Saturday, May 30, 2009

CAR AIR-COND ALERT? What's the fuss about?

Shalom everyone, I'm posting this not because I support it, but I'm beginning to grow tired of receiving more and more e-mails these few days; they came like horde of buffalo and they keep coming! So, off I went and did a little diggings and true enough, some fact findings yield some startling views.

I am talking about the apparent chain e-mail titled "Car Air-Cond Alert", "Do not turn on A/C immediately as soon as you enter the car!" or anything to that meaning. So eye-and-mind catching to readers that everyone seem to be forwarding it.

I reproduce the content as follow:

"Please open the windows after you enter your car and do not turn ON the air-conditioning immediately. According to a research done, the car dashboard, sofa, air freshener emits Benzene, a Cancer causing toxin (carcinogen- take note of the heated plastic smell in your car).

In addition to causing cancer, it poisons your bones, causes anemia, and reduces white blood cells. Prolonged exposure will cause Leukemia, increasing the risk of cancer may also cause miscarriage.

Acceptable Benzene level indoors is 50 mg per sq. ft. A car parked indoors with the windows closed will contain 400-800 mg of Benzene. If parked outdoors under the sun at a temperature above 60 degrees F, the Benzene level goes up to 2000-4000 mg, 40 times the acceptable level... & the people inside the car will inevitably inhale an excess amount of the toxins.

It is recommended that you open the windows and door to give time for the interior to air out before you enter. Benzene is a toxin that affects your kidney and liver, and is very difficult for your body to expel this toxic stuff."

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Consider these few questions before you jump into believing such claim:
  1. Research - who did the research, and where are the details and statistics?
  2. Benzene - what type of benzene? I'm not a chemist but I came to know that benzene exist in many forms, some of which are harmless. We are looking at which benzene in our cars?
  3. 60o F is equivalent to15.5o Celsius. My office is air-conditioned at 24o Celsius, so, if that's the case I may have to start throwing away anything plastic in my office (and home). I'd definitely love to leave my car in the sun and temperature is kept at a 60o F. Then again, perhaps the writer is talking about sunlight in the North pole.
  4. And finally, as long as there is no verifiable fact attached to such claim/email, it most probably is plain hoax. Err, this one isn't really a question.
The only good thing it did to a layman such as myself is the fact that I am now clear about the layout & schematic diagram of a car air-condition system. Much clearer now I must say.

The final point about opening the window and door is a plain common sense I suppose, but do be careful about leaving your door open when you are parked at secluded places. Your cancer concern may leave you a victim to burglars. And when that happen, there is a possibility that you may be gone sooner than if it was due to cancer itself.

Check this out to get more readings. Good points by some, and you know you'll never be blindly jumping into conclusion anymore.

Friday, May 29, 2009

British English vs. Malaysian English

I need to share this with you as it really made me chuckle the other morning when I started my day.

Who says our English is teruk? Just read below - Ours is simple, short, concise, straight-to-the-point, effective etc. (it was meant to be sarcastic...LOL)

Britons: I'm sorry, sir, but we don't seem to have the sweater you want in your size, but if you give me a moment, I can call the other outlets for you.
Malaysians: No stock.

Britons: Hello, this is John Smith. Did anyone call for me a few moments ago?
Malaysians: Hello, who call?

Britons: Excuse me, I would like to get by. Would you please make way?
Malaysians: S-kew me.

Britons: Hey! Put your wallet away, this drink is on me.
Malaysians: No need lah.

Britons: Excuse me, but do you think it would be possible for me to enter through this door?
Malaysians: (pointing at the door) Can ah?

Britons: Please make yourself right at home.
Malaysians: No need shy shy one lah!

Britons: I don't recall you giving me the money.
Malaysians: Where got?

Britons: I would prefer not to do that, if you don't mind.
Malaysians: Don't want lah.

Britons: Err...Tom, I have to stop you there. I understand where you're coming from, but I really have to disagree with what you said about the issue.
Malaysians: You mad ah?

Britons: Excuse me, but could you please lower your voice? I'm trying to concentrate over here.
Malaysians: Shut up lah!

Britons: Excuse me, but I noticed you staring at me for sometime. Do I know you?
Malaysians: See what, see what?

