Friday, December 28, 2007

A Tribute To Fallen/Absent Friends

I grew up with two good friends
One who wears brown and another who wears black.
I call them my brown and black brothers.
Alas, they have become very evil
And they are going all out
To destroy me and my family.
They are most evil when
They proclaim themselves as Jedi Knights.
They corrupted the Jedi Knights' true teachings
And transformed the Jedi Way
Into the Way Of The Dark Side.
The more they dress up in the Jedi's robes,
The more evil they become.
For they have defiled the house of the Jedi
By killing off the true Jedi
To whom they once served faithfully.
Thus worshipping at the temple
Of the Jedi
Dressed in Jedi robes
Makes one dirty
Instead of pure and clean.
The three of us also have a friend
Called the man in white.
He is the smartest of us all
And has a thousand and one inventions
Which the great-great grandparents
Of the men in black and brown,
As well as my ancestors taught him.
But he is snobbish and looks down
On the men in black and brown,
The shit and scum of our small vilage.
He has invented a machine
Which minces things up
And restores them
Into new and better stuff.
I am going to see him
And tell him to capture
My brown and black ex-neighbours,
And throw them into that machine.
And I am going to make him burn
The Jedi temple down,
And rebuild it with his technology.
For he has the true books of the Jedi
And the true teachings of the Jedi
In his lab.
Once he minces my devilish friends
And restores them to the true ways
Of their great-great grandpas,
I will forgive them.
And the man in white and I
Will make our wills which state
That the families
Of the men in brown and black
Will be the main beneficiaries
Of the bountiful harvests we reap
In the years to come.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

China's Dynasties

Chou 1111-255 BC, 950-960 (1376 years).
Chin 255-206 BC, 266-589, 937-947 (382 years).
Han 206 BC-220 AD, 947-950 (429 years).
Wei 220-266 (46 years).
Sui 589-618 (29 years).
Tang 618-907, 923-937 (303 years).
Liang 907-923 (16 years).
Sung 960-1276 (316 years).
Yuan [Mongols] 1276-1368 (92 years).
Ming 1368-1644 (276 years).
Qing [Manchus] 1644-1912 (268 years).

Friday, December 14, 2007

More 3rd World Heroes In US & UK

Estee Lauder.
Tony Curtis.
Jamie Lee Curtis.
Adrien Brody.
Michael (Alias) Vartan.
William (20th Century Fox founder) Fox.
Steven Spielberg.
Al Zukor (Paramount founder).

Scarlett Johansson.
Ted Knight.
Joe Lando.
Ross Martin.
Jerry Orbach.
Stefanie Powers.
Chloe Sevigny.
Loretta Swit.
Al Warner (Warner Brothers founder).
Gene Pitney.
Richie Sambora.
Max Factor.
Helena Rubenstein.
Martha Stewart.

Eliza Dushku.
James Belushi.
John Belushi.
Steve Buscemi.
Regis Philbin.

Steve Jobs (Apple founder).
John Mack (Morgan Stanley CEO).
Wentworth Miller (Prison Break).
Vince Vaughn.

Rita Wilson.
Arianna Huffington.
Liz Perkins.
Tommy Lee.
Spiro Agnew (ex-Vice-President).

Russians / Ukrainians
Vanessa Carlton.
Edward Furlong.
Debra Messing.
Winona Ryder.
Milla Jovovich.
Nicole Scherzinger (Pussycat Dolls).
James Franco (Spider-Man).
Sandra Dee.
Tom Selleck.
Andy Warhol.
Robert Urich.

Bob Dylan.
Jakob Dylan.
David Chockachi.
Tiffani Amber-Thiessen.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

About The Beatles - Kings Of English Rock

Thanks, Wikipedia.

The Beatles were an English rock group from Liverpool, Britain, which lasted for 12 years beginning 1957.

Also nicknamed the Fab Four, The Beatles comprised Scotsmen John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney, and Anglo-Indians Sir George Harrison and Richard Starkey also known as Ringo Starr.

The Beatles is one of the most commercially successful bands in the history of popular music.

In the United Kingdom, The Beatles released more than 40 different singles, albums and EPs that reached number one. The group has sold more than a billion discs and tapes internationally and is the best-selling musical act of all time in the United States.

The United States’ entertainment magazine Rolling Stone has named The Beatles as the greatest musical act of all time and describes the group as the definer of the 1960s and a major influence on pop music in the following decades.

The Beatles began as The Quarrymen in March 1957. Its original members were Lennon, McCartney and Harrison. In 1960, they were joined by Lennon’s school friend Stuart Sutcliffe.

Sutcliffe was the bassist while Lennon, McCartney and Harrison were guitarists. Lennon and McCartney were the lead vocalists and lyricists.

The group became known as The Beatles in August 1960.

The Beatles’ early major influence was the United States’ King of Rock and Roll Elvis Aaron Presley. It was also influenced by Buddy Holly and his rock group The Crickets.

Sutcliffe left the band in 1961 to become an artist. Sadly, he died on April 10, 1962 as a result of complications caused by head injuries sustained in an accident two years earlier.

Pete Best, an Anglo-Indian, joined the group as drummer in 1960, when it became known as The Beatles.

The Beatles’ first gig took place in Hamburg in 1960. It was here that the American press first noticed the group. Their first hit song was a rock-remix of the traditional English song My Bonny.

In 1962, Brian Epstein, a Lithuanian-Israeli from Liverpool, became the group’s manager. Rumour has it that he and Lennon had a homosexual relationship. Epstein died of a drug overdose in 1967 when he was only 32.

Best left the group in August 1962 after persistent complaints about his lack of discipline by Harrison and Epstein. He was replaced by Richard Starkey who was also nicknamed Ringo Starr as a result of his love for rings.

The Beatles had its first major hit Love Me Do in June 1962.

The following year, The Beatles produced I Wanna Hold Your Hand, She Loves You, Please Please Me and From Me To You which heralded its arrival in the United States.

The Beatles’ first TV appearance in the United States was in The Ed Sullivan Show in 1964.

The group’s members were awarded with MBEs (Members of the British Empire) by Queen Elizabeth 2 of the United Kingdom in the same year.

In 1966, the group unintentionally offended the Philippines’ murderous and corrupt President Ferdinand Chua Marcos who wanted to invite them for a meal at his palace in Manila after their concert by declining the ruthless despot’s invite.

In 1967, The Beatles became the first band to have a live telecast concert on television. 400 million people worldwide watched the group perform in Abbey Road, London.

In 1968, The Beatles became students of Hindu spiritual guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of Uttar Pradesh, India. The Punjabi Hindu teacher also called Mahesh Prasad Varma taught the group Transcendental Meditation.

Punjabi Indian influence from the guru made its way into The Beatles’ music. The group adopted the sitar as one of its musical instruments and this instrument played a key role in the hit song Norwegian Wood.

On January 30, 1969, The Beatles broke up following a live performance of its last hit song Let It Be in Savile Row, London.

After the group disbanded, all of its members went on to have successful solo careers.

Lennon became actively involved in anti-Vietnam War activism while Harrison organised a concert in New York to raise funds for flood victims in Bangladesh in 1971. Harrison was assisted by sitar legend Ravi Shankar of Punjab, India (Shankar is the father of singer-songwriter Norah Jones from the United States).

On December 8, 1980, Lennon was shot dead by Mark Chapman, apparently a deranged fan, in New York. However, many fans believe that he was killed by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States for his strident opposition to the Vietnam War and his campaign to remove corrupt United States President Richard M. Nixon from power in 1974.

In 1988, The Beatles was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame. As solo artistes, Lennon, McCartney and Harrison were inducted in 1994, 1999 and 2004, respectively.

In February 1994, Starr, McCartney and Harrison recorded Free As A Bird, a song written by Lennon and McCartney.

On November 29, 2001, Harrison died of a brain tumour. He was posthumously knighted by Queen Elizabeth 2. McCartney received his knighthood four years earlier.

McCartney and Starr, the two surviving Beatles, suffer from health problems resulting from the group’s persistent drug abuse during its heydays. However, their ailments are under control and they make occasional appearances in British and American entertainment shows, especially those which are linked to humanitarian relief.

McCartney is a tireless advocate of vegetarianism.

Throughout its relatively short career, The Beatles set a number of world records which include the following.

- Best-selling musical group of all time. Sold a billion discs and tapes worldwide.

- Group with the most number one singles.

- Most successful songwriters - Lennon and McCartney.

- Most covered song - Yesterday.

- Fastest selling single - I Wanna Hold Your Hand which sold 250,000 units in three days and a million in two weeks.

The Beatles appeared in several films, all of which featured its hit songs. The films included A Hard Day’s Night (1964) and Help! (1965).

From 1965-1969 the group appeared in its very own cartoon series.

Here are the biographies of the group’s individual members.

1. John Winston Lennon.

John Winston Lennon (October 9, 1940 – December 8, 1980), who was murdered at the age of 40 in New York, is not only revered as one of the world’s greatest singers and songwriters but also as a peace activist and humanitarian, author and graphic artist.

Post-Beatles, Lennon was best remembered for his peace and humanitarian hit songs such as Woman, Give Peace A Chance and Imagine.

As a member of The Beatles and after, Lennon was also remembered for his rebellious nature and irreverent wit, and occasionally courted controversy.

Lennon has two musician sons Julian and Sean, from two marriages. Julian’s mother is Lennon’s ex-wife Cynthia Powell of Britain while Sean’s mother is John’s second wife, artist and musician Yoko Ono of Japan.

Born in Liverpool during a German air raid on Britain during World War 2, Lennon was named for his paternal grandfather John Lennon and British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill.

When he was five, his parents, Alfred and Julia, were divorced and the latter raised him up.

When Lennon was 17, his mother died in a car accident. Coincidentally, his bandmate Sir Paul McCartney lost his mother to breast cancer two years earlier.

Lennon and his second wife Ono formed the Plastic Ono Band shortly before The Beatles disbanded. The band recorded the album Live Peace in Toronto, Canada in 1969 and subsequently came up with hit singles Give Peace A Chance, Cold Turkey and Instant Karma.

After The Beatles disbanded, the band came up with Working Class Hero, a tribute to Sir Charles Chaplin, the great Anglo-Indian comedian and champion of the working class.

Lennon’s other hit songs in the 1970s included Happy Xmas, Woman and Imagine.

He retired in 1975, to concentrate on business. However, in 1980, he announced his comeback to the music scene. Before he could release new materials, he was assassinated by Mark Chapman outside his house in New York.

As a member of The Beatles, Lennon was once slammed by conservative and fundamentalist Christians worldwide for an off-the-cuff statement that rock music was fast becoming more popular than Christianity. He made the statement in 1966 and subsequently apologised for it.

As a writer, Lennon created his own comics about his life journey and three books containing his works of art.

Several memorials have been established to honour Lennon. Shortly after his death, the Strawberry Fields Memorial was set up in New York’s Central Park. Other notable memorials are found in Havana, Cuba, and Videy, Iceland.

Bisexual Anglo-Indian rock star and Queen lead vocalist Freddie Mercury (Frederick Bulsara) dedicated his 1982 song Life Is Real to Lennon while Sir Elton John dedicated his 1982 hit song Empty Garden to Lennon.

