My Anthem

Sunday, July 31, 2005

The Importance of EDITING for a Beautiful Product


This "special" is principally dedicated to my YoungerReaders, and those OlderThanDesi but still VeryYoungAtHeart, and it goes without saying it's not for those who have "eaten more salt than Desi (has eaten) rice"! This article, save for this Introductory paragraph, first appeared as IT IS in the Borneo Post of Sunday 24 July 2005. For those IgnorantCows reading this, please read till the end, for a TEASER PUZZLE awaits thee with an EPILOGUE, which was not in the BP edition. Further more, a prize awaits, is that incentive enough?


Dear Readers, especially the YoungOnes, today I’m doing an EDITING EXERCISE with one of your peers’ copy. This article is short, but very important lesson for students to POLISH UP their DRAFTS. A draft copy is an initial piece written by the student. The editing process, which is undertaken by the writer himself/herself or another person recruited for the job, for example, at a publishing house or newspaper, is responsible in making the final copy look as professional as it can.

The EDITING PROCESS involves spotting the obvious errors (we call them HOWLERS because these mistakes make the reader howl, like when one steps on a pin!), the grammar mistakes, with an emphasis on subject-verb agreement, the right tenses being used, proper spelling (in accordance with the British system, not American); replacing a certain word with a more suitable one, or even a phrase that wields a greater impact; re-arranging sentences or ideas to improve the flow; making the essay or story coherent, logical, and arresting, which means, attention-grabbing, so that the reader is encouraged to read to the end.

In the news-room at any daily newspaper, there are specialists doing this important function; they are called SUB-EDITORS or COPY-EDITORS. But on top of normal editing functions, some also advise the reporters on how to approach writing their stories or reports.

The copy for our study is as originally submitted by EAGLE WINGS, a schoolgirl from Sarawak who as won't of many writers, she just wants to be known by her nick. (Remember what this word stands for? Remember IgnorantCow and his teenagers blog? Remember Timothy Su?)

The topic selected for discussion is unusual; the subject is an ordinary tool found in many Malaysian homes, especially Chinese, but it appears in the SINGULAR! Normally, it works in the PLURAL. In a writer’s hand, the ordinary and mundane can be TRANSFORMED into something extraordinary, and entertaining. Eagle Wings’ original copy has been edited by Desiderata to show you how improvements can still be made, so read the second edition and compare and contrast with the first.


The invention of chopsticks has minimized the usage of hands to feed ourselves. With just two simple sticks, made from bamboo, wood or even stainless steel, the chopsticks had made a world of difference to mankind. But with a chopstick instead of having two chopsticks together, how can it function?
A chopstick works in a miraculous way beyond human’s expectation. It can be linked to violence; we can use a chopstick as a weapon. For instance, we can use it to poke the eyes or even use it as a tool to hit the pressure points of our attackers. Although a chopstick looks so useless, it comes in handy in times of danger. It is a simple but unique tool for self defense. So ladies, bring a chopstick wherever you go; a chopstick in hand, keeps the attackers away.
Traveling back to the past before the invention of any musical instrument, the Chinese had used the chopstick to make beautiful soothing music. With just a few bowls filled with different amount of water, and a chopstick to hit the bowls different keys could be heard. Even after the invention of other musical instruments, this way of creating music still exists because it symbolizes closeness to nature as the sound produced corresponds to the sounds of the tinkling of falling rain drops.
With the creativity of humans, chopsticks have been crafted in many ways. Therefore, a chopstick serves as a decoration in one’s house. On the other hand, if a chopstick is placed in a restaurant, it gives the public the general idea of indulging in a superb Chinese cuisine or other Asian cuisines that uses chopsticks. In the olden days, ladies had used a chopstick to coil their long hair in a bun. It was used like a modern day hair pin to bring out the beauty in a person.
Beside human, other creatures in the world also use a chopstick in their daily lives. For example, giants. In the world of giants, a chopstick is being used as a toothpick. Although the chopstick only plays a small part in the giants’ lives, it has served them well. However, the elves look at a chopstick as their walking stick. Entering the world of reality, little creatures like the ants find a chopstick very useful for their journey to transport food from a place to their nests especially when they need to cross a ‘river’. A chopstick can be a very reliable bridge for the pathway of the ants.
When a chopstick is given to somebody, there is more than what meets the eye. When lovebirds give each other a chopstick, it symbolizes that the two can never be apart. Since chopsticks can only work if two chopsticks are together, giving a chopstick means togetherness. One cannot be as useful as having a pair. One can represent his/her love by giving a chopstick to his/her partner as a symbol of eternal offering even if they are far apart or even when they are living in two different worlds. It is a thing they share in common that differs from other couples.
When a chopstick is given, the other chopstick is definitely kept by the giver. Hence, when the receiver and the giver are together, they can work wonders. A single chopstick indicates incompleteness and loneliness. Human cannot live alone but they need companion. When someone gives another person a chopstick, he/she offers friendship to the person. That someone is looking for a trustworthy friendship that will last. If you receive it from an anonymous giver, the sender wishes you to find the other chopstick; or in other words, your twin soul and your destiny.
Do not underestimate the power of a simple chopstick. It works wonders depending on how we see and appreciate it.

edition follows next after this preface, with the changes indicated in BOLD.

. An ENGLISH EDITOR is someone expected to have a strong command of the English language. His primary job to improve a student’s or trainee writer’s copy as much as possible, BUT with the least number of changes possible. As I said in my Introduction, the process of editing is a challenging one, and can NOT be tasked to any Tom, Dick and Harry; otherwise, the edited copy may end up worse than the original!

I’m sorry to report that I have had reporters who worked under my supervision complaining that their original copies had been “subbed” (in journalism language, this means sub-edited) into a lousier product. Sometimes, regrettably, I had to nod in agreement. So my work now comes under your scrutiny, and I pray I don’t disappoint. Please tell me, Esteemed Readers (especially Eagle Wings), if, REGRETTABLY OR SADLY, you think Desiderata is not up to the task, will you?

**************************interlude for sunday brunch here******************


The invention of chopsticks has minimised the usage of hands to feed ourselves. With just two simple sticks, made from bamboo, wood or even stainless steel, a pair of chopsticks has made a world of difference to mankind. But with just one chopstick instead of having two chopsticks together, how can it function?

A chopstick works in miraculous ways beyond human’s expectation. For a harmless looking piece of wood, it can be linked to violence; we can use a chopstick as a weapon. For instance, we can use it to poke the eyes or even use it as a tool to hit the pressure points of our attackers. Although a chopstick looks so useless, it comes in handy in times of danger. It is a simple but unique tool for self defence. So ladies, bring a chopstick wherever you go; a chopstick in hand (comma removed) keeps the attackers away.

Traveling back to the past before the invention of musical instruments, the Chinese had used the chopstick to make beautiful soothing music. With just a few bowls filled with different amount of water, and a chopstick to hit the bowls different keys could be heard. Even after the invention of other musical instruments, this way of creating music still exists because it symbolises closeness to nature as the sound produced corresponds to the sounds of the tinkling of falling rain-drops.

With the creativity of humans, chopsticks have been crafted in many ways. Therefore, a chopstick can serve as a decoration in one’s house. On the other hand, if a chopstick is placed in a restaurant, it gives the public the general idea of indulging in (particular “a” is removed) superb Chinese cuisine or other Asian cuisines that require the use of chopsticks.

In the olden days, ladies had used a chopstick to coil their long hair into a bun. It was used like a modern day hair-pin to bring out the beauty in a person.
Beside humans, other “creatures” in the world also use a chopstick in their daily lives. For example, giants. In the world of giants, a chopstick is being used as a “toothpick”. Although the chopstick only plays a small part in the giants’ lives, it has served them well. However, the elves look at a chopstick as their “walking stick”.

Entering the world of reality, little creatures like the ants find a chopstick very useful for their journey to transport food from a place to their nests, especially when they need to cross a ‘river’. A chopstick can be a very reliable bridge for the pathway of the ants.

When a chopstick is given to somebody, there is more than what meets the eye. When lovebirds give each other a chopstick, it symbolises that the two can never be apart. Since chopsticks can only work if two chopsticks are together, giving a chopstick means togetherness. One cannot be as useful as having a pair. One can represent his/her love by giving a chopstick to his/her partner as a symbol of eternal offering even if they are far apart or even when they are living in two different worlds. It is a thing they share in common that sets them apart (differs) from other couples.

When a chopstick is given, the other chopstick is definitely kept by the giver. Hence, when the receiver and the giver are together, they can work wonders. A single chopstick indicates incompleteness and loneliness. Humans cannot live alone -- they need companions. When someone gives another person a chopstick, he/she offers friendship to the person. That someone is looking for a trustworthy friendship that will last. If you receive it from an anonymous giver, the sender wishes you to find the other chopstick; or in other words, your twin soul and your destiny.
Do not underestimate the power of a simple chopstick. It can work (works) wonders, depending on how we see and appreciate it, and utilise it.


I have tried to minimise making changes to Eagle Wings’ copy; the obvious ones are denoted in BOLD to help you differentiate from the original. I hope I don’t need to elaborate on the rationale (reasons for an action) for those amendments. In some cases, I have indicated some removals as indicated in italics within parenthesis; also alternatives to words used by Eagle Wings which may raise some eyebrows (just a subtle upgrade maybe, it would be appreciated when you attain a finer grasp of the English language).

I would like to highlight her use of IDIOMS or IDIOMATIC EXPRESSIONS – as in “there is more than what meets the eye”, meaning “there is more meaning or implication when one looks closer at a certain object or subject”. Compare with Teacher’s use of “raise some eyebrows” in the preceding paragraph – it means “make some people wonder why”.

