January 31, 2008

Islamic laws

I was thinking a bit about two news items last week:

1. A 70+ Malaysian man who had been paralysed for the past 2 years died. He was buried as a Muslim, against the wish of his wife and family who are Buddhists, because the Court overseeing Muslim affairs said he had converted to Islam before his death.

So you see, non-Muslims can also be affected by Islamic laws.

2. The PAS (the opposition Islamic party in Malaysia which rules the state of Kelantan) said non-Muslims would benefit if Islamic laws (which includes cutting off limbs and stoning) are implemented in the state because these laws will only be applied to Muslims.

I say it is not so simple. The PAS wants people to believe that just have 2 sets of laws and everything will be fine. As if there are 2 distinct groups that don't mix - one group of Muslim criminals/offenders and victims and the other group of non-Muslims.

If a case involves both Muslim and non-Muslims, wouldn't it be very messy.

Then, Islamic laws are bias against women. I remember reading some news that in a rape case, the woman has to produce four male witnesses. I wonder how any rape victim would be able to do that. Again If it involves Muslims and non-Muslims.....

All this can cause resentment and racial tension.


January 27, 2008

Fond memories

Here are 2 nice pictures

This one was taken in Tokyo. Not Mt Fuji, just a scenic serene place near the hotel where we stayed in. It gives you inspirations to be a Su Dong Po.

A signboard...anyone could see the crab a km away. This seafood restaurant was in Thailand.....along the beach of Pattaya. I don't know whether it is still there or not.

January 25, 2008

Performance at Kolam Ayer CC

Some of the performers:

六月雪之大审 - 邝荃荃, 陈惠婵

黃莉莉, 钟丽容, 黄安妮, 黃兆平

January 23, 2008

Dirty money

After reading MD's adventures in Guangzhou, I also got something to say...

When I visited Guangzhou many years ago, most of the paper currency I got from transactions were old, tattered, worn, or soiled. The people there also preferred you to give them such notes as they were scared that new notes could be counterfeits. If you gave the cashier a new note, especially a 100-yuan note, she would peer at it from every angle before deciding whether to accept it or not.

Last year when I revisited GZ, there were more new notes but some small sales and food outlets still preferred you to give them small or old notes.
I wonder if they use new notes in their ang pows.

The picture below was taken during my first visit. It shows the 'Journey-to-the-West Park' inside Yue Xiu Park. During the second visit, I went to Yue Xiu Park again but the other Park was gone.

The Xi You Ji Park was an interesting place. You could see the mythological characters from the famous classic folklore Journey to the West - bull demon-king, iron-fan princess, spider spirits.... There were also the torture chambers in Hell. Pity they didn't keep it. I think it was because of the high cost of maintenance.

January 19, 2008

Recent happenings

Someone made a comment at one of my videos - How...How...How...
For a moment I thought it was a question. Then I realized what she meant - Good...Good...Good...
I think it is Hao, right?

Sometimes students need to be pushed to work harder, to be told the harsh realities or to be given a good scolding. No need for parents to worry or think their children's confidence will crumble. If a sec 5 student loses confidence just because the principal tells him some unpleasant facts, I doubt he will do well in the O level.

Overheard this
at a food-court.
A 30 something China lady telling his 20-years-older Singaporean male companion - Singapore has no poor people. True or not?

Consider these recent news:
China has 300 million people living in poverty, many subsisting on less than US$1 a day.
Singaporeans shun unglamorous jobs. This means they are not so desperate for jobs or money, right?

So Singapore does not have people living in poverty in the absolute sense of the word. It means no Singaporean needs to sleep on the street, go hungry or has to eat grass. But there are poor people too. This is relative to our cost of living.

Actually hungry is also relative. In Singapore you say you are hungry when you miss one meal. In another place it could mean no food for a few days.


January 15, 2008


MM Lee Kuan Yew is 84. She just turned 80 last month. He is a brilliant statesman and she is an outstanding opera artiste. Both have a zest for life and a passion for work.

She is Hong Xian Nu or Hong Seen Lui in cantonese, one of the most distinguished cantonese opera artistes of all time. She first stepped onto the opera stage when she was 12, performing the role of a lantern-carrying palace maid in Liu Guo, the traditional opera performed during Lunar New Year. Since then, thousands have become her fans, entranced by her, her acting and her singing. One of them was Aw Yeong Peng Mun (Singapore's nan hua dan) who became her pupil.

In the later years she seldom performed, spending more time grooming the young ones. Nowadays she does not perform anymore but she stays interested in opera and remains engaged in opera activities.