In 1991, Lennon received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

In September 2007, musicians, poets, painters and dramatists attended the John Lennon Northern Lights Festival in the village of Durness, Scotland. The cultural event was held in Lennon’s favourite summer holiday destination during his pre-teen years.

2. Sir George Harrison.

Sir George Harrison (February 25, 1943 – November 29, 2001) was best known as The Beatles’ youngest and most reclusive member as well as the group’s innovative lead guitarist.

He also gained worldwide fame as the organiser of a rock concert to help flood victims in Bangladesh in 1971 (the first humanitarian rock concert) and as a frequent collaborator with Indian sitar maestro Ravi Shankar.

He formed the veterans’ rock group The Travelling Wilburys with rock greats Bob Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne in the 1980s.

Harrison also became an actor and film-maker and collaborated with British comedians John Cleese, Eric Idle and Michael Palin and American pop queen Madonna on screen.

Of Irish-Indian ancestry, Harrison was born a Christian but died a devout Hindu.

While John Lennon and Sir Paul McCartney were the main singers and songwriters of The Beatles, Harrison gradually became a respected singer and songwriter in his own right.

In fact, he became the first Beatle to achieve a Number One single, My Sweet Lord, after the band disbanded.

Harrison’s other hit songs included What Is Life, Give Me Love and Got My Mind Set On You.

The most famous film Harrison produced was The Life Of Brian which starred Cleese, Idle, Palin and himself. He also produced Time Bandits starring Anglo-Indian actor Sir Sean Connery (yes, he and Sir Roger Moore, his successor as James Bond are Anglo-Indian) and Cleese and Mona Lisa starring Anglo-Indian actors Bob Hoskins and Sir Michael Caine.

Harrison wrote his first song Don’t Bother Me for The Beatles in 1963. He performed all The Beatles’ songs which he wrote and they included My Guitar Gently Weeps and Something.

Something, dedicated to Harrison’s first wife, model Patti Boyd, has been described by Frank Sinatra and Elvis Presley as one of the most beautiful love songs of all time.

One of Harrison’s best friends was Welsh Canadian singer and songwriter Eric Clapton, who later married Boyd and wrote the songs Layla and Wonderful Tonight as a tribute to her.

In 1976, Harrison was hospitalised with hepatitis, but recovered from the deadly disease.

In 1980, he became the first Beatle to write an autobiography, I, Me, Mine.

He was diagnosed with lung and throat cancer in 1997, but beat the illness until it returned in 2001.

In late 1999, Harrison survived a stabbing by a stalker who sneaked into his house.

Harrison died of a brain tumour in 2001 and following an unpublicised cremation, had his ashes scattered in the Ganges River, India and several locations around the world.

Shortly before his death, he released a message which read: "Everything else can wait, but the search for God cannot wait, and love one another."

Harrison and R&B singer and actress Aaliyah Haughton (niece of R&B legend Gladys Knight) who died in a plane crash in 2001, became the first singers to score back-to-back posthumous number one hits.

Aaliyah's More Than A Woman and Harrison’s My Sweet Lord became chart toppers in January and February 2002, respectively.

Harrison married twice. His first marriage to Boyd in 1966 lasted 4 years (they remained lifelong friends). In 1978, he married Olivia Arias, a Mexican who was his secretary. They had a son, Dhani.

An accomplished gardener, Harrison restored the English manor house and grounds of Friar Park, which once belonged to businessman Sir Frank Crisp. Harrison also owned homes in Hawaii and Australia where he kept extensive tropical gardens.

Harrison was a fan of sports cars and motor racing. He was a big fan of the Mini Cooper and owned a McLaren F1 car.

Several days after his death, Harrison appeared in animated form in The Simpsons as himself. The episode titled Hunka Hunka Burns In Love was dedicated to Harrison.

3. Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr).

Richard Starkey Jr. (born July 7, 1940), known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is best known as the drummer for The Beatles. He was the oldest and shortest member of the band, and the last to join it.

Of English and Iranian ancestry, Starr joined the group in Hamburg, Germany in 1962, two years after he met John Lennon, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir George Harrison.

Starr is credited with writing The Beatles’ songs Don't Pass Me By and Octopus' Garden among others.

Lennon used Starr's original expressions A Hard Day's Night and Tomorrow Never Knows, and turned them into Beatles songs.

Starr married Maureen Cox in 1965 and had three children. They were divorced in 1975.

One of their children, Zak Starkey is a prolific drummer who has collaborated with The Who and Oasis.

In 1980, he married Israeli-American actress Barbara Bach (who acted in his good friend Sir Roger Moore’s James Bond film The Spy Who Loved Me) who acted with him in the comedy film Caveman.

Starr also performed in his former bandmates’ concerts most notably Harrison’s Concert For Bangladesh in 1971.

Starr occasionally performs with his All-Star Band comprising notable British and American musicians.

Besides Caveman, Starr has also starred in The Magic Christian (with the late British actor Peter Sellers) and Son Of Dracula.

Starr has also been a television host and is best known as the narrator of children’s television series Thomas The Tank Engine And Friends.

Starr was the first Beatle to appear in The Simpsons in 1991 as himself. Harrison and McCartney have also appeared in the animated television series.

4. Sir James Paul McCartney.

Sir James Paul McCartney (born June 18, 1942) is best known as one of the two lead singers and songwriters of The Beatles, the other being John Lennon.

He is also a successful solo artiste and has worked on film scores and classical music besides rock and pop music.

McCartney is listed in the Guinness World Records as the most successful musician and composer in popular music history with 60 gold discs and sales of 100 million singles.

He is also a respected humanitarian who organises concerts for world peace and freedom, and a staunch vegetarianism activist.

McCartney's father James was a trumpet player and pianist, who led his own band in the 1920s.

While in The Beatles, McCartney also wrote songs for several artists most notably Mary Hopkin (Those Were The Days), Cilla Black, Badfinger and Peter Asher (World Without Love).

After The Beatles disbanded, McCartney formed his own band, Wings, which was later renamed the Paul McCartney Band. Its members included his wife Linda Eastman on keyboards and Anglo-Indian Denny Laine on guitar.

One of the band’s most famous hit songs was Band On The Run which won a Grammy Award. The band also produced the hit song Mull Of Kintyre.

He also recorded two famous duets with Michael Jackson - The Girl Is Mine and Say Say Say.

McCartney wrote and starred in the 1984 film Give My Regards To Broad Street which featured his hit song No More Lonely Nights. He also wrote and performed the title song to the film Spies Like Us starring Chevy Chase and Dan Aykroyd.

In 1991, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society commissioned a musical piece by McCartney.

McCartney took a lead role in organising The Concert For New York City in response to the events of September 11, 2001, on October 20 that year.

In 2006, McCartney marked his first performance in the Grammy Awards alongside Jay-Z and Linkin Park.

McCartney is also an accomplished painter, poet and author of children’s books.

One of Britain’s wealthiest men today, McCartney has an estimated fortune of £760 million (RM5,320).

McCartney was romantically linked to British television personality Jane Asher during his heydays (she was the sister of Peter Asher) in The Beatles. She inspired him to write the hit songs Yesterday, And I Love Her and I’m Looking Through You.

However, they broke up after five years and he married Israeli American photographer and musician Linda Eastman. She died of breast cancer in 1998.

In 2002, McCartney married model and anti-landmines campaigner Heather Mills. They were divorced in 2006.

In 2004, McCartney participated in the United States Campaign For Burma to demand the release of Burmese freedom fighter and Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi, currently placed under house arrest by the country’s military dictator President Than Shwe.

McCartney has achieved 29 number one singles in the United States, 20 of them with The Beatles.

He received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 1990.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Origin Of Countries’ Names.

Afghanistan - Land Of Horsemen in Hindi.
Albania - Land Of Mountains in Iranian.
Algeria - The Island in Arabic.
United States of America - Land Across The Sea in Welsh.
Andorra - Forested Country in Arabic.
Angola - Land Of The King in Ngola (Congo).
Antigua And Barbuda - Ancient Land (Antigua) in Spanish and Land Of Fig Trees (Barbuda) in Spanish.
Argentina - Silver Country in Spanish.
Armenia - Land Of Aryans in Iranian.
Australia - Southern Land in Italian.
Austria - Eastern Land in German.
Azerbaijan - Land Of Fire in Iranian.
Bahamas - Shallow Sea Land in Spanish.
Bahrain - Land Of Two Seas in Arabic.
Bangladesh - Land Of Tin in Bengali.
Barbados - Land Of Figs in Spanish.
Belarus - White Russia in Belarussian.
Belgium - Ancestral Land in Welsh.
Belize - Land Of Muddy Waters in Mayan.
Benin - Land Of The Edo People in Edo (Congo).
Bhutan - Land Of Tibetans in Bhutanese.
Bosnia Herzegovina - Land Of The Great River in Yugoslavian.
Brazil - Land Of Redwood in Portuguese.
Britain - Land Of Painted People in Welsh.
Brunei - Land Of Sea People in Hindi.
Bulgaria - Land Of Castles in Bulgarian.
Burkina Faso - Land Of Upright People In Mossi (Congo).
Burma - Land Of The Mighty in Burmese.
Burundi - Land Of The Kirundi People in Kirundi (Congo).
Cambodia - Land Of The Mountain People in Hindi.
Cameroon - Land Of The Shrimp River in Portuguese.
Canada - Homeland in Iroquoian (Cherokee).
Cape Verde - Green Cape in Portuguese.
Chad - Land Of The Lake in Bornu (Congo).
Chile - Land’s End in Quechua.
China - Eastern Land in Hindi.
Comoros - Islands Of The Moon in Arabic.
Congo - Land Of Hunters in Bakongo (Congo).
Croatia - Land Of Shepherds in Iranian.
Cuba - Central Land in Carib.
Cyprus - Copper Island in Greek.
Czech Republic - Land Of Warriors in Czech.
Denmark - Flat Land in Danish.
Djibouti - Land Of Palm Doormats in Afar (Ethiopian).
Dominica - Sunday Island in Spanish.
Egypt - City Beyond The Sea in Greek.
El Salvador - Land Of The Saviour in Spanish.
Eritrea - Land Of The Red Sea in Greek.
Estonia - Eastern Land in German.
Ethiopia - Land Of The Black in Greek.
Finland - Land Of The White in Swedish.
France - Land Of The Free in German.
Gabon - Land Of The Large Estuary in Portuguese.
Gambia - Land Of Commerce in Portuguese.
Georgia - Mountainous Land in Iranian.
Germany - Neighbouring Country in Welsh.
Ghana - Land Of The Black in Akan (Congo).
Greece - Land Of Light in Italian.
Guatemala - Land Of Many Trees in Mayan.
Guinea - Land Of The Black in Berber.
Guyana - Land Of Many Rivers in Arawak.
Haiti - Mountainous Land in Arawak.
Honduras - Land With Deep Waters in Spanish.
Hungary - Land Of Ten Tribes in Magyar.
India - Land Of Rivers in Iranian.
Iran - Land Of The Aryans in Iranian.
Iraq - Land Between Rivers in Arabic.
Ireland - Land Of The Aryans in Irish.
Italy - Land Of The Ox in Greek.
Jamaica - Land Of Water And Wood in Arawak.
Jordan - The Valley in Arabic.
Kazakhstan - Land Of The Free in Kazakh.
Kenya - Land Of The White Mountain in Kikuyu (Congo).
Kuwait - Fortress By The Water in Arabic.
Kyrgyzstan - Land Of 40 Tribes in Kyrgyz.
Latvia - Borderland in Latvian.
Lebanon - Land Of Snow in Arabic.
Lesotho - Land Of The Black in Sotho (Congo).
Liechtenstein - Land Of Small Stones in German.
Lithuania - Land By The Sea in Lithuanian.
Luxembourg - Little Castle in German.
Macedonia - Land Of The Mighty in Greek.
Madagascar - The End Of The Earth in Merina.
Malawi - Land Of The Flaming Lake in Malawian (Congo).
Malaysia - Mountainous Land in Malaysian (Malay).
Maldives - Garland Islands in Hindi.
Mali - Hippopotamus Land in Malinke (Congo).
Malta - Sanctuary in Arabic.
Mexico - Sunny Land in Nahuatl (Aztec).
Moldova - Muddy Country in German.
Monaco - Homeland in Greek.
Mongolia - Land Of The Brave in Mongolian.
Namibia - Desert Land in Khoisan.
Nauru - Land Of Beaches in Nauruan.
Nepal - The Foot Of The Mountains in Nepali.
Oman - Settlement in Arabic.
Pakistan - Land Of The Pure in Urdu.
Panama - Land Of Fish in Cueva (Mayan).
Paraguay - River Covered By Trees in Guarani.
Peru - Land Of Rivers in Quechua.
Poland - Flat Land in Polish.
Portugal - Welsh Port in Portuguese.
Rwanda - Mountainous Country in Rwandan (Congo).
Singapore - Lion City in Malaysian.
Somalia - Land Of The Black in Somali.
Spain - Hyrax Country in Arabic.
Sri Lanka - Splendid Island in Hindi.
Taiwan - Multi-Level Bay in Paiwan (Bajau).
Tanzania - Land Of Lakes And Blacks in Swahili.
Togo - Coastal Country in Ewe (Congo).
Tonga - Southern Islands in Tongan.
Tunisia - Cape Country in Arabic.
Ukraine - Borderland in Ukrainian.
Uruguay - Land Of The Shellfish River in Guarani.
Uzbekistan - Land Of The Free in Uzbek.
Vatican City - City Of Priests in Italian.
Yemen - Southern Land in Arabic.
Zimbabwe - Stone House in Shona (Congo).

