Saturday, January 31, 2009

Uncle Krisnan' s gem of wisdom from real life

During my three-day vacation in Ipoh, I paid Uncle Krisnan a visit and listened to his version of the history of yesteryears' Ipoh. He told me that he was actually a lion dancer for many years in the past, and, in jest, he added: "I have not become a lion or a Chinese". He also said that he is very glad that Silibin Road retains its original name. Uncle Krisnan loved the Pu Er brand of Chinese tea leaves I bought for him.

Acclaimed sequel to Red Cliff finally in town

Friday, January 30, 2009

Acclaimed sequel to Red Cliff finally in town

My three-day Chinese New Year vacation in Ipoh ended on Wednesday evening when I came back to USJ/Subang Jaya. My wife Po Chin and I then went to a cinema to see the much acclaimed Part II of Red Cliff. We have already watched at home Part I of the popular movie in DVD.

Eight decades of CNY celebration in Malaysia

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Eight decades of CNY celebration in Malaysia

Just like every year in the past two decades, the first batch of family relatives to come my house in Ipoh for bainian on the first day of the Chinese New Year comprised of my mom's elder sister ( daye ) as well as her son and his family. My daye was once a self-employed tailor in Ipoh who specialised in homemaking baju kurung and baju kebaya for Malay female customers such as cabaret girls in the 1960s and 1970s when, I still remember, Bengawan Solo was still a popular hit in town. Like my mother, daye was born in Batu Gajah. She is now eighty two.

My mother celebrates CNY in good conditions

In my three-day Chinese New Year vacation in Ipoh, I was very glad to see mother still physically and psychologically healthy. At 80 now, she can still cook and also remember all the important telephone numbers of her children and grand children as well as relatives and neighbours.

More prudent spending for Chinese New Year

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

More prudent spending for Chinese New Year

Undoubtedly, folks in Ipoh have been spending more prudently for the celebration of this Chinese New Year, but restaurants still seem to be unaffected by the decisions of many to save for uncertainty in future.

Oneness of humanity part of CNY celebration

Monday, January 26, 2009

India proudly marks triumph of republicanism

While the Chinese people from all walks of life have began to joyfully celebrate the Chinese New Year, India also proudly commemorates its 60th Republic Day. India's proclamation of the republican constitution that established a secular polity, like the birth of New China on earth, was a truly epoch-making and world-historic event in the last century.

Republican movement revitalised in Australia

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Oneness of humanity part of CNY celebration

Uncle Ng called early this morning and he invited my wife Po Chin and me to join his family in Kuala Lumpur for the celebration of Ren Re or the Birthday of Humanity that falls on the seventh day of the Chinese New Year. The celebration of Chinese New Year lasts for fifteen days.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

3-day vacation for Chinese New Year in Ipoh

Going back to hometown Ipoh on Sunday for three days for the family reunion dinner as well as celebration of the Chinese New Year. In the 1970s, a three-day break for the festival was an unimaginable luxury to my parents who only closed their coffee shop for half a day on the last day of the 'old' year, and re-opened it for business next morning.

Ba Jin & Lu Xun revolutionised Chinese minds

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Best & worst of time for nation of Americans

Got up only at 10.30 a.m. today because of watching the live telecast of Barack H. Obama' s presidential inauguration ceremony which was, with no doubt, a world-historic event that inspires millions of people. Meanwhile, it is also undeniable that the United States is confronting not only the worst ever financial malaise but also security challenges.

Obaman Revolution as world-historic process

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Ba Jin & Lu Xun revolutionised Chinese minds

As the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival approaches every year, I always remember great modernist and progressive Chinese authors, like Ba Jin (pix) and Lu Xun whose novels and short stories I used to read during the holidays in the 1970s in Ipoh. The writings of Ba Jin and Lu Xun, which are sharply critical of feudalism and superstition, served to clear up the many mental blocks and cultural obstacles of the Chinese-speaking people for progressive advancement on earth. They were also reformers and modernisers of the Chinese language.

Xin Nian Jin Bu greeting from James & family

Monday, January 19, 2009

Xin Nian Jin Bu greeting from James & family

James and family wish all those who celebrate the Spring Festival and share the festive joy and fun everywhere in the world Xin Nian Jin Bu.

Jesus' birth celebrated in peace across China

Umno still fails to win Malays' hearts & minds

PAS could have won the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-elections with an even larger majority with a much more national and inclusive message had the issue of hudud not been raised in the first place. By the way, the outcomes of the last general election as well as both the Permatang Pauh and Kuala Terengganu by-elections have fairly clearly shown that Umno's racial propaganda is not working as effectively as intended on the people's hearts and minds in the heartland of Malays.

Anwar Ibrahim scores gold in Permatang Pauh

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Veteran journalist Samani Mohd Amin departs

My acquaintance, veteran journalist and ex-ISA detainee Pak Samani Mohd. Amin passed away last evening in KL at 78. We last met in Pak Said's Hari Raya Aidilfitri open house last year. May he rest in peace.

