Friday, December 18, 2009

George Town's Original Name

George Town's original name was Tanjung Penaga.

When India Ruled Malaysia

Penang, Melaka, Labuan and Singapore were ruled by the British colony of India.

Penang from 1786-1867. 81 years.

Melaka from 1795-1867. 72 years.

Singapore from 1824-1867. 43 years.

Labuan from 1846-1867. 21 years.

After 1867 they formed the Straits Settlements Colony.

Straits Settlements Colony was from 1867-1946. 79 years.

British ruled Malaysia from 1795 to 1963.

From 1795 to 1824 they were ruling Malaysia on Dutch trusteeship.

Holland had been conquered by France between 1795 and 1818. And Holland had to be rebuilt after the war.

Penang Pioneers

Johoreans Pak Kecil, Tok Jamaluddin and Tok Salleh pioneered Damar Laut in Teluk Kumbar in Balik Pulau as did Tok Sidin who pioneered Teluk Kumbar town centre.

Another Tok Tampak pioneered Balik Pulau town centre.

Long Syed and Haji Brunei (or Salleh), both Bruneis from Brunei pioneered Bayan Lepas.

Negeri Sembilanese (also called Minangkabaus) Tok Kecil (or Tok Setia), Tok Intan and Tok Janatun pioneered Batu Uban in Gelugor, George Town.

Tok Bayan and Tok Keramat, Kedahans pioneered George Town city centre.

Another Kedahan Tok Long helped Tok Sidin pioneer Teluk Kumbar in Balik Pulau.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Malaysian Speakers Of Parliament

Speakers Of The House Of Representatives

Tun Malek Yusof of Rembau, Negeri Sembilan. Negeri Sembilanese. 1957-1959.
Tan Sri Mohamad Noah Omar of Muar, Johor. Johorean. 1959-1964.
Tan Sri Syed Isa Syed Alwi of Alor Setar, Kedah. Kedahan. 1964.
Tan Sri C. M. Yusof Abdul Rahman of Ipoh, Perak. Johorean. 1964-1974.
Tan Sri Nik Ahmad Kamil Nik Mahmood of Kota Baru, Kelantan. Kelantanese. 1974-1977.
Tun Syed Nasir Ismail of Johor Baru, Johor. Johorean. 1977-1982.
Tun Zahir Ismail of Alor Setar, Kedah. Kedahan. 1982-2004.
Tan Sri Ramli Ngah Talib of Bota, Perak. Johorean. 2004-2008.
Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia of Kota Belud, Sabah. Bajau. 2008 onwards.

Inspectors General Of Police

Tan Sri Salleh Ismail of George Town, Penang. Kedahan. 1966-1973.
Tan Sri Rahman Hashim of Alor Setar, Kedah. Kedahan. 1973-1974.
Tun Hanif Omar of Teluk Intan, Perak. Johorean. 1974-1994.
Tan Sri Rahim Noor of Melaka City, Melaka. Johorean. 1994-1999.
Tan Sri Norian Mai of Teluk Intan, Perak. Johorean. 1999-2003.
Tan Sri Bakri Omar of Sitiawan, Perak. Johorean. 2003-2006.
Tan Sri Musa Hassan of Klang, Selangor. Johorean. 2006 onwards.

Chief Secretaries To The Government

Tun Aziz Majid of Kajang, Selangor. Johorean. 1959-1964.
Tan Sri Jamil Rais of Kuala Kangsar, Perak. Johorean. 1964-1967.
Tunku Muhammad Tunku Burhanuddin of Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan. Negeri Sembilanese. 1967-1969.
Tan Sri Abdul Kadir Shamsuddin of Kajang, Selangor. Johorean. 1969-1976.
Tun Abdullah Salleh of Melaka City, Melaka. Johorean. 1976-1978.
Tan Sri Abdullah Ayub of Sitiawan, Perak. Johorean. 1978-1980.
Tan Sri Hashim Aman of Kuala Pilah, Negeri Sembilan. Negeri Sembilanese. 1980-1984.
Tan Sri Sallehuddin Mohamad of Kuantan, Pahang. Johorean. 1984-1990.
Tun Ahmad Sarji Abdul Hamid of Tapah, Perak. Johorean. 1990-1996.
Tan Sri Abdul Halim Ali of Alor Setar, Kedah. Kedahan. 1996-2001.
Tan Sri Samsudin Osman of Johor Baru, Johor. Johorean. 2001-2006.
Tan Sri Sidek Hassan of Kuantan, Pahang. Johorean. 2006 onwards.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Malaysian Idol Jaclyn Victor Wins TV3 Yasmin Ahmad Award

The first Malaysian Idol in 2004 Jaclyn Victor has won the TV3 Yasmin Ahmad Award in memory of the late, great film-maker, Mother of Malaysian Independent Films and Mother of National Unity Yasmin Ahmad who passed away at the age of 51 after a brief illness last July 25.

Jaclyn, one of Malaysia's most popular and respected singers emerging from reality television, also won Most Promising Actress in the Malaysian Film Festival 2009 early this year.

She won both her awards for her role in Yasmin's last film Talentime screened early this year.

Yasmin convinced Jaclyn that she could act. Jaclyn is eternally grateful to Yasmin for believing in her, and describes the late film-maker as the second most important person to change her life after her mother Margaret Victor, who struggled with several jobs during Jaclyn's childhood, having been widowed when Jaclyn was only 9.

Jaclyn has four younger brothers. Her late father Joshua T. Victor passed away when she was 9.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Indonesia Moves In The Right Direction - Passing Bill Against Racism

Indonesia’s House of Representatives has unanimously passed a bill that terms ethnic and racial discrimination as serious crimes.

The House proposed the bill as part of its effort to ratify the International Convention On The Elimination Of All Forms Of Discrimination, enacted in 1999.

Under the new law, leaders of public institutions found guilty of adopting discriminatory policies would face jail terms one-third more severe than those stipulated in the Criminal Code.

My Comment:

I am optimistic Malaysia will do the same in the years to come.

But I also hope Malaysia ‘adopts all the cultural progress that Indonesia has been undergoing since the fall of Suharto’.

Indonesia has far stronger anti-racist, anti-fascist credentials than us.

The trouble with Malaysians, too much ‘tidak apa’, I mean apathy.

We can bury our own history and culture, whereas Indonesia preserves it.

Malaysians are a forgetful lot, not Indonesians, not Singaporeans.

Sometimes, I feel future PMs should be advised by Lee Hsien Loong’s grandchildren and Sukarno’s great-grandchildren.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Tony Iron Eyes Cody – The Crying Red Indian & Icon Of Environmentalism

Thanks, Wikipedia.

Tony Iron Eyes Cody, born Oscar De Corti (April 3, 1907 - January 4, 1999) was an American actor best known for playing Native Americans in Hollywood films.

Near the end of his life he made public his Italian ancestry.

Nevertheless, he was a tireless fighter for the rights of Native Americans and even married Native American wives.

Born in Kaplan, Lousiana to Tony De Corti Sr and Francesca Salpietra of Sicily, Italy, he began acting when he was 12.

He appeared in more than 200 films, including The Big Trail (1930) with John Wayne, Sitting Bull (1954), Nevada Smith (1966) with Steve McQueen and A Man Called Horse (1970) with Richard Harris, and TV series The Cisco Kid (1953) and The A Team (1983).

He was most famous as The Crying Red Indian in a 1970s advertising campaign by Keep America Beautiful.

In the campaign, he played a Native American chief who spoke of environmental pollution plaguing his motherland and shed a tear (with help from make-up) to emphasise his point.

The advertising campaign also featured the background voice of William Conrad of Jake And The Fatman, Bullwinkle and Cannon fame.

Cody collaborated with Joni Mitchell in her song Lakota.

In 1995, the Native American community honored Cody for his contributions to Native American life.

Cody is survived by an adopted son Robert Cody, a well-known Native American musician.

His famous advertisement appeared as a cameo in Native American actress Cameron Diaz’s film The Box.

About Keep America Beautiful

Keep America Beautiful is an environmental organisation founded in 1953.

It is the largest community improvement organisation in the United States, with approximately 580 affiliate organisations (similar to local chapters) and more than 17,000 participating communities in their signature annual event - The Great American Cleanup.

Keep America Beautiful was founded in 1953 by consortium of American businesses, nonprofit organisations, government agencies and concerned individuals in reaction to the growing problem of highway litter.

On Earth Day 1971, a campaign was launched with the theme People Start Pollution, People Can Stop It.

It featured actor Tony Iron Eyes Cody as The Crying Red Indian, who laments that his motherland is polluted by litterbugs.

KAB made litterbug a household word.

Despite its wide following, KAB has also been criticised as an organisation that attacks littering but avoids criticising the consumerist culture that has taken root the world over and which has encouraged throw-away living.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Who Are Siberians

Siberians are the people of the officially designated Asian portion of Russia which is far larger than the European portion of Russia.

While Russians and Ukrainians who hail from the European portion of Russia (but are Slavs and thus still an Asian people) live in Siberia, there are also Kazakhs and Uzbeks, especially the former.

Kazakhs and Uzbeks are the ancient Huns or Xiongnu to the Chinese.

They form the western group of Mongols.

The eastern group of Mongols is the Mongols of Mongolia also known as the Donghu people.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Edward Woodward - Lion Of British Cinema

Iconic British actor Edward Woodward, who died at 79 on November 16, 2009, will always be remembered as a lion of British cinema.

Read all about him here. Thanks, Wikipedia.

Edward Albert Arthur Woodward OBE (June 1, 1930 – November 16, 2009) was an English actor and singer.

Originally a Shakespearean stage actor, he was best known for his roles in the 1960s-1970s television spy series Callan, the 1973 film The Wicker Man, the 1980 Australian biographical film Breaker Morant and his lead role in the 1980s American television series The Equaliser.

Woodward was an only child, born in Croydon to working class parents Edward Oliver Woodward and Violet Edith Smith.

He attended the Hinchley Wood School and Kingston College, Surrey.

Woodward wanted to become an actor but initially in the post World War II period became an associate member of RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art) while taking amateur roles.

He also played football for the clubs Leyton Orient and Brentford, making three appearances in the Football League for the latter.

However, a serious knee injury kept him out of the game for over a year.

After graduation from RADA he worked extensively in companies as a Shakespearean actor throughout England and Scotland, making his London stage debut in R. F. Delderfield's Where There's A Will in 1955 and its film adaptation the same year.

Woodward first appeared on Broadway in Rattle Of A Simple Man (1963) and the musical comedy High Spirits (1964–1965), which won three Tony Awards, followed by the 1966 comedy The Best Laid Plans.

He made occasional film appearances until he took the role of Police Sergeant Neil Howie in the thriller The Wicker Man in 1973.

Many critics have cited The Wicker Man as one of the greatest visual shots in cinema history.

Woodward was offered a cameo role in the 2005 remake but declined.

