Saturday, July 28, 2007

House elf

Tis the weekend and I am pooped. Maintaining an apartment is tiring stuff. Especially when one lives with others who think that chaos is the natural order of things and find it sacrilegious to interfere with the universe.

There is no way I can possibly move back into a rented room again. Mainly because I have collected too much stuff. The fridge and washing machine for example.

People have warned me not to gather too much rubbish, which would only make my moving out more difficult. Yet how long is one to postpone having a comfortable home to avoid having to suffer a day (or two) of inconvenience in moving out? Plus I am more than willing to pay for movers. Best things since sliced bread!

Anyway, I finally went back to Segambut for my second taste of their famous seafood noodles. We sat right back, under a tree facing the kitchen. If you are acquainted with typical Malaysian food establishments, you would know at once that this is NOT a good idea. When it comes to street food, ignorance is bliss - from what goes in the pot, to the sight of the pot itself.

Yet it is through the unhygienic exposure to these unsung microbes that we Malaysians have stomach linings that can withstand anything short of rocket fuel.

The owners actually make their own chilli paste and while we slurped our tomyam noodles we watched at this worker patiently stirred a humongous vat of chilli and belacan and some unknown concoction. His wok is as big as the ones the Malays use to make dodol. And his large custom-made spatula is as tall if not taller than me. Of course he was doing all this in front of an open garbage shute and compulsory drain with pieces of trash strewn about. And yet, people come to this place in droves.

I so would not recommend bringing any Mat Salleh guests here. They would get food poisoning faster than you can say Ta Pau!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Faux pax, Legal Qualifying Board!

Taken from The Star, July 25 2007
Ex-CLP exam director guilty

KUALA LUMPUR: Former Certificate in Legal Practice (CLP) examination director Khalid Yusoff was found guilty yesterday by a Sessions Court here of forgery and cheating in the July 2001 examination “masterlist”.

Judge Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal, who ruled that the prosecution had succeeded in proving the case beyond reasonable doubt, said Khalid was solely motivated to increase the passing rate of the CLP examination.

“The accused has no lawful authority to upgrade the marks as he did. I find the explanation given by the accused quite bizarre and mind-boggling,” remarked the judge, who fixed sentencing for Monday.

Upon hearing the verdict, Khalid, 56, hugged his lead counsel Jagjit Singh who had to console him. His wife and children broke down in court.

Khalid was alleged to have forged the CLP examination masterlist with the intention of using it for cheating at the Malaysian Legal Profession Qualifying Board’s office on the 27th floor of Menara Tun Razak between August 2001 and Sept 13 that year.

He faces a maximum jail term of seven years and a fine for the charge under Section 468 of the Penal Code.

In discussion: Khalid (centre) talking with his lawyers Jagjit Singh (right) and Akbardin Abd Kadir (left) while leaving the Sessions Court premises in Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

He is also alleged to have cheated the board by deceiving it into believing that the July 2001 CLP examination results reflected the actual marks given by the examiners and inducing it into endorsing the masterlist at the same place on Sept 13 that year.

He faces a maximum five years in jail or fine, or both, under Section 417 of the Penal Code for this charge.

The judge said a perusal of the witness statement of the late board chairman Tan Sri Mohtar Abdullah revealed that Mohtar did not say that the marks could be increased to maintain passing rate of 30%.

He said Mohtar, who was then the Attorney-General, had said in his statement that any matter outside the professional duties of Khalid including the bumiputra quota should be referred to the qualifying board.

The judge found that Khalid did not refer the matter to the qualifying board.

He said Khalid had testified that the criteria used to upgrade the marks were called “moderation” and that it was an accepted process, legal and part of his professional duty as stated in his contract of employment.

“The existence of a review committee cannot absolve the accused because they are not like the qualifying board members,” the judge said, adding that the function of the review committee was to reflect an acceptable passing rate of between 30% and 35%.

“But the evidence shows that the passing rate for the July 2001 examination was very low, only 12%. After review, the passing percentage was raised to 25%.

“Although the accused claimed that he applied several criteria to upgrade the marks, I feel it is a means to an end. The objective was just to pass the candidates,” he said.

The judge said Khalid knew very well that there was a new CLP board meeting on Sept 13 but the accused had remained silent when queried by board member High Court judge Abdul Wahab Patail on how the exam results were evaluated.

Khalid is out on bail pending sentencing.

Monster says: So after YEARS of denying the existence of a racial quota for the CLP exams, what the hell was that reference to the bumi quota in the report? And having it referred to the Qualifying Board only shows that discrimination in the legal profession is institutionalised.

Monday, July 23, 2007

avada kedavra annoying neighbour

Speaking of squashes. The household  just had a shouting match with my witless neighbour. Tempers were flying all over the place.

We have been having car park issues for a time and one of the main culprits who parks in our spot is our neighbour. Our neighbour's house holds many occupants, and while they have a spot just next to ours, they will always park another car of theirs in our spot. Although we clamp, they come up with some cock and bull story and the guards will let them off. Incompetant fools. We can't even use our spot when we really needed to because of this nitwit.

We have clamped, the guards have given them warning and yet still this continues. Today we were in the midst of clamping the car when this chap came running and we naturally snapped and scolded him because this is becoming such a nuisance. He maintained that it was NOT his car and he is only moving it.

And he had the audacity to be pissed off that we scolded him because he maintains that it was not his car but his friend who was the one who parked there. We don't even know if it is true. Just like that. He was like, hey, it is not me who parked here, not my fault, buzz off! No apology, no promise to tell his friend not to do it again, nothing!

The security guards were there to tell him to tell his friend and he asked us to go upstairs and
scold his friend instead. And then the security guards just let him go without fining him! My neighbour is the typical chinese secondary school gangster type. The selfish type that would not listen to reason.

