Archive for December, 2006

It’s that time of the year again when I jot down the list of hopes and wishes for the new year. In terms of material goods that I wish to have, that list has been made. You can see it here. I will also be making a separate list focusing on writing and books.

What do I think 2007 have in store for a normal 24-year-old chap like me who’s trying to make his dreams a reality? Whatever the year may be bring, I will nevertheless strive to be a better human being by doing the following:

Personal

1. To smile more often, be more cheerful and optimistic even if the times are hard and difficult.

2. To maintain a consistent level of self-confidence and self-esteem.

3. To keep my emotions and feelings in check so that they will not go out of hand.

4. To avoid cursing unnecessarily.

5. Refrain from gettin drunk.

6. Sleep at a punctual time of 11.30pm and wake up at 8.00am everyday

7. Maintain a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables – avoid oily and high-calory food if possible.

Career

1. To work enthusiastically and maintain good work ethics

2. To obtain a salary increase by year end.

Family

1. To be diligent in maintaining contact with my sisters through e-mail – at least once a week.

2. To treat my mother with patience and love.

3. To avoid getting into needless arguments with relatives by not making snide comments or bad-mouthing them.

4. Visit my relatives in Penang at least twice next year.

5. Remember my sisters’, my nephews’ and niece’s birthdays and send them an e-card.

Friends

1. Continue to foster closer ties with my inner circle of friends.

2. Treat my friends with respect and love them for who they are regardless of their faults and not for what they can do for me.

3. To meet more new people and hopefully form new friendships

4. Strictly refrain myself from gossiping about others and backstabbing people – treat everyone equally regardless of their faults and their weakenesses.

5. To have a forgiving heart

Community

1. Be more active in volunteer work in causes that I am passionate about – sign up for at least two NGOs and participate in their programs.

2. To smile, be polite and charitable to others regardless of how I am treated and regardless of race and religion.

3. Helping the environment by cutting down the use of electricity and water at home, drive only when I have to and manage my wastes better through recycling.

Please read the first part before you read on…

Politics

This year, I am very much more aware of the political shenanigans of my country and also that of the world than ever before. I have always been interested in politics – I sincerely believe that we citizens should always make ourselves conscious and aware of our political situations in order for us to ensure that the politicians and the elected representatives are doing their job that we citizens expect them to do rather than making stupid decisions, saying stupid things, breaking the law and doing nothing.

However, this year, my passion for politics grew more as a result of my dissatisfaction of the way Pak Lah’s government has been doing things and the way things are being handled by his stupid lackeys and cronies who are doing all the law-breaking behind his back. I am also incredibly annoyed and irritated by stupid local elected representatives who are obviously saying and doing things just to get their five seconds worth or limelight. Let’s not forget those idiotic, arrogant fools who build palaces among poor neighbourhoods, who ask authorities to “close one or two eyes” and local councillors who think they can do anything and everything they want because they are councillors. What I wouldn’t give to see these bastards get their just desserts!

This year has proven to be one political mess after another for Malaysia. Everything that the government has done has been one big mistake after another. They are more interested in wasting funds to build new megastructures rather than improving the existing ones and improving the lives of the people as well as the public transport service. How do they expect megastructures such as new sports complexes, new shopping malls and new towers to improve the lives of the people? Let’s also not forget other stupid actions such as banning of books, the stupid khalwat raids, the endorsement of Mat rempits, the inability of the government to harshly punish the corrupt politicians who broke the law and the stupid statements they have made regarding women – from the way they dress to the way they have been indirectly blamed for causing snatch thefts. Have our politicians gone barking mad?

I’ve done my part by writing in letters to newspapers, four of which were published this year in The Star and The Sun. Of course, like one letter pointed out today, do our elected representatives and the government officials ever read and respond to the letters in newspapers? I doubt they do. They are more interested in making brash, idiotic comments about women, about race, about religion and insulting each other in Parliamentary sessions rather than reading, listening and hearing what the public are saying. How I yearn to have a Speaker’s Corner which will force these political idiots to listen to the people.

I hope 2007 will see an improvement in the way this country is being run.

Globally, everything is still much the same, except maybe that the world has become slightly more dangerous… US death toll in Iraq has surpassed the death toll of September 11, 2001. Continuous war in Sri Lanka, Somalia, Palestine, Israel, and Lebanon, more political upheaval in Thailand, the Fiji Islands and tensions caused by nuclear-power minded countries such as North Korea and Iran has not done anything to improve peace and stability of the world.

