Friday, September 26, 2008


I saw how they fenced off the whole street around Singapore for the Formula 1 race. The thick walls and the high fences give you the feeling that you are watching a prison race. Yeah, the fences are not making the race look like a sports event, it makes it look extremely like a 'high security' event. You can also see it as a caged wrestling match. For the racers, they must be feeling extremely weird. I mean just compare it with the Monaco Grand Prix, it feels more street race than Singapore's. The vibrancy of the city with the many interesting and magnificient views.

I have also seen the lights on for testing for some time now. It feels like watching a football match in a stadium. It doesn't feel very night to me. It must be extremely hot to be under those super bright lights which are very near to you! At least in stadiums, they are very high up there at a distance. I don't know but I feel that it is even brighter than a day's race.

All I want to say is this 'street' and 'night' race does not have the feel and the depiction of it at all. It just feel very artificial and fake. You block the whole street off and you turn up the lights in super high brightness.

Nevertheless, this Sunday, the world will witness the first ever 'night' 'street' race. With all the security features in place and the kind of blockages everywhere, I think I will just watch it from the comfort of my home. It is really not how I had envisioned the race was but still to have the race going through the Anderson Bridge will be interesting. You have some view towards Marina Bay and Singapore river apart from the CBD. There are constant torrential rains with strong wind lately these few days which can decide the race winner.

The Formula 1 fans are filling up the whole city in big numbers. It is so loaded that some of the tourists have to book hotels all the way to Johor Bahru. Incredible! You understand the kind of crowd we are dealing with here. I see them putting up instruction boards for these Formula 1 tourists to read about how to collect tickets and go to races at the immigration checkpoint at Woodlands. I for one will avoid the Causeway this weekend. No way man, I don't want to be playing rugby against Formula 1 fans.

Ferrari always have the edge with new races. Massa won in Valencia, M. Schumacher won in Bahrain and Indianapolis, Barrichello won in China and Irvine won in Malaysia. Enough track records to prove a point? They are still the highest grand prix winners since 1950 with 208 while McLaren have 161 and Williams have 113. Well, hopefully it is not as tight as Monaco as I feel there is more space to overtake.

Singapore Time (GMT+8)
Tonight: Practice Session (10pm)
Tomorrow: Qualifying Session (10pm)
Sunday: Singapore GP race (7:30pm)

Driver's Championship
Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 78 points
Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 77 points
Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber) 64 points
Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 57 points
Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber) 53 points

Constructor's Championship
Ferrari 134 points
McLaren 129 points
BMW Sauber 117 points
Toyota 41 points
Renault 41 points

The circuit length is 5.067km(estimated 61 laps). It has 23 turns and the race direction is anti-clockwise. The maximum speed can be achieved in excess of 300 km/h along Raffles Boulevard, between 250 and 300 km/h on Pit Straight,St. Andrew’s Road and Esplanade Drive. I hope the glass panels from the surrounding buildings can withstand the sound wave. The slowest corners are 80-100 km/h at T3, T10, T14, T18, and T19. The overtaking opportunities are at Turn 1 Pit Straight, Turn 7 Raffles Boulevard and Turn 14 Esplanade Drive.

Finally, prepare for the horror of a terrible F1 accident! It happened with artificial light on too!

May you all enjoy the Singapore Formula 1 Grand Prix!

Thursday, September 25, 2008



10 cents is only about 4% of reduction whereas the crude oil price worldwide has dropped for about 28% from the time of the price increase.....nice timing too.....always happen anytime by expected.....


Congratulations to Rafael Van der Vaart for scoring a hattrick in the 7-1 win against Sporting de Gijon. Incredible feat from the midfielder. Now, I hope he can keep showing us this kind of performance for the entire season and beat C.Ronaldo's performance last season. Last season, Sneijder started with a bang too and I hope Van der Vaart will be able to produce a bigger one!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

RM4.50 (S$1.875) A DAY

What can you eat with RM4.50 a day? A simple dish of fried noodle or kueh tiaw in Johor Bahru will cost you RM4 average. If you look hard enough, you may find RM3.50 a dish. That's the amount allocated for food to each detainee in the lock-up in Malaysia. I am surprised they don't know this. Then, who plan for the budget? The allocation is 60 cents for breakfast, RM2 for lunch and RM1.90 for dinner. What can you eat? Boiled eggs, anchovies and some nuts maybe. In Singapore, the cheapest and simplest plate of noodle you can find is S$1.80.