He also appeared in the 1982 film Who Dares Wins, also known as The Final Option as Commander Powell.

Woodward also had a supporting role in the 2007 action comedy Hot Fuzz.

His last lead film role was that of Reverend Frederick Densham in A Congregation Of Ghosts, the story of an eccentric vicar.

Woodward appeared in many television productions.

His casting as Guy Crouchback in an early 1967 adaption of Evelyn Waugh's Sword Of Honour trilogy, dramatised by Giles Cooper and directed by Donald McWhinnie, established him as an actor of quality.

Guy Crouchback was the central character in Waugh's iconic novels set against the background of Britain's involvement in World War II.

This black and white TV dramatisation is much less known than a more lavish 2001 colour version with Daniel Craig playing the part of Crouchback.

In 1967 he was cast as David Callan in the play A Magnum For Schneider, which later became the spy series Callan, one of his early television roles.

His iconic performance assured the series success from 1967 to 1972, with a film appearing in 1974.

Woodward made a cameo appearance on the BBC's Morecambe And Wise Show and his name was used in a joke.

When asked by Eric Morecambe who would ever appear in one of Ernie Wise's 'little plays', Ernie replied "Edward Woodward would."

Another children's joke starts "Why does Edward Woodward have so many Ds in his name?"

The response was: "Because otherwise he would be Ewar Woowar".

He also appeared opposite Lord Laurence Olivier in a 1978 adaptation of Saturday, Sunday, Monday in the Laurence Olivier Presents anthology series.

The success of Callan typecast him somewhat, but the enduring success of the genre allowed him to gain leading roles in similar productions, though none would prove as iconic as Callan.

In 1977 he starred in two series of the BBC drama 1990, about a future Britain lurching into totalitarianism.

It was not until he took the lead role in the American television series The Equaliser (1985-89) as a British former intelligence operative that he found recognition and popularity exceeding that of Callan.

After filming a few episodes of the third season, Woodward suffered a massive coronary.

For several episodes, additional actors were brought in to reduce the workload on Woodward as he recovered from the condition.

The first episode filmed following Woodward's heart attack involved his character being severely injured by a KGB bullet, providing Woodward with a chance to rest over several episodes.

Later in the season, Woodward resumed his full duties and carried the show through an additional fourth season from 1988-1989.

Subsequently he starred in the short-lived series Over My Dead Body, which ran in 1990, playing a mystery writer who gets involved solving real crimes.

In 1994 and 1997 Woodward starred in the BBC drama Common As Muck.

In 1993, Woodward appeared in the Welsh-language drama, Tan Ar Y Comin. Versions were made in both English and Welsh, and Woodward appeared in both, being specially coached in the latter since he did not speak a word of the language.

In 1995, he starred with Ten Danson in the film version of Gulliver's Travels.

Earlier in 1983, he starred with Candice Bergen in Merlin And The Sword.

His career continued with TV guest star roles including an appearance in The New Alfred Hitchcock Presents and the series La Femme Nikita.

He also guest starred with his son Tim and grandson Sam as a London gangster family in The Bill in 2008.

In 2009, he joined East Enders, playing Tommy Clifford.

His capability as tenor enabled him to record 12 albums of songs, as well as three albums of poetry and 14 books to tape.

Woodward was a wargamer and hosted a series of programmes for Tyne Tees Television about the hobby with fellow enthusiast Peter Gilder.

Woodward was married twice. His first marriage was to the actress Venetia Barrett (born Venetia Mary Collett) from 1952 to 1986.

They had two sons: Tim Woodward (born 1953) and Peter Woodward (born 1956), both of whom became actors, as well as a daughter, the Tony Award-nominated actress Sarah Woodward (born 1963).

Woodward left Barrett for actress Michele Dotrice, the daughter of his contemporary Roy Dotrice.

Woodward married Dotrice in New York in 1987.

Their daughter, Emily Woodward (born 1983), was present at the ceremony.

In 1969 and 1970, he was Television Actor Of The Year and Best Actor at the Sun Awards in 1970, 1971 and 1972.

Woodward won the 1970 BAFTA Award for Best Actor for his title role in Callan.

He was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in 1978.

At the 1987 Golden Globe Awards, he won Best Actor In A Dramatic TV Series for his role of Robert McCall in The Equaliser.

At the Emmy Awards from 1986 to 1990, he was nominated each year for The Equaliser.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Glenn Miller - King Of The Big Band, Missing In Action

Glenn Miller is best remembered as the king of big bands.

He went missing on a flight to entertain US troops in France during World War II.

Read all about him. Thanks, Wikipedia.

Alton Glenn Miller (March 1, 1904 – missing December 15, 1944), was an American jazz musician, arranger, composer and bandleader in the swing era.

He was one of the best-selling recording artistes from 1939 to 1942, leading one of the best known big bands.

Miller's signature recordings include In The Mood, American Patrol, Chattanooga Choo Choo, Tuxedo Junction, Moonlight Serenade, Little Brown Jug and Pennsylvania 6-5000.

While travelling to entertain US troops in France during World War II, Miller's plane disappeared in bad weather. His body has never been found.

Miller was born on a farm in Clarinda, Iowa, to Mattie Lou Cavender and Lewis Miller.

In 1915, Miller's family moved to Grant City, Missouri.

Around this time, Miller bought his first trombone and played in the town orchestra.

In 1918, the Miller family moved to Fort Morgan, Colorado, where Miller went to high school.

During his senior year, Miller became very interested in a new style of music called dance band music.

He formed his own band with some classmates.

By the time Miller graduated in 1921, he had decided to become a professional musician.

In 1923, Miller entered the University of Colorado at Boulder, where he joined Sigma Nu Fraternity but spent most of his time away from school attending auditions and playing at gigs with Boyd Senter's band in Denver.

He later studied the Schillinger technique with Joseph Schillinger, under whose tutelage he composed what became his signature theme, Moonlight Serenade.

In 1926, Miller toured with several groups, eventually landing a good spot in Ben Pollack's group in Los Angeles.

During his stint with Pollack, Miller wrote several musical arrangements of his own.

In 1928, when the band arrived in New York City, he married his college sweetheart Helen Burger.

He was a member of Red Nichols' orchestra in 1930 and because of Nichols, Miller played in the bands of two Broadway shows, Strike Up The Band and Girl Crazy (where his bandmates included Benny Goodman and Gene Krupa).

During the late 1920s and early 1930s, he was a freelance trombonist in several bands.

On November 14, 1929, vocalist Red McKenzie hired Glenn to play on two records that are now considered jazz classics: Hello, Lola and If I Could Be With You One Hour Tonight.

Beside Glenn were clarinetist Pee Wee Russell, guitarist Eddie Condon, drummer Gene Krupa and Coleman Hawkins on tenor saxophone.

In the 1930s, Miller also worked as an arranger for the Dorsey Brothers Band.

Miller composed the songs Annie's Cousin Fanny and Dese Dem Dose for the Dorsey Brothers Band in 1934.

In 1935, he assembled an American orchestra for British bandleader Ray Noble, developing the arrangement of lead clarinet over four saxophones that eventually became the sonic keynote of his own big band.

Members of the Noble band included future bandleaders Claude Thornhill, Bud Freeman and Charlie Spivak.

Glenn Miller made his first movie appearance in the 1935 Paramount Pictures release The Big Broadcast Of 1936 as a member of the Ray Noble Orchestra.

The Big Broadcast Of 1936 starred Bing Crosby, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Ethel Merman, Jack Oakie, and Bill "Bojangles" Robinson and also featured other performances by Dorothy Dandridge and the Nicholas Brothers, who would appear with Miller again in two movies for Twentieth Century Fox in 1941 and 1942.

Glenn Miller compiled several musical arrangements and formed his first band in 1937.

The band failed to distinguish itself from others of the era, and eventually broke up.

Discouraged, Miller returned to New York.

He realised that he needed to develop a unique sound and decided to make the clarinet play a melodic line with a tenor saxophone holding the same note, while three other saxophones harmonised within a single octave.

George Simon discovered a saxophonist named Wilbur Schwartz for Glenn Miller.

Miller hired Schwartz, but instead had him play the lead clarinet.

With this new sound combination, Glenn Miller found a way to differentiate his band's style from the many bands that existed in the late 30s.

In 1938, the Miller band began making recordings.

Charlie "Cy" Shribman, a prominent East Coast businessman, began financing the band.

In 1939, the band's fortunes improved with a date at the Meadowbrook Ballroom in Cedar Grove, New Jersey and at the Glen Island Casino in New Rochelle, New York.

With the Glen Island date, the band began a huge rise in popularity.

From 1939 to 1942, Miller's band was featured three times a week during a broadcast for Chesterfield cigarettes, first with the Andrews Sisters and then on its own.

In 1942, record label RCA Victor presented Miller with the first gold record for Chattanooga Choo Choo.

Chattanooga Choo Choo was performed by the Miller orchestra with his singers Gordon "Tex" Beneke, Paula Kelly and the vocal group the Modernaires.

Other singers with this orchestra included Marion Hutton, Skip Nelson, Ray Eberle, Kay Starr, Ernie Caceres, Dorothy Claire and Jack Lathrop.

Pat Friday ghost sang with the Miller band in their two films, Sun Valley Serenade and Orchestra Wives with Lynn Bari lip synching.

Louis Armstrong thought enough of Miller to carry around his recordings when he went on tour.

Frank Sinatra held the orchestra in high regard.

In 1942, at the peak of his civilian career, Miller decided to join the war effort.

At 38, Miller was too old to be drafted and first volunteered for the Navy but was told that they did not need his services.

Miller then wrote to Army Brigadier General Charles Young.

He persuaded the United States Army to accept him so he could, in his own words, be placed in charge of a modernised Army band.

After being accepted into the Army, Glenn’s civilian band played their last concert in Passaic, New Jersey on September 27, 1942.

At first placed in the United States Army, Glenn Miller was transferred to the Army Air Force.

Captain Glenn Miller served initially as assistant special services officer for the Army Air Forces Southeast Training Centre at Maxwell Field, Montgomery, Alabama, in 1942.

He played trombone with the Rhythmaires, a 15-piece dance band, in both Montgomery and in service clubs and recreation halls in Maxwell.

Miller also appeared on radio promoting the activities of civil service women aircraft mechanics employed at Maxwell.

Miller initially formed a large marching band that was to be the core of a network of service orchestras.

Miller's attempts at modernising military music were met with some resistance from tradition-minded career officers.

However, he soon became very popular and was allowed to form a 50-piece Army Air Force Band and take it to Britain in 1944.

It gave 800 performances there.

While in Britain, Major Miller recorded a series of records at Abbey Road Studios.

The Miller Orchestra recorded songs with the American singer Dinah Shore.

These were done at the Abbey Road studios and were the last recorded songs made by the band.

On December 15, 1944, Miller was to fly from the United Kingdom to Paris, France, to play for the soldiers who had recently liberated Paris.

