22 December, 2008

Rare beauty

I couldn’t help it when I landed on the website of one of the government agencies in Mukah Division. A light bulb suddenly went on, brightening that very corner of my brain, highlighting that small piece of memory I thought I’ve lost. I frantically clicked every link I could find for a photo of him but unfortunately, none I’ve found. Oh well, it’s been really long since I last met him!

He was one of the finest looking Foochow guys I’ve ever met so far. The time machine of the mind brought me back to the time when I met him for the first time due to my work. Before I met him face to face, I saw his photo on their organization chart. “Crap. Another unfriendly chap. Hmmph.” Being a person who is not very keen of meeting government officers, that was the first thought I had. The wait wasn’t too long before my colleagues and I were invited into his office together with the other officer whom we met just the other day.

I looked around at his huge office with not-so-much anticipation. Would there be anything good coming from this guy? I was skeptical. After a few unpleasant encounters when dealing with government officers, I’m no longer fond of them. Well, why should I be, anyway? Most of them have given me quite bad impressions, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this one’s the same. However, I have to admit that there is still exception.

Then a man walked in. He was well-dressed, very tall, well-built, and above all that, good looking. I looked at him wide-eyed (I didn’t mean to be rude, just couldn’t help it!). He exchanged handshakes with us and started introducing himself. WOW. He has a deep tone of voice (he should be able to sing Bass well, hahaha) and very soft-spoken too! My colleagues were very impressed with him as well and they were saying that he is one of those who are really concerned with the matters of the people. What can I say? He definitely belongs to the ‘exceptional list.’

Yeah, I know. Don’t be shocked, ok? I know I am crazy, but it’s not wrong “adoring” someone who’s good looking, right? Don’t worry, I don’t and won’t “lust” over him like some people do. At least I only remember him when I saw that particular website (which I don’t visit that often unless I need some information for work-related matters only).

So… yup, that’s my story. For me, the most interesting thing when it comes to meeting strangers is that we are received with such hospitality and kindness, which do not occur frequently, especially with the government sectors. Don’t you agree with me?

09 December, 2008

My Carbon Footprints

What is carbon footprint? Find out all about it here. Also take a look at Odie’s (my comrade!) site as she’s done quite a good job bringing up the whole matter.

(Click to enlarge)

The total carbon footprint I’ve left behind annually is 9.241 tonnes. Hmmm… that’s A LOT! When I thought that all these while my carbon footprint should be minimal, at least of the country’s average or lower, but little did I know that mine is higher than the country’s average! Whoa, that’s something really scary!!

I made a compared with Odie’s carbon footprints. Besides all the carbon produced from secondary sources, most of my footprints are from flying. As a job requirement, I fly quite often. I tried not to as I love my own bed and everything at home.

I can say that I’ve done my best to conserve energy at home, and so far my family is quite cooperative as well. They switch off the lights when nobody is in the living room. Sometimes when I came home at night after outings with friends, I found myself in the dark, and sometimes I tripped over chairs when trying to find the switch to the light. They don’t do that last time, so I’m surprised when they finally took up the practice.

Hmm… looks like something must be missing... or else, what is the reason for my secondary output of carbon to be that high?

Now, your turn to take the Carbon Footprint calculator and see how much carbon you contributed. Oh, I mean “contributed.” Hehe.

18 September, 2008

Taxi drivers, what have you done?

Tsk tsk tsk... taxi drivers, you guys are not even on par with our politicians whose names appear every now and then in the papers, but you made yourselves name and at the same time tarnished Malaysia's image. You are more famous than our politicians now.

Aren't you proud of yourselves?

Shame on you!! (excluding those courteous drivers)

Jansz has a story to tell, while Mr. Beagle has "good" recommendations on what we can learn from the taxi drivers.

Today's news (18 September):

Malaysia's 'worst in the world' taxis tarnish national image

KUALA LUMPUR (AFP) - - The ads promoting "Malaysia: Truly Asia" aim to welcome visitors with a warm smile to a prosperous and modern nation, so the taxi fleet branded "the worst in the world" can come as a bit of a shock.

