Tuesday, October 31, 2006

They are way too thin

This is the new face and body of supermodels today. The powerful designing industry is enslaving young girls by rolling out Size 0 (or less) models on the ramp.

But would anyone call this model in the picture beautiful, voluptuous and curvy? Surely she is not going to be a pin up girl in most walls around the world.

In the fashion world today, she and her fellow waif-like models are the IN thing. Their size 0 figure is the latest haute culture. All designers are in the look out for such skinny girls.

And along the way, little do these industry leaders realise the bad example they are setting to millions of young girls around the world.

To make things worse, these fashion designers have now revealed their latest marketing innovation for the world's skinny women - a size smaller than zero.

Luckily some of the cat walk event organizers have sense – in September the organizers of Madrid Fashion Week banned skinny models.

This was followed by a UK government agency that threatened to pull its annual £620,000 contribution to London Fashion Week if organizers continue to send underweight models down the runway.

Even some of the superstars of the modeling world are worried with this recent trend.

Supermodel Claudia Schiffer has this to say:

“It doesn't really look good any more. Fashion looks good on thin models, but when you look at today's models you cannot help but think there's something wrong. They are way too thin. It is only bones that stick out."

Monday, October 30, 2006

Video: Evolution of beauty

This short video gives us a clue of how modern technology alters our perception of beauty.

(thanks to Dove for this superb advertisement)

Bush: You better finish the job

An excellent editorial cartoon from Ted Rall.

p/s: click on the image for a larger version.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Six months on boobs, bums and legs

Did you know that an average British male spends six months of his life ogling at women?

Well, so says a recent study, which adds that the first thing guys look at are the boobs, then followed by the rear and finally the legs.

Other findings of the study:
  • Men steal a peek at eight different girls per day
  • Men spend two minutes on each lass
  • Girls too do it, but not that much - a couple of guys per day, for just 90 seconds

Read more about the study here (but be careful of potentially offensive images!)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Meat, cat, women, rapist and a cleric

“If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it...whose fault is it, the cats or the uncovered meat.”

On its own, this sentence makes perfect sense and no one will be offended. However if it was spoken metaphorically, then surely someone is gonna get raving angry.

That’s what had happened in Australia. You see, the remarks above were mentioned by Australian Mufti Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali, in reference that women who dress revealing will attract sexual attacks.

Our cleric here is blaming the women for being raped. Understandably, feminist movement and rights groups Down Under are not impressed at all. Some even asked him to move back to the middle east to espouse his views.

Read more here and here, and his qualified apology here.

Hazy skyline of Kuala Lumpur

The photo above shows the hazy skyline of Kuala Lumpur. Even heavy showers have failed to cast away the haze, courtesy of open burning by our neighbours Indonesia.

I wonder how much longer will the tourists wait before they finally decide to avoid visiting Malaysia during the hazy season - now an annual affair.

p/s: afp photo

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Mahathir: Read the Internet

In his second press conference yesterday, former premier Dr Mahathir had some words for the media, especially the NST group and its bosses. And he says we Malaysians are better off reading the Internet.

The excerpts:

Does that mean that from Pak Lah’s responses and reactions to what you had to tell him, your assessment is that you have not actually achieved much in this meeting?

Dr M: I have achieved the objective of telling him in quite substantial detail. I am quite sure that the reports that are in the controlled press, the spin from people like (News Straits Time group editor) Brendan Pereira and (NSTP deputy chairman Datuk) Kalimullah (Hassan) and all that would have given him a completely wrong impression of what I have done.

Now I have the opportunity to tell him as it is, no Brendan in between, no Kalimullah in between.

So to that extent I am satisfied, no “spinning” that things were not going like that. (Makes spinning motion with finger.)

You said Malaysia has become a police state. Isn’t it ironic because your critics said the same thing about your administration.

Dr M:
...But now, I am not allowed to speak to anybody. I know I'm speaking to the Press now. I know the New Straits Times will have to make some kind of spin about this, TV3 too will have to spin somehow, but fortunately for us that in my time, we have the Internet, so I would advise people to read the Internet and not these newspapers because they are all getting phone calls.

Now, Kalimullah is not here but there is another man on the fourth floor who does the reading.

p/s: Read The Star's reproduction of the press conference here and NST's here and check out the selection exclusion.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I had 90 minutes, he 30...