Britons: We seem to be in a bit of a predicament at the moment..
Malaysians: Die lah!!

Britons: Will someone tell me what has just happened?
Malaysians: What happened ah? Why like that one lah?

Britons: This isn't the way to do it. Here, let me show you.
Malaysians: Like that also don't know how to do!

Britons: Would you mind not disturbing me?
Malaysians: Celaka you!

Your Malaysian friends would understand this!! Heheh...have a good laugh.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Tuaran Kaamatan 2009

Date: 16th May 2009 
Time: 8.00am "hingga selesai" - a bit confusing isn't it? It's rather weird to have indefinite time.
Venue: District community centre (Dewan Bersatu Tuaran).
District level Kaamatan fest in Tuaran was not that 'grand', so I was told. This was based on attendance at the designated venue. We were not around when it was officially launched by Local Government and Housing Minister Datuk Hj Hajiji Hj Mohd Noor, we're sort of like..late comers, LOL.


This is how the not-so-crowded football field in front of the community centre look like.


Participation by various ethnic group, organisations, and business communities.


Most visited booth - the Linangkit Cultural Village


"Okay now, carry on playing those instruments. Don't bother my annoying picture taking!"


I like the "Kulintangan" best.

The traditional costume of the Lotud community (a branch of the Dusun ethnic found mainly in Tuaran)...

...and this is how they look like when worn by beautiful people. But wait, don't set your eyes too fast on them, you might...

...get shot with venomous arrows by this "pahlawan". Hehehe..i was kidding, okay!


+ == + == + == + == + == + == + == + == + == + == + == + == + == + == + == + == + == + == +

The scale of celebration was somewhat lacking the "Umphhhh!" and you can feel the rather poor response/ participation from visitors/exibitors as well as lack of side activities, it was fairly a disappointing experience to say the least. So, we headed for the temple which is located just about 500 metres away from the fest venue.

This can be considered as landmark, a place one must not miss when visiting Tuaran...
dont act silly, you may face the wrath of these guardians. ( if i was in the know)

It's so tall you can actually see the sea from the top floor. Well, we did not climb up though. Sigh!
And finally, I'll leave you with this picture - winners of the Unduk Ngadau (Kaamatan Queen)competition, photo courtesy of my favourite photographer, Benny of

Unduk Ngadau 2009 for Tuaran District is Miss Fredericka Richard (seated), flanked by 2nd place Miss Flina Rutum, and 3rd place Miss Myra Rosnita.
Many many congratulations and best wishes for the coming final at KDCA on 31st May.

Monday, May 25, 2009

HOAX Message a.k.a Tipah Tipu

Because we are faced with and being fed with a lot of fake deals, scams, hoaxes and phishing webs, it would be a good idea to learn some common facts about them.

If you receive an e-mail asking you to take some form of action do some simple tests. Look for one or more of the folowings; they are the top telltale characteristics of a hoax:
  1. Subject line has a sense of urgency, such as - WARNING!!, IMPORTANT!!, URGENT!!, VIRUS ALERT!!
  2. Request to share the "important" warning to everyone in your address book or, as many people as you possibly can.
  3. It contains some form of seemingly-legitimate-quote from big corporations or government. Eg. "A friend who works for Petronas received this warning...". Watch out for statements like "This is very serious", or "This is not a hoax" - by such virtue, it already is.
  4. The e-mail contains prediction of catastropic consequences if you don't act immediately - such as virus attact on your hard disk, death by accident, etc.
  5. Very often you will see a lot of >>>>> marks on the left margin. These marks show that people fooled by the hoax have forwarded it many times before it reach your address.

REMEMBER, there is no such thing as E-mail Tracking, no big company is going to give you Free Certificate or a Free Car, and sending thousands of e-mail to your friends and kins Will Not provide any relief or medical care to an ill/injured child!

