Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The stairs are free but some prefer to use the crowd-filled elevator.

The stairs are free but some prefer to use the crowd-filled elevator.

I read this somewhere in The Star newspaper but I can't remember who wrote this. I think it was some campaign to promote exercising.

Yes, I find it funny that there are people who prefer to wait and wait and wait for the lift instead of using the stairs to climb just one floor up.

Especially in that College X where I have once worked before, I have seen students using the lift just to go one floor up or one floor down when the stairs are just so nearby!! If you are using the lift to get to the 10th floor, then it's ok. But if you are using the lift to get to the next floor, I feel like smacking my head!!

I don't like using the lift because I am paranoid of germs. Imagine especially if someone with TB sneezes/coughs in the lift. Wow, if that happens you can't escape from it. LOL!

In fact, I have always used the stairs to climb to the 6th floor (almost on a daily basis) in one particular place I have worked before because there are always dozens of people waiting for the lift. Instead of waiting, I just climbed the stairs.

So, use the stairs! Exercise your legs. It's a free gym!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Do we need to go to tuition?

I noticed that many parents nowadays send their kids to tuition centres? Do we need to do that? I'm never a fan of tuition centres. To me, going to tuition is useless and a waste of time.

I have seen young children as young as Standard 1 students being sent to tuition centres. I wonder what their parents are doing?? Can't they teach their own children simple arithmetic or simple English grammar or simple Bahasa Malaysia? Or maybe these parents themselves are uneducated.

In my opinion, opening up a tuition centre is very profitable because many parents today are fond of sending their children to tuition centres. If they are so lazy to teach their own children simple Standard 1 lessons, let me do it for them by charging them money.

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Only those who have lived through the 80s will know what a mullet is. Mullet is a type of hairstyle which is short in front and long at the back. Many considered mullet as the worst hairstyle of all time. LoL! But I think if you style it nice enough, it will be cool.

Yes, I once had a mullet when I was a kid in the 80s. Short at the front and some long trail of hair at the back. If I were to have this hairstyle again today, many will frown at me. Yet, there are still people having this hairstyle. Who? You guess it. It's the Ah Bengs!

Now I will take an opportunity to show you what a mullet is and one of my favourite 80s songs of all time (Icehouse - Electric Blue). I wish musicians would produce good pop songs today as in the 80s. Icehouse is an Australian new wave/synthpop band. Pop bands are very rare in the 90s and today. Instead what we have today are boybands who don't write their own songs or play any instruments on their own.

In those days, the keyboard players played an important role in pop bands because the 80s is synonymous with electronic pops! You will also find that the keyboards in those days are like guitars which you can hang over your shoulder.

Let's go back to the days when we have genuine pop bands who play pop songs! And mullets! Watch out for the lead singer and the drummer with mullets.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Flu

Influenza (flu) is infection of the lungs and airways with one of the influenza viruses. The flu is not the same as the common cold. The flu is a more serious infection such as the swine flu (H1N1) or the bird flu (H5N1).

Influenza virus is spread by inhaling droplets that have been coughed or sneezed out by an infected person or by having direct contact with an infected person's secretions. That's why I have been repeating 49 times that one should practise cough/sneeze etiquette. Please don't blame the cold weather for it. The flu is caused by a virus. I repeat, a virus.

So, what are the symptoms of the flu? Sore throat, runny nose, cough, chills, fever, body aches and pain, headache, and watery eyes. Yes, the symptoms are the same as the common cold. The symptoms for the flu could start 24 to 48 hours after infection or it could begin suddenly!

How to treat it? All you need to do is to rest adequately, drink plenty of fluids, and avoid exertion. Fever may be treated with acetaminophen (paracetamol, as it is commonly known here in Malaysia). Alternatively, the flu may be treated with antiviral drugs.

And since the flu is a virus infection, antibiotics will not cure you. Antibiotics are to be taken if it is a bacterial infection, such as a bacterial pneumonia infection.

Should I say it again? Practise cough/sneeze etiquette!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

H5N1 is back

Remember SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) seven years ago? Well, it's back!

Hong Kong has confirmed its first case of human bird flu in seven years and raised the bird flu alert to ‘serious’. Read here.

A 59-year-old woman had tested positive for H5N1 bird flu after returning to Hong Kong from the Chinese mainland, and is in serious condition in a local hospital.

We just had H1N1 last year and this year we are going to have another round of flu, this time, H5N1.

Again, the worry is where did she contract the flu from? She must have got it from someone or from the birds.

And please, everyone, please practise cough/sneeze etiquette. Just imagine how H1N1 which started in Mexico could spread to the entire world. We should thank those who don't practise cough/sneeze etiquette for that.

