Friday, August 25, 2006

Stink bean

So we're left with only eight planets in our Solar System. Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

And since we're talking about stars, Mawi and Ina will have an on-air, live broadcast clash. That, versus Siti & DK's wedding on another channel.

And Rita Rudani did her job but Nisdawati goes around parading what looked more like a mild case of eye-bags from late night parties at Planet Hollywood than a bruise.

And Amber Chia is after somebody else's hubby - too bad he's not a Datuk, otherwise she'd take over Julia Hana's spot.

And Fazura's shoe circus plus Nurfarahin's khalwat case are on trial. (P/S: None of the witness remember what her shoe looked like... So regardless what Paula Malai Ali insinuated about Malaysian women and Jimmy Choo heels, Fazura ain't into that.)

And at first glance on a recent edition of Malay Mail, I thought Maya Karin said she only know a Khairi Who, not that she doesn't know who's Khairi. (Sorry, tak perasanla got the question mark at the end. Someone's bum was sitting on it.)

And of course there's still people still mengomel sakit hati over Sharifah Amani's quote. As Jarum Emas says - akhirnya Pak Menteri juga yang menang.

But what's the most interesting piece I've read on print media?

Well, ladies and gents, thanks to New Straits Times and writer Eu Hooi Khaw, I found out that the uber delicious petai is actually called stink bean in Anglais, also parkia speciosa to botanists.

While I've heard that it is supposed to be effective in lowering blood sugar, high in fibre and betacarotene rich, I didn't know that stink beans also contain tryptophan, which converts into serotonin that gives you that happy, relaxed feeling.

No wonder I get this unexplainable feel good feeling right after every petai meal.

I remember the first time petai-appreciation dawned on me: The calling came in the form of udang sambal petai - ate till my stomach waved a white flag between my eyes (gulped lots of water in between as the sambal assault was damn pedas).

Young, spoiled and hot-tempered then - yet throughout the afternoon I was nicer to my siblings.

Even when Along wants to watch Pink Panther on RTM (no Jem and the Holograms on TV3 for me). Even when Angah made me jump over the dilapidated fence to retrieve his missing Bola Sakti Harimau Berantai. Even when Alang only wants to hang with her high-school RPS gang and discuss make-up and I wasn't included. "Aiman tak kissah..."

Hell, that was one memorable petai-laden lunch.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

"I sound stupid when I speak Malay..."

The Malays have a saying:

Kerana pulut santan binasa,
Kerana mulut badan binasa.

The recent fiasco over Sharifah Amani's "rude and unbecoming" award acceptance speech has triggered more interest than I thought it would. When I first saw it over the telly, I thought, "Wow, that speech smells so much like trouble - bet that's not gonna go down so well with certain quarters!"

But I thought with all the hype surrounding Siti N and Datuk K's wedding, Amani might just get lucky and escape media lashings. I was wrong. (Note that in a warped kinda way, it was kinda pleasant - all those stories like "Jurunikah gugup" and "Fairytale wedding" kinda make me wanna throw up already.)

The next day, the media did their job - many focusing on what they deemed as the most controversial part of the usually boring event in the book of Malaysia's entertainment history. Other artistes too chipped in with their own views - someone even mentioned that Amani is tainting her mother's good image.

And the minister invited too, did what needs to be done. What any respecting Malay would have done.

He said the remark Amani made may not have been uttered with sole intention of inciting negative response from the public especially Malays - however that is exactly what she did - and she must take responsibility.

I bet the minister must have had the insight that Amani, though she was speaking for herself, is the representative of artistes and urban youths of her generation - a generation which has been exposed to globalisation; a generation who thinks their mother-tongue, along with their ethic identity as well as the culture and routine that ties with it are no longer of importance.

They no longer feel proud saying "peti ais" - they rather say "refrigerator" - complete with an American/UK slang to go with it too.

Hence the minister added (which I think an advice that is also targeted to all parents of Amani's generation), "Harap ibu bapanya boleh mengajarkannya budi bahasa yang lebih baik..."

... as he knows that the generation is still young, and trainable.

I wonder if he knows that most urban parents of Amani's generation prefers speaking to their kids in English as they feel it will increase their kids' survival rate in the new economy? (Of course, some just want to be trendy and bangga tidak menentu kerna bisa berbahasa omputehs and not so much of their bahasa ibunda so...).

Hence the kids running around saying "I express myself better in English..." just cause they're never trained to express themselves in their bahasa ibunda in the first place.

That's no excuse - while you can embrace new elements that can take you further, should not one also be proud of one's heritage? If you can learn to express yourself well in one language, why not another?

