Monday, May 31, 2010


Real Madrid unveil Jose Mourinho as their new coach

Spanish Inquisition: How Long Will Jose Mourinho Last At Real Madrid?’s Cyrus C. Malek wonders if Jose Mourinho’s tenure at Real Madrid will follow the rule or become the standout exception…
By Cyrus C. Malek
May 31, 2010 1:09:00 PM

This time, the newcomer goes by the pseudonym 'The Special One' and given his impressive resume of title after title after title, it must be acknowledged that he is in many ways special.

But one thing that is not special in any way is his arrival as Real Madrid’s coach this summer - such an occurrence would instead be better qualified as routine. In what has become a position with about as much turnover as a Roman gladiator during the height of Caesar’s rule, Real Madrid coaches have come and gone, some emerging triumphant and others woefully disappointing.

But one thing that has remained consistent over the past seven years is that the result has always been the same: a swift swing of the axe from above, a widely publicised rolling of heads, and a new figurehead rising to try his hand in the throes of battle.

Some would argue that if given enough time and freedom of reign, every one of the coaches Madrid have hired and fired in the past seven years could have been successful (except, perhaps, with the exception of caretakers such as Mariano Garcia Remon and Juan Ramon Lopez Caro).

But one of the greatest challenges that comes with managing a club like Real Madrid is the need to work under a mountain of pressure coming from the club hierarchy, the Spanish media, and the fans themselves. And even more important is the need to do that work quickly and successfully.

The multi-million euros of wealth at the Bernabeu serve as a double-edged sword: they ensure that the team will be able to employ some of the greatest superstar talents on the planet; but they also considerably shorten the fuse of patience on the part of the boardroom, media, and fans.

The model at the club under the Florentino Perez dynasty is simple: the club shells out the resources to employ the best players in the world, and the coach’s job is to make those players play the beautiful game beautifully... and win, too, ofcourse.

Conversely, Barcelona’s model over the past few seasons has been to make the best players in the world (through their youth academy) and supplements that core group with other exceptional transfers. Even Barca coach Pep Guardiola exemplifies this ideal of creating one’s wealth through development rather than consumption.

At the moment and in the way that counts (victories rather than marketing, shirt sales, ticket revenues, etc.), Barca’s model has proven to be well and truly superior. Madrid’s reply to this model in signing Mourinho seems to demonstrate a will to prove that their model can ultimately succeed - an insistence upon the view that the greatest players led by the greatest coach will make the greatest team. Such is the theory.

In practice, however, things could turn out drastically different and for a number of Madrid’s previous coaches, it already has. Despite marked success with the Brazilian national team, Vanderlei Luxemburgo’s Blancos side, which consisted of four Brazilians (Roberto Carlos, Ronaldo, Julio Baptista and Robinho), was impressively unmotivated and inept.

But even when a coach manages to experience success at Real Madrid, the demands are such that titles do not necessarily serve as enough. In his first season as coach, Bernd Schuster won a Liga title easily with Los Blancos, forcing Barcelona to form a humiliatingly historic guard of honour for their archrivals before being picked apart in El Clasico. Schuster was fired the next season as the club hierarchy estranged one of the team’s greatest talents in Robinho and left the German coach to take the rap for it.

The most famous case of coaching successes being dismissed is, of course, Vicente Del Bosque who won two Liga titles, two Champions League trophies, two Spanish Supercups, one UEFA Supercup, and one Intercontinental Cup (the old Club World Cup) all in the span of four years.

In his last year in charge (2003), he brought the Liga title to the Bernabeu, but a day after securing the trophy and a week after David Beckham was signed, was shockingly not offered a contract extension with the club. The reason was suspected to be a rift with the hierarchy as the coach was reported to have complained of his lack of power in making transfer and tactical decisions.

The same was the case for Del Bosque’s successor, Carlos Queiroz, who objected to the departure of defensive midfielder Claude Makelele, but was overruled and saw his midfield suffer significantly in distribution out of the back. Queiroz also famously clashed with the club hierarchy over Pepe, who the Portuguese coach thought was going develop to be one of the world’s strongest players at centre-back.

At the time, Pepe’s transfer would have cost €2 million. However, Queiroz’s recommendation was famously rejected because, according to the club’s higher-ups, centre-backs didn't sell shirts. Just three years later, Real Madrid purchased Pepe for an astronomical €30 million.

And then there are those coaches who seemed doomed before they even took the helm. Juande Ramos and Manuel Pellegrini enjoyed great overall success during their spells as coach. But the truth is that neither was actually given a legitimate chance. Instead, both were viewed and painted by the media as stopgaps - proficient coaches that could win matches, but ultimately unfit to coach one of the biggest clubs in the world.

Upon exiting the Santiago Bernabeu for the last time, Pellegrini revealed that since the beginning, he never felt supported by the Madrid bigwigs, who turned a deaf ear to his requests to keep Arjen Robben and Wesley Sneijder at the club.

But perhaps it is the example of Fabio Capello that is most analogous to Jose Mourinho’s arrival. Under Ramon Calderon’s regime at Real Madrid, Capello was allowed to bring his own personnel, signing players like Fabio Cannavaro, Emerson, and Mahamadou Diarra, and was even allowed tactical freedom, employing the infamously criticised, defensive-minded double-pivot in midfield.

Capello, like Mourinho, is a winner. One way or another, his bottom line is to win and if a team becomes less entertaining to watch as a result, assuming more defensive tactics, so be it. Such disregard for the tradition of entertaining Blanco football got Capello Real Madrid’s first major trophy in four years. But in the end, what is demanded at the Bernabeu in addition to success and the balancing act of the club hierarchy and media maelstrom, is mouth-watering, entertaining football.

Mourinho has the chance to, like Capello did, bring a new era to Real Madrid and he certainly is a winner capable of leading Los Blancos into an age of much-needed confidence and stability. But a beautiful winner? He certainly doesn’t have a reputation for it. At Inter, he was able to turn what would otherwise have been a mediocre Nerazzurri team into European champions by employing disciplined park-the-bus defensive tactics and efficiently threatening counterattacks. At Chelsea and Porto he did employ a more open, physical style, but nothing that can qualify as beautiful, attacking football.