Chinese in KT also care about national issues

As the very heated Kuala Terengganu by-election is a BN-PR contest for the parliamentary seat, most of the folks I met and chatted with in the one-street 'Chinatown' were also quite concerned with politics at the national level. Some even strongly opined that UMNO has not sincerely learned the lesson from the last general election, and there is a need to teach it once again for the progress of the entire nation. There are also some Chinese in Kuala Terengganu who are Christians.

Voices from 'Chinatown' in Kuala Terengganu

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Voices from 'Chinatown' in Kuala Terengganu

When Ah Hong showed me around the one-street 'Chinatown' in Kuala Terengganu, I stopped on and off to ask shopkeepers in the vincinity how they lived under PAS' reign from 1999 to 2004. Their answer was "normal" and many of them also frankly opined that the previous PAS administration respected non-Muslims' religions and also ways of life. Almost all the Chinese shopkeepers I met spoke Malay rather fluently.

Rediscovery of trishaws in Kuala Terengganu

Rediscovery of trishaws in Kuala Terengganu

Trishaws were fairly popular in the 1970s and before in my hometown Ipoh, but, the mode of public transport had disappeared altogether by the time I returned from Melbourne in 1987. To my nostalgic and also pleasant surprise, I found some trishaws still being operated in Kuala Terengganu although I had seen even more such type of vehicle being used in Amritsar during the unforgettable Indian tour last September.

Very old Chinese temple in Kuala Terengganu

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

'Miss. Eng' now enjoys kids' singing & dancing

Before the sudden outbreak of the Pacific War which changed her life forever, Suriani Abdullah ( nee Eng Ming Ching ) was a lead dancer of the Swan Lake stage performance organised by her school. When she was young, Suriani also enjoyed singing. In the very difficult years as a fighter in the deep jungles, she still loved playing music with organ.

Children' s Day on Malaysian-Thai border area

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Children' s Day on Malaysian-Thai border area

On 8 Jan (Thurs), CPM veterans Abdullah CD and his dear wife Suriani Abdullah participated in a Happy New Year and Children's Day concert in their village on the Malaysian-Thai border. Adik-adik and also their grandparents, parents and teachers reportedly enjoyed it fairly much.

Happy New Year greeting from CPM veterans

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Very old Chinese temple in Kuala Terengganu

One of the attractive spots of tourism in Kuala Terengganu which we visited was the very traditional Taoist-Buddhist temple Ho Ann Kiong which was first built in 1801 and refurbished twice in 1916 and 1996. It is located in the one-street 'Chinatown' where there are shops that sell pork openly, and there are, of course, also kedai-kedai kopi, like the shop operated by my family in those years at Clare Street in Ipoh. Mrs. Cheng also introduced me to some local Chinese Christians, who told me that there have always been churches and chapels around KT.

Off to KT to share blogging skills with friends

Friday, January 09, 2009

Malay Christian weekly ban partially reversed

The Associated Press (AP) reported that Malaysia's ruling government has reversed its ban on the publication of the Catholic weekly Herald in Malay as long as the Arabic word 'Allah' is not used to refer to God.

Oppose BN ban on Malay Christian publication

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Off to KT to share blogging skills with friends

Going to Kuala Trengganu tomorrow at the invitation of local friends and readers of Clare Street like Mrs. Cheng and her brother Ah Hong. These ex-residents of Malim Nawar want me to teach them blogging. Ah Hong loved to play Chinese chess with me in Kampar when he was an upper secondary school boy and I was a very young Opposition MP.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

National tribute to selfless patriot Rajakumar

At the memorial service for Dr. M.K. Rajakumar this afternoon, I met kawan lama and sociologist from Down Under Dr. Clive Kessler, UKM's Professor Dr. Rahman Embong, lawyer, ex-MP and childhood buddy of anti-colonial martyr William Kuok Hock Ling, Dominique Puthucheary, and also serving PKR MP for Batu, Tian Chua. Former Prime Minister, Dr. Mahathir Mohamad and PKR's Deputy President Dr. Syed Husin Ali also participated in the session of tributes for a truly selfless patriot.

In memory of true patriot Dr. M.K. Rajakumar

Oppose BN ban on Malay Christian publication

I think the governmental prohibition of the Malay-language section of the Catholic periodical Herald warrants principled challenge as well as determined opposition not only from Catholics, but also peoples of all other religions and also belief-systems, including progressive Muslims in Malaysia who strive for multi-ethnic and multi-religious acceptance of the Malay language as a non-communal lingua franca in our nation.

Muslims cannot write about Islam in English ?

Friday, January 02, 2009

Muslims cannot write about Islam in English ?

What if governments in the English-speaking world decide to disallow Muslims from publishing their religious discourses in English and also ban Muslims from using the term 'God' to mean 'Allah" ? It's not right.

Implication of yoga ban on Mr. Chamil Wariya