Thankfully, there’s a glimmer of hope yet – I rejoice at the fact that the Republicans in the US has been trounced by the Democrats and that the devil himself, Bushy Jr., was forced to fire his minion Rumsfeld the Tyrant. Let’s hope the Democrats bring on people that are responsible, peace-conscious and capable as well as charismatic to kick Bushy Jr’s butt out of the White House. I seriously hope that Senator Hillary Clinton will run for office…I shudder to think what will happen if that other demonic minion of Bushy’s – the new, modern Blood Countess, Condo Rice – takes power.

Here’s to a much better 2007, politically – here in our country and also in the world.

Financial and Economy

I’m not a banker or an economist so I will not make any observations regarding our local economy and the world economy. I do, however, hope that foreign investors will keep coming to Malaysia and ignore the political shenanigans in the country. They should not be deterred to invest and set up businesses here in Malaysia just because of a few stupid remarks and actions and policies of the government. The general consensus among the public and the corporate world is that we welcome foreign investors and there are many bright prospects and golden opportunities to do business in Malaysia.

Also, I hope that there will be no more price increases in the coming year. This year alone saw the price of toll rates, fuel, electricity and water rates increased by the government and yet, majority of the people’s salaries have not increased at all. Those that suffered the most this year have been the lower-income group and the extremely poor.

Personally, my finances this year has been an utter disaster…but thankfully, next year would see a change for the better…as long my new job is stable and my position is guaranteed and secure. Much of the reason why my finances this year was near borderline in the red was very much due to my poor budgeting skills and my manic shopping sprees at book warehouse sales, at PC fairs, anime-related items and other household and everyday items. Also, since I subscribed to ASTRO this year, my total bills which I have to pay has gone up to about RM600++ monthly. ūüė¶ Let’s not forget the two major car accidents and the summonses I had to pay… ūüė¶ ūüė¶

May 2007 bring me a fresh windfall and improved finances!!

Work Matters

This year, I have only been freelancing off and on, so the pay was rather meagre. Thankfully, oh thankfully, I managed to secure a full-time position at an up-and-coming lifestyle magazine for the elite this month itself. My position as a senior writer-cum-photographer comes with a salary twice what I got during my teaching days at an international school. I have been performing well and my boss has been a great encourager and mentor, so I have really high hopes for the future in this career. All I need to do is to keep my mind positive and continually work with the same level of consistency and enthusiam as I am now.

On the side, I have also just signed myself up as an authorised dealer for Amway goods in Malaysia and hope that I can put my persuasive powers and PR skills to good use in order to earn a small side income. I have done quite a fair bit of research on Amway and I believe their products and services are genuinely 100% trustworthy, authentic and workable. I am working under a group of admirable professionals who has succeeded in earning passive income through this business to the extend that they no longer have to work full-time. My hope is that I will also be able to reach the same level as them.

Goals Scored & Met

Well, unfortunately, I was not in a goal-meeting or a goal-scoring mood so, my current list of 75 goals that I want to meet or fulfill have not yet been achieved. No progress was made this year in order to fulfill or meet these goals.

However, on my 2006 Wishlist, I am thankful that I got quite a fair bit of what I wanted. I got a new DSLR camera, got my ASTRO subscription, got a new pair of glasses and I got a new webcam! Getting all these probably contributed to my inability of getting RM10,000 in my Bumiputra Commerce (now changed to CIMB Bank) savings account.

Spirituality

Ask anyone in my church and Christians who’ve met me and they will probably tell you how spiritual and in love with God I am. In a certain way, I guess I could say that I am indeed a spiritual person since I worship without a care for anyone in the world. When worship comes around, I will gladly sing, shout, dance and clap & lift my hands outward to God as it’s between me and him. However, I have not been as frequent in church as I would like to, mostly because I sometimes have to work or study during weekends.

This year, it is safe to say that I am shunning the conservative path of Christianity entirely and have since adopted a more open-minded, liberal view of Christianity. I no longer adhere to the traditional interpretations and understandings of the Word of God but my own. I refuse to listen to anyone who dares to act in a “holier than thou” manner because it is not their right to judge or decide how I live my life. I believe that God loves everyone regardless of what they do and that as long as people acknowledge God as his personal saviour and Lord, he is saved.

