Who"s davidlian?

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davidlian is an ultra-geeky chinese dude that works for a technology PR agency. He loves fiddling with techno-toys, plays Warhammer 40K, and shoots pictures wherever he goes. Here, he rants about PR, Technology and anything else. Don't expect balance and un-biased, he ain't no journalist. Anything said on this blog are solely davidlian's personal views. Don't confuse them with company mantra, client's views or views of any organisation he may be part of.


Thursday, January 31, 2008

Thank you all for the Happy event!

Just wanted to thank everyone who attended our Happy event on Tuesday night. And, even if you didn't come, thanks for letting me know too!

Wanna thank Yasmin from Cafe Libre for being so accomodating. The venue rocked!

Moment of the night

Wanted to share something that's still stuck in my head and makes me chuckle out-loud sometimes:

(The scene) Everyone was sitting in a circle and we were going around introducing ourselves and our blogs. Somehow, it started to fall into a pattern... "Hi, I'm XXXX and I blog at XXXXX. I blog about XXXXX." And Erna changed it all...

Erna: Okay, can we stop talking like we're in Blogholics Anonymous?

There was a pause. Then everyone started laughing.

Second Moment of the Night

So I was asking inane movie trivia questions so we could get people to come out, dig thru the Happy sack, and win a prize.

Can't remember the question I asked, but Suanie won that prize.

She stepped up, rummaged thru the sack and randomly pulled out her docket to win a... Shaver!

Some people proceeded to make some funny comments that I shall not post here on fear of mutilation. Muahahahahaha....there's a picture too! Scroll down.

Here are some pictures:

Playing the Wii - don't let it fly!
Erna trying out the Wii. It's official, Wii makes people happy.

More Wii Action!
Clap, clap, laugh, laugh.

Hula Hooping...some people were cheating
We made the people who came do the Hula. Apparently no one could keep it up for longer than 2 spins.

Smashpop Hula
Exclusive: The SmashpOp thumbs up (sorry Jason, couldn't resist)

Still hula-ing
Happy people showing us how to do it.

Gee, Suan won a shaver
Guess what Suanie walked home with. I'm told that if you [CENSORED]

pinkpau and smashpop
Movie tickets for PinkPau.

First of two shampoos for Swifty
Shampoo for Swifty. He got two actually. One was some "Threesome" brand.

Value packs makes Kim happy
And a value pack of I dunno what for Kim.

You know you're going when you laugh...for no reason.
Nigel claims that I only get his side profile in all the pics. Hung Wei's here too.

We tried to make Gallivanter smile wider.
Guess who gallivanted all the way here?

Group Picture!
Obligatory group picture. There were some more people, but I think they had went off already...

PS... must give credit to the photographer of the night - Louis
because I selamba borrow the pictures and put on my site. :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Guess who got a domain name?

So I've been thinking about this for a few weeks already. "Want to get a domain or not?"

The plus point about having your own name as the domain is... well..."glamour-lah" (It's glamourous). The minus point about having your own domain name is it costs money.

But I'm the type of person who will ponder, meandre and brood over decisions like this, but inevitably inch towards biting the bullet. Today, I bit it.

Started the day asking people about which domain service to use. Suan said Paul's service very reliable. Then Kel told me to go check out www.exabytes.com.my. Ran a Google search and in Malaysia apparently there's like tonnes of registrars (like www.webserver.com.my).

Finally, I settled on GoDaddy because its a name I know (heard it over Coolness Roundup) and because I had a coupon that made my 3 year registration cost only US$ 21.45 (can you beat that?).

The next step was to get Blogger to publish to my domain. Thankfully, this was a really simple step with the full instructions here. All you gotta be is a bit patient. I wasn't, so I was bugging people over MSN and moaning because all I could see for 2 hours after registering was this "parking" page (the page that tells you davidlian.com is coming soon).

Well, as you can see, it works now. And I feel so legitimate. It's like... I've moved off free-service-land into owning my own lease-hold apartment. I've actually got my own web-address.