It is just incredible that they are given such low allocation for food! They think this is still the 1960s.

Monday, September 22, 2008


The latest product to be banned by Singapore is the White Rabbit Creamy Candy which most of us grew up with. This is after they ban the Yili Brand Choice Dairy Fruit Bar Yogurt Flavoured Ice Confection and Dutch Lady strawberry flavoured milk. The safest thing to do now is to not consume any dairy products from China, be it milk, ice-createm, yoghurt, chocolates, biscuits, sweets and anything else.

I was talking with some China friends last week regarding can food from China. It is to my surprise that they themselves don't dare to eat them. We normally buy them (sardine, pork, oyster, etc.) to eat with porridge, fried beehoon or rice. After the exported dumplings scare in Japan few months back, now they want to ban buns from China. Malaysia also decided to ban all infant formulas, milk and milk products from China. Starbucks stopped serving drinks with milk in China.

My China friends said the big brands, Yili, Mengniu and Guangming, which are all involved surprised him. He said this is a really bad reflection of how low the moral standards of the general industry are to gain profit since everyone is doing it. After this scandal, could there be more? This is like the Beijing Olympics, which aimed at achieving its aim but cheating behind it is fine. This is the same analogy, as long as they can achieve the higher protein levels even with cheating, it is fine. The attitude is consistent.

For me personally, I will avoid eating or drinking anything made in China for now.

China's Hu castigates local officials after milk scandal

"We had toxic rice, pork injected with water, chicken with bird flu, now it's milk. If we care too much, there is simply nothing we can eat," said 30-year-old Huang Yan sipping tea in a Starbucks, where tea and black coffee are now the only hot drinks sold after milk from the chain's main supplier was found to contain melamine.

"Who knows how many other chemicals our food contains?" Huang said. "As long as we live in this nation, this city, we have to accept the reality."

At another Beijing supermarket display, Xu Yueqin, a retired woman of 62, faces a similar dilemma.

"We have to drink milk - it has become a habit now. We have it with our cereal every morning," she said. "But we will definitely drink less in future."

Holding her 22-month-old son in the supermarket aisle, Mary Li, a 38-year-old housewife, said a lack of trust meant she always bought imported baby formula.

"This is just one case," she said. "There are many more in this country that have yet to be exposed." - AFP/yb

"White Rabbit Creamy Candy from China" also tainted with melamine

Japan recalls buns as China's milk crisis spreads

Importer of Dutch Lady brand milk destroying all milk made in China

Malaysia's Health Ministry bans all China milk products

WHO hits out at China over formula scandal

China dumplings spark food scare in Japan

Thursday, September 18, 2008





Thursday ,September 18 2008 9:32 am
983.82 (-19.17 or -1.91%)
Volume 359,622 lots
Gainers 41
Losers 256
Unchanged 71

Thursday ,September 18 2008 10:36am
973.35 (-29.64 or -2.96%)
Volume 1,060,082 lots
Gainers 47
Losers 458
Unchanged 100

Thursday ,September 18 2008 11:15am
966.66 (-36.33 or -3.63%)
Volume 1,349,159 lots
Gainers 10
Losers 309
Unchanged 33

By Joseph Chin

South Korea’s Kospi down 34.53 points or 2.42% to 1,390.73
Japan’s Nikkei 225 skidded 2.81% to 11,420.02
Singapore’s Straits Times Index slipped 3.21% to 2,341.6.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average shed 449.44 points, or 4.1%, to end at 10,609.58.

At Bursa Malaysia, HwangDBS Vickers Research said the KLCI which hit an intra-day low of 1,000.41 on Wednesday before closing at 1,002.99 faced more downside risk ahead, possibly testing and breaking below the support line of 990 next.




Is the war really over? Maybe. Maybe not.

OpenGL 3 & DirectX 11: The War Is Over


Metallica is back! I can't wait to hear the new album!


Metallica's 'Death Magnetic' CD goes No. 1

07:11 PM CDT on Wednesday, September 17, 2008

McClatchy Newspapers

Death Magnetic, the latest album by Metallica, debuted Wednesday at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 albums chart.

