Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Children of Heaven

Last Sunday, instead of watching the most boring line-up of finalists of Anugerah Juara Lagu in 21 years, I opted to watch this Iran movie. I've never heard about this movie eventhough it won several accolades in movie festivals. Not for the Oscar, though, and I think that's why Malaysian hardly know about this movie.

A simple plot and story line, not as heavy as Schindler's List and not as sophisticated as Star Wars and not as fictitious as Harry Porter and that's why it didn't win an Oscar, but really touch me and surely will touch many people after watching it.

Children of Heaven is a simple family drama from Iran, two children invent an intricate plan to conceal the loss of a pair of shoes. Ali and his sister Zhara are living in a poor neighborhood. Their mother is suffering from illness and their father is overworked and underpaid.

Ali is given the responsibility of picking up Zahra's shoes from the repair shop, since she needs them to attend school. Ali makes the mistake of setting them down outside a market, and moments later they're swiped by a beggar. Ali and Zahra are convinced that their parents will be furious when they discover the shoes have been lost, since they can't afford a new pair, so Ali gets an idea -- Zahra is scheduled to attend classes in the morning, while Ali goes to school in the afternoon. Zahra can wear Ali's sneakers to school, and she'll trade them off to Ali when he comes in for the afternoon session.

This uncomfortable arrangement leads to one adventure after another as they attempt to hide the plan from their parents and teachers, attend to their schoolwork and errands, and acquire a new pair of shoes for Zahra. But the plan has its flaws because Ali is late to school everyday and his principal threatens to expel him.

In a final act of determination, Ali enters a high-profile children's footrace in hopes of winning the third place prize, a new pair of sneakers. He accidentally places first and wins another prize instead. The film ends with Zahra finding out that she will not get a new pair of shoes. However, a quick shot of their father's bicycle at the end of the movie shows that Zahra and Ali will get pair of new shoes after all.

A friend of mine said to me, what's a big deal watching a story about a pair of shoes. Well, after drowned by love-story movies or Harry Porter-type of movies, you need to watch this with hope that we'll change our perception on foreign movies (I mean ex-Hollywood, ex-Bollywood and ex-Hong Kong-wood). And it's a must-watch for your kids, not simply ask for new pair of shoes just because of little torn, bla bla bla.. you know kids these days.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Making Cars 101

Last month I blog about Naza's proposal to buy a stake in Proton, which I really feel they just don't have the capacity to take Proton to a higher level. And that it's just waiting the Government's time to go through their proposal, gather to listen to their presentation and to go through months-long evaluation stage. Just throw the proposal in the despatch boy's dustbin, not even have to shred it. [recap]

In the Star BizWeek today, the Naza top man (Nasimuddin Who?) pretty much confirms what I blogged. This is what he said...

C'mon! What on earth did you think you' sounds so great by saying that?! You think that statement qualifies you to buy a stake in Proton?! I'm not surprised if that comes from a young fresh graduate, who aspire to work in the national carmaker company, in his/her first stage interview. That statement may earn him/her a ticket to the second level interview but not pass the third stage with the CEO (am not sure if this is still a practice there).

Does he think that it's a holy great idea that could turn around Proton?! And that no one in Proton ever came out with the idea of platform sharing?! Can't he see from which platform that Wira, Satria, Putra, Perdana were built?

Emm... you can't expect much or something more brilliant from someone whose company never really built a car. Just rebadge from other makes, with little cosmetic change here and there and reduced taxes after those efforts qualify them as national car.

I just wonder how come newspapers Editors simply allow articles or interviews of such low quality and not mind-stimulating be published?! And didn't the interviewer/reporter challenge the interviewee on his/her statement?! I mean the 'fresh-grad standard' statement from someone who aspires to export 240,000 Proton cars when his current company couldn't export not even a single unit (nothing that I could remember of)!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A as in Amphetamine, B as in Beryllium...

I always find it difficult and troublesome when someone asks me to spell out my name. Given my long (11-alphabet) and weird firstname, I always have to think for words that starts with alphabets of equal to my name. And it's always come out like A for Apple, Z for Zebra, R for Russia...

Anyway, for easy reference this is how the army coded the alphabets...
A - Alpha; B - Bravo; C - Charlie; D - Delta; E - Echo; F - Foxtrot; G - Golf; H - Hotel; I - India; J - Juliet; K - Kilo; L - Lima; M - Mike; N - November; O - Oscar; P - Papa; Q - Quebec; R - Romeo; S - Sierra; T - Tango; U - Uniform; V - Victor; W - Whiskey; X - X-ray; Y - Yankee; Z - Zulu

So, parents and kindergarten teachers... stop teaching the kids A for Apple, B for Ball, C for... (I cant remember what C is for)

Remember in Friends sitcom, how Phoebe introduce herself?
"Hi! I'm Phoebe. Well, it's P as in Phoebe, H as in Hoebe, O as in Oebe, E as in Ebe, B as in Beebee, and E as in Ello there, mate!" So, hillarious!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Food For Thought

I just don't get it. How could this made to the front page of a local newspaper?! It's the front page of Kosmo! 16-Jan.

