My Anthem

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Rockybru's MOLE.COM also carries Anti-BN BlogNews...

like the following from (AND thinking allowed, why should anyone be surprised? I am definitely not! -- Desi)

Monday, January 30, 2012

NFC Directors Laughing All The Way To The Bank

Hantu Laut

No personal guarantee!

The giver of the loan should now carry the burden of responsibility to the taxpayers.If this isn't abuse of the first order what would you call it? It's not the recipient fault if the government acted so stupidly.Those involved in giving out the loan should also be investigated.

It is now clear why the money was used for what it is not intended for.This soft loan is softer than soft, abnormally low interest rate, no collateral, no director's personal guarantee, it is as good as giving the money away for free.

"The loan agreement has been signed. If we don’t pay back, we will be declared bankrupt or locked up in jail. We will pay every sen plus interest. The question of misappropriation does not arise,” said Wan Shahinur Izmir, who is minister Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil’s son.

Come on man! Who are you kidding? How is the government going to sue you personally for recovery of the loan if you did not sign personal guarantee?

My company had borrowed tens of millions before from banks and all directors were made to sign "Joint and Several Guarantee" in spite of more than sufficient securities given to the banks.

If the company folded and can't pay up the loans and there happen to be diminution in the value of the securities, the directors are fully liable for the amount including all interests and if they failed to make good the banks would declare every director a bankrupt.

The government, probably, can charge the directors for CBT (Criminal Breach of Trust), which, sometimes, is difficult to prove in a mismanagement.

Misappropriation is a crime, mismanagement is not.Buying properties under the company's name for investment or even to house working directors is also not a crime, it becomes a crime only if they are in your personal name using company's fund to purchase.It would also not be a crime if the company gave you a housing loan duly approved by the BOD (Board of Directors).

You see, whichever way the government is going to be the biggest loser if the project failed.

Read the full story here.


Freddie Kevin said...

Dear HL,

It will be good if the Govt can review ALL Govt contracts, projects and loans that has unfavourable conditions as far as the taxpayer is concerned.

Better to do so now rather than being shamefully exposed. Worst still by the opposition.

That said, the report by TMI is laughable as far as the opposition PAC members are concerned.

So what were they doing in the PAC sittings?

Goyang kaki, diam and not making pertinent enquiries.

Now come out and say ini takde and itu takde.

Thank you

Pak Zawi said...

It is not the government who is going to lose, it is the rakyat that will ultimately lose. So much money is being plundered for so many projects that will not benefit the rakyat in the long run, I don't know why we are keeping this silly good for nothing leaders in the driver's seat of the Government. The poor rakyat will remain poor while some cronies and those in the right loop will get richer.
It was about a year ago that RPK wrote in his blog about this scandal and I am wondering why he isn't coming up with an 'I told you so' post snubbing us for not taking notice of what he said.

DESIDERATA: In yesterday's post, I featured YB Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad (NN), who clearly is a PKR member, now being its Director of Communications) so in his blogging, this shows -- NO DOUBT WHERE HIS LOYALTY LIES! But NN assured us at a BUM event he deems himself first a blogger, then a politician (You lazy BUMmer2B, please read yesterday's post, can?)

If you know Desi well, in the early days since I started blogging on March 15, 2005, I had declared several times when relevant that I was a card-carrying member of PKR too; preceding that I had been a DAP member for two decades-plus. SO THAT MY ESTEEMED READERS KNOW WHERE I AM COMING FROM. Though I would try to be first a blogger on the issues rather than being biased towards the Opposition politikus and anti the government politikus. As many say, they, da politikus -- whether black or white or brown --are all BAD!

Citizen Nades is a true blood MSM newshound who writes without fear or favour -- and it is clear he is not partisan to any of the political parties; but he's a fighter for a better Malaysia, so the writing is focused on issues, and inevitably they involved CORRUPTION, whether at national, State and/or local council levels.

Datuk Ahirudin Attan aka Rockybru by the time he started blogging was known to be aligned to UMNO, which is also inevitable when he was holding top editorial positions in the Malay Mail (which he left with the changing of the guard at PM-level) and rejoined until he resigned recently, and among the many jobs he's helming is the less-than-one-year-old MOLE.COM.

When Rocky and Desi linked up to organise the BUM annual gatherings at the Lakeview Club, we put aside as much as possible -- impossible to be 100percent OK! -- our political "affiliations" to promoting BUM objectives. For being in Rocky's company on such common journeys which we both enjoyed/enjoy/(would enjoy still?), we sometimes pick up each other's posts when it suited our aims. So when ex-PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad was featured at a BUM gathering (via Rocky's influence, of course!), Desi also was labelled by some as "having turned turtle".

In our blogging journeys, sometime4s we meet at certain confluence and "presto" we faced/face/will face "common" enemies, socio-politically speaking. So Rockybru has been labelled a traitor (point explained later at ***) when he no longer marched with early day bloggers who were Johnny-come-lately (JCL) -- I named one/wan can? Remember Zorro?) who thought he was supporting the "Reformasi" (hence closer to pro-Opposition than BN government at federal level) when he (and Jeff Ooi, now DAP MP in Penang) were both sued by the NSTP and several top management peeps. But Desi knows better since I was already acquainted with Ahirudin in his early MSM days -- he appeared to the newly minted Reformasi bloggers or JCLs to be fighting their same cause when Rocky in fact was consistently pro-UMNO (not a card-carrying member as far as I know and Desi didn't check wit' the Special Brunch!:)

***What happened was Rocky found himself caught in UMNO Team A and Team B's fights and suffered the consequences as well as enjoyed the perks; so at one time, he had to leave the Malay Mail when Pak Lah became the Prime Minister. and quickly established a name among the Bloggers aka BUMmers after we started the inaugural BUM meeting, featuring a good mix of BN and Opposition politicians, media editors, MSM and online, and some civil society leaders. I believe we tried as practicall as possible a "balanced" programme though certain constraints e.g MAS editors turning down invites to speak despite Rocky's networking -- inevitably this made the agenda look more pro-Opposition most occasions! I must thank again Nades for consistentkly and promptly accepting speaking invites on the first three BUM outings -- as long as Desi offeed him a pint -- Rut Bir anywan? Digressing a byte, Desi is a teetotaller -- defined as one drinking only TEAS!

Since Rocky and Desi have a similar background of having served in MSM and also online as journalist and/or blogger, I believe we worked/work well in teAM projects like BUM. I have several times offered him to take over the "rickety" chair, hope he would do it in year 2010 before the uninersally predicted Mayan-originated or Nostradamus foretold "doomsday" visits us?!

Okay, now I have spilled the "beans" on Rocky, he may do me in with a more "insightful" analysis of the BUMmer community. I'm going to send him a copy of this post, and invite his feedback either at or at, I'm not directing him!:) OR :( -- YL, Desi, knottyaSssual

Monday, January 30, 2012

Back to POLITICSVILLE after a ten-day,mostly tender I hope ...

Hi-atus into non-politics Creativityville. Too much nostalgia is back (ERRATA: 'bad' not 'back', see the stupor (American) or stupour (Brit:) I'm in after too mush tehtarik:) for the spirit and da soul, if thou haveth one/wan! After overdopsing on tehtarik and sweet cookies the CNY early period, if Desi writes in riddles, that's because DDC is back to annoy my ER!:) OR :( See, how democratic a BUMmer can be:)!

I was damned happy this morning welcoming back CITIZEN-NADES from a long exile in the UK (I used the word 'exile") because of a ****rumour I heard!) hoome to NegaraKu. We can again look forward to more seething and succinct scandal-breaking news and commentaries from theSUN ward-winning newshound. I only use the word "newsdog" on myself and closer mateys who are also BUMmers as we loiter most times in the pasture or tehtarik Temiang Corner instead of in the newsroom.