Death was released Sept. 12 and sold 490,000 copies in only three days; it felled the previous week's sales king, The Recession by Young Jeezy.

This is Metallica's fifth studio album in a row to debut at the top. That's a record, according to Metallica previously had been tied with the Beatles, U2, and the Dave Matthews Band with four straight No. 1 debut albums.

Other high debuts this week were L.L. Cool J, Eric Benet, Gym Class Heroes, and Mitch Hedberg.

Let's move on some news on the HOT CARLA BRUNI!

When Carla met Jools and Metallica

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

SGD1 = RM2.40

The critical point had been reached. I saw the historic record! It had went past the critical SGD1=RM2.38 mark today. Let's see how far it will go.

All the world's economies are melting now. Everything seems bleak and this could be worse than the 1997 crisis. Although Bank of America had took over Merrill Lynch, The Lehman Brothers had announced bankruptcy. AIG is in a pretty shaky condition, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley had shares sinking.

Malaysia has to deal with double jeopardy as the political scene is also going through uncertain times. I hope everything will be settled soon.

World crude oil price had reached the USD91 mark. Why is Malaysian's fuel price still the same? How much lower must it go to justify a new revision? USD85? USD80? US75? USD70?


Historical exchange rates between the Malaysian Ringgit (MYR) and the Singapore Dollar (SGD)between 3/21/2008 and 9/17/2008 (Exchange-Rates)

History SGD VS. MYR (2 January 1990-17 Sept 2008)
2 January 1990 SGD1 = RM1.42249
2 January 1991 SGD1 = RM1.55348
2 January 1992 SGD1 = RM1.67921
4 January 1993 SGD1 = RM1.57627
3 January 1994 SGD1 = RM1.65561
4 January 1995 SGD1 = RM1.75365
2 January 1996 SGD1 = RM1.79508
2 January 1997 SGD1 = RM1.8045
1 August 1997 SGD1 = RM1.78949
15 August 1997 SGD1 = RM1.83586
2 September 1997 SGD1 = RM1.93074
15 September 1997 SGD1 = RM1.97347
1 October 1997 SGD1 = RM2.19381
15 October 1997 SGD1 = RM2.03291
3 November 1997 SGD1 = RM2.09388
14 November 1997 SGD1 = RM2.09688
1 December 1997 SGD1 = RM2.22986
15 December 1997 SGD1 = RM2.3038
2 January 1998 SGD1 = RM2.34187
4 January 1999 SGD1 = RM2.2915
3 January 2000 SGD1 = RM2.29427
2 January 2001 SGD1 = RM2.18768
2 January 2002 SGD1 = RM2.05128
2 January 2003 SGD1 = RM2.1779
2 January 2004 SGD1 = RM2.23241
3 January 2005 SGD1 = RM2.31849
2 January 2006 SGD1 = RM2.27267
1 January 2007 SGD1 = RM2.29952
1 January 2008 SGD1 = RM2.30202
17 September 2008 SGD1 = RM2.42094


Here it comes. The familiar anthem. The prestige. The economy of wealth. The grand stage of best European football. The splendour of the football world!

After last weekend's matches, we see some unconvincing performances by many top clubs like Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester United. This season, we have Bayern 'Monaco' but not AC Milan. AC Milan have been in a deeper crisis for losing two matches out of two in the league. I had said it over and over again that they need fresh legs in defence. They still do nothing about it. Oh, how much longer will they wake up?

"We held the meeting to try and find the right technical solution and we found it," said Ancelotti. We spoke about the difficult moments the team has been having." Hmmm, what's the solution?

OK, let's enjoy the Champions League anthem!

According to Wikipedia, the fountain of knowledge:
The UEFA Champions League Anthem, officially titled simply as "Champions League", is an arrangement by Tony Britten of Georg Frideric Handel's "Zadok the Priest" from the Coronation Anthems. UEFA commissioned Britten in 1992 to arrange their hymn, and the piece was performed by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and sung by the Academy of St. Martin in the Fields chorus in the three official languages used by UEFA: English, German, and French.

