Friday, March 30, 2007

Altantuya: Son's DNA test

I refer to Howsy's question about Altantuya son’s DNA test: is it out yet?

Well, in fact he did direct the question to Susan Loone and here is her response: Altantuya: What happen to the DNA test?

The biggest twist after reading the post is this line:
......And while they (DNA experts, Interpol, whatever) saw her son, they did not take
blood samples from him. Instead, they took it from her mother, Mrs. Shariibuu........

Questions to ponder:
  • Why did they take the DNA samples of Altantuya's mother (Mrs. Shariibuu) instead of those of her ailing son?
  • Did Bernama lie about taking the son's DNA?
  • If Altantuya met Baginda in 2004 and her son is borned in 2003, who is his REAL father?
  • Why aren't any of these published in the papers? Cover ups?
  • What is the real motivation in the murder case?

I think the single biggest question that everybody wants to know is:

WHO IS THE FATHER?

Thumbs up to howsy and susan on the update.

Related Posts:

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Nik Aziz

One of the many people I've always respected is the Chief Minister of Kelantan, Nik Aziz Nik Mat. Although I've grown up with an image that all PAS members are evil and the leader of PAS being devil incarnation, I've soon realised that I've been wrong about all these, as they say, these are all politics.

You would in fact be surprised how modest this man is despite being one of the hated figures of non-muslims. Read Jonathan Kent's report on his meeting with Nik Aziz here.



Nik Aziz studied at the same religious school as all but one of the leaders of
Afghanistan's Taleban.

..........................

He may believe that I(Jonathan Kent) am going to burn in hell but he is always charming and welcoming, and there is always a mischievous sparkle in his eye. [Source: BBC]

Such is the phrase used to describe him. I've always like the satirical little comic strips featuring him on Utusan Melayu when I was in secondary school, and to my mom's dismay, that might be the only thing I read from the malay daily most of the time. You see, I pestered my mom into subscribing an english(NST) and malay(Utusan) newspaper daily so I could hopefully read and increase my command of both languages. As many of us know that Utusan is a tool used by the BN coalition to propogade malay readers, it is not at all unusual if another reader has the same view of Nik Aziz as me at that time.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a PAS person, although the little state I love(Kedah) was once under PAS not too long ago. I am also not an advocate of PAS or Nik Aziz, I merely respect him as a religious leader and not as a politician. He is akin a grandfather when speaking about the rights and wrongs in society. So much so that he wants the country to be governed by Islamic law, not to my preference. However, in these he taught non-muslims the other side of story, many of his opinions are in fact not without basis. Taking an example in him saying that ladies who "wearing make-up can invite rape", you can see his basis in saying this from all those rape cases in the newspapers.

It is also hard to see that all his opinions are for good causes. Like preventing rape, preventing adultery, all the good values that should be present in a muslim. His only miscalculation was only that Malaysia is a multi-racial and multi-cultural country, and that not all his views can be accepted.

But imagine this, with him at helm, the BN government hasn't been able to find a way to steal the state of Kelantan from PAS. I personally think that this is not because they are not capable in doing so, there must be some love the Kelantan people have for their beloved leader. Agree?

So, what's your view on this?

More interested readers can refer to these articles:

p.s. the Utusan Melayu I read was the pre-NSTP-Utusan bullocks, anybody wanna update me on whether that perkahwinan jadi or tak jadi?

References:
  1. The changing face of Malaysian politics, Jonathan Kent, BBC News, 25 March 2007.

To Steve Irwin

This is to Steve Irwin, whose life was ended by a sting ray.

I wonder how would it taste like though.......

Good catch, although animal rights advocates beg to differ.

*Update: So I've now learned that manta rays doesn't have sting barbs, foolish me. Check it out here.
During the course of their evolution, Mantas lost the stinging barb and their pectoral fins developed into graceful, flapping wings, but their flattened body shape remained.
Thanx for the info anonymous. And Steve Irwin, too bad, no revenge for you.

p.s. sorry about the one-liner, I really had to post this when I saw the pic.

Racial Integration?

Like most Malaysians, I can sniff out a real problem out of all the problems posed in the daily news. Like this headline in The Star, this is a real concern for the future of the country.

I think this is the first time I've ever touched on racial issues, so I'm gonna make this a slightly longer post expressing my views.

We already know that racial integration is a problem in adults, an issue faced since the formation of Malaysia. This problem roots from an array of scenarios, be it from the social, economical or political points of view. I even learn from history text books during my time in secondary school that
Malays lead lives as farmers and fishermen
Chinese lead lives as businessmen
Indian lead lives as rubber tappers
Believe me, it is in the old History syllabus whether you like it or not, and that's history, one which nobody can change. I also grew up with a perception that Chinese are rich, Malays are not that rich and Indians are downright poor.

I couldn't be more wrong. One just couldn't associate professions from wealth, not anymore. I know of Malay businessmen, just take my fellow Kedahan Tan Sri Syed Mokhtar Al-Bukhary, no matter what people say about how he acquired his wealth, you just couldn't argue the fact that he is damn good a businessman. Money doesn't lie.

I also know of chinese who lead lives as farmers, fishermen and even rubber tappers. You wouldn't believe me but rubber tappers now earn plentiful, enough not only to feed the family but to invest into other businesses as well. Of course there are also quite a lot of them living in lives of poverty, I know of some like that as well, but they are still happy.

The same thing goes for Indians as well. Look at the "official" second richest man in Malaysia, Bina Tegas owner Ananda Krishnan, again money doesn't lie, no matter how he acquired all those wealth.

Youngsters not concerned with racial integration?

Just why are these youngsters not concerned with racial integration. The reason for this is that there is no motivation or incentives in doing so. We live in a country where choice of school is based on race and religion. We have Islamic colleges, Mara boarding schools, even secondary schools are chosen based on one's race. Unless you put them all in a same school instead of segregating them into schools based on race and religion, the situation wouldn't improve.


Blame it on their parents for sending their children to vernacular schools, blame it here and there. Why not blame it on yourself? I'm sure the percentage of students in vernacular school is pretty small compared to those in national schools. Even so, why not send malays to these "vernacular" schools?

I understand that the government tried to forge unity through the various vision school programs. Failure or success of those programs I can't tell, but there's one thing for sure that the government is reluctant to do, and that is to accept the fact that they are just taking the wrong approach.

With textbooks and syllabus teaching kids like what I mentioned above, I don't see youngsters forming any sort of respect towards other races.

From a political point of view, there is also the infamous ideology of Ketuanan Melayu or Malay Supremacy looming around the air. With this, how can a non-Malay bear the thought of sharing the burden of the country when they don't get to share the wealth. Ask this to any secondary school student and they will tell you that they dislike the bumiputera special rights rule. Yet, they are forced to accept this as a fact.