His plane (a single-engined UC-64 Norseman, USAAF serial 44-70285) departed from RAF Twinwood Farm in Clapham, Bedfordshire and disappeared while flying over the English Channel.

Helen Miller accepted the Bronze Star medal for Glenn Miller in February 1945.

The Miller estate authorised an official Glenn Miller "ghost band" in 1946.

This band was led by Tex Beneke, former lead saxophonist and a singer for the civilian band.

The orchestra's official public debut was at the Capitol Theatre on Broadway where it opened for a three-week engagement on January 24, 1946.

Henry Mancini (Pink Panther theme) was the band's pianist and one of the arrangers.

What began as the Glenn Miller Orchestra Under The Direction Of Tex Beneke finally became The Tex Beneke Orchestra.

By 1950, Beneke and the Miller estate parted ways.

After Miller's disappearance, the Miller-led Army Air Force band was decommissioned and sent back to the United States.

According to singer Tony Bennett who sang with it while in the service, the 314 was the immediate successor to the Glenn Miller-led orchestra.

The Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band's long-term legacy has carried on with the Airmen Of Note, a band within The United States Air Force Band.

Glenn Miller's wife Helen died in 1966.

Herb Miller, Glenn Miller's brother, led his own band in the United States and Britain until the late 1980s.

Herb's son, John continues the tradition leading a band playing mainly Glenn Miller style music.

In the United States and Britain, there are a few archives that are devoted to Glenn Miller.

The Glenn Miller archive at the University of Colorado at Boulder includes the original manuscript to Miller's theme song Moonlight Serenade.

In 2002, the Glenn Miller Museum opened to the public at the former RAF Twinwood Farm in Clapham, Bedfordshire.

Miller's surname resides on the Wall Of Missing at the Cambridge American Cemetery and Memorial.

A monument stone was also placed in Grove Street Cemetery in New Haven, Connecticut next to the campus of Yale University.

In 1996, the US Postal Service issued a Glenn Miller postage stamp.

The National Academy Of Recording Arts And Sciences (Grammys) honoured Glenn Miller by including three of his recordings in their Hall Of Fame.

In 1983, In The Mood was inducted.

The recording of Moonlight Serenade was also honoured by the Grammys in 1991.

Chattanooga Choo Choo was inducted in 1996.

In 2003, Miller received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

The entire output of cigarette-sponsored radio programmes Glenn Miller did between 1939 and 1942 was recorded by the Glenn Miller estate.

In 1943, Glenn Miller wrote Glenn Miller's Method For Orchestral Arranging, published by the Mutual Music Society in New York.

Glenn Miller composed individually or in collaboration with others at least 14 songs that are available on recordings.

Many of the Miller musicians went on to studio and touring careers in Hollywood and New York after World War II:

George Siravo, 1916–2000 was an arranger with Glenn Miller's first band. Siravo went on to become a staff arranger with Columbia Records in 1947, working with Frank Sinatra, Doris Day and Mitch Miller.

Billy May, 1916–2004 a trumpeter and an arranger for the band, became a coveted arranger and studio orchestra leader, going on to work with Frank Sinatra, Rosemary Clooney (aunt of George), Anita O'Day and Bing Crosby.

Cornetist Bobby Hackett, 1915–1976 soloed on A String Of Pearls with Miller in 1941. Hackett went on to work with Jackie Gleason and Dizzy Gillespie.

Johnny Desmond, 1919–1985 a lead vocalist from the Army Air Force Band, became a popular singer in the 1950s and appeared on Broadway in the 1960s in Funny Girl with Barbra Streisand.

Kay Starr, b. 1922 became a popular singer in the post-war period.

Artie Malvin, 1922–2006 from Glenn Miller's AAF Band had a vocal group called The Crew Chiefs. Malvin became heavily immersed in the popular music of the 40s and 50s, including children's music and jingles for commercials as well as the emerging rock music. In the 70s he did music for The Carol Burnett Show.

Paul Tanner, b. 1917 trombonist for the civilian band went on to perform on songs such as Good Vibrations by The Beach Boys.

Some of the Army Air Force members went on to notable careers in classical music and modern jazz.

Norman Leyden b. 1917 an arranger from the Army Air Force Band later became a noted arranger in New York, composing arrangements for Sarah Vaughan and the Oregon Symphony, where he became Associate Conductor.

Mel Powell, 1923–1998, was the pianist and one of the arrangers in the Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band. Pearls On Velvet was one of his compositions. He taught music at the California Institute For The Arts in Los Angeles in 1969.

George T. Simon, 1912–2001 was a drummer for some of the Miller bands. In 1974, Simon won a Grammy for Bing Crosby: A Legendary Performer.

2012 - 2009's Ultimate Disaster Movie

Just watched 2012 made by the brilliant Roland Emmerich.

Scary, and very entertaining. I pray it will not happen.

Read all about it here. Thanks, Wikipedia.

2012 is a disaster film directed by Roland Emmerich.

The film has an ensemble cast, including John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Danny Glover, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Chiwetel Ejiofor and Woody Harrelson.

The film is inspired by the idea of a global doomsday event coinciding with the end of the Mayan Calendar's cycle on or around December 21, 2012 (the northern hemisphere's winter solstice).

Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) is a divorced father who occasionally works as a limousine driver and writer, while his ex-wife Kate Curtis (Amanda Peet) and children Noah (Liam James) and Lily (Morgan Lily) live together with Kate's new boyfriend, Gordon (Thomas McCarthy).

At the Mayan city of Tikal in Guatemala, the victims of a mass suicide seem to adhere to the Mayan calendar, which predicts that the end of the world will coincide with December 21, 2012 (the northern hemisphere's winter solstice).

The IHC (Institute for Human Continuity), a covert organisation which is aware of the situation, begins building vast arks beneath the Himalayan mountains designed to withstand most natural disasters in order to save humanity, significant species and mankind's greatest treasures.

There are debates about how and when the world's governments will alert their citizens and discussions about how to select those who will survive Armageddon, but when the governments discover that the global cataclysm is happening faster than expected, they race to complete the ships before all is lost.

Adrian Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor, British Nigerian actor), the scientific advisor to the President of the United States informs them shortly after a visit to India where he meets some scientists.

Meanwhile, on a day trip to Yellowstone with his two children, Jackson meets Charlie Frost (Woody Harrelson), who hosts his own radio segment and blog about his belief that the Mayans are right about 2012.

Over the coming days, vast cracks are found within the San Andreas Fault in California, and despite government assurances that all is fine, Jackson isn't convinced.

Hiring a private plane and gathering supplies, he races to Kate's home to save his family and Gordon from the consequences of the Earth's crust displacement, occuring all around them.

After a dangerous race through collapsing streets to Santa Monica Airport, Gordon uses his pilot skills to fly them to safety.

They fly through the crumbling city of Los Angeles, which quickly collapses into the Pacific Ocean.

When the plane runs low on fuel, the group is forced to land in Wyoming.

Jackson uses this chance to contact Charlie.

Against Kate's will, Jackson and his daughter go to look for Charlie.

They find Charlie's van empty.

However, Charlie informs his followers via the radio that he has gone into the mountains to watch the imminent catastrophe.

Jackson takes the van and speeds off to find him.

His pursuit proves successful, but the ground below them begins to rumble.

Jackson warns Charlie that they must leave, yet he refuses as he finds the scenery "too beautiful."

Before Jackson escapes, Charlie informs him that he has a map in his van that will provide information concerning a possible escape route.

As the volcanoes erupt behind him, he heads back towards the plane.

Again, Jackson finds himself on a dangerous race as the large chunks of boulders strike the ground nearby.

Upon his arrival, his daughter charges out of the van into the plane, but Jackson remains in the van to search for the map.

He recalls that Charlie told him it was "between Roswell and Marilyn Monroe".

As the earth opens up, the van falls into a gap.

The family is horrified, but must leave before it is too late.

The ground is continuously crumbling.

Jackson finds himself falling but manages to grab onto the ledge.

He pulls himself back up and runs back to the plane as the ground behind him continues to collapse.

He is just fast enough to enter the plane.

It soon becomes clear that it's not just California that's experiencing disaster.

The Yellowstone Supervolcano erupts.

Las Vegas is destroyed by a massive chasm that cuts through it and by an ash cloud from the Yellowstone eruption.

Massive earthquakes begin to occur in South America and destroy Rio De Janeiro and Buenos Aires.

Washington DC is flooded by an enormous tsunami in which the USS John F. Kennedy crushes the White House.

St Peter's Basilica in Vatican City crumbles into oblivion, killing thousands in prayer.

Another tsunami hits New York City, toppling the Statue of Liberty.

As massive tsunamis begin to sweep across the Earth, the US government declares the end of the world.

A group of survivors, including Jackson and his family, must fight their way to China before they can board the great arks and save themselves from the gigantic tidal waves flooding the Earth.

They realise that their plane will not suffice to fly all the way to China.

They agree that they must land at an airport to find a better plane.

While they manage to find one, it is filled with many other individuals.

Gordon stumbles upon one of his old clients, Tamara (Beatrice Rosen of The Dark Knight).

She is with Russian millionaire Yuri Karpov (Zlatko Buric, Croatian actor).

Upon closer investigation, the family realises that Yuri has bought a plane to escape to China.

Jackson pleads him to allow his family, but Yuri initially refuses.

However, his pilot Sasha (Johann Urb, Estonian actor) alerts him that he requires a co-pilot.

Jackson seizes this opportunity and tells Yuri that Gordon is an experienced pilot.

Subsequently, the group boards a large Russian plane towards China.

Below them, the airport is destroyed by earthquakes.

As they are in the air, Sasha realises that the plane does not contain sufficient fuel to fly all the way to China.

He warns Gordon of this and both agree that they will have to land in the water.

Gordon tells this to Jackson.

They wake up the others on board to warn them.

Kate and Jackson hand life jackets to their children as they prepare themselves for the landing.

Meanwhile, Sasha discovers that they are no longer above the ocean.

The Earth's crust has shifted by thousands of miles and they are heading right towards the Himalayas.

The group must rapidly concoct a new plan.

They all decide to go into cars while Sasha opens the door from the cockpit.

Time is running out and the plane is charging right into the mountains.

Gordon abandons Sasha and runs back to the car just in time to escape with the others.

Sasha lands the plane on a cliff.

The weight of the plane causes the ground below it to break leading Sasha to his death.

The remaining group members land safely with the cars.

Tamara weeps and demands they go back to find Sasha.

Yet before they have time to act, Chinese helicopters holding large animals, such as elephants and giraffes, fly above them.

One helicopter notices the group and goes down to greet them.

However, the group immediately understands that they will need to pay to get into the helicopter.

Yuri pays for him and his sons, but refuses to pay for the others.

Before boarding the helicopter, he tells Tamara he knew of her relationship with Sasha.

The group now has no choice but to walk through the mountains in an attempt to find others.

Soon enough, a car drives by them.