Okay, so people, to celebrate my new domain. Can I say, this makes me super happy and that if I could, I would have entered the Happy Moments contestwith this post. Because it's hard to express how you feel when you own your own domain name (instead of letting some squatter squat on it). It's just happy.


Guess who's gonna win RM 5,000 for blogging?

Actually... I dunno. But it sure ain't gonna be me.

Darn, the T&C that says:

Entry is open to all residents in Malaysia. However, permanent, contract and/or temporary employees of [insert company name] (including its subsidiaries and related affiliates) and representatives and/or agents and agencies of [insert company name] are ineligible to enter.
Happy, one of the my clients, just announced a blogging contest called "Happy Moments" with a grand prize of RM 5,000 for the best post and / or video of a (you guessed it) happy moment.

All the said soon-to-be-lucky-winner/blogger has to do is think of a unique, interesting, serendipitous happy moment; all those times you just felt cheesily happy and couldn't explain why, and write a post about it. Better still, if you have a mobile phone that can take a decent video, do a video about it (think America's funniest home videos.)

Happy - Happy Moments

Attach this image to the post to prove that you indeed are the owner of the blog. (It may not be up yet)

Then get your friends and family to vote (mine's for sale. :) Contact me to negotiate price). Top ten most voted progresses to the shortlist where the truly best three will be selected by Happy as the winners and walk away with RM 5,000, RM 2,000 or RM 1,000 (two prizes of each, one for each category).

Sound's simple? Just surf over here or www.happy.com.my for more details.

Yup, that's it. Just a bit sore that I can't win the prize. And I had a darn good story to tell too. Oh well, maybe next time.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Thoughts on India

About 10 days ago I was in India for a company offsite which I returned from with a "Delhi Belly". Thought I'd get back and straight up to posting about India, but because of recurring lethargy and the sheer amount of work that had piled up whilst I was gone meant it was delayed until now. But good stuff is always worth the wait, right?

I think it's been said before that Delhi's a land of extremes, but I don't think you'd ever realise how extreme it is until you've set foot there. From landing in the Delhi International Airport, the bus ride to the hotel was perhap's the best was to tell the story: Stately old Buicks driving right next to sleek BMWs. Dirt roads giving way to tar-covered highways. Shanty towns neighbouring modern complexes.

You can see a grand old shopping complex like KLCC surrounded with armed guards situated right opposite a very,very poor settlement. By opposite, I mean, right across the road!

Traffic in india. Notice the all-kinds-of-transport.

And the traffic. If you thought Malaysian roads were hazardous (a generalisation, perhaps) then Delhi roads would be enough to make you mad. For starters:
1. Everyone drives as if they are in some terrible hurry trying to rush a relative to the hospital.
2. Drivers believe in the optimisation of space, thus cars are driving as close as they can to each other and every obscure angle, nook and cranny is filled with a part of someone elses car - e.g. the front right corner of the car's nose.
3. Nobody waits at roundabouts. It's a game of who dares wins.
4. Honk please! Seriously! Almost every car has that at its back end. The streets are filled with loud honking.

We stayed in a plush hotel. The Intercontinental Eros. It's a world of difference from what's outside the Hotel. That's my colleague Corina in the picture.

Meet Ashish, my room mate. He's smart and very intelligent. He also taught me how to dance like a Bollywood superstar.

The water's supposed to be unfit for drinking, but after talking to my Indian colleagues, i think it isn't as bad as people make it out to be. Tap water is drinkable if you boil or filter it first - gee...that's just like Malaysia. The food, though... wow...if you thought the Indian food in Malaysia was spicy...wait till you check out what Delhi food is like! I must've had so much Tandoori that my stomach was flaming and paining by the time it was time to go home. And, I noticed (at the hotel at least) the eating utensils provided are usually fork and knife - even if you're eating rice. I had to request for a spoon on more than one occassion.

The Bahai Temple is one of the picturesque landmarks. You have to keep silent in the temple.

If you're thinking of visiting Delhi for the sights, then expect a very authentic historical and spiritual journey. In Delhi alone, I think I counted four or five spiritual sites including the Bahai Temple (one of Six around the world), a Muslim Spinarret and temples to other Indo religions.

