Monday, December 15, 2008

Christina Milian - Us Against The World

If the sun shuts down and decided not to shine no more
I would still have you, baby
If we see the last day and they say we gotta go to war
I'll be fighting with you, baby

Cos I know if I'm falling
You won't let me hit the ground
If the boat is sinking
I know you won't let me drown

No matter what anyone could say
This is the only place for me
And no one could ever take that away
Nothing could come between us

If the sun shuts down and decided not to shine no more (No more)
I would still have you, you, you ,you, you, you, you
If we see the last day and they say we gotta go to war (To War)
I'll be fighting with you, you, you ,you, you
Because it's us against the world
The world, the world
You know it's us against the world
The world, the world, ohh

Now if I'm lost at sea 7 days I'm not alone
If I'm holding you, you, you, you, you
And if it all ends, everybody in the world is gone
I'll be standing with you, baby

And if it's the last breath I take
I'll leave my cares with you
If there's a wall between us, baby
I know I'll break through

No matter what anyone could say
This is the only place for me
And no one could ever take that away
Nothing could come between us, no-oh

If the sun shuts down and decided not to shine no more (No more)
I would still have you, you, you ,you, you, you, you
If we see the last day and they say we gotta go to war (To War)
I'll be fighting with you, you, you ,you, you
Because it's us against the world

Nothing's stronger now than you and I
Cos your love is all I got
And this we're never gonna stop,
No, whoa
There's no distance here when we're apart
Come on in from the cold
Lay your head on my shoulder
Ride like a soldier
I'ma stay right here

If the sun shuts down and decided not to shine no more (No more)
I would still have you, you, you ,you, you, you, you
If we see the last day and they say we gotta go to war (To War)
I'll be fighting with you, you, you ,you, you
Because it's us against the world
The world, the world
You know it's us against the world
The world, the world

Because it's us against the world
The world, the world
You know it's us against the world
The world, the world

Because it's us against the world
The world, the world
You know it's us against the world
The world, the world, oh

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Woah ! Goodies and eye candies

Kate Hudson featured in this Harper's Bazaar issue looking absolutely fabulous. She never looked better than now. Oh lovely. Here's what she had to say. "No, I'm single. I'm totally single." That unattached emphasis is from Kate Hudson, who tells the January issue of Harper's Bazaar UK that she's still figuring out how to date in the spotlight. "I was never single in the industry -- when the movies came out and I started getting more jobs, I was always married," explains the former Mrs. Chris Robinson, who this year hooked up and broke up with both Owen Wilson -- for the second time -- and Lance Armstrong.

"So the whole thing is very new to me, and it hits you very fast because the publications jump on you. You're dating everybody you walk around with -- you can't have any male friends. It's weird." Another thing Kate finds weird is the intense scrutiny her tiny figure is under from the paparazzi and the tabloids. "They've said maybe four times recently that I'm pregnant. Because I'm leaning over in the picture! You think about it, and you're like, 'What are you doing?'" she rants. "It's all bulls---. Excuse my language, but it is. Women's bodies change -- they change all the time."

Yeah its bulls that Kate's preggers. Just look at her abs. Perfect! Her bod is as tight, firm and toned as it can get. Fabulous.



Oh no. No, she didn't. She wouldn't.

Yep, she did.

Jennifer Aniston, who just a few days ago complained to USA Today about the "ridiculous" interest in her personal life, has apparently decided to up the ante in the PR battle with Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie by mentioning two of their kids by name.
"The funny thing is that people don't realize we all go away to the Hamptons on the weekends," she jokes when asked about the continuing coverage of the long-ago drama by January's GQ, for whom she poses sporting only a necktie and a golden, gorgeously toned and boob-tastic (not unlike her 2005 GQ cover) epidermis, which is a bold choice considering she's promoting the family-friendly dog flick "Marley & Me."

Jen's hot isn't she? Phewit..Stumbled on this at msn.com would you believe it? Lol

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Lin Dan dominates yet again

Though no.1 on paper, Lee Chong Wei remains the second best player in world badminton behind Lin Dan, the reigning World and Olympic champion. Lee was firmly put in his place by a dominant performance from Lin Dan in the just concluded China Open Super Series.

This was the first competitive tournament for Lin who took a long break from badminton after his gold medal winning feat in the Beijing Olympics. Lin showed no signs of rust or lack of match fitness as he glided around the court effortlessly.

For Lee, Lin remains his bogey player as he again was defeated, this time the score was not as lopsided as the Olympic final. It ended with Lin having the upper hand in straight games 21-18, 21-9.

Lee's performance in the match was sufficient to defeat any player but against Lin, something more was needed.

Lee started the match brightly but slowly Lin crept back the score and managed to nip the first game. The second game was smooth sailing as Lee appeared out of sorts and could not come up with his best game.

It is unfortunate for Lee to be playing in the same generation as Lin, for if Lin wasn't around Lee would be the undisputed no.1 in the game. Lin is now arguably one of the best players to ever play the game with his killer smashes and trademark explosive sudden burst of movement. Lin has won all the major tournaments to be won in badminton and he will surely be inducted into the hall of fame when he retires.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Strange panicking

It's Monday and i have classes from 8.30 to 10am. That's all for the day. Pathetic isn't it? Actually what i am going to tell has got something to do with the day before.

Sunday, i reach PJ at around 9.15pm after journey-ing from Melaka. First thing i did is online, i din online for 2 days while in mlk. I found out that my kaki gamer wasn't online. So i guess they must be out gaming. So i went to blitz and proEx to find them lo. I arrived late so i played around 1 hr like that and went to makan at Murni. Then went back to continue gaming. Then another friend of mine who was at proEx who just came out as i was about to enter told me he lost his wallet. Kesian weii..He alwiz nvr bring much cash with him 1..but yest he brought around RM100 and he lost it ! So another friend and I teman him go make police report at Uptown lo. After that to console him, we went Murni makan again.

Wtf !! I went there twice in a space of like 3 hours? Minum and makan till so full i hardly can move. Bcoz i drank 2 cups of teh ais medium. I cant sleep for the night. The first cup i ordered 1..the second was a mistake but i took it also so as not to trouble my waiter-friend. I ended up sleepless throughout the night.

Went to class at 8.30. I decided to walk instead of drive. After class finish, i was starting to get sleepy. The moment i reach my room and lie down. Terus tido weii. Tido till 4 sumthing. When i woke up, i have this strange panicky feeling that i'm late for class! FYI, i have no class already on monday.

The reason for that strange panicky feeling was because i thought that it was Tuesday already and i had slept from Monday morning till Tuesday noon. I thought i had missed the Chinese class again !! So dead la..i might be barred i thought. I start to dread and think of solutions. Then i on my laptop and see the date.

What the hell it was 4pm Monday only ler. I felt as if i had slept for so long and so comfortably that it was Tuesday already.

Crazy kan? Lolz. Actually i wrote this as a relief escape from reading the Malaysian Lit novels. Sengsara. Not nice at all.

So that is how!

Apparently it was a misunderstanding. The one i called hypocrite apparently didn't knew that the others in the row asked me to sit there. So i have to take back my words now and i have to apologize. I'm sorry for the incident and getting pissed b4 getting to the bottom of things.

But i won't put all the blame on myself bcoz after that incident, there wasn't any indication whatsoever to acknowledge the mistake or misunderstanding. And to compound matters, there were snides and snickers around. That really did it for me.

Anyway i'm glad this matter is over now and i really appreciate the effort that one of them took to explain things to me. I think this is a healthy development as being honest and open with each other is the best way to deal with things.

However, my sentiments remain. I still think it is not wise to get too close to any fren as it will amplify disappointments that come later. So it's best to keep it at a safe distance and to be neutral.

Friday, November 14, 2008

POSTMODERNISM

Do you know this term? No doubt some of you do, but do you really understand the meaning of it?

The term postmodernism was coined by a Frenchman Jean Francois Lyotard (1924 - 98). It is a new approach to thinking about the world. Some call it an ideology. Postmodernism is not primarily political. Although postmodernism is not generally thought of as an ideology, let alone a political ideology, it can lead to a position that asserts with absolute certainty that there is no truth. This crude form of postmodernism can sometimes look a lot like an ideology, but most postmodernist take a different position, arguing that truth depends on where you stand.

In this form, postmodernism has potential for undermining belief in any ideology because ideologies have traditionally claimed to have the singular truth, to be universal. Today, influenced by postmodernism, we in the 21st-century are much more aware of the local and contingent, and if the standpoint is ideological, postmodernism can be seen as actually reinforcing ideologies rather than undermine them. Each ideology is now probably best thought of as composed of subsets of closely related ways of viewing the world.

A complication for most of us is that we stand in more than once place. We view the world through lenses provided by ideology, gender, race, nationality, ethnicity, religion, and so forth. For many people, one of these will dominate, but others look through different glasses at different times regarding different issues. Most of us manage this shifts in perspective without conflict, often without even realising that we are doing so. We see ourselves as a whole rather than as multiple selves.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hypocrite

I've always thought you're not like that because you always get to the point and talk straight. But i'm really disappointed to say that you're actually a hypocrite.

When i wanted to have that seat, you said it was for A. So i let it go. Then comes along M and you let her sit there right in front of my face. What the hell u mean by that?

I'm not complaining because I didn't get the seat. It's just your attitude that grates on me. If you don't want me to sit there just say so lah. Don't need to spin another story so that I don't sit there. I would happily sit at another place if you say so. As if lah I crave to sit there so much.

I'm really disillusioned now on working together with the group. I find a number of people in the group being really unprofessional. Bringing private emotions into the working scenario is really bad. One shows a dour and emoless face everytime i try to communicate, another being openly hostile and another being bandwagonistic with the others. Wth, i thought we made it clear that private emotions should not disrupt the working relationship.

Maybe i should just leave and make you guys happy. I don't need to be there first of all. I could always participate in the struggle for equality without being one of the organisers. Anyway, organising jobs are not suitable for me at the time being because I find it tough dealing with unprofessional people.

