30 March 2008
Yes - i. because AC Mizal handled the show much better. He seemed to be getting the hang of things this time round.
ii. because some of the students did better - Saida, Faizal, Rina, Stacy.
iii. Adlin Aman Ramlie added the much needed comic relief and witty remarks that livened up the show a bit.
iv. Ning Baizura was a bit more frank this time round.
v. The presence of dancers made the performances easier to watch.
No - i. Most of the students either didn't improve or became worse e.g. Ika bombed with Dina's Malu Tapi Mahu.
ii. I wonder why the Menuju Puncak dance was done "lip-sync" style. Took the oomph factor from the dance but I suppose the students could concentrate on the choreography better.
iii. The aura surrounding the concert is still not up to the level I was expecting...sigh!
Toi was boring...zzz. Nuff said.
Aliff was his usual boring self. The lively song sounded sedate with him singing it.
Stanley, the "tenor" of the lot surprisingly did not do justice to Imran Ajmain's Sudah Tu Sudah.
Rina, did a fairly good job of Misha Omar's Ku Seru - although one would probably expect more from a seasoned club performer. Still, she showed that she can handle a ballad just as well as she can belt out a rock number.
Lufya's dangdut number is forgettable and if she continues like this she'll be out soon.
Ika was terrible. She couldn't handle a simple ballad like Kesetiaan and yet they gave her a complex song like Dina's Malu Tapi Mahu. This song requires a voice with a wide range, unless of course, they gave her this song knowing she will bomb it in order that she will be booted out soonest.
I like Saida's voice and this time round she showed a different side to her. She just needs to concentrate a little more so her full potential is brought out.
Stacy did a good job of Rela although her one attempt at falsetto was a bit weak. She clearly has the best female voice in this competition and hopefully will be a finalist.
Naim's performance of Aspalela was not good. He stuck to the same style as Saiful Apek. I expected more as he is a singer first, unlike Saiful Apek who is a comedian first. He may not last long if he continues this trend.
Nadia didn't do as well as last week. Her diction sounded strange to me - "...Now its raining more than evahhhh, tols you i'd be here forevahhhh..". What the &%#@ was that? Maybe you should stick to singing in Malay, Nadia! Still, I feel she is a potential finalist.
Faizal improved - much less pitchy than last week, but I really don't like the nasal singing style of his. Fair performance fo a rock number.
Nubhan has a nice "serak" tone, very Indonesian-type of sound. I like his voice but he needs to put forward more than just the serak tone. He needs to give more feel in the songs he performs. i hope he goes to the final.
Riz was so-so. He may have done better if he didn't need to dance so much. But, he is one of my favourites to be a finalist.
AC Mizal handled the show much better although I didn't quite like some of his jokes. Nevertheless, I liked the "Rela" gag and also how he handled Saida's one minute with her family. He appeared more confident and less intimidated by student's or "pengkritik"'s comments this time round. He's no Aznil but I'm sure he'll be OK.
Ika's elimination was expected. I felt she deserved to go last week actually.
My current top 5 (In no particular order)
OK That's all! Ciao!
28 March 2008
Thanks, quachee. This is my first time being tagged. I will try my best!
1. What's your favorite book at the present time?
- The Life of Pi by Yann Martel
2. Given the chance, what special ability/power would you like to have?
-Teleportation- you know, like the guys in the movie Jumper! It would certainly be cool to have breakfast in Kuala Lumpur, lunch in London(Fish & Chips) dinner in Italy (mmmm appetiser: mushroom brushchetta, main course: Grilled Salmon in Cheese Onion sauce like I once had in Genoa, Italy and for the dessert: Italian pancake with gelato).
I also would like to teleport myself to Kashmir, Turkey, New Zealand, Rocky Mountains, the great Wall of China, Dubai's the Palms, Rome's Colloseum, Ayer's Rock in Australia, etc, etc!
3. What's your favorite color? Why?
- Blue. Why - I donno!
