My Anthem

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

EXUBERANCE brings on freefall

At the stock markets, more often than not.
I was asked about 1/2 hour ago (now it's 6.29pm) why I did not have any postings on the Bursa Malaysia in recent weeks, especially tracking the "bull run".
I replied that I had written about the stock market in a general view some months back, cautioning "retail" players who get sucked in "late" into any market on a bull run, often left carrying the baby when the crash inevitably comes. It's not a question of IF, but a question of WHEN, the freefal follows the exuberant wave after wave of crests within a short p[eriod of a month or two.

When the stock market shows an exuberant run upwards beyong some 20% within a short period of just two months, it's mostly

I'm recording the second day of the "freefall" that started yesterday when almost all the bourses worldwide experienced 3% tro 7% falls. From Yahoo! News as stated 15 minues ago from when I started this post, 6.29pm).

By HANS GREIMEL, Associated Press Writer
17 minutes ago

TOKYO - Chinese stocks bounced back Wednesday after their biggest decline in a decade, but stock markets in Asia and Europe fell for a second day amid investor jitters about possible slowdowns in the Chinese and U.S. economies.


Shares in Japan, South Korea, Singapore, India, Australia and the Philippines all tumbled more than 2 percent after Wall Street suffered its worst day Tuesday since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

While several Asian markets trimmed big early losses by afternoon, nervous investors were still wary of whether the slump marks the beginning of a downward spiral or just a one-time jolt to cool overheating markets.

"We don't need to worry about a big reduction from here, but this correction could continue for the next couple months," said Shinichi Ichikawa, an equity strategist with Credit Suisse First Boston in Tokyo.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index rose 3.9 percent Wednesday to close at 2,881.07, rebounding from its 8.8 percent plunge Tuesday — its biggest drop in a decade.

Bullish comments in the state-controlled media appeared to reassure jittery domestic investors, who account for virtually all trading. China will focus on ensuring financial stability and security, the official Xinhua News Agency cited Premier Wen Jiabao as saying in an essay due to be published in Thursday's issue of the Communist Party magazine Qiushi.

Authorities in China also denied rumors of a 20 percent capital gains tax on stock investments — speculation that had played a role in Tuesday's plunge.

Still, investors dumped stocks across much of Asia Wednesday, partly unnerved by the 3.3 percent drop overnight in the Dow Jones industrial average. Comments Monday from former U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, who said a recession in the U.S. — a huge export market for Asian companies — was "possible" later this year, also unnerved investors.

Japan's Nikkei 225 stock index tumbled 515.80 points, or 2.85 percent, to 17,604.12, while Philippine stocks plunged 7.9 percent, their worst drop since 1997, at the height of the Asian financial crisis.

Australian stocks closed down 2.7 percent after falling as much as 3.5 percent, while Singapore's Straits Times Index was down 3 percent after sinking as much as 5.6 percent earlier.

In Europe, Britain's benchmark FTSE 100 Index was down 1 percent to 6,224.40 in morning trading, while France's CAC 40 Index lost 2.3 percent.

Many Asian markets were due for a correction after their recent spectacular performance, analysts said.

Benchmark indexes in China, Australia and Singapore had all hit records in February. Before this week's plunge, Malaysian stocks had gained 17 percent this year, while Philippine shares had climbed about 12 percent.

Wednesday's sell-off was a limited, knee-jerk response, said Kiichi Fujita, an equity strategist with Nomura Securities in Tokyo. "It's a bit of an overreaction," he said.

Other equity analysts said the market's volatility could trigger more selloffs, despite sound economic data.

"A lot of that exuberance about just buying anything at all cost just starts to evaporate if the market has big falls like this," said David Halliday, associate director at Macquarie Equities. "I think the important thing to note is that this hasn't been triggered by an economic, financial or political crisis."

Japan's Chief Cabinet Secretary Yasuhisa Shiozaki echoed that sentiment, trying to quell concerns about the Tokyo market by stressing that overall fundamentals in Japan were still strong.

"On a broad perspective the corporate sector continues to perform well," Shiozaki said. "A long-term economic recovery is continuing."

On Wednesday, Australian Treasurer Peter Costello predicted the plunge in China's share market would trigger "volatility on equity markets for some time."

But his overall assessment of China's economy was positive, telling reporters the Asian giant would continue to grow, albeit "in fits and starts."

Some regional brokers said they saw an element of panic selling among retail investors but that more experienced investors were sitting it out. Other market players were on the look out for bargain hunters to emerge.

"If your target is gains by the end of 2007, this is a good chance to buy," said Credit Suisse's Ichikawa. "But if it's the end of March, I can't say that."

DESI: mGf at 2020freelunch had tracked the "happenings" pretty well about the record turnovers and bull run at Bursa Malaysia and some regional bourses. Pay her Blog a visit and leave advisory that I recommended her site. If you punt on her raedings, any gain is her and Desi's responsibility. If you lose, it's your own irresponsibilty.

Always, the consumers' dictum, Caveat Emptor, applies.:)
Play the market if you have SURP{LUS SAVINGS. Otherwise, just treat Desi&Co to tehtarik and Bersembang-sembang politik cukup-lah!

The 1960s Flower Power Generation

A recent post on The Beatles (it attracted five comments from NSTman!) motivated conversationist DIN MERICAN and I to recall the flower power generation that saw its pollens sweep across national boundaries -- and a million flowers of various hues bloomed. We both broke into songs that were simple in lyrics yet so profound. Who could resist a world with no borders?

IMAGINE there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...

I told Din my fave is still Let IT Be, and mGf in between sips of coffee, and me of tehtarik (last night to celebrate return from Chinese New Year hiatus), we both broke into humming:

And when the night is cloudy,
There is still a light that shines on me,
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

Din might be Muslim, but does he hesitate in mentioning the name of a lady more associated with the Christian west?

I'm reading mGf Din's mind, his answer will be a resounding: No.

I think the present era ses too many quarters finding differences in petty issues that divide, rather than seeking the common, universal values that bind us all, members of the common Homo sapiens species... My Lament.
When universal themes and values unite souls and spirits,
we are indeed one human common face,
Sans glances into colour, creed or race, nor gender and age.

Din and I believe that the 1960s was an era when we sought knowledge across physical boundaries. we read widely, deeply as in the tradition promoted by Francis Bacon"Reading markth a man". It was an exciting time of change and exchange -- ideads of enquiring minds, spwaning great minds spanning from the intellectual like Bertrand Russellof Britain to the musical iconic The Beatlesand Rabidranath Tagore of India, and Hamka (Haji Abdul Malik) of Indonesia, Yushio Nashima of Japan, and of course, Malaysian poet Prof Lloyd Fernando, united in promoting reflection of the human condition, and social justice, peace and love, spinning threads among youths across the whole wide world (quite contrarian in many ways to the present www... indeed!) as they prostesteth the Vietnam War, in unified refrain from the verses of
Dylan's "Blowin' In The Wind":

How many roads must a man walk down
Before you call him a man?
How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand?
How many times must the cannon balls fly
Before they're forever banned

What has happened to the current Gen facing the same backdrop of the American-led adventurism into Iraq and Afghanistan -- now the all-powerful US President eyeing Iran -- no flowerig of their idealism into the same league as in the 60s?
Where's the Voice of Youthful Zest to make a difference to the Quest for Peace on planet Earth?

Are we facing another Inconvenient Truth? -- that the fires of idealism of the present young Gen have been doused by the dominant Material Girl (hey, Madonna taking over Mary's place?) and Material Boy (nondescript Boy Bands each not much different from the next?), and Young Millionaire Gen, Eat, Drink and be Merry?

So now ENJOY a reminsiscent piece/peace by my soulmatey Guest Writer, DIN MERICAN,
ruminating on:

The Lamentation of a 60s Generation

Men and women of my generation are considered “has beens. Our Prime Minister Badawi prefers young people who are trained in Cambridge, Oxford and some of the Ivy League universities in the US, forgetting that during my time we too had people from these institutions. From Cambridge we had Bank Negara Governor (the late)Tun Ismail Ali, (the late) Lord President Tun Suffian Hashim, Lim Kean Siew, and Tun Dr Lim Chong Yu and Malek Ali Merican. From Harvard came (the late) Pathmanaban and Ramon Navaratnam and from (the late) Zain Azraai of Pembroke College, Oxford, and Colin Abraham, just to name a few.

The young “smarties” located on the 4th Floor, Prime Minister’s Department in Putrajaya, and the GLCs (with the exception of few I know who are humble and respectful of their elders) may have knowledge, maybe some wisdom, but they are totally lacking in the understanding of the history of our country’s Independence, and an appreciation of our efforts to develop our economy and build a united Malaysian nation.

Some of them were not even born when the traumatic May 13, 1969 riots rocked the foundations of our country and shocked the rest of the world. Yet today, they are deciding on the fate of our nation, especially son-in-law, Khairy Jamaluddin (KJ) and his henchmen.

Why? Because Badawi cannot decide. Some say he sleeps on the job!! He trusts KJ absolutely and no one can convince him otherwise. He can only be cajoled with flattery and bodek. Others think Badawi is not in control.

As a result, we saw a resurgence of UMNO Malay nationalism (as symbolised by Hishamuddin’s keris rattling during the last UMNO General Assembly and racist speeches by UMNO delegates). Recently, we see the rise of reactionary Ulamaks (with exception of the new Mufti of Perlis) who cannot think beyond moral policing and chastity belts, and petty local politicians who join the religious bandwagon, like that idiotic father of Mat Skodeng in Terengganu.

In addition, during the last 3 years of his administration, we witnessed rampant corruption and abuse of power (the Zakaria Deros Port Klang Assemblyman, and Yusof Said, MP from Jasin, incidents) and serious breakdown in law and order with the rise of petty crimes, drug addiction and murder, and unemployment.

I never heard of “Mat Skodeng” and “Mat Rempit” before. Maybe this is Malaysia’s answer to globalisation. Put in this context, you can perhaps understand that why with the US side’s insistence on transparency, the FTA negotiations are stalled after the Kota Kinabalu round, and now in danger of breaking down.

Let us not forget history. Our young men and women should read Ooi Kee Beng’s biography of Tun Dr. Ismail Bin Abdul Rahman entitled “The Reluctant Politician” to know what he and other Malaysian leaders of his era went through for us.

UMNO of the Tunku, Tun Razak with Tun Dr. Ismail, Tun Hussein and Tun Dr. Mahathir eras is not the same as the UMNO of Islam Hadhari led by its imam, Badawi. UMNO of the 60s was a party of teachers and ordinary Malays. No longer today. Has time changed so much that we no longer must no longer to the idea of service and self respect?

Badawi’s UMNO is self serving and corrupt to the core. It is afflicted with virulent money politics and a culture of the fast buck and easy living.The party is badly in need of a massive shake-up, but I doubt that Badawi is the UMNO President who will do it. He is not of the “rock the boat” or “shake the duku-langsat tree” type.

Dr. Bakri Musaand I still think of our times, way back, for me at least, to the period of the Japan Occupation, post WWII British colonial rule, the Emergency (1948-1962), and the Independence movement. I remember what our parents then had to sacrifice, as unsung heroes and heroines, so that their children and future generations could have better Malaya/Malaysia (after 1963).

Our parents put a premium on education for the development of our intellectual capacity so that we could think critically and know the difference between right and wrong. They imbued in all of us the idea of service and sacrifice by their own example, that is, how to be men and women of integrity and honour.

