Thursday, December 30, 2010

Lost The Battle, Win The War

After 14 years of hurt, Malaysian national football finally have achieved one of the silverwares (although it does not look silver!) which have eluded us since we were beaten by Thailand in the1996. final . Last night we won the ASEAN Football Federation Cup or better known as Suzuki Cup after a quite thrilling game in Jakarta. Although we lost 2-1 in that game, we actually won 4-2 on aggregate. We did not even get the match to be stopped because of that naughty laser ray early in the first half. Once Safee Sali scored, I know that we already have the trophy in one hand, as the Indonesians would now have to score five to win. Possible, but highly unlikely.

Congratulations to all who make the dream possible, although I have to single out  the goalkeeper, Khairul Fahmi as my choice of the Man Of The Match. Let this victory be our second (the first was the gold medal at the last SEA Games) stepping stone to achieve the position we once had. Just do not get carried away with all the adulations, rewards and congratulations. Winning the Asian Cup next might probably be asking too much but getting a good run (to me that means the semi-final stage) in whatever competition they take part would be fine, just try to build on last night's win first.


Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Moon Landings? Impossible!!

There is a thread in Cari Forum discussing whether Man, specifically from United States had landed on the moon in July 1969. Even though 40 years have passed the debate rages on with roughly 6% to 25% of respondents did not believe the achievement. The proponents of the moon landing hoax cites numerous 'errors' and 'evidences' that the Apollo programme took place on Earth - from lack of stars in the photos to more complex issues such as penetrating the Van Allen Belt and the composition of the moon rocks brought back by the astronauts. Funnily enough, only  a few of the proponents are, so to speak, rocket scientists. The rest consists of a publicist (even though he worked for the company which manufactured the rocket engines), journalists and radio hosts.

I have engaged quite furiously in the debates, taking the general view that the moon landings did happen from 1969 to 1972. Lots have been written both for and against the issue and I would not repeat them here. However, at your Average Joe level, I can safely say that the allegations that the moon landings were faked are busted. My stand was based on these factors:

1. The Soviets will raise pure hell when they realize that they have been beaten in the Space Race through devious means. Coupled with failure of their own moon programme, they would viciously condemn the United States' fake landings. Remember, this the Cold War period. One of the conspiracy theorists alleged that the Soviets lacked deep space tracking capability until 1972, when the Apollo program was abruptly cancelled. However the Soviets had already have such facility in 1959! Further tracking stations were set up in 1962, 7 years before Apollo 11.

2. Conspiracy can only work if the ring is small, to avoid leaks. It was estimated that 400,000 people were involved in the Apollo programme. A typical conspiracy theorist would say that these people would be paid money to silence them. But, just how unlikely a chance that at least one of them would develop conscience and spill the beans? Furthermore, the United States government can't even stop the Watergate scandal (which took place in just one office block) from breaking out in the open. What chance do they have to stop somebody from exposing a complex conspiracy?

3. The lack of stars in the photos. For crying out loud man, the photos are all taken in daylight, with the cameras all in 'daylight' setting. Have you ever seen stars during the day? Even at dusk and dawn, only the brightest of the stars can be seen. I have mentioned this simple fact but the idiot who supported the landing hoax said something about Earth's atmosphere blocking the lights which is complete rubbish as the atmosphere is also present at night!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Return Of The Tigers

After being in the doldrums for years, the Malaysian national football team has come back with a convincing 3-0 win over Indonesia in the first leg of the ASEAN Football federation Cup (Suzuki Cup) Final. Congratulations! Now let's pray that the players keep their head and are not overawed by the hostile (I can be sure of that) reception at Jakarta.

However last night's game was marred by the laser-pointer incident against the Indonesian goalkeeper. Yes it's a disgrace to our supporters but does not contribute to the 3-0 drubbing, as alleged by their supporters. Their coach blamed the lapse of concentration by their defence which allowed the goals, which makes sense, as the goals came long after the incident. However, visits to Indonesian forums show that their suopporters still blame the lasers and that they vow to avenge the incident in Jakarta. Suit themselves it was they who originally shone the laser against the Malaysian goalkeeper during the Group Stage match! 

What makes it even more ridiculous was that an Indonesian forumner put up an alleged photo of the laser-pointer incident last night. I have no idea that Malaysian supporters would come out to support their team in jubah and keffiyeh! That photo was actually of a similar incident during the Argentina vs Nigeria game in last summer's World Cup!

One of the Garuda's wings have been let's make sure it couldn't fly!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

CSI Effect?