Ce sont les meilleures équipes (Those are the best teams)
Sie sind die allerbesten Mannschaften (Those are the best teams)
The main event

Die Meister (The Masters)
Die Besten (The best)
Les Grandes Équipes (The biggest teams)
The Champions

Une grande réunion (A big gathering)
Eine große sportliche Veranstaltung (A big sports event)
The main event

Ils sont les meilleurs (They are the best)
Sie sind die Besten (They are the best)
These are the champions

Die Meister (The Masters)
Die Besten (The best)
Les Grandes Équipes (The biggest teams)
The Champions

Ils sont les meilleurs (They are the best)
Sie sind die Besten (They are the best)
These are the champions

Die Meister (The Masters)
Die Besten (The best)
Les Grandes Équipes (The biggest teams)
The Champions


What does the future hold for the country? Today we may have some sneak previews.


I had said before that the football world will be boring without him around. I just love his last quote. Hahaha!

Mourinho: Who The Hell Is Lo Monaco?

Lo Monaco issued a stunning outburst this morning against Mourinho for the so-called ‘disrespectful’ comments he made after Inter’s 2-1 win against Catania on Saturday night.

“Someone who says these kind of things does not have respect for his adversaries,” roared Lo Monaco.

“He doesn’t respect the host nation [Italy], or the coaches. He should think about his own problems. If he does not win this year, he should pack his suitcase and go back to his own country.

“Mourinho is simply someone who should be smacked in the mouth."

Mourinho has now responded to these comments, during which he belittles Lo Monaco by saying that he has never heard of the person.

"Some time ago I said that there were people who wanted to be on the first page of the newspapers by using my name and talking about me,” said ‘The Special One’.

“I have a sponsor who pays me to advertise him, and I do not give free publicity to anyone.

“As for Lo Monaco I do not know who he is. With the name Monaco I have heard of Bayern Monaco (Munich) and the Monaco GP, the Tibetan Monaco (Monk), and the Principality of Monaco.

“I have never heard of any others.”

This response by Mourinho, as amusing at is, is likely to lead to more accusations of arrogance and disrespect by the Calcio community.

Luca Capofranco

Sunday, September 14, 2008


This is one of the major important annual Chinese festivals, which falls on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month of the Chinese calendar. It is this day that the Chinese will eat moon cakes while admiring the full moon. Some eat pameloes too. People, especially kids, will normally lit lanterns at that night with candles or there are electrical ones too nowadays.

The celebration of this festival has to do with the legend of Chang'e (goddess of the moon), who was lifted up to the moon. She has a jade rabbit accompanying her there. The story also involves Houyi the archer. There are many versions that I heard so it is very misleading which is the real story told. Well, since it is a legend, we just have to let it be as how it is.


Moon cakes are normally made by bakeries. I bought most mooncakes from SDS (local Johor Bahru bakery) and NUSS (NUS). NUSS has two versions. The first version has premium white lotus paste with double yolk, the golden lotus paste with double yolk, the ginseng flavoured white lotus paste with melon seeds and oolong tea flavoured white lotus paste with lemon seeds. The other version has premium osmanthus paste with melon seeds, the premium rose paste with melon seeds, the premium water chestnut with corn paste and the premium orange walnut paste with melon seeds. Yes, very mixed combos. I got the first version. As for SDS, I just bought individual ones.


The commercialization of moon cakes these days have led the birth of all kinds of flavours. The latest I had seen this year is the usage of bird's nest, cheese, chocolate variations, curry, sambal and also tiramisu flavour. Yes, you will be amazed by the desperate adaption of all kinds of fillings possible. Whatever it is, the outer layer or the crust of the moon cake is mostly divided into three types here in Malaysia. The first one is the chewy traditional Cantonese style mooncake in brown colour. Then, they created the snow skin version and the jelly / pudding version.

They are also very smart in packaging the moon cakes in many sets and boxes. For people like us who are more adventurous and would like to try out many new flavours, we are forced to buy the whole box. They normally don't really sell them separately or they may but it could cost a lot more. You normally eat moon cake with tea.


This is the jelly version with yam filling from SDS. The crust can be of any colour. The problem with jelly version is that you must consume them within four days of purchase. They don't last very long but the good thing is it is the most lightest version of all crust types. Therefore, you can even eat this down all by yourself.



This is a snow skin version from SDS. They come with all kinds of colours for the snow skin. This is with the filing of the durian. It is not particularly marvellous as the durian flavour is not strong enough for me.