On the whole, I’d rate Eagle Wings’ effort an “A” from a scale of A to E, especially for originality and imagination, and some humourous vantage points, like the love-birds giving each other a stick! And mind you, I’m quite a demanding examiner; but I have a kind heart too, besides a discerning eye.

I would like to challenge other YoungReaders to send me your essays/ short stories for comments or possible use in this column. As a reward, I’m arranging to send to Eagle Wings an AUTOGRAPHED COPY of a romance novel by a Malaysian author, Catherine De Costa. An incentive enough?


Despite my rigourous editing, one "error", not a true HOWLER, but still an error, escaped my second or third reading before I sent it to the newspaper two days before the deadline. My challenge to the IgnorantCows reading this: Spot the "error", and postulate how Desiderata could have come about making the "mistake" (i.e., for that is, the RATIONALE), and post it up at the COMMENTS channel. But you must prove that you are a contributor/OR a particpant with at lease ONE contribution/OR COMMENT at, CITING DATE OF POSTING, stating your name or nick.

The "best" argued answer received by end of coming MONDAY ie. at 2400 hours August 1, 2005 would be gifted with a signed copy of the romance novel by Catherine De Costa. Incentive enough?

Pennies from Heaven (2)

I was once bittten, twice shy when it came to having my Desktop PC fixed.

In the two years since relocating back to cozy Seremban from Hustling-bustling Kuala Lumpur, I had had two "costly" X-counters with two reerred fixers. The first encounter was when some idiotic Virus caused the FrontPage to "hang"; it cost me RM140 to have the access to Microsoft Xpress re-formatted.

The second encounter was a lightning strike kaput-ting the modem; this X-trip cost me RM210 to fix, after spending some RM10 on bugging the fixer via my Hphone, and I believed the PC came back "defiled". OR a stronger word, RAPED! If a PC can be attacked by viruses, surely it can also be raped, right? No, then I apologise to the fixer, whatever.

Because when the LapTop went for a walkabout yesterday noon and refused to find its way back home, I took out the the Desktop CPU as another idiotic Virus had visited it and misbehaved to its host, laying him sick and unable to perform again. That happened some two months ago, BUT then I had the LapTop to fall back on then.

In my woe yesterday afternoon, I contacted new-found fRiends DavidChan and his significant other, Catherine De Costa -- Yes, another writer -- for some advice where to send my kaput-ed PC for repair.

They "rode" me, lugging my heavy CPU like I was a bagman, to the Parkson Complex fronting the Seremban Lake Gardens (hey Kyels, ours rivals the TaipingOne, if not Besting all others!), and cutting a long story short, a Happy ending to almost end-week for Happy Blogging.

Today, after just 18 hours, the PC SHOP named PINEAPPLE located on the first floor fixed my misbehaving PC. The pleasant Mr Tai remarked that my PC was a little slow --due to the PC RAM having been "decreased" -- (my guess the previous fixer took me on a ride -- that's why I yelled "RAPE!").

Well, at least this "Third Time" around for another formatting, the ride cost me just RM60. So it's only au natureil we adjourned for an A&W RootBeer to celebrate my PC restoration, all done within 24 hours. "THANKS" to DavidplusCathy, hence this follow-up Post to record an event proving that FRiends Are Indeed Like "Pennies from Heaven" ... in addition to GINGER's VOICE previously.

PS: I popped a quick visit to Kyels before blogging Part 2, so reinforcing her post, Desiderata avows: In times of Need, the Action Ones are Friends In Deed.

Pennies from Heaven ...

Desi has planned Not to Post Today, BUT ...this warm Email from Ginger descends like a Penny from Heaven, thus saving my potential "addicted" fans from suffering a withdrawal symptom. No, actually it's Desiderata's withdrawal symtom from Blogging addiction who needs his daily fix!

So thanks to GINGER from the place up north where they serve the highly addictive Char-Kway-Teow: -- "Hi Desi:

Here's something to warm you up after a week of self imposed chilling
and being apolitical.

Have a wonderful weekend,


Sitcom of the Month:

Desperate Minister

Best Local Act
"Tun dan Kak" (Adaption from Punch and Judy)

Best Referal of the Week:

"Oh My God!"
"God is my witness"

Cliffhanger of the Week:

"A detailed explanation on the correspondence among the various parties
follow to avoid any dispute"

Quotable Quotes of the Week:

"Actually, Malaysians are not capable, therefore, we should get
including running our country too...."

".....we can have a foreigner as a Prime Minister...why not.... if he
the brains?..."

"Although I am already 80 years old, I am still not yet senile."

" I am quite sure Proton would do better under new management,”

"Mahaleel was sad but he did not cry. Other people might have cried. He
very manly......"

Product of the Month:

"Premier Tissue" saved the day of a VVIP during a critical moment of a

Ugliest Day of the Month:

July 19 on all major local dailies front pages.

Highest Debut in UMNO's Billboard Top 40:

'Don't Cry For Me Malaysia'

It won't be easy, you'll think it strange
When I try to explain how I feel
That I still need your love after all that you've done
You don't believe me
All you will see is a girl you once knew
Although she's dressed up to the nines
At sixes and sevens with you

I had to let it happen, I cannot hide

Couldn't keep my friends here at bay

Looking out of the podium, staying out of the

I had to publish
Running around, trying everything I knew
But nothing impressed them at all
I never expected it to


Don't cry for me Malaysia
The truth is I never lied to you
All through my good days
My wide experience
I kept my promise
Don't keep your distance

And as for fortune, and as for friends
I never expected them to

Though it seems to the world they were all I desired
They are my good friends
They're not the kind you thought them to be
They are with me all the time
I love them and hope they love me

Don't cry for me Malaysia


Have I said too much?
There's nothing more I can think of to say to you
But all you have to do is look at me
To know that every word is true

Don't cry for me Malaysia


Ucap ribuan-ribuan, terima kasih, my Penny from Heaven. Pada mulanya, Desi ingat hari ini tidak akan Post sebab sudah hilang tangan kanannya semalam. Pada lebihkurang 4 petang baru-baru pulang dari Koala Lumput, say nampak LapTop saya tidak ada atas mejanya yang saya ada nampak pada pukul 9 pagi. Saya tanya semuanya dalam rumah baru sedar PC saya sudah terjalan-jalan luar rumah.

Jika anda jumpa satu LapDog yang mengandungi banyak entry bertajuk "desiderata.english for ...(tarikh)" dan "News Digest for ...(tarikh)", silalah, hantar message melalui COMMENTS, boleh-ke?

Yang nsaibbaiknya, saya masih terdapat RM3.00 pagi ini utuk ke InternetCafe untuk membuat POST TERHARGA ini; sila hantar ribuan Cafe atau teh-tarik kapada Desi ia, sebab say membuat perutusan akan "skip" Continental BFast untuk satu tahun untuk "savings"/melabur pada satu LapAtasORBawah pada Julai 2006! Salaam.

PS: More or less writhing under the influence of preparing a report for the BalaiPolisie at Temiang.Brudder Mack or Im, Boleh Tahan Tak? So to my Esteemed Commenters at previous Post, Manyak Minta Maaf, bolehke? Another Rhetorical Question!

Saturday, July 30, 2005

Life's Choices

Desiderata's Guest BloggerSABRINA TAN does not need an introduction here anymore...I'm sure. So sit back with a glass of iced lemon tea, enjoy and ruminate on her look at:

Life’s Choices

By Sabrina Tan

Recent endeavours have led me to think that we are who we are because we made a choice.I believe I have written about this in my blog, but I believe that it’s a very important concept.

Yes, there are some things that have to be surrendered up to fate. However, there are also an equal number of things that has to be chosen by us. You have a choice to be who you are, what you want to do with your life.

I had dinner with a very good friend of mine here in New Zealand recently. She was narrating how she looked at her friends around her and she believed that they aren’t happy in their boy-girl-relationships. (BGR)

Being members of the Young, we often find ourselves being bogged down by BGR issues.
I have no idea why at times, but I guess it’s a part of growing up. I listened to her stories and realised that they too, have a choice on what they want to do with their lives. They have a choice to determine their own happiness.

They can either choose to get out of the relationship, or choose to be in that relationship and let it bog down their spirits and be not happy. Yes, it’s easier said than done when one decides to leave a relationship. There are many factors that we have to consider. Yet I also believe that if one truly wants something, he/she has the will to find a way and get around it.

Taking risks are the lessons that we have to face while walking the journey of Life.Back to my story above, these girls know the consequences on what is going to lead in either of those two paths. There is no right and wrong, but they can choose to be happy or be like this forever.

I have recently eliminated two characters out of my life because they betrayed my trust. It was a shame that I had to do it. I had no choice but to choose that road.
As I believe that for my own peace of mind, for my own sake, for my reputation and for my time I should choose the road that would be kinder to my heart and soul.

I made a choice. I wanted to be happy.

I wanted to at least alleviate the negative ‘chi’ out of my system and start having some positive ‘chi’ flowing into the right chakras (hope readers won’t get me wrong here).

So, are you prepared to make a choice? It’s not without risks. However, we learn through the risks. We are happier as we have learned with these risks. Go and make a choice for yourself.

Make a choice to be happier.

DESIDERATA: For many of us, we have at one time or another pondered over our own The Road Not Taken as wondered out loud by Robert Frost,an well-quoted poem often erroneously referred to as The Road Less Travelled!

We know that when Frost referred to the dilemma of selecting which road to proceed on arriving at the fork or any crossroads, when one had to choose one of two (sometimes more) paths, it represented not just the physical paths encountered in a walk through the woods. It was a symbol to the “hard choices” we often encountered in the course of life. At crucial times, we have had to “choose” between two or more options on arriving at an important crossroads; for instance, after high school: is it Science or Arts studies, or maybe pursue a professional course in law, accountancy, or medicine?

