Thursday, 28 August 2008

London... here I come again!

Guys... I'm about to depart for my final trip to London to visit my aunt and her family before going home to Malaysia. I'm taking the coach because (1) I want to save money so that I could spend more on souvenirs and (2) I want ample time to finish reading one of the novels that I bought from carboot sales in Loughborough.

In London, I will be helping, insya-Allah, my uncle with his stall at the Merdeka Bazaar, which will be held this Saturday. And I plan to do a photo shooting on Sunday, hopefully with Izza.

Izza is from my uncle's side (in other words, not from my side) and, surprise... surprise... her father and I used to involve in a project or two a few years back. What a small world!

My bus is on 5pm and my stomach is screaming for food. Since there is nothing in my fridge, I guess I need to go now to have a nice chicken briyani at the Aghan Cuisine in Rusholme.


Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Manchester PRIDE 2008

I went to the city centre with my classmates last weekend. Yeap, to spend quality time together before each one of us return to our home countries.

It was so packed with people. Do you know why? There was a parade called Manchester PRIDE 2008. According to S, it's a celebration for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender life. She quickly turned to me and say, "Could we stay for awhile, Mr. Religious?" (Mr Religious, katanya! Agaknya S belum pernah dengar peribahasa alim-alim kucing kot!)

From my limited observation, the event was attended and participated by all walks of life. Whites, non-whites, children as well as grandparents. It seems like a family outing to me.

"I think they shouldn't have brought their kids to this event because it just corrupted their minds," said A, my mate from India.

H from China and S from France, quickly shook their head. According to them, it was a good exposure for them to learn to respect others.

Once again, S tried to drag me into this debate, "What do you think, Hashmyron? (I love the way she pronounced my name. Kedengaran seksi!) Come on... say something. Give us your oriental wisdom!"

"I don't want to sound judgemental, but I can't help to agree with A. There are other more effective ways to educate love and respect to younger generation. Unfortunately, bringing them to witness some of the sex-related acts, like those guys in leather clothes pretending to make love (What do we call this fetish? Lupalah...), to me is not appropriate at all."

From the look on her face, I know I got H on my side now. But, not S.

Or is itbecause the way I was raised that somehow made us, Asians/Malaysians to have less confidence in the true potential of our children. Are we worrying too much or are we not? May be I should post this question to Mush instead.

Anyhow, it was a good first-time experience to witness for myself what a mardi gras is. And I did take a couple of pictures to be shared with my dearest readers out there.

p/s: I talked to an Englishman yesterday at a bus stop. He said that I have a Chinese accent. Sudahlah sebelum ini, beberapa rakan sekelas panggil "Oriental Man". I'm quite surprised that none have ever said that I'm an Indian. Tak cukup hitam ke?

Thursday, 21 August 2008

My heartfelt condolence to victims of Madrid plane crash

I hardly, if not at all, blog about disasters or accidents. But when I first read about it on the CNN website this evening, my heart stopped for a second. The pictures of the place looked very familiar simply because I've been there. Yes, I've been to the Barajas International Airport in Madrid, Spain.

Then, I saw the name of the airline. Although I flew with Vueling Airline instead, my cousin and her hubby were on Spanair, when we were flying to Barcelona, the last city in our Spain tour last spring.

I know, I know... I'm a bit (a bit? hehehe) overacting here, but when you come to know such terrible news like this, I just can't help to feel saddened, touched and a bit emotional. On top of that, 90 passengers have been officially declared dead and according to a report by CNN+, "26 people taken to hospital are the only survivors, and that two of those survivors are children".

A survivor told a reporter from Spain's ABC newspaper that she and other passengers heard a loud explosion as the plane was taking off.

According to CNN, this is the first fatal accident at the Barajas International Airport since December 1983, when 93 people were killed as two Spanish airliners collided while taxiing for take off.

