Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Quality of education down the drain

Last week, i heard a commercial on radio. A commercial paid by a college to run on Hitz.FM. And i swear, this commercial went (not in exact words, neither exaggerated) "Sign up to Brickfields Asia College now and graduate 2 years earlier"

This morning, i heard another commercial on radio - also paid by a college to run on Hitz.FM. And this went (im not 100% about the brand but its 100% the product) "Want a Sony Vaio laptop? Sign up to Olympia College today"

Now is it just me, or i think the above commercials are really fucked up and it just sends the quality of education (in Malaysia at least) down the drain with a big splash.... *SPLASH*

Fucked up not because the institutions paid the radio station to run their ads (its just business), but fucked up because the government approves of this commercials.

Tertiary institutions, like any professional bodies (lawyers, doctors, architects etc) should be banned from advertising because they offer professional services.

And nothing, nothing but the quality of education you offer, should be what you should promote yourselves on - NOT laptops, or express courses.

And not on mainstream media, but through word-of-mouth from your students (ambassadors) who have graduated from your institutions.
Im trying very hard to imagine how the world will be like if everybody is allowed to advertise.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Steamboats (non-Halal)

Due courtesy to my Muslim readers. I'll be writting about a particular food you cant eat so if that offends you, i suggest you do not read on. Im not implying that you may be sensitive in a negative way but its just the sensitivity of even saying that word in our country, the language enforcers even came up with an alternative name for it which doesnt sound so sensitive - khinzir. So dont fucking blame us LOL. Anyway,

Can you believe that steamboats has got so much history behind it?

I thought it was just some mum who threw all the food into one pot, pissed off coz her husband slept with his secretary, and eventually finding the meal to be magnificently delicious they rebonded with each other. And they found Steamboat!

Anyway, there is alot of history behind steamboats and it dates back 100 decades, with its tradition originating from the nomadic tribes of northern China. And there are even variations of history from Beijing, Sichuan, Chengdu to Yunnan.... behind a fucking meal LOL

Anyway, what actually triggered my curiousity of steamboats is when i was attending this brand induction with a client of ours (who's now migrated to Ireland) who actually used up his time to explain the history of steamboats. Odd but very interesting.

The story he told us was a very unique one. A story i dint come through when i was reading the variations of history from Mongolia to Beijing, Sichuan, Chengdu to Yunnan... etc
I could'nt even find it on Google. Google told me that the steamboats were invented by John Fitch and Robert Fulton. I thought the names didnt sound very Chinese so i thought steamboats could mean another thing and so it did.

Anyway the story this particular client was telling us is that the steamboat actually symbolizes unity, because when there is a Chinese reunion dinner we tend to sit on a round table. So the steamboat, which is actually round represents this unity.

Round in Chinese (Yuan) also means fate - you are fated for this reunion.
Stemboats are also hot, so that translates to warmness in the relationship between all the people sitting on that round table.

Steamboats also allows you to throw in god knows what food into the pot. And yet after the food is cooked, you can take out what you feel like eating. So that represents a round table of people sitting down together (a pot with alot of variations of food) and yet can have their own perspectives and be from different walks of life (you can take out what you feel like eating)

At this juncture of time, i had absolutely no clue what impression i should be drawing out of this client. It's an amazing story (complimented with his added physical expressions), this was supposed to be his personal introduction, and i was trying REAL hard to tie back a steamboat to his personality. Anyway

I had steamboat on Saturday night, not because of history, but more of i wanted to eat pork. And i know this place in The Curve, called FIREMAN. And again i have abosulutely no fucking clue why the owner named his steamboat restaurant "FIREMAN"
But i just absolutely love the pork they serve. Plus you have a barbeque area in the middle of the pot - the oil from the meat you barbeque drips into the soup in your pot.