We as adults are supposed to guide the YoungerOnes, but from the way much of the adult world has gone upside down, or topsy turvy, or inside out -- I'm too sure the parents and neeighbourhood seniors, or even the church, temple or masjid elders are up to the task -- some can't even themselves find the way, so can theyreally guide the maturing flock? (Another rhetorical question, but a serio-o-u-u-s-sss one!)

Me, I have to confess, there have beeen many stumbles, mumbles, endless falls and pitfalls encountered along this short journey of Life. I've also made Choices -- most have been right, some wrong, one or two fatally wrong, on hindsight. So don't believe it if anyone tells you that he/she has had NO REGRETS! An "it" maybe, but he/she doesn't speak, does it? Oh, sorry, I forgot SHREK!
I part with a few bars from Frank Sinatra's Way -- adopted by many worldwide, including a PM or me2 -- as I near the conclusion:

And now, the end is near;
And so I face the final curtain.
My friend, I’ll say it clear,
I’ll state my case, of which I’m certain.

I’ve lived a life that’s full.
I’ve traveled each and ev’ry highway;
And more, much more than this,
I did it my way.

Regrets, I’ve had a few;
But then again, too few to mention.
I did what I had to do
And saw it through without exemption.


I’ve loved, I’ve laughed and cried.
I’ve had my fill; my share of losing.
And now, as tears subside,
I find it all so amusing.

To think I did all that;
And may I say - not in a shy way,
No, oh no not me,
I did it my way.

UPDATED at 9.09am:
As SABRINA did me a fine deed GUESTING and taking care of this place, saving me some precious time this light&easy morn, I'd do some promotion for her, an esteemed mentee too. I know Sabrina has chosen Dentistry. Here I have a special message to YoungIgnorantCows: Have you pondered over your choices? If you are NiCe to Sabrina, she may yet offer to Mentor thee; so say Hi or Hello to her at

Friday, July 29, 2005

... Writer's Block! Part 2

CONtinuing from preceding Post, I just came back from an one-and-half-hour BFast (yeh, not too fast!) with a gOod friend, recently acquired, who also happens to be a writer – a published one!

No, I did not indulge in another CONtinental, lest my Socialist comrade complain I'm too profligate, or is it bourgeosie? --but I digress!

Her name, no, not the socialist, it's mGf, is CATHERINE DE COSTA.(I'll tell more about myLady in coming post, OK?) I relished an early morn Oriental meal -- fastcooked mee,prawn cracker, kuey teow plus sotong, and sambal -- just cost RM2.00 (compared with RM3.30 for a CONti...)plus a teh-si (yes, rhymes a bit with Desi!), followed by Nescafe-Pok kurang manis!, then another Chinese iced tea -- Wow, whatdacombi!, cost another 80sen + RM1.20 + 30 sen, a real cheapo in heavenly Seremban compared with devilish Bangsar-- sorry, I digress somemore.

This excursion for an hour plus did do the trick of overcoming my block; lucky for me, Cathy and her “significant half” (that’s the term I use to call her husband!) were generous with their time and thoughts, for free, and we exteneded our slow Bfast to another 45 minute minutes ... and it definitely was time and fellowship well spent. Accounts largely for this flow ... like iced limau tea on a hot summer's day.

The result follows:

On coming back, I started penning this Part 2, arriving here in less than 30 minutes from the first line - WoW, I even surprised meself. Pretty fast because the past three days yielded hardly the first few paragraphs, and it was so “poorly” written on review just now.

The lesson to share is that making highly conscious efforts to psuh oneself, the ideas or words just won’t come. If the words come, they come in spurts, like water from a chooked pipe, not swimmingly, which means flowing smoothly and without effort, and enjoying while doing it!

That’s a problem we refer to as suffering a writer’s block I've overcome, for now. Take my word for it, it makes a victim of the most prolific of writers, again and again. For while God gave us each a Beautiful Mind, it is all ways a mysterious gift. It works in ways that no scientist has properly mapped its pathways, permutations of thought patterns, AND it can even go haywire, go see Nobel laureate Dr John Nash! who has such A Beautiful Mind.

Yes, indeed, often in the writing profession, the practitioner can hit a blank wall, and however hard he tries, he can’t put meaningful words to paper, or nowadays, onto the computer screen. please don't visit me again, Mr Writer's Block, I need to earn my daily bread and butter, and once a while only, indulge in a CONtinental; Miss Sabrina Tan, joining me soon, no, not the Writer's Block Club, just the CONtinenta, remember?

Now at 10.26am, Light&Easy ending with " ... Have you ever seen rain ...Coming down, sunny day...?"(Yes, Catherine DC, like Desi, also believes with music in the background, constantly, it's a tonic to smooth over Writer's Block!)

Thursday, July 28, 2005

I'm Suffering from Writer's Block!

As I begin this article at about 7.17am, the orangish rays of sunlight streamed at 5 o'clock through the sliding-glass gated door to form a light orangish iron grill pattern on the wall just in front of my PC desk. I'm trying to write a Happy post this morning.

But the day's mood is not positive. The conscious attempts to look for the glimmer of light at the nation's tunnel of political murkiness and darkness, caught in betweeen a languishing Chiaroscuro-ic quagmire of political sandiwara, however hard I peek, there is no ray of light ... NO, I don't see any flicker.

So I rock the brains,
I scan a recent TIME magazine I've set aside featuring Happpiness as its cover story, but Inspiration does not sally forth from within its covers (It's now 7.21am; today's papers have not been delivered yet, the guy arrives at about 8.30am and I have an early BreakFast appointment.)

Maybe I'm suffering the symptoms of a Writer's Block.:(0

So I put on my fav Faith Hill's CD,
listen to the tracks, like this the best
to lighten me up
to check the block:

If My Heart Had Wings

Sung by Faith Hill

(Lyrics by Annie Roboff, J. Fred Knobloch)

Damn these old wheels

Rolling too slow

I stare down this white line

With so far to go

Headlights keep coming

Loneliness humming along

Who poured this rain

Who made these clouds

I stare through this windshield

Thinking out loud

Time keeps on crawling

Love keeps on calling me home

I'd jump all these mountains and take to the skies

Sail through the heavens with stars in my eyes

If my heart had wings

I would fly to you and lie

Beside you as you dream

If my heart had wings

We both committed

We both agreed

You do what you have to to get what you need

Feeling you near me with so many miles in between

Lord, it ain't easy out here in the dark

To keep us together so far apart

If my heart had wings

I would fly to you and lie

Beside you as you dream

If my heart had wings

Stuck on this circle

Spinning around

Cut loose from this rope

That's tying me down

If my heart had wings

I would fly to you and lie

Beside you as you dream

If my

If my heart had wings

I would fly to you and lie

Beside you as you dream

If my heart had wings

PS: Inspired a little, my spirits uplifted, mGf and I adjourn for breakfast, to feed the body, I don't know about the state of my soul now. Maybe I'll continue with this post after -- a third continental breakfast? Rocking my brain even to decide on makan-makan at 7.37am Thursday morn ... the sun has brightened a wee bit, warming my still slightly cold body wrapped under a thick T-shirt. My appetite seems to stir with a growl, maybe this is a good sign? We'll see.

I'll overcome this block yet. Don't know aboout the country's as the cacophany of noises from within the PWTC last week seems to echo from other epi-centres. No, I cannot elaborate, for we're supposed to have a Politics-Free Party, remember?


I am quoting a lot today to place place on record some approximations of the Truth. I didn't say the Truth but approximinations because language used for communication of ideas,in academia, in daily interactions, in correspondence, and in Blogging, and intercourse or discourse on politics especially, is always NOT EXACT. Only in simple Arithmetic is there exactness, and this is well experesssed by figures (mathematical symbols) more clearlly than statements that we usually use in Conversations.

E.g. 2+ 2 = 4 ; 4 - 2 = 2; 1 + 1 = 2.

No one questions the above three equartions beyond convention, accepted wisdom.

But when you state in political language,as most times, Malaysian coffee-shop never fails to stray into, everyday, some wise crack will say one plus one equals three. If mGf Kenny Siah avows if Man A plus Woman B engage in a certain type of intercourse,the outcome, mayhaps ten months late, could be three, i.e. A, B plus C, he can't be accused of telling a big, fat lie.

If you still can't see it, then as a Father of three, I have consummated cconventional wisdom not to question Kenny. He's absolutely correct. If Kenny says the outcomes may even be 4, 5 or 6, who am I to question him -- he may be the prolific One.

Why is Desiderata mumbling about this morning? (Another rhetorical question, just to irritate some mGf who interrupt my ramblings too often, which I hate!) Has he flown over the cuckoo nest? The answer, my fRiend, is not blowing in the wind. Please turn to page 1 of the New Straits Times July 27, 2005:

I'm writing as Let It Be ..on Light& Easy, advises listeners, at 11.23am on a fine windy Wednesday "....broken-hearted people in the world agree ...." moment in time just to tell you it's the Truth (at this fleeting Moment in Time!)and Desi singing along; I write better, swimmingly, in this mood.To desiderat.english followers, this is the Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothin' But the Truth, so Help Me God. which I have been saying a few times late, or some of its variants, like in Dead Boys Walking yesterday.

"... Whisper words of wisdom ..." at 11.26am ending refrain ... to be absolutely you want the Truth confirmed.

Oh, back from Digression, not Aggression, for I promise a whole week of Politics-Free Party at Desi from Monday, remmember? And Desiderata-ylchong's word in his bond, a real Chinaman!

Dr M unloads
'Rafidah misled Umno on APs'

and a relevant page 1 quotable quote from the former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamd:

* ON whether Rafidah should apologise to him for being rude over the AP controversy:

"I am not interested in whether people are rude to me, apologise to me or not. I am interested in knowing the truth."