4. Where is the place you want to go the most?
- the places where i would teleport myself to as listed above - a bonus if I can take my wife and kids along!
5. If you have one dream to come true, what would it be?
-I am not bragging but at this stage in my life, most of my dreams has come true.. Oh yes, there IS one- to have a muscular and fit chick-magnet body like say.... Usher? Hahahaha....
6. Do you believe in seeing a rainbow after the rain?
7. Do you think friends are important?
8. If you win $1 million, what would you do?
-Pay up all my debts, put in for my children's education and provident fund. Invest in something/things that can give handsome monthly returns for my wife & I, give some to deserving charities, buy good property and some to take my family ?& I for a nice holiday.
9. If you meet someone that you love, would you confess to him/her?
10. List out 3 good points of the person who tagged you.
-Malaysian, an entrepreneur, has an interest in batik.
11. Which type of person do you hate the most?
- Dishonest people.
12. (My personal question)How do you feel about growing old?
-I am OK with it.
13. If you have fault, would you rather the people around you point out to you or would you rather they keep quiet?
-Point it out. Maybe discreetly.
14. What do you think is the most important thing in your life?
- Happiness, of course!
15. Are you a shopaholic or not?
16. What is the one thing you like about your country?
-We are very much free from earthquakes!
17. If you have a chance, which part of your character you would like to change?
-My tendency to procrastinate.
18. Is there anything that you have done which you regret?
19. What makes you different?
-The ability to keep cool. (Seriously, a lot of people tell me this!).
20. Do you feel good to be friend with the person who tagged you?
I'll decide whether I will tag other people or not later. Kinda late and feeling very sleepy.
26 March 2008
"We didn't think it was important. It was a serious misjudgment," he said at the opening of Invest Malaysia 2008."We thought that the newspapers, the print media, the television were important but young people were looking at text messages and blogs."Abdullah said the influence of alternative media "was painful. But it came at the right time, not too late".
"Even in advanced countries where the media is said to be more independent, the people still choose the alternative media," he said.
Well, it's always baby steps first, right? Not everyone can go through things the cold turkey way.
25 March 2008
One day, an engineer dies and goes up to the gates of heaven. He does not suspect that there will be any problem with him getting in as he feels he has lead quite an honest life.
However, when he gets to the gates an angel informs him that he cannot be let in because of a minor offence (against God) that he committed when he was younger. He pleads with the angel, "Please, let me in, I could do so much good work for God in heaven. Whatever kind of systems you've got in there, be in water systems, electronic or other kinds of systems, I can work on them and make them even better. I could even build entire new systems for you." The angel frowns and says, "I'm sorry, there is nothing that I can do. It was a minor thing but still we cannot let you in."
So, the engineer goes down to the gates of hell and is let in. He sees all the poor souls suffering down in hell, souls burning in eternal flames, etc., and he decides that he wants to help them. He starts building bridges so that the souls in hell can travel over the flames and not suffer as much. He builds cooling systems and the like.
Now, every couple of weeks, God would phone the devil and ask him how everything was going down in hell. About two weeks after the engineer arrived in hell, such a conversion took place between God and the devil. While they were talking, the devil asked God, "Do you remember that engineer chap that you sent down here?" "Yes," God replies, "What about him?" "Well," the devil says, "he's doing all kinds of strange stuff down here. He's BUILDING bridges down here so that the souls here don't have to burn in eternal flame. It's incredible."
"That won't do" says God, "that won't do at all. It looks like we made a mistake. He is a good person. We want him back."
"You can't have him," says the devil, "he's staying with us."
God is not happy. He shouts, "Look, we are taking him back OK, we'll take this all the way to court to get him back."
The devil grins and retorts, "Oh yeah? Well, where are you going to get a lawyer??"
P.S. : Got this joke from my friend & colleague, Bux. Thanks, Bux!
Apologies to any of my lawyer friends who may be reading this!