In it are Tibetan Buddhist monk Nima (Osric Chau, Canadian actor) and his grandmother (Lisa Lu, American actress).

Jackson throws a rock at it.

The car backs up and they allow them to join the ride to meet Nima's brother Tenzin (Ng Chin Han, Singapore's hottest new star).

He has a plan to escape.

Upon their arrival, Tenzin is infuriated.

He tells Nima his plan cannot account for so many people.

Nonetheless, Jackson and Kate insist that they take the children.

After further discussion, Tenzin allows the entire group to join him.

His plan is to sneak into an ark that has been created by governments around the world as a way to save a select few.

Jackson and family manage to sneak into one of several arks with the help of Tenzin.

Carl Anheuser (Oliver Platt), the President's Chief of Staff who is now in charge of the arks, orders that the gates of the arks to be closed as the supplies are not enough to cater for all the survivors.

Thomas Wilson, the President of the United States (Danny Glover), is dismayed at Anheuser's action and convinces the leaders of various nations to open the gates to save the survivors.

When closing the gates, part of Tenzin's leg is crushed.

Gordon, Tamara and Yuri also die though Jackson made an attempt to save them.

The cable brought by Tenzin is stuck in between the gears and the gears grind to a complete halt.

The gate is now partially closed.

As the tsunami hits Jackson's ark, one of the main supporting structures of the ark breaks down causing the ark to float in the direction of Mount Everest.

The engines of the ark cannot be started even with manual settings unless the gates are closed.

Jackson decides to remove the cable from the gear with the aid of his son.

He succeeds.

The gears are operating again and the gate closes.

The engines are activated and are engaged in a reverse position to avoid an impact.

However, the ark still hits Mount Everest but with minimal damage.

The survivors inside the ark cheer for Jackson saved them.

When the catastrophe ends, the water recedes and the world unfloods.

The captain of Jackson's ark along with its sister arks decides that the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa is a good place to lead a normal life.

The survivors walk out from the ark and are able to see the sunlight and the vast sea again.

These include Jackson's and Tenzin's family, the President, his aides and his daughter Laura (Thandie Newton) who has salvaged a great many works of art around the world.

The film ends with the sight of the African continent, capable of supporting human life in the future.

Director Emmerich and composer-producer Harald Kloser co-wrote the film script.

They filmed it at Vancouver, Canada.

- John Cusack as Jackson Curtis, a science fiction book writer who occasionally works as a limousine driver.
- Amanda Peet as Kate Curtis, Jackson's ex-wife.
- Liam James as Noah Curtis, Jackson and Kate's son.
- Morgan Lily as Lilly Curtis, Jackson and Kate's daughter.
- Thomas McCarthy as Gordon, Kate's current boyfriend and a plastic surgeon.
- Danny Glover as Thomas Wilson, the President of the United States.
- Thandie Newton as Laura Wilson, the President's daughter, an art conservationist.
- Chiwetel Ejiofor as Adrian Helmsley, scientific advisor to the President and Laura's love interest.
- Oliver Platt (cousin of the late Princess Diana of Wales) as Carl Anheuser, the President's Chief of Staff.
- Woody Harrelson as Charlie Frost, a man who prophesies the end of the world.
- Ng Chin Han as Lin Pang, a worker in Tibet.
- Zlatko Buric as Yuri Karpov, a Russian millionare.

The original score for the film was composed by Kloser and Thomas Wander.

Singer Adam Lambert from American Idol 8 contributed a song for the film called Time For Miracles.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Happy Merdeka Australia, NZ, Canada, Ireland & South Africa

Happy Merdeka, Australia (Oct 9), New Zealand (Nov 25), Canada (Dec 11), South Africa (Dec 11) and Ireland (Dec 11).

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Met Najwa Mahiaddin

Just met Najwa Mahiaddin, one of Malaysia's most promising folk and soul singers and songwriters. She is the daughter of Deputy PM Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and hails from Muar in Johor.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pete Teo - Sifu Of Malaysian Indie Music & Film

Kota Kinabalu-born Pete Teo is a sifu of Malaysian independent music and film.

He is one of the country's 'leaders and visionaries' of culture besides the late Yasmin Ahmad (his dear friend) and Datuk Faridah Merican, the Mothers of National Unity, and film-maker and writer Amir Muhammad.

Here is his brief biography courtesy of Wikipedia.

Pete Teo is a leading English language singer-songwriter in Malaysia.

He is also an acclaimed film composer and music producer as well as an actor in new wave Malaysian cinema.

Teo has released two solo albums Rustic Living For Urbanites (2003) and Television (2006 which he produced) on his label Redbag Music.

Rustic Living For Urbanites won Best Music Video and Best Album Cover at the Malaysian Music Industry Awards 2004.

Television, a folk album filled with reflections on a media saturated world won all 3 categories it was nominated for at the same awards in 2007 - Best Album Cover, Best Music Video and Best English Album.

Teo emerged as the first non-mainstream indie artist to win big in the history of the awards.

Television became the first Malaysian record to be licensed and released in South Korea.

Teo was also the first Malaysian artiste to play at the South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, the United States in 2007.

In 2008, Teo produced the non-profit, multi-artiste anti-racism anthem Here In My Home.

The star-studded recording of the anthem was titled Malaysian Artistes For Unity.

The project attracted pro bono participation from over 50 Malaysian artistes and media personalities including R&B star Ning Baizura, rocker Awie, comedian Afdlin Shauki, singer-songwriter and TV host Jason Lo, actress Maya Karin, Air Asia CEO Datuk Seri Tony Fernandes and first Malaysian Idol Jaclyn Victor.

The music video for the song, directed by Yasmin and Ho Yuhang premiered at the Malaysian Music Industry Awards 2008 to a nationwide television audience.

The video became one of most viralled videos in the world.

In the same year Teo produced 4 retrospective music videos for legendary Malaysian band The Alleycats.

Teo also played live on South Korean music programmes Love Letter and EBS Space, and at the Tokyo Music Market.

He also composed and wrote the soundtrack of Yasmin's last film Talentime.

Teo has appeared in several independent films most notably James Lee's Call If You Need Me and Ho Yuhang's Rain Dogs.

He was also the music director of Ho Yuhang's film At The End Of Daybreak and acted in French film Stretch directed by Charles De Meaux and starring the late David Carradine.

In 2009, Teo produced 15Malaysia, a collection of 15 short socio-political films made by 15 film-makers including Yasmin.

The films starred prominent politicians such as Khairy Jamaluddin, Datuk Nik Aziz Nik Mat, Tian Chua and Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

The cyber films have attracted more than 11 million viewers, and were screened at the Pusan International Film Festival in South Korea.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Chinese Dialects

Chinese dialects.

1 North Chinese - Beijing dialects, Hakka dialects, Yangzi dialects and Hunan dialects.

2 Cantonese dialects - Hainan, Guangxi, Guangzhou, Jiangmen, Zhongsan, Yangjiang, Qingyuan, Zhanjiang, Shenzhen and Foshan.

3 Fujian dialects – Fuzhou (or North) and Xiamen (Zhangzhou-Quanzhou) [this includes Hainan and Shantou].

Friday, October 16, 2009

Hokkien & Hoklo

Hokkiens or Hoklos are Chinese who speak the Hoklo or Hokkien dialect.

They come from the province of Fujian (or Hokkien in the dialect) in southern China.

They are from the cities of Chuanchou (or Chinchew in their dialect or Quanzhou in Beijing dialect), Amoy (or Xiamen in Beijing dialect) and Changchou (or Changchew in their dialect or Zhangzhou in Beijing dialect).

They are also called the Taiwanese Chinese.

People's Alliance Should Give Up Sabah, Labuan And Sarawak

The people of Sabah, Labuan and Sarawak can never accept Peninsular Malaysian parties.

Thus the People's Alliance should leave Sabah, Labuan and Sarawak.

Sabah, Labuan and Sarawak prefer to set up their very own opposition parties and these can join the People's Alliance later, if there still is a People's Alliance in a year's time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Some Penang Historic Trivia

- Kadir Mydin Merican was the first Indian headman in Penang and he was the ancestor of the first lady of Malaysian theatre Datuk Faridah Merican and Malaysia's Jodie Foster Fauziah Ahmad Daud.

- Koh Lay Huan was the first Chinese headman of Penang and he was the ancestor of former Chief Minister Tan Sri Koh Tsu Koon.

- James Richardson Logan, the man who coined the terms 'Malaysia' and 'Indonesia' ran the Penang Gazette, the oldest paper in Malaysia. This paper was later bought over by the Straits Echo run by Mani Saravanamuttu (relative of Johan Saravanamuttu) in 1930.

- His brother Abraham Logan ran the Singapore Free Press which later became New Straits Times.

- James Richardson Logan lived from April 10, 1819 to October 20, 1869. His memorial is outside the George Town City Hall Auditorium. He is described as a writer, lawyer, ecologist, ethnologist and champion of the common man.

- Dr Wu Lian Teh (Ngoh Lian Tuck) was the first Queen's Scholar from Malaysia. He hailed from Penang, studied in Penang Free School and modernised China's public health care system besides fighting plague in China.

- The Malaysian Indian Association, forerunner of the Central Indian Association of Malaysia and later the Malaysian Indian Congress began in Penang. It was founded by Cambridge lawyer P. Nambiar and Methodist Reverend Raju Naidu. Another prominent leader was H. Abdoolcader, ancestor of the late High Court judge Tan Sri Eusoffe Abdoolcader. The older Abdoolcader was the man who made Deepavali a Malaysian public holiday.

- Businessman Chung Keng Kwee was the father of Chung Thye Pin who became famous in Ipoh. Keng Kwee also had a nephew Chung Ah Yong.

- My family has links to Chin Ah Yam who was born in Penang but went to live in Ipoh.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Penang Mari

Perak Chinese, like myself, have Penang roots.

Malaysian Chinese of Perak state entered Malaysia via George Town, Penang.

Those from Selangor, where Kuala Lumpur is, also entered Malaysia via George Town, Penang.

Likewise those from Perlis, Kedah and Negeri Sembilan.

Those from Johor, Pahang, Terengganu, Kelantan, Sabah, Brunei and Sarawak, 'Singapore mari' (from Singapore).

Friday, October 9, 2009

Congrats Obama

Congrats to Barack Obama on winning the Nobel Prize 2009.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Scouts To Honour Contributions Of Former Minister Tun Sardon Jubir

From Malaysian National News Agency or Bernama.

The contributions of the late Cabinet Minister Tun Sardon Jubir to the Scout Movement will be remembered when Malaysia hosts the 23rd Asia Pacific Regional Scout Conference from October 27 to November 1.

Sardon, the Chief Scout from 1963-1973 contributed much to the Malaysian Scout Movement, particularly in creating the Malay States Federation of Boy Scouts Act 1968, said Sahrizal Sunari, secretary of the Malaysian Scout Federation.

He said the Scout Movement had achieved much when Sardon was head of the Malaysian Scout Federation.