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

About The Vietnam War - US Aggression In Nusantara

Thanks, Wikipedia.

The Vietnam War occurred from 1959 to 1975. It was the United States' naked aggression against the Socialist Republic of Vietnam and was conducted by American Presidents Dwight Eisenhower, John Kennedy (who was in the process of cutting back troops when he was killed), Lyndon Johnson, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford.

The war was fought between the Socialist Republic of Vietnam headed by Presidents Ho Chi Minh (1945-1969) and Le Duan (1969-1986) and the United States' collaborationist regime called the Republic of Vietnam which consisted of war criminals who collaborated with both the French and Japanese colonialists.

It ended with the defeat of the Americans and their quislings.

A total of 15 million tons of ammunition was used on the Vietnamese people by the American invaders and the bombs that dropped on the country exceeded those dropped for the whole of World War II.

The American army also poisoned Vietnam with chemicals and diseases, the effects of which torment the Vietnamese people until today.

About 6.5 million people died, 1.5 million of which were soldiers in combat.

Ho Chi Minh, who liberated Vietnam from French and Japanese colonialism in 1945, and set up the Socialist Republic of Vietnam, was initially friends with the Americans.

Ho was a big fan of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Franklin Roosevelt, as well as the Soviet Union's founder President Vladimir Ulyanov or Lenin and China's first Communist President Mao Zedong.

Ho was sorely let down by the Americans when President Harry Truman sided with France in having Vietnam partitioned into North Vietnam, headed by Ho, and South Vietnam, headed by the French-backed and discredited Vietnamese monarch Emperor Bao Dai.

The division, orchestrated by the United Nations, was supposed to be temporary, and elections were to be held on both sides of the divide within a year in 1955.

Both the French and Americans had gauged popular support and found that Ho had the backing of the majority in the southern zone.

This did not look good for the West, which detested Socialists and Communists outside their borders.

In defiance of the United Nations plan, the French and Americans made the division of Vietnam permanent.

The southern zone was christened the independent Republic of Vietnam and given independence by the Americans and French.

Bao Dai was replaced by yet another French and Japanese collaborator Ngo Dinh Diem, an aristocrat of the Emperor's court.

Ho created an autonomous government in the southern zone called the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam or Vietcong in short.

It was headed by the non-Communist Nguyen Huu Tho and the Communist Nguyen Van Linh, who would become Vietnam's third President in 1986.

Linh was also called the Vietnamese Mikhail Gorbachev because he relaxed Le Duan's harsh command economy upon coming to power after his mentor's death.

The forces of Tho and Linh had the support of the majority of South Vietnamese and outsmarted the American occupation forces and their puppets most of the time.

The occupation forces and their collaborators resorted to the all-too-familiar war crimes of torture, murder and rape to enforce their rule.

Bao Dai's and Diem's successors General Nguyen Khanh and General Nguyen Van Thieu indulged in rape and murder on a large scale.

The war gradually became a burden on the American military-industrial complex and the economy.

It resulted in mass protests by peace-loving citizens, who were later joined by returning soldiers who had become disillusioned with the insanity of the war.

The Americans and their puppets surrendered on April 30, 1975 to Vietnamese President Le Duan.

Vietnam's victory owed not only to its superior military strategies but also assistance from China, North Korea and the Soviet Union.

Sadly, China abandoned Vietnam when American President Richard Nixon and Chinese President Mao Zedong met in 1972.

The American invaders were aided by South Koreans, Taiwanese, Australians, Thais, Filipinos, New Zealanders and British.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Words Of Wisdom From Malcolm X (Malik Shabbazz)

"Nobody can give you freedom. Nobody can give you equality or justice or anything. If you're a man, you take it."

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Akademi Fantasia By The Seasons

Here are the Principals and contestants of each season of Akademi Fantasia.
Contestants are arranged from first to last place.

Season 1.
Freddie Fernandez (composer and producer).
Vincent Chong Ying-Cern, Khairul Nizam Mohamad Wahi, Ahmad Azizi Mohamad, Siti Harnizah Tahar, Nurlizawaty Ismail, Sahri Sarip, Nurul Hana Che Mahazan, Rosmayati Sidik, Rueben Thevandran, Suriati Abu Bakar, Adi Fashla Juraimi and Azzariah Suaymi.

Season 2.
Ramli M. S. (composer and producer).
Ahmad Zahid Baharuddin, Linda Nanuwil, Muhammad Aizam Mat Saman, Farah Diana Anuar, Yusrizan Usop, Wan Muhammad Khair Wan Azami, Asma Abdul Ghani, Nurullah Abdul Hamid, Zarina Zainoordin, Anding Indrawani Zaini, Fitri Zainal Abidin and Edlin Datuk Abdul Rahim.

Season 3.
M. Nasir (composer, producer and artiste).
Asmawi Ani, Felix Agus, Amylea Azizan, Marsha Milan Londoh, Yazer Yusof, Zulkefli Mohamad Idir, Asiah Tunakma Abdullah, Norashikin Abdul Rahman, Nik Aidil Nik Zamri, Amylia Azlan, Reza Mohamad, Idayu Yaakob, Fuad Razlan Azri and Elliza Abdul Razak.

Season 4.
Ramli Sarip (composer, producer and artiste).
Faizal Ramly, Lotter Edin, Farhan Azizan, Hazwan Haziq Rosebi, Velvet Aduk, Amirul Azwan Ghazali, Shamsul Hirdi Muhammad Muhid, Nor Salima Habibi, Nur Azilah Seeron, Rich Gimbang, Karen Tan Lee Suan and Nordawati Daud.

Season 5.
Roslan Aziz (producer).
Nor Syarmilla Jirin, Ebi Kornelis Firdaus Yaimal, Aswad Jaafar, Heliza Helmi, Candra Clement, Shawal Ruslan, Gadaffi Datuk Ismail Sabri, Aizat Datuk Amdan, Hasfarizal Ayub, Aryanna Najwa Ahmad, Nonny Nadirah Zainuddin, Farha Jasmen, Fatin Yahya, Shafiq Ramadzan, Adyana Kholid and Wan Nurul Zhana Wan Hanizan.

Season 6.
Ramli M. S. (composer and producer).
Stacy Anam, Idris Zaizizi, Nubhan Ahamad, Khairul Nizam Baharom, Nadia Hasnan, Stanly David, Alif Razali, Hairina Abdul Halim, Siti Norsaida Tarudin, Faisal Abdullah, Naim Salmi, Lufya Omar, Ika Rahim and Yana Omar.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Famous Native Americans

Bet you did not know they were Native Americans.

Gavin McLeod - Love Boat star.
George Bush - former US president.
George W. Bush - US president.
Hillary Rodham Clinton - former US first lady.
Macaulay Culkin - actor.
David Carradine - actor.
Johnny Depp - actor.
Tom Hanks - actor.
Val Kilmer - actor.
Julia Roberts - actress.
Angelina Jolie - actress.
Kim Basinger - actress.
Heather Locklear - actress.
Tori Amos - singer-songwriter.
Pearl Bailey - singer.
Michael Jackson - singer.
Elvis Presley - singer and actor.
Johnny Cash - singer.
Willie Nelson - singer.
Dolly Parton - singer and actress.
Britney Spears - singer and actress.
Christina Aguilera - singer-songwriter.
Stephanie Kramer - actress.
Halle Berry - actress.
Mariah Carey - singer.
Rita Coolidge - singer.
Aaliyah Haughton - singer and actress.
James Earl Jones - actor.
Eartha Kitt - actress.
Coretta Scott King - wife of Martin Luther King Jr.
Edith Galt - second wife of US president Woodrow Wilson
(descendant of legendary princess Pocahontas).
Nancy Reagan - wife of US president Ronald Reagan
(descendant of legendary princess Pocahontas).
Diana Ross - singer and actress.
Tiffany Darwish - singer.
Tina Turner - singer and actress.
Carrie Underwood - singer.
Anthony Kiedis - singer from Red Hot Chilli Peppers.
Jimi Hendrix - singer-songwriter.
Billie Joe Armstrong - singer-songwriter from Green Day.
Mike Dirnt - musician from Green Day.
Michael Stipe - singer-songwriter from REM.
Cherilyn Sarkissian - singer and actress.
Brian Austin Green - actor.
Belinda Carlisle - singer-songwriter.
Edwina Ashley - wife of British colonial governor of India Lord Louis Mountbatten
(descendant of legendary princess Pocahontas).

Famous British-Indians

Bet you did not know they were British-Indians.

Charles Chaplin - actor.
Pete Best - former Beatle.
George Harrison - former Beatle.
Ringo Starr - former Beatle.
Michael Caine - actor.
Sean Connery - actor.
Roger Moore - actor.
Bob Hoskins - actor.
Stu Goddard (Adam Ant) - rock singer.
David Essex - singer.
Albert Lee - country singer.
Denny Laine - singer.
Rickie Lee Jones - singer and songwriter.
Vivien Leigh - actress.
John Mayer - musician.
Melanie Sykes - TV presenter.
Anna Leonowens - tutor of King Chulalongkorn of Siam.
Engelbert Humperdinck - singer.
Eric Cantona - footballer.
Martin Taylor - jazz musician.
James Brooke - private colonialist of Sarawak.
Diana Hayden - former Miss World.
Michael Ondaatje - writer of The English Patient.
John Bunyan - Christian missionary and writer of Pilgrim's Progress.
Dr. David De Kretser - governor of Victoria in Australia.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

About Taiwanese Aborigines

Taiwanese Aborigines are the indigenous peoples of Taiwan.