At Real Madrid, Mourinho will have some of the world’s most entertaining players at his disposal and it is hard to believe that he would promote such conservative tactics with such an arsenal at his command.

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Probably the most viewed video in YouTube now. The video will be perfect with Messi. Rooney and C.Ronaldo are given the longest air time.

Clever World Cup advert illustrates the power of association
May 31, 2010

LONDON, May 31 — Viral marketing and a talented director have led Nike's latest advertising video to be seen over 8.5 million times in 10 days on YouTube — the most viewed video site-wide for seven of those — and just shows how far a bit of creative know-how can go, as only half of the teams depicted in the advert are actually Nike-sponsored.

Taking part in Nike-augmented visions of footballing nightmares and fantasies are Didier Drogba (Ivory Coast), Fabio Cannavaro (Italy), Wayne Rooney and Theo Walcott (England); Franck Ribery and Patrice Evra (France), Landon Donovan and Tim Howard (the US); Andres Iniesta, Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique (Spain), Thiago Silva and Ronaldinho (Brazil) evade South Korean attentions, and Cristiano Ronaldo (picture) dons the armband for Portugal against the Netherlands.

Also appearing are fellow Nike-endorsing sportsmen Roger Federer and Kobe Bryant, while Mexican actor Gael Garcia Bernal, cartoon character Homer Simpson, and an homage to deceased pop star Michael Jackson boost the power of Ronaldo's inspirational moment.

In reality, only five of the 10 teams depicted in the advert wear Nike apparel. Though England's Umbro kit appears by virtue of Nike's ownership of the British brand, other associations are made only by allusion.

It is in fact Puma which supplies kits for both the Ivory Coast and Italy, and the company has been allying itself with many African teams over the past few years, creating a special Africa Unity kit in the process. It has also organised World Cup training camps for the Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Cameroon in Paris, France, to enable further promotion the United Nations Environment Programme.

And while Nike's campaign is likely to be the most lavish and its popularity the most headline-grabbing, Adidas has the greatest sanctioned presence at the Fifa World Cup, and sponsorship of the commercial's most notable omissions — Argentina and their wing wizard Lionel Messi.

Not only is Adidas an official top-tier partner of the tournament, but it sponsors the most teams at it, counting Argentina, Germany, and hosts South Africa among those wearing their logo, as well as the French and Spanish sides referenced in the above advert. — AFP-Relaxnews

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Thursday, May 27, 2010


Well, he wants to win titles with clubs in the four different leagues of the Portuguese Liga, English Premier League, Italian Serie A and now the Spanish La Liga. Ironically, La Liga was one of Mourinho's earlier managerial career destinations as an assistant but he has yet to win anything there by himself. It will also be interesting to see him becoming the coach of Real Madrid instead of Barcelona FC, where he worked under van Gaal and Bobby Robson.

The dude is just 47 years old and I have to admit that his experience with different leagues really made him probably the most versatile coach up there with Fabio Capello, who is 63. Capello only managed in two leagues but he is now a country coach. He had probably won more titles with more different teams but in just the Italian and Spanish leagues. Therefore, as much as I can't stand Mourinho's sarcastic remarks and opinions, I have to admit he is up there among the legendary managers of this era. I guess if Mourinho, like Capello, cannot manage Real Madrid, I'm afraid no other coach of this era can. The team needs someone with great authority like them to push the team's discipline and teamwork to get effective results. You can't win by default with just money alone as been proven by Chelsea, Real Madrid and Manchester City. You need a conductor who can bring the whole orchestra together to generate a magnificent performance.

Will The Special One succeed? Well, only time will tell. If he does, I hope the stupid management of Real Madrid will not just sack him like how they did with Capello. Capello was effective but the management was impatient with the arrival of the 10th Champions League crown.

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Wednesday, May 26, 2010


In photos...


























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Monday, May 24, 2010


In my humble opinion, there are only two places worth eating beef noodle in Johor Bahru. This is the second place which I had just found.


My second wife.

My first wife. Both love the soup noodle.

I prefer the dry version.

The soup version in detail. Unlike common beef soup which is loaded with herbs and more brownish and not so crystal clear as this one, it has its unique taste which is worth trying out. It did not disappoint me though.

They also have pork rib noodle, not bad too! Tender meat which gives out nice aroma for every bite.

I also see a lot of people enjoying their kampung chicken rice. I think I have to try that some day by bringing my 3rd wife.

View Johor Bahru Food in a larger map

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Sunday, May 23, 2010


Winning the Champions League 2-0 against Bayern Munich have given them the honour to be the best in Europe. I have expected Inter Milan to win and rightfully so. Milito's double sealed the win but it was also the creativity and decisive strategies of Sneijder and Eto'o which made it possible. Sneijder and Eto'o are Real Madrid's and Barcelona's invaluable assets which are discarded with much regret. If both of them had stayed back in their respective clubs, Inter Milan may not be the club to be crowned champions of Europe today.

Champions League Stat Attack: The Numbers On Inter's Win Over Bayern Munich
Let's crunch the figures...

By Ewan Macdonald
May 22, 2010 9:48:00 PM

Bayern Munich fell at the final hurdle tonight as Inter won the Champions League final at the Santiago Bernabeu.

It was in fact a routine win to mark an extraordinary occasion, Diego Milito scoring twice for the Nerazzurri during a game in which they were rarely threatened.

Let's look at the numbers and see what they can tell us about Saturday night's events...

21 Number of shots Bayern attempted on the Inter goal...

11 ... and the number that Inter attempted in response.

55% Arjen Robben's pass completion rate

4187 The number of metres covered by Bastian Schweinsteiger

2/2 Goals/shots ratio for matchwinner Diego Milito of Inter

3 Number of yellow cards given out by referee Howard Webb in a game with 19 fouls

8 Number of Bayern shots blocked by an Inter player

15 Number of balls won by Martin Demichelis

5 The number of trophies Jose Mourinho has lifted in his two seasons at Internazionale

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Love the Google Pacman. Go straight to their homepage to play it if you have not. It is a great way to celebrate Pacman's 30th anniversary! You can play it by clicking the Insert Coin button. If you click it one more time, you will get Ms. Pacman too! The second player can play Ms. Pacman using the WASD buttons while Pacman is using the standard arrow keys. Enjoy!