During this time, Malaysia organised the 4th Far East Scout Conference in 1964, a first for Malaysia, and the 1st Malaysian Scout Jamboree in 1966.

Sardon's contributions to the Scout Movement won him several foreign awards including Gold Medals from the South Korean Scout Movement and the Scout Movement of Thailand.

Sahrizal said in recognition of his contributions, the scout camp in Balakong, Kajang, Selangor was named the Sardon Jubir Scout Camp.

The Asia Pacific Scout Movement has 24 members namely Australia, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, Taiwan, Fiji, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, South Korea, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

Sardon who was born on March 19, 1917 in Sungai Kluang, Rengit, Batu Pahat, Johor held several Cabinet posts from 1957-1973 as Works Minister, Energy, Telecommunications and Posts Minister, Transport Minister and Health Minister.

In 1974, he was appointed Malaysian Permanent Representative to the United Nations in New York.

He served as the Yang Dipertua Negeri (State Governor) of Penang from 1975-1981.

Sardon, who passed away in 1986, is the grandfather of 1980s model-cum-actress Amanda Lokman.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

About The Black Eyed Peas

From Wikipedia.

The Black Eyed Peas (BEP) is an American hip hop musical group based in Los Angeles.

The group is composed of (William Adams), (Allan Pineda Lindo), Taboo (Jaime Gomez) and Fergie (Stacy Ann Ferguson).

Since their album Elephunk in 2003, the group's hip hop/dance pop-oriented style has sold an estimated 20 million albums worldwide and 13 million singles.

The group is one of only 11 artistes to have held the number 1 and 2 spots on the Billboard Hot 100 at the same time.

Their singles Boom Boom Pow and I Gotta Feeling topped the US charts for 25 consecutive weeks, more than any other artiste in history.

Their album Elephunk released in 2003 was the group's first album to feature the vocals of Ferguson.

From Elephunk came Where Is The Love? a single featuring Justin Timberlake which became Black Eyed Peas' first major hit.

The album subsequently spawned Shut Up, which peaked at Number 2 in the United Kingdom.

Elephunk went Gold and Platinum in the United States and the United Kingdom.

Lindo’s life story was featured in a weekly Filipino TV drama special Would You Remember.

The Apl Song, with the chorus written in Tagalog, from Elephunk, tells his story.

Lindo subsequently formed the Filipino Songwriters And Artistes’ Group (FSAG).

Let’s Get Retarded, later re-worded as Let’s Get It Started for an NBA commercial earned the group a 2005 Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.

Their next album, Monkey Business, was released in 2005.

The album's first single Don't Phunk With My Heart, was a hit in the United States and earned them another Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group.

Other singles from the album included Don’t Lie, My Humps and Pump It, which borrowed the famous guitar rift of Dick Dale’s song Misirlou (Egyptian Girl).

The group's fifth studio album, The END (Energy Never Dies) was released on June 9, 2009.

Boom Boom Pow became their first song to reach Number 1, where it remained for 12 weeks.

The album has an electro-hop beat.

Its hit singles include Imma Be, Alive, Meet Me Halfway and I Gotta Feeling,

William Adams.

William James Adams Jr (born March 15, 1975), better known by his stage name is an American rapper, songwriter, singer, philanthropist, actor, and producer.

Born in Los Angeles of Jamaican descent, Adams became best friends with Allan Pineda Lindo in high school and soon performed in clubs.

They subsequently formed the hip hop group Atban Klann.

When the group disbanded, they formed the Black Eyed Peas in 1995. also attended the Fashion Institute Of Design And Merchandising in Los Angeles.

In 2008, was hired by Michael Jackson to produce and remix some songs for the Thriller re-release, Thriller 25.

He also contributed the song One People to the Survival International charity album Songs For Survival.

In 2009, worked with rappers Flo Rida and Akon on Flo Rida's new album Roots.

He starred in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa as the character Moto Moto.

He contributed a number of tracks to the movie's motion picture soundtrack in collaboration with industry heavyweight Hans Zimmer. played John Wraith in his major film debut X-Men Origins: Wolverine.

In 2001, he began designing his own signature clothing line,, which made its official debut in 2005.

He actively campaigned for Barack Obama in the presidential elections of 2008 and wrote his campaign songs Yes We Can, We Are The Ones, It’s A New Day and America’s Song.

Stacy Ann Ferguson.

Stacy Ann Ferguson (born March 27, 1975), better known by her stage name Fergie, is an American singer-songwriter, fashion designer and actress.

She was a member of the kids television series Kids Incorporated, and the girl group Wild Orchid.

She is a vocalist for the hip hop and pop group the Black Eyed Peas, as well as a solo artiste, having released her debut album, The Dutchess, in 2006.

The album spawned five Billboard Hot 100 Top 5 singles (three of which went to number one).

Of Mexican, British and Native American descent, she was a straight-A student, spelling bee champion and Girl Scout during her schooldays.

As a child actress, Ferguson was on the television programme Kids Incorporated with Renee Sandstrom, who became a fellow member of Wild Orchid.

Ferguson was the voice of Sally Brown in the Charlie Brown cartoons of the 1980s.

From 1991 to 2001, Ferguson was a member of the female trio Wild Orchid, which she fronted with Stefanie Ridel and Sandstrom.

Wild Orchid released two albums.

In 2003, the Black Eyed Peas recruited Ferguson for their third album Elephunk.

After two successful Black Eyed Peas albums, Ferguson began pursuing a solo career.

She recorded two songs for the Poseidon soundtrack and performed Auld Lang Syne in the 2006 film.

Her debut solo album, The Dutchess, was released on September 19, 2006.

The Dutchess, a mix of pop and R&B songs, spawned six hits for Ferguson, London Bridge, Fergalicious, Glamorous, Big Girls Don't Cry, Clumsy and Finally.

In 2007, Ferguson won the Pop or Rock Favourite Female Artiste at the American Music Awards.

She performed a "duet" with Michael Jackson (her vocals mixed with Jackson's 1982 recordings), Beat It 2008 on Thriller 25, the 25th anniversary release of Jackson's iconic album Thriller.

Ferguson’s new movie, Nine In London, also starring Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson and Daniel Day Lewis will be released at year’s end.

Ferguson is married to actor Josh Duhamel of Transformers fame.

Allan Pineda Lindo.

Allan Pineda Lindo, (born November 28, 1974) better known by his stage name, is a Filipino-American hip hop musician and record producer and is best known as a member of the Black Eyed Peas. was born in Sapang Bato, Angeles City, Pampanga, the Philippines, to a Filipino mother and an African American father.

His father, a US airman stationed at Clark Air Base, abandoned the family shortly after his birth.

His mother Cristina Pineda raised Apl and his six younger siblings as a single mother.

As a child, Apl helped his family subsist by farming sweet potatoes, corn, sugar cane and rice.

The Pearl S. Buck Foundation, an organisation that finds healthier living environments for abandoned or orphaned Amerasian children, matched him with a sponsor named Joe Ben Hudgens.

He was then 11 years old.

Apl's early musical influences were Stevie Wonder, The Eagles, The Beatles and Filipino rock/folk group Asin.

He and formed a break-dancing group Tribal Nation and performed regularly at Southern California parties and events.

From 1992-1995, their crew was re-named Atban Klann (Atban stands for A Tribe Beyond A Nation).

Apl has brought his Filipino culture into his collaboration with the Black Eyed Peas.

He explains his life story in The Apl Song on the Peas' 2003 album Elephunk.

It includes a full chorus in Tagalog sampled from the Asin song Balita.

He also sang Bebot (Filipino slang for "pretty woman") on their 2005 album Monkey Business. founded The Apl Foundation which is aimed at helping Asian children pursue higher education.

He also formed his own music company Jeepney Music.

In the group’s new album The END, he sang the Tagalog song Mare.

Jaime Gomez.

Jaime Luis Gomez (born July 14, 1975), better known as Taboo, is an American rapper, actor and singer who is best known as a member of the Black Eyed Peas.

Taboo is of Mexican and Native American descent.

As a child he did not turn to music until his late teens.

He has a son Joshua who was born on December 5, 1993. Joshua has his own band Delta Black In Action.

Two days before his 33rd birthday, Taboo married Jaymie Dizon. Their first child Jaylyne was born on July 19, 2009.

Taboo is known for his kung-fu-inspired dance moves (he is a practitioner of Jeet Kune Do and a black belt in Ninjitsu) and an eclectic style of dress.

Taboo is in the process of creating a solo album. He has co-written songs for the soundtracks of Coach Carter and Legally Blonde, and acted in the films Dirty (with Wyclef Jean) and Street Fighter: The Legend Of Chun Li (with Kristin Kreuk).

About Arthur Guinness

Just celebrated Arthur’s Day with the Black Eyed Peas in Sunway Lagoon Resort, Subang Jaya yesterday.

Read all about Arthur Guinness, the man whose genius is honoured on Arthur’s Day, the day he founded the world famous stout brand which carries his family name.

From Wikipedia.

Arthur Guinness (1725 – January 23, 1803) was an Irish brewer and the founder of the Guinness brewery business and family.

At 27, in 1752, Guinness' godfather Arthur Price, Archbishop of Cashel, bequeathed him £100 in his will.

Guinness invested the money and in 1755 had a brewery at Leixlip, just 17km from Dublin.

In 1759, Guinness went to the city and set up his own business.

He got a 9,000 year lease on the four-acre brewery at St. James' Gate from Mark Rainsford for an annual rent of £45.

In 1761 he married Olivia Whitmore in Dublin, and they had 21 children, 10 of whom lived to adulthood.

Three of his sons were also brewers, and his other descendants eventually included missionaries, politicians and authors.

He was buried in his mother's family plot at Oughter Ard in County Kildare in 1803.

Guinness also established the Arthur Guinness Fund to empower individuals with skills and opportunities to deliver a measured benefit to their communities.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Words Of Wisdom - Sir Charles Chaplin & William Irwin Thompson

I remain one thing and one thing only - and that is a CLOWN. It places me on a far higher plane than any POLITICIAN - Sir Charles Chaplin.

Civilisations, like the penis, rise and fall, and when the towers and the battlements crumble into the earth, they return to the embrace of the Great Mother - William Irwin Thompson.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Singapore's Roads And Their Names

From and edited by Malaysiana1.

Singapore's roads have interesting origins.

They began in the following periods of history.

The Aboriginal Malay (Orang Laut) Period (Pre-1819)

Tanjung Rhu literally means Casuarina Cape.

The Kallang River is named for the Kallang or Bintan Orang Laut tribe.

Tanjung Pagar means Fence Cape.

The Bintan or Kallang built wooden fences to trap fish at this cape.

Bukit Merah means Red Hill. The soil on this hill was reddish brown.

The British Colonial Period (1819-1963)

Beach Road, South Bridge Road, Hill Street and Cross Street describe the landmarks at these roads or streets.