Even the locals are not spared the shabby service of unkempt and hostile drivers behind the wheels of decrepit vehicles who refuse to use the meter, overcharge and pick-and-choose which destinations they will travel to.

At the popular KLCC mall under Kuala Lumpur's iconic Petronas Twin Towers is a typical scene, as a gang of cabbies negotiate with a young Norwegian couple just metres from a signboard warning against "taxi touts".

"Flat rate, flat rate, no metre," one driver insists as the tourists try to find a cab to take them to their hotel, less than two kilometres (1.2 miles) away.

Anxious to escape the baking heat, they agree to pay 25 ringgit (7.22 dollars) for a trip that would have cost less than three ringgit on the meter.

"Is it expensive? We don't know, we thought it is normal here," said the woman as they piled in with their shopping bags.

More frequent visitors, however, are vocal in their criticism and say that aggressive and unprofessional drivers are tarnishing the nation's image as a squeaky clean and hospitable destination.

"I first visited Malaysia in 2006 and I was impressed by everything I saw except for the worst taxi service I have endured," said Kabir Dali, an Indian tourist waiting in vain for a metered taxi at another mall.

"I paid a whopping 260 ringgit (74 dollars) from the Kuala Lumpur International Airport to town and was later told that was twice the proper amount."

Complaints about taxis are common in many countries, but in Malaysia it has escalated to an outpouring of frustration, on blog sites and in letters to newspapers.

In a survey by the local magazine The Expat, some 200 foreigners from 30 countries rated Malaysia the worst among 23 countries in terms of taxi quality, courtesy, availability and expertise.

The respondents lashed the fleet as "a source of national shame" and "a serious threat to tourists -- rude bullies and extortionists".

Salvation is in sight though, as a number of smaller, up-scale operators enter the market to provide a more expensive but quality taxi service for frustrated visitors and locals.

The uniformed drivers, behind the wheels of smart new multi-purpose vehicles and sedans, switch on the meter as a matter of course and do not refuse destinations -- surprising and delighting commuters in the capital.

Abdul Razak, operations manager for Dubai-based Citicab which launched here in January, said that even in poorer nations such as Thailand and Indonesia, taxis are smarter and the drivers far more courteous.

"I would say it is the worst in this region, undoubtedly. I have travelled to all countries in this region and our company operates taxis in many parts of the world. The situation here is the worst I have seen," he told AFP.

"The vehicles are in shabby condition, the driver will take you if he likes your face -- that is, if he agrees with where you want to go for the price he insists on."

The government has called on taxi firms to lift their standards, but various campaigns have achieved little, and many blame the lack of enforcement on rampant corruption in the police and bureaucracy.

"It is difficult for the roads and traffic department to take stern action," said a security officer at one city mall as he watched the touts swoop.

"Taxi operators and the company which hold the licences are all linked to some politician or another," he said. "Drivers here are ruthless because they are unchecked by authorities who are almost non-existent."

John Koldowski, from the Pacific Asia Travel Association, said that "less than desirable" taxi drivers have an outsize impact on a nation's image.

"The first contact a tourist gets with locals is often during airport transits to hotels and it creates a very, very strong first impression, either be good or bad," he said.

"Authorities certainly need to do their jobs and act upon any complaints strongly, quickly and visibly." (News Source)

Which Malaysian Blogger Are You?

Dammit! As much as I H-A-T-E this dude who's got very thick skin, I'm actually... another replica of... of... hiiim?!?!?!?!

*puking hard*

Congratulations Fish, you are...

Kenny Sia of kennysia.com

You have it all, or so you think. Big balls, big bird, big everything. Also a big heart and ever-ready big hug to give out to everybody who needs one. But you didn't know this. You're the one who need a hug the most. So hugs to you!

Which Malaysian Blogger Are You?

14 September, 2008

Mr. Brown Show: NSF = National Sex Force?

Warning: You must be 18 and above to understand this podcast.

Malaysia is expecting a population increase to 70 million by year 2100 (source). As of September 2008, our population amounted 27.73 million (source: JPN). And so is Singapore after they realised that their population needs some boosts.

However, Singapore came up with an exciting... I mean, sexciting programme called National Sex Force (NSF) to give training and encouragement to men and women on how to "produce" and increase their "productivity".