Furthermore, they give you these 3 slices of pig fat, which smoke it produces, is just awesomely appetizing.
So appetizing i had to take a picture with it.
The pork i was mentioning is very fresh and very thinly sliced.
So being there for the pork, and eat all you can, me & jojo consumed like 6 stacks of it.
Freshly barbequed pork
And at RM19.90 per pax, its just so amazingly cheap! Good recommendation for a steamboat outing.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Heineken Green Room @ Earth Hour

Yesterday night at 8:30 - 9:30pm, hundreds of cities in the world comprising tens of millions of people voted 'earth' by switching off their lights, making a bold statement about their concern of climate change.
Kuala Lumpur also participated in a small way (in the perspective of low public participation) but at the same time a big way, in the perspective of corporate participation
The lights of the Malaysian icon, the Petronas Twin Towers, were switched off.
Media companies like Astro switched off some radio stations. Some websites were also turned in-active periodically to show support and raise awareness of Earth Hour.
And while as many people tried to indirectly conserve energy by switching off their lights in Kuala Lumpur, Heineken blasted away Green Room in Orange Dance Club. Green Room in Orange Dance Club.

In case it doesn't sound very familiar, Orange Dance Club is situated right behind the Borneo Baruk Club, on Jalan Kia Peng. Well, not like thats gonna help either....

Worse is, i've never been to Orange. But the map i sought from Street Directory, plus some diriving experience now in KL, and the green light projections on a huze vertical 'bunting' placed right outside the club, helped me locate the place.

There was also a massive projection placed outside the club entrace which had no audio and was a documentary-like video featuring one or two local acts. I think i saw kinky blue fairy featured on it too. Had completely no idea what it was about.

On the inside, they placed Heineken light boxes at the entrance - very rave-looking, very energy-emitting, very sharp bright light boxes. i like.

When i got there at nearly 11pm, there was an alright crowd, not that great but substantial. So i could easily wiggle my way through to the dance floor which was then still vacate. Maybe about 25 people, or less. It grew eventually though.

The dance floor gave my sight access to the electro setup at the dance floor. There were four revolving crosses hung on the ceiling with light projections fiercely beaming at them. The DJ console was placed higher than ground level so the DJs were prominent to the audience. There were also projection screens behind the DJ console with artistic laser images. Very nice electro ambient to compliment the performance.
After checking out the dance floor, i had to do my rounds of PR. So had to go do a few pats-on-the-shoulders, shake a few hands, kiss a few cheeks, say a few his to colleagues, Heineken clients, ppl from other advertising agencies, media owners and friends.
Managed to capture 1 pic, thanks to Jojo, with Daniele from Pixel Media & Pearly from Star Publications.
The Heineken bottle was very precious to Daniele so he wrapped it with a serviette and it created a higher friction with his fingers and this ensured that it didnt slip off his hands. I, on the other hand, was very familiar with how to hold the bottle in front of cameras ;)
After the PR'ing, we were back at the dance floor to check out the DJs, from DJUMA Soundsystems, apparently the crowd puller.
I liked the DJs. They were very vibrant and energetic. They moved, they banged, they shaked with the music, they spoke to the crowd, they engaged the crowd. DJUMA is also a very likeable combination of a tall slim blonde guy and a short stout bald guy. If i didnt hear wrongly, they're from the Scandinavians.
For sure, they moved alot with their music, very into it, very passionate about it, well done.
This is the slim guy talking to the crowd & stout guy stealing a sip of whiskey. I bet he wished that Heineken brewed Whiskey so he can leave the glass openly on his console.
This is blonde man spinning and bald man four-finger-poking the air and shaking his ass.
Very entertaining pair. When is the next Green Room?

Friday, March 27, 2009

Mahathir and the doomed Malaysia

Mahathir is a pissed man!

So pissed, he can make a man strip and put his underwear over his head, by just looking at the man.

Because his son Muhkriz lost in the contest for the top post in UMNO Youth.

He got trashed by the corrupt Khairy and even Toyo the joker got more votes than him. So either he's (Muhkirz) more corrupt than Khairy & Toyo hence not favoured by the vote casters, or he simply didnt pay enough to garner the necessary votes (assuming that Khairy paid his way to the top post, like Mahathir claims)

So today Mahathir made a fucking big fuss because his son lost.