All I want to say to my Christian friends in church and everywhere else is this – don’t try to change me ‘cos I refuse to be changed. The Holy Ghost is alive and well in me and He certainly no doubt approves of me living my Christian life in this manner and way. I am a liberal so stop bugging me with all your ultra-fundamentalist and extremist Christian ideology and stuff it down your own kind’s throats!

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‘Nuff said. Next up, My Hopes for 2007.

Less than 48 hours, we will all bid adieu to the year 2006.

2006 has been a year of mixed ups-and-downs and with many highs¬†as well as many lows for me. The highs only started picking up towards the end of the year. Nevertheless, I have much to thank for¬†throughout this year. I realised that there will be many people who would¬†rally to me in the times that I need help and I know that they are never far away – you people should know who you are…¬†ūüėČ

Most people would probably¬†list down a certain number of events¬†that haveoccured during the year to reflect on but for me, I’m going to do things a little differently. I’m just going to focus these areas only – Personal Development, Social Life, Circle of Friends, Online World, Family Life,¬†Politics, Financial & Economy, Work Matters, Goals Scored &¬†Met and Spirituality. This is going to be a long post, so it will be divided into two separate posts.

Personal Development

2006 was the time where I really sought to improve myself Рgaining new skills and knowledge, discovering and understanding more about myself and most importantly, having a better control over my emotions and feelings. One of my weaknesses from over the years was that I was very prone to having mood swings РI can be happy at one point of the day but ending up at the end of the day depressed and sad.

These mood swings would prolong for quite sometime and I simply become quite easily agitated and annoyed with everything and at everyone, thus resulting in me being crabby and hot-tempered for quite a lot of times. I am glad however, to say that this has been largely minimal this year and most of my anger, annoyance and loathsomeness were directed at the government of the day over a series of idiotic things that they have said and done.  

A few things have contributed to my¬† personal development this year – participating in the Jack Canfield seminar early in the year, attending a couple of seminars and forums organised by UNITAR, the privilege of having exceptional lecturers for my Bachelor of Education course and not to forget, signing up for a creative writing class organised by Bibliobibuli. The latter was the most fun seminar/workshop I’ve ever participated in. I’ve also enjoyed the Jack Canfield seminar a lot, he was such a fantastic, successful person and his success principles really do work! He has opened up my mind to believe that I can do the impossible as long as I remained positive, optimistic and work hard at it.

Social Life

I am also thankful that my social life has shown¬†lots of improvement this year. I’m really learning to enjoy life and not just always cooped up at home wasting my time on the computer playing games and Web surfing. I’ve made a few shopping malls, cinemas and bookstores as my second home and I really am thankful that my life is not all about work, work, work and make money and more money.

Thank gosh for these places/retail shops РThe Curve, 1 Utama, Cineleisure Damansara, Borders Bookstore, Golden Screen Cinemas, Starbucks Coffee, Secret Recipe, Delicious Cafe, Speedy Video and Sun Comics. Without these establishments, my social life will be zilch to say the least.

Circle of Friends

I count several people as my inner circle of friends РNaoko, LesbianHarlequin, Journey of a Dreamer and my editor & close confidante, Ian SYY. These four people are the ones that I treasure most for they have always stood by me regardless of the kind of person that I could be at times. These four people are the ones that understood me from the inside out and are the ones that have never failed in the times that I desperately need their support. Please accept my apologies for the things that I have done throughout the year 2006 that might have caused you much grief and might have jeopardised our friendship.

Besides these four, I am also thankful that I have another group of friends from the Christian community that have always prayed for me and my family. People from my church and other Christian friends have also been a wonderful blessing to me and my family this year and I hope that our ties together will be stronger next year as we fellowship with one another, pray for one another and worship our Beloved Creator together in harmony and unity.

Another group of buddies that I hope to re-establish connections with are my ex-schoolmates and ex-collegemates. I know I am at fault for not being more dilligent enough in maintaining contact with you all but I really hope that I can do that now. I am so happy that I managed to get in touch with people like Hsien Liang, Jason Khoo, Kevin Nah and most recently, Hong Kheng as well as others whom I met in school and in college. Hope to meet up with all you one of these for mamak!

Next,¬†are my colleagues and other acquaintances¬†who share in my hobbies and interests (you IRC ComicFiesta¬†folks who knew me from my screen name Yuuri_Shibuya and as Naoko’s onni-chan Phil).¬†I have always been relatively shy when meeting with new people and I just hope that you all give me the time for me to fit in. I enjoy your company a lot and hope that you and I could become firm friends in time to come.