For more info, go to the Official Google blog.

For a real Pacman game, check this one out at Pacman Games.

The Pacman logo!

Click INSERT COIN to begin the game!

Ms. Pacman appears!

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You see people picking up rubbish all over the place. You see people cutting grass. All these were done at night. Very hardworking. You hear and see the helicopter surrounding the area for hours before the arrival. You see policemen all over the place. You know that someone important is coming.





The stopover is before the visit to Singapore. By the way, read what he said below. One phrase caught me with the highest shock of all time.

Johor Baharu will become the Venice of Malaysia!!! Imagine that! Faints...Make the city safe first before building gigantic castles in mid-air by dreaming to become Shenzhen and now, Venice.

May 22, 2010 23:11 PM

Federal Government Okays JB City Transformation Plan - Najib

JOHOR BAHARU, May 22 (Bernama) -- The federal government has agreed in principle on the transformation plan for Johor Baharu city proposed by the Johor state government, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

The Prime Minister said that initially the federal government had agreed to allocate RM200 million to clean and eliminate the pollution problem in Sungai Segget.

"In principle, the federal government supports the proposal of the Johor state government to transform the Johor Baharu city into a modern and dynamic urban centre," he said after a 'walkabout' at JB Bazaar, here.

He said the pollution problem in Sungai Segget, which flows through the Johor Baharu city centre, was caused by uncontrolled discharge into the river.

The Prime Minister, who arrived in Johor Saturday morning for a one-day visit, said cleaning works on Sungai Segget were expected to take between one-and-a-half to two years.

"Once the cleaning works on Sungai Segget have been completed, I can visualize gondolas travelling up and down the river, just like in Venice, Italy.

Johor Baharu will become the Venice of Malaysia," he said.

Under the Johor Baharu transformation plan, he said, there were also other suggestions including the construction of an iconic arch on the Johor Causeway, which is the main entry point into Malaysia from the southern part of the peninsula.

In addition, he said, there was also a proposal to create an opening underneath the Johor Causeway to enable water to flow through and improve the water quality in the Tebrau Straits.

Earlier during the walkabout, Najib had the opportunity to spend about 15 minutes visiting the Chinese Heritage Museum at Jalan Tan Hiok Nee, which keeps various artifacts and documents on the Chinese community.

Najib and his wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, were greeted on arrival by thousands of the Chinese community who had waited for the couple since the afternoon.

The Prime Minister, who was accompanied by Johor Menteri Besar Datuk Abdul Ghani Othman and wife, Datin Professor Dr Jamilah Ariffin, as well as the state executive councillors, then walked along Jalan Tan Hiok Nee and Jalan Segget, while looking at the various goods sold at the JB Bazaar.

The JB Bazaar, which began operation on Jan 10 this year, was opened by the Johor Baharu Municipal Council to enliven the city. It is the venue for various business activities, like a night market, "pasar karat", "bazar lambak" and "luton van".

Aimed at attracting tourists, among the goods sold at the bazaar are clothings, gifts, leather goods and used items.

About 370 traders operate their business at the bazaar, which opens daily from 6pm to 2am.

The Prime Minister and his wife then left for Singapore to begin a two-day visit to the republic.



Saturday, May 22, 2010


Check out the Ge Force GTX 480! Let's have a look at its difference against the previous card I bought, GTX 295. Can't wait to test this baby!


GPU Engine Specs: GTX 295 | GTX 480
CUDA Cores 480 ( 240 per GPU ) | 480
Graphics Clock (MHz) 576 MHz | 700 MHz
Processor Clock (MHz) 1242 MHz | 1401 MHz
Texture Fill Rate (billion/sec) 92.2 | 42

Memory Specs:
Memory Clock (MHz) 999 | 1848
Standard Memory Config 1792 MB GDDR3 ( 896MB per GPU ) | 1536 MB GDDR5
Memory Interface Width 896-bit ( 448-bit per GPU ) | 384-bit
Memory Bandwidth (GB/sec) 223.8 | 177.4

Price: SGD900+

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Friday, May 21, 2010


"If only I could turn back time
If only I had said what I still hide
If only I could turn back time
I would stay for the night. For the night..."

That was the Aqua song back in the 90s during the Barbie Girl craze. The new Prince of Persia movie brings back memories of the past for me too. The name itself literally turns back my own time! I remember when I first played it on the PC back in the early 1990s. It is one of my earliest games ever played on the PC. Gosh, I think the computers then do not come with CD-ROMs by default.

For me, if I can go back time, I must contribute something which can help erase some of the bitter histories of mankind. It will make my journey back in time worth more than what money can buy. Remember Back to the Future franchise movies which reminded us that by changing a part of history may create another devastating part as a result of our intervention. Well, I can't think of something far more destructive than what I intend to intervene in the slice of human history.

If you have a dagger that turns back time, what event/danger would you change?

This is a very interesting question. I can think of many things like stopping the atomic bombs from being made to stopping dictators or other massive disasters from happening. It would be good to give an early warning regarding the tsunami or the earthquakes. Therefore, I believe if I am given one golden chance, that interception will have to be so massive that it impacts the most of humanity.

If I have a dagger that turns back time, I would make sure Adolf Hitler turns out to be an artist or architect! In doing so, I can avoid World War II (at least in Europe), the Holocaust and the popularity of Nazism. I could also indirectly minimize the problems we have now in the Middle East (Israeli-Palestinian conflict). I believe this in turn will achieve a major impact in human history. However, the theories of time travel are also very fascinating. What if one of the person whom Hitler killed was supposed to become a more destructive dictator? What if his rise and his actions helped to stop an event or events more terrible from happening? We really don't know but it is interesting to think in that kind of dimension. One thing is for sure, we will not get the Inglourious Basterds and Downfall movies. The famous Hitler parodies from a scene of the film may not turn out hot on YouTube which caused the massive removal on April 21st, 2010.