Oh, my...

p/s: Please pray for my safe flight home next month. Thank God, my adik-adik have arrived at the KLIA safely. And congratulations to Najid and Fendy, two freshly graduated engineer who will be starting their first jobs on 1 September 2008.

Wednesday, 20 August 2008

No more excuses, girls!

If you can run, you definite can run!

Introducing... Roqaya al Ghasara, a 25 year old sprinter from Bahrain, who outperformed world class athletes, former World Championship silver medalist, Susanthika Jayasinghe of Sri Lanka and Europeran champion, Muriel Hurtis-Houairi of France in heat two of the second-round of 200 meter event today.

"Wearing the hijab shows that there are no obstacles. I’ve set my best times wearing the hijab,” said this gold medalist of 200 meter in 2006 Asian Games.

She clocked 22.76 seconds to win her heat and will be running again tomorrow in the semi final with big names from Jamaica and the US.

While competing in full-length running suits may not a new thing in Olympic since other sprinters such as Flo-Jo and Cathy Freeman had done it in previous games. Nevertheless, Roqaya's was aimed more at conforming with religious requirement than to be aerodynamic.

I found this clip on Youtube. However, what I want to share with all of you not so much about her running. Please pay attention at the comments given by the sport commentator. He really gives Hasbullah Awang a run for his money!

Yeap, read between the lines.

p/s: I was wondering what happened to former Malaysian athletes like G. Shanti, Josephine Mary and Nordin Jadi. Where are they now? And al-fatihah to the late Rabiah Abdul Salam.

Sunday, 17 August 2008

What a performance!

He flirted with the cameras. He joked with his challengers. He didn't even tie his shoelace.

Amazingly, he also teased the crowd in the birdnest stadium while 'jogging' to the finish line.

And yet he still managed to record a new world report for 100m.

The most remarkable performance in the history of track and field, since my all time favourite - the Flo-Jo era.

Congratulations, Usain Bolt!

Note: Photo by Getty Images, taken from Yahoo.

Friday, 15 August 2008

WCOPA 2008

I found this clip on Youtube, a rehearsal session for the final of Pop category in the World Championship of Performing Art 2008.

I was informed that Noryn Aziz from Malaysia won this category, after beating off a stiff competition from Andrew Clarke of Jamaica and Rose Marielle Mamaclay of the Philippines.

Personally, I think both Noryn and Andrew sang beautifully in this clip. Nevertheless, Miss Mamaclay, to me, was more like screaming than singing. It was powerful indeed, yet not too soothing in my ears. Don't get me wrong, she definitely has lots of potential, but I wish you could show some sort of voice control. May need to watch how Jennifer Hudson learned to master her voice control.

What you guys think?

p/s: Andrew Clarke was named the overall winner - 2008 GRAND CHAMPION PERFORMER OF THE WORLD.

Thursday, 14 August 2008

Fake China?

First, we were told that some of the feeds that we saw on television during the opening ceremenony of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games were fake and NOT real, especially the extravaganza firework display.

And now, another explotion! It's an issue of discrimination. The cute little girl in red dress that we saw on TV, singing beautifully on the opening ceremony was merely lipsyncing. She took the centre stage at the expense of a chubby girl, who according to a very senior Chinese politician, is not attractive to be shown to the whole world.

Oh my... aren't we in the 21st century already?

NO to racists, NO to sexists, NO Islamophobics, and NO to any sort of discrimination. Full stop.

p/s: Here is the article on Yahoo on the faked Olympic opening ceremony saga.


BEIJING (AFP) - China enforced a media blackout on the saga of the faked Olympic opening ceremony song on Wednesday and all references to the story were removed from Chinese Internet sites.

Beijing's Olympic organisers admitted on Tuesday that nine-year-old Lin Miaoke, who was seen by millions around the world singing during the ceremony, was actually miming a song that was pre-recorded by another girl.

The show's musical director revealed the real singer, seven-year-old Yang Peiyi who has uneven teeth and a chubby face, was replaced by government order because she did not present the right image of China.