The marketplaces are colourful. We went to this place called Janpath market on the second night.

Semi-precious stones are some of the best buys in India.

The streets of Delhi town. It's really a colourful place, full of culture and a unique ethnic identity you don't find in Malaysia.

America's most famous export has special burgers in India. Like the Chicken Aloo burger.

The shopping was quite the experience too and tourists should normally look out for cloth items (clothing, bags etc.) or semi-precious stones. I think I spent more than RM 300 on semi-precious stones for my mom and Lydia. But you have to bargain (goes without saying). I think a good benchmark is to get at least 50% off and be prepared to walk away. I'm told the bargaining threshholds for locals and foreigners are different, so if you're a foreigner, expect that you'll still be paying more than a local for what you buy.

Just to conclude this post, my regret was we didn't get to see the Taj Mahal on this trip as there weren't enough people signing up for the trip. Maybe one day I'll make another trip: Back to India!

Friday, January 25, 2008

I LoLed today!

So it's nearing the end of the day, and then these two people sitting adjacent to my desk are developing questions for a movie trivia game for a blogger event we have to run next week.

There was one question that made me laugh:

Eevon: Okay, okay, I got a good one.
Vicky: What?
Eevon: What kind of fish was Nemo in Finding Nemo?
Vicky: Tilapia!

At that point, everyone sitting around started guffawing.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Why I'm missing...

Got back from India on Sunday, 7 a.m. Immediately went to church and then reached home at about 4 p.m. Crashed.

Monday was a super busy day, thanks to work that accumulated. Plus, I had contracted Delhi Belly whilst in India. Still jet-lagged, so crashed early. Besides, when I got home, the internet was screwed up, so I couldn't blog or upload pictures either.

Tuesday, started the day optimistic. Still no time at all, was out most of the day and then most of the night as well. Felt woozy by the time I got home, and it wasn't a good sign that I was dribbling from my nose and had to perpetually hold a tissue to it. Went home and crashed.

Wednesday - supposed to be a great public holiday and I woke up in anticipation to go play some Warhammer... until my joints started aching. I grabbed another 30 minutes of rest, but no use. Went to play anyway because I'm reluctant to have my public holiday taken away from me by a simple flu. Couldn't stand it and got home by 1 pm. Took some flu medicine and crashed for the whole afternoon.

Woke up at night to go to church then came home and crashed.

See the sequence? Sorry... still don't feel to good today.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Waiting to go to India

The airport makes me sleepy. Every time I go to KLIA, I realise I feel quite, quite tired. Wonder if it's some sort of psychological association problem thingy?

I'm now sitting right in KLIA in front of a sponsored Samsung TV screening old Astro movie re-runs. I'm trying to get KLIA Wi-Fi to work right, but for some wierd reason I can't get Firefox to work (web pages keep coming back with 404 errors). So now, I'm booting up on Internet Explorer for pretty much the first time ever on my office PC.

Then, Windows Live Messenger doesn't work either. And neither does my office VPN link - so I can't check my emails (other than with my N95 for those of you who are sure to point that out ... :))

I'm waiting to go to India for the first time ever. Everyone has given me pretty much a piece of advice:
1. Drink only bottled water or canned drinks.
2. Brush your teeth with bottled water.
3. Don't simply eat roadside food.
4. Check out the cheap cheap stones (i.e. Jewellery) in India.
5. Don't drink water from the tap.
6. Make sure you drink only bottled water.

Yeah, I got the message. Thanks! I'm going to make it a point to buy bottled water once I reach India. Hoping it doesn't cost a bomb.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Almost done - Grey Knights

Gone done myself some painting for me latest army. And I'm so excited, I have to share them here.

These Grey Knights are the best of the Imperium and the Emperor's finest. Got a bit of static grass on them. I'll have to pull that off tonight... o_O

Almost finished Grey Knights

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Obligatory Social Networking Prediction

This post is inspired by this story over at Rolling Stone.

In the past three years or so, there's been a real explosion on the internet by what we now call the Web 2.0 phenomenon or the "social networking" boom. If Web 1.0 was based around email and static home pages, then the introduction of blogs, social networks and content-sharing sites is what characterises Web 2.0. The internet has moved from being centred around information to people.