Now you should understand why they think it is not an issue. To them, getting good grades is most important. It is already a "fact" that racial integration can never be achieved with the current ruling. After all, they don't have to pay for taxes, nor do they have to worry about financing a house, yet.
Only 52% of the teenagers said they had a friend of a different race. [Source: The Star]
That is actually quite a high number, I actually expected a much lower figure. How about the percentage of teenagers who have friends from all three major races? That should be more clear right?

Solutions?

No solutions to this. I believe that one should live out their student life fully without the slightest worry in the world. It is only later in life that they will start to realize and experience these issues. Hopefully by then, we can resolve this matter once and for all and leave a better country for our children to take on the world together as a nation.
References:
  1. Survey: Many youngsters aren't concerned about racial integration, Simrit Kaur, The Star, 29 March 2007.
  2. Education system blamed, Mazwin Nik Anis & Ee-Lyn Tan, The Star, 29 March 2007.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Expensive Medicines in Malaysia

That's right, check out the percentage of mark-up of the drugs we Malaysians are paying for, courtesy of News Straits Times. Although I don't really know how much an average Malaysian pay for a cinic visit(I would say around RM40?), for those who visited hospitals would surely know the pain when you rake out those cash(or credit cards) from your wallet when you have to pay.

Dr Zaheer said most countries had pricing regulations and some, like France and Italy, even regulated drug prices directly through a price control mechanism.

In the United Kingdom, the National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority monitors prices through the Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme, which controls the prices of branded prescription drugs. [Source: New Straits Times]
This would most certainly be a good move for the country. I know that before I visit the clinic, I want an estimated figure how much the whole diagnostic and medicine will cost. I know of people who end up stranded in hospitals calling for friends' help just because they didn't bring enough money when they have at least RM200 in their pockets.

Do you have any experience of this sort, please share your experience.

Is this another reason why we need an increase in our national health budget? But I think in this case, we have to tackle the problem of unethical doctors and pharmacists right?

I'm not discouraging all of you aspiring doctors to stop pursuing a career in medicine, or even in pharmacy(my sister studies pharmacy). It's just not right for somebody to rake too much profit from other people's sufferings.

References:
  1. Why Malaysians pay more for medicines, Audrey Dermawan, New Straits Times, 28 March 2007.
Related Posts:

RM20 Million or RM 250 Million?

Who is not getting the facts right?

Tengku Adnan, of Bloggers are liars fame?
Or RPK, of Malaysia Today fame:
I don't know, you tell me? If you ask me what me opinion is, I would say RM20 million will be enough for you to build 2 medium-size bridges in Malaysia, engineers please correct me if I'm wrong.

Don't argue to me that the budget of 2005 and 2006 will differ to such degree. We're talking tenfold here. All I wanna know here is.......

Who got the facts right?

References:
  1. Manifold benefits from Monsoon Cup, The Star, 28 March 2007.
  2. The power of witchcraft, Raja Petra Kamarudin, Malaysia Today, 02 January 2006.

Pay peanuts, get monyets

A classical case of "Pay peanuts, get monyets" philosophy:
I would say this move is too little, too late. When you contaminate the river with some algae, don't be surprised if the whole river becomes algaeland. Not even the cleanest of cops will be able to live through their lives with the puny pays they receive unless they receive some other forms of income.

It really pains me to admit that the police force is corrupted, and it is really unfair to put all the blame on them. After all, we rakyats are the people paying the bribe, that makes us more guilty of the said crime. I have to admit I'm one of the sinned.

When news broke out last year exposing the peanuts cops are receiving as salaries, many voiced their concerns. It even reached our hearts when the story of a young indian police officer who strived so hard to obtain a Master's degree from a well-known university in the UK to come back only serve as a policeman and receiving such little pay. Surely, many should already anticipate this move, but why only now did they decide to take some action.

Even now, PSD has still yet to carry out its initial study. The question is when will we expect the loyal servant of the country to receive what they deserve?

Asked if it would be before the tabling of the 2008 Budget, he (Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) said: “Not necessarily.” [Source: The Star]

How long does it take to assess the cost?

The current salary of a police constable is RM690 while the starting pay for an officer with the rank of inspector is RM1,100. [Source: The Star]

I heard that an intern working in one of the Audit firms (PWC, E&Y, Deloitte, KPMG, Accenture) in Malaysia earns RM500 a month, excluding mileage claims. Bottomline is

If you pay peanuts, you get monyets!!!

p.s. I'm not saying algae is totally useless, read "Uses of algae" in the Wikipedia entry.
p.p.s for gods sake, please pay the cops with proceeds from savings we get from the petrol price drop.

References:
  1. Cops set for pay rise, Mazwin Nik Anis, The Star, 28 March 2007.
  2. Algae, Wikipedia.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

National Health Budget

A rather amusing news,


Malaysia’s current annual health budget of RM10bil is not enough and should be doubled so that the people can enjoy better healthcare. [Source: The Star]
Dei, RM10bil? Are you kidding me?

Let's compare with the UK,

Malaysia - RM10bil
UK - £96 billion (2006-07)

[Source: The Star, HM Budget]

And let me tell you this, the people here in the UK is still very unhappy with the INADEQUATE NHS funding. They should really pay a visit to Malaysia since it's Visit Malaysia Year 2007.

Ok maybe we have younger citizens and our population is well below theirs.

Malaysia - 24,385,858 (July 2006 est.)
UK - 60,609,153 (July 2006 est.)
[Source: CIA World Factbook]

Also, maybe our income tax rate doesn't quite match.

Malaysia:
UK:

Complicated, no? Let's just say most UK residents are within the Basic rate of 22% and most Malaysians are within the RM50000 annual income range, which means around 7%, am I right?

So we have less population and lower income. But that still doesn't make up for the ridiculously low health budget right? I wonder why people in Malaysia don't protest, is it because we have lower need for health benefits? Or the average Malaysian just prefer to buy medical insurance?

Another statement from the same article,
“On one hand, the Government is in charge of building and maintaining public hospitals and, at the same time, the Government, through the Finance Ministry owns a major stake in private hospitals." Dr Jeyakumar said. [Source: The Star]
I hope by that he doesn't include in the budget the loss from the Pantai Holdings fiasco last year.

More questions? If the Government owns a major stake in private hospitals, why are the bills there still outrageously high?