Well he just doesnt realize that whether its Khairy or Toyo or Muhkriz on the Throne, UMNO Youth WILL BE corrupt. It's just a matter of who sits on the top and cuts the pie first.

And that old man is just trying to destroy the country he built so it goes down to the grave with him. Imagine the international press going

"Malaysia: Ex PM fucking with PM, because Ex PM's son lost to PM's son-in-law in battle for top post"

Now ladies and gentlemen, my fellow citizens of Malaysia, this MALAYSIA, is the country we live in. God bless all of you

Thursday, March 26, 2009

What's with Japan and being cute?

In Japan, everybody acts cute when they pose for pictures. I mean everybody. The boys and girls, teens, youths, adults, aunties with 3 kids, like this...

They act cute so much it becomes a norm to see ppl act cute in Japan. Such a norm it can become contagious. In the sense that even the tourists take the opportunity to very seriously act cute (without having to be ashamed) for once.

Doreen Tee's act cute pose:

Now if you think only the girls got it, NOooooo. Even my room-mate got it, Jerry Lim. And really badly. He became seriously addicted to acting cute, he acted cute in all the pictures he posed for.

Paul got it too

Anyway, i was very lucky to have had the chance to have dinner with Asia's young entrepreneur of the year, Timothy Tiah. At Mizu TTDI.

I must say i liked this restaurant, the service and all was pretty good. And it certainly reminded me of Japan. Well it is a Japanese restaurant afterall but it just brought back all the memories

We walked into the restaurant and there were ppl yelling at us in Japanese from all angles - the bar, the door, the kitchen, with smiling faces though. So you guess, they're trying to greet you. heh

And they were all trying to act cute, even when they were not posing for pictures.

We then ordered our meals and the apertizers were served first. And this again reminded me of Japan. In Japan there is this very bizzare culture of getting very obsessed with decorating food. Like they can craft out a cute Ultraman figure with just ginger just so they can put it on a slice of fish so the fish looks more appetizing.

This is the apertizer we got in Mizu.
Now what's with Japan and being cute?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

The signs of being a blogger

1. You have horrible hand-writting because you struggle with it. You just wish that men invented a pen that writes what you type on a keypad. You're just so used to typing.

And that is evident in Malaysia's top celebrity blogger, Kenny

Thanks much though for the postcard! haha ... i just had to blog & document this. Audrey & the leperchauns. LOL What a classic!

2. You put pictures of the food first, before eating the food. Certain dishes are best consumed off-the-wok-HOT but to a blogger, you can compromise for the pictures. (left circle)

3. (right circle) You are always ready for the camera. Even when you're taking food, your face is always with the lenses. Its like you can sense them
If you are going through all these, you can consider yourself a blogger
Extreme addiction to blogging can have serious health implications. For help, i offer counseling & free expert advise through:
Blogging Helpline - Disconnected, but you can write to desmond.kiu@gmail.com
Blogging Helpchat - Chatbox is somewhere on the right. Your problems will be kept confidential from the public

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Najib's repressive regime & implications on free media

Expect the clamping (of freedom of speech) to compound when Najib ascends the throne. He might even pay Google to close down all the blogs, under e-blogger, who criticize the govt -mine included.

Blogs will no longer be a personal space, it will be confined within its limits.
Najib will be watching you!

In the lead up to to his ascension (based on my personal observation)... already:

1) Police has fired water canons & teargas to opposition ceramahs, some without issuing the mandatory warning. Because they claim that those are illegal gatherings, not because they are but because they can never be legal (permits will never be granted)

2) Gobind Singh Deo has been suspended from Parliament for one year

3) Daddy Singh also facing sedition charges

4) RPK faces sedition charges too and will especially face an uphill battle with Najib on the throne. Najib hates this bugger, who has relentlessly exposed his baggage, and will stop at nothing to shut him up. Not so easy, Najib.