My Austrian friend used to tell me that if Hitler could have been an artist or architect, World War II may not even happen. If I can go back time, I will go to Vienna and find him, encouraging him to push for the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna entrance as well as preparing him for the success of gaining into it. I will make sure he is well driven to obtain a high school degree to qualify himself to become an architecture student too. He failed twice for the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna entrance exam with his painting skills. He was recommended by the school to pursue architecture instead but he lacked the qualifications.

If he had gone to study painting or architecture, he will then not waste his time reading anti-Semitic tabloids and pamphlets which very much shaped his thinking. Apparently, he grew up with minimum love and was poor with much loneliness. All these contributed and shaped his character to become the dictator he was. He ran out of money and lived in a shelter for the homeless. That's how much he had suffered. Therefore, by intervening into this extremely important slice of human history, I am sure that I can stop such a disaster from happening.

Again, like I said, intervening into a part of history may not always create a better outcome. It could be even worse. Only time will tell. However, I believe the chances of a much worse outcome by turning Hitler into a painter or an architect instead of a dictator should be much smaller. I would have returned to my time now and found out that he was a legendary artist or architect who left behind magnificent paintings or buildings to the world. You never know but it is interesting to be able to do it and see the consequences of the action. He may end up more famous than Mozart in the right way.

Anyway, for the Prince of Persia movie, I hope it will be a blast!

“Catch Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time Movie starting from 27th May 2010 and join the official Facebook and Twitter page!”


Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Fabregas may leave Arsenal to join the mighty Barcelona FC. They already got David Villa for £34m. Fabregas is reported to be worth £50m. If he leaves, we wonder how many more years does it take for Arsene Wenger to get the team matured once again to win titles. I think his kind of system of buying young potential players from other people's academies and grooming them to be potential superstars is not sustainable. Many of these groomed players just could not wait for that long and therefore leaves elsewhere for better prospects to earn honours. Patience and loyalty are not sustainable words in the football world today. Money rules football.

I am just trying to visualize the Barca midfield lineup with Messi, Xavi, Iniesta and Fabregas. Incredible! Magnificent! It would be very scary! How can any club stop Barcelona? The midfield lineup is enough to make other clubs pee in their pants. I think if Barcelona can get Fabregas as well, I don't know how other teams can stop them next season. They will be a perfect team!

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Monday, May 17, 2010


They all won their respective leagues! Chelsea and Inter Milan earned a double like Bayern Munich! Real Madrid is a testament and proof that money can't buy success / victory!

We have the Champions League to look forward to before the World Cup 2010! Can The Special One win it against his ex-teacher? Both teams have chances for the treble!

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Sunday, May 16, 2010


DAP wins with 18,845, BN 18,447, Independent 232
Majority is 398


Malaysian opposition wins "historic" by-election
Posted: 17 May 2010 0013 hrs

KUALA LUMPUR - Malaysia's opposition on Sunday snatched a parliamentary seat in a ruling coalition stronghold with a surprise and "historic" by-election win.

The Barisan Nasional (BN) was expected to hold on to Sibu, in Sarawak state on Borneo island, but lost it by 398 votes to the Democratic Action Party (DAP), state media reported.

The DAP is a member of opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim's Pakatan Rakyat alliance.

"This is a historic win for the Pakatan alliance," veteran opposition politician and DAP leader Lim Kit Siang told AFP.

"This is because the BN's loss in Sibu shows that its strongholds on Borneo island are no longer safe," he added.

The Sibu victory means the opposition has now won eight out of 11 by-elections since the BN was bruised in 2008 national polls.

Analysts say the latest opposition victory casts doubt on the government's sway in Sarawak, where the large share of parliamentary seats means the state could be decisive at general elections expected by 2013.

"The loss has big implications as it has now slowed down Najib's momentum after winning in the two previous by-elections," political analyst James Chin told AFP.

Over the last few days Premier Najib Razak campaigned in the state to get the Chinese vote, promising 20 million ringgit for infrastructure projects and the upgrading of Chinese-language schools in a constituency where ethnic Chinese form 67 percent of the population.

Although the BN last month won a by-election in Selangor state, seen as an endorsement of Najib's reformist policies, the ruling coalition saw a dramatic drop in Chinese support.

"The decline in Chinese support in Hulu Selangor and Sibu are consistent with the 2008 general elections as the Chinese ground has yet to recover for the BN," Chin said.

The BN lost its two-thirds majority in parliament and control of five states in the 2008 election.

- AFP/ir

DAP wins Sibu by-election

M'sian opposition party pulls off surprise win in BN stronghold
05:55 AM May 17, 2010

SIBU - Malaysia's opposition Democratic Action Party (DAP) pulled off a surprise win in the Sibu by-election yesterday, defeating ruling Barisan Nasional's (BN) SUPP by 398 votes in a hard-fought race, according to official results.

DAP candidate Wong Ho Leng won with 18,845 votes, beating BN's Robert Lau Hui Yew - who took 18,447 votes - official results showed. Independent Narawi Haron picked up 232 votes.

The results also showed a major swing from the 2008 general elections when BN won the seat by more than 3,000 votes.

The Sibu parliamentary seat in Sarawak, a BN stronghold, was vacated following the death of Deputy Transport Minister and five-term Sibu MP Robert Lau Hoi Chew last month.

Opposition alliance Pakatan Rakyat (PR), which DAP is a member party of, had hoped to win in Sibu because two-thirds of the nearly 55,000 registered voters are ethnic Chinese, who have increasingly accused the Malay Muslim-dominated government of racial discrimination.

The Sibu result is significant in that PR has ended a streak of successive defeats to BN in recent by-elections.

Last month, BN won a hard-fought Hulu Selangor by-election. The count is now 8-3 in favour of PR in terms of by-election wins since the 2008 general elections.

The Election Commission estimated slightly more than 60 per cent of voters cast ballots - lower than the expected turnout of 80 per cent.

BN had been expected to retain its Sarawak stronghold but lost despite the best efforts of Prime Minister Najib Razak.