References:
  1. Government needs bigger health budget, The Star, 27 March 2007.
  2. It's Khazanah, Jeff Ooi, 28 August 2006.
  3. HM Treasury (2006-03-22). Budget 2006 19. Retrieved on 2006-08-10.
  4. Malaysia, CIA World Factbook.
  5. United Kingdom, CIA World Factbook.
  6. Taking the sting out of medical bills, Vasantha Ganesan, Business Times, 10 March 2007.
  7. Malaysia Income Tax Rate, LHDN Malaysia.
  8. UK Income Tax Bands, HM Revenue & Customs.

Race to the bottom?

I came across this news in the business section of The Star concerning a new plan for the Digi Prepaid market.
This reminded me about an article on kennysia.com about prepaid wars. It didn't take long for me to google up the article which forwarded me to another website, called The truth about prepaid. Now, any idiot would instantly recognize from the colour of the website(yellow), and the repeated praises for Digi to recognise that the website is actually Digi's. More eveidence on kennysia's website.The truth is there are just so many plans out there and I really wonder if there's a need for such complications. It seems that the website hasn't been updated recently so I did a bit of research myself.

According to Celcom's website here, nothing much has changed but if the rates are definitely better if you are a Max Plan user.
As for Hotlink, the link here shows the current rate for both Easy Plan and Total Plan. It seems that nothing much has changed since the update on The Truth About Everything. Digi really has a better deal here in terms of rates. Now, bear in mind that with different prepaid companies, you could get different benefits, I heard that with Hotlink you could get good deals on concerts etc so there's more to this than meets the eye.
For some reason, I couldn't access Digi's website, due to it keep telling me to update to Adove Flash Player 8. I'm using Firefox 2 with Adobe Flash 9.0.31, so Digi, please fi the glitch. Or maybe you're just biased towards Windows users?

So where does this new "Fu-Yoh!" plan from Digi land us?
Segments and marketing head Loong Tuck Weng said under the new plan, SMS and MMS rates were reduced by 50% to seven sen and 25 sen respectively for calls across all networks. [Source: The Star]
Also,
From 12am to 12pm on Sundays, “Fu-Yoh!” prepaid subscribers only need to pay for the first three minutes and enjoy unlimited talk-time with other DiGi users. [Source: The Star]
I like the 2nd move more than the first one, reason being that most plans offer free SMS. Surely being "free" is more attractive than being "cheap" right? I however have a question about the discrimination policy by Digi, why only on Sundays? I know Sunday is the weekend but haven't anybody thought about states like Kedah or Kelantan where Friday is still the official weekend?

It seems that this prepaid war has become stagnant for quite sometime now. I personally don't think this is a good move to woo the youths, especially when you already have a huge youth subscriber base. It's just like reducing your income, isn't it?

A final catch,
Under the plan, subscribers pay a monthly fee of RM3, which is currently waived for two months from today. [Source: The Star]
Do you think RM3 is worth it for the discounts?

Back to our topic, do you think this is a race to the bottom for the prepaid wars? Do you think we have already hit rock bottom? I personally think so. We've absolutely hit rock bottom in terms of rate and the only thing one can do to increase market share is by introducing more benefits. So my conclusion is that this move by Digi is not a good move, and could be easily countered by rival companies. So Hotlink and Celcom(Telekom), please, the choice is yours.

On to a different story, this reminded me of a particular lecture I've seen in the past on Princeton's Public Lecture Series website. Here's the link to the video, Windows Media Player needed to view, 56K or 300K.
Robert W. Lucky, Telecordia: "Broadbanding America: What, Why, and How"
Take note of how he uses "Race to the Bottom" in the lecture.

Reference:
  1. The Truth About The Truth About Prepaid, kennysia, 21 December 2006.
  2. Digi unveils new prepaid plan for youth market, The Star, 27 March 2007.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Shutdown Day

It's 24th of March and it's the International Shutdown Day. It means that I'll be signing off tonight and will not be touching my computer for day. It'll be good for the eyes too.

See you day after tomorrow.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Lotus? What will happen to you?


As many Malaysians would aready know, our #1 national car company Proton Holdings owns a majortiy stake in Lotus Group International Limited. Lotus Group International Limited is the holding company of Lotus Group. Still with me?

Here's the latest news:

Group Lotus, the Norfolk-based sports car maker and engineering consultancy, is to be given "a completely fresh start" by its Malaysian owner after running up £40m in debts. [Source: FT.com]
Ok, fresh start, that is good.

It then goes on to explain how they are trying to avoid making more losses after having their third consecutive year of losses. Michael Kimberley, its latest chief executive, has come up with some "radical" plans to restructure Lotus. This includes more product range, more penetration into the China market and forging links with strategic partners. Also, car lovers, be prepared for the arrival of the Eagle, a new model from Lotus, at the end of next year. This is pretty good stuff.

The article however ends with this
Even if the restructuring goes according to plan, however, Proton's board has been warned that Lotus has no prospect of returning to profitability before the 2008-09 financial year. [Source: FT.com]
Dei, macha, thinking what I'm thinking? That means another few more years without profits from Lotus to Proton. I smell some panic in the Proton board already to push for the new partner, which is likely going to be Volkswagen. According to FT, it is "very close" to striking a deal with Proton.

How would this affect Lotus? Honestly, I don't know. But one thing is for sure, Volkswagen sure knows how to manage car companies better than Proton does. Don't deny this fact. Look at the miracle turnaround they did for Skoda Auto, and don't forget that they own Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini. I say this would be a strategic partnership, given Volkswagen's track record of managing the above sportscar makers.

Lotus definitely needs some injection of expertise in business 101 from Volkswagen. As for Proton, you really need to rethink of your position as a car maker. From the current viewpoint, Proton is surely lagging behind many international car makers, badly!

So, fellow Malaysians, still proud that we own Lotus? What say you?

References:
  1. Lotus to blossom as owners given fresh start, John Griffiths, March 23 2007, FT.com.
  2. Volkswagen nears Proton deal, Assif Shameen, March 19 2007, FT.com

It's official, the FINE

Yes, as from previous posts, you should know that I nearly started a fire in my flat. I've just received a letter from the warden stating that they are going to fine me. How much you ask?

£50!!!!!!! ====== RM350!!!!!!!!


You know much is that worth? That's worth a month of my tesco shopping, meaning enough food to last me for 1 whole month. Sigh........... That's like............ an extra hefty speeding ticket, all because of negligence. I do have the right to appeal in mitigation, but it is not likely that they are going ot reduce this fine.