Okay, to cut the suspense short, here's Cut&Pastrying the lazy BUMway from Nades's column page 12 in the print version; see Desi is not among the kedekutnor am I from Penang (but a proud Furongknight K!) holding back 30sen angpow lining up at 6AM at the seven11 for free kopi!:)

Freedom of information
culture: How I wish

THIS is my last column from London as my tenure as theSun’s first (and probably not last) UK correspondent comes to an end. Although short, it has been a stupendous stint for a variety of reasons. A new experience in a foreign land and working in unfamiliar surroundings is always a challenge, but a more media-friendly society outweighs everything else and makes plying the trade here much easier. No obstacles to cross, no hurdles to jump, no pitfalls to avoid and there’s always room for straight-talking journalism.

Many new friends and contacts were made in the course of work; a few treated me as the “enemy” because I became aware of their wayward operations, others were helpful in terms of providing background information on issues I was not familiar with; publicans loaded me with bits and pieces of gossip and useful tips on football; and local scribes gave their regular dose on the local political scene.

Above all, I learnt to work with a new “culture” called freedom of information, for which every British journalist worth his salt would be grateful to the politicians who pushed for greater transparency and accountability in not only managing funds, but also the system of government.

Also worth noting is the clear distinction drawn between civil servants and their political masters; and the disagreements, however trivial, are not discreet either. Whitehall officials are willing to stand their ground on principles and often, ministers are left flat-footed as the “you make the policies, we implement them” is exercised to the hilt.

There is no interference in the system or issuance of surat sokong (letters of support) for tenders. Even the slightest hint of impropriety leads to resignations as in the case of defence secretary Liam Fox. He resigned after a week of pressure over his working relationship with friend and self-styled adviser Adam Werritty. Fox was investigated amid claims he broke the ministerial code. In a letter to Prime Minister David Cameron, he said he had “mistakenly allowed” personal and professional responsibilities to be “blurred”. How I wish we had such a culture in Malaysia!

Through the Freedom of Information Act, nothing is more sacrosanct than the truth. Facts and figures, however embarrassing to the government or the opposition, were open to scrutiny.

There were no forms to fill and no fees to pay. Any information deemed not “security-sensitive” was dispensed within days. Material on even what prison inmates eat can be obtained and every penny is accounted for. And for good measure, there’s also a list in the public domain of “individuals, now deceased, who were refused honours (titles) between 1951 and 1999”.

That’s what theSun and this writer in particular have been campaigning for over a long period – accountability and transparency in the use of taxpayers’ money and openness.

It’s not exactly returning to the grind in Malaysia as I have been in touch with the happenings and events that have taken place over the past 16 months. It will be good to once again keep a ear close to the ground with eyes wide open for more stories to write and more scandals to expose. It’s good to be back.

R. Nadeswaran has ended his stint in London and returns to theSun to continue where he left off. He is still reachable at:

DESIDERATA: I had the pleasure and privilege of having Sdr Nades at the first THREE outings of the BUM (Bloggers Universe Malaysia) events, and especially well covered was the MEDIA SESSION at BUM2009 (surf to, or you can just tab at that LH column pictorial link, you lazy BUM2B, can?!) for more:(, or amore:).

Okay, extract jest the relevant panel displayed dare:~

******************************* Hi-Tea *****************************
3. Evening Session from 6.00PM – 8.15PM
Topic: Has The Old Media Failed Civil Society?

(a) Jeff Ooi, DAP MP for Jelutong, Pulau Pinang
(b) Sdr Ahirudin Attan aka Rockybru, All-Blogs Interim President
(c) YB Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, SA of Seri Setia, Selangor
(d) Sdr Steven Gan, Editor-in-chief,
(e) Sdr R Nadeswaran, Editor (Special reports and investigations), The Sun
(f) SURPRISE BLOGGER-SPEAKER to helicopter in?

Q and A Session (45minutes)


Another regular participant at our annual BUM outings who has graduated to become a Yang Berhormat/BerKHIDmat is Seri Setia ADUN Sdr Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad, whose thoughts on the Freedom of Information Act are worth reprising here/hear! The Selangor State Government under MB Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim broke new ground by being the first state legislature to pass the Act; I believe Penang is about to follow as the second to do the honour (or it has already passed the legislation? Desi could have lingered too long in nostalgic Creativityville, maaf ia!)

Legislating Freedom of Information Act in parliament

Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad

nik-azmiI am honoured to be asked to deliver the keynote speech at Bloggers Universe Malaysia 2011.

I attended the first one – BUM 2007 and have spoken at one or two other BUM events. I was asked to arrange for Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim to speak at the BUM event last year.

Some of us have reverted to the mainstream press that we criticised so strongly as bloggers. Some become politicians and consequently caught in the political intrigues. Being a blogger first before a politician, I am pleased to be among familiar faces and friends and hope to never join the first two categories!

On April 1, 2011, the Selangor state assembly created history after passing the Freedom of Information enactment.

This was the third and final reading before the enactment was sent to the Sultan to be signed as law.

It was a long three years from March 9, 2008, when Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim announced that a citizen’s right to information would be among the agendas pursued by the new state government in Selangor to April 2011.

I believe that the experience in Selangor is useful for the next step – to push for a repeal of the Official Secrets Act 1972, the Internal Security Act 1960, the Sedition Act 1949 and the Printing Presses and Publications Act 1984 while introducing a Freedom of Information Act at the federal level.

Except for Selangor, Malaysia is truly lagging behind.

Other than the Western democracies, countries such as India, Bangladesh, Albania and Uganda have some form of Freedom of Information legislation. Recently, Nigeria passed its Freedom of Information Act.

This is one case that Malaysia tak or belum boleh.


Freedom of Information is a key institutional reform to keep up with the times – about what the rakyat demands from the government but also about what the rakyat can do in spite of government with all the technology available.

Since 2008, Malaysians have become more interested not only in politics, but most importantly in how the government conducts its business. Malaysians demand more transparency and accountability, particularly in how their hard-earned tax money is spent.

Opening the government up is key towards empowering the rakyat, and ultimately strengthening our democracy. Democracy flourishes with well-informed citizens.

Yes, there will always be the need for official secrets but under our current framework even a tissue paper at a government meeting is theoretically deemed as an official secret!

Last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court made a landmark ruling ordering the Syabas concession agreement and audit report to be released based on an application by the Coalition against Water Privatisation.

Judicial commissioner Hadhariah Syed Ismail had stated in her 19-page judgement that she was not convinced such a disclosure would be harmful to national security or public interest, as claimed by Syabas and the government.

However the Energy, Water and Green Technology Ministry and the federal government requested a stay order and filed an appeal, claiming that disclosure would “upset the administration of government.”

Institutional reforms are important to ensure that the emerging two-party (or coalition) system that we have today actually has lasting benefit for the rakyat.

There is no use for a two-party system if it means more of the same old policies.


Ultimately a democratic government rests on a government by the people, for the people. Thus the rakyat have a right to know about what their government does, how their government spends their hard-earned tax money.

We have seen how tens of billions of ringgit are lost each year through wastage, leakages and corruption. These cases flourish simply because the rakyat has very little oversight over government.

Legislating freedom of information is the first step towards empowering the rakyat to stand up for their rights.


By preventing wastage, leakages and corruption, freedom of information legislation can actually make government more efficient. More money would be spent for the direct benefit of the rakyat, not for cronies or contractors. Not for holidays abroad or to privately pursue a daughter’s wedding.


Then we had the Wikileaks incident. I actually mentioned Wikileaks in my July 2010 speech at the state assembly when the Freedom of Information enactment was first introduced. But then the United States diplomatic cable incident grabbed the world’s attention.

This I believe illustrates how fast technology is moving – and how far behind we are when we are still dictated [to] by an ancient OSA.

Remember – the entire diplomatic cable incident over Wikileaks that not merely brought blushes on Hillary Clinton’s cheeks but actually strained diplomatic relations between the United States and many key allies across the globe was caused by 23-year-old Bradley Manning.

The intelligence analyst merely brought a Lady Gaga CD and then copied all the data into the CD while singing to Lady Gaga tunes.

Keeping secrets from the rakyat is getting more difficult these days.


