Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Chinese Diaspora

Chinese are some of the most patriotic people in the world. They like to boast about their country’s 5000-year history. Chinese men like to tell us how beautiful their women are. Now, with the Middle Kingdom poised to become the next super power, Chinese have more reasons to be proud of their identity.

Just before the People’s Republic of China celebrated its 60th National Day with fireworks and military parade, a university conducted a survey to find out how Chinese felt about their nation. The results showed that a full 98% of the respondents were proud to be Chinese. 95% answered that even if given a free choice, they would still want to be Chinese.

They wanted to be overseas Chinese, that is. Deep down their heart, they yearned to go to the ‘Beautiful Country’ a.k.a. the United States of America. On Oct 19, 2009, a ship carrying about 70 Chinese who tried to enter America illegally capsized in the Caribbean Sea. Many of the passengers drowned.

When I traveled to Singapore last July, I noticed that majority of the ground officers in Changi’s Budget Terminals were Chinese mainlanders. So were many of the food stall operators. In fact, there were so many Chinese in the Lion City that it has been dubbed ‘Chinapore’ by its very own citizens. Recently, a Chinese girl with PR (permanent resident) status was blasted by Singaporeans after she declared that ‘Beijing is my real home’.

Funny as it may sound, Chinese still do all they can to emigrate, even though their much-loved country has the world’s most dynamic economy.

It is, of course, not wrong for the Chinese to migrate to a foreign country so long as they have proper documents. After all, skilled Chinese workers are in high demand in rich countries. Nonetheless, Chinese migrants should do their best to integrate into the host nations, rather than keep thinking of how great their motherland is.

All the workers of this food stall in Changi’s Budget Terminals are Chinese mainlanders…


The USA is rendered Mei Guo (美国) in Chinese. The first character means ‘beautiful’, and the second means ‘country’.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

My Flickr Statistics

I uploaded some of my photos to Flickr. The Flickr ‘photostream’ shows the thumbnails of the pictures. Each picture has a counter, which is incremented when someone clicks on the thumbnail.

Here is a picture of a pretty model. I uploaded it to Flickr on Oct 19, 2009. As of Oct 22, this picture had 10 ‘views’ – meaning that its thumbnail had been clicked 10 times.

This is a picture of Malacca which I took during the last Mid-Autumn Festival. I uploaded it on Oct 9. As of Oct 22, it had been viewed just once.

Below is a picture of another model. It was uploaded on Oct 4. As of Oct 22, it got 28 views.

And here is a picture I took from inside a plane. It was uploaded way back on Aug 31. It got only 4 views as of Oct 22.

What can the statistics tell us? Perhaps we can conclude that visitors to my Flickr page are more interested in the pictures of pretty women. What say you?

Link: My Flickr page

Friday, October 23, 2009


日前我到一家飯檔用餐,服務員用粵語問我說:『飲乜嘢?』(喝甚麼?)我回答道:『滾水。』(白開水) 數分鐘後,他拿了一杯涼水(涼茶)給我。




Tuesday, October 20, 2009

National Geographic Classic

One of the oldest books I own is the September 1932 issue of National Geographic Magazine. I got it from a bookstore which bought and sold used books in California.

The reason I purchased this magazine was because it carried an article on Shanghai. This article was written at a time when Britons, French and Americans still ruled part of the Chinese city. I have been fascinated by the “Old Shanghai” after watching some Hong Kong TV dramas, such as Chow Yun Fat’s The Bund (上海灘). You know, in Old Shanghai, a gangster could commit a crime in the International Settlement (jointly run by the Brits, Americans, Japanese and Chinese) and escaped into the French Settlement.

This same issue also has an article on Macao (Macau), yet another Chinese enclave ruled by a Western power, in this case the Portuguese. As you would expect, the magazine is loaded with tons of high quality photos.

If you are interested in this issue of National Geographic, I can let go mine at RM100

Sunday, October 18, 2009

WiMAX Update

If you have been following my blog for a while, you probably still remember that I had an unexpected meeting with the CEO of Green Packet last May.

Green Packet is the parent company of Packet One (P1), Malaysia’s first WiMAX service provider. P1 has been operating in Peninsula Malaysia, but it has got the green light from the government to roll out in service in East Malaysia. The government approved P1’s expansion after it met the requirement of 25% population coverage in Peninsula Malaysia.

I am not particularly thrilled of the news. I am concerned that P1 would lose focus in Peninsula Malaysia, and that my hometown would not be covered as soon as I would like. P1 should have been asked to cover 50% of the population in Peninsula Malaysia before it is allowed to cross the South China Sea.

Meanwhile, Redtone, the other WiMAX service provider, is eyeing an expansion in the opposite direction. Redtone currently operates in East Malaysia. As of last August, it had just 1,000 subscribers, and covered just Kota Kinabalu and Kuching. It had already applied for spectrum in Peninsula Malaysia.

I am afraid the businesses are not interested in the smaller markets. The digital divide between the urban and rural folks is set to widen.

