Monday, December 29, 2008

Speaking Hokkien...

I came across an email from a friend in Spore. Surprisingly, the email pointed me to a Wikipedia listing on Hokkien dialect. I am Hokkien and the language is spoken widely in Penang. Hokkien - "Ancient Imperial Language in China" was the title of the email and I read the note with great interest. It is, therefore, not surprising that the mail contained information that tries to validate the usage of the language and also giving the relevant notes of the similarities that can be seen in the Hokkien language. I am not sure of its authenticity but I am just thinking aloud - since Hokkien is spoken so widely sometime back, why is Mandarin dominant now? I believe it has to do with the test of times across the history of the Chinese empire. I am not a revered historian but maybe it is time to have a look at the details to find out more. Anyway, enjoy the email below:

Ancient Imperial Language of China – 2,000 Years Ago
How Did it Sound
Like? (Mind you, it's no way similar to Mandarin) Has this Ancient Language
Survived? Who Speaks it Today? You'll be Surprised. You have heard it. You, your
parents, or grandparents may still be speaking this ancient, archaic language!
Yes, it's HOKKIEN (Fujian/Minnan Hua) Hokkien is: 1. The surviving language of
the Tang
(618-907AD), China 's Golden Age of Culture. Note: The Hokkien we
hear today may have "evolved" from its original form 2,000 years ago, but it
still retains the main elements of the Tang Dynasty Language. 2. Hokkiens are
the surviving descendants of the Tang Dynasty -- When the Tang Dynasty
collapsed, the people of the Tang Dynasty fled South and sought refuge in the
Hokkien ( Fujian ) province. Hence, Hokkien called themselves Tng-lang (Tang Ren
or People of the Tang Dynasty) instead of Hua Lang (Hua Ren). 3. Hokkien has 8
tones instead of Mandarin's 4. Linguists claim that ancient languages tend to
have more complex tones. 4. Hokkien retains the ancient Chinese pronunciation of
"K-sounding" endings (for instance, Hak Seng (student), Tua Ok (university),
Thak Chek (read a book/study) -- the "k" sounding ending is not found in
Mandarin. 5. The collection of the famous "Three Hundred Tang Dynasty Poems"
sound better when recited in Hokkien/Teochew if compared to Mandarin. 6.
Consider this for a moment: Today, the Hokkien Nam Yim ochestral performance
still has its roots in ancient Tang dynasty music. Here's the proof: The
formation of today Nam Yim ensemble is typically seen in ancient Tang dynasty
paintings of musicians.
More Astonishingly: Although not
genetically-related, Hokkiens, Koreans and Japanese share many similar words
(which are different from Mandarin). That's because Hokkien was the official
language of the powerful Tang Dynasty whose influence and language spread to
Japan and Korea (just like Latin – where many words were borrowed by the
English, French, Italian, etc). Here are just a few words in Hokkien, Japanese
& Korean for your comparison:
Sin Boon
Shinbun - newspaper
Cheng Hu (government) Chong
Bu Pang
To all 49 Million Hokkien Speakers: Be Proud of Your Ancient Hokkien
Heritage & Language! Speak it Loud and Clear. Teach Your Future Generation
this Imperial Language, Less it Fades Away. Be Proud Children of the Tang
Emperors. To all Mandarin-speaking friends out there -- do not look down on your
other Chinese friends who do not speak Mandarin – whom you guys fondly refer to
as "Bananas". In fact, they are speaking a language which is much more ancient
& linguistically complicated than Mandarin. Keep in mind that Mandarin is
just: 1. A Northern Chinese dialect (heavily influenced by non Han Chinese) that
was elevated to the status of National Language by Sun Yat Sen for the sake of
China 's national unity. 2. Mandarin was never spoken by your proud, imperial
Tang Dynasty ancestors. It was probably spoken by the Northern (Non-Han)
Jurchen, Mongols and Manchu minority. Start speaking the language of your
ancestors today. Other interesting links:

Sunday, December 28, 2008

What the heck is this man talking about?