Despite limited facilities like good school and public libraries (now known as resource centers) and textbooks,we did not do too badly. We developed good reading habits, interacted with each other (the Malays, Chinese, Indians and others) for exchange of simple ideas and dreams, and competed aggressively in sports. We did not have “Vision/Wawasan” Schools and the like.

Education is not just about number crunching (to be just technocrats and computer robots) and grades, but also and most importantly, it is about the development of the human mind and character. Read all the chapters which Dr. Bakri has generously put on his website. Ideally, lamandau, you should get hold of a copy of his education book.

It is sad that unlike the United States and Europe, we do not have a tradition of tapping the knowledge and collective experience of our elders. Our past administrators, corporate executives, academics and educators are put to pasture. Thus, graduates of MU of the 1960s (the PM forgot that he is one of them, but alas he was trained in Islamic Studies, hence his Islam Hadhari spin) and 1970s, on the other hand, have no value to him. On the contrary, intellectual capital, if it is carefully nurtured and systematically renewed, is never out of date.

Maybe, part of the reason is that Badawi is aware that his contemporaries know how really good he is intellectually. And for another, he likes sycophants and ahli bodeks (the curse of leaders), not people who have the courage to tell the truth to his face. Badawi is now a prisoner of the “sultan syndrome”(Read Dr. Bakri’s classic, “The Malay Dilemma Revisited”).

Din Merican


Plugging for Y&A johnleemK!

Go to -- NOW! -- and see what he has to say about Tony Pua's entry into Opposition politics via the DAP.

Desi gets 30% conMISSion from the infernal rambler's adSENse. My mind needs a make-over once a while. Freelunch -- whoever, whatever, and wherever you are! at the Stock market to be another millionaire before 35? -- art thou also available for a good rubbing in?

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Till the earth touches the sky

The soulmate departs
after touching hands
because one heart gets restless

the other heart bleeds
so a person weeps
miss patience waits

One door closes
another is supposed to open
what if it doesn't?

Can the soul left behind rest
or can it now fly out of the window
and try to reach that rainbow's end

where it's said, or sad,
the earth never touches the sky

so the hands cannot touch again
and the two souls cannot mate

Feb 27, 2007

DESI: THis poem is dedicated to certain souls out in blogosphere
who may have some affinity to Desi's vibrations and therefore can
connect with my cyber touch.
If you don't, it doesn't matter, just enjoy the rabliung if you can.
Perhaps a few years down the line, God willing, you come back for a
second reading and our wavelengths may overlap. Then you see the raibow,
yet the earth does not reach the sky.


JUST For the record:

EU citizens are officially happy: poll

Mon Feb 26, 11:57 AM ET (Yaoo! news)

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union citizens are overwhelmingly happy with life -- and that's official.

A pan-European opinion poll conducted for the European Commission and published on Monday showed that 87 percent of EU citizens considered themselves happy, with a record 97 percent in Denmark.

Only in Bulgaria, which joined the bloc in January, did a majority of people (55 percent) say they were unhappy.

But the Eurobarometer survey on "European social reality," conducted between mid-November and mid-December, found far lower satisfaction levels with retirement and employment prospects.

And two-thirds of the 26,755 Europeans questioned think life will be more difficult for the next generation because of unemployment, the cost of living and uncertain pensions.

Citizens of Germany, Europe's biggest and most powerful economy, have the least confidence in the future of their pensions, with only 25 percent voicing confidence. Fewer than one-third of French, Poles and Hungarians trust their pensions.

On the other hand, nearly three-quarters of Danes feel their pension is safe, while two-thirds of Finns and Dutch agree.

Britain, Spain, Cyprus and Italy were in the middle with roughly half of respondents confident in their pensions.

Almost half of Europeans said they were dissatisfied with local job opportunities, and 41 percent said their work was too demanding and stressful. Stress levels were highest at about 70 percent in Lithuania, Greece and Romania and lowest at around 25 percent in the Netherlands and Finland.

The survey found low trust in national political institutions and high levels of political indifference across Europe.

While overwhelming majorities said health, family, friends, leisure and work were important to them, only 43 percent rated politics and 52 percent religion as counting in their lives.

Only local councils scored positive trust figures, while 73 percent of EU citizens distrusted political parties, 62 percent didn't trust their national government and 61 percent tended not to trust their national parliament.

Respondents were not asked whether they trusted the EU.

Most Europeans think their personal situation will either improve (41 percent) or stay the same (40 percent) in the next five years, with young people the most optimistic and over-55s the most gloomy.

Estonians are the EU's chief optimists, while Hungarians are by far the biggest pessimists.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Insurance and some government agents are like 007

The only Government department I feel comfortable to visit, for my own service or friends', is the General Hospital, commonly known as Hospital Besar, followed by the name of the town it is located in. Hence, when an outstation friend mentioned she was passing Hospital Tuanku Jaafar, I did not know it was the new Olde Hospital Besar she was referring to. Why new then Olde, you ask me? Solve that one yourself by travelling one hour south from Kuala Lumpur in March okay? On thy way to Singland to watch that Phantom. What Phantom? you ask again. Of the Opera-lah, you nit. Luckily I left out wit.

Why do I hold the HB in high esteem?
All my three children were born in the general hospital, for one and chief reason.
My peers preferred the privatye hospitals to welcome their next generation. Sexier I believe, also the wife could boast she could afford the few kilos.

Sext, because since the numbering system was introduced, they are as efficient as the banks, even better than some banks whose officers pretend ot to see the huge crowd just after a festive season. Of course, I know the doctors, nurses and other associated staff at government hospitals get relatively "low" salaries for the type of work and services rendered. So one BIG salute to a branch of true Khidmat Untuk Negara!

Desi's sometimes quite caustic, could have swallowed some soda when someone I offended placed the arsenic in the toothpast tube. No, I had not increased the premium in the Life policy yet. Come to think of it, I never had bought any. I envy some people buying million-dollar policies (yes, not just one!) -- aren't they opening themselves to risk to dying by murder most clean by the named but unfamed beneficiary/ries?

So whenever I was approached by insurance agents (at one time, one in three teachers was fronting as one; now the replaement is Amway or Cosway...) and my answer would always be stock: No'way. I enjoy savig the premiumn to something I would not enjoy myself for that dream vacation to -- yes, you guessed it! -- Norway.

I have a new dilemma -- I either LOST or miss-placed my car ownership card recently, and so could not have my road-tax renewed. I asked my Insurance agent to help me get a Replacement Card, but most insurance agents are like 007, useful only "under cover". Pay your premiums on time. Even if one day late and ytou're killed in an accident, you cannot file a claim from beyond the tomb. Grave.

So it's a case of DIY. The only time I had a DIY was wake up, brush my teeth, fry an omellette and toast some bread, open the jam jar. And fork the peanut butter out of the open jar mouth. If it was a new bottle, I would spend the next half-an-hour using the tin-opener to get at the nuts! The way some bottles are sealed you would think national trade secrets are stored inside!

So I first went to RTD in a buddy's car, was given a set of Borang, and advised I needed a police report.
I next dutifully obtained a copy of the Lapuran Polis -- very efficient nowadays as I was in and out with RM2 copy in less than 20 minutes! -- and went back to the RTD>
Th RTD officer looked at my Borang and attached documents as if she was coming across such a case for the first time, then turned to me and asked: Where is the Puspakom report?

I said I was advised by Polis "no need one".
She turned to another officer seated nearby, exchanged some "un-understanable" banter, then she looked straight at me like a headmistress reprimanding a recalcitrant standard six pupil, said in a serious tone, pointing to a clause: Inspection by Puspakom (all the instructions are in Bahasa Malaysia, but the boxes next to each clause is to be ticked, which I believe it means "discretionary").

If the RTD has a "standard procedure" for such cases, it should spell it out properly by TICKING OFF ALL THE CLAUSES TO BE ASDHERED TO, and not make a complainant come back for seven trips to have 7 instructions to be followed.

So when any of my dear ER wants to meet up with Desi coming soon, please inform my secretary what James Bond vehicle arriveth at my door step by Furong River, or izit Sungai Ujong? Also depends on what's your Pick-Up Line?

Well, our Prime Minister has vowed he wanted to CUT DOWN ON RED-TAPE.I know he means well, but I don't know about his downlines. They don't work like Amway, Cosway, maybe No'way!
Personally, God-fearing Pak Lah has to go trhough all the Borang at each Kementerian with his Ministers one by one by one by one by one ... how many ministries ah?

Being an Opposition supporter my 'hole life by inclination, insinuation and operation, I did not succumb to some of the signals I receive at government departments to smoothen or quicken the process. But I know many Malaysians are desperate enough to compromise. I agree with ex-PM Dr Mahathir Mohamad that indeed, corruption has moved from below the countr to above the table. I wonder who's the chief culprit?

Am I aloud to THINK ALLOWED?
If yes, I blame it on the nation's CEO, past, present and future.
Do they have a case to "sue" me?
If yes, p[lease consider the preceding four lines as "being erased", okay!

I Rest
My Case.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Does Your Belle Chime For Thee?

As many of my ER know by now, I am also writing a leisure column for TheSundayPost based in Sarawak rotating with fellow Bloggers. I sent off the folowing piece for TODAY's PUBLICATION, but just note that when you write for a newspaper, your article is subject to EDITING by the Copy EDitor.

I am okay with this standard procedure.

But in a previous workplace some juniors had complained to me that when their copies had been subbed (sub-edited), the outcome was rendered poorer in quality.
What I am not okay with is when there are sub-editors or copy editors who are not up to the task. The reporter submits a story written in good Englsih and it's re-written in a way even a well-read primary pupil would take offence to. I cite an example (an analogy so that the poor blighter would not be exposed unlike the Emperor at Putrajaya in his new clothes...)


The detainee heard other cellmates shout and scream for help. He could hear some prisoners groan above his cell.


The detainee heard other cellmates shouted and screamed for help. He could hear prisoners groaned above his cell.

NOTE: The example cited is NOT from any of the newspapers, online or print, I am now contributing to. But rest asured it is a True-life Case, not a pigment of my imagination, admittedly as vivid as my Sunday CON BF and endless cups of tehtarik I still can afford at this gleefool moment.

ANOTHER feature to remember is that when you contribute anarticle to any news medium, it is the PREROGATIVE of the Editor to edit (including drastically cutting down the length) the original to suit the style and other requisites of the particular medium. If any contributor finds this a constraint, he just has to bear with it, and adapt accordingly. Or as a last resort, ship out. Many writers of novels and essays can be stubborn to want their articles untouched except for language and typos, not its contents and length. I guess if thou art in the league of William Shakespeare or Salman Rushdie or Earnest Hemingway, or an UnearnestyHumminggay, you can have that privilege. It's still a privilege, never a right.

Now try to ENJOY my unedited Times and Chimes piece if you can.
If you can't, it's not your loss, it's my regret.

Living dreams through the child

by Desiderata-YL Chong

In my first Times & Chimes article, I had shared that
I would have traded the world to become a lawyer,
instead of being caught in my present station as a
journalist. I also noted the irony that a recent
acquaintance who was a practising lawyer had wished to
become a jornalist. I thought aloud how wonderful itf
only we could have traded places.

