Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Flavor of My Hometown

Blogger and photographer Neo was in my hometown, Kuala Kangsar, last March to attend a wedding. He complained that the food in the wedding dinner was ‘mediocre’. I recommended him curry noodle a.k.a. curry mee, should he go to KK again.

The picture above shows a dish of dried curry mee of my hometown. It is different from the curry soup noodle common in Klang Valley in the sense that it is not served in curry soup. Instead, it is dried noodle with curry added. The curry may or may not be made of coconut milk, depending on the individual stores. Even if you don’t eat spicy food, the dried noodle minus the curry is yummy too.

Curry mee may also come in soup, but again this is prepared in a way not common in Klang Valley. Often, the soup is ikan bilis soup, with curry added.

Another hometown food which I like is beef ball noodle. I will blog about it when I have the photos.

Related post:
Images of My Hometown

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Tips for fighting H1N1

Influenza A (H1N1) spreads like wild fire across the globe. Health experts advise us to avoid hand-shaking and hugging. What can we do when we meet someone?

Perhaps we can wai like the Thais do…

Alternatively, we can also bow like the Japanese do…

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Chinese Maids, anyone?

Following the news of several high profile cases in which Indonesian maids were abused by their Malaysian employers, Jakarta threatens to prohibit its women from working as domestic servants in this country. Since then, there have been proposals by Malaysian officers to import maids from China as replacement.

Maids from China? Are you kidding!?? How can the women from the world’s new super power work as domestic servants in a third world country? This is utterly ridiculous!

Imagine what will happen if Chinese maids are abused in Malaysia:

The angry Chinese netizens would call for boycott of the department stores run by Malaysia-based Parkson Group, just as they did against French Carrefour last year. Chinese tourists would stop coming to this country. Our economy would suffer

Seriously, I am not in favor of the plan to hire Chinese maids. We must be careful to avoid angering the Dragon.

P/S I prefer Japanese maids How about you?

A waitress in Japan’s “maid café”


Monday, June 22, 2009

China – no more Cheap Travel?

(source: BusinessWeek)

Chinese Malaysians like to spend their holidays in China. This is partly due to the fact that the Middle Kingdom is the land of their ancestors, and partly because it is a cheaper country to travel as compared to Europe, America, Japan and Korea.

Cost of living in China is rising fast, though. In the study of World’s Most Expensive Cities by ECA International, Beijing ranks 26 in 2009, up from 104 in 2008. Shanghai ranks 26 in 2009, up from 111 in 2008. For more details, read here and here.

Also, bear in mind that China is a vast country. If you plan to travel from one city to another within the nation, transportation fee can be substantial.

It looks like the days of cheap travel in China is coming to an end. If you still plan to visit the country, the time is NOW!

Friday, June 19, 2009


当时还以为『帽子戏法』是指用头顶进球。若干年后,才知道它其实是英文hat trick的直译。在先前提到的新闻里,hat trick是指该球员连进三球,但不限于用头顶进。用脚踢进三球,也算hat trick。曼彻斯特联队三夺英格兰超级联赛冠军,也是hat trick

其实,中文里还有另外一个词可用来形容英文的hat trick,那就是『连中三元』。


预算帽?原来那是英文budget cap的直译。个人觉得『预算顶』或『预算上限』会比较好。也真怀疑中文报的编辑们是否英文太差而用网上工具来翻译budget cap。

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Sekinchan the Rice Bowl

It was harvest season in the paddy fields. On June 13, I traveled to Sekinchan, a town in the state of Selangor noted for rice plantation.

Sekinchan, here I come…

The rice…

Working in the field…

Little house on the Prairie… oops, I mean little house on the paddy field…

Harvested crops…

Storage for rice Swiftlet farmhouse, and a local cycling past…

The weather wasn’t on my side. I wanted to take pictures of paddy fields under sunset, but it was a cloudy day. I may return to Sekinchan in December, when there will be another harvest season. Hopefully I will have better luck then.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Is Facebook Cheating Us?

I am both a Yahoo Mail and Gmail user. I signed up Facebook with my Gmail. Recently, Facebook sent an e-mail to my Yahoo account, with the following message:

Now, both See Ng and Khor Yee Joo are already my friends in Facebook. They would not have sent me invitation again. In fact, Khor was the one who got me into facebooking. (Stuart Khoo, by the way, was my MBA lecturer.)

How could this happen? Was Facebook trying to trick me into joining, not knowing that I was already a member?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Down the Memory Lane (1)

Before I purchased my first digital camera, I shot film. Recently I scanned some of my films into digital images. Here are some photos taken in USA. Eh… I know my skill sucked then…

I was a contract worker for Ericsson US. Ericsson’s headquarter was located in Texas, but I was based at its regional office in Brea, Southern California

I stayed in a hotel called Candlewood Suites in Garden Grove

You can learn more about the Candlewood Suites in my old post. Click the link at the bottom of the post.