Sometimes, I wish that certain learned person would say something constructive. In fact, I am very sure that the Federal Government is working hard with the State Government. Anyway, thank for the advise. Penangites hope you will continue to speak with wisdom but not on this topic.

Gerakan calls for State-Federal cooperation to draw
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Gerakan today urged both the state and the federal governments to set aside
their political differences and work together to attract more foreign investors
to the state.
Penang Gerakan Liaison Committee chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock
Nan said that during the current global financial meltdown, both the federal and
state governments must take all necessary measures to ensure that existing
investors remain and continue to re-invest in the state rather than relocate
elsewhere. “Both governments must work together to coordinate efforts to create
a more conducive environment which is business friendly to encourage existing
investors to stay on in the country,” he said in a statement. He also said that
the state government should prepare a detailed and comprehensive working paper
which encompasses the aspect of retrenchment as the last resort, retrenchment
benefits, job placements, re-training and technological transformation. “The
state government should then work closely with the federal government during
these difficult times to ensure the success of all the programmes contained in
the working paper,” he said.
Teng said the economic downturn could result in
a rise in unemployment and it was inevitable that there would also be a rise in
the crime rate. “Hence, the state government and the local authorities should
work hand-in-hand with the police to tackle crime and to make sure that the
crime rate stays at its lowest,” he said.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A good advise indeed - screw the rear mirror

I couldn't help reading a friend's blog of the place I now call my workplace. It is true that the entire will of a state went astray while the previous administration concentrated more of building new buildings elsewhere and dreaming of a new Mini Cyberjaya. I am glad the new administration came in after March 8. Somehow, we see more efforts being done to this place call Komtar. I grew up with this place unlike my kids who only know about Gurney Plaza or even Queensbay Mall. I brought them to the Pacific last week and I was so very proud that at least there is a glimpse of change. I hope the new administration will not stop what they are doing now. I am saddened with the article written by SS Quah. I know he meant well. Like all Penangites, I will always have questions for Ex CM - Tan Sri Koh but it is like looking at the rear mirror situation. Hence, I will leave it as that. The previous administration is worth just a rear mirror view - a very good advise for all voters and politicians. Kudos SS!

Friday, December 26, 2008

So...the PAS boys have started it how?

I guess at times, we tend to vent things out in the open just way too often. Especially coming from someone in PAS with Malaysia's biggest brat, I believe we need to crystallize our thoughts. Of course, the thought of mass implementation of the Hudud Law has grave and far reaching consequences, we need to sometimes sit back and asked ourselves very basic questions. I think Lulu did it well and I must commend her for those insight observations. Obviously, I am not speaking on behalf of anyone or any political affiliation. With the KT by-election looming, I believe the MCA boys will take advantage to "frighten" the voters over there. Keep the 8 March spirits up. DO we still want to have a draconian BN rule or willing to take the chance with PR which has shown strong statesmanship over the past 8 months? I leave it up to you...I will like to paraphrase the thoughts of Lulu so that you will see things in a clearer perspective:

1. to take a cue from RPK cos he argues it much better,
Some Chinese say they refuse to vote for PAS because they are worried that PAS may implement Islamic laws. But how can PAS implement Islamic laws when they will never have a two-thirds majority in Parliament? PAS contested only 60 seats out of 222 Parliament seats. Then they went and won only 23 seats.
PAS needs about 150 seats in Parliament to change Malaysia from a Secular state into an Islamic state. But when they contest only 60 seats, even if they win all the 60 seats they contest it will still be only 60 seats. And they can’t win all the seats they contest. They can only win less than half the seats they contest. Where would PAS get the 150 parliament seats it requires?
2. Pakatan is made of PKR, DAP and PAS - a coalition of 3 equal partners. DAP has already said no. Lulu is waiting for PKR to make their stand. However individual party leaders have already voiced their argument.
Basically, Pakatan partners can say no. They can agree to disagree. Things cannot be carried out without an agreement from all parties.
Barisan however is made of one alpha party and many wimpy partners. When UMNO says "jump", [not just Liow, but] every wimpy dungu partner who says they are equal partners immediately respond, "how high?"
On Sept 29 2001 aka 929, the then PM Dr M declared Malaysia as an Islamic State. MCA and MIC, who began strutting around like a gibbon's backside on PAS statement, did not even breathe a whimper on this. After 929, every extremist and opportunist have been screaming at the moderates, "respect our rights! this is an islamic state!"
Where was MCA?
Where was MIC?
fending us?
no.... they were busy explaining UMNO's policy to "their" own kind.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Penang Walk of fame?