As long as we don't observe this etiquette, we are going to face another round of influenza pandemic again.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Something was in the hotel room, I am sure

It happened way back in September 2005 when I was working as an auditor. I was sent to Sungai Petani together with my colleagues and we stayed in a golf resort for one week. I will not name the hotel. If you know Sungai Petani well enough, then you will know there is only one golf resort in Sungai Petani. Haha.

All of the rooms are designed like a chalet and it is located at the end of the golf course. From the lobby, you need to drive to the end of the golf course to reach your room. Of course you still can walk there but it is quite far. It is pretty creepy since all of the rooms (or chalets) are lined along just next to a jungle.

I shared the room with one of my colleagues and my other two colleagues took another room just next door. On the very first night after working, my colleague took a bath first. After his turn, I took my bath and he left the room to discuss work related stuff with my other colleagues. Even the toilet is creepy enough because there is a small window at the top corner facing the jungle and the window is opened. If your imagination is running wild, you can just imagine what sort of things could climb in through that window. Haha.

Good thing nothing happened while I was bathing. So, I was wiping my body getting ready to come out when I hear a knock at the toilet door. I can remember it was a loud and obvious knock. The knock was just once, "KNOCK". Thinking that my colleague wanted to use the toilet, I quickly wrapped the towel around my body and opened the door. Nobody was outside the toilet. So, I walked around the room and indeed nobody was in the room. And yes, my colleague had already left the room earlier after bathing! At that point, I had goosebumps throughout my body and I could feel some chills running up my spine. Who knocked the toilet door just now?

I began to ponder whether it was my colleague who knocked on the door and then ran away? But it was impossible. I took just 5 seconds to open the door after the knock. And the room door is not very near to the toilet door, unlike most hotel rooms where the toilet door and the room door are just next to each other.

Whatever or whoever knocked the door, I was not perturbed to it because I have bigger things to worry at that time. My work! I was working in a tight deadline environment! But I am sure that there was something in the hotel room. However, there were no other incidents for that entire week. Or could it be just a door crack? I don't think so because I can clearly remember the knock was loud and obvious as if someone has knocked on the door.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Some English radio stations in Malaysia

1. Hitz.FM (previously Hitz FM)
I have stopped listening to this radio station since 10 years ago. All they play is only the current hits. They don't play any old songs at all. But I used to like the Rick Dees Top 40 programme every Saturday back then.

2. Mix FM
I listened to this radio station somewhere between 2000 and 2006. My favourite programme is the one-hour Awesome 80s programme. I remembered that the Awesome 80s programme was on every weekday morning at 8am. Then in 2004, they shifted the programme to 8pm instead. They played 80s music throughout the day with songs from other decades sandwiched in between. I don't listen to Mix FM anymore today.

3. Lite FM (previously Light and Easy)
I began listening to Lite FM somewhere in 2007 after I was dissappointed of how Mix FM has transformed into another Hitz FM. To my delight, Lite FM also introduced the Awesome 80s programme in 2007. I remembered that they have it every Saturday morning for two hours from 10am to 12pm.

There was also a time I listened to the then Light and Easy in 2003 for just one month. At that time, Light and Easy played more music from the 50s, 60s and 70s. They even had a programme that played songs from the 1940s!

4. Red FM
I can't remember exactly when I began listening to Red FM. Maybe in 2008 or 2007. Red FM also played a lot of 80s music but now I feel like it's just like Mix FM. Sadly, they played hip hop music as well. But most importantly Red FM have this Retro Disco programme on every Saturday night. They played music from the 70s and 80s for about two hours. Mix FM also used to have this programme many years ago but I'm not sure if Mix FM still have this similar programme today.

5. Classic Rock
Classic Rock only operated from 1997 to 1998. I used to listen to it just a while and it played only rock music and mostly classic rock from the 60s and 70s. But, the Classic Rock radio station can still be listened on Astro today. On some days I would switch on the TV just listening to this Classic Rock.

6. Talk Radio
As the title suggests, it's a talking radio station. LOL. It also operated just from 1997 to 1998. I used to listen to it as well. It's more like a forum radio station with a lot of discussion going on. Of course, they played music as well. I think Talk Radio is almost the same like RTM Radio 4 (now Traxx FM).

7. Traxx FM (previously Radio 4)
This is the radio station that I listened to before 1997 and I only listened to it when I'm in the car as a small boy. It's the only English station in Malaysia, I believe, during those time. I remembered there were more talkings than music on Radio 4, just like Talk Radio.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

How I like the 80s music

I don't really listen to the radio when I was a schoolboy in the 1990s. The only good radio station at that time was Radio 4 because that's the only English radio station available!