Friday, October 16, 2009


最近无意中发现一个本地的中文摄影网站 摄影啦( )。

马来西亚有许多供摄影发烧友交流的网站,如PhotoMalaysiaPhotokaki,ShutterAsia和Rojak Studio。这些网站的主要媒介语是英语,不过偶尔也有会员以马来文发帖。

个人觉得马来西亚的摄影网站已经太多了。这些网站如果仅仅靠广告收益是不容易维持下去的,因为僧多粥少。PhotoMalaysia 最近已开始向会员征收某些费用。譬如说:要在Service Offer/Wanted 论坛里发表新主题,必需先付一笔钱。



P/S 如果阁下看得懂粤语,不妨上香港的论坛:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Street Shooting & DSLR Market

During Mid-Autumn Festival, Oct 3, 2009, I traveled to Melaka, the World Heritage Site. I returned to Petaling Jaya on the same day, and reached home at 11.50pm. The next day, I had to wake up at 6.00am, as I would join a model shooting event. It was a busy weekend…

The model shooting took place on the bustling streets of Kuala Lumpur. A total of seven photographers took part, and we had three beautiful models…


Mei Yan

Pei Pei

And here is the group shot taken at the end of the shooting. One of the photographers had already left…

credit: Cruiser176

We know that Canon and Nikon are the Big 2 of DSLR market. Somehow, among the seven photographers who joined the street shooting, two were Sony users. Sony acquired the DSLR division of Konica Minolta several years back. Despite relatively new to the market, it is doing pretty well.

Canon and Nikon definitely need a push from their competitors. Olympus has partnered Panasonic and they target niche market. I hope Pentax can keep up with the race.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Exclusive Rights

My brother-in-law, who lives in Singapore, is a soccer fan. He has been watching EPL (English Premier League) matches on Starhub pay-TV.

Starting next year, however, Starhub will not be showing EPL matches, as it has lost the broadcasting rights to rival Singtel. Needless to say, soccer fans of the island republic who have subscribed to Starhub must be very frustrated. I expect many of them to defect to Singtel.

Starhub is not going to surrender, though. It still has the exclusive rights to broadcast Spanish La Liga. Both Starhub and Singtel are competing for next year’s World Cup.

It would be easier for the soccer fans should Singtel win the rights over World Cup. All they need to do is to jump ship. Thing would be interesting if Starhub wins. How would the fans choose between EPL and World Cup?

Sometimes I just hate those so-called exclusive rights. (Well, I say ‘sometimes’. If I have invested in Singtel, I may have different feeling.)

I think my brother-in-law should just stick to Starhub and watch La Liga instead. After all, Christiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi play in the bull-fighting kingdom. Ladies should also consider throwing your support behind La Liga, as Ronaldo is good-looking

Thursday, October 08, 2009


Do you like graffiti?

Well, I do – provided that it is nicely drawn…

You may want to read SK’s post on the same topic, here.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Melaka at Night

I was in Melaka (Malacca) on Oct 3, 2009, when Chinese celebrated Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as Lantern Festival and Moon Cake Festival. I was hoping to capture the image of moon over the Melaka River. Thing didn’t turn out well, as it was a cloudy night. Anyway, here are some photos for sharing…

The clock tower…

Melaka River

Another view of the river…

The famous Jonker Walk…

Off topic:
When I was on my way back from Melaka, the traffic was heavy. The Federal Highway was packed even at 11.30pm. Why can't the people sleep early???

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Camera Protection

DSLR (digital single lens reflex camera) used to be luxury items. With the price drop in the last few years, more and more people own them. Today, when I stroll along the street or shopping mall, I often see people with DSLR dangling around their necks or shoulders. In many cases, the lens caps have been removed.

How do you protect your camera lens from accidental damage?

Rule #1: Always replace the lens cap when you are not taking picture.

Rule #2: If you are not going to take picture in the next 10 minutes, keep the camera inside the bag.

One common way to protect the lens is to attach a UV filter over it. When I bought my Canon 50mm f1.8 lens for RM300, I invested another RM60 for a UV filter. However, after comparing the pictures taken with and without the filter, I regretted.

UV filter degrades image quality. This is particular true if you use a low-quality filter. High-quality filters, such as those made by B+W, fare better, but they are pricey. As such, I suggest that you only buy a protective filter for the expensive lens. Never attach a low-quality UV filter to a high-grade lens.

Another way to protect the lens is to use the lens hood. Unlike UV filter, lens hood does not degrade image quality. However, hoods for wide-angle lenses may be too shallow to be effective.

Rule #3: Hang your camera over your neck, NOT shoulder.

If, on the other hand, you use a compact camera, remember to power it off when not taking picture.

Lens hood for protection

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Teenagers and Sex

Forbidden fruit by Daniela Uhlig

This is my first post about sex. But no worry, this is not an 18SX material.

I recall somebody mentioned that teenage girls who were sexually active tended to have low self-esteem. But the reverse was true for teenage boys. Boys who were sexually active tended to have high self-esteem.

I do not know if there is a proof for these statements, but they certainly make sense. Young girls who have low self-esteem use their bodies to gain acceptance, or love, among guys. Or they like to boast about their sexual encounters among their peers. Guys, on the other hand, simply treat sexual activities as a physiological fulfillment or power over the weaker sex.

Assuming that the statements are true, what are the implications? Now, if we want to discourage teenage sex, we should give more attention to the girls. We can’t tell the boys to lower their esteem, but we certainly can help raise the self-esteem of the girls.