You have been told! The next time you receive an e-mail urging you to forward message containing the above, please think twice before jumping into perpetuating the hoax.
For more info on how to identify a hoax message check this one out. Also find out more here
All the best!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

KLCI Highest Since September

The Wall Street saw lower close today but KLCI defied that by closing highest since September 2008 due to buying on big cap stocks and plantation stocks. However, smaller caps were closed lower due to traders locking in their gains. Note that penny stocks were the most active ones today.
KLCI : 1,042.63 up 19.14 points
Turnover: 1.87bil shares, valued RM1.86bil
Up: 358, Down: 307, Unchanged: 204

Gainers were KL Kepong, PPB, United Plantations, Sime Darby, Tenaga, Boustead Heavy Ind., Nestle (thinly traded) and Asiatic, all of which are big caps.
Active trading seen on Tebrau Teguh and MRCB which are related to the Iskandar Malaysia development. JAKS, KPS and Puncak Niaga which are water-related saw active trade in view of of the meeting between the Selangor state government and federal government to work out the restructuring plan.
If the next resistance for the KLCI of 1,050 is reached, we would be looking at end-of-year target of 1,120 as some brokers have been mentioning. I am looking to dump Scomi at RM0.75, Gamuda at RM2.65, KNM at RM0.85, MMCCORP at RM1.95. Hoping these could come before end of May.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Dear Teachers - Have a happy Teacher's Day!

It is not that we choose to 'forget' our teachers or to not pay tribute to them on other days but, it's in the significance of this day that we should take a moment to remember all the good things they have done, all the sweat and hardship they have gone through and especially their dedication to ensure the future generation get to live a better quality of life.

I sincerely believe that every single teacher wants his/her students to be successful in their study and in whatever they maybe venturing in future. Such is their hope that they can be regarded as our 'parent' who work very hard to ensure we 'leave' our school as proud graduates.
So teacher, this is me saying thank you to all of you at SM Sanzac, Kota Kinabalu, who have worked tirelessly to mould me and shaped me into what I am today:

Cikgu Azhar, our Form Teacher during earlier days as secondary schoolars, whom I must admit had termendous headache teaching us English - I knew you must have felt like talking to aliens.
Cikgu Margaret, a Ranau born commerce teacher, for the good insight of commerce, finance, accounting, and who underatand us inside out.
Mr Chuah Chong Leng, then the senior deputy to the Principal, En. Abd Aziz Abbas, for all the free tuitions and being the spiritual mentor to many of us. Your no-nonsence teaching style we remembered well. The last correspondence I had with him, I knew he resides in Perak.
Ms Goy Siew Kee (also fondly known as Pn. Ang - the sweet smiling teacher) for undivided attention and your never-say-die attitude although many of your students feared and sometimes in total avoidance of your subject, Kimia. Well, I want to let you know your subject was one of my favourites. If not for the love of electrcity, I surely would've pursued chemical engineering. I liked the colour of burnt copper! (CuSO4) - that was in my Ujian Amali during SPM.
Cikgu Sinin, the discipline teacher turned counsellor. I was one of the prefects and we're so motivated under your mentorship. I had one memorable audience with you and thankful for that.
To our teachers at SBPS Bukit Padang (now known as SM Sains): Mr Khalid, Mr. Yim, En Rahim, Cik Rosnah, Cikgu Bob, thank you. I spent lesser years there but that's life as student, everyone got to move on.


Thank You!


Sunday, May 10, 2009

Kyoto Box - Solar Cooker

Memasak tanpa menggunakan tenaga elektrik, kayu api, atau gas? Boleh! Malah ianya sangat mudah dan murah, sekurang-kurangnya itu pendapat Jon Bøhmer, individu yang telah mencipta Kotak Kyoto (Kyoto Box). Untuk ciptaannya Bohmer telah memenangi USD75,000 daripada penganjur pertandingan, Forum for the Future.

Pembuatan Kotak Kyoto sangat ringkas, murah (kira-kira $7 sahaja) dan boleh dilakukan oleh sesiapa sahaja. Terdiri daripada dua kotak kadbod, kotak yang kecil sedikit dicat hitam untuk menyerap tenaga haba dari matahari dan ditutup dengan akrilik (kepingan lutsinar seperti plastik/cermin) untuk memerangkap haba tadi.

Kotak ini seterusnya dimasukkan ke dalam kotak yang lebih besar sedikit yang telah dilapisi helaian aluminium terlebih dahulu. Helaian aluminium ini bertujuan memfokuskan haba matahari ke arah kotak kecil. Pada hari yang terik, suhu dalam kotak kecil boleh mencapai 80 darjah Celcius dengan cepat.