Let's turn Web 2.0 into a mathematical exercise: have a meagre 200 odd friends on Facebook, just over a hundred on Friendster and an empty Linked-in account I never use much. I have a blog that has ... oh, about 6 or so readers... and a Flickr account with 5 friends. I think there's an old Plaxo login I have somewhere and I'm member to more than a few web-forums around the internet. I've got an MSN list that tells me 32 of my 147 contacts are online now.

That's my imprint on the internet.

I'm sure there's way more people who have a far larger pool of fans (I once surfed a friend's page on Friendster who had actually reached the limit of 1,000 friends, so she had to create two new accounts to store new friends. Maybe coz she's oklah hot).

The point is, all this talk of Web 2.0 means the currency today is people. I hear internet marketing firms talking of calculating "reach" instead of traffic. "Audience" instead of hits. And I'm wondering out loud if in this age of ultra-networkability and -trackability, could we actually measure how influential a person is?

If yes, we could, just by using the internet, then Barack Obama (my candidate of choice, actually) would win hands down this next US election thanks to his more than 500 facebook supporter groups. But it isn't so simple, is it?

Influence is more thant the internet, and definitely more than the number of friends you have on your facebook account. You don't influence people by sending them "Vote for this cause" requests. They'll probably click it without batting an eyelash, or just click delete.


I now dread logging into Facebook and it's even spread so far that I dread logging into my Gmail. Because my Facebook thread is now filled with millions (I guess) of requests for inane Facebook apps and my Gmail gets filled too with Superwall messages and Funwall stuff. I have 79 undrunk drinks. t's not that I'm anti-social, mind you, but simply because there's overwhelming interactivity with people. I dread that the first 10 clicks I do when I log into Gmail is to delete BACN (stuff that's not spam (like Facebook auto-messages, but of little use anyway).

How long more can people still be into Social Networks, I wonder?

After some thinking, I think for a long, long, long more time. Whoever said human beings are social creatures was right - we want to feel valued, loved and paid attention. We want to have friends.

But, Social Networks will start to change (and indeed, they already are) simply because no one needs to be weighed down by 1,223 contacts pinging them with Fight Club challenges all the time.

Remember the Rolling Stones link right at the beginning of this post? That's what I think will be social networking in the future. The key word is Purpose.

Why? Because I don't care to be punching some elses zombies all day. I want to find a person because there's some relevance in that person to me: either he's a friend I met somewhere, or he likes the same miniatures I like or we both believe in Barack Obama. I want to connect with somebody for a purpose --> it's email when it's "Hey XXX, can we go for a drink sometime?" or it's a MSN ping when its "Hey, tonight wanna go and play Warhammer?"

Don't get me wrong, sometimes, just making a new friend or enjoying one another's company is purpose enough. That's why Facebook and Friendster are still going to be around. What I do feel though is we can do without the "too-many" - bite me (vampire) requests.

For social marketing and PR peeps: when Social networks grow to become purposeful, then the audience becomes real. Social networks don't just become a click-fest . Shapeable, identifiable, targetable, and logical networks will emerge. The social network will make more sense to marketeers than right now. Your ROI headache will go away.

Friday, January 11, 2008

You don't want THIS at your press event...

This has got to be the nightmare of all PR people - especially the folks handling the invite to the Gizmodo folks!

There's this part in the video where this Motorola spokesperson actually is presenting about a pretty cool product and... the TV goes off! poof! It went off so fast the spokesperson didn't even know what was going on.

Still, I think CNet's reaction to this stunt pretty much sums it up. However, I think I can add that is probably an isolated incident in the blogging community and that the bloggers I've had for press events are nothing if not decent and interesting people.

Verdict? This is a one off. Good stunt for Gizmodo (more than 400 comments on the associated post) and nothing that should stop PR people from inviting bloggers again in the future.

Now, nobody get any ideas mmmkay?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

iZZi Broadband Refund within 7 Days is a Hoax

This is going to be the first cut-and-paste job for me today (hooray!) but I'm sure this friend of mine won't mind after she's literally lost her voice screaming at the iZZi people.