A poet whose works I admire, Max Ehrmann, had in fact
qualified as an attorney but earned his bread and
butter mainly helping out the family meat-packing
business. He later earned a name in history by
pursuing his passion in writing. My favourite of his
poems "Desiderata Of Happiness" starts with "Go
placidly amid the noise and the haste, And remember
what peace there may be in silence
." And of course, my
penname, "Desiderata", was derived from this most
quoted poem, a sort of American peace anthem of the
hippies era of the 1960s.

We all have our own individual dreams, and lucky are
those who manage to carve out a career in adult life
that is a culmination of their dream. For those who
fail, often many adults try to live out their dreams
through their next generation.

I plead guilty to the same offence. I tried my best,
not too subtly, to persuade my three children to study
law at university. I never failed to tune to TV
channels showing the galmour and drama of court cases
like LA Law and Ally McBeal. Those attractive,
articulate men and women attired handsomely in
immaculate black suits -- I had hoped would work some
magic on my sons.

To say I was disappointed when the "little boy" (yes,
parents always refer to the youngest thus as a sort of
psychological hope that the child remains cute and
innocent, yes, Forever Young!) opted to take up
Economics and Finance at a local university is an
under-statement two years ago. His brothers had
graduated in Mass Communications and Information
Technology and Business earlier. What could have been
a blessing in disguise was I did not have any daughter
-- for it could have turned out she might have
overdosed on McBealism, and acquired actress Calista
's "Twiggy" look. What if she collapsed in
walking up the stairs, and other parents could then
accuse me of starving her. "Child abuse!". the
pressman in me could visualise the news headline.

How many parents have not been guilty of pushing their
children to study the Sciences although their kids
might have been more inclined in the Arts? I have seen
many parents forcing their sons who did not even study
Biology in upper secondary school to pursue Medicine.
A normal six-year course could turn into double the
time taken to complete. And I believe the
psychological burden would have taken a heavy toll on
such young ones, permanently stuck like being a square
peg in a round hole. Parental choice for ecstasy, a
child's lifelong agony.

Another TV programme I enjoy is the "American Idol",
especially the audition rounds. I am amazed at the
fact how many delusionary adults there are out there
trying to chase impossible dreams. I truly appreciate
one of the judges, Siimon Cowell, who pulls no punches
in his opinions of the contestants.

A recent press report quoted Cowell as lamenting that
it was parents who had goaded on their tone-deaf
children to audition.

"I'm presuming the paernts have heard them sing before
they leave to go to American Idol," he said.

"they hear what we're hearing and they go 'Fantastic,
you're going to win', so they're the ones who have
been cruel this year."

Even as I watched these contestants leaving the room
-- after singing in the wrong pitch and switching
several keys in just one minute of singing! -- their
parents waiting in the wings would console the weeping
youth that the judges did not appreciate their
talents. And the losers still swearing curses at
Cowell and Randy and Paula Abdul! Parents living
dreams through their child -- but both parties wearing
rose-tinted glasses.

Back to me, so I landed up writing -- I proudly
announce I deal in wordsmithry!
-- for my three round
meals and a weekend continental breakfast, and
occasional family holiday, my "capitalist"
indulgences. I deem myself mostly a socialist, the
term I used to describe myself to tease my new-found
friends. But now thinking back, it was the most
natural occupation to be in, playing around with
wordfs I mean. I had excelled in writing since the age
of fourteen, penning short stories and essays for
student magazines, earning enough to take my siblings
for weekend "cheap matinees".

In the good, olde days, children spent time either in
the library's corner, or playing outdoors, and I must
admit I was spending more time on the former,
devouring Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes,
and Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot, and at one time,
I harboured hopes of becoming a golbe-trotting
detective. Also gorging on Rider Haggard's and Robert
Louis Stevenson'
s fantasy or true-life adventures of
heroes, pirates and fortune hunters, and the
inevitable beguiling beauty as the trophy-heroine.

But today, when my home computer breaks, I visit the
Internet cafe, and I am sad to see so many teenagers
glued to playing computer games. Even as I take leave
after working four hours, they are still stuck to the
PC screens, breaking out in laughter or victory cries
after achieving some high scores beating "imaginary"
foes. I wonder where they got their money from, and do
their parents not worry they are wasting away their
childhood and youth? And acquiring colourful language
which during our days only the non-school-going
country bumpkins would dare use. You know, those
expletives in Hakka or Cantonese we would term as
"expletives", including that four-letter "F" word.

How times have changed, and in my opinion, for the
worse, and if there is prejudice on my part, please
excuse my bias. In the past, we would rather go
fishing and play Cowboys and Red Indians, or painting
Uncle's fences on his farm, ala Tom Sawyer or
Huckleberry Finn. Contrast this close embrace with
Mother Nature with modern day kids "lepakking" at the
mall or Internet cafe -- give me the former activity
any time!

I guess 21st century life brings along more and
greater stresses to working parents, and many
compensate for their absences from their children by
giving them lots of pocket money. And a maid to do the
home-caring. I even had a fishmonger friend whose son
was caught playing truant from school spending some
RM10 a day (a conservative guess) playing computer
games with his classmates, then maybe adjourning to
the adjourning cinetheque for a break.

Along with modern living come its conveniences and
gadgets and very often, the currency to these gadgets
and conveniences is Money. And the lack of money
drives many to the edge. To steal, to borrow, and in
the worst scenario -- to committing suicide. I urge
parents to get to know their children better and know
also the people they hang out with. Peer pressure is
the shaping influence in a teenager's life, and
remember that "Birds of a faether flock together" and
I pray few parents find out too late they have lost
their child to drug addiction through their own
neglect and negligence, unwitting though it may be.

Another secret I would now confess to. My youngest
boy, now 21, is blessed with musical talents, having
studied piano and poicked up guitaring and singing on
his own. At one stage, he expressed to me his
aspiration to pursue a degree in Music. After a long
pause, I advised him that his survival in this higly
competitive world would be best served with a first
professional qualification, and he could chase his
musical dreams as a hobby. He relented, and even today
I don't know if I had decided "rightly" to advise him

To many involved in the field of entertainment, the
greatest pressure is to always to perform well.
Success does not come easy. For many aspiring singers
and actresses, money or fame seems so elusive. For
every one who reaches the peak of success, many would
have fallen by the wayside, into oblivion.

Even after attaining success, the pressures of
performing drive many to dabble with drugs, and there
are many, even among Hollywood greats, who had
succumbed. One of my idols, Elvis Presley, was a
victim. "Ray" the movie also depicted vividly the
tragedy of Ray Charles who became blind at a young
age, but carved a successful career in singing. Who
could resist singing along with his "I can't stop
loving you"? But along the long adult nights of
travelling and performing and away from home, women
became a diversion, and drugs consumed him.

I hope my "musica" son would still follow his dream
after getting his economics degree as I can empathise
with his enjoyment of singing like all in my family.
Finally I share with parents these verses from Elvis',
dedicated to all as enjoying words in verse set to
tune crosses all age barriers -- young, old and

Follow That Dream

Follow that dream, I gotta follow that
Keep a-movin, move along, keep a moving
I've got to follow that dream wherever that dream may
I've got to follow that dream to find the love I

So I end this piece with an advice to the children --
don't rush into adulthood prematurely. To the parents,
I say "Let It Be" when the young ones wish to pursue
their own dreams if that's their talent and God's gift
they wish to hone. For each must follow his or her own
destiny according to the calling. To school and collge
students, learn to enjoy the outdoors flying kites and
bicycling or fishing and travelling. Such times of
abandon and carefree activity may not ever come again
when the cares and challenges of adulthood arrive,
often before you realise it and you're not quite

Dear young ones, when it's raining cats and dogs
outside, though this is the Year of The Fire Boar,
pick up a book by Charles Dickens, like "David
Copperfield". I hope you are not thinking I am
referring to that magician who could make a Boeing 747
disappear into thin air!

__________ Ends T&C article_______________

DESI: All writers need a good Editor. A second person reading one's copy can "detect" any obvious typos or lapses. From my unedited article, note the following:

"Siimon" was spelt in one instance with two "i"s.

The transposition of e and a in one word in "Birds of a faether flock together"

If you manage to spot any more "Howlers", please inform this Scribe. But you don't get a prize, mayhaps a price to pay for being such a dar'ing Boar!:)

I Rest

I rest

Times passes restlessly

You make me wait


My case

Sunday Feb 25, 2007

Saturday, February 24, 2007

What is thy fave Beatles' song?

Mine is LET IT BE.

It enables the scribe in me to empathise with people caught in difficult situations -- crossroa, dilemma, conundrum, tight corner, wahtever you call it -- without a viable solution in sight. So at that moment in time, we can only resort to waiting it out, just Let It Be!

Not too good a prospect to be left with, but Life does not leave you with options all the time. I don't know what faced Hobson so terribly historic that history honours him with a title to his name, I wonder if he had a choice? I wonder if the future someone powerful enough would recommend my name to be asociated with something more positive -- like Desi-YL's Option being a winning one!

Pre-CNY, I leisurely wandered thirsty into xpyred (I often say minus da d!) territory and I was satiated as mGf I have longed to eet in person was promoting All You Need is Love, sharing George's melancholic (my reading) rendition of "As My Guitar Gently Weeps", and Paul's "Hey, Jude" with its pretty singable karaoke refrain Nah, na, na, na. na. na. na Hey, Jude, Jude, Jude....fading with a temptation to go on forever.

Thanks Reduced and Recycled for the nostalgia bestowed

When scribes begin to refer to the past as The Good Olde Days, or even when folks gather at CNY reunion dinners or Cowboy poker tables, we always talk in terms of halcyon days gone by. We could spontaneously pick up a partner to dance to Marianne Faithful's playful, abandoning and warm soothing chorus by the fireside Those Were The Days, yes!

Sister Cathy on Day six of CNY gifted Desi a copy of



The four-year effort coordinated by Editor-in-Chief: Paul Trynka
(Desi would pay an arm and two legs for that byline to replace Paul T!)
quoted the EIC as saying:

"Looking from today's vantage point, over four decades on from when The Beatle came to the world's attention, we might think that the story is complete, that there's nothing more to be said. We'd be wrong. Eric Burdon , the gravel-voiced singer with The Animals, expressed it as well as anyone" "there is something beyond time about The Beatles, something fairy tale."

Brian Wilson in his Foreword said:

"Some of my favourite Beatles songs are Tell Me Why (I love Paul's bass line), Michelle, With A Little Help From My Friends and LET IT BE. Paul's version of The
Long And Winding Road too, I absolutely love. All You Need Is Love is brilliant. And I love the hunourous horn arrangement that George Martin did. In some ways, the 1960s seem so long ago, but in others, I feel like we need that spirit more than ever."

I have going through some downtimes, which is inevitable if you live Life intensely -- as a writer is wont to! -- and if I don't have some gentle shoulders to lean on, I turn to the mop-haired foursome from Liverpool. Let's hear from you if you have any of their anthems to help thee get through your difficult moments or phases in this young, old or not that old, transient life on MothergoodEarth.

I rely on the faithful assurance and re-assurance of~~

Let It Be

Beatles - Let It Be Lyrics
When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.

Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree,
There will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is
Still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be. Yeah
There will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be,
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

Let it be, let it be,
Whisper words of wisdrom, let it be.

And when the night is cloudy,
There is still a light that shines on me,
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be.