Interestingly enough, I find this very article so very interesting. I believe it's really out of the box thinking at times and of course, the opponents will say that the CM of Penang once again is a major copycat. I am thinking that at most, some sort of recognition would have helped some of local artistes. Well, who could imagine that this would be thought about. Lim Guan Eng's administration continues to break new grounds and this somewhat interesting article has its caveat. Take a look at it as we usher ourselves into a brand new 2009 year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My journey started after he left us abruptly...

Many asked me why I decided to walk my talk? Many asked me why I have been so passionate and so determined that one day, change will come. Or has it ever came? Someone SMS me a shortwhile ago - "Your dad would have been proud of you!" I replied "He would have died of heart attack on March 9 seeing what happened at Red Rock Hotel!"

My journey through the corporate world has been always the focus of closing deals, winning projects and making a company succeed. Way back in 1999, When Alex of a local company offered me the Branch Manager position and said that if I turned it around, 6 month's bonus awaits you. I guess I took that as a challenge and true enough, during that time, my focus and ideals remained very corporate driven. Making the bottom line became my focus. I guess that is how life is all about then. Each year, during Ching Beng, I will visit my late father's resting place. Nested in a very peaceful location, I use that as my source of inspiration. Sometimes when I am down, I will be there reflecting and maybe shedding some tears. Over the years, I got use to the fact that he is no longer here. However, each year when Christmas approaches, I miss him very much. I know it is difficult to understand how I feel but I guess you will need to understand the relationship I had with my father.
I attended my first ceramah when I was eight. I had my first party dinner when I was 12. I became a member when I was 21. I voted when I was in the US. I remember his words of wisdom about politics. "Take no prisoners. Otherwise, the prisoners will take you." hahaha....My father passed away in 1986. It was very hard for me then. I became very self reliant and very individualistic. Without my maternal grandmother in Phuket, I would have stayed back in Penang earning less than what I have and probably never walked my talk. 2008 has been an eventful day for me. From the day of the early nomination till the night when the crowd roared victory, I miss my father very much. I visited his resting place recently. Peace was with him since and I see his party badge besides the urn. I will wear that badge one day...when I walk my talk in the Dewan Undangan Negeri or Parliament. I miss you dad.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wait..what is so unfair .....??????

The latest economic upheaval in the global market has somehow hit home. Western Digital announced the closure of their facility in Thailand and retrenchment of staff worldwide. What boggles me is the statement of Sarawak's State Assistant Minister for Industrial Development Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman when he said was unfair for the company to cease the Sarawak operations completely
while maintaining its operations in Penang, Kuala Lumpur and Johor.

Bloody hell....go learn the process lar. Understand why the closure has happened rather than being an idiot. Are you insinuating something Mr. Minister? If Petronas had to close some refineries in Sarawak in the next couple months, would you was unfair for the company to do this when facilities in Terengganu can be closed? Aiyo...wake up lar. DSAI is camping out at your backyard and be more competent lar.Otherwise, you will need to put in your resume to the PKR leadership!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Go up the hills....