And this is Amani, the young kebaya-clad star who's been called the muse to director Yasmin Ahmad, the very lady who celebrates Malaysia's diversity and proudly flaunts the strong characteristics of each ethnicity in each of her movie... seems a bit hard to just forget and forgive.

To me the minister's move is a reflection of the better yesterdays, days when even your uncles and aunts and teachers and ketua kampung can lepuk you if you are caught stealing your neighbour's jambu... and another set of whacking awaits when your parents pulak dapat tahu...

Monday, August 07, 2006

To be or not be: Monitoring Malaysian bloggers

Today's Tech & U (of New Straits Times) featured this:

No more freedom of speech?
Blog monitoring proposal gets mixed response
By Rozana Sani

THE Government's proposal to closely monitor Web sites and blogs that have published seditious content has received mixed response from the blogging community. ...

And there I was reading it with interest, and the first thought that comes to mind is:

"Ya ka nak monitor? Eleh, not gonna be that tough for the Gov lah. Malaysia Boleh ma, and it is a doable thing for now. Besides, there's not too many Malaysian blogs that discuss serious issues anyway. Most of them are online diary keepers with an uber-important mission to discuss their recent personal food intake and the corresponding amount of calories that subsequently needs burning...

Sample entry: Todays Kak Mah froms Acc Dept broughts us Kuih Kepah Bersepuh Madu. Its tastes like Kuih Sarang Semut, buts the design is pretty much marines. Thinks of ordering it for the coming Raya, but perhaps a bits too earlys for that. I wonders how much calories this small pieces has.."

On second thought:

"And there has been really educated people out there who thinks blogs are gospel truths - despite going through numerous lessons at good colleges, they still could not grasp the concept of critical reading. Hmm..."

Thirdy thought:

"Maybe tis those people that should be monitored closely! That's it! Those gobblogs* who got nothing to do but read-but-not-read, then biggle-boggle all the facts in their heads, then get together with the rest of the critical-reading handicaps, then gossip-gossip summore and voila! All the rumours about KJ and MK and CT and RMS becomes text book to them!"

Fourtho thought:

"Aye, I think the Gov should monitor those seditious content-infested blogs, plus (just as important) them gobblog readers as well! A blog, without it readers, would be just a bunch of words on the cyberspace. It is when readers respond to such blogs that the level of toxic increase. I bet if Adolf (Elizabeth) Hitler was talking to an empty hall the World War II might not have taken place. Hence for the safety of all Malaysians, I shall back the Gov should they ban both blogs with seditious content and its gobblog* readers! Hurrah!"

Final-ly barulah nak ter-thought:

"Hmm, when they say they want to monitor tu, monitor macam mana ek? Should they just hire one (hundred) Political Science major and ask him/her to type in key words all day and check all blogs that mention those key words? Or just have all the ministers' PA set up a google alert on their respective bosses to check if anyone's written anything bad about them each day?"

Hmm, whateverlah, asalkan negara aku selamat. Harap bloggers lain pun fikir la dulu tentang the well-being of your nation. Tak pasal-pasal nanti join club Bagdad Blogger baru nyesal!"

* Gobblog (gob'lok)
Part of speech: noun
1. One who keeps a blog and pretty much wrote lies on it hoping people would take it as gospel truth, then reads other people's blogs knowing the other bloggers would be as much as a liar as he/she is, then take it as gospel truth about them, then find other gobblogs (who also share their passion to count their calorie intake online and make it a literary suppliment to other unfortunate cyberspace stumblers) to conjure up gossip and malicious rumours to be spread around to other gobblogcos (blog term for loser).
2. One who is deficient in judgment, sense, or understanding
3. Slow to learn or understand; obtuse.
4. Tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes.
5. Marked by a lack of intelligence or care; foolish or careless

ass, birdbrain*, blockhead*, bonehead*, boob*, bore, buffoon, butt, chump, clod*, clown, cretin*, dimwit*, dolt*, donkey, dope*, dork, dumb ox*, dunce, dunderhead*, dupe, easy mark*, fair game*, fall guy, fathead*, goat, gomeral, gomeril, goose*, halfwit, idiot, ignoramus, illiterate, imbecile, innocent, jackass, jerk*, lamebrain*, laughing stock, lightweight*, loon*, lunkhead, meathead, moron, nerd*, nincompoop*, ninny*, nitwit, numskull*, oaf, omadawn, ownshook, pushover, sap*, schlemiel*, silly, simpleton, stooge*, sucker*, turkey*, twerp*, twit*, victim