Below is a transcript of the press conference with former prime minister Dr Mahathir at his residence at The Mines Resort after his meeting with Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Sunday.

DR MAHATHIR: We met for two hours. My intention was to convey all my doubts. I managed to express all that was in my heart. All of it. After 20 minutes, he touched on a bit, only a few things, including his son’s (Kamaluddin) and (his son-in-law) Khairy’s (Jamaluddin) involvement and my allegation that we have a police state.

I said each time I am invited, the police will question and intimidate the people. He said this was not true. He disagreed that we have a police state. He also told me that since I have done this, I have become unpopular and he has lost popularity too because of my criticism and the people that have benefited are (former prime minister Datuk Seri) Anwar Ibrahim and Nik Aziz (Kelantan Mentri Besar and PAS spiritual adviser Datuk Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat).

There wasn’t much else. For me, my intention was to convey my views, and we will wait and see if there will be changes or not. I brought up and explained the bridge issue but there were no comments from him. Many other issues I brought up were not touched on but he noted everything in his little black book. All the time I was talking he was jotting down. It was thick. I hope following this meeting there will be some kind of action.

Are you happy with the meeting?

I can't say I'm happy. I am satisfied that I have been able to say these things directly to him. People say that I have been making comments from outside, but now I have seen him. I also made it clear that I want to be free to make my criticisms. If I find that anything done is not good for the country, I will continue with my criticisms. I did explain that this block against my speaking to Umno is not good, not right. I have lost my civic right. Also the idea of postponing the Umno elections is not right. Although I had done it before, it was because the elections came one year before the general election. Now the general election is not even anytime soon, so there is no reason why the election of Umno’s office bearers should not be held.

Was it a fruitful discussion?

To me it was worthwhile as I got to say it frankly, the way I had said it to the public also but the idea that if I have a grouse I go and tell him, it is not workable because people won't know why I have a grouse. So I have to explain why something is wrong.

How did the Prime Minister react when you said you would continue criticising?

He didn’t say anything.

How do you read that?

As far as I am concerned, if he doesn’t say anything, I will do it. Whether he says yes or no, I am going to continue. I am going to continue if I feel that something done is not beneficial to the country.

Was it just between the two of you?

Yes, just the two of us. Nobody else.

Did you get the replies to the issues you raised?

Not all. He mentioned his son's and son-in-law’s involvement and he said it is not right – that this accusation that they ring up people and all that, that is not true. But he wants to find out from them whether they did or not.

Are you expecting any feedback?

I didn’t ask for any.

Did the Prime Minister give you any assurance?

I didn’t ask for that. I was not there to argue. I just wanted explanations on the things that I am not happy about.

What are you expecting after this?

We will see what happens.

If they are not as you expect?

I reserve the right to comment and I also pointed out that in Umno there must have freedom to speak their minds. He is wrong not to allow Umno (members) to speak their minds.

Was there anything you were unhappy about that was not raised?

I raised everything, including (the fact) that his name appeared in the list of companies that dealt with the Oil-for-Food programme. He said he had nothing to do with that, that he simply wrote a letter to introduce this man who was married to his sister-in-law.

Were a lot of the issues you raised answered?

No ... he didn’t answer much as there were two hours and I spoke for one-and-a-half hours. There was half an hour left and he touched on several issues and then he stopped, you see, so we went back.

How did the meeting end?

It was very cordial. We shook hands.

What was the tone of the meeting?

He listened.

Were you able to put across your points to the Prime Minister?

Yes, I was able to explain why I am not happy with so many things, including Proton, the APs (approved permits) and (International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri) Rafidah (Aziz).

Will there be a follow-up?

It was not scheduled. I didn't say anything about it but he said it’d be good if I come and see him.

p/s: Tun is holding another press conference today. I am sure there will be more revelations after that. And Pak Lah? Back to his elegant silence? I hope not. We must have both versions of events.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Let them know we aren’t happy

Got this through my email:

From: (removed by me)
To: editor@malaysiakini.com, editor@malaysiakini.com
Cc: (removed by me)
Sent: Thu, 19 Oct 2006 13:23:03 +0800
Subject: Hong Leong Bank's racial and religious slur

Hong Leong Bank Malaysia does not believe in treating all its customers equally. Though it generously hands out money packets for Chinese New Year and Hari Raya, the assistant manager of Customer Care (HQ),Ms (removed by me) made it very clear today over the phone that they would not be printing Deepavali money packets. They also claim this is not discrimination of any sort.

