Saturday, September 18, 2021

Fake Branded Mooncakes


OMG, I didn’t know there are mooncake counterfeiters! 

According to the South China Morning Post, Hong Kong Customs had seized 114 boxes of mooncakes bearing forged trademarks of well-known brands. The total estimated market value of the haul was HK$650,000, the largest in the past five years. 

One man and three women aged between 25 and 34 were arrested in the operation. 



And it was the first time that suspects have been caught faking Louis Vuitton mooncakes. 

Customs said earlier that they received information from a trademark owner who alleged that suspected counterfeit mooncakes were put on sale through some online platforms. They accessed four of these accounts selling the said items and raided premises in Tuen Mun and Sheung Wan, resulting in seizures of the mooncakes and other suspected counterfeit goods, including perfume, cosmetics and kitchenware. 

They also investigated the source of the mooncakes and samples had been sent to the government lab for safety testing. 

Henry Wong Che-yin, acting commander of the Customs' Intellectual Property Technology Crime Investigation Division said the fake Louis Vuitton mooncakes were sold for HK$500 to HK$1,000 per box. 

Celtic's Europa League campaign kicked off on Thursday in disappointing fashion as they let a two-goal lead slip and allow Real Betis to carve a 4-3 victory. 

The Scottish side deservedly took the lead, through Albian Ajeti’s goal in the thirteenth minute and a penalty from Josip Juranovic fourteen minutes afterward. But the Spanish side turned the tide with a four-goal blitz in just 20 minutes. 

Anthony Ralston powered home a header in the eighty-seventh minute – but Celtic could not find the leveler. 

To be fair, they showed enterprising attacking play but regrettably, it was undermined by defensive vulnerabilities. 

They’ve got two opportunities to pick themselves up again – against Livingston in the Scottish Premiership on Sunday before hosting Raith Rovers in the League Cup quarter-finals next Thursday.

Saving Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve


Malaysians are celebrating an unprecedented about-turn by the Selangor state government after they announced they will no longer go ahead with their controversial plan to develop the Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve amidst widespread condemnation from the public. 

The forest reserve is mostly peat swamp and a habitat for rare species such as the Malayan sun bear (Scientific name: Helarctos malayanus) and Selangor pygmy flying squirrel (Scientific name: Petaurillus kinlochii). 


Fifty-four percent of the forest was degazetted by the Selangor state government in May. And the area, 536.7 hectares (1,326.2 acres) in total, was earmarked for a mixed development, with 494.7 hectares (1,222.4 acres) promised to private company Gabungan Indah Sdn Bhd, which planned to develop much of the land into permanent housing. 

The degazettement caused a massive outcry from citizens and lawmakers alike as Selangor’s ruling party, the national opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan, had campaigned on a reforestation and conservation manifesto. 

Even the Selangor state legislature had voted unanimously against the proposal to degazette the forest reserve last year, issuing a statement that urged Selangor’s Executive Council to protect and preserve forest reserves. But, the Executive Council, made up of the Menteri Besar (right) and some members of the legislature, chose to move ahead with the development plans. 

The public was only informed on August 30, and on September 08, after protests from citizens and lawmakers alike reached a crescendo, the Selangor government relented and abandoned their plans. 

Some of the forests in Kuala Langat North Forest Reserve are up to 8,000 years old, but have suffered dramatically at the hands of deforestation. A total of 7,246.96 hectares (17,907.6 acres) was gazetted as a permanent forest reserve in 1927, but today only 957.6 hectares (2,366.3 acres), or just 13%, remain. 

Unlike in the rest of Malaysia, Selangor mandates public hearings for any plan to degazette forest reserves, which has allowed this proposal to be publicly scrutinized and criticized. 

Following the successful fight to protect this forest reserve, Selangor lawmaker Elizabeth Wong (left) has proposed this legal provision to hold public hearings be included in the National Forestry Act “in order to further protect forests in the country, which are increasingly vulnerable to development and economic activities”. 

Therefore, the majority of the 536.7 hectares will be regazetted as permanent forest reserve. Only 42.1 hectares (104 acres) will remain degazetted to complete the land ownership to Busut Baru Orang Asli village as compensation for displacing the tribe in 1993. The ethnic Temuan community was forced to leave their ancestral home in Sepang to make way for the construction of the Kuala Lumpur International Airport. 