No newspaper reported on the issue on Wednesday and state broadcasters also avoided the subject. References to the story were blocked or deleted from the Internet.

Olympic organisers on Wednesday defended the switching of the seven-year-old singer with a more photogenic double, comparing it with an athlete getting dropped for a big game.

Wang Wei, vice president of the Beijing Olympic organising committee also said he saw no problem with the secret move.

"I think it is a decision of the group of the directors, together... they are to achieve the most theatrical effect for the benefit of the whole performance, the whole opening ceremony," Wang told reporters.

"I do not see there is anything wrong with it," he said.

China's media is under the control of the central government which also tightly polices the Internet and often deletes or blocks access to items considered unflattering to the country's leaders or hostile to national interests.

The song saga may have embarrassed the nation's top leaders after the musical director Chen Qigang revealed that a member of communist party's ruling politburo was behind the decision to fake the performance.

He said in an interview with a state broadcaster that the actual singer of the song, Yang, was not considered attractive enough to appear on stage, so the cuter Lin was selected instead.

Photographs of Lin in a bright red party dress aparently singing the patriotic song "Ode to the Motherland" were published in newspapers and websites all over the world and the official China Daily hailed her as a rising star.

"The reason why little Yang was not chosen to appear was because we wanted to project the right image, we were thinking about what was best for the nation," Chen said in the interview that appeared briefly on the news website before it was wiped from the Internet.

He said the final decision to stage the event with Lin lip-synching to another girl's voice was taken after the politburo member attended a rehearsal.

"He told us there was a problem that we needed to fix it, so we did," he said, without disclosing further details of the order.

China's ministry of industry and information technology, which is in charge of the Internet in China, declined to comment on the issue on Wednesday.

"We know nothing about this," said a ministry official, declining to give her name.

Tuesday, 12 August 2008

Happy birthday, Ojot!

Oh, my... I almost forgot about this. Would like to take this opportunity to wish my cousin, Nazrol the very best in his future undertakings. May Allah bless you with more rahmat, berkat and joy. Aamin.

I heard about the planned feast this weekend from Encik Mus. I wish I was there, of course, to celebrate your big day! And then, to fill my stomach with free food. Hehehe. Unfortunately, I'm stuck here for another one month, plus minus, doing my rather slowly progressing dissertation.

Argh... I can't wait to finish all this and go home to my beloved mother.

Saturday, 9 August 2008

2008 Beijing Olympics

China has once again, impressed the World with a splendid opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games 2008. Whilst I'm more impressed with the architectural designs of the stadiums, I must admit the opening ceremony last night was one of the bests in the history of Olympic Games. My all time favourite remains the opening ceremony of the Barcelona Olympic Games 1992.

NOTE: Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images

Malaysia Boleh!
This time around, the Malaysian contigent is led by the flag bearer, Mohd Azizul Hasni Awang, who will be competing in cycling event.

I personally think Malaysian delegates have one of the best attires in the Games. The US delegates is one of my favourites too.

The first Malaysian team to be competing in this Olympics is our archery team. I hope the team, which according to the latest ranking, is ranked 4th after Taiwan, Italy and South Korea, would give their very best and gives the other teams run for their money.

Anyhow, good luck to other Malaysians especially Amirul and Lee Chong Wei. Please do us proud and live up to the Malaysia Boleh spirit.

NOTE: The rest pictures were taken from News Straits Times and Utusan Malaysia. Meanwhile, the picture of Lee Chong Wei was taken from Wikipedia.

Also, Beijing has came out with a couple of songs for the Olympics. Please help yourself with the following clips. It's so good to see China and Taiwan, Iran and the USA, on the same stage to celebrate the best and the fittest of the World. Hopefully, all athletes will uphold tight to the spirit of sportmanship and show to the rest of the World, especially the politicians, the beauty of friendship and brotherhood.