Here are the exact words in the letter:
Since this is an incident relating ot firesafety within halls and your actions were contrary to residential regulation 20 (a) (ii) - I hereby fine you £50. The fine should be paid immediately.........
And residential regulation 20 (a) (ii) says
Non-compliance with any of the University Accomodation Regulations (as set out above), or with any rule in the handbook for the relevant Hall of Residence.
Set out above here refers to regulation 20 (a) (i) saying
Anti-social behaviour such as drunkenness; disorderly conduct; unnecessary noise; selfish use of noise emitting equipment including radios, music centres, CD players, televisions, computers, musical instruments; playing games in close proximity to residences; disregard of such hours of silence and visiting hours as may be laid down in the handbook for the relevant Hall of Residence, and any behaviour causing a nuisance, inconvenience, or annoyance to other residents.
I mean I do think I'm guilty of nearly causing a fire, but it was an accident. Surely that is not anti-social behaviour right? Someone enlighten me on this please.

Anyway, I'm just gonna pay the stupid fine and get on with it. If there's anything I'm happy about, it's that this case is finally resolved and I can concentrate on my studies.

Relevant posts:
  1. Fire Fire
  2. Update on Fire Alarm Incident

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Maybe not too bad

If you're a big fan of all the PM's news, I'm pretty sure you've read this one.

For those who haven't, here it is.According to the PM, it was too late to pop the question

“The press conference is over. It is too late,” he said as he walked away with a grin. [Source: The Star]
I have to give it to this guy, he is one who who humours me at time. Anyway, if it is true that the PM remarried, Congratulations. I'm pretty sure that having a lady by your side would be make you a happier man. And we Malaysians like to have a happy man as PM, because if you're happy, we happy, everybody happy, everything ok.

Ok, maybe it's not as simple as this.

Question:
  • Any questions for the ham-sap lou? Nah, not really, as long as he doesn't focus on the "son-in-law" and the "son". That's all good news to us right?
  • Really no questions ar? YEA, I REALLY DON'T SEE ANYTHING WRONG WITH HIM REMARRYING.

References:
  1. Too late to pop the question, March 16 2007, The Star.

Finally........ progress

This is more I like it. Remember what I talked about when I wrote the article about Firefly, Penang's very own low cost carrier? You got it right, we need some progress on our national railway, after 2 years of stalled work. I won't go on to elaborate what happened then as I'm not familiar with what happened then.

Here's today's news:
Double tracking project on again, that's right. According to the article,
The Cabinet Committee on Public Transport has decided to revive the shelved Ipoh-Padang Besar double tracking project. [Source: The Star]
Contractor for this project:
.............Gamuda Bhd and MMC Corp Bhd............ [Source: The Star]
Time horizon to completion:
...........about two years........... [Source: The Star]
Question?
..........the Seremban-Johor Baru stretch would be awarded to an Indian company.......... [Source: The Star]
More questions?
  • Why award the contract to an Indian company? Local companies can't do it?
  • 2 years, that's awfully optimistic isn't it, we do know that Malaysian timing a bit different from rest of the world. Does 2 years mean 4 years?
  • Boy, my fellow kedahan Uncle al-Bukhary is getting all the business he wants isn't it? But I'm not complaining, at least he is one of the better businessman around.
Yet more questions?
  • Another SMART project? Gamuda's share must be worthed a lot now.
  • Will rail travel replace air travel as the dominant sector like the way it is here in the UK?


References:
  1. Double tracking project on again, Mazwin Nik Anis, March 17 2007, The Star.
  2. Gamuda up on rail project news, Izwan Idris, March 17 2007, The Star.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Explanation, Plead

After bashing up female bloggers. Tengku Adnan tried to respond and suppress all those anger bloggers have against him, saying he was only refering to the Indonesian blogger. Video here.

Then the bloggers retaliate, once again. I think we should stop this people, if he doesn't get it the first time, he won't get it no matter how many times you guys try.

I say "ENOUGH OF THIS!!! We really have much more important things to be concern about here."

----------------------------------------------------

On more important things, Ong Ka Ting had this to say about scholarship applicants.
Students from well-to-do families have been advised to refrain from applying for
public scholarships so that poorer ones are not deprived of the chance to study
abroad. [Source: The Star]

I totally agree with this. Please people, we have students living on RM1 a day, and they're making more effort to gain knowledge than a lot more people I know who takes knowledge for granted.

I say we should have centres for the EXTREMELY motivatived. This means that this school should accept students who showed an EXTREME passion towards a certain area, for example, programming, engineering, science subjects etc. My roommate recently told me of a certain junior of his who shows "Passion" for engineering. How passionate you ask? I'll leave this for some later discussion.

My point here is that these students don't necessarily need to show too much talent, or potential. And who are we to judge people's potential anyway? What we want is students who are keen to learn, and by all means we should provide them with the environment fitting to their cause. Still with me here?

Let me end this post with some questions:
  1. Are you a scholarship recipient?
  2. Do you know any scholarship recipient who was given the scholarship below merit but just because he/she has the necessary "connections"?
  3. Do you think racism has anything to do with this?

References:
  1. Blog? or War?, Boss Lepton.
  2. Adnan: I was only referring to Indon journalist, March 16 2007, The Star.
  3. Tengku Adnan is cornered on the blogger issue, 15 March 2007, Malaysiakini.
  4. Tengku Adnan - "I love women" (choke), March 16 2007, Elizabeth Wong.
  5. Give way to the poor, March 16 2007, The Star.
  6. Need motivation? Think you're very unlucky?, Boss Lepton.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Turning my back on Microsoft Windows

As most of my close friends know, my hard drive crashed on me a few months back, completely destroying the data and more importantly the windows program on my computer. You see, I'm using an IBM thinkpad t40 for the past 4 years now, and as IBM users will know, there's a pretty neat function called "Restore to Factory Settings" which would wipe everything out of your com and restore it to just Windows.

Well, so much for Windows now. I've decided at that time I should try something new, something exciting, something revolutionary. That's when I saw the come of one of my lecturers, he uses Linux. I remembered that I read an article about Linux sometime back in secondary school but heard nothing else since then. I thought they were just gonna succumb to Window's domination of the Operating System(OS) market.

I was SO wrong. Not only did they survive, they even evolved. Just for starters, there are so many distributions of Linux out there. And a lot of them provides very nice frontends and desktop environment.

For those who don't understand what desktop environment is, take a look at your Windows. That's a desktop environment.

Here's a screenshot of my desktop.
Now why do you think Windows has triumph over all the other Operating systems? Because they have such a nice and easy to use interface, and that's what the desktop environment is about.

Linux's strength isn't in this though. It's in the kernel, the supposedly powerful kernel that is customisable to do anything to your liking. While I'm not at the pro-level yet, I could already feel the power of the kernel.

Just think about this. You can run any program, any function, integrate any type of programming language into this thing. This little baby is a monster I tell ya. MONSTER!!!

