Sunday, November 23, 2014

The Kop is in KL

The Liverpool Football Club decided to open their first official retail store outside of the United Kingdom – and the place chosen is Kuala Lumpur.
This is the club’s seventh store – which opened on September 26, 2014 – on the third floor of Lot 10 Shopping Center located on Jalan Bukit Bintang.
LFC legend and former player Robbie Fowler was present to officially open the store and for a meet-and-greet with Anfield’s Malaysian fans. When quizzed on his thoughts of Malaysia hosting the first ever overseas LFC store, Fowler pointed out that “everyone connected with Liverpool knows about the massive fan base that exists here in Asia and especially in Malaysia.”
I must pay a visit to the store soon.
On Wednesday afternoon, I was at Damansara Uptown to deliver a CC speech #9 titled “Push” at Phoenix Toastmasters Club’s lunchtime meeting. My evaluator was Lim Thian Seng. I am grateful to Ahmad Rizal for giving me a speaking opportunity.

In the evening, I was at Lanai Kijang (Bank Negara`s purpose-built residential complex that comes complete with facilities for training, conferences, sports and recreation) along KL's Jalan Berjasa to attend the joint meeting of Kijang Toastmasters Club and DTM Toastmasters Club.
Again, I am equally grateful to be provided with a speaking slot – my second today – to enable me to deliver CC speech #3 titled “The Long and Winding Road”. My speech was gripping because I generously laced it with death-obsessed gloom. Apart form that, I personally think this speech could be better organized. I was evaluated by Tan Lay Theng.


That’s the great thing about joining Toastmasters – one continuously learns when one is a Toastmaster. And when one speaks, the learning is even more valuable.
The meeting didn’t start on time though – therefore, my score for this meeting is a 4.5 over 10. Though it did earn an extra half mark because I loved the fact that slices of my favorite jackfruit (Malaysians call it “nangka” see pic below) – together with honeydew – were served!

My preference aside – in Malaysia, Toastmasters meetings are not complete unless good food accompanies them. We are Malaysians, after all.
Suddenly, a thought comes to mind. When will I see durians being offered at Toastmasters club meetings? Hmmm, that would be just awesome!

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Roach Blamed for Auto Accident

The unloved cockroach doesn’t get any respect at all. And this time, it earns notoriety for being in the wrong place at the wrong time.
A three-car collision that sent two people to hospital was blamed on a cockroach! The New Zealand Herald reported that a woman told police she became distracted by a cockroach scurrying across her dashboard before she crashed into two vehicles travelling in the opposite direction after crossing the center line.
Her Toyota Corolla appeared to have sideswiped the first oncoming vehicle before it rebounded and met head-on into the second oncoming vehicle.
Western Bay of Plenty head of road policing Senior Sergeant Ian Campion said two occupants from the second vehicle were taken to Tauranga Hospital, Tauranga, North Island. Thankfully, they survived because the  injuries suffered were minor to moderate
Shouldn’t the driver be blamed – why pick on the cockroach? I am quite distressed about this!
On Wednesday, I was speaking to a group of twenty-five Fourth Formers at SMK Subang Utama in Subang Jaya on the importance of public speaking – drawing from my own experience as a six-year old Toastmaster.

Thanks to English teacher Jacob (second pic below, on the left) for arranging this.


Friday, November 21, 2014

DMK1013 Tourism Video Project

Two Thursdays ago, my DMK1013 Introduction to Business students (August 2014 cohort; DIBA program) produced and presented a total of seventeen video clips. This project is part of their coursework requirements to promote a tourism product.
As is my usual practice, I assembled a panel of 5 judges – Dr Nagiah Ramasamy from Sunway University Business School; Benny Chia, Director of PricewaterhouseCoopers; Gerard Peter, Operations Director of Pixelpost Sdn Bhd (a leading Post Production company that provides animation, post production and broadcast solutions); Jennifer Lim, Area Director of Human Resources, Accor Malaysia and not forgetting myself.