Well, of course that's not true if it's from Mr. Brown Show!

To think about about it, if Malaysia has something like NSF, surely almost everyone would love to be registered! Don't you? Hahahah.

Click here to listen to the podcast.
Another quality production by Mr. Brown.
Quality guaranteed by Ms. Fish. *wink*

06 September, 2008


How very true it is!

I met my good pal today, who's also a consultant in another environmental consulting company. She told me her encounter of the reviewing process for EIA and EMP. Amazingly, I have the same experience and like her, I'm sick, sore and tired with all these. Enough is enough. I believe that the other consultants in Sarawak may have felt the same way too... being ridiculed.

What do we get after all the hard work, and we are sincere in what we do? Being ridiculed.

Now, this message is for all the agencies who are involved in the review of EIA, EMP and similar kind of assessment reports:

Look, we are humans too and we admit that we make mistakes. No matter how much experience we have, we still err, because we are merely humans. We always try our best to produce the best flawless report for the project proponent, but still, we are bound to making mistakes. If you produce a list of comment on our reports, can we kindly ask you not to just keep it to yourselves? If you do not circulate all your comments to us, how do you expect us to improve? And what's the point of you keep complaining about our reports when we are not even told of the mistakes we've repeatedly made? How on earth can your comments be "private and confidential"? It just doesn't make any sense at all! Tell us, what is there to be private and confidential about??

Now listen, y'all. You've got only 2 choices:
  1. Keep complaining about the same thing and keep your complaints secret; likewise, all of us consultants shall keep making mistakes and give you more trouble. Anyways, it's not our fault to make mistakes, it's YOUR FAULT for not helping us improve! Or...

  2. Talk to us sincerely and discuss issues with us properly and kindly instead of screaming and raising your voices at us. Tell us what mistakes you've detected, and kindly send us all the comments from all the agencies involved. If you have done that and we choose to ignore it. Then yes, the blame is definitely on us.
We have made ourselves clear, I hope?

At the same time, I would like to convey our gratitude on my friend's behalf, to the few sincerely kind NREB officers whom we have met. Thank you so much for your help and your kind assistance, and for being so patient with us when we missed out an issue or two in our reports. Keep it up, and two thumbs up for you!

27 August, 2008

Meaning in the name

I found this at my friend's blog and decided to try out what mine means. Here goes...

What My Name Means

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.

You are confident, authoritative, and aggressive.

You have the classic "Type A" personality.

You are a very lucky person. Things just always seem to go your way.

And because you're so lucky, you don't really have a lot of worries. You just hope for the best in life.

You're sometimes a little guilty of being greedy. Spread your luck around a little to people who need it.

You are balanced, orderly, and organized. You like your ducks in a row.

You are powerful and competent, especially in the workplace.

People can see you as stubborn and headstrong. You definitely have a dominant personality.

You are wild, crazy, and a huge rebel. You're always up to something.

You have a ton of energy, and most people can't handle you. You're very intense.

You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.

You are friendly, charming, and warm. You get along with almost everyone.

You work hard not to rock the boat. Your easy going attitude brings people together.

At times, you can be a little flaky and irresponsible. But for the important things, you pull it together.

You are a free spirit, and you resent anyone who tries to fence you in.

You are unpredictable, adventurous, and always a little surprising.

You may miss out by not settling down, but you're too busy having fun to care.

Okay, let us do some analysis of what are being said of me...

You are balanced, orderly, and organized. You like your ducks in a row.
Not really the case... I'm more of a "What is mine, is mine, and I am in control and it's none of your business until I ask for your help."

You are powerful and competent, especially in the workplace.
Oh really? So far I'm not a threat to my colleagues yet. Haha.

People can see you as stubborn and headstrong. You definitely have a dominant personality.
Hahaha. Exactly.

You definitely are a handful, and you're likely to get in trouble. But your kind of trouble is a lot of fun.
Including when I'm at work. Well, I tried my best not to get into trouble.

You are usually the best at everything ... you strive for perfection.
Haha. Almost. But I have to admit that I'm always striving for perfection, although most of the times I failed. Sad, isn't it?