My defence that today's post does not breach my promise of Politics-Free Blogging from July 25 - 31, 2005, is premised that it falls within one of my welldefined Objectives/Goals when I started this Blog on March 15, 2005 -- desiderata.truth.

I also here reproduce a response to One Recent Commenter MOSES's query relating to my profile phrase as "consummate truth-seeker". If great minds think alike, for today, I bask in the former PM's shadow in his quest thus stated: "I am interested in knowing the truth." Desidearata says "Amen" to that again, yes, from within my heart.

And to close with an excerpt from Comments, with warts and all, several typos, as expected, as I don't exercise as much supervision on language there, as the main intention is to Let Coversation Flow, Swimmingly!

"*** At 2:46 AM, Moses said...

In a way I'm a newbie to your thoughts. I suppose I qualify for it since this is my first comment trail here. First visit was some months ago, don't remember when, but I think it was not long after you started this posting. Did put you on the bookmark though but not the visits.

;) Must admit that screenshots & BNM dominate my blogosphere experience thus far, off-hand figure is something like 99% ;) Now trying to expand more.

Thanks for the welcome. Good to have that. Teh tarik sure can do.

I like to know the face in front of the thought. This helps to avoid wrong judgment & prejudice.

Still, what's with the "consumate seeker of truth"?


p/s my blog does not have a lot words, but you are most welcome to drop by.

At 5:53 AM, desiderata said...
Glad to hear from you again,Moses:

Yes, I'm a babe by Blogsworld standards, but Big Brudder to h j angus (hey, are you ENJOYING your first SEVEN days?)

Yes, JeffOoi I consider my Sifu (to many in Msian blogsworld too, I believe); and Brudder MackZul wins my admiration for his real efforts to expand our horizons, often as a team with Jeff.

I strolled to your Cyberhome too, and congrats to having a vibrant "Junior" to brighten the home, obviously a relatively new delight!

As one of three objectives/goals when I started my Blog, the "least written" about is desiderata.truth; desiderata.civilsociety is my pre-occupation; desiderata.english is my passion (an extension from Those SchoolGirl Days; BTW, I am NOT femail; yes, this spelling was adopted by a mainstream nespaper just a few days ago, following Desi's fun-with-Inggeris. Poetry features quite rampantly, and this has some "invisible" tie with the TruthSeeking. Because poets are very reflective, and write from the deepest receses of their "heArt", I beleive that's the class of writing akin to truth-seeking. Sufficient elaboration? ***"

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

From Moment to Moment

To One of mGf I Count on My Hands' Fingers
Life is the Infinite Band of Continuous Minute Moments ... Desiderata Dedicates this Collection of Love Is in the Air poems.From Moment to Moment.

Yan and The Significant Other, Hope Thou Will Treasure This Day of 26th of the Seventh Month of the Year 2005, And More Returns of the Same to Echo Shakespeare's Dedication unto Infinity.

My bounty is as deep as the sea, My love as deep; the more I give to thee,
The more I have, for both are infinite.

~ William Shakespeare

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.

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!)

PS: I sing in high decibels that echo from peninsular Malaysia across the South China Sea to touch the silvery shores of Sarawak, CONGRATULATIONS!, just trying to do some justice to Sir Cliff Richard.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Two Dead Boys Walking ...

A "newbie" commenter to Desi's Place has got the shortest Blogname I've sighted so far. The engineered Y! link leads to, and funnily an Oxymoronic Poem pops up to light up my face thus:)!

In a short intro, Y! says the author was unknown, and on my first visit, I commented that I ENJOYED the poem tremendously, adding that I wouldn't mind claiming ownership if no one else does. But a second visit leads to a letdown note that somebusybody has refered him to a site called Bititish Columbia Folklore Scoiety website which gives a long history of the poem's origins, which has many VARIATIONS. The one featured here is "borrowed" without perceived permission from y! Don't ask me why ... in the spirit of Laughter and Light-lah, can or canNOT?

(Thursday, July 21, 2005)

An Oxymoronic Poem

one bright day in the middle of the night

two dead boys got up to fight

back to back they faced each other

drew their swords and shot each other

a deaf policeman heard the noise

and came to rescue two dead boys

if you don't believe this lie is true

ask the blind man, he saw it too

From the website y1 referred me to, the following is extracted:

Although the Two Dead Boys poem (also titled in folklore as “One Fine Day in the Middle of the Night”) is often referred to as a nonsense rhyme, the description is not strictly accurate. It is clearly understandable in any of its many forms and versions and the impossibilities in the story are no more than sensible words and phrases that have been transposed.

As to the history of “One Fine Day…” it appears to have evolved from tangle-worded couplets that have been popular in Miracle Plays and the folklore and folksongs of the British Isles since the Middle Ages. Tiddy, in his book The Mummers’ Play [1923, Oxford, Oxford University Press], cites the earliest known example of this type of humour as appearing in the manuscript of Land of Cockaigne about 1305 [Tiddy 1923, p. 116] and a 15th century manuscript in the Bodleian Library [MS Engl. poet. e. 1: c.1480] includes four lines that are directly related to our rhyme. These can be translated into modern English as:

I saw three headless [men] playing at a ball,
A handless man served them all.
While three mouthless men laughed,
Three legless [men] from them ran.

In a similar form the lines remained in Scottish tradition to the mid 19th century in the Lying Song [Shoolbraid, Bairnsangs, unpublished manuscript, 2004].
The 16th century English folksong Martin Said to his Man is a drunken exchange of impossibilities between a master and his servant, each of whom is attempting to outdo the other. The song includes such lines as:

"I saw a mouse chase a cat, saw the cheese eat a rat"
"I saw a maid milk a bull, every pull a bucket full"

Many slight variants of the first line exist. Among the pore popular are:

"One day..."
"One bright day..."
"One bright morning..."
"Early in the morning, late at night"
"Early one morning, late at night"
"Late last night in the middle of the morning"


"'Twas on a dark and moonlit night"


"One dark night in the middle of the day,
Two dead boys got up to play."

In a recent discussion with mGf Mr Coww, who is equally at ease with Shakespeare as with Chinese scholar called Lu Xun, said Desiderata should aspire towards the highly regarded Chinaman’s status, maybe producing works to rival “The stories of Ah Q”. The wisecrack in me swiftly thought aloud that I desire to produce “The Legend of Ah P”©; maybe I can get an advance of a Cultural Grant from the DewanBahasa&Polisie – you know, recogniton of China’s growing status, these guys are already spending a BIG budget for a year-long China-Malaysia cultural festival currently going on with the emphasis on Malacca’s glory days when a certain Malaccan Raja married a Chinese Princess named Hang Li Po; so it’s not impossible they might just be generous to extend some dough to a struggling scribe.

Maybe, to be safe, I should change my nick to HangTuaLong? Anything for some fun(D) to launch my writ(H)ing career, right? Yes, another rhetorical question, just in case the DBP responds.

So I, expired by THE TWO DEAD BOYS, had prepared this Surat Bersunat to be sent off to the DBP by Instant Mail, using a fe-mail courier, no, not a pigeon, Brudder Imran, that's only used in Peking, not Malacca!

With this sample of my work, verified by Mr Coww as original&unpublished todate, and confirmed by a JP-Commissioner of Oafs:

Why the Ah P Legend Should Be Sponsored

I am without two hands, but I can write
When I can’t write, I can cut and paste
The material on the Net has no ©right, only what’s left
So I make my fortune writ(H)ing the Legend of Ah P’s 'Rite
Since P precedes Q, ah! I can claim Lu Xun’s works as Ah P’s
Change Peking duck’s to Melaka chicken-wings
One minus wings flies, the other minus webfeet swims

One A(h)P fetches RM30,000
I ask for RM60,000 for each legend
You at DBP can keep RM30,000 for kopi-oh
My A(h) P still gets his RM30,000, arse-ho

© July 26, 2005
Witnessed by Mr Coww, with 2 Meows.

For that Manly Glow!

An AFP report has revealed the SECRET to that famous all-year healthy glow on British Prim Minister Tony Blair, husband of visiting Cherie to Malaysian shores -- he spends almost twice as much on make-up as the average British woman.
Figures released by Downing Street in answer to a parliamentary question showed that Blair (in' ble pix shown here) spent more than 1,800 pounds (RM11,815) on make-up and make-up artists over the past six years.
In contrast, the average British woman spends 195 pounds (RM1,280) a year on both make-up and skincare. (Desi: no mention of the whereabouts of the artists.;)

Desiderata: However, the AFP report did NOT state whether Cherie is an average spender when it comes to make-up ... my guess is: less than average, she has gl(r)ow(n) au natureil.;))

Politics-free Party at Desi

For the Whole of This Week, DESIDERATA's PLACE has decided to leave all politics out of this homely place, except if Readers still want to rant and rave via COMMENTS, that I can't help it. My feel and feedback is that the ordinary citizenry, except those who walk the corridors of power at PUTRAJAYA and the PWTC, Kuala Lumpur has had an overdose of all the cacophany of noises, silly wise-cracks, "UGLY" Malaysians who are selfish, selfcentred acting in the annual sandiwara, whose universe does not extend beyond their wants, their demands and robber baronry politics.

Some say they are getting "tired of being tired".

Some say they "have wept till the tears have run dry".

Some say it's no use caring, "Just give up".

One group, increasing strident, especially now resident abroad as young students, or more mature professionals working as expatriates in London, New York, Tokyo, Sydney, Beijing, or New Delhi, Johannesburg, or even in Cold Iceland,say "Just migrate..."

Some say "Let's pray for our country that we may yet see more leaders of Pak Lah's kind".

I say "AMEN" to the last voiced prayer.

Desi has decided, and will make this week welcoming Readers to send me contributions of the light and laughter kind -- defined as those that give us LIGHT, LAUGHTER and are KIND to fellow Malaysians, regardless of race, class, religion and gender.