Ultimately, freedom of information legislation is key towards restoring the rakyat’s trust with politicians. The tendency to govern by secrecy makes many politicians treat the rakyat as fools. Governing must cease to be a mystery for the rakyat.

Thus, it should come to no surprise that politicians tend to rank low in the trust scale for the public – along with lawyers and salesmen. Datuk Ambiga [Sreenevasan, BUM2011 speaker] – being a law graduate, I empathise with you!

Rumours and gossip are treated seriously in Malaysian politics because of the lack of information. In the absence of reliable and credible sources of information, any piece of information is valuable, no matter how sensational and ludicrous it may seem.

But when the rakyat knows more about what the government is doing, what the civil servants are doing, what the politicians are doing – this will definitely build their trust towards the many unsung heroes who plough on berkhidmat untuk rakyat but who get painted in the same brush as the rotten durians because of the lack of information.

The Selangor experience

As mentioned above, Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim actually mentioned on 9 March 2008 that one of his first acts as Selangor Menteri Besar would be to “ask the legal adviser to enact a law that will enable the state to give the public the right to information”.

On that same day, Tan Sri Khalid asked me to join his office to assist him in the task of governing, which ended me in holding the position of his political secretary for over two years until July last year.

Thus I was privy to the discussions that took place not long after that involving Khalid and Elizabeth Wong, along with various NGOs, most prominently the Coalition for Good Governance in drafting the Freedom of Information enactment.

The first hurdle we faced were those from within Pakatan Rakyat who felt that freedom of information should not be a priority. Of course, we demanded for it when we were the opposition but now that we’re in a position of power, they felt this would only hurt us.

But believers of freedom of information such as Khalid, Elizabeth and I argued that this is exactly the task before us. The test is not about demanding it while we had no power but to actually implementing it when we have power.

This is not unique to Malaysia.

Tony Blair, in his memoirs actually expressed one of his regrets is introducing the Freedom of Information Act that would later be a tool used by the media against his government towards the end of his tenure.

The state government actually almost adopted wholesale the draft from civil society.

But when the bill was presented to the state assembly in July 2010, it was a much watered down version thanks to some members of the civil service that are under federal control. At times, it read almost like an Unfreedom of Information enactment.

The Pakatan backbenchers, including myself, supported for the bill to be approved but with amendments to restore the original intent and spirit of the law.

BN on the other hand took two contradictory approaches.

One was that the Freedom of Information bill did not go far enough to ensure the right to know for the rakyat. Two was that it was in contradiction to the federal constitution. Maybe one was advised by Khir Toyo and the other, Apco.

The bill was passed at the first and second readings.

It was then decided that for the first time in Selangor’s legislative history, a select committee would be formed to engage in a public consultation with stakeholders and find ways to improve the bill before it was presented to the assembly again for the third and final reading.

Saari Sungib (PAS-Hulu Klang) was selected as chair while I, Hannah Yeoh (DAP-Subang Jaya), Dr Ahmad Yunus Hairi (PAS-Sijangkang), Amirudin Shari (PKR-Batu Caves), Datuk Dr Karim Mansor (BN-Tanjung Sepat) and Abdul Shukor Idris (BN-Kuang) were the members.

Sadly both the BN reps did not attend a single select committee meeting as we sat from July 2010 to March 2011. They had a golden opportunity to present their objections about the bill, even call their own academics and NGOs, yet they ignored the process altogether!

The consultation was extensive – not only with Coalition for Good Governance members but also religious NGOs, government departments, GLCs, academics, think tanks and lawyers.

The result was a substantially improved bill. Among other things, the revised bill is better than the previous version by:

  • allowing local councils and government-owned entities to be covered under the enactment;
  • changing the appeals board into the state information board; and
  • adding the penalties to include obstruction to access to information.


The Selangor experience provides a useful template for any efforts to introduce freedom of information legislation at the federal Parliament. Personally for me the process educated me on the various vested interests against freedom of information and how this can be circumvented through an extensive consultation process with all the stakeholders.

The expertise and passion of NGOs such as the Centre for Independent Journalism and the Coalition for Good Governance have been very useful in building the framework for freedom of information legislation.

At the same time, we need to take into account the practical views of those who will be at the frontline of implementation, namely civil servants and GLC employees who frequently end up as scapegoats in the battle between the rakyat and politicians.

While the Selangor Freedom of Information enactment may not entirely please everyone – which I have learnt is part and parcel of governing – it takes into account the point of view from every stakeholder across the spectrum, except BN of course who chose not to participate.

However, as the experience in other countries has taught us, the real battle is not between political parties but in reality those who are for freedom of information and those who are against freedom of information (and those who pretend to be for freedom of information).

Ladies and gentlemen,

Malaysia is at a crossroads.

While many Malaysians on both sides of the fence are excited about the coming years, a great many more are apathetic or disillusioned. The brain drain and capital outflows, as well as our weakened education system are a sign that something is dreadfully wrong about our country.

Much of Malaysia’s problems emerge because our people feel hopeless and disempowered. They feel like pawns of the elite, jerked around by a wealthy and unaccountable few who care nothing about their needs.

But without the support of these forgotten Malaysians, all the bold plans for transformation, whether the Vision 2020, the ETP/GTP/NEM or Buku Jingga will fail because a country’s strength is in its people and not the plans of its leaders.

Freedom of information is the first step to reversing this dangerous trend because it will restore the confidence and faith of Malaysians.

It will draw them back into a sense of national mission and make them feel part of a coherent whole again.

DESI: PS, can?

Above was the keynote speech By PKR communications director and Selangor state assemblyman Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad at the Bloggers Universe Malaysia 2011 forum ‘Bloggers Solidarity with the Press’ on 11 June 11, 2011 held at the Kuala Lumpur Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall.

Other Bloggers who went from BUMmer to Wakil Rakyat include Jeff ooi (DAP), Tian Chua (PKR), William Leong (PKR), so the resume consisting record of being a BUMmer will stand yee in GOoD stead, yeah!

PPS: **** The rumour I heard was that Nades was sent off to London for him to take a break from all the investigative reports he busied himself wiith his ward-winning A-teAm opening up too many cans of worm -- no, more like coffins unearthed of crocodiles who made off with billions of the tax-payers' money, and when caught with their pants or sarong down (ala WANITA THIEF-cum-MINIsterBYDEBACKDOOR) Sharizat's escapade at cowsville-lah!), they don't bat an eyelid. Remember the cowschief's wife's famous/notorious remark to the effect: YOU THINK I'M THE ONLY UMNO LEADER WITH SUCH (CORRUPTION TAINTED) PROBLEMS? -- YL, Desi, knottyaSsusual

ENJOY! the rest of CNY,

or being a BUMmer:) or BUM2B!:):) Sext, you may become a Yang Berhormat nyet!:(

Sunday, January 29, 2012

REcolLECtion of GOoD times 9... Sunday ruminates of things profound

As I listen to Ole Blue Eyes singing the opening bars of My Way, one often ponders on Life's journey -- consisting of crests and ebbs, Ups and Downs, laughs and frowns. Desi has his share too like any other human, and I believe most writers have their hair turn white sooner than others except for the Shrinks, Cos we tax our brains cells more than the average dude.

So sometimes we descend into melancholy, or DEPRESSION; so here's another extract from CI4S&T:), on this state termed Depression~~

Senator Thomas Eagleton of Missouri was forced to withdraw as the Democratic vice-presidential nominee in 1072 after party leaders learned he had undergone electroshock treatment for depression. Was he fit, we asked, to withstand the mental rigors of executive decision-making?
Yet more than a century, one of our most beloved presidents, Abraham Lincoln, endured fitful moods of despair in which he saw visions of his own coffin. Melancholy WAS THE COMMON TERM APPLIED TO lINCOLN'S MOODS. tODAY WE WOULD PROBABLY RECOGNIZE THEM AS SIGNS OF DEPRESSION.
...wrote that recurrent melancholy brought him "close to the gates of death and hell . . . shaken by desperation and blasphemy of God."
How thankful we as Christians should be that in our black moods of depression we can turn to our loving Lord for solace and encouragement. He, having undergone the sametemptations can sustain and strengthen us.