I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
There will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be,
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

Friday, February 23, 2007

The passover of silence

many voices assure thee
you'll be good
they will be with thee

in times of trouble
we will be there
so you wait

you need a lift to get home
penniless in thy companion
so you wait

as darkness falls
and voices dim
the wait extends from minues
into hours
into silence

a passover into
conversation with self
waiting for the inner voice
within to wake thee up
silence is also waiting for you

come passover

somewhere in urban malaysia
when a wait becomes eternal
night passes over into day
and day into night
you continue to wait

6.55pm feb 24, 2007

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Tony Pua's baptism of fire via DAP cauldron

Anyone interested in politics would have read about 35-year-old enterpreneur TONY PUA's entry into Opposition politics fulltime, selling off all his shares in a successful Net business he built up which was eventually listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange. It was not a rainbow ride all the way as IT companies from 1-2 decades ago bumped into several rocky patches along the way, with many also fallin victim to winds of constant change.

At least he starts off on a strong footing -- an Asean scholar, with an Oxford true-blue education, now a millionaire after cashing out his stocks, Pua says his participation in politics is a way of "giving back to society", something he spells out very forthrigtly in his own blog,

I'm writing this piece based on an Opposition supporter's standpoint mainly, also via a writer-journalist's lenses, so this Post is clearly biaised though I try my best to remain as objective as possible. I assure whatever is written is writ without malice, maybe with some prejudice. I believe no writer on earth can remain perfectly neutral, so also Desi's no saint either.

Extracting from the Star, political writer Jocelyn Tan has this to say:

From cyber world to arena of politics

Self-made millionaire Tony Pua is cute, likeable and was only 28 when he hit the headlines as a trailblazer and success story in the new economy. Now, seven years later, he is putting it all aside for politics – more specifically, opposition politics.

TONY Pua literally sprinted out of the lift with his notebook computer and a newspaper tucked under his arm. The self-made Internet millionaire looked incredibly boyish for a 35-year-old and has all the exuberance reminiscent of those advertisements for energy drinks.

“Not so young anymore, actually,” he said, dipping his head to show the shock of greying hair around his crown.

The road to success has apparently not been without sleepless nights and tonnes of worrying.

Pua is a well-known name in the e-commerce business where he has earned a dizzying string of inscriptions –- dotcom success story, pioneer in e-business consulting and, perhaps the most satisfying of all, youngest founder-CEO to have listed a company in the Singapore Stock Exchange.

The Oxford University graduate is the founder of Cyber Village Sdn Bhd and until recently its CEO. Pua has sold his stake in the company and, after settling debts and commitments, is still left with a tidy sum of a couple of million ringgit.

But it is the reason for his divestment that has drawn the limelight onto Pua again.

The Netpreneur is leaving the business world for the arena of politics – opposition politics to be exact, and with the DAP.

I'm going in with my eyes wide open,” he said.



To read the article in full, there is one copy hidden in Raja Petra's cyberhome. I don't need to take ty hand to guide thee there, do I?I'd respond if thou art a li'l true-blue riding hood, to keep the matrempit at bay. Or big, bad wolves of Kuala Lumpur. Come to Furong for R&R&R as NS capital which has no MR, only Haridas' piping hot tehtarik to welcome thee. And mayhaps Desi as Pipe Piper to lead thee ashtray! No Hamerlin, only Sungai Ujong.

From the onset, I must welcome Pua's decision to try to make changes to the system from outside, "not from within" --- the latter could have been his choice had Pak Lah delivered on his core promises from Nov 1, 2003. He had two landmark turning points to make a difference, but he blew them -- firstly, on assumping premiership after Dr Mahathir Mohamad reluctantly handed over UMNO's chieftaincy to him; secondly, in a Cabinet reshuffle, he worsened the situation by not making any "real" changes like droppping deadwood or members way-past their shelf-life. Under Pak Lah for three years, it was a lot of sound and fury, hardly "any change" for the better he trumpeted at in leading his BN cahoots into the biggest landslide electoral victory March 2004.

Well, Pua enters politics with a firm platform, being appointed Economic Adviser to DAP strongman Lim Kit Siang, and headhunted by his son,Sec-Gen Lim Guan Eng (Errata: Desi was informed by Pua that "A quick errata is that I'll be advisor to LGE, and not LKS", which to me might prove to be Pua's Achilles' heels. He starts off "beholden" to the two top men in the Rocket party, which many detracters have alleged form a dynastic trend, and whose leaders are deemed to remain forever happy to remain Opposition leaders.

Many past leaders of an independent mind like Goh Hock Guan, Fan Yew Teng, Sim Kwang Yang , (do you want Desi to continue? Better not, in case I be accused of stirring S*** even before Pua starts his battles) had spoken out, and the option finally was to exit. These are the principled lot -- others like Lee Lam Thye, Chin Nyok Soo, Tiger Lee and Khoo Seng Hock, Ooi Ean Kwong bargained themselves to comfortland either in MCA or Gerakan or the Establishment where perks and positions are plenty. Those who choose to remain to fight the battle (once DAP Youth leader Teng Chang Khim and Selangor ex-Chairman ONG something? and several Malacca DAP chiefs aligned with former DAP Sec-Gen Kerk Kim Hock would tell you it's difficult to wrestle with a dynastic team surounded with yes, ball-carriers quite akin to MCA's and Gerakan's). Go ask Saudara Lim Fui Ming, DAP State Assemblyman of Bahau under DAP who recently resigned from the party the reasons why he quit. He must have bumped into many "bodyguards" standing sentinel at the dynastic palace gates, my guess. Don't mind me, what do I know? Just a writer.

I'm summarising all this for the benefit of Pua's baptiism of fire because based on Pua's expressed statements of idealism and honest commitment to democratic struggle as an Oppositionist, I think he need to be aware of some of the "mines" in the battle field.

I have thought the youngish Part Keadilan Rakyat with fromer DPM Saudara Anwar Ibrahim soon assuming the leadership mantle from his beloved wife Wan Azizah would have been a better vehicle. But I am not elaborating here as I had propounded on this recommendation as the most viable vehicle for change -- if that's what Malaysians are aspiring for -- because Pua has made his decision. I respect him and wish Pua well.

Maybe five years down the bumpy road or realpolitik, PKR could be organising a Welcome Party for the by-then well initiated opposition party leader which many say is DAP's golden goose to celebrate the Year of the Foire Ball. Some say it's the Year of the Golden Pig. I am not arguing with the experts -- I am just one mousey writer.

UPDATEd @7.49PM:

Hi Desi,

Thanks for your support as well as advice rendered ;) Please know that they are appreciated.

A quick errata is that I'll be advisor to LGE, and not LKS.

Like my message left with Freelunch, without sounding like attempting to curry favour my new boss, I believe that LGE should be judged for what he is, and not what the media paints him to be.

Let's just say that I won't take up this position if not for the fact that I'm confident with his philosophy and leadership, and this decision wasn't made overnight. ;)

I'm not joining politics as a fresh grad, as many has done, and I certainly wouldn't see the need to be beholden to anybody to protect my position.

As for why not PKR, there's certainly a fair few reasons. There certainly score good points in certain aspects, but even insiders will agree that they have their internal set of problems as well. If we do meet up some day, I'll be more than happy to share over a drink ;)

Let's work towards a better Malaysia ;)

Tony P

By Tony P, at 5:28 PM

DESI: Thanks for responding, Pua; here's Wishing Your Political Journey as SUCCESSFUL as your Corporate's.

Friday, February 16, 2007

A Champagne Night

The hoRst of of asked Desi last night which genre of songs I fancy -- I told her it's C&W. I sang for her alone the openiing bars of Your Cheatin' Heart, and North to Alaska...("FL: Dun git jeles K!").

Cos I was born a countryside bumpkin and yes, a WOG --Westernised Oriented Gentleman.
I believe the 3G Gen terms it differently -- Desi is a Banana Crocodile Dundee."Yellow on the outside, White on the inside." I think locals subs CD with Jinjang Joe, or am I Jinjang Jane?

Thre bloggers plus helen's SignificantOther met up somewhere in neutral c'untry at Sri Hartamas Shopping Centre. The BakGOODSteh owner was not a good hoRst, turned away the four half-loaded mouths, so we compromised on a Gary something restron, methinks it's not Cooper, Big or Mini

The other blogger is the infemes freeluncher who berated me for exposing her "polygamic" tendencies and keen supporter of Perlis' Menteri Besar's softsell recently as the State who welcomes EasyRider marriages. (But I defended by explaining that it's meant as a compliment -- she has the best of the games in life!)I also placated freelunch, who I earlier misjudged as a fellow mail -- not That I am gender-discriminatory! -- by offering her freedinner at almost 9.00pm after she chauffered me for two hours' touristy tour of her Kuala Lumpur SENsurrouns (actually I played dumb that I was mostly a Furongknight thoughi spent the better part of earning small bucks downtown Evil2RedRidingHoods koala lumpuh!

Now at the meal table, FL and Helen engaged in gos'sips ofo'er soft drinks while I exchanged Furong and Ipoh taels with Mr Helen. I even tried to impress tghe lad's spiaking Mandarin with an accent. Of course I outdid them with my inpeckable Sharkspeare's English ... Yes, sharks' fin soup was on my mind, but Helen forgot to order in advance. Will make it on the menu when we do a rendition downtown (I agreed to a Deja Woo before May ...) Ipoh. Must also order in advance White kopi and Helen's femes past&PRESENTries.

Okay. we mainly tallked politics, which I won't bore my esteemedreaders today as soon we'll welcome the True Year of The Fire Boar and we have 365 days to bore/gore Amore of each other. Typically, I overheard FL and Helen exchange juicy bits about Mills&Bones, and bytes about bloggers met and unmet, even trying to make out the "sex" (Translate: gender) of certain writHers. I was multi-tasking, chatting up Mr Helen and earsdropping on my fellow blogerr fe-mail BIG talk, and interrupted them so frequently that I chow-downed, or chowed-down, only half of my RM15.90 Pork Chop in Burning-Hot Claypot.

Helen was so bubbbbly that it was a champagne night indeed. Freelunch was, as usual, armed with her photogenic camera and when she focused in my directon: I told her in a lawyerly fashion that "If you do damage to my repute publishing any unflattering pix, you will soon receive my lawyer's letter. So if you're lucky, you may get an Albert Einstein frontal shot of Desi

At about midnight as my six-star chaufeeur cruised this scribe back to Sombong Jaya about 30 minutes away, Helen sent a sweet MSM thus:

"Thanks 4 the dinner and great company. Waiting 4 the day I can return the honour. Night."

My handphone ran out of credit because these two bloggers cost me to make Maxis richer by some RM15 BIG bucks MS-ing and calling to keep in touch on our timings -- 8.00pm AP turned out to be 60 minutes later, not too bad considering almost CNY Eve and the day after V Day traffic jam.

Since I was buttered well,I replied this orning an=bout an hour ago to the mGf couple from halfway house enroute North To Alor Star:

"D mGf, d greATnurse was bubbbblyDo a DejA woooo byMAY when poetswax lyrical n Helen r PastPRESENTries in eeeeKPOH"


Esteemed, Steamed or Dreamed,
of the FIREBALL"

to light up your life, your partner's, your mates'
and all who come into contact with YOU,
Person of the Year 2006.

We progress from day to day
week to week
month to month
and most of all

in the Year of the Fire Boar!






On Chinoserie New Year's Eve, I add,
May thy year be Hi ne'er sad.

"I prefer peace to prosperity
I wanna a crowd of just me, matey and Amore matey
Wishing thee a Progressive Nu'e Year
Of the fireball! Here, hear!
The pig is whistling sweet melody
Come drink Hi n Lo with teh-See! "

1.40PM, Feb 17, 2007

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Confessions, knowing, or unwitting?