Ciptaan ringkas ini dikatakan sesuai digunakan tempat-tempat di mana tiada bekalan tenaga letrik dan tempat dimana sumber bahan bakar (kayu api, gas dan sebagainya) sukar diperolehi.

Walaupun terdapat banyak bantahan dan sindiran daripada masyarakat moden mengenai kesesuaian dan praktikaliti kotak ini tetapi saya berpendapat ciptaan sebegini rupa layak diberi pengiktirafan kerana ia berpotensi untuk mmberi manfaat kepada berjuta-juta penduduk di tempat-tempat seperti Afrika dan Arab (gurun), India dan China (penduduk padat & ruang terhad), dan tempat-tempat lain yang masih ketinggalan dari segi pembangunan.


Saturday, May 9, 2009

Blank Billboards in The City

Billboard advertising is one of the better choices in the urban area as they are the most visible structures that greet (or distract) you every time you pass through such advertisement.

I read sometime in March 2009 that certain opposition YB mentioned of no less than 20 empty billboards in the city and that they have become eyesores. Well I can testify to that; the number is increasing every day. All in the name of cutting costs due to the recession eh? Okay, lets have a look at the going cost to put up a typical adverts on outdoor billboards:

1) Size 10ft x 40ft, constructed 15ft above ground, rental per year: RM 30,000 onward
2) Unipole 20ft x 60ft/80ft, constructed 30ft above ground, rental per year: RM 300,000 onward.

Then there is the cost of replacing computer printed vinyl, labour charges, GST and lightings which add up to few more thousands of RM..
It is not that cheap to promote your products and services this way but with some synergy between advertising companies, the advertisers and the Government, Billboard Advertising should continue to beautify rather than mess our roads and city during difficult times. Some give-and-take steps that are worth looking into are:

  1. Local authorities (councils) to put up advertisements pertaining to their activities;
  2. Advertisement agencies/service providers to 'decorate' empty boards with nice designs as a means of promoting their services;
  3. The Government to give some tax incentives to advertising companies to cover blank boards;
  4. Under IRB (LHDN) taxation system there are rebates for individuals or companies who donate to the museums, book/painting galleries, etc. Explore this option for educative advertisement such as 'Keep Our City Clean', 'Drive Faster Proceed to Hell', 'Clean River Saves Water' and 'Say No To Smoking', "Kurangkan Pembaziran Berbelanja Dangan Bijak', etc.
  5. Sorry, but if everything else fails, consider removing those blank billboards.
City centre - empty unipole billboard. Why don't DBKK take up the huge space? This board is right in front of its nose.

Putatan: Servey Hypermarket should really take this up at possibly reduced rent rate as this has been empty for sometime now. This board is located right at the junction leading to the big mart.

KK-Papar road. If you are driving up from Papar to Kota Kinabalu, this sight will soon become a common experience.

Grand Millennium: as if the nuisance created by the 'stray' concrete wastewater pipes is not enough, the empty billboard stands out as the bigger eyesore winner.

Donggongon: "Excuse me, are you taking down all of those? That'll be nice.."

QEH roundabout - Kenapa tidak digunakan ruang kosong ini untuk bercerita sedikit tentang bangunan QEHospital yang tidak selamat tu! Kalau RM245juta tiada masalah, apalah sangat RM24.5k sewa billboard tu untuk setahun...?
Tuaran: There is another empty billboard facing this eyesore that is better off taken out.

Tamparuli: Located in front of the popular Jambatan Tamparuli and the colonial pipe-and-conctete bridge, this billboard is a suitable one for welcoming visitors to Tamparuli. Some informative caricatures or plain text would plug the empty 'hole'
Educative advertisement: Possible advertorial to fill up billboards
Oh..and remember sometime ago someone proposed for marriage to his girlfriend through huge billboard advertisement? Yes those were in Luyang and Tg. Aru-Papar junction. Let's wish few more will spend big to repeat such feat.
No idea how much that gentleman spent then but the one in Damansara Puchong Highway last year was said to have 'invested' RM40,000 for it. Hehe..I like the word invest when it come to spending.
For a change, check this out for a nice billboard adverts!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Kaamatan 2009 - Opening Ceremony

The opening ceremony of the month-long Kaamatan 2009 celebration was officiated by the Chief Minister of Sabah, Datuk Musa Aman at the New Community Hall in Papar. Also present were all his Deputies – Datuk Yahya Hussin, Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah and Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
Started as early as 7.00am, we were not able to make it on time for the officiating by the CM as we left late from Kota Kinabalu due to the early drizzle that day. At the bus terminal compound Nescafe and Maggi join hands organising karaoke competition. Buy any Maggi product and you are in it.