Colonial governors and officials also had their names given to roads such as Coleman Street, Thomson Road, Collyer Quay, Clementi Road, Farrer Road and Keppel Road.

Famous people and events also gave their names to roads.

Thus Victoria Street (after Queen Victoria), Waterloo Street (after the Battle of Waterloo), Havelock Road (after Henry Havelock, a British colonial official who suppressed the Indian Mutiny 1857) and Clemenceau Avenue (after a French Prime Minister).

The immigrants lent their names to the streets.

Thus Amoy Street and Nanking Street (both Chinese cities) and Malabar Street (a coastal region in southern India).

Some immigrants became wealthy and respected, and roads were named after them too.

Aljunied Road was named after a leader of the Arab community, Eu Tong Sen Street was named to honour a Chinese tin miner, Meyer Road was named for a Jewish merchant and Veerasamy Road for a doctor and leader of the Indian community.

Malaysia Period (1963-1965)

Toa Payoh came from local usage and is a blending of Hokkien Chinese and Malay.

It means Big Swamp (Toa - Hokkien for Big).

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

999 - A Day For Malaysian Cops To Celebrate

Today is September 9, 2009 or 999.

It's the date that reflects the Malaysian police's emergency telephone number.

Go celebrate, cops!

The Uncolonised

Japan, China, Thailand, Iran, Turkey and Russia.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Had An Interview With ABBA's Bjorn

Had a great time interviewing Bjorn Ulvaeus of ABBA over the phone on August 26, 2009. He's really cool.

To Be A Good Malaysian

To be a good Malaysian, an exemplary Malaysian, let the neighbour be a better Malay, Chinese, Indian or Borneo Native, or whatever ethnic community he is.

For ultimately, all ethnic communities are born good and great, and the best among their members are those who live life to the fullest and do good deeds to the max.

And if you don't know how to be a good whatever, go back to understanding your roots and what your ancestors always believed that they were here for.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Antares' New Blog Address

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Fauziah Latiff & Rashidi Ishak Play PM's Parents In New Musical

Malaysian Paula Abdul Fauziah Latiff and Malaysian Hugh Grant Rashidi Ishak starred as the parents of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the National Theatre's and National Arts, Culture and Heritage Academy's new musical Tun Razak - The Musical from August 16 to 20, 2009.

Rashidi played Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, the revered father of Najib while Fauziah played his wife Tun Rahah Noah.

Razak was Malaysia's second Prime Minister from 1970 until his death from cancer at the age of 54 in 1976.

Razak was responsible for helping Malaysia's indigenous people gradually find their way into the modern economic sectors after a century of British colonial rule which confined them to the village economy.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Happy Merdeka, Indonesia

Happy Merdeka (Independence Day), Indonesia.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Uncle Param - Irreverent Funnyman Of TV And Cinema

Veteran comedian P. Paramasivam or Param who passed away of a heart ailment at the age of 55 yesterday was one of the most celebrated 'little men' of Malaysian TV and cinema.

Param made his name in movies and TV programmes in the 1970s and 1980s along with veteran comedians AR Badul (brother of leading actor, director, lyricist, composer, TV host and reality show judge Adlin Aman Ramlie), Wazata Zain, Yahya Sulong and the late Yusni Jaafar and R. Jaafar.

His famous films included Tuan Besar (Big Boss), Penyamun Tarbus (Turbaned Pirate), Si Luncai, Si Badul and Anak Tunggal (Only Child).

Born in Tampin, Negeri Sembilan, Param never married and was the only son in a family of six.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Yasmin Ahmad Wins Big In Malaysia Film Festival 2009

The late Mother of National Unity Yasmin Ahmad won Best Director for her film Talentime at the Malaysian Film Festival 2009 on August 8, 2009.

Talentime also won Special Jury Award, Best Supporting Actor (Syafie Naswip), Most Promising Actress (Jaclyn Victor) and Best Screenplay.

Monday, August 10, 2009

John Hughes - Film-Maker Of 1980s Yuppies

Thanks, Wikipedia.

Iconic 1980s film-maker John Hughes who passed away on August 6 will be best remembered for creating some of the most definitive 1980s films.

His films mostly focused on yuppies, the go-getting young men and women of that decade, warts and all.

Many 1980s stars grew up acting in his films and they include Michael Keaton, Randy Quaid, Christopher Lloyd, Ally Sheedy, Judd Nelson, Molly Ringwald, Anthony Michael Hall, Matthew Broderick, Kelly LeBrock, Robert Downey Jr, Bill Paxton, James Spader, Andrew McCarthy, Charlie Sheen, Lea Thompson, Alec Baldwin, Kevin Bacon, Macaulay Culkin and Chevy Chase.

John Hughes Jr. (February 18, 1950 – August 6, 2009) was an American film director, producer and writer.

He made some of the most successful comedy films of the 1980s and 1990s, including National Lampoon's Vacation, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Weird Science, The Breakfast Club, Some Kind Of Wonderful, Sixteen Candles, Pretty In Pink, Planes, Trains And Automobiles, Uncle Buck, 101 Dalmatians, Flubber, Beethoven, Home Alone and its sequel Home Alone 2: Lost In New York.

In recent years he came up with Maid In Manhattan starring Jennifer Lopez, Ralph Fiennes and the late Natasha Richardson, and Drillbit Taylor starring Owen Wilson.

Hughes was born in Lansing, Michigan and studied in Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois.

Hughes used Northbrook and the adjacent North Shore area for shooting locations and settings in many of his films.

Hughes began his career as an advertising copywriter in Chicago in 1970 after dropping out of the University of Arizona.

During this time, he created what became the famous Edge Credit Card Shaving Test ad campaign.

His first attempt at comedy writing was selling jokes to well-established performers such as Rodney Dangerfield and Joan Rivers.

This led him to pen a story, inspired by his family trips as a child, that was to become his calling card and entry onto the staff of the National Lampoon Magazine.

That story, Vacation '58, became the basis for the film Vacation.

His first credited screenplay, Class Reunion, was written while still on staff at the magazine.

Hughes' next screenplay for the magazine, National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), became a major hit.

His first directorial effort, Sixteen Candles, won almost unanimous praise when it was released in 1984, due in no small part to its more realistic depiction of middle-class high school life.

It was also the first in a string of efforts set in or around high school, including The Breakfast Club, Pretty In Pink, Weird Science and Ferris Bueller's Day Off.

To avoid being pigeonholed as a maker of teen comedies, Hughes branched out in 1987, directing Planes, Trains And Automobiles starring Steve Martin and John Candy.

His later output would not be so critically acclaimed, though films like Uncle Buck proved popular.

Hughes' greatest commercial success came with Home Alone, a film he wrote and produced about a child accidentally left behind when his family goes away for Christmas, forcing him to protect himself and his house from a pair of inept burglars.

Home Alone would be the top grossing film of 1990, and remains his most successful live-action comedy of all time.

In 1994, Hughes retired from the public eye and moved to Wisconsin, rarely granting or giving interviews or photographs.

Hughes is survived by his wife Nancy Ludwig and two sons, John III and James, born in 1976 and 1979, respectively.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

From Disneyland To Gotham City

I no longer wanna be that kid who chases rainbows
I wanna be the anti-hero who hangs out in the night
I no longer wanna live in the glitz of Disneyland
Unless I get to ride on Jack Sparrow’s ship
For my home is Bruce Wayne’s Gotham City

Luke Skywalker ain’t my man
I fell in love with his daddy Annakin earlier
I wouldn’t call Zac Efron
Gary Barlow or Ronan Keating sexy
For my ideal man’s like Grissom
Mulder, Denzel and Depp

My superheroes Hulk and Wolverine rule OK
My 1980s anthem With Or Without You
My secret agent Jason Bourne
My past life a Eurasian punk
Rocker from Manchester or Liverpool

The goody-two-shoes boy John Walton
Sucks big, big time
He’s poison, gimme more Snake Plissken
John Connor, Hancock, Morpheus
And Kwai Chiang Caine instead

No more Jackson Five, for U2
Coldplay and Muse are my soul
Don’t get me no Christmas trees
I just want a black flag
Blue or green bag
And all black shoes and pants

For I’m half black
From now till eternity
I’m a man of Gotham City
Singing to the moon, stars
Rain and clouds
Is always merry

Amir Hafizi Pays Tribute To Yasmin Ahmad

Amir Hafizi is the nephew of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Muhammad Najib Abdul Razak and he is from Kuantan, Pahang.

He is a writer and producer.

He is a dear friend of the late, great Mother of Malaysian Unity Yasmin Ahmad.

He is also my ex-colleague and a dear friend of Mr Universe Zainal Alam Kadir.

My dear friend Yasmin Ahmad is no more.

She left us peacefully after passing out in her chair at a meeting in TV3 last week.

TV3 got her to the nearest hospital but she never awoke.

I'm gonna miss her greatly.

No words can describe how much she meant to me.

We used to have long chats, as she does with lots of people.

She liked artsy movies, as did I.

She was all for 1 Malaysia, like my uncle and I.

She made movies that touched many people.

And these movies always entertained and inspired me.

But unlike me, she was annoyingly positive and cheerful, no matter what people said.

Yasmin was always modest. She always said she was just like everyone of us. I loved her for her honesty and sincerity.

She wanted to be remembered as a storyteller, who brought joy and happiness to everyone, and made a difference in their lives.

And she went, never compromising on her philosophy, that we must love and love.

Cheers, Yasmin. Thanks for showing us the light you believe in.

See you when we get there.

Yasmin Ahmad The Eternal Optimist

The late, great Mother Of National Unity Yasmin Ahmad famously said:

“I am optimistic and sentimental to the point of being annoying; especially to people who think that being cynical and cold is cool. Everyday, I thank God for everyday things like the ability to breathe, the ability to love, the ability to laugh, and the ability to eat and drink.”

Antares Says Goodbye To Yasmin Ahmad

Blogger Antares (Magick River) says goodbye to Yasmin Ahmad, a remarkable woman he wish he had known better.

The last time I "spoke" with Yasmin Ahmad was on a Facebook forum.

I understood where she was coming from.

She had spent most of her adult life in advertising and had reached the highest altitudes of success within that profession.

Not only that, she was the only person I knew in advertising who had then gone on to achieve her personal dream of making memorable feature films with a uniquely Malaysian flavour.

Her best work in commercials were for Petronas.

Her specialty was producing classy vignettes of Malaysian life with a distinct feel-good factor.

I thought her work as a director was superb.

Afterwards, I felt prompted to add one more comment to the forum, suggesting that since the ice was now effectively broken between us and we each knew where the other stood, maybe we could begin to set aside our public personas and really talk.

But I didn't do that ... and now it's too late. She's gone. At only 51.

Yasmin Ahmad, I just want you to know.

I really do admire your accomplishments and deeply regret that we never became good friends.

In any case, I'm glad you did get to make a few feature films for which you will always be remembered with profound affection and gratitude.