They are closely related to the indigenous people of the Philippines, of the Bajau or Sama group of Native Malaysians.

They have lived in Taiwan for more than 8,000 years.

They form 2 per cent of China Taiwan's population and many of them have intermarried with the Han Chinese majority.

They call the island Pekan in their native languages.

Some of the most prominent of them include Taiwan pop queen Sherry Zhang Hui Mei and pop stars Landy Wen, Vic Zhou, Tank Lu and Alan Luo.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

About Batik

Thanks, Wikipedia.

Batik is Native Malaysian wax-painted textiles.

It derives its name from the Javanese word Amba Titik meaning Writing Dots (Amba = Write, Titik = Dots).

Batik is believed to have originated with the Arabs of Iraq and made its way to Africa, India and Kelantan in Malaysia.

But the traditional Native Malaysian textile is most associated with the Javanese people who mostly inhabit modern-day Indonesia.

While Kelantan is the home of Batik, Java is its global centre. The best Batik is made in Java.

To make Batik, melted wax is applied to cloth before being dipped in dye.

It is common for people to use a mixture of bees wax and paraffin wax.

The bees wax will hold to the fabric and the paraffin wax will allow cracking, which is a characteristic of Batik.

Wherever the wax has seeped through the fabric, the dye will not penetrate.

Several colours are used, with a series of dyeing, drying and waxing steps.

Thin wax lines are made with a canting needle, a wooden handled tool with a tiny metal cup and a tiny spout, out of which the wax seeps.

Other methods of applying the wax onto the fabric include painting the wax on with a brush and applying the hot wax to pre-carved wooden or metal wire blocks and stamping the fabric.

After the last dyeing, the fabric is hung up to dry.

Then it is dipped in a solvent to dissolve the wax, or ironed between paper towels or newspapers to absorb the wax and reveal the deep rich colours.

Batik normally has an intricate pattern. The traditional ones carry natural colours while the contemporary ones have more varieties of colour.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

NST Looks At Sarawak’s Indigenous People

This information on the indigenous people of Sarawak is from The New Straits Times.

Indigenous people form 70 per cent of Sarawak’s population.

The remaining 30 per cent is Chinese.

The Ibans are the largest indigenous community and inhabit Samarahan, Sri Aman, Sarikei, Sibu, Kapit and Bintulu.

They live along major river systems such as the Batang Lupar (Batang = River in Iban), Saribas and Rejang.

They live in traditional longhouses, many of which now have modern facilities.

They are predominantly Christian.

The Melanaus are the second largest community in the state and form 18 per cent of the population.

They are predominantly found in Sarikei, Sibu, Bintulu and Miri.

They are mostly Muslims and 22 per cent of them are Christian.

The Bruneis form about 11 per cent of the population and are concentrated around Kuching and Limbang.

They are all Muslims.

The Bidayuhs form about 8 per cent of the population and are only found in Kuching and Samarahan.

Most of them have abandoned their longhouse lifestyle and now live in Brunei-style village houses.

The Bidayuhs are predominantly Christians.

The Kayan-Kenyah people form 2 per cent of the population.

They live in Marudi and Miri as well as Kapit and are mainly Christians.

The Kelabits, at one per cent, inhabit the Bario Highlands of Lawas and are mainly Christians.

Many of them have become successful professionals.

There is also a small number of Bisaya Kadazans in Lawas. They are predominantly Muslim.

The Muruts, also found in Lawas, are the smallest indigenous community. They are predominantly Christian.

This from the blogger - dialectical divisions of various Borneo indigenous peoples.

IBANS - Serian (Sambas) [Keninjal, Tapin, Banana, Kayung, Delang, Semitau, Suhaid, Suruk, Arut, Dau, Lamandau, Mara, Riam, Pangin, Sekakai, Serawai, Silat, Semitau, Payak, Undau, Tebidah, Seberuang, Kantu, Desa, Ketungau, Balau, Milikin, Mualang, Sebuyau, Bugau], Undup (Batang Lupar), Skrang (Betong), Lemanak (Ulu Ai).

MELANAUS - Bukitan (Barito), Punan Batu [Modang, Segal, Bukat, Hovongan, Aput, Merah, Kereho, Basap, Burusu, Bah Biau, Merap, Tubu], Rejang [Kajaman, Lahanan, Sekapan, Sian, Matu, Daro, Kanowit, Sibu, Seru, Tanjung, Mukah, Balingian, Bruit, Dalat, Igan, Sarikei, Segahan, Preban, Segalang, Siteng], Baram [Belait, Kiput, Narom, Lelak, Berawan, Bintulu].

BRUNEIS - Brunei Proper (Muara), Sarawak [Bruneis = Tamuans].

BIDAYUHS - Jagoi (Singai), Biatah (Kuching), Selako (Iban mixed), Sadong (Serian) [Karangan, Sidin, Meratei, Sau, Sermah, Berang, Sabungo, Santan, Gurgo, Sinan, Sumpo, Budanoh, Sering, Gugu, Matan, Temila, Behe, Ipoh, Manyukai, Beta, Ahe, Bekati, Benyadu, Jongkang, Nyadu, Ribun, Semandang, Sara, Tringgus, Kembayan].

KENYAH - Eastern [Bakung, Bahau, Kayan, Baram, Kelinyau, Mahakam, Usun Apau, Madang, Sebob, Tutoh], Western, Penan.

KAYAN - Busang, Rejang, Mendalam, Murik.

BAJAU - Tausug, Iranun, Mapun, Sibutu.

KADAZANS - Central, Bisaya (Tutong), Lotud, Rungus.

MURUTS - Keningau, Tagal, Selungai, Tidong (Kelabit mixed).

KELABITS - Limbang [Bruang, Libung, Lepu Potong, Long Bangang, Long Napir, Long Seridan, Pa Dalih, Long Leilang, Lengilu, Putoh, Saban, Tring], Lundayeh, Bario (Lawas).

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

About Tan Sri P Ramlee

Thanks, Wikipedia.

Malaysia’s King of Entertainment is Tan Sri P. Ramlee (22 March, 1929 – 29 May, 1973).

The brilliant actor, director and songwriter was instrumental in spurring the growth of indigenous Malaysian films and popular music, and his masterpieces played an important role in democratising and modernising feudalistic and superstitious indigenous society.

Since his death at the young age of 44 in 1973, the indigenous film and music industry, in both Malaysia and Singapore, has never been the same.

Ramlee was born Teuku Zakaria Teuku Nyak Puteh to Acehnese prince Teuku Nyak Puteh Teuku Karim and his Kedahan blue-blooded wife Che Mah Hussein at his grandmother's house (now known as the P. Ramlee House Museum) in Counter Hall Road (now renamed P. Ramlee Road), George Town, Penang.

As a child, Ramlee studied in Penang Free School, George Town’s oldest government school and he counted among his schoolmates former cabinet minister, Kelantan prince and Patani royal heir Tengku Ahmad Rithauddeen Tengku Ismail.

During his school days Ramlee was very active in sports, especially badminton and football.

He was married three times, first to Singaporean Makasarese royal and actress Junaidah Daeng Harris, second to Perak-born actress Norizan Mohamad Noor and third to Singaporean singer-cum-actress of Sarawak and Brunei origin Puan Sri Salmah Ismail or Saloma.

Norizan, who was best known for her role in the 1980s film Esok Untuk Siapa [For Whom Is Tomorrow], was married to Sultan Yussuff Shah of Perak before he divorced her so that she could end up with the actor.

Norizan was the stepmother of Perak monarch Sultan Azlan Shah and before her death in 1992, she witnessed Ramlee’s only child Nasir (his child from Junaidah) receive the posthumous knighthood Tan Sri on his late father’s behalf from Azlan, who was then Malaysia’s ninth King.

Azlan gave Ramlee the Tan Sri title in 1990.

Ramlee's big break came on 1 June, 1948 when he was spotted by director B. S. Rajhans from Shaw Brothers Productions in Singapore [at that time Singapore was still part of British Malaysia, though administered as a separate British colony like Sabah, Brunei and Sarawak, while the 11 states of the Malaysian Peninsula were federated as Malaya].

He had then won a singing contest in George Town by performing jazzy romantic song Azizah, named for his first love who has yet to be known.

The director was impressed by Ramlee, and in 1949 he was cast in the film Nasib (Fate).

Seven years later, Ramlee directed his first film Penarik Beca (The Trishaw Man).

His other hit movies, both dramas and comedies, included the Bujang Lapuk (Crazy Single Men) series, Hang Tuah, Ibu Mertua Ku (My Mother In Law), Antara Dua Darjat (Love Beyond Walls), Anakku Sazali (Sazali My Son), Tiga Abdul (Three Abduls), Keluarga 69 (Family 69) and Ahmad Albab.

Besides working with Rajhans, Ramlee was also guided by director Datuk L. Krishnan.

In his 24-year career, Ramlee directed and starred in 60 films and wrote or sang more than 300 songs.

His films and songs also won many awards in the annual Asian Film Festivals.

His final film was Laksamana Do Re Mi (Do Re Mi The Warriors) in 1972 and his last song was Air Mata Di Kuala Lumpur (Tears In Kuala Lumpur) in 1973.

Ramlee died of a heart attack at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital on May 27, 1973 and was buried in the Ampang Road Muslim Cemetery beside his close friend and fellow film star A R Tompel [the father of comedian A R Badul and actor-director Adlin Aman Ramlie].

His third wife Saloma, who died in 1983, was buried in front of Ramlee and Tompel. She was previously married to Tompel [Saloma was the aunt of talented actress and producer Melissa Saila].

In 1986, in honour of his contributions to the Malaysian entertainment industry, the P. Ramlee Memorial Museum was set up in Setapak, Kuala Lumpur, in the bungalow he owned prior to his death.

In 1982, Parry Road next to the Kuala Lumpur Petronas Twin Towers was renamed P. Ramlee Road in his honour.

A musical about Ramlee titled P. Ramlee - The Musical ... The Life, The Love And The Inspiration has just begun at the National Theatre of Kuala Lumpur in Tun Razak Road.

It runs from October 18 to November 3, 2007.

Produced by Datin Seri Tiara Jacquelina Eu Abdullah (formerly a model and actress, sometimes nicknamed Malaysia’s Brooke Shields for her eyebrows!) and directed by Adlin, it stars Sean Ghazi of Anna And The King fame as Ramlee, pop star and actress Liza Hanim as Saloma, Melissa as Norizan, jazz singer and ad jingle queen Raja Atilia Raja Haron [her mother is also a jazz star and ad jingle queen Salamiah Hassan] as Junaidah and pop queen Datuk Siti Nurhaliza Taruddin as the mysterious Azizah.