Those of you who were really professional and honest, i really appreciate it and love our time together. I do not in anyway wish to link you to this but if you somehow felt that you're being affected by this writing, i sincerely apologize.

Such a depressing mood in such a gloomy day. What a perfect match.

Call of Duty 5 : World At War

Call of Duty fans, your wait for the next installation in the call of duty series is finally over. Call of Duty 5 : World At War was released on the 11th this month in the US and will be released tomorrow in Europe. The game will be released on all platforms, the PC, XBOX 360, Playstation3, Wii and NDS. The beta version for multiplayer had been in the gaming community for around a week now. So gamers already had a feel of how the game will play when the full version is out. This time CoD5 was developed by the Treyarch studio compared to InfinityWard for CoD4. The publisher Activision is now merged with Blizzard Entertainment to form a stronger company that can challenge Electronic Arts(EA).

Call of Duty®: World at War completely changes the rules of engagement by redefining WWII gaming and thrusting players into the final tension-filled, unforgiving battles against a new ferocious enemy in the most dangerous and suspenseful action ever seen in WWII.

Powered by Call of Duty® 4: Modern Warfare technology, Call of Duty: World at War brings an uncensored edge to combat, as soldiers face the most harrowing and climatic European and Pacific battles in which an enemy, who knows no surrender and no retreat, will fight to the last breath, unleashing an arsenal of lethal surprising tactics. Peril and danger lurk throughout the battlefield as players combat the unknown risk of the new chaos of battle.

From the remains of Russia and the ruins of Berlin, to the beach and jungles of the deadly Pacific Theater, the volatile action takes on added depth as players employ new features that previously were only-available in multiplayer, including perks, rankings and online stats in up-to full four-player cooperative gameplay. New infantry and vehicle-based weapons, like the potent flamethrower, bring the battlefield ablaze.

I seriously can't wait for the gaming gaming community in Malaysia to start playing this game. However, i do not wish this to cause CoD4 to suffer. Playing CoD4 on multiplayer is still the best first person shooter(FPS) for now. Nothing comes close, not even CounterStrike Source, Unreal Tournament or Quake. By the way, a new installion of Quake is going to be in the markets real soon. I can't wait to try that out too.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Battling against a Beijing demolition

BEIJING – According to the lunar calendar, it's officially winter in China today. And although it was sunny, the wind picked up as the temperature dropped.

So spare a thought for 56-year-old Dong Jiqin, who could be evicted from his home in western Beijing and sleeping on the streets of the capital tonight.

Not because he's just another victim of the global economic recession. If anything, he's just the latest casualty of China's breakneck development.

Or so it would appear.

"The demolition project here began in October 2002," he told us and a handful of other foreign journalists shivering in the morning chill of his dilapidated courtyard home in Beijing’s Xicheng district. "Neither the government nor the developer has ever shown any certificate of legitimate right to tear down houses [here]."

Dong, who was grasping a folder of legal documents that included court summonses and court notices regarding the demolition of his home, said he had been given no information about the development plan.

"Nobody ever came to my house to discuss details. They are just trying to take my house illegally," he said calmly. "They bought off the garbage collector, too. He told me they are coming to demolish today."

Activist targeted
Dong was born in this courtyard house. It's where he played and grew up, where he lived when he got married, and where he raised his daughter.

It's also where his wife, Ni Yulan, was taken by plainclothes police – and, her husband believes, gangsters – on April 15 of this year. "They came to our house, tore down some of the house, cut off our phone and power lines, grabbed our belongings and dug up our sewage pipes," recalled Dong.

The authorities initially accused Ni of assaulting a demolition worker, part of a group tearing down homes surrounding Dong and Ni’s house in the Qianzheng hutong (the term for the series of narrow streets and alleys that characterize traditional Beijing neighborhoods).

A couple of weeks later, Ni was charged with obstructing a public official, which according to China’s Criminal Law carries a maximum sentence of three years in prison.

Ni – a lawyer by training – was not just a pesky homeowner who refused to vacate her house. She had been an active voice campaigning on behalf of residents who had experienced similar situations – forced evictions and the destruction of their homes around Beijing during the city’s makeover ahead of the Summer Olympics.

She lost her lawyer’s license when she was arrested in 2002 and sentenced to a year in prison after filming the demolition of the house of someone who was forced out of their home. According to Human Rights Watch, she was beaten while being held by the police for 75 days.

It’s her activism for tenants’ rights that Dong believes is the reason his family is being persecuted and driven out of their home.

Ni was supposed to stand trial in August, just before the Olympics began, but it was postponed. No new date has been set, and no further information has been given, said her husband.

Spotlight on China
But Ni’s case may get some international attention soon. "It will be interesting to see how Ni’s case might be affected in light of the [United Nations] Committee Against Torture review of China," said Sophie Richardson, the Asia advocacy director at Human Rights Watch.

The U.N. Convention Against Torture – which comprises ten independent experts who monitor the implementation of the international convention – is starting a very public two-day review of China in Geneva on Friday. As a member of the U.N., the Chinese government has had no choice but to agree to the scrutiny and answer questions about alleged abuses against prisoners and dissidents.

While it’s hard to gauge what impact the review might have on officials in Beijing, "this has never happened before," said Richardson.

The Chinese government has prepared for another review scheduled early next year by the U.N. on broader human rights. Earlier this week, it announced what it called a "human rights action plan," the first of its kind in the country, designed to protect citizens’ rights over the next two years.

Seeking answers…and justice
But none of this has come soon enough for Dong, who last saw his wife 215 days ago.

"I have not seen her at all since she was taken," he said although his lawyer has been allowed to visit her three times. "She was in a single room for a long time. She has a chronic headache, but they don’t give her any treatment or medicine."

Dong, a former education administrator who has since stopped working, said he has filed appeals with the local district court to stop the demolition. His wife has written letters alleging police brutality while she’s in custody. And Dong says that their 24-year-old daughter, who had been living at home, has been so spooked by some of the apparent intimidation tactics that she has run away.

Dong said they don’t have any real options – apart from talking to the media in the hope someone can help him.

Of the thirteen people in his family who used to live in the traditional courtyard house, he is the last one holding out in this Qianzheng hutong.

"I have nowhere to go if I am evicted," he said quietly. "I’ll have to become a homeless person. We have no prospect if corruption is not investigated."

When I called him this evening to check on his status, he said no one had yet come for him. But he wasn’t hopeful

Friday, November 7, 2008

RoG

The Republic of Gamers consists only the best of the best. We offer the best hardware engineering, the fastest performance, the most innovating ideas, and we welcome the best gamers to join in.

In the Republic of Gamers, mercy rules are only for the weak, and bragging rights means everything. We believe in making statements and we excel in competitions. If your character matches our trait, then join the elite club, make your presence felt, in the Republic of Gamers.

Monday, November 3, 2008

World Gamemasters Tournament

The WGT concluded Sunday afternoon with [ESP] again emerging winners for Call of Duty 4 : Modern Warfare. This time [ESP] aXe was the winner with Random nub Faction, RnF the runners-up. [ESP] wOw completed the podium after defeating [ESP] eMo in the 3rd & 4th placing playoffs.

aXe took the final in two straight games beating RnF 8 to 1 in Search and Destroy and won by a margin of more than 40 points in Domination. aXe was more motivated to defeat RnF because earlier, RnF had taken down [ESP] eGo and wOw. Revenge was on their minds and the pride of the ESP clan was also at stake.

aXe was further motivated by the fact that the whole ESP clan and gamer friends from Blitzone turned up to give moral support.

The final turned out to be a lopsided affair as RnF could not reproduce the form that saw them beat wOw. aXe led by Justin aka [ESP] Quack* were leading for the word get go. RnF never had a chance.

The winners went home with a trophy and RM7500.

The 3rd and 4th place shootout was quite a close affair as it went down the wire to the deciding game, Team Deathmatch. wOw managed to pip eMo for the 2nd runners-up spot after emerging triumphant in TDM.

aXe
Quack
Holyboy
asdx
Pikachu
Bambino

wOw
Death
Hayabusa
susu
Meowz
Ashley

eMo
Sanction
Chucky
Nobie
Kitteh
G o 4 t

eGo
Phyo
ola
Pip
Lover
yan mc


[ESP]wOw - from near to far: Ashley, susu, Eric, Adrian(Hayabusa), Brian(Death)


[ESP]eMo - from near to far: Sanction, Go4t, kitteh, Chucky, Nobie

[ESP]aXe - from near to far: Bambino, Pikachu, Holyboy, Quack, asdx

aXe(champions) - from left: Bambino, Pikachu, Holyboy, Quack, asdx

wOw(3rd) - from left: Adrian, Brian, Eric, susu, Ashley

Clan-mates and friends cheering for aXe all the way from behind.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Lee Eun Ju


She looks so pretty, peaceful and serene in the picture on top. She's the late Lee Eun Ju. Surprised to learn that such a young and beuatiful lady is actually dead right? She was just 24 when she commited suicide on the night of Feb 22, 2005. So sad. Some of you might say that she looks familiar. Yeah she does look familiar because we've all seen her in korean movies and dramas. The picture below is shows her face clearly. She starred in Lover's Concerto and Taegukgi which were in my opinion quite good films.


I was kinda surprised to learn that she's actually dead when i checked up on her info. Obviously i didn't follow the news properly during 2005 or it wasn't prominent enough on our papers. That was my STPM year anyway. I'm so sad now. Why did she commit suicide? It would be so nice if she had lived and continued making films.

Rest in peace Eun Ju.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Lovely as ever



The pin up girl of Korea. As lovely and beautiful as ever whether in short or long hair..muack muack muacks..love song hye kyo always. My fav forever. Can't wait for her new drama/ movies.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

No As at all?

WTF !! This sem didn't get any A lah. The best also B+ oni..duno what happened..the papers all so easy..coursework marks also not bad..why like this 1 ??

$%#^%$#^

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Korean Drama craze all over again

I thought i got over korean drama craze few years back but it all came back during this 3 weeks holiday. I've nvr really watched the KBS channel on Astro but so kebetulan i switched to that channel when a nice drama was showing.