An example of me running R(a statistical program) in it.
Basically there are two major types of desktop environment you can choose if you want to run Linux: GNOME and KDE. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. I chose GNOME because its name appeals to me more(:D)

Also there are so many distributions of Linux out there and the best thing is that they are all free.

The bad thing about it is they are updated so often, and you can choose to use the latest available version (what we call the bleeding-edge version). I personally use SUSE Linux 10.1 but if you're a beginner, there's a distribution called Ubuntu, which is very user-friendly.

So why am I writing this article now you ask?

Well, I've been browsing around looking at new things and I came across this other FREE but not open source OS called Solaris 10. Solaris is developed by Sun Microsystems, the same company that brought java to us and changed our lives forever. Apparently Solaris 10 uses a java-based desktop environment, which could be interesting. A screenshot for all of you, introducing Solaris 10, using a GNOME environment too I see, well bits of it.
Anyway, if you're interested in testing this out, go over to their website here. Place an order and they'll deliver the DVD-image to you FREE!!! ANYWHERE in the world. Oh did I mention Ubuntu is doing this as well?

For more info why they deliver it for free, read this article by Jonathan Schwartz, our tai ko in blogging.


p.s. Jonathan Schwartz is also the CEO of Sun Microsystems. Yea baby, Sun Microsystems you have my support :D

p.p.s. WINDOWS I'M NOT GOING BACK TO YOU, NOT IN THE NEAR FUTURE.

Sushi King beware

Latest news I got from FT.com. Very very reliable.
Because it's the latest news, you have to wait a few days as latest news are only available for subscribers. Sorry ar.

It says.....

Yo! Sushi, the conveyor-belt restaurant chain, is taking the Japanese food to them.

The company, which opened its first restaurant in Soho 10 years ago, has signed a franchise deal under which outlets will open in Russia this year, as well as in Ireland and Malaysia. [Source: FT.com]

Somebody go tell Tan Sri Fumihiko Konishi about this. Somebody want com to snatch business, and it's a British. Sigh.........

See what I mean when I say, Malaysians must stay united and face the world. No point for petty quarelling among ourselves in the country.

Eh we bloggers also value national unity ok?

Sushi King: Beware...... Yo!Sushi put their competitors out of business before. But don't worry, you got Boss Lepton's support. Now who's with me?

References:
  1. Observer: Take-away Sushi, March 14, 2007. FT.com
p.s. if you're from FT.com, do I need your permission for quoting something from your article? Reply me at bosslepton@yahoo.com.



The real IKEA success

Upon stumbling across this article on The Star, I just simply can't pass off the chance to highlight how successful IKEA is, both as a furniture retailer and as a business. Or rather I can't help but highlight how brilliant Ingvar Kamprad is as a businessman and entrepreneur.


I'm pretty sure most of you are aware who Ingvar Kamprad is. If you don't, please familiarize yourself with Forbes Billionaires. Ingvar Kamprad(all $33 billion of him, as valued by Forbes.com) is the man that brought you the low cost, high quality furnitures, all across the globe. Be awed by its presence, for the nearest competitior is no where IKEA's size.Hail the furniture giant all the way from Sweden. Wait, is it really from Sweden?

Let's look at the facts, with some help from Wikipedia.

The corporate stucture of IKEA is much like a huge spiderweb. Let's take a look at this.

The parent for all IKEA companies—the operator of 207 of the 235 worldwide IKEA stores—is Ingka Holding, a private Dutch-registered company. Ingka Holding, in turn, belongs entirely to Stichting Ingka Foundation. This is a Dutch-registered, tax-exempt, non-profit-making legal entity, which was given the shares of Mr Kamprad in 1982. Stichtingen, or foundations, are the most common form of not-for-profit organisation in the Netherlands; tens of thousands of them are registered.......... [Source: The Economist]
I really don't have to go into details about how big Stichting Ingka Foundation is, or how much are they valued. But take note of this.

If Stichting Ingka Foundation has net worth of at least $36 billion it would be the world's wealthiest charity. Its value easily exceeds the $26.9 billion shown in the latest published accounts of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which is commonly awarded that accolade. [Source: The Economist]
That's not all the story though.......

IKEA's complex corporate structure appears primarily designed to allow its founder, Ingvar Kamprad, to avoid taxation while still maintaining tight control over IKEA's operations. [Source: Wikipedia]
Now I know that wikipedia articles can't be quoted as references. But it really summarizes the article in a clear way. An interested reader could go forward to the related article in The Economist for the full article.

More?

But IKEA has reported that in 2004-2005, the Ingka Foundation's donations were concentrated on the Lund Institute of Technology in Sweden, and the Lund Institute reported the receipt of $1.7 million grants from the foundation during both of those years. By way of comparison, the Gates Foundation made gifts of more than $1.5 billion in 2005. [Source: Wikipedia]
Well, that sums it all. The REAL IKEA success, tax avoiding at the VERY BEST, got to give them credit for that. And please, just give a bit more to charity will ya?

I for one, don't really like IKEA's products, it makes the world too homogeneous. Don't you think so?

Thanks again to The Star for reminding me of what my girlfriend told me a while ago. Yes, she found out about this first.

References:
  1. Ikea, Wikipedia.
  2. Ikea, Flat-pack accounting, The Economist.
  3. Ingvar Kamprad, Wikipedia.
  4. The World's Billionaires, Forbes.com
  5. Chance to learn about Ikea's success, March 15 2007, The Star.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Another Low Cost Airline

Finally it was unvealed. Introducing Firefly.

Firefly, a fully owned subsidiary of MAS to fly six routes

So here it is, operating from none other than our lovely Penang Island.
The routes are from Penang to Langkawi, Kota Baru, Kuala Terengganu and Kuantan for the domestic destinations and from Penang to Koh Samui and Phuket for the regional destinations. [Source: The Star]
It truly is a good move for VMY 2007. I however have my reservation on whether it is really a move needed by Malaysians. Note also:
With Firefly joining the stable, the country will now have six airlines. The others are Malaysia Airlines, AirAsia, Berjaya Air, Transmile and Fly Asian Xpress. [Source: The Star]
All from the same article. We seriously don't need that many airlines do we? Maybe it's a move just to piss Air Asia off, but I don't think Air Asia would be too concerned about that since they have a juicier market to cater to. I would think this is a "too many cooks spoil the broth" situation.

What about rail travel? What happened to all the double tracking out railway plan? We really need to rethink our railway.

In the meantime, enjoy Firefly. Let's just hope it doesn't glow when flying.

References:
  1. Firefly, a fully owned subsidiary of MAS to fly six routes, SIM LEOI LEOI, March 15 2007.
  2. Firefly, Wikipedia.