22 March 2008
On the whole, today's show was generally lukewarm. All the contestants and even AC Mizal took some time to warm up and the excitement generally associated with previous AF concerts was not there? Why? AC lacked the flamboyant bubbly style of Aznil - it may not be fair but it's hard not to compare AC with Aznil as the latter left rather large shoes for AC to fill in. Most of the contestants were obviously nervous and that clearly affected their performances.
Woke up around 7.30am to a breakfast of pancakes. Yummmm!
After breakfast, took a shower and lepaked a bit. At around 10.30am left for piano class with Dayana. After class, went home and picked up Julina & Hilman and went to Cineleisure Damansara where Julina sent her car for a wash.
Then we went to Tony Roma's for lunch. It's an international restaurant chain serving Tex-Mex cuisine, similar to the one served at TGI Fridays and Chilli's. This was our third time there so we knew what to expect. Julina had the Shitake Cheeseburger, Dayana had the Kids cheeseburger, Hilman had the kids' Fish & Chips while I had the Chipotle Salad with salmon (half portion). The food was good but portions are huge, typical of American restaurants. None of us finished everything that we ordered. My daughter, Dayana, as usual, enjoyed her "Dirt Cup" desert, consisting of chocolate ice-cream, dark chocolate granules ("dirt") with edible gum-like worms. Yup, sounds el mucho grosso but it actually tastes quite good!
After lunch, we did some shopping and all of us, save for Julina got some items of clothing each. At around 4-ish, we decided to go karaoke-ing at Red Box Karaoke. Cool place! Room rental rates is only RM 24++ for 3 hours and you can partake in the buffet dinner which starts at 6pm for a price of RM 10++ per pax. We all melalak-ed like there's no tomorrow! They have a lot of the latest hits e.g. the High School Musical Songs, Tattoo by Jordin Sparks, Rehab by Amy Winehouse, Wait For you by Elliot Yamin, Beautiful Girls by Sean Kingston, What I've Done by Linkin Park, Ordinary People by John Legend, No One by Alicia Keys, etc. Also there is a good selection of songs in Chinese, Malay, Indonesian and Hindi.
We left at 7.15pm, 15 minutes short of the time allotted to us but the kids need to go home and get to sleep. We were all tired, too. I also wanted to catch the 1st concert of this season's Akademi Fantasia.
18 March 2008
Here they are!
Prime Minister:Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Deputy Prime Minister: Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak
Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department:
Minister: Tan Sri Bernard Giluk Dompok
Minister: Datuk Ahmad Zahid Hamidi
Minister: (Sen) Datuk Mohd Zaid Ibrahim
Minister: (Sen) Datuk Amirsham Abdul Aziz
Minister: Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz
Deputy Ministers Ministers in the Prime Minister's Department:
Deputy Minister: Datuk Johari Baharum
Deputy Minister: (Sen) Datuk Dr Mashitah Ibrahim
Deputy Minister: S.K. Devamany
Deputy Minister: Datuk Hasan Malek
Ministry of Agriculture & Agro-Based Industry
Minister: Datuk Mustapa Mohamed
Deputy: Datin Paduka Rohani Abdul Karim
Ministry of National Unity, Culture, Arts & Heritage
Minister: Datuk Mohd Shafie Apdal
Deputy: Teng Boon Soon
Ministry of Defence
Minister: Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Abdul Razak
Deputy: Datuk Wira Abu Seman Yusop
Ministry of Domestic Trade & Consumer Affairs
Minister: Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad
Deputy: Jelaing Mersat
Ministry of Education
Minister: Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein
Deputy: Datuk Wee Ka Siong
Deputy: Datuk Razali Ismail
Ministry of Energy, Water & Communications
Minister: Datuk Shaziman Abu Mansor
Deputy: Datuk Joseph Salang Gandum
Ministry of Entrepreneurial & Co-operative Development
Minister: Datuk Noh Omar
Deputy: Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah
Ministry of Federal Territories
Minister: Datuk Zulhasnan Rafique
Deputy: Datuk M. Saravanan
Ministry of Finance
Minister: Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi
