Monday, June 30, 2014

The Hulk in Brazil

Oh no! Somebody spotted me at the World Cup last Friday!
But let me get this straight – I was not in a Brazil attire! I’m sorry but I do not support the team. See photo carefully I was actually in a yellow Bersih T-shirt.
Tub-thumper Ridhuan Tee Abdullah continued his hateful and hurtful tirade against Christians over the Allah issue, with his column in Sinar Harian today, titled "Tanpa Allah, Kristian tidak rugi" (Without Allah, Christians don't lose).
He had alleged that Christians who are adamant on fighting to use the word "Allah" were from Peninsular Malaysia – and they have a hidden agenda. He said Christians in Sabah and Sarawak were not insistent over the right to use the word "Allah".
According to him, this 'ultra kiasu' determination is a slick plan to destroy the Muslim faith which is already shaken today," he said, repeating a phrase he has often used on the Chinese community.
May I suggest that he start going to church? Only then will he understand that those in semenanjong are merely defending the rights of their East Malaysian brethren to refer to their “Allah” as “Allah”. But then again, I am assuming that he can be enlightened. I doubt it – I do believe that his stupidity is incurable.
Anybody who knows me know that I am a reasonable person. Therefore, I really did try to see things from his point of view. The problem is that I can't get my head that far up my ass.
Ridhuan also exhorted Christians to "turn the other cheek" when attacked and not fight back. He said Christians keep claiming that “when someone slaps you on the left cheek, do not retaliate but offer your right cheek”. By the way, they only have two cheeks to offer after both cheeks have been duly slapped, it is time for Christians to stand their ground and fight back!

Cow Head Incident in Penang

A bloodied and skinned cow's head was found on Saturday morning at the home of DAP lawmaker RSN Rayer in Jalan Tingkat Tembaga, Island Park, Penang.
The Seri Delima assemblyperson had caused UMNO to go into a corybantic fit when he made the “UMNO celaka” remark on May 20, 2014. [Read my blogpost dated May 23, 2014].
Rayer was to have been charged under Section 4(1)(b) of the 1948 Sedition Act the week before last over this utterance, but the Attorney-General ordered at the very last minute that his case be deferred.
In the meantime, Home Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi showed his cheapo class when he chastised Rayer for having a loud mouth and said that he brought on the attack because he called UMNO "celaka".
Remember, this is the home minister speaking. It seems that he is endorsing the actions of those behind the cow-head incident. He is speaking like another former home minister from UMNO, Hishammuddin Hussein, who actually sympathized with his party-men after they paraded in Shah Alam with a cow’s head in 2009 – read my blogpost at this link
This is the second mischievous incident to happen in Rayer’s house. Last August five live bullets were found thrown into his house compound.
Don't hold your breath that the police will apprehend the culprit. If that happens, it would be a mini miracle!

The Netherlands-Mexico World Cup match at Estadio Castelao in Fortaleza, Brazil yesterday saw the Dutch slamming in two quick goals (88, 90) to overturn Mexico's one goal lead secured in the forty-eighth minute. What a game!

The 2-1 scoreline has put the former through to the quarter-finals.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Uruguay's Turn to Exit

Uruguay fans showed their support for banned striker Luis Suarez
Luis Suarez may not have been inside Rio De Janeiro’s Estadio do Maracana but he was there in spirit as Uruguay fans showed solidarity with the former, sporting masks, brandishing flags of support and ensuring the Uruguay-Colombia game kicked off to the sound of his name.
Definitely, Suarez’s brilliance was sorely missed by his team. And Colombia took advantage of his absence to beat Uruguay 2-0.


Colombia fans celebrate knocking Uruguay out of the WC
In the other game, luck embraced Brazil when the WC hosts scraped through to the last eight. They had won 3-2 in a penalty shootout against Chile in Belo Horizonte after a 1-1 draw.
Brazil will now meet Colombia in an all-South American quarter-final in Fortaleza on Friday. Mark that day down because it's going to be a cracker!

I am going to support Colombia for this game.
On Wednesday, I was in KL’s Jalan Kia Peng. At Menara Exxon-Mobil. I was there to attend the Tiger Toastmasters meeting as the General Evaluator as well as an evaluator for an Advanced speech. This was my maiden visit; I had wanted to visit the club since three years ago – and finally I made it.
A good meeting and I was even voted Best Evaluator. I would give it a score of a 7 over 10. I will return!