I await thy kind soul to give us some light and laughter, OK? This is NOT a rhetorical question -- I need a response from thee, will you!

Just to flag off -- I've found no other Limerick to challenge this on mirth&laughter:

There was a young lady from Niger

Who smiled as she road (sic) on a tiger

They returned from the ride

With the lady inside

And the smile on the face of of the tiger.

(Anon, which means could be George, Ahmad,Siva or Along
I wished it was desiderata-ylchong!)

PS: Came back after another continental breakfast -- which is a record, two in 2 consecutive days, as I believe in indulging in occasional bougeousie excursions; sorry mGf outstation cannot join me; here's just another light starter as dessert OK? -- That's rhetorical.

I wave a keris
To show I am master
When the barbarians are at the nation's gate
I'll my ma cai pack and muster
The foreign devils' arse-holes to kiss

PPS (Updated 12.33pm): If my language is a little strong towards the end, and should offend, Please visit, and become his fRiend!

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Blogging and Being True to Oneself


Today I write about the phenomenon of a new communication medium using the Internet called Blogging. It is a channel requiring one to have Internet access, and starting with the Blogger (person owning the blog) setting up a Weblog – which is a compound word formed from Web and Log. The word Web refers, of course, to the worldwide web, or the Internet, and Log means a diary or journal a person keeps to record events, thoughts or views.

Most weblogs also offer a means to readers to communicate with the author, using what is called the Comments, or Conversations, platform. This means the Weblog channel becomes interactive, allowing not just communication between the author and the reader, but also among readers so that it becomes a sort of a forum, for participants to voice their views, or popularly promoted as, enabling “Thinking Aloud”, leading sometimes to extremely vocal, and long-winded, debates if not properly moderated by the Blog-owner.

This writer also started his own blog called, using a service provider called I stated clearly from the start on this year's Ides of March three main objectives – to write on CivilSociety issues, to promote the English language, and a less-frequently-sought goal – a quest for the Truth. This column is a bonus fruit from that labour of love – hence the name desiderata.english.

When I write, I believe in one guiding principle as expounded by philosopher VOLTAIRE: “I may disagree with what you say, but I will defend, to the death, your right to say it.” That lays the foundation for free and rational exchange of views, or more romantically, “a clash of the minds – philosophy professors like to term such an exercise a democratic discourse. Once I've decided to engage anyone in conversation, I always follow the above dictum enunciated by French philosopher and author Francois-Marie Arouet VOLTAIRE (1694-1778).

I also believe that a writer must be true to himself in his writing. He must hold conviction and commitment on his standpoints; he must be passionate in his beliefs so that they shine through his medium of communication – prose or poetry – so that the reader is informed of his loves, and hates, or his interests, even his disinterests. Writers, including poets, wield potentially tremendous power through their works, hence they must exercise responsibility and proud ownership on what they write (or say).

But when you write, you must engage your reader in conversation to hold his attention. You must also be reasonable, hence you must adopt an open and rational mind, at all times, and not resort to adopting a didactic or patronising attitude. Respect another person’s viewpoints even if they differ from yours – for you can learn from the old, youthful, and the very young. But as in any human initiative or endeavour, this medium of blogging can be subject to abuse, in the wrong hands. This calls for some parental guidance in what or where their children blog, but to what extent and using what parameters, it is best left to the individual and his/her family to decide.

I learnt recently that Spiderman had said: “With great power comes great responsibility”. It appears so simple, yet the meaning and implication of its weight is deep and heavy.

I am extremely happy to report that a group of teenagers in SARAWAK had recently launched a cooperative initiative in the form of a Weblog named Dear YoungOnes, have a peep into thy peers’ writings and thoughts when you’re free, alright? Better still, take part in the interactive forum. TODAY’s column aims at conveying a special message to TEENAGERS everywhere, especially in Malaysia, with the sharing of a perennial issue at a critical phase of growing up – that of PEER PRESSURE.

Here I am proud to reproduce an entry, which we call a Post, dated March 31, 2005, written by TIMOTHY SU, whose nick (short for nickname!) is IgnorantCow; but don’t under-estimate his intelligence!

The one about Popularity and Stereotypes

Why does everyone in this world strive to be popular? Why can't people just be themselves and .. be natural!? Because. Especially at this time of life, teenagerhood, we are driven to be "typical", and not be "abnormal". I guess this can be said as a form of peer pressure.

When I hear the word “peer pressure”, I immediately think of smoking, drugs and stuff like that. Well, those things are not really a problem in my life, and I guess, not in the life of many others as well. After all, we are not in gangs and such, gangs are rarely heard of in this sleepy Sibu town.

Problems I face frequently are, how people tend to "look" at you, as a result of some action that you just did. For example, I am frequently forced to act as someone not truly what I am, for the sake of being not looked down upon by others. I am forced to say things that are not "me", for the sake of "belonging". I guess this is required, if you do not do these things, you will become an “outcast”.

What I really want to write about tonight is the people who overdo it. They try sooo hard to be popular, and "cool", and end up failing. Badly. They copy everything that the so-called "cool and popular" people do, the way they walk, speak, their hairstyle, what they wear, … etc. Emulating someone, unless done really right, you will end up failing, badly. Very badly, and as a result of that, being hated by a lot of people.

My conclusion for today: Be yourself. Don't overshadow your own true self; but Be cool at the same time, but DON’T OVERDO IT, IT CAN BECOME PATHETIC!

Now another perspective, reprised here as a special message to the YoungOnes new to my site, from SABRINA TAN, a final year dentistry undergraduate in New Zealand, about:


Have you ever thought to yourself over and over again that what you are today is not actually your true self? I always have this question on my mind, and sometimes I am torn between my true self and who I am expected to be in society.

It saddens me sometimes when I think the people closest to me don’t even know who I am exactly. People have this image of me as being serious, intellectual and responsible, but few people know that there is also another side of me that is compassionate, fun, and caring.

This leads me to think that one can truly be happy if you are just BEING YOURSELF. Sometimes we might lose some of the essence of ourselves because of society’s expectations, familial pressure and also because of the personal experience that we have been through in life.

I have to admit that I have lost some of that as well and also because I had to conform to the expectations presented by everyone around me. I have learnt that we shouldn’t be ashamed of who we are, regardless what kind of personality we may possess. It’s easier said than done you can say, because at different circumstances we may project different facades of ourselves.

At work, we may appear to be serious; at home (depending on the family members) we may either be very comical and hilarious, or we can be the responsible and sensible one. With our friends, we just reveal the side of us that we feel that would be accepted by our peers.

It seems to me that sometimes we all have different personalities. Then what is exactly the true you? One’s true self is when one is totally most comfortable with oneself. You know that you won’t be judged by revealing the true character and nature of yourself by the people around at that time. I had that feeling before where I felt totally comfortable with myself with one of my best friends because I knew that no matter what I say or do, he won’t judge me for the things that I have done. Your friends should be the ones who are able to accept you for who you are. This, is also a form of happiness by just being YOU.

You are also being you where you are very comfortable with whatever decisions that you make regarding life. You know the pros and cons of your decision, but the most important thing is that you won’t regret what you have decided. Life is too short for regrets, so we should start seeing that we live our lives as how we want to live, not by the expectations of others.

PS: I ping-ed to PPS the above Post at about 12.15am, and when I checked the immediately earlier Post, it led to a Blog called insignificance (, also by coincidence from Sarawak. So across the South China Sea, YoungMalaysians are surfing the Net and, contrary to their modest claims, not that insignificant or ignorant. I reproduce from insignificance the quote that flags off his site:

"The person you consider ignorant and insignificant is the one who came from God, that he might learn bliss from grief and knowledge from gloom." *** Kahlil Gibran

Saturday, July 23, 2005

Saluting Thee, Mr Prime Minister!

DESIDERATA, with much help here acknowledged with a s-M-i-l-e one mile-long from the NST of FRIDAY JULY 22, 2005

Is proud to put on OFFICIAL RECORD

What OUR ESTEEMED PRIME MINISTER says at when opening the 56th UMNO GENERAL ASSEMBLY at the PWTC, Kuala Lumpur, on Thursday :


No one can deny that in the past, there were those among us who received too much assistance and too many chances.

There are those who have not received enough assistance and those who have not been given opportunities at all. This is not fair and far from just. This cannot continue.

I am determined and committed to cleanse UMNO of political corruption. I may be climbing up a steep slope, but I will not be deterred nor will I lose the faith.

As long as there is life in my body. I will seek strength from the Almighty to contiue my battle to eliminate corruption.UMNO members and leaders involved in corruption may be able to hide their deeds from human eyes but they cannot hide them from God.

It would be a tragedy if wealth is used to barter power and if power is used to sell out our people.’

Desiderata: That’s from Page 1, when Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi addressed his party members, akin to the American President's State of the Union Address made annually. If only the PM focused on a universal message that embraces ALL MALYSIANS -- not only UMNO members-- that's when Malaysia wpuld have been akin to have arrived as a First World Nation. I wait in anticipation for that day. Meanwhile, I salute Our Prime Minister for his words of true leadership. THINK NATIONAL, NOT RACIAL.

Pak Lah in his almost years at the nation's helm has come across as a GOD-FEARING LEADER, straight-talking, sincere, firm and consistent. In his latest address, he has identified many of the nation's problems and challenges -- more the people's ills and bad habits -- he has a tough agenda to meet and overcome.

I know the Prime minister has the nation's future at heart. But I'm NOT sure about his lieutenants and mah-cai (political followers), because many have been quietly helping themselves, hence you have a bunch of RENT-SEEKERS, BANDWAGONERS, still wanting the CRUTCHES after 30 long, long years of special treatment.

What makes it worse, and troubling, and disturbing to citizens like me, is the show of arrogance, and the flaunting of riches, much ill- gotten,in the public eye. The only saving grace is they are so stupid they show themselves in all their naked glory as the Modern Emperor with See-Through Clothes.