ONE of the factors that can drive us into depression is that after one had performed a charitable act for a stranger, the beneficiary did not show an sign of appreciation. Well, such is life demonstration a human's frailties, so we must brace ourselves to meet such ingrates. Desi believes all the great religiopns of the world demand of us to do good, as in accordance with the credo: DO UNTO OTHERS WHAT YOU WOULD WANT OTHERS DO UNTO THEE...

Again from CI4S&T (obviously written by A. Dudley Dennision, Jr. with US readers and background in mind...) on RECIPROCITY/RECIPROCATION:~~

To be contd, be goOd Miss Patience, cun?:)


Mary, about twenty, lived near a woman who was not well. One summer she offered to spend her two-week vacation taking her place in the home as nurse and mother. This freed Mr. and Mrs. Brown to go on a camping trip. When they returned, Mrs Brown was rested, her health was improved, and both were very grateful.
Mary moved to another part of the city. About five years later, her emplyer's place of business burned down, leaving him close to financial ruin. Short-termjobs were scarce, and Mary faced at least two winter months without pay, in a cramped apartment, while thebusiness was being relocated.
Two days after the fire, Mrs. Brown phoned Mary to tell her that her family was preparing to leave for a six-week stay in Arizona because of Mr. Brown's asthma. She asked if Mary would be interested in staying in their home, all utilities and groceries provided, to take care of their red setter. If so, they could start at once. Of course Mary went.
While t5hey were away Mary learned from Mrs. Brown's sister that she had offered to take their doginto her home. Mary head, too, that theBrowns had not seemed to fretabout gettingan early start until they'd heard about the fire.
When they returned Mary asked Mrs. brown if these rumors were true. Reluctantly, she admitted they were. "We didn't want to make our offer look like payfor what you did for us yearsago," she explained, "but we are very glad we could finally make it up to you."

Saturday, January 28, 2012

REcolLECtion of GOoD times 8...This th'ng called L'Ve:) or :(

Today I am proud to "copy&pastry" from masterwordsmith-unplugged; like her, I seldom try to fathom the unfathomable thing called love, but here follow TWO posts, once current, the other wanolde like Desi-lah; at 64 like DSAI but feel 40sex!:)

Love at First Sight

Posted by masterwordsmith On Saturday, January 28, 2012 0 comments
It has been some time since I wrote anything but this morning, I just want to share my thoughts with you because of a music video of Barbara Streisand that I watched AT THIS LINK. In that video, she said:

" A few years later when I was a grown up, I met someone who touched a deeper place in my heart and it was one of those moments when you realize that love at first sight is possible..."

Evergreen - lyrics by Paul Williams

Love soft as an easy chair
Love fresh as the morning air
One love that is shared by two
I have found with you

Like a rose under the April snow
I was always certain love would grow
Love ageless and evergreen
seldom seen by two

You and I will make each night a first
every day a beginning
Spirits rise and their dance is unrehearsed
They warm and excite us
'cause we have the brightest love

Two lives that shine as one
morning glory and midnight sun
Time we've learned to sail above
Time won't change the meaning of one love
ageless and ever evergreen

What is this elusive thing called 'love'?

For the greater part of my life as an educator, I have counselled many teenagers and young adults about boy-girl relationships and many have asked me how to know when it is the 'right' one.

My answer: You just know. Just as you will know when it is NOT the right one. A bit simplistic but to me, it is true.

I cannot deny that I grew up reading fairy tale romances such as Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella etc and whilst I do not subscribe to those sexist stereotypes that a woman needs a man to make her complete and all that jazz, I strongly believe that somewhere out there is someone meant for each one of us.

And when you meet that someone, you just know. Yes, I am one of those who saw stars, fireworks and my legs turned to jelly, heart throbbed at an earth-shattering speed and went all giddy and lovey-dovey from henceforth.

The initial stage would be heavenly and in time, things may not roll out as smoothly. When the crunch comes, a love that lasts will see the couple walking down the aisle to exchange vows that would bind them for life till death do them part.


The greatest tragedy of life is when one meets that someone, and then in a moment of uncertainty or by a cruel twist of fate of destiny, loses that someone either in a tiff/misunderstanding/parental objection/peer influence etc or walks away etc and then marries someone else either on the rebound or because of poor judgement or thought he/she was making the right decision then. Even if it was love at first sight, it was likely a love that was not strong enough to withstand the challenges faced.

However, I am not saying that one could not be happy with that decision.

Happiness is a state of mind, I believe. It is a choice that we make to will ourselves to be happy by making rational choices. However, far above all that, the fact remains that had we married that special someone, things might not would have turned out more beautifully. So, each of us is responsible for the choices we make in our lives.

Regardless of our circumstances, it is our individual responsibility to make the best of our decision,to love,cherish and to nurture the one with whom we have chosen to share our lives.

At the same time, I have also come across some who have never fallen in love before and married out of obligation or a host of other reasons. They often ask me, "What is it like to fall in love? How does it feel? How do you know?" etc etc. Too often, our perception of love is based on what we have been exposed to in the mass media and literature or even words.

Some of my friends/relatives in match-made marriages are in marital bliss because in time, they learnt to love that someone and eventually fell in love with their spouses. Amazingly, some of these people I know are so loving even in their old age!!! That is the power of love for you.

One cannot deny that along the road of life, sometimes one may come across someone who has a strong magnetic pull that comes with shared interests or inclinations. It is up to each individual to step on the brakes lest to prevent any untoward incidents and to transform that into a friendship that lasts and built on a platform of shared values or ethics. No disclosure is encouraged and yet, one just knows in unspoken words or even in the absence of body language. Much as one may run away, the fact is there. The attraction and magnetism.

However, I firmly believe that if one really will not have eyes or the heart for anyone else. That is because the acres of one's heart have been devoted to the love of his life.

No matter how strong the magnetism, nothing will happen because fulfilment has been found in the love of his/her life and there is no space for anyone else regardless of the strength of that magnetism or attraction.

Yet, one is human and prone to failings. In a moment of weakness, one may buckle and a Freudian slip here and there or when both lock glances across the room or the look in one's eyes or the tone of voice could reveal far more than what was intended. And that is the time to step on the brakes, failing which it could ignite something dangerous.

And perhaps, the lack of will-power or self control or even the need for validation as a man/woman could propel the start of an affair.

Having counselled so many from various backgrounds, I can attest to the fact that any broken marriage has long-lasting consequences on the partners but more so on the children and their individual marital status in years to come.

In closing, I just wish to say that yes, one can fall in love at first sight, swoon at the sight or knowledge of one who takes our breath away but at the end of the day - rational and responsible choices are vital in maintaining stability in one's marriage and family. A love that lasts need not be one tailored to story-book romances. He need not be the type to bring you roses or to whisper sweet nothings into your ear. But, a love that lasts is one who loves regardless of whether you are fat or thin, hairy or bald, beautiful or wrinkled...simply put - a love that endures in all circumstances!

But is it that easy?

What are your views and or observations, dear readers?


And now, on the s'xth day of CNY, here's some memory/ies recalled by Desi and several esteemedreaders wit' their heartfool feedback from the early years:)

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Love Is a Many-Splendour’d Thing


Love is a common theme of poets and playrights, and why not? This many-splendour’d thing called “love” is a constant companion in our daily lives, from our Birth nursed on Mother’s love, through teenage innocent “first love” experience, then later to the more complicated and convoluted affairs of adults -- involving lovers’ quarrels, triangular fistfights, consuming forbidden fruits and being consumed by their aftermath, often led the green-eyed monster to tragedy and Death.

Many of us have enjoyed watching Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) performed on stage or at the cinema or via TV. Indeed, there have been variations of this great love story by the Bard, including Spanish, Chinese, and even a Malay, adaptations which I had seen on television. Most could easily associate the lines which encapsulate the tragedy of the play:
“What’s in a name?
That which we call a rose
By any other word would smell as sweet."