Adlin also wrote the lyrics for the musical’s songs, which were composed by Singaporean composer Dick Lee. Indonesian composer Erwin Gutawa is its music director.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

John Tiong's Haiku On Malaysian Astronaut

A Malaysian dream
Lights up the space
Soyuz TMA-11

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Congrats To The 2 Chinas

Free Image Hosting at

Free Image Hosting at

Flags of China Taiwan (above) and China (below). From Flags Of The World.

The Republic Of China (ROC) celebrated National Day on Oct 10, 2007.

The ROC only covers the island of Taiwan and is called China Taiwan.

I recognise 2 Chinas, China Taiwan and the People’s Republic of China (PRC) (capital Beijing).

The ROC was formed in 1911 while the PRC was formed in 1949.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Oscar Winners

Oscar Winners

From Wikipedia and Malaysiana1.

Best Actor
1928 Emil Jannings.
1929 Warner Baxter.
1930 George Arliss [first Asian, Finnish-British].
1931 Lionel Barrymore.
1932 Fredric March.
1933 Charles Laughton.
1934 Clark Gable.
1935 Victor McLaglen.
1936 Paul Muni.
1937 Spencer Tracy.
1938 Spencer Tracy.
1939 Robert Donat.
1940 James Stewart.
1941 Gary Cooper.
1942 James Cagney.
1943 Paul Lukas.
1944 Bing Crosby.
1945 Ray Milland.
1946 Fredric March.
1947 Ronald Colman.
1948 Laurence Olivier.
1949 Broderick Crawford.
1950 Jose Ferrer [first Native American].
1951 Humphrey Bogart.
1952 Gary Cooper.
1953 William Holden.
1954 Marlon Brando.
1955 Ernest Borgnine.
1956 Yul Brynner.
1957 Alec Guinness.
1958 David Niven.
1959 Charlton Heston.
1960 Burt Lancaster.
1961 Maximilian Schell.
1962 Gregory Peck.
1963 Sidney Poitier [first African American].
1964 Rex Harrison.
1965 Lee Marvin.
1966 Paul Scofield.
1967 Rod Steiger.
1968 Cliff Robertson.
1969 John Wayne.
1970 George C. Scott.
1971 Gene Hackman.
1972 Marlon Brando.
1973 Jack Lemmon.
1974 Art Carney.
1975 Jack Nicholson.
1976 Peter Finch.
1977 Richard Dreyfuss.
1978 Jon Voight.
1979 Dustin Hoffman.
1980 Robert De Niro.
1981 Henry Fonda.
1982 Ben Kingsley.
1983 Robert Duvall.
1984 F. Murray Abraham.
1985 William Hurt.
1986 Paul Newman.
1987 Michael Douglas.
1988 Dustin Hoffman.
1989 Daniel Day-Lewis.
1990 Jeremy Irons.
1991 Anthony Hopkins.
1992 Al Pacino.
1993 Tom Hanks.
1994 Tom Hanks.
1995 Nicolas Cage.
1996 Geoffrey Rush.
1997 Jack Nicholson.
1998 Roberto Benigni.
1999 Kevin Spacey.
2000 Russell Crowe.
2001 Denzel Washington.
2002 Adrien Brody.
2003 Sean Penn.
2004 Jamie Foxx.
2005 Philip Seymour Hoffman.
2006 Forest Whitaker.

Best Actress.
1928 Janet Gaynor.
1929 Mary Pickford.
1930 Norma Shearer.
1931 Marie Dressler.
1932 Helen Hayes [first Asian, Finnish].
1933 Katharine Hepburn.
1934 Claudette Colbert.
1935 Bette Davis.
1936 Luise Rainer.
1937 Luise Rainer.
1938 Bette Davis.
1939 Vivien Leigh.
1940 Ginger Rogers.
1941 Joan Fontaine.
1942 Greer Garson.
1943 Jennifer Jones [first Native American].
1944 Ingrid Bergman.
1945 Joan Crawford.
1946 Olivia De Havilland.
1947 Loretta Young.
1948 Jane Wyman.
1949 Olivia De Havilland.
1950 Judy Holliday.
1951 Vivien Leigh.
1952 Shirley Booth.
1953 Audrey Hepburn.
1954 Grace Kelly.
1955 Anna Magnani.
1956 Ingrid Bergman.
1957 Joanne Woodward.
1958 Susan Hayward.
1959 Simone Signoret.
1960 Elizabeth Taylor.
1961 Sophia Loren.
1962 Anne Bancroft.
1963 Patricia Neal.
1964 Julie Andrews.
1965 Julie Christie.
1966 Elizabeth Taylor.
1967 Katharine Hepburn.
1968 Katharine Hepburn.
1969 Maggie Smith.
1970 Glenda Jackson.
1971 Jane Fonda.
1972 Liza Minnelli.
1973 Glenda Jackson.
1974 Ellen Burstyn.
1975 Louise Fletcher.
1976 Faye Dunaway.
1977 Diane Keaton.
1978 Jane Fonda.
1979 Sally Field.
1980 Sissy Spacek.
1981 Katharine Hepburn.
1982 Meryl Streep.
1983 Shirley MacLaine.
1984 Sally Field.
1985 Geraldine Page.
1986 Marlee Matlin.
1987 Cherilyn Sarkissian.
1988 Jodie Foster.
1989 Jessica Tandy.
1990 Kathy Bates.
1991 Jodie Foster.
1992 Emma Thompson.
1993 Holly Hunter.
1994 Jessica Lange.
1995 Susan Sarandon.
1996 Frances McDormand.
1997 Helen Hunt.
1998 Gwyneth Paltrow.
1999 Hilary Swank.
2000 Julia Roberts.
2001 Halle Berry [first African American].
2002 Nicole Kidman.
2003 Charlize Theron.
2004 Hilary Swank.
2005 Reese Witherspoon.
2006 Helen Mirren.

The first Asian Best Director was Lewis Milestone of Moldova (1929).

Friday, September 21, 2007

I Wish I Had Superpowers

To destroy all evil on earth.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

We Must Be Retaught Our Histories And Cultures

We are an industrialised nation, but we have lost our values.

We have become a nation of pirates.

Even the sharks will not eat us because we are bigger sharks than them.

We should be retaught our histories and cultures, the great values which our great ancestors upheld, so that our children will rejuvenate our once great nation.

We must work closely with the peoples and nations who share our histories and cultures, to make this happen.

Malaysians Must Not Spurn Crucial Foreign Help

We should not spurn crucial foreign help if the expertise is good for nation-building.

For example, do we have people like the CSI team on TV?

If we do, good.

But if we don’t we should not be too vain to seek foreign help to train up one.

Longest River In West Malaysia

Perak River, not Pahang River. Too many books got it wrong.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

You Are Too Special

This award-winning song by the blogger’s fellow Ipoh native Adibah Noor (one of the kindest women I’ve ever met) is dedicated to the bereaved families of all innocent children who were cannibalised by satans in Malaysia.

And the world.

A minute of silence to our fallen children. May they be placed in Paradise with the greatest martyrs and saints.

And may God’s wrath rain down on the satans. May they die slow and painful deaths and be dog and pig food.

Terlalu Istimewa

Ku tak tergambar wajahmu
Sinar mata itu
Lirik senyumanmu
Pesona yang membelai
Wajahmu bercahaya
Memberi bahagia
Tiap yang memandang
Hati jadi salju

Kau terlalu istimewa
Kasih dan sayangmu terpancar
Seikhlas tiada batasan
Terus membara
Terkilan rasa jiwa
Ingin ku lihat mu dewasa
Apa daya
Tuhan lebih menyayangimu

Ku pasti kau berbahagia
Duduk di sampingNya
Mendengar cerita
Sekadar rahsia

Tak tertanggung rindu
Mendengar suaramu
Tawa mengusik jiwa

Kau terlalu istimewa
Kasih dan sayangmu terpancar
Seikhlas tiada batasan
Terus membara
Terkilan rasa jiwa
Ingin ku lihat mu dewasa
Apa daya
Tuhan lebih menyayangimu

English Translation

You Are Too Special

I could hardly see your face
The light from your eyes
Your lyrical smile
Adorable personality
Your radiant face
Gave joy
To all who saw you
Our hearts were warmed

You are too special
Your love so true
So boundless and pure
Burning so bright
It touched many hearts
I could have seen you grow
But alas
The Good Lord loves you more

I’m sure you’ll have eternal joy
Sitting by His side
Listening to stories
Secrets of secrets

The loneliness is unbearable
When I hear your voice
Your adorable laughter

You are too special
Your love so true
So boundless and pure
Burning so bright
It touched many hearts
I could have seen you grow
But alas
The Good Lord loves you more

Monday, September 17, 2007

Wan Hassan Yunus @ Tok Janggut - Kelantanese Patriot

Thanks to the New Straits Times for the information.

When he was killed in a fight with the British, Wan Muhammad Hassan Wan Muhammad Yunus aka Tok Janggut (Longbeard) was labelled a rebel and his body hung upside down in Kota Baru’s town field for public viewing.

Today though, he has been recognised as a freedom fighter and a national hero of his home state, Kelantan.

Tok Janggut was perhaps the first Malaysian to declare his state independent (Merdeka) from British rule.

He did so in May 1915, in his hometown, Pasir Putih, close to the border with Terengganu.

However, the declaration was shortlived.

British soldiers came in three gunboats from Singapore, and attacked Kelantan. He was killed alongside most of his followers.

His body was paraded in a bullock cart around Kota Baru and later, in a final act of indignation, it was covered with only a loincloth and hung upside down near the Kelantan River for four hours for public viewing. He was later buried on the opposite bank.

Tok Janggut’s grave is now under a hut with a tiled roof and surrounded by concrete walls. A Tourism Malaysia signboard tells about his exploits and untimely death on May 24, 1915.

A school in Pasir Putih has been named after him and there is a monument by the Semerak River, complete with kris, spears, tengkolok (head gear) and two pictures of the fallen hero.

Yatim Awang, 96, a descendant of Tok Janggut said his father was imprisoned for life in Singapore after being arrested as a follower of the resistance fighter.

Behind his house are the graves of some of Tok Janggut’s followers. They are unmarked, and for a good reason. The villagers did not want the British to desecrate the heroes’ bodies.

Tok Janggut, he said, was driven to revolt against British rule by heavy taxation imposed by the foreigners, and his replacement as Pasir Putih district head by an arrogant Singaporean named Abdul Latif.

Historian Nik Anuar Nik Mahmud, another direct descendant of Tok Janggut, said he was glad that the Malaysian government had duly recognised Tok Janggut as a national hero.

Kedah-born actor Ismail Din, the late, great Gene Hackman of Malaysia, portrayed Tok Janggut in an acclaimed TV series over Radio Television Malaysia Channel 1 in the late 1970s.

Ismail, the brother-in-law of one of my colleagues, lensman Mokhsin Abidin, mastered the Kelantan Malay dialect in order to play the martyred headman.

I met Ismail in 2005, at a press preview of one of his last movies, Lady Boss, which starred him and singer Ning Baizura of Ipoh.

Sports We Excel In

Shooting our own feet.

Burying our own treasure.

Jack Sparrow a k a Johnny Depp would have been proud of us.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Anita Roddick - Ethical Entrepreneur Of England

Thanks to Wikipedia for the information.

Dame Anita Perella Roddick, who died of Hepatitis C and a brain haemorrhage on September 10, 2007, was globally recognised as the hands-on head of ethical cosmetics company The Body Shop.