Well, this is not the first complaint of this nature. A week ago, I received a similar email, this time around involving Maybank Bhd - the biggest bank in the country with a large number of Indian account holders.

But it is not just banks. Even international hypermarket Carrefour is not bothered about its Indian customers. Carrefour’s reason is that no one had asked for Deepavali money packets!

As for the bank, I speculate they too didn’t print any money packets because they assumed their Indian customers won’t be needing any.

Will they only learn to appreciate their Indian customers when there is a massive boycott? Or at least when there is enough noise of protest? Let’s let them know we are not happy.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Cartoon: I am looking for...

This editorial cartoon from msnbc.com will go very well with the current shambolic events at the Klang Municipal Council (read here and here for more details).

p/s: click on the cartoon for a bigger image.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Apple juice anyone? Not for me though

I found this interesting letter in The Star today. After this, no more apple juices for me from these vendors.

Here’s a recipe for more than just apple juice

“Recently I had the “privilege” of sitting near the drinks counter at a certain eatery.

As I sat there enjoying my curry laksa, one of the many waiters in the shop shouted: “Apple juice satu!”

So the “juice man” proceeded to make the juice.

I had a close-up view and decided from then on I would never ever order juice from such food outlets again.

If you read the recipe below, you’ll know why.

1. Blend half an apple in a dirty juicer. Make sure the juicer contains remnants from this morning, yesterday and the day before yesterday. This should give you an eighth of a cup of liquid.

2. Go to a pail of water under a dripping sink. Get half a cup of water from the pail and add to juicer. Shake well to ensure that everything blends well. This should bring the cup to three-quarters full.

3. Add a quarter cup of thick syrup and some ice. Stir. Make sure one or two drops of sweat from forehead is added to the blend, to produce a slightly salty taste. Enjoy.”

- Hearts

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Leadership in crisis

Today’s example: Misdirected Authority

“If you want to ask, ask properly. Don’t make trouble. We are very peaceful. If there is a problem, discuss it properly. That is important.”

- Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on Oct 16, 2006 (as reported by the NST and Bernama)

The question is who was he referring to? And what about actually being transparent by releasing the full equity calculation data?

Monday, October 16, 2006

Doesn’t sound like a genuine offer from Najib

Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak says the government has been transparent in the methodology and data used to calculate the 18.9% equity ownership by bumiputras.

He then goes on to say (in NST):

"If there are those who are still sceptical, we can reveal the methodology applied."

The question is on whose judgments are these skepticism gauged? I ask this because going by past experiences, I know where this offer by Najib is heading.

What will happen is this:

The media, especially the alternatives like malaysiakini, will try to get support from politicians, non-governmental organisations and the civil society who remain sceptical over the government figures and want full transparency on the calculation.

And then these voices will be taken to Najib or his boss the prime minister, asking them that since there are enough sceptics around, will the government stay true to its words and reveal more.

However by then what will happen is that the government will say that it had heard enough from the people who are satisfied with the government’s explanation.

When pointed to these sceptics, a ready reply will be forthcoming, that these people are a bunch of regular troublemakers who have nothing better to do than to criticize the government.

Believe me, this is the path the government has been taking all along and shall continue to do so.

If Najib is genuine in his intention to reveal the full data, why make it with a qualification? Just come out and reveal the full methodology now - just like opposition leader Lim Kit Siang says - without “ any qualification, reservation or procrastination”.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Cartoon: A military rethink

Thursday, October 12, 2006


First we had the news about the Takaful Malaysia’s internal email which prohibits its employees from giving their clients and friends Hindu-festival greetings.

And then comes the news about a circular from the Perak state government compelling all state department heads to buy stationery and rent photocopiers only from bumiputera companies.

And when someone talks about the minorities here being marginalised, we all get very angry.

I just don’t get it.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Senator, his son and cloned APs

"He (his son) is not clever at doing it ... to be a fraudster you need skills. Fraudsters should always be a notch above their victims. If one were smart, one wouldn’t clone all the APs in a week. There should at least be a three-month interval.

He didn’t learn from me or I could have given him some tips."

Senator Muhammad Abdul Ghani said this yesterday after meeting Customs director of prevention Mohamed Adnan Ariffin to clear himself from any wrongdoing in cloning Approved Permits.