On Saturday, Mr Najib made a surprise visit to Sibu, pledging to spend RM5 million ($2.17 million) for infrastructure to curb flash floods in Sibu, in addition to funding worth RM15 million he had earlier promised for Chinese-language schools.

And according to a report in The Sunday Post, four Sibu Methodist churches were given special grants totalling RM1.75 million from the federal government yesterday in the final hours of the by-election campaign

The report added that the money would be used for upgrading and extension works of church buildings in Sibu that has a predominantly Methodist population. AGENCIES

Monday May 17, 2010
SUPP: They caught us off guard

SIBU: Two religious issues raised by the Opposition may have turned the tide against Barisan Nasional, said SUPP president Tan Sri Dr George Chan Hong Nam.

He said the controversy over the word “Allah” was capitalised to devastating effect. “Yes, this issue was very damaging. The Opposition used it to full effect.

“The Opposition also claimed that Bibles were seized and burned in Peninsular Malaysia. Personally, I don't believe that we (the Govern-ment) would do such things.

“However, the tide turned against us because the Opposition used such controversial and sensitive issues.

“We (the SUPP) were not prepared to answer such allegations because we never encountered such religious problems in the state.

“We were overwhelmed by the issues they brought up,” he said when asked to comment on the defeat of Barisan's Robert Lau Hui Yew to the DAP's Wong Ho Leng.

Dr Chan, who is Deputy Chief Minister, said he felt sad for the people of Sibu. He said the SUPP was disappointed with the outcome because of the implications.

When pointed out that there were also other issues that the Opposition had brought up against the Barisan, such as the flood woes, alleged unfair distribution of projects, nepotism and money politics, he said the SUPP had answered all these allegations.

“In previous elections, the Opposi-tion harped on such issues, but the people understood when we replied.

“This time, the issues raised were of a totally different nature. We were not prepared,” he said, adding that the SUPP did not anticipate that the DAP would harp on such inflammatory issues for political purposes.


Saturday, May 15, 2010


RM5 million for flood-mitigation projects in Rejang Park.

Four churches also got money from government. En Tao Methodist Church, Tien Tao Methodist Church, received RM500,000, Sing Ang Tong Methodist Church (RM400,000) and Hwai Ang Tong Methodist Church (RM350,000).

BN should have the advantage with the huge investments pouring into the town!

I am betting for the underdog, I know it is hard to win but it is worth losing my bet.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Yeah, a standard pattern in all by-elections. In fact I have been waiting for this 'process' to come. If it does not come, it will be too weird. Money pouring into Chinese schools and everyone is happy as if they hit jackpot or lottery. The problem is there is no such thing as free lunch. Being happy for a sudden inflow of fortune is being too naive. Where does the money come from? Drop from the sky?

Sibu educationists elated over RM10m allocation
May 12, 2010

SIBU, May 12 — “Tonight, I might have to sleep in the police station. You never know, somebody might want to kidnap me.”

The chairman of the board of the United Association of Chinese Primary Aided Schools in the Sibu and Kapit divisions Tie Teck Hiong said this in jest to his friends after receiving a government contribution amounting to RM10 million for the 60 schools under the association’s jurisdiction here today.

Tie had represented the association to receive a RM10 million cheque from the government for the schools which was presented by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

“This is the first time in history that we received so high a contribution from the government in one go. I’m already 74 years old, never have we received such big amount of contribution,” he told Bernama.

Apart from the RM10 million contribution for the 60 Chinese primary aided schools, the government also gave a contribution of RM5 million to five Chinese independent schools here.

All the cheques were presented by Najib to the respective schools’ representatives in a ceremony at a hotel here.

Not only that, Najib also made good of an earlier promise when he handed a RM1 million cheque to a representative of Sibu’s St Mary primary school for the building a new block at the school.

However, the most touching moment was when teachers of the Sacred Heart secondary school all stood up and cheered loudly after the prime minister announced a government contribution amounting to RM2 million for the school rebuilding project.

Najib later presented a cheque for the amount to the representative of the school.

Both the late member of parliament for Sibu Datuk Robert Lau and the BN candidate for Sibu by-election Robert Lau Hui Yew studied in this mission school, which is considered one of the best in town. — Bernama


Saturday, May 08, 2010


The by-election in Sibu will be very different from the one in Hulu Selangor. The issues that will likely dominate the campaigning period are the Allah issue, GST, NCR (Native Customary Rights) land, Islamisation in public institutions of higher learning which are affecting non-Muslims Bumiputeras, the nasty roads, flooding, Chinese education, university education, the dams, Limbang, the 4th poorest state status eventhough we are the richest state with oil, gas and timber. We know as people who were born and raised in Sibu that money and power play a gigantic role in deciding the results of the election. There are also reports of betting which can affect the results. You wish the by-election is held during the World Cup 2010 later so people will be too busy to bet on the by-election. Let's not forget about postal votes too.

Robert Lau Hui Yew

Wong Ho Leng

I checked the possible routes to go back. There are no flights going Sibu from Johor Bahru on Saturday. I can go back via Kuching but will be on a very early flight. It will cost me at least RM400+ to fly back to give my vote.

AK 5842 Johor Bahru(JHB) to Kuching(KCH)
Sat 15 May 2010
Depart 0820 Arrive 0945
152.00 MYR1 Guest @ 152.00
9.00 MYR Airport Taxes and Fees

AK 5846 Johor Bahru(JHB) to Kuching(KCH)
Sat 15 May 2010
Depart 1805 Arrive 1925
132.00 MYR1 Guest @ 132.00
9.00 MYR Airport Taxes and Fees
AK 5514 Johor Bahru(JHB) to Sibu(SBW)
Fri 14 May 2010
Depart 1740 Arrive 1915
341.00 MYR1 Guest @ 341.00
9.00 MYR Airport Taxes and Fees

AK 5515 Sibu(SBW) to Johor Bahru(JHB)
Sun 16 May 2010
Depart 1940 Arrive 2110
123.00 MYR1 Guest @ 123.00
9.00 MYR Airport Taxes and Fees

482.00 MYRTotal

Can some rich man or company sponsor me home *give hints to the rich candidate*? Haha! I copied and pasted a part of an article in red from below. Well, the red words are the views of the BN candidate. How do you progress when such an issue can never be solved? How many wars fought and how much blood shed just for unsolved religious issues in this world throughout the history of mankind?