Then came 1997 with Hitz FM, Mix FM, Light and Easy, Talk Radio, and Classic Rock. My bas sekolah (school bus) driver used to play cassettes on his bus radio before 1997. And from 1997 onwards he began to tune in to Hitz FM. It was a great radio station playing songs from Will Smith, Savage Garden, Spice Girls, 911, Backstreet Boys, N'Sync, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera and so forth at that time. But I began to feel annoyed with these bubblegum pops and the resurgence of hip hops in the late 1990s.

It was a relief when the bus driver changed to Mix FM one particular week in the year 2000. Mix FM was once famous for playing lots of 80s music. Yes, 80s music all the way. Sadly, Mix FM sounds like Hitz FM today. Lite FM (previously Light and Easy) has now taken over the role from Mix FM of playing lots of 80s music. Red FM also plays lots of 80s music.

It is very nostalgic listening to 80s music after not listening to 80s music throughout the 1990s because there were no good radio stations in the 1990s.

From that day onwards, I fell in love with 80s music. It is so much better compared to 90s music for sure. It is also so much better compared to 70s music because 70s pop music are too cheesy. But 70s classic rock are good, very good!

Let me share with you one of my favourite 80s songs (Whitesnake - Is This Love). It is a power ballad sung by a hair metal band. Power ballad is soft rock in layman term. Hair metal is the 80s heavy metal in layman term.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Bill Clinton at INTI International University

Bill Clinton was here at INTI International University, Nilai giving a speech to students. It was reported in The Star right here.

In his speech, Clinton gave a definition of a good citizen of his time and today.

“In my time, the definition was this: If you are young, you get as much education as you can, you give your best effort when you take a job, you pay your taxes honestly and you cast an informed vote in every election,” he said.

“Today, one more item has been added – every educated person with awareness of social conditions should also devote his time, skill and even resources to solve public concerns as a private citizen.”

I find what he said was really inspirational.

I wonder why our local politicians could not give such inspirational political speeches like most of the American presidents could do.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Burn, burn, burn...and pollute the air.

A few days ago while I was studying, I decided to open the window to breathe some fresh air. Instead, I smelt something unpleasant. Air pollution! My nearby neigbour has been burning again. They were burning some incense on the road. They will do it every month.

I noticed that only Malaysians and Singaporeans have developed their own newfound culture of burning really really really big incense. They are helping us to destroy the planet. We all know that the Chinese in mainland China don't burn such big big big incense. Only Malaysians/Singaporeans do such thing. If I am not mistaken I believe that such culture of burning big big big and really big incense does not exist like 10 or 20 years ago. So what happened?

Thank you again, Malaysian/Singaporean businessmen for telling lies again. Yes, the bigger incense you burn, the better because through this way only the God will notice. That was what I was told. Looks like our unscrupulous Malaysian/Singaporean Ah Beng businessmen are making good fortunes here by selling lots of big big big incense.

My neighbour, Ah Beng, will always burn as well. Especially with the SPM exams coming soon, the family will burn, burn, and burn hoping that it will help their son to score really well. Rigghht. Anyway, he always hang out with his friends almost on a daily basis. Well, some people don't need to study, they just need to burn to score well in exams.

Perhaps they have not heard this verse "God helps those who help themselves."

You see, I don't mind if you practise your religion, but please bear in mind that what you are doing is detrimental to our planet and to everyone because you are polluting the air.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Two young Malaysians were infected with HIV through dental treatments?

It was recently reported in The Sun newspaper and here, that two young Malaysians working in Singapore have tested positive for HIV in the last four months. The two young Malaysians, both aged 20, went for a blood test to renew their work permit in Singapore. One of them, a young woman, broke down on the spot when the doctor revealed that she is HIV positive.

Both of them claimed that they were virgins, did not do drugs, and have not had any blood tranfussions. So how were they infected?

It was believed that they were infected after undergoing dental treatment.

The doctor that tested one of them said "if the dental equipment was not cleaned properly and the earlier patient was HIV positive, it could spread that way."

Okayyy, that's dangerous. Many of us have been to a dentist, so now, should we all go for a HIV blood test now?

I have already taken the HIV blood test two months ago in Island Hospital and thankfully it was negative. You can read my post again - Lung Infection (Part 7).

Doctors in Malaysia are not allowed to do a HIV blood test on us unless we have given permission to them to do so. I believe this is due to ethical reason. That day, the doctor had to ask my permission to do a HIV blood test on me.