Recently I managed to watch a re-run of a local chat show 'Fenomena Seni' which discusses issues in the local entertainment industry. The theme for that particular episode was Gangsterism in Movies and you guess it, it's about that age-old issue whether life imitates art, in this case violence and acts of gangterisme. However, I took particular notice when one of the guests, Ahmad Ibrahim, popularly known as Mat London said that certain television programmes DO contribute towards the real world's crime rate. He particularly said that the popular Crime Scene Investigation series 'teaches' criminals on how to conceal or destroy evidence and urges the Government to ban the series in Malaysia!

Okay, I may be biased here since I am a fan of the series (and its spin-offs; CSI:NY and CSI: Miami). To a certain extent I do agree with him and that studies in United States showed that between 2000 (the year CSI debuted) and 2005, successful resolution of rape cases had declined from 46.9% to 41.3%. This was alleged to be the result of the so-called CSI Effect where the shows explain in detail how do they manage to uncover the forensic evidence, which in turn can be used as a 'guideline' by the criminals to hide or destroy evidence. This sentiment was also voiced much earlier by a senior police official (I can't remember who was it; it's either the IGP or the head of CID)

Perhaps that is true, especially when we take into account the Morib murders where the bodies of the victims were cremated in order to destroy the evidence...but then the mastermind is a lawyer who knows that the first rule before slapping a murder accusation is the victim's body....
Anyway, even though the show is seen to be showing ways to avoid indictment, to me it's always about 'Crime Doesn't Pay'. No matter how the perpetrators try to hide the evidence of their crime, the CSI team always (Ok, sometimes they can't...just like real life) get their cases solved. Furthermore in real life, most crimes committed are actually impulse crimes - crimes that were commited in the heat of the moment, rather than thoroughly planned in advance. Furthermore, an investigator in the United States stated that the most of the killings that she investigated are committed by "mostly stupid people"!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Maneater Horror at Karak!

Ever heard of this story?

Late one night around early 80s, a couple was traveling on the Karak Highway. Just after the tunnel (heading east) the husband wanted to urinate and/or answering the call of nature and stopped at the roadside. As there were few vehicles at that time of night, the husband asked his wife to stay in the car, lock the doors and not to open them unless he rapped on the window in a particular style. After some time, the wife heard something heavy slamming onto the car' roof. She did not take notice about it, after all, her husband asked not to get out of the car. Not long afterward, she noticed the the rotating lights of a police patrol car behind hers. She heard the policeman asked her (through the loudspeaker) to come out of the car and move towards them. They also ordered her not to look behind. This she did, however, at the last moment she turned around....and saw the bloody, mangled and headless body of her husband on the car roof.....

Horrific isn't it? There are additional details to the story such as the policemen saw what had 'eaten' the unfortunate victim (described as a huge Bat-like creature) and that they managed to fire a couple of shots at the creature. The creature was also variously described as a pontianak, langsuir, a Big Foot-like creature or even a leopard or a tiger. The question is, was it the truth?

I have heard the story ever since I was a kid and somehow this tory is still around. However I have begun to suspect that it is just another urban legend. The reason? First there is no consistency in the story itself. It was variously said to have taken place at the Karak Highway, the old Bentong road, the Genting road and even the Gua Musang-Kuala Lipis road. The other reason is that...the wife or the policemen were never tracked down. Even the policemen characters in this story was sometimes substituted with soldiers or even TNB workers! There is also a major inconsistency in that, in some versions, the policemen loosed a few shots at the creature...with the woman seemingly did not hear the gunshots! However there are people who believed the story and gave their opinion on what the creature actually were. The story was believable enough then since Karak highway went through thick jungles with little or no traffic at night. However the story even got 'updated' as recently as 2005!

In a local forum, one of the forumners told of the event that had gave birth to the urban legend. Even though it still has to be treated with a grain of salt, this was the most believable 'actual' story.....In the 1970s, one of the forumner's uncle was serving as a police constable in Perak. One night he received a call about a fatal road accident in a remote road. By the time he arrived, there were already spectators surrounding the scene (it's all the same, whether the 1970s or 2010!). So he set up a parameter, cordoning off the immediate area. He and his colleagues tried to persuade the victim's wife to come out of the car but she refused - telling the policemen that her husband had ordered her to stay in the car until he himself do so. From what the police can gather, the husband was a victim of a hit-and-run accident while trying to cross the road. Since it was a hit-and-run, there was actually no clear evidence (to laymen) and furthermore, no other witnesses (since the wife was presumably asleep). Of course the wife was asked not to turn back since the condition of her husband's body was too gruesome to look at. And since she did so, well, who's not hysterical when one saw one's loved one in that condition?