And I ended the day with another meeting, i.e. the MIA Toastmasters meeting in Brickfields. I was a speech evaluator for a Toastmaster from Great Eastern who delivered his CC speech #10. To be honest, it didn't inspire me. Other than that, it was an okay meeting and I would give it a 5.5 over 10 score.


Saturday, June 28, 2014

Portugal Exit WC

On Thursday, Germany produced a 1-0 victory over USA and qualified as winners of Group G – both these two teams have reached the last sixteen at the World Cup.

Thomas Muller scored the goal in the fifty-fifth minute at the Arena Pernambuco in Recife, Brazil – his ninth WC goal in as many games. The rate at which the Bayern Munich forward is scoring in World Cup games is matched only by Brazil legend Pele, who also found the net nine times in his first nine matches in the tournament. 

Meanwhile, Portugal carved a 2-1 victory over Ghana, but both teams were eliminated. The former finished level on four points with the USA but the Americans advance because of superior goal difference. 

South Korea needed a win but ten-man Belgium prevailed over the former with a 1-0 scoreline. South Korea will return home and Belgium having topped their World Cup group will meet USA in a last-16 tie. 

With this outcome, none of the Asian teams have made it to the knockout stage. A sorry state of affairs for Asian football.

On Tuesday, I was at the Taman Indrahana Toastmasters meeting and this time around, I was the Table Topics Evaluator. Generally-speaking, it was a good meeting and I will readily admit that it was time well-spent. My score for this meeting is a 7.5 over 10.


Given that this was the very last meeting of the current 2013-2014 term, the club recognized members who had contributed DCP points. I was one of them and I received two lapel pins for my one-and-a-half points – see photo below:


Luis Suarez's Alleged Bite


Much has been said about Luis Suarez’s alleged bite on Giorgio Chiellini during the World Cup match between Uruguay and Italy. 

Companies know this unfortunate incident provides a ripe advertising opportunity. And they were quick to take to Twitter. 

“Chew Trident. Not soccer players”, tweeted the gum maker.

“Hey @luis16suarez. Next time you’re hungry just grab a Snickers”, said makers of the chocolate bar. 

“Relax, they’re twist off”, Bud Light said of its beer caps, alongside a photo of a man with suspiciously Suarez looking teeth trying to open a bottle with his mouth. 

Many of the tweets were addressed directly to Suarez himself, who has more than three million followers on Twitter. 

“Hi @luis16suarez, if you’re really hungry why don’t you take a bite out a Big Mac”, asked McDonald’s Uruguay. 

“We recommend a good swish after grabbing a bite of Italian”, Listerine global helpfully added. 

No brand was too shy and no connection too tenuous. Even department store JC Penney got in on the act.  “Fangs for the memories, Uruguay,” read their tweet. 

FIFA investigated this strange case of “biting” and decided Suarez was guilty. And so, he was handed a four-month ban from all football-related activity – the longest ban in World Cup history. Suarez was also given a nine-match international suspension and a fine of 100,000 Swiss francs (£65,680). 

The Italian victim had described the punishment as ‘excessive”. No matter how regretful Chiellini may have felt about Suarez's rap, the latter had already flown back to the Uruguayan capital, Montevideo in the early hours of Friday morning. 

For Suarez at least, the World Cup is over.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Iran Fail to Make the Cut

On Wednesday, Bosnia-Herzegovina beat Iran 3-1 in their Group F match at the Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil and in the process, denied the West Asians any chance of advancing to the next stage of the Wolrd Cup. 

Iran, whose only World Cup victory came in 1998, had required all three points against Bosnia and a win for Argentina over African champions Nigeria to have any shot of grabbing a surprise place in the last 16. The Iranians were found wanting even though the South Americans did what they were supposed to do by thwarting the Super Eagles 3-2 in Porto Alegre and topping the group on nine points. 


France could not maintain their prolific start to the 2014 World Cup but still finished top of Group E following a goalless draw with Ecuador. 

On Monday, I was at the MidValley Toastmasters meeting and took up the role of General Evaluator. I acknowledge that club members are putting in serious effort to improve the conduct of their meetings and I am happy to report that they are making good progress. 

Overall, it was a good meeting but I have to admit that I was disappointed with one of the speakers – I know him well – as he wasn’t showing seriousness with the speech he was presenting. It was more a case of tomfoolery than anything else. Plus the fact that he wasn’t well-prepared. 

In any case, I would give this meeting a score of a 6 over 10.