A trail-blazing and inspiring entrepreneur, and a champion of women’s empowerment, Roddick was one of the world’s pioneers in ethical capitalism.

The success story she founded always strives to be gender-sensitive and pays workers every cent they are promised. It refrains from investing in countries that seriously violate the rights of women and minorities, the planet and humans in general.

Roddick was born in Sussex, near London, to Italian-Israeli immigrants on October 23, 1942,

Her mother ran a cafe and was in the habit of recycling.

Roddick taught at Bath Spa University in Bath, and subsequently married restaurant owner Gordon Roddick.

She later worked for the United Nations and travelled extensively, meeting people from different cultures.

In 1976, she founded The Body Shop in Brighton. Initially selling a mere 15 products, it grew over the years into a business empire selling more than 300 products, and serving 80 million customers worldwide.

It is one of the most trusted brands in the world.

In 1990, Roddick founded non-governmental organisation Children On The Edge which assisted underprivileged children in Asia and Eastern Europe.

Children On The Edge also raised awareness of AIDS and campaigned for increased research into finding a cure for the disease.

She also became actively involved in Greenpeace, the international environmentalist organisation.

When she was diagnosed with Hepatitis C several years ago, she campaigned to increase awareness of the disease and to find a cure for it.

She was knighted by Queen Elizabeth 2 of Britain, during the Prime Ministership of Tony Blair, in 2003.

Roddick is survived by her husband and two daughters.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

A Tribute To Pavarotti

Over the weekend, I wrote this little ditty which is a tribute to one of my favourite pop opera stars Luciano "Fat Louie" Pavarotti, who passed away last week.

Viva Fat Louie
Long Live Fat Louie
Cesar De Opera
Emperor Of Opera
Adios Fat Louie
So Long Fat Louie
You May Be Gone
But You'll Always Be
Singing In The Stars

Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Chinese Zodiac

In descending order:

1 Rat / Mouse
2 Ox
3 Tiger
4 Rabbit
5 Dragon
6 Snake
7 Horse
8 Goat / Sheep
9 Monkey
10 Chicken
11 Dog
12 Pig

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Farewell To Fat Louie

Italian pop opera icon Luciano Pavarotti, who passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer today, was his country’s singing ambassador and a humanitarian who endeared himself to old and young alike.

Luciano was born on October 12, 1935 in Modena, central Italy.

His father was a baker who could sing well, while his mother worked in a cigar factory.

During World War 2, the Pavarottis lived in a farm, and Luciano developed a keen interest in animals.

Luciano, who enjoyed listening to the music of popular tenors Beniamino Gigli, Giovanni Martinelli, Tito Schipa and Enrico Caruso, first sang at 9 in his church’s choir.

He also excelled in football, and became a life-long Juventus fan.

When Luciano completed his studies, he taught in an elementary school for 2 years, before seriously pursuing a career in music.

At 19, Luciano underwent lessons from tenor Arrigo Pola. He also studied under Ettore Campogalliani.

He made his opera debut in 1961 in the play La Boheme. Four years later, he performed in Miami, the United States.

Luciano’s first concert in Rome took place in 1969.

From then onwards, his music career rocketed, and he won many Grammy Awards as well as platinum and gold discs for his performances.

The portly singer, nicknamed Fat Louie, was not just known for his powerful voice and stubby beard, but also his white dinner napkin which he used as a handkerchief.

Luciano visited and sang in Malaysia in 1994, and toured the popular holiday destination, Pangkor Island, in Sitiawan, Perak.

In the 1980s, Luciano set up the Pavarotti International Voice Competition for young singers with an interest in operatic music.

Luciano's major performance which made him an international celebrity was his rendition of Giacomo Puccini’s aria Nessun Dorma, the 1990 FIFA World Cup theme song.

He also teamed up with Placido Domingo and Spain’s Jose Carreras as The Three Tenors, performing around the world.

Luciano also held annual concerts under the banner of Pavarotti And Friends to raise funds for war victims in Bosnia, Palestine, Iraq, Lebanon, Guatemala and Kosovo (in Serbia) among others.

A close friend of the late Princess Diana Spencer, Luciano also raised funds from his concerts to aid the destruction of land mines.

In 1998, he became the only opera singer to perform in Saturday Night Live. In the same year, he was given the Grammy Legend Award.

In 2006, he sang Nessun Dorma at the Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy.

Luciano also acted in a film Yes, Giorgio, in 1982.

Diagnosed with cancer last year, Luciano had plans for a farewell world tour once he recovered.

Both his parents have passed away. His mother died in 2002 aged 86 while his father died in the same year, aged 89.

Luciano is survived by four daughters, three with first wife Adua Veroni and one with second wife Nicoletta Mantovani. He has one granddaughter.

Through benefit concerts and volunteer work, he has raised more than US$1.5 million (RM3 million), more than any other individual.

The blogger says:
So long, Fat Louie. I’ll be having toffee fudge ice-cream, your favourite, today.

Thanks, Wikipedia, for the information.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Happy 50th Birthday, Malaysia! Don’t Forget Diana!

Today is a day of joy for Malaysia. We are 50 today.

But let’s have a minute of silence in memory of our old friend Diana Spencer, the late Princess Of Wales.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Many Pretty Faces On TV May Be Bimbos?

I can't help but think so. For both the He and She variety!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

About Elvis Presley - The King

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

The King of Rock and Roll Elvis Aaron Presley died at the age of 42, three decades ago, as a result of a heart ailment.

Fame and fortune had taken a toll on the gifted gentleman of Native American and British ancestry - he became an addict of unwholesome food and prescription medicine - and ballooned twice his original size.

Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977) began his career as one of the first performers of rockabilly, an uptempo fusion of country and rhythm and blues with a strong back beat.

His mixing of "Black" and "White" sounds made him popular — and controversial — as did his uninhibited stage and television performances.

He recorded songs in the rock and roll genre, with tracks like Jailhouse Rock and Hound Dog later embodying the style.

Presley had a versatile voice and had unusually wide success encompassing other genres, including gospel, blues, ballads and pop.

To date, he is the only performer to have been inducted into four separate music Halls of Fame.

In the sixties, Presley made the majority of his thirty-three movies — mainly poorly reviewed musicals.

Throughout his career, he set records for concert attendance, television ratings and recordings sales.

He is one of the best-selling and most influential artistes in the history of popular music.

Presley's father, Vernon (1916-1979) had several low-paid jobs, including sharecropping and truck driving.

His mother, Gladys Love Smith (1912-1958) was a sewing machine operator.

They met in Tupelo, Mississippi, but went to Pontotoc County and were married on June 17, 1933.

Presley was born in a two-room house, built by his father, in Tupelo, Mississippi.

He was the second of identical twins — his brother was stillborn and given the names Jesse Garon.

He grew up as an only child and was close to his mother.

The family lived just above the poverty line in East Tupelo and attended the Assembly of God church.

In 1938, Presley's father was convicted and jailed for an eight-dollar cheque forgery.

He was released after serving eight months. During her husband's absence, Gladys lost the family home.

At ten, Presley made his first public performance in a singing contest at the Mississippi-Alabama Fair.

Dressed as a cowboy, he had to stand on a chair to reach the microphone and sang Red Foley's Old Shep. He won second prize.

In 1946, Presley was taken to Tupelo Hardware where he was bought a guitar — a $7.90 birthday present (He had wanted a rifle).

Two years later, the Presleys moved to Memphis.

They lived at Lauderdale Courts — a public housing development — in one of Memphis's poorer sections.

Presley practised guitar playing in the basement laundry room and also played in a five-piece band with other tenants.

He began to grow his sideburns longer and dress in wild, flashy clothes.

Presley stood out, especially in the conservative Deep South of the 1950s and he was mocked and bullied for it.

Christmas, 1952 saw Presley perform Cold Cold Icy Fingers and gave an encore of Till I Waltz Again With You at his school’s concert.

After finishing high school, Presley became a truck driver for Crown Electric Company.

Presley listened a lot to local radio and his first musical hero was Mississippi Slim, a hillbilly singer with a radio show.

Presley performed occasionally on Slim’s Saturday morning show, Singin’ And Pickin’ Hillbilly.

He was also strongly influenced by blues and soul music in Memphis. Many of his recordings were inspired by Black Memphis composers and recording artistes, including Arthur Crudup, Rufus Thomas and B. B. King.

On July 18, 1953, Presley went to the Memphis Recording Service at the Sun Record Company (now commonly known as Sun Studios).

He paid $3.98 to record the first of two double-sided 'demo' acetates — My Happiness and That's When Your Heartaches Begin.

Presley gave the acetate to his mother as a birthday present.

He later recorded a hit single That’s All Right, dedicated to his mother.

In a concert at Overton Park, Presley felt nervous and his legs shook. This inspired him to improvise his legendary leg-shaking dance moves.

On August 15, 1955, Tom Parker, nicknamed Colonel Tom, became his manager.

Presley’s hit single Heartbreak Hotel came on air in January 1956. His first album, self-titled, was released in March that year.

In May that year, Presley performed his famous hit Hound Dog.

Conservative Christians, especially in the south of the United States, often criticised and ridiculed Presley as “Satanic” for his dance moves.

Racist Whites also slammed Presley as a “cultural polluter” who mixed Black and White music.

However, these bigots’ diatribes against Presley only made him increasingly popular with the liberal audience.

Ironically, one of these harsh critics of Presley eventually became one of his closest friends - legendary crooner Frank Sinatra.

On November 16, Presley's first movie Love Me Tender was released. It was panned by the critics, but did well at the box office.

In 1957, the Presleys moved to a mansion called Graceland. It was to be his last home.

Presley's record sales became enormous throughout the late 1950s, with hits like All Shook Up, (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear and I Need Your Love Tonight.

Jailhouse Rock, Loving You (both 1957) and King Creole (1958) were released and are regarded as the best of his early films.

On December 20, 1957, Presley received his army draft notice. He was posted to Friedberg, Germany.

While in the army in Germany, Presley began taking prescription pills, which gradually became a lifelong addiction.

The army also introduced Presley to karate — something he was to study seriously and even incorporate into his live performances.

As Presley's fame grew, his mother — who had always liked alcohol — began to gain weight and drink excessively. She had wanted her son to succeed, “but not so that he would be apart from her”.

She died of hepatitis, shortly after Presley returned from his draft in August 1958.

In 1960, Presley recorded his monster hit It's Now Or Never which was based on Italian song O Sole Mio.

Presley continued to act in the 1960s and appeared in Blue Hawaii and Viva Las Vegas.

His hit songs such as Blue Hawaii, Can’t Help Falling In Love, Viva Las Vegas and Return To Sender were also featured in his films.

In the 1960s, Presley’s films grossed about $130 million and his records made $150 million.

In 1967, Parker negotiated a management contract that give him 50 percent of Presley's earnings.

In the same year, on May 1, Presley married Priscilla Wagner, whom he first met in Germany. Their only child Lisa Marie was born nine months later.

Presley was one of the highest paid actors during the sixties. In the end of the decade he recorded hit songs such as Suspicion, (You're The) Devil In Desguise, It Hurts Me and Guitar Man.

He also released two gospel albums: His Hand In Mine and How Great Thou Art. The latter won Presley his first Grammy Award.

In 1968, Presley recorded the albums From Elvis In Memphis and From Memphis To Vegas, From Vegas To Memphis.