When I downgraded Pak Lah's performance a few months ago from Passeable (Spellcheck, Freelunch: is there an "e"?)to Below Par, it was due to two main turning points.

Number 1. Despte the clear-cut miscreance, misconduct, and outright flouting of the law by a State Assemblyman Zakaria Mat Deros in the royal city of Port Klang, as UMNO President, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi failed to act against the offender, merely some verbal gymnastics handed out sandiwara via his God-lipped mouth and the megaphoine of the Selangor Menteri Besar Khir Toyo (who himself has several cases to answer, bt that's another storey for Citizen Nadeswaran to handle, for Desi's tired.)

Number 2.
The case that broke the camel's back for Desi -- the UMNO President dished out a bous of RM600milllion to be used up in double quick time via the 200-odd UMNO division chefs, each receiving RM3million as Christmas angpow. A clear-cut case of going against his call, as the coutry's PM, to fight Corruption as high priority. MONEY POLITICS is re-defined by UMNNOputras to be in the rarefied strata beyond the normal surveillance of Anti-Corruption Agency. In which case, derobed Mohd Isa Samad has a strong case to be reinstated to his throne as senior-most UMNO Vice-President. No, Desi does NOT get any 30% conMISSion fighting for that idiot; I'm just saying What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

But these past few weeks I have done a re-rating of Pak Lah, and I'm giving him back his Passeable grade.

I think he was able to "finally" dismiss his predecessor's, plus cronies', which count among the coterie several Bloggers too!) incessant attempts at derailment of the country's economic and socio-civil agendas. The last "nail" to the Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's surrender -- knowingly or unwitingly? -- is his much-publicised initiative -- the Congresss to Crimilase War. Culmination in the much lauded (by cronies and several prominent Bloggers included) War Cimes Commission and Tribunal.
Lawyer P. Cumaraswamy gave a reeasoned rebuttal to the former PM's case, and I reproduce here only the core paragraphs featured in theSun, Feb 13, 2007, with Extract following:

Proposed war crimes tribunal a farce: Param

The proposed Kuala Lumpur War Crimes Tribunal is a farce and will make Malaysia an international laughing stock, Datuk Param Cumaraswamy said.

The former United Nations (UN) Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers noted that the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court to try war crimes and genocide was agreed to by UN member states in 1998 during Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's premiership.

"If he was genuinely concerned about justice to victims of war and bringing war criminals to trial, he should have got the government to sign the Statute then. He never bothered. The government to date is not a signatory to the Statute," Param said in a statement to theSun.

He was responding to reports last week that Mahathir had mooted the formation of a war crimes tribunal at a Perdana Global Peace Organisation conference in his capacity as Perdana Leadership Foundation chairman.

Mahathir had named US President George Bush, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Australian premier John Howard as those who should be tried for war crimes, even if the accused are not present."


Note that Desi has in a Post dated Feb 3, 2007 titled "Din Merican on his Mnetor: DR MAHATHIR", and I reprise the relevant point:

++++Why should we impeach Tun Dr. Mahathir? On what grounds? He always sought parliamentary approval and those of his Cabinet colleagues for his proposals. We, as citizens and voters, too went along with him and kept him in office for 22 years. Most sought to curry his favour while others were indifferent, or did not dare to challenge his ideas. The minority who disagreed with him felt the heat of his high office. That is politics.(Desi: This is from Din Merican's thoughts...)

Desi thinks there is ONE case which warrants Dr Mahathir's "impeachment" -- that of the Sacking of Lord President Salleh Abas and several fellow senior judges in 1988. Recently, there has been calls, especially by the Bar Council, to "review" the Case, perhaps with the establishment of a Royal Commission to thoroughly examine the Case.
I reiterate here the same call for the formation of such a Royal Commission. The panel which reviewed the Bank Bumiputra Finance debacle is a good example to emulate.

PS: I remember a three-man panel was set up to report of the BMF incident in which one Malaysian paid with his life, and most Malaysians saluted the fantastic work done by the three EMINENT MALAYSIANS, I believe we still have many such Good Men in NegaraKu.

Now to the latest confession, which can come only from a God-fearing leader, and I give credit to Pak Lah as "heading in the right direction":

From,with the highlights being Desi's, but please read also my Post Yesterday, Compare&Contrast to see if some UMNOputras are sabotaging their chief's expressed agenda and efforts.

14/02: Study shows 85% of Bumi contracts are 'Ali Baba'

(Bernama) -- Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi said tonight a study by the Works Ministry last year shows that on the average 85.37 per cent of projects secured by Bumiputera contractors goes to the other communities.

Lamenting the outcome of the study, conducted by the ministry's Entrepreneur Development Division, the prime minister said this not only foiled the government's desire to empower Bumiputera contractors but also, in a wider context, undermined the more important Bumiputera agenda to ensure the country achieved progress and stability in the long term.

"They do not want to work; do not want to learn, and give little importance to the opportunities provided by the government," he said in his speech at a dinner of the Implementation Coordination Unit of the Prime Minister's Department, here.

The text of Abdullah's speech was read out by Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

Abdullah said a community that lags behind must foster the realisation to change and learn to improve itself.

Abdullah said the subsidy assistance to the needy groups, whilst fulfilling the moral demands on the government, was insufficient for survival on a global level.

"This approach will only make us hope and wait for aid and subsidies. Such a mentality thrives among the people, including Bumiputera petty traders and contractors," he said.

Abdullah said the government, as a responsible one, realised that this was detrimental in terms of competition and would not empower the nation in the long term.

The prime minister said the government had to consider now how to facilitate the people who required assistance so that they could generate wealth exponentially and widely.

"Many people say that there is no shortcut to progress but I believe that is the old way of thinking. If we have to run and not walk, then we must be prepared to run.

"If we have to leap and not stride, then we must be prepared to leap provided we succeed and succeed fast," he said.

Referring to the government's move to make 2007 the year of implementation, he said that while some quarters doubted the capability of the administration he saw the government machinery being more than able to implement the programmes successfully.

He cited the implementation performance of 2006, the first year of the Ninth Malaysia Plan period, and said 90.2 per cent of the RM39.79 billion allocation had been expended.

Nevertheless, he promised that the government machinery would continue to be streamlined to ensure further improvement to the public service delivery system.

Commenting on the nation's volume of trade last year that touched RM1.069 trillion, Abdullah said it went to show that the country was moving in the right direction.

"To ensure that we do not deviate from our goal, we have to develop the sources of our strength in various spheres -- the public service delivery system, a vibrant and efficient private sector that can secure opportunities within and outside the country, and develop human capital particularly in terms of our capability and capacity," he said.

Abdullah also emphasised the importance of the Implementation Coordination Unit streamlining its strategies in monitoring the implementation of development projects to ensure that they were carried out according to plans and fulfilled the people's aspirations.

The unit should be the supervisor of all ministries and, to bring about such a situation, Abdullah said, civil service officers and staff should instil the God-fearing culture in their respective organisations.

The God-fearing culture will instil a sense of fear and caution in the government machinery, he added.

Abdullah said it was such a culture that would ensure government employees remained on the right path.

"In this extraordinary world, we want to be part of the extraordinary countries. Therefore we, as extraordinary leaders, need an extraordinary team like all of you to accomplish the tasks extraordinarily," he said.

DESI: I will still give Pak Lah the support when he is moving in the right direction, DOING THE RIGHT THING BY NEGARAKU.

I sincerely believe he's a God-fearing leader, and I take HIS WORD as a matter of trust, ala A MAN'S WORD IS HIS BOND.


that God bless his professed aims and objectives that they be realised.
If not, God save Malaysians from their own folly.
I just pray before the next decade is over, our masochistic tendencies have ameliorated.

The God-fearing culture will instil a sense of fear and caution in the government machinery, he added.

Abdullah said it was such a culture that would ensure government employees remained on the right path.

PS: I may even ungrade Pak Lah's performance to Good if he rises to three immediate challenges:

(1) To set up a Royal Enquiry into the Sacking of Salleh Abas and fellow judges in 1988; see if there is a case of actionale remedy against theses victims and the Perpetrator, former PM Mahathir.

(2) To refer Musa Aman's alleged corrupt acts (as documented by Raja Petra to the Anbti-Corruption Agency, pronto.

(3) To stop immediately such nonSENse as depicted in the following, to prevent the Bursa Malaysia being made a "laughing stock" in the world.

UMNO TO BUY INTO PECD TO OVERCOME MONEY CLAIMS PROBLEMS WITH GOVERNMNENT-LINKED PARTIES. We have enough of Bail-Outs in the 22 years before Nov 1, 2003. Can we stop the rot starting with these idiots at UMNO-PECD?

As I blogged Yesterday, from, the online edition of the New Straits Times:

"Umno set to surface in PECD.

THE United Malays National Organisation (Umno) is set to emerge as a substantial shareholder in construction firm PECD Bhd, a source said.

Umno will buy 25 per cent of PECD, a loss-making firm with a RM1.4 billion order book, a move that could help the company settle its disputes with government-related bodies.

Coincidently, JeffOoi also highlighted the above, and I had left my footprint at as tracked:

"jeff: I am concerned as more and more entrenchment of partisan politics with listed copanies will further erode foreigners' participation in the local bourse. The present "bullish mode" of Bursa Malaysia, even if anchored by foreign funds entry, may not be helped by such occurences of "political" linkages to smoothen any listed entity's problem resolution.

When I first read the news item, I shook my head. You mean to tell the whole wide world that UMNO's patronage, a listed Company would enjoy special preferential treatment? Isn't NEP bad enough. and now UMNO's admission to all and sundry that its patrticipation is a special ointment to oil government bureacracy and government-linked companies' bureaucrazy?

Posted by: desiderata | February 14, 2007 05:58 PM "

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

UMNO to oil Govt business links?

When Desi looked at this business news item this moUrning, he shook his head. THINKING ALLOWED, THINKING LOUDER THAN USUAL -- you mean to say with UMNO's entry into a listed company, any problems with the Government would be smoothened and solved promto? Are you telling the whole wide world -- yes, www! -- that's how Malaysian BIG business is done?

Okay, we know that UMNO is the BIG brother in Malaysian politics, but you wat to push this factor of its intrusion onto the business radar screens of international investors.

Okay, maybe the BIG business boys are trying to be as transparent and forthright as possible.
Or maybe Malaysians have a weird SENse of humour.
I hope The Prime Minister looked into Raja Petra's expose of Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman's shenanigans in his current visit to the once pristine state oft-forgotten by Federal leaders. Sarawak too -- who did not get any of that RM600million generous handout at the last UMNO GEneral Assembly because UMNO does not have any branches in Sarawak. Poor cousins indeed. IF I were a Sarawkian, I think I'm an orphan if that's how the allocation of Federal development funds are being parcelled out.

Maybe UMMNO should re-register itself as a Company instead of a political party?
Then I think Desi will fill up a membership form.
I think I'd like to be a guest at Sabah House -- or is there one or cashed out?

From, the online edition of the New Straits Times:

February 14 2007

Umno set to surface in PECD

THE United Malays National Organisation (Umno) is set to emerge as a substantial shareholder in construction firm PECD Bhd, a source said.

Umno will buy 25 per cent of PECD, a loss-making firm with a RM1.4 billion order book, a move that could help the company settle its disputes with government-related bodies.