Religion is between you and God but if politics intervenes and determines your freedom of how this relationship is developed, we got a problem here. They are separate issues but if politics start to interfere on what your religion must and must not do, this is no longer something to be ignored. Currently it is politics which is creating problems to religion. It controls the approval of your publications, your land titles and even what can be imported in. It is funny that someone started it and later they claim the others politicizing it for bringing the issue up. Weird logic.

I already said this many times in the past. Religion and politics should never be related. History has shown that religion becomes corrupted and twisted once it has political power and mixed up with politics.

“Religion is personal relationship between yourself and God, let us not politicise that. I am a Christian, I believe in Jesus Christ as our saviour, I believe in the Trinity,” said Lau when asked if he is doing anything specific to win over the Christian votes.

“Politics deals with human, social issue not so much about divinity but at the end whatever we do whatever we try we must be thankful to God,” he added.

“We don’t politicise religion, this has not happened in Sibu. Religion is divinity, politics is humanity,” he said when met after a dinner with the SUPP election machinery.

About 53 per cent of the 55,000 voters in the Sibu constituency are Christians. The Chinese form about 66.6 per cent of the voters, the largely Christian Ibans 16.3 per cent and the Malay/Melanau 16.2 per cent.

The DAP has been using its church-going leaders to engage the Christian community in Sibu. It has had also held a closed-door dialogue with the group where issues such as the use of the word “Allah” to refer to God in Malay were brought up.

“Don’t stereotype the Christians, we don’t have that kind of culture in Sibu. I do not want to fall into that trap, let us move on, be more progressive, we are one big family,” said Lau when asked about his stand on the “Allah” row.

Saturday May 8, 2010
Hot battle for Sibu seat begins

SIBU: The battle for the Sibu parliamentary seat begins with candidates filing their nomination papers today.

Barisan Nasional candidate Robert Lau Hui Yew, popularly known as Robert Lau Junior, will hand in his papers at the Sibu Civic Centre.

Sarawak DAP chairman and Bukit Assek assemblyman Wong Ho Leng, 50, will most probably contest against Hui Yew, but it is unlikely that the by-election will be a straight fight as at least one ‘‘irritant’’ Independent candidate Narawi Haron is expected to join the fray.

The trio will be eyeing the predominantly Chinese urban seat following the death of Deputy Transport Minister and five-term Sibu MP Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew on April 9.

So far, five sets of nomination papers have been purchased from the Election Commission (EC) office, three of them by DAP representatives and one each by the Barisan and an independent candidate.

Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin will be leading members of BN component parties in a show of support for their candidate Hui Yew when he submits his nomination papers.

The nomination period is for one hour from 9am, and then there will be an objection period of an hour, after which the candidates will be announced. Polling is on May 16.

The Sarawak Meteorological Department has forecast fair weather, especially in the morning, which should auger well for a smooth nomination process.

The unprecedented influx of outsiders, such as party campaign workers, additional security reinforcement and media personnel, has also given the locals an economic boom judging from the full hotels and traffic congestion in this riverine town by the banks of the country’s longest river, the Batang Rajang.

Sarawak police commissioner Datuk Mohmad Salleh had said 2,000 police personnel were being deployed for the by-election to monitor security and ensure order.

In the 2008 general election, Hoi Chew retained the Sibu seat with a 3,549-vote majority, beating Ho Leng and Lim Chin Chuang of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in a three-cornered fight.

Sibu has 54,695 voters, comprising 52,158 ordinary voters and 2,537 postal voters made up of 1,910 military and 627 police personnel.

According to the electoral roll, updated as of April 9, Chinese voters make up almost 67% of the total number, followed by Malay/Melanau (10.5%) and Sarawak bumiputras (22%).

Forty-five polling stations with 110 streams will be opened at 39 schools, two kindergartens, a training centre, a longhouse, a public library and a public recreational centre. — Bernama

The forces that shape Sibu
By Sheridan Mahavera
May 08, 2010

SIBU, May 8 — True story — a Sarawak Barisan Nasional MP warned a tuai rumah (longhouse headman) and penghulu (village head) in January to support the BN or resign as they are paid by the state government.

Another story. In a previous election, a different Sarawak politician reminded petty traders that even if he didn’t get their vote he would still be in charge of the municipal council. Read: the municipal council that renews their business licences.

In most parts of the Semenanjung, these strong-arm tactics would incense instead of scare. In fact, they usually backfire on the politician making the threat and they are rejected at the ballot box.

In Sarawak, it is still standard practice, according to the Sarawak DAP.

Unlike in the Semenanjung, where politicians come bearing money and infrastructure during an election, in Sarawak they hold a carrot and a parang at the same time.

But it’s not just the "hard AND soft" approach. Influence is also funnelled through kinship ties and clan associations especially if a community has a shared history like the Foochows of Sibu.

Also, though it may not be as obvious as in the case of Islam in the peninsula, the church forms attitudes and opinions which are translated through the ballot box.

In the upcoming by-election, these forces will once again come into play and both Pakatan Rakyat and the BN will try their utmost to make them work for them.

Yet, like all by-elections, the battle for Sibu is a competition of different value systems. Whether a voter chooses because one candidate has the same last name as his or because they want better jobs in Sibu, it reflects how they want their lives governed.

The Church

The Catholic Church, says Bishop Robert Hii, encourages its followers to get involved in politics.

“Politics is part of life. You must be engaged and involved. You must vote,” he says, though the church does not tell Christians who to vote for.

“We don’t want to divide our followers (along partisan lines) as they belong to both camps. But we preach about the importance of justice, human rights, equality, morality and the freedom to practice.”

Hii says about half of Sibu’s Christians are Catholics and they are the second largest denomination after the Methodists.