Please take precaution whenever you have to deal with blood or any bodily fluids. HIV is spread through blood, semen, vaginal discharge, and breast milk. Experts said that HIV cannot be spread through saliva. But bear in mind that the saliva of an infected person does contain the HIV virus. All they said is that the HIV virus in the saliva is insignificant.

Ladies and gentlemen, please have a talk with your dentist next time to 'educate' him/her to sterilise the equipment before he/she treats you. Please take precautions!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Some lil' history on Israel

Israel is the only country on this planet Malaysians are not allowed to visit.

Why? I think I don't need to say it here. I know it, you know it.

Okay, by now everyone knows there are a lot of conflicts going on in the Middle East especially between Israel and other Arab countries. Well, the conflict is said to have started back in the biblical times.

And the conflict started again when Israel gained independence on 14 May 1948 after The United Nations granted independence to Israel as a country in its own right within the Middle East.

On the very same day when Israel gained independence, the armies of Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq attacked Israel. Hence, the 1948 Arab-Israeli war began. The war lasted for about a year. The Israelis called it the War of Independence that claimed 6,000 Israeli lives.

If you want to read more, read it here.

It was a surprise attack but the Israeli army was well-equipped. So not surprisingly, Israel won the war and it occupied more neighbouring territories as a result. Of course, that led to more trouble as you know it today. And the conflict never ends, until today.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dinner at Hard Rock Hotel

I was invited to a sponsored dinner at Hard Rock Hotel recently and the food was really great.
I was here five years ago as well for a company-sponsored dinner. That time the hotel was known as Casuarina Hotel. Casuarina Hotel was very laid-back and it gives you this 70s feeling when you entered the hotel. However, the hotel was then bought up by Hard Rock Hotel and the entire place was renovated, refurbished, and re-opened last year.
A typical chinese set dinner was served. That's the menu.

Thankfully, it is NOT a shark fin soup. It is a crabmeat soup. Ladies and gentlemen, please do not ever request/order/consume shark fin soup, if you are a socially responsible human being. If you are going to host a dinner, please do NOT ever request for a shark fin soup.

My favourite - deep fried boneless chicken. Yum yum.

It changes colour!

That's a nice guitar I would like to own.

Hard Rock Hotel at night.

There is a gigantic guitar right at the entrance to Hard Rock Hotel.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Is WOU's CEMBA recognised overseas or not?

Is Wawasan Open University's Commonwealth Executive Master of Business Administration (CEMBA) recognised overseas or not?

The above question is very misleading. Allow me to clear this up.

1. An MBA is not a professional degree. It is an academic degree.

So, there is no such issue as whether Singapore, Australia, US or whatever countries will recognise it or not. It is because an MBA is not a professional degree. There are no professional bodies like a professional accounting body or a professional engineering body to validate certain degrees from certain universities from certain countries.

In fact, even ACCA allows everyone to study ACCA regardless of you having a degree or not. If you have a degree and upon inspection of the syllabus of your degree, then you might be given exemptions by ACCA.

2. MBA is usually taken by those wishing to advance their career in the corporate sector.

No matter where you work, no employers will outright reject you just because your MBA is from WOU. WOU is an accredited university in Malaysia, so why would anyone wants to reject WOU?

As long as you don't BUY your degrees from some Internet sites representing some non-existing universities, your degree is accepted whether it is from WOU, USM, UM, UKM, UPM, Limkokwing, Multimedia, Uniten, etc.

But of course, some employers may prefer to hire candidates who graduated from a certain top ranking university but this is a totally different issue. This is just their recruitment criteria. This is not a recognition issue, definitely.

3. There are also people who studied MBA as a stepping stone to pursue their PhD provided the MBA has a research project component.

This is my personal opinion. I have friends who have studied coursework Masters (even from overseas universities) that do not contain any research project components. If they wish to continue their studies to a doctoral level, then I believe they would face problem in conducting a doctoral research.

If that's the case, the university may require these students/candidates to do a MPhil (Master of Philosophy) or an Honours degree programme as a prerequisite to their PhD research. Then, they would have to spend probably a year or two years before they can begin their PhD research.

Again, this does not mean that a university does not recognise your Master. You are still allowed to continue your studies provided you complete their prerequisite course first. To be safe, study for one which contain a research project component

4. In my opinion, an MBA with a research component is much better compared to an MBA without a research component. WOU's MBA has a research project component.

In my opinion, the WOU's MBA should be good because there is a research component in the syllabus which requires you to do a research project using either a quantitative method or a qualitative method. This would prepare you well for a more thorough and comprehensive doctoral research.