"Umno will buy the shares from existing shareholders, and an announcement could be made as early as today," said the source.

The existing major shareholders of PECD include Tan Sri Mohd Razali Abdul Rahman, Nik Sufian Mohd Zain and Datuk Othman Hashim with a collective 32.18 per cent, its 2005 annual report showed.

Peremba PJ Holdings Sdn Bhd also holds another 26.11 per cent.

PECD shares closed 3 per cent down to 32.5 sen yesterday. A quarter of the company would cost some RM24.4 million based on the closing price.

PECD swung to a third-quarter net loss of RM34.4 million as at September 30 2006 versus a net profit of RM6.3 million in the same period a year earlier.

The loss was due mainly to slow progress of works from ongoing projects, reversal of profits recognised from certain completed projects and non-recognition of profits from its Sudan marine terminal project.

Umno is likely to lend support to PECD's effort to resolve differences with state oil and gas firm Petroliam Nasional Bhd (Petronas) and state-owned property developer Putrajaya Holdings (PJH).

PECD is claiming some US$200 million (RM700 million) in cost overruns for a project to build a marine terminal in Sudan. The project, to build oil storage tanks and fuel tanks among others, was awarded by a group of oil companies led by Petronas.

PECD is also claiming RM178 million from PJH after the latter issued a termination notice for PECD to stop work on a government quarters project in Putrajaya.

DESI: The highlights (THUS BOLDED) are Desi's, not done by the NST or at the instruction of UMNO or any Barisan Nasional component parties.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Public Service Directive on...RAPE

Beforer Desi takes his infamous leave for CNY cowboy poker sojourn at the KaraeOK Korral, he would like to instruct all obedient ER to surf over to and witness the unfolding of a scandalous massive rape in Sabah, in the brigt light of the day and we wonder what the Prime Minister and his Corruption-busters have to say.

I'll just serve thee the opening entree...

12/02: The Musa Aman silap mata
Category: General
Posted by: Raja Petra

Raja Petra Kamarudin

‘Silap mata’ translates literally to ‘error of the eye’ but would more accurately mean ‘sleight of hand’. According to the Thesaurus, ‘sleight of hand’ means ‘artful deception’ or ‘smoke and mirrors’. Only very clever people can be artful in their deception. Stupid people get caught. No doubt the hand is faster than the eye, but the hand must be very fast and skillful to be able to fool the eye. Nevertheless, there is another Malay saying: pandai-pandai tupai melompat, akhirnya jatuh ke tanah. Loosely translated, this means: however clever the squirrel may be at jumping from tree to tree, in the end it will still fall to earth.

Don’t sit too long on the throne

When Desi in half-asleep mode turned to the news after being seduced by the HEADLINE, it was such a letdown.

I was expecting a dig into sych long sitters like Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Chandra Muzaffar, Lim Kit Siang and Lim Keng Yaik, and ah, Lee Lam Thye, and ah, the everlasting SM Idris,

No doubt the good dcotor stepped down after a 22-year reign as Prime Minister on Oct 30, 2003, but the impression the average Malaysian gets is that he's still helming the country. Judging by his high profile presence on the Malaysian stage...if you ask the Western journalists, he makes beter coffee -- Ooops, copy! Breakfast is sttealing on my mind! -- than present doe-eyed Sleeping Beauty replacement. Many funnies here would rather call him a Beast, to Desi that's just not fair. Maybe I left out a comma somewhere?

Chandra Muzaffar -- oh, yes, his throne was ALIRAN, so much so when one mentioned Aliran, it was equated to Chandara, and Chandra was Aliran. Is he going to perpetuate the crown at JUST? I think again it is just not fair.

Many call him "Uncle Kit", but to me observing politics of NegaraKu -- government and Opposition benches -- nobody represents the face of the Pembangkang as much as "Saudara Kit", the term of endearment from party cadres. Replace "Cadre" with DAP card-holders, for the former is a label quite easily aligned with the Communist Party, which can be fatal in NegaraKu. DEsi, a declared "Socialist" for six out of SE7EN days a week has been labelled a Commie too, but blardy hell, do I care? (THat's why Parti Socialist Rakyat Malaysia died an unmarked death -- it was so easy meat minced by UMNO and their putra and pouteri. Butt that's another storey for another die!)

As for the Gerakan chief, until coming June when he maekth way for young Koh Tsu Koon, you woud think he's indispensable to the Penang party. Like a former MCA president Dr Ling Liong Sik, all the "three LIN" clansmen (LIN is as should be in Mandarin script) at one time simultaneously were each heading a majority-Chinese party, leading many Chinese Malaysians to wander if the surname LIN was descended from royalty, or wooden subsitute from the Oak tree family, or Meranti, or whatever.

And where does Lee Lam Thye fit in?
Well, he is numero uno as SOCIAL ACTIVIST, after breathing down the neck of Emperor taiko at DAP but knowing he's getting nowhere. Might as well try an Establishment alley, Yes/No/Not sure?

As for the last mentioned, do I need to tell YOU -- well-informed Person of the Year elected by Time, everlasting, perrenial as the Green, Green Grass of Home.

Okay, the throne is everlustingly his:

SM Idris is CAP, CAP is SM Idris.

To some of my Young&Articulate readers who I am proud to mentor: Now you have a hint as to why Malaysian politics and civil society is heading nowhere?

Because most of the kings and king-makers don't heed this advice:

Don’t sit too long on the throne

Don’t sit too long on the throne


12 Feb 2007

IPOH: Spending long periods reading the newspaper while sitting on the toilet seat in the morning could lead to piles, said a colorectal surgery consultant.

"Instead of doing what usually takes three minutes to complete, you are spending 15 minutes," said Dr M. Sarkunnathas of a private hospital here.

(DESI's interruptus cant!: Some sit on the throne like forever and a day...)

While the causes of haemorrhoids, or swelling near the anus commonly known as "piles", are uncertain, toilet habits might be a factor.

"Squatting is good for the knees but sitting on the toilet is good for (not developing) piles. You take your pick," he said during a recent talk to raise awareness of the medical condition.

However, sitting too long was harmful if one were engrossed with reading and forgot one’s mission in the toilet, he added.

According to statistics, one of every two people or half a population would have piles to a certain degree at some stage of their life.

There were no differences among races or gender.

Due to embarrassment, many would diagnose the problem and find the solution themselves, allowing the condition to worsen to the point of needing surgery.

In the worst-case scenario, bleeding from the anus — a symptom associated with piles — might spark a belief it is cancer.

Thanks to technological advances, specifically a "circular stapler" invented by Italian surgeon Dr Antonio Longo, surgery is now a 15-minute procedure, which allows a patient to be on the feet and sitting comfortably the next day.

Over a million people underwent the Longo stapled haemorrhoidectomy or procedure for prolapse and haemorrhoids since its introduction in 1998, including some 12,000 Malaysians.

The procedure, using a non-recyclable stapler and titanium staples, cuts a circumferential core of the rectal wall and immediately staples the wall, causing minimal pain and leaving no wounds.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Life is precious

But some allow Death to visit early, and darkly.

"Early" is of course a subjective term. For a housewife used to greet the sunrise at 5.00am, waking up at 6.00am is "late".
To a lazybummer like Desi used to late night 'rites, writes, writHings, waking up by 9.00am is "too early". In recent times, to scrimp on harder times, I combine BF with lunch, so starting with brunch at about 10.30-11.00am is just nice, "not too early".

"Don't set the alarm clock at 5.30AM for Desi," would be my refrain to the receptionist if I'm rooming at a downtown hotel on some lucky assignments paid for by the client. I prefer my appointment to start at 2.oopm -- I am a freelance journalist, remember? A dinner working appoitent would be heavenly, especially if the Other party also picks up the tabs. ("Tabs" I understand is slang for "bill" though I don't know its root word, or is it the short for tabulations? I'm THINKING ALOUD, something I do often nowadays since *JeffOoi's name is constantly flashed everyday.)

*If you have to ask who's Jeff, you'd better get out of hear! before I yell out: Get the hell out of here!See, Desi's not totally averse to swearing as I said Yesterday, when all my troubles...

Thank God for whoever invented the air-conditioner and the computer. My Olivetti lettera 32 is now a collectible, opening bid is 2million if there are any interested parties out dare. Moo_t, how art thee progressing in helping Desi get to that 20million?

Okay, Monday being a day of blues, I'm reacting with a C&W song which bewitched many YoungOnes, and I hope they do pause and ponder and not allow despair to overcome them. Seek out a best friend in times of trouble. Seek out a partner with soulmateship with thee. Seek out the chuirch, temple or masjid priest. If everyone fails thee, SEEK OUT THE BEFRIENDERS in the neighbourhood.

My Elusive Dreams

Artist: Skeeter Davis & Bobby Bare


[ skeeter ]
I followed you to Texas I followed you to Utah
[ bobby ]
We didn't find it there so we moved on
[ skeeter ]
I followed you to Alabam things look good in Birmingham
[ bobby ]
We didn't find it there so we moved on
[ both ]
I know you're tired of following my elusive dreams and schemes
For they're only fleeting things my elusive dreams
[ skeeter ]
I had your child in Memphis you heard of work in Nashville
[ bobby ]
We didn't find it there so we moved on
To a small farm in Nebraska to a gold mine in Alaska
[ skeeter ]
We didn't find it there so we moved on
[ bobby ]
Now we've left Alaska because there was no gold mine
[ skeeter ]
But this time only two of us moved on
And now all we have is each other
and a little mem'ry that we could to cling to
[ bobby ]
But still you won't let me go on alone
[ both ]
I know you're tired of following my elusive dreams and schemes
For they're only fleeting things my elusive dreams
For they're only fleeting things my elusive dreams


Yes, we all have our dreams -- Child, Young, Old and growing still.
Life takes its toll on everyone -- age is no more a barrier, for 21st century life brings along more and greater stresses akong with its conveniences and gadgets because very often, the currency to these gadgets and conveniences is Money. And the lack of money drives many to the edge.
Of course, to many in the field of entertainment, the other pressure in Fame.
Success does not come easy. Yes, the goal in the far horizon -- money or fame --seems so elusive.

And maybe that's what South Korean actress-star JEONG DA-BIN was seeking too. Her elusive dreams. But at the tender age of 27, she just allowed depression to swarm all over her being, and she felt she had to seek a final resolution ....
She couldn't fulfill her dreams. She just ended it -- by hanging herself last Saturday.

An AFP report quoting the police said that Jeong, 27, had been found dead, with a towel around her neck, in the bathroom of her boyfriend's apartment in Seoul, hsving sppsrently succumbed to a bout of depression over arecent shortage of work.
Jeong, who also became a Korean pop culture star in Taiwan in 2005, acted in television dramas and movies.

Jeong's death , following that of pop singer YUNI, who was found hanged in her hiome in Incheon City on Jan 21, pending the relaese of her third album, has sparked concern in South Korea, which has the highest suicide rate of all Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) members.

The AFP report quoted NA SUN-YOUNG of Lifeline Korea, which provides a telephone counselling service aimed at preventing suicides, as saying: "I am worried that a wave of copycat suicides might follow among youths."

"Following the death of Yuni, I received many calls from young people who said they themselves were thinking about committing suicide.

"They were saying they had to die because even someone as beautiful as Yuni could not stand it and committed suicide,"
Na said.