5) Suara Keadilan and Harakah, have been suspended for three months with no explanation

6) UMNO barred six Internet-based media from covering its annual general assembly this week
7) The power grab in Perak on 5th February 2009 was unethical, undemocratic, illegal and personally orchestrated by Najib himself

Monday, March 23, 2009

Liverpool, Sunday and other stuff

Arrogant Liverpool fans

Today, the Liverpool supporters in our office have offered us Man Utd supporters to 'cross-over'. They hope that by the end of their campaign, they will have 2/3 of all the football fans in our company to put images of Torres on our desktop wallpapers.

But unlike Malaysian politicians, ive decided to stay with the Devils.

Advertising gone wrong

I was at Pavilion in KL on Sunday morning for breakfast.
And in the centre of the semi-high-end shopping mall, was a display of a Jaguar - a brand new looking jaguar, no longer with the very protruding, caddilac resembling bonets & trunks.

The car looked really fresh & caught my attention & made me wanna check it out .... until i saw a bunting that stood trembling next to the display car. Well, before i even start, its a bunting... and Jaguar. Nvm

I dunno if its just me but it says "Definitely premium executive car of the year". 3 adjectives to describe a car is too long? Just say 'Executive Car of the Year!' ?
And best is - its awarded by NSTP & Maybank. Yes, a print company & a bank.

Weird plastic models

When men are out shopping with the ladies(be it gfs or wives), the first thing they look for when they enter a boutique are the comfortable couches which are prepared for them.

And the men will normally try and keep a little sight on the lady so when she looks, you can quickly nod and pretend you're really interested.

One of the shops i entered (prada) and had to sit for particularly long, placed these 2 plastic models right in-front of the waiting couch. A headless one, and one wearing sunnies and has got no nose. Artistic? or ...

There is a food court in Pavilion

Pavilion has a food court if you go down down. I was surprised, but ive already had breakfast. But i wanted to check it out.

And after i walked pass some Asian restaurants & food shops i began to see a trend in these outlets. They are all trying to bring out the traditions of how the food is prepared, or at least a traditional outfit to cook the food.

Because, i think, the Chinese are just too kiasu, 'originality' becomes always a major factor in decision making. So if you can convince them that its very 'original', they'll pay the price for it.

This was the 'Cha Kueh' food shop displaying their brought-fwd-through-time cooks.

This was a Japanese restaurant, and they displayed their chef / kitchen-hand making Soba noodles with a stick.

Next time i start a chicken rice business, ill have a young boy chasing endlessly after a chicken at the front corner of the shop.

Work is on full steam.

I get so stressed ive many times dreamt about camping at the Murray River. When i was in Australia, we made many trips to what we term "the river".

To get really trashed at night, and just chill through the day in the bush, by the river and with no fucking worries. Tons of booze, and stuff you take in Australia when you're in Uni.. haha

I miss my holden and the caravan! And the boat rides on the river Jungle biking...

And while im on this, Im trying to get in touch with a long lost friend. I always get into this 'long lost friend' situation coz im really bad at keeping contacts and keeping in touch until i they fall into the long lost friend category before i start to realize it.
Ben Garner. Lives in Shepparton, Victoria. I know its a big world but by any chance, anybody knows him?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

White water rafting, anyone?

There is white water rafting in Selangor. I was surprised... very.

I thought the Malaysian government loves oil so much they coat all the streams, rivers and oceans in Malaysia with oil, build the empire state petronas twin towers, chill at the penthouse, smoke some marijuana and just admire how much wealth there is in Malaysia.

It makes them so blind they think we will end our year with only a 50K unemployment rate. Bullshit! As it is now, the unemployment rate is already more than 100,000. However, instead of focusing on the economy, they spend all their time over a hapless tree in Ipoh. Talk about fiddling while Rome burns.

Anyway, back to what i was gonna write, i was actually excited bout the rafting trip because i checked out videos on you tube and it looked pretty dangerous. i like. We were going for grade 4 rapids. They call a grade 4 rapid a banana fall or something i really cant remember.