Due to the history of how Catholicism spread in Sarawak, the majority of Catholics are Iban.

Contrary to what some pundits expect and some politicians hope, Hii says the Allah issue would not likely be at the forefront of the minds of most Christians in Sibu.

“We still use Allah in all our services and prayers. It is not a problem. Also, we don’t have to beg the government for money to build churches. We get a lot of help from the government.”

Officials of the Methodist Church declined to comment but it is understood that many of its devotees are traditional BN supporters.

Be that as it may, the Sarawak DAP is banking on the support of its youth groups who the party thinks have been galled by how the BN has handled the Allah issue and the import of Bahasa Malaysia Christian texts.

“They won’t say it out loud because there’s a ban on talking about it... but they are angry,” claims Pakatan Rakyat’s candidate Wong Ho Leng, who is also Sarawak DAP chief.

“You can bet that this will be at the back of their minds when they go to vote.”

The clan

Way before Wong was announced as a candidate, the DAP experimented with the idea of fielding a woman by the name of Alice Lau.

According to reports in the Borneo Post, the party’s internal studies showed that the young lawyer attracted the most interest from the voters they surveyed compared to the other DAP leaders.

Yet ultimately, Lau was not even considered as a potential candidate.

The reason, according to sources, was that the Lau clan association felt that it was inappropriate for two people with the same surname and lineage — Alice Lau and BN’s Robert Lau Hi Chew — to contest against each other.

The two Laus supposedly are not related, yet the clan allegedly “discouraged” such a contest.

Political activists from both camps point out that if the clan could exert this kind of influence so early on, they would be crucial to the outcome of the by-election.

Johnny Hii, who researches Foochow history in Malaysia, says that the clans’ place in Sibu society was cemented ever since the first settlers landed on the banks of the Rejang River more than 100 years ago.

“As a Foochow back then, the clan helped you with the snakes, other Chinese and hostile tribes that you had to deal with. They also became the only way for the community to communicate with the British since no one spoke English.”

The clans’ ties to businessmen and politicians helped them to remain influential over the years. But not everyone likes this and given its ability to mould opinions and garner mass support, some feel they should be impartial.

“They have vested interests and it’s a bit unfair for them to support one group over another,” says an activist with one of the parties. He declined to identify which party he belonged to for fear of angering the clans.

In the Alice Lau episode, for instance, what’s not asked is why it was she and not Robert Lau was told to back off.

The Lau clan did not respond to emails for comments which were sent through an intermediary.

The haves

Sarawak, its locals will tell you, does not have the race and religious tensions that suffocate people in the peninsula.

Yet what its locals will not admit to but will endlessly talk about is that Sarawak has a "wealth" problem.

Wealth, who has it and who gives access to it, has shaped Sarawak society in the same way race and religion has moulded attitudes and lives in the peninsula.

With a poverty rate of 7.5 per cent, Sarawak is the fourth poorest state in the federation. Yet roughly one-third of all oil produced in Malaysia comes from Sarawak, says Wong.

Some of the biggest timber companies in the world are from Sarawak yet the indigenous people whose lands those trees sit on are miserably poor.

It’s not just about ladling out goodies to the people come election time, although Sarawak DAP publicity chief David Wong Kee Won says that is inevitable given how the Gawai festival, which is like Hari Raya Aidilfitri to Muslims, is on June 1.

“Our friends are going to get an early Gawai,” Kee Won says.

He narrates another example of the marriage between business and politics.

“I was talking to a timber tycoon a few months back. Throughout the conversation he looked pale. He told me if he was seen talking to me, he would lose his timber licences,” claims Kee Won.

The licences are given out and renewed each year by the BN state government.

“The same thing with restaurants and petty traders. Their licences are renewed each year with the municipal council. Some of them support us but do not dare to come out in the open.”

Coincidentally, the Sibu municipal council is chaired by Lanang MP and SUPP branch secretary Tiong Thai King.

And there’s the Ibans, who comprise 18 per cent of Sibu’s constituents. Besides the carrots, there is the parang, says a long-time Iban DAP sympathiser.

The tuai rumah of the longhouse is paid RM450 a month from the state government, which is still an ample amount of money in the hinterland.

In an Utusan Borneo report, Lubok Antu MP William Nyalau Badak told tuai rumah to resign if they did not support the BN and did not ensure that the families living under them did the same.

And the rest of us

“The municipal council is neutral. We have never intimidated businesses,” declares Tiong, refuting the Sarawak DAP’s claims. The state government has also been fair in dealing with businesses regardless of their partisan sympathies, he says.

“I think the people of Sibu can see for themselves what the reality is,” Tiong says, adding that the DAP was only trying to cast aspersions on the BN state government and Sarawak’s businesses.

He stresses that the BN has not twisted the arms of local residents and businesses for support.

The contest for Sibu is more than just about who can build a university and stop the town’s floods.

The two coalitions, BN and the newly-formed Sarawak Pakatan Rakyat (which includes the DAP, Parti Keadilan Rakyat, PAS and the Sarawak National Party) are hoping that the results will reflect the general trend of how Sarawakians will vote in the much bigger state elections that could be called later this year.

The DAP’s Kee Won is fairly confident that Pakatan can still secure more than 60 per cent of the Chinese vote. But that estimate is based on the results of the 2008 general election and on previous by-elections in the peninsula.

This after all, is Sarawak. And Kee Won admits that voters’ moods can be swayed by the blanket campaigning of the next few days.

In past by-elections, some Chinese communities which Pakatan had counted on for support had at the last minute given their votes to the BN. Those swings were thought to be due to 11th-hour entreaties to the clans in those areas.

It is the same with the Ibans. A church leader who works closely with the community observes that there has been a subtle shift in their support towards Pakatan.

“Some of them are no longer easily taken in with all the gula-gula (goodies) given to them. They can see beyond that.”

Problem is, he is not sure whether those "changed" Ibans are voters in Sibu.

And the same goes with the younger Chinese voters who tend to vote Pakatan. The majority of them have left Sibu to work elsewhere and no one’s counting on them to return just to vote.