While Chinese New Year is just six days away, I hope this Post won't be a mood-spoiler.No doubt, this is sombre news to chew over, but the reality is that there are some lonely and depressed people out there who would not be able to celebrate,for reasons beyong their control.
I'm pausing, and pondering, while we chase our own individual "Elusive Dreams",
have we questioned ourselves:
Are our dreams based on reality?
Are we placing our priorities right?

IF the answer is "YES" to the above two questions, you'll be alright. God bless you. You are indeed lucky.
If the truthful response is "No", then it's Time to make new Dreams.
Make? you may ask. Yes, we make dreams just as we have a choice whether to wake up Early or Late to greet the sun each day.
So also we make the kind of Dreams we wish to pursue.
Know Thyself, that's wisdom in philosophers' teachings since the days of SOCRATES.My fave poet Max Ehrmann reiterates that credo too.
I know many things.
I write aboiut many things.

But do I know myself?
I have to think more about the last question myself.

Sunday, February 11, 2007

mGf sends me Oscar Wilde's wondering aloud

I'm still pondering. This friend says she took two days copying the story down in longhand -- I'd better offer her a goblet of tehtarik, and a goblet of self-rub massage oil to restore her over-worked wrists to their original velvety state.

Desi meanhwile pauses and ponders: what's the message in Oscar Wilde's www story for me? Am I surrounded by water-rats or am I into much H2O this Year of the Golden Pig (Correction: reading today's papers late Sunday maketh me realise I have made a mistake -- not fatal-lah! -- it should read as Year of the Fire Boar! -- that I don't have to go after some rats for monies owed, minus interests notwithstanding, or sitting.

Now you see why I having been having



recently. Pondering, wandering, wondering.

Whatever, I believe in SE7EN days' time, the Napoleons and Snowballs (ANIMAL FARM, rmmember? by George All's well!)that wander in my Serembanscape would bring me smiles that Oscar Wilde has been quietly throwing on my face. Or should it be "onto" my face? I leave exquite English to my readers, who I understand, are rising to the occasion of speaking Queen's Englsih again if Amber Chia can taeche thee as well as she does cha-cha-cha. Me? I do the rock&roll with Elvis, who -- whispering hear! -- was reportedly sighted in the neighbourhood of *Rasah New Village near the gravesides consoling a lot of midnight visitors praying for "Ang Kong zi". Poor Desi's translation: Prosperous 4-D numbers! YOU smoke Lucky Strike?

mGf moo-t, the Chinese sexpert, may give thee a better Chinoserie cultural idiom.

*Need direction dare at midnight, seek out Anak Merdeka, mGf in Furong, hyde-ing somewhere in the Maze.

MEANw'ile, (yes, a "combo" or compound-word, of mean and wile!:) ENJOY mei's two days' of labour of love to share with awe GOoD fRiends in blogosphere or square:

"The Devoted Friend",

written by Oscar Wilde.


One morning the old Water-rat put his head out of his hole.

He had bright little eyes and a long black tail. The little yellow ducks were swimming about in the pond, and their mother, who was white with real red legs, as trying to teach them how to stand on their heads in the water.

“You will never be among the top people unless you can stand on your heads,” she kept saying to them; and every now and then she showed them how to do it. But the little ducks paid no attention to her. They were too young. It is a great advantage to be among the top people, but the little ducks were too young to know that.

“What bad children!” cried the old Water-rat.

“Not at all”, answered the Duck. “Everyone must make a beginning. Children need plenty of time to learn. Every parents know that.”

“Ah! I know nothing about the feelings of parents,” said the Water-rat; “I am not a family man. In fact, I have never been married, and I never want to be. Love is very good, in a way, but friendship is much higher. There is nothing in the world that is more beautiful than a devoted friendship.”

“And what, sir, is your idea of the duties of a devoted friend?” asked a Green Linnet. The little bird was sitting in a tree by the pond, and he had heard the Duck and the Water-rat talking.

“Yes, that is just what I want to know,” said the Duck. Then she swam away to the end of the pond, and stood upon her head, in order to give her children a good example.

“What a silly question!” cried the Water-rat. “I should expect my devoted friend to be devoted to me, of course.”

“And what would you do in return?” said the little bird, standing upon a silver branch, and moving his wings up and down.

“I don’t understand you,” answered the Water-rat.

“Let me tell you a story on the subject,” said the Linnet.

“Is the story about me?” asked the Water-rat. “If so, I will listen to it, for I like stories that are not really true.”

“It is not about you, but it has something to do with you,” answered the Linnet; and he flew down and, landing by the side of the pond, he told the story of The Devoted Friend.

“Once upon a time,” said the Linnet, “there was a pleasant little fellow named Hans. He never stole, and never told a lie.”

“Was he a high-class man?” asked the Water-rat.

“No,” answered the Linnet. “I don’t think he was high-class at all, but he had a kind heart, and a funny round smiling face. He lived in a little house all by himself and everyday he worked in his garden. In all the country-side there was no garden so lovely as his. Every kind of flower grew in it, month by month, one flower taking another flower’s place, so that there were always beautiful things to look at, and pleasant flowers to smell.

“Little Hans had a great many friends, but the most devoted friend of all was big Hugh the Miller. Indeed, he was so devoted to Hans that every time he passed his garden he wound lean over the wall into the garden. While doing so, he would pick several flowers, or fill his pockets with fruit if it was the right time of year.

“Real friends should share everything between them,” the Miller used to say. Then little Hans smiled in agreement, and felt very pleased to have a friend with such fine ideas.

“Sometimes, the neighbours thought the friendship a little strange. This was because the rich Miller never gave little Hans anything in return, though he had a hundred sacks of flour stored away in his windmill, and six fine brown cows, and fifty large white sheep. But Hans never troubled his head about these things. Nothing gave him greater pleasure than to listen to the Miller as he spoke about friendship. The Miller used to say wonderful things about the unselfishness of true friendship.”

“So little Hans worked away in his garden,” continued the Linnet. “During the spring, the summer, and the autumn he was very happy, but then the winter came. In the winter, when he had no fruit or flowers to bring to the market, he suffered a good deal from cold and hunger. He often had to go to bed without eating anything but a few pieces of dried fruit. In the winter, also, he was very lonely, as the Miller never came to see him then.

“There is no good in my going to see little Hans as long as the snow lasts,” the Miller used to say to his wife. “When people are in trouble they should be left alone. It is not right for visitors to come and take up their time. That at least is my idea about friendship, and I am sure I am right. So I shall wait till the spring comes, and then I shall pay little Hans a visit. He will be able to give a large basket of primroses (a yellow spring flower), and that will make him so happy.”

“You are certainly very thoughtful about others,” answered the wife, as she sat in her large warm chair by the big hot fire; “very thought indeed. It is very pleasant to hear you talk about friendship. The clergyman himself could not say such beautiful things as you do, though he does live in a fine big house, and wear a gold ring on his little finger.”

“But could we not ask little Hans up here?” said the Miller’s youngest son. “If poor Hans is in trouble I will give him half my breakfast, and show him my black and white cat.”

“What a silly boy you are!” cried the Miller. “What is the use of sending you to school?” you seem not to learn anything. Why, if little Hans came up here, and saw our warm fire, and our good breakfast, and all our red wine, he might start wanting such things for himself; and that is a most terrible thing in a man, and would make his nature unfriendly. I certainly will not allow Han’s nature to become unfriendly. I am his best friend, and I will always watch over him. Besides, if Hans came here, he might want to have some flour and pay for it later, and that I could not allow. Flour is one thing, and friendship is another. The two words are quite different, and they mean quite different things. Everybody can see that.”

“How well you talk!” said the Miller’s wife, taking up a large glass of warm beer. “Really I feel quite sleepy. It is just like being in church.”

“Lots of people act well,” answered the Miller; “but very few people talk well. So we can see that talking is much the more difficult thing of the two, and much the finer thing also.” Then he made a very serious face, and looked across the table at his little son. At that, the boy hung his head down, and grew quite red in the face, and began to cry into his tea. However, he was very young, so that was quite natural.”

“Is that the end of the story?” asked the Water-rat.

“Certainly not,” answered the Linnet. “That is the beginning.”

“Then you are quite behind the age,” said the Water-rat. “Every good storyteller nowadays starts with the end, and then goes on to the beginning, and finishes with the middle. That is the new method. I heard all about it the other day from a critic who was walking round the pond with a young man. He spoke of the matter at great length. He must have been right, for he looked very clever, and whenever the young man made any remark, he always answered “Nonsense!” But please go on with your story. I like the Miller very much indeed. I have all kinds of beautiful thoughts myself, so he and I are very much alike.”


“Well,” said the Linnet, standing now on one leg and now on the other. “I shall continue the story. As soon as the winter was over, and the primroses began to open their pale yellow stars, the Miller spoke to his wife. “I shall go down and see little Hans,” he said.

“Why, what a good heart you have!” cried his Wife. “You are always thinking of others. And remember to take the big basket with you for the flowers.”

“So the Miller tried the sails of the windmill together, and went down the hill with the basket on his arm. When he arrived, Hans was working in his garden.

“Good morning, little Hans,” said the Miller.

“Good morning,” said Hans, looking up from his work, and smiling from ear to ear.

“And how have you been all the winter?” said the Miller.

“Well, really,” cried Hans. “It is very good of you to ask, very good indeed. I am afraid I had rather a hard time of it, but now the spring has come, and I am quite happy, and all my flowers are doing well.”

“We often talked of you during the winter, Hans,” said the Miller, “and wondered how you were getting on.”

“That was kind of you,” said Hans; “I was half afraid you had forgotten me.”

“Hans, I am surprised at you,” said the Miller; “Friendship never forgets. That is the wonderful thing about the full beauty of life. How lovely your primroses are looking, by the way!”

“They are certainly very lovely,” said Hans. “and I am very lucky to have so many. I am going to bring them into the market and sell them to the Mayor’s daughter, and buy back my wheelbarrow with the money.”

“Buy back your wheelbarrow? Have you sold it? What a very silly thing to do!”

“Well,” said Hans, “I had to sell it. You see, the winter was a very bad time for me, and I really had no money at all to buy bread with. So I first sold my Sunday coat, and then I sold my smallest chair, and then I sold my big pipe, and in the end I sold my wheelbarrow. But I am going to buy them all back again now.”


“Hans,” said the Miller, “I will give you my wheelbarrow. It is rather old; indeed, one side is gone, and there is something wrong with the wheel; but in spite of that I will give it to you. I know it is very kind of me. A great many people would think me very foolish of giving it away, but I am not like the rest of the world. I think that kindness is the most important part of friendship, and besides, I have got a new wheelbarrow for myself. Yes, you may set your mind at rest, I will give you my wheelbarrow.”

“Well, really, that is kind of you,” said little Hans, and his funny round face shone all over the pleasure. “I can make it as good as new, as I have a plank of wood in the house.”

“A plank of wood!” said the Miller; “why, that is just what I want for my mill-roof. There is a very large hole in the roof, and I must mend it. How lucky you mentioned your plank! It is quite wonderful how one good action always leads to another. I have given you my wheelbarrow, and now you are going to give me your plank. Of course, the wheelbarrow is worth far more than the plank, but true friendship never notices things like that. Please get the plank at once, and I will set to work on my roof this very day.”

“Certainly,” cried little Hans, and he ran into the house and pulled the plank out.

“It is not a very big plank,” said the Miller, looking at it. “After I have mended my roof there won’t be any left for you to use for the wheelbarrow; but of course, I can’t help that. And now, as I have given you my wheelbarrow, you will of course want to give me some flowers in return. Here is the basket, and make sure you fill it quite full.”

