B&W and the Constitution of Malaysia

30 09 2008

A couple of saturdays ago I found myself in an art gallery behind the Central Market in Kuala Lumpur where a Black and White Art Photgraphers exhibition was being held. As self explanatory as the event title, all the photos on display were in Black and White. Now I love B&W photography but of the pictures displayed there I only took a liking to a very few. As a medium of art, Black and white photography is quite hard to work with as very few can reproduce the “depth perception” we tend to get with colour photography. Hence some of the pictures displayed here I found to be quite “flat”.

There's a picture of a loo.

Black & White

These pictures were all for sale for about RM800-1000 each to anyone who wishes to purchase them. Although not entirely exclusive, the buyer would be gauranteed of owning 1 of 8 or 10 copies made by the photographer. Of the 5 photographers who had their works exhibited I liked the entire collection of this man who’s had a passion for hiking. His exhibit of photos comprised 5 pictures taken in the jungles of Malaysia.

Nature in B&W

Nature in B&W

Apart from the Black and White Art Photo exhibition, the gallery was also displaying a series of artwork based on the Malaysian Constitution. I found it very interesting and educational. The series showed the Malaysian Constitution as it was first drafted by the Reed Commision and subsequently passed into law in 1948 , labelled as “Before” and the Malaysian Constitution as it is now after having gone through several hundred amendments, labelled “After“.

Malaysian Constitution in Art

Malaysian Constitution in Art

The exhibition was interactive in that it allowed the visitors to paste green coloured stickers on the version they preferred – Before or After. Article 8 was one of the very few parts of the Constituttion that was made better and more acceptable by an amendment as was evident by the votes it garnered from the visitors.

Article 8

Article 8

Both exhibition were as thought provoking in different ways. The Black and White Art Photographers tried to show us the world in it’s stark and colourless form, while the Malaysian Constitution exhibit showed us how how dangerous it is to be indifferent to the “black and white”  that affects all of us in life.

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TMnet

26 09 2008

My internet connection is back but not after lots of heartache and pain from TMnet and thier maintenance section. One of the drawbacks of having just ONE internet service provider for the whole country! A monopoly is never good for a customer.

My problems started about two weeks ago when I noticed my internet connection getting a bit slow. Then last week the connection was failing most fo the time. Being quite busy I tolerated this for about a week before the connection totally failed. And believe it or not that was when the problem actually started.

I called the TMnet 100 number to register the complaint and was taken through a troubleshooting procedure by the operators who treats everybody like an idiot.

“Is your modem on sir?”

“Yes”.

“Are you sure?”

“Yup”

“Is the “DSL” light blinking or steady?”

“It’s blinking you idiot, that’s why I am calling you blinking idiot!”.

TMnet can sure use a Public relations lessons. Well, after determining that my problem was indeed genuine I was given a complaint number and was told that a technician will be in touch within 2 working days. “TWO working days!!!?? ”

“Yes sir, we normally prefer to torture our customers for a longer time but since this is your first complaint in the last decade we have made special concessions for you sir”

“Will there be anything else sir?”

Then while I was at work the technician from hell arrived and was let into my house by my mother. A call came from my house number and the technician informed me in a slow slurring voice that he cannot do anything unless I am at home informing hom of my exact problem! I tried to tell him over the phone but he would have none of that. “I can maaaaybe come on Saaaatuuuurday IF you promise to be at hoome sir”

“Saturday???”

“Errrr you do not know me do you sir?”

“Should I?” (I was starting to get a little worried . . .)

“Well my name is ……. and i knew you late father you know, even came for his funeral”

“Errrr is that so, err thanks” ( Now I was really worried. . . )

After hastily agreeing to meeting him on saturday he thankfully left. To make a long story short, I had to make many more calls before I finally got someone to attend to my problems. The final fix?

A failed modem which took all of 5 minutes to determine and replace!

TMnet has indeed become a monster that needs to be trimmed down to size by competition from at least 2 or more Telcos.





Internet Down

23 09 2008

My internet connection has been down for the last few days. I could connect using a direct wired connection through the Streamyx modem but that was also intermittent at best. Connection thru the wifi was hopeless. Finally i called TMnet and they promised to send a technician to see to the problem. Right now I managed to connect to the internet thru an unsecured wireless connection which switches off around 8 p.m every night. I shall not be updating my blog very often until I get my own connection back up. I hope that happen before Hari Raya!





Heroes – Dr. Randy Pausch

17 09 2008

A few months ago I started a series called Heroes. It is dedicated to those special people whose life has become an inspiration. You can read the first installment here. This next hero has since passed away but in the last few years of his life he has become a hero to the lives of people he has touched. I saw this video a few months ago but did not get around to posting about it. Tonight, Tzy Wen reminded me about this man when he posted the video on his blog.
The video runs for a good 1 hour but it is definitely worth your time to watch it. Dr. Randy Pausch was diagnosed with Pancreatic cancer in september of 2006 and underwent surgery in an attempt to halt it’s progress. The surgery was a failure. But instead of giving up on life, instead of shutting out the world and wallowing in self pity, Dr. Randy Pausch grabbed life by the handful and dared people to share his last few years of life with him. He challenged thos ehe met to live life to the fullest as if thier days too was numbered. Dr. randy Pausch passed awaon the 25th of July 2008 after a long fight with his ailment. He leaves us a legacy in his series of lectures he held in his University.
Here then is one of his famous lectures. I give you the late and great Dr. Randy Pausch.

