Thursday, August 30, 2007

MALAYSIAN 50th BIRTHDAY


Long holiday is coming up, all thanks to our beloved nation’s 50th birthday. This means more eating, more partying and more money spent. I just wish to have a quiet holiday getting my deserved rest and sleep. Yeah….. I do love to sleep a lot but I prefer to call it hibernating. Bears and other animals do it, so why can’t human do the same. It saves up a lot of energy and most importantly, no money is spent. So let us all hibernate over the weekend. Zzz………

Monday, August 27, 2007

CHICKING EATING HOUSE

Chicking Eating House at Pertanak new shophouses. Next to Kaya & Toast.

Having lunch with my family is a hard thing to come by. That’s why lunch on Sunday is a memorable event for us. We went to a funny named shop called Chicking Eating House. From the chicken logo on the sign board, you’ll know that it’s a shop selling chicken rice. On the wall, there’s a big menu for you to choose from. There’s chicken rice in steam style, roast style, lemon style and also salad style.

the giant menu on the wall

Take your pick from there and you’ll be greeted with steaming hot soup with fragrant rice and your style of chicken. We opt for the combination of steam and roasted chicken with other condiments.

standard hot soup, fragrant rice and souces

combination of steam and roasted chicken. The steam chicken is soft and tender. I usually fancy roasted version but i found myself indulge the steam version more here.

thai style tofu. Not too spicy and crispy on the outside, soft inside

lemon chicken, fried crispy chicken in lemon sauce

chicken ginzard, i don't eat these but my parents love it.

The lunch was great except for the annoying prepaid mobile card seller who came in like a tour group and start their selling pitch. Since Kuala Lumpur have Chicken Rice Shop, we have Chicking Eating House here.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

ZOO MATES

I’ve known these guys since primary school and we had been good friends until now. I still remember those days when we would go to school in the afternoon to attend our extra-curriculum activities and went for our favorite fried sotong and fish ball at the old Rex Cinema. Those were the days when we are still young and we were like the big shot in our School Brass Band. Basically we call all the shots and who ever go against us will be eliminated. Come to think of it, no one ever dare to do so. Hehehe! Time has passed and even though some of us are all no longer staying in Kuching, we still keep in touch and are there for each other when needed. We called ourselves the Zoo since each of us got our own unique animal nick name. So without further delay, let me introduce you all to my Zoo mates.

the eldest in the zoo, Benedict aka the Cat. He is our big brother who look over our shoulder. Always not in good terms with the Dog. Had a few drama arising from their clashes that can even compete with those Hong Kong drama series. Getting married this September. Congrats Bro!

Albert aka the Jellyfish. The nick name fits him perfectly because he don't dare to speak up and what ever we ask him to do, he'll do it. We just love to bully him. He's the artist in our Zoo.

Me aka the Crab. I used to love pitching people and that's how i get that nick name. My pitching skill is so perfect that even real crabs have to learn from me...

Raymond aka the Chicken. He is the calculative type. Count every penny and even calories. Always get the best out from what he buys or eat. Getting married in December in Australia. Congrats Chicken!

Steve aka the Pig. He used to be so chubby and cute. He is the genius in our Zoo. Everything he touched turns into gold and nothing can be impossible for him. Congrats on the new baby piglet!

Eddie aka the Dog. Nemesis of the Cat. He is the drama queen in our Zoo and if there's a Academy Awards in Malaysia, he is the front runner. Love bitching about everything under the sun.