Thank heavens, the forest is saved!

Friday, September 17, 2021

It's a Damn Lie!


Can you believe the twat who is Malaysia’s Education Minister saying that the reopening of schools in stages from October 03, means the country is returning to normalcy? What bs is he giving us? 

Radzi Jidin (left) is talking cock! 

Deputy Health Director-General Dr. Hishamshah Mohd Ibrahim had already announced that the goalposts for Covid-19 herd immunity – if you still believe in it, that is – is to move to 90 percent (Malay Mail, September 09, 2021). Obviously, Radzi hadn’t paid attention! 

As far as I can tell, the Greater KL Area (Klang Valley lah) has the highest fully vaccinated population at 72 percent, followed by Labuan with 65.8 percent and Sarawak at 63.7 percent. 

Still, I can understand that schools must open their doors. Really, remote learning cannot fully educate young minds. 

Sure, technology is a great enabler and it does foster learning. But it is pertinent to mention that advances, resources and infrastructure are not quite there here in Malaysia – and cannot compete with physical schooling. Heck, I’m here in ‘urban’ Selangor – and yet, I still have issues with Internet connectivity and bandwidth! 

Besides, there is a teacher-student dynamic which technology has yet to catch up to. 

Covid or not, I’m clear about education. Kids need school! 

And just so you know, Covid numbers are not showing any signs of a retreat! The twats at MOH have got it all wrong! 



Viagra Thief is Not a Hardened Criminal

The headline itself is worth the post! 

But I know you’ll want the context. 

On March 19, forty-six-year-old Stephen Cooper had swiped a packet of erection-enhancing pills from Lloyds Pharmacy in Leek, which is about 10 miles north-east of Stoke-on-Trent, UK. 

The offence took place eight days after police executed a drugs warrant at his home and found £10 worth of cannabis in his room, the Stoke Sentinel reports. 

Cooper admitted possession of a class B drug and Viagra theft and was given a 12-month conditional discharge at North Staffordshire Justice Center. He was however, ordered to pay £35 in compensation and a £22 surcharge. 

His lawyer Iain Haley said in mitigation that the offences were very low level and the Viagra was for his defendant's own use. 

“He formed a relationship and needed the Viagra to enable him to keep up with the young woman he had formed the relationship with”, explained Haley. "He is not a hardened criminal". 

The court was also told that four weeks prior to the theft, he had attempted to shoplift the same item – but he had apologized to the store manager, and got himself banned. 

He was fortunate that the matter was not reported to the cops – but he wasn’t so lucky the second time around!




On Wednesday, Anfield saw a five-goal fest as Liverpool came back to beat AC Milan 3-2 in both teams’ Champions League group stage openers. 

Jurgen Klopp's team raced out of the blocks and took a deserved lead on nine minutes as Trent Alexander-Arnold's effort went in following a deflection off a Milan player. 

But the Reds were stunned when Rossoneri struck twice in the space of seconds right on half-time. A meltdown that shouldn't have happened but it did. 

Fortunately, the former regrouped to subject the latter to intense pressure once more after the break and were rewarded for their stirring comeback. Mohamed Salah hit the net from close range after 48 minutes when he was superbly set up by Divock Origi. And then in the sixty-ninth minute, Jordan Henderson rifled home his first Champions League goal in seven years to settle this richly entertaining match.

Thursday, September 16, 2021

WSD Theme for November 20, 2021

And the WSD theme for our November 20th event:


WSD 2021 World Children’s Day is dedicated to the young people all around the world. 

All are invited to join us and experience the joy of public speaking. Only at World Speech Day.




#unexpectedvoices #worldspeechday #sabahbolehbah

Oh My Malaysia!


On Hari Malaysia, I believe the "AKU MALAYSIA" series of VOICES of Truth and Hope for Malaysia resonates with many Malaysians. These 3 voices in particular convey our sentiments only too well. 

