Friday, October 31, 2014

The Begging Culture

Second Education Minister Idris Jusoh (left) said on Tuesday that the Malays should possess far-sighted mindsets so that they would not become extinct at some point in the future.
"We have to stop the culture of begging, I don't want to see our race as a fast food nation that wants everything to be delivered fast, including money, aid and assistance,” he argued.
Is he telling the Malays that they are really so dependent on government giveaways that they cannot prosper, much less survive on their own? Is he mocking his own race? Or is he telling the truth that his race is doomed?
Isn’t he making a sweeping statement? Why is he tarring all Malays with the same brush? Why is this Malay putting down other Malays?
Perhaps his whole purpose in speaking out is simply to give a warning to the Malays before it is too late. He must have known that once you are on the road to ruination – that’s it! There is no turning back!
Think about it. If at all, there is indeed, a culture of begging – who started it, if not UMNO? The idea is to make Malays so accustomed to handouts, that today, they have become addicted to them!
I don’t want to make a monkey out of Idris Jusoh – why should I take all the credit?
On Wednesday, I was in KL’s Jalan Bukit Bintang to attend the ITC Bintang Toastmasters meeting in Federal Hotel. I was one of 12 speakers for the scary story-telling segment. After all, this was a Halloween-themed meeting. My two hundred and one regular Toastmasters meeting for the calendar year 2014 so far and I delivered my 81st speech!
My DIBA student, Luqmaan Abdullah Brooks helped to prepare a blood pack (left) – fake blood, of course. I needed it because I was thirsty for blood – “bloodthirsty” being the title of my story. It was a humorous speech, Victor Ong-style.
A lot of people were there! There were Toastmasters from Taman Indrahana, AIA Capsquare, Chiyoda, KL Advanced, PwC, Sunway University, Premier Advanced and AFC. For sure, I know everyone who came had lots of fun!


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Halloween is Not Welcomed in Malaysia

Valentine’s Day is haram. Yoga is haram. Oktoberfest is haram. Dogs are haram. And now Halloween is haram. The list of prohibitions just got longer.

The National Fatwa Council has declared that Halloween is “haram” and as such Muslims in the country are forbidden from participating in this celebration in any way on October 31.
According to its Facebook posting, the council stated that Halloween was a Christian event that honored the dead and that if Muslims wanted to do the same, Islam suggested reciting “doa” (prayers) instead.
The edict was issued in reaction to a complaint lodged last week by Muslim residents in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan against a private international school there that put up a banner inviting students (including Muslims), to attend a Halloween bash it was organizing. The invitation caused a great furore among some Muslim groups as well including ISMA who demanded the state religious council put a stop to the event.
For a start, these Muslims should learn to get their facts right. Halloween is not even remotely Christian – it is a pagan ritual. For your info, there are also Christians who are also dead against Halloween.
Anyway, these clerics think they are being righteous but they are just party poopers. Spoilsports. Killjoys. They have expeditiously decided that "trick or treat" is unIslamic.
On Tuesday, I attended the Taman Indrahana Toastmasters meeting and I was one of only two speakers. My evaluator was Lim Thian Seng and I delivered CC speech #8 titled “Masks”. Another good speech, if I may say so. The meeting was a little on the quiet side but at least, I enjoyed the speeches (including mine!). I would score this meeting a 6.5 over 10.


The Interest in Tiny Houses

The other day (i.e. last Friday) I blogged about this shoebox (sorry, house) in Islington, London that was sold at an astronomical price. Believe it or not but the interest in tiny homes is increasing.
For some people, it is an interest in beautiful bits of bespoke ingenuity, built by specialist architects and sold to those with an active interest in living with as little stuff and as little impact on the built and wider environment as possible. Of course, these can be off-grid, self-sustaining, portable or fixed dwellings and more importantly, they give a reassuring sense of homely comfort.
In fact, please feel free to check out these interesting and informative websites:,,, and many others that populate the cloud. 
In the US of A, I read that there is a “tiny house movement” – a small house usually being defined as one offering less than 400 sq ft of space – is gaining greater traction as ever more people choose to downsize for economic or ecological reasons.
I reckon we should wise up and embrace this same idea here in Malaysia.
On Monday, I was supposed to be at Universiti Malaya because I had a speaking slot at the Toastmasters meeting there – but at 03:46 PM, Heng Jing Yi informed me that the meeting was cancelled.
I must be lucky because I was given another speaking slot at MidValley Cititel and it was there that I delivered a “Sell a Product” speech from the Specialty Speeches manual. 
I decided to make my speech very different – you are correct if you describe it as “wacky” – and I even injected a generous dosage of humor. Certainly, the speech met its objectives.

Anyway, this was very much done on the spur of the moment and I think I did well with my speech that was titled “Victor Ong, Ghostbuster”! Sometimes, I can be so creative that I can even blow myself away!
Overall, the MidValley Toastmasters meeting was a fun meeting – although it was draggy in the beginning. Still I am giving this meeting a score of a 6.5 over 10.


Wednesday, October 29, 2014

LEGO Umbrella Protestors

A LEGO sculpture depicting a scene of protesters confronting riot police. Image credit: Tyrone Siu/Reuters
This is really cool! A protester in Hong Kong has created a LEGO tableau depicting the face-off between riot cops and 'Umbrella Revolution' demonstrators in the Chinese-controlled city.
Natalie Chan told the South China Morning Post she had painstakingly built the artwork while camped out in the city's Admiralty district. "I think I've played with enough LEGO… to last a lifetime," the 25-year-old said.
Chan's sculpture is just the latest addition to a wave of street art inspired by Hong Kong's political crisis.
On September 03, 2014 – I had blogged about a research paper that was published. Now, a second paper “Expressions of Fresh Graduates: Employee Loyalty in Malaysia” that I presented at the Third Asia-Pacific Business Research Conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in February 2013 – was published in World Journal of Management, Vol. 5. No. 2, September 2014.