In the end, we selected the Best 7 video clips and these are featured below:
It is noteworthy to mention that the students on this particular course are only in semester one and DMK1013 is their first Business subject at Sunway University.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Leave Selangor if Unhappy with Sultan's Decree

Prof Emeritus Dr Mahmood Zuhdi Abd Majid, who specializes on Islamic law at the International Islamic University of Malaysia (IIUM) called on Selangorians who dispute their state Ruler’s command reserving the use of “Allah” for Muslims only, to leave Selangor.
Last Thursday, 2014, Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah (left) had renewed his decree barring non-Muslims in his state from using the Arabic word for God, including in the Malay-language Christian bible, the Al-Kitab, and in the national Catholic weekly, Herald.
The 1988 state law, which was passed by the then BN government, prohibits non-Muslims from using 35 Arabic words and phrases in their faiths, including “Allah”, “Nabi” (prophet), “Injil” (gospel) and “Insya’Allah” (God willing).
The biggest bone of contention, however, has been over the word “Allah”, which Malaysian Christians and Sikhs say, also exist in their holy books to refer to the almighty, in citing their constitutional right to use the word.
Seven days earlier, HRH had urged Muslims not to criticize fatwas, especially those released in Selangor, as he ‎was personally responsible for approving the edicts.
"A fatwa that is issued in Selangor is only valid after it has obtained my approval and consent," said the sultan.
Noted. But isn’t fallibility a human condition? All of us must learn to accept fallibility within ourselves.
In less than six months, Sunway University Toastmasters Club have already earned 8-and-a-half DCP points for the 2014-15 term. Not bad for a club that is only in their third year of existence!

I was back at Mercu UEM on Tuesday evening – this time to attend the Bangsar Toastmasters meeting. My dedicated evaluator, Meyyappa was there and I took the opportunity to deliver a CC speech #7 titled “The Mind that Grows”. The speech was okay – it wasn’t that good a speech – and I am grateful that my evaluator had helpfully pointed out areas of improvement which I need to work on. Incidentally, both of us were voted Best Speaker and Best Evaluator respectively.
I also took up an additional role as Speech Evaluator for a Bangsar Toastmaster but her speech made me cringe. Other than that, it was a good meeting. I would give it a score of a 5 over 10.


Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Mini Guillotine

Mohd Amar Nik Abdullah, Kelantan Deputy Menteri Besar and chairman of the state’s hudud law technical committee, was reported to be toying with the idea of a mini guillotine to be used to sever someone’s hand – since doctors were said to have refused to go along with this ‘Islamic’ punishment for theft.

[Note: Doctors who are members of the Malaysian Medical Association are bound by the Hippocratic Oath and Hudud violates that Oath].

PAS is promoting Hudud, and therefore, amputation of the limb(s) is prescribed for theft. It is supposed to act as a deterrent by making the person convicted of theft to suffer for his crime and experience the pain of having his limb (or limbs) chopped off.

Coming back to the mini guillotine – it is simple to use and it doesn’t need a surgeon to make it work. And furthermore, the contraption needs only two persons to operate. The first is to hold down the convicted person and the other to exert the lever. And of course, the Judge who passed the sentence is also supposed to be present.

But wait a minute! You would still need a doctor to be in attendance to ensure that the felon doesn’t suffer “unnecessarily” during his ordeal. Islamic law is either silent or frowns on the use of anaesthetics.

Sometimes I think these PAS fellas are closet sadists!

The guillotine first gained fame during the French Revolution when physician and revolutionary Joseph-Ignace Guillotin won passage of a law requiring all death sentences to be carried out by "means of a machine."

A French decapitating machine was built and tested on cadavers, and on April 25, 1792, it took its first head. The device soon became known as the "guillotine" after its advocate, and more than ten thousand people lost their heads by guillotine during the Revolution, including King Louis XVI (see pic below) and Queen Mary Antoinette.

Anyway, Kelantan has refuted the “mini-guillotine” report by The Star, saying the idea was mooted by the paper’s reporter and not by PAS! Slamming the "inaccurate" report, Nik Amar's private secretary Mohd Khairil Hazmie Yusof said it could affect the state government's efforts to help people understand and accept hudud laws.
On Monday, I was at Mercu UEM in KL Sentral to attend the KL Advanced Toastmasters meeting. I took on a speech evaluator role. A good meeting and I am giving it a score of an 8 over 10.