Minister: Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yackop
Deputy: Datuk Ahmad Husni Mohamad Hanadzlah
Deputy: Datuk Kong Cho Ha
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Minister: Datuk Seri Rais Yatim
Deputy: Datuk Seri Tengku Azlan Sultan Abu Bakar
Ministry of Health
Minister: Datuk Liow Tiong Lai
Deputy: Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad
Ministry of Higher Education
Minister: Datuk Khaled Nordin
Deputy: Datuk Dr Hou Kok Chung
Deputy: Datuk Idris Haron
Ministry of Housing & Local Government
Minister: Datuk Ong Ka Chuan
Deputy: Datuk Robert Lau
Deputy: Datuk Hamzah Zainuddin
Ministry of Human Resources
Minister: Datuk Dr S. Subramaniam
Deputy: Datuk Noraini Ahmad
Ministry of Information
Minister: Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek
Deputy: Datuk Tan Lian Hoe
Ministry of Internal Security and Home Affairs
Minister: Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Syed Jaafar Albar
Deputy: Datuk Chor Chee Heung
Deputy: (Sen) Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh
Ministry of International Trade & Industry
Minister: Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin
Deputy: Datuk Liew Vui Keong
Deputy: Datuk Jacob Dungau Sagan
Ministry of Natural Resources & Environment
Minister: Datuk Douglas Uggah Embas
Deputy: Datuk Seri Panglima Abdul Ghapur Salleh
Ministry of Plantation Industries & Commodities
Minister: Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui
Deputy: (Sen) A. Kohilan Pillay
Ministry of Rural & Regional Development
Minister: Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib
Deputy: Tan Sri Joseph Kurup
Deputy: Joseph Entulu Belaun
Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation
Minister: Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili
Deputy: Datuk Fadillah Yusof
Ministry of Tourism
Minister: Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said
Deputy: Datuk Seri Sulaiman Abdul Rahman Taib
Ministry of Transport
Minister: Datuk Ong Tee Keat
Deputy: Datuk Anifah Aman
Ministry of Women, Family & Community Development
Minister: Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen
Deputy: Senator Noriah Kasnon
Ministry of Works
Minister: Datuk Mohd Zin Mohamed
Deputy: Datuk Yong Khoon Seng
Ministry of Youth & Sports
Minister: Ismail Sabri Yaakob
Deputy: Wee Jeck Seng
Those out: Datuk Seri Rafidah Aziz (once dubbed "Singa Malaysia" by the Indonesian press - the longest serving trade minister in the world), Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid (former Natural Resources & Envoronment Minister- also the one who married "the most beautiful Malay woman"-Datin Seri Normala Samsudin), Datuk Seri Dr Jamaludin Jarjis (former Science, Technology & innovations Minister), Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (former Tourism Minister)& Datuk Seri Radzi Sheikh Ahmad (former Home Affairs Minister) & Datuk Fong Chan Onn.
Those making a comeback: Tan Sri Muhammad Muhammad Taib (former selangor Chief minister), Datuk Shahrir Samad (Former FT Minister and UMNO Backbencher's Club President).
Among the new ones in: Datuk Amirsham A Aziz (who just retired form his CEO post at Maybank) & a lawyer, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.
Rumors that the Higher Education & Education ministry to be merged into one single Ministry of Education entity did not materialise. Rafidah Aziz's exclusion is a surprise (or is it?) to many. So is the exclusion of Azmi Khalid, Radzi Sheikh Ahmad, Jamaludin Jarjis & Tengku Adnan Mansor. Do these people pose an image problem to BN or were they not cleared by the ACA? The country's First Son-in-law (Khairy Jamaludin-lah, siapa lagi?) also was not appointed, as was expected by some people - good news or is it bad news?
Hmmm..all we can do is sit back and watch how this cabinet performs I guess. Everyone is a wannabe political analyst nowadays and I'm sure talk whether this cabinet is OK or not will be rife in the coming days and weeks. The stronger opposition representation in Parliament hopefully will perform the necessary check and balance that is expected by the people on the ground.