Gerald aka the buffalo. The bully in our Zoo. He can really argue with you even those Ah Sam in the pasar will loose to him. Even though he is the bully, he is also the mediator.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

INTERNATIONAL BORNEO KITE FESTIVAL 2007

welcome to International Borneo Kite Festival

International Borneo Kite Festival is in its 3rd year. This time round, I managed to catch it before I head back to my home town. The day I went there, they just started the festival and not much kite was on display and most of the participants were not there yet. Heard that there will be participation from 10 countries and they will be vying for the grand prize this year. Even though I went there when it just started, I managed to catch a glimpse of the things to watch out for. There’s even a trade show besides the colorful display of the kites.

giant octopus in the sky

even stingray join in the fun

drago taking a rest in flying

one happy family in the sky


ever seen a kite powered bike

colorful kites on sale

giant octopus hovering over the trade fair

even this horse thinks he can fly

Saturday, August 18, 2007

TOP TEN SONGS


I’ve wanted to do this for a very long time. My all time top ten favorite songs. Well... ok, ok, I admit that I’m bored so I come up with this list just to fill up my idling time. Here we go…. in no particular order:

1. Dreaming of You – Selena
2. Pieces Don’t Fit Anymore – James Morrison
3. Tong Hua – Guang Liang
4. Tian Kong – Faye Wong
5. Water Runs Dry – Boyz II Men
6. If You’re Not the One – Daniel Bedingfield
7. Eternal Flame – The Bangles
8. We Belong Together – Mariah Carey
9. Home – Michael Buble
10. What Hurt the Most – Rascal Flatts

Well, from the list you can see that I’m a sentimental kind of guy. I choose these songs because they represent something important in my life. There’s a story behind each of these songs which I can’t disclosed here because if I tell you, I have to kill you.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

DATUK HERE, DATUK THERE

From Borneo Post today (very true and what is Datukship anyway?):

FIVE-YEAR-OLD Christopher’s grandfather was recently awarded the title “Datuk.” The youngster was confused. “What’s so special about it? Kong kong (grandfather) has been a “datuk” to all his grandchildren for a long time,” Christopher wondered aloud. Dato, Datu, Datuk or Datuk Seri to name a few, are all respectable titles. The very name touches the heart of many. It’s “grandfather” to grandchildren… and also the “husband” of “nenek”, the wise, gentle and gracious grandmother. If one lives long enough to be fondly called “datuk” by one’s grandchildren, then one should be a happy and contented man. It is the love and respect shown him by his family that warm the cockles of the datuk’s heart. He deserves to be called “Datuk” by his grandchildren. Two decades ago, when we started our career in journalism, there were not many “Datuks” around. The title was held in such high esteem then that the very presence of a “Datuk” at a function usually added greater grandeur and reverence to the celebration. Probably, during those days, a “Datuk” was equivalent to a knighthood or “sir.”

Today, there appears to be a big surplus of “Datuks.” People as young as 30 can also become a “Datuk.” It is small wonder jokes associated with this rather superfluous practice are heard now and then. If you throw a stone at a crowd, you would probably hit a Datuk. Jump from the Twin Towers, you would probably land on a Datuk. What is the significance behind the title “Datuk”? Why and how are people awarded a “Datukship”? None says it better than the late Tan Sri Khir Johari. When the affable former Federal Cabinet Minister passed away on November 10 last year, he was respectfully remembered for many for his candid sayings. “You must serve first and prove yourself. Only then can you accept titles and awards.” In a tribute to Tan Sri Khir, the then chief editor of Bernama, Datuk Azman Ujang related the story of the man and his “Tan Sriship” and “Datukship.”

Azman, now general manager of Bernama wrote: “On the eve of the formation of Malaysia, the Tunku called him and said: Khir, I think it’s high time you became a Datuk because it’s very odd you representing us without any title” … to which Khir replied: Tunku, I very seldom disagree with you but on this occasion, I must. Let me ask you a question — are you sending a Datuk or are you sending Khir Johari?

“The Tunku then called up Khir’s wife and told her over tea: Go and persuade your stubborn husband to get the Datukship. She replied: Have you done it? If you have and he won’t, don’t expect me to succeed. It’s impossible.