On December 21, 1970, Presley met with President Richard Nixon at the White House.

In 1972, Presley released his hit single Burning Love — his last top ten hit in the US pop charts.

Off stage, Presley and his wife Priscilla had continuing marriage difficulties.

In spite of his own infidelity, Presley was furious when he learned that his wife was having an affair with a mutual acquaintance — Mike Stone, a karate instructor.

The Presleys separated on February 23, 1972, agreeing to share custody of their daughter.

Divorcing in 1973, Presley became increasingly isolated and overweight, with prescription drugs taking their toll on his health, mood and stage acts.

Despite this, Presley was still capable of critically acclaimed performances. His thundering live version of How Great Thou Art won him a Grammy Award in 1974.

He continued to play to sell-out crowds and release hit records.

Presley's final performance was in Indianapolis at the Market Square Arena on June 26, 1977.

On August 17, 1977, Presley was found dead in his bathroom by fiancee Ginger Alden.

He was buried in Forest Hill Cemetery, next to his mother, after a funeral attended by hundreds of thousands of fans. They included ex-lover Ann-Margret (the Danish actress who starred in Grumpy Old Men), Priscilla and Lisa- Marie.

One of the most glowing tributes to Presley came from John Lennon of The Beatles who said "Nothing really affected me until I heard Elvis. If there hadn't been an Elvis, there wouldn't have been a Beatles."

Rod Stewart declared: "Elvis was the king. No doubt about it. People like myself, Mick Jagger and all the others only followed in his footsteps."

In 1971, the City of Memphis changed the name of the section of Highway 51 South in front of Graceland to Elvis Presley Boulevard, and he won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (the organisation that presents the Grammy Awards).

In 1993, Presley's image appeared on a United States postage stamp.

In the UK charts, in January 2005, three re-issued singles again went to number one (Jailhouse Rock, One Night and It's Now Or Never). Throughout that year, twenty singles were re-issued — all making the top five.

In the same year, Forbes magazine named Presley, for the fifth straight year, the top-earning deceased celebrity, grossing US$45 million for the Presley estate during the preceding year.

Graceland was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 2006.

In March 2007, as part of American Idol's Idol Gives Back event, Celine Dion performed If I Can Dream with a rotoscoped image of Presley, creating the illusion that the two were performing together.

In 1978, Kurt Russell portrayed Presley in a film about The King’s life, titled Elvis.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

About Kuching - Pussycat City

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Kuching is the capital of the East Malaysian state of Sarawak.

It is the largest town in Malaysian Borneo and was made a city on August 1, 1988. It is the fourth town to be made a city in Malaysia after George Town (1957), Kuala Lumpur (1972) and Ipoh (1988).

Kuching is also the capital of the Kuching Division of Sarawak which comprises the towns of Lundu, Bau, Padawan and the city itself.

Kuching is administered by two city councils namely the Kuching North and Kuching South City Councils. Kuching North is mostly inhabited by indigenous Sarawakians while Kuching South is mostly inhabited by Chinese.

Kuching North and Kuching South are roughly divided by the Sarawak River, but the key tourist attractions and shopping centres north of the southern city are under Kuching North’s administration.

Kuching gets its name from the abundance of wild cats found in its green areas.

It is also named for the longan or Mata Kucing (Cat’s Eye) fruit. The hill where the Kuching Hilton Hotel stands, Mata Kucing Hill, gave the town its name.

Kuching’s original inhabitants are the Bidayuh, Iban and Bruneian (Kedayan) people.

It has served as Sarawak’s capital since the days of the Brunei Empire.

Back then Sarawak was an appendage of the Kedayan Brunei Sultan, administered by a branch of the Sultan’s family with the title of Datuk Patinggi (Prime Minister).

In the late 1830s, the Datuk Patinggi, Abang Ali, revolted against the Sultan’s overlordship.

The Sultan of Brunei, Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin, requested help from British businessman Sir James Brooke to negotiate the Datuk Patinggi’s surrender.

Sir James did just that, and was rewarded by Sultan Omar with the title of Raja of Sarawak. The Datuk Patinggi became his Prime Minister.

Sir James governed Sarawak from 1842 until his death in 1868. The private colonialist was succeeded by his sister’s son Sir Charles Brooke (1868-1917) and Sir Charles’ son Sir Charles Vyner (1917-1946).

In 1946, Sir Charles Vyner decided to make Sarawak an official British colony and transfer his powers to King George 6 in London.

In 1963, Sarawak became independent as a state of Malaysia.

A descendant of Abang Ali, Tun Abang Openg Abang Sapiee, became Sarawak's first Malaysian State Governor (he is a relative of fashion designer Datuk Tom Abang Saufi and pop singer Dayang Nor Camelia Abang Khalid).

Kuching, in the south-west of Sarawak, is Malaysia’s wettest city.

Kuching’s inhabitants are mostly Chinese (Hokkiens and Hakkas), Bruneians (Kedayans), Melanaus, Bidayuhs and Ibans.

Kuching has for years been honoured as Malaysia’s cleanest city and one of the world’s healthiest cities (by the World Health Organisation).

Kuching residents are mostly Christians, Buddhists and Muslims.

The main languages spoken in Kuching are English and Bahasa Malaysia.

Bahasa Malaysia in Sarawak is the Bruneian (Kedayan) variant which sounds different from that of Peninsular Malaysia.

Other languages spoken in Kuching are Hokkien Chinese, Mandarin Chinese (Beijing Chinese), Iban, Melanau and Bidayuh.

Kuching is well-known as a film location. Major and minor films have been shot in Kuching. They include The Sleeping Dictionary starring Jessica Alba (2000) and Farewell To The King starring Nick Nolte (1987).

Kuching is an important centre of education in Malaysia. It houses the international campus of Australia’s Swinburne University of Technology, Melbourne.

The city also has branch campuses of Malaysian universities Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.

The Old Sarawak Museum is one of Malaysia’s oldest museums. Built in 1891, it is modelled after a town hall in Normandy, France.

Other museums in the city include the New Sarawak Museum, the Cat Museum, the Forestry Museum, the Islamic Arts Museum and the Chinese History Museum.

Interesting landmarks in the city include the Astana (Governor’s palace), Fort Margherita (Police Museum), Tua Pek Kong Buddhist Temple, Old Courthouse (Art Museum) and Main Bazaar (Handicrafts Centre).

The Kuching Waterfront, a riverside esplanade, is situated next to the main hotels and commercial heartland of the city, and offers a pleasant walk in the evening.

The city’s Chinatowns are in Carpenter Street and Padungan Street while its Little India is in India Street.

Kuching’s popular cuisine includes Kolo Mee (fine egg noodles, either dry or soupy) and Sarawak Laksa (spicy rice noodles with prawn paste, chicken, tofu, clams, eggs, prawns and a coconut milk soup).

Kuching is also famous as the hometown of many prominent Malaysians in the arts and entertainment. They include:

Fashion designer Datuk Tom Abang Saufi;

Singers Anita Sarawak, Dayang Nor Camelia Abang Khalid, Dayang Nurfaizah Awang Dowty, Sharifah Zarina, Deja Moss and Jason Lo;

Film-makers Ellyana Effendi, Tsai Ming-Liang and James Wan (of Saw fame);

Artist and batik guru Ramsay Ong, related to former Federal Minister Tan Sri Ong Kee Hui and Kuching’s famous Chinese community leader during British rule Ong Tian Swee;

Architect and designer Edric Ong (relative of Ramsay), a world authority in Iban fabric design;

Producer Edgar Ong (relative of Ramsay), the driving force behind the annual Rainforest Music Festival in Kuching;

Actors Tony Eusoff, Anding Indrawani Zaini and Sherry Merlis.

About Sibu

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Sibu is the third largest town in Sarawak after Kuching and Miri. It is the capital of the Sibu Division and is at the confluence of the Rejang and Igan Rivers.

Sibu’s population is mostly Chinese (Eastern or Fuzhou Hokkiens), Melanau, Bruneian (Kedayan) and Iban.

The town boasts the largest town square in Malaysia and Sarawak’s tallest building (the Sanyan Tower).

Sibu is the main tourist gateway to the upper reaches of the Rejang River.

Sibu was originally settled by Melanaus. During the time of the Brunei Empire, the Sultan of Brunei invited many Chinese into the town. Most of them were Fuzhou Hokkiens.

Sibu’s major hotels are the RH and Kingwood Hotels.

Its major tourist attractions include the Tua Pek Kong Buddhist Temple (seven-storey pagoda), the Central Market (Malaysia’s biggest indoor market) and the Civic Centre Museum.

The Merah River (Red River) Heritage Walk is a landscaped park situated in the suburb of Sungai Merah (Sungai = River). The first Fuzhou settlers arrived here.

Sibu’s major green areas include Bukit Aup Jubilee Park 20 km away from the town centre. It is popular for picnics, jogging and recreation.

There is also the Bukit Lima Forest Park with a 2 km plank walk.

Sibu’s famous cuisine includes the Kam Buan noodles, Wanton (ravioli), Kam Biang (Fuzhou bagel), Yau Char Kwai (savoury Chinese fritters) and Eight Essence Soup (made from eight different Chinese herbs).

Sibu’s sister city is Fuzhou in China.

About Miri

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Miri is a city in northern Sarawak, Malaysia, on the island of Borneo.

It is Sarawak’s second largest city and is the capital of the Miri Division.

Miri became a city on May 20, 2005.

Miri is the birthplace of Sarawak's and Malaysia’s petroleum industry, which remains the major industry of the city.

The first oil well was drilled by Shell on Canada Hill in 1910, and is now a state monument and one of Miri's tourist attractions.

An oil museum run by Malaysian national oil company Petronas has been set up next to the well.

Shell also built Malaysia's first oil refinery in Lutong, a suburb of Miri in 1914.

Miri has grown phenomenally since oil was first discovered and is today a major business and educational centre of Sarawak.

The city's other major industries include timber processing, oil palm production and tourism.

Miri is the gateway to the world famous Mount Mulu National Park in Marudi. It is the world’s largest cave.

Other eco-tourist destinations of Miri include the Loagan Bunut National Park (East Malaysia’s largest inland lake), Lambir National Park and Niah Caves National Park (oldest human habitation in Malaysia).

For divers, Miri is famous for its exotic coral reefs.

Miri's population consists of Chinese, Melanaus, Bruneians (Kedayans), Ibans, Bidayuhs, Kayans, Kenyahs, Kelabits and Muruts.

The main languages spoken in Miri are Bahasa Malaysia and English.

Miri has more than 14 green areas and its streets are lined with trees. The green areas include the Miri Waterfront, Miri Circular Park, Luak Bay Esplanade, Gourmet Garden, Miri Public Park, Miri City Fan (Malaysia’s Best Landscaped Park 2001) and Marina Park.

Miri’s major commercial centres are the Pelita and Boulevard Commercial Centres.

Its major shopping centres are Bintang Plaza, Boulevard Shopping Complex and Miri Plaza.

Hawker stalls and restaurants are prominent in Yu Seng Road and the Saberkas Commercial Centre.

Miri is also famous for its handicrafts, mostly sold in Brooke Road and Bendahara Road.

One of South-East Asia’s largest Buddhist temples, Lotus Hill Temple, is in Miri.

Miri also houses the first offshore campus of Australia’s Curtin University of Technology.