Welcome to Beijing

Forever Friends

Thursday, 7 August 2008

Me just wanna have fun!

After reading two posts, one on Love Me or Hate Me and another one on Intangible Inheritance, I decided to do a no-brainy post too. The following is the results of me googling myself on

Q: Type in “[your name] needs” in the Google search: “arenaKu uKanera needs”
A: arenaKu uKanera needs help! - Hmmm... apart from my dissertation, I don't think I need any other assistance. Or is there any generous people out there who could help me financially so that I could travel to two or three more European countries before going home to the World Heritage Site, Melaka.

Q: Type in “[your name] looks like” in Google search: “arenaKu uKanera looks like”
A: arenaKu uKanera looks like a fun project - What? I'm not a thing, ok! Hehehe, I'm a human being, a SHY guy, who doesn't eat, among others, lamb, fresh water fish, duck, laksa (except for Laksa Sarawak because it's prawn/shrimp based) and budu.

Q: Type in “[your name] says” in Google search: “arenaKu uKanera says”
A: arenaKu uKanera says I'm from Melaka too - Yeap, I was born and raise in one of the best cities in Malaysia, if not Asia.

Q: Type in “[your name] wants” in Google search: “arenaKu uKanera wants”
A: arenaKu uKanera wants to run the game in full screen - Hmmm... boring! Next, please.

Q: Type in “[your name] does” in Google search: “arenaKu uKanera does”
A: arenaKu uKanera does not allow the Gonio population to... - Gonio? What's that? Is that a real country or a disease? Oh, my... don't tell me I'm a bimbo!

Q: Type in “[your name] hates” in Google search: “arenaKu uKanera hates”
A: arenaKu uKanera hates u and ur weather - Aiyo... how to respond to this statement. Yes, I hate English weather, especially the weather in Manchester. Very unpredictable, and it's SOOOOOOO wet here in Manchester. And windy too. And there was no snow last winter. Cuma salji manja-manja saja!

Q: Type in “[your name] asks” in Google search: “arenaKu uKanera asks”
A: arenaKu uKanera asks whether or not I've received an email - Email? Apa yang kau merepek ni? Next!

Q: Type in “[your name] likes ” in Google search: “arenaKu uKanera likes”
A: arenaKu uKanera likes to rent my apartment for short term and long term tenant - No, I don't. I already got a good-natured lad for one of the rooms. I will occupy the main bedroom when I return home soon, while the smallest is the guest room.

Q: Type in “[your name] eats ” in Google search: “arenaKu uKanera eats”
A: arenaKu uKanera eats homemade briyani - Oh, my... yeap, I had a plate of homemade chicken briyani last night, prepared by Dini. Thanks, Dini. Ajak-ajaklah lagi. Rugi kau Fendy, tak merasanya!

Q : Type in "[your name] wears ” in Google search: “arenaKu uKanera wears”
A : arenaKu uKanera Wears a helmet. - Nope. I don't have a bike, I don't ride a bike. Next...

Q : Type in "[your name] was ” in Google search: “arenaKu uKanera was arrested for”
A : arenaKu uKanera was a streetwise Malay guy owned a burger stand in nearby Jerantut - What? I man a burger stall in Jerantut? Ini semua konspirasi peringkat tertinggi. Hehehe...

p/s: This is the first and the last time I'm doing this tagging thingy. It's so tiring, ok!

Let's talk... rationally.

I hope more of this will come to our TV to openly and rationally discuss issues and matters affecting us, the Malaysians.

In this debate, we the rakyat could judge for ourselves, who talks rubbish and who isn't.

At first, I wanted to list down the gist of the debate on fuel price. But on second thought, I don't think it's proper for me to dictate others' takes on this issue. If you want to compare notes with me, don't hesitate to get in touch with me.

Thank you Agendadaily, thank you Dato' Ahmad Shabery and Datuk Seri Anwar. Thank you for this historic debate.