I sincerely hope that with your newfound freedom from budgetary constraints, you will hover around long enough to help us write a happy ending to the unfolding story of a much more mature Malaysia liberated from gender bias, racial prejudice and religious bigotry.

Fare thee well and infinite blessings upon you, Yasmin Ahmad, storyteller extraordinaire.

They Always Say The Good Die Young

So, I don't wanna be a saint.
I wanna put black magic on the most evil ones.

Singapore Mourns Yasmin Ahmad

Thanks, Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama).

The demise of Yasmin Ahmad has also impacted film enthusiasts in Singapore.

Her death has raised questions on what would happen to Go, Thaddeus, a film that she was to direct, which is still in its early stages of production.

The film, based on a novel by Belinda Wee has its screenplay adapted by Yasmin.

It is backed by the Singapore Film Commission, Singapore Sports Council, Singapore Tourism Board and the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games Organising Committee.

The film portrays the determination of Singaporean teen triathlete Thaddeus Cheong, who passed away at 17 when he collapsed after the triathlon selection race for the 2007 SEA Games.

The film was scheduled for public screening in August 2010 in conjuction with the Youth Olympic Games hosted by Singapore for the first time.

Yasmin also directed advertising campaigns for Singapore's Community Development, Youth and Sports Ministry.

One of them was Eulogy which depicted the story of a widow who recalled her husband's habits. Another was Red Shoes which told the story of a teenage girl who grew up with a single father.

A Brief Biography Of Yasmin Ahmad, Mother Of Malaysian Unity

Thanks, Wikipedia.

Yasmin Ahmad (July 1, 1958 - July 25, 2009) was a critically-acclaimed multi-award winning film director, writer and scriptwriter from Malaysia and was also the executive creative director at Leo Burnett Kuala Lumpur.

Her television commercials and films are well-known in Malaysia for their humour, heart and love that cross cultural barriers, in particular her ads for Petronas, the national oil and gas company.

Her works have won multiple awards both within Malaysia and internationally.

A graduate in arts majoring in psychology from Newcastle University, she worked as a trainee banker in 1982 for two weeks.

She then joined IBM as a marketing representative.

Yasmin began her career in advertising as a copywriter at Ogilvy & Mather in the same period.

In 1993 she moved to Leo Burnett as creative director and eventually became executive creative director.

Her first film was Rabun (Sight-Impaired) in 2002.

Yasmin's films have won many international awards and praise from critics and public alike.

Most of her films have been screened at the Berlin, San Francisco, Singapore and Cannes international film festivals.

Her films were featured in a special retrospective at the 19th Tokyo International Film Festival 2006.

They were also featured in a 2007 retrospective by the Centre of Southeast Asian Studies, University of Hawaii, and the Honolulu Academy of Arts.

Yasmin passed away of a stroke at 11.25pm on July 25, 2009.

She fell unconscious in her chair at 3.30pm on July 23 at private television station TV3 in Petaling Jaya.

At that time she was having a meeting with the TV3 management and Malaysian pop queen Datuk Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin for a coming project.

Yasmin was hospitalised at the Damansara Specialist Hospital a short distance from TV3 and underwent neurosurgery on the same day.

She never regained consciousness.

She was buried in Subang Jaya, where she lived.

Yasmin made six films in her short but illustrious career.

They were Rabun (2003), Sepet [Small-Eyes] (2004), Gubra [Anxiety] (2006), Mukhsin (2007), Muallaf [The Reverter] (2008) and Talentime (2009).

She also acted in the films Rain Dogs, Sayang You Can Dance and Susuk among others.

She won several awards for her television commercials that promoted national unity and humanitarian values, in Malaysia and Singapore.

Sepet won best film in the Malaysian Film Festival 2005. Gubra won best film the following year.

Sepet also won the Asian Film Award at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2005.

Mukhsin won Best Feature Film at the Berlin International Film Festival 2007 and Best Asean (Southeast Asian) Film at the Cinemanila International Film Festival 2007.

Muallaf won the Asian Film Award - Special Mention at the Tokyo International Film Festival 2008.

Yasmin was the eldest of three siblings from Muar, Johor. She was of Malay and Japanese ancestry.

She is survived by her parents, a brother and a sister, and her husband Tan Yew Leong, the creative director of Leo Burnett.

The Sun And Rainbow Take Second Seat

The sun and rainbow
Take second seat
In my train called life
The moon, stars
Clouds and rain
Move into my bed

No words can describe
How hurt and sad I feel
For today
I've lost one
Truly special friend
Who's been like a mother
To me and my country
Who's truly changed us

No more shall I be
The boy band
From now
I'll be the Gotham man
Donning the gritty coat
Of Fox Mulder
Swaying to the gritty tunes
Of the finest rockers
Marvelling at the raindrops
And showing my awe
To the light of a full moon
Orion the hunter
And the black flag forever

Azean Irdawaty On Yasmin Ahmad

Azean Irdawaty, the Bridget Lin Chin Hsia of Malaysia, acted in the last film directed by Yasmin Ahmad titled Talentime.

Her talented daughter Elza Irdalynna also acted in the film.

Veteran actress Azean was at a loss for words over the death of a ‘gem of a friend’ whom she would ‘always hold dear’.

In a poetic tribute to Yasmin, Azean said: “She was an angel God lent us, to be a storyteller who told stories of magic, joy and enchantment we so often lose sight of.

“Her flight was brief, her leaving us is grief. Like her movies, the end came too soon, but her wisdom remains like words to a tune.”

Film-maker Amir Muhammad said Yasmin embodied the true spirit of 1Malaysia and it would live forever in her films and advertisements.

“We’ve lost a truly special friend. But her legacy of love, in Sepet, Gubra, Mukhsin, Talentime, and all her inspiring films and advertisements, will be here to stay. Thanks for the memories Yasmin,” he said.

Brian Yap, who played the protagonist in Muallaf (The Reverter), said the one everlasting tribute Malaysians could give Yasmin was a commitment to ‘being Malaysian’.

“She was a Malaysian in every sense of the word. Her life will and should inspire us all to promote love, togetherness and a sense of Malaysian-ness in all that we do,” he said.

Award-winning singer Jaclyn Victor said she would forever be grateful to Yasmin for ‘bringing out the actress’ in her.

“I had a great time discovering my talent in the film Talentime and she brought out the best in me. It was such joy and pleasure being with her, and it’ll be a moment I’ll cherish forever,” she said.

Mohamad Syafie Naswip, who shot to fame as the title character in Mukhsin and subsequently starred in Talentime described Yasmin as a ‘teacher, mentor and friend’ whose love, kindness and passion for the arts and nation-building were second to none.

“She’ll always be my hero. She ‘raised me up’ and led me to achieve my dreams,” he said.

Leo Burnett managing director Tan Kien Eng said all Malaysians had lost a dear friend in Yasmin.

“She was full of love, and she loved life, art and the Malaysian dream. Things will never be the same without her,” he said.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Malaysia Has Lost Its Mother

Yasmin Ahmad passed away at 11.25pm on July 25, 2009 in the Damansara Specialist Hospital in Petaling Jaya without regaining consciousness.

She was hospitalised there at 3.45pm on July 23, 2009 after suffering a stroke while attending a meeting at private TV station TV3 a short distance from the hospital.

The meeting was also attended by Pop Queen Datuk Siti Nurhaliza Tarudin.

Malaysia has lost a mother, and to quote Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru (India's first PM) following the death of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (Father India), the light has gone out and to millions there is darkness everywhere.

Yasmin dedicated her 51 year life to spreading the message of love and was always passionate about fostering a Malaysia for all Malaysians and keeping the vision of first Prime Minister and Father Malaysia Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra alive and burning.

Through her many TV ads and her independent films, she made Malaysians believe that a Malaysia for all Malaysians was possible, and this vision of Rahman Putra would never die.

Yasmin coached some of the country's finest new stars of cinema and they included Malaysia's Natalie Portman Sharifah Amani Syed Rashid Al-Yahya, who acted in her most famous movies Sepet, Gubra and Muhsin.

Yasmin's movies won numerous awards in international film festivals, and she was even chosen as a judge in such festivals.

Amani's mother is my ex-neighbour and former colleague Fatimah Abu Bakar, herself a brilliant actress and writer.

Yasmin was a godmother of sorts to Amani and her three sisters who were all her proteges in acting.

Whenever I met Yasmin, I felt most happy and honoured to share my thoughts about the nation and its future with her.

She came across as a most sincere and caring person, and an eternal optimist who always believed that Malaysia had a bright future despite the social and political ills that have been plaguing us for quite sometime.

It was because of her optimism that I developed mine, and challenged some of my most gloomy colleagues to think on the bright side of life.

I was looking forward, like all Malaysians, to see more of Yasmin this year and in the years to come.

But alas, God loves her more.

Malaysia must honour Yasmin as its Mother of National Unity.

Malaysians should go beyond giving her posthumous knighthoods and awards.

Malaysians must strive to live her vision and mission.

We must work hard and strive hard for One Malaysia.

Only then can we truly call ourselves eternal friends of Yasmin.

Here's a little song by Malaysia's King of Entertainment Tan Sri P. Ramlee (1929-1973), who like Yasmin, left us too soon.

This poignant song reflects exactly how most young Malaysians feel about losing Yasmin. It's exactly how I feel.

Ibu, ibu engkaulah ratu hatiku
Bila ku berduka engkau hiburkan selalu
Ibu, ibu engkaulah ratu hatiku

(Mother, mother you are the queen of my heart
Whenever I'm down, you lift me up
Mother, mother you are the queen of my heart)

Yasmin is one of 2 Malaysian women I truly revere.

The other is the first lady of Malaysian theatre Datuk Faridah Merican, who is my relative by marriage (her cousin married my mother's cousin).

They are, to me, the Mothers of National Unity.

The Mothers of Malaysia.

(The 2 Malaysian men I revere most are Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra and Tan Sri P. Ramlee. They are the eternal Fathers of Malaysia)

I have just contacted Faridah and she is terribly saddened by the loss of Yasmin.

Faridah said it's a sad, sad day for Malaysia, and that the country has lost a champion of national unity and a truly remarkable woman who dedicated her life to nation-building via the arts.

Faridah and Yasmin knew each other a long time ago when they worked in the same advertising agency Ogilvy And Mather (founded by the late Sir David Ogilvy, the uncle of Ian Ogilvy of The Saint fame).

She described Yasmin as a brave film-maker who was unafraid to tell stories about Malaysians, and tackle issues that stood in the way of unity and nation building with superb tact and style.

Faridah said Yasmin rose to meteoric heights with her God-given brilliance of telling stories about Malaysians via film.

She left us too soon, and had a lot more to say about Malaysia, its people and its future.

Faridah said Yasmin's legacy of love to all Malaysians would be her passion and sincerity in creating all-Malaysian films that entertained and educated viewers, and fostered the spirit of One Malaysia.