Malaysians of decency, and who are like Pak Lah, are God-fearing, must rise up, STAND TALL AND BE COUNTED! The "towering" character the PM wishes instill must also stress on the moral fibre, not just the physical attainments like climbing Mount Everest, or Making it into the Forbes Top 100, It's the leadership of a man who places the nation's interests above his own, his family, and his cronies. Pak Lah knows, but what about the people, especially the politicians and the corporates?

OTHER QUOTABLE EXCERPTS from the same address lasting more than an hour:

There will never be enough contracts, licences, permits or scholarships for all bumiputras. We must wake up to the fact that when we award a scholarship to an unqualified bumiputra, we are depriving a more deserving bumiputra recipient. This is clearly unjust.

"Spending must be controlled and stimulating economic activity to prompt growth cannot be done at the expense of placing the nation's finances in a perilous and unstable state."

Islam Hadhari is a long-term government effort to ensure Islam is practised in a more holistic and more diverse context that encompasses all aspects of life.

""*** The days of quick and esay profits are over. These practices contravene the spirit of the NEP and have to end now. ***""

Welcome to hj angus to BlogsWorld!

A pleasant surprise turned up at my Comments page today
It's pleasanter than alll the smiling faces at PWTC at play
H J Angus has been a regular face I say Hello to at JeffOoi's train
Some passengers nod in acknowledgement, some drop off, some remain

I bid the latest passenger who has started another coach
We all have our own views, news maybe, to share and care
In the country's hopes and plans, with any individual approach
With unity in strengt, yet diversity of Voices, we'll get there.

So hj angus
ENJOY the journey
Mine of 4 months SEVEN days
Has been eye-opening in many ways

Desiderata: DearReaders, do pay a courtsey or courtesy call at

Ringgit peg undone -- China's Yuan too!

All the local newspapers today carried this important newsbreak in finance on their front pages -- deservedly so. Malaysia's central bank, working likely in tandem with its China's counterpart, almost simulataneously last evening announced the de-pegging of the Ringgit to the US dollar (USD = RM3.8)imposed since September 1998.

The NST reported that Malaysia has replaced with immediate effect the Ringgit peg with a free float that will probably see the ringgit revalued at RM3.50-RM3.60 to the USD. (Meanwhile, China's yuan is expected to appreciate against the greenback by 2.1 percent, to 8.11 per US dollar, compred with 8.28 yuan to one USD before.)

While most media had predicted that China was planning the de-peg before the end of this year, its action yesterday was indeed a surprise by its timing, though the Malaysian action was more anticipated by its timeliness. Both countries' currencies have been seen as "under-valued" by most of their trade partners, especially Big Brother, the United States, who complained this was "unfair" in making the two countries' exports "cheaper".

thinking aloud: Let's see how Malaysia -- and China too -- compete in the international trade of goods and services. But with this "peg" removed, the trouble is that the "advanced" countries like the US will always find other "financial" loops in other countries to lasso. That's why the Marlboro cowboy image will always rule in the public consciousness when China joins the free market place. A case of You win some, You lose some more?

Friday, July 22, 2005

Think Global, Not Local - Think Needs, Not Race

I returned from outstation duty a little tired, and only caught up with the news headlines of July 21, 2005 quite late in the evening – it makes me more than a little distressed. I thought many of mGf and I have wept enough.

The New Straits Times frontpage headline blared at me as I ate my delayed dinner with some GoOD friends.


With the picture of a laughing Education Minister Datuk HISHAMUDDIN HUSSEIN, privileged son of a former Prime Minister, a “Mr Clean” himself Hussein Onn who distinguished himself for NOT playing “race politics” as wont to be the habit of many UMNO leader-wannabes and has-beens. I felt a sense of “great letdown” reading Hisham’s speech made the day before in his capacity of UMNO Youth President at the UMNO Youth Assembly at the PWTC.

I quote from the NST highlight:

“The New Economic Policy should be reapplied as aprt of the national development policy so that the Malays will be empowered and not sidelined from now till the year 2020.

The ‘Growth by Distribution’ stratetgy, as outlined by the NEP, should be pursued to ensure 30 per cent Bumiputera share of corporate stock ownership is achieved.

We have only 15 years to achieve equity in the economy. This is a short time. So all parties have to focus on teir efforts on implementing seven core thrusts for it to work.”

(end of highlight quote on page 1)

I say I am distressed because after 47 years of Independence we have an Education Minister going against the core problems impeding the progress of the nation, especially the dominant Malay community -- as identified by the former Prime Minisrer regarding Bumiputeras depending on crutches, among other dependencies, echoed by the present PM Pak Lah lamenting about the Rent-seekers, and the Rakyat suffering from the Subsidy-dependent Mentality.

I hope our leaders would begin to approach Malaysian problems from a Malaysian perspective. I know Hisham is speaking as UMNO Youth chief, but as national leaders of the country, Hisham and colleagues must discard the politics of the 1970s and 80s and even 90s. Let the NEP be where it should lie, in the dustbin of history.

It has served its function. The 19 per cent share Hisham quoted was the same figure some ten years ago; I don’t believe that the Bumiputeras had not progressed a single notch in the period since then. Unless, the Bumiputera corporate sector has stood still? Sold off ALL the shares allocated to them under the special allocation? Rented out all their Approved Permits and other Licences? I DON'T BELIEVE SO.

If Malaysia is to break out of a BLINKERED VISION NATION to face the GLOBALISED WORLD, which makes every country an international village, the country we all call Malaysia must start to adopt multi-racial policies.The policies are in the hands of the leaders, especially the YOUTH LEADERS LIKE HISHASM to whom the younger generation looks for leadership be example. These leaders should promote progressive policies should not be race-based, they should be NEEDS-BASED. They should discard old policies – not even revive – that served to divide the citizenry into ethnic groups.

Malaysia must learn to GROW UP. The greatest danger to this beloved nation is to stand still while our neighbours in Southeast Asia, Europe, the Americas are moving forward. They think Globalisation. They think B. They think Excellence. They think Merit&Quality. Do Malaysians Think Otherwise?

ALL communities, whether Malay, Indian, Chinese, Kadazan, Iban, or Orang Asli, must be helped, with the greatest ASSISTANCE rendered to those most in NEED. We need to build a more equitable society by narrowing the gap between the haves and Have-nots, NOT WIDEN IT. That means policies need to be directed to HELPING THOSE MOST HANDICAPPED to compete, regardless of RACE, RELIGION and GENDER.


has said enough, except with a parting word to the likes of Hisham: Think Global, Not Local; Think Needs,NoT Race. DEFINITELY, NOT RACE!

Thursday, July 21, 2005

Dr Mahathir Mohamad creates news in absentia

The former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has had always been a favourite media personality, for he makes good copies. As a prime minister for 22 years until November 1, 2003 he dominated the Southeast Asian region as its spokesman (especially on South-South cooperation), especially in the last decade following Singapore's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew stepping down from his nation's CEO post. Indeed, Dr Mahathir still hogs the media limelight even after retirement, because he still makes good copies, sprinkled with witty or pithy quotes, in-your-face opinions, quite often going against the grain in the international political arena.

Despite his absence from the country currently -- on holiday on his ranch in Argentina -- he still is still a news-maker or stealer, and many of the good Doctor's former Cabinet members still surviving in Pak Lah's team must surely wish that Dr Mahathir's presence is not around to haunt them. To the dismay of the long-serving Minister of International Trade and Industry, Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz, once so close to Dr Mahathir that she was the first to rush to his weeping side on the UMNO General Assembly stage to ask him NOT TO RESIGN as PM just about two yaers ago, at the Putra World Trade Centre, hotbed of UMNO politics. Even as the current UMNO Assembly meets, a lot of hot potatoes left behind by the good doctor would stir heated debates over the next few days, especially over the Approved Permits issue, which made the Iron Lady weep two days ago.

Reading The Star July 20, 2005 more at leisure, the column by Wong Chun Wai as usual provides a base for merriment for people in the know. First quote to Wong, a double Datuk who is a potential candidate to the paper's Group Editor-in-Chief's post:
"The release of the list is the correct thing to do -- there is no reason why it should be kept a secret."

Yes,on first glance, people not in the know would applaud the wise journalist's crack. BUT Desiderata did not see Wong CW advocating this before the national news break on the Iron Lady Sheds Tears. Many bloggers, including JeffOoi's Screenshots, have quoted many quarters asking for the list to be publicised weeks, even months,ago. All was deafening quiet on The Star front until the Iron Lady weeps.

Another quote from an online newspaper editorial dated July 15, 2005:
"In his May 29 column Wong had wished that Mahathir could have done more for the fight against corruption when in power."

Hey, Mr Editor Wong CW, where were you, and why so late in the day after Dr Mahathir had left the highest office then you voiced such brave thoughts in writing "On The Beat"? Desiderata thinks you are in a way "hitting below the belt", though the good doctor responded by holding a press conference the following day or two.

If you had practised true journalism, you should have voiced such views, before Nov 1, 2003?

Maybe come the month after Pak Lah's stepping down as PM in the future, the "same" Wong in you would pen something like this: The former PM Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi should've reined in his son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin in his corporate dealins which enriched many of his cronies, and Malaysian corporate world would not have encountered such problems. Intelligent readers here are pretty good at projecting their rich minds a little, and can paint scenarios that Desidarata is getting at, can't you?

Many times in my posts, I have lamented that many Malaysian leaders, which also include Editorial Chiefs, often have been guilty of "Bolting the stable gate after the horse has bolted".I cited as one outstanding example the Government's failed efforts to regain the Malysian scientists, doctors, and other professionals lost to foreign lands. Also, bright, talented performing students and academics NOT awarded scholarships or sabbatical leave, but happily grabbed by neighbouring or other countries further ashore for they see further ahead, unlike our leaders who have no vision beyond their short nose.