However the following morning, when he was having his breakfast at the local coffee shop, the police constable overheard the locals talked about that incident, This time however the tale included how a witness 'saw' a mysterious creature grabbed the dead body and banged it against the car's roof in order to entice its another 'victim' to come out.....while others talked about jembalangs, langsuirs and pontianaks! And so the story acquire life of its own until now.....

So that's a typical hit-and-run road accident was turned into a mysterious, even mystical cause of death!

Monday, December 13, 2010

'Potong Queue'

Petang tadi aku bawak mak aku pergi bandar, nak selesaikan bil-bil dengan nak beli barang-barang. Macam aku pernah cerita (agaknya) dalam entry sebelum-sebelum ni, bandar Batu Pahat ni dah sesak. Jadi kat simpang Jalan Bakau Condong tu mak suruh aku ikut lane kiri untuk ke hadapan barisan kenderaan yang nak ke Jalan Zabedah - kira aku potong barisan/queue la....

Sementara menunggu lampu hijau mak aku kata, "kita potong queue ni kira salah kan?" Aku kata "Ye la kot". Mak aku sambung lagi, "Kereta-kereta lain tu mesti berbulu je tengok kita potong queue"....Aku sengih aje. Lepas tu mak cakap lagi "Agaknya satu tempat aje masa queue orang tak mau potong...kalau diberi peluang pun mesti takde siapa yang nak". Aku tanya balik, "kat mana tu Mama?" Mak jawab sambil ketawa "kat PADANG MAHSYAR!"


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Malaysia...Another Freemason Conspiracy?

Actually this is news to me. Apparently in 1937 the name 'Malaysia' was coined by a Harvard scholar guess it, Masonic ties. It was all part of their grand plan to rule the world and the nation that will be known as Malaysia then, plays a significant role. Also in 1943, that year's copy of Ripley's Believe It Or Not also includes the term 'Malaysia'. So apparently the late Tunku Abdul Rahman was not actually the first person who coined the term 'Malaysia' when he proposed the union between Malaya, Singapore, Brunei, Sarawak and North Borneo in the early 1960s.

Ohhh scary isn't it? Our country is really part of the evil Masons' plan and that all our leaders, even those from the Opposition are Masonic puppets! Now...I actually agree with the idea that Tunku was not the first person to coin the name Malaysia. But just that! Why? My reasoning is simply this: the word 'Malaysia' is just another name for the Malay Archipelago. For hundreds of years has the region encompassing Malaysia, Indonesia, Singapore and Brunei has been known as such. Language experts could probably help me here but I guess the word 'sia' is used to identify large groupings of islands that share the same cultural and ethnical background. Check the Pacific islands of Micronesia, Polynesia and Micronesia...or for that matter, Indonesia! Even though rarely used, the word 'Malaysia' used pre-1963 merely means just that....Malay islands....and not some slinky, Michiavellian Masonic plot!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

"Ballad Of The Construction Workers"

In 1981, when composers M. Nasir, A. Ali and S. Sahlan (as music act Kembara) released their debut album, one song (apart from the usual 'killer songs') catches the attention of one particular 9-year old kid, perhaps because of the harmonious vocals and the ballad theme. The song was entitled Senandung Buruh Kasar (Ballad Of The Construction Workers) and it goes like this:

Lihatlah bangunan yang tinggi mengawan
Menghiasi kotaraya
Menjadi kemegahan dari zaman ke zaman
Kejayaan negara

Pandanglah aku yang bermandi keringat
Di bawah terik mentari
Bekerja dengan menghempas tulang
Mencari nafkah sehari

Aku hanyalah seorang buruh kasar
Di tengah kota besar turut merasa bangga
Kerna telah berjasa

Kerna tanpa kami tak mungkin terlaksana
Sebuah kota yang menjadi
Impian sezaman

Cukup hidup sederhana
Sedang bekerja, haaaa.....
Bisa bernyanyi ketawa dan bersenda

The song basically reminds us, the public, that we should remember 'them' (the construction workers) whenever we look at the skyscrapers around us. And we are reminded that without them, there won't be much development in the cities. They are also content with their simple life.

The song fade away from my memory with the coming of rock and heavy metal but was refreshed when it got airplay since a few months ago. However, I remarked to my wife that should Kembara hold a reunion concert, they might possibly have to sing that song in Indonesian, Bangladeshi, Burmese or Vietnamese accent, just to keep up with the times!