She says (edited version):

I purchase an iZZiyou wireless broadband package on 1st of November, 2007.

I still remember how I ask the salesperson that day before I made the payment. I asked him, “To entitle for the 100% refund, including the activation & registration fees, the ONLY condition is to return it within 7 days? No other condition?” And the answer I get is a very clear and absolute “Yes! As long as within 7 days.”

And once I went back home, quickly set it up, and try out the connection. But the result is disappointing. I only received 30% of signal at my living room, where I usually do my work and surf net. So I called up their helpdesk, told them I am not satisfied with the signal strength, then we do some testing at different location in my house. And I realized that I can only get 80-90% signal strength when I am at a corner of my room and the balcony. So I told them that this is not acceptable, it will be such a joke that “mobile wireless” actually limit my mobility in your own house!! And I can’t be working in my balcony at all times. Then the helpdesk personnel told me that perhaps my house is located at a blind spot and thus only the balcony can receive good signal. They advice me to purchase the external antenna to boost the signal, but that totally defeat the purpose of mobility with the antenna attached to your laptop! And we need to pay it ourselves but yet no guarantee the problems will be solved. So they said I could return back the equipment set to them and get the full refund.

So I went to the iZZinet HQ at Menara Olympia, Raja Chulan. And it took me so much trouble to fight against the traffic to go there, hoping they would help to expedite the refund process. I passed the full set of equipment to a girl named Lee Lin, signed a document for the refund and left, with the hope that I would get my refund asap.

And this is the best part to of the story, as of today - 10th January 2008, 2 months had gone, there is still NO REFUND coming thru. I have been calling their office in this 2 months time, to ask them about the progress, and this Lee Lin girl keep on telling me different version of the story:

  • We are working on the request, the payment should be ready next week, would you like us to issue a cheque or directly debit into your account?
    • I told them I want the direct debit option and give them my bank account no, but after 2 weeks, no payment coming thru
So I called again after 2 weeks, below are the feedback provided
  • I’m sorry, we are still working on it, it should be ready next week, I will call you once it is ready
    • No call receive from iZZinet or Lee Lin, another 1 week gone
Then called again, another version of the story below
  • I’m sorry, your cheque already with us, I will ask the office boy to bank into your account by this week
    • I gave them 2 weeks time, for “the office boy to bank into my account”, “surprise surprise”, nothing is coming into my bank account again
This time I am really really pissed, so I screwed the Lee Lin girl on the phone, and lo and behold, her new story
  • I’m sorry, your cheque is still with the office boy, he still have not bank in it, I will ask him to do it asap
    • I told them that I should not be the one that suffer due to their inefficiency, I want the refund to be in my bank by end of the week, and I want their manager to speak to me if this is still not be done by the end of the week.
Finally, last Friday – 4th November 2008, there was a girl calling from iZZinet, somehow I just could not recall her name, should be their manager, told me MY REFUND IS NOW IN THE DISPUTE, because of my “more than 3Mb of usage”, and they claimed that this term and condition is written on their website. And they are going to issue the refund but minus RM98 out, because they have to CHARGE ME FOR ONE MONTH USAGE because of the >3Mb download, EVEN THOUGH I ONLY USED IT FOR LESS THAN 7 DAYS. Below are the feedbacks I gave:
  • HELLO??? You gave people 7 days trials and you expect people to use less that 3Mb???
  • Maybe is MY MISTAKE that I did not read anything about this at their website, BUT your sales person ASSURE me that returned within 7 days is the ONLY condition I need to fulfill, that means your salesperson is NOT TO BE TRUSTED???
  • And your staff follow-up SUCKS, because I have to CALL EVERYTIME, even though the Lee Lin girl promised to call me back to update me the progress, but every time I called, there is different story given
  • The LEE LIN is LYING every time I called!!! Because the update she gave previously was the payment / cheque is ready but the office boy have not bank in. That means your staff is NOT TO BE TRUSTED???
  • CHARGE ME ONE MONTH SUBCRIPTION FEES for the LESS THAN 7 DAYS USAGE, that is a very easy money for iZZinet to earn!!!
I literally scream at the manager until I am at the verge of losing my voice because I am really ( X infinity ) PISSED!!!!!! And I felt so CHEATED!!!!!! At the end of the conversation, she said she would discuss further with the company, and she would call me back TOMORROW.