Romeo Montague and Juliet Capulet meet and fall in love in Shakespeare's lyrical tale of "star-cross'd" lovers, unfortunately hailing from two warring families. Here Juliet tells Romeo that a name is an artificial and meaningless convention, and that she loves the person who is called "Montague", not the Montague name or family. Romeo valiantly rejects his family name and vows, as Juliet asks, to "deny (his) father" and instead be "new baptized" as Juliet's lover.

There are certain occasions when love-lorn teenagers (the sender) would “borrow” the works of great poets to convey their feelings to their love partners (the recipient). Those informed in English literature would know of the great love story of Robert Browning (1812-1889) and his wife, Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861). Many can easily recite some lines from the following:

How much do I love thee? Let me count the ways.
I love thee to the depth and breadth and height
My soul can reach, when feeling out of sight
For the ends of Being and ideal Grace.
I love thee to the level of every day’s
Most quiet need, by sun and candlelight.
I love thee freely, as men strive for Right;
I love thee purely, as they turn from Praise.
I love thee with the passion put to use
In my old griefs, and with my childhood’s faith.
I love thee with a love I seemed to lose
With my lost saints – I love thee with the breath,
Smiles, tears, of all my life! – and, if God choose,
I shall but love thee better after death.

The last two lines form the defining climax which telescopes all the preceding expressions into a gem of a conclusion -- what many star-cross’d lovers would have felt and would have been proud to have said it in Browning’s unique way. It is again another human emotion as perennial as the grass – true love that gives forth a sworn, undying devotion of one human being to another. But common mortals like us often expressed in prose via cliches such as: I’ll love you till the end of time; I’ll follow you till the end of the earth, or I’ll love you until the end of the world; I’d give up my life for you; ... the list could go on and on, but none will ever come close enough to Browning’s immortal closing.

And from another of her well quoted poems, a stanza is reproduced here:

If thou must love me, let it be for naught
Except for love’s sake only. Do not say
“I love her for her smile – her look – her way
Of speaking gently – for a trick of thought
That falls in well with mine, and certes brought
A sense of pleasant ease on such a day” ...

And from the other significant half, Robert Browning comes:


So the year’s done with!
(Love me for ever!)
All March begun with,
April’s endeavour;
May-wreaths that bound me
June needs must sever;
Now snows fall round me,
Quenching’ June’s fever –
(Love me for ever!)

So love is a common theme in poetry in whatever language, and why not? We humans need love as much as we need air and water to survive, from the day we were born until the day we die, that’s an inescapable truth. Love is the first emotion that a baby would encounter on entering this world, for the mother’s caressing arms would have been the child’s first human experience, and it is one full of motherly love and care. So throughout life, a human being is fed on love – maybe of various kinds, ranging from parent, puppy, unrequited, sweetheart, spouse, between a gay couple, to intoxicating “first love” between teenagers, to stolen “love”, or lust, for the married man (woman too, in this age of equality!) in the arms of a secret mistress (or Cassanova)!

Rhythm and rhyme are characteristic in successful songs, the lyrics of some are so well composed they indeed qualify as “poetry”. Those in this league include compositions by Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, like “Sound of Silence” (And in the naked light I saw/ Ten thousand people maybe more …) and “Bridge Over Troubled Water” (When you’re weary, feeling small/ When tears are in your eyes/ I’ll dry them all/ I’m on your side… ), and of course, innumerable ones by (the late) John Lennon and (Sir) Paul McCartney of The Beatles. For me, from childhood the lines from Beautiful Dreamer by Stephen Foster have indelibly been etched in my mind, and I reproduce here two stanzas of what I consider one of the best love poems ever composed:
Beautiful dreamer, wake unto me
Starlight and dew-drops are waiting for thee;
Sounds of the rude world heard in the day,
Lull’d by the moonlight have all pass’d away.

Beautiful dreamer, queen of my song,
List while I woo thee with soft melody;
Gone are the cares of life’s busy throng –
Beautiful dreamer, awake unto me!

As mortals who are born to be social animals and have a natural instinct to “love and want to be loved”, a partner who becomes one’s “soul mate” evokes in the loved one a tremendous feeling of tenderness and oneness that the condition is often like “in a dream”; hence the “beautiful dreamer” description, associated with the quiet and tenderness of “the moonlight”, enchanted with song (“soft melody”) sung in a low voice so that the quiet may not be disturbed … We are all familiar with the phrase “Wine, Women and Song” – I guess the missing “wine” in Beautiful Dreamer is subtly embedded in the “kisses” that the lover awake must have softly planted on his dearest aslumber! That’s the imagination on a reader’s part, fulfilling one of the fundamental evocations that a great poem have on us! I believe an essay of a thousand words in prose would not be able to achieve what Foster could accomplish in less than a hundred words – awakening the deepest feelings and imagination in readers who have tasted the wine of a woman’s kiss, and even perhaps among those yet to be initiated into such an experience, and hence privileged to be bestowed by a maestro of an intimation of intimate moments between man and woman.

PS:(2.20pm) The theme of LOVE will be continued next Sunday. Visit desiderata.english sevendays hence, wilt thee? Is "wilt" properly used here?

(2.30pm) I read with horror an item in a newspaper today where a "prize winning" entry consisting of about 50 words contained TWO HOWLERS! Mayhaps it indicates the "state of affairs" the English language has descended into. Mercy, mercy!
Would readers want to track down what piece I'm referring to -- maybe I'll arrange for a "surprise" prize for the best argued entry to spy the referenced HOWLERS! Email me: ENJOY!

7 comment(s):

Very beautiful pieces which melt my heart. I recall some beautiful love poems written by the late Tan Sri Eusoffe Abdoolcader dedicated to his late wife. The late Tan Sri took his own life tragically to join his wife in heaven a few years later. I couldn't find any archives of his poems in the nett. Does anybody know where I can find them?

By Anonymous Ginger, at 8:31 PM

Hi Ginger:

Yes, I remember reading tose poems by the late Justice too. (Dedications via ad in local newspapers ... I shed a tear or 2 reading them...)

Physically small in size,(I'm honoured to have met him personally as a journalist/press officer then) the late Tan Sri was "towering" in stature, well admired by fellow judges for his "exquisite" (literary) judgements!

Any readers have access to Eusoffe's poems -- Desiderata will be honoured with your help in sharing them! I promise a teh tarik?

By Blogger desiderata, at 10:04 PM

hmmm Romeo and Juliet, huh~ very different from my piece. A fantastic variation of perspective on this topic :) you write good~

By Blogger def-unct, at 4:08 PM

dear Lobak:

If I have ginger and lobak for company
A wonderful evening of soup and song we'll cook up in glee
Shakespeare ould keep love aglow
Wordsmiths like thee&ginger will my good life grow

Thanks for thy soup for the soul.

By Blogger desiderata, at 11:56 PM

searching for those Tan Sri's poem as well.His affection for his wife astound me,such simplicity and yet so tragic

By Blogger DareDevil8, at 11:23 PM

the poem by the late tan sri..i remember reading it from the star newspaper and i can memorise most of the lines..i guess so..originally in latin version n english as well..let me try if i can still remember..

'my dearest darling, half of soul, light of my life and jewel of all wives..

i think of thee, of thee and yet of thee,
like thee there never yet can ever be..thine two intoxicating eyes i miss, and thy cheeks and lips i used to kiss..

if helen of troy were clad in the beauty of thousand stars, then thou gentle as evening air art in mine eyes, as shine the moon among the lesser fires,

of all the queens that ever lived, i chose thee to rule me, mine very own halena (his wife's name), my one and only, to the very marrow thou will see i love ye,

o' how in the world am i to live without thee?

those r d beautiful lines and i guess i got correctly..i felt obliged when all of you requested for that poem..all the while i tot i m d only one who really touched by that lines..hope it would be helpful..regards, MJ

By Blogger rocky, at 8:04 AM

c u guys..n i guess u all must be long my learned friends..rgds, Muammar Julkarnain Esq., from beeston leeds UK

By Blogger rocky, at 8:11 AM

Friday, January 27, 2012

REcolLECtion of GOoD times 7...Ro'st reprised for HUMOURing self, can du?