Before I close, I think the Tun on holiday, after winning one round on the AP issue -- should ask Pak Lah to re-open the case of (Leader) shares allocation to Bumiputeras -- some worth millions,given to a minister's son-in-law, named FAZRIN AZWAR MOHD NOR.

I agree with an advice given to Weblog readers who alleged some "relative" of the MITI minister had been connected with Naza, hence also the AP allocations,to cite the source and authority. I am one eagle beaver because I too have heard it once too often, and I still believe it's just rumours!

It was Mahathir who decided there was no case to answer after the Anti-Corruption Agency investigations against Rafidah for her involvement in the allotment of
bumiputera shares worth millions to her son-in-law,in the case which also landed
Keadilan leader Mohd Ezam Mohd Noor into trouble with the law.

Maybe a sandiwara will continue. Or will the rakyat see more tears rivering down at the PWTC Great Hall, or riveting our attention in front of the TV screens over the next 48 hours?

Sometimes, Malaysians have wept too, but for entirely different reasons, but once too often,, even such tears have run dry. Agreeth thou with me, Mitochondra, Sabrina Tan or Sdr Imran?

An Iron Lady Sheds TEARS!

TheStar says it in a thousand words.
TheSun says it in four;
The NST -ditto-.

Am I speakingin tongue? No, it's just being playful this morn (short for monrning, a fav -- favourite -- with poet-wannabes.) after reading a light-hearted Email from Ean to light up my starting day --Dear Colleague at the, TERIMA KASIH! (More on this later, Desiderata readers, be patient!)

Back to serious biz -- that is journalese for business.
A thousand words in journalism lingo (language) refers to a GOOD PIX (that's picture). I am writing this piece to for some journalist-wannabes (i.e., that is, aspirants) from the Blogger fraternity.

For those quite uninitiated, I refer to the picture/s in the English dailies page 1 on this bright morning.

The Star shows ONE COLOUR PICTURE, therefore it is equivalent to ONE THOUSAND WORDS,
accomnpanying headline:Iron Lady in tears
Subhead: 'With the Quran as my witness here, I have nothing to do with any AP holders -- open or franchise. I don't talk foolishly and I am not a hypocrite. I stand by God.'


is ditto, means same as theSun above, means FOUR PiX, means ..... (This teacher can sometimes insult people's intelliGENCE! Yes, I am a GENT myself, but I don't tell; I think you got me by now!)

TheSun's accompanying headline/quote from the Star of the Day, Minister of International Trade and industry, DATUK SERI RAFIDAH AZIZ, reads:
'Don't anybody ever suggest that I was rude to Tun (Mahathir). I stopped Tun from resigning as the UMNO assembly ... begging him.'

From The NST a little wordplay in the headline that brings THE ISSUE into focus -- it's about the APPROVED PERMIT!
'Don't anyone ever suggest that I was rude to Tun'

And within the word AP-PALLED is ironically buried another little word PAL, see the IRONY between two former pals, the Datuk Seri and the Tun?

Hey, is Desiderata doing a CivilIssue piece here or -- isn't he off tangent rambling on his English excursion? I digress, BUT I have warned thee before, haven't I, the self approved privilege that goeth with blogging. Come on board, will thee, it's an enjoyable ride!

I promised yesterday that I would do some analysis --especially in Ringgit and Profits (Or is it Profiteering?)terms. Since the Opposition Leader Lim Kit Siang has done his homework, I quote mainly from The Star report on page 8, headed:
Explain basis for issuing APs, says Kit Siang

"What is the basis for the issuance of 12,524 APs to (Naza Group chief) Nasimuddin (S.M Amin)alone through his five companies? If they can be sold for an average of RM30,000 each, the ministry would have provided him with the opportunity to make some RM375mil. (Desiderata: Obviously, Lim has done an average market value of the AP fetching between RM20,000 to RM40,000 each here.)

"The four of them (with three others named as major recipients -- Syed Azman Syed Ibrahim, Mohd Haniff Abdul Aziz, and Azzuddin Ahmad), would stand to make RM850mil this year. This is mind boggling and I am flabbergasted," Lim said in a statement yesterday.

An analysis by JOCELINE TAN in The Star asks: Can she (Rafidah) weather the storm?

A quick analysis myself makes me think that she has enough defence to survive the storm, and her breaking ito tears arose mainly from some UMNO leaders like Deputy Information Minister Zainuddin Maidin having said she had been "rude" to the former PM (her boss of 22 years too!) and should apologise. She cried that they didn't understand her, they misconstrued her remarks.

Rafidah said that none of the AP recipients were related to her, to rebut speculation that the leading benefiary, dubbed the AP KING, Nasimuddin, was "related" to her. If Rafidah's word was indeed true, and proven to be fact, then she can't be accused of "nepotism" -- that she had abused her position or was acting in "conflict of interests" situations.

Desiderata has raised an "older isue" that this Iron Lady, dubbed the Malaysian Margaret Thatcher (once her comtemporary at ministerial level across the oceans)encountered and yet survived, well,in comparison, this current AP challenge is chicken feed. But some of mGf have reservations -- is it possible she had been only telling "half-truths"? What abouty the "missing names" for a certain period.

This earlier episode involved allegations of "nepotism" in her ministry giving out listed company Leader shares allocated to Bumpiputera worth millions to her son-in-law. It has been detailed by Opposition leaders and an online newspaper, so Desiderata advises Readers to do some groundwork to verify the dllars and sense of it all. THAT to my mind was the closest to a prima facie case proven, but the Iron Lady overcame it.

But I'd like to have my prediction that Rafidah would not meet her Waterloo over this AP issue,proven wrong. Maybe Tun Dr Mahathir can shed some light -- not tears again -- on this?

PS: My initial analysis, maybe you can come back for more while I comb through the forest of views, some clearly psychophantic, some pyschotic, and some psychic -- but I hear some of mGf (in the plural) again murmuring "Crocodile Tears!" to my last line in the previous paragraph.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Just a little cheer, for starters?

I was travelling outstation when I grabbed a copy of The Star this morning at 9.45am (started late because of heavy rain, still a blessing in Seremban which has experienced water rationing for a week now...)when we stopped at a petrol station to fill up. Was I elated -- I am sure fellow Malaysians like mitochondria too, and Sabrina Tan if she could read the latest on the APs issue -- to be greeted by the front page headline:

The AP kings
Government releases list of Approved Permit holders

The AP ALLOCATION breakdown, accompanied by the three pictures, shows: TAN SRI NASIMUDDIN SM AMIN, (Managing Director of Naza Group) with 12,524 permits; DATUK SYED AZMAN SYED IBRAHIM, DATUK HANIFF ABDUL AZIZ , and DATUK AZZUDDIN AHMAD (all three of Weststar Motorsport) accounting for a total of 15,759 permits.

These four with the permits that allow for the imports of foreign cars accounted for more than 28,000 of the 67,158 permits allocated thus far this year.

The STAR continued on Page 3 with another report headlined
Announcement a big surprise

saying that the surprise was because this was the first time that the names of AP recipients had been made public. Government leaders had earlier said that the policy of not revealing names would remain.

I'm sure all caring and concerned Malaysians welcome the Prime Minister's act in publicising the list. This is an occasion that lights up many Malaysian faces -- including Mitochondria's, SO PISSED WITH THE AP ISSUE THAT he "was tired of being tired" (see Comment to Desiderata's post "Voices from Within" earlier today...).

The APs issue has grabbed the nation's attention for the better part of the past few weeks -- the sequence beginning with calls being made by many quarters for the AP recipients be made known; former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's lament that only his son (Mokhzani) was named as one recipient of the Approved Permits (for the import of Porsche cars), while others were not publicised; and that the abuse of such permits by certain parties has undermined the sales of PROTON, the national car. When Mahathir, as Proton adviser, requested the Ministry of International Trade and Industry to release the full list of permit holders and their numbers, he was rebuffed by the Minister, saying, among other things, this (making public) has never been done, even during Mahathir's premiership.

In fact at one stage, even the position of CEO of Proton, Tengku Mahaleel Tengku Ariff, was in the balance when he defended the national car project and criticised some parts of the Government's impending Automotive Policy.

I say "Syabas" to Pak Lah, for whom I have a soft spot as expressed in the preceding posts. I hope yesterday's announcement is just the "starters" to more demonstrations to come of his government's commitment to transparency, accountability and openness.

Now that the complete list has been made public, it's time to do some analysis, including the arithmetics involved in terms of Ringgit and Profits (or is it Profiteering?)and the implications of having APs as a part of the country's Automotive Policy.

What's worrying Desiderata is the open admission by the Minister of International Trade and Industry that indeed, there had been some AP holders who make a business out of selling the permits. "They don't sell cars, they sell APs." Thus was another report quoting Rafidah Aziz on Page 3, The Star, under headline
Govt will punish those misusing APs, says Rafidah

The question beguiling Desiderata is that so many ordinary Malaysians are so easily traced for mere traffic offences, and even threatened, then hunted down like common criminals, with warrants of arrest; but so far, we don't hear of any MITI action against such AP abusers. What's the logic? Big fish get bigger leeway?

I got home from the outstation assignment at about 8pm and attended to this Update later than most fellow Bloggers, I'm sure, because the news was all over national newspapers today on the FrontPage. Maybe I'll continue with this subject after digesting the HotPotato (as hinted to become one at the forthcoming UMNO Assembly debates), with thy Permission?

To Pak Lah, "Syabas" again; yes, I think my soft spot for him is justified. Is this little cheer merely the starters? I dearly hope so.