Finally, this is the most traditional crust version which comes in many designs. The problem with this version is that it is extremely too much for one person to eat. We have the problem of consuming these with just two person. Therefore, me and Lee Ling brought many of these moon cakes we bought to our work places to share with the colleagues.


I think this is the golden lotus paste with double yolk from NUSS. This is a very common traditional filling so most people should get used with this like me.



This is probably the premium white lotus paste with double yolk from NUSS. This is again a more traditional filling which is very common like the one above.




This is the golden jade version from SDS. It is among the best moon cakes I ever tasted. This version is still my favourite.



This is the oolong tea flavoured white lotus paste with melon seeds version from NUSS. I can feel the strong oolong tea flavour but it just felt weird trying a tea flavoured mooncake.

This is the ginseng flavoured white lotus paste with melon seeds from NUSS. I also can sense the strong ginseng flavour but again it just felt weird trying this combo filling.

Happy Moon cake Festival / Lantern Festival!

Friday, September 12, 2008


Well, first they said they will review it end of the month. Suddenly, the reviewed it much earlier before the by-election. It was nothing major, we hardly see the difference. Then we are left wondering how much longer it is for the next review. It could be half a month, once a month or suddenly anytime. Just look at our first world country neighbour and how fast they react. Their price is $1.946 while ours is $2.55. Please don't even compare currency exchange here as everyone is earning different currency and cost of living there is a lot higher, their roads are 100 times better than ours, toll gates everywhere, parking fee higher and car prices higher. They have no oil or gas too yet, their oil price is cheaper.

Pump prices down for 7th time since July
Posted: 12 September 2008 2115 hrs

SINGAPORE: Pump prices have gone down again, this time by 5 Singapore cents per litre across all grades.

Regular 95 now costs $1.946 before discount.

Shell took the lead in reducing pump prices on Friday, followed closely by Caltex, Singapore Petroleum Company and ExxonMobil.

It is the 7th time pump prices have been cut since early July.

With the latest change, oil companies say the pump price for petrol is at its lowest since last November.

- CNA/ir

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Well, I have been silently following the news heading towards the match in Zagreb. Everyone has been expecting England to fall badly because of the bad records against Croatia and the recent bad performance against Andorra. The excuse the genius analysts in the local newspapers has been giving is that Croatia beat Andorra more convincingly last time than England did and also beat England convincingly since their last two clashes. Zagreb is the last place on earth where England can win since they have not lost a competitive game at home in over A DECADE! The genius analysts gave so many tips on how to bet the game and many expected England to draw. Steven Gerrard's and Owen Hargreaves' absence is another factor.

I have been silently smiling this morning when I saw the results. Croatia 1-4 England. My my my, I was expecting something special from Capello but this is more than what I had expected. All of you know I am a Capello fan. When you have him as your coach, you already win 50% of the match before you even go down playing. This guy is what I should describe as "IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING". Please just give him some more time and he will create the impossible.

Let me quote from Soccernet in the following paragraph.
"Prior to the World Cup qualifier, Croatia coach Slaven Bilic had spoken of his fear that Capello had the class as a coach to upset the odds, remembering he had done just that when an understrength AC Milan team destroyed Barcelona's 'Dream Team' in the 1994 European Cup Final. Bilic obviously knows his football history. His Croatian team, whose qualities and Indian sign over England made them the fifth-ranked team in the world, were put to the sword in a fashion very similar to Barca on that fabled Athens night. "

Hey all you Capello doubters, let me tell you again. Don't write him off yet. He came to Real Madrid and did the impossible. When you have him on the field, victory is a lot easier achieved be it pure luck or determination or effort or hardwork or strategy. I went through the crisis with the club for years and I know how he struggled to finally bring them out of the crisis. It took so many coaches, one president and many players to finally come out of the wilderness. I declared whichever coach can come and turn this club around must be extraordinary.

Capello did it in one season regardless of what the critics said. He was given even less time with England as you know all the top English clubs have thousands of excuses when it comes to releasing their players for national football. The latest to be criticized are Liverpool and Manchester United for the cases of Steven Gerrard and Owen Hargreaves. Therefore, whether England win with pure luck or not as argued by millions of football fans anywhere, I don't care. With Capello, result is all that matters. Give him more time, beautiful football will come naturally. Then, you can argue till the cows come home that Capello plays defensive football and ugly football. People complained about that too when he made Real scored over 3-4 goals average in the last 10 over matches and conceding 2-3 goals average. Those were the most exciting matches I had ever seen for years.