It is 10th January 2008 (Thu) today, and no call receive from iZZinet, no surprise, because with the suckish customer service they had been provided, what will be a surprise anymore?

So my conclusion on this matter is
  • IzziNet Broadband 100% Refund within 7 days is a hoax (with so may hidden term & condition, <3mb>
  • IzziNet personnel – from SALESPERSON, HELPDESK, STAFF & MANAGER, their word is NOT TO BE TRUSTED, either inaccurate information provided or even worse, they lied. But guess what, consumer is the one that pay for the price!
I am telling you people about my experience (a very bad one) with iZZinet broadband, presenting the verdict here, serve as a warning, to whoever that wanted to consider such service; because I certainly don’t want anyone to be cheated in the same way.

But of course, the decision is always in your hand!

Still Very Piss & Still Waiting For My Refund,

Go read the actual post here. This isn't the first bad post about iZZi too... just check out here and here. I rest my case.

Methinks, no matter how bad Streamyx is, there isn't anything that's wireless that's remotely as reliable as the wired DSL that Streamyx. Of course, if mobility is important to you, my Maxis 3G works fine. Or go with Celcom. At least they fear the customers...that's the most important thing you need when choosing a company to buy stuff from.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

There be Giants (Milk Teas) / Ernie & Yvonne's Birthday Sneaky Tricks

I don't know if the other pseudo Hong-Kong food places already do this but you know, you can get a free Giant Milk Tea @ Wong Kok in Leisure Mall, Cheras. It's really big, like this:

Look at the SIZE of that thing!

All you have to do to get that Giant Milk Tea is get your buddies to spend RM 30.00 minimum on food and drinks then show those kind people working at Wong Kok your IC and that your birthday is actually on that day and they'll cart it out for you.

So anyway, Ernie's birthday is on the 7th of Jan and Yvonne's birthday was on the 8th of Jan. Someone (suspect it's Ernest himself) came up with the sneaky plan to get TWO Giant Milk Teas by doing this:

We went to Wong Kok at 11 pm to celebrate Ernest and Yvonne's birthday. Waitress served us. We budgeted carefully and spend just enough to get that one Giant Milk Tea and then requested for cups for everyone else - so free drinks for most people.

Then, the punchline: at the stroke of 12 midnight, we buzzed the waiter again and ordered some more food - this time, more than RM 30 again. And, we proudly presented Yvonne's IC so that
we could get a SECOND Giant Milk Tea. The waiter stared incredulously at the card for a couple of minutes before Ernest had to quip in - "it's real."

To Wong Kok's merit, they delivered the SECOND Giant Milk Tea without too much fuss after Yvonne signed the book confirming she's actually having her birthday on that day. Though, I'd pay to know what they were saying inside the kitchen... :)

Giant Milk Tea makes for great drinking games too!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

My N95 now knows how to shut up...

... when I flip it over! Yay!

Remember sometime late in 2007 when Nokia (me client) unveiled the Symbian S60 Touch platform that will be making its debut this year with this video?

One of the key features was that the new UI will really start to take advantage of a built-in accelerometer (the thing in your device that detects if the device is moving, face down or tilted). If you watched the above video, the lady just has to flip her phone and it mutes itself. Intuitive, really.

Well, as of today, so can my Nokia N95. This is thanks to a nifty little application called FlipSilent by Tong Ren. It's not yet widely available on the net, but I got my heads up from the guy I think is Malaysia's foremost Symbian expert - Smashpop and he was even kind enough to sign it for me. (As a security feature, not all apps can be installed on your S60 device unless its signed to your IMEI (the unique ID of your device, which you can see by pressing *#06#).


You have to let FlipSilent run in background. The footprint isn't too big - about 50kb so it shouldn't make your device run too slowly.

FlipSilent Menu

You get to select which profile it switches to when you flip. You can also select that your phone hangs up. Or, for laughs, get it to ring even louder when you flip!