The Penang State Government finally stood in to resolute the problem. I am glad because the nature of the promises from the Federal Government was as usual lukewarm or to put it simply, dead. I am proud for at least the state did an important effort to bring back the train service was a galliant effort. I am sure the details with follow suit but let it be known, the people's government in Penang is not a pushover.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Another Azlina in the making?

Seriously, I am just as baffled as the months go by. It's time for Penang to stand up and be counted. I am sure my monthly contribution to the income tax is now going elsewhere. I will remember .... after all, it is a vote that matters and if this continues, I suggest they go screw themselves. I am just as concerned as to how certain ministers act as if they own the fucking government. The government is by the people, for the people. So - hold back funds? Do it some more!

Athi Veeranggan | Dec 15, 08 3:22pm
The federal government’s refusal to finance the preservation of George Town’s heritage zone has been described as “an uncalled for, untimely and ill-conceived political vendetta”.

Penang Island Municipal Council (MPPP) councillor Rizal Faris Mohideen said: “The heritage status of George Town belongs to all Malaysians, not Pakatan Rakyat or Barisan Nasional.

“It belongs to you and me. The national policy should be to protect national, not partisan interests.”

shafie apdal and mps no defection pc 280808 04He was commenting on a statement by Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal (right), who had reportedly said the federal government does not have funds for George Town.

Rizal, who also heads the Penang Malay Chamber of Commerce, said the Barisan Nasional-led federal government should forsake its political interests to safeguard the public interest.

He further pointed out that the city’s heritage status is tied up with that of Malacca, under Unesco’s serial listing.

“By discriminating against George Town, the federal government will jeorpadise Malacca’s status as well. This would be a loss to the country.”

Rizal noted that the joint status would benefit all Malaysians only if the federal government adopts an open approach and joins hands with local authorities to restore and revitalise the sites involved.

The Penang heritage committee headed by Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng is working on programmes to preserve the architecture and living culture within the heritage zone. These are also intended to stimulate socio-economic growth and human development.

penang pulau pinang old heritage pre war buildings 160307George Town was accorded heritage status on July 7, leaving the state government with the responsibility of preserving, protecting and promoting the zone.

The heritage zone covers 259.42ha, with the core area encompassing Lorong Cinta, Pengkalan Weld, Lebuh Pantai, Jalan Masjid Kapitan Keling, Jalan Tun Sheh Barakbah, Lebuh Light, Lebuh Bishop, Lebuh Gereja, Lebuh China, Lebuh Pasar, Lebuh Chulia, Lebuh Armenian and Lebuh Acheh.

Penang has more than 12,000 pre-war premises mainly of Anglo-Indian architecture, the largest number in the country.

Regulating hawkers

Meanwhile, the MPPP is to adopt a more flexible approach in handling the mushrooming of unlicensed hawkers and petty traders on the island, since they add to human heritage charm.

rizal faris penang malay chamber presidentRizal - who heads the licensing division - said the council will work out a formula to regularise and organise the traders.

Since Penang is promoted as a paradise for hawker food, the council cannot afford to get rid of all the unlicensed traders.

“We also don’t want to be harsh on them since many need a second source of income in the current economic climate,” he said.

However, the council also has to consider ratepayers’ complaints about traffic congestion and lack of hygiene due to such activities.

“We will adopt a balanced policy to protect the interests of all,” he assured.

Monday, December 15, 2008

All of a sudden.....

It is a weekend worth remembering for me. I started to do some little spring cleaning. Clearing away unwanted stuff which included some of my kids' papers and books. What is more surprising is that you tend to uncover interesting stuff along the way. I was not disappointed. I found my son's little Bunny which he slept on. Hesitant to throw it away, my wife decided to hang onto it as it is a reflection of my eldest son's growing up days. Well, all said and done, I can't help reading some of my thoughts way back in 1999. I guess some of it was my total disappointment of the political development way back then. Obviously, one of which is PAS. I guess PAS was never in my books of favorite political parties. In fact, I was that close to just shut myself out in 1999. However, good things come slowly they say. I must say that people's perception have changed so very much. I really can't help reading this article which I think you should spend sometime reading about the big battle brewing in Terengganu. Let's sit back and watch. It could be a show much better than anyone can imagine.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hard Rock Penang soon...2009 more heading down to KL to try the food as it will soon be at the doorstep of Penang. Yes - Hard Rock Hotel is opening up mid 2009. Enjoy the website.

