show
And is it all still locked inside my head for infinity

And some of you are harmonies to all the notes I play
Although we may not meet still you know me well
While others talk in secret keys and transpose all I say
And nothing I do or try can get me through the spell

So one more time we'll dim the lights and ring the curtain up
And play again like all the times before
But far behind the music you can almost hear the sounds
Of laughter like the waves upon the shores of infinity

Read more:
 AL STEWART - ONE STAGE BEFORE LYRICS