She is confident that the many young actors who were coached by Yasmin would strive to keep the late film-maker's message alive and promote excellence in the arts, highlight issues of public interest with courage and tact, and promote national unity and Malaysian-ness for a better tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Tony Thien - Outstanding Journalist From Sarawak

Thanks, Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama) and

Veteran journalist Chan Seng Chai who passed away at the age of 61 in Kuching today following a heart ailment will always be remembered as an icon amongst Sarawak journalists.

Chan was also known as Tony Thien as a correspondent of cyber-daily

He was also a correspondent of the new cyber-daily Malaysian Mirror and the Malaysian National News Agency (Bernama).

The father-of-two was once the assistant editor of the Sarawak Tribune.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Michael Jackson's Song Human Nature

Looking Out
Across The Night-Time
The City Winks A Sleepless Eye
Hear Her Voice
Shake My Window
Sweet Seducing Sighs

Get Me Out
Into The Night-Time
Four Walls Won't Hold Me Tonight
If This Town
Is Just An Apple
Then Let Me Take A Bite

If They Say -
Why, Why, Tell 'Em That
Is Human Nature
Why, Why, Does He Do Me That Way
If They Say -
Why, Why, Tell 'Em That
Is Human Nature
Why, Why, Does He Do Me That Way

Reaching Out
To Touch A Stranger
Electric Eyes Are Everywhere
See That Girl
She Knows I'm Watching
She Likes The Way I Stare

If They Say -
Why, Why, Tell 'Em That
Is Human Nature
Why, Why, Does He Do Me That Way
If They Say -
Why, Why, Tell 'Em That
Is Human Nature
Why, Why, Does He Do Me That Way
I Like Livin' This Way
I Like Lovin' This Way

Looking Out
Across The Morning
The City's Heart Begins To Beat
Reaching Out
I Touch Her Shoulder
I'm Dreaming Of The Street

If They Say -
Why, Why, Tell 'Em That
Is Human Nature
Why, Why, Does He Do Me That Way
If They Say -
Why, Why, Tell 'Em That
Is Human Nature
Why, Why, Does He Do Me That Way
I Like Livin' This Way

- Written By Steve Porcaro (ex-Toto) and John Bettis. Composed by Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

About Christian Denominations

Christian Denominations:

1 Gnostics (Influences of ancient Iran and Greece).

2 Eastern Churches (Eastern Europe and pre-colonial Asia).

3 Roman Catholics (Conformist and Non-Conformist).

4 Protestants -

A Congregationalists / Brethren / Presbyterians / Baptists / Pentecostals.

B Evangelicals.

C Anglicans.

D Methodists.

5 Unitarians / Universalists.

6 Society of Friends.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Farrah Fawcett - 1970s’ Blonde Sex Symbol

Another major loss to US entertainment occurred yesterday.

Farrah Fawcett of Charlie’s Angels fame passed away after a long battle with cancer.

Here’s a brief biography of her, courtesy of Wikipedia.

Thanks for the memories, Farrah. RIP.

Farrah Fawcett (February 2, 1947 — June 25, 2009) was an American actress.

A multiple Golden Globe and Emmy Award nominee, Fawcett rose to international fame when she first appeared as private investigator Jill Munroe in the TV series Charlie's Angels in 1976.

Fawcett later appeared in critically acclaimed television movies playing challenging roles.

Her notable television movies included The Burning Bed, Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfeld Story, Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story, Margaret Bourke-White and Small Sacrifices (where she was roundly despised as a monstrous child killer).

Fawcett was also a pop culture figure whose hairstyle was emulated by millions of young women and whose poster sales broke records, making her an international sex symbol in the 1970s and 1980s.

Born Ferrah Leni Fawcett in Corpus Christi, Texas, she was of British and Native American ancestry (not unlike her fellow Charlie’s Angels co-stars Kate Jackson and Jaclyn Smith, arguably the most attractive of the trio).

The younger of two sisters, she graduated from W. B. Ray High School in Corpus Christi in 1965.

From 1966–1969, Fawcett attended the University of Texas in Austin.

She appeared in a photo of the Ten Most Beautiful Students of the university.

A Hollywood publicist saw the photo, called Farrah and urged her to move to Los Angeles, which she did in 1969, with her parents’ approval.

In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Fawcett appeared in TV commercials for consumer products.

In 1978, after achieving TV stardom, she appeared in a series of commercials for her own brand of shampoo, marketed by Faberge.

Fawcett's first TV series appearance was a guest spot on I Dream of Jeannie, followed by guest appearances in Owen Marshall: Counselor At Law.

She later appeared in The Six Million Dollar Man with Lee Majors, which first aired in 1974, The Dating Game and Harry O.

In 1976, Pro Arts pitched the idea of a poster of Fawcett to her agent, and a photo shoot was arranged.

The resulting poster of Farrah in a one-piece red bathing suit, was a best-seller.

In 1976, the first appearance of Fawcett playing the character Jill Munroe in Charlie's Angels was aired as a television movie.

The movie starred Kate Jackson, Jaclyn Smith and Fawcett as private investigators for Townsend Associates, a detective agency run by a reclusive multi-millionaire whom the women never met.

Voiced by John Forsythe, the Charles Townsend character presented cases and dispensed advice via a speaker phone to his core team of three female employees, whom he referred to as Angels.

They were aided in the office and occasionally in the field by two male associates, played by character actors David Doyle and David Ogden Stiers.

The series formally debuted on September 22, 1976.

Fawcett emerged as a fan favourite in the show, and the actress won a People's Choice Award for Favourite Performer in a New TV Programme.

Her appearance in the TV show boosted sales of her poster, and she earned far more in royalties from poster sales than from her salary in Charlie's Angels.

Fawcett left the show after one season and Cheryl Ladd replaced her, portraying Jill's younger sister Kris Munroe.

Fawcett returned for six guest appearances over seasons three and four of the series.

In 2004, the TV movie Behind The Camera: The Unauthorised Story Of Charlie's Angels dramatised the events from the show with supermodel and actress Tricia Helfer portraying Fawcett.

Fawcett won critical acclaim for her 1983 role in the controversial play Extremities, written by William Mastrosimone.

Replacing Susan Sarandon in the role, she was a would-be rape victim who turned the tables on her attacker.

The following year, her role as a battered wife in the fact-based TV movie The Burning Bed earned her her first of three Emmy Award nominations.

In 1986 Fawcett appeared in the movie version of Extremities, which was also well-received by critics, and for which she received a Golden Globe nomination for Best Performance By An Actress In A Motion Picture — Drama.

She appeared in Jon Avnet's Between Two Women with Colleen Dewhurst, and took several more dramatic roles as infamous or renowned women.

She was nominated for Golden Globe awards for roles as Beate Klarsfeld in Nazi Hunter: The Beate Klarsfeld Story and troubled Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton in Poor Little Rich Girl: The Barbara Hutton Story.

Her 1989 portrayal of convicted murderer Diane Downs in Small Sacrifices earned her a second Emmy nomination and her sixth Golden Globe Award nomination.

In 2000, she worked with director Robert Altman and an all-star cast in the feature film Dr T And The Women, playing opposite Richard Gere.

Fawcett also starred in popular television series Ally McBeal and Spin City.

Fawcett was married to Lee Majors, star of The Six Million Dollar Man from 1973–1982, though the couple separated in 1979.

From 1982 until her death, Fawcett was involved romantically with actor Ryan O'Neal.

The relationship produced a son, Redmond O'Neal, born in 1985.

She also became the stepmother of Oscar-winning actress Tatum O'Neal (Ryan's eldest child from his first marriage) and the mother-in-law of tennis icon John McEnroe, who was once married to Tatum (John later remarried singer-songwriter Patty Smyth famous for her duet Sometimes Love Just Ain't Enough with The Eagles' Don Henley).

Fawcett's elder sister, Diane Fawcett, died of cancer just before her 63rd birthday on October 16, 2001.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

About Edison Chen

Edison Chen Koon Hei is a Hong Kong-based Canadian Chinese film actor, singer, producer and fashion designer.

Chen is also the founder of urban lifestyle and fashion business Clot.

He speaks English, Cantonese, Mandarin and Japanese.

Last year, he announced that he wanted to step away indefinitely from the Hong Kong entertainment industry due to a sex photo scandal, and devote his time to business and charity.

Chen was born in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

His father is businessman Edward Chen, and he is of part Portuguese descent.

In 1999, Chen starred in the Japanese film Dead Or Alive 2: Birds and a year later he made his Hong Kong film debut in Generation Y Cops.

He later starred in the Infernal Affairs film trilogy and The Dark Knight with Heath Ledger and Christian Bale.

In 2000, Chen also became a singer and to date he has released more than 10 albums.

In 2003, Chen co-founded Clot with Kevin Poon.

In 2007, Clot formed its own media division which produces films and advertisements.

In the same year, Chen released a Mandarin album with tracks produced by Kanye West.

Chen has been a strong supporter of homosexuals and promotes environmentalism.

In early 2008, Chen was involved in a sex scandal when sexually explicit nude photographs of himself became widely circulated on the Internet.

Celebrities implicated in the scandal included Gillian Chung and Cecilia Cheung.

As a result, Chen expressed remorse and announced his indefinite departure from the Hong Kong entertainment industry.

Edison Chen Visits KL

Controversial Hong Kong superstar Edison Chen Koon Hei made a special appearance in Bangsar Baru here to officiate the first Malaysian outlet of his boutique today.

His arrival at the Juice Store at 2pm caused fans to crowd around the junction of Maarof Road and Telawi 5 Road where the boutique is located.

Chen, 28, who was accompanied by fellow Hong Kong actor Sam Lee and the boutique’s Malaysian business partner Edwin Choong, said he ‘chose’ Kuala Lumpur as Malaysians were interested in the latest fashion trends and loved Hong Kong entertainment.

“I’m happy to have in Edwin a collaborator full of ideas. This is our first store outside Hong Kong and we’ll be coming up with specially designed products for Malaysians,” he said, adding that he was the store’s creative director.

The Canadian-born ‘jack-of-all-trades’ is an actor, singer and producer. His best known films include the Infernal Affairs trilogy and The Dark Knight.

Embroiled in a sex photo scandal last year, after which he expressed remorse and announced his indefinite departure from entertainment, Chen is now focusing on his business.

He co-owns Clot, an urban lifestyle and fashion business, which he co-founded with Kevin Poon in 2003. The Juice Stores are part of the business and sell branded apparel from Adidas, Nike and Clot itself. Clot also has a media division which produces films and advertisements.

Chen, who speaks English, Cantonese, Mandarin and Japanese, has also set up an artiste management company in Hong Kong and among the actors it manages is Josie Ho, the daughter of Macau ‘casino king’ Stanley Ho.

“I’m determined to put the past behind me and become a successful businessman and producer. I’m thankful to all my friends and fans for their love and support, and I’d love to visit Kuala Lumpur again,” he said.

Choong said he met Chen in Singapore last year, and believed that Juice would bring about a fresh and exciting start to Malaysian lifestyles.