Okay, still sounds unbelievable. Well, here's a video from Smashpop (because I was too lazy to record my own) that shows what it does in real life:

FlipSilent for Symbian from smashpOp on Vimeo

Too cool? I agree.

What's the coolest thing in CES?!

The coolest thing in CES so far... real life size IRON MAN suit! W00T!

For some morbid reason, I've always had this fascination of being encased in a impregnable iron suit that could fire Ion beams and heat-seeker missiles. Little known fact: Did you know Iron Man #1 (facsimile edition) was my first ever Marvel comic?

Looking forward to the movie later this year! Seems like Marvel might as well be a movie studio instead of comic book maker.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Flat becomes Fat with Elmo!

One of the best Christmas presents Lydia and I gave out this year plus one that was most exciting was this Flat-packed Elmo we gave Yen Ling. It was really an interesting gift because the Elmo came flat and you could literally dump it into a flat parcel and mail it to a friend living halfway across the world.

Once your friend received his / her Elmo, all he / she has to do is cut open the flat shrink-wrap and gently shake the Elmo to fluff it up. And...ta-da.... a cute little stuffed toy friend.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Everyone's a wee bit political

Wow. Really wow.

I got into some conversations these past few days with random different people I know and it really dawned upon me that perhaps Malaysians do take politics seriously. You know, the general feel and consensus is that Malaysians -especially Malaysians my age - are apathetic about the politic of Malaysia.

Well, we're not. I was speaking to a mild-mannered chinese lady whom you thought was all urban and just enjoying life as it was, but the moment we swung the conversation about the petrol prices *potential* increase due to Najib's recent front-pager in The Star, she was all passionate about the issue.

Then there was Chua Soi Lek's announcement yesterday. It was amazing to suddenly have so many people looking me up on MSN and starting conversations on what his indiscretion meant for Chinese politics and MCA.

I'm not going to share the discussions here or viewpoints - those are our private conversations and thoughts, but what I'd like to observe here for a moment is that people are actually caring about our country. And as long as people care, then there's some hope.

Here's where I share a little silly anecdote:

Back when I was in secondary school, I spent a lot of time frequenting mamak stalls around Bangsar with my good pal Willie Wong. It got to a point when we went to different mamak stalls every night and got to know some of the mamak store owners very well.

One night, Willie and I were having a conversation (bear in mind these are two 15-year-old kids) about politics and how we should both run in the elections as independent candidates. The strategy was, since we both knew so many mamaks around, we would go from mamak stall to mamak stall to get stall owners to vote for us.

For the entrance fee - which was I think RM 2,000 to the election commission - we thought we could easily make that back if we secured the 5% vote necessary. The plan was, we would be 21 in the next elections and could actually stand for elections at that age. We would represent the voice of the youth. The most important bits of improvement to the Bangsar / Lembah Maju constituency, according to us, at that time were:

1. Re-laying the Copper Wiring - so we could get faster internet speeds (even if it was dial-up)
2. Developing a section of Bangsar for good food (because the both of us kept going out every night to look for the best food around Bangsar - like Tomyam :)
3. Upgrade Bangsar Sports Complex (we swam a lot at that pool and it was green in colour. Nuff said)
4. And some other stuff too controversial to list here. It's really funny stuff, but also a bit controversial.

On hindsight, it's probably best I never started my political career. Might have ended up not so nice after all.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Today's Front Page News: Chua Soi Lek

It's on your front page today: Chua Soi Lek admits he is the politician shown in the sex DVD circulating around Johor.

You can read about it in The Star or New Straits Times and get the facts there!

But whilst all the furore is focused on the man's affair, which by any measure is WRONG, there seems to be little issue made beyond a passing mention that the videos were taken by CCTV's in the hotel room including one over the bed. Isn't that wrong?

Wow...I'd like to know which hotel this was and why were there CCTV's in the room at all. Are Malaysian hotels allowed to install CCTV's in their rooms for "security purposes"? It's more than a bit scary given that many people do private things in hotel rooms.

Personally, I think a bit more investigation is due here.