Even though I was based at Ericsson’s office in Brea, most of the time I worked at clients’ place. My first assignment was at Oceanside, a nice seaside town in North San Diego County

In Oceanside I worked with a gentleman with the name Patrick McIntyre. Sigh, I haven’t got a picture of him.

La Jolla – pronounced LA-HOYA – was another seaside town in Southern California. I went there to buy some souvenirs from Hard Rock Café…

From Oceanside I visited San Diego Sea World. Killer whales (orcas) were the big draw of the park…


Candlewood Suites

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Solid State Drive

The first PC I used had no hard disk. I ran a word processing software from floppy disk. As software, including operating system, grew bigger, floppy disk no longer could handle them, and hard disk became a standard device on every PC. Now, you have an alternative to hard disk – Solid State Drive, or SSD for short.

Solid State Drive, or Flash SSD to be more specific, uses the same technology as your thumb drive and memory card. It has several advantages over the conventional hard disk, such as:

  • Faster start up
  • Lower power consumption
  • No mechanical parts, so less susceptible to knock and vibration

SSD does have its shares of weaknesses:

  • More expensive
  • Lower capacity

Based on the information I read, SSD currently sold in the market max out at 256GB. Some Malaysian photographers are already using a couple of 500GB hard disks for storing their digital images.

So, should you go for SSD? If you currently own the shares of Western Digital, should you sell them immediately?

I am no expert, but here is my take:

If you buy a new desktop, stick to conventional hard disk. If you buy a new notebook computer, you may choose either SSD or hard disk. Should you go for SSD, you may still need to get an external HD for files you don’t access frequently.

Thanks to digital photography and digital videography, hard disk makers such as Western Digital should still be doing fine in the near future. Technology evolves fast, though. Three years from now the picture could be very different.

P/S I reserve the rights to be wrong

Monday, June 08, 2009


Time magazine's award-winning picture






P/S 与其大谈六四,不如到怡保参观『民主树』。霹雳州发展相对落后,正需要你们的游客钱。

Tiananmen Square Incident, 20 years on

I didn’t have the intention to write about the 20th anniversary of Tiananmen Square Incident. Having observed that Chinese Malaysians care so much about it, I changed my mind.

In April, 1989, Hu Yaobang, former secretary general of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) died. University students of Beijing staged protest in Tiananmen Square, urging the government to push through political reform. Reformist leader Zhao Ziyang personally went to Tiananmen Square, where he persuaded the students to disperse. The students refuse to listen to him. Finally, supreme leader Deng Xiaoping ordered a crackdown on the demonstrator on the 4th of June.

Some political analysts point out that the students’ refusal to listen to Zhao was a mistake. If they left Tiananmen Square in time, no only would violence be avoided, but Zhao might be able to keep his post. (Zhao was sacked following the protest, and placed under home arrest until his death.)

Following the aftermath of the demonstration, Beijing stressed teaching of patriotism in school. Such teaching has produced a large numbers of ultra-nationalist youths who are skeptical of foreigners. The spectacular rise of the Middle Kingdom in the past few years has made it the world’s new super power. Even Chinese Malaysians feel proud of the achievement of their ancestors’ homeland. The issue is: The stronger China is, the more difficult it is to challenge the authority of CCP. Democracy yearned by the protesting students in Tiananmen Square would remain a dream.

In fact, Mainland Chinese are so busy making money that they have lost interest in politics. Ironically, it is Chinese Malaysians who can’t let go of the ghost of the pro-democracy crackdown which took place 20 years ago. Aren’t we too busybody?

P/S Rather than commemorating the Tiananmen Square incident, Chinese Malaysians are urged to visit the ‘democracy tree’ in Ipoh. Perak, my home state, lags in development and needs your tourist money.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Malaysians Love Sales

Kiasu Malaysians strikes again!

It was Thursday, May 21, 2009. I left my workplace at 5.30pm for Jusco, a department store. I wanted to buy a vacuum flask. When I reached Jusco at around 6.30pm, I discovered that it was unusually crowded. Shoppers were pushing carts full of goods. Then I realized: Jusco was having a sales promotion!

I suspect many of the shoppers were on leave, perhaps even with medical certificates!

Why are Malaysians so crazy about sales!??

Wednesday, June 03, 2009




其次是读音问题。我是马来西亚华人,我们的祖先源自中国南方。中国南方的语言,如粤语、客语、闽南话等等,是没有卷舌音的。所以华语的zzhcchssh,我们统统不卷舌。另外,我们也往往搞不清楚nng。于是在大马,森、僧、深、生的读音是可以互换的。(法国人 Zhu 讲华语可能会比我准。)平时和朋友交谈当然没问题,使用电脑时就头痛了。

最糟糕的是,有些字我根本不会唸。比如朱棣文的棣,我打不出来,只好上网搜寻『美国能源部长』,然后copy and paste