Forget about those stupid people who can only accept England coach to be English. England is not Brazil or Argentina. They don't have so many past geniuses of football. Name me one player who can be good enough to be even equivalent to Pele, Maradona or Beckenbauer. Even among the many legends of football, not all of them can be successful when they become coaches. Some of them failed too. The same analogy about great coaches, not all of them were great players. Well, still I prefer to bet my money on coaching records.

With the shortage of good English candidates, the next best thing is to find a coach with a good past record regardless of nationality. Yes, Capello never has experience with national teams but this guy brings success to every club he coached. Please give him a chance with the national team. If he does fail, at least he will still be remembered as the only coach on earth who brings success to every club he coached ONLY (and win nothing with the national team).

Still, congratulations to Walcott for the hattrick. He may be a much better talent than Owen or Rooney. Let's just keep watch as he matures!

Fabio Capello begins to pay back England with interest

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

SGD1 = RM2.38

Since my undergrad days in Singapore in 2001, I can recall the highest exchange rate I have ever seen to be SGD1 = RM2.38. In those days, the rate was SGD1 = RM2.07 average. Yesterday I saw this rate again after many years. Last few months the highest I had seen was SGD1 = RM2.37 and RM2.375. It went down after that.

Can it ever break the record and go higher now that it reached the critical mark of RM2.38? Well, it is possible. It will be a new high if the rate go to SGD1 = RM2.385 and beyond. It is also a good indicator of how weak the economy of Malaysia has become as the exchange rate divides it further and further. As the divide widens, so is the quality and standard of everything else. Do you think this rate record will be broken? I'll keep watch.

Friday, September 05, 2008


Well, after going for the fish therapy, the next one will be 'vampire' therapy.

Vampire therapy, anyone?

According to the article, Nona Maria Leech Therapy Centre has been offering both leech-breeding classes and leech therapy. It has two outlets, one at Taman Bukit Tiram in Ulu Tiram and another at Jalan Kota Kecil 1 in Kota Tinggi. Each centre offers both programmes.

I plan to go for a try out of curiosity. The last time I had experience with these slimy creatures was during a jungle trekking at the foot of the Mount Kinabalu in Poring Hot Spring. I had like hundreds of them sucking blood all over my body during the trekking. I have to pull them away one by one and blood just flow all over the place. You can literally call it "BLOODY HELL".


Rafael Nadal VS. Andy Murray
Novak Djokovic VS. Roger Federer

The reign of Nadal as World No.1 will be tested for the first time with the US Open 2008. Will Federer be able to regain back his ranking? Interesting time ahead!

The US Open 2008


Well, you know that the sign is very obvious when Robinho was signed at the very last minute in cash from the nose of Chelsea. For someone or some group of people to be able to achieve that, their wealth will be much more than Roman Abramovich. Abramovich has £13.2 billion to his wealth while the Abu Dhabi group has £500 billion. That's 37.8787878787878787878 times more than Abramovich's wealth. I like to put the many decimal points in the figure as it is extremely vulgar in Foochow pronounciation, Haha!

Any player who is rumoured to be transfered to Manchester City should not be taken lightly as mere rumours anymore. We are already hearing the next rumours of the transfer of Gianluigi Buffon for €70million and €110m for Kaka. Those are peanut figures to them and they can pay all in cash! Imagine in movies when they bring in leather briefcases loaded with notes. I bet also any player from now on going to Manchester City will be branded as money face and greedy for money. Very soon Manchester City will overtake Manchester United and Liverpool as the most successful English club in England and Europe.

Now, with that kind of wealth, the investment into Manchester City will be scary. They just need to pour in 1/500 to 3/500 of their wealth and it is enough to buy the world's best players. They can afford astonishing salary figures of all players with a mere lift of their finger tips. Scary shit! When Abramovich poured in his fortunes into Chelsea years ago, it managed to end Manchester United's dominance in the league. Abramovich changed the whole equilibrium of the football world and the only title he still fails to obtain till today is the Champions League.