Desi likes to imagine he has some GOoD sens' -- not earning BIG bucks dough -- of humour. So jest to occupy a CNY Fridae, who serves as my sexcretary as as a childe born todie, he/ she/it is fool of love. Beg thy pardon if my language offends some easily stirred human nerves who don't have a humerus vein -- sorry I don't writHe to please this particular category of human form because I don wanna to have too short a life on earth; and Heaven is an unknown quantitity, and Hellll has two many enemies waiting to cut Desi's throat. A friend once asked me if there is/was a place between H'n and H'l, so told him half serious to look up his dick...PURgaTORY. He was quite lazy and requested I help by defining the shortest way the meaning, so here goeth:

It is that place in a pub'icLAVATORY quite Malaysian not washed for 15dies Cos all the stuff have gone away for the impotent holyday. And many cheapskate clients steal enter this TO'LET place FREE OF CHARGE to muntah/puke all die after bingEing on yEe sang or yeE hey! Knot yEE sEi, K! It's only the s'xth day (PSSS: realise on 28Jan it should be MINUSwanny!) of the Year of the H2O dragon:) ~~ YL, Desi, knottyaSsusual

PS: If you drink, please you can drive, but DON PUKE, K!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Did you see some Oscar Wilde in "me"?

It's goode to see some Wildeness around in this world of either political correctness or Kampung Wira jungle politikus scurrying for cover out there. Often when one uses wit and sarcasmin local English writing, it's like throwing pearls at swine, that's Desi' honest opinion, okay! And I don't seek your nod of APproval to say this because if you feel the Pedasness, feel free to move out of Negri Sembilan to Tanjung Rambutan!

In Malaysia, I'm sorry to report people don't know the fine art of poltical barb-trading. They only rade in billion-dollar APs and under-the-skirt banality -- sex with a 15-year-olde gali melacot, anywan? Then jail the messenger for the expose/exposure?

Malaysian voters are well served by several ministers whose brains dwell not northwards but tending towards the south near an orifice where the sun don't shine (Think the big mouth who asked "What crisis. Our judi-sirree in crisis?" And at the bighearted councillors and cronies serving r(l)oyal interests, Zakaria the gate-keeper-tunred millionaire and advertising his palace of four storeys as "small") .

Digressing a byte, which is growing to be Desi's passion to get away from the madding crowd, sorry I go literature path eh! -- And if you any reader not so esteemed wanna be English sexpertic todie and ars' why not "the Sun doesn't shine?", who do I ask? Anyway, I guess it does ot matter as even if you took a poll of the 219 Members of Parliament, "Have you read Animal Farm?", it would bring much delight if 10% h=gave an honest "Yes"answer. You further ask if they heard the quote well promoted by former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad -- "There is something rotten in the House of Denmark", less than 10% would understand where it came from,what more its meaning and context, despite gallant efforts by many Bloggers to educate them.

It's a sad thing, a tragedy indeed, the state of affairs of politikus in NegaraKu -- or is it a comedy like some MSM glorifying Zakaria Mad Deros' multi-million ringgit mansionable hosting of a grand celebration of Hari Raya with orphans, wow! how considerate and generous? BUT not making a sound about the illegal structure and where the blardy hell millions came from?

Now, where'sDesi headed this moUrn? To one field where most of the political donkeys along Jalan Parlimen won't appreciate the musings or music of. For most of the two-legged resident periodically there often behaving less civilised than their four-legged cousins at Zoo Negara (minta maaf ia for this comparison) who feed on sick and banal jokes like their sisters and mothers suffering monthly "leaks" was great comedy when the subject was million-dollar cost-overruns in Government buildings that feature roofs and ceilings that crumble soon after their fanfare openings. And a RM4.6billion bail-out is euphemistically called a "soft loan". When then does it become a "hard" one? Ah, when they buy gold-laid coffins to bid premature goodbyes to more of these elected wakill rakyat?

Okay, sorry folks, for the wlong Intro todie -- now I tye by long-hand from page 12, theSun, appearing from behind the clouds after 4 (sie-lo!) days! (Cun'fess: Actually I bruffed as I googled later and reproduced the Reuters Original -- see the header is slightly different from that print copy which you cheapskates got a rlee kopi from at the SEVEN11 nearest you, yes?)

Oscar Wilde crowned king of the quips
Tue Oct 16, 2007 1:11am BST

LONDON (Reuters) - Playwright Oscar Wilde, who even managed to mutter on his death bed "Either those curtains go or I do", was named in a poll on Monday as Britain's greatest wit.

He captured 20 percent of the vote, just two points ahead of comedian Spike Milligan, who had engraved on his tombstone the epitaph "I told you I was ill".

In the Top 10 of famous wits, wartime leader Winston Churchill made it to number five for his notorious putdowns. When accused by Labour parliamentarian Bessie Braddock of being drunk, he said: "Bessie, you're ugly. And tomorrow morning I will be sober but you will still be ugly."

The playwright Noel Coward comes in at number seven, saying of humour: "Wit ought to be a glorious treat like caviar. Never spread it about like marmalade."

Former prime minister Margaret Thatcher, more renowned for her steely personality than her roustabout humour, was the highest ranked woman in the poll, taking 12th place. She once quipped: "Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren't."

The poll of 3,000 comedy fans was conducted to mark the launch of a new UKTV digital television channel called Dave under the banner "The home of witty banter".
© Reuters2007 All rights reserved.
However, I wear my rights in my closet. Outside it,
Desi does knot observe these claims to Copyrights reserved as he's an out-of-closet Leftist, remember, that Dime of September?)

PS: If you readers put Desi in a fowl or fouler mood, I may return with Amore humour to rumour you.


I jest received a forwarded email from mGf Shannon, and I didn't even know I have a facility to my NAME! Any royalties tocollect hear?


Love Desi Mails? Click here to joint Mr-Desi

Have you heard of Mr. Santa Singh applying to a medical school to become a doctor?

Needless to say he never made it. You know why?

These are the answers he wrote in his entrance exam.


Antibody - against everyone

Artery - The study of the paintings.

Bacteria - back door to a cafeteria.

Caesarean section - a district in Rome.

Cardiology - advance study of poker playing.

Cat scan
- searching for lost kitty.

Chronic - neck of a crow.

Coma - punctuation mark.

Cortisone - area around local court.

Cyst - short for sister.

Diagnosis - person with slanted nose.

Dilate - the late British Princess Diana.

Dislocation - in this place.

Duodenum - couple in blue jeans.

Enema - not a friend.

Fake labour - pretending to work.

Genes - blue denim.

- she is close by.

Impotent - distinguished/ well known.

Labour pain - hurt at work.

Lactose - people without toes.

Lymph - walk unsteadily.

Microbes - small dressing gown.

Obesity - city of Obe.

Pacemaker - winner of Nobel peace prize.

Proteins - in favour of teens.

Pulse - grain.

Pus - small cat.

Red blood count - Dracula.

Secretion - hiding anything.

Tablet - small table.

Ultrasound - radical noise.

- opposite of you're out.

Varicose - very close. posted by desiderata

Thursday, January 26, 2012

REcolLECtion of GOoD times 6...Virginal Post

what is desiderata marked the debut of my humble Blog, now almost finishing se7en years on March 15, 2012.

I reprise the virginal post as it was writ then --TYPOSwarts&All -- to remind the start of an exciting journey with cyber-friends, some who became terrestrial mateys, but most still Aliens -- or are they ETs? I believe that we are enriched by the companions on life's journey -- for better or worse -- and Desi on hindsight attribute my "inventing" a unique style (as described by two regular readers who appreciate beyong norma; English OK!) of ***blogspeak wit' a dose of DDC (4Da Desi Code, endowed by AweOfHelen a chinCHAsui eeehPOHlang!:) thrown it to make a cyber-rojak:) OR :( to each his/her/its own! -- YL, Desi, knottyaSsusual

PS: *** My favourites are "In the steal of the night...; Get the hear out of hell!...(specially targetes at steAmedreaders who dare aRsEk intelligent Qs -- but do not forward an accompanying cheque! -- when Desi didn't solicit for businurse!:(:(

Okay, the reprised article starts now -- badder steal, a REPRISAL for ER (4EsteemedReaders lah! if you must ask, judging from thy Ignoramus-looking reaction!:( ~C~C~c~c~c~C~C~ The lust symbol preceding this sentence refers to the se7en seas (BTW, 7 is Desi's fave nombor OK!) for I have thousands of cyber-friends worldwide -- if you believe UMNO and MCA leaders they have millions of members, so a litter exaggeration on Desi's part is forGIFTen yes/No/maybe/++++Mayhaps?

