Thursday, September 29, 2016

Dr Vida Gives Up on Red Warriors

Beauty products entrepreneur Hasmiza Othman, better known as Dr Vida (left), has decided to stop sponsoring the Pamoga Qu Puteh The Red Warriors football team next season, reported local Malay daily Harian Metro.
Hasmiza said being a sponsor for any sports activities, especially football, was no longer a priority after this.
“I have done a lot for the Red Warriors squad but it is very disappointing, especially its performance. Apart from having to spend a lot of money, I have also been mocked on social media after getting involved in football". And she said she was hurt!
I have no wish to comment. Please join me in doing three rounds of LOL! Wakakaka! Wakakaka!! Wakakaka!!!


Still on football. Yesterday, Celtic claimed their first Champions League Group C point as Pep Guardiola's perfect record in charge of Manchester City ended with a 3-3 draw in Glasgow, Scotland.
The hosts led twice in the first half, Moussa Dembele diverting in Erik Sviatchenko's header in only the third minute and Kieran Tierney forcing an own goal by Raheem Sterling in the twentieth.
Fernandinho's strike in the eleventh minute brought Manchester City level first time and Sterling showed composure to net the visitors' second in the twenty-eighth minute.
Nolito equalized for the visitors again in the fifty-fifth minute after Dembele had netted on the turn eight minutes earlier.
Celtic had certainly given their all!
On Tuesday, I was back at the Amoda Building in Jalan Imbi, KL to join TMIKL Toastmasters in their semi-monthly meetings. I was there for the explicit purpose of “speaking under fire”.


This was assignment #4 from the Public Relations manual. My speech title was “Don’t Blame My PM” – which of course, refers to my Prime Minister, Najib Razak who has been bedeviled by shameful scandals!
The purpose of this talk (disguised as a role play) was to deliver my presentation to an audience assumed to be hostile (your typical Malaysians who are not Najib fawners, flatterers or flunkies – and I can say with certainty that my audience that evening did not belong to this contemptible category of pro-Najib chumps).

I assumed the role of a Minister in the PM’s Department and I had to stoutly defend my ‘boss’! That makes me a toadie!
Seriously, I should join the PM's public relations team.

Once done, I have completed my fifth Advanced manual (left).

And I have one more manual to go before I earn my third Advanced Communication award for 2016-2017 – an ACG. Hard work indeed!

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

"More Halal Than Halal"

JAKIM’s Halal certification is not good enough for some Malay-Muslims, it seems.
The Malaysian Institute of Islamic Cooperation (Ikiam) and the Rubber Industry Smallholders Development AuthorIty (RISDA) have declared their intention to award their own halal certification – specifically, catering to Malay-Muslim-produced goods.
Then Rural and Regional Development Minister Ismail Sabri Yaacob decided to make himself a bigger idiot by saying “JAKIM should make its requirements less stringent to assist small enterprises, especially those owned by Malays or bumputeras".
In other words, this UMNO fool wanted the standards lowered because of race. He wanted the so-called processes based on religious dogma to be pared down for the Malays.
Is this another new Malay right, I wonder?
The Malays must be Allah’s chosen people and therefore, they demand everything should be made easy for them.
Already, we are seeing JAKIM promoting religious bigotry. And it is state-sanctioned. That’s not all. They are now opening the doors of discrimination even wider for other religious bigots to raise their voices and exert their influence on others. And in the process, they are effecting change to the country’s socio-cultural landscape. 
The oft-repeated religious argument – as narrow and insular as it is – is it keeps the ‘purity’ of the faith. Seriously?
C'mon, Malay-Muslims are just as fallible as other people. This ‘more halal than halal’ hoo-ha is becoming a joke.
If this proceeds – one day, we can expect to see  Malay-Muslim-only hospitals. Malay-Muslim-only blood banks. Malay-Muslim-only restaurants. Malay-Muslim-only toilets. Not to mention, Malay-Muslim-only buses and taxis. Vegetables farmed by only Malay-Muslims. Cows, goats and chickens are Malay-Muslim-only-reared. And the list, for sure, will continuously expand.