Word of the day: Catch-22

It's about time we move out of the SPM zone and leave what's history as history. We shall return later when the JPA scholarship awards are being handed out. (Lots of juicy stories I'm expecting)

The word of the day today is Catch-22. I was actually looking at Infernal Rambling's article on “Converting to Islam and Back". A very eye-catching story if any of you are interested. It raised the ever unresolved question of which court, the Syariah or civil, should be superior to the other. One can obtain more information about the case here, as reported by NST.

Here is one of Datuk Gopal Sri Ram's view:

"The wife is therefore in a catch-22 situation. But she has a recourse under a provision in the Administration of Islamic Law (Federal Territories) Act," he said, adding that Subshini could apply to the Syariah Appeal Court to exercise its supervisory and revisionary powers to make a ruling on the legality of the husband’s application on grounds that the syariah court lacked jurisdiction and that she was a non-Muslim. [Source: NST]

At first, I was thinking. What does catch-22 mean? Forgive me if you already know the answer but my command of English is not as powerful as most of you out there.

What do you do when you come across something you couldn't understand? I WIKI it up.

Turns out that catch-22 is.......
........a term, coined by Joseph Heller in his novel Catch-22, describing a general situation in which an individual requests something, but the very act of requesting it seems to obviate the justification for the request (rightly or wrongly). [Source: Wikipedia]
Still, I couldn't grasp the meaning of this, and continued to look at the examples. Here are some:
  1. The chicken or the egg: Which came first? There wouldn't be a chicken without an egg. There wouldn't be an egg without a chicken. This is a catch-22 situation.
  2. The graduate: A graduate couldn't get a job because he doesn't have the necessary work experience. He also couldn't get work experience because he couldn't get a job. He's in a catch-22 situation.
So this is catch-22, I never knew that. Hmmm.....

Back to our news. Why is the lady in a catch-22 situation as commented by Datuk Sri Ram?

Another judge, Datuk Hasan Lah explained.....
Hasan said the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 gave Subshini the right to apply to the High Court but the civil court could not issue a stay order (under the Specific Relief Act 1950) on matters involving the syariah court. [Source: NST]
Catch-22 it is!!!!! Eureka!!!!! So learn it, catch-22, a very useful word.

I'm still particularly interested in how they are going to resolve this matter.

References:
  1. Converting to Islam and Back, johnleemk, Mar 14, 2007.
  2. Catch-22(logic), Wikipedia.
  3. Non-Muslim spouse must seek remedy in syariah court, V.Anbalagan, Mar 14, 2007.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

European woes, Air Asia X delays


Malaysia's long-haul budget carrier says it may delay launch

Datuk Tony Fernandes:

I see that all your efforts of getting Air Asia X up this year has been greeted with more challenges. No matter, we still look forward to Air Asia X, particularly on how this business would fair in the global market.

So that's a big blow to VMY2007, we might not get as many Europeans as we'd love to this year. How about charting all the other direct routes from Europe to Malaysia? Don't get what I mean?

Cheaper air tickets from Helsinki to Thailand was also another reason for travellers to chose Thailand, said Jaana Nystrom, director of sales and production from a company, Helin Matkat here. [Sources: The Star]

Somehow I feel that that's not the only reason why people prefer Thailand than Malaysia but hey, that's a start if somebody wonders why Thailand gets more European visitors.

As a comparison,

The European market has long been a major bedrock of Thai tourism. Of the 11,650,703 visitor arrivals in 2004, a total of 2,616,347 arrivals were from Europe, a market share of 22.46% and an increase of 15.96% over 2003. [Source: Traveldailynews.com]

The 673,000 or 3.8% of the 17.5 million tourist arrivals to Malaysia last year were from Europe. [Source: The Star]

Ok la, maybe different years but hey, that's when Tsunami struck wasn't it? Get your FACTs right, I certainly think I got mine right this time.

麻坡的華語 Muar Chinese



A video by my fellow Malaysian. I tell you this is one good song, and a damn good video. Top class production dude, well done.

When you're at it, feel free to watch his documentary on Muar as well.



and

More SPM woes?

Since 12 March is the date SPM results were out, I shall dedicate this post to some serious SPM shits.

Remember when I talked about the potential 19A1 girl?

Well she got 18As instead, but I have to admit it's a hard task and a great effort on her side. However, I wouldn't encourage anybody else to go for that record, stick to the 10 core subjects dammit.

On a side note? What's with releasing the biographies? You're only 19. I guess there's no age limit for being an entrepreneur eh?

Another candidate who wants to go for the record, ended up with 16As and 1B.

Come on people, after facing all those exams. I have to admit I did quite well academically in most of them. What about soft skills?
Employers stress need for 'soft skills'[Source: FT.com]

I have to admit I'm just don't have enough soft skills to match my academic achievements. Well, do you?


Now, within the coming months we shall have more info on the distribution of JPA scholarships, stay tuned.

Need motivation? Think you're very unlucky?

Think again!
Surviving on RM1 a day[Source: The Star]

........M. Manivannan, 15, faces similar financial difficulties. He said he once starved for two days surviving on just sips of coffee because he did not want to ask anyone for money......
This always make me wonder what would become of me if I were in the same position. We should consider ourselves fortunate. Ironically, I read this article after I had a glance at Pak Lah's : Abdullah waiting for 'feel good' factor to get even better.

Weird eh? To think that one person is concerned with the 'feel good' factor while the other has to think of ways to survive day to day.

Points to ponder:
  1. Why buy the Airbus ar? Isn't it better to provide money for the poor to at least get some decent education?
  2. How can YOU survive on RM1 a day, with the current inflation rate in Malaysia.
  3. "Sometimes, their parents want to pay us with jewellery or money that they have borrowed from Ah Longs." <------ not everybody borrow from Ah Long just to gamble ok?
  4. What can us fellow Malaysians do to ensure everybody gets a decent standard of living? Or at least, decent education for a person who couldn't afford it?
  5. Just TELL ME god dammit, how to help? Oi government, do something about this la.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Good times? Bad times?

Goods:

Happiness, joyous, bring on the THOMAS CUP man!!!

Even Petronas bring good news man........

The new seven sisters: oil and gas giants that dwarf the west's top producers

Look who's in here.



Another reason to celebrate woo hoo!!!

Mind my cropping, still learning how to use the GIMP, which I think is a fantastic piece of open source software.

According to the report on FT,

...........Overwhelmingly state-owned, they control almost one-third of the world's oil and gas production and more than one-third of its total oil and gas reserves...........
...........In contrast, the old seven sisters - which shrank to four in the industry consolidation of the 1990s - produce about 10 per cent of the world's oil and gas and hold just 3 per cent of reserves................