Damn damn. Addiction come back. The one i'm watching right now is Sweet 18/ Little Bride starring Han Ji Hye. This drama quite old d made in 2004 but i nvr watch b4. Glued to it now hehe. Ji Hye quite cute ler actually but still no match for my eternal favourite Song Hye Kyo.


This is how Ji Hye looks like in the drama.

Next week semester is starting. Damn sien la. Can't watch dramas d but i can continue playin CoD4. Rusty like hell now. Gotta get back my aiming and direction sense fast if not sure kena pwn 1.

Preliminary results out d, passed all subjects. I have a good feeling that i'll score very good this time. Hopefully it comes true la. Really need to boost CGPA.

Thats all for now..chiaoz

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Major meltdown of US and global financial systems

NEW YORK: The upheaval in the American financial system sent shock waves through the stock market Monday, producing the worst day on Wall Street in seven years as investors digested the failure of one of its most venerable banks and wondered which domino would be next to fall.

The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 500 points, more than 4 percent, its steepest point drop since the day the stock market reopened after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

World stock markets also turned sharply lower Monday after a double-fisted blow from Wall Street news that Lehman Brothers had filed for bankruptcy and Merrill Lynch would be sold to Bank of America.

In Europe, the FTSE-100 share index closed down 3.9 percent in London, the Paris CAC-40 was off 3.7 percent and Germany's DAX 30 index of blue chips sagged 2.7 percent.

In Russia, where stocks were already suffering from falling oil prices and worries about political interference in business, the MICEX index was down 6.2 percent and RTS index was 4.8 percent lower.

The falls were led by insurance and financial stocks, with shares in French insurer AXA SA down 8.5 percent, Germany's Commerzbank AG falling 9 percent, and Britain's HBOS 17.55 percent lower.

"In the short term, we are looking at a fresh wave of weakness hitting financial markets,'' said Chloe Magnier, chief economist at Saxo Bank in Paris.

"I'm not optimistic about the coming months.''

Europe's major central banks moved quickly to calm markets Monday, pumping billions of euros and pounds into the financial system.

The European Central Bank loaned euro30 billion but said it received 51 bids for euro90.3 billion (US$127 billion) on its one-day tender with a bid rate of 4.25 percent - a clear sign that demand for cash is over the top.

Similarly, the Bank of England offered up 5 billion pounds (nearly US$9 billion, euro6.4 billion) in a three-day auction - but bids were nearly five times higher, at 24.1 billion pounds. (euro30.4 billion; US$43 billion)

Light, sweet crude for October delivery fell US$3.57, or 3.53 percent, to US$97.61 a barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange, after earlier dropping to US$94.13, the lowest level since Feb. 14.

India's Sensex tumbled 3.4 percent, Taiwan's benchmark plummeted 4.1 percent and Singapore dropped 3.2 percent.

In Latin American markets also tumbled, with Brazil and Argentina falling the hardest, with 7.6 percent and 5.2 percent drops. In Mexico, the market slipped 3.8 percent, while in Chile stocks were down 0.7 percent.

In the United States about US$700 billion evaporated from retirement plans, government pension funds and other investment portfolios.

The carnage capped a tumultuous 24 hours that redrew U.S. finance.

Lehman Brothers, an investment bank that predates the Civil War and weathered the Great Depression, filed the largest bankruptcy in American history.

A second storied bank, Merrill Lynch, fled into the arms of Bank of America.

It was by far the most stomach-churning single day since a financial crisis began to bubble up from billions of dollars in rotten mortgage loans that have crippled the balance sheets of one bank after another and landed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac under the control of the federal government.

"We are in the middle of a deep, dark recession, and it won't end soon. Here it is, and it is pretty nasty,'' said Barry Ritholtz, who writes the popular financial blog The Big Picture and is CEO of research firm FusionIQ.

And the fallout was far from over.

American Insurance Group, the world's largest insurer, was fighting for its very survival: New York Gov. David Paterson moved to allow the company to tap one of its subsidiaries for an emergency loan to stay above water.

"AIG still remains financially sound,'' Paterson said, even as the company's stock tumbled almost 60 percent.

Almost $20 billion was was wiped off AIG's balance sheet on Monday.

In Washington, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who refused to toss a financial lifeline to Lehman, was unapologetic as the Bush administration signaled strongly that Wall Street shouldn't expect more rescues from Washington.

The American people should remain confident in the "soundness and resilience in the American financial system,'' Paulson told reporters at the White House.

Six months ago, Paulson moved to prevent the collapse of Bear Stearns, brokering a deal for JP Morgan Chase & Co. to buy the firm at a fire-sale price with Federal Reserve backing.

Earlier this month, he stepped in to help the government seize Fannie and Freddie in hopes of reversing the housing and credit crises.

But Monday, Paulson said he "never once'' considered it appropriate to put taxpayer money at risk to resolve the problems at Lehman Brothers, which was saddled with $60 billion worth of soured real estate holdings.

The result was one of the most momentous days in Wall Street history since legendary banker J. Pierpont Morgan helped broker the rescue of financial markets during the Panic of 1907.

The Dow industrials dropped 504.48 points to close at 10,917.51, the first time since July they have finished under 11,000.

It was the sixth-largest point drop ever and the worst since Sept. 17, 2001, when the average fell 684.81 points on the first day of trading after the terror attacks.

In percentage terms, the fall for the Dow on Monday was its worst since the summer of 2002.

The index has shed nearly a quarter of its value since its record high last October.

Broader stock indicators also fell.

The Standard & Poor's 500 index lost more than 4{ percent.

The Nasdaq composite index lost more than 3 percent.

Financial stocks fell as investors worried about the strength of banks' balance sheets. Washington Mutual Inc. 27 percent to $2 a share, while Wachovia Corp. fell 25 percent to $10.71.

While Lehman Brothers was filing for bankruptcy and AIG was scurrying to find financing to stay afloat, Merrill Lynch was avoiding a similar fate with a $50 billion transaction to become part of Bank of America Corp.

The deal would create a financial giant rivaling Citigroup Inc., the biggest U.S. bank in terms of assets.

Bank of America has the most deposits of any U.S. bank, while Merrill Lynch is the world's largest and most widely recognized brokerage.

"It was an opportunity of a lifetime,'' said Ken Lewis, Bank of America's chairman and CEO.

Lewis made the announcement at a news conference where he was flanked by a smiling John Thain, Merrill's chief executive.

The two put the deal together in 48 hours, while they were taking part in marathon discussions at the New York Federal Reserve over the weekend to save Lehman Brothers. Merrill stock rose a penny Monday.

One huge concern is that the Lehman bankruptcy will probably trigger even tighter credit - making it more difficult for everyone from large companies to small businesses to American homebuyers to borrow money.

It was a dark day for Lehman workers, too.

Many of them brought gym bags, shopping totes and Lehman travel bags to cart home personal files and pictures from their desks at the company's midtown Manhattan headquarters. Gawkers lined up behind metal barricades, and bystanders took pictures with their cell phones.

The failure of Lehman and probable job losses at Merrill are also a blow to the New York City economy, which is still trying to absorb a blow from shrunken tax revenues after the collapse of Bear Stearns in March.

The city and its outlying suburbs rely heavily on taxes paid by workers in the financial services industry.

In marathon sessions Friday night, Saturday and Sunday, government officials and the chief executives of major U.S. and foreign banks huddled at the New York Fed's fortress-like building in downtown Manhattan, trying to work out a way to save Lehman.

They failed at that.

But a group of 10 banks that includes JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs and Citigroup formed a $70 billion pool that banks or brokerages can tap to cover short-term funding needs.

There were also worries that Lehman's problems would infect other financial companies and spread to global stock markets, further harming the U.S. and global economies.

The Fed meets Tuesday to decide interest rate policy. It's widely expected to keep rates at 2 percent, but some economists believe it could lower them to soothe Wall Street's frazzled nerves.

The financial turbulence could also further derail consumer confidence in the economy just as stores prepare for the critical holiday shopping season.

The upheaval in the financial system also means that those consumers with marginal credit history will have an even harder time getting loans, cutting into consumer spending.

"The backdrop even without this was tough. This certainly adds to the worry level,'' said Michael P. Niemira, chief economist at

The International Council of Shopping Centers.

Republican presidential nominee Sen. John McCain assailed "greed and corruption'' on Wall Street and promised to clean it up, while his Democratic opponent, Sen. Barack Obama, blamed White House policies and said his opponent would only deliver more of the same.

Obama called it "the most serious financial crisis since the Great Depression.''

McCain declared in a new TV ad that "our economy is in crisis'' and that only he and his running mate, Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, could fix it.

McCain also told voters in Jacksonville, Florida, "The fundamentals of our economy are strong.''

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New Craze

Been back in Malacca for a week already. I've been doing no reading for the coming finals at all. I'm currently watching a lot of television and that is all i am doing right now. THere's a new drama series from China called The New Shanghai Bund/ 新上海滩. Handsome actor, pretty actresses and great plot. What more can i ask for? I really enjoyed watching the old version of Shanghai Bund but this new 1 really entrances me. I'm already smitten by the actress that plays Xiao Yun's part. The gal who acts as Cheng Cheng also not bad. Hehe.

Besides that drama, i've been doing some catching up with my favourite drama 意难忘. Didn't watch it for months d and i really miss it lots. Li Zhu is back and she's as lovely as ever. However Ting Ting is sick. Sadz. Shan Ni don't hate Tian Zhu anymore and Jia Jia is trying her best not to be the third party. Sadly she's gonna die soon according to some sources. Haihz. Have to go back to PJ soon and can't watch my fav drama anymore..Grrr.

Friends planning to come to melaka during sem break. Having a real headache thinking of place for them to stay. I just realized that it's hard to find a cheap, clean and nice place to stay in Melaka actually. They plan to come on Sunday and stay for 3 days 2 nights. I'm worried now because it will definitely disrupt my drama schedule. Hmm don't care lah. My drama more important. I will finish my drama b4 layan them. Wahaha. Ppls dont marah arr if u read this. Lolz.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

New GSC in Melaka

Golden Screen Cinemas Sdn Bhd (GSC) today extended another 10-screens in Melaka, in addition to the current 4-screen GSC Mahkota Parade to cater to the entertainment needs in the historic city of Melaka.