Also not to forget are the vibrant, passionate group of writers, bookworms and authors that I had the privilege to meet as a result of my participation in Bibliobibuli’s creative writing workshop. I am really glad to be able to rub shoulders with people like Ted Mahsun, Lydia Teh and other group of local writers that I admire. I resolve to meet up with you all as much as possible in time to come as I continue to feel my way around the local literature scene and build myself up as a writer and an author. Thanks for your support and constructive criticisms!!!

Online World

I have also participated in several online forums and chatrooms that cater to my interests and hobbies. I’ve met a lot of online blogger-friends as well as others from various forums that I participate in under various screen names. I hope one day we could meet up in the physical world – though that would be quite hard for those of¬†you from overseas. Nevertheless, I hope that we could continue having a firm online friendship into the next year and the year after that. Especially to my online friend Sora and also Mark MyWords.

Oh, I also hope to become more active in other forums that I used to participate in but not anymore at the moment. Please don’t boot me out yet, ya!!

Family Life

My family life took a tragic turn in January 2006 this year. My dad was struck down by a stroke on January 6, 2006 and sadly, he departed from the family and from this world on January 22, 2006. He will always be cherished and remembered and we look forward to meeting him some day in heaven.

More personally, I am thankful that I managed to resolve my conflicts with my dad before he took his last breath. I do have regrets that¬†selfish me¬†never got the chance to understand him better and realised that despite our disagreements and arguements, my dad had meant well and that he truly loved me from the bottom of his heart and had only wanted what’s best for me.

So, right now, with my sisters all living faraway elsewhere, that just leaves me and my mom. Regardless of what people say about my filialness, living with an overbearing mom is not something that I enjoy. Nevertheless, she is still my mom and she has gone out of her way to make things easier for me that I cannot put the blame on her entirely. I still have a lot of selfish pride in me and my desire for independence do get in the way of our relationship at times. I just wish that she just let go of me a bit more and stop being so clingy and stop using stupid verbal threats to make me conform to her wishes and wants. I’m just so worn out from arguing with you and putting a front for everyone else, especially my church people, that we are close.

Next, on my sisters. I can’t really describe much about my relationship with my sisters because they live so far away and I seldom kept in touch with them. I guess it’s really up to me whether I want to or not. But I am thankful that I can still rely on my sisters for advice and assistance¬†when ever I need it. My eldest sister did came back to visit us for a short while so that was great and my second sister is in Johor now so I hope the flood’s not affecting her area much. And my third sister gave birth to her second¬†son early this year as well. So, am glad that they are living their lives as happy as they could.

On my relatives, from my mom’s and dad’s side, I didn’t really bother to be in touch with them. I’ve never really fitted in well with my uncles, aunts and cousins because they weren’t really the kind of people I’m interested to hang around with. Besides, they are all so much older than I am…I am the only one in the family that is still single, unattached and unmarried. The pressure for me to hook up with a girl soon is enormous and I tend to avoid family functions whenever I could. Of course, mom ‘s not too happy about this and she’ll always be the one who tries to get me to be friendly with them. Whether or not next year will see an improvement in my relationship with my relatives, it all depends on them not being too intrusive over my personal and private life.

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Internet connection from my home has generally improved although it’s still rather slow – slow, but not at a snail’s pace…more like a tortoise pace.

Nevertheless, I’m happy that I managed to blog at last!¬†I nearly couldn’t work¬†at all on¬†Wednesday – couldn’t access the overseas websites at all from the office and from work. I still can’t surf to some sites that are hosted on servers overseas but I was able to check my emails today, so I’m thankful.

Indeed, it does seem like something major always happen, like, after Christmas celebrations and that sort. Two years ago, it was the tsunami…last year, don’t remember anything major and this year, another earthquake rocked the Asian region causing damage to undersea cables vital for communication among Asian countries and with the world. The fact the damage will take three weeks to fix is rather daunting.

It makes me ponder that we have become so dependent on technology that when something happens to it, we’re like stranded on a deserted island…feeling lost and utterly hopeless. That’s exactly how I felt on Wednesday while attempting to do some research on a feature article – so much information are obtained online these days that when Internet goes down for whatever reason, our access to information and up-to-date info would immediately be cut off.

Man, just imagine what would happen if some sort of terrorist organisation have the means of destroying and sabotaging important undersea cables in order to cut off a specific region’s connection to information and other countries. The whole world would be thrown into a chaos.