Two questions:
1. Don't we have enough stories to tell to public? Or are the reporters lazy enough to 'korek'?
2. Are the reporters blind?! Although I'm not a big fan of Mawi, that guy on the cover page doesn't look like Mawi at all (to qualify the statement of 'Sebijik Mawi') and I won't be fooled to think he's Mawi.

1. Kosmo! is very much targeted at lower income and students readers, mainly because of its price. Is this sort of news or article we want them to read?! And we expect the people to be knowledgable (towards K-economy) with this sort of news/articles?!

2. If the Kosmo! reporters are blind enough to see that the guy doesn't look like Mawi at all, I'm not surprised if they can't see the true colors of the Government, or the corruptions that take place, or the misleading of the people by the rulers, not mentioning the international affairs that always put Malaysia in disadvantage position (think about Malaysia-US FTA).

No wonder lah even the Prime Minister has its own newpapers!

Better read Bambino magazine, which tells lots of morale stories.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

50th Birthday Present for Malaysian

I think everyone knows that it's Visit Malaysia Year 2007 (VMY2007) but not everyone think it as 2007 - Golden Jubilee of Malaysia. 50th birthday is a great milestone and each and everyone of Malaysian deserves a great birthday present. Are you still in search of what the country can do for you (on its 50th birthday)? Well, thanks to Air Asia, I got mine - but it's from a corporate company, not from Malaysia Inc.!

Although I've to endure almost 5-hour difficulty before my reservation iis confirmed, I manage to get RM175-round trip ticket to Jakarta. What a treat. The best thing, I get to meet my best friend whom I haven't met for 8 years - if God permits.

While the Government is busy promoting tourists to visit Malaysia, it just take a corporate company to stimulate Malaysian to go oversea. What a shame to the Government who's not seriously promoting domestic travel. And this trip would not be the last for me for the year. I'm still waiting for Air Asia to announce their fare to London! :-)

Going back to the Golden Jubilee of Malaysia, I don't see anything interesting this year for Malaysian. Everything is just the same. The Government rather invest in treating foreign tourists this year (on its 50th birthday) rather than treating its own countrymen. What a shame!
Read RantingsbyMM on "Its OUR Birthday, damn it!"

Oh ya! Few things one could consider as birthday gifts from the Government on the country's 50th birthday - 60% increase in toll on highways, or the self-flushed toilets around the city. At least I got mine already, which has nothing to do with the Government. Who cares its VMY2007, if it's cheaper to travel oversea than locally.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Living Around Penagih, Penjenayah

Read article from Harian Metro dated 9-Jan 2006, majority of 500,000 Malaysian who still haven't got their old ID cards changed to MyKad are 'penjenayah' or 'penagih'. The newspaper (or the NRD) didn't mention exactly how many of these 'penjenayah' or 'penagih', or how they define 'majority'.

Based on election-defined majority, it should be 2/3 of the total which equals to 333,333 'penjenayah' or 'penagih'. Based on company-ownership, majority is 51% which equals to 255,000 'penjenayah' or 'penagih'.

Regardless of the numbers, total 'penjenayah' or 'penagih' who haven't changed their old ID cards to MyKad equals Brunei's population. Should we factor in those who've changed their ID cards, total 'penjenayah' or 'penagih' in Malaysia may equal total popluation of Singapore! Scary, huh!!!

Br careful if you notice the person next to you still hasn't get his/her old ID card changed. He/She might be one 'penjenayah' or 'penagih'...

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Laugh Out Loud

Happy New Year 2007!!!

My theme for the year (err... one of them) is "Laugh Out Loud". Or maybe I restrict that to only day time, between end of office hour and sunset, and exclude the time driving from office to home because people will think I'm crazy for laughing in a car alone. Oh no.. that leaves me only few minutes, I guess, to laugh out loud.

Anyway, check out The Antics of Husin Lempoyang to help you laugh (silently) in office or in front of computer at night. Quote from the site: "Husin Lempoyang is a character in P Ramlee's Tiga Abdul movie. His cameo appearance is remembered for the line "Anam ribu dinar? WOW! Berniaga manusia lebih untung dari berniaga unta". Sometimes humour express a message better and less hurtful than saying it outright".

Some previews to the blog:

"My name is Khairy, but my friends call me Nori." [read]

"Cikgu suka main bola, tiap-tiap hari cikgu main bola; Perdana Menteri suka tidor, tiap-tiap majlis Perdana Menteri tidor" [read]

(remember Haji Bakhil?) "Khairy! Khairy, kamu punya pasallah rakyat marah dengan baba", kata Pak Lah pada Menantunya."Baba marah?", kata Khairy. "Kalau Baba marah, nanti kena jual?" "Taakkk! Tidak, Baba tidak marah", Pak Lah menjawab. "Juallah, Juallah apa kau nak?" [read]

This is the first time I promote a site in my blog, so it does mean something. Some of you will like it, some of you will find it sick.

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