So now you get to know a little bit about me. See, I'm not too bad a person, am I? *Chuckled*

30 July, 2008

Losing it's purpose?

Photo courtesy of Cartoon Stock.

I attended a simple training course for EIA consultants in Kuala Lumpur this morning. Very interesting indeed, and it is more interesting when there is a chance to meet so many other consultants. The experience we exchanged is priceless, simply priceless. However, I do have one question in mind as I look at these fellow comrades. Are they working for the sake of the business, or for the protection of the environment?

For the developers and construction-based companies, EIA is a nightmare. It means the out-flowing of their resources in the form of dollar sign. Incurring more cost, which may also mean a little less come-back, and with those tedious environmental laws that are a total burden for them, who would like it that way?

For some consultants, (well, perhaps most of them), it is how much the company earns, how well-known the company is in the local market, and how competitive they can be that count. They work to be paid. The environment may never be the factor, but they try to address every possible impact that can be foreseen. They work hard only to look forward to 3 things: 1. Approval by DOE or NREB; 2. To impress DOE or NREB and their clients; and perhaps, 3. For their own good name.

Doing it just for the sake of doing it without knowing its actual purpose. What good can EIA make?

During my undergraduate years, the lecturer posed me one question, “Do you think EIA can solve the problem?” Innocently, I answered, “Yes.” Until I acquired some real personal experience in the field of EIA, I would not have known how useless EIA has been. Maybe not in other countries like Australia and America, but in Malaysia, I would say that it isn’t that successful at all.

If EIA is a planning tool, why don’t the developers and construction companies make good use of it? Worse still, some companies refuse to cooperate with the environmental consultants in terms of providing the needed information. But the worst of all, it is our Government who is always keeping some data to themselves and refuse to share, with the excuse that these are private and confidential.

When environmentalists and environmental consultants are not supported by the Government, what hope is there for us if we are serious about protecting the environment? The accountants have their Malaysian Institute of Accountants; the bankers have their Association of Banks in Malaysia; the medical doctors and surgeons are registered with Malaysian Medical Association… who is protecting us, the environmentalists and consultants?

Enough said, I guess?

*EIA = Environmental Impact Assessment

02 June, 2008

Sematan...Beach In Danger

I managed to wake up as early as 6.30 a.m. during my holiday trip to Sematan on the second day of Gawai.

As one of the members of our group is a JKR staff, we had the privilege to stay in JKR bungalow. Well, not a huge nice bungalow as you imagined. It was just a medium-sized, wooden quarter with 3 rooms.

What I hated most was being fed by the mosquitoes! Darn, as if I’m a blood bank!

A few of us decided to go down to the beach. As we were on our way, someone noticed that there was a stockpile of something that looked like pipes. You know, those big, long, steel pipes. Those were already a bit rusted.

As we moved nearer, I noticed that a lot of those pipes were erected along the beach. When my friends waded out to cool their feet and enjoying the beach walk, I stayed close to the pipes. I noticed the badly eroded beach.

These pipes were cut and erected along the shore to support the shore and prevent further erosion. I believe the erosion of this beach is not a new problem. It must have been discovered by the local council (or DID maybe?) much earlier already. I also noticed that right behind these pipes, there were already gabion walls installed! Which means, these gabion walls did not serve their purpose!

Even with the gabion walls in place, erosion (as shown by arrow) still happens. There should have been some really nice mangrove vegetations here before, but now, only one tree or two can be seen. Of course, I saw some casuarina trees too, but only around the beach resorts. Sooner or later, these casuarina trees will slowly die out as well.

So what makes Sematan so special until people flock to fill up the resorts and even the lousiest inn, especially during the festive seasons? Its seafood? The (dirty and eroded) beach? The rural-ness of the place? Or simply to get away from the busy city life (at this kind of place?!)?

I went there quite unwillingly, well not by force, but because some friends of mine were going so I figured perhaps I should just follow. If I knew there were SO many people staying in one wooden house, and I had to sleep outside without a pillow, blanket and mattress, I wouldn’t have agreed to go. However, it was quite an experience, and a good breakthrough for me when I recognized that beach erosion is also a problem in the small, undisturbed town of Sematan.