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Voices from Within

A reader commented at my post yesterday that he's PiSSED at the APs issue, who isn't? EXCEPT for the beneficiaries -- those privileged Approved Permit holders who don't have to do anything, yes, just sit back, rent out the APs at prices said to be someRM20,000, or more, per permit, according to news reports I have sighted.

Former PM Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad was also PiSSED when the relevant minister disclosed to a Singapore press that his son was a beneficiary of the APs issued, in retort to her former boss' request that the Minister of International Trade and Industry disclose the AP permit holders and the numbers they received.

I support Dr Mahathir in his latest call, not because he was former PM and is now Proton adviser, but because IT IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO, in line with the commitment to Open, Transparent and Accountable Governance and Government as pledged by Pak Lah on assuming the nation's CEO post about 21 months ago. (I do have a Soft Spot for Pak Lah, as indicated in my Post yesterday!)

• Hey, dear Minister Rafidah, if you say that the
matter had been said in Parliament many times, what is
the problem of saying it one more time for the benefit
of this one concerned citizen? (I am interested in the
names and details; I missed these partciculars in
Parliament, maybe the pliant media felt it not prudent
to pick it up!) A private letter of explanation to the Tun is NOT sufficient for you are a federal minister, therefore accountable to the Rakayt, not just to the Proton adviser! We the rakyat are impatient for you to come back from your holidays abroad while many issues remain on the boil.

• This episode is a sort of déjà vu for those people
(especially journalists like me with longer memory
than the average retention span) – remember the
allocation of public listed company shares, also under
Rafidah’s esteemed ministry, to some beneficiary who
is a close relative? Does a similar scenario apply
here where a key benefiacy of the APs is also a

.Of course, Dr Mahathir would have to answer to the
people why no action was taken on the "dereliction of
duty" by ministerial members and officials who did not
carry our his directive when he was the nation's CEO?

Are his public statements merely posturings by someone
hit by sudden bouts of a bad conscience?
If you still ENJOY a poem, here's with Desiderata's compliments:

Voices from Within

A former PM warns that Corruption has become a culture
The people Know who the Lambs are, but Not the Vulture
He said 'twas corruption under the table
Now it's above the table level

My inner voice tells me somethin' is not right
SomeOne ruled for 22 years with claimed vision and and
Telling us now that thatlong a gestation period from
under to above
For that bug of corruption to finally come into sight

The Other Voice took office from November 1,
I for one had hoped he could attempt to set us a
"little" free
For he vowed his team would fight Corruption tooth and
But alas the Earlier Voice declared 'tis now on a
higher scale

Somethin' somewher' is not right
Could it be me hard of hearing?
Or is it my Mr Average Citizen's heartstring
Fearful that that Earlier Voice is Still Might?

Am I glad I can expects some truths forthcoming and not spin
Malaysians are lucky to hear Some Voices of Conscience from Within

A soft spot for Pak Lah

I deem myself leaning towards a socialist reformer with some bourgeorsie tastes; I am also a journalist by training, and goes by facts and ethical journalism practice, and logical thinking, in my CivilSociety issues writing.

But I also am human -- and sometimes have a soft spot for the Prime Minister named Pak Lah.

Page 3, The Star, July 3, has ALL THREE REPORTS, sourcing the Prime minister of one year and nine months. He is trying his best to promote a clean, transparent and accountable administration; wean the Bumiputera off the NEP dependency and special treatment clutches (CORRECTION: crutches! July 20, 2005) ;and fighting (in my mind) the numero uno Public Enemy -- CORRUPTION.

Desiderata believes the PM means what he says, and says what he means; a rare species on the Malaysian political landscape, worth emulation, especially by the YoungMalaysians aspiring to become TOWERING MALAYSIANS. As for the OlderMalaysians, it's difficult and uphill: Leopards Find It Hard to Change Their Spots. My spot is soft.

Just the headlines will do here (lazybones who wish to progres must not be given clutches (CORRECTION: crutches), GO BUY A COPY OF THE NEWSPAPER and READ FOR THYSELF! (I have to do some promotion because as a Blogger, I often have to quote the dailies for items to comment on, don't I? Here, you can't depend on freebies like theSUN every day...

Main headline:

Money politics
must be curbed

If not, party risks corruption

Second headline:

Pak Lah promises to put
AP discrepancies issue right

Third headline:

Fear not meritocracy, Malays urged

Monday, July 18, 2005

The 7th ...and the Meanings of Numbers


Some random thoughts this Sunday morn after a continental breakfast of French toast with bacon and egg. Even a socialist-leaning writer (I deem myself one, you are welcome to beg to disagre, I'd hear thee out!) can indulge in some bourgeoise living, no?

I recently read on close fellow Blogger's post titled "The Fifth Nail, The Sixth Seal" ( of July 9, 2005, and advise: Go read Yan's short post and my comment, a dictatorial -- not royal, remember I'm socialist inclined? -- command on a lazy Sunday!

I was intrigued by the significance of numbers after reading her entry, also triggered off earlier by a columnist's observation that a person would consider himself lucky to have made in his lifetime a number of friends spanning the number of fngers on both his hands. I echoed his views in one post later, which prompted Yan to ask, like the curious cat (not a DOG this time); what number am I?

I told her in all confidentiality, but I breached it here this morn, without permission, because I feel friendship is to be proud of, to be treasured, and most of all, to be made public.

My candid reply to Yan: "You are SEVEN, and I hope to gather a few more, including via the Blogosphere, so that I can proceed to counting the toes down there."

I sought my counsellor, Mr Coww, well versed in theology and Chinese literature, for a briefing on the subject of numbers. He said this world leads off with numero uno -- which is number ONE, representing the Almighty God. He created the world in SEVEN days, with the final day set for rest, which had motivated my posting Never on Sunday in that spirit. (Do I digress here?)

Coww is a man of vast experience -- the Chinese would term as one who has eaten more salt than me (having eaten) rice.

In Christianity, the number "3" signifies the Holy Trinity -- the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.

And to Chinamen (term used here endearingly tho' some might object, but this is a free world, OK? Another Rhetorical Q!) traditional throughout the world, the number "8" is an all time favourite. Beg thy pardon, I dunno what it signifies, Consult your fengshui master, will you. I only know some towkays wouldn't mind paying hundreds thousand dollars for a vehcile number plate numbered 8888. Plaes no trade-in for 4444 (do you see the seegnificance here? No, see your seefu fortune teller for some paid advice. I am really suffering from exhaustion working on the SEVEN7 series ruminating on the London bombings and the face of terrorism, with poor Sabrina roped in for the ride! which ended yeaterday.

I am a learner here, so if other readers can offer their views of the significance of numbers from 1 to 20, please write me via Comments, or directly at:, I promise thee, my mouth is unsealed with thy sacreds.

I understand "7" is indeed a favourite number with many members of the Homo sapiens, me included. But when I told Yan her was SEVEN with me, I had the following in mind -- Is it GoOD or NotSoGood? I'll never opt for Bad as an option here -- sometimes I can be dictatorial -- you're allowed to, occasionally despite one's socialist bent, or is it cant?

As I suffer a little from Writer's Block now, I just took the "lazy" route by googling for one of My Favourite Westerns;I dunno if this amounts to Plagiarism, but I do attribute.So, my dear readers, especially to Yan, here goes, my yarn: Movie/Video Review


Starring: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen
Director: John Sturges
Rated: NR
RunTime: 126 Minutes
Release Date: October 1960
Genres: Action, Suspense, Western

*Also starring: Eli Wallach, Horst Buchholz, James Coburn, Charles Bronson, Robert Vaughn, Brad Dexter

An exerpt from a Review by Dragan Antulov

""***In former Yugoslavia, generally speaking, the best or the most popular television shows were produced by Serbian state television. However, there were shows produced by other republics' studios that successfully competed with Belgrade television. SMOGOVCI, children's show about Zagreb family, produced by Croatian television, was one of such examples, which turned into the most popular and longest running television series in these areas. Secret of its success, together with good script and acting, was clever use of pop culture references. Among them, the most obvious one was musical theme used in the show's opening credits - "borrowed" by Elmer Bernstein. The theme, which is now always associated with the genre of western thanks to Marlborough commercials, was written for THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN, 1960 film by John Sturges and one of the most popular westerns of all time.

The plot of the film isn't original, since THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN happens to be the remake of SEVEN SAMURAI, 1954 classic by great Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. The characters and situations are mostly the same, but the setting is different. First we are introduced to a Mexican village, populated by simple but hard-working farmers. Fruits of their labour are, however, always being taken away by the large group of bandits led by Calvera (played by Eli Wallach) which comes every year. After the latest visit, the villagers had enough and desperately want to get rid of such menace. But, since they lack weapons and skills to resist the bandits, village leaders ask the Old Man (played by Vladimir Sokoloff) for an advice. He tells them to gather the every coin and other precious belongings they still have in the village and head across US border in order to hire gunslingers. They follow his advice and stumble upon a man who fits their criteria - Chris Adams (played by Yul Brynner), efficient gunslinger who is noble enough to accept their job offer. He quickly begins assembling his team, whose members agree to follow him for reasons different than money, since the pay is low. Chico (played by Horst Buchholz), the youngest of them, is not gunfighter at all, and wants to follow the group only to learn their deadly trade. The group - now numbering seven - arrives in the village and starts preparing for the inevitable showdown.***""

PS; Edited. and updated at 7.17pm (from ORIGINAL TIME of 11.55AM, not PM!, see, even Socialists are Human!;)), on the 17th day in the seventh month of the year 2005. I remember Enid Blyton made millions from the Famous Five, and more millions from SecretSEVEN. Why are certain writers so lucky, and others leaning towards paupership? A reawrd for leaning towards the left, NOT TO THE RIGHT? This post is written in just jest, so with poetic licence I might have lampooned, or lambasted, or bombasted a few, maybe seven of my friends for not mentioning their names. Minta Maaf, eh!