Miri gets its name from a sub-group of the Melanau community.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Will They Be Happy With Us?

I always wonder, will our founding fathers be happy with us?

For a country aged 50, I'd dare say, Yes and No.

Think about it, readers!

Stop Insulting The National Anthem!

Thank God the Malaysian student in China Taiwan and hip-hop star wannabe NameWee or Wee Meng Chee has said sorry for sampling the national anthem Negaraku in his politically-charged hip-hop number My Negaraku.

He has freedom of speech, but not the freedom to insult our national anthem. Freedom of speech and song has its limits and we must remember that rights come with responsibilities.

About Kota Kinabalu

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Kota Kinabalu is Sabah’s state capital and is situated on the north-west coast of Borneo Island.

It faces the South China Sea and the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park on one side and the Crocker Range which includes Mount Kinabalu on the other.

Kota Kinabalu is also the capital of the West Coast Division of Sabah which includes the city itself, and the towns of Ranau, Kota Belud, Tuaran, Penampang and Papar.

The city is one of the major industrial and commercial centres in East Malaysia besides Kuching in Sarawak.

Kota Kinabalu was originally known as Api-Api due to its mangrove trees. It was the mainland capital of the Bajau Sultan of Sulu, and Sabah’s most prominent port.

During British rule, the city was named Jesselton after one of the British colonial governors, Sir Charles Jessel.

During World War 2, the city was razed by the retreating British army to prevent it from falling into Japanese hands.

Kota Kinabalu was given its present name on September 30, 1968 by Sabah’s third Chief Minister and father of independence Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun, one of the claimants to the Sulu throne.

It became a city on February 2, 2000, during the Chief Ministership of Datu Mustapha’s protege and fellow Bajau chieftain Datuk Seri Osu Sukam.

Kota Kinabalu is named after Mount Kinabalu, situated about 90 kilometres north-east of the city.

The word Kinabalu is a Kadazan-Dusun word meaning Home Of The Ancestors.

Kota Kinabalu thus means Kinabalu City.

Kota Kinabalu’s sister cities are Yongin in South Korea, Rockingham in Australia and Zamboanga in the Philippines.

The north-east part of the city around Likas Bay used to contain an extensive mangrove forest, but most of it has disappeared. What remains is the 12-hectare Kota Kinabalu City Bird Sanctuary.

There are six islands located off the coast of the city. Five of them form the Tunku Abdul Rahman National Park namely Gaya, Sapi, Manukan, Sulug and Mamutik.

These islands are popular with tourists and are uninhabited except for Gaya which has a population of 8,000.

Sepanggar is located north of the National Park opposite Sepanggar Bay.

Kota Kinabalu’s people are mostly Chinese, Kadazan-Dusuns, Bajaus and Bruneians (Kedayans).

Most of the Chinese are Hakkas (Northern Chinese) and live mainly in the Luyang area.

Kota Kinabalu residents speak Bahasa Malaysia and English. Other languages spoken here are Mandarin Chinese (Beijing Chinese), Bajau and Kadazan-Dusun.

Kota Kinabalu is also the main industrial and commercial centre of Sabah.

Many national and international commercial banks, as well as insurance companies have their headquarters or branches here.

A number of industrial companies also have plants in the industrial townships of Likas, Kolombong, and Inanam.

There are three public hospitals in Kota Kinabalu.

Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Penampang Road is the largest hospital in the state and was built in 1957.

The other hospitals are the Likas Specialist Hospital and Bukit Padang Hospital.

The Sabah Medical Centre in Damai is the largest private hospital in Sabah.

Kota Kinabalu’s most prominent public schools include the La Salle, All Saints, St Francis and Sabah Science Secondary Schools.

University Malaysia Sabah is the state’s only university and is located in Likas.

Sabah’s State Museum is situated opposite Queen Elizabeth Hospital.

The town field situated along the Kota Kinabalu Bypass Road is the city’s most well-known historical site, where Sabah’s independence was proclaimed on August 31, 1963.

Situated nearby on a hill is the Atkinson Clock Tower which was built in 1905 by the family of the late Francis Atkinson, the 20-something district officer of Kota Kinabalu who died of malaria.

The clock tower was a navigation aid for ships and was one of three pre-World War 2 buildings to survive the war.

The Petagas War Memorial, close to the Kota Kinabalu International Airport, commemorates the freedom fighters of Sabah, the Kinabalu Guerillas, led by Dr Albert Kwok and Jules Stephens.

Kwok and Stephens led the guerillas against the Japanese fascist occupiers of Sabah. They were all massacred in 1944 at the site where the memorial stands.

In Sembulan, near the Sabah State Mosque is the Double Six monument to commemorate the plane crash which killed Jules’ son Tun Muhammad Fuad Donald Stephens, Sabah’s first and fifth Chief Minister, in 1976.

Fuad Stephens was the political mentor to Sabah’s fourth Chief Minister Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan and both men were the Hoguan Siou or Paramount Chiefs of the Kadazan-Dusuns.

The monument is at the exact site where the plane crashed on June 6, 1976.

Sabah’s most popular nightspot is the Anjung Samudera or Kota Kinabalu Waterfront. It houses several bistros and seafood restaurants.

Kota Kinabalu is also linked to Tenom in south-western Sabah by the North Borneo Railway, the only railway in East Malaysia.

Sabah’s most luxurious hotel, the Sutera Harbour Resort, is situated in Sembulan, near the Double Six monument.

Sabah’s oldest five-star hotel is the Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Hotel located close to the Kota Kinabalu International Airport.

The Tun Fuad Stephens Park in Padang Hill is a popular jogging and hiking spot. It is surrounded by a lush forest and has a man-made lake.

The Signal Hill Observatory above the Atkinson Clock Tower offers a scenic view of the city centre.

The Tun Mustapha Building, also called the Sabah Foundation Building in Likas is a 30-storey structure supported by steel rods.

It is the tallest building in Borneo and has a revolving restaurant on its 18th floor.

Kota Kinabalu’s most prominent shopping mall is the Centrepoint which is situated close to the waterfront.

The Filipino Market in the waterfront sells traditional Bajau handicrafts.

Gaya Street plays host to Kota Kinabalu’s weekly Sunday market.

Sabah’s major sports complex, the Likas Sports Complex, is situated in Kota Kinabalu.

The city also has four golf courses.

Kota Kinabalu’s famous personalities are mostly in the entertainment industry. They include singers and songwriters Pete Teo and Jerome Kugan, jazz stars Mia Palencia and Roger Wang, hip-hopper Adam Mat Saman, R&B star Azharina Azhar and veteran film-maker Deddy M. Borhan.

About Kudat

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Kudat is the northernmost town in Sabah, East Malaysia and forms the northernmost tip of Borneo Island.

It serves as the administrative centre for the Kudat Division, which includes the towns of Kudat, Pitas and Kota Marudu.

Kudat is 190 km north of Sabah’s capital Kota Kinabalu. On the west, it faces the South China Sea, and on the east the Sulu Sea.

Kudat's population (2000) is 68,242. Most of its people are Rungus Kadazan-Dusuns, Bajaus, and Chinese.

Kudat became the capital of British Sabah in 1881, shortly before the colonialists decided that Sandakan was a better location.

Sabah’s father of independence, Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun, a claimant of the throne of Sulu, was born in Kudat.

Kudat’s major attraction is its Rungus longhouses which have mostly been converted into homestays.

The hospitable Rungus are famous for their natural honey and brass gongs. Their women famously wear rings of gold or brass around their legs.

Tourists also enjoy visiting the rocky cape Simpang Tanjung Mengayau which is Borneo’s northernmost point.

Kudat is also home to Malaysia’s largest island Banggi and Balambangan Island where the British first landed on Malaysian soil in 1761.

The town has a large waterfront esplanade, the Sidek Esplanade, which was unveiled in 2003. It is also famous for its seafood and golf courses.

About Sandakan

From Wikipedia & Malaysiana1.

Sandakan is the second largest city in the state of Sabah, East Malaysia, on the north-eastern coast of Borneo.

It is located on the east coast of Sabah and is the administrative centre of Sandakan Division.

The British colonialists made Sandakan the capital of Sabah, before Kota Kinabalu replaced it after World War 2.

Sandakan is known as the gateway for eco-tourism destinations in Sabah, such as the Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary, the Turtle Islands Park, the Kinabatangan River and the Gomantong Caves (famous for its swifts).

The town was also infamous as the site of a World War 2 Japanese airfield, built by the forced labour of 6,000 prisoners of war. In 1945 the surviving prisoners were sent on the Sandakan Death March and only 10 of them survived.

Sandakan gets its name from the Bajau word which means “the place that was pawned”.

It refers to the Sultan of Sulu’s act of ceding Sabah to the British in return for protection against Spanish aggression from the Philippines.

Sandakan’s original name Elopura meant Beautiful City.

Sandakan was one of Southeast Asia’s major timber cities in the 1930s and boasted one of the highest concentrations of millionaires in the world.

It was also nicknamed the Little Hong Kong of Southeast Asia for the same reason.

Sandakan remains Sabah's second most important port, after Kota Kinabalu. The port is important for palm oil, tobacco, cocoa, coffee, manila hemp and sago exports.

In recent years, businesses have shifted their operations away from the town centre to the suburbs.

In January 2003, the Sandakan Harbour Square, an urban renewal project, was launched in an attempt to revive the town centre as the commercial hub of Sandakan.

It will feature a new central market and fish market, a shopping mall and hotels. It is due for completion in 2010.

Sandakan’s people are mostly Chinese, Bajaus and Kadazan-Dusuns.

Here are some of Sandakan’s tourist attractions:

Pu Ji Shih Temple - This is a hilltop Buddhist temple overlooking the town centre. It was built in 1987.

Agnes Keith House, also known as Newlands - This is the two-storey home of American author Agnes Newton Keith and her husband Harry Keith (once the curator of the Sabah Museum) from 1930 to 1952.
The house was destroyed in World War 2 but was rebuilt.
Mrs. Keith wrote several books about Sabah and its people, including Land Below The Wind, Three Came Home and White Man Returns.
The Keiths survived a stint as prisoners of war during the Japanese occupation of Malaysia.

English Tea House - Located in the grounds of the Agnes Keith House, this restaurant serves traditional English cuisine.

Sandakan Memorial Park - This is a museum dedicated to prisoners-of-war who died in the Death March. It was built on the site of the Japanese POW camp.

Japanese Cemetery - This is a cemetery of the Japanese expatriates and soldiers who lived in Sandakan.

St Michael's And All Angels Church - This granite church was built in 1897 and is one of Sandakan's few surviving pre-war buildings. It was recognised as a world heritage in 2005.

San Sing Kung Temple - Completed in 1887, it is the oldest temple in Sandakan.

Sandakan Mosque - Completed in 1988, it lies next to the Bajau water village of Buli Sim Sim.

Buli Sim Sim - This Bajau water village was the original site of Sandakan town.

Sandakan Market - This is one of the largest and busiest wet markets in Sabah.

Crocodile Farm - Located 12 km out of the town centre, it houses more than 2,000 of the reptiles in concrete pools.

Labuk Bay Proboscis Monkey Sanctuary - The country’s foremost proboscis monkey observation spot.

Sepilok Orang Utan Sanctuary - The country’s foremost orang utan sanctuary.