Beach erosion… who to be blamed?

28 April, 2008

Recycle? Who cares...

I was sitting at my desk, giving my fullest attention on what I was doing when suddenly, I saw something which I didn't expect to see.

Right across the room where the recycle box is, the cleaner emptied the used papers into a big garbage bag.

I stopped my work straight away and started to observe the lady cleaner. After she moved all the used papers into the garbage bag, she continued emptying the trash bins into the same garbage bag.

If anyone would have noticed, I was watching her in horror. As if I've seen a ghost. My first reaction was "What the hell..." Then I immediately intercom my boss' secretary, only to find out that it has been so all the while.

One question for my boss. What is the purpose of having a recycle bin in the office when it is NOT used for recycling?? Simply as a temporary platform before those used papers end up in the garbage bag? Or just for the sake of showing off??

Is it THAT difficult to practise recycling? Recycling can be another method of generating extra income too, although it's rather insignificant compared to the monthly revenue the company is able to get.

Okay, you can't do it for the sake of environment. Fine. Then, for the sake of money, why not?

Even my parents who used to think that I'm nuts, are now gradually putting recycling of used papers into practice. And I firmly believe that a lot of young people today are practising recycling too.

If they can, why can't you?

I feel kind of ashamed knowing that the company I work for, an environmental consultancy company, has no difference from those who couldn't care less for the environment.

Heh, if only recycling is mandatory for everyone and every organisation in Malaysia, like in Monroe County, Malaysia can surely be one of the well-recognised 'green' country. It would be very nice to be famous, isn't it?

Here is something I found while searching for photos for this post. It is a list of things that can be recycled and not. I think it's very useful for everyone, so do take time to read it. I learned something from it too.

(Photo obtained from Unheard Blog)

18 April, 2008

Post Earth Hour

I was browsing for some local environmental news in Malaysia when I came across this piece of article written by Koh Lay Chin, a columnist of the New Straits Times newspaper. She was making a commentary on Earth Hour, a global event on 29 March at 8-9 p.m.

Surprisingly, our Petronas Twin Towers and other sites of pride for Malaysia were still shining bright during the Earth Hour.

Disappointed? Yes, of course. It's somewhat sad too.

I couldn't agree more on what Ms. Koh said:

Any event that could raise environmental awareness should be taken up with enthusiasm, and jumping on this global bandwagon could only have been a good thing.
If only our Malaysian leaders would have thought of this:
If city and municipal councils in Malaysia were to take up the cause, they would not only earn plus-points in the environmental stakes, they gain respect and heighten civic consciousness.
I hope that Malaysia and her dwellers can do better than this in the next Earth Hour (2009).

To read the whole report, click to enlarge the photo below.

Source: DOE

Other links:
Earth Hour - Show Your Love
Thumbs Up For Students

29 March, 2008

Thumbs up for students!

Guess what I've found?

To the teachers and students of Maxwell Secondary School (Malaysia), well done! I'm very proud of you.

So proud and impressed that I have to show this to the rest of the world... if students can do this, why not those big organizations? Shame on those McGreedy! Shutting down for one hour would cause them to lose big bucks!

Anyways, the money sign is much more important than the environment to them. I'm just amazed at how brainless these smart people are... their wealth comes from the environment, and yet they are doing nothing to give back to the environment. All they ever do is take, take, and take to fill their pockets to the fullest, while letting the earth go poorer, more polluted, and less suitable for living.

Again... to the teachers and students of Maxwell Secondary School, two thumbs up!! Keep up your good work!

Earth Hour - Show your love!

This is indeed a marvelous event. It started out as a national event in Australia but now, it's a global movement. Simply amazing!

It's very heart-warming to see so many individuals, companies and main cities are participating tonight. As I look through the list of cities taking part, I spotted Dubai, Tel Aviv (Israel), Manila (the Philippines!), Jakarta (Thailand!) and some others.

My interest now... is whether Malaysia is joining.