“Quite full?” said little Hans, rather sadly, for it was really a very big basket. If he filled it, he saw, he would have no flowers left for the market; and he very much wanted to have his Sunday coat back.

“Well, really!” answered the Miller. “As I have given you my wheelbarrow, it is surely not much to ask you for a few flowers. I may be wrong, but surely friendship, true friendship, is quite free from selfishness of any kind.”

“My dear friend, my best friend,” cried little Hans, “You are welcome to all the flowers in my garden. I would much rather have your good opinion than my Sunday coat, any day;” and he ran and picked all his pretty primroses, and filled the Miller’s basket.

“Goodbye, little Hans,” said the Miller, as he went up the hill with the plank on his shoulder, and the big basket in his hand.

“Goodbye,” said little Hans, and he began to dig away quite happily, he was so pleased about the wheelbarrow.


“The next day,” continued the Linnet, “Little Hans was nailing up some tall flowers against the front of the house, when he heard the Miller’s voice calling to him from the road. So he jumped down from the house, and ran down the garden, and looked over the wall.

“There was the Miller with a large sack of flour on his back.

“Dear little Hans,” said the Miller. “Would you mind carrying this sack of flour for me to market?”

“Oh, I am so sorry,” said Hans, “but I am really very busy today. I have got all these tall flowers to nail up, and all my other flowers to water, and all my grass to roll.”

“Well, really!” said the Miller, “I am going to give you my wheelbarrow, and now you refuse to go to market for you. That seems rather unfriendly.”

“Oh, don’t say that,” cried little Hans, “I never want to be unfriendly to you;” and he ran in for his hat, and walked tiredly off with the big sack on his shoulders.

“It was a very hot day, and the road was terribly hot and dray. Before Hans had walked for two hours he was so tired that he had to sit down and rest. However, he got up and went on again, and at last he reached the market. After he had waited there some time, he sold the sack of flour for a very good price, and then he returned home at once with the money.

“It has certainly been a hard day,” said little Hans to himself as he was going to bed; “but I helped the Miller, and I am glad of that, for he is my best friend. Besides, he is going to give me his wheelbarrow.”


“Early the next morning,” the Linnet continued, “the Miller came down to get the money for his sack of flour, but little Hans was so tired that he was still in bed.

“Well, really!” said the Miller. “Still in bed! I am going to give you my wheelbarrow, which is very kind of me; and I think you should work harder because of it. I certainly don’t like it when my friends lie in their beds instead of working. You must not mind my speaking quite openly to you. Of course, I only speak openly because I am your friend. What is the good of friendship if one cannot speak openly? Anybody can say nice things and try to please, but a true friend always says unpleasant things, and does not mind giving pain. Indeed, if he is a really true friend he tries to give pain. To give pain is to do good.”

“I am very sorry,” said little Hans, trying to keep his eyes open and sitting up in bed, “I was so tired that I wanted to lie in bed for a little time, and listen to the birds singing. I always work better after hearing the birds sing, did you know that?”

“Well, I am glad of that,” said the Miller, laying his hand on little Hans’s shoulder, “for I want you to come and help me now. Come up to the mill as soon as you are dressed, and mend my roof for me.”

“Poor little Hans very much wanted to go and work in his garden, for he had not watered his flowers for two days; but he did not like to refuse the Miller, as he as such a good friend to him.

“I really am very busy today; does that sound very unfriendly?” he asked very quietly.

“Well, really!” answered the Miller. “It is not much to ask of you. Remember, I am going to give you my wheelbarrow; but of course if you refuse to help me, I will go and do the work myself.”

“Oh! I can’t allow that,” cried little Hans; and he jumped out of bed, and dressed himself, and went up to the Miller’s.

“He worked there all day long, till sunset, and at sunset the Miller came to see how he was getting on.

“Have you mended the hole in the roof yet, little Hans?” cried the Miller with a friendly laugh.

“It is quite mended,” answered little Hans, coming down from the roof.

“Ah!” said the Miller, “There is no work so delightful as the work one does for others.”

“I am certainly very lucky to hear you talk,” answered little Hans, sitting down on a stone. “I am very lucky indeed. But I am afraid I shall never have such beautiful ideas as you have.”

“Oh! Ideas will come to you,” said the Miller, “but you must work harder at it. At present you have only the practise of friendship; some day you will have the theory also.”

“Do you really think I shall?” asked little Hans.

“I have no doubt of it,” answered the Miller; “but now that you have mended the roof, you had better go home and rest. You must rest now, for I want you to drive my sheep to the mountain tomorrow.”


“Poor little Hans was afraid to say anything to this. Early the next morning the Miller brought his sheep round to the little house, and Hans started off with them to the mountain. It took him the whole day to get there and back; and when he returned he was so tired that he went off to sleep in his chair, and did not wake up till it was broad daylight.

“What a delightful time I shall have in my garden,” he said, and he went to work at once.

“But somehow he was never able to look after his flowers at all, for his friend the Miller was always coming round and sending him off the market or the mountain, or getting him to help the mill. Little Hans felt very worried about this at times. His flowers, he felt, would think he had forgotten them. However, he felt better when he remembered that the Miller was his best friend. “Besides,” little Hans used to say to himself, “he is going to give me his wheelbarrow, and that is an act of great kindness.”

“So little Hans worked away for the Miller, and the Miller said all kinds of beautiful things about friendship. Hans wrote these things down in a notebook. Then he used to read the notes at night, for he was very good at reading and learning.”


“Now it happened,” the Linnet continued, “that one evening little Hans was sitting by his fireside when a loud knock came at the door. It was a very wild night, and the wind was blowing and roaring terribly round the house. It was blowing and roaring so terribly that at first he thought the knock at the door was only the storm. But a second knock came, and then a third, louder than either of the others.

“It is some poor traveller,” said little Hans to himself, and he ran to the door.

“There stood the Miller with a lantern in one hand and a big stick in the other.

“Dear little Hans,” cried the Miller. “I am in great trouble. My little boy has fallen off a wall and hurt himself, and I am going for the Doctor. But the Doctor lives far away, and it is a very bad night. It would be much better, I think, if you went instead of me. After all, I am going to give you my wheelbarrow, and so it is only fair that you should do something for me in return.”

“Certainly,” cried little Hans. “I am very glad that you came, and I will start off at once. But you must let me have your lantern, as the night is so dark. I am afraid I might lose my way in the darkness, and leave the road by mistake.”

“I am very sorry,” answered the Miller, “but it is my new lantern. It would be a great loss to me if anything happened to it.”

“Well, never mind, I will do without it,” cried little Hans. He took down his thick winter coat, and his warm hat, and started off.

“What a terrible storm it was. The night was black. It was so black that little Hans could hardly see, and the wind was so strong that he could scarely stand. However, he never lost heart. After he had been walking for about three hours, he arrived at the Doctor’s house, and knocked at the door.

“Who is there?” cried the Doctor, putting his head out of his bedroom window.

“Little Hans, Doctor.”

“What do you want, little Hans?”

“The Miller’s son has fallen off a wall, and has hurt himself, and the Miller wants you to come at once.”

“All right!” said the Doctor; and he ordered his horse, and his coat and hat, and his lantern. Then he came downstairs, and rode off in the direction of the Miller’s house, little Hans walking tiredly behind him.”


“But the storm grew worse and worse, and the rain faster and faster, and little Hans could not see where he was going, or keep up with the horse. In the end he lost his way, and the road by mistake. He was now in a wild, open place which was very dangerous, as it was full of deep holes. And into one of these great holes, as full of water, little Hans fell. The next day, poor little Hans’s dead body was found by some men. They pulled the body out of the great hole full of water where it lay, and they carried it back to the little house.

“Everybody went to little Hans’s funeral, as they all loved him, and the Miller was the most important person there.

“As I was his best friend,” said the Miller. “It is only fair that I should have the best place.” So he walked ahead of all the other people in a long black coat, and every now and then he put a big pocket-handkerchief to his eyes.

“Little Hans is certainly a great loss to everyone,” said one of the men, when the funeral was over, and they were all sitting round the table, drinking hot wine and eating sweet cakes.

“A great loss to me at any rate,” answered the Miller. “Why, I was going to give him my wheelbarrow, and now I really don’t know what to do with it. It is very much in my way at home, and it is so old that I cannot even sell it. I will certainly take care not to give away anything again. One always suffers for being kind.”


“Well?” said the Water-rat, after a long silence.

“Well, that is the end,” said the Linnet.

“But what became of the Miller?” asked the Water-rat.

“Oh! I really don’t know,” replied the Linnet; “and I am sure that I don’t care.”

“Well, one thing is certain,” said the Water-rat; “you yourself never feel sorry for anyone.”

“I am afraid you don’t quite see the moral of the story,” remarked the Linnet.

“The what?” cried the Water-rat.

“The moral.”

“So the story has a moral?”

“Certainly,” said the Linnet.

“Well, really!” said the Water-rat, in a very angry manner. “You should have told me that before you began. Then I need not have listened to you. In fact, I should have said “Nonsense,” like the critic. However, I can say it now.”

So he shouted out “Nonsense” at the top of his voice, waved his black tail twice, and went back into his hole.

“And how do you like the Water-rat?” asked the Duck, who came swimming up some minutes afterwards. “He has a great many good points, but for my own part I have a mother’s feelings. When I see a man who is still not married, the tears come into my eyes.”

“I am rather afraid that I have made the Water-rat angry,” answered the Linnet. “The fact is, that I told him a story with a moral.”

“Ah! That is always a very dangerous thing to do,” said the Duck.

And I quite agree with her.


Mei: I tend to be selective and stay with friends whose friendship is proven during hard times. I am gentle and polite, but I am brutally honest most of the time to some people who claim they are my friends: "Excuse me, I don't think you see me as a friend"; or, "I am afraid your perception of friendship is different from mine! Thus, I would prefer to be left on my own as i don't feel comfortable interacting with you as a friend."



For most of my EsteemedReaders, and the occasional viositors sho stumble half-drubkj here from other Blogs where four letter words like F***, S+++. H*** are the norm in their limited vocab, not that Desi is totally averse to swearing, but do it with finesse-lah! so if you wanna educate yourself into swearing in Victorian HI-society, here's some witticism from Oscar himself.

More from
Famous Insults"

Edited by
with illustrations by

My copy (please don't steal IT!)
is doggone-eared
and was published by

Tokyo, Japan
New York, U.S.A.


"M. Zola is determined to show that, if he has
not got genius, he can at least be dull."

"There are two ways of disliking poetry, one
way is to dislike it, the other is to read Pope."

"(Bernard Shaw) hasn't an enemy in the
world, and none of his friends like him."

"Mr. Hall Caine, it is true, aims at the grandi-
ose, but then he writes at the top of his voice.
He is so loud that one cannt hear what he

"Mr. James Payn is an adept in the art of con-
cealing what is not worth finding."

"The first rule for a young playwright to fol-
low is not to write like Henry Arthur Jones ....
The second and third rules are the same."

"Mr. Henry James writes fiction as if it were
a painful duty."

"George Moore wrote brilliant English until
he discovered grammar."

On George Moore: "He leads his readers to
the latrine and locks them in."


"If you can't enjoy wit, then toy it."

The lust one cometh from an Oscar imitator, YL Chong,

11.08AM, February 10, 200SE7EN
your hamba-lest of thy handmadiens or maidservants.