That is what I call an ass-whooping.

However, let's look at the BAD:

At the very end of the article it says

Petronas

Malaysia's national oil company has been described as the role model others would like to follow. Though a top-three exporter of LNG, Petronas risks falling behind the gas groups of Qatar, Nigeria and Indonesia.


Good times ending soon eh? According to another report on the FT:

..........Analysts at PwC predict that by 2015 it will have been overtaken by two international gas companies, Royal Dutch Shell and ExxonMobil, by the national oilmpanies of the two leading growth areas, Qatar and Nigeria, and even by Pertamina of Indonesia..........

Maybe we shall prepare for a country which is not dominated by Petronas's oil money eh? Tun Mahathir, got alerted? At least leave your cucu-cicit a better country la........

By the way, who's the latest STAR in Malaysian business today ar? Datuk Fernandes? Any younger ones ar?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Lelong lelong Halal food

Ok, last update before I return to my work. I tell you typesetting to TeX is not easy, TeXmacs is a great program though I prefer the wordpad/emacs way of slowly typing the codes out, grrrrrrr........

BTW, check out Cheezie music for some easy to play guitar songs, not perfect, but just the way I like it.

Onto my daily ranting on the daily news.

Here is KJ cooking up some news again. According to him,


Some 80% of the halal food industry in the country is controlled by
non-Muslims Some 80% of the halal food industry in the country is
controlled by non-Muslims......

Why am I sensing racist comments again? Malays urged to take control of halal food industry? That's the whole problem of fusing business with religion together.

Why not urge Malaysians as a whole to take control of the Global Halal food industry? Why do you wanna snatch a piece of the pie which is yours? Want pie? Go snatch from other countries la. Is this just KJ trying to snatch some attention right before the election?


I'm still a bit skeptical on whether the figure "80%" is correct, comments anybody?

Forum-ing

*Just taking a little bit of time off from work and surfed around.

I came across this rather interesting forum. Ignore the rather annoying "hello" smilies advertisement and look at this specific topic on Malay Billionaires.

Well things were pretty speculative around there, good thing it's not in a blog that these things get published in, otherwise we would have more than 3 bloggers ending up in court right this instant.

So according to the speculation, it says that we are missing out my fellow Kedahan Encik Al-Bukhary, Encik Zainuddin, Encik Nasimuddin, and Encik Saad from the list. Well, actually Encik Al-Bukhary is on the list, so better get your facts right.

According to the writer, these gentlemen are not in the list because

    1. Much (if not all) of their assets are still privately held.
    2. In contrast to ethnic Chinese billionaires who love to flaunt wealth, Malay billionaires prefer to keep a low profile. It’s the racial trait of Malays.

Although I have to agree on these, I have to add another reason, as most Malaysians would know, sometimes the flow of money in Malaysia goes into the untracable. Well it's your judgement anyway.

The thing that annoys me as I was reading the replies to this article is that the Chinese starts a mini war with the Malays, or I would say pro-chinese vs pro-malays. (How come no Indian join in the fight)

Things boiled down to a point where the pro-chinese would claim that the Malay has no history to be proud off and then the pro-malay retaliates by giving examples of Petronas, TNB etc etc.

Now, questions to be asked guys.
  1. Excluding GLCs which I have to agree that are dominated by malays, are there any good companies in Malaysia that is run by malays? So pro-malay, your argument a bit faulty, but it doesn't matter.
  2. The pro-chinese keeps bragging about chinese achievements internationally. Dude, to be fair, it's better that we distinct Malaysian chinese and don't take the achievements of China chinese or even American chinese as our own. (Me chinese also ok?)
  3. Does this all really matter?
Why can't we stop arguing about such minor things and start focusing and progressing together(meaning malay+ chinese + indians) and achieve something as a Malaysian? Pointless argument dudes, I've always believed that the reason we are not going to achieve Vision 2020(sorry Tun Mahathir) is that we really have problems with unity. And until this can be resolved, we won't proceed to anywhere really.

Take a time to ponder, it's not a race issue. It's a national issue, and while we are bickering, other nations might be doing their best to overtake us already.

Don't believe me? Check the facts.

Bottomline, walk the talk(the correct way).

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Update on Fire Alarm Incident

An update on my Fire incident on 6 March:

The sub-warden came over to see me to get a detailed statement from me which I gladly gave. The update is that he is going to discuss with the Warden on whether any action should be taken against me.

Bad thing is that it is very likely that action is going to be taken, i.e. a fine most probably. The not so bad thing is that it is going to be a maximum of £50 fine according to the sub-warden.

He said that the payment was a token to the fire department for their action. It is estimated that everytime a fire engine is called out for a false alarm(I thought my case was pretty genuine) it would cost £2000, no way do I have the money for that eh? Sigh......

Still pretty upset, but yea hope this would resolve soon.

PRAY FOR ME please....

Blog? or War?

If any of you bloggers are reading this, then I'm here to inform you that:


Bloggers are liars. They use all sort of ways to cheat others. From what I know, out of 10,000 unemployed bloggers, 8,000 are women.........

You heard me right. Eh Tengku Adnan, I bet if you had a child, he/she will also be blogging, or at least some sort of blogging. Are you calling them liars? I understand that while the internet is borderless and bloggers do speak their mind without restriction of any sorts, we do make it sure to distinguish what are facts and what are rumours.

You don't really see us going around claiming that rumours are facts right? But that doesn't matter anyway, because most rumours in Malaysia turns out to be facts. No fire, no smoke right?

Minister of Tourism, I suggest that you just stick to your job and don't screw up "Visit Malaysia Year 2007". Don't just sit and whack female bloggers. They are not the ones to be blamed for being unemployed and in fact, are your facts correct?

You should in fact be thanking us and a bunch of other bloggers for promoting the country.

Let's just hope this is not a full blown war. We bloggers are not armed with C4, not even guns. It doesn't take a genius to figure out who's at disadvantage here.

Well for the full article, view the full article on Sin Chew here.

p.s. thanx elizabethwong, Mr J and Miss Tuna for the great translation.#

And as a fact, we as Malaysian bloggers, LOVE OUR COUNTRY.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Piggy piggy bank

Many Malaysians do not have any financial planning

The insurance industry in the country has a lot of potential to grow as the market penetration was only 38.7% in 2005, said Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Dr Ng Yen Yen........


Well Datuk, that's probably because people isn't even aware of the options they have. Who do we have to blame? I have one suggestion. Sure you can argue that the market is not mature enough and we do not have that much expertise in private pensions.