Heck, they can even take it to another level altogether. Malay-Muslim thieves, murderers and rapists get reduced sentences upon conviction.
But really, it is a devious attempt  to disassociate themselves from the non-Malay and non-Muslim population, and more so, to segregate the Malay-Muslim population from the mainstream. These religious fascists want hegemonic control over all Malaysians through religious indoctrination. It's as simple as that. 
Apartheid may already have infected us without the majority of Malaysians even realizing it. This is the state that my Malaysia is in today!
On Monday, I was in KL’s Kelab Golf Perkhidmatan Awam to attend the Speakers’ Dream Toastmasters meeting. I volunteered to be the Table Topics Master but three days earlier, I was offered a speaking slot.
Needless to say, I accepted that too. I presented my CC speech #3 titled “Listen Carefully”.


Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Peace Finally Comes to Colombia

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos(left) and Marxist rebel leader Timochenko  shake hands after signing a peace accord in Cartagena, Colombia, September 26, 2016. Reuters pic
Yesterday, in Cartagena, Colombia, the country's president, Juan Manuel Santos and the leader of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), Timoleon “Timochenko” Jimenez, inked a historic deal – a peace agreement sealed last month after a four-year negotiation process to end Latin America’s last major armed conflict.
Santos called it “a new stage in our history – one of a country in peace!”
The two signed with pens made out of real bullets for the occasion.
The guests at the signing included UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, US Secretary of State John Kerry, the Vatican's Secretary of State Pietro Parolin, and an array of Latin American leaders including Cuban President Raul Castro.
The 2,500 attendees wore white for the 70-minute ceremony.
The accord remains to be ratified in a referendum next week.
Colombia's peace deal breaks new ground in trying to balance the desire for peace with the demands of justice which bedevil all peace talks.
There's no amnesty, unlike all previous peace accords in the region. The FARC, as well as Colombia's security forces, have accepted special tribunals and a truth and reconciliation process.
Let’s pray that the painstaking peace that has been achieved is permanent.
On Saturday, Celtic gave Kilmarnock a 6-1 drubbing.
Moussa Dembele's brace (35, 38) ensured his team extend their Scottish Premiership lead to five points.
But it was Killie striker Souleymane Coulibaly who opened the scoring with a sensational 35-yard strike from the left touchline – in the thirty-second minute.
James Forrest slotted the third in the fifty-second minute and Leigh Griffiths claimed the fourth, fourteen minutes later. And Scott Sinclair dispatched a penalty (72) before Tom Rogic added a sixth in the eighty-fifth minute.
And Liverpool claimed a third straight EPL win courtesy of an emphatic 5-1 victory over 10-man Hull. The Reds were really in control of the game, from start to finish.
Adam Lallana's low shot from inside the box in the seventeenth minute following a driving run and pass from Coutinho, yielded the first goal. Then thirteen minutes later, James Milner scored from the spot after Hull’s Ahmed Elmohamady saw red for handball in the box. Sadio Mane added a third for the home side. More goals were inevitable and came through Sadio Mane's low finish (36), Coutinho's brilliant long-range effort (52) and Milner's second penalty (71) – awarded for Andrew Robertson's foul on substitute Daniel Sturridge. Hull got a consolation goal through David Meyler (51).
Did you know that in the time since Jurgen Klopp took over on October 08, 2015, Liverpool have scored 71 goals, more than any other team over this period?

Monday, September 26, 2016

Exploding Galaxy Note 7s

Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 entered the market with a bang!
Literally. Some of the phones had actually exploded.
The world's largest maker of mobile phones had to recall 2.5 million units of this particular model – and all because its batteries began catching fire while charging.
The recall already puts fresh pressure on Samsung, which is already squeezed by competition from Apple in the high-end market and Chinese rivals in the low-and mid-end segment.
And it didn't take the Internet long to come up with all sorts of hilarious responses – a couple of my favorites have been included here. Just be careful… you might just explode with laughter!