A commendable effort

I am certain that this latest news is welcoming. At least, walking my talk and seeing changes that affect people's lives in general has always been my biggest forte. For this case, I am certain many of you will probably attest to it. For the first time, we have policy makers keeping the physically challenged folks in mind. I am glad....

Friday, December 12, 2008

Hello knock knock...

I sometimes fail to understand. I sometimes think good news are good to share but bad news are even better to share. Recently calls by the government proclaiming "everything is fine" will soon come back to haunt them. I am certain that the current economic conditions call for bold moves. Moves that involve out of box thoughts. Daring ones as I think the industrialists in Malaysia are getting lethargic continuing to impress leaders that the country is heading into a perfect economic storm. In months to come, I am very sure unemployment will be on the rise. Fiscal spending will come to a halt as the country's revenue dwindle down due to price deescalation. I fear for the future. I fear for groupthink leaders who have become chest beating leaders who continue to be ostriches in the jungle of chaos. Who will survive if the leaders continue to be blind bats and ostrich sticking heads into ground? Hear the industrialists. Hear them ... help them...don't keep on saying retraining. Just focus on the basics - help them to help the country.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Helping out

Since March 8, my journey into the corridors of politics has been interesting. Obviously, my involvement with the party has been minimum apart from volunteering my time to be a station master at Hun Bin and to be a part of a challenging administration following that. I wish to share my personal insights of what that has affected me so very much the last few months. Kavern Leng was a good friend of ours. He kind of disappeared into the wilderness until a friendly party supporter alerted us. Kavern was inflicted with cancer and he had been battling with it for the past few months. I did what a normal human being would do. Reach out to the networks that I had and garnered as much financial help for Kavern. I knew that Kavern believed in change and I believe this is not the time to turn my back on him. I must say after many years as a party member, one of the proudest moment was being able to raise at least Rm10K in matter of days for him. Although it may not be enough, but for at least, it is a gesture of assistance and caring for another party friend. I felt that it is only a humane thing to reach out and help another human being. Thanks to YB Liew Chin Tong, some money has collected from a few donors the amount of RM10K. I hope this will help Kavern journey further in seeking the best treatment possible. I am praying for him and like what he said that night "it seems the whole world is rooting for him." That should be the spirit. Kavern - all the best.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Saturday, December 6, 2008

This makes so much donkey sense

I am certain the International Conference was an excellent event to close the year. 2009 will definitely opens a new chapter. The picture says a thousand words...UNITY.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

You believe in the civil servants?

I am sure you have this in mind and you are reluctant to speak out. The PR Penang Government is being blamed for many inefficiencies. But have you ever thought that the civil servants could be the biggest culprit ever? I take this one because I felt strongly on this subject matter. Stay tuned. Flame me if you want cos I see a danger sign ahead.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Check this out

Check this out should head there if you are in Penang.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


I had the opportunity to meet YB Theresa Kok and she was an interesting person to talk to. This is my first to have had an interesting conversation with her. I am glad I did. Bloody hell ... yes swear .... I can't imagine that RTM2 could have said this....I think someone should demand this to be replayed and let the Rakyat decide. Here is the account by YB and I sat at awed to what she has related to me....

The presenter told the audience on the head and tails of series of political development of Thailand while showing the visual of political development in Thailand. He said all demonstrations are because the protestors reject Thaksin and his proxy party to be in power. The last line of the voice over of the programme is: “The lesson we can learn from Thai political unrest is, never let non pri-bumi to rule the country.”
To read more of the above, please click here.