Selamat Datang!

Ehem...abang ni pilih VCD sampai 5 keping ka? Kasi chan orang lain lagi bah

“Sekarang kita mempersilakan Cik Siti Ndak Kembang untuk mempersembahkan lagunya yang berjudul - Mari Aramaitiiii”

Aiseymann encik-encik yang hensem ni makan maggi free la pulak

I will follow you... pun ada sini juga. Mana geng merah? Takkan lah kuning saja.

Enter the shaded Tamu area and you can find almost every local hand-made craft you can imagine. Some were crafted small as replica and some are true-to-life size so that you can actually buy them and utilise them just as the locals would have intended them to be used as.


“This is how you do it.” He explained that this 'flute' is used to lure Kologiau, a kind of bird in Dusun.

If you are good, you are good no matter how young you are!

Papar has never been short of local delicacies. I personally like the Kuih Jala

And accessories for traditional costume such as the Limpogot and Keringgi-keringgi

Variety of local handicraft on sale. Get your best bargain here.

The Kulintangan (arranged in array), the Tagung (hanged according to ‘tuning’ preference) and the Drum

The Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Pairin Kitingan who is also the Huguan Siou (paramount leader of the Kadazan and Dusun) is seen visiting the booths. Note the headgear (the Sigah) he is wearing.

Gandingan tenaga tua dan muda dari Kg Kopimpinan Kawang Papar ini sedang mempamirkan kebolehan mereka bermain orchestra menggunakan peralatan muzik yang kesemuanya diperbuat daripada bambu.

Pakcik berbaju putih bermain ‘percussion’ dengan penuh semangat. Semakin didekati beliau untuk mengambil gambar close-up, semakin kuat beliau memukul bambunya. Hehe

“Bah..Kotobian Tadau Kaamatan kumaa dia kio, Datuk!”

Their Laughter is Our Cry

Kalau anda sudah menerima filem pendek ini melalui e-mail, anda sudah mengetahui ceritanya. Sekiranya belum, filem ini adalah untuk anda. Filem yang dihasilkan oleh Ferdinand Dimadura ini mengisahkan nasib segolongan insan dalam masyarakat yang hidup dalam kemiskinan dan bergantung kepada sisa makanan orang lain. Suatu yang tidak pernah luntur daripada mereka ialah semangat untuk terus hidup.

This film is in English and according to the written narration, it claimed to have been adjudged the Most Popular Short Film, during the 56th Berlin International Film Festival.

Bear with me, I have done some homework and found this film NOT in the List of Award Recipients and I'm not at all impressed with what I found. Okay, you say it may be listed in the somewhat 3600 films submitted to the Berlinale but I could not find one that match the title of this short film, hence, my reservation its authenticity.
Notwithstanding, whatever the source may be, it is a real good watch as it reminds us of the hunger that millions out there suffer from. So, be thankful for what we have, for what we possess (or rather manage) and let's be generous with what God blesses us with.
Click here for more about Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale) and here for Berlinale Homepage

Monday, May 4, 2009

Offshore Job Openings

I received this from friend a while ago and tought I should share this with everyone. Good news for job hunters in times of rising unemployment rate, especially those keen on offshore jobs.

The forwarded e-mail looks like this:

Dear all,
We have some vacancies that you could advice your friends to apply. It is also for another deep water project. Please ask them not to scan their certificates but only send their latest updated resume. Please send it directly to me.
Thank you.
Contact person:
Cecily Arokiam
Project / Liaison Manager
802, 8th Floor, PJ Tower, Amcorp Trade Centre
18, Jalan Persiaran Barat, 46050 Petaling Jaya
Selangor Darul Ehsan, Malaysia
Mobile: 012 215381, Tel: 603-89413157/79578773, Fax: 603-89424521/79578573
Or you can google KASK Group and browse through from there.
All the best!