To date, a total of RM49 million has been invested in three new multiplexes throughout Malaysia in 2008, namely GSC Alamanda Putrajaya (April –RM13 million), GSC 1Borneo Kota Kinabalu (June – RM16 million) and now GSC Dataran Pahlawan Melaka (at the cost of RM20 million).

According to GSC Chief Executive Officer, Ms Koh Mei Lee, “Being the leading cinema operator in the country, GSC believes in providing our customers with the best cinematic experience”.

With the additional 2002 seats in the new multiplex, there will be a total of 2,811 seats available in the two GSC cinemas in Melaka. Tickets will be priced at RM9 per normal seat in GSC Dataran Pahlawan.

GSC’s e-payment facility @ www.gsc.com.my will be extended to GSC Dataran Pahlawan patrons, and facilitate a hassle free online payment for movie fans and enable them to select their seats from the comfort of their homes or office.

Also present to witness the soft opening of the cinema was Datuk Haji Shuaib bin Haji Lazim (Hatten Group Sdn Bhd Chairman), Datuk Eric Tan (Hatten Group Sdn Bhd CEO), Datuk Seet Har Cheow (Melaka State Exco, Tourism) and En Ahmad bin Yahaya Al-Jahsyi (Melaka Tourism Director).

Movie fans were treat to a selection of past blockbuster movies like “The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian”, “Fool’s Gold”, “Congkak”, “My Wife is a Gambling Maestro” and “Azhagiya Tamil Magen” prior the opening.

As part of the opening attraction, GSC will be organizing fun activities and freebies in the cinema during the opening weekend. This will include Star Wars and Batman movie characters, photography sessions, balloon giveaways, dart contest, popcorn eating contest and strongest man contest to keep the family crowd occupied throughout the day.

With each purchase of a F & N Coca-Cola Over at the concession counters in both GSC Dataran Pahlawan and GSC Mahkota Parade, GSC patrons will be entitled to a spin at the “Wheel of Fortune” and an opportunity to win prizes like GSC passes, can drinks and movie premiums.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Damn it, just damn it

U know what? I just found out that my car's rear bumper was banged when i went to PROTES. Don't know which idiot that doesn't know how to drive knocked into my car. I only noticed it the day after PROTES. Fuck lah. Just ruined my day when i saw that hideous mark. I curse that driver to get into accident. I don't care. I'm not in the mood to forgive and forget when it involves monetary losses and emotional hurt. Fuck you !

Monday, July 7, 2008

Protes

Went to Protes Sejuta Rakyat Turun yesterday. The afternoon session's highlight was Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim's speech. After that it was pretty uneventful till the evening session. A ruckus broke out. Water bottles, rocks and bricks were being thrown. I was there, at the side of the stage when it happened. Crazy lar. Flying missiles coming from everywhere.

The whole thing started because some punk rock group were performing some rude acts on stage while singing a song with bad words. They performed 3 songs. I loathed them the moment they stepped on stage. The first and second songs built up the emotions of the people and the final song did it for the crowd. That idiot vocalist flashed his bum several times and was singing "Jilat" to the crowd made up of mostly Muslims. They got offended and started to boo and scold the band. When the band continued, missiles started flying. The band was escorted away so quickly that i couldn't even locate them although i was right in the midst of the action. Luckily a PAS MP, Dr Lolo Ghazali was there to calm the crowd. Then Hishamuddin Rais, the person in charge of stage performances appeared to apologize to the angry crowd. The crowd was still not satisfied and were cursing and swearing at him as he was escorted out.

I personally don't agree to what the crowd resort to. Violence is not the way to show your disagreement but yet i understand how they feel. They are Muslims and when they are treated to so obscenity, they definitely get enraged of course. So many non-muslim malaysians were there too. Even they felt that the band went overboard. For me, i felt that the band was at fault because they provoked this reaction. Some would say that the crowd should just walk away if they don't agree with the performance but i would ask back the same to the band, if you know that many people couldn't not accept what you're doing why don't you perform somewhere else where people could accept your acts? Why must you perform in front of people who have opposite views to yours? You punks deserved this, padan muka.

Unluckily this ruckus caused some hurt to innocent people a well. The chairperson, a sweet young lady was hit by a bottle full of water flung by a guy who was standing near to me. After throwing the bottle, he could pretend that he didn't do anything. WTF! I stared at him and he stared back at me. I walked away then as i don't want to get into trouble as he is with the majority. Later tak pasal pasal i kena wack by a group of angry people pula.

All this happened just before the Magrib prayers. What a shame lah. Lucky the Dr Lolo and an Uztaz was there. They initiated the prayers and the crowd started to pray and everything went back to normal.

More and more people were streaming in to the stadium after the prayers. A few politicians took turns to speak while waiting for more people to turn up. Then YB Lim Kit Siang arrived to the cheers of many, he then addressed the crowd and in the middle of his speech, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim arrived. The whole stadium got animated and stood to greet the arrival of the 'guest of honor" in the words of YB Lim. When it came to Anwar's turn to speak, he was in his element. The crowd was in his control and they responded to every chants and questions of his. The multiracial crowd was in unity, in one voice to demand that the fuel prices go down.

I left at about 10.30pm, a few moments before Anwar finished his speech. I knew that the crowd will start to leave as soon as he finishes, so i leave a bit earlier to avoid the chaos. Luckily for me i left at that time. When i neared my car, i saw a whole contingent of traffic police officers were there to issue summonses to cars park along the road. They haven't reach the other side of the road which my car was parked at. I quickly left the scene as i don't want to get into any troubles with officers that were there on purpose. To spoil the day of the protesters. Boo to the police force.

Reached home in about 15 minutes as Federal was clear and smooth flowing. Sleep soundly after taking a bath as i was dead tired. I didn't get any rest at all as i was in the stadium from 3 till 10.30 running here and there.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Breathtaking view


My fren took this photo from the window of his plane. It is a bird's eye view of Dubai. What a wonder it is. Buildings jutting out from the desert. They even have a golf course. Notice the greenish area? that's the golf course.

Then there is the world famous Palm Island. An engineering and architectural marvel. Just look at how the city's development was planned. It is farsighted and visionary. I wish to go there one day and have a look at this beautiful place. The freeways are so huge and well planned. Not like the ones we have in malaysia. Sigh. Seeing it in a picture or with own eyes is so much better than seeing it in tv. In tv there no sense of realness. Can't really grasp the beauty of it..however, this picture is just perfect.

Below is the picture of Dubai's airport...That counter u see is a gold selling counter. The whole place is so beautiful. Gosh..


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Stinging night

Last night went over to Tony's house with the bunch of fellas to watch tv. i managed to squeeze in a session of badminton when i was there too. Started off badly and keep it that way for almost the whole session. Don't know whether if its because i'm rusty from lack of practice or freezing bcoz of anxiety or bcoz of infamiliarity with surroundings and the people. Stroke play still ok but my net shots are horrendous. I've nvr missed shuttles so badly b4. Haih~ Obviously i need to play more to get back my touch around the net. i can accept losses in many things but not in sports. Yeah, i'm saying that i kiasu abit in sports. i hate to lose!

Went to mamak after that. Was so hungry that i managed to wolf down RM7.70 worth of food. Lepak around for quite sometime at the mamak and was back at tony's home b4 12 midnite. The others were playin boardgames when we entered. i quickly snatched the remote control and switched to ESPN in time to catch sportscentre asia. Managed to get myself updated with things happenin in the sports world for the past day. I miss home and my tv set. i wish i have a tv and astro here with me. i miss my daily drama, sports and serials tv sesssion !!

At 12.30am, went to bath and prepare for the coming session of US Open golf and Euro 2008 action. Oh ya i managed to complete my Mass Media & Society chapter reading report while watching Tiger Woods in motion on his way to his 14th major.

The others all went to sleep at around 2am. All of them can't tahan d. I almost dozed of too while watching Germany vs Austria. So boring lah. Germany were lucky Michael Ballack rescued them with that spectacular missile of a free kick. Could not stand it anymore, so i switched channel and watch Tiger slugging it out with Rocco Mediate. I know many ppl will lambast me for impling that golf is more interesting than football. I will admit that football is more exciting but there are times when you get dour matches. Germany vs Austria was one of them. Golf is interesting when Tiger is in the hunt for major titles. You'll nvr understand the excitement and pleasure when Tiger performs his magical stuff on the course if you don't know how to appreciate the game. We should count ourselves lucky to have witnessed sporting legends in action during our time. Ppl like Tiger, Roger Federer, Michael Schumacher and I dare say Kobe Bryant are once in a lifetime athletes that do amazing things in their respective sports.

Tiger hoisted the trophy at around 4.30am local time. I switched everything off at around that time to sleep and my torture started right after that. I forgot to mention this but yeah i'm sleeping on the sofa in the living room. Damn lah. Mosquitoes all over. I only have 5 hours plus of time to sleep but the mosquitoes kept me drifting in and out of slumber. Could not manage to get a good rest at all. Dah la exhausted from the badminton session and now can't sleep pula. It started to get light at around 6.45 like that. I think mich already awake around that time. I was starting to drift into sleep when she came into the living room. Mosquitoes were starting to disappear as the sun shines brighter. I tried again to sleep but by then Shan also woke up d and terganggu my sleep. Haih. i cukup kesian lah.

At last i managed to get some proper rest from around 8 to 8.50am. I wanted to sleep more one but was awakened by Mich's shoving to remind me that it is almost 9 and we had to start our journey back to PJ. Terpaksa wake up and freshen myself and drive back. Sienz lah. Tony's still in his sleep mode when i woke him to let us out of his house. Was constantly grumbling that he needs more sleep. He should appreciate that he got more sleep than me leh ! i terpaksa suffer countless mosquito bites in the living room.