The assurance to the other football clubs' fans is that Chelsea is a testament of money can't directly buy you titles. Well, not yet. What if that figure is to double or triple of what Abramovich poured into Chelsea? Well, this Abu Dhabi group consisted of owner Sheikh Mansour Zayed Al-Nahyan and his right-hand man Sulaiman Al-Fahim will be the next case study. How much money is enough to buy success? If Abramovich fails to bring the Champions League with his wealth, could a double or triple amount more than his be enough?

The scenario is scary. You can just imagine the lure of staggering and lucrative salary be enough for all the best players in the world to join them. Well, we just have to sit back and witness more rich people buying clubs like no tomorrow in the English Premier League. You don't have a choice. In order to win, you have to compete in terms of financial wealth. If not, you won't be able to get the good players because the rich clubs can afford higher fees. This will mean there will be high inflation. Only rich clubs can win titles. If this trend continues, the reality is near and clear that money=success. Simple.

There must be a mechanism in place to stop this and at least create a more fair playing field. You need to have rules and regulations like the maximum amount of transfer fees you can spend a season or the minimum national players you need in your own league or the amount of transfers allowed per seaon or the minimum and maximum contract period for a player to be in a club before allowed to transfer again. You need something to create more opportunities for everyone. If not, you end up having no balance and the competition becomes fake and vague.

If there is no form of control from FIFA or UEFA, probably a decade from now, the Premier League will be owned by billionaires and only Arsenal alone will be by themselves. I bet you can see Arsenal relegating to Division 1 if their current policies continue while the rest of the league is owned by billionaires paying fat salaries to all the top players in the world. The Serie A is already loaded with problems and will probably become a dying amateur league for old folks. The Spanish League will probably have just 2-3 clubs to be able to challenge the English Premier League clubs.

Let's face it. Football is no longer about loyalty. Even Arsenal as a case study failed to prove that bringing young players to become stars will not guarantee them to be there forever till retirement. Thierry Henry who kept on saying how much he owed Wenger for becoming who he is today also left. Loyalty is dead and money is everything. The only guarantee of players staying is a guarantee of winning titles every season (including the Champions League) or/and extremely lucrative salary. I won't be surprised that Zidane's world record breaking transfer fee will be broken very soon and possibly by an unknown player.

P/S: Kevin Keegan finally resigns as manager of Newcastle United. Poor Newcastle United, who's the next coach? Alan Shearer?

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


Keegan, Robinho, Crespo and not so shocking and expected news of Berbatov transfer to Manchester United. Keegan was speculated to leave Newcastle United when there are arguments about transfers into the club. Robinho goes to Manchester City instead of Chelsea for the record breaking British transfer of £32.4million. It is indeed a shocking last minute switch but with the new rich Abu Dhabi United Group taking over at the helm, there could be more in the future. Berbatov goes to Manchester United finally for £30.75million. Hernan Crespo was not included in the Champions League squad and received the decision through the SMS. Now, it seems like he is contented to sit through the whole season on the bench instead of going elsewhere? Inter are not very pleased that the striker did not join Sampdoria on the last day of the transfer window. Another player who suffers almost the same fate is Milan veteran Nesta, who is left out of UEFA Cup squad because of injury.

Roberto Carlos Pans Madrid Hierarchy

The former Bernabéu icon, now playing his football with Turkish giants Fenerbahçe, has criticized the Real Madrid president and his sporting director for the way they conducted business in the transfer market.

The leftback also sympathized with his countryman, Robinho who vehemently demanded to be released by the capital giants.

“Calderón and Mijatovic are two people who do not have any experience when it comes to running a football club,” the 35 year old told Radio Marca.

“Lorenzo Sanz arrived for the people of Real Madrid, Florentino Pérez managed to liquidate the debts and now, at the club board, you have “these two” who do not know what they are doing,” the Brazilian added.

Roberto Carlos then said that he felt for Robinho, who caused quite a buzz over the past month due to his persistent request to leave Los Blancos. The 24 year old has, ofcourse, since signed for Manchester City for €42 million and the veteran leftback understood what he had to go through.

“I understand Robinho. The president and the sports director did not show respect to Robinho.