I hope that this video will serve as an inspiration to those of you who have taken the time to watch it. I leave you with a famous saying,

“Some people are so afraid to die that they never begin to live.” – Henry Van Dyke





916 at the Kelana Jaya Stadium

16 09 2008

I have just arrived back home from the Kelana Jaya Stadium where some 30,000 people gathered for a peaceful but loud anti ISA (Internal Security Act) rally. Among the speakers were Member of Parliament Lim Guan Eng, DAP supremo Lim Kit Siang, Menteri Besar of Selangor Khalid Ibrahim and the newly installed member of Parliament for Permatang Pauh and opposition leader, Datuk Anwar Ibrahim. The gathering also celebrates the formation of Malaysia when the states of Sabah and Sarawak join the Federated Malay States and Singapore back in 1963 (Singapore seceded 2 years later to form it’s own country). I shall post pictures and my side of the story here tomorrow.

An update before I leave, Anwar Ibrahim hinted that he has asked to meet up with Barisan National leader and Malaysia’s current Prime Minister, Datuk Abdullah Badawi to discuss a peaceful and smooth power transition to a government led by Parti Rakyat! Will I wake up to a new government tomorrow morning? Only time will tell.

I arrived at the Stadium just after 8 p.m expecting to find a large crowd and few parking spots but surprisingly I managed to get a parking spot at the parking lot next to the stadium. Walking into the stI found that only a fraction of the crowd I had expected to be there. Could it have been the rain that just stopped deterred the Pakatan supporters from joining the rally?

Anti ISA poster boy

Anti ISA poster boy

Free Teresa poster

Free Teresa poster

Around the Stadium there were posters of Raja Petra Kamaruddin and Teresa Kok, MP (DAP) for Siputeh who have both become the most recent and high profile ISA detainees.Up near the grandstand I discovered that they had set up a press section. It would really be ironic if any of them get arrested for reporting todays event hahaha! Out in the middle of the field the muslims in attendence that night were readying to start the Terawih prayers. Prayers started at around 8.30 p.m and lasted for almost an hour.

Although at this point the crowd was still small, I noticed that it was multiracial which was evry heartening. People from all walks of life came to celebrate Malaysia Day and support the Anti ISA  movement.





Mid Autumn Festival

15 09 2008

Today is the  Mid Autumn festival which falls on the 15th day of the first Lunar month on the Chinese Calender. It also marks the end of summer. The Chinese celebrate this festival by lighting lanterns, a tradition not often seen anymore in the city I live in. It is also a time for the mooncake a traditonal chinese delicacy made of baked Lotus paste. The mooncake is one of my favourite delicacies and one of the reasons I look forward to to the Mid Autumn festival every year.

This year I treated myself to one a the best mooncakes from a renowned hotel chain. A friend of mine even managed to get a discount for a box of 6 mooncakes. They were definitely worth the price.

Chyna

Chyna

Yesterday on the way home from Tzy Wen’s house came by a mother and her children who were lighting up traditional lanterns and hanging them up in front of their house. After politely asking her permission to take some photographs, I managed to come  away with the following pictures.

Mother & her children

Mother & her children

I am glad to know that there are some folks who still take the effort to keep tradition alive. I shall definitely remind myself to be out on mid Autumn night next year to take more pictures of these beautiful lanterns.

Note:  This post is a day late due to my internet being down last night. Happy Mid Autumn festival everyone!





Nok Nok . . . who is it?

8 09 2008

I am sure you must have had your share fo “knock knock” jokes. I know I have. if you have not heard of any, they often go like this,

“Knock Knock!!”

“Who is it?”

“Justin”

“Justin who?”

“Justin time for dinner” hahahaha!

Well, The company I am working for currently has it’s hands full of Nok’s knocking at it’s door! Well, early today morning I decided to try a little bird photography. See if you can recognize these birds. hehehe!

Nok Nok Nok

Nok Nok Nok

Nok Air is or was a low cost airline based in Thailand much like Air Asia. However due to the recent world oil crisis these birds were Nok’ed out of the sky hehehe! Ok bad joke, but so are all “knock knock” jokes. hahaha! Nok Air went into bancrupcy recently and all it’s leased aircraft ended up here. These are but 3 of the many aircraft parked around this maintenance complex.

Yellow Bird

Yellow Bird

Blue Bird

Blue Bird

Blind & Powerless Nok

Blind & flighless Nok

“Nok” in the Thai language means “Bird” and as you can see these aircraft feature the beak of a bird prominently on radome and vertical stabilzers. But these birds surely seem very very grounded at the moment. I have seen a green Nok around but this morning it was missing from the area. Could it have escaped and flown away? hahaha! Later in the evening I saw the green one back on the tarmac. I’ll see if I can photograph it early tomorrow morning before it wakes up and flies away again. :-P

forlorn birds

forlorn birds