We got to experience the traffic jam of Klang in the morning for the first time of our lives on our way home. Decided to use NKVE instead of Federal Highway as we dont have much time to waste getting stuck in traffic. Fuel consumption also teruk if get stuck in traffic. Money flying away ler. Something stupid happened just b4 the first toll on NKVE. As i was approaching, i wound down my windows to get in contact with the Touch and Go device. I was using mich's maybank zinkard that time. I din know that the wind was so strong. The gust blew away the card from my fingers. So kan cheong d that time. Quickly use another card to pass the toll first and stop at the side to go retrieve the Zinkard that is lying in the middle of a highway !
Mich found the location of the card first and she went to pick it up. She so damn brave lah. I am the one supposed to go get the card 1 but i couldn't see where it is. As soon as she spotted it, she went to the middle of the highway to get it. My god. Tak sempat i offer to go she went d. Was kicking myself that time for lettin the gust of wind blow the card away from my fingers. What a stupid incident. Was glad ntg more happened all the way back. Got speed abit, hopefully no speedtraps around the place i sped. If not sure kena lecture from parents again.

I reached home at around 9.45 after dropping off the 3 of them. Washed up and prepare for class. Went to campus at around 10.15 like that. I had to go early coz i need to print my report and do some stuff la. Wanted to get theSun newspaper too but none of my coursemates were around yet that time. So i asked Peiling to get one for me. Luckily there are many copies left although its 10am plus d. Usually by this time, all the papers gone d. Peiling, thank you so much. You're the best, muacks. haha.

First class was mass media tutorial. ntg much happened and i was still fresh that time. so i din doze off. Angie's tutorial followed. I was starting to feel the effect of not having enough sleep by that time. Managed to tahan until class finish. Went to eat at mamak with Shan to fill my super hungry and croaking stomach. Lolz. The following class was Language Learning lecture. I seriously could not tahan anymore. Constantly dozing off by that time. She even manage to tick me off for dozing off. Luckily i managed to open my eyes the moment she finished her sentence. No one realized she was ticking me off. Haha. Then i saw a few others starting to get drowsy after that. I continue to suffer for the whole lecture. Tried my best to stay awake d but still failed. Ms. Angie, i'm so sorry for dozing off in your class yah. Paiseh. I'm very tired ler today.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

P3 of Ruling the Rulers : Mahathir Vs the Malay Rulers

By Huzir Sulaiman

BY October 1983, Malaysians were becoming aware that a constitutional crisis was in full swing. The Constitution (Amendment) Bill 1983 had been passed by both houses of Parliament, but the King, under pressure from his fellow rulers, was refusing to give his Royal Assent to it.

The bill would remove the need for the King to assent to legislation, and would similarly do away with the need for Sultans to assent to State laws. It would also take away the King's power to declare an Emergency and give it to the Prime Minister.

The Rulers publicly rejected these amendments after a meeting in Selangor on Nov 20, 1983. When the public became aware that a storm was brewing, Dr Mahathir’s administration initiated a propaganda war to put pressure on the Rulers.

There took place a “series of illegal public rallies held by Umno in Alor Star, Bagan Datoh, Seremban, Batu Pahat, Malacca, for the Prime Minister with reports of officially inflated crowd figures?.” as Lim Kit Siang would later describe them in the Dewan Rakyat.

These rallies, staged in order to generate sympathy for the Government’s cause, were illegal in the sense that police permits were neither sought nor granted.

Whether or not the crowd figures were inflated by the Umno-aligned media – it is true that they generally reported these events in positive terms – it is clear that the 1983 rallies were exciting evenings, with republican sentiments on everyone’s minds, if not exactly on their lips. One of the most arresting images in Rais Yatim’s Faces in the Corridor of Power is a photograph of two youths at one such rally. They are wearing T-shirts bearing Dr Mahathir’s picture and the words “DAULAT RAKYAT”.

Although the Prime Minister denied wanting to abolish the monarchy, at these rallies “the historical moment of unfolding Malay nationalism was relived as a continuing battle of Malay popular sovereignty against royal hegemony,” as Khoo Boo Teik writes in Paradoxes of Mahathirism.

At a rally in Alor Star on Nov 26, Dr Mahathir declared that “It was the rakyat who had protested against the Malayan Union after the Second World War; it was the rakyat who wanted a democratic system that would enable them to choose their own leaders. It was always the people who had fought for their destiny.”

At the largest rally, in Batu Pahat, Dr Mahathir told the crowds, in a thinly veiled dig at hereditary rulers, “We weren’t born Ministers ? We’re up here because we were chosen by all of you.”

The propaganda war continued, with tales of royal extravagance and impropriety emerging. The Government leaked the fact that they were compiling dossiers on the Sultans. RTM announced they were preparing a year-long TV series on the Rulers and the Constitution.

Yet pro-royal rallies took place too – especially in Kelantan and Terengganu, where Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah was rumoured to be responsible for them – and they drew large crowds, although they went unreported by the media.

Upping the ante, the Umno Youth executive council called for the Government to gazette the Constitution (Amendment) Bill without waiting for the King's assent, effectively daring the Rulers to challenge it in court. Dr Mahathir did not immediately adopt this strategy, but held this “nuclear option” in reserve while behind-the-scenes negotiations continued with the Rulers.

Public opinion was divided over the issue. Rural Malays tended to support the Rulers; urban Malays, while not uncritical of Mahathir’s strategies and motives, were more ready to accept egalitarian ideas.

As for the Chinese community, R.S. Milne and Diane K. Mauzy note in Malaysian Politics Under Mahathir that “One might have expected that, since the rulers and the Agung were symbols of ‘Malayness’ the Chinese would feel little loyalty to them. Paradoxically, they were quite pro-royalty, because they did not really trust Malay politicians. Indeed, they viewed the Agung and the rulers as protectors of their vital interests.”

There seemed to be no way out of the impasse except by compromise – which is what happened. The Rulers agreed to the Constitutional (Amendment) Bill 1983 on the condition that many of its provisions were modified or repealed immediately with the introduction of the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 1984.

The new bill, passed in January 1984, meant that the King could now only delay a piece of non-money legislation for a month. It then had to be sent back to Parliament with his objections. If the King still opposed it in the form in which Parliament then passed it, he could only delay it for another month before it was gazetted as law.

The King could therefore only delay legislation for up to two months before it became the law of the land.

But this principle was no longer extended to the State level: Sultans still needed to assent to State bills before they became law, which was an important symbolic victory. Most importantly for those who feared Dr Mahathir’s supposed plan to concentrate power in his own hands, the bill removed the proposed ability of the Prime Minister to declare an Emergency by himself, and restored it to the King.

Nonetheless, Dr Mahathir saw himself as having won, declaring at a victory rally in Malacca that the feudal system had ended. He had brought his theatrical, confrontational, unapologetically antagonistic style to a high-stakes arena and had, by some accounts at least, triumphed over the Malay Rulers.

He quickly moved to consolidate his gains. Stories had been circulating that the head of the army, Jen Tan Sri Mohd Zain Hashim, was opposed to Mahathir’s approach and believed the armed force’s loyalty lay with the Rulers. Mohd Zain took early retirement. This was followed by a reorganisation of the army and some 500 other early retirements and dismissals.

When the independent-minded Sultan of Johor took over as Yang di-Pertuan Agong in 1984, some feared (and some hoped) that royal activism would reassert itself.

As Roger Kershaw writes in Monarchy In South-East Asia: Faces of Tradition in Transition, “From the beginning, the Agong had made no secret of his contempt for Mahathir on the grounds of his mixed blood, calling him, to his face, ‘Mamak’ (a derogatory nickname for those of Indian Muslim ancestry). [?] But Dr Mahathir had proved more than a match for this difficult sovereign. Having got the measure of the King’s essential vanity and exhibitionism, he prudently pandered to it, even to the extent of placing a more convenient Royal Malaysian Airforce helicopter at his permanent disposal?.”

Through this and other measures, Dr Mahathir maintained good relations with the new King, enlisting him in his 1987 move against the judiciary, the effects of which are still felt today.

The Prime Minister’s campaign continued. He silenced the Rulers over the issue of the 1987 ISA detentions; staged a hostile debate on the monarchy in the 1990 Umno general assembly after the loss of Kelantan to PAS; removed the Rulers’ immunity to prosecution following the constitutional crisis of 1992-93; stripped away their flights, outriders, and special hospital wards; and in 1994, with little opposition, finally removed the need to obtain the Rulers’ assent for State laws.

Looking back, we can see how the bars of the yellow silk cage began to go up in 1983, closing in year after year.

Should we find it surprising, then, that after 25 years the tigers within should want to break free? Can we not understand that the Rulers might want to regain what has been lost?

And here is the hardest question of all: without giving up our democratic ideals, in a cynical and disloyal age, can we find a way to let our Rulers rule?

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Relief

The results for last semester is finally out. I got the gpa that is around the target that i set albeit it could be better if Paul Ang had given me a B+ instead of a B. Sir, why u so cruel 1? On the bright side however, I am one of the lucky ones that manage to check their results because as soon as word got out that results are out, students all flood in to the intranet to check for their results. As a result, UTAR's shitty and sucky server crashed. No one can check their results now. ICT buck up lah. UTAR, dont so kiam siap, upgrade la for heaven's sake.

Another good news is, UTAR management knew of our demands to choose our electives. They seemed to be afraid of us now after all the things that we did. They straight away sort things out and say that we can take Religious and Cultural Practices subject. Woohoo. They even contemplated giving us more elective choices. They really are worried of my batch it seems. Wahaha. Who ask you not to do things properly. If you prepare before hand, you won't have this problem. Right?