“Football players, we are not merchandise. They forgot about this when they believed that they had closed the deal to sign Cristiano (Ronaldo) and that is not right.

After spending over a decade at the Bernabéu, Roberto Carlos left the Spanish giants for Fener in 2007 after the club refused to grant him his desired contract extension and his relationship with the present regime remains frosty as ever.



One of the most tastiest stuff is the red wine residue made from rice. The Foochow use a lot of red rice wine for cooking. The residue is the leftover from making the wine. Since young, I always help my grandma in part of the process of producing the red wine for personal consumption.


The residue is used by the Foochow normally for cooking duck and pork. The taste can be sweet or salty depending on your preference but I prefer the salty version. In Singapore and West Malaysia, they use it to cook soup and it is sweet. Once I tried it, I almost vomit out. I guess I don't like how it is used as soup and being so sweet. I guess probably I was brought up to taste it salty and stir fry with meat and not in soup base cuisines.


What I show here is something that had been cooked much earlier and stored in the freezer for future consumptions. You basically marinate the pork or duck with the residue. Some people use ginger to stir fry first to get rid of the meat smell. You can end your cooking by putting in salt or sugar depending on your preferences. Some people cook it more diluted while I prefer it extremely thick and concentrated. Again this is all up to you.


In this case, I just need to heat it up and it is ready for eating!


Smell and taste great! I like to mix the residue to the rice and eat. Nice!


Tuesday, September 02, 2008



Or commonly known as watercress. It is also called Cruciferae; Xi Yang Cai; Selada-Ayer, (M); sai-yong-choi, (C); Sai-Yong choi, (C); Sai-Eng-Chai, (H).
Nasturtium officinale R. Br. (Cruciferae)
(Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum (L.) Hayek)

Check more in depth information at the Guide Books A Guide to Common Vegetables.

When I moved to this part of Malaysia (West) and Singapore, it is common to find the usage of watercress for cooking, especially for soup. It is not commonly found in Sibu, Sarawak.


I tried it once and had since love it. I still have the 'Watercress Craze' and it is among the most favourite Chinese soups. Other soup types I enjoy include winter melon, white carrot, old or bitter or white or hairy or towel gourd (OK, I guess I can declare that I enjoy any kind of gourd soup), white carrot and lotus root.


You can use pork to cook the soup. You will never go wrong with pork. It is one of the best ingredients around to be used for soup cooking. Apart from that, you can use the chicken throat and feet as well but I prefer pork.


I like to use the bone parts as I enjoy chewing bones. I know some people like to use the 3-layered pork part too. Whatever you use, it is good practice to always rinse the meat through boiling water to clean it up.



You can add red dates that are pitted to give the soup slight sweetness too.


Of course the best way to cook this is to insert everything into a claypot and insert that into a bigger pot filled with water for boiling. This will maintain the goodness of everything intact as well as maintain the freshness of the vegetable. If you cook it like I do here directly under fire boiling, try open the cover after a period of time to avoid heating the vegetable too much. The greeness colour will fade fast if you overcook it directly under the fire.


People in the west like to use this for salads but of course I think the species is slightly different. Ours is too dirty and require you to soak it well before cooking. Sometimes there are slugs around too with soil and you have to spend some time cleaning it well. Therefore, when you purchase this vegetable, have a quick check at the bottom so you will prevent spending too much time cleaning later. Apart from commonly used for cooking soup, you can stir fry it as well.

What are the health benefits of this vegetable? Many claimed it can help reduce the risk of getting cancer. Others say it is a source of iron, calcium, folic acid and Vitamin A and C. The Chinese however eat it to cool the body down.

Monday, September 01, 2008


For a transfer fee of €30.6M, Quaresma's transfer to Inter will probably be the most expensive one for this season. Will he be able to help Inter win more honours this season? I do feel they have overloaded of players. A quick check gives me the squad amount of 29 players, excluding Quaresma.

All the leagues have started and there are already many shocking results from Day 1. In the EPL, both Chelsea and Liverpool were held while Arsenal beat Newcastle convincingly at 3-0. In the La Liga, Madrid and Barcelona were beaten, Sevilla were help and both Atletico Madrid as well as Valencia won. In the Serie A, AC Milan were beaten, both Juventus and Fiorentina played to a draw while Inter Milan were held as well.