PPS: ++++ Mayhaps is a combo word as part of DDC erotically/exotically derived from maybe and perhaps, so it's on stronger probability than the two originals standing alone; hope this short Intro gifts thee some vague idea on DCC!

what is desiderata

WRITING has been a passion of mine among others, like painting and reading, since my early school days. Those were hazy, lazy days when young people had time for top-spinning, spider catching, swimming in former mining pools (a dangerous pastime!) in the outdoors, and for indoor leisure, there was no TV, and the strongest pull for me were comics and library books. As the saying goes, "Necessity is the Mother of Invention", I ventured into writing in my secondary schooldays to earn some pocket money, so that my siblings and I could indulge in the weekend cheap matinee (as the cinema was about the next best thing to a luxury outing).

Since my youth, I have adopted a poem called "The Desiderata of Happiness"by Max Ehrmann as my philosophical guide to daily living. Desiderata starts with "Go placidly amid the noise and the haste ..." and ends with an optimistic "With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy." (I'll publish this poem in full later - but meanwhile, readers can go to Yahoo! and Search for this easily...)

"Desiderata" means "features or characteristics deemed as essential or desirable to..."; hence one may say the desiderata of happiness may consist of, among others, good health, a balanced education, a professional job, lots of money to spare after the essentials for daily living, or even a carefree vagabond lifestyle ... to each his/her own!

I shall end my first blog as an Introduction here, just past midnight, March 15, 2005 - "Beware the Ides of March!" for those with some exposure to Shakespeare, who would be quoted in my writings quite a lot in future. Meanwhile, greetings to all, please find time for fine reading, especially Poetry, so that we can puruse a common journey of upgrading our quality of life. Wishing you all Good Health and Progress in All Your Endeavours.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

REcolLECtion of GOoD times 5...Keep It Simple II

The author of today's column in The Star, normally called P. Guna, was one of the few writers in MSM whom I followed regualrly, especially when he was among the top two (?) editors at the business weekly The Edge, for his well-researched and authoritative writes. Not too long ago, he moved to The Star and presto, he earned the distinction of the first editor from this more profitable daily to "accept" a speaking engagement at BUM2010 at a Media Forum (Thanks matey!) Earlier invites to the same paper had always been met with supreme elegant silence -- neither a Yes nor No. I normally would have followed wit' :) after Yes and :( after no, so that's blogspeak, K!

I still invest RM1.20 on either the NST or the Star because part of me is keenly conducting a MEDIAWATCH since I had seved some 30plus years in both MSM and online, even diplomatic, missions.

THe following article also strikes a chord with me in that I expressed strong support for Mat Sabu when he depicted the mata-mata who were killed at Bukit Kepong (1950 if I'mw not mistaken) as serving the British masters/colonialists' interests, and it's the "attackers" including the communists and nationalists who were the "patriots" to then Malaya. I premised my stand that what Mat Sabu did was to re-look history from a different perspective with changing times, although as often reminded that "History Writing Is the Story of the Past According to the Victors".

In passing, may I also refer to another controversy regarding the socalled Malay heroes consisting of the Five Hs -- Hang Tuah, Hang Jebat, Hang Lekir, Hang Lekiu and Hang Kasturi plus a female Hang Li Poh associated with 15th century Malacca Sultanate. I wrote that it was a myth perpuated by the powers-that-be until very recent years that the five were MALAY HEROES, and even Sdr P Guna also perpetuated this reference in passing.

Prof. Khoo Kay Kim -- often this very mentionof name of Malaysian historian conjures up in young Desi's mind the famous/notorious Ku Klux Khan of the great United States of America -- kicked up a ruckus again lately by dismissing the Malay Heroes as mere legendary figures cooked up by imaginary minds to spice up the Malacca sultanate history, and the good professor challenged detractors of his stand by shwoing "evidence" to any history claim of the heroes were real persons.

My article merely quoted some sources as dismissing the "Malay" part of the myth -- that the five indeed existed but were CHINESE MUSLIMS from mainland China who most likely had followed the famed admiral Cheng Ho (Zheng He) in his voyages escorting many flotillas of trading ships that stopped at Malacca on their way to India and Africa. The claim by one writer of 1421: The Year the Chinese Discovered America (ie before Christopher Columbus) wa countered by many other historians and journalists, so the "jury" is still out whether the chinoserie preceded the Spanish discoverer (? ?? am I right -- please remind Desi of historical facts, K!)

Cutting a long story short, again this article reminds us that HISTORY SHOULD BE SUBJECT TO SECOND LOOK with passing times as new "evidence" crops up, so one day we may have a great female researcher among us that Singa-pura was part of Peninsular Malaya before a tsunami broker the little Dot away from the northern terra cota -- creating a controversy to make the study of HERstory more exciting!

Last point I sighted in P Guna's piece/peAce is his reminder to newsdogs about the famous guide of answering the Five Ws and one H in news writing, a complementary point (marked **** and thus BOLDED) to yesterday's piece/peAce by MI's .

Thanks to all comers, young&olde, new&ancient -- let's make GOoD history in creating the Malaysia we potentially can make a leading South-East Asian nation better than "Singa-pura-pura (Guna, please correct me if I'm wrong: that today Singapre's GDP per capita is about four times Malaysia's?) Yes, some sea-horse can masquerade as miniature dragon, so whay can there be a lion-in-disguise -- Yes/ No/Maybe?Mayhaps, pick from multiple choice solution if there is one...Today, the third day of the Water Dragon Year, Desi is a true democrat knot about todie.:)

Wednesday January 25, 2012

Myths, prejudice and history

Question Times by P.GUNASEGARAM

It is next to impossible to make history objective, but we must give it L a damn good shot.

LEGEND is a lie that has attained the dignity of age. – HL Mencken The very ink with which history is written is merely fluid prejudice. – Mark Twain

Remember Jalan Birch in Kuala Lumpur, near the Merdeka Stadium? It’s been called Jalan Maharajalela for many years now, Birch becoming a victim of a programme of Malaysianisation of road names.

But Birch also became a victim of Malaysianisation of history – from hero, he became a villain, and his killer, yes, Maharajalela, became a hero in the flash of a road sign change.

Few things can so poignantly illustrate the change in historical perspective as a country changes.

JWW Birch was a British resident (adviser to the Sultan) in Perak in the 19th century. The British used a system of residents to control most Malayan states. A local called Dato Maharajalela assassinated Birch.

Although the reasons why he did this are obscure, Maharajalela is now hailed as a nationalist who opposed colonialism and died in the process – he and his accomplice were hanged.

Hence his elevation to hero status and Birch’s relegation to villain, a representative of an occupying force.

I remember my early history textbooks post-independence put Maha ra jalela in bad light until years later when the historical perspective began to shift.

We studied in our history books that Sir Francis Light was the founder of Penang which is ridiculous from a Malayan/Malaysian perspective because Malayans must have known the existence of Penang long before it was “founded” by Light. To this day, Wikipedia states that Light founded Penang. How confounding is that.

When the British “founded” places, it meant they then established a system of governance with rules of law. There is a court system and a police force. Prior to their “founding” there was no such legal system among the locals.

Then, there was Sir Stamford Raffles who similarly was said to have “founded” Singapore conveniently and erroneously erasing the arrival earlier to that place by a prince from Palembang, Sang Nila Utama, some 500 years earlier.