So in the end, the fate of the by-election will be in the hands of those above 40, who grew up and have had their attitudes shaped by the forces and the social hierarchy that made the city and which has run it ever since.

It is a hierarchy rooted in an ideology of the establishment over the upstart, kinship over principles and survival over risk.

If things are to change then it’s up to the youth and those who supposedly “want change” to put their money where their beliefs are and buy that flight ticket.

BN’s Sibu man says faith not a campaign issue
By Adib Zalkapli
May 08, 2010

SIBU, May 8 — The Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate in the Sibu by-election, Robert Lau Hui Yew, appeared to be uncomfortable with religious issues brought into the campaign.

Lau believes the DAP’s approach in using issues affecting the Christian community such as the use of the word “Allah” as something unusual in Sibu.

“Religion is personal relationship between yourself and God, let us not politicise that. I am a Christian, I believe in Jesus Christ as our saviour, I believe in the Trinity,” said Lau when asked if he is doing anything specific to win over the Christian votes.

“Politics deals with human, social issue not so much about divinity but at the end whatever we do whatever we try we must be thankful to God,” he added.

“We don’t politicise religion, this has not happened in Sibu. Religion is divinity, politics is humanity,” he said when met after a dinner with the SUPP election machinery.

About 53 per cent of the 55,000 voters in the Sibu constituency are Christians. The Chinese form about 66.6 per cent of the voters, the largely Christian Ibans 16.3 per cent and the Malay/Melanau 16.2 per cent.

The DAP has been using its church-going leaders to engage the Christian community in Sibu. It has had also held a closed-door dialogue with the group where issues such as the use of the word “Allah” to refer to God in Malay were brought up.

“Don’t stereotype the Christians, we don’t have that kind of culture in Sibu. I do not want to fall into that trap, let us move on, be more progressive, we are one big family,” said Lau when asked about his stand on the “Allah” row.

The issue started in 2007 after the Home Ministry invoked a 1986 Cabinet directive banning non-Muslims from using certain Arabic words to refuse renewing the publication permit of the Catholic tabloid Herald.

The Catholic Church later challenged the government’s decision and on Dec 31 last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court ruled that the Herald has the constitutional right to use the word “Allah” for its Malay section.

In January, Minister in the Prime Minister Department Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz assured the Christian community in Sabah and Sarawak that the ban on “Allah” would not affect them.

“It doesn’t resonate, not in Sibu,” said Lau (picture).

The former Sibu Municipal Councillor also slammed the DAP and its Pakatan Rakyat (PR) partners for their focus on national issues, saying that it shows their dependence on party leaders from Peninsular Malaysia.

“Let’s focus on this by-election, we are talking about Sibu. Will they be able to influence anything? They are not in the government,” said Lau, who is also the second cousin to five-term Sibu MP Datuk Robert Lau Hoi Chew who died last month.

“Whoever represents Sibu from the opposition will have to listen to Anwar Ibrahim, to Lim Kit Siang and to their West Malaysian leaders,” he added.

On the support from the Chinese voters, he hoped the community would join him in addressing issues affecting them.

“I hope the Chinese will have more trust in BN, to say that yes we have problems, yes there are issues to be addressed, but I always say move forward and ask the next question, what can you do? Criticising is easy,” said Lau.

In Election 2008, BN failed to get a majority of the votes in the Chinese-dominated Pelawan area despite winning the Sibu parliamentary seat by 3,235 votes.

Campaigning for the Sibu by-election starts today and polling is set for May 16.

Lau is expected to face DAP state chairman and Bukit Assek assemblyman Wong Ho Leng and an independent candidate Narawi Haron.


Friday, May 07, 2010


This could be the year of Mourinho's because he has the best chance to capture the treble than any manager in Europe. Inter Milan are leading the Serie A table with two more matches to play. They hold 2 points advantage over AS Roma. Inter will face Chievo Verona at home and Siena away while AS Roma will face Cagliari home and Cheivo Verona away. Inter have better goal difference record than AS Roma so drawing on points will give Inter advantage too.

Chelsea are leading Manchester United with one point going into the final match this weekend. Chelsea will be hosting Wigan Atletic while Manchester United will face Stoke City at home. If they are to end with the same points, Chelsea will still have a better advantage with superior 9 goals difference. Meanwhile in the La Liga, Barcelona are also having a one point lead over Real Madrid with two more matches to play. Barcelona have Sevilla (away) and Valladolid (home) to play while Real Madrid have Atletic Bilbao (home) and Málaga (away) to face. If they draw on points, Barcelona will win the league with a better head to head result this season.

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Thursday, May 06, 2010


I had the opportunity to touch and play with the iPad just now. The user brought it back from the States. It is quite cool. Fast and smooth navigation all the way. When I saw it, it reminded me of the Amazon's Kindle which displays in black and white. They should have come out with the colour display long time ago. Now, Apple will just eat up the entire market.


Tuesday, May 04, 2010


That's what I sum up Malaysian politics. There is no accountability and transparency. The cycle repeats itself forever and ever.

The cycle to oblivion:
1. A case is reported or being leaked out
2. Hoo haa all over the place for the shock the case is bringing to the country
3. An investigation is demanded, some people are expected to take responsibility and resign, a lot of suspects here and there or unknown suspects here and there. This guy suing that guy. That guy suing this guy.
4. Nobody resigns, nobody is responsible, everyone is expected to keep quiet until investigation is over
5. Investigation carried by unknown people for centuries and centuries and centuries...witnesses can disappear or retract statements
6. After centuries, suddenly the case disappears
7. Until a new case arises and is reported and repeat the cycle yet again...

*Some cases do close in Malaysia, but always in an abrupt way too like how it was first known, so shocking that nobody in their logical mind can accept it

This is Malaysia, the land of no accountability and transparency. I have yet to see a single case being closed in a satisfactory manner. Nothing has a conclusion, everything just disappear in thin air slowly and quietly because there are just too many cases that shock everyone. Well, it is so common that it is no longer shocking anymore. It is in fact more shocking not to have anything shocking revealed every month. I am sure the country has the highest amount of unclosed court cases in the world.