“The Tunku never brought up the subject again. There were later attempts to give Khir a title but after sometime, it was assumed he would turn it down anyway. “As Khir explained: My wife knew me far too well. There are certain things I hold dear. And I have this very important principle that while you are active politically, you shouldn’t accept any title. Your values, your achievements should be appreciated after your retirement, so that people can see what you’ve really done.

“Winston Churchill, for example, didn’t get his title until after his retirement. This is a principle which I don’t force on anybody but myself.” Through his 21-year career as Ministers of Education, Health, Agriculture and Cooperatives as well as Commerce and Industry, he remained plain Che Khir to friends and peers alike.

Truly, only after he quit active politics in 1986 that he agreed to accept titles and honours after turning down several offers of “Datukship” previously. Many in the media would remember a congratulatory note from the Tunku that read “Khir Johari has come of age” when the latter was bestowed the title “Tan Sri” by the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong on the occasion of His Majesty’s 54th birthday that year (1986).

Indeed, in the eyes of many, Khir more than deserved the title “Tan Sri” for his service to the nation. He was quoted as having said: “I want to contribute to national unity… national unity in the true sense of the word. Ask me to do any job which will contribute towards that and I will do it without any question. And once that has been achieved, I will die a happy man.”

Yet this man was very modest about it, even saying he never envisaged he would one day be conferred a title. The nation would not forget how we called the plain and straightforward Encik Ghafar Baha throughout his public life. Even when he was serving as Deputy Prime Minister from 1986-93, he was addressed as “Encik.” The “Encik” was only replaced with “Tun” when he retired and accepted the award from the King.

It is widely said you can “buy” a “Datukship” from some of the states in the country. This cannot be confirmed but I believe it was not without reason that Culture Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim at one time alleged some Datukship recipients paid for the title.

On this “flood of award recipients”, Rais urged Menteri Besar to advise their respective Sultans or Heads of State on the standards of recipients by closely scrutinising their merits, services and personalities. Rais even said: “This is corruption.”

Last year, the Sultan of Selangor, Sharafuddin Idris Shah said he had imposed stricter conditions on eligibility for Selangor State titles, particularly the Datukship. This is indeed a timely move to protect the image and dignity of the award. Has Datukship become cheap? Several people here concur the country and perhaps the city indeed have an excess of such title recipients.

A senior officer, who requested anonymity, felt too many people these days were attracted to honorific titles which, he said, was an unhealthy sign. “Not only Datukship — people also go for degrees, PhDs (doctorates) and other titles,” he said. The officer said genuine and deserving cases won’t do any harm but if people who were not deserving, got awarded, then the dignity and value of the title would be reduced.

“It’s quite shameful to think people are rushing to get the title (Datukship)… so much so that it has become a trend in society,” he said. Sarawak Democratic Action Party publicity chief David Wong said those who were conferred should command high respect from the community. The conferment entitled them to a wide range of benefits such as VIP treatment at the various government functions, he noted.

“They are also accorded special status, special rights and a host of other privileges. “Not surprisingly, this has given rise to a mad rush for Datukship as a way to boost social ratings, reputation and self-esteem,” he added.

But when too many people became attracted to such an award, Wong did not discount the possibility that it would lead to the misinterpretation of the very word “Datuk”. It’s equivalent to the popular saying that too many cooks, spoil the soup… and if there are too many Datuks, naturally, the title loses its gloss and value.

In the past, Datukship was conferred on those who toiled endlessly and tirelessly for the community. These were the people who really deserved the title, given as a way to appreciate and recognise their contributions to society. “Nowadays, it’s a completely different scenario. The conferment of Datukship has become too commercialised, so much so that it has lost its value,” Wong said.

He felt Datukship must only be given to those who really deserved it and their track records of providing community service and nation-building must all be taken into consideration. “I do not mean to say those conferred do not deserve it. If they think they deserve it, it’s fine but they should ask themselves whether they deserve it or not. Only they themselves know.” Wong said he did not harbour any grudge against the Datuks. “To me, they are fine people who have the means and the heart to help the people in time of need. They will help sponsor events and provide the necessary funds.