So take note. Don't repeat any of this in the future. If we see any thing that we don't like, we'll complain again. We're not docile students that only know how to say "yes sir" or "yes madam". We know our rights and we fight for it. We don't lie down for u to step on us. The student representative body is USELESS. We practically don't need them to fight for us. We fight for ourselves. The student representative election is just a popularity contest. It's not about who can do a good job of being student representative. It sad but somehow it's true. If you're popular, you get elected. If you're not, then goodbye. Stupid mentality. This is especially true in chinese educated people. I know it's an ad-hominem attack but who cares. I still wan to commit this fallacy cause it holds true for the majority. :p

Next issue is the RM 100 fee to exempt us from taking Bahasa Malaysia paper. We're not goin to pay the RM 100. Forget it! How can you charge us RM 100 to exempt ourselves? Ridiculous. To make matters worst? Isn't a credit in SPM BM a pre-requisite to enter UTAR? It's common sense that all of us have to pass our BM in SPM or else we don't get our SPM certs. How ridiculous for you to ask us to take that subject. Come on. Be real.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Agonizing wait

It's the first day of year 2 semester 2 today which also means that results for last semester's examinations are due in a few days time. I've been anticipating the results since the day i came back from Perak.

i'm eagerly awaiting to find out how did i do in the exams and to know whether i need to repeat Moral(which i don't think i will, blek).

We got our timetable already and i discovered one most shocking thing that a university can do. Elective subjects are not chosen by the students but the electives are chosen for them without their knowledge. How fantastic is that? You tell me. I'm so pissed with this and i'm already contemplating steps that i need to take.

How can a university pandai pandai assume which subjects the students want to take? In my case, they decided that i should take Language Teaching. I don't want to do that. Instead i want to do Cultural and Religious Practices in Malaysia.

I don't care if Mr Renu is a damn good lecturer. My decision on choosing subjects are not based on lecturer. It is the subject itself that i consider. So, don't you go deciding which subject i should take.

I don't care if the seniors all chose to take Language Teaching. That is their problem. The university should not make assumptions that all students in this batch will want to take Language Teaching because all students from past batches took Language Teaching.

You better find a solution for me quick. Or else this is gonna go to higher people and you'll have a headache in store for you.

Friday, May 23, 2008

End of hols

New semester is about to start. 2 more days b4 holidays end. Sadz. Can't relax anymore. haih~

2 weddings is about to happen in my extended family. one's my dad's cousin and another my god brother. Duno i can attend or not..sigh~~

I saw Grease few days ago. I actually liked it alot. I was surprised to be honest. Coz all these while i thought 70s movies are boring. haha. John Travolta and Olivia Newton John were sensational. She's so pretty back then..the music and songs were fantastic too..those were the days. I dont think these kind of shows will ever appear in our movie screens again. the disco era is gone..i wish i had a time machine to travel to the 70s era. i wan to feel what is it like to be living in the 70s.

and not to be forgotten, i manage to sort out all those irritating noises that were coming from my cars rear. changed both the swing arms. and the squeaking noises are gone for good..hooray!! spent so much money on my car already. need to spend again the next time to fix the front of the car the next time i come back to melaka.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Eight Belles euthanized after injury

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) - Boy, did Eight Belles hang with the boys.
All that heart and her gallant fight, however, ended in the worst of all possible ways: a breakdown, an ambulance on the track. And, with no other choice, she was euthanized by injection.

The day began with hope and pomp. Bolstered by the sentimental support from 157,770 fans and endorsed by presidential contender Hillary Clinton and cheered by daughter Chelsea, the filly finished second in the Kentucky Derby on Saturday.

She crossed the wire 4 3/4 lengths behind favorite Big Brown. Then, with the second-largest crowd in Derby history still whooping it up, Eight Belles collapsed with two broken front ankles.

The magnitude of what happened was slow to reach the fans at Churchill Downs. Not only was a horse down, but it was the filly. And horse racing - with the memory of Barbaro still fresh and a severe injury to a horse coming only a day earlier on Kentucky Oaks Day - had to confront grief one more time.

"There was no way to save her. She couldn't stand," trainer Larry Jones said. "She ran an incredible race. She ran the race of her life."

Jones' voice broke and tears glistened in his eyes as he considered his barn without Eight Belles' head poking out of her stall.

"Losing animals like this isn't fun. It's not supposed to happen," he said. "We're heartbroke. We're going to miss her, no doubt."

The field of 19 colts and the dark gray filly were galloping out around the first turn when Eight Belles suddenly went down on both front legs and jockey Gabriel Saez slid off.

"When we passed the wire I stood up," said a distraught Saez, a first-time Derby rider. "She started galloping funny. I tried to pull her up. That's when she went down."

An equine ambulance reached her near the second turn.

Eight Belles appeared to be galloping out normally around the first turn and was headed into the start of the backstretch when she dropped without warning. The crowd was busy high-fiving and celebrating and the distance from the grandstand prevented many from realizing what had happened.

"Everyone breathed a big sigh of relief that everyone came around the track cleanly and then all of a sudden it happened," said Dr. Larry Bramlage, on-call veterinarian.

Quickly, word spread about the horse that was down in the second turn. Fans focused binoculars on the scene, using Saez's red helmet to identify the horse.

"That's one of the saddest things I've ever seen," said fan Kathleen Brower of Louisville. "We went from the high for the winner and something like this happens. It just takes the wind out of the sails."

No more so than for Jones and owner Rick Porter.

Eight Belles could have easily been the wagering favorite in Friday's Kentucky Oaks, an all-girl showcase. But Jones and Porter decided to run her against the boys despite the fact that she had never done so before. She had, after all, solid credentials with a four-race winning streak.

Jones won the Oaks with Proud Spell and set himself up to pull off the double.

At first, Jones didn't realize anything was wrong until he began walking back to the stable area and saw Saez aboard another horse.

Reached by cell phone, a somber Porter said simply, "It's not a good time."

Afterward, Jones disputed any suggestion that Eight Belles had no business taking on the boys.

"It wasn't that, it wasn't the distance, it wasn't a big bumping match for her, she never got touched," he said. "She passed all those questions ... with flying colors. The race was over, all we had to do was pull up, come back and be happy. It just didn't happen."

If Eight Belles had labored to the finish line and been falling farther behind Big Brown in the closing strides, then Jones said he would have "really second-guessed ourselves severely and kicked ourselves in the pants."

But she hit the wire strongly and galloped around the turn without a hitch, leaving the trainer in the white cowboy hat feeling proud. Jones also trained last year's runner-up, Hard Spun.

"We were ecstatic," he said.

For a time, anyway.

Part of Eight Belles' appeal was her status as the first filly since 1999 to run in the Derby; the last to win was Winning Colors in 1988.

Hillary Clinton didn't attend the race, but she ordered her daughter to bet the filly. Eight Belles, who went off at 13-1, repaid the fans' faith by returning $10.60 and $6.40.

Winning jockey Kent Desormeaux and Big Brown galloped by Eight Belles in her waning moments.

"This horse showed you his heart and Eight Belles showed you her life for our enjoyment today," he said. "I'm deeply sympathetic to that team for their loss."

Bramlage said the fracture in Eight Belles' left front ankle opened the skin, allowing contamination to set in. At least one of her sesamoid bones was broken, too.

"She didn't have a front leg to stand on to be splinted and hauled off in the ambulance, so she was immediately euthanized," he said. "In my years in racing, I have never seen this happen at the end of the race or during the race."

Bramlage was hard-pressed to make sense of yet another breakdown that reminded fans of Barbaro's horrific injury two years ago in the Preakness.

"The difficult thing to explain with her is it's so far after the wire, and she was easing down like you'd like to see a horse slow down by that point," he said. "I don't have an explanation for it."

Friday, May 2, 2008

Beauty don't come better than this


You must be thinking Mishca Barton. Right? Unfortunately, you're wrong. This is the exclusive model for Ralph Lauren commercials and the face of two L'Oréal fragrances. She is Valentina Zelyaeva from Russia. Here is an interview with her. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oIGJJRA_m50 . You'll see this face when you see RL's commercials. Here's one, the new Romance perfume by Ralph Lauren. This one is on RL's Collection.

Valentina also appeared in runway shows for Balenciaga, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Gucci and Valentino, among many others.

Valentina has been featured in print advertisements for Tommy Hilfiger, Coach, and Calvin Klein. She has signed a seven year deal with Ralph Lauren, appearing in several high-profile campaigns for the designer. She has appeared on the covers of Elle, Vogue and Harper's Bazaar.




The next model is Irina Kulikova also from Russia.

Irina has a unique story about her chance discovery. Irina K(as she's known in the industry) was discovered by IMG Models Senior VP Ivan Bart and Liv Tyler. Yes, you read that correctly. Apparently Bart and Tyler were dining together in Moscow and noticed Irina K. who was also at the restaurant. Next thing you know, Irina walked the runways for Gucci, Jil Sander, Pringle, YSL, Chloe, and Miu Miu, to name a few. If that isn't enough promise for a young model's first season, she walked exclusively for Calvin Klein as well as walking the coveted spot as #1 girl for Prada.

The opening spot at Prada is one of the most desirable spots for any model. Traditionally this honor goes only to an exclusive Prada face, but this year it was given to Irina K. even though she wasn’t contracted to the house. Apparently she impressed the powers that be, and she is currently starring in Prada’s fall campaign. In addition to Prada, Irina K. also opened Oliver Theyskens’s first show for Nina Ricci, closed both YSL and Louis Vuitton, and walked for Chanel, Chloe, Marni and more.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Dr M joins the blogging community

Tun Dr. Mahathir has joined the blogosphere. In just one or two days, it has recorded more than 7k hits. Fantastic.

http://www.chedet.com/

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Red Cliff

I saw the trailer for Red Cliff yesterday. My goodness, it was beyond words. Dream come true. All these while i can only image the scenes from reading the novels, now its in motion picture. Yes yes yes !!

Red Cliff is a Chinese epic film based on the Battle of Red Cliffs during the famous Three Kingdoms period in Ancient China. Those of you who reads the novel might know it as Battle of Chi Bi. The film is the most expensive Asian production up to date and its being directed by John Woo.

The star studded cast already got my heart pumping rapidly. There are so many hot actresses lined up in the movie. Among them are Zhao Wei, Lin Chi-ling, Zhang Jingchu, and the japanese Koyuki (u've seen her in the Last Samurai). Ah, what a feast. Whoohoo..