Malaysia is not officially involved, which is a bit sad. However, I'm glad to know that there are a lot of Malaysians out there who love the environment, and they are willing to close their businesses for one hour (see Malaysia Business Supporters list). My two thumbs up for these people, and for all Malaysians who have signed up for this event, and all those who have not signed up but will be participating tonight.

For our dear newly formed government... maybe we can join Earth Hour officially next year?

For all those reading this... please support Earth Hour Movement and join in the effort of conserving energy. Even though you can't totally switch off all of the lights (or power supply) tonight, it's okay... just switch off whichever electrical appliances and lights that you're not using and are not needed at that time. A small effort can go a long way, you know.

Let us switch off our lights tonight... for Mother Earth!

For more info on Earth Hour, visit:
Earth Hour (Official Site)
Earth Hour Blog (Live Updates)

24 February, 2008

Which CSI character are you?

I just couldn't help it when I saw this quiz. I LOVE CSI Vegas... and I just have to take the quiz!! So here are the results...

Which CSI character are you?
Your Result: You are Greg Sanders


You dont take life too seriously, and can make even the most serious person laugh hysterically. Although you are often a goofball, you have great respect and loyalty for those you care about. You use humor often, but arent afraid to deal with serious situations when necessary. You put up a tough front, but deep down youre just a dork that cares deeply for others. You arent afraid to pursue whatever your dream is at the time, and you manage to overcome whatever obstacle is in your path. You make friends easily, but remain loyal to the ones you care about the most. You love rocking out to whatever band you are obsessing over at the time, and you are always up to date on current trends. Overall, you are sweet, funny, compassionate, determined and loyal.

You are Gil Grissom

You are Nick Stokes

You are Sara Sidle

You are Warrick Brown

You are Catherine Willows

Which CSI character are you?
Take More Quizzes

My second character is Gil Grissom~! Awwwwww~ He's my favourite guy in CSI!!

I like him SO much because he's really smart, analytical and professional, and it's my dream to reach his stage of professionalism.

Perhaps, if I ever meet this type of guy in my life... well, of course he needs to be someone like Grissom, not just being smart, but his personality too... I would surely and undoubtedly fall for him.

*sigh* If only Grissom exists... *sigh*

Is that a tsunami?

Familiar photo?

It was circulated through emails, and was reported to be taken right before tsunami hit the island of Sumatra.

I was fooled, maybe you were too.

This photo WAS NOT taken in Sumatra, nor was it an oncoming Tsunami.

Don't believe me? Click here to read the whole story yourself.

21 February, 2008

Post Chinese New Year

Tell me, have you also put on that much weight after Chinese New Year? So much that even the weighing scale is running for its life? Not bad, that means you've enjoyed the festive season to the fullest. You should be proud of yourself because not many people find Chinese New Year enjoyable.

Oh, what about your pockets? Getting fatter too? Or is it only your body that has grown sideways? *Chuckle*

Okay, Chinese New Year's over. It's time to watch your diet again. If you haven't realized this, let me warn you now... more and more people are getting sick lately. When I say sick, I mean really sick. Watch your diet, and your lifestyle too. You KNOW how that old saying goes... prevention is better than cure.

Okay okay... enough with all the bullshits. I hope you had a great Chinese New Year and Chap Goh Meh.

Comic courtesy of C.W.Kee.

03 February, 2008

Buckle up, rear sitters!

Image courtesy of Colorado State Patrol

KUALA LUMPUR: People should start wearing rear seatbelts now instead of waiting for the law to be enforced, as it concerns their safety, Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan said.

Looks like Malaysian Government is seriously looking into this right now. So it's just a matter of time. I'm just wondering… how many people would start wearing rear seatbelts before the law is enforced? Oh, maybe not at all. Even though wearing seatbelts at the front seat is a must, a lot of people still ignore it. I guess it won't make much of a difference.

If the foreign country folks can put this into practise, why can't we? Oh well, let's put it this way... only idiots who will go onto the road without seatbelts. They are either too rich, or they are looking forward to kissing their loved ones goodbye.

To read the full news, click here: Rear seat passengers have to buckle up.

Just for laughs...

Oh I personally think that this seatbelt style is very suitable for married couples. Check it out! (Just kidding!!) Heheheheh.

Design | Elque 2007