One one hand, with these kind of specimen, I do fear real retribution but on the other hand, I can't let them walk all over us. Now I know why the rich live in bungalows with as much land as possible from their neighbours.

Where is Fawkes?

Ok folks. There has been no blogging for the past few days because I had more pressing matters to attend to. For instance :

1. Heavily deriding MPH, Popular and Times bookstores for their foolish and uncalled for action of refusing to sell Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows because Tesco and Carrefour are selling the book for RM40 cheaper. I have sent MPH a very cross email and I hope that more people do.

2. Reading the above mentioned Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (bought from Tesco)

What is worse than being at work with less than 4 hours sleep?
Having NOBODY to talk to about the book!

The book was laboriously slow in the middle but it was very very necessary to build momentum and to allow the reader to experience Harry's frustration, longing and agitation in relation to his mission. Must read. I was right about two unlikely heroes and I SO wish i had a wand. Then I can turn my neighbours into tiny roaches that I can squash. ( If there was a Hogwarts I will so be head prefect of Slytherin, I am sure)

In my humble opinion, it is the best Potter book ever. So much so that while I was taking notes for a meeting today, I unconciously was scribbling Dark instead of Date, which reminded me of the Dark Mark, which then reminded me of Malfoy, then Dementors, which in turn brought forth a Patronus and then Snape. Let's just say, I was glad nobody asked me questions during the meeting.

p/s. 7 horcruxes and 7 HP books. Coincidence? Unlikely. Indeed, Rowling did pour a little of her soul into each book and through them guarantee her immortality.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Chocolate frogs and Butterbeer

We went to watch Harry Potter today. Daniel Radcliff still looks like a kid thank god, and the Weasley twins are looking more dashing and the effects are as usual - magical. Nevertheless quite a few things have been left out and it does not convey depth nor continuation which, especially for a fan of the series, is unforgivable.

Characters were treated rather cursorily and the death of Sirius, pardon the pun, was not serious at all. In all I would give the movie a C+. Get the book. Perhaps it is unfair to expect a 2 and a half hour film to do the work of a 900 page book but then, the last film fared much better.

Nevertheless the movie's timing is just perfect to launch the last book of the series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I would definitely need to have a quick read through The Half-Blood Prince as I have forgotten just so many things from it. I want to remember the loose ends that Rowling has promised to tie up with the upcoming book.

While my itchy fingers are dying to get the book, I know that my RM99 can be better spent elsewhere. Do I wait for the book to be up for rent or do I succumb to desire - you will be the first to know. I don't know if I am ready to be done with HP's wizardly world. Anyone bound for Hogsmeade?

It's nothing but mocktails from now on

A few tips for a night out.

1. Eat more that a cheese frankfurther for dinner
2. Plan to have only ONE long island ice tea a night
3. Do NOT have another above-mentioned drink within a half hour of the other
4. A whisky right after is NOT a good idea
5. When your stomach starts having a mind of its own, it is probably a good idea to obey unconditionally
6. When the club fixtures seem to look more becoming than the men around you, it is time to leave
7. Always have a friend/boyfriend/maid at home to hold your hair back while you offer your stomach contents to the toilet bowl goddess

Man, I got plastered on Friday. I have disgraced my people.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Social Reform tomorrow?

I know of a cancer survivor.

She survived stage 1 cancer by early detection and surgery.

Now she is free from the disease.

But now nobody wants to hire her because of her increased risk in contracting cancer again. Companies do not want to have to pay a higher premium for her insurance.

So she survives cancer but is now discriminated against because of it.

My heart bleeds for her. It is so wrong. Something is seriously wrong with the way we run our lives.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Hocus pocus, piles and locusts

I resent it deeply when I am made to sacrifice my weekends. Especially when I do not get compensation. And when it was never mentioned up front. And even more so when it is not my job at all.

My dad advocates hard work and patience. My heart advocates handing in a rude tell-all no-holds barred resignation letter. Delivered down the throat of the unnamed perpetrator naturally. Yet looking at priorities - sustenance, habitat and ZARA is on sale - the road i take is a no brainer. The last week has been a particularly trying one. I hope I will not resort to confrontation because I am not good at keeping my temper. And what is worse, my voice turns into a high pitched squeak when I am emotional. Totally wipes out the gravity of the situation. Who takes a mouse seriously I ask you.

And professionalism is a man-made fallacy. Are you going to say that say for example you get screwed by your boss, embarrassed in public, made the scapegoat out of, taken advantage of, backstabbed, etc -you can still keep a straight face, concentrate on work alone and don't let it get to you personally? Who are you kidding? Only boulders do that. Pathological homicidal fantasies are made of these, baby.

So just to let you know that while i am working on this blasted paper on this Sunday afternoon, blunt force trauma is not too far away.

Monday, July 02, 2007


Just like how some songs have a special significance attached to it due to some personal experience, some places also resonate vibes so strong that the mere mention of its name or something just remotely connected to it will triggers a deluge of unbidden emotions.

For instance, I cannot use Rejoice shampoo anymore because its scent reminds me of the communal showers on a hot summer day at UWC of Hong Kong. And I pine to go back in time again. And maybe this time, I will try to be nice to the resident poet.

For reasons that are unknown to me, I have been thinking of Singapore lately and I feel an immense loneliness. It is inexplicable.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Just breathe

Recently I have been having heart palpitations. Like a little hummingbird trapped in my chest cavity wondering what the heck it is doing there and it wants out-fast.

A quick search indicated that some of the the possible reasons include stress (check), anxiety(check) or excessive alcohol (if only).

Being aware of my mortality with every irregular heartbeat is a bizarre experience.
Just breathe.
*cue Telepopmusik