My favourite character in the epic Zhou Yu is being played by Tony Leung. Yippe.

I can't wait to watch it already ler..Quickly premiere lah. My most awaited film of the year.

I also wan to watch IronMan. Why? Bcoz there are alot of supercars in the show. I saw Ford GT and Saleen S7 among the many cars. Cant wait cant wait...ish ish

Apa halnya ni?

Wats the big problem now? So dissatisfied for wat. You wan watch that movie watch oni la. No one's stopping you.

I just said that i won't be watching that movie oni ma. You can still watch the initial movie without a few of us rite. Why not go ahead oni? Never did i ever say that you must watch other movie bcoz i said so.

Blardy hell, shifting the blame like nobody's business. As if it's all my doing

Friday, April 25, 2008

Taiyuan : Dragon City

Ziying's Brush

IT IS not without reason that Shanxi’s 2,500-year-old municipality of Taiyuan is called Dragon City. Not only was it home to several emperors, the most famous of whom are the Tang dynasty’s great Li Shimin and China’s only woman emperor Wu Zetian, but its location smack in the middle of Shanxi makes it a natural choice as provincial capital. Taiyuan is also a centre of the province’s all-important coal and steel industries.

Interestingly, the very name of Li Shimin’s dynasty originated in Taiyuan. In the remote past, a state called Tang was located here and when Li’s father became emperor, he named his dynasty Tang in honour of his home district.



Perhaps less well-known is the fact that Taiyuan is deemed the ancestral source of the Wang clan.

Wang (Ong, Wong) is a common enough surname amongst people of Chinese ancestry all over the world. But last April, Xinhua News Agency reported that Wang, meaning “king”, has overtaken Li to become the most common in China, accounting for 7.25% of the population, or a staggering 95 million people. A subsequent report says in Beijing alone, more than 10% of the residents carry this name.

There are several sources of this ancient name whose origins date back 2,600 years. With few exceptions (such as minorities who adopted the name), the roots of the Wang clan can be traced to the royal family of the Zhou dynasty.

The most prolific branch appears to originate from Zi Qiao, the Crown Prince Jin of eastern Zhou. The story goes that this outspoken prince offended his father the king who demoted him to commoner and banished him. Prince Jin eventually settled in Taiyuan. After he died his son adopted Wang as the family name as he was already commonly addressed as such due to his royal lineage.

Over time the Wang clan spread to other parts of China. In Fujian a military commissioner named Wang Shenzhi even set up a short-lived kingdom called Min with the capital at Fuzhou after the collapse of the Tang dynasty.

In the 1990s the Shanxi government refurbished the 500-year-old mansion of a high ranking Ming dynasty official surnamed Wang and converted it into a memorial hall for Zi Qiao, so that his descendants from all over the world can have a place to gather to pay respects to their root ancestor.

Called the Jinxi Academy, the hall is situated on the grounds of Jinci, a memorial temple complex 25km from Taiyuan.

Jinci’s beginnings are so ancient nobody knows when it was first built but it is believed to have its origins in a 3,000-year-old memorial temple to Shuyu, the first duke of Tang in the western Zhou dynasty who was noted for his wisdom and good governance. After he died, his son re-named the territory Jin to honour the river that flowed through it, hence the memorial temple to his father is called Jinci. After 30 centuries this legacy is still alive in Shanxi whose short name “Jin” recalls the ancient state.

Behind Jinci’s imperial vermilion walls the extensive temple grounds seem like a palace garden in a Chinese landscape painting. A stream winds around “flying” bridges of white stone, grassy lawns and graceful pavilions, terraces and halls amidst tall willows and ancient cypresses. The oldest, a cypress called Zhoubo with leathery, weather-beaten bark, was planted 30 centuries ago and so tired it is almost reclining horizontally.

The oldest and most important edifice in Jinci is the imposing 1,000-year-old, 19m high Shengmudian or Saint Mother Hall which commemorates the mother of Shuyu. Topped with a double-layered roof of finest blue and yellow glazed tiles, Shengmudian is said to represent Song dynasty architecture at its finest.

Inside the stark, bare hall, 45 gorgeously moulded clay sculptures of Song palace ladies and court eunuchs stand against the walls waiting to serve the Saint Mother. The subtle expressions on their milk-white, refined faces reveal each individual’s mood, feelings and personality. A happy, confident beauty; a resigned dowager fallen from favour; a sad serving maid deep in reflection. Each lady has a unique hairdo and gesture and their flowing court garments, shawls and ribbons fall softly and naturally around their figures. Even after a thousand years, their original predominantly red, teal and midnight blue colouring is still evident.

Jinci’s extant halls, offerings pavilion, opera terrace, archways and other structures were constructed over a 1,000-year-period spanning four major dynasties. Regrettably, aside from the roofs, many of the buildings and sculptures need refurbishment.

Still, poets like the Tang dynasty’s Libai have sung its praises and even Emperor Li Shimin eulogised the architecture and scenery of the place in a tablet. Jinci is indisputably one of the most beautiful imperial temple complexes I have seen in China.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

World's youngest professor

By Bob Considine

Perhaps in Alia Sabur’s wildly advanced studies she came across a famous quote from Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

“Knowing is not enough. We must apply,” the German writer once observed.

That could serve as explanation for what prompted the 19-year-old to become the youngest college professor in history.

Armed with prodigious wisdom, Sabur told TODAY’s Ann Curry on Wednesday that knowledge is power — especially when sharing it.

“I really enjoy teaching,” said Sabur. “It’s something where you can make a difference. It’s not just what you can do, but you can enable a lot of other people to make their changes.”

Sabur, from Northport, N.Y., has clearly been ahead of the learning curve since an early age.

She started talking and reading when she was just 8 months old. She had elementary school finished at age 5.

She made the jump to college at age 10. And by age 14, Sabur was earning a bachelor’s of science degree in applied mathematics summa cum laude from Stony Brook University — the youngest female in U.S. history to do so.

Her education continued at Drexel University, where she earned an M.S. and a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering.

With an unlimited future ahead of her, Sabur directed her first career choice to teaching. She was three days short of her 19th birthday in February when she was hired to become a professor at Konkuk University in Seoul, Korea.

This distinction made her the youngest college professor in history, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, beating the previous record held by Colin Maclaurin in 1717.

Maclaurin was a student of physicist Isaac Newton. Sabur said she is merely gravitating toward putting what she has learned to good use.

“I really feel I can help a lot of people,” she said.

At Konkuk University, Sabur said she will take part in classroom instruction, but will also focus on research into developing nanotubes for use as cellular probes that could help aid in cures for diseases.

Although she doesn’t start until next month, Sabur has taken up teaching math and physics courses at Southern University in New Orleans, which is still struggling from the devastation left in Hurricane Katrina’s wake in 2005.

“Some people come and they do Habitat for Humanity and they build houses, but I don’t think I would be very good,” she said. “So I tried to do what I’m good at. I was particularly interested in this university because they are still in trailers after Hurricane Katrina. And I thought it could be something I do to help.”

In New Orleans, Sabur is old enough to teach, but not to join her fellow professors in a bar after work. In Korea, where the drinking age is 20, she might have more luck. Koreans count their age from the moment they are born, so in Korea Sabur is considered 20.

Varied interests
On top of her unprecedented academic achievements, Sabur has a black belt in the Korean martial art of tae kwon do and is also a music prodigy. She has been playing clarinet with orchestras since her solo debut at age 11, playing with recording artists Lang Lang and Smash Mouth.

“You can reach a lot of people with music,” Sabur told Curry. “It’s never been really a hobby to me. It’s always been on equal par with my academics.”

So is there anything Sabur can’t do?

Well, apparently she struggles with basketball and with long writing and admits to sometimes being absentminded.

In fact, sometimes she forgets just how special she really is.

“Well, I know that what I’ve done is special and I think about it,” she said. “But sometimes I forget, because I’m used to it and I don’t think about it all the time. Actually, sometimes it takes other people to remind me a little bit.”

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Passing of a great man

Author, blogger, and social activist Rustam A Sani passed away early this morning in his house in Gombak, Selangor. He was 64.

He was an academician, a newspaper columnist and a poet, besides being involved in a multitude of political, social and literary activities.

In politics, the Tanjung Malim-born social scientist was formerly the deputy president of Parti Rakyat Malaysia, which have since merged with the Parti Keadilan Nasional to form the PKR.

He left behind a wife, two children - a son and a daughter, and a grandchild. It is learnt that Rustam passed away after suffering from difficulties in breathing early this morning.

According to daughter Ariani, he could have suffered a heart attack.

"It was all so sudden. We had dinner together last night. He collapsed after having problems breathing at about 2.45am," she said between sobs.

In recent years, Rustam was known for his occasional blog postings in his 'Suara Rakyat' and 'Karya Semasa'.

Rustam obtained his Malay Studies degree from Universiti Malaya, and later took his Masters degree in United Kingdom (University of Reading and University of Kent) and later United States (Yale University) and Sweden (Uppsala University).

A prolific writer, he had written half a dozen books in both Bahasa Malaysia and English on a wide range of topic including the Malay left-wing nationalist movement.

Rustam was an associate professor at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia’s political science department in the 1980s.

The funeral hearse left at 1pm for the nearby Masjid Al-Sharif where the body stayed until Zohor prayers. The body was buried at 3pm at the Taman Danau Kota Muslim cemetery in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur.

Selangor Mentri Besar Khalid Ibrahim arrived just in time for the prayers at the masjid.

Rustam, who was born in Ipoh, was the son of Malay nationalist leader Ahmad Boestamam, who was the founder of political parties Angkatan Pemuda Insaf and Parti Rakyat.

Condolences from friends

Among those seen offering their condolences to Rustam’s family included top opposition politicians Anwar Ibrahim, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Nurul Izzah Anwar, Syed Husin Ali and Dr Xavier Jeyakumar (PKR), Kamaruddin Jaffar, Syed Azman Syed Ahmad Nawawi and Salahuddin Ayub (PAS) and Lim Kit Siang, Teng Chang Khim and Fong Kui Lun (DAP).