Speaker: Jo Kukathas:
 
Speaker: Amy Dangin:
 
Speaker: Larissa Ping:
 
To my mind, the three speakers have given us much to think about, to ponder and to reflect. 

In spite of the setbacks, the betrayals and the challenges, we must not give up on the country. We must continue to uphold #kitajagakita. And we must put a whole lotta faith in ourselves – I'm referring to ordinary Malaysians – to do our bit and move all of us forward, together as one rakyat and one nation.

This is what it is to be a Malaysian during these testing times.

Anyway, Selamat Hari Malaysia!

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

ABBA's Comeback





By now, I’m certain the whole world already knows of ABBA’s comeback! 

The band announced a new album after their 40-year-hiatus, and a stage show to boot. 

Björn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson got together in a studio and on November 05, they are releasing "Voyage", with 10 new songs – and two of them, i.e. "I Still Have Faith in You" and "Don't Shut Me Down" are already out.


 

Next spring the Swedish singers – all in their 70s – will perform in a custom-built stadium at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in London, UK. The foursome will not be on stage in person, but as holograms of their younger selves, what they are calling ABBAatars.

And their virtual versions will perform alongside a live orchestra.
















The Mooncakes To Die For

I was fascinated by the very many types of mooncakes available these days and I was particularly interested in those that I would describe as avant garde mooncakes. 

As I surfed sites that showcase these mooncakes, I chanced upon Kitchen Confidante. 

For sure, pictures of their mooncakes straight away caught my attention – but more than that, one version amongst their assortment literally stopped me in my tracks.

The mooncake purveyors named it “Baba Nyonya”. If you know me, I’m really into this Peranakan thingi. 

I told myself I must try it. 

And so, I contacted them on their Facebook page and long story short, Kah Kein kindly arranged for me to get my hands on the “Baba Nyonya”. 

Now I’m into mooncakes that willingly accommodate my sweet tooth – but knowing that this “Baba Nyonya” version is both sweet and savory caused me to approach it with a wee bit of anxiety. Maybe, that is not the right word. Maybe, ‘tension’ is a better word. 

It’s just me. I’m not really the adventurous foodie type. 

I read the description again. And again. 

The “Baba Nyonya” is obviously local-inspired. The Peranakan flavors of belacan and chili and paired with white lotus paste and chicken floss make it sui generis. It’s bound to stand out because simply put, it is undoubtedly unique.






I couldn’t wait to taste it. And I was not too surprised that with just a first bite, I instantly loved it!

I finished the two pieces in double-quick time. I’m not sure if I could adequately describe its complex flavors. It’s a fragile mosaic of sweetness, piquancy and zestiness. 

It is a mooncake like no other. It is not the flirtatious type and so, it doesn’t try to seduce you immediately – and yet inexplicably, you are drawn to it. 

This mooncake is a happy discovery. Nuanced, subtle and delicate. 

I’ll say it again, I love the “Baba Nyonya”! It’s honest, original and authentic! 

Kitchen Confidante are a 4-year-old patisserie and now making a mark in the mooncake industry. I learned that they take pride in the quality and integrity of ingredients. Not only that but their small business model ensures all products are baked to order and fresh from oven to customers. 

The talent in the kitchen is Karen Chai (right) and she has successfully put an enchanting spin on the traditional mooncake with interesting flavors and textures. I think she’s just brilliant!

The chef herself is a baker at heart since the age of 9 and who later expanded her knowledge at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France when she was 31. She's the artisan pastry chef whose mooncakes – check them out below – are not only incredibly delish but they're also works of art!


She's ably supported by Kah Kein, the eager beaver who handles everything else outside of the kitchen. In fact, if you're interested to order, please contact him at 012 6366296.

Just as they did to me, the mooncakes will tempt you! FYI, they are exclusively available on Kitchen Confidante Facebook page.

Tuesday, September 14, 2021

ABBA: The Last Video


This is an ABBA video that I just got to share!

 

In 2004, the Jim Henson Company provided the "props" for ABBA's music video "The Last Video", in which four small puppets (caricatures of the group members) try to get a recording contract in Stockholm, Sweden in 1974 by playing a medley of some of the band's biggest hits. 