Anybody care to brief me or show me to articles on the Malaysian State Pension system? Really like to know what the guys up in EPF are doing, other than buying into equities.

Baby Gloom

Cops arrest stepfather of student who gave birth

An update to my previous post on Baby boom, it seems this is going to be blown into a case of incest rape. This is to my disgust. But I still maintain my stand that the baby is innocent.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Smart tunnels? Not so smart eh?

Smart tunnel can withstand quakes

Ok I live on rumours, I admit. It's just so amazing that people live their lives on rumours which nobody can prove right or wrong really. But as RPK said in one of his articles a long time ago, rumours in Malaysia most often turns out to be true in the end. Why so? Well, nobody would start spreading rumours if there weren't at least something to base it on right?

Anyway, back to the point. I'm pretty sure most of the KL residents would know about the much publicised SMART tunnel. Another news today says that it can withstand earthquake. Here's a wiki article on the SMART tunnel. Well, it is in fact a major construction, so major that it made Discovery Channel's Extreme Engineering programme which I love to watch so much.

SMART tunnel stands for "Stormwater Management and Road Tunnel" and it is supposed to prevent KL from facing any flash floods like it did a few years back. Remember the time when the parking lots under Dataran Merdeka got flooded? I suppose this is a good project for the city and for the citizens as well.

One question remains, why so expensive? That's RM1.8 billion my friend, hardly matching the loss of the recent KLSE slump but nevertheless still expensive. I believe there coud be a way to cut its cost somehow. Only that they wouldn't bother doing so because it's gonna either the public or the government who would be paying anyhow.

So the rumour is this. I was told but I forgot from whom that the TBM(Tunnel Boring Machine) used to construct the SMART tunnel, the Tuah from the north side and Gemilang from the south side, couldn't be taken out of the tunnel after it's completion of the work. The cutting wheel of each TBM contains something akin of diamonds, possibly the hardest substance there is on earth. So what should you do when you can't take those machines out? Simple solution, they drill deeper and store it there, for it to rot.

Now how much money is that? I blame that on bad planning, not an unusual phenomena in Bolehland.

Not so SMART afterall eh?

Baby boom?

Girl gives birth to baby in school


IPOH: A Form Four student, who complained of abdominal pains, excused herself from taking part in sports activities only to secretly deliver a baby girl at her school.

She delivered the baby at 1.30pm yesterday at the sick bay of her school in Manjung, about 90km from here. The baby, with its umbilical cord still attached, was found dead in a bag belonging to the student.


These kind of news don't even shock the public anymore. And that's how it's supposed to be. The growing issue of labelling students having premarital sex has put them in loads of unnecessary pressure. I mean imagine this pressure is not there, wouldn't it be better for that extra life to be there. Whereas now, the poor baby didn't even get to see daylight.

Consider this. Life is always about money isn't it? The general argument is that they can't afford to have babies because they can't even make money yet. Oh yea, I've seen lots of people younger than me leaving school and working their ass off. Although they said it was more fun in school when you don't have to face life's problem THAT early, working to pay for the family IS ALWAYS WORTH IT. Wouldn't you think so?

Have a happy life people. Love your life, love your family and treat others as how you would like to be treated.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

SPM SPM where art thee going?

New SPM Record Likely


..........is likely to get 19 1As in the examinations and replace Nur Amalina Che Bakri, who obtained 17 1As in 2004, as the country's top scorer.

Once again I have to salute the top scorers for doing something I can't even do, scoring in SPM. Anyhow as I'm trained as a statistician, I can't help but wonder why the term "is likely" is used.

What is their basis on the claim of "likely"? None. Zilt. How can the mainstream media make such an irresponsible claim? It can be potentially misleading and truthfully, they are quite lucky that this is not a very important matter.

Think about what if they make a claim that "The Bursa is likely to gain......". I would be so pissed off by that, and how many people would be deceived in this false perception? This is exactly one of the problems journalists face. I bet my lecturer would be happy to comment on these kind of misleading statements, he had come accross many misleading statistical statements made in COURT, no joke.

Anyhow, back to the topic of the day. Dude, I plead to thee the Education Minister. Please, I don't really wanna see another few thousand straight A1 achievers. Raise the standard of the exam when you see students getting smarter and smarter. Reserve the straight A1s to a few of the REAL elites. I dream of a day when students getting straight B3's or A2's would be just as proud of their results.

Isn't it better this way? Don't you think so?

Nail this Shit

Support aisehman's plead, nail this MUTHA F**KA!!!

Seriously it makes me sick.

Fire Fire

OMG, I can't believe my luck today. I actually set on the fire alarm, and it's not a false alarm, it nearly did turn out to be a fire. Well the story goes like this......

I was heating up some soup on VERY LOW fire in the kitchen and came back to my room. Soon, I forgot about it and when the fire alarm rang, I could see smoke coming out of the kitchen door. Then I remembered!! SHIT!!! I forgot to turn off the fire. The kitchen was filled with smoke(windows shut) and visibility is nearly zero. At that moment, I took a deep breath and rushed into the kitchen to turn off the fire. It was an absolute disaster.

Soon, everybody was out of their bed and outside in the cold. It was 4.30 in the morning!!! In the morning!!! The soup was boiling for more than 3 hours. Sigh....... bless me. Even the fire brigade came and the whole waiting period lasted for more than 20 minutes. As expected, at the end of it I received a lecture from the security people and they even took my name down, presumably to report it to the University office. Guess I'll be expecting a hefty fine there and what makes matter worse is that it's gonna be in pounds. I so wanna cry now sigh......

Oh well, I just finished typing an apology letter to be sent out to residents of other flats who were forced to evacuate. Hopefully I don't get a backlash, at least not a big backlash for that. I mean it's an accident right? Or actually more like a careless mistake? Soon, I'll be the black goat of this flat. Pretty unlucky huh?

What have I got to say? I just feel terribly sorry.......

Monday, March 05, 2007

Burning Midnight Oil

It's been my favourite activity for the past few weeks. I can bet none of you work at odd hours like me. My normal working time is between 8.30 at night to 6/7 in the morning. I find it easier to work in a quiet environment when nobody's in the computer centre.

Just a clip of what I'm working on today. Yup, you bet, my dissertation. Now I have to freaking find a way to draw out all the triangles, all these just to make the animation nice to the eyes. And of course allowing one to understand what my function does. Halfway there now, hopefully I can get it done by tonight.


So any helpers? Anybody out there who is fluent in Mathematica? Please...... pretty please......


Job to do:

  1. Arrayplot of the Potts model

  2. Plot of barycentric coordinates

  3. Combine both side-by-side

  4. Explain the whole method out(typeset in TeX)