Also at Rustam’s house this morning were ex-New Straits Times editor-in-chief A Kadir Jasin, ex-Utusan Malaysia editor-in-chief Johan Jaffar and former director-general of Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Hassan Ahmad.

Said PKR’s Latheefa Koya, “He had been a progressive and outspoken Malay leader. We will always remember him as a brilliant intellectual with great leadership qualities but prefer to keep a very low profile. And despite his recent health conditions, he continued to be active through his writings on the Internet.”

Syed Husin credited Rustam as the key mover behind the merger between of Parti Keadilan and Parti Rakyat Malaysia.

"Much of the papers regarding the merger was done by him. When he decided to do anything, Rustam put all his energies to it."

Meanwhile, former schoolmate Kamaruddin had fond memories of their early days together.

“I have known Rustam since the 1970s when we were at the University of Kent. Rustam was a fighter and an intellectual - a political analyst whose stand has always been consistent in the struggle for the rakyat,” he said.

“We did not agree on everything but he was a very jovial and pleasant individual, for whom I always had a great deal of respect.”

Johan extolled Rustam as “one of the best columnists Utusan Malaysia ever had”.

“His worldview was moulded by his father’s struggle. He was a towering figure - one of the finest intellectuals in the country. He was critical, including of me, but he was fair.”

Nurul Izzah said that Rustam had a very close relationship with her family. “We didn’t expect this to happen. He was witty, sometimes sarcastic, but a wonderful man.”

A writer to the end

Even to his final day, Rustam wrote from morning to dusk, said his son Azrani.

"From the time he wakes up, he would start writing. He was very dedicated to the importance of ideas and the need to raise social conciousness."

He was to launch two of his latest books - ‘Failed nation? Concerns of a Malaysian Nationalist’ and ‘Social Roots of the Malay Left’ - on Saturday.


Publisher SIRD said the event will go ahead and will now be a memorium for the author. The launch will be officiated by PKR de facto leader Anwar.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

P2 of Ruling the Rulers : The Mahathir Years

By: Huzir Sulaiman

THE 1960s, although a tumultuous decade for many other reasons, was relatively quiet in terms of intervention by the Malay Rulers in matters of administration and politics.

The relationship between the Sultans and the Alliance Government was still benefiting from the effort both parties had been obliged to make to find common ground in the run-up to their negotiations with the British in 1956.

(Eventually, the Rulers had been persuaded to drop their opposition to the granting of citizenship to non-Malays born in Malaya, a provision insisted on by the British, championed, naturally, by the MIC and MCA, and accepted by Umno only with a certain amount of trauma.)

But the honeymoon period of the new constitutional monarchy couldn’t last forever.

By 1981, when Dr Mahathir Mohamad succeeded Hussein Onn as Prime Minister of Malaysia, the country was in the giddy throes of a surge in royal activism.

The period from 1977 to 1983 saw several Sultans make their presence felt in the political arena to a far greater degree than had been previously seen.

The close of Hussein Onn’s premiership saw conflicts between several Sultans and Mentris Besar erupt into the open.

In 1977, the Sultan of Kelantan attempted to intervene in a crisis caused by the deteriorating relations between PAS and Umno (then in a short-lived alliance).

The Sultan attempted to postpone the dissolution of the State Assembly following a vote of no confidence in the Mentri Besar, in order that a replacement MB could be found from PAS without elections being called.

Unrest followed, which was ample pretext for the Federal Government to declare a State of Emergency in Kelantan. In the subsequent State elections, Umno came to power, a situation that the Sultan had been trying to avoid.

Things were heating up elsewhere, too. In 1977 the Sultan of Perak ostracised his Mentri Besar to the point that he was forced to resign. In 1978, the Sultan of Pahang rejected the Umno nominee for MB and, in 1981, the Sultan of Johor forced his MB to resign after 14 years in office.

We cannot know with any certainty what the new Prime Minister’s attitudes were towards the Malay Rulers when he assumed office in 1981 in the midst of this burgeoning atmosphere of royal assertiveness.

However, in Paradoxes of Mahathirism: An Intellectual Biography of Mahathir Mohamad, Khoo Boo Teik argues that “Mahathir was not necessarily an out and out ‘anti-royalist’. He found heroes in strong modernising sovereigns such as Peter the Great and the Meiji Emperor but his attitude towards the Malay royalty was less admiring.”

Khoo notes that “Mahathir’s disdain for the Malay rulers had ? been expressed in oblique criticism before.

“C.H.E. Det (Mahathir’s pen name in the late 1940s) had cast the 1949 conflict between the Malay royalty and the nascent Umno leadership as a conflict between ‘rulers and rakyats’. Then, C.H.E. Det stood with those who thought that the rulers had either to yield to the wishes of Umno and its supporters or to forfeit the loyalty of the Malays.”

What is almost certain is that Dr Mahathir would have been aware that the independent-minded Sultans of Perak and Johor were the two most likely candidates to become the next Agong in 1984.

Indeed, their Highnesses were shortly to demonstrate their autonomy in ways that led to a measure of public distress.

In 1982, the Sultan of Perak, in his capacity as Head of Religion in his State, looked at the two permissible methods used to calculate the timing of Hari Raya Puasa, and chose the one different from that used in the rest of the country.

That year the fasting month ended a day earlier in Perak, disrupting travel plans and inadvertently making it a rather stressful holiday for the Malay community.

The following year, both the Sultans of Perak and Johor used the alternate method, and their two States celebrated Hari Raya a day earlier than the rest of Malaysia.

Some commentators have suggested that the distress of the “variant Hari Raya” prompted Dr Mahathir’s subsequent desire to concentrate administrative power in the Federal Government.

But R.S. Milne and Diane K. Mauzy, in Malaysian Politics Under Mahathir, citing interviews with Umno ministers, suggest that what became known as the 1983 constitutional crisis “was precipitated by reports, received by Mahathir, that the Sultan of Johor stated at a gathering that when he was elected Agong he would unilaterally declare a state of emergency, and with the aid of the army, throw out all the politicians.

“Compounding this were stories that the Sultan was close to certain key military men, and that the army chief, General Tan Sri Mohd Zain Hashim, had criticised Mahathir’s approach and had questioned where the army’s loyalty rested.”

Whatever the case may be, on Aug 1, the Government brought the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 1983 before both houses of Parliament, and it was quickly passed.

The bill put forward 22 amendments to the Federal Constitution, including three very significant changes to the position of the Malay Rulers.

First, it removed the need for the Agong to give his Royal Assent to a piece of legislation before it could be gazetted as law. Instead, it stipulated that if the Agong did not give his Assent within 15 days, he was deemed to have done so, and the law could come into effect.

Second, it introduced parallel provisions removing the need for a Sultan to give his Assent to State laws.

Third, it transferred the power to declare an Emergency from the Agong (who was, in any case, supposed to act on the advice of Cabinet in this regard) directly to the Prime Minister, who was not obliged to act on anyone’s advice.

The Prime Minister’s Department had ordered a press blackout on the Constitution (Amendment) Bill 1983 and, so, while the fact of the bill’s passing was mentioned, its significance was downplayed, and the debate – including an impassioned speech in opposition to it by DAP’s Lim Kit Siang – did not appear in local media.

For the following two months, nothing appeared. But a right royal storm was brewing.

Immediately, the liberal intelligentsia opposed the provision that allowed the Prime Minister to unilaterally declare an Emergency.

On Aug 2, 1983, Aliran issued a statement condemning the Bill, claiming the proposed amendment “opens the way to political abuse. For the Prime Minister is, in the ultimate analysis, a political personality very much involved in the conflicts and compromises of party politics. There is no constitutional mechanism for ensuring that he will not use his emergency powers against his political foes from any quarter.

“It is simply not possible to prevent an ambitious Prime Minister in the future from emerging as a ‘supremo’ after the proclamation of an emergency.”

But, under the strict press blackout, it was not reported.

Meanwhile, unbeknownst to the public, the Agong, under pressure from his fellow Rulers, refused to give his Assent to the Bill.

The Rulers maintained that the Bill contravened Article 38(4) of the Constitution, which stated that “No law directly affecting the privileges, position, honours or dignities of the Rulers shall be passed without the consent of the Conference of Rulers.”

The Rulers had also come to understand the full legal implications of removing the need for Royal Assent to legislation. It meant that if Parliament voted to abolish the monarchy, the Rulers would be powerless to stop them.

Tensions continued to build behind the scenes. It was only in October, when Senu Abdul Rahman circulated a letter condemning the amendments, followed by Tunku Abdul Rahman defying the gag order by writing about them in the pages of this newspaper, that Malaysians woke up to the crisis.

There were also disagreements within Umno; as Gordon P. Means notes in Malaysian Politics: the Second Generation, “? many in the ruling coalition were distressed by the contents of the amendments and the confrontational style of Dr Mahathir towards the Malay Rulers.”

Some establishment figures believed the Prime Minister had far-reaching aims. In a 1988 interview transcribed in K. Das & The Tunku Tapes, Tunku Abdul Rahman and the veteran journalist discuss the constitutional crisis.

If one can look past the bitchy, surat layang (poison pen letter) tone of their stories about Dr Mahathir’s children, one can get a snapshot of the groundswell of suspicion.

Tunku: “You see, the Malays have a cause for adat, resam and so on ? tradition. I have a respect for it but he has none. He dislikes it. You see, his whole aim is to upset the constitution and turn this country into a republic. His son was in London talking quite openly amongst the students that his father is going to be the first President of Malaya.”

Das: “I head his daughter was also talking about it here ? Apparently she was caught talking about it at a party not knowing that behind her was one of the Tengkus from Negri Sembilan who overheard it. She said that as soon as the constitution amendment is signed, it is finished, we can become a republic.”

Against this background of suspicion, the 1983 constitutional crisis spilled out into the open, and the conflict grew even more intense.

In the next instalment of Ruling the Rulers, Wide Angle will look at the propaganda war and the resolution of the crisis. And, the other crises that lay in wait for Dr Mahathir and the Malay Rulers.