The video was originally shot as "Our Last Video Ever" for the 2004 semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest, thirty years after ABBA had won the contest. 

The Swedish pop sensations and even Cher made cameo appearances in the video!

And when Agnetha Fältskog (Anna), saw what her own ‘doll’ looked like, she even had a good laugh and said, "I look like Miss Piggy”!

Correction: The good news is that this is no longer the "Last" video! 

In fact, the story is continuing.

Frogs in Bogor, Indonesia

Wildlife photographer Ajar Setiadi takes photos of frogs. 

Most of his photos are taken in nature, near his home in Bogor in Java, Indonesia where he spends a lot of time trying to capture rare shots we get to see now. 

According to Ajar, the White's tree frog (Scientific name: Litoria caerulea) often seeks shelter under flowers, vegetables, and other plants.









My September 11 post "Absolutely, No Underwear on Telly" had carried a story on the tax appeal case by former disgraced Malaysian prime minister Najib Razak and his son Mohd Nazifuddin. 

The story has not ended. The duo have now gone to the Federal Court to overturn a High Court ruling in an attempt to quash the Inland Revenue Board’s move to recover almost RM1.8 billion in tax arrears from them.

They just won’t give up, will they?

Monday, September 13, 2021

Brought-In-Dead Cases in Malaysia



I repeat. Merely talking about “living with Covid-19” is, in my opinion, premature, and does not instill confidence in the public when cases are still very high.

And of course, we’ve now been told that reported Covid deaths were not even actual numbers!


Last Monday, Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin (right) highlighted that “the daily death reports are not necessarily from the last 24 hours. There is a long backlog because we have to confirm the cause of death is from Covid-19 and not something else”. 

He explained that most of the backlog was a result of the high number of people brought-in-dead (BID) to hospitals, as their causes of death had to be investigated before they can be reported as a Covid statistic. 

It appears that most of the BIDs were Covid-19 patients who were quarantined at home and were not taken to the hospital in time as soon as their condition deteriorated. That’s the MOH story, if you can believe them. 

We need to know the reason(s) behind BID cases. The previous Health Minister Adham Baba (right) had previously told Malaysians that Covid-19 patients who have mild or no symptoms will undergo treatment and quarantine at home – but they will be monitored strictly by health workers. So, whatever happened to the monitoring? 

Something must be seriously amiss when these people can suddenly have their health conditions worsen, that they die at home!?!? 

On Sunday, even though 592 Covid-19 deaths were reported, actually, only 100 were patients who died in that 24-hour period. The remainder were deaths attributed to a backlog in cases.

I just checked. MOH data showed 99 actual deaths occurred yesterday – and the remaining 193 fatalities came from backlogs of previous dates. And there’s the claim that a total of 106 deaths were of patients brought-in-dead (BID)! 

We've also been informed that the daily death counts are now presented in seven-day average figures, as MOH update backlogged cases onto the CovidNow data system. 

So, what else is there to say?

#KerajaanBodoh #KerajaanGagal 

Mama Mia!


ABBA were part of the "super league of the music business", writes music historian Carl Magnus Palm in “ABBA: Story and Songs Compact”. 

They have sold at least 380 million albums since their breakthrough at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, some estimates even put it at 500 million records. 

After the Beatles and the Rolling Stones, Björn Ulvaeus, Agnetha Fältskog, Anni-Frid Lyngstad and Benny Andersson, whose initials make up the group's name, are the most successful band of all time. 

Despite personal crises between the band members and a hiatus that began in 1982 and lasted for four decades, their music is still a commercial success. 

Here are my 6 favorite ABBA songs:

 

Did you know that in 2000, they turned down an offer of a €1 billion world tour? 

Yesterday, Liverpool kept pace with the Premier League's leading pack as Mohamed Salah's 100th English top-flight goal helped them to victory against Leeds United. 

The Egyptian forward was perfectly placed to tap in Trent Alexander-Arnold's low cross and give the Reds a 20th-minute advantage. Fabinho bundled home the second in the fiftieth minute following a corner. And Sadio Mane’s low finish into the far bottom corner in stoppage time gave the Reds a big 3-0 win and three points. 

A good display of attacking football. It's been a long time.