MBA recognised or not recognised. Let me clear this up.

I think one common question that everyone would like to know is whether Wawasan Open University's (WOU) MBA is recognised in other countries or not.

For example, someone asked "Is WOU Commonwealth Executive Master of Business Administration (CeMBA) recognised in Singapore"?

And a lawyer (I don't know this lawyer, thankfully) once gave a statement, "Why study in WOU when the courses are not recognised overseas"

I don't mean to be rude but the above picture exactly depicts what I felt on hearing especially that statement by the lawyer. I find it funny that the ignorant lawyer could say such thing when he himself cannot practise law outside Malaysia.

Let me clear all this confusion.

First to the question on whether WOU's MBA is recognised overseas or not. Seriously, I don't know how to answer this. If you asked this question, does this mean that if you have an MBA from WOU, no employers would hire you just because your MBA is from WOU? Don't you think that's nonsense?

Also, I have heard people saying that Malaysian's public universities degrees are not recognised in Singapore. What nonsense. So again, if you graduated from a public university from Malaysia, no employers would hire you just because your degree is from a Malaysian public university? That's nonsense, don't you think so?

I will drone on this misconception in a new post above.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Buffet at Bayview Beach Resort

Last Sunday, a close relative gave my family a nice treat to a buffet lunch at Bayview Beach Resort. We had a great time to bond ourself with each other on a nice Sunday lazy afternoon. I remembered coming here five years ago for a company sponsored team-building training. Now here I am again five years later.

Bayview Beach Resort is located in Batu Feringghi, Penang. It is located just next to Hard Rock Hotel. Yes, they are neighbours. And both of them are by the beach.
We had the buffet lunch at the La Veranda Coffee House. There is a huge variety of food. Salad, fried rice, fried bee hoon, ham, wantan, vegetables, porridge, duck meat, beef, chicken, pizza, sausage, fried squid, tempura, and the list goes on...hey it's a buffet!

Mmm mmm...yum yum. The food was really awesome.

You saw it right. There are satays! There are roti canai, ice kacang, ice creams, puddings, fruits, and cheese cakes. I was so full that day that I could not sample all of the food there. I wish I could go there again.

The pool is just next to the coffee house. I feel like dipping myself in the pool.

I took a nice walk down this path. Just beautiful.

There is really a big garden just before the beach.

A hotel by the beach. Just splendid!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

The common cold - It's so common

Ever had a runny nose, sneezy, fever, and cough? It must be the common cold. It's so common that everyone will get it from time to time.

Many will blame the cold weather. But hey, the common cold is not caused by the weather. It's caused by a virus. I repeat - it's a viral infection. It is not caused by the cold weather or the food you ate recently. That's what the book said.

The common cold is not the same as the influenza (flu). A flu is a more serious viral infection like H1N1 or the bird flu.

A person with the common cold could infect you when he/she sneezes or coughs near you. You will also be infected when he wipes off his nasal secretions with his hands and touches you.

How to cure it? Sorry, until today scientists have yet to discover any anti-viral drugs to cure it. But the good news is that you will recover on your own within two weeks. So, just take a good rest and drink plenty of fluids if you have the common cold.

Most importanly, cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze. Please practise cough/sneeze etiquette.

But if you are coughing for more than two weeks, remember the important rule!
Think TB unless proven otherwise. Go see the doctor immediately if you are coughing for more than two weeks. And please no, not the chinese sinseh.

Now you learn something.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A man chasing a dog

Last Friday night, while I was doing my assignment, I heard a straydog barking, at the backlane of my house. I didn't really bother about it because the dog would usually bark at something.

Previously, many times I have looked out from the window but I saw no one or nothing. I guess the dog was just barking at some ghosts. So, this time I didn't bother. Furthermore, I am rushing to finish off my assignments.

A couple of minutes later, I heard someone running. I opened the window and saw a man chasing after the dog! Not only he was chasing after the dog, he was splashing some water at the dog (not sure where he got the water from).

He was chasing the dog like a mad man from one end of the backlane to the other end of the backlane.

Well, I felt suspicious. It was already ten something at night and what was this guy doing at the backlane? And why was he so angry of the dog that he wanted to chase the dog away from the backlane.

I opened the backdoor and I lost him. He dissappeared at the end of the backlane.

First of all, there were a couple of minor theft cases in the backlane of my house a few months ago. Someone has actually stole an electrical appliance from my house by removing the window panes. I was not the only the victim, some of my nearby neighbours also fell victim to this thief.

Now I am wondering, was he the thief? Now I should be more cautious whenever the dog at the backlane starts barking. Dogs are natural guards!