Dysfunctional Veteran’s photo
Actually, no brand or model is necessarily safe.
That is because phones use lithium ion battery packs for their power, and it just so happens that the liquid swimming around inside most lithium ion batteries is highly flammable.
If the battery short-circuits – say, by puncturing the incredibly thin sheet of plastic separating the positive and negative sides of the battery – the puncture point becomes the path of least resistance for electricity to flow. It heats up the (flammable!) liquid electrolyte at that spot. And if the liquid heats up quickly enough, the battery can explode.
It is not as if Samsung or any other phone manufacturer doesn’t know that lithium ion batteries pose a risk – but the electronics industry continues to use the flammable formula because the batteries are so much smaller and lighter than less-destructive chemistries. Lithium ion batteries pack a punch, for better or for worse.
Anyway, according to an unnamed Samsung official who spoke to Yonhap News, the Note 7's manufacturing defect affects less than 0.01 percent of all Note 7 handsets sold.
Some quick back-of-the-envelope math, and you're potentially looking at fewer than 1,000 defective phones. "It is a very rare manufacturing process error," a Samsung rep told CNET.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Language of Silence

I wish to re-post this news item from UK’s The Guardian dated July 29, 2016.
It tells us about the power of communication – but more than that, it teaches us that communication isn’t always about words – and that sometimes, silence is just as powerful.
And true enough – the headline reads: “No words as Pope Francis visits the Auschwitz death camp in silence”.

Pope Francis pays his respects at the ‘wall of death’. Photo: David W Cerny/Reuters
The pontiff visited the Nazi death camps – the place where 1.1 million people were killed at Auschwitz-Birkenau during the Second World War. There was much somber contemplation and prayer.
In fact, Pope Francis had said he wanted his visit – the third by a pope – to be conducted in silence.
“I would like to go to that place of horror without speeches, without crowds – only the few people necessary. Alone, enter, pray. And may the Lord give me the grace to cry”.
At Block 11, Francis met a group of former inmates of the camp and some of those hailed as “righteous among nations” for risking their lives to save Jews during the Nazi occupation of Poland.
One passed him a lit candle, which the pope carried to the “wall of death” at the end of the block’s yard, in front of which thousands of inmates were executed.
Also, the pope spent time alone in the cell of Maximilian Kolbe, a Franciscan priest who volunteered to take the place of a prisoner selected for death. Kolbe died on August 14, 1941 and was later canonised by Pope John Paul II.
The visit falls on the 75th anniversary of the day Kolbe was condemned to death.
The pope’s only public words were written in the Auschwitz guest book: “Lord, have pity on your people. Lord, forgive so much cruelty”.
The vast majority of those who died at Aushwitz-Birkenau were Jewish, but thousands of Polish Catholics, Roma and Soviet prisoners of war also lost their lives.
Speaking before the visit, Piotr CywiƄski, the director of the Auschwitz-Birkenau memorial complex, said: “There are places and tragedies which make you at a loss for words, where actually there are no words to express what so many still see as unimaginable”.
So very true.
On Thursday evening, I returned to Level 5, Wisma Naza in Jalan Sg. Besi, KL to attend the Metro Toastmasters meeting.

I was slated to be the Table Topics Master but I also ended up giving a speech too. It was a CC speech #2 titled “I’m in Love”.

Since June of this year, I have been mainly focusing on my Advanced speeches – so it is timely that I restart a new round of Competent Communication manuals. I am hoping to complete 10 CCs this 2016-2017.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Rio Paralympics Provides Cheer for Malaysians

Bernama photo

Just as the Rio Olympics has shown that Malaysia too has the sports talents to garner awards (read my blogpost dated August 21, 2016), we achieved even more spectacular success in the Rio 2016 Paralympics (September 7-18, 2016) – in fact, we collected four medals, placing us in the 36th ranking among 163 competing countries.
The quartet that brought golden honors to the country were Mohamad Ridzuan in the men’s 100m T36 (cerebral palsy category), Muhammad Ziyad in the men’s shot put F20 (intellectual disability) and Abdul Latif in the men’s long jump T20 (intellectual disability). And Siti Noor Radiah won the bronze in the women’s long jump T20 (learning disability).
We certainly need news like this to cheer us up as a nation.
On the Zika front, Health Ministry director-general Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah had said on Thursday, there has been no new cases. The number of zika cases remain at six between September 01 and 21.
Good to hear!
On Thursday, I was at the OCBC Malaysian Head Office in Menara OCBC at 18, Jalan Tun Perak, KL – at the invitation of Nor Lida Dahalan – to present my last speech from the Interpersonal Communication manual, i.e. Assignment #5 Asserting Yourself Effectively. I also evaluated a CC#2.
And I was voted Best Project Speaker. Nice.
With this – I have also completed the requirements to fulfill my ACS award, my fourth! This represents my third educational award for September and my 8th todate for 2016-2017.