After all, as Datuks, they are there to help, both financially and socially. We need more Datuks like that.” However, Wong said if the Datuks misused their positions, then it would be something regrettable. A Datuk, who was conferred the title in the early 1970’s, declined to comment on the emergence of so many Datuks in recent years. His only advice to the recipients is to prove their worth.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

MERSAWA

Bintulian can finally rejoice for their cravings for proper and good dim sum has finally ended. The savior here is the new food court at Parkcity Mall called Mersawa. When I first stumble upon this food court, I thought it was some Japanese food chain but after close inspection, it turns out to be a local food court with some nifty decorations and style. It resembles a lot more of a chic café than a food court. With bright orange and white colors splash around the place and a touch of elegance with timber grain counters.

Mersawa Food Republic at Parkcity Mall top floor


chic decoration


choose from any counter that you fancy


You can get varieties of delicacies here ranging from chicken rice to some double boiled soup to nourish the soul and mind. I’m there to try out their dim sum and was amazed to found out that they served hotel standard fare there. The little precious dim sum was molded into various shapes with different fillings in each one. From the look of the crowds, I bet it will be a hit with the Bintulu folks since prices are reasonable and most importantly, it taste good.

polo char siew bun - the butter milk crust on top of the bun makes the bun more fragrant and sweet with the char siew inside


pear shaped dim sum filled with mash potatoes and mildly spiced curry meat


fresh shrimp dumpling - crunchy and springy prawns with chinese water chestnuts


stuff dim sum with minced prawns, chives, squids and coated with noodles


fried spring rolls stuffed with roast pork

bitter guard sweet balls with red bean paste - its sweet and not a hint of bitter from the bitter guard

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

KUCHING FEST FOOD FAIR

Food glorious food! How can food be missing out from any festival in Malaysia. Malaysian favorite past time is eating by the way. That is why Kuching Fest integrated a food fair as part of their annual event. It’s been 19 years and yet the food fair is still the most popular event on the calendar. It also has been an annual event for me to pay a visit or twice to the food fair just to indulge myself in all those food.

mashmallow in different style

lok-lok anyone?

choose what you like

sawadekap..... Thai anyone?

happy feet land

my favourite Teochew stall

ping pang Chinese style


don cha just love chocolate

Pick any of your favorite from any stalls which include local fare to Thai, Indonesian and all the way to Korean. The problem here is finding a space to sit and enjoy your meal since there are too many people and yet too little chairs and tables. For those who are on a strict diet, there’s trade show showcasing house hold items to exotic cars and even bridal services.

trade fair

who put my car here?

even Pink Panther can't resist the food fair

There are also nightly performances by dancers and singers prancing around the stage. After all the food and dancing, you can take a stroll down the garden show behind the park just to wind down the evening.

let's do the tango

welcome to my garden

this is where Kermit the frog stay

Sunday, August 05, 2007

KUCHING FEST STREET PARADE

Kuching comes alive once a year around August. She can dance; jump, shout and party all nite long and nobody dare to stop her. It’s her birthday that’s why. She is 19 this year and stills a very young feline. Once a year, on behalf of her birthday, humans gave her a grand celebration to let everyone knows she’s a fun loving feline. The celebration kicks off with a street parade that starts from MBKS hall to the Padang Mederka. Throngs of people, young and old lined up the street to witness the colorful display of dance, song and even some naughty feline running around. It all lasted a good 2 ½ hours which left you asking for more. Tried to capture some good photos but with my very limited camera, I managed just a few good shots. Nevertheless, we are all gonna party along with this big feline till we drop. HAPPY BIRTHDAY KUCHING!

police were there to clear the street before the fun begins

different types of bicycles

the different coloured people of Kuching

beware of the young warrior

the grown up version of the warrior

even flowers come out to party

giants of Kuching

the big cat doing pole dancing

video