It’s a rather frightening prospect which I hope will never come true, though it would make quite a good basic plot for an action-thriller now wouldn’t it?

To all my family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances and all visitors to my humble blog,

Here’s wishing all of you a very BLESSED CHRISTMAS and a JOYOUS NEW YEAR!!!

I pray that God will continue to bless each and everyone of you and may your lives be always filled with joy, happiness and gladness. Please forgive me of my trespasses¬†and all the things that I have done this year that may have hurt you or caused you much grief as I have also¬†forgiven yours. Let’s help each other to build one another up that we may become responsible and dependable individuals who can serve our family, friends, the community, the country and the world well.

All in all, may goodness prevail in the years to come!

Blinking lights on the Christmas tree - HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!!

Hello, everyone.

My mind is in a blank at the present time, so, I won’t be writing much at this time. Just wanted to let everyone know that I’m fine and that I have a lot on my plate at the moment. Just to inform you of several updates happening in my life.

First, I’ve started working in the office since December 12 last week. It’s a full-time job, which means, after a year and three months of freelancing, I am now back in an office environment. I entered at a most busy time, which explains why I’m suffering from mental exhaustion and lethargy so fast. Nevertheless, I’m very excited by my newfound opportunity to work in the magazine industry and the pay is really generous considering that I’ve only being writing since September 2005. Of course, due to the terms of my contract I am not allowed to divulge anymore than I should regarding my new work.

Secondly, I have decided to start up a new blog focused exclusively on the world of creative writing and literature called the House of Scribbles & Endless Jottings. I’ll be transferring all my posts here on books, literature and creative writing over to that blog sometime soon.

Thirdly, there’s only 9 more days to go before we bid adieu to the year 2006. I’ll be posting a recap of the ups and downs of my life this year and reflect on how I could’ve done things better. The only way for us to continually develop ourselves and to improve ourselves is to look inwardly and reflect on our missed opportunities, mistakes and failures and learn from them. Then, on New Year’s Eve, I’ll be putting up a list of New Year’s Resolutions here and on my House of Scribbles & Endless Jottings.

Finally, it’s a couple more days away from Christmas and… eek…I’ve still hadn’t got any Christmas pressies to give away! Oh boy, I hope the crowd of last minute Christmas shoppers ain’t going to be too big. I hate to be in the midst of harassed, mad shoppers. Right, gonna have breakfast now and head down to Sungei Wang Plaza, Lowyat Plaza¬†and Berjaya Times Square to get some pressies for everyone!

Cheerio!

So much work to do!It’s time for me to take another one week hiatus from blogging, considering that my schedule is kinda pack coming to the end of the year. Moreover, my office has just shifted to Tropicana and there are quite a lot of things to do. It’s an exciting time, nonetheless, and I do hope that after this one week is out of the way, I’m able to concentrate on blogging AND my normal work stuff.

So, if you’re looking for new stuff up here on this site, it won’t happen till I return online on My work is piling up...arrgghh!! >.<December 19. Nevertheless, I’ll still be posting a couple more stuff before I turn in for the day, which should be enough to pacify you faithful, loyal readers of mine. Thanks so much for putting up with all the¬†crap, rants, musings for this past year! You readers rock!¬†^_^

Well, just in case you guys are hankering for new stuff,¬†please do browse around my “Records of the Past” at the bottom of the left sidebar. You’ll find lots of interesting items there that might make you laugh, happy, sad and cry not to mention angry too!

All that said and done, have fun and see you in a week!

Busy busy busy

I think I’m in the minority here, but I would like to support Cuepacs’ call for a 40% salary raise for the civil servants of Malaysia. Though I do agree that 40% may be a bit too much, at least Cuepacs president Omar Osman said 10% to 40% would do (Btw, to the uninitiated, Cuepacs is an acronym which stands for Congress of Unions of Employees in the Public And Civil Sector.)

While I generally don’t want to give the lousy personnel in some government departments the salary raise, but the fact that the majority of them do deserve this raise cannot be overlooked. Many of them have slaved away for the government for many years, doing a service for the country but¬†getting little in return in¬†terms of gratitude and appreciation by the very government they served. Can you believe that it’s been almost one and a half decades – 15 years! –¬†since the civil servants’ salary had been reviewed and¬†a raise approved.¬†The private sector doesn’t take THAT long to give¬†their employees a raise in a few years as long as they really deserve it.

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