What I found interesting is the last line.

For me, it shows that the good old Senator is under the impression that his company (and his son) would not be caught if he were to have done the dirty deed!

The real killers, statistically speaking

This is something which was forwarded to my inbox:

Doctors and Guns

(a) The number of physicians in the US is 700,000.
(b) Accidental deaths caused by physicians per year are 120,000.
(c) Accidental deaths per physician is 0.171.
(Statistics courtesy of US Dept of Health and Human Services)

(a) The number of gun owners in the US is 80,000,000.
(b) The number of accidental gun deaths per year all age groups is 1,500.
(c) The number of accidental deaths per gun owner is 0.000188

Statistically, doctors are approximately 9,000 times more dangerous than gun owners.


~Author Unknown~

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

From prison to palace

Why is our local media giving so much prominence to an ex-convict, who has been found guilty of burglary?

In recent weeks, all our dailies, especially the New Straits Times, have devoted pages and pages to this ex-convict. They even call him in an endearing term - Pak Rashid. He has even been invited to break fast with the Perak Regent!

How’s that? Straight from the walls of prison into the ante-chambers of palace.

Okay, I understand that when NST interviewed this man two years ago as he was the country’s longest-serving prisoner. That’s fine. That made a good human interest story.

But what happened next? There was a move to seek royal pardon as he had been in prison for 30 years, 11 months and nine days, which was subsequently granted by the Kedah Sultan.

I agree to that too. Maybe he has paid his price for the crime he committed. What I don’t agree is the fact that he being treated as a celebrity - not just being feted in palaces, but also being offered business opportunities as well being given inches of columns on his new lifestyle.

What is the message here? That crime eventually pays? That you get to become a prominent person even if you are a convicted burglar?

Anyway, this is a short background on Mohd Salleh Talib, 57, (Bernama)

"Pak Rashid and his friend, Jamil Ahmad, were sentenced to life imprisonment in 1976 for an armed robbery in Baling, Kedah, involving more than RM50,000 that was to be paid as salary to Felda workers. They were then 27 and 26 years of age respectively."

Pak Rashid was released from Sungai Buluh Prison on Oct 3, 2006.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Boring, boring England

The picture says it all - a sad reflection of a poor display by England in their drab scoreless draw with Macedonia in an European qualifier.

The insipid England performance brought yawns not just to Skysports pundits Glenn Hoodle and Andy Gray, but also to scores of other fans.

A similar display as this on Wednesday against Croatia will surely start piling the pressure on new coach Steve McLaren.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Funny: The loving spouse

A man and his ever-nagging wife went on vacation to Jerusalem.

While they were there, the wife passed away.

The undertaker told the husband, "You can have her shipped home for $5,000, or you can bury her here, in the Holy Land, for $150."

The man thought about it and told him he would just have her shipped home.

The undertaker asked, "Why would you spend $5,000 to ship your wife home, when it would be wonderful to be buried here and you would spend only $150?"

The man replied, "Long ago a man died here, was buried here, and three days later he rose from the dead. I just can't take that chance."

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Unusual wanted posters

This reuters story is self-explanatory:

BERLIN (Reuters) - A German plastic surgeon who was cheated out of payment by several women has given pictures of their enlarged breasts to police, in the hope the photos will help trace them.

"The women registered under fake names," Michael Koenig, a surgeon in Cologne, told Bild newspaper. "After the operations, which lasted about an hour, they just ran away."

"Tanja" went out for "fresh air" after 8,000-euro ($10,000) surgery to enlarge her breasts. "She never came back and never paid," Koenig said. He now plans to demand payment in advance.

Bild published a five-column picture of Tanja's naked breasts. "It's probably the most unusual wanted poster police ever had," the newspaper wrote.

Boycotting the hypermarket (2)

A follow up to my entry yesterday.

This morning while waiting for the train on the way to work, I saw a big advertisement on the train in the opposite direction. And I mean big - it was for the entire train.

It said:

'Mydin - Born Malaysian, Still Malaysian'

Stop kidding me. How can this hyperstore make such preposterous claims after what it did in Johor Baru?

Obviously, their marketing trick in just a con job to defraud consumers. In reality, they only want customers from one particular race.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I am not shopping at this hypermarket anymore

I am surely not going to shop at the Mydin Hypermarket any more. Not when they seem to practice biased racial standards towards their customers.