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

They're also doing their job. Alhamdulillah!

Politics aside, I personally think the campaign led by YB Zuraida Kamaruddin as per the following clip, is a clever and civilised one. You put forward your views without offending other people's feeling. Also, you don't look arrogantly stupid.

And Malaysians must start to learn to appreciate others too. All those doctors and nurses in the hospitals. All those teachers in school, police force, Alam Flora staff that clean our roads and rivers, etc. They're humans too. Like us, they make mistakes and they would happy if their good job get appreciated. Aren't we all like that?

I hope this is the first step towards effective and efficient public policies to carry Malaysia to a greater height. Even my 11 year-old cousin questioned the premise by one of our politicians that if you DON'T raise Jalur Gemilang, you're NOT a patriotic Malaysian.

"Atuk yang lawan komunis, kalau tak kibar bendera tak patriotik ke, Along?"

Well, could anyone please answer her?

NO to racists, NO to sexists, NO to Islamophobics.

Raising our flag upside down???

I know I'm NOT as patriotic as some Malaysians out there, but I do love my beloved country. And I do take anything about Malaysia seriously.

There is a campaign by a group of bloggers to raise Malaysian flag upside down as a "sign of our nation in distress".

Whilst I respect their right to freely express themselves, I can't help to put forward my condemnation to this dishonest and below the belt attitude.

You may voice out your whatever concerns, but DO NOT attempt to ridicule my country. I personally think raising our flag upside down, similarly to the Negarakuku controversy, is mala fide and a symbol of betrayal.

I believe there are aplenty civilised ways to carry out your campaign and please help yourselves NOT to opt for a BOBROK one.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Me in L.O.V.E.

I know most of you have watched this multi award-winning commercial by the infamous, Yasmin Ahmad. Too good to be truth, they could have me to replace Tan Ming Hong in this advert. Because, I'm in L.O.V.E. too. Again!

Why do u like DIA?
DIA is smart, DIA is obidient, DIA is attactive.

What do you wish to say to DIA?
Do u wanna come on a date, to a romantic dinner?

Does DIA know you like DIA?
No, i keep it a secret.

I don’t want the whole world to know.

Why not?
Because everybody will laugh at me.

Why should they laugh at you?
DIA doesn’t like me!

DIA doesn’t like u?

On a separate and unrelated matter, I would like to welcome Nora's decision to wear tudung. I pray to Allah that you'll remain istiqamah in your hijrah. Can't wait to listen to your new album. And of course, Ramlah Ram's highly anticipated comeback album. Bila tu?!

p/s: Thanks, Pak Alang for visiting me. I hope you did enjoy your stay in Manchester.

Friday, 1 August 2008

Goodbye Fendy, SMAP!

The day has come for me to bid farewell to two of my adiks, Fendy and SMAP, who will be returning to Malaysia for good. Both will be bringing home with them Master of Engineering with Honours. And if I'm not mistaken, Fendy will be reporting to duty with one of Malaysia's leading MNCs, PETRONAS.

Anyhow, have a safe journey home, guys. All the best and may Allah bless you with more rahmat, berkat and joy. Aamin.

Please forgive me for any of my wrongdoings. Dan minta halal makan dan minum.

The following pictures were taken @Aghan Restaurant, our very last chance to spend time with Fendy and SMAP.

And this picture was taken @my adik-adik's house yesterday. We were supposed to have a small picnic at Platt Field Park, but unfortunately, our cooks took too much of time to prepare the dishes. And by the time the food were ready, we were too tired (read: lazy) to go out for a picnic. I didn't cook, but I brought a cheese cake and seedless red grapes. Fendy cooked us nasi minyak, our imported chef from Malaysia, Amelia made us ayam masak merah and Ayap fried vegetables with shrimp. Dini made us a tasty lasagna. But the best of all was the gorgeous watermelon bought by Fir. Thanks, guys.