It seems like even Singaporeans believe their history started with Raffles. I was at a performance put up by Singaporean MBA students in 1991 which started off the history of the country from the time Raffles “founded” it in 1819. How unfortunate! It was with great amusement that I read many years ago of a stunt pulled by an American (Red) Indian.

After arriving in Italy via a commercial flight, he promptly announced that he had founded Italy.

And what right did he have to make that outrageous claim? The same that Christopher Columbus, an Italian who sailed on behalf of the Spanish monarchs, had when he proudly claimed that he had discovered the Americas (at that time Columbus thought it was the East Indies) in 1492, a land already in habited by millions of others.

Now, Prof Emeritus Tan Sri Khoo Kay Kim has controversially raised lots of heckles and temperatures by saying that Malay warriors such as Hang Tuah and Hang Jebat were mere legends – myths invented by fertile minds for the amusement of others, much like the Greek gods.

He is, however, a renowned historian with no political ideology, racial or national axe to grind.

To his critics he has this to say: “If you don’t agree with me, bring out the sources to show I am wrong. You cannot simply say you don’t agree. I am saying that these things were not true because no reliable sources confirmed they existed.”

That is a clear indication as to how we should go about clarifying history.

History must be based on facts. It must seek to recreate - without any ideological, national, racial or any other bias - *****what happened to who, what, when, where, why and how, the journalistic five W’s and one H.

Otherwise it remains a myth and legend.

Just as in the case of Hang Tuah, one should seek to ascertain whether Maharajalela was indeed a hero by trying to establish, based on facts, his motives for killing Birch.

Otherwise it becomes a mere speculation and interpretation which is not history.

We are a relatively young country and yes, we would need to rewrite history from the perspective of Malaysia and Malaysians. No, Light had not founded Penang and Raffles, Singapore.

There may be many questions we can’t answer but we must make an effort to find them. And we need a proper system of archiving so that future generations know things the way they were.

History in school must not be a tool for nation building or used for any other agenda but to paint a true picture, as far as that is possible given all our collective prejudices, of Malaysia and of the world.

It needs to have balance, fairness and most of all truth about everyone’s contribution to nation building.

It must not seek to aggrandise one race or religion at the expense of others.

It must have enough of a mix of subject matter to ensure Malaysians have sufficient appreciation of Malaysia and how it has come to be where it is as well as an unbiased understanding of the state of the world. Anything else and it would become poor propaganda instead.

The best way towards this is to have a curriculum drawn up by historians and true educationists and to put in place a rigorous means of verification if we need to change history or at least what we learn of it.

You can interpret history but you must not rewrite it without factual basis.

It is next to impossible to make it objective but we must give it a damn good shot nevertheless, if we are not to live in and perpetuate a lie.

Independent consultant and writer P Gunasegaram ( says we need an accurate history before we learn anything from it.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

REcolLECtion of GOoD times 4...Keep It Simple

After se7en weeks of starting my blog on the Ides of March 2005, a newspaper in East Malaysia started using my articles I wrote for Sunday headed Desiderata.English. May 1st marked my debut at the Borneo Post, hence my affection for that date on top of another sentimental reason for a poet-aspirant. (Wordsmithry has Desi spelling in my profile as poet-aSspirant, can excuse me for some funD?)As a journalist, writing for newspapers is unlike my penning (pening kepala ke?) my blog posts; for the latter as a hobby for somehow I did/do/will be doing it "Desi-way". Translating the preceding, it's equivalent to singing ala Frank Sinatra's "My Way".

Yes, when you write for the masses -- readers of a newspaper, whether print or on;line -- you have to stick to answering the Five Ws + 1H-- Who, When, Where, Why, and .... and How. (Can't recall the fifth W, keep for late, can? Maybe a smart reader can help Desi out here?) NOTE: a regular reader who appreciates my "unique" scribing sms-ed me at nght that "The 5th W is What". Half-drunk on tehtarik and overlysugared cookies, Desi cheekily replied: I cunt r'ber; he had to call me later (+35sen or more, aMore...) to emphasis that the W I couldn't remember was WHAT! TerimaKASIH, matey...More on this in the next post, OK!:)

So blogging was indeed profitable in my first year as I wrote that Sunday column catering mainly to secondary students, read mainly by Sarawakians and Sabahans. I earned a princely sum of RM800 to RM1,000 p.m. just spending a full weekday, including lots of reading and research in the two dys preceding the deadline of a Friday noon.

So it's with great apprciation I sighted the following article in the Malaysian Insider written by a fellow newsdog which reminds us to keep news copies "Simple"!

Side Views

Whatever happened to plain English? — Yow Hong Chieh

January 23, 2012

JAN 23 — I read an essay yesterday on someone’s recommendation which made no sense. The syntax was correct but there was little meaning to what had been written.

The sentences were convoluted and the language verbose; the intention unclear. I’m not the sharpest of tacks but if I can’t summarise a story in one sentence — as was the case with this article — then that usually means the writer has failed to communicate his or her thoughts clearly.

It reminded me of the project summaries produced by a graduate programme at a renowned architecture school in London which, when stripped of jargon, said very little, if anything.

If imitation is the best form of flattery, the students enrolled in this programme were world-class brown-nosers, slavishly reproducing the linguistic contortionism of Deleuze, Derrida and Foucault without entirely comprehending what they were doing.

One word was never enough. If what was to be said could be padded with pseudo-intellectual gobbledygook, then puffed up it would be with stolen lexicon from French philosophers.

Example: “Our research interest lies in the employing of non-linear systems to actively delineate the interface between hardspace and softspace. Hardspace is the implementation of an architectural materiality, providing infrastructure for the softspace, which is the realm of human interface.

“The nature of this interstitial condition was explored through the study of the interactions exhibited by multi-agent systems, their resulting organisational patterns and the implementation of agency through material actuation. In projecting a mixture of human behaviour within an agent-based system of interactions, our prototypical system aims to provide an architectural rethinking of the temporary and distributed event network.

“The contemporary megaevent scenario necessitates the employment of an adaptable system that negotiates between typological needs, temporary material deposition and the temporal but radically different ways that crowds occupy event spaces. Due to its systemic and prototypical nature, our agent-based system provides for design adaptability within large data sets, mapping infrastructure and interface for an event-based architecture.”

In other words: People can change the physical aspects of our building through interaction. Structures will be defined by use, not predetermined functions; this is well-suited for large-scale events like the Olympics.

I am reminded of George Orwell’s essay, “Politics in the English Language”, in which he lamented the spread of “ugly and inaccurate” writing, which he said was a means to disguise fuzzy thinking.

He was, of course, referring to how the political language of the time was geared towards hiding unpalatable truths from the public, but the point remains: Keep it simple, stupid.

Language is about illuminating meaning. It is about conveying force and clarity of ideas, not just the mere appearance of thought. Good ideas can be described plainly - and, in fact, are made better by such treatment - while weak ones need gussying up.

There’s enough nonsense and rhetoric out there clogging up our bandwidth. So let’s all of us please try to put our ideas across effectively and not give in to this disease of embellishment.

* Yow Hong Chieh is a journalist with The Malaysian Insider

* This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication. The Malaysian Insider does not endorse the view unless specified.

DESIDERATA: Thou art invited to catch Desi at the Buttelfry Varrey K ra la OK next to Temiang Corner, Furong and you find it worthwhile paying RM6 for one drink to appreciate this amateur poer-aSspirant sing the poetic Bee Gees' evergreen:

First of May

When I was small, and christmas trees were tall,
We used to love while others used to play.
Don’t ask me why, but time has passed us by,
Some one else moved in from far away.

Now we are tall, and christmas trees are small,
And you don’t ask the time of day.
But you and i, our love will never die,
But guess we’ll cry come first of may.

The apple tree that grew for you and me,
I watched the apples falling one by one.
And I recall the moment of them all,
The day I kissed your cheek and you were mine.


When I was small, and christmas trees were tall,
Do do do do do do do do do...
Don’t ask me why, but time has passed us by,
Some one else moved in from far away.