Isn't that what the elderly here are encouraged to do - stay interested, be active. Haha, so don't think of stop working once you cross 55 and rot away at home.

I have not seen any of her live opera performances. The first time I saw her in person was many years ago. It was one evening outside the Kreta Ayer People's Theatre. The occasion I think was the showcase performance by Aw Yeong Peng Mun. I guess she should be around 70 then. Despite her age, she was captivating - a slim elegant figure in a striking red cheongsam. No wonder I thought. No wonder the audience were mesmerized by her in those days. If I were one of those in the audience, who knows, I might have decided to take up opera. Hahaha...

Great artistes like Hong Seen Lui, But Suet Sin, Sun Ma Chai, Lum Kar Sing and Yam Kim Fai are life-long idols of a lot of people, unlike those transitory idol-worship craze.

January 13, 2008

Answers to hua dan quiz

These photos are original, no distortion. Click on photo to see larger version. Anyway I guess you all are not keen on quizzes.

1. 南鳳

2. 鄧美玲

3. 麥文潔




January 11, 2008

Hua dan quiz

See the dans (in cantonese opera) below..... I've distorted or camouflaged the photos a bit. Can you recognize them? The HK and China dans are well-known artistes. If you often watch local shows, you would know the Singapore dans. The photos were quite recent. All were taken within the last two years, not 10 or 20 years ago. One was taken in HK and rest in Singapore.

1. HK dan

2. HK

3. China
4. China

5. Singapore

6. Singapore

January 07, 2008


I'm not very interested in ministers' sex scandals. But this one by a Malaysian minister has the ingredients of a good political thriller. To make it more exciting, we can involve foreign hostile elements out to blackmail him to obtain state secrets. Get the spy agencies in the US, China and Iran involved too. Link it to terrorism as well. And you have a super thriller!.

A bit about the scandal. Whether it was an entrapment or not is one thing and whether he should resign is another issue. Even if it was an entrapment, it doesn't make him less guilty, for example, of being unfaithful to his wife.

My view is that a minister involved in sexual misconduct should resign. Likewise, we also don't want to see our ministers frequenting casinos or getting drunk at parties or karaoke sessions.

It is not that we are holier or we expect ministers to be saints. These may be small things, personal weaknesses you say. But a person holding high office in Government should have a good image. If not people will not respect him and how can he give advice to his fellow citizens or face ministers from other countries.
Being a minister, he is also involved in policy-making. Will these small things affect his thinking. Then, doesn't these things also reflect personal values and lack of self-discipline.

A wife could accept her husband's apologies but she might not forgive him so readily and surely, she will not forget.

南音, 三六, 周璇, 再世红梅, 吉兆粵韵, 真情戏曲

January 04, 2008


Many of us have written composition on this topic when we were in school. At that time we did not really know what we wanted or know much about the occupations. I think most of us chose a noble profession, teaching for example, or something that was easy to write.

According to the zodiac horoscope, people under the same sign as I am can be good teachers, explorers and.....bra, bra, bra.

I am thinking of 2 jobs I won't be good at.

1. Politician

I won't be able to put on a smiling face all the time, especially with unreasonable people. I can't stand people coming late for my functions and wearing slippers, or people talk when I am speaking.

In this respect, my MP is very good. He doesn't mind they are late and listens patiently to their complaints with a placid face.

I think some people just want people to listen to their complaints. You only have to listen to them and nod your head at times and they will be satisfied.

2. Accountant
Sometimes I don't even understand my own bills. I am also not sure whether an item is credit or debit and I can't make the 2 sides in the 'balance sheet' equal.

Haha, I think accountants must be very balanced people.
They don't feel very very happy or very very sad. They don't over-spend or over-save.


2 quiz questions for you to try, if you have not heard them before. These quiz questions are from Chinese shows I watched. I translated them into English but you must think in Chinese.

1. What horse (ma) no one would ride and which is served by a lot of people?

2. How come the fishballs and the prawns don't talk to each other in the steamboat?

January 02, 2008


You saw this news about huge crowds at the CPF Board on 31 December - last day to register for GST offset package.

Reporter: Why you come on the last day, why you don't come earlier?

X: No time, today I take day off.
As if you can't get leave on any other day..

Y: Don't know leh.

You live in a cave or what. How come now you know. Didn't you receive the letter informing you of this.

Wouldn't it
be refreshing to hear something different and more honest, like
This is my bad habit, I kept procrastinating.
I didn't realize time run so fast.
At first I was not interested in the help package.