A New Straits Times report from Johor Baru today reported that the Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs Ministry has started a probe in the hypermarket for allegedly refusing to sell sugar to non-Malays.

Apparently many non-Malay customers have been victimised by the hypermarket and had lodged several complaints against the store.

According to the NST report, one such complaint include a letter to the daily alleging that the hypermarket only sold sugar to Malay customers but told others that they had run out. Other residents in JB also complained that the outlet was racially biased against non-Malays.

The daily added:

"The state enforcement unit chief Fahmi Kasim said a team conducted spot checks at the Mydin Hypermarket in Bandar Baru Uda here.

Without disclosing any details, he said the management had been advised not to practise discrimination.

He also said the management had earlier explained that it was trying to restrict customers from buying too much sugar at the expense of those who would be celebrating the festivities."

What bullshit! I don’t buy this excuse/justification at all. And from now on, I won’t buy anything from this store as well - not that I have shopped there, but just that now I know I won’t.

I hope others too, customers of all races, boycott Mydin Hypermarket for their double standards.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

LKY says sorry, attacks Dr M and makes AAB look good

Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew has finally said sorry over his 'naughty remarks' that the Chinese in Malaysia are marginalised.

But is he really sorry for making that statement. Reading his apology letter to Malaysian PM Abdullah doesn’t indicate that at all. In fact he repeated those remarks and even had time to aim poison arrows at former premier Dr Mahathir.

An excerpt of his letter:

"I have not said anything more than what I have said many times before. In fact, I have said less than what I had written in my memoirs published in 1998. I had no intention to meddle in your politics ...

"I am sorry that what I said has caused you a great deal of discomfort. After a decade of troubled relations with your predecessor, it is the last thing I wanted."

And in an annex to the letter, he listed down the numerous times the Malaysian leaders, especially Mahathir, had spoken about how the Malays across the Causeway are marginalised.

Remember Mahathir’s reaction just after Lee’s remarks were published? He said:

"He (Lee) thinks he is strong, he has become arrogant and he does not bother about his neighbours... We can also ask what is the status of Malays in Singapore, why are they not allowed to carry arms in the army or be provided with firearms training."

And the parting shot:

"You (Lee) take care of your own rice bowl. You are not clever. In a small group, you may look clever. (But) when he goes to China. The Chinese there don’t listen (to him). The Chinese don’t respect him because he has been marginalised by the Chinese around the world."

Now, there is the reason for LKY to get personal too in his letter. And now that Lee’s letter is released, guess who comes out smelling like roses? Who does Lee say is responsible for creating an improved relations with Singapore? And who is in bitter feud with Dr M over the cancellations of several major projects?

I say there is only one winner here.

If they were footballers...

What is the difference between Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his successor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi?

According to the former Guthrie boss and present Keadilan treasurer Tan Sri Khalid Ibrahim, it is this:

"I think Dollah (Abdullah) is a third or fourth division player. He (Mahathir) is in the first division. (Abdullah) would not even get a chance to play in the second division."

Well, Khalid should know. He has worked under both men in high profile capacities.

Read Khalid’s views on Malaysia’s economy, leaders and the opposition in his interview with malaysiakini.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Light’s out on Penang founder

To me Captain Francis Light is the founder of Penang. In all my years in primary school, poring over the history text books, this was the fact that was drilled into my head - that Brit Captain Francis Light founded Penang in 1786.

Now, we have local academics throwing in other names as well as the real founder of the island. Names that I have not heard about before this - names like Datuk Keramat who is to have founded the Pearl of the Orient in 1705 and Datuk Jannaton who had founded the island in 1749.

Local academics are now fighting as to who should get the honour of finding the island. However the consensus is that it was not Captain Light.

Now the Culture, Arts and Heritage Ministry is willing to conduct a study to get to the bottom of this. It is to held a special conference to discuss and investigate the latest claims.

Meanwhile, the cake must go to another prominent local academic Kassim Ahmad who said that:

"Only those who do not know history will argue that Francis Light is the founder of the island."

He says our history books are littered by "with lies, prejudice and twisted facts". I guess all these while we were taught pure lies in school.

Who was it that said that history is written by the victors. Thus far we have been inoculated with the British version. Now looks like the academics want us to believe in the history written by the present rulers.

I don’t see any difference in either - only that the latest chapters will have the current victors versions.