Anyway, off we went in tight life jackets (for me at least) coz there was only 1 size - i felt really gay.

Before we went on the raft, we had to do a ritual, so our boats dont capsize later.

We had to pick up our pedals, shove and kill the invinsible stream monsters in front of us.

They were brutally man-slaughtered and their life jackets fell on the ground in front of us, we were victorious!

Wan Lih (far right) flexed her muscles watching me whack the stream monsters, showing her support. Lee Fen (2nd right) watched in horror.

The streams were now clear. Before we got on the rafts, we went for a stream ride to get ourselves acustomed to the water temperature, it was morning then so water was still pretty chilly.

We walked a kilometer up, walked down the mudy & slopy bank to get into the stream.

Threw ourselves in the water, with life jackets helping us stay on the surface, floated down the stream. We feasted our eyes on the lush rain forest, tuned our ears to the crickets, birds and the sound of nature, and breathed the air that is freshly produced from the surroundings, no carbon manoxide and and no shit like that. It was an enmeshing experience, fucking priceless.

I did it twice before we got on the rafts for the rough ride. We were split into 3 - 4 teams so enjoy the pictures of the different rafts.

These were just grade 4 rapids, and im keen on more challenging ones.
They say, we get the roughest rides on slim river.

ANYONE IN??? It's RM170 / pax plus breakfast & lunch.
We are paying river guides, who's rafts we will ride on.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

St Paddy's Day, Malaysia

I was exposed to the St Patrick's day celebration many years back when i was studying in Melbourne. I never really got attracted enough to find out more about it and thought the Australians were just looking for every opportunity to celebrate and drink excessively.

I just knew that it was Irish - obviously from the green & clover leaves - and made assumptions that it's related to St Patrick, a misionary who was sent to Ireland with a dual mission-to minister to Christians already living in Ireland and to begin to convert the Irish. (Interestingly, this mission contradicts the widely held notion that Patrick introduced Christianity to Ireland.)

So i thought that Australians were just celebrating to the fact that St Patrick brought Christianity to Ireland -used bonfires to celebrate Easter and superimposed a sun onto the Christian cross. Well, if you live in Australia for long enough its not surprising to have such thoughts hahaa.... the OZs are mad drinkers.

Anyway, after getting myself more involved in "St Patricks Day", in Malaysia, i got to find out a lil more about the celebration. It's more than just drinking - its about a day of fun, being Irish and such. But, like what i thought about the Australians, its alot about a reason to drink! specifically Irish stout, whiskey and cream. In the modern day, its one word - Guinness

The Chicago river is dyed green each year to celebrate St Pat's day.

In Kuala Lumpur, the KL tower lights were turned green to officially launch the St Patrick's celebration in Malaysia. Malaysians wanna find a reason to drink too!
The media were invited to Hakka Republic to get a first taste of the celebration, many high profile bloggers turned up too, like the very popular FHM columnist, Kimberly

The kinky green fairy

And no other than Kenny, who drank too much Guinness he got mixed up between American and Irish culture - he was break-dancing on an Irish celebration.

This celebration in Malaysia also saw Guinness sauces being served in alot of outlets, St Pat's apps on Facebook & Mobile and alot of cool looking ads & coverage in the media. Very well planned.
The St Pats celebration culminated in a massive party in One Utama this year, with lots of Guinness Draught & Guinness infused food. There were also performances, games, ppl walking on stilts and cute horny looking girls in green uniforms & Guinness hats

Timothy & Audrey were also there to celebrate St Patrick's day. Timothy, like Kenny, also got mixed up between American & Irish culture - see picture, he had Coke in a Guinness Draught pint.

They had nice projections on One Utama too, although i didnt quite fancy the spinning Guinness logo. I thought it would have been nicer BOLD, Stout & Still. The clover leaf at the side could have taken up the duty of animation.

And until today, i still wish for cold weather in Malaysia - so its condusive to drink out in the open, where its fun.