15 March 2008
Here are some photos from the party:
Sate from the famous Haji Samuri Kajang Sate.
12 March 2008
It's just that I keep getting election-related jokes via SMS and I would like to share some of the "gems" that I received. Most of them are in Malay. Sorry if you don't understand the language but I won't be translating it as the punchline will be "lost" in translation.
Just so you people know, I am apolitical. This means I have no political afiliations whatsoever. I decide who I vote on the election day itself. I don't see a point in being loyal to any political party as they all consist of mortal human beings like you & I and therefore prone to imperfections.
'Nuff said. Here goes....
1. Barisan Pembangkang akan menunaikan janji manifesto untuk turunkan harga minyak di 5 buah negeri bermula dari hari esok:
i. KEDAH - minyak gamat
ii. PULAU PINANG - minyak buah pala
iii. KELANTAN - minyak lintah
iv. PERAK - minyak urut
v. SELANGOR - minyak rambut.
Syabas Barisan Alternatif!!!
(Thanks to my sis, Aida and my friend from Kuantan, Azlin.)
2. Datuk Seri Samy Velu & Datuk M Kayveas have collaborated to form a new party called FBI (F***ed by Indians).
(Thanks to my colleague Anu.)
3. GURINDAM PAK LAH
Panas ku sangka hingga ke petang
Rupanya hujan di tengahari
Kelantan ku sangka mudah ditawan
Rupanya ku hilang lima negeri
Sungguh malang nasibku ini
Dah tiada kampung dah tiada negeri
Pulau Pinang negeriku ditawan DAP
Tak tahu ke mana nak bawa diri
Ada baiknya ku undur diri
Bagi peluang kepada Khairy
Sambil kutumpu pada isteri
Manalah tahu kot dapat baby!
(Thanks to my sis, Lela!)
That's all folks!
11 March 2008
The commercial aircraft making industry is a complex and fascinating one. Boeing, a household name in the industry has been the market leader for decades and has rendered practically all noteworthy rivals within the US such as Lockheed and McDonnel-Douglas irrelevant. Being at the top caused Boeing to become arrogant and complacent. This was when an emerging force form the other side of the Atlantic Ocean in the form of Airbus, slowly began to rival Boeing.
Airbus started of as a consortium of aviation companies within Europe which had a lot of government financial backing. Its foray into the business of making commercial aircraft started rather modestly. Insidiously, it began to make inroads in to the "middle" sector of the market, being the choice of airlines looking to replace their aged DC-10s & Lockheed Tristars. Soon, they began to control the market in this sector.
This book details the ups and downs of the rivalry between Boeing and Airbus. There are lots of interesting facts and "behind-the-doors" information that is fascinating especially for someone like me, a layman who is interested in the goings-on in the commercial aviation industry. Lots of information on how each company runs their business under the various leaders and how much government intervention actually goes into the business decisions that these companies make. Learn how Airbus developed this idea for a new superjumbo A3XX, later named the A380 which now has taken the title of the largest commercial aircraft away from the Boeing 747. This book also explains why Boeing scrapped the idea of a superjumbo (to rival the Airbus A380) and also the Boeing Sonic Cruiser. What makes it decide that it will make better business sense to build the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and an extended version of the Boeing 747- the 747-800 instead? It's all in this book and more.
All the facts in this book are quite interesting. However, they are presented not in a chronological order but in "bundles" relating to business aspects e.g. Being Number One, The Very Large Airplane, Trading Places, etc. This makes for a confusing read especially for a non-aviation person like me. The organisation of the facts in this manner results in many of the facts being repeated again and again, albeit in different contexts. It wasn't an easy read and I took a few weeks to complete the book as it was very exhausting mentally. Even then, it exposes to the layman what makes the aircraft manufacturers and airlines tick. Not that many books are as this informative but the organisation of the material could have been a little more reader-friendly.
P.S. Starting to read my next book now.